Photography Course…Passed…

With a Distinction no less! When I received my certificate through the post last week I was thrilled. It seems such a long time ago now, but you may remember back in February I started a City & Guilds Level 1 Image Capture course at Wigan & Leigh College. I had to select a theme for my submission of work…my first thoughts was Planes, however as much as I love to photograph planes I decided that it wouldn’t give me much variation as Manchester Airport is the only place I go. So I decided to pick Flowers, plants and trees instead. We had recently joined the National Trust and we also have a park within 5 minutes walk from where I live. We had to submit our theme quite early on so I was reluctant to get going too soon with my actual photos as I still had lots to learn…but at the same time I didn’t want to leave it too late just in case I wasn’t happy with them!! I don’t remember College and Uni being this hard!!

Our submission was in 2 parts, the first we had to show we knew how to use a camera, what all the buttons did and all that, so I got started on this, ever the perfectionist I sent hours and hours formatting it just right, printing, proofing, printing, proofing…you get the picture.

The second was my actual portfolio. We were lucky enough to go on our Norway cruise just a few weeks before my work was due…so I made sure to get some shots over there too.

The following were all taken in the local ‘Linear’ Park which is close to home.

Linear Park
Linear Park

The next ones were taken at National Trust sites.

Japanese Garden @ Tatton Park
Gardens @ Tatton Park
Lyme Park – Disley, Cheshire
Quarry Bank, Style – Cheshire

The last ones were taken in Norway whilst on our cruise.

Lille Lungegårdsvannet, Bergen, Norway
Lille Lungegårdsvannet, Bergen, Norway
Bergen, Norway

I hope you enjoy my photos. More photos can be viewed on my Flickr page.

Happy Snapping.

Emma x



Professional Finishing Part 2

So today I was privileged enough to attend a professional finishing part 2 workshop at work (aka Black Sheep Wools), tutored by the lovely Jem Weston. Jem was our Coats Sales Rep up until recently when she decided to go it alone and set up her own business. So as 1 of 6 guinea pigs, the other 5 being members of the Tuesday Knit and Natter group (Joan, Chris, Cathy, Sally & Jacky)…I was a little apprehensive as I feared I might get left behind as I don’t knit half as much as they do (but I needn’t have worried)…we got going, but first time for a cuppa on Jayne’s finest china.


I have to say that although it is part 2 it is not necessarily more advanced…just even more great techniques for finishing off all those WIP’s (Work in progress) you know you have stashed here there and everywhere.

The great thing about this workshop is that at the end of it you have a mini garment 🙂 so whilst practising the techniques it all comes together in a little sweater, rather than just coming away with lots of scraggly bits of knitting…we just need a mini teddy to dress now!

First thing we made was a plain hem, this is something I have never done or even heard of. This technique creates a smooth line to your garment and stops the roll you get with stocking stitch.  Once we had knitted the body we had to cast on some stitches for the arms, this is a great way of eliminating some sewing up (we know this is everyone’s favourite bit!!) I learnt a couple of tricks here to stop baggy stitches and generally making your knitting tidier. As with the hem of the sweater we needed to add facing to our sleeves – this is basically a vertical hem.

The mini sweater also incorporated a pocket, rather than knitting your pocket and then sewing it on, you create the ribbed pocket edge in your main body, knit a pocket lining and then knit this into your main piece, I think it is a great way for making a really neat pocket and a new technique for me which I hope to use on a cardigan I am currently knitting (I’ll let you  know how I get on!!)

All my bits!

We also learnt Tubular cast on (great for socks!), Whipstitch and Kitchener stitch.

Everyone’s Sweaters

We had a fabulous lunch provide by Jayne in the teashop (if you ever come in and visit she is the slighty nutty one but we wouldn’t have her any other way!!)

Lovely Lunch

We even had delicious cake for afternoon tea.

Yummy Cake

Here is my finished Mini Sweater…yippee!!

Finished Mini Garment

We used Rowan Wool Cotton for this workshop, I love this yarn it is lovely and soft and I find it very easy to knit with, it also shows stitch definition well too.

All in all it was a fab day, I would highly recommend Jem and the Rowan workshops.

Happy Knitting

Emma x

Homemade Healthier Chicken Kiev

This is a recipe which I have had for years, I seem to recall it was from Slimming World…it is a healthier take on the traditional Kiev.

You will need (for 2 people): 2 Chicken Breasts, 2 or 3 slices of bread, 1 Egg, Garlic & Herb Philadelphia

What to do:

Put the egg in a bowl and whisk. Wizz the bread crumbs through the blender to make crumbs and put on a plate.


Put the Chicken Breasts between some cling film and using a rolling pin flatten the chicken. Put some philadelphia in the centre of the chicken, I used about 3/4 of a 180g tub…but you can add more or less depending on taste. Season with a little salt & pepper, then roll up and secure with a cocktail stick.


Roll the chicken in the egg and then coat in the bread crumbs.

Place on a baking tray, I like to put them on a grill over the baking tray so you get less of a soggy bottom!

Bake in the oven on gas mark 5 for approx. 1 hour, or until cooked through.



Emma x

Plane Spotting…

A few weeks ago I had a well overdue trip to the Runway Visitor park at Manchester Airport (I have been plenty times since!!). Unfortunately I had missed my favourite plane…Virgin Atlantic, however I was not disappointed. It was super busy with landing after landing and then at one point both runways were in operation, 1 for landings and the other for take-offs.


I even enjoyed an ice cream…it was delicious.


The following week was Bank Holiday, after looking at the weather for the weekend, I decided Sunday would be a good day to go visit the airport…I decided to get there early as most of the long haul flights land or take off in the morning. I arrived at about 10am, just in time to see United Airlines on its way to New York.

There was a moment (well probably about 2 mins or so ) of peace and calm…nothing coming or going…it was weird but nice at the same time.


I saw plenty of action…I even managed to see the Airbus come in from Dubai before leaving to go home.


Once I got home my hubby suggested to we out from lunch/dinner which was I nice way to end the afternoon. We went to the fabulous Chinese Delight in Frodsham.

My favourite plane is the Boeing 747, I love its shape, I also like the AirbusA380 too…what are your favourite or least favourites planes? What do you like about them?

Emma x