Monday, 10 June 2013

Fruit and Nut Flapjack

At the beginning of last week I took delivery of a brand new cooker as my old one had decided that it was time to give up on me! I think it must of been about 30 years old, although I have no way of knowing exactly how old it was as we inherited it when we moved in to our house almost two years ago now. It was always something that we were going to replace eventually but had never quite gotten around to ~ so in a way it was quite a relief when the oven did decide to splutter to it's eventual demise.

Today I decided that it would be a good idea to test out the timings of my new oven by baking a batch of yummy Fruit and Nut Flapjack ~ this is how I made it ::

You will need ::

250 grams of oats
250 grams of unsalted butter
125 grams of soft brown sugar
125 grams of chopped soft stoned dates
  60 grams of chopped walnuts

First weigh out all your dry ingredients and put them in a large mixing bowl.

Next melt your butter in a saucepan and once melted mix well with your dry ingredients.

Press the mixture into a greased baking tin ~ mine was about 9 inches square.

Bake for 20 minutes in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees until golden.

Let it cool slightly in the tin and mark out into finger sized pieces before it is completely cool.

Once it is completely cool remove from the tin and enjoy with a nice cup of tea :O)xx

Thursday, 6 June 2013


Just recently, I've been desperately looking for some yarny inspiration and think that at last I may just have found some!

This rather fabulous photo of  local statue Ben Sayers appeared on my Facebook news feed this morning and made me smile. He was apparently yarn bombed as part of last years Royal National Life Boat Fete Day which is held annually in our little seaside town. I absolutely love his knitted life jacket, fishy bunting and woolly beard and think he looks very fetching indeed!

Woolly bunting seems to be very popular in blogland just now, thanks to the very lovely Lucy of Attic 24 who is rallying the troops into making Granny Bunting Triangles for Yarndale. With that in mind, I finally motivated myself into picking up my hook again, dug out my stash of Stylecraft DK and made a start on some Granny Bunting for the Yarndale cause. As I am lucky enough to stay beside the sea, I think I am going to try and stick with a seaside inspired colour palette of blues and greens and might also add some seasidey embellishments to my bunting at a later stage.

As with all the Attic 24 patterns it is really easy to follow and is the perfect project for using up all the little odds and ends of yarn which aren't much use for anything else. I'll keep you up to date with my woolly bunting progress as and when it happens!  :O)x

Friday, 10 May 2013

Woodland jaunt

It was a glorious day here last Monday, so we decided to make the most of the good weather and headed off on a little jaunt to a beautiful local woodland ~ Pressmennan Wood ~ which is looked after by the Woodland Trust Scotland.

This wonderful woodland is just a short 20 minute drive away from us, and it was somewhere that I had wanted to visit for ages but have never quite managed it before. It is believed to be one of the last traces of Scotland's ancient oak woodland, and the views across the East Lothian countryside and the Firth of Forth are absolutely fantastic. The woodland is also the secret home of magical creatures called Glingbobs and Tootflits.

We set off from the Yellow Stone and made our way past the Wavy Wood Post along a path beside the lake ~ if you look really hard you might just spot a grumpy and reluctant teenage daughter striding ahead of the main walking party!

Nestled amongst the trees is this wonderful woodland home of magical creatures Odon Poolittle and Bombi Noffnuff ~ little doors and windows carved into the trees. Aren't they just lovely!

After we had walked for a while we stopped and had a bit of a rest on a beautifully carved wooden bench.

Despite the fact that it was Bank Holiday Monday there was hardly a soul to be seen and we enjoyed the peace and quiet as we walked along the woodland paths.

Further along the path we past the half way point at the Holey Posty and came to another little wooden carving called the Meeting Point.

Following the sign posts at the Meeting point we found the home of Jenfrey Hoolups ~  I really wish that I had discovered this place when my not so little people were smaller!

The Frog on the Log is the last thing that you see as you finish your walk ~ you can leave the frog a penny or two and make a little wish.

The weather here has turned rather cold and wet again ~ I'm wishing for a some warmth and sunshine to return again sometime very soon. Maybe I should have told the Frog on the Log that when I left him my penny!!

Hope you all have a very lovely weekend :O)xx

Friday, 26 April 2013

It's now or never

I haven't blogged in an absolute age and to be honest with you the longer I leave it the less inclined I feel to actually do it! So ~ and I know that you are not supposed to start a sentence with so ~ this morning I decided that enough was enough and that if I didn't sit down and write a post now then I probably never will.

Life has been pretty hectic around here recently and there has certainly been a lot more of the horrible work stuff and very little of the "let's play around with some yarn today" stuff. There has also been a considerable amount of procrastination and a lot more time than is necessary spent looking for yarny inspiration on Ravelry, Facebook and Pinterest.

I am desperately trying to dodge the urge to start a new project and concentrate on completing one of my many WIPS ~ and let me tell you that there are definitely quite a few WIPS to choose from :: Summer Garden Granny, Little Boy Blue Granny Stripe, Jubilee Socks to name but just a few. But I can hear the yarn calling and fear that I may just have to cast on something new!

A couple of weeks ago I got a wonderful package through the letter box from the very lovely Bunny Mummy as I had entered her PIF ~ Pay It Forward ~ which now means that I will have to send three more packages to spread the bloggy love to others within a year ~ so watch this space.

Here is what my PIF parcel contained :: a pretty flowery tin, a Yankee Candle melt, a birdy badge, a ball of merino AND my very own original Sunburst Crochet Owl which I just adore.

Here's hoping for a bit of dry and warmish weather and that you all have a very lovely weekend :O)xx

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Happy Easter

Just popping by to wish you all a Happy Easter ~ I hope that you all have a very lovely holiday weekend.

Normal blogging services will resume sometime very soon I promise! :O)xx

Monday, 18 February 2013

Half term

It's an absolutely glorious morning here in my little part of the world today. The sun is shining and the birds are singing beautifully ~ it truly feels like spring is on it's way. I really do hope so! When the weather is a bit brighter it makes everything else (including me) seem so much brighter too.

It was half term for my two smallish people last week so we tried our best to cram in a few days out and about ~ swimming one day and a trip to the cinema and a pizza lunch another day. The rest of the time we were happy just to be really lazy and spent the time pottering about the house in our pyjamas ~ Oh how I love spending the day in my pyjamas doing not very much at all. Drinking tea and doing something yarny was about as adventurous as it got around here!

I managed to get a few of my rainbow coloured zig zag stripes mattress stitched together. Although, I must confess that it is taking me much longer than I thought it would to stitch them all together ~ there are another three stripes to go before I can start with the cushiony construction. But I am feeling fairly pleased with the results so far.

This morning, once I had dispatched the two small ones back to school, I decided to take myself for a little stroll along the beach to make the most of the lovely weather. Whilst I was down on the beach I just happened to pop into the little gift shop which is attached to Scottish Seabird Centre down at the sea front. There were some really beautiful seasidey inspired things that I really would have loved to have brought home with me ~ but I couldn't resist bringing home this lovely little wooden birdy which is destined to live on my kitchen window sill along with my seasidey mugs.

Isn't he lovely? I took him for a little photo shoot in the garden before placing him in his new home on my kitchen window sill :O)xx

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Little Woolly Houses

I've been knitting again!

I was looking for something quick to knit in between hooking up rows of my blue Granny Stripe and I managed to find a lovely pattern on ravelry for a little knitted house dishcloth. The pattern was really easy to knit and only took me around an hour to complete. I made it using some blue Rico Creative Cotton from my stash and I must say that I really do rather like the results. Although I am not sure that I will actually be able to bring myself to use it as a dishcloth as I love it so much ~ it seems such a shame to get it all wet and dirty with the washing up!

I have also been passing some time doing a little bit of browsing on Etsy ~ as you do! And just couldn't help myself putting this gorgeous little knitted croft house key ring into my basket. It has been beautifully handmade by Julia Marsh who has a lovely blog too. Why not pop on over and have a browse at her stuff ~ it really is worth a look :O)xx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


I am staying warm and cosy inside the house waiting patiently for the man from Bosch to come and tell me what is wrong with my washing machine. It has been on the blink now for around a week and is now totally refusing to cooperate with me at all ~ which with a family of two smallish people who seem to generate an awful lot of dirty laundry is a bit of a pest to say the least!

Fortunately for me my lovely Mum stays just five minutes away and I have been descending on her with baskets full of dirty clothes which she has very kindly been turning into piles of freshly laundered clothes. Mum you are an absolute *star*.

Whilst I have been waiting patiently for the man from Bosch I have not been idle. Oh No! I have put myself to very good use by sewing the ribbons on my daughter's first pair of pointe shoes. (Before she moans at me anymore to do it!).

I have also been whiling away the time by adding a few more stripes to my blue granny stripe blanket which is growing at quite a nice pace now. There are now 11 repeats of each colour, which is 66 stripes of blue crochet loveliness completed ~ which I think is just about halfway done. I seem to be really in the groove with this blanket now and am enjoying sitting down at every chance I get to add another blue stripe to it.

My knitting sticks have also been working hard over the last couple of weeks too ~ I have been knitting rainbow coloured zigzag stripes with my left over bits of Rico Creative Cotton which will eventually be turned in to a lovely bright Rainbow coloured cushion cover :O)x

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Bluebells by the sea ~ A Wavy Scarf

Just lately, I have been finding myself more likely to pick up my knitting needles rather than my crochet hook. I have absolutely no idea why! It has certainly not been intentional on my part ~ it's just the way that my woolly travels seem to have taken me recently.

Towards the end of last year I took part in a swap and decided that I wanted to knit something to go in with the other parcels.  I wanted to try and come up with something that would be both practical and pretty and warm and cozy as well.  I eventually took my inspiration from the beautiful coastal town that I am so lucky to live in and decided on a pretty blue seaside coloured wavy scarf. I love this photo of my two smallish people which was taken on a sunny but fairly breezy day last summer on one of our local beaches. The rock that you can see in the distance is the Bass Rock.

The waves were really easy to recreate by using a very simple chevron pattern, which was just a mixture of garter stitch and stocking stitch with a few increases and decreases added in along the way. If any of you lovely people fancy making your very own wavy scarf then this is how I did it.

First off ~ some knitty abbreviations::

K ~ Knit.
P  ~ Purl.
K2tog ~ Knit 2 stitches together.
Kfb ~ Increase by knitting into the front and back of the stitch.
SKPO ~ Slip 1,Knit 1 and then pass the slip stitch over.

Guage is not terribly important for this project ~ I used size 4mm (UK) knitting needles and some Stylecraft Special Double Knitting yarn ~ in the shade Bluebell. Which I suppose goes someway to explaining why I called this wavy scarf  Bluebells by the sea!!

Cast on 39 stitches and then start knitting as follows::

Row 1 ~ Knit
Row 2 ~ Knit
Row 3 ~ Knit
Row 4 ~ Knit
Row 5 ~ Knit
Row 6 ~ Knit 3, *K2tog, Knit 2, Kfb twice, Knit 3, SKPO* (repeat from* to* until you get to the last 3 stitches) and then Knit to the end.
Row 7 ~ Knit 3, Purl to last 3 stitches and then Knit 3
Row 8 ~ as Row 6
Row 9 ~ as Row 7
Row 10 ~ as Row 6
Row 11 ~ as Row 7
Row 12 ~ as Row 6

These 12 rows form the lovely wavy pattern ~ just keep on knitting until your scarf gets as long as you want it or you are nearly out of yarn. Then to finish your wavy scarf off just knit the first 6 rows of the pattern again ending on row 6 and then cast off fairly loosely.

By ending the pattern on row 6 you get yourself a nice wavy cast off edge.

Happy knitting! I'm off now to have another woolly adventure ~ this time with my crochet hook and a long forgotten Blue Granny Striped Blanket :O)xx

Friday, 4 January 2013

2012 ~ looking back

Here I am ~ just a little bit later than normal ~ taking a little nostalgic trip back through the highlights of my blogging year.

I love that I am able to look back at the Button Tree Craft archives, as it gives me a chance to be reminded of all the lovely everyday things that otherwise might be forgotten if they were not blogged about.

January 2012 ~ baking Gruffalo cookies with the small people. Baked to perfection and covered with chocolate sprinkles for fur and enjoyed with a nice cup of tea ::

February 2012 ~ I managed to knit my very first pair of socks ~ and was feeling very pleased with myself ::

March 2012 ~ Still enjoying the beautiful flowers that I received for my birthday ~ I really do want to try and have fresh flowers in the house more often this year as they always look so pretty ::

April 2012 ~ I went on some very lovely but very wet walks in the April showers wearing my new green and blue stripey wellies ::

May 2012 ~ I knitted some stripey Jubilee socks in the garden whilst enjoying the glorious May sunshine ::

June 2012 ~ I added a few more stripes to my Little Boy Blue Blanket ~ this blanket is still waiting to be finished ::

July 2012 ~ I added some more squares to my Summer Garden Granny Blanket ~ this blanket is also still waiting to be finished ::

August 2012 ~ We enjoyed some lovely Summery days on the beach ~ we are so very lucky to stay in such a beautiful place, with all this on our doorstep ::

September 2012 ~ I knitted myself a pretty lacy scarf in cosy blue merino wool ::

October 2012 ~ We went on a trip to Alton to visit family and enjoyed a lovely day out at Alton Towers ::

November 2012 ~ I knitted a seaside inspired scarf for my Advent Swap partner ~ Ada Bea. This was my very first attempt at coming up with a pattern of my own ::

December 2012 ~ We took a ride on The Polar Express as an early Christmas treat ::

I have really enjoyed this little look back at 2012 and reminding myself about things that made 2012 a special year for me and for my family. I love the fact that blogging allows me to keep all these special memories close by and that they will be there for my children to look back on when they are older. Thank you to you all for sharing this little journey back in time with me too ~ I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Wishing you all a very Happy 2013 :O)xx