Monday, 22 January 2018

New Neighbours

The snow has now gone and we are back to blustery rain showers, I think I prefer the snow.  It does however make for some great photo opportunities, today I have been watching the birds.  I had to tear myself away from the window in a bid to get some jobs done.  Washing and ironing waits for no man.  I also wanted to get some cards made for the Grandchildren, Valentines day is just around the corner.  I do like to post them something every week, mostly postcards so they can see Granny's Island.

The cards are simple using some vintage style paper, I cut out a heart and added a pearl embellishment. 



Simple but effective just need to write them a little note.

I have finally finished the cushion cover I had started to crochet.  It started a life as a throw but then I changed my mind and had a vision of an eclectic mix of style cushion on the pews that we are going to renovate for the craft room.


I added pom poms to the four corners using a pom pom maker, they are so much easier than cutting out the circles from cardboard and are done in half the time.


I have added them to the pile and intend to start on some embroidered ones and a couple of patchwork ones.  A slow but steady process that I am enjoying.  I am enjoying the process of planning this amazing outbuilding although it is slow going.




These photos are from yesterday when we still had a sprinkling of snow, I want to introduce you to our new neighbours...



There are a couple of beautiful black ones which I will get better photos of when I take a walk down the croft.

Hope you are warm and cosy where you are, the weather conditions are all over the place at the moment.  As always I thank you for your visit, your interest and your comments.  There is a lemon drizzle cake, mince pies and a couple of quiche's in the oven if you want to stay for lunch.

See you soon.


Saturday, 20 January 2018

Scenes From My Week

Very little has been achieved this week in our little cottage, unless you count the beautiful skies and scenes from our cottage windows.  I can stand for many a happy hour exclaiming over the beauty.







Wrap up warm, buckle up and I will take you on a little jaunt  and you can see for yourselves the scenes from my week.  The beauty that I am blessed to see on a daily basis, each day a changing scene as we go through the seasons.







A sprinkling of snow making the ordinary into a spectacular Winter Wonderland.  The dramatic skies and cloud formations adding to its natural beauty.







Come on in and I will put the soup on to warm, today we have parsnip and ginger with cheese and onion bread fresh out of the bread making machine.  The stove is lit so take a seat and warm up while I get it ready.

To close Mickey says hello, here he is having a romp in the snow laden garden.




Thank you all for your lovely, uplifting comments they are all greatly appreciated,

See you soon.



Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Snow

I must admit I have got up this morning feeling tired.  The winds howling around the cottage had me awake most of the night.  Thankfully the winds now seem to be slowing down, so some normality can be resumed.  I drew back the curtains and it was snowing, a light covering so not enough to cause any real problems just yet.  Although according to the weather forecast the temperatures are going to drop so problems could occur when it all freezes.  I am so glad I don't have to go out in it, I will take Mickey for a romp in the garden.



It has continued to snow on and off all morning, carpeting the ground with a white blanket.  I have seen it now in all its glory and the beauty it exhumes so now I will be quite happy for it all to disappear.




The slight covering that we have is of course nothing like some parts of the World so I shouldn't complain.  It would be interesting to see how other parts of the Island have fared Harris is quite mountainous so I would imagine it would be a lot deeper there.  Parts of Mainland Scotland seem to have been hit hard too according to the news.

I have been asked to give you my recipe for my chicken and creamy leek pie from my previous post, so here it is.  I should point out that I use leftovers for the meat element so have enough meat for the amount of people you are serving.  You could use ham/gammon or a little bacon to bulk out the chicken if you wanted.

Chop one leek finely and cook in a little butter and oil add one teaspoon of flour and stir thoroughly adding enough chicken stock to cover the leeks.  Add the chicken and then pour on milk and cream to cover the contents of the pan, this should thicken a little.  Transfer to a ovenproof dish and then either add a pastry crust or a mashed potato topping.  I use butter and milk to make the potato creamy and add a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard to give it a little zing.  Put it into the oven to warm through and brown the topping(about 20 mins).


I served this with green beans, cauliflower and carrots.  Hope that helps.  I have made this so may times that I don't need to measure or weigh things out so you might be wiser using google to get a recipe.

I started to roast vegetables  when I was cooking meat in a bid to fill the oven and save using the hob but very soon discovered that when used in soups the flavour was intensified immensely.  Since then it has become a win, win situation as the soup has more flavour and I am saving money too.

What is the weather like where you are?

See you soon.





Monday, 15 January 2018

Crafting With Friends

It is blowing a gale out there with winds of 60/70 mph.  Yesterday they were 70/80 mph causing all sorts of issues, not least the cancellation of ferries.  The freight ferry was cancelled to so the supermarkets will have some empty shelves shortly.  Thankfully, I have plenty of supplies and feel blessed that we are able to buy extra.  We have a wood fire burning in the stove throwing off a lot of heat so we are warm and cosy for which I am thankful.  At the moment there is a mixture of hail, sleet, snow and rain with a howling wind so not nice conditions to be out.

We have become avid weather forecast watchers so I was prepared for this turn in the weather and prepared some food for the inevitable power cuts.  I cooked a chicken for Sunday lunch so made a chicken and creamed leak pie using a potato topping with the leftovers. 


A spoonful of wholegrain mustard was added to the mash which makes it pop a little.  Vegetables were roasted in the oven in readiness for soup.   I find the flavour is intensified when the vegetables are roasted.  One tray of slightly soft tomatoes, red pepper, onion and basil.




The other tray, butternut squash carrot and onion.



Already for meals through the week, warming and nourishing.

Whilst the oven was on a banana and flaked almond bread was made and a tray of fruit scones.



There is some homemade jam but no cream I am afraid, we are trying to be a little careful.  

I had a wonderful craft session with friends over the weekend, experimenting with fabric paints.  I have some amazing stencils that I wanted to try out so it was good to share them.





Ann used the letter stencils onto fabric to make a gift for her Dad whose Birthday it is today.  She then went on to make a canvas bag for her Granny.  Christine also stencilled onto a canvas bag.  I loved the stencils and now have plans for making some onto boards to use as decor for my craft room.  Work has not started yet but I have hope that it will as soon as the weather picks up a little.



Ann is going to try card making next so I need to sort out supplies for that.   I need to make some cards, I have a several Birthdays coming up so it would be fun to have some company making them.

Wow, I have just looked out of the window and there is now bright sunshine, would you believe that...there is also an amazing rainbow that I have just tried to photograph with little success.  The beauty never ceases to amaze.

A very warm welcome to new followers I hope you enjoy my little adventures through life and as always a big thank you for your lovely comments.  






Thursday, 11 January 2018

This And That

I have had a busy few days having a sort out, giving the kitchen food cupboards a thorough cleaning and arranging everything back in date order.  It is amazing how untidy they get in such a short period of time.  I was thrilled that nothing has been wasted and I have been quite good since moving here about rotating and checking the dates on things.  The fridge has been given a good going over as well and I have been quite good with using leftovers.  My resolve to stop wasting food is still working well and has been good since our move.

I have not been as good with my crafting projects, I seem to be a little hit and miss not achieving very much at all.  I have made a start embellishing some napkins.  Stamping on a psalm and stitching on a wooden heart shaped button.  I want some small gifts ready in the gift cupboard which is looking a little forlorn as it is empty at the moment.





I have had some fun decorating a canvas bag with stamps and Harris Tweed.  Just need to stitch it all into place.




I thought it might make a great gift bag.  

I have also been working on not one but two crochet projects albeit slowly.  I found a granny square languishing at the bottom of the basket, which I intended to make a throw.  I am now going to make it into a cushion all ready for the craft room.



Storage is always an issue so I thought I would make some storage baskets.  I found a lovely pattern in an old issue of Homemaker issue 41, so a start has been made.



 As you can see lots of little projects but not one finish.  I am in no rush which is a good job really.  My eyes are drawn to the windows and the surrounding beauty.  I am always surprised by the differing views, the changing skies and lights that occur during the day making the skyline look so different.  I pray that I never tire of my little cottage and its views.  Today we have beautiful blue skies and it is only when you go outside you realise just how cold it is, although nothing like the freezing temperatures experienced by some of you.   I need to get on, a start needs to made on Hectors quilt whilst the light is good.  What are you working on?

See you soon.