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03 July 2015

Barbecue Living


Summer is here!

Finally, after taking it's own sweet time about it, summer seems to have hit the UK and it's hot, hot, hot!  At least it is where I am, how about you?  I think for the most part we are enjoying it though, I know that I am.  It's such a change from even a few weeks ago when it was still so decidedly chilly.

I've abandoned my thoughts of warmer projects and am hunting around for the cotton and lighter, floaty makes.  I always feel that the weather really affects my crafting urges, do you have the same thing?  

To make the most of the change to the climate I took the wise precaution of getting the paddling pool up while Little Miss was at school at the beginning of the week.  I was rewarded by a big hug and she's been running through the door each day this week, ready to leap straight in just as soon as she can!  I haven't quite gone that fair yet, I just dip my toes in to cool off every once in a while.

Although to be honest I've mostly been managing the heat of the day quite nicely by hiding in the cool and watching Wimbledon.  A perfectly valid summery pursuit if you ask me.


The other joy of good weather is the firing up of the barbecue.  Any meal produced on the outdoor grill seems to be a hit in this family and although I can't claim to be a remotely accomplished cook, the one thing I did master was my Mum's yummy barbecue marinade.

I think it was something she sort of conjured up on the spur of the moment one day but it seemed to stick and it was one of those essential recipes I took with me when I left home.  It's the kind of recipe that doesn't come with any measurements, just a list of ingredients, the balance of which is largely down to the hands (and tongue) of the maker.  I've attempted to pin down approximate quantities over the years though, so that I can hand over the responsibility of mixing this summery concoction over to others once in a while and I thought I might share it with you too.

At the moment, my budding chef likes to take charge of whipping this up so you'll be pleased to know that there's nothing very difficult or exotic about it.  But we love it and it seems to work well with all sorts of things.  We generally have it on chicken but it is fab on some nice beef flank steak or pork.  We also tried it on prawns last night and they were great too!





: :  MY MUM'S BARBECUE MARINADE : :

1.5 tbsp tomato puree
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp garlic puree
0.5 tsp lime juice
0.5 tsp mustard powder (or smooth mustard)
0.5 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper to taste

: :

Put everything in a bowl, give a mix.
Stick your finger in to taste, add a bit more of any of the above until you are happy with the taste.
Pop in the chicken/meat/prawns in and cover them well.
Leave to marinade for at least 20 mins, but the longer the better.

I find this amount covers 3/4 chicken breasts comfortably (which is all I normally need)

: :

I do hope you'll fancy giving it a go and do let me know how you get on if you do!


S x




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01 July 2015

When I began...


You may have seen a few blogs lately sharing stories of crochet successes and failures as part of a blog hop to celebrate the new book, Beginner's Guide to Crochet, by Sarah of Annaboo's House.

It was the lovely Chrissie from Chrissie Crafts who invited me to tell of my first crochet success or failure and so I cast my mind back to see what I could remember from those early days.

The thing that leapt up and logged itself fairly firmly in my mind was very much a crocheting failure.

I can't quite remember the very first thing I ever made, I have a feeling it must have been a granny square of some sort.  I seem to remember listening to a nice American lady telling me to 'yarn over and pull through' with a fabulous twanging accent a lot.

The second thing I ever made though, definitely sticks in my head all too well.  Little Miss wanted a small pig made for her for some reason.  I suppose she'd seen it in some book I must have had at the time and been taken with it.  For some reason, knowing no better I guess, I decided I would crochet the little piggie in some very hairy and fluffy pink mohair yarn.  Maybe it was the only pink I had at the time?

Whatever concatenation of foul works came together to make this unearthly crochet combination, it obviously (with hindsight) was never going to be a happy crafting experience.  Amazingly, I did finish the pig and I think, if you looked closely, from the right direction, it did look like a pig.  But when you've said that, you've said all of good that can be said about it.

Probably needless to say it wasn't a remotely enjoyable experience, the yarn snagged and caught on the hook, I couldn't see what I was doing or where the hook was going.  The whole thing was completed on a bit of a wing and a prayer really.

I thought I'd destroyed every trace of this mohair monstrosity, certainly the pig itself was removed from the building just as soon as I was sure Little Miss had forgotten it existed.  It turns out though that evidence does survive.  My obsessive logging of all my makes on Ravelry came back to haunt me today because here she is....



So take heed any beginners out there, please don't choose mohair yarn for your early crochet projects, only misery can ensue!

S x




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30 June 2015

Adventuring in Lucyland


Lest the top picture should cause confusion, you have not actually landed within the cozy pages of Attic24.  No, you are still here with me, at Cherry Heart.  Excitingly though, I got the chance to take a trip up to the home of that crochet legend just last week.

It's not often I get the opportunity for some time away from home, especially not alone so this felt like quite a big deal.  It feels like I'm so used to being a Mummy I've forgotten how to navigate the world alone.  Daft really, but there it is.

Still, luckily I wasn't completely alone because a short train ride away was another crochet superstar to meet up with, Heather from Pink Milk.  I know, what a trip!  You can see why I broke out of my little Mummy bubble for this can't you?




Well H and I managed the numerous trains and changes required to make it into Yorkshire and although I have not visited that area very often, it's not disappointed me yet and Lucy's little corner of it is just delightful.  Although I only live a few hundred miles away, it's almost like another world.  Visually, the buildings and landscape are quite different.  So very picturesque and charming, every bit as lovely as Lucy's pictures promised it would be.

We went on a little tour around the place, H and I, to take in the sights and sounds of 'Lucyland'.  I just about managed to get a picture of 'the hill' and of course the canal.  We didn't make it quite as far as Skipton Castle but we clocked Cooper's Cafe almost at once.





Lucy, sweet thing that she is, was very generous and patient with us.  She let us see the famous studio, take photos, gush over her makes and generally get a little fan-girly over it all.  The studio is completely wonderful, Lucy has made it a beautiful and cozy crochet spot and I don't wonder that she loves to come and work there.  Such a wonderful little hidey hole full of colour.

Then, to top the whole thing off, we join the Friday morning Knit and Natter group at Cooper's.  That was fun.  So great to chat over everything yarny with like minded souls.  Meet new people and find new blogs along the way.  Another reminder that I really must pluck up the courage to join something similar around my way.  You can't beat a coffee, a little crochet and some chatter to wash it down.  Just heavenly.




So thank you to two lovely ladies, for your time and your company, getting me out of my bubble and just generally being awesome.


S x




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25 June 2015

Colour Collaborative: June



Found

I didn't turn the picture above into a colour a palette as I guess it would have made a rather monochromatic one and I am always on the search for something more colourful.  But if I had of done, I would of called it 'Found Bargain' as that's what it was.  A happy little find at our village fĂȘte, happily cheap too at only £2 and will be just the right size for Christmas trifle I reckon.  Hopefully the kind that'll make a satisfying and amusingly flatulent sound as I scoop the trifle out too.

As you'll be all too aware, I'm always on the looking out for new colour inspirations around me and so I took a very literal interpretation of this month's Colour Collaborative prompt.  Things I've found and as usual, the colour inspirations I've found from those.


I was pleased to find these gorgeous fabrics while on a little shopping trip recently.  Always pleasing to find nice fabric of course but particularly pleasing when they combine to make a harmonious and I think, warm and soothing palette too.

Another recent find is digital radio.  Ok, so most people found this a while ago. I'm late to the party as usual but am pleased to find that it's a party I'm happy to go to.  I've long been tired of the standard radio channels, but Hubs has introduced me to the digital channels and in particular, 6 Music.  Shaun Keaveny in the morning is my favourite.  And best of all, it gave me an opportunity to buy one of those fab retro radios.  Yippee!



I haven't spend an awful lot of time in the garden yet this year.  I blame  the weather of course, but maybe I've been slightly lazy too.  I'm glad to say the garden seems to have survived the neglect reasonably well and I was very surprised to discover the strawberries have managed to put forth some fruit, with little or no help or watering on my part.  Life finds a way eh?

Last of all I was glad to find, hidden under the other slightly overgrown plants around it, my solitary rose has managed to bloom too.  I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with roses.  Undeniably beautiful I will grant you, but I fell in bed of rose bushes as a child and the experience scarred me (happily not literally) for life.  I'm not sure I shall ever entirely forgive them, but allowing one in my garden is significant progress!


Where do you find your colour inspirations?


Oh and just in case you wanted to know, 
all of the palettes in this post were made from my stash of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino


: :

Don't forget to check out the other great 'Colour Collaborative' blogs
for more of today's great posts...

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above the River
Sarah at Mitenska

What is The Colour Collaborative? 
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff.
Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together?
Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too.
We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination 


our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

S x




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