Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Thaw

The thaw has finally set in here. I'm currently in Wales visiting my parents, the reckon we've had nearly a month of bellow freezing temperatures. We were driving down to the beach for a walk 2 days ago and spotted this from the road.


This is the toll bridge at Penmaenpool, the sea is only a couple of miles away, as the river goes past the bridge it slows down and ice must have formed in the cold weather. Now the weather is warming up the ice is starting to melt, and in the warm air was steaming!



Tuesday, 28 December 2010



I've just got back from a fantastic weeks skiing in France. We stayed in a chalet that was 2 minutes away from the slopes and had some fantastic days skiing, with falling snow for the last 2 days.


Friday, 24 December 2010

December 24th

Every year I use the same video as the final post in my advent calendar. It's my little way of reminding myself that it's not all about me, and that sometimes more is less.

If you can, maybe give a Christmas present to someone less fortunate than us, if you're feeling lazy the p/hop widget is just to the right, there aren't many charities who I unconditionally trust to spend my money wisely but MSF is one of them.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

December 23rd

We'll just be coming up to the finale of one of my favourite TV shows, Strictly Come Dancing. Every year a bunch of celebrities learn to dance, each year some of them are always dreadful, some start off poor, and get better, and other are stars from the beginning.
One of my favourite ever dances is from Series 2 by Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennet, just watching it makes me smile!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

December 22nd

Christmas is a time to be merry, this justifies the consumption of many festive tipples in our house. In order for many tipples to be enjoyed at their best they need to be chilled, and why not chill them in a pretty way!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

December 21st

Go on treat yourself, put your feet up, read a book, listen to the radio. Make a mug of hot chocolate, the proper stuff, made with milk, none of this instant rubbish!

Hot chocolate with marshmallows!

Photo from Gino LoCascio

Monday, 20 December 2010

December 20th

Its not too late to add some more decorations... in my opinion a house isn't decorated enough until you can't move for the bling!

This door wreath is lovely, unfortunately I can't show you how lovely as I can't copy any of the images to show you...
However it could be a rather useful thing to do with all your yarn scraps.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

December 19th

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a little Wallace and Gromit!
Pass the cheese.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

December 18th

In our house Christmas tea involves a ham.
A proper ham, one we buy and cook ourselves, and the carve off in to huge chunks.
To go with the salty ham you really need pickles, and these look just the job.

Friday, 17 December 2010

December 17th

By now it's far too late for good from America to make it over to us, however the UK equivalent might be able to help you out.

This Snowflake is adorable and only costs £1... what can you get for £1 now, specially for something that's handamde.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

December 16th

Should you have a knitter in your life you need to see this. This is what goes through our heads...
If you are a knitter, please share with your nearest and dearest as prior warning.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

December 15th

This baby snowman is about the size of the snowman I usually get to make each year. Now I've posted this of courses this year will no doubt see a repeat of the last 2 years where we get so much snow that we're all sick of it!


Photo by David's Images of Life

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

December 14th

It may now be reaching the time of year where the panic is setting in... you planned to make all your Christmas presents and all of a sudden the size of the task you set yourself is dawning on you.

Lot's of big supermarkets now sell value versions of plain white mugs, by buying a few pottery pens ( this site is pretty good), and searching for embroidery designs on Flickr, then copying the design on to the mug, you can end up with some cheap, personalised Christmas presents!

Monday, 13 December 2010

December 13th

By now I've reached the time of year where a stiff drink is on order. I've probably not made all my Christmas presents, the kids are going crazy and the weather has probably driven me mad.

How about a little Christmas Spirit

Sunday, 12 December 2010

December 12th

If you lack the skill to knit my latest design (though it's honestly not that hard....) then maybe you can sew your own... ok at this point in the year maybe sewing your own might be a little ambitious too. How about buying one of thee delightful stockings?

Available from Bungalowquilts

December 11th

This photo is from a few days ago. I nearly always put up paper snowflakes at this time of year. They're cheap and very easy to make, I even made boyfriend do some during the snow days as he was starting to drive me a little crazy!

The link where you will find hundreds of templates to print out is here

Friday, 10 December 2010

December 10th

Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas until the Coke advert appears on TV...
I might not agree with their ethics, but they're the ones who gave us a festive red Santa.

cheers, Coke style!

Photo from L.A. Birdie

Thursday, 9 December 2010

December 9th

One of the highlights about Christmas for me is the number of roast parsnips I get to eat. They're my favourite part of a roast dinner.

I don't tend to buy them at home as I rarely can be bothered to do a full roast, however, this recipe looks like it could turn my love of parsnips in to a quick meal. I love Jamie Oliver's recipes, they're quick and generally fool proof!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

December 8th

One of the things I am most looking forward to seeing is the Dr Who Christmas Special, of course I will be away skiing when it's on, but that's why iPlayer exists!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

December 7th

By now the second Ashes test will just be finishing.

The Ashes for the uninitiated are a regular series of cricket matches held between Australia and England. They're held in England in our Summer one year and then 18 months later are held down in Australia during their summer.
This means that every 2 yeas we get the joy of listening to the glorious British institution, Test Match Special through the night, and waking up in the morning to hear that the English batting has collapsed the bowlers have bowled brilliantlysomeone has scored a massive total errrmmm something (or possibly nothing) has happened while you were curled up in your bed.

Monday, 6 December 2010

December 6th

I love having pretty jewellery about the place, my clothes tend to be pretty plain, I am very unadventurous, but with some nice accessories I feel like I've made an effort!
If I'm only going to my works Christmas do there's a fine line between looking like I do at school every day, and spending the whole evening feeling overdressed. Something plain but with a nice necklace and earrings seem to fit the bill nicely.

Silver Feather Bracelet available from Cravejewelrydesign

Sunday, 5 December 2010

December 5th

The advert's for this Christmas pudding by mad gastr-scientists Heston Blumethalhave been on the TV for the past few weeks, Waitrose have reportedly sold out, and at £13.99 for a 1kg pudding it's not exactly cheap!

However fear not, you can make your own! The lady at the Telegraph doesn't seem that keen on it, but I've made something similar using a chocolate cake mixture round the orange and it was delicious!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Friday, 3 December 2010

December 3rd

Just about now the adverts are starting to appear for the festive delights that we can look forward to on TV, every year the BBC airs something cracking. Just to celebrate here's a video that says why I don't mind paying £13 a month to support this fantastic channel.


Last year I wanted to make a Christmas stocking, I couldn't find any I liked. I wanted it to be in red, white and green and be traditional looking, or and because I was skint I didn't really want to pay for it.
Over the Christmas holidays I sat down with a notebook containing square paper and I drew things. I am not a good drawer, I can sketch given enough time, but I am not one of those people who can produce a realistic looking drawing in 5 minutes. However designing colourwork motifs involved colouring in little squares until you're happy! I can do that sort of drawing.
I worked out how many stitches I wanted to do the stocking on and adapted the sketches to fill that many squares and minimise the floats on the reverse side.
It was just the sort of therapeutic work that averts all the stress of Christmas. I then looked back at features I'd liked on other socks and stockings I'd knitted and reminded myself how to do them.
By the end of the holidays I had a stocking. It then was put away with all the other Christmas decorations. Roll forward 9 months and I decided that I'd quite like to knit another stocking as a present for a friend. If I was going to reverse engineer what I'd done I thought I might as well write down the pattern.

And here it is-
Meet Tis The Season Stocking
It's available from p/hop which stands for pennies per hour of pleasure. If like me you're skint then download it and donate what you can afford, if you can afford more later come back and donate again, if you really can't afford anything download it anyway, come back when you've a bit more spare cash and donate then, no one will ever know as it's an honesty box system.
All money raised goes to help MSF who are a fantastic charity helping people all over the world every day of the year.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

December 2nd

I would love to own this skirt (in case anyone want's to buy me something... it's getting a little late for the postage to the UK from the US though)

Available from the sewmoe Etsy shop

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

December 1st

To start us of in December, a sunrise.
At this time of year I see a lot of sunrises as it's only just getting light as I arrive at school.
None of them are quite as pretty as this though.

Buttermere Dawn

Buttermere at Dawn taken by mark_lj


Cars haven't made it up or down our street all morning. We're now at a foot of snow with more falling. However the tea and milk situation was reaching rock bottom so we had to venture out.
While we were out there it would have been rude not to sledge down the hill wouldn't it?


It's a proper winter wonderland out there, we just un-burried the steps that lead to my front door before I killed myself by falling down the snow slope that existed instead of steps, however with more snow forecast I'm not sure how long they'll stay safe for.


Sunday, 28 November 2010


Winter has arrived in the UK. Some parts of the country are under several inches of snow. We only had a light covering 2 nights ago, but it's very cold out there.
For now the sun is shining and it was perfect weather for a winter walk. I went in the opposite direction to normal and stumbled upon yet more evidence of how industrialised this edgeof the city used to be.


Heading out further along the valley the evidence of the city disappears and countryside begins. Quite a few houses have Chickens and horses, I don't envy them being outside in this weather, though with a coat as fluffy as this maybe it wouldn't be too bad


Friday, 26 November 2010

Falling down

My blogging effort has rather fallen down recently, work has got a little crazy, and we're in to the time of year where I don't see daylight during the week.
On top of that I spent last weekend in Wales with Mum and Dad which of course means there are walking pictures.

This tumble down house was obviously once solidly built but was sat up on an isolated hillside, the land is now farmed by 4x4 so being 3 miles away from civilisation is no longer the draw back it once was so the house is now falling down.


Though with a view like this it's surely ripe for renovation...


This ruin has abandoned for rather longer, it's Castell y Bere it was built in 1221 by Llewellyn Fawr in an attempt to keep the English out! Eventually the Welsh lost the fight and by the 13th century the castle was abandoned. Given it's 700 years ago it's in a very good state, I don't think most modern buildings would stand up so well to being abandoned for so long.



Monday, 8 November 2010

Things to love

I am desperately trying to work out wether I am brave enough to do this project with my Rainbows....

She took a load of roving, got the kids to dye it and then span it up to make a beautiful blanket. I've yet to work out how to do the dying without trashing the church hall though. Maybe if I wait until the summer we can do it outside...


The roving looks like it should spin up to be clown yarn, but somehow because the same colours appear over and over the project works.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Mellow fruitfulness

I'm at home in bed nursing my lack of voice, I'm meant to be doing reproduction with my Y7's today and didn't fancy teaching that via the art of mime! I don't actually feel all that ill, if I was at home I'd certainly be up for going on a walk where the views look like this!



Apparently it rained alot in Wales yesterday, I've heard tales of rivers running down the driveway, I think that might have put an end to the fungi that are hiding in the trees.



Friday, 29 October 2010


The temperature might not have felt like autumn today but the trees as certainly telling us that winter is coming.
This is the same walk that boyfriend and I did this summer when we were visiting, the tree's are putting on a spectacular show.



Meg certainly enjoyed it (no Gwen as she's still recovering from her operation), we even found a nice muddy puddle!


Monday, 25 October 2010

Happy Birthday Mum

My Mum's birthday was on Saturday, as I was actually there for her birthday I didn't write a blog post for the day itself. I did however make it to Wales bearing gifts.


A Quincy


And some hand decorated mugs, slate floors are hard on mugs so their life may be short, but in a beautiful location.

Speaking of a new lifestyle in a beautiful location...

The view as you take the dogs out in the morning is spectacular, the dogs approve as well!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Nothing much to say right now, I have 2 days left before the half term holiday and it feels like my brain is oozing out of my ears..... However, I will be blogging for p/hop to celebrate their 2nd birthday, it would be lovely if you could join me in the mammoth birthday posting session!

If you don't want to post, please go and check out the p/hop patterns and maybe donate some cash in return for one? It would be lovely to raise £20,000 in 2 years!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Sheffield wheel

Last night I took my Rainbows for a ride on the Wheel of Sheffield. It's been a fixture of our sky line for 18 months and finally leaves in just over 2 weeks. As part of the centenary celebrations for Girlguiding we've been seeing how many girls we can get on wheel during our centenary year. We had a magical ride, seeing the sun set over the city, and seeing familiar buildings from a whole new perspective!





Sunday, 10 October 2010


Autumn feels like it's really here. After a misty murky start the sun came out so we ventured out for a walk along my usual route from my house.

It's not very often that you can see a tree with yellow and red leaves, and this one is sat right by the tram stop, no doubt being ignored by all the commuters.

Others however are losing their leaves pretty quickly, it won't be long until the branches are bare.



I've had mushrooms growing out of a tree stump by my front door all week but I've not quite got round to taking a photo and of course they are now rotting and no longer pretty. They were never on the scale of this specimen though.


At times today the sun was blindingly bright, it really felt like winter, the bright blue skies, but with a sun that's incredibly low in the sky.

Lot's of berries everywhere, including on the holly tree's outside my flat, hopefully there will be some left by Christmas this year!