Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter



Yep , it's been a while but I'm popping by to wish everyone a Happy Easter . I hope every one is relaxing and doing whatever they like to  do at this time of year . I know we are !

The weeks are whizzing by and to be quite honest I've been very low of late and struggling to cope with every thing that has been going on . As well as my mums accident ( she is still in care and progressing nicely but we are looking at the end of May for her Halo frame removing which means she will be back at home then ) my husband has changed his job as well as the hours he works , unfortunately  he is now working a lot of late shifts . So my routine as I knew it has totally changed . But we all have things that are sent to challenge us and I just need to adapt and stop feeling sorry for myself . Yet I think the thing that has really unsettled me is my lack of creating/making time , creating is what makes me tick , it's who I am and I am never more happy and at peace than when I have a needle in my hand stitching or making something or trying out a new idea . I have managed to get a couple of makes under my belt which I think has just about kept me from going loopy . On my last post I shared with you Mr & Mrs Mill Mouse , well before they were dispatched to their new home I had a play with their packaging which I got quite excited about . I seem to have a thing for brown paper and boxes at the moment .


I loved doing this , stitching a box lid and card bunting with my sewing machine ........

..........and putting little extras with the finished item and giving things an extra special tweak.

I've also been experimenting with using bright colours too.


I keep grabbing moments to sew even if it's only for 20 minutes .


But to help keep my sanity I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen  , it is my retreat too place when life feels a bit hard or I'm stressed . I think this is why I have always had a weight problem ever since I was a child as I've always been an emotional eater , except now I share my makes rather than eating it all myself and  feed other people  ,  my family are the main recipients of my  makes but also very appreciative neighbours often have a potion of something indulgent going their way too.

Homemade Apple pie , mmmmmmmm.

Home grown Rhubarb which I turned into ..........

Rhubarb and Ginger cheesecake .


An all time favourite Rhubarb and Apple crumble with custard .

I do cherish and get comfort from the fact that I am able to provide , homegrown , homemade and handmade things for my family and friends as well as myself and I am extremely thankful for this as it is such an important and integral part of my life and at the moment the thing that keeps me grounded .

I've had a lot of pleasure over the last couple of days preparing for Easter and I gave myself a little treat for Easter in the way of a small bunch of  Ranunculus . I decided to make a Spring time flower arrangement with theses as well as adding some in season flowers from my tiny little garden  . I just adore the wild looking floral arrangement and it cheers me up every time I look at it. It's so nice to enjoy flowers from plants you have nurtured with your own hands .





Back in the kitchen my youngest helped me to make decorations for our Easter cake , which this year is Carrot cake . We had great fun making fondant carrots .......

........and I had great fun making the cake , as well as having a slice today , nom nom nom !


It's been so nice to to share with you guys , I do miss not getting chance to call by as often as I used to . 
Once again I would like to wish you all a Happy Easter .
Thanks for popping by and ta ta for now .
Tracyxx

Saturday, 15 March 2014

LOVE


Well it's been nearly a month and since I last popped by and what a roller coaster of a month . As some of you who pop by my Handmade Over Yonder page on facebook  will know my life was plunged into turmoil when my mum had a serious accident nearly a month ago .

It was the middle of the school holidays when I received a telephone call at 8.20 am from  my frantic sister in a taxi trying to get back home to my very injured mum and my sisters two youngest children ( aged 5 and 10 ) . All we knew was my mum had taken a tumble and was not in a good way ( I will leave out the gruesome details )and the ambulance was on it's way . All I can say is that it has at times  been traumatic , emotional and exhausting . Our lives have been chaotic for the last few weeks while we coped with and juggled everything . The medical teams have been truly impressed by my mums courage and determination to get through this ordeal . She suffered a major head trauma , 3 spinal fractures and broke both wrists and looked like she had been hit by a bus not fallen off four steps .

She in now on the road to recovery , it will be a long journey possibly 3 months but she is extremely motivated and very positive and is receiving excellent care . She is now back at the Hospital in Bradford after a stint in Leeds and is now on a ward right next door to the one where my little sister is a Sister on  . I have spent a lot of time travelling and juggling my home life with visiting and doing jobs for my mum and taking care of my boys but family always comes first and we must care for those who are vulnerable and  need our help . So I have had to switch myself off to the less important aspects of my life and put various things on hold .

So my little business has had to be neglected for a few weeks but this last week I felt it was time to get back  in The Studio and get down to some work . Even my mum commented on Thursday after I'd had  3 days in The Studio that I didn't look as stressed as I  had .That is the affect of a bit of sewing and creating has on me  .




For three days I had been surrounded by sunlight , colour and texture . My hands were busy creating and my mind buzzing with lots of ideas .

But something special has happened in The Studio ...............LOVE !








                                                            MR & MRS MILL MOUSE



It has been a joy to work on this lovely couple this week . I particularly love her skirt made from a piece of old textiles I  bought from a local Antique shop and I adore the little flowers I made from cotton tape that has a tape measure printed on it  . I am now eager to work on the rest of my Mill mice that are laid out on my work table waiting to come to life  . The happy couple will be heading to my Etsy shop ( link button @ the top right hand side of this page ) as soon as my packaging arrives and I have given the presentation box a little design tweak .
My life has demands on it at present that are important and cannot be ignored and my loved ones will always be my priority and any thing else I manage to achieve is a bonus . If you have contacted me recently please bare with me I will reply to you and I will announce on my Facebook page ( Handmade over Yonder ) when my Yorkshire Mill Mice  are available and heading to my etsy shop . I will try and pop by here as often as I can too .
Take care of yourselves and those around you and enjoy the rest of your weekend , thanks for popping by and ta ta for now .
                                    TRACY xx


Monday, 17 February 2014

Well I think  I'm getting my creative mojo back .
The past week has been a week of planing and creating.
Friday saw me start planning a new crochet blanket , I really want to make a squishy aran ripple blanket for our bed . So I've made a little purchase to get me started , some very soft and very squishy Rico merino aran , I've started my chain and am very excited about getting the blanket started but feel it may be a long term project as it is to go on a King size bed ( Ooooo I think I may also need to take out a small mortgage to fund the project too !! lol ) . 


 I am very much in love with these four colours 



 I've also had a real  fun time in the kitchen over the past week , I sooooooo love being in my kitchen and am never happier than when I'm making something for others .

First of all  my youngest niece had her birthday to celebrate and Auntie Tracy never turns up without baked goods . So I had a little play !



  A very good friend had her  birthday yesterday and she was having a house party to celebrate . Well it would have been rude not to turn up with celebratory cup cakes ( buns ) . Our friend absolutely adores Joules clothing so with that in mind that was the colour theme I chose for her birthday buns . Oh what fun I had creating these buns and one evening a very dear friend helped too , there was a quick demo on flower making and there may have also been a little Damson gin consumed as well (  and what a very good friend she is too to put up with my sometimes very bossy nature ! thanks Sam x) .

 So after two evenings of forming fondant flower it was time to start decorating .


 I love this part !





 It was wonderful to see her face when she saw her buns , 30 special buns for a fabulous lady .

I must confess or as you may have gathered by now with all the baking that goes on in my house , I have a very sweet tooth . But I am trying to make a real effort to watch what I eat , as are a lot of my family and friends . I am also trying out some new recipes  on the family and this next one has been a great success . If you are trying to cut down on your fat intake this is a great way to cook tasty spicy chicken .

You will need  : chicken thighs and or chicken drum stick I use a mix of both , 6 x thighs & 4 drum sticks ,                                which feed our family of four .
                       : 2 tbsp Cajun spices
                       : The juice of 1 Lime
                       : 250 g Fat free natural yogurt


 In a dish mix together the yogurt the Cajun spices and the Lime juice .
Then remove all the skin from the chicken pieces and score the meat .


 Next coat all the chicken pieces with the yogurt mix .
You can either cook straight away or cover in a dish and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours .
 Next  spread out the chicken pieces on  baking trays , You don't really need to cook with any oil as lots of natural juices come out of the chicken which you can then use to occasionally baste the meat . If you don't have non stick trays to bake with put about a teaspoon of cooking oil in the tray and using a pastry brush liberally brush the tray to create a non stick surface . Place the trays of chicken ( I usually have two ) in a hot oven , mine is usually at 200 degrees for about 30 to 40 mins , but all ovens vary so yours may take a longer or shorter time than in my oven . Remove chicken from oven when it is cooked and juices run clear , enjoy the spicy juicy chicken with  the happy thought that it really healthy too .

I've also had lots of creative planing going on in The Studio this week as Lucy and I get a programme of workshops started . So I've been working with Rachel from Bewitched by stitch to work out the next 4 Rag rug related workshops especially as the ones before Christmas were so very popular . We thought our first one would be an Easter Rag Rug Wreath day workshop . Which takes place on the Saturday the 1st of March from 10 am to 4 pm in The Studio and this a perfect opportunity for anyone who is interested to have a gentle introduction to the art of prodded rag rugging . Below is just an example of what could be achieved in this day workshop . Imaging being able to make and add something like this to a lovely Easter display in your own home .



  If you would like to attend please visit www.creativecoopers.blogspot.co.uk and go to the workshop page for course information and visit the contacts page to contact me . Alternatively you could message me on my Facebook page , Handmade Over Yonder  to arrange securing a place and places have already started to go .
Now I'm looking forward to spending a week at home and  being out and about with Mr P and our boys . 
Thanks for popping by and ta ta for now .
Tracy xx