Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter 2013

This week I have been baking and making items for Easter.  First I made some hot cross buns, which unfortunately didn't rise as well as they should have!
Then I baked some carrot muffins
 and topped them with Malteser bunnies sitting in a "field" of cream cheese frosting.
Finally I baked a Simnel cake
 and decorated it with marzipan, royal icing, mini eggs
and a chick sitting in a Kinder egg.
 I put up our Easter "tree" with the decorations that I made last year
 and hung up my homemade wreath with knitted chicks.
 This year I crocheted a bunny using this tutorial
and some eggs to accompany my knitted bunnies.
And of course Easter wouldn't be complete without a chocolate bunny
 or two!
 Happy Easter to you all, Pj x

Days 87 to 90

Day 87 of 365
Still chilly here and Maurice has found a warm place to be - in front of the tumble drier! If the oven was on he would sit in front of that! :)
Day 88 of 365
Toasting the marzipan on the top of the Simnel cake and being careful not to burn it!

Day 89 of 365
A sunny day at long last!  This pond is near our local garden centre and the trees were glowing orange in the sunshine as we went into the garden centre.  Those dark skies produced rain just as we got home.
Day 90 of 365
Easter Sunday means a visit from the Easter Bunny and chocolate for Fay and Jay.  We aren't seeing Fay until tomorrow so her delivery will be slightly delayed.
Hope you are all having a Happy Easter, Pj x

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Days 81 to 86

More 365 challenge photos :-
Day 81 of 365
Friday, filling the Victoria sponge that I had baked with vanilla buttercream and blackberry jam.  Yummy!  It has disappeared already!
Day 82 of 365
Saturday, we woke up to snow - not something we were expecting at this time of year!  I'm so ready for spring!
Day 83 of 365
Sunday, keeping warm indoors with some knitting.  I have finished the front of my cable cushion and have now started the back.  The only problem is I keep getting distracted by other craftiness! :)
Day 84 of 365
Monday, creating a new display at work to coincide with the Kate Greenaway 2013 Medals for the best children's illustrated books. The children are going to draw pictures of characters, or scenes, from books and I am going to turn them in "mini books" to hang on the tree.  There is another part to this display around the corner featuring the book covers and blurbs.
Day 85 of 365
Tuesday, the May issue of Country Living arrived through the post box.  I love these colours.

Day 86 of 365
Wednesday, baking hot cross buns using this recipe I pulled out of the TV Times.  They are hopefully rising in the kitchen as I type.  I have also baked a Simnel cake and some carrot muffins.
Best wishes, Pj x

Friday, 22 March 2013

Can You Guess What it is Yet?

A head and a body.
 The ears are a bit of a clue!
 Two arms.
Two legs.
 A face.
 and a cottontail!
 Not one, but two bunnies.
A boy
 and a girl.
Over the years I have knitted this rabbit pattern a few times for other people, but these two bunnies are for me.  Over the past two days I have had fun designing their clothes and now they are going to sit in our living-room for Easter.
Hope you all enjoy your weekend, Pj x

Days 76 to 80

I have to confess that I am struggling with this challenge at the moment.  It seems to have rained every day recently and I have been feeling a little grotty, which hasn't helped, but I am determined to continue!
Day 76 of 365
Sunday was wet yet again and Mr Blackbird was sitting it out in our Purple-leaved Plum Tree, singing away.  Blackbirds are my favourite songbirds.
Day 77 of 365
Before work on Monday I snapped this collection of body parts!  This is how I spent my weekend. :)  Can you guess what it is yet?
Day 78 of 365
I am keeping a record of the Author of the Month displays that I  create at school.  Julia Donaldson is the subject for April.  I arranged this display last Monday, but forgot to take a photo.  I love her Book and Library poems and I have included them in the display.
Day 79 of 365
Wednesday morning and I wasted far too much time on this addiction - Pinterest!  I did do some more knitting too.
Day 80 of 365
Our garden is showing more signs of Spring.  Rip Van Winkle is blooming by the patio door, complete with a raindrop and a green bug!  I am so looking forward to warmer and drier weather - hopefully!
I haven't taken today's photo yet, but I have taken photos of my knitted items that I have just completed. I will have to find something else to photograph for number 81.  Instead I will finish this post with the poems by Julia Donaldson that I mentioned
First her poem about books:-

I opened a book and in I strode.

Now nobody can find me.
I've left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I've swallowed the magic potion.
I've fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I've slipped on the ring,
I opened a book and made some friends.
I finished my book and out I came.

And her poem about Libraries:-

Everyone is welcome to walk through the door.
It really doesn't matter if you’re rich or poor.
There are books in boxes and books on shelves.
They’re free for you to borrow, so help yourselves.

Come and meet your heroes, old and new,
From William the Conqueror to Winnie the Pooh.
You can look into the Mirror or read The Times,
Or bring along a toddler to chant some rhymes.

The librarian’s a friend who loves to lend,
So see if there’s a book that she can recommend.
Read that book, and if you’re bitten
You can borrow all the other ones the author’s written.

Are you into battles or biography?
Are you keen on gerbils or geography?
Gardening or ghosts? Sharks or science fiction?
There’s something here for everyone, whatever your addiction.

There are students revising, deep in concentration,
And schoolkids doing projects, finding inspiration.

Over in the corner there’s a table with seating,
So come along and join in the Book Club meeting.

Yes, come to the library! Browse and borrow,
And help make sure it’ll still be here tomorrow.

Being a bookworm and a librarian I am of course biased! :)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Last Week's Makes and Bakes

Last week I decided to crack on with some of my WIPs and planned projects.
First I finished these lavender sachets for Fay's room.  They are made from the piece of linen leftover from making the curtains.
I recently painted this mug tree in F&B String and distressed it, but I couldn't make up my mind on how to decorate it.
Last week I stamped it with the Oriental stamps, but I'm not sure whether I like it or not.  What do you think?  I am re-purposing it as a jewellery stand for my beaded bracelets, so I think I will live with it for a little while before deciding.
Last week's baking consisted of a yogurt cake

and a chocolate sponge that I decorated with Amaretto buttercream and black cherries.
In the card making department I finished two more Easter cards,
experimented with my snow globe stamp

and made another Christmas card.  This one was inspired by a card I liked on Pinterest.

I also bought some new yarn for my next project.  My needles were busy over the weekend!
Lastly, my bobble cushion that I knitted for the rocking chair.  I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but forgot to show you a photo.  I'm now kitting a grey cable cushion cover to sit with it.

Days 72 to 75

Continuing my 365 photo challenge :-
Day 72 of 365
It was a lovely sunny start to the day, so Maurice sat in the sun soaking up its warmth.  He sat with his back to the sun and turned his face to warm his whiskers. :)
Day 73 of 365
I am very lucky to have a wonderful wool shop not too far from home.  I noticed this cute bunny in the shop window as I went inside.  I didn't come out empty-handed! :)
Day 74 of 365
Baking day!  Chocolate sponge topped with Amaretto buttercream and black cherries.
Day 75 of 365
I am a bookworm!  I love books and when I took this photo on Saturday, these were my current reading material.  My favourite genres are science fiction and fantasy.  I have now finished these two books!
Next book please! :)
Pj x