January 2012

Little tete-a-tete on the kitchen window sill!

My poinsettia still thinks it’s Christmas.

More daffs, bigger ones this time, brightening my dining room!

Crocuses, grape hyacinths and more tete-a-tete bringing the garden to life.

And finally my little crochet flowers have now got little sparkly centres, they’re almost finished!

Happy Tuesday everyone! 🙂

This month the Making Winter series organised by Silverpebble and Thriftyhousehold is focusing on comfort baking.

I had a wee think about what recipe to share with you all and I decided upon my Banana One Egg Cake. It’s so simple, you won’t need to rush out and buy any ingredients because they’re the sort of things you’ll have, it doesn’t take long to make and bake and in no time at all you’ll be eating a slice with a mug of steaming tea!

Ingredients :-

2 cups of self raising flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teasp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/3 cup of oil
1/2 milk
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1 egg
1 teasp vanilla

Line a square tin with baking parchment.
Put all the ingredients except the walnuts in a bowl and mix together until smooth and pour into tin, then sprinkle the walnuts on top.
Bake in a moderate oven for approximately 30 minutes but keep an eye on it as ovens vary. Check with a skewer to make sure it’s cooked through.

Let it cool and cut into slices and then enjoy!

Thank you all so much for your visits and lovely comments this week!

Have a lovely weekend and if you feel the need for a bit of cosy comfort check out the Making Winter blog hop, here! 🙂

That’s teacups etc. not the country!

As you all know, because I’ve gone on endlessly about in the last few weeks, I’ve been spring cleaning. This week it’s the turn of the kitchen. Today I’ve been emptying the cupboards, washing everything and tidying it all away again. A lot of my cupboards are full of china which to my shame is taken out washed and put away again until the next big clean never being used in between. Most of it was given to us as wedding presents over 30 years ago now but some of it we bought ourselves and some belonged to my mother.

This was a wedding present and even though I’m not a ‘pink’ girl is one of my favourites. It’s Royal Albert ‘Lady Carlisle’.

This piece of Carltonware belonged to my mum and it is a piece that I do use as I’m very fond of it.

These pretty little sandwich trays also belonged to my mum, in fact I remember buying the one with violets on for her birthday many years ago.

Glass this time, which again belonged to my mother. I must say I have a re-newed love for these little butter dishes.

Other bits and pieces received, purchased and gathered up over the years!

This coffee set is another Royal Albert set ~ ‘Lavender Rose’.

Royal Albert again this time ‘Cottage Garden’, we received quite a bit of Royal Albert as wedding presents obviously the present of choice 30 years ago.

Finally one which I bought for myself, it’s Queens ‘Virginia Strawberry’, now I really love this china and unlike some of the others I do use it from time to time.

So there you have it the tip of my very large china iceberg which is now all washed, dried and neatly stacked in my clean kitchen cupboards until the next big clean!!

Thanks for ‘visiting’! 🙂

Well hello again, I never meant to be away this long but thanks to a very sick laptop being able to join you all in blogland came to a very abrupt standstill! It all seems to be going ok again but it took a while to get it all sorted out, even getting my photos on this afternoon was a mission as everything has changed and I’m not very good at change I’m afraid. It’s so good to be back again though, I have missed my blogging, it felt like all my friends were at a party and I hadn’t been invited, I felt a bit left out!!

So what have I been up to in my absence, well I’m still at my spring cleaning but that is so boring I’m not even going to talk about it. I have been doing a little crochet, some little flowers have been made for a little idea I have for my shop. I hope to do a shop update in February after my 15% off sale which is still on until the end of January.

I’ve been doing a little shopping too! I bought a lovely piece of Orla Kiely fabric which I intend to use in one of my bags and I also purchased one of Beth’s gorgeous lavender birds. Have a look at the The Linen Cat shop to see all Beth’s lovely creations.

I love this little spring corner of my living room and the scent of lavender everytime I walk past the little bird is wonderful.

I’m still keeping an eye on the sky for Annie’s project. This photo was taken last Monday afternoon.

I’ve also managed to finish the front of my cushion I just need to get it blocked. It’s a Kaffe Fasset pattern which I got as a kit a few years back as a gift from Rowan International for renewing my membership. It lay in a drawer until a couple of weeks ago when I decided to give it a go!

The downside to the project is the endless ends which need sewn in, I think I’ll have to leave them for a day when I’m really in the mood for sewing!!

And finally we have had a birthday in the family this week. It was my son’s birthday yesterday and we celebrated with a lovely Thai meal last night.

So there you have it my week without the internet! Strangely I thought I would have managed to get more done without the distraction of the world wide web which just goes to prove that I don’t waste time on my computer afterall (perhaps I would have got less cleaning and sorting done though) !! 😉

Have a lovely weekend, it is nice to be back at the party! 🙂

I’ve been encouraged to pay more attention to the sky this week by Annie from Knitsofacto.
Annie has just launched Project :: Sky 365. Anyone can join in and you don’t have to commit to daily photos, they can be weekly or even less often, just join in when you like. Check out this post for all the rules.

I have decided to join in when I see a sky I really want to capture but that may be more often than I first thought as I’m already now more aware of what’s going on above my head!

The first three photos were taken yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon when the sky was quite angry looking.

This photo was taken just after lunchtime today (Thursday) and as you can see we had a beautiful day today.

This one was taken late afternoon today as the sun was going down.

And this one was of tonight’s moon with it’s beautiful halo, you can just about see some stars too!

So thank you Annie for making me look up!

Check out the Project :: Sky 365 flickr group for some stunning photographs.

Thanks as always for your visits this week, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I believe it’s going to be a chilly one and don’t forget to look up! 🙂

We have had yet another beautiful day here today, this pre-spring season is shaping up to be very lovely indeed.
When the sun is shining in through the windows, it really makes you notice the prettiness all around you, the clear bright light brings out the natural beauty in everything including my gorgeous orchid. I thought I share some more of my January colour with you.

How about these yummy Percy Pig sweets or should I say Veggie Pigs, as Marks & Spencer now make Percy Pigs which are suitable for vegetarians, made without gelantine. What I don’t understand is why don’t they make all their Percy Pigs without gelantine, I mean who wants real pig in their sweets anyway. No one really wants all the leftover bits of pigs boiled up and put into their sweets, surely!! Sorry if you find this a bit disgusting but I do see it as one of my missions in life to convert everyone to vegetarianism.

You’re probably wondering what on earth these are, well they’re cat toys, homemade cat toys to be precise. I made them to give the kittens a bit of fun and stimulation and I’m happy to say they have been well received. We had bought them something similar before and after examining them I thought I could make my own as they all eventually disappear into the garden. It is very entertaining watching them play with them!

I couldn’t do a colour post without a bit of yarn and this lot was a little bargain at only £1.50 a ball, I know I didn’t really need it but what’s that got to with anything. It’s a cotton/linen mix and will be lovely for some spring/summer corsages.

The yarn wasn’t my only impulse buy, I just had to have these pretty beads for no reason other than the fact that I love green!!

Finally my last little bit of January colour is my current knitting project which is a cushion. I have to do something fun in between my spring cleaning which is still on-going – slowly. I can’t say I’m loving it but I’m getting through it, I even have enlisted other family members to the cause. I can’t say they’re willing helpers but why should I have all the fun! 😉 Anyway they say ‘many hands make light work’, don’t they!!

Thanks as always for ‘dropping in’, hope you all have a lovely week with a bit of sunshine and some colour too. 🙂

Well what a good response to the Green Rabbit Calendar (as Kate has named it)!
You all seemed to think it was a good idea to have one winter month and an extra season known as Pre-Spring. Personally I think it’s a great idea and I’m here today with evidence to prove that this isn’t just a fantasy.

All the photos in this post were taken in my garden and greenhouse this afternoon. We have had a beautiful day here today, sunny, bright, blue skies and 10 degrees C, not bad for the beginning of January.

The sun was shining on my greenhouse and it was very pleasantly warm in there, making me think about getting my tomato seeds.

I’m also just itching to get into the flower beds and give them a good tidy up so that the new daffodils have their feet in nicely turned over soil.

Little shoots are happily sprouting out all over the place!

You can even see the new buds on my sycamore tree against this afternoon’s gorgeous blue sky.

This was the sky at exactly 4.30 pm this afternoon, still blue with this evening’s moon, there is now an obvious stretch to our days!

So there you have it, not all in my imagination but there for all to see.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and maybe you’ll get out and about and discover some pre-spring evidence of your own.

Happy weekend! 🙂

Here we are at the beginning of a bright shiny new year and I love it!

I’m now in pre-spring, in my books winter is now over, December is the only month in winter in my world! January and February are pre-spring, March to May are spring, June to September are summer and October and November are autumn. It’s just how I deal with it all, five seasons and nine months of spring/summer! 🙂 What a beautiful start to pre-spring we have too, dry, bright and sunny! This month I start my spring cleaning so that it’s all done when spring properly arrives and I can get back out into the garden.

I couldn’t move into the new year though without taking a look back at 2011. On the whole it was a good year, I picked one photo from each month but there were so many photos to choose from in fact I got my yearly report from wordpress and apparently I uploaded 989 photos onto my blog this past year. Also if Green Rabbit Designs had been a concert it would have sold out the Sydney Opera house for 17 nights in a row, they do have a fun way of giving you your stats! I’ve had fun on the blog looking at the changes in my tree, taking you for a walk in ‘my park’, showing you my knitting and crocheting, a little bit baking and lots of flowers and gardening. Of course all these things were made all the more fun by having all you lovely people to share them with, so thank you for being there.
2011 was the year of many kittens, watching our son perform with his band, our 30th wedding anniversary and of course right at the end my daughter and her boyfriends engagement (wedding will be summer 2013), again thank you for all your wonderful comments on all these events.

So we’re all ready to take on a new year with new adventures and lots of blogging fun along the way!

I wish you all a wonderful, fantastic, healthy, fun and adventure filled year!

Happy 2012 !!! 🙂