Friday, 30 September 2011

Knitting Progress.

I have finished my first scarf! I did use easy wool but I am still proud of myself. I just need to practice more so I am more comfortable with the needles as I do not find knitting to be relaxing at all. I am so scared of the stitches falling off the needles or dropping stitches! 

Knitting in progress! I used nice big needles for this scarf and it seemed to grow in length really quickly which was especially good for me as I felt like I was making progress. 

The finished scarf! This one will be mine as the sewn ends are a little untidy. 

I have 3 more colours in the same sort of wool to be getting on with. I think they would make nice gifts for Christmas as they are not particularly expensive and people would know that time and effort has gone into making them. Plus there are quite a few pretty colours to choose from!

A close up of the wool. You sew in the top line of openings and there is no real casting on. As you knit, the wool forms itself into ruffles. One ball of wool gives you one scarf. I just think they are lovely and feminine! The weather at the moment is so sunny and warm though so I will have to wait a while before I get to wear my new scarf!



Sunday, 25 September 2011

Signs of Autumn.

I love taking walks in the countryside with my camera in my hand. There are so many tiny things that I might miss otherwise. Dandelion clocks, shiny berries and clouds dancing across the sky! There is so much to see if you just open your eyes! 



Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cheese and Celery Bread.

I made cheese and celery bread - bit of an experiment but one that worked out. It was lovely and disappeared really quickly. 


250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
50g butter or margarine
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
100g Cheshire cheese, grated
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 standard egg, beaten
100ml milk

Well grease a 400g (1 lb) loaf tin and set to one side. I used a silicone one as I like how flexible they are for removing the bread once it is baked. Using silicone bake wear does seem to increase cooking time slightly though - just something to be aware of! I check my bread quite frequently anyway and it took about 10 extra minutes to be done. 

Sieve together the flour and salt into a large bowl. I have both a metal sieve and a plastic one. I used the plastic one in this case as it is finer and seems to take all the lumps out. 

Rub in the butter or margarine. This takes quite a while! At first it seems to be forming bigger lumps rather than smaller ones.......

It should look quite fine with all the butter rubbed in and a texture almost like bread crumbs. 

Add the celery, cheese and garlic and mix well. All of the cheese and celery should have a floury coating. I love cheese and celery and combining the two in a bread really appealed to me!

I also stitched the oven on at this point to give enough time to preheat. 

Add the egg and milk and mix into a soft dough. I had the egg and milk in a glass jug so it was easy to beat and then pour into the flour mix. I just poured it all in at once and started stirring rather than adding bit by bit. 

The dough is quite sticky!

Knead the dough lightly with your hands (messy, messy!) in the bowl, form into an oblong shape and place into your prepared loaf tin. As I used a silicone loaf tin, I placed it on a baking tray to support it. 

Bake in a moderately hot oven (Gas Mark 5) for an hour or until golden brown and well risen. The whole kitchen smelt of bread!

Leave in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. See how long you can resist!

It can be served warm or cold and I think it would go really well with hot vegetable soup. It was delicious served warm with butter! 



Monday, 19 September 2011

Titus 1 : 8

Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.  

Titus 1 : 8



Friday, 16 September 2011

Training Our Daughters to be Keepers at Home.

My book arrived today! I am so excited as it is HUGE and seems to cover so many different topics. I can't wait to get started. A week later than I had planned but better late than never. 

I was so glad to find a seller who was willing to post this heavy book all the way to England. So, so grateful! As soon as I heard about this book, I wanted it! It covers almost everything that I want to learn. Every other book on home economics just paled in comparison! I am already learning to knit and that is also covered in the book and sewing and gardening have been on my to learn list for a while. 

Just look at how much the book covers! The programme lasts for 7 years and each topic is built upon and developed each year. 

These are the additional books needed for Year One. There are a couple of books needed for each year. I think it is a good idea though as they will be good reference books to keep!

I am looking forward to getting on with it all. I used to love having projects at school and I even liked home work! Writing essays and researching always interested me. I have quite missed that as it isn't really something that I do in my job or at home. 



Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Letter Writing.

When I was younger I always wanted a pen pal. A proper pen pal where we wouldn't give up on writing and would send actual letters in the post rather than emails. I didn't have one as a child but I do have a couple now as an adult. With one we have just switched from email to snail mail. It has been such an adjustment! Far more so than I had expected. I had just become so used to sending a message and getting a reply usually within hours. Now though it takes days for my letter to get to her! 

I like to write on pretty cards and it is so nice to send a bright and cheery card right to the other side of the ocean. 

This is my collection of cards for pen pals. I have some letter writing paper too for the longer letters that I send. I don't send an essay each time I write! 

Currently I am using the bright Spring themed cards but as the weather is changing I want to start using the Autumn cards soon. I want some Winter style ones with snow, ice and robins! 

It is so exciting to see a letter with an American stamp on it in the post pile. A little envelope with a hand written address stands out from the boring, standard sized white envelopes. Receiving a pen pal letter is something to be anticipated right from the minute you post your own letter! 

I am a big fan of thank you cards. I would choose to sit and hand write a card over sending a text or email. It just seems more personal and it rather quaint. A tradition to be revived I think! 

Sending letters and cards in the post forces you to slow down. You just can't get an instant response! It is teaching me patience but also a letter always seems to arrive on a day when I need that little boost in my spirits. 



Monday, 12 September 2011

1 Peter 5 - 8

Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 

1 Peter 5 - 8



Saturday, 10 September 2011

Cross Stitch Magazine.

I have just subscribed to Cross Stitcher magazine. Cross stitching is something I really enjoy and I love the results as they are so pretty and it is such a versatile skill as all sorts of creations can be crafted. 

This month there was such a cute free gift with the magazine. It is a kit that contains all the materials required to make three Christmas decorations in the shape of adorable little houses. It is technically a good idea to subscribe as I buy every issue and it is cheaper to pay every six months. Can you tell I am trying to justify a pretty magazine that nearly always has a free gift on the cover?!

The preview for the next issue have projects in it that I so want to make! They will be straight onto my project list. The reindeer cake band gift looks so cute as does the Christmas apron! I love the idea of having Christmas decorations that I have made and that I can get out every year. There is something appealing about actually putting hours and hours into making things rather than just buying everything from the shop. 



Friday, 9 September 2011

September Skies.

Just a few random photographs of the sky this evening. I love taking photographs of the sky and clouds and all the changing colours. 

I love that you can take a picture of the sky and then turn ever so slightly and have a totally different perspective - different clouds shapes and colours. 

There were swallows darting around in the sky. They were far too fast for me to catch in a photograph though! They look so graceful chasing around, circling and swooping. 

There is still a little blue sky to be seen this evening! I am making the most of it as it really is getting dark much quicker on a night. It seems to happen all of a sudden. Every year! 



Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Photo Challenge!

Here is my entry for the Nature Photo Challenge from the A Ray of Sunshine blog. I have never entered a contest like this before and I really didn't know which photograph to choose. I didn't realise that I had taken so many!!

Pop over and look at the entries - there are some gorgeous photographs over there!



Tuesday, 6 September 2011

An Old Fashioned Girl.

I love this book! It was written by Louisa May Alcott who also wrote Little Women and Good Wives. This might seem odd to some but I prefer An Old Fashioned Girl to any other book that Alcott wrote. It is one of my favourites and has been since I first read it as a child. I still read it at least once a year! 

As you can see from the photograph, I am part way through it again. If I feel myself getting too caught up in the world I read this book again as it is all about being true to yourself. Polly Milton is a girl who lives in the country and is, perhaps, a little naive. She goes to visit her more worldly cousins in the city and there is much temptation to change and to become more interested in the frivolous and vacuous pleasures rather than in the solid values that she was raised to treasure. Polly is such a sweet character and yet you do warm to her as she is human and isn't presented as perfect and flawless. 

It isn't a preachy book but it does have moral lessons woven into the story. Themes of being true to yourself, being kind to others and respecting your elders are timeless, as is this adorable little story! 

Do you read your favourite childhood books again in adulthood? 



Monday, 5 September 2011


The dearest spot of earth to me
Is home, sweet home!
The fairy land I long to see
Is home, sweet home!
There how charmed the sense of hearing!
There where love is so endearing!
All the world is not so cheering
As home, sweet home!

I've taught my heart the way to prize
My home, sweet home!
I've learned to look with lovers's eyes
Oh home, sweet home!
There, where vows are truly plighted!
There, where hearts are so united!
All the world besides I've slighted
For home, sweet home.

W.T. Wrighton



Sunday, 4 September 2011

Tomato Issues.

The weather hasn't been kind to my tomatoes. I am not sure that my first attempt at growing them is going to be a success! At least it is a learning experience if nothing more. 

There are a few tomatoes on the plants, some huge and some rather misshapen, but I am not sure whether they will ripen or not as it is September already. Some are so heavy! The plants are tied to stakes to try and keep them upright and I still have some hope that I will eat a tomato that I have grown from seed this year! 

Next year I will have a proper plan in place. I will be organised and I want to try to grow more vegetables and salad produce - oh, and tomatoes again!



Saturday, 3 September 2011

Rose and Thorns.

Some people complain because roses have thorns.
Others rejoice because thorns have roses.