Thursday, 26 November 2009

Lucy antics

This was just a few days ago, there was a piece of wood on the piano that we had rescued from the jaws of ''Lucy the destroyer'' and which she had liberated from our log basket.....
Here she is having been carried down with the washing in the laundry basket, because she now scales our new stairs barrier- 55cm high! with ease.

And then there's her penchant for sitting or playing in the bay window..... We keep moving the sofa away from the window and she carries on jumping across wider and wider gaps.....
SEE? I like it on here.
I feel right at home.
Yes, I'm really happy and this is before my coat was ''plucked''.

Am I not supposed to be on here then?
I got up here but I can't get down, it looks so far?

Are you sure I'm not allowed up here?
Goodnight folks, applecakes recipe and some fingerless gloves in crochet to follow soon! Got to get some sleep, my swine flu vaccination is kicking in and I'm feeling exhausted.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Clever crochet

Wowee!!! This is Stripey Stewart and my younger daughter made him!!! CLEVER eh?
He's from Kids Learn to Crochet by Lucinda Guy.
Miss Y learned to crochet a year ago or more and had made a scarf and blankets for her toys but this was her first project where she followed the pattern and finished it in an afternoon.
HIP HIP HOOORAY!!! She's oooh so pleased- as am I and ever so ever so EVER so PROUD.... These are not clever, just cute?
In fact they were the opposite of clever because I started a pair at 10 pm in another blue and had 3/4 finished the second bootee when the blue yarn ran out......
I wanted to give them to a friend the next day so I was up till 2 am remaking a new pair once I'd found this turquoise wool....

Now these ARE clever: clever ladies from OZ who designed them and put an AMAZING tutorial or 2 on their blog HERE.
Ran these up last night to have them greet my girls at breakfast! Getting in the mood for Christmas now....!!! Thanks to attic 24 who showed those lovely stars and the link on Friday....
Twinkle granny STAR!

I discovered this tree when I went back to the star tutorial last night and HEY PRESTO surprise!!! Another tutorial with another great motif to make X-massey garlands with, or tree decorations, or window decorations, or if you made the tree in 3d.... and very BIG?!
OK you can laugh. Is good for you. Have a good week!
Applecakes and Lucy antics to come soon I promise.
Happy Hooking!

Friday, 20 November 2009

It's official: I'm IN PRINT!

TA DAH!!!!!Oh my dears it's been an incredible week and I have been skipping around the house for joy and daydreaming and simply NOT getting on with the '' jobs that need doing''!
Here is my pattern!!! The very simple but effective phone cosy in Issue 5 of Inside Crochet.
Haven't they made it look good?! I still prefer the variegated interpretation but this does kinda look classy.
My issue came yesterday as I 'd taken out a sub at Aly Paly but I hadn't expected it until Monday. There's LOTS of lovely patterns too: the mukluks for example BUT I have a MOUNTAIN of crocheting still to do/ on hand already!!! Currently: a cowl, baby bootees for a friend and a scarf ( for me? possibly- in more Ba TAT and in amaaaazing colours that make it PURE JOY to stitch with.
Then there's 3-4 jumpers and cardigans that I either have the idea and the yarn for OR have already started!!!!( oops remember the raspberry chocolate brownie cardigan for my daughter???)
EEEEK and there's stitching on my beloved PFAFF to be done too, been'' constructing fabrics '' today: 4 hours of it and it FLEW by. Bonding and weaving mostly but now those 3 samples need a bit of STITCH.
Before I dash off back to those- urgent- baby bootees: let me tell you about a few links:
You simply MUST look at the crochet portraits by JO HAMILTON!!!
SEE here.
And for a fun project: visit the Royal Sisters on the OZZIE blog and do the twinkly granny star tutorial!!! HERE.
For both of these I have to say thanks to Lucy at Attic 24- see sidebar for link- as she posted the links on her blog late last night.
Got to go now, hope to show you these bootees tomorrow: they're for a baby boy.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

New Lucy and coulibiac recipe

Here's LUCY!!! Fresh from her grooming session. Jenny very kindly came to hand strip her coat and to initiate me into the mysteries of wiry coat hand stripping.
: AAh a person with or without camera: must ''present tummy!!!''

''What's going on?'' Put the camera away and rub my tummy!!!
Just look at that silky gleaming undercoat! She's oh so beautiful and FABULOUSLY soft and silky but not wirehaired now, not until the topcoat grows back. Pippa didn't want to be left out.
A mother/daughter moment. They often clean each others ears lying side by side on the best sofa. Why is it theyhave the better, more comfortable sofa?.....Our fault of course; we gave it to them!
Yummy! Treat time for me: I have discovered this and it's DELICIOUS!At last a chocolate spread- FAIRTRADE and Organic-which nut allergy sufferers can EAT! YUMMY.
The Christmas boxes left the school today, there was a large mountain of them which was a joy to see. Here go the hat/scarf and little Brian. Underneath are all those pencils,soap,paper etc.
Ta dah! MY salmon coulibiac.
The family gave it ten out of ten and it's easy but a bit time consuming: want to give it a try?
Serves 4-6
418 g can of wild pacific salmon
1 large leek
1 large onion
100g butter
150g cooked rice
6 oz button mushrooms
Fresh or dried Dill
Lime juice
2 large eggs
seasonings, salt and pepper
375 g pack of chilled puff pastry
extra flour for dusting
1 beaten egg in a mug/ bowl
a greased baking tray: 30x40 cm
Preheat oven to 180 Centigrade/350 F

You can use fresh salmon, but I wasn't that organised and I had this in my store cupboard.
Gently sautee the onion- chopped finely- with the leek( washed and sliced) in a knob of butter.
When nicely sweated and cooked, remove to a bowl and fry the sliced mushrooms.
When the mushrooms are nicely browned, remove to a plate and add a but more butter to gently fry the cooked rice.
After this scramble the 2 eggs in butter .
Now roll out the pastry as flat and large as it will go, but not too thin.
About 55 cm by 40 cm.
Now the fun starts and you layer in whatever order you fancy!
I started with the salmon, combined with the buttery rice and plenty of seasoning, dill and lime juice to taste.
A nice layer in the middle of your rectangle of pastry.
Then the leeks and the onions.
Then the mushrooms and the scrambled eggs.
Add seasonings as to your own taste to each layer.
Use a lattice cutter on the 2 sides of pastry , where there is no food or cut thin rectangles out with a sharp knife. ( see photo above)
From the pastry thus created shape small fish to decorate- or do dolphins and whales which my kids joined in with- have FUN!
Now fold over the 2 side flaps of pastry and using the beaten egg as ''glue'' stick the lacy flaps down over the layered food in the centre.
Crimp the 2 ends with a fork to seal ( top and bottom ends)
Brush all pastry with the beaten egg and decorate with your created pastry shapes.
Gently lift onto a well- greased baking tray and bake for 20- 25 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and leave to rest for 5-8 minutes before cutting into slices.
Serve with green beans or a crisp green salad and some Hollandaise sauce if you so wish.
We had it with sweetcorn,julienne steamed carrots and baby brussels sprouts- also steamed lightly.... And the kids ate ALL of it, including ALL vegetables. It was a very colourful plate with nicely contrasting shapes.
Hope to see you again soon, there's Lucy's antics to come and some more crochet.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Things to be GLAD about

On Sunday it was just the most marvellous day: and I couldn't wait to get out for a good walk in the countryside...
More of this below, after the walk JJ took the girls swimming so that I could relax( for this read cook a really special dinner) and I watched a few snippets of ''POLLYANNA'': you may remember I saw this in full in the last Christmas holidays I believe?!
Always makes me cry.
Anyway Pollyanna plays the ''gladness game'' which is a game where whatever ill befalls you, you find the silver lining to your particular cloud.
Now I won't play it properly yet- partly because no ill had happened , so here are 3 things I am glad about:

1. My family and that includes both dogs. They always add something to the days and make me smile or cry for joy....
2. The English countryside with all of it's glorious beauty and variety.
3. 2 C's (or even 3!) CROCHET, my COURSE in textiles and my CAR ( to get me out and about into the countryside! and elsewhere)
What a great BLUE sky!!!And the leaves are golden in this bright sunlight on a November afternoon. Dashing through leaves in the fairy dell..... We're at the ASTON ROWANT nature reserve.
The view from the top: looking left....
Pippa in her element.

Lucy hunting for rabbits...
A sheep! I had to wait quite a while before he decided to look round I can tell you! HAD to have this as it links in with the drawing I've been doing.
Mushrooms on a tree.

Pippa found a stick/log to chew...YUM YUM
Looking up from down in the fairy dell, where kids play and dogs do ''puppy dashes'' through the leaves.
And tree climbing of course! More mushrooms: 2 types can you see? Flat topped purpley lilac ones to the right of the more obvious ones...

Stunningly BEAUTIFUL the woods were that afternoon! All the trees dressed in mantles of golden lace. Shimmering, sparkling gilt dancing in the breeze overhead.
Bliss. Pure Bliss.
Home to bake a salmon coulibiac: loosely based on Delia Smith's Fish collection cookbook, my version coming soon!

More things to be glad about:
Good health- so easily taken for granted?
Piano lessons and a piano- I just love love love learning this- even though it's sooo hard!
Food: any type and all of it!
Water, tea and all other drinks- always in plentiful supply.
Home and garden and BOOKS! ( and computer with internet access....)
Music and singing and radio ...
Art and............ OK I'LL STOP NOW !!!
What about you? What are YOUR top 3?