Photo a Day – week thirty six


More building round here.


Making chocolate bread and butter pudding.


Dew drops on fennel.


Cous cous salad.


One ear up and one ear down.


We showed her how to make pom poms! Gav made two, he was the pom pom whiz.


Ah, now I can explain. An eggnog latte just jumped into my car on the way to work, no really!


And onward we go.

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December Daily 2014 – Foundation Pages


It’s time! Woo!

I have prepared pages in advance of December as usual. The finished album will be just over 6 inches square this year.

I have made the ‘number’ elements for each day but left some of them loose. For the purpose of planning though and getting my head in gear I set a number to each page when I took the photo below. I now have a record so I can go back to it for reference but have the freedom to change pages around if I want to.


My colour scheme as ever is red, white and kraft with silver and some clear elements.

Here’s a closer look at some of the pages.


I love using cut down page protectors. I’ve sealed the raw edges with washi tape or sewed them closed.


Here is an example of where the number is not fixed to the page yet. I added a little negative punch out of the snowflakes to remind me that I love using little strips of the negative shapes in projects.


Here I filled up the page with embellishments and sewed boxes around each to hold the elements in place.


An example of a cut down page which allows you to see further ahead into the album.



One of my all time favourite go to pages, a red envelope.


White on white for this page with added glitter.


Another fav technique, fold out pages. Here I added that cut out strip of Amy Tangerine card. I might use it on this page and I might move it to another day but I have it there in the photo to remember.


Can’t get enough of these.


More embellishments sewed into the pockets.


Added a little banner of circles to this one.


Another narrow page. And more sewing! Love me that red thread…


Using an old embellishment here, a fragment from Tim Holtz. I added some paper behind the plastic and glued it on.


And finally a transparent page. I found this lurking in my stash from many years ago when I tried printing on transparencies. More sewing to fix that metal edged tag to the page.


I have a little stash of goodies in a box to use during the month so we are almost ready. Just need to make the covers now. I’ll be back to share that in a few days.

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Doing a happy quilty dance


Oh yeah! At long last this baby is done.

And you know what? Love it. Why did it take me so long?

After my last post (can’t believe it was all that time ago) I did pull it out again about 6 months ago and sew a few quilting lines but struggled feeding it through my sewing machine as it doesn’t have a walking foot. So it was cast aside once more. But last month I pulled it out again and decided that I was happy with the amount of quilting so I would just finish it off and call it done.


I attached the binding onto the front and then hand sewed it to the back of the quilt.

And there it is all done.


And I am officially crossing ‘sew a quilt’ off my list.

I’m itching to start cutting a new quilt top but my rotary cutter has gone blunt! (Lack of use perhaps.) So the new quilt will have to wait, you never know I may have it cut by 2016…….

Posted in The click tick list, Things to make | 2 Comments

Read 2014 – The unpleasantness and the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers


I was lucky enough to have several Lord Peter books passed onto me by a friend. I really enjoyed this one. It contained all the great things of a classic detective story.

Happy to have a pile of these books to pick up and enjoy.

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30 Vegetarian Pizzas – Goats cheese, beetroot and pesto


Can’t believe we have reached pizza number 20. This combination was inspired by a Pizza Express pizza I had back in March. Not sure it’s still available though. I looked at a photo I’d taken of the pizza to work out all the toppings. As well as the goats cheese, beetroot and pesto there is onion, pine nuts and the rocket was added after cooking. One word….YUM!

We don’t tend to pile lots of flavours onto our pizza but this combination showed me it is such a delight when you do. These ingredients work so perfectly together.

The sauce and base were our usual. Only 10 left to make. Woo!

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Planning December Daily®


Here we are again at this wonderful time of year when I get to make my most favourite album and document the magic of December.

As I have in previous years, I’ve been pondering my inspirational pins, leafing through past albums and looking at the supplies list in Ali’s kit for a hint on the trends this year.

I have been a bit stumped for a cover design. I so easily fall back on the same old same old because I like what I like and nothing has been jumping out at me. So even though I’ve done it before I think I’ll go back to kraft coloured card stock and white. I just can’t help it.


I could tell you right now that some of the stories will be about the advent gifts, the eggnog latte, the wrapping, the putting up the tree and the twinkle lights. I do worry about repetition but mostly I know that tradition is one of the beauties of this project. And I know that without a doubt there will be something new.

Here is a little list of things I want to remember to use/incorporate this year -

  • see through pockets filled with glitter and sequins
  • teeny banners along the tops of pages
  • type on photos before printing (especially white type)
  • full page photos
  • use the idea prompts I’ve ‘pinned’ to help capture the magic
  • have fun!

And just look at that amazing collection of albums. When I first embarked on this project I could not have imagined the joy I have had from doing it December since or the wonderful gift those albums give each time I pick the up.


If you are on the fence about joining in, don’t be. Jump with both feet and in a couple of years you’ll have a mantle full of goodness too.


December Daily® is an album project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

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Photo a Day – week thirty five


This picture is catching up from last week. The view from the cottage window.


We took my Mum to Lindesfarne, she wasn’t keen on crossing even though the tide was still out, this sign didn’t help either!


On the way home we stopped for coffee. I got a cute gingerbread man with my gingerbread latte. ‘Tis the season apparently.


Just had to snap this. You can just see the steam rising from the top of the plastic that’s covering a supply of logs we had delivered recently. I couldn’t believe that the sun at this time of year could create steam.


Oops. Just had to get another eggnog. We have a standing joke in the family about not liking to give our names in Starbucks for the drink order, we always give ‘Alex’.


So happy to have this fella back on the sofa. All the fireworks have kept him trembling and sat on the floor so it was lovely when he jumped up to snuggle with me.


A basketful of our onions.


Oh yes he is back to normal, thinks he owns the place. Feet on the table indeed!


And there we go.

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Salad for lunch? – part one


Hang on I hear you cry, it’s November the salad season is over! I would agree but in the quest for less bread I have been trying to make salad for lunch instead of my go to cheese and pickle sandwich. I love pickle……

But enough of my obsession with a bit of Branston here are four salads I have test driven.

The one at the top of the post was chick pea, carrot, cucumber, and bulgur wheat with a few cashews and mixed leaves. I added a simple oil and vinegar dressing.

Next is my version of this. Green beans, broccoli, black beans, sesame seeds, quinoa and nuts. I made a sesame/ginger/soy sauce dressing which really makes this salad perfection.


Here is a Mexican inspired one. Corn, black beans, red pepper, quinoa and a few leaves added for extra crunch. A lime and oil dressing with coriander was added to this one to keep the Mexican vibe going.


And finally back to bulgur wheat. Similar to the first salad but with red pepper instead of carrot.


It is much more effort to make these but they are so much better for me. I will be back with more.

Posted in things we eat | 2 Comments

Bloom 3.0 – inspiration found this summer


I said I would be back to share a round-up of this years Bloom, inspiration I’ve found online and my plans for 2015.

I thought I’d split these topics up into three posts. This one about inspiration I’ve found out there on the internet, a second post reviewing this years growing and arranging and finally a post about the plans for next years flowers.

First then sharing the inspiration I have found and a few thoughts around this subject.

Sarah Raven was the catalyst for me growing flowers to cut many, many years ago and I regularly visit her web site and occasionally the blog over there Garlic and Sapphire. I love Sarah’s way of arranging and her enthusiasm for growing flowers.

It was on a visit to Garlic and Sapphire that I found Peonies and Posies and have followed her ever since. She has a huge garden and writes a very good and informative blog and shares two arrangements a week. From Julie I found The Blooming Garden and from there The Quince Tree. I have enjoyed following these British bloggers this year and look forward to their stories in 2015.

Towards the end of 2013 I discovered Floret and adore her site and everything they do over there including the great opportunity to link up and share my arrangements in the Seasonal Flower Alliance. Their web site in turn has provided inspiration in the form of other  flower farmers and reading those stories was truly inspiring and actually made me dream about doing it myself! But hmm…. hard work or what!

I fell into the trap of comparison during the summer. I found myself longing for the array of vases like I had seen in online bouquets and a desire to be able to arrange like some of the bloggers I was reading. The more websites and instagram feeds I found the more I compared myself to the florists, photographers and bloggers out there. I wanted to change the style of the arrangements I made week to week depending upon whose arrangement I liked and I began to try and copy their bouquets.


Luckily they were using flowers I couldn’t get my hands like roses and dahlias so I couldn’t really copy and after a few weeks I got it all into perspective. Along the way though I learned something about myself and the arrangements I want to make. I am an amateur and a hit and miss one at that. I want to be imperfect and I don’t want roses to form the majority of my arrangements! (Nothing against roses and I may well try a few more next year.)

By absorbing all that I could from blog land I’ve learned that I have a style all of my own and it will change and grow and I can use all these lovely blogs as inspiration to keep feeding that growth and challenging me along this flowery path.

I’ll pop back soon with my review of Bloom 3.0.

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Lists – Meaningful music


I had great intentions of posting a list a month but that didn’t work out so well. Never mind though onward to a new list.

I’d started to jot down songs to go on this list way back in March and then I read an amazing post over here which got my mind working on how music fits into my life and how I’d been to the most amazing gig back in July and hadn’t even posted about it! (I have since corrected that omission here.)

Reading the post from Ali and taking on all her enthusiasm inspired me to think back and remember not just some favourite songs but music that has a history with me, a story behind it.

  • Evergreen – Barbara Streisand. The theme song for the film A Star is Born we had this on a 45 rpm single record. I played it over and over and over again, singing along once I knew the words and then dreaming of my perfect love story. I must have been about 11 at the time and although I knew it was a love song I’m sure I also knew that it was bitter sweet. It’s just hit me that I have never seen the film but then I bet it doesn’t have a happy ending….
  • Return to Sender – Elvis. Around the time I was twelve and one long Saturday three friends and I over one of their living rooms and played this song until we had a dance routine finished. I say routine, actually we were just moving about pretending to sing to one of my friends little brothers who were standing outside in the garden watching our antics through the window. Whenever I hear this song I am transported back to that afternoon.
  • The Danse Macabre – Saint Saens. During a music lesson in middle school the teacher introduced us this piece of music. She had written a chronology on the black board indicating the introduction of each musical instrument it gave us an outline of the story the composer was telling as well as allowing us to recognise the instruments in turn. I wish I could remember exactly what she had written on the board because it was that visual along with the music that fixed this classical masterpiece in my heart forever.
  • Hanging on the Telephone – Blondie. Memories of lounging around my best friends room listening over and over to the Parallel Lines album. Dreaming of this boy I had a huge crush on and feeling awkward and shy and scared of dealing talking to anyone I didn’t know. This album linked so firmly with that friendship and that time spent with her and her family.
  • Roxanne – The Police. This was released around the same time as Hanging on the Telephone and I listened to this album with the same friend. I was totally obsessed like a only teenage girl can be and in 1981 I went to see them play live at the Queens Hall in Leeds. Pretty sue it was my first gig and it was amazing.
  • Moondance – Van Morrison. As I remember it, Gav was astounded that I had never heard of Van Morrison. He played the Moondance album for me and I loved it. The title track became ‘our’ song and we played it at our wedding.

I could go on but I think this little list is perfect as it is. Do you have a meaningful music list?


Posted in Lists, mel | 2 Comments