Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Poured with rain all day so had to run around when I got home picking the poor daffodils that were bludgeoned down into the dirt, thus several displays of daffs around the house.  Rinsed them off, many were covered in splattered earth.  The broken ones I cut the stems off and put them in my short vase.

I was up in NYC two weeks ago and I am up there again this week for training.  It makes for a long day, but since I’m going up on my own I will not have to race along the sidewalks at double time to keep up with the men, thank goodness.

I think we’re going to the Tick Tock Diner for lunch, always fun to eat at new places.  If I feel like it maybe I’ll take a little time afterwards and walk up to Central Park, I’ll think about that one.

Life seems to have been filling out online forms recently, what with student info for Robs College, Obama Health care and Tax Season, I am a bit formed out, do you know the feeling?  I’m sure you do.

We have had a few nice days, but today was bucketing rain, tomorrow though should be sunny and 50 f, I do hope sunny though because the last two times I went up to NYC it rained.  Will take my crochet on the train again as I did last time, I do find that relaxing working on the Japanese flowers.

Last week I took my lunch hour at the park hoping to see signs of spring buds, but they were all very tightly curled, nothing seems to want to come out in the weather that we have been having.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Circular Crochet Shawl & Shark Tank & Manganaro's HEROBOY

 I had fun making this putting together my left over yarns and filling in with a few new bought yarns.  There was a pink and gray mohair with a sparkle thread. a lovely soft pink and purple yarn, and some new plums and grays thrown in.

I love the ruffle edging.  The grays and pinks came together so nicely.  Remember I thought the white was too stark so crocheted a braid and wove it through, I do like the look.

I'm working on a charcoal gray fleck crochet skirt to match with it. It's a double crochet and shell stitch, a work in progress.

Of course as soon as I finish we'll have a heat wave, but the weather is still chilly.  Picked my first miniature daffodils out of the garden today.

Last Friday I was up at 4:30AM to get up to New York for a Promo Show at the Javits Center.  The opening seminar had Daymond John from Shark Tank.  He's pretty entertaining especially as to how he got going, a true rags to riches story, with his FUBU brand.

Stopped in at our office on 8th Avenue.  Very late lunch meatballs and pasta very good, at an Italian restuarant Manganaro's HEROBOY at 492 - 494 9th Avenue between 37th and 38th Streets, in the Hells Kitchen area which is due for a hevty revamp as the subway is being extended to that area, home by 6:30PM, made for a pretty long day.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Victorian Afternoon Tea

 The girls at Afternoon Victorian Tea held at the Clifton House, by the ladies who belong to the Historical Society.

We had torrential rain last Saturday, well on Sunday it bucketed, so afternoon tea in a cozy room was well received by us all.  We had a table for eight and it was a most enjoyable time.  Even accompanied by a quartet from the local High School, they were very good.

Last year I came and was seated in the other room see here, which suited the bright sunny day that I came on, dressed in a spring dress and a shrug, but this year with the dreadful weather this cozy room was just right.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Strawberries and Cream French Macaroons

Strawberries and Cream French Macaroons


3 large egg whites
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 cups confectioners’ sugar*
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons strawberry extract
Red food coloring
Vanilla Bean, Cream Cheese Filling

• Place egg whites in a medium mixing bowl, and let sit at room temperature, uncovered, for exactly 3 hours. (Aging the egg whites in this manner is essential to creating perfect macaroons.)
• Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a pencil, draw 1½-inch circles 2 inches apart on parchment paper. Turn parchment paper over. Set aside.
• In the work bowl of a food processor, combine almonds and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, pulsing until very finely ground. (Don’t over process or a nut butter will be created. The nut particles should stay separate and dry, not clump together.) Add remaining confectioners’ sugar, and process just until combined. Set aside.
• Beat egg whites at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. (Egg whites will be thick, creamy, and shiny.) Add strawberry extract, beating well.
• Using a toothpick, add food coloring, a small amount at a time, beating until desired color is achieved.
• Add almond mixture to egg whites, folding gently until well combined. Let batter sit for 15 minutes.
• Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe batter into drawn circles on prepared baking sheets.
• Slam baking sheets vigorously on counter 5 to 7 times to release air bubbles.
• Let sit at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes before baking to help develop the macaron’s signature crisp exterior when baked. (Macaroons should feel dry to the touch and should not stick to finger.)
• Preheat oven to 275°.
• Bake until firm to the touch, approximately 24 minutes.
• Let cool completely on pans, and then remove to airtight containers. Refrigerate until ready to fill and serve.

Vanilla Bean, Cream Cheese Filling

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, scraped and reserved

• In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cream, and reserved vanilla beans. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary and increasing to high speed.
• Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let come to room temperature before piping.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Pouring Rain, Patisseirie et Chocolaterie

 What does one do on a Saturday pouring with rain, take a trip to Anthropologie and a French Patisserie, sounds good to me with a visit to an art shop and a craft shop thrown in.

Look at these delicious French cakes, I had the Raspberry mousse cake and Mr. B. had the chocolate ganache pyramid.  The Boy chose a lemon tart, but ate it before I got to photo it.

While the boys were looking around Bang and Olufson I was enjoying paints, brushes, pens and inks.  So I couldn't resit this ink, magenta, such a wonderful colour, Bombay India Ink.  As a child I would never get out of a stationery shop without something.

I debated buying this magazine for a day.  I think magazines are somewhat expensive to buy, but there was so much in this crochet magazine, that I could not resist.

 What a lovely shawl and shrug.

This combines two things I love beads and crochet.

Remember I said the boys changed the sofas out, moving two out and one in, this is my very comfortable but old sofa somewhat worn on the arms, the picture above.

Below is my new pique cover in taupe, lovely soft fabric, almost velvety.  I am so happy that it fits so well and I really like the look of it and colour.  One day I will get to making some new cushion covers, why do I procrastinate on that, they're not that hard to make.

Couldn't resist this fabric, do you know why, well one I love poppies and two my mum had a dress in the sixties with a shawl collar,  a deep blue, with red poppies.  So how could I pass this by.  A dress made in this fabric should be just right for this trip .....

Yes this is my surprise I am going on a trip at the end of this year to O'ahu and Maui.  It was anounced at our congregation that there was the opportunity to attend an International Convention in Hawaii.  I didn't think anything of it until a friend came up to me and said would I like to go with her and I thought why not, so we applied and were accepted.  We have booked our flight and hotel in Honolulu right on the marina, just down from Waikiki Beach.  A short flight to Maui and a stay at a condo on Kaanapali beach, I am ready, can I go now.  The weather is attrocious for this time of year.  It's a good job I booked all this before we found out we needed a new boiler.


Friday, March 28, 2014

16. The Met Palace of Ashurnasirpal, Assyria

The Assyrians of all the world powers were known to be the most cruel.  They used to play soccer with human heads and put out their captives eyes.  Their god was the fish god Dagon read page 215 of Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop to see how the fish symbol has come down through time.

The woman at the window in ivory a prostitute, as is seen today in many red light districts.  When Jehu came to get Queen Jezebel she was sitting at the window, protected by temple prostitutes.

Jar from Dead Sea Scrolls, one of ten like it in the world.

Egyptian jewelery.

Hittite mother/son worship.  Here again the child sitting on the mother's lap.

Nebuchadnezzar's entrance, lion reliefs.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Six Year Blogging Anniversary

It suddenly came to me that around this time of year is a Blogging Anniversary for me, my first post was March 27th 2008 that makes six years.  And I'm going for a record, the record is the least amount of followers that a person can have following in a six year period.  I have a grand total of thirty followers. It's a good job I just keep this blog for my fun and a few far flung friends who follow, because it is certainly making no statement in cyberspace.  I decided to take that feature off my Blog and now it cannot be returned without working on code, because Blogger no longer lets you do so, you have to add circles now.

So, why do people Blog?  I know when I started it was like opening the cookie jar, seeing into the lives of people in other parts of the world and how they lived, what made them happy in life.  Sharing their artistic creations and hopes.

The first Blog I ever followed was Tiny Happy and at that time Melissa lived in Norway.  I was wowed by peeking into a whole different life style.  I love to travel, but this was traveling via my laptop.

Many in those years have moved on to big things, some have fallen by the wayside, and others like me, or unlike me just plod on because it's their little space in the world of expression.

So this is how I feel about my Blog

Take care dear folk.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Snowdrops on Brocade From Courtauld's Mill in Halstead

Guess what it did last night, yes it snowed again, a sprinkling, but enough for everything to be white.  Plus it was very cold with a gusty wind.  Spring is not here yet.

And woe is us, because we just had the man in to clean the furnace, and it turns out that we need a new one.  Ours is very old, I'm thinking fifties or sixties, and is oil, so we may change to gas, since we have to put a new one in.

Every morning Mr. B.  has to go down and check that there is enough water in the boiler, it has a crack, so he checks on the water level, to run it for hot water and back ground heat.  At least we're coming into the season when we should not be using it as much, plus we also have the wood stove.  But ouch!  What an expense.  Not one we had planned on.  We knew one day, but not this day.  At least we can baby it along.

I have started on a crochet skirt to go with my shawl, quite an easy pattern I will post it later.  In a fleck gray/charcoal it is crocheting up looking a little darker than I thought it would, but I like it.

I took this photo a couple of weekends ago.  I know it is a little late to show snowdrops, but March for snowdrops is late in any case.  These were buried under snow for so long, I think that they were stunted in their growth.  But a nice little show for me to enjoy while sitting in the Simla Room crocheting.

The brocade fabric they are sitting on is just one of a couple of small pieces I have which my grandma gave to me.  She used to work at Courtauld's Mill in Halstead, Essex, back in the fifties and sixties, before it was closed down.

Behind is a photo of Mr. B. and I on our honeymoon.

This was Courtauld's Mill.  If you were to turn around to the right just behind you is where my nephew had his wedding reception, in an old timber framed pub.

Hope all is well with you dear folk.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Japanese Crochet Flowers and Serenity Garden Yarn

Deborah Norville Serenity Garden yarns are just such fun to work with.  Well let me start from the beginning.  I wanted to crochet a flower shawl, I started looking at Japanese crochet flowers and scarves and shawls made with Japanese flower designs.  So download the pattern take out some yarn and practice.

I decided the yarn I was using was too heavy, and went rummaging through my many dispersed collections when I came across a skein that I had bought several years ago, it was this yarn Serenity Garden and it was in the Gems color.  I had actually bought it to crochet the gusset in my Oilily sweater, but opted for plain red in the end.

Japanese crochet flowers are usually crocheted in three different colours but I thought wouldn't it be fun to use this multi color yarn and not have to have all those ends.

The yarn is soft, is the correct weight for the flowers and I am just enjoying working with it so much.  It does split a little but if you're careful it is fine.  There were many good reviews about this yarn.

So then I panic I like this yarn so much, but I bought it several years ago can I still get it.  Yes, our local store does still have some of the colours, phew.  So now I'm on a Japanese flower crochet saga.

Did finish my other shawl and will post pics when weather cooperates.

Just put those two words together Japanese and Serenity Garden, they seem to compliment each other.





 Mountain Heather



Spring Water 


Orange Tree

Happy Crocheting,

P.S.  Japanese crochet scarf  L'atelier de Marie

PPS Just finished watching The Far Pavilions the book was by M. M. Kaye.  She wrote many books and one of her best I think, is the first in the series of a trilogy of  autobiographical books 'The Sun In the Morning', growing up in the early nineteen hundreds in Simla, India, a place I want to visit.  Hence I call my sunroom the Simla Room, all things Indian.
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