Chinese Lanterns

Can’t believe it has taken me 4 months to download the photos for this off my memory card. I feel like I’ve barely taken my camera anywhere this year, but maybe I was in need of a little break….anyways, onwards and upwards; I’m not going to say I’m returning to blogging, as every time I say that, it doesn’t quite happen, but I’m definitely trying. So, I hope you enjoy this one – I wrote the text at the time, but now it’s 4 months later but the lanterns were fab!


The moment I saw the advert for these giant lanterns at Edinburgh Zoo, I knew I had to go, so last month the hubster, favourite niece, my mum, and I all bundled up warmly against the February chill and ventured off to the zoo on a Saturday evening. As tickets needed to be bought in advance, we were so lucky with the weather, which was cold but dry and clear – not really something you can bank on in our neck of the woods.

I lugged my DSLR with 50mm and 35mm lenses and tripod, although in hindsight the tripod was a mistake as there were too many people to get it set up. I also wish I had just taken my nifty fifty and used my phone for the wider shots, which I ended up doing closer to the end of the evening.

The zoo recommended it takes around an hour and a half to see all the lanterns but it took us closer to 2 and a half hours, partly because I had given favourite niece my old phone to use as a camera and she wanted to take photos of all the flower ones, even though they looked quite similar.

If these lanterns ever come to your area, they are definitely worth a visit.

On my desk this week – 28 May 2017

I was hoping to be back with a new recipe at the tail end of last week but I’ve been laid low with what might be whooping cough (how Dickensian!!), so I haven’t been cooking at all.

Instead, it’s time for a craft update.  Can’t actually show you what’s on my desk as it’s basically a heap of crap which has nowhere else to go.  Clearing it was one of my tasks for last week but have hardly moved from the sofa.  Instead, I’ll show couple of projects I have on the go at the moment.

First up is this gorgeous baby blanket from A Year of Baby Afghans (Book 4) published by Leisure Arts.  This one is for the month of March and is designed by Mary C Abadir.  It’s the first pattern I’ve done from this book and I’m a little bit in love with it.  In fact, I keep looking at the blanket as it’s so pretty.  Once downside of the book is that a few diagrams would help for reassurance, but saying that, I’ve managed fine without them.  I’m using Drops Baby Merino, which is a 4-ply yarn, in Powder, Light Turquoise, and Light Grey, with a 3.5mm hook.  That yarn is thicker than some 4-plys I’ve used and the colours are gorgeous; I’m especially fond of the Powder which is a slight pink hint to it which, when mixed with other colours, gives a gorgeous soft neutral effect.

Another crochet project I’ve just completed (with the exception of sewing in 2 ends), is this Edlothia shawl by Jasmin Rasanen, available for free on Ravelry, worked in Sheepjes Whirl in Strawberries and Scream, with a 3.5mm hook.  I am very pleased with the finished piece but the pattern was a bit challenging to understand, perhaps owing to some translation issues. On a positive note, it really made me learn how to understand crochet charts!

Finally I’m still toiling away at the necklace I’m doing, incorporating this beautiful Lost Girl bead by Soul Silver.  I have been doing this in fits and starts for about a year and at the stage now where I’d really like to get it finished this week.  The flowers are from a pattern in Spellbound’s Floral Beaded Jewellery by Julie Ashford, and the rope design from Beautiful Beaded Ropes by Jill Wiseman.

I’m also at the finishing stage of a silver and copper bangle, using some form folding, at Silversmithing classes, so will hopefully have it home to show soon.

Thanks for looking.  Hope to see you again soon..and I promise I’ll have a new recipe soon.


Thursday Recipes

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the recipes I’m posting here. So far I’ve been keeping it very simple, in the hope of encouraging any of you beginner cooks out there to make meals from scratch instead of reaching for a jar. Homemade is less expensive and healthier (especially regarding the sugar content), plus it doesn’t have that slightly ‘shiny’ taste you get from highly processed foods.

This week’s offering will also be quick, simple fare, what I generally refer to as ‘midweek meals’,  but I also want to start offering some more complex recipes. My question to you is: would you rather the Thursday recipes remained simple, with the more involved ones being additional, or would prefer the odd challenge thrown into the regular feature? Also, if there is a particular recipe you’d like to see here, comment below and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks for taking the time to read/comment and be sure to check back later today for this week’s recipe.

P.S. I know I haven’t posted any crafty stuff yet, but I’m working on a sneaky peek of a wonderful crochet project I’m currently working on.