12 August 2015

Behind The Scenes













Hello my lovely friends.  How are you all?

I must admit I'm finding it easier to pop in and out of Instagram and Facebook at the moment so, just for the summer, that's where you'll find me.  Far from being neglected though, there is a fair bit of behind-the-scenes work happening on my little blog.  If you look up at the web address, you'll notice you're now at www.pink-milk.co.uk and all without you feeling a thing (hopefully)!  I have lots of plans and ideas for the autumn which I'm scribbling down in that there pretty notebook.  I do hope you'll love them.

Oh, I have just released a new crocheted bag pattern too ...

Lulu is an uncomplicated soul.  She skips through life laughing, uplifting hearts in her wake.  By day she is a lover of colour and whimsy.  By night, she favours understated beauty.

The pattern includes full written and photographic instruction for both bags pictured and I have classified it as being 'easy' because it really is.  I'm selling the pattern through the Love Crochet website as an instant download and the price you see will include VAT at your own country's rate.  If you fancy making your very own Lulu bag, it can be found here.  I've also listed my other patterns on Love Crochet, including my Neopolitan Cushion Cover which I used (omitting the bobbles) to make the plumptious pink one you see above.

As soon as Blondie Son has received his GCSE results next week, we're off to Spain so I'm currently thoroughly enjoying putting together colours for a suitable little holiday project and, shock horror, I've just realised that pink is nowhere to be seen! ;-)

I do hope you're all having a simply wonderful summer.  I will be back blogging in earnest in September.  Until then, toodle pip.

xxx

6 August 2015

Clare's Raspberry And White Chocolate Blondies





♥♥♥

Ingredients
(Makes 12 blondies)

2 large handfuls of fresh raspberries
100g bar of good quality white chocolate
1 handful of white chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 cup of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup of caster sugar
2 large eggs
a dash of vanilla extract
1 cup of plain flour
icing sugar
small pinch of salt

Method

♥  Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius/150 degrees fan.
♥  Lightly grease an 8" baking tray with butter.
♥  Melt chocolate using either microwave or bain-marie.
♥  Sieve flour into a mixing bowl and add salt.  Combine then set aside.
♥  Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
♥  Add eggs and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture then stir in melted chocolate.
♥  Stir in flour and salt until just combined.
♥  Gently stir in raspberries (and white chocolate chips).
♥  Spoon mixture into baking tray and spread evenly.
♥  Bake for approximately 40 minutes.  Your blondies should be golden brown and a knife should come cleanly out the centre.
♥  Cool in tray.
♥  Cut into squares.
♥  Dust with a little icing sugar.
♥  Enjoy!

Love Clare

♥♥♥

This post was styled, written and photographed by Clare.
The blondies pictured were made by Clare.
Clare was made by Heather.

1 August 2015

The Seaside Thing











We did the seaside thing, D and I.  Just a couple of days in beautiful Dorset.  We strolled along gorse-lined Studland beach when there was barely another soul around, the sand between our toes and the sea breeze through our hair.  We ate salty chips from polystyrene trays in Swanage under flapping flags and the watchful glare of seagulls and fed coins into noisy arcade games.  We bought fudge (and yarn!) from busy shops and dodged pushchairs and excited children.

July was a bit of a mixed bag to be honest.  I greet August with slightly recharged batteries and lots to share with you.

Back very soon.

xxx

9 July 2015

George's Hollyhocks











George lives opposite.  My bedroom window looks directly out onto his front garden.

How lucky am I?

xxx

6 July 2015

Little Pleasures








Oh how I'm LOVING this glorious weather!  I LOVE that I can get up in the morning, pull on as few clothes as possible, slip on my (new) flip flops (LOVE!) and that's it, done.  No make up, no faffing.  I am in my element!

I LOVE to have my first cup of coffee out in the garden.  I am an early riser and wouldn't miss my first blissful and uninterrupted hour of quiet for the world.  The early morning haze, heavy with promise of yet another beautiful day.

I have an old belfast sink just outside the back door and it's full of lemon-scented geraniums.  If I gently bruise the leaves between my fingers, it releases the most wonderful fragrance.  One of our favourite restaurants in Zakynthos last year had huge great planters full of them all around its perimeter.  If I close my eyes, I LOVE that the smell takes me right back there.

I'm LOVING snipping a few roses for a pretty bedside posy.  The bush is positively laden this year so there is always plenty to spare.

I am LOVING the song I Can Change by Brandon Flowers.  When it comes on the radio, I turn the volume right up and swirl around the kitchen like a loon!

I must tell you about my new toy!  I LOVE it!!!  It's a hand-operated wool winder which I bought from Amazon.  It reminds me of a 1970s Fisher Price toy to look at but my goodness it's fun.  It takes just seconds to wind an entire ball of yarn into the most pleasingly neat little 'cake' and I've even used it to unravel some crochet.  Uh oh, I can feel an addiction coming on!

It's far too warm to crochet with wool at the moment so I'm LOVING working with cotton.  I've always been quite hard to please when it comes to finding a cotton I enjoy crocheting with but I must admit to being quite taken with Rowan's Handknit Cotton.  It's not at all splitty and doesn't feel as coarse or 'stringy' as some.

♥ ♥ ♥

Please never underestimate the value of your own small pleasures, my friends.  Life is fragile and, at times, downright difficult.  Last week, I was so terribly sad to learn that Wink, writer of the beautiful and hugely inspiring crochet blog, A Creative Being, had taken her own life after a battle with depression.  Rightly or wrongly, my own sadness quite quickly turned to frustrated rage and I shared my feelings over on Facebook and Instagram.  I wrote ...

I'm sorry if this offends you or makes you uncomfortable but I'm so incredibly angry and I need to vent. Depression is a nasty, nasty scourge. It claims far too many lives. How dare it? There is still a taboo which surrounds depression which pisses me off. It is NOT a sign of weakness. It is NOT a guilty secret. It is either a chemical imbalance in the brain or a very natural reaction to adverse circumstance. I was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 18. It's tried its best to floor me but I'm not having it. There is far too much joy in life and I refuse POINT BLANK to let depression spoil it. I take medication and have done for nearly six years. I am whooping its ass. I have a feeling that creative people are more susceptible so I urge you, with every inch of my being, seek help if you are struggling. You are too beautiful and precious to let depression bring you down. I will be ‪#‎wearingflowersinmyhairforwink‬ and sticking a middle finger up to depression.

This is something I feel very passionate about and so, after some thought, I decided to share on my blog too.  Of course, I don't have all the answers but what I can do is talk quite openly about my own experiences.  If we all do the same, we can banish the ridiculous shame and ignorance that surrounds depression.  And it really is ridiculous if you consider just how many of us are affected.  Life is wonderful.  Please don't let depression fool you into thinking it isn't.

xxx

29 June 2015

Lucy's Place





















Sneaky glimpse of Lucy's Harmony Blanket.  I think it's my favourite of her blankets so far.  It's a beauty!

Thank you to all the lovely ladies at Knit And Natter, Coopers Cafe, for making us feel so welcome.

I got me a Cherry Heart original!!!  My exquisite gift from Sandra.

I thank my lucky stars for this wonderful online community of ours, really I do.  Without it I wouldn't have had the most fab-u-lous couple of days with two gorgeous and incredibly talented bloggy friends, last week.

I met up with Sandra (Cherry Heart) and together we made the journey up north, to beautiful Skipton in North Yorkshire, where a little-known blogger by the name of Lucy (Attic 24) was waiting for us.

I've come home completely inspired, my mind buzzing with ideas, and more than a little bit hoarse I can tell you!  What a total joy it is to spend time and gossip with like-minded souls who really 'get' this part of my life that I love so much.

Sandra and Lucy, you rock!  Big time.

xxx

PS.  Lest you didn't recognise it, the rather drab (!) studio pictured is where Lucy creates her magic!

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