Tuesday, 31 August 2010

No Apple Pie!

No! I didn't eat any of the pie, well except tasting the apple and only a crumb of the pastry. Well lets face it all good chefs have to taste their cooking don't they? Tonight I was so glad I didn't have a big slice of pie with the custard as when I was weighed in tonight I lost one stone!!!!!It has taken me five weeks.I'm now onto loosing my second stone, the only way is down! This healthy eating is a constant battle, tomorrow evening I'm out for dinner with four of my cousins.

Finally I've finished my Oranges and Lemon Art Quilt, tomorrow I'm going for the first time to Lady Bugs Quilt group. The Art Quilt group (T2T) I've been going to was an offshoot of LB and it was decided last week that the full day wasn't working, so I was invited to join LB and T2T has closed. Only going for a half day will work out better for me, but it will be an early start as I want to get a gym session in first.

Apple Pie

I said there may be an apple pie making an appearance over the weekend, it wasn't until I carried dirty dishes and left over pie back to the kitchen that I remembered to take the photograph.

Yesterday James, Rachel and their partners were here for a barbecue and to sort out all the stuff in the loft. There was lots of laughter about the old toys and memories not only from J&R but also Becky and Alec, both saying I had one of those! This morning I went to two charity shops with a car full of bags and boxes of toys, books, games and clothes, they seemed grateful for the donation. There were about six bags of rubbish put out for the bin men or recycling and still we have about eight bags of rubbish to get rid of, I decided not to put it all out as sometimes if we put out a lot of bags they don't get taken!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

From This To This

Well I did it and didn't need a lie down either! I was at the Gym early yesterday, then popped into Hobby Craft to pick up something for Diane, while there I got side tracked and ended up buying wool that I really shouldn't have, to knit a cardigan. Then it was off to meet Diane and Jacqueline at Hyde Hall,and a pleasant surprise Sharne was there too! We had a coffee then a wander up to O2's exhibition (2nd time for me and Sharne), lunch then a wander back through the garden. We said our goodbyes, on the way home I did my food shopping. I even managed to get dinner on the table.

On Thursday I went to see a cousin she has a lot of information about our maternal family history of breast and ovarian cancer. I have been referred to a family genetics clinic by my GP, we have a lot of cases in the family. While I was there her partner arrived he'd been to their allotment and had a glut of marrows. They were kind enough to give me one, a couple of cucumbers and a carrier bag full of cooking apples. The visit was supposed to be for a couple of hours but other than at the funerals of both our Mum's a couple of months ago we hadn't seen each other for years. There was a lot of catching up to do and happy memories of when we were children, I ended up staying all afternoon!

So today I've turned this.

Into this.

It did taste a lot better than it looks. Dave and I both hated stuffed marrow when we were young, but this was really tasty. There is lots of marrow left so I'll have to find another recipe to use up the rest of it!

This afternoon I finished adding a few hand stitches to this wall hanging for Lady Bugs Exhibition.

Now I just have to put the binding on this and the Lemon Tree hanging before Wednesday. As my time management seems to be getting better since my previous post it shouldn't be a problem, who know I might even post a photograph of an Apple Pie on here this weekend!!!!!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


We found this in a cupboard at Mum's a few weeks ago, thought I'd share it with you. Yes it is me, it appears I was a happy baby!!!!

I don't know if I was a happy baby and there's no one to ask now. We should all ask those questions while we can.
I may drop a few more of these photographs in posts in the future, this one is so old that when I tried to get it out of the frame I couldn't, it's stuck firm and it's not even in the frame straight. It looks like the end of the pram could drop down, I know it was a silver cross pram, maybe it could be turned into a pushchair. Did things like that exist in the 50's?

In my previous life before I found embroidery I was a celebration/wedding cake designer and maker. Clearing out a cupboard the other day I came across two sprays of sugar flowers, they've kept remarkably well, just a couple of the lily petals have broken off. Originally I think there were three sprays and I gave one away. They would have been made to go on one of the dummy wedding cakes that I made for display at a Wedding Fayre! I've worked it out that they must be about 15 years old as I gave up my business about then!

Yesterday I made a comment on Gina's blog about her having more hours in her day than me, and that I thought that she'd probably made a cake too. This comment wasn't flippant, I genuinely thought that she probably had. It got me thinking that Gina is just so much better at time management than me! It's that old adage 'If you want something done ask a busy woman'. I used to be like that, I had my little business and two young children so I ran my business from a second kitchen attached to the house. I would get up in the morning before the children, get a couple of cakes mixed and in the oven. Take the children to school come home, do the household chores, decorate a cake or three. During the week I managed to be on the school PTA, take my turn in school listening to readers, teach an evening class (beginners cake decorating) and attend a patchwork class for pleasure! That's without all the children things that you have to do, after school swimming, cubs, brownies, having friends round to play etc, I feel tired now just thinking about it. Then life changed the children grew up left home and life slowed down. I don't teach any more and if I have to do more than three different things in a day I wonder how I'm going to fit it all in and panic!I think I need to work on my time management skills, something else to add to my to do list!

Thanks Gina, the double chocolate muffins were lovely, and no calories!

I was really pleased to see the finished shawl on Jacqueline's blog take a look. I'm sorry that I wont get to see it, when we meet on Friday at Hyde Hall for lunch (my second visit to O2 exhibition) it will already have been given to the Mum to Be.

Oh no I'll have three things to do on that day, Gym, Hyde Hall and Food shopping, and cook the evening meal. I might need a lay down after that, please don't laugh that's a very busy day for me.......

Sunday, 22 August 2010

I should say sew 2

Well what have I been up doing since my last post, really not a lot. Although I feel as though I've not stopped, this week my brother and I went to the Family Court in High Holborn London to swear an oath, now we are waiting for the probate to come through then we can wind up my Mum's estate! All we need to do now is sell the house, not an easy thing despite the house being in a nice area and in a very good location, it appears that no one is prepared to make a sensible offer! James and Becky however have had success and their house seems to have sold on the first viewing, now they are looking for somewhere to move into. Rachel is moving out of our house and in with a friend of James', it's a house share 3 girls together sounds like it's ideal, closer to London and so cheaper fares.So it's all change......

I sold a lot of 'stuff'on eBay this week, all in an effort to clear out the loft. It doesn't appear to have made much of a dent, I'm not sure I'll be doing much more eBaying, but lots more trips to the charity shop ahead or the rubbish dump, I think!

Today Dave and I went to see O2 exhibition at Hyde Hall, see the post I did on ERTF blog, we had a wander around the garden, lunch and then had a drive to Southend, by then it was raining. So it was straight back home and ready for another week!

I used the camera on my iphone to take these images, I think they are good quality!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Bacon Roll Incident!

Last night I used oil pastels to colour in the next part of the Yellow Sketch Book project. Then today I've colour washed over it using yellow and green drawing ink, it's given it a soft look. I think I'll have to do more stitching for the rest of the week and less playing as I have a few stitching things on the go and I'm falling a bit behind. I also need to get ahead a bit as I've ordered some wool to knit two baby tops from I KNIT one of my friends is becoming a Granny very soon, so I thought I'd knit as she's a quilter. This is the first time I've ordered wool from IKNIT, I think Rachel has used them she told me about them ages ago, I keep meaning to visit their shop in London but never quite get around to it, something else to go on my to do list.

This morning I had to go and post my old iphone to O2 they are paying me £150.00 for it, that covers buying my new iphone and a months rental is that mad or what?

Not everything is going so great I think I've got a verruca, I've never had one before and it is quite painful. I'm not sure the weight loss is going to be great this week, there was an incident yesterday with a bacon roll, one would have been ok but two, that was unforgivable, but nice! Today I've been really good, no extras hoping to make up for it, tomorrow I'm going to have everything crossed when I get on the scales.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Gina's Project or Yellow Sketch Book

Well this project has been keeping me busy! I have managed to get in a couple of breaks, one to take this photograph last night of a fantastic sunset, it was taken looking from the back of my house.

I had more of a play with the bleach on Koh-i-Noor,I took out less paint this time, but probably over did the black ink?

A close up of a section of the above image.

That was yesterday, today Dave and I decided to go to Hyde Hall, as the weather wasn't too bad despite the threatened rain storm. It seems ever since I put in my blog that this part of the UK was having a drought it's rained almost every day even the grass in our garden is turning green, instead of the dry straw it was previously. Anyway we got to Hyde Hall only to discover that there was a show today and it was really busy, so we decided to visit a selection of garden centers instead. While we were having a cup of coffee (NO CAKE) I thought I heard a Mum call her little girl Miriam, as we were leaving the Mum said to the little girl loudly "Miriam would you like a biscuit" it's not a name that you hear very often, I wanted to say yes please,and take the biscuit, but didn't.

This afternoon I got back into the project. Using a frame I took sections of the drawings and then traced them into my sketch book, photocopied it and then using different paints coloured the designs.

Black Ink
Water Colour
Caran D Ache the photograph doesn't show the true colours in this one.
Koh-i-Noor I do have to say I'm not overly happy with the painted pieces, but I'll keep going.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

GET SET GO............

Why is it when you start on a "healthy eating plan" all your social events suddenly turn into "lets do lunch, dinner"? So far I'm coping and what with the gym and the Healthy eating I'm only a couple of pounds away from loosing my first stone. But there is a lot more to go, I wont tell you how many! After many years of on and off dieting I think I've found a way of managing, even going away for a weekend didn't cause me any problems, but I do need to stay focused.

Monday I met a friend at the RHS Garden Hyde Hall we worked out that we've not met for over six months. It was a lovely day, warm and bright we sat and chatted for ages, I took some photographs with the project I'm working on in mind and of course Gina's sketch book project.

Yesterday it was out for lunch with three of my cousins, they are my Mum's nieces and we want to keep in touch, until recently we've kept in touch through our Mum's but of course that's changed. The four of us live close, about a 10 minute drive apart, Tina is my Gym buddy so I do see her at least three times a week.

Today after the gym I picked a few things from my very dried up garden, this part of the UK is getting very little rain,but a lot of sun. We are only watering our vegetable patch,the rest of the garden is more or less dead! Anyway I found a few things, so I thought no excuses GET SET GO.....

Unfortunately no Yellow flowers in my garden!

Drawn with Indian Ink and spaghetti, the pasta kept breaking, I think maybe wholewheat isn't strong enough, so decided to use a graphic pencil 3B.

Then I coloured in using water colour paints.

Now I'm waiting for the diluted bleach to dry, I've painted onto a prepared page. I remembered to use an old brush, watch this space...............

Friday, 6 August 2010

Getting Ready

This morning after my visit to the gym, (yep!I've started going again three times a week) I made a trip into Hobby Craft to buy some Indian Ink. When I got home I discovered I already had some, still I'll add it to my stash, of duplicates and things I've bought and never used! While I was waiting for the lady to turn up to collect the second sale I've made on ebay (a mirror), I've painted a few pages in my sketch book and had a bit of a play on a scrap of paper with the ink and a strand of spaghetti Gina style, Gina has put a sketch book exercise on her blog which looks really interesting. So next week there is nothing to stop me I'm going to have a play.

Well it's a start!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Whats been going on since my last post? Quite a lot, several lunches out with lovely friends, a weekend away in Devon to visit RHS Rosemoor gardens see pictures.

Speeding past Stonehenge on the way to Devon

Rosemoor Garden

Really could have done with a sit down but not on this bench!

The Hot Garden
A very friendly Robin.

The two photographs below are of a knitting project Above and Below The Waves, it was a pleasant surprise to find this exhibition at Rosemoor, for more information on this see this article, or google knitted gingerbread house. This project is the 3rd one that the group have done the first was a massive Christmas tree

Crawling past Stonehenge on the way home!

Oh yes Rachel has moved home! As James said when he phoned me on my mobile the day after she moved in 'can I speak to the lady of the house'. Actually we have been getting on very well, and once we get the boxes out of the living room it will be even better. We have had to rent a storage unit as we couldn't fit everything in!

Mum's house has gone on the market and we have had a few very stupid offers, we aren't in a particular rush to sell. I'm sure the estate agent who is supposed to be working for us ISN'T, she probably just wants a quick sale to get her commission so she can spend it on another fake tan!

One thing that has kept me occupied is making phone calls to a call center to try and get through to LESS THAN oops sorry MORE THAN, one minute they are sending letters to Mum's executor then sending letters to Mum.
The story goes like this two days after Mum died my brother opened a letter saying her car insurance was expiring he phoned to explain, they couldn't speak to him they wanted to speak to her???? Three times he told them she had died. I stopped all payments to them from the bank, as with a direct debit the payments are automatically raised. Two weeks ago I opened a letter to the executors so they had taken on board the information, but it said that we had phoned on a day we hadn't. Then another letter arrived addressed to Mum telling her it was an offense to drive without insurance, I made a phone call to a lady who said that although they new she was deceased they thought that maybe someone else maybe using her car? They are the new registered owner!!!!! She said she was very sympathetic and would look into it. I must admit at this point I did loose it 'I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU DO, JUST DON'T SEND ANY MORE BL**DY LETTERS' .
You've guessed it, yesterday another letter addressed to Mum URRRRGH! I phoned again.
' Can I help?'
I went through all the story to a gentleman after asking first "DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M SAYING' he did. Again he was sympathetic, not what I need, he explained that the letters are sent out automatically!!! I sort of realised that. I then very patiently explained that I feel I am being harassed and that if these letters do not stop I'm going to take the matter further, I said that I do understand it's not his fault it's the system, 'IT DOES NOT WORK' He assures me that the letters will stop, I wont hold my breathe. Thankfully we don't have any insurances with LESS THAN. The sad thing is I don't think this problem is particular to us or just to this company, if it was we wouldn't have programmes on TV made about similar situations.
End of rant.