Well, I was going to show you another of our days out from when I was on leave but decided to show you a random selection of things I've been getting up to instead. Something for everyone, I hope!
So, lately I've been...
So, lately I've been...
Cooking...from the latest book by the Hemsley sisters, Good and Simple. I really needed some healthy and tasty food after the tummy bug and a lot of the recipes appealed to me. This one is their lentil bake and very tasty it was too; even better as leftovers a couple of days later. Also very good was their prawn and carrot stir-fry with a peanut lime sauce. They are part of the coconut oil brigade so some of the ingredients are a bit obscure but it's pretty easy to substitute normal foods. A good addition to my cookery book collection.
Baking...Chocolate and fudge cookies using my favourite cookie recipe. Well, a woman can't live on healthy recipes alone! I made these to use up some packets which had been lurking at the back of the cupboard with all the half-used sprinkles, gel colours and flavourings. I need to develop better willpower in front of the baking section!
Researching...my family history. There was free access to the census records on Ancestry the other day so I looked up some of my ancestors. I can't tell you how exciting it was to find out that one of them, Maria Hatton, was a milliner! Being so into sewing and crafts myself, it was a real thrill to find someone from my past with a creative gene.
Sewing...a new picture to satisfy that creative gene. The pattern is from a past issue of Stitch magazine and is by Stephanie Redfern. I still have all the embellishment and embroidery stitches to do yet and will show you when it's finished.
Gardening...It's been such a glorious day that I decided to tackle the garden. The grass had its first mow of the year and I've generally been tidying and digging. My friend gave me a garden centre voucher for my birthday and I want to use it to buy a couple of new shrubs. Unfortunately that means digging out all the old ones and the endless crocosmia bulbs. Do not ever plant crocosmia as it takes over your garden. It took me twice as long to clear them because I discovered that worms like to hide in the clumps of bulbs and I couldn't throw worms away so I had to carefully pick through every clump.
The most exciting thing in the garden though is the appearance of purple-sprouting broccoli. I mentioned a few weeks ago that the plants had been decimated by caterpillars but I had left them in the ground and hoped for the best. Realistically I wasn't expecting much but, look! Purple bits! It looks like we'll be tasting some after all!
Visiting...John Rylands Library in Manchester to see the Magic, Witches and Devils exhibition. You can see a copy of the booklet on the web site. Lots of fascinating information including a recipe from 1555 for youthful looking skin: water distilled from cinnamon, eggs and donkey's milk!
Buying...a new bird tile by Lee Page Hanson to add to my collection: it's the one on the right. Well, you can't be in Manchester and not look at the shops too. I bought the tile on the left a few years ago. I love how they make a pair with the little and large hearts.
And, last but not least, I've been continuing with the kirigami. As always, a really mixed range of designs and I'm still looking forward to what each day brings.
Well, time to unwind before bed. Next time I'll try to show you one of those days out. Enjoy your week. x