Friday, May 23, 2014


Going to miss you Baby girl

   18.05.2011 - 22.05.2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Glen Finnan Dining Car

Found this lovely hidden Gem. 
Had a fabulous lunch here and what a view.

Look the Harry Potter train dropped by too.

Vintage sewing machines

I have a new obsession....Oh Dear.
I have just bought two vintage sewing machines.
The first one was bought over a week ago on ebay. I was just looking....Honestly.
Then I saw this one and it was close enough to pick up. Still I hesitated. Then I noticed that it is covered in Egyptian decals... Oh we'll that was me sold.
Put an offer in and got it for £18.95 Delivered!!!

Then we were in Syke and I visited my favourite antique/Bric-à-brac shed and they had this delightful 1/2 or 3/4 size German sewing machine.
Cost me all of £5.
It's going to be my started project as the decals are so worn that there is no pint saving them. So I'm going to completely strip the paint off and repaint it and then hand paint on a design of my choice.
I'm pretty sure it's a Vesta probably between 1920 and 1935. Sold by J.D. Williams & Co. Ltd in Manchester.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ben Nevis Distillery

Had a lovely couple of days in Fort William. One of the activities we did was take the Ben Nevis distillery tour. It was a hoot. The tour guide was from Fort William, so knew some of my mum's cousins. So in between tour guiding his was dishing gossip :o)
Interesting tour, lovely staff and a lovely little cafe. Home made food as reasonable prices.

Apparently the warehouses have been used for movie sound stages.
At the end of the tour you got a nip of their 10 year old and a token to get £5 off one if there bottles of whiskey, which was excellent as the the tour was only £5.

So I bought this one.

It's a blend with the youngest malt in it being 12 years old.

We had soup and smoked salmon sandwiches, yummy. Smoked Salmon was locally smoked Letter Finlay and was delicious and smokey.
Then we had a scone and coffee. Both fab.

Really enjoyed our trip to this distillery.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Some recent baking.

Been trying not to bake too much... Sounds odd, but what I bake I eat. 
Sometime though I just have to give in...I do love to bake.

1. Banana chocolate chip cake with Peanut frosting. 
Didn't really use a recipe I based it on a basic Victoria sponge recipe, but replaced just about all the marg with 3 mashed bananas.
For the topping I ground up some peanuts (I didn't have peanut butter) then beat them up with some butter and icing sugar.

Yummy, had plenty of help eating this one.

2. Apple cinnamon scones.
Used a basic scone recipe and added a grated large apple and added a heaped teaspoon of cinnamon.

Slightly we'll done, but very yummy.

3. Italian Bread
Made the bread completely by hand.
Used this recipe

Turned out fantastic. We had some with cheese and salad and then with breakfast this morning. Only issue was that they only took 25 minutes to cook not the 45 minutes stated on the recipe. So need to keep an eye on them.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sewing plans

Jersey/stretch fabric.....

Ok that's a little vague, but so that 's the plan so far. 

I had a look at tops that I wear and they are just about all stretch fabric. So I had a read and decided on what I needed to get.

I just have an ordinary sewing machine not an overlocker/serger so I have bought a walking, foot, and some twin ballpoint needles.

I have a top pattern and a skirt pattern, but I need to draft them out.

Then went shopping for fabric.

Seems like in the UK funky stretch fabric is not easy to come by unless you want to pay premium prices. I won't be paying premium prices. I live on clothes from Charity shops so the most I pay for a top is £5. Why would I spend £30 on some fabric for a hand made top.

Anyway I did a little trawling of ebay and bought these.

I think went onto the sewing forum and looked up mentions of online shops and found this one.

Here I bought these two remnants 

and was tempted into this small remnant. I thinking shopping bag 

and this fabulous fleece. Can't decide between two sets of pj bottoms or a snuggle top for the winter and pj bottoms. I bought 4m just so I had options.

Can't wait for it all to arrive :o)

Should be enough to make 6 tops, 1 skirt and 2 pjs or 7 tops, 1 skirt and 1 pj bottoms. I'm also hoping that I can use some of the left overs to make summer shorts for the DD, even if they end up a little patch worked.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Educating the 14 year old

I have a lovely bright 14 year old daughter. I'm concerned that in general she's not getting a nice rounded education. She's missing out on some of the education I and the OH received and feel we need to bridge the gap.
Plus she would spend every hour of her free time skypeing and gaming, if I let her.

So we have plans.

1. Each week she will prepare one of the home cooked meals. 
Background - I fully expect her to leave home and go to Uni at some point and would hope that she won't have to live on beans and toast and pot noodles as that's the only thing she can cook. She needs to learn the basics. 
Tonight she's making lasagne. Now that teaches her how to make spaghetti Bolognaise, lasagne and white sauce. Great all rounder for any cook. Plus we all love it and it will be lactofree so her Dad can enjoy it too.

2. Must read  from her book list one evening a week and not use her electronics.
Background - She likes to read, but gets hooked into her friends and gaming and neglects the reading. Plus she's not getting any of this is school yet. Her English seems very dumbed down.
This is her reading list:

Jane eyre
To kill a mocking bird
The Hobbit
Off mice and men
The scarlet letter
Disc world
Wuthering heights
Pride and prejudice
The secret garden
Catch 22
Foundation assimov
Slaughter house 5
Great expectations
Huckleberry Finn
One day in the life of Ivan denisovich
The Crucible

She's reading The Colour of Magic at the moment.

3. Catch up and some pop culture that she's too young for.
Background - we find that some references just pass her by. E.g Family guy did a my fair lady episode and the DD just didn't get the reference.

So me and the OH are working on list of significant films that we can all watch. Including the movies from the any of the books above that she reads. Two birds one stone, improved education and family time.

What do you think of our plans?

Here's the lasagne she made.. Yum yum.

My cats love to be involved

So I've been doing my best to carve out a little sewing area in our untidy and crammed house.
This is the result of me making a sewing area and trying to sew.

Honestly I think they think I put the fabric out just for them.

Really trying to cut out a pattern when all she wants to do is lie on it can be very frustrating, but look at how cute she is.

I was attempting to hem..I gave up.

As I said.....they like to be involved.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Willow boo.

There was a happy cat event in March.
I was getting breakfast in the kitchen and bent down to pet polish only to realise 20 seconds later that the cat I was petting wasn't polish, just looked like her.

I called the OH down and pointed out the happy purring interloper. He says"That explains it." Explains what? Apparently this cat had bounded into the sitting room and hoped up on couch with OH, he just thought it was Polish, but acting a bit odd. Therefore it explained the odd behaviour, it wasn't Polish.
Anyway cat continued to be petted, went back upstairs and snuggled on couch and basically made itself at home.

Now after about half an hour of pondering this odd behaviour it came to us...we used to have cat called Willow Boo. About 5 years ago Boo stopped coming home, when we got Fizzy and she started having kittens.

Turns out Willow Boo decided to come home. Hence the wandering in and making herself at home, as though she'd not been AWOL for 5 years.

A month and a half down the line and she's still here.

Willow Boo.

As promised next we'll discuss cats and their love of involving themselves.