Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Playing Out Today .. a Few Pic's

Hello there ... 
How was your day?

I've had a nice day...Managed to spend some time playing out in the sunshine.
Yes .. the sun was shining .. it was a tad windy ... well .. maybe a bit more than a 'tad' ... but hey!... 'the Sunshine'! 

And in celebration I put up the flag ...
 well ... not exactly a flag ... but one smashingly colourful sunshade I found propped up against the shed.

I'm practising for summer ...see!

Its  a bit of a sad looking sunshade ... so I shall look for something a bit smarter ... something suitably Retro will show up.

 I haven't been simply 'faffing about' with brolly's ...I did do some proper organising ready for the planting of veggie stuff.
I dragged all these battered old tin baths from hidden corners of the garden and arranged them in what will be my 'tub planting area'.
They look a bit scruffy and battered but they will do the job .. and to be honest I like my stuff to be a bit rough and ready
.... and No ... I did not mention Hubby P .. that was all in your mind! .. 

 Its all looking a bit dingy at the moment ..

... but i found some pretties hiding in a little sheltered spot.

Just see how dainty and pretty ...

Life is bursting forth once again ...

Big fat juicy shoots ... a sign that Spring is on its way ... hurrah !

What do you find grows well in pots .... Lidl will be getting their super cheap seeds in soon ..and I have put aside a few pennies to have a bit of a seed stocking up session .... whats good to buy?


Monday, 28 January 2013

Make a Few Little Thrifty Pennies

Hello there ...
What an awfully wet day we have here ... and its forecasting force 7 gales this evening...

O woe is me ...

 Such wet and windy weather ... I'm quite tired of it.
It seemed quite dark today too.

All the garden was looking sorry for itself too ... damp and dreary.

I needed to focus on something positive ... do something useful..
and what could be more useful at the moment than a few extra pennies. 

Having bought Hubby P some much needed new boots and an Approved Food order my 'pin money' stash is much depleted. 
So I had a root about the house and 'tidied' some bedroom drawers ...its amazing the amount of 'stuff' a body acquires ..I'm sure some of it breeds in the dark of the cupboards.

How many scarves does a girl need ... some are colours I would never wear ... just pretty .. I suppose that's what I was thinking.

Anyway surplus to requirements ... so off to Ebay with you. I know they won't make a lot ... but you know what they say ..

...Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves' 

 I'm holding on to this thought...

Spring and Summer has got to be on its way ...
and we can smell the flowers...

What makes it Spring for you?


Saturday, 26 January 2013

I'm Tired Of Waiting .... Thrifty Seeds ..

Hello there ....
Gosh the rain is lashing the windows ..and the wind is howling around the cottage tonight ...hope you are all tucked up safe and warm.

 Well ...its come to this ...
I am fed up waiting for a 'spring like' sign...
I feel I have to jump start it ... just like you would a rusty old motor.

I had a rootle about and found a few old pots ... gave them a good wash ... and dispatched Hubby P ...posthaste!
 .. to purchase a small bag of potting compost ...needless to say he returned with two huge bags ... no doubt we will use it all eventually.... 

I know really its a bit early ... and there are few seeds that can be sown (in the midst of winter!) without all the sophisticated tackle such as greenhouses and heated mats and whatnot.
But I will give it a try ... makes me feel as though I am starting on the garden.

As you can see ... my equipment is far from sophisticated. 
When I went looking for pots and whatnot I remembered that in a fit of 'tidying and organising' ....always a dangerous thing.. I had given most of my pots etc away.
Not to worry I made do with what I cold find ... good old margarine tubs and milk bottles.

 So what did I plant ... Some Broad beans from a packet someone had kindly given me ... a few Leek seeds I bought online... and some Garlic ...from good old Lidl!
I was looking at Garlic to plant and its so expensive for so little ... so I thought I would try bog standard Spanish Garlic from the supermarket.
 Maybe it won't be as big and plumptious as the seed merchants proclaim theirs to be ... but it will do me.

And on the sewing front... 

I made myself a new little purse from the Grannie Ivy squares.

Its a rather warm and soft ...and  squishy little number..

With a good strong zip and pretty pink floral cotton to line it.

Just a bit of everyday Grannie to carry with me ... help me eek out my pennies.

So what have you been up to today .. anyone else been thinking about Spring and planting?

Take care ..bye for now x

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Yummy yummy Thrifty Soup... and Mittens

Hello there ....
just a quick catch up ...
 and to share this wonderful thrifty soup.

 I saw Weaver  (at   had made this wonderfully yummy Cream of Onion Soup.

I have a few onions (remember I bought a huge bargain bag of them the other week) ... so I gave it a go ....and its lovely.

Lightly soften a heap of onions in some butter
In a large pan put onions and a large chopped potato
add a pint of stock (veg stock cube)
simmer for 20 minutes ....add about a pint of milk ...simmer a bit longer on a very low heat (till everything is soft basically).
I added a tablespoon of flour to thicken ...some salt and pepper
and blitzed it with the blender.

Fabulous ... I had it for tea with slabs of homemade bread and lashings of butter..     

 I made Hubby P his promised Bacon and Egg Pie ... a Girl has to keep her promises. 
 I made two and put one in the freezer.

Should be plenty left for lunches at work tomorrow ... mind you I haven't been and checked in the kitchen yet ...if he's had the munchies it will have to be jam butties!

Labour of love these past few nights... 

Will our youngest son works and lives far away 'down south' with his beloved... we miss them...
 and of course they keep up with our doings via the blog.
He had seen the pic's of fingerless mittens I had crocheted for myself and asked for a snazzy pair for himself....

So of course ... the only stipulation was that they weren't a girly colour... just hope these aren't too boring a colour...and don't mention to him the obvious 
....I ran out of the red wool.....oops  

Must go to bed ... take care x

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Simple No Nonsense Thrifty Food ...... And Grannies Cushion.

Hello there ... hope all is well with you ... just fine ere..

Tell you what ... this snow has been a bit of a blessing for me ... this not being able to get out means I have had time to sit by the fire and sew...hurrah!

I managed to finish my little Grannie Ivy cushion.
I backed the knitted squares (sewn together) with some plain cotton and kinda quilted them together to give it strength. 

 And then did a bit of simple embroidery over the seams to ..well.. just because I thought it looked pretty really.

 The backing is perhaps a bit loud and 'full on' for the rustic nature of the front ... but to be honest was the first ... most easily accessible piece of fabric I could find ... 
The thought of dragging out all the cases which I have carefully stashed my fabric was just too much

Anyway its clean and cheerful piece of fabric .. French I believe...and it does the job.
As you may have noticed I have just done a very basic job and will simply slip stitch the opening together now the cushion pad is in place. 
Lazy maybe but its just for me ... and I did hand stitch it all ... how else could I stay glued to the fire.
So there we are Grannie Ivy .... hope you like how your handiwork has turned out.

Monday we went shopping to replenish stocks ... not a lot ... just basics really 

Last week I found the Mince and we still have some of that in the freezer ... so this week I fancied something a bit different ...but as thrifty-ly priced, we were in Lidl again.
I thought I would have a bit of this... Bacon Bits ...only this pack consists of two solid pieces ends of rolls. About £2.26-ish  a pack (1 kg) ... a lot of bacon for your money.
So how far can we stretch it ... that's the question..

Hubby P was a bit dubious until I suggested a bacon and egg pie ... that brought a smile to his face ... 

As you know its all basic food here ... so being Tuesday ...a work day ... and me tired ... it was a simple tea.
I peeled a few potatoes before we went out this morning ... so this evening I just had to slice a bit of the bacon bits ... few mushrooms for Richard (veggie) and throw in a pan with a bit of onion.
So nice buttered potatoes.. bacon and a egg ... made a nice change.
Just be warned ..if anything it was a bit salty ... so no need to add salt to any dishes .. but good value and a change from mince.
I used under a quarter of the bacon so lots left for.....
 bacon and egg pie
bacon hotpot
bacon and beans .. type thing

....and what else ....any ideas?

Take care ....bye for now x

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Its That Siege Mentality ....

Hello there ...
 this enough snow for you then!

Its certainly a white world out there.
We have had lots ... pretty.. but cold ... and the stuff melts all over the floor!

This was yesterday as it was coming down.

 The sky was dark and thick with swirling snow .... magical.

And it just to be the day we had ordered a delivery of logs.....

Do you like Hubby P's 'bright and cheerful' new work gear! 
It was the only pair of overalls Father Christmas could find in his size..... of course Hubby P swears its a ploy on my part to keep track of him in the garden ....
as if I could lose him!

Today it was white all over.... a world muffled to the everyday...
a day for sitting by the fire and playing with my Grannie squares.

Hubby P helped the neighbours clear paths and whatnot ... of course he was a prime target for the snowballs ... not that he didn't give as much as he got.

Whilst Richard and Uncas sorted us out and made the route to the woodshed less hazardous.

I dolled about with the camera for a while.... still in my pj's I'm afraid ... and of course my boots ...
Its been that kinda day.

 I felt the stirrings yesterday ...and by this afternoon I was in full 'siege mode' had snowed ... we were snowed in .... a Girl just has to make bread!
Its something I remember well from being a girl...we were often snowed in when living in the wilds of Lancashire.
 Mum always had a store cupboard well stocked and we would make bread and soups and warming stews .... to warm the body and feed the soul.

So we had bread for tea ... 
great steaming ....still warm from the oven ..
..chunks of it
 ...spread thickly with wonderful Welsh butter.

And jam sponge pudding .... its the law on a cold and snowy day!

With lashings of custard!

So ....what kicks in your 'siege mentality' and how do you cope?

Take care ..... bye for now xx 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Grannies Knitting Lives On ....And Thrifty Pizza

Hello there ... 
hope you are having a good week.

We've been sorting household clearance stuff again ... it can be quite sad with the old photographs and such like.
 And rootling about in old sewing/knitting bags can bring a tear to my eye .... the things I find ... there is nothing so personal as someones hand stitched needle case .... and unfinished project.

 I found these tiny crocheted bits the other day ... just in a little paper bag  ...stuffed in the bottom of an old quilted knitting bag ... somebody... somewhere.... had begun something ... a crafty notion unfulfilled.

As it was a rather quiet day ..... I was sat in a rather large draughty hall serving customers and generally people watching.

I thought I would make them into something ... just to remember the needlewoman who went before ... was she someones Grannie .... Grannie who? Grannie Ivy perhaps ... my Gran was an Ivy.

I had only what I had with me ...basic sewing stuff but I managed to start to form them into a little purse. I found some old white ... seen better days .. napkins, to make an inner lining .. and an old zip.
Its not finished yet I have left it in my bag to work on when I have a quiet few minutes at the car boot sale.

 Yesterday these came tumbling out of an old plastic bag....
another Grannie reaching out...

 These are so darling ...itsy bitsy squares in lovely pastel-y... muted colours. 
What did she have in mind for them?

I thought I could put them together kinda ... like this.... and make a cuddly cushion .... what do you think ?... think Grannie would like it?
I have actually started sewing them together ... you know when your fingers just itch to get sewing .... I'll keep you posted.

I had to break off to feed these men ... food can be a bit wearisome at times ... and I had left it a bit late to start making a dinner ....truth be known I had stood out in the freezing cold ... at the carboot sale from 7.30 this morning until 3 this afternoon .... 
so I wasn't incined to be a Domestic Goddess this evening.

I grabbed some of these from the freezer .... an Approved Foods bargain ... something like a dozen packets for a £1... I have loads in the freezer ... great stand by.

Whacked on some ....again cheapo Approved Foods tomato puree (mixed with a dash of brown sauce) 

 Fried up what came to hand as I opened the fridge/freezer ....onion, manky looking mushrooms, handful of frozen peppers and sprinkling of sweetcorn.
Popped it on top with a bit ....perhaps more than a bit .... we like cheese....and put them in the oven for 20 mins.

Lovely with a bit of salad and beetroot chutney ... its kinda chutney weather don't you think ?

So whats keeping you sane these dark and dismal days ... bit of sewing and a dollop of chutney.. next to a roaring fire.. does it for me ..x

Take care .... bye for now xx