Thursday 31 January 2013

goodbye january

While I'm not sad to say goodbye to the long, dark days of January I will miss the snug, cosy feeling which abounded here.

January was a month full of the promise of snow which sadly never delivered for us.  Instead we had bone chilling temperatures and lots of grey sleet.

Despite the weather we have had a lovely month full of family, friends, good food and fun.  And yesterday afternoon the weather mellowed a little, bringing warmer temperatures, blue skies and the glimmer of spring. 

So I grabbed my camera and spent a happy half hour mooching around the garden finding some evidence of nature.

After reading Caroline's post earlier this month I have decided to join her in creating a moodboard for each month this year. I'm looking forward to seeing the differences with the change of the seasons.

I think they might make a pretty calender for next year.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

lovely things: laura amiss

Something pretty to brighten up your week.  A lovely artist whose work I admire, Laura Amiss.

Amsterdam Canal houses - A2 large print
source: laura amiss 

Laura is an illustrator and designer working with textiles and print.

"My handmade canvases are unique and are created using a selection of new and reclaimed fabrics. My work is composed of subtle lines and color combinations produced through layering, piecing and sewing fabrics together. I draw inspiration from my every day environment and hope that the way in which I recapture the landscape or moments of ordinary life allows people to appreciate them with a fresh perspective."

Scattered Showers, Art Print
source: laura amiss

Laura has a lovely etsy shop selling her prints and canvases.  The colours she uses are beautiful and are perfect to welcome spring.
Flowers in green - A4 Art print
source: laura amiss
I love these prints.  They're definitely on my wishlist.  So what do you think? Do you have a favourite?

Monday 28 January 2013

52 weeks of happy (17/52)

52 weeks of happy.  Week 17, simple things making me smile this week.

This weekend, exploring. We really needed fresh air after being housebound due to freezing temperatures and grey sleet for the last few weekends.

The look of pure glee on Mr F's face today as he unpacked an early birthday present.  A drum kit.  He just couldn't wait until June.

A catch-up lunch with one of my very best friends.

Seeing the first snowdrops peek through the soil, announcing spring.

As always I am linking to Jen at little birdie.  What has made you happy this week?

Thursday 24 January 2013

creamed rice pudding

I noticed from your comments on my last post quite a few of you enjoy rice pudding as much as we do.  So I thought you might like the recipe for my quick creamed rice pudding.  The recipe serves four but you can alter the quantity to serve more people.

creamed rice pudding


100g pudding rice
500ml full cream milk
100ml fresh cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp golden caster sugar


Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook slowly over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. You will know it is ready when the liquid has mostly disappeared and the rice is soft.

The recipe lends itself very well to change. When making it I always measure the quantities of rice and liquid but add the sugar and vanilla to taste. We like it with more vanilla and less sugar.  You can alter it to suit.

A little warning.  It does need a watchful eye as it can catch and burn if left too long.

The berry sauce is easy to throw together.  I use a handful or two of frozen berries, about two tablespoons of brown sugar, some mixed spice and heat gently.

As the berries thaw and mix with the sugar it creates a really lovely syrup.  If the recipe is for adults you could add some port as well.

I always make a bit extra. The berries are lovely as a breakfast topping too, on porridge or greek yoghurt.


I just wanted to say hello and welcome to all my lovely new readers and also offer a little apology for not always replying to everyone's comments.  Time runs away with me but I do love to read each and every one. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat. x

Monday 21 January 2013

52 weeks of happy (16/52)

Week 16.  Joining lovely Jen with her 52 weeks of happy.  My four simple happy things.

I seem to be focussing on indoor happiness at the moment.  The weather has been so dreary here. Grey, bitterly cold, sleet filled days with no proper snow. Not really suitable weather for being oudoors enjoying nature.

Roll on spring and all the joy it brings.  So my happies this week.

Homemade creamed rice pudding with mixed berry sauce.

Finding random groups of tiny people all over the house.  'All the bodies ... they're my friends' to quote the little fairy. 

All five of us squashed on the sofa, snuggled under blankets, watching films.  A lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon.

The first creme egg of the season.  Mr F and I have a tradition.  Whoever spies the first creme eggs brings two home to be enjoyed with a cup of tea.  We've been doing it since we met and I'm convinced it gets much earlier each year.

Wishing you all a happy week.

Saturday 19 January 2013

playing hooky

My granny square blanket started in the summer and then flung aside to make way for other projects.  And now finally finished. A cosy blanket for the little fairy to snuggle under as the temperatures plummet and the sky is full of snow.
I loved making it whilst learning the basics of crochet.  I still have so much to learn but I am pleased to have completed my first crochet project.

The blanket is a large granny square edged with a simple chain stitch. Not the most impressive pattern or stitch, but I like how the little edging finishes it. 

It is far from perfect and more than a little wonky but the little fairy has given the blanket her seal of approval and loves snuggling under it for storytime.

So, I'm off now to plan my next crochet adventure.

Friday 18 January 2013


It is so, so cold.  A bitter, biting wind is whooping and wailing outside.  Time to batten down the hatches. We have been promised some snow although it is difficult to imagine as I look out at the grey sleety rain trickling down our windowpane.

I am so happy the weekend has arrived.   I have plans for a cosy weekend at home. 

Stove lit, snuggling under blankets.  Feasting on warming soups and stews. Trying out a new recipe for apple cake and enjoying some films with the little ones.

And if the snow does arrive I expect there will be some sledging and snowman building.

What about you?  Any plans?  I hope you have a warm and cosy weekend whatever you get up to.

Monday 14 January 2013

52 weeks of happy (15/52)

Joining Jen at little birdie with the four things that have made me happy this week.

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything"

This is the quote which inspired Jen. So true and it is really lovely to record the simple things which bring happiness day to day.

My happies are all from today.  A lovely day from start to finish.

A beautiful rainbow despite the grey sleet filled sky.

A fox in a box from the lovely oooh betty. Emma is doing a really lovely thing to help a family who have suffered an unimaginable tragedy.  Please show your support if you can.

Seeing my brother who came home from holidaying in Australia today.  The photo is from my wedding.  The wanderer is the one on the right.

The gorgeous view on my way home. A little inland lough behind our house. Both sky photos were from today, just a few hours apart.  That's winter weather for you.

So as you can see no snow here.  Hope you are all safe and warm if the snow has arrived in your part of the world.

Wishing you all a happy, warm week.

Saturday 12 January 2013

nuts and bolts

No, not a post about engines, you will probably be relieved to hear but one about robots.

As mum to two boys who have cleverly copped on to their mother's love of making, I constantly receive requests for things little boys love.  Monsters, beetles and dinosaurs.

The latest was robots.  So this little appliqued robot came into being.  I'm not sure what to do with him though.

I was thinking of framing him for their room but I don't know.  They are quite taken with him and this means both could enjoy him.

I wonder should he say something.  I can't decide.

I am feeling so much better these past few days and want to say a huge thank you for the lovely comments on my last post.  They made my day.  I'm sure all the positive vibes helped me get rid of the bugs. 

Tuesday 8 January 2013

52 weeks of happy (14/52)

Linking up with lovely Jen for my first 52 weeks of happy of the new year.

I have been feeling pretty miserable with a horrible cold and cough.  It is still bothering me so my happies are a little late this week. With a bit of luck I will be blooming with health again for next week.  Fingers crossed.

Some lovely winter sunshine.  I think we all need more of this.

A magic horse created by the little fairy on a rainy afternoon.  I love the flower on his tail.

Lemons, for my beverage of choice at the moment.  Hot water, honey and lemon.

And lastly, getting the Christmas decorations all packed away.

Simple happy things.  Hope you are all having a happy, healthy start to the new year. x

Friday 4 January 2013


"The Liebster Award is for bloggers with under 300 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."

I was delighted to receive the Liebster Award from lovely Jen at little birdie. A very happy beginning to the new year.

So here goes.  Eleven random facts about me.

I love bluebells.  Spring walks in bluebell woods make me happy.
I am a bit of a magpie.  Always looking for something sparkly.
My favourite crisps are pickled onion Monster Munch.
I really want to learn a new language.  Maybe Italian.
I can't imagine not having music to listen to.
One day I would love to own a caravan or campervan.
I would like to have been a midwife.  What an amazing career.
I plan to keep hens sometime soon.
I once met Bill Clinton.
I love kids movies.  My current favourite is Up.
I love to travel and my current dream destination is Montreal.

Here are my answers to Jen's questions.

Bourbon cream or custard cream? Definitely bourbons. I love them.

Camping or luxury hotel? Somewhere between the two.  Campervanning.

What's your favourite word?  Kayak. Palindromes are cool.

What smell do you like the most? Freshly cut grass.

What's the worst christmas present you have ever received?  I honestly can't remember. Probably so bad I have wiped it from memory.

Which is your favourite season?  Autumn, closely followed by spring.

Lego or Playmobil?  Lego no question.  I adored it when I was little and my little ones love it now.

Who is your favourite actor? Hugh Jackman. Easy on the eye and talented.

Bright colours or pastel colours? Brights. I love rainbows.

What is your ideal day off?  Spending the day outdoors in lovely warm weather, exploring with my family. Forest, beach, wherever.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Vegetables, I love them .  But if I had to choose just one, then beetroot.

Eleven questions.

1. What did you want to be when you were little?
2. What is your favourite flower?
3. What's you most vivid memory from childhood?
4. You are invisible for a day, where would you go and what would you do?
5. If you could choose to live anywhere, where would it be?
6. What book would you happily read again and again?
7. If you were an animal, what would you be?
8. What is your desert island essential?
9. Are you an early riser or a night owl?
10. Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
11. Sweet or savoury, which couldn't you live without?

Spreading the love I have chosen 11 great blogs which I love to read.  I hate not being able to include all my favourites but the list is getting pretty endless.

ouch flower
lazy daisy jones
hello olive
vintage sheet addict
the view from here
two add two
tracey english
dandelion and olive
goldlion diaries
oooh betty

These lovely blogs are well worth a visit.  Pop by and see for yourself.

I'm looking forward to seeing your answers, if you have the time and energy to play. 


A big thank you to two other lovely bloggers who kindly included me in the Liebster Award late last year. Due to lack of time and Christmas I never got a chance to pass it on, until now.  So thank you so much, Sue and Tammy.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

not so lazy daisy

Just before Christmas my postman arrived with a parcel and inside all wrapped up so prettily.

Gorgeous gifts from my lovely friend, Lazy Daisy Jones.

Cue squeals of sheer delight as I opened parcel after parcel of beautiful handmade goodies.

How amazing are they? I am in love.  I am a little ashamed to say that the lovely doll was intended for my little fairy but I don't think I can part with her.  Can you blame me.  But I feel bad.

So after discussions with Miss Daisy it has been arranged that I can be her guardian until the little fairy is old enough to really appreciate her.  I think it's safer that way.

And those crochet toadstools, the cherry brooch and snowflake.  I love, love, love my gifts and if that wasn't enough in the parcel was some of the most amazing fabric tape.  I have been properly spoilt.

So to my wonderful blogging friend, thank you lovely Daisy for really spoiling me.  Isn't blog land wonderful?

This exchange of gifts was part of the Snowflake Swap organised by Kate.  Thank you so very much.


Thanks so much to everyone for their comments over the festive season and welcome to all my lovely new readers.  I hope you enjoy it here.

Happy New Year. x
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