MIAM

MIAM

Monday, 13 November 2017

Coq au Vin, Crochet and Christmas Cards - Handmade Monday

It's reached that time of year when I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark   I think the lawn may have been mown for the last time this year, the front hedge has been cut and garden furniture packed away in the garage until next spring.

What's a girl to do these long evenings? 


I cleared the decks in my craft room and set to.  Fifty xmas cards later and I'm feeling quite smug... never have I been so organised.  I adapted a simple idea that I stole from Pinterest and set up a production line, everything used came from my stash.


Next up, another crocheted cat blanket knocked up for the Cats Protection from odds and sods.  I was whittling down my yarn stash quite nicely until Friday when I visited Uckfield's many charity shops and came away with 200g of variegated DK.
I've a new project on my hook which I'm hoping to share with you soon... provided I  get my head around the pattern instructions!


Speaking of yarn, this next card was made for Helen, a Stitch & Bitch chum who'll be celebrating a big birthday next weekend. (No need to remind her of the number)   She loves all things pretty and pink so let's hope she likes it.



And the Coq au Vin??  Well I forgot to take a photo of it before I dished it up for lunch yesterday but here is the wreckage. 


Did you see Nigella last week?  I'm only surprised that she didn't lick the camera lens!


 





Thursday, 26 October 2017

Scavenger Hunt - October

I've just realized that tomorrow is the 27th and link-up day for Scavenger Hunt so I'm scrabbling around trying to fill the gaps in my post.  I've been crazy busy this week with a couple of family birthday celebrations and just life generally, so this post is all a bit last minute.

  Making


I'm seriously trying to reduce my yarn stash and as I've a load of cotton but only one ball of each colour...what to make?  These mandalas are a great solution and quite addictive, not sure they have much purpose except as coasters and teapot stands but they are pretty.  You can find the pattern at Attic24 on the sidebar if you'd like to try one for yourself.

I also made this chocolate fudge cake this week as a friend came for coffee, it wasn't half bad. 


 Empty



 My purse !  Well almost, some of these coins are euros!



 Starts with a ...... F
Meet Bess, my new foster Feline.  I'm looking after her for a while until a new home can be found.  She came into the Cats Protection earlier this year as a stray with a terrible flea allergy and hardly any fur and she still has an ongoing skin problem.  As you can see she is much improved, she is the most affectionate puss and has taken up residence on my spare bed.


 Paper

 A paper wrapped religieuses au chocolat from the local boulangerie in France.

Et voila!



 Neat
Shocked at how disgusting my cupboards had become, I recently had a thorough clear out and chucked some stuff with an expiry date of 2015, washed all the surfaces and tidied. At least now if I have unexpected guests I won't be too embarrassed to open the doors.  


 Street

I took this photo of Haywards Heath High St. from the upper deck of a 1966 double decker bus, more of which later.




Kettle

 Desperately trying to get a different slant on an everyday object ...and failing.




8. Unexpected

 At the beginning of October this invitation dropped through my letterbox, I hadn't been in touch lately with my cousin who was arranging this birthday surprise for her father, so it came completely unexpected. 



 Vase
 I prefer a rustic, informal look to my flower arrangements and use jugs often, this one was bought in a junk shop years ago and was just the right size for a last few garden offerings, miscanthus zebrinus and Japanese anemone.



 My own choice


Here's my uncle Ray on his 90th birthday.  His surprise included a vintage bus ride followed by Afternoon Tea at his local football club.



So that's my offerings for October, you can see more interpretations over at 
(I've just realized that I've previously referred to this blog as I Live I Love I Laugh!   So sorry folks, especially Kate... you've all been too kind to even tell me that I'm a buffoon!)

Must dash, I'm on shift all weekend and have a ton of stuff to do before then.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Take Three Cards


It's been some while since I did any crafting and I should think any crafty followers I may have had, have long since abandoned me, I wouldn't blame them.  I'm back in making mode due to three family birthdays this month, two of them big 'uns.

First up this card for my brother Stu, whose birthday was earlier this month



This next card I made for Emily, his daughter who turns eighteen at the end of the month


and finally after much thought I created this bottle shaped card for my uncle Ray who celebrates his 90th birthday on the same day.


 All cards were made with scraps from my obscenely large stash, something I intend to work on reducing over the coming months.  

Whilst my die cutting machine was out I cut some stars from a pair of 30p jumble sale jeans as I'd an idea to patch a couple of cardis which had been attacked by bloody moths.  My darning isn't fit to be seen so I thought this could be a good solution as the cardi below has only been on my back a handful of times.



There's life in my knitwear yet!



  Thank goodness I took all these photos earlier as halfway through the afternoon the sky went a very strange colour and it looked as though the end of the world was nigh.  Storm Ophelia is to blame I gather and according to the news she's letting rip on the country thirty years to the day of the Great Storm.
I hope you're not getting too battered where you are?

Linking to Handmade Monday # 47... where you can see some serious talent!

Friday, 6 October 2017

Five On Friday - Five Days In Le Pays de La Loire

This time two weeks ago I'd just landed in Nantes, France where I picked up a hire car and hit the road south, destination...the van.  I took my aunt with me this time (she's just eleven years older than me and great fun) I was a little concerned that she might not take to 'roughing it' in a static caravan, her usual holiday accommodation being a plush hotel.



We arrived in the village (indicated by the red pointer) just in time for lunch at the café.  I'd warned my aunt that it was a simple affair and there was no choice of entrée on their menu ouvrier.



 After enquiring what they were serving that day, Madame informed me it was poisson and veau.  Strange combination I thought, or maybe I hadn't understood properly?  Anyway when we sat down we saw other diners, some with fish and others with veal, so it seems that occasionally there is a choice of hot meal.  We enjoyed a tasty repas which included starter, main course with bread, dessert, cheese and biscuits and a glass of red for the bargain price of  €11 

Saturday morning saw us hitting the streets of nearby St Gilles Croix de Vie.  It was market day and with temperatures in the mid twenties, azure skies and not a cloud to be seen, the streets were fairly bustling.  After making a couple of purchases we headed back to the car in pursuit of lunch on the seafront.


The glorious wide sandy beach was almost deserted ... something us Brits can never get our heads around.  But of course they enjoy more than a few hours sunshine per annum in this part of the world and don't need to rush out the second the sun shows itself.
After lunch we walked the entire length of the front and along the harbour wall, stopping for an obligatory ice cream... always pistache for me!  Along the way I was approached by a pipe-smoking, bohemian looking Frenchman who must have heard us speaking English and asked how I liked France, I don't need to tell you what I replied, he then told me that my French was better than his English (not true) and informed me that he didn't agree with Brexit.  He said that he had an appointment and had to rush off, a shame as I rather enjoyed my impromptu chat with random monsieur. 



'When are we eating?'


 By the time we walked back to the car along the beach it was late afternoon and considerably busier.  We viewed families splashing around in the sea , a group of teens huddled around a thumping boom box and many a dog walker...one savvy boy was 'walking' his dog whilst cycling up and down the sands with the poor hound trotting beside him on the lead, his short legs struggling to keep up.

 

That night a treat was in store as we'd bagged tickets to a local production at the village hall.

When we arrived there was hardly a seat to be had, the place was packed with villagers. (mostly of a certain age, it has to be said) 

We were entertained for two and a half hours with songs and dance from around the world.  As you can see Great Britain was featured...I had wondered beforehand if Brexit would preclude us, but no, a gorgeous young man with an amazing vocal range sang John Lennon's Imagine. 


 
The amateur dancers were no spring chickens and the concentration on one particular lady's face was a picture, it was the best €5 I've spent in a long time.


Wild horses wouldn't have dragged me away from the vide grenier at neighbouring village Froidfond, on Sunday morning.  Of course, I made a couple of purchases, two CDs €1 each and a wicker jug for 50 centimes....last of the big spenders eh?



Next stop was Bretignolles sur Mer. Before we left I telephoned a favourite restaurant of mine to make a lunch reservation, but was told that they were full.  It wasn't a problem as we found another place that was just as nice and ate our salade on their sun terrace with fabulous views of the beach. Afterwards we ambled along the sand, nothing like the exercise required to burn off calories from the king-sized crepes we'd consumed! 



After poking around in a few rock pools and finding some scallop shells we found ourselves a comfy rock and had forty winks under the sun.




On Monday the sun had a day off but we weren't deterred and continued with our plan to visit L'Île de Noirmoutier.  Since 1971 this island off the coast of Vendée has been linked to the mainland by a bridge,


another way of reaching the island is by the causeway, Le Passage du Gois

which is navigable for an hour, twice a day at low tide.  We took the bridge!

Once on Noirmoutier, we stopped for a coffee followed by some browsing
in the few shops that were open...many shops are closed in France on a Monday.
As it was threatening to rain we took shelter in this restaurant where we enjoyed another good lunch.

 
  I chose the Plat du Jour, 'loup de mer' which I seemed to remember was sea bass but not trusting my memory 100%, I thought I'd google it.  I asked the waiter for le code wifi but he just shook his head and said 'non', I imagine he thought quite rightly, that I shouldn't be looking at my phone during a meal.

Afterwards we explored the back streets of the main town,



the castle
and St Philbert's church

about which I could go into more detail, but fearful of this post dragging on, I won't!

As we headed back to the car park through narrow alleys we saw a crowd of women hanging over a garden gate so went to investigate.

 These two elderly ladies told the assembled crowd that they had discovered this family of  cats in the garden of the derelict house and had been feeding them for several days.


The kittens were adorable but it was this lady's socks that most held my attention.


Tuesday arrived all too soon and it was time to close up my van for the winter before flying back to the UK.  I won't be visiting again this year as even with heating, it gets a bit nippy during the colder months.

So that's it, until the spring it's au revoir et à bientôt....and in case you're wondering, 'auntie' loved it. 
Linking with FASTblog for Five On Friday