Monthly Archives: October 2017


Hurricane Ophelia

Firstly, this post was written with all sorts of dislocation in time. Before and after The Powercut!

I was delighted to be asked to design a letter O with a foxy theme – the design is what I came up with. I’ve been working on it for over a couple of weeks now and am now nearly satisfied with it though there are some fine adjustments to do.  It’s to be mounted in an A3 frame for Orla and needs to be ready for the weekend.

Ireland is on red alert today because of hurricane Ophelia. Our little country isn’t used to extremes of weather and so this kind of thing takes us all unawares. It is certainly ferocious out there. but luckily I’m nowhere near the worst of it. Shops and offices everywhere are pretty much closed for the day. Buses and trains aren’t running. Could drive but the motorways, no doubt, will be busy, and all it will take will be a tree across a road here and there, and/or a collision and it will be mayhem and malarkey. So, losing a day’s pay is a bit Ouch  (I’m a contractor) but what can you do but make the best of it. I see branches down across the way and my neighbour’s car port has lost a panel. By ten this evening the weather forecasters say the worst will have passed.

And, being so windy, cold and wet outside, what better to do than get a batch of buns in the oven?! Today’s bake was a lovely clutch of lemon (with the juice and zest of two lemons) cupcakes. All done by 10.00 – which was just as well. I was going to go downstairs and have a cup of tea and watch some telly to drown out the sound of the windy banshee howling but disaster struck in the form of a power cut.

Still, the cakes had to cool and I already had the buttercream icing prepared and in an icing bag. By early afternoon they were iced and I popped some in a sweet little cupcake box for my neighbour; she is very generous and always makes me two of her fantastic Christmas Puddings every year. I have to steam them, which doesn’t take very long in the pressure cooker. The end result is always truly Yum. They knock spots off my rubbishy attempts! I adore Christmas Pudding and hope greed doesn’t get the better of me before Christmas. They are always better when left to mature.

Luckily, I had a gas fire and was able to keep snug and occupied with my laptop and tablet until their batteries died. Then I thought, Aha! Books, crochet… but the failing light (already grey and dingy from the outside conditions) made that difficult and tedious. The evening drew on. My neighbour told me that a line was down and the electricity board hoped to have it repaired by around 9.30 in the evening. Nope. It was torches and candles all night.

Gracie was miserable about being kept in but nothing more than that. She mewed plaintively at the door a few times but when she realised it was raining and blowing quite madly outside she curled up for a good nap. Poor Jess was unnerved by the blustering wind and got quite jittery so kept close to me on the settee. I spoke to her and gave her plenty of gentle words and strokes and she, too, eventually settled down and had a deep sleep.

First thing this morning and still no power. Then the worries about food in the freezer start nagging . Can’t cook it if it does defrost…

Yay! The power was back by just after 10.30. Joy is unbounded. The washing machine is on. The heating is on. The dishwasher is on. Such sweet relief!


Hat tricks

Isn’t the yarn just lovely? It’s Elann Pippilongcolor yarn in Crystal Spring shades, perfect for a pair of crocodile stitch bootees and a little hat. I’ve posted about the bootees in previous posts. The hat pattern is a free download from MyLittleCityGirl. I preferred to have the hat brim the way it came out and not insert a wire to make it taut. It was an easy pattern and quick to make up. This set is off to the uk.

I made some apple, blueberry and cinnamon cupcakes, using muscavado sugar instead of the usual castor for some extra rich flavour. They were delish! Very tasty. I used apples from the tree in my garden. The blueberry colour turned the butter icing a lovely shade of deep raspberry which was enhanced with a drizzle of  imperial purple edible food glitter.

Keeping very busy… to take my mind off all sorts of things… a paper cutting.

This is how it looks in Illustrator, filled with a deep indigo blue. It looks like an illustration from a Woodland Tales type of book.

And then how it looks when it’s been cut out of white paper and photographed on a dark background:

This has a home to go to and will be mounted in an A3 frame.

Until next time, spare me a blessing or two.


Fabric find

A few weeks ago I went looking to get more of the rustic watercolour animal print only to find that the Home Focus in Blanchardstown was out of stock. I was disappointed but what can you do? Well, yesterday I went into Dublin and Home Focus Hickeys had some there and another lovely woodland animal print that caught my eye. Made my day.

What about this drain cover? Isn’t it lovely? This is on platform one of Heuston station – had time to take a quick snap before my train pulled off.

Today I will be busy. Am painting a ‘feature’ wall (I think that’s what ‘they’ call it where one wall is a different colour or wallpaper design than the others) and then will be making the sticky toffee apple sponge cake from Kate’s recipe (Great British Bake Off). That will round off the weekend and leave me time for an early bath and bedtime. Have a good weekend.