Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Bard’s Mother

image

Good evening my dear fellows. Do forgive the rather grand title of this post but we have been journeying back to Tudor times today. We have been taking a peek into life as it would have been for Mary Arden, the mother of non other than William Shakespeare himself.

image

Having purchased a five house pass in December we have been doing the rounds of properties in and around Stratford that have a connection with Shakespeare but we had not yet made it to Mary Arden’s Farm. What a treat was in store for us! This delightful farm is full of interesting things to see around every corner.

image

There was a full schedule of activities, including the goose parade!

Barn Owl

The staff and volunteers, all in costume, were friendly and interesting and really added to our enjoyment of the day. The Little Man was delighted to have this barn owl swoop low over his head. He is quite the bird enthusiast at the best of times so this was quite something for him.

image

The surrounding area, including the working farm with traditional breeds, is beautiful, well maintained and was shown off to its best in the glorious sunshine that we enjoyed all day.

image

Traditional crafts are practised here including ironmongery, wood carving and willow weaving.

image

The attention to detail continued in the play area, full of beautiful carved animals. Unfortunately the light and shadows prevented me from taking any good photographs here but the above is one of my favourites from today. See those tiny feet peeking out, copying his nanny? So cute!

image

Of course the obligatory picnic was enjoyed, giving me the opportunity to show off this year’s must have for al fresco dining – my Wild and Wolf enamel Folklore Owl Mug by Nina Jarema. Oh my do I love it!

image

Finally we come to the gardens. The traditional cottage garden was full of flowers and herbs living in peaceful harmony but it was the blossom that really caught my eye.

The delicate frills of the the pale pink cherry blossom…

image

And the glorious white flowers covering the apple trees…

image

Just magical!

image

I hope you’ve enjoyed noseying around Mary Arden’s Farm. I do so love having you come along. x

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Trips and outings

A Moment

image

Hello my lovelies! Just wanted to bring you a moment of sunny, snuggly goodness that the Little Lady and I slipped into our weekend whilst her brother was having his nap. Daytime hooky is quite unusual for me so this opportunity was a real treat. What’s more, I got chance to use my new Queens Couture ‘Swallow’ mug.

image

Oh it makes me so happy to drink from this beauty! During my pregnancy I became a little obsessed with drinking from china cups (strange how hormones affect us!). However, I still wanted a good sized cuppa, not to mention something that can go in the dishwasher. Since discovering these mugs we’ve built up a little collection. So many colours, patterns and styles. Major wanties! But I shall be good for now and enjoy my birdies.

Hope you have a moment today. x

5 Comments

Filed under Baby, Crochet

Springtime Catch Up

image

Hello! Hope you’re keeping well. I’ve been out of action for a little while as we’ve been battling a bout of chicken pox whilst simultaneously organising (and attending) a hen party for my lovely friend. It’s been all go! Luckily the Little Man bore his illness well but he found being confined to the local area a little bewildering. He could not understand why we were not venturing much further than the park! I am just so grateful that we had the glorious sunshine and spring blossom to keep our spirits up and allow us to enjoy the fresh air as much as possible.

image

We are still trying to enjoy as much alfresco feasting as possible whilst the weather holds and a favourite treat at the moment is these wheat free pancakes. I originally began my search for a simple, flourless pancake recipe when the Little Man began weaning but I was disappointed with the results. They generally contained apple or banana and the results were somewhat on the heavy side. These, however, are light and fluffy. Let me be clear, they do not compete with a proper, rich, butter laden scotch pancake but they are an excellent substitute whilst project ‘shift some baby weight’ is still in action. They will also no doubt prove to be useful when the Little Lady begins exploring solids. So here’s the recipe:

35 g / (1/3 cup) porridge oats
240 ml / (1 cup) yoghurt
3 eggs, beaten
Ground cinnamon

Simply mix together the yoghurt and oats then stir in the beaten eggs. Add cinnamon to taste. Fry in batches. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, turn and cook for a further couple of minutes. Enjoy sweet or savoury with your favourite pancake topping!

image

1 Comment

Filed under Recipes

Baby Granny No. 2

Hello all! I promised you crochet this time so here we are.

image

Just as with the Little Man, I made 2 new blankets prior to the arrival of the Little Lady. I had always intended to create another baby granny like the one that I shared here. So, with the arrival of my baby imminent, I reread that post and set to work as instructed – whip up 6 squares in each of your 6 colours and border with cream. Excellent.

image

Although we did not know what the gender of our child was to be I was inspired by the autumnal colours around me so went for seasonal browns, yellows and pinks and got started. 36 completed squares later I decided that there’s no point in reinventing the wheel and began to copy the original colour placement. It did not take me long to realise that my previous post was wrong. The first blanket did not contain 6 shades of blue/green but 7. Whoops. I blame baby brain. I will revisit that post and amend the details! Never mind, onwards and upwards.

However I was not going to start crocheting more squares at this point. So Baby Granny 2 really does only contain 6 colours and cream but I do not believe that it is any the poorer for it!

image

Ahh, my two blankets for my two little munchkins. As you can see, there is a slight disparity in size despite being the same yarn on the same hook. This is simply because, as the years have gone by, my crochet has become more relaxed and even giving it a softer texture and resulting is a slightly looser weave.

image

(Excuse the clutter but this one’s just so darn cute!) There is an extra special reason why this granny means so much to me. It was the day before my due date and I was desperate to both finish hooking and have the baby! By lunchtime the blanket was done. A few hours later I went into labour and out she popped on her due date, clever girl. She’d just been waiting for mommy to finish before she arrived.

image

Blanket Stats:

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK

Hook: 5 mm (H)

1132 : Shrimp
1114 : Sunshine
1064 : Mocha
1035 : Burgundy
1123 : Claret
1029 : Copper
1005 : Cream

Pattern: 4 round Granny Square then Bunny Mummy’s ‘chain round a granny‘ before the final round

Size: 90 x 90 cm (36 squares)

Edging: Double V Edging

image

3 Comments

Filed under Baby, Blanket, Crochet

Magic Moments

image

Greetings all! Easter is over and spring has well and truly arrived. Lots of little things have been going on around here and I have a hundred posts buzzing in my head so I have decided to do a Magic Moments post to clear my mind and share a few bits and bobs that have been amusing me lately.

image

Most exciting of all has been Little Man turning 3. His birthday was on Sunday and his requests were simple – a picnic, pizza for dinner and cake (‘If me has cakes mees will be happy’, bless him). The only other thing that he asked for was to take his cars and play with them outside at the picnic.

I am pleased to say that we managed to tick everything off his list and a wonderful day was had by all. We chose Packwood House as the location for the picnic. There was the added bonus that the National Trust were once again running the ‘Cadbury Easter Eggsploration’ so entertainment was provided! The day was topped off by a family pizza making party and ended on a high with us all tucking into the amazing cake made by my lovely mommy.

image

The beautiful weather has lured us into the garden a lot more. Last autumn we planted a load of bulbs in the herb pots and these are really coming into their own now.

image

This is the Little Man’s garden. A planter choc a block with spring colour! Over winter it provided a splash of colour in the form of cyclamen, primroses and pansies. Now the bulbs have sprouted and there are so many wonderful blooms to admire. It might not be a very subtle display but the Little Man is very proud of them and loves watching the bees that they are attracting.

image

One of the best things about the warm weather is the opportunity for garden picnics. As you know, we picnic out and about in all weathers but it is only when the sun is shining that we start enjoying as many meals as possible al fresco.

image

Finally, we have crochet! The other week saw me enjoying the luxury of a few hours on a train, alone. The sun was shining, I had downloaded a couple of programmes on catch up and I had my hook in hand. Bliss. There’s not been a lot of hooky action on the blog lately but I have some projects to share and even a few finished items! Making the most of the sunny weather on Monday I tried to photograph a few pieces. So I shall leave you with a picture of my little helper and will be back soon to share some more. Enjoy your own magic moments!

image

5 Comments

Filed under Magic Moments, toddler

The Easter Bonnet

image

A beautiful bowl full of crafty, eggy goodness. The Little Man and I had a wonderful time gluing, sticking, glittering and painting these little polystyrene balls. The glitter has been an especially big hit but he also enjoyed using the metallic marker pens that we recently acquired. I personally love the metallic painted eggs. Simple and elegant, I could look at them all day. But of course, these delights were destined for a higher purpose – to adorn the Little Man’s first Easter Bonnet.

image

Our cling film painting made an excellent base which was to be decorated with our eggs and some Easter themed critters – two bunnies and a chick.

image

Et voilà! One Easter bonnet for an excited boy. It lacks the finesse of many but it does reflect a lot of effort on the part of my Little Man.

Happy Easter everyone! x

image

4 Comments

Filed under art, toddler

Coughton Court

image

Today saw us venture out to one of our regular haunts, Coughton Court in Warwickshire. This awe inspiring Tudor House is a fascinating place to visit but it is the gardens that are the real draw for us.

image

Passing through the formal areas the landscape opens to reveal the beautiful Bog Garden. I love this quiet and peaceful oasis and could spend hours watching the reflections dance across the water.

image

All around there was a promise of what is to come as the fresh green shoots were peeping out of the mud. Every so often my eye was caught by a clump of golden yellow in the form of pond lilies and primulas.

image

Overall, this was the perfect habit for a curious toddler with a stick to explore.
imageThe only disappointment of the day was that we didn’t get to see any of these beauties.
imageimageThe photos above are actually from a visit we made to Coughton Court at the end of April last year. As you can see, the grounds were full of rows upon rows of gloriously technicoloured tulips. Unfortunately the walled garden was closed today but I am hoping that this is just a temporary arrangement and we shall soon be treated to such a visual treat again.
imageBack to this year and we all felt invigorated after our walk and ready for a sit down and a bit of sustenance. I shall therefore leave you with a cup of tea and a slice of Chocolate and Beetroot Cake served on my latest charity shop find. Wishing you all a lovely day, x

1 Comment

Filed under Trips and outings