Sunday, April 21, 2013

At long last - Spring ( I think) has arrived!

 I have been so fed up with  the damp grey dark days! I began to think that Spring would never come and that some how we would be jettisoned straight into a brief Summer before heading for the end of the year again. I do hope that this will not be the case.

Last week we made a visit to Southsea  near Portsmouth- some of us to shop at Gunwarf ( a retail outlet ) and some of us to catch some fresh air. As you can see the weather was cold and grey and we are still wearing t winter coats.

Its lovely seeing everyone letting go and we have such fun skimming stones- its  something childlike and just plain good fun.

See how grey the day was!

In sharp contrast, yesterday was glorious and I spent an afternoon down by the sea in Bournemouth. There was almost a continental feel for the day. Its funny how a little bit of sunshine can raise spirits and how  magically everyone is transformed from their winter clothed selves into their Summer persona. How amazing is that little bit of sunshine! I even enjoyed a cup of tea sitting outside a coffee shop in the sunshine and just enjoyed watching the world go by.

I am sure Spring is finally here- evidence from my garden backs this up:

 Today I finally got the greenhouse ready ! No seeds sown yet - I am way behind but hoping to catch up this week.

 The primulas are flowering:
 The tete-a-tetes are still blooming - they were such a great buy in December. I planted the bulbs which had just started to grow in my hanging basket outside my kitchen window. They have been such a joy to  watch grow and flower.

 The sunglasses came out today:
 Someone even did a bit of revision in the garden:
 After they had a little rest!

 The pear tree is starting to burst into leaf:

 The forsythia is well and truly blooming:
 There was even some blue sky
 I know it must be spring as we've been trimming the hedges
 My elder daughter did some weeding!
 The bulb hyacinths are in bloom
 Such a pretty shade of blue!
  The japonica bush is in full  flower

 And the heather is also a mass of flower- amazing as we are on chalk and they tend to like acid soil!

 This I took to remind me that I really need to plant more daffodils for next year
 Even the daisies in the grass were smiling:

And  last but not least I know its Spring as Mr H used the lawnmower AND the shredder!

Spring has finally sprung!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Our cat!

Having started my new job recently- it was difficult to take time off this Easter. I did ask but it was  too short notice for cover to be arranged so I worked - I didn't really mind as I can have time off later. My hours do mean that I do get to spend some daytime at home with the youngsters - so we can still get out and about and the youngsters have time away from me too!- much to their relief.
Hence I haven't done much crafting but I did make a throw for the back of the sofa

 Our cat spends a lot of time sitting on the back of the sofa sunbathing and watching the world go by!
 The back of the sofa is starting to wear and I thought I had better make a throw for the cat to sit on-

 I made it using lots of scraps I had in the cupboard. I tried to choose mainly nautical type colours as the summer is coming and I love red cream and blue!
 I patch worked the squares and then backed the patchwork piece with a cream and navy boat pattern

 The cat has given his seal of approval but is not very fond of having his photo taken - he has a resigned look on his face!

 He has used  this quite a lot - so hopefully the sofa may last a little longer

We did get a bit of a surprise yesterday when we heard rumbling in the chimney in the living room. We were confused as the weather outside was still and sunny. The rumbling was accompanied by soot coming down the chimney and eventually a bird appeared.

 Our feathered friend was equally as shocked as ourselves. Daughter squealed and flapped around and the cat was delighted to have a play thing and immediately went into hunting mode. We eventually managed to separate the cat from the bird and then encouraged the bird to fly towards an open window. The bird escaped and flew up onto the roof of a neighbours house to recover.

 Even after we cleared up the mess the cat kept prowling around looking for his prey!
Needless to say I think he has forgotten about it today - I think it was too much excitement in one day for an ageing cat!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter baking

One of my favourite things to do at Easter is to bake. In fact I do love to bake at any time. It fills a Mother's need to provide, care, nurture, and feed your children- in return the empty plate implies happy  satiated customers- a win win situation in my book!
 This is my stash of biscuit cutters. I have collected these over many years ( see I have always liked baking!) and even include some of my Mother's old cutters that she didn't want some years ago. There are a decent number of Christmas cutters amongst stash I do have  some Easter type ones too! I particularly love metal cutters ( we do have some plastic ones  which I am not fond of and I am trying to replace these with the metal ones when I find suitable alternatives)
 I haven't made Easter biscuits in a while  but I did some research - ( how I love the internet!) and used this recipe- Easter biscuits - the Mary Berry way. I liked this recipe because it included cinnamon and mixed spice and it was a mix that could be divided into two lots to make iced biscuits and ones with currants in. I didn't have any currants in the house so we made some iced ones and the some plain with caster sugar sprinkled on the top as they came out of the oven.

I had the cat and the rabbit cutters already. The girls and I treated our selves to two new cutters on a trip into Canterbury recently and the chick was one of our purchases! Isn't she cute?

 Half the mixture made quite a lot of biscuits-
 I love seeing them all cut out ready for their turn in the oven!
 The second cutter we bought was this happy dahlia - sun type cutter- It makes me smile and  makes me feel that summer is on its way - ( judging by the recent weather I think we maybe skipping Spring and head straight into the next season!)

 Second batch already to go!
 See - half the mix makes  a good number of biscuits!
 Already for icing:
 There was a little time between baking and icing and some were devoured before they were completed -this is all we have left for now!
 Younger daughter iced these - I just love the butterflies all jostling for the nectar!
 So we choose some pretty plates from my collection- Ones that reminded us of Spring and Easter!

 Daughter also baked and iced some cupcakes yesterday.
 Is your mouth watering yet?

 Already for tea time tonight!

Hoping your week is bringing you lots of lovely Easter treats to eat ...................