Friday, 26 May 2017

May 2017 Photo Hunt

I am once again joining in with Hawthorn Spellweaver (click here to visit her blog and see links to other people who are taking part). This month she gave us a list of 25 words from which we had to select just 10 words.  I present my selection below!

1  Lichen

I think lichens are amazing.  I've not tried to find the names of the above 3 but one day,
perhaps when I have time (!!!!!), I will do some research.  I suspect they will
be hard to identify!

2  Glass

Years ago (it must be at least 20) I spotted this glass ornament in a charity shop
and it just had to come home with me.  It was bought as a Christmas present
for a friend but I found I could not part with it!  When I was in the throes
of moving house I did consider gifting it to her but I failed!

3  Piano

Many years ago Beloved decided his piano had to go to make way for a desk as he
was now working from home.  It only had to move a short distance; just as well
we have a tractor and trailer to hand.  Of course one helper just had to play
the piano...  I can't remember what the faces of the people passing
by looked like as I was too occupied with watching the 
proceedings!  Photos taken with my old film camera as it
was definitely pre-digital camera era!

4  Vast

Late 2003 or early 2004 Beloved announced his intention to buy some land near where we live;
the land comprised 3 fields....  at the time I did wonder what it was all about but over the
years it has become our playground.  Anyway I digress.  Back in about 2010
Beloved decided to plant a hawthorn hedge....  We had to do battle with rabbits
and deer eating the new growth but finally a hedge is beginning to appear.
About 2 years ago he decided to clip it using his engine powered hedge clipper.  It
did the job very quickly but then it was a nightmare to pick up the clippings
from the grass.  So when he mentioned this year he intended to trim it again 
I said I would hand cut it.  It took just over 3 weeks (on and off) to finish
the job.  He did help too!  The entire hedge is about 110 metres long 
(for that read VAST) and it is not all shown in the above photo.  Don't forget 
the inside needed clipping too!  We are pleased with the end result.

5   Bush

In reality it is bye bye several bushes!

When we moved here just over 2 years ago I noticed the island bed was infested with bamboo.
This year finally saw me finish tackling the job of hand-digging it up, bit by bit.
I found the best to deal with it was to use a little miner's pick and not a spade.

I used it to free up the bamboo and then I could cut it out with my secateurs and consign
it to the garden waste bin.  A full-sized pick is too heavy for me....
Several shrubs had to go as they were congested with bamboo roots that it would be
impossible to remove said roots.  Once I'd cleared around the last shrub I leant on it
and to my surprise it 'fell over' and I nearly fell with it!  Job satisfaction by the bucket load.
I've yet to decide what to do with this area!

6   Steam

The first photo is taken from the car as we drove along the railway track
near Embsay steam station.  This was taken several years ago.
The other day we were driving to Ribblehead and just as we drove out of Long Preston 
I noticed a man and tripod in a field overlooking the railway line.  Later on we spotted 
other people.  Just as we got to Helwith Bridge there were loads of people so 
Beloved pulled onto the grass and as I got out of the car I heard the steam train coming!  
It was a bit of a rush to cross the road and I managed to get 3 photos, 
that were literally point and shoot!
Yes we like steam trains, but then you already knew this if you read about April's 
photo hunt!

7  Bark

This is a neighbour's dog who likes to BARK at the water.  I presume it is her reflection
that she can see; she will happily do this for hours.  As I prepare this post 
I can hear her barking!

8  Weave

The top weave effect was done using Picasa Photo editor software back 
in 2005.  This was my entry in the digitally enhanced photo section.
It did not win a prize but then again the prize winners were so much better.

9  Modern

This reminds me of a Barbara Hepworth or Henry Moore sculpture.  But what it is you ask?
Question - how do you completely destroy a computer's hard drive?
Answer - burn it! (Another good use the fields are put to!)
Result - the melted aluminium formed this shape.

10 Time

Look how time has eroded the top of this fence post at our fields. So tactile and so delicate.

Well those are my offerings for this month.

Now I must go and look at everyone else's photos.  Don;t forget you can click here to see other people joining in with Hawthorn this month.

Friday, 28 April 2017

April 2017 Photo Hunt

I am once again joining in with Hawthorn Spellweaver (click here to visit her blog and see links to other people who are taking part).  She provided us with a fresh list of words and I found some quite hard; I knew what I wanted to use but the photo opportunity did not appear!

So here is my best effort!

1  New

I  spotted this delightful willow work sculpture near a former Post Office on the outskirts of
our village.  Who ever made it did well to capture the essential elements of a mother ewe
and her lambs.

2  Rust

This was hard!  I had all sorts of ideas but never the photo opportunity.
The rust coloured Highland cattle seemed to have disappeared from their
usual place; rust coloured leaves left on the beech hedge were so pale
now.  I associate the word rust with old, possibly useless items but I
wanted to indicate life.  So I was pleased to see the rust coloured outer
layers on this chestnut tree bud and the rusty piece of metal reminds me
of possible quilting patterns...  so two for the price of one!

3  Box

I love boxes, wood or plastic or fabric covered card.  I made this one from a kit
many years ago and it holds some of my essential sewing accessories.

4  Ingredients

I need to make a quilt for a large sofa we inherited when we moved here just over 2 years ago.  
The new quilt is very much in the planning stage (ah the joys of planning); I am fairly certain 
I have enough fabric ....  I've lots of books to browse through and I've no shortage of quilting and
sewing threads.  So I possess most of the ingredients!  Just need to finalise my pattern 
and then I can start.  So much for the New Year Resolution I made, ie finish UFOs and
don't start new projects......  

5  Begins with D - Dry stone walling

For years (20+????) we lived with the edge of the chicken run sloping down
to the 'path'.  Suddenly I decided I could build a dry stone wall to neaten
it and contain the soil.  Soon after I finished it we moved house but
it was good fun to do!  I had to make it wide enough to Beloved
could get his tractor up and into the chicken run.

6  Mechanical

Friday 31 March the Flying Scotsman was going to travel from Oakworth to Carlisle.  We did think we might drive towards Ribblehead to see it, knowing we'd not get to park at Ribblehead itself unless we left very early.  Beloved found a timetable and we would have had to leave at about 6 am...  so we decided to give it a miss.   Pity as I did want to see it.  Later that day we did drive there and there was no great evidence that a lot of people had been there.  

Three days later we went out for a drive and as we dropped into Haworth, we noticed people on the bridge over the railway line.  As we drove past the station, there was the Flying Scotsman!  Beloved found a place to park (on a steep hill of course) and we walked back to the station.  Just as we were almost there, there was a chuffing sound, with lots of stream and then it chuffed off!  No time to take a picture.  Back to the car and on the road to Oxenhope.  I knew it would get there before we did but I had my fingers crossed that it might linger there.

Yes I was right!  Can you image when we got there (about 5 pm) a railway man told us where to park (free), and then where to go to take pictures.  What a treat.  It stayed there for about 20 minutes before it left.  We had a lot of time to look at it.  Talking to a man with a very expensive looking digital camera, I said we considered going to Ribblehead.  He said he went, took some fantastic photos but the place was mown out with people!

What a lovely thing!  What a treat to be so close, for so long.  It would have been nice to see it go over Ribblehead but it would have only taken a couple of minutes.  Here there were not a lot of  people either.  What a great drive out it was.

Years ago as we drove to Skipton, we noticed a lot of people by the railway bridge.  So Beloved managed to park and we walked back.  I asked what was going to happen.  Mallard was due!  She came by and we saw her.  This would have been in about 1985, pre-digital camera and, whilst I did have a film camera, I rarely took it out with me.  So now I have seen 2 iconic steam trains.  I used to travel on them as a child and love the sounds and smells associated with them.

7  Something seasonal

During the lunch break at our local Quilt Area Day I went for a walk and
there was a lovely magnolia beginning to flower.  It was a beautiful blue
sky but it was not warm!

8  Recently finished

I like to have some simple crochet to do late at night; something that needs little concentration!
I finished this recently and it was destined to go to the local cat rescue place but
a fellow Knit N Knatter colleague begged me for it so I obliged her!
It is called African Flowers.  I dislike sewing blocks together as I find it so boring.  Here
I used Join As You Go; works for me!
Click here to see the pattern for the actual flower block.
Click here to read about using Join As You Go.

9  Begins with R

Ah my beloved Rheum palmatum (ornamental rhubarb) with the morning sun lighting up its
leaves.  It grows to be at least 2-3 m tall and its leaves spread over about 2 m.
Beloved hated it as he blamed its size for interfering with the satellite signal!
In the end he extended the pole on which the satellite dish sat...
When we were planning to move house he stated that it was not coming with us.
About 9 months after we moved here he spotted one in the garden!  
Little does he know I brought 7 chunks with me and they have all taken.....
I call her Gloria ....  

10 Own Choice

I've never had a traditional Christmas tree for a variety of reasons.  Last Christmas I was 'told'
by a friend that our new house would easily accommodate one.  So I decided to make an
alternative one; it is an ash branch, yarn bombed with space-dyed yarn.  After Christmas
I took off all the ornaments and put it temporarily away.  Beloved said he missed it so
I put it back (complete with red lights) and have used non-Christmas tree ornaments
to hang from its branches.  I realised the other week that I was vary fashionable
as I apparently had an Easter tree!  Yes there were (note the word WERE) some
small chocolate Easter eggs hanging on the tree but they have all gone....

Well that's all for this month.  I hope some of my ramblings made you smile (or even sigh!).

Now I must go and look at everyone else's photos.  Don;t forget you can click here to see other people joining in with Hawthorn this month.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Hawthorn's March Photo Hunt

I am once again joining in with Hawthorn Spellweaver (click here to visit her blog and see links to other people who are taking part).  She provided the list of words before the end of February and as usual I had to think hard!

So off we go.

1  Flowers

For a long time now, Caravan Girl has given me
an Amaryllis bulb just before Christmas.
This year there was a second flower stem but it
grew out at a funny angle; perfect for displaying
its wonderful flower.

2  Baking/Cooking (with recipe)

Top - size of dough
Middle - first set of 9 cookies cooling
Bottom - sampling one (or was it two?)!

Maple Pecan Cookies

Makes about 40, depending on how big a heaped tablespoon you use!

110 g unsalted butter
225 g granulated sugar
85 g dark brown sugar

Beat together; it will be grainy rather than a smooth mixture.
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Add to beaten butter/sugar mixture and mix in.
285 g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Sift together into the bowl and mix in; it will be more like crumbs rather than a smooth mixture.

2 tablespoons maple syrup
55 g pecan nuts (chopped/broken into pieces by hand)

Add to bowl and mix in; again it will be crumb-like rather than a smooth mixture.

1   Preheat the oven to 150-180 °C (GM 2-4); you will need to experiment with the temperature.  I find GM 4 is best for me.

2   Line two baking trays with non-stick baking parchment.

3   Drop a heaped tablespoon of mixture onto a tray and allow room to spread.

4   Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.  I find mine take at least 12 minutes to bake.

5   Cool on the baking trays for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.  They tend to be crunchy with a chewy centre.

6   They freeze well and are as good as if just out of the oven.

3  Reading

I love books!  I used to have many, many more but when we moved I had to be realistic and
only take what I thought I would use!  Not an easy task.  In addition I downsized all my
gardening and cookery books too!

4  Comfortable

Thank goodness for Lucy from Attic24!  Here are the 3 blankets I've made, inspired by
her blog.  I've another one waiting to be done....  The top right one was made for 
Beloved and he wanted it lining as he felt it was not warm enough so I lined
it with some fleece fabric, I just happened to have in my fabric stash!
The one at the top left has been made for me!
The one at the front is Lucy's Moorland CAL blanket.
They are great to snuggle under .......

5  Favourite Colour

Mine is red!!!!  Closely followed by black and purple.  I treated myself to this yarn and pattern
back in early 2013 and it is only now that I'm getting around to knitting it up.
Having nearly done the back I found out that I've misunderstood the YON instruction
in the pattern.  Blue and Yellow Morning (one of the Knit N Knatter ladies) showed me
where I was going wrong!  Oh, we had a good laugh.  So my plan is to stop work on the 
back, start a front piece using the correct YON technique and see if I can master
the pattern.   If I do, then I will frog the back and start again....
Might be finished this time next year as I have to concentrate very carefully
and can only manage about 4 rows before I have to put it down.  I need to do about 170 rows
for the back.....  there is no rush to finish it.....
Update - pattern sorted, back pulled back and I can knit the pattern in company!

6  Candles

Well Hawthorn this was a hard one!  Whilst I like scented candles, I do not have any (fire hazard as I know I will walk away and forget them and Beloved does not like the flickering light or smell).

Talk about a light bulb moment!  I remembered I had
some candles to use when we have electricity cuts.
They have never been used (I do have other that are used).
They were bought from a local hardware shop back in about
1984 but it sadly closed a few years later.  The label
takes me back all those years and what a good
old-fashioned shop it was too.

7  Hat

I like hats!  I am generally cold so always wear a hat (and gloves and scarf, even when others are in shorts and short-sleeved blouses ....).

Top - find a crochet pattern in one of my books and select yarn from my stash.
Middle - follow instructions to make the hat; problem is, it does not
turn out as planned and I had to do extra rounds (decreasing!) until it fitted; it is
like a beret and I do not like it.....  spend several days thinking about it.
Bottom - look!!!  I had enough yarn left over to start another one.  At round 10 (out of 23
rounds) it said to repeat round 5.  This was an increase round - WRONG!  It should 
have been repeat round 6, which was not an increase row.
I do like this hat as it fits snug; I've made another 2 using the correct pattern!

8  Walk

June 2014 Beloved and myself went for an evening walk around our village.
Look what we saw in the sky, a moustache cloud.  Click here to read about this cloud.
Amazingly the 'cloud' on the right is someone on the Recreation ground flying
a kite of a very similar shape....

9  Favourite mug (or cup and saucer)

I love mugs.....  whenever I am out I often see beautiful mugs but I don't
buy any as there is no room in the cupboard!  I rarely break a mug but
I will be good and not deliberately break any.
This was a gift from a lady I worked with in my last job; she knew I
liked chickens and that my kitchen was red.... 
I used to keep chickens until we moved....  still miss them but
I do not miss the work of looking after them!

10  Own choice

A silk-painted scarf I made on a day course.  Yes, it is a chicken!
I've never worn it but hang it on a wall, out of direct sunlight.
I think it was made in the mid 1990s and I still like it!

Well that all for this month.  I hope some made you smile.  Sorry I could not sneak Boris in, but who knows if I will succeed in the future!

Now I must go and look at everyone else's photos.  Don;t forget you can click here to see other people joining in with Hawthorn this month.