dear diary ~ holiday almost over

I am writing this in a few snatched moments of peace while daughter and granddaughters are out for a wee while. The quiet and calm is just what I need for an hour or two to recharge.

On Easter Sunday we had all the family for tea and the sun managed to come out for a while so the grandchildren could enjoy the Egg Hunt around the garden. Of course we had to make sure each of them found a similar amount of eggs so I hid some quite well so they were not so easily spotted.

The chicken casserole went down a treat and I got the thumbs up from my younger daughter who was chief taster during the cooking process – being vegetarian I never get to taste what I cook if it contains meat. Whilst dinner was cooking the children made me some lovely Easter name cards for the table using a sheet of stickers I found in our local post office and crayons.

They also helped with some of the decorations – I had bought some of those white chalk marker pens for glass and let the grandchildren loose drawing patterns on my windows – they thought it great fun….and yes it does wash off.

Little Freddie was far too excited to eat very much, being an only child (though not for long now) he likes nothing better than having Little L and Sweetie to play with him and didn’t really want to stop for tea. DH played hide and seek with them and at one point Sweetie came to say that they had searched the house and could not find grandad anywhere – which is surprising as our house is not that big and DH not that small!

Yesterday we took all the grandchildren and their mums out to Portland Basin Museum in Ashton-under-Lyne. They have a lovely old fashioned indoor street of shops, a doctors, schoolroom, pub and chapel complete with dummy people dressed in appropriate costumes. They can seem a little creepy at times as they are so life like a bit like the wax works.

How many people remember £, shillings and pence.

There is plenty to see and do for little ones including a craft session making paper bunnies and mice – the museum is completely free and the craft sessions only £1.30 a child – so very reasonable in price for a lot of entertainment.

We had to eat our packed lunches in the car though as it was bucketing down with rain just as we arrived. Luckily, the museum is mostly indoors with a picnic area outside by the canal and being the holidays they were running boat trips on the canal. There was a big queue for the boat but we decided against a trip in the rain – perhaps another day.

I was a bit worried that the boat might have been this old wreck by the notice….luckily not…it was an old barge and you sat inside out of the rain but seeing through the steamed up windows wasn’t easy according to the people getting off the boat.

Tonight’s tea will probably be pizza with sweetcorn – finding meal combinations that fit everyone’s likes and dislikes is not getting any easier – though surprisingly there is never a problem with puddings – they can be too hot, cold, crunchy, sweet, sour or full of bits but they still eat them with no complaints!

Today was our last day with the grandchildren and tomorrow, if I have any energy left, it will be all hands to the deck to try and get ready for Scotland. The weather here has turned Siberian cold with an overcast sky and outbreaks of rain all day so no washing was done because I couldn’t guarantee I would be able to get it out on the line to dry and there is no space inside at the moment. I was too tired to go into the garden too so there will be jobs to finish before we go if we can. It suddenly occurred to me that I won’t be able to sow any seeds until we get back from Scotland as there will be no-one around to water them and they will probably need doing almost daily in the greenhouse if I cannot open the ventilator – so it would be a big ask of my neighbour who generally steps in and does a little watering whilst we are away. Oh well I will just have to hope they germinate quickly when we get back.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter holiday xx

creating ~ ScrapHappy March

Welcome to the Scraphappy challenge post for March. This challenge uses the tiniest scraps of fabric – those little pieces that you sometimes end up with at the end of a sewing project too small for anything but the tiniest of patchwork – but I save them as they can prove useful as you will see in the pictures below.

For Christmas I made my sister in law and her husband a picnic hamper packed with a few edible goodies, a handy flask and a copy of The Picnic recipe book. 

To make it a bit more special and personalised I made them a napkin each with their names on. I used a couple of inexpensive white cotton napkins I bought from Sainsbury’s years ago and that I had stashed away in my craft drawer (for a project that I can’t even remember now!) and machine embroidered their names on……

…..and using an assortment of the tiny fabric scraps appliqued a simple flower design.

I say simple as it was the first time I had ever done any free hand machine embroidery and it took quite a bit of concentration ….but I was quite pleased with the result.

It might even be something that I make again or perhaps I will do a tea cosy or I am sure my two granddaughters would love a personalised pillowcase each – I still have plenty of tiny scraps to go at!

If you enjoyed this post do venture over to the other bloggers to see what they have been making. There are two new members to welcome to the group this month. Just click on each of the names below to link through to their blogs.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, Edith
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti,
DebbieroseNóilinVivKarrin,
Amo and Alissa

creating >> ScrapHappy February

This might seem a rather unusual Scraphappy challenge post as it is using up scraps of wood, but I thought you might be interested to see them even though it was not actually me, but DH that made them – I just made the endless cups of coffee.

When our grandchildren came along DH decided he wanted to make a set of Froebel Blocks for them (they are a kind of teach by playing type of thing – you can Google it if you want to know more). So with this idea in mind he disappeared into the garage one day and unearthed a load of off cuts from some lengths of beech that we had once used for the finishing rail along the waist height boarding in the shower room – and once cut into shape these were the basis of the different sized blocks. The boxes with little slide on lids he made from some off cuts of thin plywood. He never throws any bits of old wood away after a project but often finds a use for it.

I think he made a really good job of them and all the grandchildren love them. The only piece we had to buy was a short off cut length of a round piece of beech from a place that we pass in Penrith when we go up to Scotland. He emerged from the garage 3 weeks later with all these boxes of carefully cut, sanded and varnished building blocks complete with a storage box and identification picture pasted on the lid.

If you enjoyed this post do venture over to the other bloggers to see what they have been making.

Kate, Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, Edith, Debbierose, Noilin, Karin.

creating >> the ‘Crisis’ crafts

It is that time of year in our village when all the different groups and churches begin to hold their annual Christmas coffee mornings to raise funds for various charities. I always support the one at my local church that raises money for the charity Crisis – they provide shelter and a warm meal for the homeless on Christmas day. A long time ago I was one of the people who organised the coffee morning – so it is quite dear to my heart.

I try and provide a few saleable items each year for the craft and gift stalls. This year it has been a bit of a scramble because I have not been well with the Covid and my energy levels were less than zero. I cheated a bit this year and found these lovely inexpensive treat bags in The Works (6 for £3) and filled them with sweets from a tub of Cadbury’s Heroes. I would normally make my own bags from wrapping paper but these are so cute.

I still have some of the ‘free’ plant pots left that came from the lady in the village where our cottage is in Scotland and this year I filled four of them with miniature narcissi bulbs. To make them look more attractive I hand stamped a little label and wrapped the whole thing in cellophane using those very handy roasting bags that you can buy in any supermarket.

The shoots are just starting to poke through now so they should bloom in a few weeks time.

I am happy to report that the coffee morning was busy and the items I made had nearly all sold in the first half hour. I spent a happy couple of hours browsing the gift stalls and chatting with old friends over a cup of tea and a lovely homemade ginger biscuit. I was also given an invite to a party next Saturday evening and luckily that is a free evening for us.

Yesterday we had my grandson Freddie to play whilst mum and dad went to an appointment. It was lovely to see him and of course he can chatter away so much more now. When mum and dad returned I made a meal for us all – it was a bit makeshift as it wasn’t planned but broccoli bake always makes a quick and easy supper dish.

I am trying to keep Christmas low key this year but things are already starting to feel a bit hectic. My fruit for the cake is marinating with the brandy in a bowl and tonight, if everyone can make it, we will be connecting on Zoom to do our family Secret Santa draw and arranging a pre-christmas get together party for the big present swap. We have very few dates in December when we have nothing on – I am not sure how that has happened but I shall have to get myself organised to cope.

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