Sunday, 11 November 2012

Winter quilt, cats, curls and hyacinths

A actual finished quilt!

 I have blisters on my fingers (yes, Annika, I did try to use a thimble) and achey fingers, but my quilt for the charity auction to raise funds for Bath Minerva Choir is finished and delivered to the lovely Christina. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that it sells..and for more than £5!

As I mentioned before, the first quilt I started for the auction felt a bit too homely so I started again, attempting to make something a little understated and classy. I thought pale shades of white, cream and green would have a Wintery feel, while the red, green and gold backing fabric would enclose the pale quilt top and add a Christmassy feel.

So please keep your fingers crossed/offer a prayer that people at the charity auction like my quilt! Is there a patron saint of quilters? Perhaps Saint Anne (patron saint of seamstresses) or Saint Claire of Assisi (patron saint of embroiderers) would help out...

Winter quilt

Winter quilt

Cats are odd!

I am sure you have realised that our two cats, Max and Rio, play a big part in our lives. At the moment food is the problem. Max keeps getting cystitis so the vet tested his urine and found it was not sufficiently acidic and was full of crystals. Now both cats have to have special urinary food. It is very expensive, although we have tracked down some cheaper suppliers online, and the flavours are quite limited. Mark ordered a load of alternative brands so we can feed them the brand the vet recommends most of the time but, if they start getting bored and won't eat it, we can give them an alternative every now and then. I now find myself spending 40 minutes or so every morning sitting with them while they eat, coaxing them to eat the new food. A little bit of warm water squished in to the wet food not only helps increase their fluid intake, it warms the food a little so it has more smell, which apparently makes it more appetising. I often put the food on flat plates, so their whiskers don't touch the side of their bowls, as that can put them off eating. We also bought some urinary dried food - they like this, but the wet food is better for them. So I get them to start eating with a few pieces of dried food, then put a little more on top of their wet food and slide it under their noses, and most times they continue eating the wet food too. And where is Mark while this is all happening? Well may you ask! The snoring from upstairs is a clue... It's a good job I love all three of them so much!

The cats - Max particularly - do like to find unusual places to sleep. Mark has an exam on Wednesday and is busy revising...with help from Max!

Max the cat helps revise

Often Max has a Harry Potter complex and likes to sleep overnight in the cupboard under the stairs - and sometimes he prefers to sleep in the bath! Does that make him a Bath bath cat?

Max the cat in the bath: a Bath bath cat

Curls, curls, curls

I don't often post photos of myself, as I really don't like seeing myself - but this morning I had a sudden urge to heat up my old curling tongs, and thought I should share. Ta da!

me - with curls!
When Mark smelt the bacon cooking for breakfast and appeared in the kitchen, he just stared with disbelief and muttered, "that's mad!". I have decided to take it as a compliment...despite the look on his face.


As a little weekly extra, I have decided to share the progress of this year's windowsill hyacinth. So here we go with day 1:

hyacinth: day 1

And finally...a Scandinavian Christmas request

I am fortunate to have a number of Scandinavian friends and have become something of a Scandiphile (if it's not a word, it should be!) over the years. So the Sunday before Christmas I have invited my family over for a Scandinavian Christmas celebration. I treated myself to a copy of 'Scandinavian Christmas' by Trine Hahnemann, but would love to know how my Swedish shipmates (four of us have booked a weekend on a canal boat in March), Danish and Norwegian friends celebrate Christmas...and of course anyone else who may just stumble across this blog! Thank you!


  1. I keep my fingers crossed! Difficult to write, I admit, but I am determined to help.

    I am sure that Mark ment that as a compliment! Kenth saw the photo on facebook and told me he liked the hairstyle - and he also noted that you have lost a lot of weight. Well done!

    About Christmas... as you know we celebrate on Christmas Eve, instead as you do on Christmas Day. Food is essential! Personally I am not that into Swedish Christmas food, but traditionally we have a baked ham, lots of different kinds of herrings, salmon, different kinds of cabbage and kale (kale is very important to Kenth), meatballs, small sausages. And then different kinds of biscuits, ginger bread, almond cookies filled with strawberry jam and whipped cream. Santa arrives on Christmas Eve -but he also leaves one present for the morning of Christmas Eve, in case the children get too impatient.

    We haven't had christmas food for quite a few years now, I find it a bit boring to cook and too fat to eat.

    1. Thank you Irene - as log as the crossed fingers do not prevent you blogging.

      The photo is rather kind; but hopefully I can keep up the steady weight loss.

      Wow your Christmas sounds good! I am taking notes and will work out a menu. I was thinking of curing a side of salmon and baking a ham...and I do love Annika's Swedish sunshine cake. I like the idea of meatballs, and I really think I should have a go at cardamom buns.

  2. Sue, I think Irene has listed the most important (and tasteful) ingredients for Christmas. She left out the rice pudding and the stockfish - which, if you ask me, it is no loss not having it on the Christmas table. Many years ago I used to bake a cake, starting several weeks before christmas, full of raisins and fruit, and then feeding it with whiskey several times during the weeks!
    We also have almond cakes filled with cream and jam.

    Oh, I almost forget to write that I like your beautiful quilt - hope it will be sold to a high price!
    Good luck with you weight loss, I think you know that both Irene and I also are on diet.

    Take care of your fingers - a thimble is a must when you quilt. Training, training and then training again would do it :-)

    Looking forward to meeting you next year!

    1. Oh but I like rice pudding! Irene gave me a book of Swedish cakes and biscuits, so I will look for the almond cakes. I have a rather lovely ring of fir trees bundt pan and thought I would make a cinnamon cake in it...with red and white candles around the outside - I think red and white is quite Scandinavian.

      Thank you for the good quilt wishes - I will let you know how the auction goes (I will be mortified if nobody likes it!)

      I have discovered stick-on 'thimbles'; little ovals of tough plastic you stick to the part of your finger that pushes the needle through the fabric. I find these a bit more wearable than the traditional type.

      I am very excited about our Spring weekend on the canal boat!