would’ve, could’ve, am

I had three things to achieve this weekend (aside from the usual Unholy Trinity of housework, shopping, laundry, I mean). I had to:

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make mince pies. Yes, I AM that weirdo that likes them all year round and not just at Christmas.

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make a start to sewing my Christmas present from my little brother and sister-in-law-elect

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and I had to start and preferably finish, something from this, which I bought at a book fair at work. Not least because I also bought a varied crafts book, and I’ve vowed not to even take it out the bag until I’ve finished one item from the knitting one. Tough love time. Because I know that I am way too much of a “why finish one project when I could start a second” girl.

Confession time.

I haven’t made mince pies. I would’ve, but the supermarket had some at half price, so I bought those instead.
I haven’t started sewing the cutest hedgehog in the known universe. I could’ve, but only got as far as reading the instructions to cut the pattern out and I needed a hard surface to do that, but by then we’d lit a fire, and Toby was in the room and…..hmmm.
I haven’t start…NO WAIT, I AM!!!! I AM KNITTING SOMETHING FROM THIS BOOK!!! A pretty lacy scarf. which I only messed up the first row of the four-row pattern twice, before nailing it. Yarning over twice before a slip slip knit was not being my friend. But we had a little chat and we’re good.

I will update my progress tomorrow…but I’m worried I may get distracted by our unexpected supermarket purchase…

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Oh it’s a fun-packed life here!

Christmas Bonus

A non-crafty post, but I’ve had the worst commute home and feel the need. I don’t like driving, which is a bit unfortunate, given that I drive for an hour to get to work. But 4 years down the line I’ve become used to it. Sort of. Today on the way home, the main road was closed. Luckily, the diversion (and I’m using the word in its loosest term) took me to a garden centre I knew, so I pulled into the car park for a bit, then had a wander around.
After 15 minutes, I cam out and watched the traffic to see if it was still being redirected – hurrah, back to normal. I rejoined the main road, but we crawled at about 5mph for a couple of miles….only to be diverted again. The short version is that I had to drive for an hour on a muddy narrow road, blindly following the cars in front and hoping they (a) knew where they were going and (b) were going the same way I was. I know the mot important thing is that I got home safe, but i’m sooooooooooo tired now. So I wanted to remind myself of a good thing that happened last week – a Christmas bonus.
For those in the UK, you’re more than likely familiar with Lakeland i love them! I love the products, I love getting the catalogues and can spend hours browsing their website. But the best thing about them? Their customer service. It is so good. And, alas, quite rare here! I placed an order on New Year’s Eve…but disaster! There was a snaffu at the warehouse and the wrong order was packed in my name, and I received someone else’s order a few days later. Literally as I went to phone them, they phoned me, as someone else received mine and had called them. They redispatched the order straight away, sending it next day delivery even though that costs more and I hadn’t paid for that, and the truly fab thing? They told me to keep the first parcel, as an apology for the error. Two dinky microwave saucepans, two cute whisks and toaster tongs! We made the best hot chocolate EVER in the pans, whisked to bubbly perfection (admittedly, the cointreau we added helped too!).
So I had to wait another day for my original order – so what? The extra bonus made it worthwhile. And sometimes you need to forget about the bad (a messed up order, a stressful delayed journey home), and focus instead on the flip side (an extra gift, a safe eventual arrival).
Get flipping!

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The Easter Bunny (baker)

I’ve got a couple of knitting and cross stitch posts in the pipe line but as they’ve not reached their intended destination you’ll have to wait!

Last weekend tho, I got creative in a different way. (Keep it clean, smutty minds!). It’s highly likely that this is the only food post I’ll make this year, so excuse me for wandering off the craft reservation, just this once….

A couple of people at work had decided to do an Easter bake sale, the Tuesday we went back to work after the Easter holidays. Now, when it comes to the kitchen, I pretty much go in there to make a cup of tea and to clean it after my other half has turned it upside down cooking for us. Seriously, when we were living at opposite ends of the country for a year, I ate cereal for dinner as well as breakfast. And sometimes for lunch too….I’d honestly rather just go hungry than be bothered to cook. And frequently have.

But baking. Now that’s a different story. Baking is definitely not cooking. And therefore I like doing that. My mum likes to bake and I have lots of her recipes, but nothing is ever quite as good as hers and even tho my shortbread is pretty fab, it’s still not a patch on my Granny Henry’s. it’s a sad fact of life I’ve just had to accept!

So I don’t really need an excuse to bake, but it’s nice to have one, so I thought I’d do a couple of things, like cakes and biscuits. So I went for an easy fairy cake recipe and ended up here

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I thought I’d just do a simple butter cream frosting, but then thought it was a bit boring. At the same time I didn’t want to be too Easter Obvious but I did have some little chocolate eggs. Thankfully I resisted the temptation to make nests….and just went for the “bunny ears sticking out the top”

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Because I’m known for being a bunny mad girl, it wasn’t a hard decision as to the biscuits…bunnies come with multi-coloured sprinkles and marshmallow tails. Who knew?

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For any UK people, I can tell you that Stork have brought out what may be my new favourite thing – liquid butter. It’s basically like melted butter without the grainy texture you sometimes get. It’s great for creaming (the frosting was super smooth thanks to it) or if, like me, you don’t have a food processor. I know – you’d think it was the dark ages, but Granny Bell’s Moulinex hand mixer circa 1960s is still going strong two generations later, so who am I to put it out to grass?

So there it is. We made about £150 just from a few people’s effort for our work charity and there’s still some frosting in the fridge so excuse me while I go eat it and return to my normal crafty pursuits!