Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Good Morning to you,

You already know that I love to cook. You also know that I love old books, but did you know, I also love to sew.
Give me a piece of material, some beads or embroidery thread and I am happy.

This piece of bead work is  going to be framed. You can see by the faint lines that I have a little way to go before I finish. I intend beading to the pencil lines  and then I'm not sure how I will proceed. I have some beautiful, fluffy wool which I would like to incorporate, but we will see, I might change my mind by the time I finish beading and feel that something else would be more suitable.

This is a closeup of the bead work. I never have a clear idea how a project will progress, I tend to see something, like this centre piece and use it as a starting point.  I bought the centre piece, when I visited Atlanta, a couple of years ago. My daughter took me to that wonderful shop Hobby Lobby. I didn't have a use for it then but I thought it would be useful at a later date.  It is actually a centre piece for a necklace. The larger beads around the centre, are the beads from a bracelet which had broken and needed re-stringing.  The next row, is embellishment which card makers use, I caught each loop with a small bead, to secure it in place, which you can see in the photo. I then attached sequins and added a bead to the centre of each sequin for added interest. The rose beads again were part of a bracelet and so this piece  grew with this and that which I had in my sewing box.

This piece of work is a flower design which I cut from a piece of fabric, which if memory serves me correctly was a William Morris fabric. I appliqued the fabric then added the beads, you can see some of the fabric which I left unbeaded.  I drew the stems and swirls which I embroidered, then  beaded. You can see this piece isn't finished yet, it is a slow but pleasurable experience.

In this closeup  you can see the chain stitch which I incorporated into the piece.

This is a close up of the bead work on the stems. You can see where I chain stitched the swirls before I beaded them, I like to do this as I feel it anchors the beads more and also adds a little more interest to the piece. There's a final swirl which needs beading.

I really enjoy working on this quilt because it is a mixture of embroidery, patchwork and applique.  I work on this quilt  when I go to my Quilting Group on a Tuesday morning. This is the centre panel of the quilt.  I have a love for hearts and I like the vibrancy of the red and blue.

This is the bottom left of the square which I have appliqued.  I have used chain stitch to anchor the hearts rather than blanket stitch which I feel would not have suited this piece. I have three further corners to complete.

This is one of the hearts which will form part of a block.

This is the second heart.  I decided to applique these hearts with cross stitch. It took a little while, but was well worth the effort and I really like the end result.

I thought I would show you how the completed block will look.  I have cross stitched almost three hearts and just have one heart left to finish before I can complete this block.
I have these three projects on the go, as I like to alternate what I am doing, sometimes I feel like beading the first project, other days I enjoy doing a little embroidery so I work on the second project, then every Tuesday morning, I work on my third project where I also chat, sew and have coffee with my friends......Perfect!
Do you have a lot of projects on the go or are you a one project lady?
This week I shall be joining,
Take care and I shall see you later in the week.
Best Wishes
Daphne xxx

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Good Morning to you,

Somehow that greeting seems irrelevant today, because for so many people in America, it is not a good morning.

As the morning  unfolded, we have heard about the terrible devastation which  Superstorm Sandy has caused to millions of American people. People have lost their lives.  There are millions of homes which have been left without power.  Many homes have been flooded, leaving people to lose their homes and possessions.
Please know we are thinking about you and we send our love and prayers to you.
You are in our thoughts,

Sunday, 28 October 2012


Good Morning to you,

As promised, I am sharing the second part of Robert Haynes family story, which was recorded in his family Bible.

Do you remember, last Sunday,  I wrote about how Lucy Haynes, Robert's second wife,  had died. Lucy died on 23rd October 1872. 

The moment that Lucy died, the clocks would have been stopped, the curtains drawn and all mirrors in the house would have been covered.
During the Victorian times, poems, like the one I am going to share with you, were written to represent the  inevitability of death.

In the middle of the Family Register, Robert had included this poem. I hope you can read it, as the handwriting you see overlaying the poem, is Robert's handwriting.  He had written on the previous page and did not let the ink dry, consequently it marked this page.

As you read the poem, the first line may not make sense to you.  What looks like an over extended "f" is actually an "s".  So the first two lines read,

 "She is dead!" they said to him.
"Come away; Kiss her! and leave her!
- thy love is clay."

On this page, the first two lines read,
"He and She; and yet she would not smile,
Though he called her  the name she loved, erewhile."

The first two lines of the final page read,

"I would say, though the angel of death
 had laid his sword on my lips
 to keep it unsaid."

Robert's daughters both married. Interestingly the youngest daughter Mabel Kate was married first. Mabel married William Ernest Boden of Birmingham, on November 15th, 1888. They were married by the Reverend V.G. Waggett.
Robert's eldest daughter, Lily married Ralph Thicknifse, oldest son of the Bishop of Leicester on November 16th 1889. They were married by the Reverend Pigott.

In this page Robert talks about being familiar with the Bible, and if you are, you can draw all things from it. He also writes that, "He who begins to study the Bible late in life must, indeed devote himself to it night and day, and with a humble and contrite heart, as well as an awakened and soaring spirit."

There are two torn pages at the back of the bible which sadly were like this when I bought the book.  These two pages, I feel, hold the key to the family in later years.
One note of interest is James Sydney Haynes married Elvira M. Koons on 21st June 1844 at Columbus, Luzerne Co, PA, U.S.A. 
The children of James and Elvira are listed, so you never know, someone, might know someone who knows a member of this family and the Bible can be returned to it's rightful owners. This would make me so happy, as I know I would love to own a hand written  history of my family, especially if it had been recorded by one of my ancestors.

This is the final page in the Bible which is also torn.  It shows the name Valentine and also Mary Stevens who lived at 3 Dovecote Villas, Woodgreen.
It's such a shame as these last two pages would of held so much information about the family coming into the 1900's.
I hope you have enjoyed taking a peek into Robert's life.  Because he had taken the time to write about his family, we have had the pleasure of reading about him. We also know the name of a person who lived his life, so many years before we were born.
Take care and I will see you later in the week.
Best Wishes
Daphne xxx



Saturday, 27 October 2012


Good Morning to you,

When I awoke this morning, I thought the bedroom seemed a little bright, so  I checked my alarm clock and it was 6.30 am. 
Normally at this time of the morning, it is pitch black, as the sun does not rise until 7.50 am.
I could have snuggled back under the covers, but I decided to get up and investigate. I looked out of the window.
Well I was utterly amazed at what I saw....SNOW!
yes SNOW!

The weather forecast had mentioned we were going to get a cold snap from the North, but we never imagined snow.
Winter has arrived very early here in the North of England!
Brrrrr.  See you tomorrow.
Best Wishes
Daphne xxx


Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Good Morning to you,

I love knitting.

I love to hear the click, clack of knitting needles. I love the way, a ball of wool, which is cast onto  a set of needles, can create something warm and cosy to wear.

My first foray into knitting was when I was seven years old and you've guessed it, Ivy taught me to knit. 

Ivy had a knitting bag full of different coloured wools, which to a young seven year old was very enticing.  Ivy's knitting was always kept in a beautiful cloth bag. One day, I asked what she was doing with the needles  and she showed me what she was making.  When I saw the half knitted jumper, I was smitten. I knew I wanted to make something out of those brightly coloured strands of wool.  I didn't know what, but Ivy helped me decided.

You would think the first thing I knitted would be something straightforward such as a scarf for my doll or a scarf for me. Oh no it was much more adventurous than was a pair of bed socks which included a pom pom on each bed sock.  Can you imagine how I felt, I was so excited to have my very own pair of bed socks, plus pom poms, I couldn't wait to start.

I chose a dark green colour and Ivy set about casting on the stitches.  I was impatient, I wanted to learn how to cast on, but she said she would show me at a later time as it was difficult. The stitches were cast on and Ivy with great patience taught me how to knit.  There were lots of knit one, drop one, which were unpicked by Ivy, but slowly, slowly I learnt to knit garter stitch. When it was my bed time I asked Ivy if I could take my knitting to bed with me, she said only if I promised not to try to knit in bed as it was time to sleep. I said I wouldn't and so off to bed I went, with  my knitting, which I placed on the bed side table.  It was very dark in Ivy's bedrooms as the windows had black out shades, which were a left over from the war years, so it was pitch black.  I tried to go to sleep, I tried to ignore the knitting, which I was so proud of, but to a young excited seven year old, it was all too much, I couldn't wait to finish those lovely bedsocks, make the pom poms and wear them to bed.  So  I tried to knit in the dark!  As you can imagine when I awoke in the morning I discovered the knitting was a complete mess, but Ivy was very kind to me and unpicked the mess and we started again.  Consequently I wasn't allowed to take my knitting to bed again, but it was a lesson learnt, because I was so disappointed to have lost the knitting that I was so proud of and  also it took me a lot longer to get those lovely bed socks on my feet.

So that was my first foray into knitting which brings me nicely to a book I found many years ago.

By now, you will have realised I love old books. I love owning a book  which someone else has thumbed through many years before me. So on that note.

Let me introduce you to,

Pansy M. Greenacre
Pansy was given  this book
as a gift at Christmas time in 1938.


 Mary Thomas's Knitting Book
Printed in March 1938

The first picture is "The Visit of the Angels" by the Master Bertram dated 1390.

This beautiful picture was part of the inside right wing of the Buxtehuder Altar, painted by Master Bertram between the years 1390 and 1400. This originally lived in the Buxtehuder Abbey and would suggest that the homely occupation of knitting was revered and encouraged by the nuns of this abbey.  It is an historical picture and of great interest to knitters, as the artist reveals that knitting then was much as it is today, even to the manner of picking up the stitches and forming the neck of a garment.

A knitted Masterpiece
with initials P.I.E.
Dated 1713

I just cannot imagine the hours and hours which went into this beautiful knitted piece of work . Also as an experienced knitter I have to say the intricacy of this work is astounding.

A s you can see, this is a Prentice Cap, which was knitted and felted.  A few felted woollen caps of early Tudor period are to be seen at the London Museum.

This handsome hat is also a knitted and felted cap but with perforations cut in the fabric. Again from the London Museum .

This is a Knitting Pouch with Hooked Knitting Needles from Landes in France. The earliest knitting needles were made with a hook at one end, like crochet hooks, and these were fashioned of copper wire. Five of these needles made a set.

I could not let this black and white picture pass without explaining who that wonderfully robust man was.   He and his wife were one of the many  Knitters of Gayle from the dales of Yorkshire. They were well known for their knitting. This is a rare picture depicting Gayle knitters of about 1878. The position of the hands indicates that both knitters are using knitting sheaths.The plate is from "Richmondshire" by Edmund Bogg. 

 Now you may wonder what an illustration of a policeman has to do with knitting. Mary Thomas included this sign which as she wrote "This mark is the well known danger signal to travellers and is used throughout this book to indicate points of vital importance where beginners are likely to falter. It should be heeded, and so save a lot of trouble. It's there to say Look out."


Throughout the book their are illustrations like the one above, which add so much humour to the book. These illustrations  were drawn by Miss Margaret Agutter. 

There are many more of these fun illustrations peppered throughout the book, which I will share with you later.

I hope you have had fun taking a glimpse of Pansy's Christmas gift.
So I will "cast off" now.

Take care and I will see you later in the week.
This week I will be joining,

Connie at Family Home and Life

This post, first appeared in Ivy, Phyllis and Me! on 24th October 2012.  I feel sure that you will enjoy being re-acquainted with this lovely 1930's knitting book. The first owner  was Pansy Greenacre who was given this knitting book as a Christmas gift  in 1938. I feel so lucky to be the current owner of this book.

As Always,

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Good Morning to you,

Long before Thrifting, Car Boot Sales, Goodwill and the like became fashionable, as a teenager, I loved nothing more than scouring Junk Shops. Phyllis was horrified, as she really couldn't understand my fascination with these places as she felt they were dusty and dirty.

Junk shops were usually compiled from house clearances, that is to say, someone who had passed away and had no relatives who wanted ownership of their possessions. Or people who just wanted to buy new things and so disposed of the old.  Junk shops weren't particularly popular,  they were used more out of necessity.  It was a time when the sleek, clean lines of G Plan were in vogue and young couples didnot want old items in their home.

When George and I were courting, we were out and about one day in Farnborough and came across a shop which was filled with everything imaginable.  Nothing was presented as it is today to catch the buyers eye, the shop was a mass of higgildy, piggildy piles.  This intrigued us, so we spent an hour or so lifting this and moving that to see if there was anything of interest.  The owner of the Junk Shop really didn't mind, he was pleased we were interested and was happy with the prospect we might buy something,
and buy we did.
Underneath a pile of old books we found 2 Bibles.  One very large Bible and one Quarto Bible.

This is the smaller of the two, the Quarto Bible which I have decided to show you today.  This is a plain covered Bible which is the lesser ornate of the two.

The cover is brown and it is gilt bound. I picked up this Bible because I thought, although plain, it looked old and  my interest was piqued.

This is a clasped Victorian Bible, but as you see the clasp is not attached and the spine has come away, but,

two thirds into the Bible, it recorded the history of one family from 1828 - 1889.

This bible belonged to Robert William Haynes who was born in 1828.

There is a blank page before we come to the first page of the Bible which tells you this is a Miniature Quarto Bible.

The Quarto Bible, as you can see from the photograph, contains the Old and New Testaments according to the authorised version.

You can also see that this edition of The Quarto Bible was printed in London in 1846.

This page lists the Chronological Maps as there are plates included for assorted maps of places and of biblical reference throughout the Bible.

A few pages before The New Testament begins we  come to the part of the Bible which has been hand written by Robert William Haynes, the owner of this Bible. This section records part of his family history.

Robert was born on 18th June 1828 and was baptized at All Saints Church, Poplar, which is in London.

On 4th February 1857 Robert  married Lucy Catherine Hayes at St Pancras New Church, in London. They were married by Reverend Lawford W.J. Dab.
Robert's new wife, Emily Catherine Hayes was born on 11th May 1833. Emily  was baptized at St Clements Church, The Strand, London.
Robert and Emily had three children.

Their first child was Harry Valentine born 23rd December 1857 but sadly Harry had a very brief life and died on 2nd February 1858. Harry was buried in Finchley Cemetery on 7th February 1858.
Their second child was a daughter, Lily who was born on 25th July 1863 and baptized at St Michael's Church Wood Green, London on 20th August 1863.
Their third child was Mabel Kate, born on 28th October 1864 and Mabel was baptized at St Michael's Church Wood Green, London on 30th November 1864.
Then so very sadly, Robert lost his wife, Emily. Robert wrote,
"Sunday morning 25th September 1870, at 8 o'clock my beloved wife entered into rest."
"Oh the sweetness of that word Rest! - to cease from all the weariness of life; to be done with it's cares, it's perplexities, its miseries; to have fought the good fight of faith, and ended the struggle; to have finished the work which God has given us to do, and now to lie down and be at peace."

Robert continued,
"My beloved wife was buried in her father's grave in Highgate Cemetery on 29th September 1870."

The Family Register continues and we see that Robert re-married.  He married Lucy Fancott, who was born on 20th February 1848. Lucy was baptized at St Paul's Church, Hammersmith, London in March 1848. Robert and Lucy were married at St Michael's Church, Coventry, Warwickshire by Reverend R.H. Baynes on 9th October 1871.

Lucy was the second daughter of Henry Fancott of Coventry.  Henry Fancott was born at  Napton on 3rd October 1815.
Robert and Lucy's first child was Lucy Emily who was born at 6.00am on 31st July 1872.  Lucy was baptized privately by Reverend J Thomas, Wood Green on 26th October 1872.

To lose a wife is so very sad, but to lose a wife for a second time is such a tragedy.

Robert wrote.
"On Wednesday morning October 23, 1872 at half past seven o'clock my  beloved wife Lucy was taken from me.  God's will be done."
Robert continued, "Tuesday October 29, 1872 my beloved Lucy was buried in my grave at the cemetery, Brompton."
The next entry reads. "Saturday 26th July 1873, at a quarter past one o'clock in the afternoon my darling babe Lucy Emily died, during my absence in the United States.  She was buried in my grave in the Cemetery, Brompton on 1st August 1873."
To read that Robert lost two wives and two babies during his life  is so terribly sad.

The pain and heartache this family went through, firstly to lose  baby Harry and then to lose  Emily, Robert's first wife and mother to his children. To re-marry and lose Lucy his wife, followed by baby Lucy must have been heartbreaking. 
I did not know this family but you can feel the pain and heartache they went through.

Although Robert lived 184 years ago, reading Robert's Bible, has given me an insight into his life all those years ago. When reading you can feel his pain and suffering.
Next Sunday I will share with you more about Robert's family and their Bible.
Until then, take care and have a good week.
This week I shall be joining,
Best Wishes
Daphne xxx

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Good Morning to you,

Look what I found, a Picture Post Magazine dated 19th August 1939.  Sadly the front cover is missing but the magazine is full of wonderful pictures of a by-gone age that we only see nowadays in those fabulous 1930's and 40's films. 

Phyllis was almost 9 years old at the time, when these ladies were learning to dance elegantly, around the dance floor.
 Look at the shoes, I was wondering if they were dance shoes.  It really doesn't matter because I love them.  The height of the heel is just perfect and look at their fabulous ankles.
Do you see the seams in their stockings, they are perfectly straight.  Phyllis told me that during the late 1930's and into the 40's, it was hard for women to buy silk stockings in England,  so they would get a friend or sister to paint a straight line up the back of their legs,  to simulate the look of stockings. That would have had to be a friend with a real steady hand, otherwise the end result could have been disastrous.  I don't think these ladies had that problem as they  look like they were wearing silk stockings.

Look at this brave man!  He is learning to dance with a group of women. That takes courage, but as the dancing  style in those days was as a couple,  the men had to learn to dance. I wonder if he was the only man in the dance group, if so he would be very popular wouldn't he.

Don't you just love the dancing teacher's pillar box hat, which she wore during the tuition.

Even in the 1950's and early 1960's ,Ivy would wear a hat to complete her outfit. There were a range of daily hats, which she used for shopping, visiting or going for a walk, but there were always a number of  special Sunday hats which were worn to church. I remember when her hat was suitably placed on her head, she would add  a dash of perfume  to her neck and wrists, then she was ready to go. The perfume was always Chanel No 5 and even today when I pass someone wearing this perfume, Ivy pop's straight into my mind.
I was talking to my mother-in-law and she was telling me that in August 1939 she was 9 years old. On Saturday night's during the summer, she and her friends were allowed to sit on the front wall outside her house and watch all the young women dressed in their beautiful dresses, as they went out to the Saturday night dances. She said they wore  wraps  or short jackets to keep themselves warm and always wore a hat to complement the outfit  they were wearing.  She said as a 9 year old she thought they all looked liked film stars.

 Oh, no, I got ahead of myself.....there were two men. Look at the concentration on his face. This class was for  a lesson in deportment. I can't imagine there would be many men, who would take a lesson in deportment nowadays.
Do you see the Oxford Bags the  chap is wearing.  I remember having a conversation with Gramps, when he told me that he used to wear the same trousers as a young man.
I'll tell you  how that subject came up.
In 1967, I started my first job as a trainee secretary, in a company called Thurmac Limited.  They were a company which sold all things to do with Christmas, but I digress.  My first salary was £3, yes 3 whole pounds a week.  I used to give Phyllis  £1.10 shillings a week and the balance of £1.10 shillings was mine.  One of the first things I bought was a trendy pair of Oxford Bags, which were made in a blue herringbone cloth. You know how it is when you are a teenager, and you buy something new, you are so in love with it, that it's worn over and over again, well that's how it was for me during my teenage years.
So my fabulous Oxford Bags were worn when I went to see Ivy and Gramps. When I arrived, I could see him looking at my trousers and  he kept smiling at me.  When we  sat down  I asked him what he was smiling at. He then asked me if I liked my trousers.  I replied, I thought they were ace (sorry back to teenage 1960's language) and he told me that my trousers were men's trousers. I told him he was wrong as the trouser's were made for women,  and  I had bought them at a trendy women's boutique in town. He said that they were  men's trousers, because he had worn the same  style  as a young man, to which we both laughed. I said I didn't believe him. Ivy disappeared for a few minutes and returned with a photo in her hand of Gramps wearing Oxford Bags. He was amazed to think his young teenage grand-daughter would wear the same trousers as he did as a young man, but even more that I liked them! That's fashion for you!

Look how intensely the dance teacher is watching to make sure the ladies dance the correct steps.  I'm not sure the 5th lady in the picture is doing the correct steps as her skirt seems to be swinging whilst the other ladies dresses are hanging straight. The ladies in the front row look like they are doing a rise and fall. Oh yes, I watch Strictly Come Dancing.
....and so that ends the photos for today.  I have lots to share with you and will at a later date.  It's fascinating to see how the world has changed so much for Phyllis.
See you later in the week, until then, take care.
This week I will be joining,
Best Wishes
Daphne xxx

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Good Morning to you,

What a relief, National Chocolate Week is almost over.  As you know, my relief is not because I dislike chocolate, it's quite the opposite, it's because I love chocolate and if I'm honest with you, I think I allowed myself to indulge, just a little too much this week. All in the name of National Chocolate Week.  Will I ever learn!

So today, I am returning to my normal eating routine and I have chosen something which is easy to make, but at the same time full of flavour. A Greek style Stifado.

Doesn't this Stifado look inviting, couldn't you just get a spoon and dive right in! Sorry, I'm not really promoting bad habits!


1.5 kg lamb cut into cubes
3 onions, sliced
3 cloves of garlic (less if you prefer)
1x 400g tin of tomatoes, chopped
or 6 ripe tomatoes skinned and chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
2 cinnamon sticks
3 dried bay leaves
200ml red wine
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
5 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pint of vegetable stock

 Using a large, wide pan, add  three tablespoons of olive oil and add the sliced onions to the pan. 

Cook the onions on a low heat until golden brown. This will take about 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the onions and garlic from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, add two more tablespoons of olive oil and brown the lamb, a little at a time.  Don't overload the pan with the cubed lamb as it will boil rather than brown. I found browning six pieces of lamb each time worked for my pan. As each batch is browned place on a plate and continue browning with the next batch of lamb.

When you have finished browning all the lamb, return it to the pan and add the onions and garlic and stir.

 Add the red wine

Add the chopped tomatoes

 Add the cinnamon, bay leaves, salt and pepper

Add the tomato paste

Add the sugar


Add the red wine vinegar and vegetable stock and stir well.
Place a lid on the pan and simmer gently for 1 hour 45 minutes or until the lamb is nice and tender.
If you want to reduce the sauce, remove the lid, raise the heat to medium and cook for a further 15 minutes until you reach the consistency that suits you.  Taste at this point to see if you need to add more seasoning.

...and here you have it a delicious, warming Stifado.
I sometimes serve Stifado with mashed potato and broccoli. 
Other times I serve with couscous.  It all depends on your fancy for that day. However you decide to serve this dish, I know you will enjoy it.
Just as an added note, Stifado is usually made with pickling onions.  I find they are too fiddly and time consuming, I prefer sliced onions.  Remember what I said about adapting a recipe to your own taste.
If you would like to  make Stifado with pickling onions, then you will need 1 kg of onions.  You will also need to brown the onions before adding them to the lamb mixture.
Have fun cooking this recipe.
Take care and I will see  you later in the week.
This week I will be joining,
Best Wishes
Daphne xxx
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