Rock with the Top Down

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I’ve been in the studio again. I absolutely loved working on this project and I’m very proud to say I was part of it! It was a long time in the making. Have a look at these progress reports from the writers of the tracks.

It’s been titled Rock with the Top Down. Listen to it in the car (with the top down if you can) on a sunny evening and if at all possible find lovely country route to go on. I’m sure it’s enhanced by the surroundings. I guarantee if you weren’t smiling before you listened to these tracks, you will be soon after. Especially Free Your Mind!

It was great fun adding unusual harmonies, as the chord progressions don’t always go the way you would except them to.

It’s very reminiscent of many bands that I would say were influenced by the Beatles

imagesJellyfish

 

 

 

 

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20130402020248!Saving_Grace_W272CDTom Petty

 

 

 

 

Head here to the Audio Network site and enjoy a listen, hey why not download a couple too :) I like You and Me Forever, Free Your Mind and A New Beginning…then again Join as One is great too! Let me know which are your favourites.

 

Enjoy

x

Strawberry Fields Forever

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Loving the weather?? Yes me too :) Mum keeps calling to ask us to go pick strawberries on her allotment. There are millions! Everyone is at it this summer…Head over to Edenfound to see where she got to, to pick a sweet, juicy crop.

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Last year I made some jam – well it was supposed to be jam! I had to slice it with the bread knife so I’m not sure you would call that a success, but I obviously got the boiling point wrong. This year I’ve tried again.

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The recipe is very simple. Basically match the weight of your strawberries to the weight of sugar. It’s a bit concerning seeing just how much sugar goes into jam. But hey ho :) I used 2lb of strawbs and sugar, with half a lemons juice. I used this recipe.

I was so wary of getting the boiling point just right, but I think I was just shy of the correct setting this time. But I would rather it be a little runny than completely solid. At least it’s edible. Haha

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What’s that you say? Bake some scones? Oh what a good idea. Tea time :)

x

 

Lights, Camera, Action

Ok, calling all ‘dancing class mums’! Amélie has her dance school show next weekend and today, all the mums had a meeting to practice super quick costume changes. I mean SUPER quick! It was a frenzy of hair pins, stripy tights spraying away whips and fluffy wigs. But once we were organised, us mums had a well oiled production line, turning Umpa Lumpa’s into Happy Feet Penguins in 90 seconds flat.

I couldn’t help but think I could do with a tool to aid me backstage, without having to juggle all the tiny but essential bits and pieces to successfully get a million little bodies on stage in time. The principle handed us a bum bag/utility belt style thingy full of all kinds of tricks to help get our little stars changed quickly. That got me thinking; I have a week to get something like that sorted…so instead of searching high and low in every shop, I got out the sewing machine. Follow this tutorial if you would like to make yourself one of these handy helpers.

Materials

  • Old pair of kids jeans
  • Fabric scraps (a piece needs to be long enough to go round your hips)
  • Clip fastening
  • Sewing supplies

First Steps

  • Cut the legs off the jeans upto the crotch and, with right sides together, sew up the bottom. You should end up with an instant bag with the waistband at the top.

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Straps

  • Measure the opening to your clip fastener. Double this and add 1cm seam allowance each side.
  • My fastener = 2cm. Doubled to 4cm
  • 1cm seam each side = 2cm
  • Total for each strap is 6cm

(Sorry if I was stating the obvious here, I just find it useful to have the numbers in tutorials :) )

  • With right sides together, sew and turn right way out. (Does anyone else find this process time consuming and frustrating?!?)
  • Press

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Insert the Straps

  • Snip the waist band at the sides and insert the strap into the hole you just made.
  • Zig Zag stitch down each part of the cut opening.
  • Thread the clip fasteners onto each end, and stitch in place. Make sure it’s not too tight! You know how hot backstage gets, and you don’t want to feel uncomfortable with the straps digging in.

 

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Finishing Touches

  • Stitch some pockets to the front for hair pins and nets

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  • Stitch in some velcro for extra securityDSCF5956

Et Voila!

One very handy utility belt, an essential for any mummy helper backstage at the dancing school show. Now I can look like I know what I’m supposed to be doing, even if I’m crumbling under the pressure! Haha

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So, I am ready and organised! Lights, Camera aaaannnnnnd Action!!

x

Green Fingers

We are blessed with a beautiful big garden. It does have a steep slope to one side that I think we will tackle next year. I’m thinking sunken patio/BBQ area and I would love a little garden house. We will see! But for now I like to potter. Remember this project from last year? Read on to see this years :)
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Our little allotment is coming on nicely this year. The strawbs haven’t been very happy but we have had success with the peas! Finally. It’s only taken three years of trying! Can’t wait to pick these. The radishes have been a very tasty addition to our salads of late. The girls have loved planting the seeds and then picking their own dinner!
DSCF5947Now this I’m pleased with…Driving down the road the other day I and noticed this in a garden!trofast-storage-combination__41587_PE136067_S4
It’s an Ikea frame for tub draws. The day after I knocked to ask if it was being left for the council to pick it up. The lady told me of their plans to move to Australia and was just there in the garden until they got chance to move it.
In true three bears style…
  • I couldn’t lift it. The frame was toooo heavy
  • Couldn’t get it in my car. It was tooooo small
  • Got it in Richards car though. It was juuuussst right!
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So I dug the grass level. Stained the frame and got to work arranging the plants. Some still look a little poorly. They had been in pots for a while and were in need of a nice new home. I can now say I’m the proud owner of an ikea hack!
DSCF5943The little green hedge has a lovely story. My Great Grandad Wigglesworth (Grandad Wiggy to you and me) had a beautifully well looked after garden. When he died my mum took a cutting of his topiary box hedges. She continued to grow her own and the little plants multiplied over the years. When my bothers and I got married and got our own homes, Mum gave us ‘a Grandad Wiggy’ box hedge of our own.DSCF5941I’ve taken cuttings from mine too and have three now, so the two baby Grandad Wiggy’s are settling nicely into their new home.

Do you have any summer garden projects on the horizon? Or maybe your garden is all ready for the summer weeks ahead. (note: weeks, not months…haha…when did we ever have months of summer here?!?)

 

Catch you soon

x

Afternoon Tea Anyone?

For the last few years Mum and I have hosted a ladies afternoon tea at her house. She has a lovely garden so weather permitting the ladies can enjoy an hour in peace catching up with friends, sipping tea and nibbling yummy scones in the pleasant green surroundings.

As well as providing a full scrummy afternoon tea there were lots of bits and pieces to be purchased too. Mum took cuttings from some herb plants, and other pretty flowers in her garden, as well as a Bamboo plant. We nearly had a fight on our hands over who took that one home! We put the smaller cuttings into cleaned tin cans and finished them off with a pretty label. Don’t forget to drill some holes in the bottom of the can for drainage. Marks and Spencer and Morissons donated plants too.

Tray bakes and attractive butterfly buns always go down a treat, as well some handmade cards I made in advance. Mum’s homemade rhubarb and ginger jam flew off the shelf!

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All proceeds go to charity and this year we chose to give to Kirkwood Hospice, an organisation that provides specialist care, free of charge, to adults in our local area with advanced, progressive illnesses.

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As you can see from the piccies we all had a lovely day. Mum and I make an excellent team and love an excuse to get out the fine china and spoil our ladies. We got the chance at the end of the day to join the chatter and enjoy tea for two in the sunshine as well. We raised nearly £400 and are already looking forward to next years!

 

 

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Check back in soon for some tutorials on the crafty bits we sold.

x

Daisy Chains & Dollies

What would be on your list of a perfect way to spend the day? I think my list changes depending on the mood I’m in at the time. Today my list went something like this

  1. Lilia time
  2. Fresh air
  3. Nature
  4. Colour
  5. Cake!

Lilia and I (and her dolly) set off walking to our local village and decided to take the path through the woods.

 

As we walked, we were surrounded by pretty colours. So glad I brought my camera out with us. At Blognix last week I was inspired by so many of the speakers, however one workshop stood out for me. Lucy Heath, of CapturebyLucy, shared with us her gift of photography. Just go to her website and you will understand straight away why I think her skills are so wonderful. She truly does capture something really special in the simplest of things. So as we walked and talked I fiddled with the ISO and aperture and snapped away.

 

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Over the stiles and through the trees we skipped, and caught sight of a squirrel. As my little 3 year old made up a story about him and his forest friends I was reminded of my childhood and when mum would read us Beatrix Potter stories about Squirrel Nutkin and Mrs Tiggiwinkle.

 

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flowers

Just look at these pretty colours! You only have to look at nature’s colour pallet to take inspiration for a new summer outfit. Ted Baker is my achilles heel, but just look at the beautiful floral prints. The flowers could have just jumped from the valley right onto the fabric!

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Of course we had to stop for a lovely cup of tea and piece of cake, just to keep up our energy for the return journey you understand :)

Lilia stopped on numerous occasions to look for the fairies. “They live inside the flowers mummy” How cute is that! I found myself drinking in these precious moments with her.

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Taking direction from the notes I took in Lucy’s workshop, I snapped away at the bits of grass and daisies we picked on the way home. I can see this becoming another hobby…oh dear!

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Well that was our perfectly colourful morning. I hope you have had a good day too.

x

 

Bon Appetit

It seems the ‘foodie’ posts are becoming a regular occurrence here at at the minute. Today I took a trip to Leeds with some friends and sat down to enjoy some elevenses.

elevenses

ɪˈlɛv(ə)nzɪz/noun
BRITISHinformal
a short break for light refreshments, usually with tea or coffee, taken at about eleven o’clock in the morning.
(Just in case you were wondering :) )
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 Trinity Kitchen in the new(ish) Trinity shopping centre offers a wide range of food from all corners of the culinary world.

I headed to France today and chose a sweet Lemon Meringue crêpe at La Petite Brettone.

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crepesOhh la la it was properly yummy! The owners of La Petite Brettone explained to me that they use buckwheat for the savoury crepes or Galettes and white flour for the sweet varieties. It gives them a different taste and texture to compliment the fillings.

Buckwheat is also Gluten Free!

There’s a great vibe and atmosphere in the food arena at the Trinity centre and would be a good venue for a trendy night in the city to enjoy some different food, a crisp glass of bubbles and some catching up banter with friends.

I will be back. Take a little detour next time you are in the city. You won’t be disappointed. Let me know if you spot the Crêpes & Galettes van out and about. They are regulars at food festivals and events.

Catch you soon

Lucy

x