Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Finally Finished!

I have finally finished Fay's evening wrap, just in time for the Leaver's Ball. It is Rowan's River Pattern knitted in black mohair with a silver sparkle in it. A very simple but repetitive pattern ... I got distracted easily whilst knitting this and kept forgetting how many pattern repeats I had done!
To think that approximately 17 years ago I was knitting her first shawl, in white, ready for her birth.

Here it is being blocked on the floor, because of its size, just waiting for the damp cloth to cover it. Not the best place for it in a household with cats ... I later found Maurice sitting on it having a wash!!

Monday, 23 June 2008

"Happy Birthday To Us"

Last week it was my birthday, followed the next day by Jay's.

On Jay's birthday I made my own version of the cat cupcakes from "Hello Cupcake", for when they came home from school and Jay's best friend came round for a birthday tea.

And then there was one left for dad when he came home from work.

Jay's birthday cake minus the candles that spelt his name. Yes, you've guessed, it is a boiled fruit cake.

For his birthday treat Jay chose to visit the new noodle bar in town.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Cat Burglars!

Okay, so where are they getting these from? Another catnip toy has appeared outside the front door! I just hope that they have found them outside and that they haven't gone through someone else's catflap!

Maurice has spent the afternoon sleeping on the lawn. Is that because he was busy up to no good last night?!

What a yawn!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Hunter Cats

It's sad to say but cats are hunters, it's part of their nature. I have over the years rescued mice and birds from them and cleared up bodies and heads (not always attached). We have even had the gift of 2 goldfish (sorry to whoever they belonged to). This morning we opened the front door to find this gift waiting for us!
I think it's a big hint! I have a large catmint bush in the garden and some leaves from last year are in the cupboard waiting to be turned into a toy for them, but obviously I am taking too long! ;)

A Love/Hate Relationship

Siblings ...

... they love each other really!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Flowers & Fruitcake

Each day new flowers are opening in the garden
and are being enjoyed by this little fellow and his friends. I love the pollen trapped on his furry back, just as nature intended it to be.
It is also birthday cake season. This one is destined to be Jay's birthday cake. the recipe is one that has been handed down from my Nana to my Mum to me. My Mum always made this cake for my birthdays.

Boiled Fruit Cake
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup water
3 oz hard margarine/butter
1 lb mixed fruit
1 medium egg
2 cups SR flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Place sugar, water, fat and fruit into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Stir in bicarbonate of soda and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 140'C (fan) and grease and line a 7 to 8" round tin.
4. Add beaten egg and flour. Mix thoroughly.
5. Turn into tin and level top.
6. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when testing.


This moth featured in a previous post - I think I have now identified it. Introducing Pyrausta Aurata. Big name for a tiny moth.
This beauty was sitting on our kitchen window sill this morning. I believe it is a Gold Swift moth (female).
We get a lot of moths indoors during the summer evenings so expect more photos!

If I have incorrectly identified these please let me know.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Colour Me Blue

I thought that it would be fun to do a series of occasional posts to tell you more about myself, without resorting to the garden for a change, using colour.
The idea started with having a laugh at myself for having matching toe-nails and sandals!
I painted our bedrooms walls Luna Blue and brushed a veil of white over it.
Most of my clothes are blue.
Some of my jewellery.
My faded blue watering-can. I know it's in the garden, but technically it's not the garden ;)

Blue Pottery - I collect jugs from holidays and my parents often bring one back for me from their holidays.
I love blue glass - yes the gin bottle is empty!
I learnt 2 things whilst doing this post:-
1. Even though blue is my favourite colour it was quite hard trying to find items to photograph. Originally I had planned to do 9 photos and try and put them in a mosaic. (Can anyone tell me how to do this with photos please?)
2. I don't have enough blue jewellery!! (Big hint to husband!)

Monday, 9 June 2008

Elderflower Cordial

Finally a hot, dry day to collect elderflowers, I was beginning to think it would never happen!
Collect 10 elderflower heads during the middle of a sunny day. Remove any insects, being careful not to lose the pollen and place flowers in a bowl with the zest of a lemon.
Pour over 0.5 litre of boiling water, cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 24 hours.Strain through a net into a saucepan and add 500g of caster sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring occassionally to dissolve the sugar. Add the juice of the lemon and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour into sterilised glass bottles and keep in the fridge for up to a month. To keep longer freeze, hence the ice cube tray*. (I don't know why I froze some - we manage to drink it rather quickly!) Dilute with sparkling mineral water ... cheers!

*Amendment - it looked as though it had frozen in the ice cube tray, but the sugar content was too high and it stayed soft.

June in the Garden

June in the garden means roses,

hanging baskets filling out,sweet, clove-scented dianthus,

a leap of faith ... turning this

into this and hoping it will grow back,
wild strawberries,and BBQs.
Kidney Bean Koftas - made by woman ...

... torched by man ...

eaten by Fay (I'm going to be in trouble if she sees this photo!).

Orange Cheesecake

I used Nigella's Express Cheesecake replacing the vanilla and lemon for orange zest and juice. It goes well with rhubarb and orange compote.