Right, I am nearly up to date. You might have noticed the flurry of blog posts about days out, plant shopping, bread making, bird watching, cake making and posies.  I haven’t included the gardening and the green wheelie bin filled to the brim or anything remotely to do with knitting or knitting groups.  This week has been pretty busy and the only way to catch up on blog posts is to wake in the early hours and start writing.

But along with all of those creative exploits there has been a little light quilting. Its still in its early stages, but I know where I am going with it now. Quilting 1

This was the initial idea. Quilting 2 Quilting 3

And this is trying to get the right look with the lights and darks.  I think its okay, if its not perfect, well, it will still be beautiful.

And this quilt is being taken slowly and gently, which is a rarity for me, because normally once I start sewing I will sew and sew and sew, but this time I want to take it gently and thoroughly enjoy the process, one tiny step at a time.

Bird Watching.

For many years I’ve been asking and hoping for a bird feeding station at home but have always been scuppered by my attempts to purchase one – mainly by hubby.   We had one at the allotment for a while which I really enjoyed but for some reason it was lost when we gave up the allotment.  There has always been an excuse or reason not to have a feeding station at home, chickens, cats, etc, etc, but I was listening no longer and set about loading up the trolley with the bird feeder and food last time we were in B & Q and told hubby it was an early birthday present.

After having it for two weeks you’ll be pleased to know that the cats ignore the birds or at best see them as light entertainment and simply lay there and watch them flitting in and out.  So far we have attracted a pair of blackbirds, a couple of fat pigeons, an adolescent group of about 6 Great Tits and a family group of Great Tits, the parents feeding their two offspring the seeds that they collect from the feeders, which is a delight to watch.

My bird photography is still very much in its early stages, but its fun trying to learn. Great Tit. 10 Great Tit. 9 Great Tit. 8 Great Tit. 7 Great Tit. 6 Great Tit. 5 Great Tit. 4 Great Tit. 3 Great Tit. 2 Great Tit. 1

Cold Oven Bread Baking part 2.

So the experimentation continues. This time I started the bread in a cold oven in a dutch oven. It produced a light bake and whilst this loaf was baking I held back the other loaf in the fridge.  Both doughs weighed exactly the same.  Then I placed the second loaf into the hot oven on a tray.  The next experiment will be cooking the second loaf in the preheated dutch oven.

Cold Oven Baking part 2As you can see the cold oven dutch oven bake produced a larger loaf and a paler bake than the the hot oven on a tray version. Cold Oven baking part 2 1

And the bake itself produced a lovely soft loaf, it was delightful, I really enjoyed this loaf.  I think there may be something in this idea for the home baker.

Lemon Curd Butterfly fairy cakes.

I was invited to a barbecue last weekend, I had a brilliant time.  I decided my contribution should be something sweet and home made and I settled on these as an idea. I must say they came off very well and rapturous moaning of sheer joy could be heard as they were being eaten.

They are simply a basic Victoria sandwich mix, I did an 8, 8, 8, ounces of flour, butter and sugar by 4 eggs mix with finely grated lemon zest.  And then for the centres a good quality lemon curd, topped with a butter cream that had lovely big dollops of lemon curd mixed in, followed by the merest sprinkling of fairy dust. Lemon Curd Butterfly Fairy Cakes 1

Oh look, there is one that I couldn’t squeeze into the cake tins. Lemon Curd Butterfly Fairy Cakes 2

Its a real shame. Lemon Curd Butterfly Fairy Cakes 3

Oh Well.

(We shared it )

Caledonian Road Plant Shop.

You might have heard me wittering on about the wonderful plant shop I discovered a few weeks ago.  Well I resolved to take a few piccies for you, just so that you can see what all the fuss is about. So when I was down there a couple of days ago, out came the phone to take the snaps.  I think its amazing, it closes mid July until the winter trade of Christmas, I must come here for a Christmas tree, if only to see the wondrous display that I am sure they will put on.

Enjoy. (I would live here if I could)Plant shop 1 plant shop 2 plant shop 3 plant shop 5 plant shop 4 plant shop 6 plant shop 7 plant shop 8And there were big chunks that simply weren’t photographed.

Magnum Hires Regent Street.

Yes, I thought that was quite amusing too.  I mean to say, ‘I wonder how much that would cost?’.  We happened to be tootling around central London last Sunday when we came across Magnum’s most amusing event, there was Magnum dipping, a most tasty part of the proceedings, a walk through a secret door to find two flapper girls telling us about their exploits and jewels they had acquired, including a diamond encrusted Magnum.  Followed by a walk through a floral garden.

There were 1950’s dancers and then a pink double decker to finish off with, most amusing. Magnum 1 Magnum 2 Magnum 4 Magnum 3 Magnum 5 magnum 6 magnum 7 magnum 8