Saturday, 29 March 2014


Good Morning to you,

....... I've done it!   It was touch and go as to whether I would finish my project.... but finish it, I have.

I have beaded and sewn until my fingers are so very sore, but I am so very proud of what I have achieved.

This is the top


this is the bottom.

I have made the most fabulous
Hostess Pinnie.

I just felt it was the perfect thing to make,
because I always wear pinnies when I cook
and as Natasha and Danielle pointed out to me,
I am always saying,
"Now it is on with the pinnie".

Here is a closer look at the head of my proud peacock.  I had intended to use sequins, but I found the most gorgeous tiny beads, tucked away in one of my tins, which look perfect. It took me five hours to sew these little lovelies in place.

I used invisible thread to attached the flowers and centre beads, and I have to tell you, invisible thread is not the easiest thread to work with, but the results are perfect.

....and here are the finished tail feathers.  I think you will agree that they look just a little fabulous.

You can see much better in this photograph that there is not a thread in sight.

I had intended to take a photograph with me  wearing  the pinnie, when George returned from his walk, but the weather became so grey and overcast, that the inside of the house grew quite dark, so I had to act straight away and could not wait for George to return. So I laid the pinnie on the table, but I could not get the whole pinnie in the photograph. So it is a pinnie of two halves.

Now as part of the Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition I need to tell you how I made my pinnie.


I cut a heart template out of baking parchment,
for the top of my pinnie.

I then cut three heart shapes.

The first in the Bird Parade material,
the second in a cotton
the third in a cream backing fabric.

I tacked the Bird Parade material
to the cotton material,
as I find this give the beads stability.

I then started my bead work.

When the bead work was finished.

 I placed the backing fabric onto the finished beaded 
Bird Parade fabric
and machine stitched.
I left a 4" gap either side of the base of
the heart to enable the heart to be turned
inside out.

Before turning inside out, I snipped the edges of the heart.
This allows the seams to lay flat,
when turned inside out.

I then cut an oblong shape 20" depth x 27 width
for the lower half of the pinnie,
from the Bird Parade material,


I machine stitched the two sides and bottom
of the Bird Parade material,
(the bottom being the hem)

I folded the Bird Parade material in half to find the centre
and marked the centre with a pin.

Using a running stitch, I stitched  3" either
side of the centre point.
Then I pulled the running stitch to create little gathers.

I then,
cut 4 x 23" by 2" pieces of material
for the  ties
at the waistband
and the neck.

I then folded each piece in half and machine stitched.
I left the top section open
so that I could turn the ties inside out.

I then pressed the ties
and stitched the openings.
I attached one set to the top of the pinnie
to tie around the neck.

I then
cut a waistband,
25" in width and 5" in depth
and folded in half, length ways

top stitched the two sides and top of the waistband.

Here you will notice my mistake.  
I should have attached my ties before I stitched
the sides of my waistband.
So yes, this stitching was unpicked, and the
ties attached and then restitched.
I just forgot to take a photograph,
but you will see the correct version below.

I attached the waistband to the lower part
of the pinnie.
As you can see I could not resist a little embellishment.

Then I stitched the bib
to the

and if I have not missed
out any instructions
you should
at this point,
Hostess Pinnie

Oh I do hope so!

Now, it is in the lap of the Gods..... I have to tell you I really enjoyed making this pinnie..... but I think I will not be doing any beading for a little while.

I am now free to catch up with you, so I promise I will be replying to your comments in the next couple of days and I will also be out and about visiting you again.

I am now going to soak my hands in lavender water.

Take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,

Wednesday, 26 March 2014


Good Morning to you,

Do you remember a little while ago, I mentioned how I love reading magazines and how I hate to part with them.  Even those which are years old, I tuck them away and re-read them at a later date.

Well today, I have a magazine to share with you, which I will never, ever, part with.

The magazine in question is the Woman's Weekly magazine and guess what, 

I am so proud to tell you, that, Ivy, Phyllis and Me! has been featured in an article written by Gillian Harvey for Woman's Weekly.

Gillian wanted to write a feature about women who blog, and the ages were important.  Initially I thought Gillian wanted to write about bloggers who were over 50 years of age, but it turns out, that the featured bloggers were  60 years and over..... me being the eldest.

I never imagined that at the age of 62 years, I would be featured in a magazine..... how fabulous is that.

We knew the publication date, so  we awoke  this morning with great excitement. Do you remember on Sunday, I mentioned to you that Danielle was visiting Natasha in India.  Well we arranged to Skype each other at 9.00 am this morning..... this gave George time to go to the Newsagents to buy a magazine or two.

.....but the girls were so excited, they could not wait until 9.00 am, they rang at 8.00 am. They asked to see the magazine article, and it was "Can you move it to the left".  "Now can you move it to the right" Then it was "up a little, now down a little".  They then asked me to read the article. As I read the text,  I could not see their faces, because I was concentrating on what I was reading, but George said, Danielle had tears in her eyes and Natasha had a smile that went from ear to ear.  To hear my daughters tell me they are so proud of me is so wonderful. In the end we were all beaming with pride.

I have to be honest with you, I never imagined that this would happen to me..... I mean, who imagines that they will be featured in a magazine. I am a normal woman, going about my day to day business, who also happens to blog about something which I love..... food. I love cooking it, I love sharing it and I love eating it.... so it's perfect. I absolutely love sharing my recipes with you and the added bonus is, because of Ivy, Phyllis and Me! I have made some wonderful friends from across the world.... what more could I ask for.

Now here's the thing, do you remember, I told you about Ivy, winning baking trophies,

and Certificates of Merit.  Well Ivy's Cups and Certificates of Merit were awarded by the Woman's Own Magazine.  I never knew if she was featured in the magazine, but judging by this photograph, I would imagine she was.

So Ivy's Cups and Certificates were awarded by the Woman's Own Magazine and my blog was featured in the Woman's Weekly Magazine..... I could not be prouder.

Pop along and visit Woman's Weekly  as it is jam packed with interesting articles. I just know you will find something to enjoy. Whether it is knitting, crocheting, gardening, reading short stories, or solving puzzles, there  will be something for you to enjoy.

I thought you would love to hear about the other women who were featured.  Pop over and visit Sarah from Down on the Allotment and  Linda from Chalky's World. There is one other blog which I just know you will love, Linda from Linda's Crafty Corner

Just before I go, I have to tell you the peacock is finished.... yes it is finished and I love it.  Now it is time to get on with the rest of the project.  I am hoping to be able to share it with you on Saturday and then I will be able to reply to all your wonderful comments.

Until then, take care.

This week I will be joining,

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Good Morning to you,

Well, I have a surprise for you this morning, as I know you will be wondering what I am cooking today..... but the surprise is..... there is no cooking.  Instead I am going to tell you about a sewing competition which I am entering, but let me start at the beginning.

Now I have to tell you, I am normally not a person who enters competitions. I have only entered one competition in my life and that was a Blue Peter Competition, oh so many years ago, when I was about 9 years old..... I did not win, much to my chagrin.... I sat in front of the television waiting for my name to be called.... and much to my disappointment, the presenter did not call out my maybe that is why I never entered another competition..... no I don't think that is true, I just never thought of entering competitions.

That is, until I heard about Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition.  So I popped over to Hillarys Blinds website and discovered, that they were inviting bloggers to "Cut, Stitch and Blog".  

Hillarys Blinds would generously provide bloggers with a 100cm x 100cm piece of Country Retreat Fabric, which we could do with, what ever we wanted.  At this point, I was still not going to enter the competition, I was just inquisitive, but then, I saw the four different fabrics on offer.  The first one to catch my eye was "Wild Poppies".... I love flowers, so I thought, mmm that is a nice piece of material..... but then I saw "Bird Parade" and I was smitten.  I absolutely adore this fabric and I knew instantly that, yes, I would love to enter the competition, because the fabric was perfect for me.

Firstly let me show you a closeup of the fabric and then I will tell you why I chose to enter Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition.

Isn't he a magnificent  Peacock.  I immediately knew what I wanted to do with this fabulous piece of material.

I really felt all the stars were aligned and I had to enter the competition because, as you know, not only does Natasha live in India, but  Danielle is in India, visiting with Natasha as we speak.

The Peacock is the National bird of India and what do I see when I am sitting on Natasha's balcony.... these majestic, graceful, Peacocks, either roosting in the trees or walking around the Nature Reserve with their Peahens following behind.

.... and there is even more, all the beads and bits and bobs which I will use on this piece of work, all came from India.  So when I say the stars are aligned..... I really believe the stars are aligned and they are encouraging me to be creative with this beautiful Bird Parade fabric.

So first things first, before I get my "creative head" into gear, I want to share with you, the music I am listening to,

the classical guitarist Milos Karadaglic.  This music is perfect to listen to whilst beading..... oops I've let the cat out of the bag and told you what I am going to do.

So let us begin.

not at the beginning, but where I am up to at the moment.  I felt this majestic Peacock needed his plumage to look beautiful and so,

I  gathered all my beads, threads and embellishments to decide on the colours to use.  It was such an easy task as all the vibrant coloured beads and embellishments were from India. 

.... and so I began.

I will not tell you today, the basics of what I did, such as cutting and basting, I will leave that for another day.  Today, I want to share with you  the exciting part of adding the beads, embroidery and embellishments.

So after the cutting and basting I needed to decide where I was going to,

place my beads.  I knew instantly where I wanted to place the circles of turquoise and gold beads.  So they were the first thing to be stitched into place.

and then I added the purple drop beads and as you can see a small heart made it's way on to the piece.... you know my love for hearts.

I then side tracked..... which I often do and added the flower shapes, then placed a bead into the centre of each flower.

I then decided it was time to think about the wing feathers.... and I had just the thing.... don't the beads and sequins look fabulous.

I had the perfect thing for the feathers on the Peacock's head..... three small heart beads.

I then added a little embroidery and used a chain stitch.  I added small turquoise, blue, gold and green beads.   The tail feathers were coming along beautifully.

It was then the turn of the folded tail feathers, so I outlined the feathers with large turquoise beads and infilled with tiny turquoise beads.

I am so pleased with how the piece is progressing.

There is still a lot to do, and I think the next thing will be to sequin the chest of the Peacock.  I will see how the sequins look before I make up my mind.

I am sewing each day and into the evening.  George has been amazing as he has cooked, while I sew. Normally I would take quite a long time to finish a piece such as this, but time is of the essence, so I need to get my shimmy on and finish. I bead for an hour and then I walk around the house and do a few stretching exercises. Then I return to my kitchen table and carry on beading. 

Because I need to finish the bead work and embroidery by the middle of this week, I might not be able to bead the whole piece, but we will see. 

Now, I wonder if you can guess what I am making.... I think you will be surprised when you find out, because I don't think you will be able to guess. What I will say, is it is something which you associate with me.... now that has you thinking. 

Also, when I have finished I will write a post about how I made the piece..... I have to be careful how I use my words as I don't want to give the game away.

So this is the reason I have not been visiting you this week, as most of my time has been taken up with sewing.  I do hope you understand.  Once I have finished this project, I will be out and about visiting you again.

Wish me luck and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Good Morning to you,

I am quite a simple girl, when it comes my kitchen tools.  

I have a very old  Prestige  knife which I use for chopping.  The handle probably has seen better days, but I don't mind, as it feels comfortable to use.  George keeps it nice and sharp for me, so it slices through onions, as if it were slicing through butter.  You might have noticed him (yes I call my Prestige knife a "him")  in the odd photograph or two.

I then have my small "no named" knife which I use for peeling. Again, I have owned this little black handled knife for years. I follow in Phyllis' footsteps as she has a small peeling knife which she has also used for years..... no vegetable peelers for us.... as peeling is an art, which we  have both mastered over time.  

...... and now, there is a new kid in town..... my new white gizmo. It finely slices, and it has attachments which can create a multitude of other shapes...... but I have never used it..... until today.

Because today, I am going to make a,

Potato Omelette for our lunch.  This Omelette does use quite a lot of sliced potatoes, which normally, I would par-boil, slice and then fry in butter and olive oil.

..... but not today.  I am venturing into new territory.... I am going to take a step into the unknown.  I am going to peel my potatoes with my little black handled knife.... then I am going to assemble my new little white gizmo and I am going to finely slice my potatoes.

What on earth is a little white gizmo, I can hear you asking.... well I will tell you, it's a Mandoline. I am assembling my new Mandoline, which I have to tell you, I still have reservations about... but I will carry on and give it a chance. 

I prod one potato with the round grip, which is shaped like a bowler hat and which has little spikes attached and away I go...... I cannot believe it, I am slicing the potatoes so quickly.... and do you know.... I love it!

The Mandoline made short work of my potatoes, they were thinly sliced in minutes..... and I did not par-boil them beforehand..... how fabulous is that.  I have been converted, I am now a Mandoline User and I can't wait to use it again.

Did I hear you say, why did you spend the money and buy the Mandoline if you were not sure about it..... well,  I did not buy the Mandoline, it was given to me as a gift..... lucky me. 

So while I am basking in the fabulousness of my new Mandoline, it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to today is,

a lady who needs no introduction from me.... Whitney Houston. This whole album is fabulous, but listen to "My Love is Your Love" and "You'll Never Stand Alone".

The sun is shining through my kitchen windows and I am listening to "It's Not Right, But It's OK".... what could be nicer.


750g large potatoes
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 garlic clove
8 eggs
5 tablespoonfuls of olive oil
2 tablespoonfuls of butter
2 teaspoonfuls of sea salt
1 teaspoonful of black pepper


Peel and slice the onion
place 1 tablespoonful of olive oil
into a pan and cook the onions
until golden brown.

Wash, and slice the red pepper.
In a separate pan,
add 1 tablespoonful of olive oil
and cook the red pepper until soft.

Set aside for a moment.

Peel and finely slice the potatoes.
Add 1 tablespoonful of olive oil to a pan
1 tablespoonful of butter.

Cook the potato slices in batches, until they become
 golden brown.
You will need to add  more olive oil and butter
as you cook the potatoes.

Set aside for a moment.

Using 1 teaspoonful of sea salt
crush the garlic.

When the onions are almost browned
add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Using a large bowl,
whisk the eggs together.

Add the browned onions to the eggs
and mix together.

Add the sliced peppers
to the onions and eggs.

Add  1 teaspoonful of sea salt and black pepper
mix together

Place 1 tablespoonful of olive oil into a pan
and heat.
Ladle the egg, onion and red pepper mix
into a 28cm pan

add the browned potatoes.

Press the potatoes into the egg mixture
and cook over a low heat
for 12-15 minutes.

Now if you are brave enough, flip the
potato omelette onto  a plate then
return it to the pan cooked side up.

I am not so brave, so I brown my potato omelette
under a medium grill.
This takes about 5-8 minutes

When the Potato Omelette is golden on top, 
allow the omelette to sit for a couple of minutes
place onto a plate.

We enjoy this Potato Omelette with
a green salad
and a
 simple olive oil and lemon dressing.

Of course if you prefer, you can cook your onions until translucent, but I love the caramelized flavour which comes from the browned onions.  Also, sometimes, I will add chilli flakes, or ground coriander and ground cumin seeds.  Feel free to play around with the flavours.

Don't worry if you do not own a Mandoline, do as I have done for years.... par boil the potatoes, allow to cool, then slice and cook in olive oil and butter.

If you prefer a deeper Potato Omelette, then use a smaller pan, but remember to increase the cooking time as the omelette will be a lot denser.

I know, it sounds like you are using a lot of pans, but a little washing up never hurt anyone, especially when the sun is shining and  you have a delicious Potato Omelette to enjoy for lunch.

So take care and I will see you on Sunday.

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