Sunday, 15 January 2017


I have managed two new recipes so far this year. The first was for meat patties, chosen by Mr 3 - who didn't like them. (I wasn't surprised that he didn't like it, he generally likes the idea but doesn't like to eat patties).

Today, Mr 5 was insisting he wanted to make some 'concrete you can eat', and was dictating a recipe. (Hey, it's not a recipe I made up, so I'm counting it!). The first version contained chocolate for the stones, baking powder for the cement, and water. I had him try a little bit of baking powder to see what it tasted like, and he modified the recipe to use icing sugar instead. I asked what we would do with the concrete, and he decided it should go on crackers, so I found some Digestive biscuits.

The concrete wasn't set hard when we tried them for afternoon tea, but they seem to have been a success!

A photo posted by Sonya (@stringherder) on

Is it wrong that I'm thinking of doing some structural testing with different blends of concrete mix? (I think almond flour might make a nice sand substitute..)

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Wayward Blogger

Well, my reminders are back to telling me I haven't made a blog post for something like 42 years, so I guess it's time to give myself a good kick and get back to it. (Um, I think I need to also get rid of the reminders, as they appear to have an interesting view of time. I've just checked, and actually it's 46 years and 49 weeks. I have no idea how that calculation works).

So by those calculations, 23ish years ago (or last September by more standard measurements) the oldest boy started school and the youngest one arrived. I'm not entirely sure what has happened to time since then, but somehow we've arrived at the start of 2017.
I'm not really big on new year's resolutions, but I'm definitely hoping for a less crazy run this year. I'm still expecting things to be fairly busy between school, baby, and the easygoing stuck-in-the-middle 3 year old. My main plan is to hope that we all survive the year, and things get easier.

On the designing front, I have 3 things a good way through being done - but they have been for a fair portion of the last year and I just couldn't find the kid-free time/energy to finish them up. I hope to get those sorted out this year, and I'd love to make some progress on a few other designs too but I'm not going to commit to anything because I know I'll just end up disappointed.
I plan to make my knitting as relaxing as I can this year - I do want to knit things I can learn from because that keeps things interesting for me, but I'm fairly sure there will be some kid knits cranked out when the weather starts cooling down too.

By necessity I will be trying to get more sewing done this year. Over the last week I've made two new pairs of trousers for Mr 3, who refuses to wear shorts. (He can sometimes be convinced if he needs to change towards the end of the day, we're not going to be going anywhere, and he has no clean trousers left). As he has his mosquito allergy to contend with, I don't see any point in pushing the issue because this way he has less chance of being bitten. It does mean that he really needs some decent lightweight trousers though, so I'm working on getting a few more sorted out. He also much prefers long sleeves, and I have a couple of linen shirts that I started making a year ago for Mr 5 that will probably fit him fairly well.
I could possibly buy long clothes that are suitable for 30℃ weather, but I don't like shopping enough to want to go hunting. Instead I've finally given in and bought an overlocker, which will hopefully speed up the process of making up the quick and functional clothes.
We also have a wedding to go to at the end of February, which I need to make myself a dress for, and make sure the kids have some vaguely respectable clothes. After that I would like to make myself a few more things to wear too, my wardrobe is looking a little sparse.

I have three embroidery projects I want to get done this year - a sampler for the wedding in February, a stocking for R for Christmas, and ideally I'd like his birth sampler done by the time he turns 1. The wedding sampler is mostly done, I just need to chart out the names and dates, and order beads. The stocking is about 1/3rd done, so there's plenty of time left for that. The previous birth samplers were done within a couple of weeks of starting because they're small and fast, but it's not really a firm deadline on that anyway.

I am doing some bandwagon jumping, and joining in with Robynn on her 52 Recipes goal. I had something similar that I was trying to work on a few years ago, but fell out of the habit while dealing with food allergies. Mr 3 is now eating gluten, soy, and dairy in baking, and having occasional bits of straight dairy with no major disasters, so fingers tightly crossed we're near the end of the food allergy road.

Oh, and I'll try to blog more frequently. Preferably without reminders telling me that my last post was well before I was born.