Sunday, 21 December 2014

Busy, busy, busy!

Term finished on Friday after a hectic week of performances, carol singing and parties. I am so looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet. However, I haven't sat idle all weekend. On Saturday morning I went into Norwich to a sewing workshop. Last month I did a machine appliqué class, and decided to turn my work into a cushion cover. I went for a festive theme for my first project, I love how it turned out and it'll be fun getting this cushion out each Christmas.

Ho Ho Ho

Ho Ho Ho applique cushion (8)

Of course, Flo has had to test it out for squishability and has given it the paws up!

Ho Ho Ho applique cushion (2)

My head is whirling with ideas for other appliqué projects; hopefully I will get the chance to have a play over the coming days. I also turned my crazy patchwork block into a smaller cushion cover while I had the chance.

cushions! (2)

Mr JK and I have also been busy in the kitchen. Sausage rolls have become a bit of a Christmas tradition for us; we use Delia's recipe which makes really delicious ones. They're now in the freezer, ready for snacking. They are so moreish that it's far safer for them to be out of temptation's way. Otherwise, I fear that we would not be able to resist munching our way through them.

sausage rolls (3)

A batch of biscuits followed, using a recipe from Mr JK's German Oma. They too are rather moreish! I fear for my waistline this holiday!

Christmas biscuits

I also made a jar of lemon curd, using a scaled down version of this recipe. Using one egg and one lemon, there's plenty of lemon curd for one smallish jar. I plan on having some on Christmas morning with a croissant. Mmmmmmmmm!

lemon curd

Last but by no means least, today we baked some marzipan stollen. Last year's was a bit of a monster and threatened to take over the oven, so we divided the dough in half and made two smaller ones this time. Of course, we felt we had to taste it, so enjoyed a slice with a cup of tea this afternoon. It was delicious! If you fancy giving it a try, here's the recipe we used.

Christmas stollen (6)

Mr JK is working right up to Christmas Eve, so I am planning some crafting time over the next couple of days. I'll be back to share what I've been doing very soon. xxx

Advent week 4 2014 (2)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Guess who's fifty?!

Me!! I celebrated my 50th birthday this week. I cannot believe it, I still think that I'm in my 20's in my head, although looking in the mirror tells me otherwise!! I had a lovely day and Mr JK and Flo spoilt me rotten!

Guess who's 50?!

Yesterday morning we went for a walk through the woodland at Blickling Hall. It was a beautiful, but bitterly cold day. The ground was still covered in frost at lunchtime.

chilly December morning Blickling 2014 (1)

chilly December morning Blickling 2014 (3)

I finished my Halloween socks this weekend too. I love the self striping yarn. The colourway is called Leaky Cauldron and the yarn was gifted to me by a dear friend. I seem to have a bit of a thing for self striping yarns right now; I am itching to cast on another stripy pair!

Halloween Roxy socks (5)

I received two Christmas cards this week as part of the card swap in the ThreeBagsFull group on Ravelry. The gifts had to fit in the envelope with the card. My partners were very creative as you can see from the photos.

TBF Christmas card swap (1)

TBF Christmas card swap (2)

In case you're wondering, yes, that is Flo on the bookmark! Debby snuck a photo from my Flickr page and turned it into this special gift. I love it! Josee made me the little festive stocking brooch and I will be wearing it to school tomorrow. The swaps are such fun. I am lucky to belong to some great groups on Ravelry. 

One more week of school before I can start to unwind. It's a hectic one too with Christmas concerts, a trip to the pantomime and class parties to get through. I'll catch up with you again next weekend. xxx

Advent 2014 week 3 (1)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Inching her way......

................. this was how we found Flo yesterday evening. Asleep on her (previously ignored) fleece with her chin firmly resting on the 64 Crayons blanket! It looks as if this battle is far from over! xxx

inching her way

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Day trip to Bruges!

Mr JK and I went for a trip to Belgium yesterday. We had an early start, and a clear run down to the Channel Tunnel and we arrived in Bruges around midday. Chocolate shopping was high on the agenda as well as looking around the Christmas market. Compared to some we have been to in the past, we found the market a little disappointing. There were the usual festive food stalls, selling bradwurst, gluhwein and waffles, but there weren't that many stalls selling Christmassy things. Bruges has some magnificent achitecture and we both agreed that we would like to return to explore further. Here's a little taste of the day........

Bruges 2014 (4)

Bruges 2014 (16)

Bruges 2014 (12)

Bruges 2014 (29)

Bruges 2014 (34)

Bruges 2014 (26)

Bruges 2014 (27)

Bruges 2014 (19)

Bruges 2014 (7)

Bruges 2014 (31)

We did make one or two purchases - a little wooden decoration which is already hanging on the tree......

Bruges Dec 2014 (1)

...... and a lace angel. I'm going to make a loop so it can be hung from the tree too.

Bruges Dec 2014 (3)

A few chocolates might have made their way back to  Norfolk, including this little lot. Almost every other shop in Bruges is a chocolate shop, there's temptation around every corner!

Bruges Dec 2014 (6)

An early night is in order as we didn't get back home until around midnight, and a certain little cat showed little respect for our late night! So I will love you and leave you for today. xxx

Advent 2014 week 2 (1)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

It's that time of year again!

The festive season is upon us once more. Last weekend was 'Stir up Sunday' and we made our Christmas puddings as well as a Christmas cake. Today is Advent Sunday and it's traditional, chez josiekitten, to put up the decorations. So we have spent a very pleasant afternoon getting reacquainted with many 'old friends'! I love all the special memories that are attached to so many of our Christmas decorations. Over the coming weeks, I will try to share a few of my favourites with you. In the meantime, here are our trees. The main one is in our living room.........

Christmas 2014 week 1 (2)

and the second one is in the hall. This tree belonged to my Mum when she was a girl, so dates back to the war. We still have the original angels from that time, as well as decorations that I remember from my own childhood. Some of them are home made by my brother and me! It is pretty special.

Christmas 2014 week 1 (6)

I have done very little in the way of knitting this week. However, I do have some yarn to share with you from some recent spinning. The fibre was my purchase from Woolfest back in June. I loved the bright rainbow colours, it just felt happy! How could you fail to smile when you look at this?!

spin a rainbow (1)

spin a rainbow (10)

spin a rainbow (19)

School is super-busy right now - Christmas concerts, Christmas fair, cards and calendars to make as well as trying to keep some kind of routine for the children. Next Saturday, Mr JK and I will be up at the crack of dawn to go on a day trip to the Christmas market in Bruges. I do believe there may be some chocolate tasting on the cards!! xxx

Christmas 2014 week 1 (5)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Nice weather .....

...... for ducks!! It was the Norwich Half Marathon today and Mr JK was taking part. We kept our eyes on the weather forecast all week, telling ourselves that it was bound to change for the better. But for once, the forecasters got it right! Heavy and persistent rain, all day! 

Norwich half marathon 2014 (7)

Mr JK swam ran his way round the course in 2 and a quarter hours; to say I am proud of him is an understatement! He's already booked his place on his second half marathon next March! Getting out of the car park afterwards proved challenging. The rain had turned it into a complete mud bath, and a great many cars needed a helping hand to get moving!

Norwich half marathon medal 2014

I received a lovely parcel from Cathy this week. Florence was very keen to assist me with opening it. I think she knew that there was a little something inside especially for her from Cathy's two cats, Mack and Lucy.

PP swap from Cathy  (2)

Cathy had knitted Flo a mouse and stuffed it with cat nip. Very quickly, Flo was playing with her new toy!

PP swap from Cathy  (14)

There were lots of lovely treats in the box including a rather stunning crescent shaped beaded shawl. I would never had thought about choosing orange as a colour for myself, but I love it!

PP swap from Cathy  (21)

I have made some progress with my sock knitting this week - sock number one from my Halloween Roxy socks is finished, and sock number two is under way. With any luck, I will have a completed pair to show you next weekend. xxx

Purple Passion Grille socks WIP (2)