Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Almost Finished...

Our House Wall-hanging.

This is a UFO I had forgotten about until I was packing up my craft room.
Today I finished the embroidery and sewed on buttons and beads.
Before sitting down tonight , I cut out the binding and hanging loops.
Tomorrow I will haul the sewing machine through to the kitchen and try to finish this.
I think I shall send this to a girl-friend.
My husband gets quite frustrated with me as he says I tend to give everything away that I have made.

Up Helly Aa

Yesterday was Up Helly Aa here in Shetland.
It was an amazing day.
This was the scene out-side my shop at just before 9am.
I love the colour of this years Jarl Squad's suits.

Jarl Squad at The Toll Clock , Lerwick.

This should explain what it's all about far better tan I ever could.

The Guizer Jarl
The muster and light up is my favorite part of the whole day.
 At 7.30pm the men all light up their touches and march around the streets before setting alight the Galley boat, then everyone gets ready for a mammoth party from 9pm until 9am.

Some of my bairns.
 We decided to leave the party early as we were soaked to the skin, and I mean to the skin.

The Great Quarff Bake-Off.

Biscuits, Banana cake, Lemon and lime curd and uncooked pin-wheels. I forgot to take a picture of them once they were cooked and we have eaten them all now.

The wee ones and I had a baking day today. Emi , 8, made Mary Berry biscuits. Daisy, 10, made James Morton banana cake, Lily, 12 made savory pin-wheels (her own recipe) and I made lemon and lime curd for my delivery boy. It was great fun. I was a good mammy and stayed hands off until help was asked for, which wasn't easy believe me, but I was really proud of what the bairns achieved on their own.

 The Boys

So we are all back to work tomorrow and I'm gonna be all confused as I'll think it's Monday with having a day off today !!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Oh they may look innocent now !!

The picture of innocence.

The boys have reeked havoc today 

This is Ginger sweeping up the evidence of crashing my tenderly loved lychee plant onto a rather chewed succulent.  

Mittens pretended to be asleep despite the broken pot behind him, and Ginger tried to bury the remaining evidence.

A bit of progress in the study. 

I think at least a fourth and probably a fifth coat will still be needed.


After a swift phone call to a girl friend's husband to discuss this recipe, I decided to bake bannocks to go with my husband's Reestit mutton soup.

In a large bowl, put 1lb SR flour, a large pinch salt, 1 egg and about 2/3rds of a pot of butter milk.

Mix in to a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and gently kneed.
Then roll out until about 3/4 of an inch thick.


 Either cut out with a cutter, or chop the dough free hand.
Place on a greased baking tray and bake in a moderate oven.

Bake for about 12 minute or until golden.
I had to put mine in for an extra 5 minutes.

 That was the first course for our family Burns Supper.

“Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”

This was followed by Haggis, tattie and neeps.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Day Light is Returning.

Beautiful sun-rise in Shetland.

I love it when the sunshine returns to the isles.
I took this a couple of days ago.
Although a red sky on a morning is supposed to herald a rough day ahead, it was actually a really nice day.
By contrast, today it was pouring down.
However I did manage to move the final 10 bags of muck in the garden, before breakfast.
It was way to wet to take pictures, when I came in I was soaked.

My boys.

These are also from a couple of days ago.
I canna believe how fast they have grown.

Mittens helping Emi with her breakfast.
My boys.

The Decorating has started.

Phase one.
We washed the walls and woodwork.

Walls washed.

Phase two.
The first coat of paint went on.
Oh my, it looks terrible, surly it can only get better.

1st coat.
Phase three.
Oh ......I think we are gonna need a few more coats.

Second coat.

 I decided to abandon the decorating for to night, I'll have another go tomorrow.

A bit of a disaster, turned into something pretty.

I was looking for a new book to read this morning, this treasure has sat on my book-shelf since 1989.
I ran a bubble bath after my soaking in the garden this morning and settled down to read. 
To my dismay, I discovered 40 pages were missing !!
I remembered a friend showing me how she made flowers from old, damaged books.

Wooden dove, glue, prima leaves, gems, organza ribbon, Pro-marker pen and Tim Holtz distress stickles - picket fence.

I had a raid through my stash and this is what I came up with.
 The dove was made for me by a neighbour. 
It's made from thin ply wood and painted with two coats of crackle paint.

Step one.
Tear out a circle of paper and rip it into a spiral.

Step two.
Colour the edge with the marker pen.

Step three.
Starting at the outside edge of the spiral, start to roll it up.
When you almost get to the centre, put on a blob of pva glue and squish into place.
It really does't matter if you squash the flower, as this will give it a distressed look.  

Step four.
Dab some distress stickles on the edge of the flower.
This didn't actually show up on the first photo I took, so I put the bottle in the picture and you'll just have to believe me.
The centre of a couple of the flowers opened up so I set a pearl gem on the middle to fill the gap.

Step five.
I made a selection of flowers in different sizes and glued them and the leaves in place on top of the dove.

I was really pleased with the way this turned out and have it hung on my mantle-piece in the sitting room.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Up Helly Aa is almost upon us.

Galley made at Quarff Youth Club.

I love this time of year when all the final preparations are being made for Up Helly Aa.
I have a trail of bearded men coming into the shop asking for elastic and pins and "I don't know what you call it, but d'ye ken what I mean ?"
In the school the Up Helly Aa song is being sung and at the Youth Club, even the boys are joining in the craft sessions to make their UHA effects.

My first memory of UHA is John Noakes on Blue Peter.
The other good thing about Up Helly Aa , it heralds the return of day light.
Long awaited and much needed.

By contrast this has to be a very sad sight indeed.

I am packing up my craft room as we are having a major move around and decorate.

The sad sight of a craft room being packed up.

My room is gonna be the wee ones' room. 
My craft room/study will be Grace's room.
Grace's room will be the spare room/craft room and the wee ones' room will be my room.
Simple !!.

Keep fit started ...

Hydrotherapy pool at the Clickimin.
This is what I really wanted to play with.

A girl friend and I went here yesterday.
This has to be one of the best kept secrets.
It was amazing.
First off it's warm. 
It's like doing exercises in the bath, but without the danger of wetting the floor.
No one can see you.
It does ney smell as bad as the main pool.
So I .... a none swimming , pool hating chic .... am going back next week.
I am not spaggied but I can tell I have done some exercise.
What I need to do now is write out some exercises and laminate them to have at the side of the pool.
Not sure what exercises to do though.
I want to loose my mummy tummy.
Any suggestions as tummy crunches etc are out of the question due to a damaged neck.

Tardis project alert.

"It's bigger  on the inside."

I know I'm not supposed to be starting any thing new but it's a tardis !!
I want to make a new teacosy like a tardis.
My dilemma do I make a wee cosy with the spout and handle hanging out ?
Do I make a big cover all cosy ?
In which case should I distort the shape of the tardis, make a whopping big cosy with no distortion or keep the tardis in proportion and add space at the edges ?
Questions, questions always questions.
I told me husband what I wanted to make, thinking he would poopoo the idea, but no, he said "I'll give it some thought."
I needed to sit down after that.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A lovely busy day in the garden.

My first job of the day was to move about 40 bags of horse manure. 
One of my neighbours kindly delivered this for me. 
In payment for this I will make them some lemon curd.

This was a disaster area.

It used to be a rhubarb patch, but over the last couple of years it has become neglected and over grown.

 My youngest offered to go down to retrieve the bruck that had mustered in the most inaccessible areas, well she's shorter and could fit in no bother, I went in and removed the bigger, heavier and half buried items. 
Next I removed a lot of dead looking stems.
They turned out to be nettle stems which have a particularly vicious sting on cold unsuspecting fingers.
I was delighted to discover signs of life and counted about eight rhubarb crowns readily springing forth with new growth.
Finally I fed the area with about 10 bags of horse manure.
I canna wait for the rhubarb to grow.
One of the first things I will need to make is rhubarb jam for  my manure delivery boy.
 I must find out if he likes his jam with or without ginger.

Help from the bairns, was brief but welcome.

This was my second disaster area to be tackled today.

This used to be my onion patch but has been quite unproductive for a few years now.
I had managed to dig it over for the last two years but any veg I tried to grow were weedy looking.
So, I moved the bags of grass I have rotting down , weeded, dug it over and gave the whole area a good covering with more manure.
I think I will plant some raspberry canes in here that are in another part of the garden, but seem to have gotten a bit lost. They can grow by the wall and at the front, I'll grow something little like strawberries or herbs. However I am open to suggestions if anyone has any ideas. 


Sewing News

 Mittens and Gingy woke me up at stupid o'clock this morning.
As the house was nice and quiet, I had a rumble through one of my boxes of UFO's.
I found two "Our House" wall hangings at the same stage. 
They were left over from classes I did, and were looking a bit sad in the box.

So I decided to have a play.
I was amazed, I managed to do this embroidery in just under an hour.
Makes me wonder why I had left it for so long.
There's still quite a bit to do but I am happy with the mornings progress.

Last night I was with a couple of pals and we had a bit of a sewing session.
I got loads done.
There was also a hefty amount of cake consumed and the most delicious pancakes which one of the ladies made and we served with butter and some of my homemade bilberry and apple jam. 

I am really pleased with the way this is progressing, but I am very aware there is still an awful lot to do.

I now intend to put my feet up with a large glass of sherry.