Saturday, November 3, 2012

Christmas panic time!


The weather has been vile this week and Mike and I have been lurgified with a horrid virus shared with us by the naughty man who serviced our boiler a week ago.  He said he'd just got over a bad cold and I told him to stay away from me as I had to run the Beachy Head marathon but unfortunately Mike spent some time chatting with him and he was the first to succomb to its delights last weekend, poor love.  I held out until Tuesday and then it got me too!

Bad weather and horrid viruses call for homely things such as soup and cake and so I made a lovely coconut cake filled with home-made raspberry jam.  A good quick and easy bake.

Here's the recipe for coconut cake if anyone's interested:

150g softened butter or margarine
150g castor sugar
150g self-raising flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
50g desiccated coconut
2 tbsp coconut cream (it comes in either a small tin or a foil packet)

Raspberry jam to sandwich the cakes together
Castor sugar for dusting
2 x 8cm sandwich tins, greased and base lined

Use the all-in-one method to mix the first 5 ingredients making sure they are combined thoroughly, then fold in the coconut cream and desiccated coconut.  Divide equally between the 2 tins.

Bake at 170 degrees for 25 minutes
Leave to cool in the tins for about 5 minutes then turn out to cool.   When cold, sandwich together with jam and dust with sugar.

Make a nice pot of tea and enjoy!

Pottery doodlings

I've been spending a lot of time doodling in my pottery scrapbook, getting ideas for a slab pot I'm making in pottery class.  The book looked far too boring with just a black cover so I used part of a plastic postage sleeve from Gudrun Sjoden to cover it and then taped some pretty heart ribbon along the edge.

Inside there are lots of scribblings of ideas and cuttings of things that have caught my eye.  I include fabrics, patterns, flowers, shapes, anything that sparks my imagination.  You'll see there's a page of owls, my current obsession!

I blame the lovely and talented designer Kate Davies, in the nicest possible way, for her Owls sweater and the fact that there's a beautiful Barn Owl flitting around our land each evening at the moment.  The poor Barn Owls have had a tough year raising their chicks because of the bad weather early in the season when they couldn't get out to search for food for their young. 

 So this is how my germ of an idea has ended up so far.  The outline of an owl slab pot.

I'm pleased with his little feet and claws
Now I'm getting some ideas together for his decoration which will really bring him to life.


Well there is some going on but it's the sort I can't show 'cos it's for Christmas presents.  I'm trying to be good and not do anything for myself at the moment as I suddenly realised just how close Christmas is.  It really does creep up on you all of a sudden doesn't it?!

But then this beautiful book arrived in the post.  I was lucky enough to win it from a blog tour to publicise it and I was very pleased as I have most of Nicky's books already.  I've been having a bit of a 'circles' moment with my crochet mandala and doily and so this seems rather appropriate.

A quick flick through and my resilience is fading fast as there as so many inspiring ideas.  Oh dear, it really doesn't bode well for my will-power that I've actually taken a photograph of the entrelac circle does it!  My photo doesn't do it justice.

It is interesting and challenging as I've only recently tried entrelac knitting on my shawlette and I did enjoy it.................oh dear, where are my circular needles..........

Christmas Crochet I can show

The other day I settled down to some Christmas stitchery.  I gathered together some books and cuttings and had a good look through them.  I knew I wanted to make some new snowflakes as the ones I made about 10 years ago have started to look a bit tired.

I've already got quite a few patterns for crochet snowflakes but there are also 3 new ones in the latest edition of Simply Knitting magazine.  When they are finished I'll paint them with a dilute solution of pva glue to stiffen them so they hang nicely.

The other thing I've just crocheted is this rather sweet little angel from Crochet World magazine.  It's called 'Maurine's Angel' and it's an easy pattern to follow.

Head, body and wings

The importance of blocking

Nice pointy bits

Finished angel awaiting a hanger
I used a sparkly silver yarn and a 1.5mm hook.  It's been a while since I've used such a small hook and I found it a bit hard on my eyes in artificial light.  It was worth it though as it's sweet.

Lovely weather for ducks

I mentioned earlier that the weather's been vile.  Well the wild mallards didn't care at all.

They hung around the patio hoping for some bread.  Then they re-fashioned the edges of the grass in their own inimitable way by making a series of mini ponds into which they stick their heads!

In the Spring I have to go round and fill all their little holes in and re-seed!


Marloeskreatief said...

Hou have done à lot of things ,THE book of round knitting Seems Nice Gr. Marloeskreatief

Jacquie said...

Love your Angel and pottery....cake looks yummy too :0)
Hope you are feeling better. Just been looking at your latest marathon pics, Stunning scenery ! Well done .
Jacquie x

Jeanet said...


The book you saw at my blog does exist in English! It is called 100 snowflakes to crochet,

(But in Holland much cheaper...)

Susie Hewer said...

Thank you so much for the link Jeanet, I can see myself crocheting a blizzard!