Monday, 8 April 2019

On my bedside table today....

Well, it's actually a chest of drawers rather than a bedside table, but it's beside my bed and has a space to place my book or pile of books amongst other things. And, it's the first time in 20 years that I've had an actual-off-the-ground-space to put anything and it feels like the height of luxury! 

Needless to say, I have more than one book on my bedside table. There's the one I'm currently reading, plus there's my Kindle - for when I wake in the night and want to read but don't want to switch the light on - and quite a few others on the 'books I REALLY want to read' pile! 

I thought you might be interested to know what I've got on that pile at the moment. Here it is:

As it turns out, I lied... Whilst I'm currently 'properly' reading 'Becoming' by Michelle Obama, I've actually started reading FIVE out of those seven books!! Ha! The problem is that I mostly read before going to sleep and often then I can only a couple of paragraphs before I drop off! Sometimes nothing more than a few lines. I really should treat myself to an earlier night and get some reading done! 

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai: I was given this for Christmas by my husband (along with Becoming) and it's already been well-read in our house! I took it away on our New Year holiday and it was read by my husband, my niece and my almost-teen daughter! My turn now!

Playing Big by Tara Mohr: a good friend suggested I have a look at Tara Mohr's website. On opening her web page the first thing I read was "Playing Big is being more loyal to your dreams than to your fears." Well, thank you for that recommendation, V. My dreams are currently thwarted by my fears, so I really need to read this one!

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Philippa Perry: My dad actually gave me this book! He thought it might help as I now find myself in the midst of parenting a teenager. We shall see...

Another Planet by Tracey Thorn: Yes, she of Everything But The Girl fame. I recently heard her speak at an event held by Toppings here in Bath. I couldn't see her very well as, unfortunately, the tallest man in the world was sitting in front of me! But I loved the sound of her voice and the extracts she read of growing up in suburbia in the 70's were just so funny.

Craftfulness by Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin: I've long known of the benefits of crafting on my mental health and well-being. None of my friends are ever surprised to hear that I started sewing something at 10pm just because otherwise I might have gone mad! Sometimes it's the only thing to calm me, to take me away from the mundanities of emptying the dishwasher, cooking another meal, tidying the lounge - again! I'm thrilled that it's not just me! Thank you to K for the birthday book voucher that I finally redeemed for this one.

Becoming by Michelle Obama: I've only just started reading this but I love the way she writes; so eloquent and descriptive, you really feel as if she is telling her tale to you alone. It's a big ole book though, which absolutely makes this a book to read in the morning - otherwise I might knock myself out with it!!

The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden: Oh my gosh, I LOVE this book! All the stitches all in one place. So many ideas floating round in my head for my next project...Given to me by a fellow French Knot lover! 

So there you have it. My 'Ready to Read Pile'. Or maybe I should re-brand that as the 'Part-read Pile'! Hee hee!

What are you reading today?


Saturday, 30 March 2019

Time flies by....

......and suddenly it's the end of March! How on earth did that happen?

And with the end of March comes Mother's Day. If you're anything like me, this will have crept up on you despite seeing all the cards and gifts in the shops for weeks. 

And so, perhaps you need a quick make for your kids - or yourself. I got my 9 year old and her friend making these gorgeous tissue paper flowers the other day. They then added them to some cards and hey presto, an instant Mothers' Day card!

Here's how to make them....

You will need:
One sheet of tissue paper
Something circular to draw around (I used a jam jar lid!)
A pen and a pair of scissors
A stapler
A piece of card
Glue or sticky tape


How to….

Step 1
Take the piece of tissue paper and fold in half longways, 
then in half longways again.

Step 2
Draw a row of circles using the pen and lid.

Step 3
Cut out the circles. 


Step 4 
Place 8 sheets of tissue paper circles in a pile.

Step 5
Using the stapler, put two staples as close 
to the centre of the circle as possible.


Step 6
Trim the edge of the circles. You can just make some
little snips or a wavy edge. Or you can skip this step 
and leave the edges plain. 


Step 7
Pick up the top circle and pull it all together in the middle.


Step 8
Do the same with the next layer, and then all 
the layers until they are all pulled up.


Step 9
Ta-da! You have just made a pretty tissue paper flower!


Step 10
Using glue or tape, stick the tissue paper flower to the card

Step 11
Draw a stem and some leaves (or cut out leaves 
from some tissue paper and glue in place)


Step 12
Write a message to your mum. She’ll love your beautiful card!

Have a great day, whatever you end up doing! And if, like me, your mum isn't with you anymore, be kind to yourself. I'm hoping to be able to sit outside and  enjoy the sunshine. x

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Lovely TASTY things....

It's Pancake Day! Hooray! 

In keeping with the age-old tradition, we had pancakes for tea tonight. And in keeping with my own tradition, I wonder - yet again - why we don't have pancakes more often!?!

I always use this recipe from the Dairy Diary Cookery Book published way back when... I don't know when! Late 80's perhaps? This is my 'go-to' book for all traditional recipes. My mum gave me a copy when I went away to university - although using it was challenging since my accommodation during that first year away only had a toaster and a microwave! But that's another story....

So today, I attempted to make a stack of pancakes, and as always they were gobbled up as soon as they left the pan! In fact I had to demand that 2 were saved for me!

On a need-to-know basis, I need to know what your favourite pancake topping is? Do tell! 

I don't think you can beat lemon juice and granulated sugar for the best tradition of all time. I did throw in a banana this year (with chocolate spread and squirt cream, it's true; but hey, there was fruit in there!!), but that's living a little crazy in my opinion.

I remember one year when I was about 7 or 8, my mum decided - in a vague attempt to be healthy - that we should have sweet AND savoury pancakes. Bleurgh! I DO NOT recommend tuna and sweetcorn pancakes. Thankfully, she didn't do that again!!!

And of course we took the 'how many times can you flip the pancake challenge'. 

The cat is not amused...

My eldest reached 20 before the pancake went splat on the floor. The littlest managed a brilliant one-handed effort.

All of this to use up the eggs and fat before Lent begins tomorrow. Do you give anything up for Lent? I'm not going to this year. Instead I'm going to try to drink 2 litres of water each day. I barely drink any (unless it's caffeinated), so I'm hoping this will change my habit for the better.