Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A real actual finish

For the first time in what feels like a very long time I have a proper finish to share. Recently some friends of ours announced their engagement. They're a couple that work really well together, so we're really excited for them. The perfect excuse for a stitched engagement card! (plus I love doing special occasion stitches in general!).

The design is from Joan Elliott's 'Cross Stitch Greeting Cards' book and is called 'Celtic Wedding.' I thought this was particularly appropriate as the happy couple got engaged on holiday in Scotland!

It's stitched on 28 count linen (I forget the colour, it was just a small scrap from my stash) with the recommended DMC threads and Mill Hill beads. It's such a pretty design (I'm not sure these photos do it justice) and worked up so quickly - I feel like I'll be keeping it in mind for use again!! 

It feels so nice to have actually started and finished a crafty project for the first time in months. Hopefully it will give me inspiration to pick up my other works in progress again. . .  


Monday, August 11, 2014

Currently Monday #9

Last week I went to the book launch of this lovely debut novel. Love signed copies!

And once again I'm hopefully climbing back onto the blogging bandwagon. If I'm managing one of these posts I must be clinging on!

Time and Place // 10.22pm, just about to go to bed!
Eating and Drinking // Stewed fruit for desert with a cup of tea

Reading //
Roomies, by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Watching // The husband and I finally caved and got Netflix. This evening we watched a couple of episodes of Numbers with dinner.

Listening // The soundtrack from Wicked!, which I went to see with colleagues last week. I already knew a lot of the music, but seeing the musical properly was just so incredible!

Making // I had a real life finish this week! A small piece, but it's one of my first project finishes this year. Now trying to decide which half finished project to pick up next.

Hating // The niggly pain of wisdom teeth coming through. . . And that the 'T' button has decided to randomly stop working on my keyboard.

Loving // That the weather has cooled down a little! I'm one of those weird ones that doesn't like the heat, but doesn't like cold either. Give me ambient temperatures any day!

Anticipating // A visit to my parent-in-law this weekend. So long as the travel doesn't go like last time! (the husband getting stuck in traffic with no phone signal, which meant I was stuck at an uncovered train station in the rain in a town I had never set foot in before for over an hour with no idea what was going on).


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Cookbook Challenge: The Hairy Biker's Great Curries

During my unexpected disappearance from the blogging world I did actually make some in-roads on my Cookbook Challenge and made use of a couple of cookbooks I hadn't in a while. But I didn't take pictures. So in the spirit of documenting the challenge in its entirety (and recognising that a few extra cookbook uses won't hurt me or those that eat my cooking), they won't count.

But I'm back today with one that does! I received the Hairy Biker's Great Curries from dear husband for Christmas, and spent many hours lovingly looking through it, while using it precisely zero times. It's a beautiful book to flick through. Lots of full colour/page photos of great looking curries, and the Hairy Bikers have a lovely way of describing food.

I tried my hand at the Chicken Balti. This is my first attempt ever at cooking curry completely from scratch. How'd it go? Fairly well! It got a big two thumbs up from the husband and a one and a half thumbs up from me (I think those of you who cook regularly will know the feeling of knowing the many things you could improve next time when you try a new recipe). I love meals that use lots of fresh vegetables without feeling like you're just 'eating soggy vegetables' and it definately succeeded on that count.

The husband was very keen to add this one to my normal rotation. I'm not so sure, because even though it was a success the prep time was far longer than I find ideal. I'll be trying it again to see if I can streamline though, and trying a few more recipes from this book for sure! 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Visiting Chatsworth

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of history. And that I'm a big fan of costume drama. So it's no surprise that when the lovely husband made me make a bucket list of things I'd like to see when we moved to the UK that Chatsworth was pretty high up on the list. The history of this stately home goes back to 1549 and it's been used as a set for many famous costume dramas (including multiple versions of Pride and Prejudice).

My sister-in-law has been staying with us this week and Chatsworth seemed the perfect destination for a mid-week day trip (it was so lovely to have a last-minute day off work in the middle of the week too!). Here's some photos from our trip. We've been having such lovely weather in the UK lately!

Gorgeous hand-painted wallpaper

Don't you just love the sign they have to put on Mr Darcy!

Beautiful wildflowers

Who wouldn't want a bath in their cupboard?

Hope those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are all enjoying this glorious summer! 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hey, remember me!

Look, it's a post! I finally feel like I'm starting to get my everyday groove back. I finished my final assignment for my post-grad diploma about a month ago, and recently got my final grade and applied to graduate. I've done enough to graduate with an A+ average, which I am so pleased about. 

It's taken a while to settle into a not-studying routine, but I'm loving it. I've been reading more, cooking proper meals more, exercising more. . .  and slowly, slowly, my mind is starting to turn back to craft. This week I pulled out a long waiting quilt in progress and sewed a couple of lines. Some friends have just announced their engagement, so I've been looking at card designs. I've been feeling the urge to pick up the crochet hooks too. Time to get back to it!

I have been fitting some embroidery in occasionally when the headspace allows. I've finished 6 of the blocks for The Birdhouse Christmas wall hanging. They aren't perfect, but I'm improving as I go and enjoying the process. I'll show them off over the next few posts, but for now here's some cute birdies to go with the heart block from my last post.

Hope to speak to you again soon friends!