Friday, 24 May 2013

A Gorgeous Gift

Yesterday the postie popped a lovely little parcel into my letterbox.  I've been looking forward to seeing this little beauty for weeks.  it was made by the very talented Jane at Hand Made Jane.  She was having a clear out of some of her beautiful handmade clothes and asked for some good homes for them.  I was only too delighted to offer my help on this matter.  Lucky for me my name was chosen for this top.  I really love it to say the least.  It is so well made and it is has really made me want to work a bit harder on my dressmaking skills.  So thank you very much again for the gorgeous parcel in the post.  Cheered me up no end to see it sitting on the doormat.

In other news, work on the studio is slow with the Hubby doing his final exams this week.  To relieve some of the stress, he went out into the garden after college and worked on levelling it.  it look a lot of work to haul it up into place and then to level it on its brick stands but with the help of a few friends and some sweat and cursing he finally managed it on Wednesday evening.  It was a bigger job than he expected but he is happy with it now.  We will be working against the clock now because once the Mayfly hatches on the lake there will be no work done on it at all.  He will be happily sitting in his boat fly rod in hand, free of all worries about studies. Normally it would hatch in the first week of May but with the weather and long winter this year, it is taking a little longer.  May is a month that we see very little of the Hubby and when you are married to a fisherman it's just something that you have to live with.  I'm the definition of a fishing widow!!
If we can manage to get it cleared before the Mayfly hatches then I can potter on with the rest. Painting and decorating isn't his thing anyway.

Sadly with all that has been going on around here my crafting mojo has started playing hide and seek with me.  I've lost all interest in my blankets and sewing jobs.  At the moment just to keep my hands busy, I've been doing a little cross stitching.  I want to make some of these gorgeous little butterflies and hang them in the hoops in the studio.  The work is slow but it is calming my very over active mind at the moment.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and if you see my stitching mojo please do let me know.
Rosie xx

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Meet Stanley

Let me introduce you to Studio Benny's new little buddy, Stanley. He will be keeping him warm and dry over the cold winter months. He is a diddy little thing at only 14" wide. He is currently in need of a lot of TLC just like his buddy but with a bit of brushing and a lick of paint hell look like new.  He is a Waterford Stanley burner and as soon as I saw the picture and name on the side, I just knew I had to name him. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Fat Free Blueberry Muffins

I was delighted to find this recipe in Good Housekeeping's The Baking Book.  Sometimes I find muffins a bit too stodgy and sticky with the amount of fat or oil in it.  I was unsure how it would work but I decided to try it anyway.  It is super easy to whip up when time is tight and totally fail safe.  I've used this recipe several times now and I have changed the recipe very slightly, reduced the amount of sugar and lemon, as the original was a bit too sweet and the lemon was very overpowering.

I am the "Queen of Ugly Cakes"!!!
They may not look perfect but they are definitely yumdiddilyumscious!!  
They always look like the elephant man but the look doesn't affect the taste.

Fat Free Blueberry Muffins

2 medium eggs
250ml milk
200g golden granulated sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
350g plain flour
4tsp baking powder
250g frozen blueberries
finely grated zest of one lemon
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Put the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and mix well.
  • In another bowl sift together the flour and baking powder, then add the blueberries and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix in gently.  
  • Divide the mixture between the equally among the muffin cases.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins until risen and just firm.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Hopefully your muffins will look better than mine but I bet that they will taste gorgeous.


Monday, 13 May 2013

My New Sewing Studio

At last we bought a new old studio for me to use for my sewing, stitching and general crafting.  Our house is very small so using a room within the house was totally out of the question.  Our only option was to have one outside.  We initially looked into building one but even with the hubby doing all of the building work himself, the numbers just would not work for us.  The cost was way too high.

Eventually the Hubby suggested using a mobile home and converting it into a studio.  The idea really excited me because I knew that I would get into it much quicker than if it was built in blocks.  Also a mobile home would be much bigger than anything we would ever be able to afford to build.  So that decided we began our hunt.  This took longer than expected.  If we found a nice one then we struggled with delivery of it, or if delivery wasn't a problem then the mobile itself wasn't great.

Last Wednesday the Hubby spotted a perfect one on the Internet for just 800 Euros.  It was old but in good condition.  When he rang the owner he was told that it could be delivered that night.  Result!!  We couldn't go and see it because it was in Cork city, a good five hour drive from us but the owner guaranteed us that it was in perfect health.  It was old and in need of a little love and attention but otherwise perfect.

So we waited for the delivery and we waited and we waited and we waited until eventually the driver arrived at 2:30am.  It took another two hours to get the mobile off the truck and in place.....very hard thing to do in the pitch black.  We were two very exhausted puppies getting into bed that morning.  Exhausted but very excited.

Are you ready for the big revel??

Now you're not to laugh!!

Well I did tell you it was old.  Did I hear a titter there??

I needs a lot of TLC but I think that it definitely has potential.  This is my end.  It has four large windows providing a lot of natural light.

We are going to gut it completely and redesign it from scratch.  A woodburning stove will heat it during the winter months.  This is the top end of my room.  Look how bright and light it is.  Okay it's also dated, dirty and very grimey, but bright all the same.

Even Molly was in to have a look around to see where her bed is going to be.  From the bench down is going to be the kids play room.  They are getting a free hand at decorating it as they like.  Great place for putting the xbox and the overflow of toys from the house.

There's a lot of work to be done but we just can't wait to get it started.  A new project for us to work on together.   We think that it will be a lot of fun.......hopefully.

Fingers crossed that it works out ok.
Rosie xx

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Yo-Yo Weekend

Well what a bank holiday weekend is was.  We were certainly kept busy and I'm only really recovering from it now.
It began with me smashing a tooth on a popcorn kernel resulting in emergency dental work.  Only when I arrived at the dentist did I discover that it was not one but two teeth that needed to be rebuilt!!  Oh what a wally am I??

There was a shopping trip to Galway city with the great company of my sister in law.  We bought some lovely fabric and a fantastic skirt sewing pattern and she has agreed to teach me some of her dressmaking tricks.  A beautiful lunch followed, all washed down with a lot of laughter and good hearted natter.  Unfortunately the main reason for the trip was to get my steroid injections.....YUK!

I had a couple of sleepless nights but the upside of that was that i was up for the sunrise and the dawn chorus.  This has to be my most favourite time of the day.  The magic of listening to the birds very slowly waking up, one by one.  As the sun rises, the silence is broken by one little faint birdsong soon multiplies to two and before you know it they are all singing their most beautiful songs with passion.  To me it sounds like they are all saying good morning to each other.

These solitary times at dawn means that I notice things that I may not necessarily notice.  Even though I was in a lot of pain after the horrible injections, I couldn't help but smile at the fresh growth that I was seeing all around me.  Look at these nettles.  Aren't they gorgeous.  The yellow to lime to green together with the shape of the leaves is so inspiring.  I think that it looks like a drop of bleach was tipped onto the centre of each cluster of leaves.

I must be the only person who loves dandelions.  The field behind our house is full of them and they look fantastic.  Actually I have never seen so many dandelions growing in every available space.  Covering all of the bog and the farmlands too.  I love their simplicity and their vibrancy.  Maybe because they are like me,  simple, cheerful but very annoying!!!!

After resting on Saturday, a gentle walk in the forest was what I needed.  And I was really delighted to see it full of life.  The bluebells were open and resembling a large purple carpet on the forest floor.  The ferns still coiled tightly while gathering the strength to open.  I have researched the top flower but have failed to find out what it is.  Would anybody be able to help me with that one?  I'd really love to know.

And Monday was by far the best of all the days.  The sun shone brightly and warmed the day.  We decided to take a visit to Belvedere House and Gardens.  They had a fun fair on for the long weekend and me being the big child that I am, just couldn't resist.  I was probably more excited about going than the kids were!!  After a couple of hours being thrown up and down, round and round on rides, we picked up our picnic and headed to the lakeside for a relaxing lunch.  The day was not yet finished though.  We decided to take a walk along the Narnia trail through the forest and on it's entrance we were greeted by the Oak King.  Isn't he just magnificent?

The trail was beautiful with lots of little statues hidden between the trees for the kids to seek out.

Somehow this guy looks very constipated to me, like he's sitting on the loo concentrating very hard on the matter in hand!!

And last but not least, meet Henry.  We spotted him in the gift shop on the way out and the Hubby thought that he looked very sad, so we decided to buy him and give him a home on our mantelpiece.   I really love him.  He's so well made and is one of my favourite colours too.  He suits the room perfectly.

Anyway I'm off for now.  my studio is coming tonight and hopefully I'll have something about that soon.  Fingers crossed!!
Rosie xx

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My Birthday!!

Yipppee It's my birthday. Well actually it's my blogs birthday.  This day last year I finally took the plunge and started my first post.  I had wanted to set up a blog for a long time but I had always thought that I was too boring and would have nothing to write.  You may even think that I was right in thinking that now!!  But I've come to love my everything about my blog and writing about the silly little things in my life that make me extraordinarily happy, like sewing and knitting and crochet.  I know that I have a tendency to babble and ramble at times and I am so very grateful to everybody who has stuck with me and shared all my ups and downs.

The first time that I realised that I had a follower, Grammy Braxton I really appreciate you being brave enough to put your name first on that list, my little old heart skipped a beat.  I ran down the stairs screaming the news at the top of my voice to anybody that would listen. The thought that somebody had any interest in what I was writing absolutely thrilled me.  And that feeling never changed.  Each and every time a comment is posted or a new follower joins up, I literally feel like jumping for joy.  I really must thank all of you for sticking with me and taking time out to leave your lovely encouraging messages on my little blog.

With the start of my blog, my interest in photography also grew.  I only have my phone to take photos at the moment but I think that some of them have turned out okay.  Today I'm posting some of my favourite pictures of the past year.  The result of the hundreds of pictures that I have taken over these months has led to a realisation that it's probably going to be my next big hobby!!  I've been hinting at the Hubby that the perfect present for my birthday would be a Coolpix and when I say hinting I mean that I've torn the page out of the Argos catalogue and stuck it to the fridge and told him "I want that".  He's not that good with subtle hints!!  poor fella.

I have learned so much from this land of blog!  I've learned that there are many more people out there with the same interests and likes as me.  I never thought that I would have so much in common with people that were strangers to me but felt like friends as soon as I began reading their blogs.  And indeed I have made many good friends along the way too even if I have nor probably ever will have the chance to sit down and have a natter over a nice cup of tea.  It just doesn't seem to matter.  The mutual respect, interests and support that crafting bloggers show to each other is astounding.  And that is the main reason for me looking forward to logging on again and seeing what my favourite bloggers are up to.
You have all taught me a lot too.  From hexie square sewing to how to knit a baby nappy, it's all been here at my finger tips.  And you all inspire me so much.  You are creative in ways that I could only dare to imagine, whether it's been a unusual knitting pattern, a wallpapered cupboard or beautifully written post.  I simply love it all and love you all for being out there in blogland too and being my virtual friends.

And last but not least, my fav picture of the whole year.  This may not be the best photograph in the world, it being quite dark, but it is most definitely my most favourite of all.  I mean it's not like it's something that you see every day of the week now is it!!

Rosie xx

PS  I thought that I would have reached 100 posts today but that was a serious miscalculation on my part!  hoping to make that milestone this month though.  Along with some sort of giveaway.  I would love to have something handmade for the giveaway so I just need a little more time for that.