Wednesday, 29 August 2012

More Baking & Knitting

I've been cracking on with Mary-Jane's cardi and time has run away with me.  I had a minor adjustment to do to my workings out on the cardi.  Unfortunately I didn't notice until I was four rows later.  I was adjustable without having to go and frog the four rows.  I wasn't hard on myself as I wasn't altogether with it yesterday.  I am feeling much better today, just a bit under par.  I did some baking, two lots of cupcakes, which slightly overstretched myself and left me feeling too tired.  I have made another two sucessful batch of cupcakes - Bounty Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosted Toffee Cupcakes.  Bounty is as the chocolate bar, the cupcake is coconutty, and the topping is chocolate.  I used milk chocolate this time.  The other cupcakes are very light, almost melt in your mouth.  As time has run away with me, no recipes tonight, I'm afraid. 
I've not taken any pictures, purposefully.  Althought they taste wonderful, they are, well I was going to say nothing to look at, but I must correct myself.  They are something nice to look at.  Chocolate topped cupcakes in pretty papers.  I shouldn't be so easy to put down what I make.
Mary-Jane is getting slowly better with her fear of noises and little boys and such things.  The acid tests will be when we go shopping and or out in public where she has contact with other children.   We will prepare for and cross that bridge when we get to it.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bank Holiday Washout

Well!  What a wash out the Bank Holiday Weekend has been!  Near torrential rain most of the day Monday, interspesed with heavy rain.  On Sunday night I went to the Theatre By The Lake in Keswick to see The Last Night Of The Proms, perfomed by The Blackburn and Darwen Brass Band - very good!  I enjoyed it very much.  I saw them last year, and they were even better this year.  Lots of flag waving and singing.
Then Sunday night I brewed an almighty nasty bug, a bottom end bug if you get my drift...... I don't know where I got it from.  HK was bad too.  We took it in turns to either be in bed or look after Mary-Jane, with help from Mum.  I felt wretched.  Today I felt much better than yesterday, not quite out of the woods yet.  Tomorrow, all being well.
I have managed to do an hours knitting this evening.  I'm working on a cardi for Mary-Jane.  I might try another hour and watch Criminal Minds, I'm well into that at the moment.  Nothing else much to report for the last few days - I'm sure you don't want to hear any more details of my bug.....
AuntieAnnInAmerica is due to visit in November..... hurray!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Cynthia's Last Journey

On Tuesday, Fiona, Xander, Mum, Dad, Frank and I took Cynthia's ashes on their final journey.  Cynthia was my auntie, sister to Dad and Frank, Mother to Fiona.  We did a whistlestop tour of some of her favourite places.  The first place was Ehen Beck at Wath Brow.  There is a photo of her and her then husband stood here, taken many years ago.

This is the view a couple of yards down.  In the background is Xander, Mum & Dad.  Fiona, Frank and I sat on this bench and had a quiet few minutes together.
From there we went into Whitehaven to the harbour, another of Cynthia's favourite spots.  I have not had a walk around the harbour for a long time.  I haven't explored the half of it, or read about or seen the history of the place.  Aparantly there are canons which were fired to stave off the invasion by John Paul Jones.  This is the harbour wall and light house, looking north-ish from our vantage point.
And this is looking south-ish.  The promentary is St Bees Head.  Seeing this view kinda  visually joined the coast up for me
This is Caulderton Beach.  If you turned and looked the other way up the shore line, you would see St Bees Head from the south.  Cynthia had many many fond memories of being on this beach.  It was very moving being there

After this port of call, I went back to the house, as it was going on for Mary-Jane's bedtime.  The others went onto the cemetry and St Bees Head.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Cupcake Preview

I made two batches of cakes yesterday.  Nothing overly fancy, decorative or time consuming, just more or less straight forward cupcakes.  They turned out well.  The butterfly cupcakes had some icing sugar sprinkled on them this morning before they went down to Fobbles.

Almond Butterfly Cupcakes
I used cupcake cases from Asda, in their Little Princess range.  They have pink and purple butterflies on them.

These are Orange Marmalade Cupcakes, very tasty and moist.  Next time I shall put them in foil cases due to their moisture making the cases come away from the cakes.  I use fondant icing instead of normal icing sugar, so it spread completely over the top and make them look less home made.

I have just seen the time, so I can't dally here too long this evening.  I will give you the recipes hopfully tomorrow.

MJ hasn't had a  good evening.  She has been excited this afternoon as she has had another birthday present - a play cooker and sink unit, with pots, pans, knives and forks.  We also gave her a play kettle and toaster.  She played with them all afternoon and loved it to bits - images tomorrow also!

MJ got scared when we were in Tesco as she heard other babies and toddlers crying and playing and screaming.  In the end she was so distresssed and distraught, that HK had to take her out of the store and back to the car, where she calmed quickly.  She said this evening 'Noise gone, noise gone home, no come back'.  As we guessed in the main, she didn't like the noise of her cousin, not her cousin himself, I hasten to add!  Now we need ot get her over the whole experience.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Mary-Jane's Second Birthday

Mary-Jane's Second Birthday was nothing like how I'd expected it to be.  We have had my uncle staying, Mary-Jane has taken a shine to him.  We have also had my cousin and her little boy, 3 year old Xander, stopping for a couple of days. First impressions between Xander and Mary-Jane were promising.  Then something happened, I'm not sure what, but Mary-Jane's little world was tipped upside down and she became frightened witless of her cousin, even to hearing his name being mentioned bought her to tears.  It was beyond heartbreaking to see her this distraught, I have never felt like this before.  I felt for Xander and Fiona, they had done nothing wrong at all, but to Mary-Jane were he source of her fear.  The two children were kept as seperated as we could in the house.  Even so, when MJ heard Xander, that would be enough to set her off.  However progress was made when we all went for a walk to see the cows.  MJ actually called Xander a 'lovely boy' and made to offer him a flower she had picked, albeit by this point Xander and Fiona were several yards ahead of us and didn't hear.

After Xander and Fiona left, MJ went back to her normal self.  Until she heard a baby crying in a shop today and the same fear was with her.  She was saying that 'the boy was back'.  I never want to see her so frightened ever again, she was shaking at times.  She tried her best to calm herself by repeating 'it's good to see you again Mommy' and to count 1-10, and 'wipe and clean my face'.  Soul destroying.

I couldn't get to make her a cake, as things were rather busy.  I did buy her a caterpillar cake.  I shall make her a belated one.  We didn't sing her Happy Birthday as  I was wary that the noise of everyone singing might set her off again, she doesn't like a lot of noise, especially when feeling fragile.

One of the big good things that happened on her birthday, was the hedge cutter arriving on his new tractor!  As you know Mary-Jane is nuts and crackers about tractors.  The hedge cutter arriving was just one of those fluke things, it could've happened any day.  He was good enough to let Mary-Jane have a look at his tractor.  Mary-Jane was stunned to see a tractor at the end of the drive!  She was thrilled and I was thrilled.
I do rather like this image of her
Tractor wheel nuts need inspection!
When wheels are this big, they need to be sat in and looked at closer

There is a small bit (techincal term!) on the front, that I could just sit Mary-Jane on, I think her face says it all
There is even a photo opportunity for Mr Snuggles.

I was so thankful for these moments, and for it to happen on Mary-Jane's birthday.  I think someone up there must have been watching over her for this to happen.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Time To Catch Up With Myself

The last few days have been very busy and quite fraught, a slow emotional rollercoaster.  I've been frazzled, but a sense of 'business as usual' is starting to permiate. Thank goodness.  Gosforth Show is over, one family visit is over, one is still ongoing, we have said our final farewells to a close family member (not a recent death I hasten to add, don't get too worried, but the spreading of their ashes) and my dear Mary-Jane turned two years old today.  Hopefully now there is time to catch up with myself.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Gosforth Show 2012

It rained heavily all night.  By morning I was wondering whether the show would be cancelled.  It wasn't. The weather improved throughout the day and by mid afternoon there was lots of sunshine to go about.  The field was incredibly muddy.  I think I saw only a handful of people without wellies. Mud, Mud and more Mud.  I had got a parking ticket to park ringside.  I drove onto the field by some 50 yards and in my own words to the gate keeper - 'I ain't driving through that!'  We luckily found somewhere to park on the road.  I just had to hump all my entries a lot further to the Handicraft Tent, better that than have to be towed backwards by a tractor!

I had a degree of success.  Beckermet WI came first with the WI Co-operative Display.  The display was worked between myself and two other ladies.  Another two ladies helped by making the scones and jam.  We got 39 points out of forty.  We lost one mark for the scones being slightly uneven on top!
I only had one other Place Card - A First for this scarf.  I made it and completed it by this time last year.  The yarn was special to me as it was given to me by my dear Knitty Friend in Stafford - Sally.
This is my pre-mature baby outfit.  I got the patterns seperately on Ravelry.  I loved the simplicity.  Moreover I loved the way that if Baby needed to have any monitors etc stuck to it's head, then the button could be unfastened and the hat neet not come off.  With the body warmer, once opened, Baby can be laid on it and the warmer buttoned up around it, so less movement for baby.
My pretty lace doily.  I was feeling confident that I might get a place card with this. That didn't happen
The aran tea cosy.  I was quite hopeful with this as well, again no such luck!

The whole day has worn me out.  I shall be having a hot bath in a bit to take away my aches and pains - mainly in my legs, it's difficult walking in mud all day.

We looked at the cows and sheep and saw some of them being judged.  I also saw part of a display of a dog rounding up ducks, over an obsticale course, quite amusing.  Next year I shall take a closer look at the schedule to see what is on at what time.  Hopefully next year Mary-Jane can enter a few classes, they have them for under fives.

I really enjoyed the day, despite all the mud.  Highly recommended!

Friday, 17 August 2012

As Prepared For Gosforth Show As I'll ever be!

I am as prepared as I ever will be for Gosforth Show.  I have a grand total of 15 entries, I originally went for 22.  I have dipped out of the decorated cupcakes, the cake toppers, the book marks and a tea cosy.  All I have to do tomorrow is box the eggs up, get the scones out of the freezer and get the christmas bauble down from the top of Mary-Jane's wardrobe and fold up the shawl and doiley that are blocking on the floor.  Finito.

Fingers crossed for good weather, success in judging and an all round good day!

I have made some cupcakes today as well, after I decided not to do any for the show.  I went to take a picure earlier but the camera needed charging.

MJ woke up at 4am screaming.  Following a bum change and five minutes on the bed with us, I took her back to her  own bed.  She screamed for another 15 minutes or so then setled back down.  I am absolutely worn out.  I have had a cold sweat today, so whatever cold or bug I have is still very much with me.  Drat.  Off to bed now, I wanted to go earlier, but at least I'm not stressed out!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Preparing for Gosforth Show

HK commandeered the laptop last night.......

Mary-Jane woke up just after 4am and despite being very tired, forced herself to stay awake.  She was even asking to go back on her own bed, but once there, screamed and screamed.  Needless to say she didn't stay there!  We are tired and weary.

I have been trying to prepare as best I can for Gosforth Show on Saturday.  I will not be able to do something for every class I have entered.  I have to take that on the chin.  Falling by the wayside is cake toppers and bookmarks.  I have yet to block two items and check a third, as well as sew some buttons on.  I was going to do that this evening, it's just not happened.  I have made my fruit scones.  They will be put in the freezer before I go to bed and defrosted Saturday morning.

I have prepared sugarpaste for one cake topper, although I doubt very much that I will get it done.  Tomorrow I will be having the kitchen and there is a Warning Sign of 'Enter at Your Peril' going up on the kitchen door.  Not by me I hasten to add!  I will be the thing creating the Peril!  Hopefully I can pull it off at the 11th hour.  Mary-Jane dependant of course!

I am sure there are other things I want to tell you about, but my mind hasn't even got the ooomph to wander!  Until tomorrow!

PS  I got some cupcake cases arrive today from Hong Kong/China, speedy delivery.  There are some square light cardboard cupcake cases amongst them - another thing I'm looking forward to trying out.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

No Baking and MJ Having Some Fun

I had planned to bake today.  To bake quite a lot.  It didn't happen.  I even got as far as weighing out butter and sugar, then had to abort.  Mainly because Mary-Jane wasn't happy that I was in the kitchen and she was in the front room.  HK wasn't overly prepared to watch her as she ran loose round the house.  MJ was getting quite tired as well, so the histrionics weren't far away when she couldn't get her own way immediately.  She awoke in the evening and again about half four.  Luckily she settled herself down at half four.  I think we wouldv'e had a job to settle her again if we'd got her up.  She has been murmering in her sleep and calling out the odd word so far this evening. 

I was going to do some sugarcraft but haven't been able to get in the kitchen.  I can see me not getting all entries prepared in time for Gosforth Show.  That will be a great shame.  I will give it my best welly though.

Mary-Jane had loads of fun when we went to the Co-op this morning.  Usually she is quite shy when someone comes near her.  Not today.  It was though a switch had been flicked in her brain.  She was running around, not straying far from us,  and actually telling everyone that 'I'm shopping' or 'I'm shopping with Mommy and Daddy' and 'I'm having tat-ta's in the car'!  She delighted and wowed everyone in the shop.  She was laughing and smiling and life was such fun for her.  She even ran down one empty aisle to see me, with her arms out stretched shouting Mommy at the top of her voice.  Beautiful.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Mini-Maxi Events In The Kitchen inc Jack Daniels Cupcakes

In my attempts to keep me on the go this afternoon, I decided to bake a batch of scones.  I had bought a bag of dried raisin and apricots some days ago, and thgought this would go well in scones.  I had only got my pinny on when Mary-Jane was hanging on the gate, in our front room, starting to grizzle to be in the kitchen with Mommy.  I asked her if she would like to Help Mommy Bake Scones - Oh Yes Please!  (a standard answer at the moment - which I'm not knocking!).  I knew her interest wouldn't take her to getting the scones in the oven and she would be tempted to go running off to find Granma and Grandad.  Today was The Day when Mary-Jane would take her first steps of Learning To Bake With Mommy.

I put her pinny on (which she was delighted with) and sat her at the chair.  I explained to her what we were going to do.  The first thing (after hand washing) was to weigh the ingredients.  We have digital scales, so I asked Mary-Jane to tell me what the numbers were and to tell me when they got to what ever number we needed.  She managed this, with prompting.  She knows her numbers, up to early teens.  I then made the mistake of putting the Kenwood (food mixer) on.  She became so frightened, upset and crying.  It was pick up loves from Mommy, then Daddy, take her pinny off, then distract her with a walk to see the cows.  Poor little mite.

I finished the scones off and baked them.  Once cooled, we sat to have scones and jam - home made starry plum jam made by Di.  Very Sociable.  I am so proud that Mary-Jane has arrived at her first milestone of starting to bake.  And she does enjoy a scone - like Momma!
Yesterday I baked a batch of cupcakes.  It seems an eternity since I did some.  I found a recipe for Jack Daniels Cupcakes.  My goodness - they come highly recommended!  The sponge is moist, but not overly moist and the topping is dyed black and laced with Jack Daniels Whiskey.
The tops needed just a little something to finish them off.  HK and I thought maybe something Halloweenie.  I didn't have anything like that to hand, so used blue glitter sprinkles.

Jack Daniel's Cupcakes

Makes around 14-24 depending on the size of your cupcake cases

200g/7oz plain flour
250g/8.5oz golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1 large egg
100ml/3.5 fl oz milk
30g/1oz yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g/4oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp coca cola

For the icing
110g/4oz icing sugar
1 tbsp coca cola
3 tbsp Jack Daniels
1/2 tsp black food colouring paste
100g/3.5oz dark chocolate
  • Preheat oven to 170c/325f/gm3.  Line two muffin tins with cupcake cases.
  • Mix the flour, sugar and bicarb soda.
  • In another bowl, stir the egg with the milk, yoghurt and vanilla
  • Gently melt the butter, cocoa and coca-cola.  Stir all the ingredients until all are blended then pour into the sugar and flour.  Mix with a wooden spoon, then stir in the egg mixture.
  • Pour into cupcake cases until 2/3 full
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm and springy to the touch.  Cool on a wire rack
  • For the icing - sift the icing sugar, add the coca-cola, Jack Daniels and food colouring and mix.
  • Melt the chocolate and stir into the icing.
  • Work quickly, spread the icing over the cakes with a spatula.  Add topping decorations if you wish

Mini-Maxi Events

It has been a busy and mini-maxi eventful weekend.  Mini-Maxi becuase we have done things for the first time or for a long time, that are not big things on the face of it, but really mean a great deal.  Mary-Jane's sleep seems to be getting slightly better.  I am hesitant saying this as I listen to her murmer on the monitor.  She is tired when she goes to bed, which is always a bonus.  She awoke early this morning - around five am again.  She did not settle on her own, so we bought her through to our bed and she tried her best not to be over excited and to settle, giving us chanve to rest and cat nap till at 7 I came down stairs with her.  She has been tired most of the day, but I have periodically been keeping her busy and letting her have periods of rest - mainly on Daddy!

One of the new things she has been doing is curling up on the bottom stair.  I think she does this mainly when she is tired.  She pretends to be a mouse - it is a yogu position she has learned from one of her programmes that she watches (Waybuloo).  Bandit thinks it's fun too, so he has started joining in.
I have had MJ out in the garden several times.  She still loves to be outside and is still enamoured with her slide and washing pegs.
She loves her trike.  She is starting to understand what her pedals are for, but hasn't quite put it altogether yet.  I have started taking her on the path in front of the house.  The road is a busy main road.  To say we are rural, there isn't many places by the house that she can have a good run around or walk on that is not close to lots of traffic.  So the path out the front is getting some use and the road out the back, which is quieter is getting alot of use - especially for Walks To See The Cows.
Mary-Jane is getting a growing liking for tractors.  She has begun to be brave enough to wave to tractors when they go past, if she is feeling in the mood to do so.  She waved at one today and the farmer waved back, she clapped her hands and squealed with delight.  Wait till she sees one of her presents for her birthday!

Another Mini-Maxi event happened last evening.  It was about 9pm and I was thinking of settling for an hour or so then go to bed.  HK (who had already had a drink) asked if I wanted to take a walk into the village (Beckermet) and go for a drink, as long as Mum & Dad didn't mind baby sitting MJ.  Ten minutes later I had changed my top, re-tied my hair up and put my shoes on.  This is the first time HK and I have been out together since New Years Eve 2010.  Indeed the first time we have been out together, on our own, since before Mary-Jane was born.

We walked into the village, a mile or so.  It was a warm evening with a gentle breeze.  The pub was small and inviting.  We relaxed.  It felt such a long time since we had been together like this.  We had one drink, me a pint of Magners cider and HK a pint of Jennings Cocker Hoop.  That was enough for me, I was relaxed and flippin tired with it!  I think if I'd had another drink, I would be curled up on the floor fast asleep!  We took our time walking back, all in all half an hour.  It was so dark!  Once out of the village, there are no street lights, only fields and trees and Sellafied in the distance.  Even the glow over Sellafield wasn't as orange as what I thought it would be.  It's not a walk I'd like to do on my own with it being so dark, especially going through the short wooded area.  But it was so lovely.  A tad more breezier as well.  Evening walks should be a must, all things permitting.  It did HK and I a world of good.

Friday, 10 August 2012

More Birthday Celebrations

My cold is still slowly going.  I think it may have been gone sooner if I'd been getting a good quota of sleep.  Saying that I had a 30 minute nap on the sofa just before I took Mary-Jane to bed today!  Mary-Jane had a good night last night.  A lot of the nights are rolling into the same night.  I have had another active day today.  This morning was the usual Friday shopping trip to tesco.  This afternoon I went to Woodlands Cafe at Santon Bridge and met with 'The Girls' to be spoiled with Tea and Cake (again!).  This time I had a Banoffee Pie.  All the pies and cakes are home made.  Scrummy.

I was also given Birthday Gifts and cards - a beautiful hand stitched covered notebook and pencil from LA and a wonderful hand-made bag from S.  The pattern on the bag is pictures of sheep knitting.  M had already given me a vintage cream and sugar bowl set with a crocheted and beaded pineapple shaped doily for the cream jug.  I feel very honoured and lucky to have such beatuiful gifts.  The weather was with us today, we sat outside in glorious sunshine.  A little too warm for me, which was noted and I was moved further into the shade by thoughtful friends!

I have done some knitting this evening as well!!!!  I have worked on the ASJ.  I am now 3 and a half ridges off  creating the length of the jacket.  The it will be My Personal Best for The Amount Of Stitches Picked Up On Any One Piece Of Knitting.  I am not looking forward to the rows, they will take some doing.  I am very curious to know how many stitches there will be!

I have finished my preliminary look through my new books.  I have found a few Must Do Now Cupcake recipes.  I must do my trial runs for Gosforth.  I will probably end up spending all my time between now and then baking cakes and creating toppers, and more than likely get really stressed with it all.

I am looking forward to playing with all my new sugarcraft stuff and baking new cupcakes.  It may happen in the next couple of days - I need to get back in the baking saddle and get my pinny on again!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Short and Sweet (again)

This will be another short 'I'm still in the land of the living - just' posts I'm afraid.  We had a bit of a night with Mary-Jane and she was awake early.  I feel like I've been on the go all day and into the evening.  I am shattered.  My cold is still going, which is good, it is just taking it's time and I am growing impatient with being tired all the time and not being able to think straight.

HK treated me to a takeaway this evening - a very rare treat.  HK had cod and chips and I had chips and cheese and onion pie.  I really enjoyed it.  HK went to lie on the bed, read and listen to the radio as he normally does.  I was on driving duty for Dad, to take him to into Egremont and pick him up after his meeting.  I was even too tired to watch TV.  I settled down on the sofa and started going through my new books that arrived today (more on them later).  I dozed off looking at them.  I woke myself up snoring.  Power Naps work really well for me.  Luckily Dad wanted picking up an hour sooner than planned, so here I am!

I haven't finished looking through them all yet, my head is (slowly) whirling with ideas of recipes and decorations to try. Though to be honest, my poor noggin is past saturation point or ability to take on new information or to remember recipes, hints & tips, let alone jobs I need to do, like send out WI invites etc.

I still haven't knitted anything.  How many days is it now?  It must be a record.  I am going to Fobbles for a bit tomorrow for their Get Together, I shall see how I get on there.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


My cold is finally breaking.  I have felt much better today, I'm not quite out of the woods yet, but vastly improved.  HK has got The Cold as well.  Mary-Jane's sleep is still erratic.  She took two hours to settle this evening.  I quite strongly think she is having growing pains/growth spurt.  I was putting her cream on her legs tonight and she kept on saying 'ouch' quite sincerely.  She has tried to resist me creaming her legs for a few days now.  Could be that they ache.  She has had some medicine and all is quiet.  Time to relax.  And eat chocolate.

I turned 44 yesterday.  I had a pleasant day. HK and Mary-Jane took me out for Tea and Cake in the afternoon and we met up with D.  This birthday has been very CupCake-ified.  Scrummy!  HK got me a years subscription to Baking Heaven magazine and bought me some baking books from Amazon, they are due to be delivered tomorrow.  Mary-Jane got me 'The Great British Bake Off How To Turn Everyday Bakes Into Showstoppers'.  Mum got me a sugarcraft cutter/embosser gadget.  D got me some wonderful things from Lakekland - 3 lots of cupcake cases, some gold and white dust, and some yellow sprinklies.  I really can't wait to feel better and get my pinny on and get in the kitchen.  I am overflowing with ideas and recipes I want to try.

I still haven't done any knitting.  I thought about doing some tonight.  Now I have relaxed after putting MJ down, I think I shall be too tired.  I still want a really early night.  I shall continue to look at my new Bake Off book and make mental notes of what I want to have a go at.

MJ awake and crying - see you later!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Shopping For Sugarcraft Stuff

I am still full of cold.  Today was supposed to be a Day of Rest, but it has been far from that.  I even cancelled seeing a friend to have some rest time and try and get shot of this blessed cold.  I have been on the go just about all of the day.  I must say however that I do not feel as bad as yesterday.  I was tucked up in bed by 8.30 and slept throught till 6am.  Mary-Jane had a good sleep and a small lie in.  She didn't want to get up at all.  It was only the promise of A Walk To See The Cows that swung it for her to want to get  up.  I had already evicted her from her bed by this point.

Mum & I went to Chambers Sugarcraft in Workington this afternoon.  Mainly to see what they had got.  I got a lot of advice from Jackie, very helpful and practical advice.  I treat myself to two Patchwork Cutters - the 12 days of christmas and fairies, alphabet moulds Halloween, some black cupcake papers, colour dusts - orange, green, brown and black, and a fondant icing stamp set. I have treated myself to a couple more moulds and patchwork cutters from Windsor Cakes, via t'internet.  That shall be the sum of my spending.

I was toying with whether or not to get some Topsy Turvy Cake Tins.  After sound advice, I decided not to and put the funds to other use - see above!  I now want to bake and play with sugarcraft.  I have thought that my second set of cupcakes for Gosforth will be Halloween themed.  I have a good-ish idea of how I want to decorate them, just need to thing about the actual cupcakes themselves!

Still no knitting has been done, and I am having another early night x

Friday, 3 August 2012

Evening Drive

I still have my cold.  I am trying to carry on regardless, and ignoring it, but this approach isn't working overly well.  I am shattered, sneezing and blowing my nose all the while.  I feel I am still too tired to knit tonight.  Last night I didn't get any Me Downtime.  Tonight I am clock watching so I can go to bed but not too early.  I think I feel so tired at the moment partly because I know I can relax.  Mary-Jane woke up just before HK went up to listen to the radio.  She didn't mean to wake up and was upset that she was awake.  She woke up at 3am as well, screaming the place down.  No wonder we are all tired, with having disturbed sleep.

However, it isn't all doom and gloom.  HK was outside yesterday evening and the mood came on him that he wanted to take some photos.  After a bit of persuasion he agreed to go for a short car ride to see some places that I thought he might like. I didn't want to go to far or be out too long incase MJ woke up.  We headed for Irton Flats first, then upto Irton Church.  HK took all the photos.  This is with Irton Church behind us
Again from a similar place.  I think Great Gable may be in there somewhere.
A close up from the Viking Cross
I found this interesting.  I don't know whose grave this is, I shall take note next time
View from the side of the church
After Irton Church we hotfooted it to Gosforth to St Mary's church where I prouldly showed HK the wonderful Viking Cross there.

We were perhaps about an hour, and luckily MJ had stayed asleep.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Not So Much Sleep, Little Knitting And Lots Of Cupcake Cases

I could've done with a bit more sleep than what I have had in the last few days.  It all comes with the territory I suppose!  I don't know if Mary-Jane is going through a growth spurt, but she seems to get disturbed sleep pattern every few weeks or so at the moment.  I have never been able to cope very well with lack of sleep, despite all the stupid work shifts and hours I used to do.  Early night for me.  I even feel a bit too tired to knit.  Crumbs!  Must be bad!

I tried to do some beaded lace work last night, but that got frogged to the sound of MJ crying.  I did manage to make a corner book mark.  A very quick and simple project.  I delivered my entry form for Gosforth yesterday.  It was a last minute decision to do two bookmarks.  I did the same last year.  I started doing the Marianne Bookmark from Jane Austen Knits.  I shall give it another go when my sleep quota is back to normal.

I have also made a preemie body warmer and hat.  I just need to locate some buttons and sew them on.  I've done a few more rows on ASJ, but am now needing a break from it - although that could be tonights chosen piece of knitting!

I have succumbed to my current cupcake cases pre-occupation and ordered ahem 500 cupcake cases.  Ahem.  Okay, so there are seven different types in all, they are either in quantities of 20 or 100.  I've not gone that daft.  Although I notice that I didn't buy any foil cases. D'oh.  These are better when using a runny fondant topping.  I've ordered them from Hong Kong, they are a good price.  I have also ordered some more cutters.

I may try and do some baking tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed for MJ having a few good nights sleep x