Friday, 20 July 2018

Hebcelt

As we drove into Stornoway on Wednesday the bunting was waving in the breeze, and people were milling around.  Lots of people.   There was a glimpse through trees in the Castle grounds of stripes...




We had forgotten that it was festival week.  Hebcelt, Hebridean Celtic festival is a combination of the Islands natural beauty and high quality Celtic influenced music.  The bunting, the amazing shop window displays along with a wonderful array of displays made for a great afternoon out.  I was amazed to see a lady spinning outside one of the tweed shops, my heart was a flutter as I saw the incredible beauty of the wool she was spinning.  The children are always a joy as they danced in their gorgeous tweed costumes.  Pipers and smiling faces were in abundance.


In the harbour there was a German sausage stand and donuts on sale.  We were sorely tempted but decided it was not a good thing to eat prior to going into see  cardiac staff...lol!  We also popped into An Lanntair who have a lot going on this week in conjunction with the festival.




Maybe next year?

We are back in town later today as Gerard is having a heart monitor fitted to establish if the change of drugs has worked, we are ever hopeful.  We have no real plans for the weekend, the weather forecast is not looking good.  Have you any plans?

See you soon.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We have had several showers throughout the past couple of days and a couple of heavy downpours.  The garden is once again looking a vibrant green and thoughts are now turning to harvesting the few things that we have managed to grow this year.  We planted a new variety (to us) of carrot which is purple, there was obviously not enough depth in the double tyre as they are deformed.  However the taste was divine, sweet and a delight if a little disconcerting due to the colour.





We enjoyed some with our meal last night, definitely a variety we would try again. PURPLE SUN.

The beetroot looks to be doing well, I will harvest a little when I have more time to establish how well it is growing.  We are at the cardiac rehabilitation today so time is limited.



The mint is prolific so a good job it is contained.  I use it on a daily basis adding it to the new potatoes.  I intend to harvest a big part of it to dry it out for Winter use.  We had two varieties this year, a peppermint one which I had intended to use in tea but this has been a rare occurrence.



Parsley and chives are also regularly used so again I will be bringing some in to dry.  I did think I might freeze some in icecube trays to add to stews/casseroles.



It will be interesting to establish which method gives the more intense flavour.  We are now on our second growth of rhubarb but not enough to freeze for later use.  We do need to plant some more as we do like rhubarb as an addition to jam and for use as the base of a pie/crumble for a Winter dessert.



Not a lot growing in my garden but a start has been made.  The materials have been ordered that are required to restore an old outbuilding into an indoor garden.  They will take 2 weeks to be delivered from the mainland, so exciting times ahead.

What have you got growing in your garden?

As always I thank you for your comments and interest.  In answer to some questions regarding the rugs that I have been making, yes I do add a liner to avoid slipping.





See you soon.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Time In The Kitchen

I have had quite a productive weekend, preparing preserves for the store cupboard.  A taste of Summer in those Winter months.  Some simple oils that also double up as a little gift for friends and neighbours.  The familiar well tried and tested chilli oil and a new addition scallion or also known as spring onion oil.  I used the Good Food recipe available on google.



I have had some raspberries soaking in vinegar for several days and finally strained and bottled the raspberry vinegar.  This is a wonderful addition to a salad, at any time of the year.



I did manage to get some reduced/yellow sticker strawberries whilst out and about.  The strawberries were covered in sugar and left overnight to macerate.  Boiled for 20 minutes with some lemon juice and hey presto strawberry jam.



Five jars ready for the cupboard, I am a great fan of jam on toast.

I plan to harvest some of the herbs that I have been growing over the next few days and hanging them to dry ready for Winter stews and casseroles.  

Our neighbour has brought down some of his sheep to the field right next to our back door.  We have had some fun watching them watching us.  Mickey(our dog) goes right up to the fence for a look but soon becomes disinterested and never barks at them.




A lovely way to get the grass cut.  I love to look out of my window and see the lambs.

How did you spend your weekend?

See you soon.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Crochet Projects

I always have something on the hook, sometimes I have several projects on the go.  At the moment I have several, but this has arose due to circumstances.  I am working on another rug using the Harris Tweed remnants from the loom using a mega sized hook which really does make your fingers ache.  I have a tendency to only do a couple of rows at a time, despite how quickly it grows.  This is a finished rug now that I have stitched on a wooden handmade tag, already for the utility room which is a very slow work in progress.


I have made a start on the one for the back door.


The same colours but worked differently.


My on the go project for taking with me to the doctors/hospital is a throw that I am working on for Honeys chair.  She chose the colours on her last visit.


Progress is very slow as more chatting gets done than crochet.  The waiting areas have become a wonderful source of information and a comfort to know you are not on your own.  An eye opener sometimes, there is always someone worse of than yourself.  We certainly feel blessed.  I have picked out the pattern and colours for the border, but we are long way off that yet.


Works continues on the shawl, another slow but steady project.  This is the one that I work on in the evening a few stitches a day.


Not long to go, only 5 more rows.  I am enjoying the process so it is not something that I will rush.



Finally I am working on a bag, another very chunky project that makes your fingers ache.  I grows very quickly so its is hoped that I will finish this over the weekend.  I have found some rather yummy fabric to line it with.   I just need to find the handles...lets face it this could take awhile!



July is the month that heralds the start of Christmas making.  I have already made a start on the list, found patterns and materials.  I spend many a happy hour looking through patterns/books searching for the perfect gift for loved ones.  I love the wonderful process of making something filled with love.  When do you start making your Christmas gifts?  Are you an early or last minute kind of person?

As always I thank you for your support and welcome another follower.  I do hope you enjoy my little adventures through life.

See you soon.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

A Sneaky Trip Away

My apologies for not been around, but I will catch up with you all as soon as I can.   We took a little trip away to celebrate with our youngest daughter.  She has successfully completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and starts her new career as a teacher in September.  She has worked hard to realise her dream and it was indeed an honour to watch the graduation ceremony and be part of the celebrations.  I was one proud Mama and a little snap happy with the camera.  Sadly, I then left the camera behind but I will share some of the photos at a later date.  The weather whilst away was amazing so the drive was a delight taking in some amazing scenery.  Again, I managed to capture some beautiful photographs enhanced by the sunshine.  It was a joy to catch up with Lily and Daisy,  they are growing up so quickly and behaved impeccably at the Graduation Ceremony.  We arrived back on our little Island Paradise last night, it was wonderful to be returning back to our little cottage we now call home. 







These are photos taken at Stornoway, whilst once again getting back into the routine of rehabilitation and a supermarket shop.  Rehabilitation for Gerard has been extended, a change in drugs regime and then another week wearing the heart monitor to establish if the drugs have helped.  We are ever hopeful but take things in our stride.   Sadly we didn't bring the good weather back with us, we have had some much needed rain and the temperatures have dropped considerably.  The laundry can wait for another day...

England (the football) is calling so I will catch up with you as soon as I can.

See you soon.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

A Craft Catch-Up

I have achieved so much in the garden, this beautiful weather has enabled me to be outside.  I generally take a break mid afternoon and enjoy the coolness of the cottage and do a little crafting.  Just a little at a time but it is a nice break and I have got such a lot done.  I have trimmed some new white towels for the bathroom using some fabric I bought in Norwich.



The trim was some I had in my stash.  A  valance was made for the utility room window.  Whilst the valance is complete the room is still a work in progress and remains a bit of a dumping ground.



I have had a couple of sessions making cards, keeping them blank ready in the drawer for any occasion.







Using black fabric paint and stencils I have embellished some muslin squares for use in the kitchen.  I really did enjoy the process.





Harris Tweed is always a great joy for me to work with and I love to have a few bits in the gift drawer ready so I added the tweed, a wooden cut out and a button.





I then usually have a crochet project by my chair for sitting and relaxing in the evening.  I will share them with you in another post.

A very warm welcome to new followers, I do hope you enjoy my little adventures though life.  As always I thank you for your visit, your support, comments and emails. 

See you soon.