Category Archives: Puppy tales

Breakfast: Heart Shaped Waffles

I can’t help it, I’m going to waffle on about waffles!

We’ve been celebrating this weekend, can you believe it’s actually SIX years since Higgins came into our lives…SIX!  Life hasn’t been the same since! Mini Dachshund 2009-09-23 07.19.48So a celebratory breakfast was called for, and excuse to test the super duper waffle maker kindly sent by Cakemart for me try out.  I’ve never made waffles before, simply because I didn’t think I could manage one of those traditional heavy waffle irons, but this one is really easy.

It’s very Planet Penny don’t you think? Pink AND heart shaped…heart shape waffle makerThe only thing to note is the waffle maker is supplied with a European plug and so will need an adaptor if you are in the UK.

The waffle maker comes with it’s own recipe leaflet, but I used the Cherry Poppy Seed Waffle recipe from my new favourite cook book, A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones and it was completely yummy.  The recipe uses oats ground to a flour, something I’ve not tried before, but it makes for a lovely light consistency and you need about 3 tablespoons of batter at a time to make the perfect size. (I had a few wonky waffles to eat while I worked that out!)

Bestron waffle makerServed with the warm cherries and a drizzle of yoghurt these waffles are an absolute treat, and warm up well in the toaster too if you have any leftovers (there weren’t many!)cherry & poppy seed wafflesThe waffle maker is non stick so just needs a wipe with kitchen paper after you’ve finished, no washing up, hooray!

So if you’ve never made waffles before it’s worth giving this a try, and if you are already a convert, what’s your favourite recipe and topping?  It would be great to share in the comments, don’t you think?

I’ll be back soon…x

p.s. before you ask, Higgins had his waffle naked…he didn’t mind!

A Mixed Bag for Handmade Monday

It’s Handmade Monday, again, and I’m about to break a blogging rule* by not having single theme for this post.  I’ve got far too much to say, and too many photographs!

Yesterday was our local Farmers’ Market where we have a Knit and Stitch table to promote our monthly evening get-together. It’s also a good reason to get out one of my ongoing projects which has been sadly neglected for Planet Penny Cotton Club productions and needlefelting just lately!  Do you remember the Jane Brocket blanket from this post?

It’s still progressing, but very slowly…

There was a mouthwatering cake stall, Welcome Treats...

Pretty things from Gingham Rose

…wonderful woodturning…

…some beautifully presented jams and chutneys from Shirley’s Kitchen.  What a great way to use old seed catalogues and wrapping paper!


Unfortunately I was too late to catch the Fruit and Veg stall at it’s best, and the local pork stall was not that photogenic, but the flower stall was as pretty as ever…

…and I bought a Michaelmas Daisy!

Back home, I have two really useful books on the go which I really want to recommend to all my Bloggy chums who sell on line.  There’s this one, which is where I discovered this rule*(see above) …

…and this one…

…which has really made me evaluate my photography.  I started reading it thinking maybe I ought to move on up from my little pocket digital to a DSLR.  But then I dug out the manual CD for my little Canon IXUS 115 HS, switched off ‘Auto’, which is where it’s been lazily set since I bought it and started to experiment.  I’m amazed at all the features I didn’t know were there!  It’s not that I haven’t been happy with what I’ve been doing so far, but I can be much more ambitious now, so watch out!

I’ve been clearing out a little flowerbed near the house, a mixture of Creeping Buttercup and a Snail Hotel, and made a bit of breathing space for my ‘Fairy’ Rose.

…and I had to bring a few inside…

They are so small and delicate, if they were scented they’d be perfect!

I sourced some great twiggy wreaths this week which were perfect for the mini Robins bigger brothers to sit on…

They are about 8″ across and are currently for sale on Etsy

And I’m still making the teeny ones in the 2″ rings although they are selling so quickly if you miss them on Etsy you’d better contact me!

Since I am breaking the rules with my mixed bag of news, I might as well carry on with …Pet News!

I’ve had many kind enquiries about Clovis’s progress after his car accident, and I’m pleased to report he’s coming along well, if slowly.  He has had two of the three pins removed, the last one must stay for a few more weeks.  He’s trundling around quite happily, and even presented my mum with a mouser this morning!

If you saw this morning Silent Sunday Post and Higgins in his new bed, you can find out much more about it in this little film…

…and finally I will leave you with this weeks link to Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour. I hope your brain is not too boggled with all the stuff I have thrown at you!

See you soon…x

Cats and Crochet for Handmade Monday

It’s hard to believe that another Monday has come around again, and not only that, we’re at the end of January.  How did that happen?

It’s been a very cold grey day here today, but we’ve had a couple of bright and sunny ones, and I’ve been out pottering, quite literally, in the veg plot as I’ve been rounding up all the plastic pots which were ‘going to come in handy’ and in fact have blown into various nooks and crannies, binning the broken ones and washing the useful ones and stacking them in the new mini greenhouse.  I’ve started a diary of my gardening efforts which you’ll find via a tab under the header so I won’t repeat myself.  Not much happening at the moment but hopefully there will be!

I found a cheerful bunch of tulips in the supermarket yesterday which have brought a ray of sunshine into the gloom today….

a bunch of red, yellow and orange tulips

The big excitement of the week was a long awaited delivery.  My very own rainbow in a box!  I’ve got some wonderful new cotton yarn to play with.  Not available in the UK just yet and I shall have to be a little secretive about it for the time being…

…but I can let you have a peek…

…do you want to see?

It’s so pretty. It’s a thinnish DK weight cotton with a beautiful sheen, and crochets like a dream on a 3.5 hook.  I’m going to be doing lots of experiments with it over the next few weeks so watch this space…

And coincidently, the day before it arrived, I had an email from Jill, who writes the Stocki blog, about the Beautiful Blogger Blanket.  I don’t know if you have come across it in your travels through the Blogosphere but you can find out all about it it here…

Jill was letting me know that my name had come up on the Beautiful Blogger Blanket Wish List, proposed by BebeRouge (Thank you BebeRouge, what an honour!) as somone she would like to see creating a square for the blanket.  So this has been my very first project with this fab new yarn.

I will replace this photo asap when I have better light to do the colours justice!

I’m sorry I won’t be able to share the yarn brand just yet, but the pattern, which I have devised, will be available in the tutorials very soon.

I’ve had a little help with photography from Henry …

…whom I’m a little worried about at the moment.  He’s been much brighter since he had his big operation last summer, and still rules the roost and keeps Higgins in order, but he’s never really regained the weight he lost despite having a big appetite.  He seemed to be showing all the signs of having a thyroid problem but the tests have come back negative, and he’s lost a little more weight.  He’s under observation, and we are keeping our fingers crossed, but he still likes to be involved in everything that’s going on, so that a positive sign. (Oh, and note the socks.  A sign of how busy I’ve been, socks still on the needles, and I’ve hit the supermarket!)

And while we’re on the subject of cats, I’vew been working on samples of needlefelt animals for my next course at The OutHouse Studio and this is the first one..

And finally, I had to show you this.  Higgins in his favourite spot in the sunshine, in a good vantage point to shout abuse at passing tractors, bicycles and joggers.  (Note the chewed remains of a ball, and the stolen flower pot, great fun to steal that when I was trying to stack them up)

And now the back view, not easy to maintain ones upright watchful position without the aid of a box…

…and eventually it all gets too much, and you have to let things slide…

So all that’s left is to hand you over to Wendy over on 1st Unique Gifts where she is hosting this week’s Handmade Monday and where you will find lots of other handmade goodies to see.

Have a good week,

see you soon! xx


Reasons to be Cheerful…

Having announced a cunning plan, I’m really nervous about telling you!  I really hope you like it…

As an insomniac, quite a lot of strange things run through my head in the wee small hours when I’d actually much rather be asleep!  And I often doze off and wake up with tunes running through my head which won’t shut up.  Last night it was this…Do you remember it?

Ok, so maybe not to everyone’s taste (though you’ve got to love that sax!) but the sentiment is just right.

We neeeeed reasons to be cheerful sometimes, especially now.  In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is approaching.  The nights are drawing in rapidly, it’s cold and very often grey.  The TV news is full of doom and sadness, the boiler packs up, the toddler grinds his lunch into the curtains, you get the picture, I don’t need to go on.

So I thought it would be fun have some Reasons to be Cheerful, and share them around, so we can all have a little uplifting when we most need it.

So here’s the plan.  Every week I’ll put a Linky, here on Planet Penny so you can link your blog post where you’ve included your 3 reasons to be cheerful…as the song says 1,2,3.  It can be photos, or a saying, or even a little story about what has made you smile over the past few days, or a mix of all three.  I don’t want to lay down too many rules, lets see what develops, but obviously nothing offensive, or that contravenes copyright laws, I’m sure I don’t really need to say it!

Don’t forget to put a link back to Planet Penny in your post to bring people back to the Linky so everyone can join in the fun!

So, what has made me happy this week?

Well, for One there is…

Late October Roses


My Happy Place!

And Three?  Well, it’s just got to be ….!

My noisy little friend!

So please join in and take note of those little moments in your week which make you smile and share them with the world.  If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry just pop  them in the comments!

And now here’s the Linky…

Thanks so much for joining in!

One more day to add your link for this week, but don’t worry, I’ll be doing it again!

Tripping the Light Fantastic!

I can’t believe it’s Monday again, the days are galloping away and I’m scared to look at the Christmas Counter on the side bar!  And we’re still having glorious weather here in Norfolk.  (I apologise if this isn’t the case where you are, honestly, I’m not gloating!)

We went off to make the most of it the other day, if you’ve seen my Silent Sunday post, you’ll know we went to the coast.  I always take my camera, I always take loads of photos – as you’ve probably noticed – but I never tire of the view, the colours, the light and freshly washed feeling in the air.  I hope I’m not repeating myself with all these photos!

We went in the afternoon this time, so the tide was further out…

…and you can see there were lines of the most beautifully coloured seaweed washed up on the sand.

We had seen a parasail bobbing above the dunes as we drove up, and it turned out to belong to a dune buggy wizzing round and round on the flat sand left by the retreating tide…

This was our special beach when I was a child, and in all the time we spent there, we never saw a seal, but now we can expect to see one or two on every visit.  I spend ages trying to get a photo, and usually end up with an expanse of water and what looks like a speck of dirt on the lens, but I think this time you can see it’s a seal..

…or perhaps not! (If you want to find out about when Higgins met  a seal, he wrote about it here! He got much closer than me!)

The seagulls were slightly easier…

…although even they were determined to make a swift get away!

Talking of swift get aways, where’s Higgins going…?

I just love this photo, low flying dachshund!

This time we rather ambitiously decided to climb up and walk back along the dunes, which was slightly hair-raising.  Higgins went first, running furiously and sliding back and so needing a hand under his bottom for a helpful boost, then me, in much the same condition (with less running and more boosting…) and then Tim, heroically preventing the three of us from slithering back down to the beach!

Meanwhile, it’s Handmade Monday again, and I’ve been experimenting.  With Christmas coming up I’m obviously doing the obvious in the way of decorative items, but I’m also working round the whole idea of pretty decorative bits and bobs which, like puppies, are not just for Christmas.  After all, I’ve had my heart and pompom bunting on the dresser for ages, and my origami ball is hanging up in the centre of the sitting room just because I like it.   I love fairy lights, and have them round the mirror, but I decided it would be interesting to see if I could make them just a little bit more Planet Penny.

I have an interesting little basket of  Blue Faced Leicester yarn which I dyed in order to make the Sophie Digard inspired scarf a while ago…

… and thought it might be fun to play around with the colours and make my fairy lights flowery…

Unfortunately, they are really hard to photograph!

I then moved on to another set of lights, this time with lemony yellow bulbs, so I made the flowers with little yellow centres, and they also look really pretty…

especially when I tried them on my wire tree.

It would be lovely to know what you think? Shall I write a pattern/tutorial? I could sell one or two sets in the Planet Penny shop perhaps, for non crocheters. They could go anywhere, being battery LED they’re very safe.

And finally, a further flight of fancy took me back to my pompom maker for a bit more fun…

(and you can also see I’ve been buying pretty things from Vanessa, don’t you love her ‘thank you’ card?)

Phew, I think that’s all I’ve got to say for the moment!  Don’t forget to pop over to Ist Unique Gifts for the Handmade Monday Linky where you’ll find lots of other lovely things going on!

See you soon x


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