Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Off to Orkney (via Kinlochbervie) Hooray!!!

This will be my last post for at least 10 days as we are off on our hols tomorrow morning leaving the house and cats in the capable hands of my eldest daughter.

First we will be spending two nights at The Old School House in Kinlochbervie.
Kinlochbervie is in the far north west of Scotland. We spent three nights in Kinlochbervie at the Old School House last year when we toured Scotland on Dave's Harley & loved it so much we decided to return again this year.

The view from the road near the Old School House

On Saturday we will get the ferry from Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope on South Ronaldsay then drive over the Churchill Barriers to Mainland and on to Stromness where we will be staying in The Peedie Hoose (Peedie apparently means small).
The Peedie Hoose

The Churchill Barriers are a series of four causeways which link the Orkney Mainland in the north to the island of South Ronaldsay via Burray and the two smaller islands of Lamb Holm and Glimps Holm. The barriers were built in the 1940s as naval defences to protect the anchorage at Scapa Flow, but now serve as road links.

I am starting to get all excited so I have been looking back at some photos which we took when we visited Orkney three years ago - I thought I'd share one or two with you.

Bye for now xxx

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Weekend, Friends & Beamish.

We've had a lovely weekend. Our good friends from Dunoon came to visit overnight. Last night we went out to the fabulous Pavilion Chinese Restaurant at Iveston near Consett - this restaurant is wonderful, service food everything spot on. Then this morning we took our friends to Beamish Open Air Museum. I love visiting this place. It is so inspirational letting you step back in time and seeing all those beautiful original homes, shops and buildings. I especially loved the really old locomotives - they really seemed to me to epitomise the steam punk style that I love so much.
Love this engine - it's so "Steam punk"

Friday, 23 July 2010

End of Term Makes & Treats

Although I'm seconded out of school into a local authority post at the moment, I'm lucky enough to still get all the holidays, so this week has been end of term. While there's not quite the mayhem that accompanies end of term in a school, there has still been an air of anticipation and a feeling of wind down with a steady stream of pressies and treats. Sooo...

First off I made scones...

Cheese scones & apple, walnut and cinnamon scones.

These were duly supplied along with the obligatory butter.

Then I made these:

...and some little heart shaped bags to put them in.

Et voila!! four prettily packaged end of term gifts for my colleagues.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Pink Room

We're in the process of decorating our spare room for when our dear grandaughter stays over with us.

"hiding" in her pop up toy basket.

Her only specification is it must be

I had intended just to go for neutral walls and add pink in the accessories etc. until I found this gorgeous Laura Ashley Wallpaper.


This isn't the best picture of it but you can find it on the Laura Ashley site.

It has a white background with pearlescent pink butterflies.

Best of all it is in the sale - original price £22 a roll.
On the website £9.90 a roll.
I got 2 rolls marked slightly imperfect in the Laura Ashley shop at the Arnison Centre for only £4.85 a roll.


So the updated plan is this wallpaper as a feature wall.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Ebay Bargain - Poetic Licence Boots

I was the lucky winner of these gorgeous Poetic Licence boots on Ebay for only £7.52 plus £4 postage, bringing the total to £11.52.

I love the vintage style look of these and just know I'll wear them again and again.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Vintage Jewellery Challenge

this week on the MSE Jewellery Making thread, Crafty JuJu chose me to set the next challenge. I duly set the challenge to make a vintage style piece of jewellery.

This is my offering.
I decided to make a bracelet for myself and used a brass toned chain and clasp. I made up some dangly bead charms with red and purple toned beads and added two brass toned rose charms.
The clear beads with the long bead caps on were salvaged from a Primark necklace and finally I added the copper toned workings of an old watch.

Just a note to the lovely ladies who have taken part in this challenge, I won't be able to choose a winner till Sunday this week as I will be away at a motorbike rally this weekend.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

... and so to bed.

Over on the MSE old style forum today someone posted asking if anyone used the old fashioned bottom sheet, top sheet, blankets and bedspread as opposed to the modern duvet. I have a thing about vintage bed linen and have a small collection of Durham quilts, but I must say I prefer a duvet to blankets however I prefer the look of a traditionally made bed.

Solution - to make up the bed traditionally but continue to use the duvet in place of the blanket layer.

Now I do have to confess that when it comes to my bed I like my comfort, to me your bed should be a haven of snuggledom. My bed is over 100 years old, it is a high wooden Edwardian bed, with the original sprung metal base. We bought it off EBay for the bargainous sum of £25. We were offered the original horsehair mattress with the bed!!  but I like my comfort so it does have a modern sprung mattress.

The bed is then topped with a 4" feather mattress topper that I got from a couple of years back for only £7.99!

Then comes a vintage plain white cotton sheet, followed by an embellished top sheet. I also like to use vintage pillowcases.

In colder weather I then put the duvet on, but as it's warm at the moment I'm missing that out. Finally I put on one of my Durham quilts.

I love these quilts, they are all hand stiched and must have taken hours of time. I also love the fact that they are a piece of local history.

The embroidery on the top sheet.

Bedside lamp.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Haggis & Black Pudding

We loooove haggis and black pudding and were green with envy when Ellie's boyfriend Stu described the wonderful Stornoway black pudding that his father had brought back from a recent trip to the Isle of Lewis.

Apparently the makers Charles MacLeod have a website and these famous puddings can be bought by mail order, but  the downside is that  on a 1.4 kg roll of black pudding costing a very reasonable £7.40  postage is a £6.10!!

Stu to the rescue - buy 3 or more puddings and postage is a maximum of £18. Apparently we weren't the only ones being regaled by tales of the glorious pudding and there were others interested in acquiring the said delicacy, so a joint order was collected and duly sent off. 

I ordered a black pudding and a haggis which would have cost a whopping £8.90 postage if I had ordered alone, by joining together with three others the postage cost was a much more palatable £4.50.

Said puddings arrived this evening. Guess what we're having for breakfast tomorrow? (and for tea too ; ) ) 

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Lunchbox Special - Thai style sweetcorn fritters with a creamy chilli dip

I needed a low fat but tasty lunch for my daughter and myself to take into work tomorrow. I had a hankering after something Thai style, but was unsure what. I then remembered I had seen a recipe in one of my many recipe books for a Thai corn fritter. Knowing I had sweetcorn in the freezer, I went searching for the recipe but alas couldn't remember where I'd seen it. I decided to just make it up as I went along, the result is shown on the left with the fritters nestled on a bed of shredded lettuce, carrot and cucumber and the dip in a littlle pot. I had to try one as I was making them, it would have been rude not too and I have to say "yum" I can't wait for my lunch tomorrow.
Makes 16 Fritters
( Slimmers World - Syn Free)
Sweetcorn - I used frozen defrosted in the microwave, probably about 2 cups full or I would say approx 1 tin? (Sorry can't be more precise I didn't think to measure!)
1 tsp Thai Yellow curry Paste
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
1/2 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes - I would have used fresh garlic and chilli, but was feeling a bit lazy!
1/2 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1 tbsp Thai Fish Sauce
2 Eggs

Spray oil for frying.

Mix all the ingredients for the fritters together. Spray a frying pan with the oil, fry heaped teaspoons of the fritter mix on each side till lightly browned and set. Cool and pack 8 of the fritters per lunchbox on a bed of salad.

Creamy Chilli Dip
(3 Syns per portion)
For each portion of dip mix together 1tbsp 1/2 fat creme frais, 1 tbsp low fat natural yogurt and 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Recycled Jewellery Challenge

Over on the MSE jewellery making thread this weeks challenge was to make a piece of jewellery using something recycled. For my entry to the challenge I took a beaded belt which came with a skirt many years ago but is now far too small for my ample middle...

...into a necklace.

Thanks Crafty JuJu for this week's challenge, I loved the beads on the belt and your challenge was just the spurt I needed to make them into something that I will once again wear.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Vintage Bargains

Today we went to the market at Tynemouth Station. Tynemouth Station is a wonderful partly restored Victorian station, which is currently in use as a Tyne and wear Metro station. At weekends however the platforms are transformed with the hustle and bustle of a fantastic eclectic market. The stalls predominately sell vintage items, though increasingly there is a good selection of people selling artisan food products.

I couldn't resist a wonderfully rustic loaf of ciabatta bread and a similar sourdough loaf, both baked using traditional methods and organic flours and from the same stall a wonderful lemon tart. Then there was "scone mad" a small business that produces a bewildering array of scones all made using the same basic recipe of flour, butter, water, pinch of salt and egg for basting. They have a range of 100 different varieties! we bought four - Bacon egg and black pudding, smoked sausage and cheese, cheese and leek and cheese bacon and onion.

As well as the yummy food , I also picked up some brilliant bargains:

  • The four cup/saucer/plate trios pictured at the start of this post, for £1 each.

  • A Brexton picnic set pictured above for £12- In a lovely green and white spotted case with white and green spooted china. It is all intact however one of the cups has been repaired and one of the flasks has it's inner broken. I'm going to be on the look out for a couple of suitable replacement flasks, possibly vintage but so long as they fit in well with the rest of the set I won't mind.

  • Two sets of vintage embroidered pillowcases. One set still in the box and wrapped in the original cellophane, the other set still in the base of the original box but without a cover. These were £7.50 for the two sets. I have pictured these as they were bought below and also added a picture of the set that were fully boxed already on my freshly made bed - I just couldn't wait!!

All in all today has been a lovely day : )

Friday, 2 July 2010

Disappointment and Compensation

To say this week has held a few disappointments is an understatement, all in all it's not been a great week. With this in mind I thought we would spoil ourselves a bit and eat out tonight. We decided to go to a pub in a little village about 7 miles away, we'd been there three times before and always had quite a good experience so we didn't expect to be disappointed - but we were.

We ordered king prawns with a lime and chilli butter glaze - we got insipid king prawns on a bed of lettuce with a slice of cucumber and a slice of tomato with a hint of butter - no whiff of either chilli or lime.

Main course - Lamb leg steak with lyonnaise potatoes served with a red wine jus - we got a "steak" that was UNDER 1/4" thick and all of 4" in diameter with a few halved potatoes and a slice of onion on a pool of what tasted like a packet mix red wine gravy stuff, with this came veg - cauliflower and broccoli.

Yes I know we should have complained instead of pathetically saying "yes everything was fine" when asked by the waitress, but to be honest I couldn't have been bothered with the hassle.

We arrived home not only disappointed but hungry. So...

Toasted some homemade wholemeal bread, fried off some chopped bacon, onion and mushrooms and piled them on top and then topped with mature cheddar and grilled till melted - served with alcohol:

That's compensation!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...