Monday, 19 November 2012

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship

Blue Ribbon Sampler by Olwyn Horwood

Not so much progress this week as I had hoped. For some reason I have been very tired in the evenings and I haven't put the hours in. Very little was achieved at all  on Sunday as we spent most of the day going back and forth to the nursing home as my MIL had a fall on Saturday evening and a suspected mild stroke. I didn't even get the chance to watch Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday.

Thankfully it only takes us literally two minutes to get there.

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The centre motifs are completed, they are arranged so that the sampler can be hung either way up. I was very tempted to stitch them all one way as I cannot imagine changing the way I hang the sampler but on reflection I thought that it was a nice quirky touch, making it very different to my other samplers.

I have been thinking about where I shall hang her when finished. The colours suit my drawing room as both the sampler and the room are in varying shades of greens, pinks and mauves.

The trouble will be finding a space on the walls. It will be a shame to break up the art collection that we have in this room.

This little nook off the main room is a favourite spot of ours to sit quietly either watching the waves and passing ships, reading or day dreaming. It is very easy when sat here to drift off.

SDW by Scarlet Letter

Our SAL is progressing nicely and my enjoyment of stitching this piece has been greatly enhanced by the friendship of the other ladies. I look forward to picking up SDW every weekend. Previously I had not been able to stitch more than one project at a time but the SAL has changed that.

I read a very interesting post this week on a blog that I follow ( I am so sorry but I cannot remember which one) that had a link to a review of needles by the Scarlet Quince. It was very interesting, normally I use John James gold plated 28 & 26 but I do like the needles that come with The Scarlet Letter kits but don't know what make they are.

Do you have a favourite brand of needle?

I have had several emails asking what frame I use to stitch on. Over the years I have bought several different sorts and have had lots of problems with getting the tension right. I like my fabric to be drum tight including the sides. I tried lacing the sides but it was a nuisance and time consuming re-lacing as I moved down the fabric. I bought "suspender" like straps for the sides but again I did not find that I had the right tension.

Then I read Mary Corbett's review of the Millennium Frame and the follow up review.

I also watched this video. What you see is really how easy it is to set up.

I cannot praise the frame enough.

Last week I posted a photo of the jumper (pullover sweater) that Elizabeth knitted for my expected grandson, this week Elizabeth gave me another gorgeous jumper she had knitted. Aren't they beautiful.

Thank you Elizabeth for your kindness and generosity. Friendship is certainly a work of heart.

I have baked nearly every day this week. After the success of Nikki's cream cake recipe she very kindly shared with me one of her family's favourite bakes, an extremely chocolately (is that a proper word) cake made using ice cold water. OMG it was amazing. I made two and took one to my friend and when I returned home this was all that was left. I wonder who ate half(!!) the cake.

I also made another two cakes with the cream cake recipe again one for a friend as a thank you for a favour.

Fresh out the oven this morning were some chocolate chip and toffee muffins. They won't last long and Blue is guarding them to make sure that he gets some too.

November is the month of both Blue and Poppy's birthdays and I like to give them something special. Here is a good recipe that is easy to slice up and share with other doggy friends at a birthday party.

300g (11oz) minced lamb
200g (7oz) flour
50g (2oz) oats
50g (2oz) ground sunflower seeds
100g (4oz) cottage cheese
2 eggs beaten.

To decorate:-

150g (5oz) low fat cream cheese
100g (4oz) Cheddar cheese slices cut into small squares
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F/gas 4)
Lightly grease a 20cm (8") round cake tin.

Stir the minced lamb, egg, oats, ground sunflowers, cottage cheese into a bowl and mix well together.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for approx 45 minutes, leave to cool for a few minutes then place on a rack to cool completely.

"Ice" the top of the cake with the cream cheese and use the cheese squares to decorate, sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

We are off now to visit my MIL. When you know someone who is unwell it brings home that fact that good health is the greatest gift. Thankfully Ray and I have each other to share the responsibility of her care this makes us realise that contentment is the greatest  wealth and faithfulness the best relationship.

Warm Wishes from Stitching By A Cornish Sea Shore Nicola xxx