Sushi Night!

Look away now, Jeanne! :)

I’ve been a bit stressed of late so haven’t been updating my blog but now things are a little less stressed, I’m catching up :)

We’ve had a Japanese student to stay for the past couple of weeks and one of our duties as hosts is to give them dinner so to make her feel at home, we did sushi one night. I also saw some very delicious looking sushi on 2paw’s blog.

This is pao’s effort before he rolled it.

I like cucumber in mine and this cucumber was grown by a friend by mine. It was more like a pickling cucumber but quite tasty in my sushi.

pao was very serious about his sushi.

Didn’t he roll well?

They didn’t turn out too badly, did they?

These were my efforts :)

I tried a Japanese food called natto . It is an acquired taste!!

We had a really fun evening with our new Japanese friend. :)

Caturday: Handsome and Prissy

I was happy to meet my handsome friend Tigger again the other week.

He is rather dashing.

He is rather nice. I do like a ginger cat.

Just a few steps away, I bumped into this prissy ginger madam standing my a tree and looking like she owned the place.

She did rather make me smile :)

All scone!

I’ve been feeling a bit poorly of late – very tired, virally, not in such good shape so pao has very kindly been cooking a bit more. On Sunday, we saw some photos of a very lovely looking set of scones at someone’s house and he was up and in the kitchen making them. Very light and fluffy and tasty they were, too! In case you are wondering, here is the recipe!

Tamyra gives her approval.

Pizza night

I love pizza and when I saw a recipe in a checkout magazine for homemade pizza, I thought it was a nice idea. pao made the dough with my KitchenAid mixer and these huge dough balls awaited me when I got home this evening.

Yes, yes, I know it is supposed to be round….

A bit of defrosted Dorot sauce for the base meant I was good to go for a quick dinner.

A little mozzarella and some anchovies – ten minutes in the oven and dinner is served! Perfetto!! :)

New pad

pao has very kindly spent some days off fixing up my office and it is almost done now.

It has already had a feline stamp of approval. Sirius had been round earlier.

Apologies for the baldness of Tamyra – she is fretting a little. Lots of upheaval with moving things round is not her favourite activity.

I have a lovely collection of vintage embroidery – complete and incomplete. I asked for a cream colour on the walls so I could add the colour with accessories.

I think Tamyra approves!!

Ring, ring

pao and I don’t like to give each other chocolate for Easter. For one thing, we love us some really decent chocolate at almost any other time of the year (check out Madame Oiseau as a point of reference) and we love giving each other much more memorable gifts for Easter. One year, I received all the yarn for a cardigan; this year was a ring-making lesson with Canterbury Ringmaking.

So the very lovely Guy Meurice turned up to our house with all of his kit this evening to help me with my lovely gift. This tiny piece of silver wire was going to be a ring.

He very kindly allowed me to make a ring with a stone which is what I’ve secretly been hankering for ever since I saw someone else’s on his Facebook page. Normally, you get to make a beautiful silver band on his workshops but he gave me some extra time and the materials for this moss agate ring.

Sirius was naturally at his most helpful. We had to shut him out when we were soldering as I was afraid he’d get himself singed or set on fire.

First step was to bend the ring into a ring shape and file the cut bits so they fit together. I was thrilled that my ring was starting to take shape. A bit of soldering and curing in some acid meant my ring was a ring!

Using a mandrel and a leather hammer, I was able to shape and stretch my ring a little to fit my big tree trunk fingers (I’m a size Q, don’t you know? [thought you ought to know if you're ever inclined to make me a ring]).

More soldering to get the setting onto the ring. A useful tip from Guy was that we put the setting on the opposite side to the open edge.

Guy brought a polishing machine and once the soldering was done, I got to polish my ring (no sniggering, pao).

Tamyra slept through the whole process until the polishing part and then she was very interested in what was going on.

We then put the stone in the ring and basically pushed the silver until it held the stone in place – quite a process. Guy was very kind and helped me do this as it would have taken me an age to do. Et voila, a beautiful ring!

Thank you very much, Guy, for teaching me (he is a very kind and patient teacher) and to pao for giving me this wonderful gift. I can’t stop looking at my finger and admiring the ring I made :) Hurrah!!

Wedding preparations

pao and I spent part of today helping a friend set up her daughter’s wedding venue – a beautiful old barn near us. There was an old merry go round there and we had a great time looking at it :)

Beautiful old organ one end

Beautiful old organ one end

Another the other end of the barn

Another the other end of the barn

pao perfecting his pom pom

pao perfecting his pom pom

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Beautiful countryside backdrop

Beautiful countryside backdrop

Lots and lots of ribbon

Lots and lots of ribbon

pao riding his horse

pao riding his horse

The carousel was decorated with some beautiful paintings

The carousel was decorated with some beautiful paintings

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This parrot is so pretty

This parrot is so pretty

There were several curious dogs

There were several curious dogs

This is the carousel

This is the carousel

A dress in a day (almost)

I was in the Sewing Shop just getting some bits and bobs when I saw a lovely dress on the mannequin. I thought it was time that I challenged myself and thought I’d give it a try.

I was staying with my lovely friend’s cats Dizzy and Mole so they kept me company whilst I was sewing.

I quite liked the simplicity of the pattern which had just a few pieces to it.

I enjoyed figuring out what to do with the neckline.

My collection of Wonderclips helped me keep my neckline in place whilst I sewed it all up. I keep pricking my fingers badly with pins (and other parts too!!)

The cap sleeves were very cute.

Again those Wonderclips helped the job along nicely.

And here is the mostly finished dress. I sewed in the loose bits by hand at my Knit and Stitch group and just need to find a little button and sew a button loop on. It is a touch on the trim side but a few more days of ultra heat will cure that as it is too hot to eat!!

pao says that the inactivity of the cats was disappointing.

Even little Dizzy spent the whole time behind the sofa not participating. If Sirius had been there, we all know I wouldn’t have completed it in such a short time. :)

Caturday : Tigger

Beautiful Tigger is a cat I met when I was working at another site for a month. His owner said that he’d come and look out for me in the morning when he knew I was passing by. He was such a handsome chap.

Happy Birthday, dear Sirius Black!

5 today! Still cheeky – thank goodness! :)
Happy Birthday to my funny, helpful puss cat!!

mumblings from the beleagured mrspao