31 October 2009

Happy Halloween

This years pumpkin offering by John, the newly appointed "Pumpkin Artist" according to one Trick or Treater tonight. He asked who had made it and how long it took and then asked me if he was an artist. I said he was an engineer and he said he should be a "Pumpkin Artist" as they were cool. The other year a group of lads knocked, just to tell us that we had "Mental Pumpkins Man!"

Halloween is not something we did as kids. We just didn't have it back then!! A pumpkin was something you saw on TV not in the shops and to make a lantern we (tried) to carve turnips!!
In the last 10 years or so it seems to have really become big business and now everyone has jumped on the band wagon to make more money.
Here's John hard at work being artistic!! Note the design, sellotaped to the front so he knows where to cut!!!

Samuel (aka the Armless Zombie) and a load of his pals decided to go out tonight as it's probably their last year of doing it. It was good to see them all dressed up and enjoying themselves. I think kids grow up too quickly these days. You're a long time as an adult so make the most of being a kid.
Just look at this lot.................................................................................................................................
He came home with a bag full of sweets, crisps and nuts. People are very generous but I just think of how many E numbers and how much teeth scrubbing will be involved :)
Baggsie the Love Hearts.................................:)

Happy Pink Halloween

Hello and Happy Pink Saturday. That's another week gone by in a blur. Thank you once again to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for hosting again. If you have time have a wander over to Sonja's blog at The Secret Life of a Stash Collector she has some great pinks from her holiday in Orlando.

My choice this week was all I could find after hunting around for pinks. Something that seems to be lacking in this house at present.
This is Thistledown and she is my hand made in Fochabers bear. I bought her 17 years ago at a local craft fair and just had to have her.

She gets her name from her nose!! It's an embroidered Scottish Thistle. She's made from distressed mohair and was made just a few roads away from where I live now. Unfortunately over the years Fiona, who made her has moved away so no more bears!! You can't really see but her paws are pink and over the years the material had faded a lot :(

She normally sits on the chair but it made the photo look better with the cushions off the bed!!
I hope you're all having a Pink Halloween. Back later with pumpkins photos :)

30 October 2009


Tin is today's HSMSHS word. Perfect for today is the old sweetie tin I covered last week.

29 October 2009


Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS is Tied:
1) attach or fasten with string, cord, etc. 2) form into a knot or bow. 3) restrict or limit to a particular situation or place. 4) connect; link. 5) achieve the same score or ranking as another competitor. 6) hold together by a crosspiece or tie. 7) Music unite (written notes) by a tie.

At this time of night a picture of the new school tie, tied in a knot will have to do.

28 October 2009

BFB - Big Family Blanket

Here's a picture of BFB taken before the holidays. I am just loving the colours and believe it or not they go really well with my lime green bedroom!!

I've since added another row and I'm on my way down the next one. Only 50 something squares to go!!!! before I start the rounds. What have I let myself in for?

Sib if you're wondering what Santa might like to bring me........................a few more balls of wool would be nice. Harry would of course get to snuggle BFB when he comes to visit :)


Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is SLICE: 1) a thin, broad piece of food cut from a larger portion. 2) a portion or share. 3) a utensil with a broad, flat blade for lifting foods such as cake and fish. 4) (in sports) a sliced stroke or shot.

I haven't played along for a few days but thought my fish slice would do the trick for today. The light is a bit subdued but it's pitch black out so I had to make do and mend.

27 October 2009

It's still raining

I'm getting so fed up with the rain. Not because I get wet but because somewhere, either under my floorboards or under the pavement outside the front door the water is coming into my hall and making my wall damp.
I phoned the "Roads People" 2 months ago and they were going to get back to me within 7 days. That never happened so I've been on the phone to them everyday since and still no joy. All I'm asking is for someone to check their pipes to make sure they're not leaking under my house. That way I can get to the bottom of what is causing the damp. Not too much to ask really is it?

So far I have been very calm but I'm just about at the end of my tether. I have formally complained over the phone and will now have to put it in writing to try and get some lazy arse off his/her backside and to pick up the phone and call me!!

Can't you tell it's PMT week?

OK rant over :)

25 October 2009

Oh look it's raining!!!

Yet again, today, it's done nothing but rain. When will it stop? Here's a view from my front door. Normally you can see the hill but today not much was visible.

24 October 2009

Pink Saturday

Well here we are again. Another Saturday already. Thank you to Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for hosting.
I seem to be running out of pinks in my house so will have to go with the flowers from the gardens at Ballindalloch Castle on Speyside.
It has a fabulous walled garden with so many beautiful flowers.

and stunning Clematis.

This is my favourite picture. An arch of roses outside the Castle makes for a very interesting shot.
And the Castle itself. The home of Lady Macpherson-Grant-Russell the first and only Lady Laird.
It's such a beautiful place in the summer but it must be quite bleak in the snowy, winter months.
Just a short post this week as I have chores to do :) I hope you all have a wonderful Pink Saturday. I'll be back later to leave some comments.

23 October 2009

A bright day for Fochabers

It was a very good day for Fochabers today as we heard that long awaited bypass should be started in the next few weeks. It's a campaign that's been going on since 1991!! better late than never. It will take 2 1/2 years to complete the whole 5km but it will be so much quieter outside my house when it's done :)
It rained most of the day again today and as I was feeling sorry for myself after a visit to the dentist ( I won't go into detail but I needed 2 injections and I was clinging to the ceiling at one point) I thought I'd get to grips with a few more birds. The dog and I had the house to ourselves so after making a risotto for tea (not on solids for a few days!!) I sat and crocheted.
And here are the results of today's efforts. They are hanging in my kitchen and if John has noticed he has very tactfully said nothing!
He wanted to know why we had his Grandmas cushions on the settee last week but then proceeded to steal them all to lie down on. You've met the type.
Right that's me away to crochet a few more birds and watch a little TV. I might go for a read later as I've finally started The Boy in the Striped PJs. So far he's got to OutWith.....................

22 October 2009

Oh to stay at home

I can't believe that in 3 days time I've got to go back to work. I have loved being at home this past fortnight. My house is tidy (and one room is decorated), my ironing is up to date and I've done loads of crafty things. I have to say though it has been a bit strange now I'm not "Needed" by Samuel during the holidays. He's out with his pals most days or they are round here and I don't really see him (until feeding time). Gone are the days of going out on trips. Now I have trouble getting him to walk the dog with me!! Ah well such is life.

My day today today has been crafty again. This time I've painted and recovered an old tin and crocheted a bird.

:: Take one old sweetie tin from last Christmas (minus the contents which are LONG gone) and get your son to paint it. No painted picture available as I didn't take one!!!
:: Find some yummy patterned papers - October Afternoon Farm Fresh and Doubletake Sweet Shoppe - and cover the bits not painted. Stick down with some really good glue so it won't come off when you sneak into the tin when no-one is looking :) Add a title if you feel so inclined.

Mine has yummy cakes in already as I had to make fairy cakes today as it would have been rude not too!!
The bird I have to say straight away is not my creation but that of the extremely talented Lucy over at Attic 24. She designs and makes the most wonderful things. You should go and take a look at her colourful world. It certainly lifts a very grey day.
This little rainbow fella is about to wing (no pun intended) his way to my Auntie in the Lake District as she's not feeling too chipper at the moment. I hope she likes it.

For their sake wear a poppy.

Dame Vera Lynn and Hayley Westenra, forces sweethearts from yesterday and today joined hands to launch the 2009 Poppy Appeal in support of the Afghan generation of Armed Forces wounded and bereaved. This year's posters feature the simple slogan "For their sake, wear a poppy". (Taken from the Royal British Legion Website)

21 October 2009

A dreich day

It has been one of those days today when it's done nothing but rain. So as I didn't need anything from town I decided to get to grips with the kitchen!! It's one of those jobs that you put off and put off until it's no good................ it needs a good blitz. Several hours and lots of cups of tea later it's done. It probably won't get another good going over till the Christmas holidays as I don't like to waste my weekends de-greasing the work tops :)

Somehow I didn't think you would want to see photos of my kitchen so I'm showing you the little mini book I made yesterday for my "Learn Something New Everyday" class by Shimelle I'm doing in December. She did hers in September but I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and join mine with the "Journal Your Christmas" class she runs too.

The pages are blank at the moment but I've got gorgeous Penny Lane - Tiny Dancer papers to cover them with when the time comes.

20 October 2009

A little more of the village

As promised last week here are a few more pictures of Fochabers. It's classed as a large village as it's nowhere near as big as the two towns either side but more than just a few houses.

:: This is the Gordon Castle home of the Gordon family and is a stones throw from our house. I keep wondering if I should ask them for a job as I'd be at work in 5 minutes!! This section isn't the house but a barn and the tower you can see isn't lived in either. At this moment in time I can't find my pictures of the house so they will have to wait till later.
:: On the estate there is a pond which is open to the public so long as they keep it tidy :) Here's a wintery shot from last November when we had quite a big snowfall. (for us anyway)

:: Beside the pond is a row of houses that the Gordon family rent out as holiday homes. This picture is the back of those houses where there is a huge walled garden with fruit trees all around the walls. Unfortunately most of the fruit goes to waste. I'm sure I could make a pie or two out of all those apples!!

:: Another shot of the pond, this time in summer when the yellow iris are just coming into bloom.
:: And finally for today I couldn't go without showing you the river Spey that runs beside the village. This picture is just typical Scottish summer weather as it was taken back in August!!

Well I hope you've enjoyed another trip around my home village. Next time I'll show you some of the surrounding area.

19 October 2009


Scrap Like You Mean It.
I am officially 12 layouts behind on this project as I haven't done a single one since going back to work in August!! As I've still got another week off work and seeing as how Samuel is out with his pals all day I thought I'd try and catch up.

One of the weeks was Scrap in a Square. This is what I came up with. They are just some of the flower pictures I took at Kew Gardens this summer. As the flowers are so bright I kept the rest of the layout very plain.

My very own Masterchef

Anyone who knows my son will know that he is the fussiest eater in the world. When he was little he would clamp his mouth shut so that you couldn't get the spoon anywhere near his mouth. Now he shies away from food and is reluctant to try anything new.
How is it then, that when Masterchef is on the TV he turns into Gordon Ramsay (without the bad language) and will try new things?
This weekend he got out my Favourite cook book, "What's Cooking Chocolate" and decided he was going to make Chocolate Shortcake Towers.

:: Stage 1 - with Dads help - make a raspberry coulis and put it on a plate
:: Stage 2 - add one shortbread round

:: Stage 3 - add raspberries and cream mixed with white chocolate!!

:: Stage 4 - add another shortbread round and fruit layer

:: Stage 5 - add the last round of shortbread and dust with icing sugar. Add a little cream heart to coulis for decoration

:: Stage 6 - give to Mum who will try it to make sure it's OK for you to eat!!!!!!!
Oh wow. It was "Delicious" and so so yummy. The whole thing was to die for and not diet friendly at all.
Funny how Samuel managed to eat his (minus the raspberries which I have to say are an acquired taste) and then ask if there was any more going!!!

18 October 2009

HSMSHS - Wisdom for the Weekend

Wisdom for the Weekend this week was chosen by Val and her song choice is "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks.

I've chosen the last three lines to go with my photo.

So tell that someone that you love
Just what you're thinking of
If tomorrow never comes

17 October 2009

Union Jack Cushion

After seeing a cushion in a window on my sisters blog I thought I'd have a go at making one myself. I had a hunt around my material pile and found an old red skirt and some bits of left over felt.
I made a Union jack flag from felt and then cut it into a heart shape.
I then hand drew some letters and backed them with interfacing. I had the help of my little pin cushion that Samuel made just after he started Primary school.

I pinned everything to an old flannelette pillowcase and then stitched it into place.
As the felt 'E'was plain I added some flowers and beads.
and Ta Dah..........................the finished product.

It was a lot of work and a bit time consuming but worth the effort I think and it looks right at home on my settee with my other handmade cushions.

Pink Saturday

Hello again. It's that day of the week when we Pinkies get together and share the Pinkness. Thanks to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for hosting.

You might like to have a look at Suzie Button Creations this week as she has some lovely Halloween things to look at.
My pictures this week are of our local pond on the nearby estate. In the summer it is full of gorgeous Rhododendrons.
I love this reflection shot.
A wee close up....
And some gorgeous blooms I found lurking behind some bushes.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Have a great weekend.

16 October 2009

HSMSHS - Switch

Today's prompt (just as it's almost midnight!) was Switch - button or lever controlling electrical circuit: a mechanical or electronic device that opens, closes, or changes the connections in an electrical circuit, e.g. one used to turn a light or machine on or off
This is probably the most used switch in our house......................the kettle :)