::Half Term – It was all going so well::

CAM00071:: All was going so well.

Half term week was ahead with all it's promises of finished blankets, wool winding sessions and family times, see it started really well here and here. Despite a cold and a cough, I had a lovely lunch out with my boys at Green's of Grassmere, then later in the week with my Hubby at the gorgeous Watermill cafe, and a pootle into the Wool Clip – the ladies behind Woolfest! I even bought me some glorius Blue Faced leicester from Cecelia and Jean.

CAM00087:: It was all going so well.

I have nearly completed Little Em crochet granny square blanket, and watched the first two of the Lord of the rings trilogy, something I've attempted to do for some time, but never had chance to watch seven hours of film before in a oner!! Then, just when you should be careful what you wish for…

BAM!

Me coughs, colds, and viruses just don't get on very well. It's my asthma, doesn't like it when my airways are at all compromised, I can see that! (and feel it too!)

So once that feeling starts, and sometimes, (like this one, that didn't even creep up) it just HITS me with a PUNCH in the chest and a STAB in the lower right back lung region!!

:: So snuggly days ahead this week…

CAM00093Doctors orders!! No talking, take my steriods, rest, sleep, drink lots, no talking (again), more steroids and keep warm –  Yes Ma'am!!

And my lovely hubby, well he bought me tulips!! He knows how to cheer a poorly girl up!

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other more cheerful mixtures

:: Tulips::
::Summer holiday bits and bobs::

::Breakfast pancakes::

Well it's the end of the official half term week, before the normality of weekend and back to work, so what better way to end the week than with a deliciously different breakfast.

We sometimes have them on the weekend but it's such a treat to have them in the week, being a working Mum and all that- so when I asked Little J if he would like pancakes for breakfast his response was sheer delight!

Not the french crepe style pancakes… no, no, the fat, podgy, spongy, american style pancakes, that I used to eat as a child covered in golden syrup, or lemon juice, sugar and sometimes a bit of banana and jam! Yum, yum!!

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So batter up!!

I always make the batter up the night before- but you don't have to, you can just mix it up and splodge away!

150g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

25-50g sugar

2 eggs

100-125ml milk

25g melted butter

fruit of your choice, mashed banana, raisins, raspberries, etc

sunflower oil

::Method::

Mix all of the dry ingrediants together and in another bowl place the milk, eggs and melted butter, then mix them together whisk the life out of it so it's really bubbly.

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CAM00064I use my Aga warm plate- not the other one as that's the hot plate!You have to oil the plate slightly first. I just put desert spoonfuls of batter mixture on and use a pallette knife to slide them over once the bubbles start 'a' popping on the top!

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CAM00067Silly me forgot that I have to put sunflower oil on the hot plate – not BUTTER- 'cos it burns the edges!!

CAM00070But, they must have tasted goooood, as Little J happily ate most of them with his juice and a sprinkling of sugar- he left the slightly 'darker' ones for his Dad who has them with jam! He said they were delicious!

So ready for anything now me thinks!!

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More MixTures

::This week so far…::
::Relaxing::
::Transition::
::Handpicked, harvesting and homemade::

::Poncho Love::

I have been so inspired by the many crocheted, colourful ponchos springing up everywhere, so snuggly warm and incredibly practical. Poncho's are the perfect cover up in chilly weather when you don't need a coat, and when made with wool, can be luxurious and beautiful.I have had a poncho for years, a beautiful soft angora/alpaca plain rib fern green one I bought in Monsoon years ago, but I really fancied making a new one- knitted or crocheted, I don't mind.

It started last winter when I spotted this one from Craftyred – check out the blog  here.

Poncho 1Of course Lucy @ Attic 24 has her finger on the pulse of must have items too, so she has designed and made herself a crochet beauty, see her blog post here.

Attic24A plethora of others that were also inspiring…

knitted from here on Zuhal'in's FB page.Poncho love

Vintage at Etsy.

Vintage etsy

This one from Cherrybombvintage77 here, has an amazing diagonal pattern going on, but I'm not loving the fringing.

Cherrybomb

Of course ponchos are not a new thing, you only have to google crochet poncho to find a HUGE amount from the 70's and more recently in the last few years. And, Peru really has the poncho look covered!! Don't you think these Peruvian Mamas look amazing?

Peru poncho

Poncho mama

There are lots around for children with a peruvian influence – here at Littlebigones on Etsy

Poncho peru

I love the diagonal, yet again, and the colour combinations- still not liking the fringing!!

Now the patterns and shapes on this one I LOVE LOVE LOVE

Poncho-high-res1You can look at the other amazing images on here, mainly from a hippy market in Ibiza, but they are peruvian alpaca, so that's all fine.

Wth so many inspirational ponchos around, what does a girl do?

Like any textile designer knows, research is the key thing…First I looked at peruvian fabrics… for traditional colour combinations

Fabric

Fabric1

Fabric2Then searched for the shape that I wanted- without fringing!!

Poncho wildeones

Essentially just a square with a hole in it to pop your head through- no fancy ties or fringing for me, maybe a bit of bobble edging…Hmmm. This one from Wildeones did the trick… check it out here, you can buy it for £399.99 if you like!!

Maybe not.

I searched for yarns with the colours that I wanted, nothing to bright just in case I decided I might wear it outside, and decided on a truly British yarn to add a twist to this traditionally alpaca garment – British Blue Faced Leicester yarn!! Genius!! You can find it here at Deramores or here at Purlcityyarns.

Debbie 1

I knew this would be the yarn, so soft and lovely and not at all hairy like I imagined. There is a beautiful red, not in the picture, which I think will form the basis of my design. Now all that's left is to write up the pattern and do the brain aching maths to start me off. Another project on the go very, very soon. Watch this space!!

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Colourful MixTures

::Ta-dah!! Sunny festival granny stripe crochet blanket::
:: Tulips::

::Something sticky, sweet and delicious – raspberry muffins::

It is half term, and there I am full of cold, feeling more than just a tad under the weather- (whatever does that mean?) and needing something that will cheer me up!

Check out the fridge…

Fresh raspberries, minstrels, plenty eggs and milk…. MUFFINS!!!!

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I found a great little recipe here which I accessed on my MacBook on the kitchen island for quickness, instead of printing it out on the computer in the study, or evn worse running backwards and forwards to get it right – you can tell I’ve done that before!! Laptop in the kitchen it is.

 

Buttery melting lovliness.CAM00046This was quite a needy fix- sweet sugary muffin mix, butteryness, and sharp raspberries mixed with the lush lovely minstrels… Oh stop, drooling alert, they’re not made yet!!Buttery melting lovliness.CAM00047Don’t over mix or they won’t rise as much, they really do look quite messy when they’re ready.CAM00048Generous spoonfuls.

They smell GoRgEoUs – I wish you could smell them too..

Then for the smartie chocolate ones for ‘the boys’… I found this recipe here, but didn’t keep any smarties for the tops- J ate some so never mind!

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15 minutes later…

CAM00056Ooooh can you smell them – they’re cooling just now, otherwise J would have scoffed the lot, and probably given himself tummy ache (that’s what my Grandma always said!)

CAM00057Hooky at the ready, CHECK, Chai Latte at the ready CHECK, homemade raspberry and chocolate muffins, it really is my very favourite drink at the moment, sweet, spicy, creamy and lovely. When I’m not near a Starbucks or a Costa, and lets face it I live in the middle of nowhere (7 miles to the nearest shop) I have to find the next best thing. Lucky for me Sainsbury’s deliver the next best thing and here is the website for it here. I love the pink one, spiced.

CAM00059That definitly hit the spot and did the trick ( and all those other phrases people say when they are quite satisfied).

Lovely.

P.S. J said the chocolate ones were good too. :)

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More MixTures

::Handpicked, harvesting and homemade::
::Homemade Artisan Bread::

:: Keep calm and breathe. It’s half term!::

Half term – longed for and needed desperatly as the cold weather and long darkness takes its toll on my asthmatic health. Soooo very tired…need sleep and crafty creative time to recharge my batteries.

So my lovely hubby and big boys decided to take me out to my favourite eatery ‘Green’s of Grassmere” on Sunday, before E returns to Leeds after being home for ‘reading’ week. (Not sure any reading was actually accomplished!!) 

We had a lovely bistro-type meal, mine of course gluten, dairy free- but so tasty and lovely. They make you feel so welcome and Grassmere is so beautiful. 

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We only need to travel 35 minutes to get there but through the most glorious scenery.

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Yes, we have a sprinkling of snow and it is CoLd!!

So after eating my fill, it’s back home to my crochet project- Little Em blanket. You might remember little Em is my best friend D’s daughter, we went to Cambridge last year, we visit them around 5 times a year and since it takes us a long, long 5 hours in the car just to get there it’s a feat of amazement that D and I have been friends for over 30 years, through secondary school, A-level college, University, marriages and babies!! Em has just turned 7 and of course wanted Aunty K to make her a crocheted big girls blanket.

Little em blanket 7It’s beautiful Stylecraft yarn in a bunch of lovely shades. Emperor, meadow, parchment, raspberry, violet, silver – Style Craft DK from the Wool Warehouse.Little em blanket 3These pics are a bit better than the other ones!

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_DSC0159So far I have hooked about 35 squares and so I have a long way to go before it is double bed sized, however each square will be bordered with two rounds of parchment, then joined with parchment and then the whole blanket witll be edged and bordered with something pretty- don’t know what yet.

THEN…

I have a number of projects on the go afterwards. My lovely kind hubby got me a blanket CAL for Amanda’s beatiful kaleidoscope blanket over at the Natural Dye Studio, you can check it out here.

My January pack, complete with pattern arrived and the February pattern update as been emailed. I’m so excited about getting started- just need to get the Little Em blanket finished and I’ll be off!

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Then…. sneaky man that he is, this arrived shortly after as a cheer me up January present! Awhhh. Cheer me up it definitely did!! A subscription to the website, magazine and two balls of delicious kidsilk. Discount on the yarns in stores and workshops! How to fit it all in! 

_DSC0154I’ve always loved Rowan yarns, so soft and gorgeous and I have a number of the books dating back about 20 years! Time to dig them out  me thinks!

So with the weather being nasty and horrid, I am loving that my tiny weeny baby narcissi are trying their best to shine and add delight to my kitchen table, although some of them have exhausted themselves!! Will be visiting the market tomorrow to purchase Tulips – I love tulips!!

_DSC0152My bundles of Lucy stylecraft arrived for my pending ripple blanket- yes I know eventuall I will get it done!! It was on 10% off so thought now was a good time to buy from Deramores – see here.

 

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As you can see my studio needs a little bit of attention with all these parcels and projects waiting patiently!_DSC0158A Well, it’s been lovely chatting but a scrummy cup of coffee and a gluten /diary free raspberry and lime muffin await (made them on Saturday – don’t know how there are any left!)- and a bit of hooky for little Em’s blanket, and a read of one my very favourite books, Ashlyn Gibson’s Creative Happy Home, you can find it here.

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Happy hooking and enjoy half term!!

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More MixTures!!

:: Tulips::
::Busy, busy, busy – lampshade and pizza ::
-A happy ending-

::Homemade Artisan Bread::

Hello!  Mmmmmmm.. can you smell it, it's just out of the oven!!

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It all started a week or two back when, over on Lucy's blog, there was this post about homemade Artisan bread and how easy peesy it is to make at home. The link , here, describes the method and ingredients perfectly.

It looked amazing, and even without the benefit of smellivision or sniffable computer screens, it was still sending me 'make me' messages.

So I did just that!

Using the link on Lucy's blog, I gathered all of my ingredients and implements together ready to start. Complete with soapy bowl of water at the ready! (Thank you Lucy It was definitly needed.)

Now living in such a lovely part of the world, The Lake District, we have some amazing little businesses such as Little Salkeld Mill, where they mill and grind their own flours. So with my own favourite to hand, I set about weighing and measuring.

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…and gently stirring (you don't need to mix it very much)

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Then I left it covered over neat the Aga overnight- YES!!! over 20 hours, and when I came back to it is was beautifully, yeasty, bubbly, and pillowy and it smelled so homely and comforting even at this stage.

 

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It was then plopped, actually more like a pouring crawl out of the bowl onto the floured baking parchment and then I floured it to death!! Without kneading it at all, and yes I did get very sticky hands. Once that was done, it was covered in cling film again and I put my big blue Le Crueset casserole in the oven to get hot!

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It went in the oven for half an hour with the lid on then 15 minutes without the lid and then

LOOK!!!!CAM00026

 

I did manage to wait for it to cool down a little bit before I decided, along with J and little J that it just have to have butter and jam on it. Little J had it without anything and he said it was "lush". Hmmm, praise indeed from my youngest teenager!

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Deliciously crusty on the outside and soft and airy on the inside – it really was heavenly.

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It didn't last very long, but Oh MY!! It was a complete delight. Now to make tomorrows batch ready for baking tomorrow.

Me thinks a revolution has begun, thanks Lucy!

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other mixtures

::Happy, Homemade, Homegrown, Happy::
::Handpicked, harvesting and homemade::