Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

30/10/2015

A random ten

Originally seen on Annie Cholewa then again on driftwood. Both times read and enjoyed and inspired.

So here are mine.
  1. Not at work today - taken a couple of days off to be with my boys over half term. The weather is wet and rather cool so we have shelved our original plans and have resorted to baking and blogging.  The cats approve of this idea and sit on any available lap and at the moment there are three on offer. Although I plan to get out after lunch despite the weather not promising any improvement. Not doing anything is wonderful - feels very decadently lazy.
  2. Knitting is slow, mainly coz I am not doing any..... 
  3. I am back studying again, gotta keep the old grey mush fighting fit! Although I must admit my initial reluctance to hit the books has gently slid from recalcitrant acceptance to a sort of unexpected anticipation. Not doing anything exciting or interesting though, just furthering my own work related knowledge.
  4. We own (or are we owned by) two cats. Both have some sort of personal neuroses that I suspect stem from being enforced indoor cats - something we never intended but have had to resort to. (We lost two very quickly - one was run over and the other - well who knows, she just vanished and we never really got to the bottom of her disappearance).  One of our present cats came to us very nervous and people-shy and it took a lot of patience and gentle persistence before she finally accepted us as part of her life however, when she gets stressed she scratches her ears until she makes herself scabby. The second cat is a delightful nutcase who seems to get herself over excited which then develops into over grooming - a sure sign of some sort of stress. So, on and off for the last couple of years we have been working out way through a number of remedies to see if we can sort out their issues.  Finally we think we've found the perfect solution (apart from moving to the middle of a field where there are no roads/other cats/nasty neighbours/scary dogs). I found a plug-in herbal Valerian-based remedy and within half an hour of switching it on, the cats breathed a collective sigh of relief and became very chilled! No excessive grooming, no grumbling - just two cats happily pottering about with such a relaxed attitude - long may it last (wonder if it works on people too...??!!)
  5. Planning a quiet Samhein this year, just my folks and the boys and a large bucket of sweets for the inevitable small and sweetly costumed trick or treaters that pop round. So, with the boys help, a suitable menu has been planned to include pumpkin soup, home made bread, roasted mielies - you would know them as sweet corn plus something for the carnivores  and Eldest has decided to make fudge and brownies too.  I can see the usual huge piles of washing up.... remind me to get the boys to wash up AS THEY GO ALONG......
  6. Youngest is carving a pumpkin in the kitchen....I have retired to a safe distance.
  7. I have bought a cat flap - our girls have access to an outside 'garden-room' where they play in between potted plants and high up on their 'cat walk' - an above head height gangplank walkway that Himself built for them. So they can get up high and look down upon us mere mortals. We are all heartily sick of having to * get up and open the back door for them only to have to leap up five minutes later to let the same cat in, only to find the other wants to go out (repeat from *).
  8. I am meeting up with a bunch of friends tonight to go and watch another friend give a talk on the history of our village. She is our local historian and has piles and piles of slides and photos collected over many years. It is promising to be very interesting.
  9. My desk is groaning mostly under a pile of indistinguishable pieces of paper. I know from memory that it is predominantly mail, magazines and recipes.  However, there are several cloth bags of knitting paraphernalia - each one left from a knitting project, now completed, with the remaining yarn and needles abandoned for the next wip. Sigh. 
  10. Himself is studying how to install the cat flap..... I am glad I am out tonight.Another random note - one I only registered this morning - I have been blogging since September 2009 firstly as 11am then latterly in my present guise.  Hmmm - six years - hoodathunkit?
Right, off to rescue the kitchen - wish me luck!

28/10/2015

Knitting vs the world in random bite sized pieces

In between studying, working, life and well....everything else that happens.... 
I am trying to knit - to stay sane! 

The change in the clocks has really messed me around. 
I hate the sudden darkness in the evenings when I leave work.
I feel - very very tired. 
 Gah.

Brain feels like mushed up cardboard at the moment 
and I need it to be super absorbent and super sharp. 
Not a chance, think will go back to knitting. 

I came across 'Star Wolf and Rabbit Girl' and instantly fell in love - strange and otherworldly however, the images by Chiara Bautista hit a chord and in particular - this one...........




When you knit something for some one you love - it comes from the heart.

Things will improve - I know they will,
I am an eternal optimist.

The book I am knitting from.
A mixture of art and artistry.
Maths and logical thinking.
Difficult for me to make
my butterfly mind 
fly in straight lines.

But, my hat grows :)
May be if I study 
solidly for one more hour
I can treat myself
with a row or two.

shhhhh - better get back to work.

xxxxxxx

25/10/2015

Gluten free (nom.nom.nom) chocolate fudge brownies (did I mention nom.nom.nom?)

A couple of weeks ago, some delicious and I mean delicious, 
chocolate brownies were brought to work and we all fell upon them leaving just a few crumbs.
   
I begged for the recipe and a list of ingredients with the vaguest of verbal instructions 
were kindly shared - it was all I needed!
So, this Saturday I, with the help of Eldest, followed the ingredients and tried to remember the rest.

Melting the dark chocolate with the butter filled the kitchen with such a warm and promising scent. 

I was a little unsure of the next bit. 
I could not remember in which order the eggs, sugar and ground almonds were supposed to go. 
I just guessed and it seemed to work. 

Stirring the almond, egg and sugar mix into the melted butter and chocolate was heavenly.  The scent made Himself and Youngest come and investigate and there were several offers to lick out the bowl. 
 Cooking times were also rather vague 
but knowing that the temperature should be 150 - 160 deg c,
 I would have to wait and guess by testing first by smell, 
then with a wooden skewer.
I think I got it right.
They were squidgy and warm,
they were chocolatey
and fudgy
and very
very
very
yum.

Now, seeing that they were so very successful, I went tinter-trawling until I found a recipe similar to the list of ingredients I'd been given. So in the interest of sharing - follow this link - it is well worth it!


I have also cast in another hat, but I'll share some details next time :).  Hope you had a lovely weekend and that Monday is not just the normal start of a normal week but the start of something amazing!

18/10/2015

Old Norwegian Cast on Ta-da!!

Firstly thank you everyone for your comments and birthday wishes :) They are much appreciated and make my heart skippity skip happy :)

This last week has been a bit of a full on - so very glad it is over.

As usual the weekend has flown by - like it does and despite squeezing in lots, I feel to have achieved very little.

However, I did cast on a hat last weekend and completed it today .  A simple quick knit 3 purl 2 until the correct length then decrease.
The most exciting part was or rather is - I can do Old Norwegian cast on!

I learnt how to do it (thanks youtube!) but being left handed had to watch it and mentally reverse the process and do it mirror image.  Not has hard as it sounds, being doing that for years and years now :)
Any hoo  - after a few false starts and my fingers thinking they were doing French skipping, I picked it up and am delighted with the results.  The cast on is a smooth elastic thing of beauty - no loose loops or tight stitches. I will definitely use it again - happy happy :)
Now, Sunday evening, sitting in front of the fire I have just woven in the ends and Himself is wearing it - Ta-happy-da!!

11/10/2015

Cave dwelling mountain fish

Saturday was Himself's birthday.
His birthday request? - Spend a day in the lakes, walking.
So - that is what we did :)
Quiet contemplation.
Narrow stepping stones.
I loved the way the water slid around the stones,
leaving ripples and leaves on the 'prow' of each step.


Along our walk we found a penny tree - filled with coins hammered in to 'pay for safe passage'.
An ancient superstition - to leave a gift the woodland or water spirits allowing safe passage for wayfarers.
Still being done to this day.
Along the way we found caves, deep and dark and beckoning and interesting.
And a cave, halfway up a mountain with fish swimming in the water.
A huge cavernous space beneath a cathedral like roof of twisted rock.
A strangely magical place, strangely otherworldly.

Yes, I did say fish - small minnows zipping about in the water.
How did they get there?
Not sure, 
but - as you can see if you stare - small fish shoaling.
With a wonderful view.



And, on the journey up, I cast on.
Along the way we discovered a way of linking fence to wall,
one we've never seen before.

Youngest did an 'Andy Goldsworthy' art - 
carefully lining up a row of crisply curled beech leaves on the mossy wall.




Happy birthday my love - thank you for sharing your day with us xxxxx

08/10/2015

In which I waffle in a pre-weekend waffle

Thank you all for your lovely kind comments about my 'Sloppy Joe' and hello Debbie from Fairy Bluebell's Craft Adventure - welcome to my random world of this and that and mainly the other with plenty of waffle on the side!

 My Sloppy Joe - the name of it seemed to have generated curiosity and confusion.

To me and to other expats or colonials - a Sloppy Joe jumper is a loose fitting comforting knit which I suspect now is called the boyfriend jumper.  However, to others (and I suspect predominately American readers and my two sons - who watch American tv programmes) a Sloppy Joe is a type of burger.

So in the interest of (non)science, I googled the word and the predictive text instantly added an 's' on to the end of the word. This made the tinter kindly supply hundreds of images of a minced beef slop in a round sesame seed bun - urgh.

So I retyped the word and firmly removed the 's' and added the word 'jumper' and was immediately shown rather dated images of knitting - sort of 1980s style baggy sleeved, big haired and geometric patterned versions - urgh for the second time.

My third attempt was as the boyfriend jumper and was rewarded with more modern images of the 'Sloppy Joe' jumper in my over active imagination - job done!

So, although my new favourite jumper in the world has a name that causes carnivores to have a strange far away look in their eyes as the salivate or various boyfriends grumble at clothing theft - I'm happy.

The only downside is - and I can barely call it a drawback - I have empty knitting pins and twitchy-knitting fingers just waiting for a project to do :) What a dilemma to have :)

Oh yes! Tomorrow is Friday which seriously means that the weekend MUST be just around the corner! Woo hoo!!


Lets make it a good one xxxxxxxxx

04/10/2015

Ta-da!!

Sunday afternoon walking
along the River Wharfe.
Unexpectedly 
beautifully quiet
warm and sunny.
 A perfect spot for a stop.
 Somewhere to drink a mug of tea.
 And to twirl around.
 A perfect spot to pose.
 And twirl some more.
 The perfect place to wear my finished 'Sloppy Joe'
in my favourite colours.
Happy?
You betcha!
PS - Yes yes I know - it does need blocking - but try and explain that to a husband and son when they are ready waiting for their walk!!

PPS - I am still wearing it.

PPPS - Blocking will have to wait and yes the hems are supposed to roll.

!*Happy*! 
(oh - think I may have already mentioned that :) )


March 2017 Link up Party

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