Friday, 30 November 2012

My new Tassimo T20 courtesy of Costa

My new coffee machine arrived this morning.

This was a bargain offer from Costa instead of paying £100 I got it for £30.00 plus in the box I got a £20 voucher for the tassimo website for the coffees and also 300 points to my Costa Club Card, so in my reckoning it has only cost me £7.00 - not bad, thank you Costa.

I have put my order in for Costa Latte, Costa Americano, Costa Capuccino, Suchard Hot Chocolate, Cadburys Hot Chocolate, Milka Hot Chocolate, Caramel Latte Machiatto, Kenco Medium Roast, Creme Brulee Latte Machiatto and also a selection of flavourings from my local Costa Cafe.

Tesco also had the Tassimo Costa Americano, Capuccino and Latte's on offer so I got topped up there as well.

It will be nice to be able to have a Costa when I haven't got access to a car and also in the comfort of my own home when the weather is cold and horrible.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Merlin at five weeks old

Merlin at five weeks old :)

Isn't he gorgeous and growing up.


Shattered, ready for his tea and bed :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

National Cupcake Week 2012

To celebrate National Cupcake Week 2012 I made these for Borge to take to work, Butterscotch and Vanilla Cupcakes.

Butterscotch sponge with white chocolate ganache.

White chocolate and vanilla buttercream on top of the ganache.

Orange glitter and large pieces of Cadbury's Fudge.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Table Tote

Rotating Table Tote that cost £30.00 decorated with damask paper on all sides and on the drawers and blinged with crystals and flowers.

My Bling Box, this has all my adhesive and non-adhesive crystals, jewels and rhinestones, glue, Bazzill jewels, tweezers and bejeweller.  Decorated with Basic Grey Black Tie, chipboard letters and more bling.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Merlin at nearly four weeks old

This is my boy Merlin at nearly four weeks old.  He has now been officially registered with the Kennel Club as Merlin Ambrose of Carmarthen.  I would like to think at some point in the future we will get a chance to show him.  We are taking him to training classes but I haven't decided whether I want to show him or let him do agility which I think could be fun with Rachael.  Will have to wait and see.  He is so cute though.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Newton Rigg before and after

Rachael moved into her new room at Newton Rigg College on Sunday.  I thought I would share the before and after photos.

I know, not a very good one but you can make out the wardrobe and the fact that there isn't that much space.

She has her own sink and was quite pleased that she had privet growing outside the window for privacy!!

Waiting for the makeover, we gave it a good clean before we adding Rachael's stash to the room.

Lotso Bear had to go with her although he looked a bit cross (he always does!)  One of Rachael's favourite films is the Toy Story film from Disney so she has a collection of toys. (Some of which she has pinched from me!)

The Body Shop Satsuma range, it smells lovely and is quite strong, one of Rachael's favourites.

Kept the green and orange theme going, with her pots and bath stuff.

Good luck balloon and cards along with biscuit barrell (no biscuits, Rachael's Special K stash that she loves!), alarm clock and tonnes of stationery.

She has had a great first day yesterday.  Had her first assignment and also been notified of the trips that she will be on this week already.  They seem very organised.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Wooden Ink Pad Storage

I have seen numerous ink pad storage racks but never at the right price or in the UK so I decided it was time to have a go at making my own.  I hope I have put enough information below for anybody else to have a go but if not you can email me for more information.

You will need two large sheets of 4mm MDF which cost a couple of pounds each, some edging with a curve on one side and right angle on the other, I used four and a half strips. Cut the edging into 4.5 " strips and glue them in rows down a 5" x length of board strip of MDF with the curved edge facing down.  Make sure you have left enough room for ink pads to fit in the space.  You will need two edge pieces and then two middle pieces with the curved edging on both sides of the MDF strips.

Place your second sheet of MDF on a cutting/gluing area and put the first piece on, marking with a pencil, place an ink pad in the top slot and one in the bottom slot.  I decided on 16 ink pads in each row and then a drawer at the bottom, place the second piece in and mark with the pencil, add another ink pad to the top and bottom, making sure you can remove them easily but that they do not have room to fall through.  Place the third piece in and mark again, repeating with another two ink pads and then add the far edge in, marking again.  Remove all the ink pads and MDF pieces so that you are left with the pencil markings.  Add on extra if you would like a drawer and as you can see from above the middle two pieces are shorter than the outer sides to allow for the drawer.  Cut the MDF to size.  This can be done with a sharp blade and metal edged ruler for accuracy.  Lightly sand the cut edges so that they are smooth, on all sides.  Use a good strong glue, I used Club Scrap Book Binding glue, which dries very fast and clear but is runny so it stays where you put it.  Place each piece in place and put the ink pads back into the slots so you are doubly sure they fit.  Allow each section to dry, use heavy objects such as books/candle jars to keep the pieces in place and weighed down to give a good strong finish.  Repeat the above process for all the MDF strips.  I left each strip overnight just to be sure but it could be started and finished in a couple of days.

Once the strips have been glued on and have dried thoroughly use a spray paint to cover the whole area, I used a total of two cans to give a good even coverage over the whole of the ink pad stand.  Place an ink pad in the top and bottom rows again and measure for the middle shelf and cut a piece of MDF to fit remembering to sand the edges, glue in place while the rack is laid down.  Once dry, measure two pieces of MDF for the top and bottom of the rack and glue in place, remembering to leave the ink pads ink to make sure they still fit properly.  Glue the top and bottom pieces by standing the unit up on the bottom piece first, then place the top piece on, check the back of the unit and sides to make sure they fit well and then place candle jars or books on the unit and leave overnight to dry.  Take measurements of the gap for the drawer and begin with the base, then the back measurements and then the sides, glue and leave to dry overnight.  

Once you have completed the shelving layout and it is all glued and dried, you can decorate it how you like.  I used black spray paint because I didn't want brush marks on any part.  I used one piece of 12 x 12 with a black/white damask pattern and cut three pieces for the bottom part of shelves and the front of the drawer.

Measure the middle of the drawer and use a piecing tool to make a hole for the screw to go through.  I used a door knob from a stores kitchen range but you could use Tim Holtz embellishments.  I used the door knob because I didn't want the end of screw poking through, I have covered the inside so that nothing can be caught on it.

Once complete fill the storage rack with your ink pads and enjoy.  

Friday, 7 September 2012


I am going to need a new companion soon with everybody going off to do their own thing and only having the youngest of our children at home, losing our dog and Bruar going to my Sister-in-laws, so for mine and my daughter's birthday we decided to get a black Cocker Spaniel puppy and call him Merlin.  He is only three weeks old at the moment and not ready until October which gives me time to get over losing our lovely Dane.

Merlin at one week old

Merlin at two weeks old with his eyes open for the first time

Less than one week old

Showing his white beard

and one white toe.  He is adorable and will hopefully be a wonderful companion for me.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Life in the fast lane!

For the month of August it has been absolutely manic, I hope that now we are in September it will begin to slow down.

Kristian got his University results and had a great finish to his first year and a good start to his second year at Teesside University.

James has gone sailing for a week with the Ocean Youth Trust of Scotland, he will be back at the weekend, they are sailing all around Isle of Arran, Campbelltown and very possibly to Northern Ireland depending on the weather.

We had our holiday in Lincolnshire this year so that we could meet up with my hubby's family.

We had a great week but didn't manage to get into The Deep at Hull as it broke down and couldn't reopen.  We have no plans to go back as the management of the place were pretty appalling when it came to dealing with refunds and since it had happened three times in three weeks, you would think they would be better used to dealing with their problems but that was not the case and also no apology.  Bad customer service, such a shame, as it would probably have been good to see around the place.  Maybe if they get to read this they will think twice about how they treat customers.

My daughter got her place at Newton Rigg College at Penrith and has now started her work placement once a week at a local kennels.

The weather was really good all week, but I have to admit I was really stuck to the television for The Olympics, Team GB were absolutely brilliant, third place in the listings, great job and great opening ceremony (other than the weird goings on of the NHS bit!!!)  I hope the Paralympians do as well, I am sure they will.

As you can see from my other post we lost our much loved pet Brandy, this was such a shock to us, she had enjoyed a lovely week of lying on the sofa with our eldest son, but when I got of holiday, she looked like she hadn't eaten, I knew she had, so off to the vets and it was very bad news with losing her very shortly afterwards.  It is such a big miss, no wagging tail in the mornings when you come down and no barking at the   Postman, so quiet.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Our Gorgeous Great Dane

RIP Brandy 11.10.05 - 20.08.12 
Our beautiful Great Dane, 
forever in our hearts, 
never to be forgotten, 
wagging her tail on Rainbow Bridge xxxx

Enjoying a bit of tv.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Singer 66K

I have done it again, I couldn't resist, my family and I were out on a trip to Workington and spotted this little beauty begging to be taken home and looked after.

As you can see she wasn't in really bad condition just needed some tlc.

The treadle plate and the belt run were all complete but the belt was an old iron flex.

She even had the Singer rubber mat on the treadle and it is in excellent condition

A lovely water mark on the top, probably from a plant pot decorating the top

The drawers in working order, which held a variety of bits and pieces including an old belt, cotton, needles and old feet

The front drawer still working and when I opened it, a big surprise, the original key to both drawers

As you can see the wood is in pretty good nick really for its age

You can see how much dirt, grease and grime has built up on the machine over the years, the silverware was black in colour and the wood under the machine was also black 

The decals are all complete

The faceplate which I think is stained with nicotine

I have dated the machine as 1919, so it is nearly 100 years old.  It works brilliantly although it takes alot of practising to get it going in the right direction and continuous.

I am now in the process of restoring the wood having completed the machine restoration along with all the treadle parts.  She has a new belt and is lovely and shiny.  Once I have completed the wood restoration I will post the finished pictures.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Smocking & Embroidery Issue 99

My new collection of magazines arrived this morning, the quickest they have arrived I think.

Australian Smocking & Embroidery Issue 99, another beautiful collection of dresses and other inspirational gifts that they make look so easy to do.

Australian Quilters Companion, some stunning quilts that would make great presents or just to look good around the house, particularly mine lol

Australian Homespun, The Blue Issue.  There are quilts, clothes, toys and bags in this issue plus loads of tips and new fabrics available to buy.  I want them all. :)

Friday, 8 June 2012

At the moment this is me.  I have to change a few things in my lifestyle so at the moment this is what my to do list looks like... nothing on it at all.  After having an appointment last week at Newcastle RVI and then scans, it seems that my M.E. is getting worse, not better so they are going to make changes to my medication.  This means quite a lot, giving up my driving licence and hair loss to name but a few.  I really have to think about these changes seriously as my life sometimes feels non-existent anyway without the above taking place.  I do appreciate that there are always people that are worse off than ourselves but at the moment it is not feeling like it so I am having alot of support from my consultant who is making some arrangements for me to see some other specialists that will help me along the way.  I am pleased I am going to get the support as sometimes I feel that my family just can't cope at times as this illness is so unpredictable.  Anyway this was to keep you up to date as I am not sure how, when and what happens next.  Look after yourself all, trying to keep my chin up but not succeeding very well (as you can imagine!) xx

PS ...  I won't be on the internet as much but will try and keep up with what you are all busy with.

Elaine xx 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee

Congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 60 years on the throne.

I love the above picture of Queen Elizabeth, very regal but at the same time breathtakingly beautiful.

Hope you all have a good weekend celebrating for her Majesty.

Borge, Me and the kids are having a picnic to celebrate and the following is on the menu ...

Smoked Salmon Quiche
Quiche Lorraine
Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon Crusty Rolls
Cheese/Ham Sandwiches
Elaine's coleslaw (recipe below)
Creamy Potato Salad
Cheese Coleslaw
Cottage Cheese with prawns
Selection of crisps
Pork Farms Pork Pies
Sausage Rolls
Chicken Bake

Rich Scones with strawberries and cream
Cherry and Almond Scones

The Ginger Bakers White Chocolate, Almond and Raspberry Brownie
The Ginger Bakers Dark Chocolate Brownie

Cabernet Sauvignon

Elaine's Coleslaw Recipe ...

1 whole white cabbage
5 large carrots
1 apple
Large salted peanuts
125 ml double cream
5 tablespoons Hellman's Mayonnaise

Shred the cabbage and carrot, peel and chop the apple, add two handfuls of peanuts and the same amount of raisins.  Whip the double cream and mix with the mayonnaise and then mix all the ingredients together.  Chill until needed.  Serve with homemade quiches, crusty rolls with ham or a dish on its own. 

Enjoy the weekend. 

Friday, 25 May 2012

Cinderberry Stitches Block One

Cinderberry Stitches Tail Feathers Block One finished with the first border.

The before of putting together the 1 1/2 inch strips - two lots of seven

Cutting the outer border into 1 1/2 inch strips - these then make the outer border of each of the stitchery blocks.

My workspace - loving the ironing board right next to me so that I don't have to be up and down all the time as the blocks take quite a bit of pressing.  Look at all that fabric, ooh nice stash :)