10 (random) things I love…

One of my favourite blogs is Knitsofacto, and Annie has been sharing 10 (rather wonderful) random things. In addition, with my Bath WI hat on (a virtual hat…although I rather like the idea of us all wearing hats!), I have been researching local artists and crafty people to run workshops for us. It has been, and continues to be,¬† lovely and fascinating seeing what people make and how they market themselves and I love reading their blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. It gives me a warm squishy feeling that the world is full of such nice people. One of the creative types I have signed up for a Bath WI workshop is Sami of ‘Made by Sami‘ and I have been enjoying her blog posts about 10 things she loves…do have a look at her Little Red Button blog.

These two ladies have inspired me to think about 10 things I love (in a random sort of a way):

1. Mark. He is mischievous and troublesome but he has sparkly blue eyes, a kind heart and an indefatigable sense of humour – and he puts up with me even when I am, as he describes it, grumpilicious.

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(oh and his work colleagues are going to love this photo!)

2. Cats. Our two cats in particular. They are brothers from the same litter, but Max is long-haired and of a generous stature, while his brother Rio is short-haired and of a more athletic build. They are affectionate and loving…and only dribble a little bit.

cats 6 sept 2013 - 14

3. Sewing. Everything to do with it – fabric, haberdashery, designing, making…even unpicking, as long as it is not too often.

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4. Baking.

hippo baking - 1

 

5. Stately homes and gardens

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6. The City of Bath

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7. The seaside.

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8. Friends and family

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9. Bees

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10.  Afternoon tea (and teapots)
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I would love to know what your favourite things are!!

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day afternoon tea

After some great sales of Mother’s Day cards It was time to make time for my own mother (and Mark’s) – afternoon tea in the garden, homemade sweets, flowers and, of course, a free-motion applique card. Sweet treats can be a bit of a challenge when dealing with both our mothers as mine is not supposed to have too much sweet stuff and Mark’s mum lives for creamy sugary treats (but rations them, obviously).

I wanted to give the mums some homemade sweets and Pinterest came up trumps. First off, I found some truffle type goodies that are made from dates, ground almonds, cocoa and honey (no butter, no cream and only the icing sugar they are tossed in to stop them being sticky). The recipe came from SkinnyTaste.com, is ever so easy and far healthier than traditional truffles.

Mother's Day sweets
Mother’s Day sweets
date and almond 'truffles'
date and almond ‘truffles’

These little lovelies are quite heavy on the sugar, but are small enough to easily ration. They are peppermint creams, but the originals are called Barrington mints and the author suggests making them for weddings (no doubt that is why they are made pink – although I was a little heavy handed with the food colouring!). The recipe is here: Sweet & Saucy.

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pink peppermint creams
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Barrington Mints from Sweet & Saucy

I had intended to make a show-stopper uber-pretty cake, but it seemed more fair to make one better for my mum. This is an Antony Worrall Thompson recipe from his Diabetes cookery book, made from allbran with apricots – and I added seeds and sultanas too.

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All-bran apricot loaf

When we go out to dinner with Mark’s parents, his mum can never resist pavlova, so I thought meringues with a fruity, bluberry and vanilla cream might go down well…I think I was right!

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making meringues
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blueberry and vanilla meringues

Add some egg and cress and ham and tomato sandwiches and a few lemon squares on a tiered cake stand and a large jug of chilled homemade lavender lemonade and you have a quite satisfactory afternoon tea.

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afternoon tea

Mark and I don’t have kids, so mother’s day is something I do for other people, but Mark – being very sweet and silly – turned up Friday night with a big bouquet of flowers and two blu-rays, allegedly from the two cats!

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flowers for the cat’s ‘mother’

I had another gift on Saturday – our neighbour was clearing out her fabric stash and gave me bundles of real gems!

addition to the fabric stash
addition to the fabric stash