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Sunday Sevens 19th August – Almond milk, embroidery and black magic

Roses in rose bowl

It has been a busy week and what weather we are having! Sunny days interspersed with rain it is nice to be back to our normal temperatures and see the grass turning green again!  I’ve escaped the four walls nearly every day this week – friends have been so kind to pop by and take me out for a bit. I am walking on crutches so I am somewhat  of a liability – especially as Thursday was raining cats and dogs – but it has been great to catch up with good friends and be a lady who lunches for a while! I have also been showered with more flowers! I bought this rose bowl in a charity shop some years ago – its crystal and was a bargain for about a fiver. I have used it often as it makes displaying flowers so easy as the grid holds the heads nicely.

mini heart brooch pincushion

We had a family gathering recently I wanted to make something to give as well as the usual gift. As she is a stitcher I decided to make a little heart brooch pincushion. I am always losing pins no matter how many pincushions I have scattered around the craft room – so having a little brooch that travels with me, has been very useful. I love this little print and the flower sat so beautifully framed in the pink felt.

brooch pin cushion

Its tiny, only about 4inches by 2 and a half inches but it came out nicely. Ok, I will admit I got carried away with the embroidery bit – I was watching Bletchley and the story tension was building so I was stitching faster! I crocheted a little border round the edge which seemed to finish it off nicely. I do adore Petra Cotton Perle – it is lovely to embroider with. Thankfully the gift was appreciated – which is always a bonus!

make a wish - dandilion embroidery

It is difficult to capture this little embroidery that hangs above this little heart, it is only 2inches – it is a dandelion head worked over fine organza. When I am eating it looks as if I have captured a lovely seed head in a frame, but photographs just don’t seem to come out right.

Dandilion embroidery

Stitching on such a see through background is more difficult and messy than I hoped, and looking so closely at the embroidery – doesn’t really capture how effective it is when viewed from a distance. It took me less than an hour to do but it really does please me.

moon over soho ben aaronovitch

Moon over Soho is the second book from Ben Aaronovitch – I am delighted to see that there are a few more books already out in this Series.  I have become rather fond of DC Grant, – his sardonic humour is delightful, the police procedure and social commentary makes me giggle. Not to mention the mix of the magical in every day cynical London life.

The 1960s planning department of local council whose unofficial motto was Finishing what the Lufftwaffe started…

Some things never change, and a senior police officer doesn’t organise a costly raid and admit to failure, or violating the Magna Carta, until he has done his best to convict somebody of something.

I think this book follows on very well from the first one – and we are now introduced to our ‘modern day Moriarty’ in the form of a Black Magician who managed to escape this time, so I am keen to read the next book. I don’t think it will be long before we see this series televised – it is that good! although they might need some really good special effects to do it justice.

Oh and the little fox brooch was a tiny fabric illustration of the fox cushions I made for my daughter – I could not let it go to waste so I made it into a little brooch. It is lovely to have time to stitch.

almond milk

I made a huge mistake buying some ‘almond milk’ in the supermarket a few weeks back – It was basically water with a hint of almond – I am shocked they can get away with it – the almonds make up less than 5% of of the overall ‘almond milk’ – making it 95% water. So I decided to make some of my own and it is really easy, tastes delicious and is much cheaper.

Simply place a bowl full of almonds (I used the skin on) in water for 24 hours. The nuts plump up and actually taste nicer!

Then add a teaspoon of vanilla extract a couple of dates (to sweeten it a little) your nuts and water to a blender and blend for about a minute. Push through a fine sieve to remove the skins. (I think I might try the almonds without skins next time!)

I found my almond milk was very thick so I did a few more whizzes using the stuff left in the sieve and additional water. It still looked like milk after the third time and my home made milk was more creamy than the shop bought one. It is nice for cereals but I don’t think it would work in coffee or tea!

Sunday Sevens, your week summed up in photographs,  is the brainchild of Nat at Threads and bobbins – you can find her site here.

Have a lovely weekend.

x

 

 

 

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Sunday Sevens – post op and enchanted convalescence

Post op

I went in to have foot reconstruction surgery two weeks ago; I suffered osteonecrosis when I was a teenager and had radical surgery, over twenty years of dancing and walking around left my foot in a very sorry state – and I am so grateful to the surgeon and hospital staff for their wonderful care. It is marvellous to live in a country where you get the health care you need without having to worry about the costs involved. So I find myself having to sit down and recover – which is harder than I imagined!

yellow gerberas in blue vase

E picked me up from hospital with the most beautiful bouquet of sunny yellow blooms, Gerberas and Yellow Roses to brighten the bedroom and here they are two weeks later still looking bright and beautiful. I love the contrast of the blue vase – and our home has the most delightful French doors that give such a great soft light for photography.

My lovely place

Recovery is so delightful – I finally had time to do a little painting – and what a beautiful spot to paint! I managed two canvasses: one was a still life of tulips I had photographed, once again the combination of cobalt and yellow the other was a fun butterfly using various shades of glitter. I managed to get most of the glitter on the canvass but was a little bit sparkly for a few days!

Sweet peas and summer hat

These delightful sweet peas were a get well soon gift and I am so humbled to receive so much kindness from friends and neighbours. Get well soon cards have overflowed from the mantle shelf to the dresser and visitors have been very frequent and welcome. It has surprised me just how hard it is to be on the receiving end of so much kindness, but it has certainly aided my recovery and made me feel appreciated.

food journal

This lovely bowl of fruit was a welcome thoughtful gift – the apricots were delicious. I am struggling with my diet at the moment – since discovering lactose is triggering my migraines I have been migraine free for a while. However, I forgot to mention it to a dear friend who invited us round for tea and cake – only to discover she had made a full afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones cream and jam! I was too embarrassed to ‘make a fuss’ I thought it would be ok, but the following day I suffered one of the worst bouts of migraine and sickness I had in years. So much so that it has made me frightened to eat a lot of things.  I now keep a food journal which has helped me track some of the foods – but I am still having digestive problems. I know that I was given strong antibiotics during my surgery so have been using probiotics.

chocolate parcel

Of course I could not live without chocolate – and the current trend for Veganism has made this a little easier as well as the food labelling laws. So my weeks of indulgence included a package from Montezuma’s – organic, dairy free chocolate. This is sublime and I find I don’t need to eat that much to satisfy the craving now and then. I’ve since discovered that there is a vegan chocolate factory not far from where I live! So it is on my ‘to visit list’ once I am mobile again.

Little embroidery

I am enjoying enchanting afternoons spent listening to radio plays while stitching – my winter embroidery is coming along – I have also found time to do some much needed hand sewing repairs to my clothes. It is such a calm, meditative practise that is fast becoming my preferred method. The sewing machine is not as accurate nor is it quite so relaxing.

IMG_3075

Mr Barnykins has been really enjoying his time with a wonderful local dog walker – I think she gets far more fuss when she arrives than I do, but then I am here all the time at the moment. I think he is trying to pretend it was someone else who is responsible for the inside snowstorm!

Happy Sunday.

 

Adventures, health, healthy eating

Migraines … in search of a cure

The inner part of something; the inside. the interior has been much restored. Synonyms_ inside, inner part, inner area, depths, recesses, bowels, belly; More antonyms_ exterior, ou

I have suffered from Migraines for over 20 years – sometimes they are a constant for up to two weeks a month – sometimes a couple of months pass without any. I have tried many things and eventually – after eating some cream – I had such a strong reaction that I finally made the connection between cows milk and diary and my migraines.

I began keeping a food diary a few months ago, just a note book on the kitchen counter – it had to be handy otherwise I wouldn’t fill it in!

After a while I ended up with a more comprehensive daily sheet that others might find useful.

Wellness journal food sensitivity log

 

The difficulty with any food sensitivity is that you never eat one thing in isolation – there are so many variants and factors that can trigger an attack. For example, I made the connection with feeling bloated after eating bread and butter, but I assumed it was wheat as bread was the main component, I disregarded butter as a potential cause.

Wellness journal log of wheat dairy

So each meal has a little circle tick beside it to identify the main culprits Wheat Sugar Dairy Caffeine – and another tally box on the right hand side. There is also a section for ‘how I felt after eating’ to enter bloating or other adverse reactions.

Dehydration can be a problem so there are logs for water and hot drinks – it also clarifies the caffeine from herbal teas.

There is also a section to log when a headache occurs – I sometimes would be fine but after my mid morning latte I would find that a blinding headache began about ten to twenty minutes later.

It is not easy to find out the exact cause – and while my headaches have greatly reduced, I find that other things can upset the balance – not getting enough sleep for example or eating jelly sweets! So there is a specific section to also track how well I slept and if I did any activities that helped me with stress levels, like reading or meditation or even going for a walk.

Wellness journal food sensitivity other factors log

Sometimes there are other factors – workplace stress or just a general life difficulties which can up stress levels so there is a big notes section at the bottom of the page.

food sensitivity log notes section

I hope, if you are suffering and seeking a cure that you will find this sheet useful.

Wellness journal – Migraine tracker

It links all sorts of related issues such as sleep and stress.

Free for personal use – but please always refer back here to give due credit.

13-Elderflower cordial -010

 

 

environmentally friendly, good food, health, organic, recipe, recipies, seasonal food, UK farmers, vegetables, What's cooking

It’s like Christmas every week

Fridays are my Abel and Cole vegetable delivery day, it’s like like having Christmas once a week as you never know what is going to be in there; it feels satisfying supporting UK organic farmers. The veg is wonderful better even than supermarket organic and I fell in love with mash potato again after years of finding it tasteless. 
It gives an opportunity to be creative in the kitchen, not only in touch with what is seasonal, but it also fresh so cooking in order of what needs eating up fast! We have a wonderful butcher’s shop in the village  it gives me great pleasure not to be giving my money to Supermarkets who treat farmers unfairly and it is doing me good too. 
Supermarket vegetables are kept in a zero oxygen storage for up to a year, so as appetising as it looks, the fruit and veg may not really fresh at all. Often the organic food is flown into the country from the third world so it also makes sense  environmentally and all the packaging is recyclable and not those plastic containers that go in landfill. 

Mindful eating is about the connection we have with our food, we are absorbing what we eat and it becomes part of us, therefore it makes sense to eat things that enhance our health as well as nourish our spirt, so I feel I am doing something good as well as feeling the food is the best it can be. The body follows the mind, so it means my heath is improving and I am hoping that I will be able to cure my terrible two week migraine cycle.