Tuesday, 30 November 2010

rogue robin

Today was just a normal day...a normal day where I got brained by a rogue robin.

Imagine the scene, its snowing outside and I'm curled up by the radiator in a nest of papers, packaging, and badge making components happily crafting away. Harrison is in his room happily writing out some Christmas cards and singing to himself.

Suddenly from out of nowhere...thunk... something hits me on the head.. no warning. I look around and there beside me is an angry red robin.

I heard the thunder of tiny paws as Alys the cat comes running into the bedroom covered in snow.

I scooped up the cat handed her to Harrison and made him shut the door.

I slowly crept up on the robin, who eyed me with loathing and suspicion. I opened the windows. The Robin glared at me with its beady eye. I bent down and the robin went for my eye. Lucky for me I wear coke bottle glasses.

In a flash it was gone. In the opposite direction to the gaping window. Snow drifted in covering the windowsill and the floor beneath. I stalked the robin. I looked high and low, but could not find the robin anywhere, so I called the boy and made him help me search for it. We finally found it under the wardrobe.

It flew out towards the windows... but not the one that was gaping wide open and letting the snow in... the robin perched on the closed window behind the curtain and stayed there. With a sigh I opened that window and shooed it out. With a last glare at me it flew outside and disappeared.

Monday, 29 November 2010

May the Geek be With You II

Harrison and I made a few more Star Wars pin badges and I have popped them in my little etsy shop. Just three to start off with but if they sell I will make some more to add to the shop while I still have the badge machine on loan from a truly fantastic friend.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The fourth Doctor

I'm the Doctor

Sometimes my brilliance even astonishes me- Tom Baker the 4th Doctor

I didn't knit the scarf, Harrison bought it on a trip to London. Then he never wore it because its too itchy. But we collared him and made him stand out in the cold with a dripping nose till Matt got a few good shots and then we marched home to the fire, the kettle, hot chocolate and badge making.

Cute little bugger isn't he ?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Sour Cream Cherry Cake

Sour Cream Cherry Cake


2 cups self raising flour
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
1 cup sour cream ( soured cream if you are in the UK)
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cherries (pitted and sliced in half)


mix the dried ingredients in a bowl.

In a separate bowl mix the sour cream vanilla and eggs. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly .

fold in the cherries.

spook the mix into a cake pan (grease and flour if needed. I used a non-stick pan)

bake for 40 - 50 min at 350 F (180 C )

cook's notes: the cake turned out great for being a lazy stir in sort of cake... by lazy I mean that it was cold out and I was out of butter and I have made muffins before with yogurt/sour cream so I googled around to find some recipes to read through then did my own thing. I do that rather a lot. Everyone enjoyed the cake so it worked out great... but I'm really going to have to do the shopping today. The cherries did sink but that didn't bother me or anyone else that had a slice. :o)

I best go get some house cleaning done before lunch and cooking Thanksgiving dinner... its a chicken this year as it was lurking in the freezer as we are having a low key holiday season this year... its been a long year and everyone needs a break.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Coconut and Almond Bark

Coconut and Almond Bark

Coconut and Almond Bark

2x bars dark chocolate (150g bars )
1 cup almonds (toasted)
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon butter (or marg)


line a baking sheet with parchment/baking paper

1. melt the chocolate, sugar and butter over a low heat.

2. add the almonds and 1 cup of coconut to the melted chocolate and stir gently.

3. Pour the mixture onto the baking paper lined cookie sheet and spread evenly with a spatula.

4. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut over the cooling mixture.

5. Refrigerate the bark for 1-2 hours or until set then cut into squares or break gently.

Coconut and Almond Bark

cook's notes: While we were in the states Harrison was introduced to Almond Joy bars ( a Bounty bar with almonds for those in the UK ) he was addicted. So yesterday I got it in my head to make some coconut candy and add almonds to them... but that was more work than I had time for so I decided to make bark instead which I suppose is basically a thinner version of rocky road and all I needed to do was melt the chocolate and stir everything up. Easy peasy. There is a little bit of the bark left hidden behind some vegetables in the fridge all the rest has been nibbled up, so that must mean its good stuff no? I think so anyway. I may tinker with the recipe a bit when I make it next time to perfect it... it doesn't really need the sugar and butter but the cocolate was very dark and that would have lead to rebellion...although I would have been happy.

C & A bark

Thursday, 11 November 2010

To Idaho and Beyond

he is drinking hot cocoa by the way...
he is too young to start knocking back the espresso

Now that the jetlag has nearly worn off I shall tell you the tale of an Autumnal trip to Idaho. It began with an early morning (5am) jaunt down to Heathrow (3 hour drive) with stops for coffee and to a Tesco Extra, due to me realizing I left the house in my tatty slipper boots with a hole in them. Tesco had sod all in the shoe department so I bought a new pair of black booty slippers that were actually comfortable. Away we went to Heathrow to check in and be told that H's carset (which you have to have your child in by law here and in the states) is considered check-in luggage and you are only allowed one suitcase each (it used to be two each up to a few months ago...bastards). Luckily I'm a most excellent suitcase packer and had put one case into another suitcase matroyska style so we squeaked through with 3 check-in bags and no outlandish extra baggage fees.

Moses Lake (view from outside Starbucks) Halfway-ish to Idaho

So we went through security and spent an age and a half poddling about the airport drinking coffee and shuffled aboard the old flying tin can and locked in for the next gazillion hours with H in motor mouth mode most of the time when he wasn't watching the start of the same 3 movies over and over again. Harrison and Matt managed to sleep a few hours on the flight but I tend to nod out then freak out when I nod out and wake again. I chose to watch a bunch of forgettable movies that may have been comedies, I have my doubts though.

listening to Smoke on the Water or Nightmare Before Christmas

We arrived at Sea-tac (seattle) airport in the afternoon did the customs shuffle, collected our baggage then surrendered it again to get on a train to get to the main terminal to collect our baggage, find the bus to the rental car place, swiped some wifi from the hotel across the road to tell everyone we arrived safe. The we went to the hotel were we spent the next few hours trying to get Harrison off the ceiling and feed him before we all slept like the dead until about 1 am. When we gave up all hope of sleeping any more and packed up and drove three doors down to have breakfast at Denny's at 2 am.

on the road...still

After breakfast we set out on the 5 1/2 hour trip across Washington State to reach my parents home in Northern Idaho. A few hours later we stopped at the Safeway in Cle Elum to stumble around giddy at various American snack items, the politeness of the shelf stockers and how the walk to the bathrooms in the back of the store was a walk into a horror movie and we waited for zombies to shuffle around the corner to nosh on our addled brains. We sought refuge in the coffee hut across the road and with a supply of caffeine and snack we hit the road again, stopping a few hours later in Moses Lake for coffee at Matthew's favourite Starbucks. I uploaded photos to flickr and Facebook on Starbucks free wi-fi and then we were on the road again.

Hello Idaho

After another stop for a Cinnabun and American Mall Air we finally crossed the state line into Idaho and drove the last leg around Lake Coeur d'Alene to my parents home where we were mauled by a pack of well meaning pugs and collapsed in a puddle of jet-lag and went for a nap. We shambled out of our room for food stuffs, and to be mauled by happy doggies while Harrison played with all the things he has stockpiled at my parents house. My parents told us all about the three pugs they rescued over the summer while we adjusted to the ticking of my dad's antique clock collection.

way too early to be that happy

The next morning we awoke at stupid o'clock and drove down to town so Harrison could have a monstrosity of a pancake from IHOP for his breakfast. After breakfast we had coffee wandered around town and went to shuffle around Target overdosing on the Halloween section of the store and letting H play with every damn toy in the shop.

Assorted pugs

It took most of the week for us to stay awake past 6pm at night... I think it has something to do with the clean Idaho air, the soothing sound of the ticking clocks (unless you are trying to watch a movie when they all chime) and the happiness of having a small pug (or several) snuggle up next to you.

somewhere in downtown CDA (sorry I became addicted to lo-mob iphone app)

Hasting's Bookstore

to be continued.....

Saturday, 6 November 2010

by the fire...

Winged button

...coffee in hand, playing with vintage buttons and pens...and ignoring the rest of the unpacking, the laundry, and everything else.

This is bliss.

Friday, 5 November 2010

errant blogger returns and eight questions

Little radio flyer wagon
little radio flyer wagon I bought while thrifting in Idaho last April
and only brought back this trip

Back home again from our Halloween visit to my parents' home in the wilds of Idaho. I will blog about that later as first I started a post about being tagged by Ali, from the lovely Very Berry Handmade blog, just before we went away.

The rules are that you answer the eight questions posed to you and then you send your own eight questions to eight other bloggers of your choice. Here are my answers from Ali's questions.

1. What do you enjoy about blogging?

I love the friendships blogging has brought and the inspiration.. but for me I like to get the ideas out of my head and weather they are read or not there are there in the world of the internets.

2. What’s your ideal holiday?

If not the holiday we just had to visit my parents in Idaho.. the probable the previous holiday in April when we got to visit with friends California as well as my parents in Idaho. I don't do beach holidays, sitting baking in the sun for two weeks is no fun, I like to visit friends, go thrifting, estate sale-ing, drink gallons of coffee in various coffee houses and explore cities.. and play with my parents pack of pugs.

3. What is your favourite comfort food?

either my dad's cooking with is fabulous... or something simple like pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese

4. What is your proudest achievement and why?

I have been really proud of the little dolls I have been making over the last few months, and writing the stories that go with them... It's something I never thought I would do but I have done and have sold several and feel amazed and proud every time one has sold.

5. What do you lose sleep over?

everything, I'm a worrier and at night my brain doesn't have an off switch so I will lie in bed for hours worrying and thinking and not being able to sleep.

6. What’s your favourite way to relax?

either curled up with a cup of fruity tea watching a show at the end of the day before going to bed...or I love to sit in a coffee shop with my journal doodling and people watching.

7. What’s your favourite film?

It depends on my mood as I have alot of film favourites. One of the films I consider a favourite is Serenity *sniffles at Wash* but I love Amelie, the Resident Evil flicks, the Last Unicorn, Labyrinth, the Lost Boys, Goonies, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I'm very fond of very terrible monster movies.

8. Where’s your favourite place to shop online?

it depends what I'm shopping for. Recently i have really liked shopping on a few of the Amazon 'shops' to find used books that aren't in the big shops and I always love getting lost on etsy though I rarely have all the funds to buy all the things I wish for!

my eight questions:

1. What's your favourite holiday to craft for?

2. Best thing you received in a Craft swap?

3. Favourite tv show(s)?

4. What has blogging given you?

5. What has made you smile recently?

6. What are you crafting/making now?

7. What's your favourite treat?

8. Why do you blog?

I'm not going to tag anyone as I'm to tired now.. and the dose of caffeine I had at lunch time is fast wearing off. but if you read this post, leave a comment and consider yourself tagged. I will visit you and comment when I'm a bit more awake and getting over the jet lag.