Wednesday, 19 December 2012

December the 9th - felted Christmas tree decoration

December the 9th - felted stocking Christmas tree decoration 
I know it's a bit on the simple side, this Christmas stocking but I have gone with a classic combination of red and green. Anyway the joy of the Christmas stocking is not the stocking itself but whats inside it!  

December the 8th - Felted tree decoration

December the 8th - felted rocking horse Christmas tree decoration 
Rocking horses are such a classic symbol of Childhood past. Not that I had one. They hark back to that Victorian Christmas when all the good carols were written and that is what I have tried to capture in my little decoration. A simple Victorian inspired rocking horse, made from brown felt and embroidered in cream. 

December the 7th - felted Christmas tree decoration

December the 7th - felted Holly Christmas tree decoration 
The present motif on the front of number 7 looked terribly dull to me. So I have chosen to make some Holly. This in the main part was because I had just discover needle felting and wanted a use for the dark crimson balls I had recently made. I think that they go well with the quilted green felt and glitter thread Holly leaves.

December 6th - felted tree decoration

December 6th - felted Christmas pudding tree decoration 
I know this is not a bauble which is what appears on the drawer front of number 6 on William's advent calendar,  but it is a similar shape. I just the the cartoon style Christmas pudding made from brown felt and with white felt icing which I just sewed at the top to give a nice drape. I added felt holly leaves with glitter thread and a bunch of deep red seed beads to finish off. I think it looks lovely, even if I do say so myself. 



Mini Christmas stockings for cats

Mini Christmas stockings for cats
Christmas is for everyone and in our household that includes the cats. So whilst sorting out the scrap box, I found some red and green synthetic suede. Which I love by the way as you can work with it like felt but it's tougher. I made mini stockings for my cats, Kimi and Smudge and finished them with gold thread. The only thing they need is a hanging thread which I will add and they'll make a lovely addition to my stairs.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

December the 5th - felted tree decoration

December the 5th - felted heart tree decoration
This is probably one of the simplest decorations I made for the advent calendar, but I love it for it simple shaker style. I stitched the two red felt heart shapes together with red metallic thread and then after stuffing, added little kisses with cream embroidery thread. Finally I finished it with some red and gold thin braid to hang it from.

December the 4th - felted tree decoration

December the 4th - felted bell tree decoration
The bells were ringing out for Christmas day. This is the fourth decoration from William's advent calendar and I made a bell. I made this by cutting out and joining two bell shapes from yellow felt and then stuffing them with toy stuffing. I decorated it with felt shapes cut out of red and green felt stitched on with gold metallic thread. Then added a green metallic pom pom as a clanger. Finally I added a loop of silver ribbon to hang it from.

December the 3rd - felted tree decoration

December the 3rd - felted gingerbread man tree decoration 
This cheeky ginger bread man is the third decoration from William's advent calender. I made him by using a cookie cutter as a template and joined two pieces of brown felt together, which I then stuffed with toy stuffing. I decorated him with buttons and pieces of white felt. I wanted to use ric rac on his tummy but didn't have any white so I cut a wiggly line of felt instead. He's a little bit on the chubby side but we love him.

December the 2nd - felted tree decoration

Here is the decoration I made for December the 2nd, I made it by using a cookie cutter as a template and then stuffing it with toy stuffing. I decorated the star with seed and bugle beads in alternate red, gold and green colours. Finally I added some silver ribbon to hang it from. William always wants this one at the top of his tree.

December the 1st - felted tree decoration

Well Advent is officially upon us, so I thought I shared something I made whilst pregnant with William that really makes him enjoy Advent without loads of chocolate. Whilst shopping on Amazon for Christmas presents as I was in no state to be going Christmas shopping, I found this wooden advent calendar. I loved the cheery painted design and the fact that you could put things in the drawers. I set to making small felted decorations that matched the designs on the doors or near enough. (There are a few too many baubles on it).
Wooden advent calendar 
This is the first decoration I made for December the first. It's a felted wreath and measures just 3cm across. I made the ring section first and stuffed it with toy stuffing and then wrapped gold embroidery thread around it before cutting out the tiniest holly berries and leaves, which I stitched on with metallic green thread. Then I added a red bow also cut from felt. Finally I added a silver ribbon off cut from a present I'd had. (always best to keep even the tiniest bit of ribbon!)
Felt wreath decoration 


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday walks

autumn walks

What I love about autumn is the opprtunity to walk in the crisp sun over crunchy leaves and work up a real appitite. My favorite thing about the forthcoming winter months is eating winter food. Hearty sustaning food that fills you up, with pudding on top! We've been walking this morning and this is a quick pic of one of the things that caugth my artistic eye.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Pumpkins

I know it's late but I thought I'd still share with you are pumpkins we made this year. The scared cat was my attempt at doing something more interesting. I know it doesn't compare to some of the amazing ones you see on the internet and Britain certainly has a long way to go until we catch up with the skills demonstrated in America. Even so I'm rather pleased with it and the face is based on a design William drew for me and I carved. 
Scared cat pumpkin


William's design on a pumpkin
 We also made what I think is probably the ugliest looking pumpkin cake ever, but it delighted William as he likes nothing better than eating loads of icing.
Pumpkin cake

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Felted fried egg

Felted fried egg
I am hastily trying to make some examples of fabric food for a new project I am launching with my year 8 class after half term. Here is my latest effort a felted fried egg. I sewed it together with blanket stitch and I am hoping that it will soon be joined by some other fabric fry up foods.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Two chocolate zebra biscuits, Great British Bake Off

Two chocolate zebra biscuits, Great British Bake off
Two chocolate zebras ... walk into a bar. I know it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but that is the name of my latest bake from my Great British Bake off book. I must say that for a biscuit they were a bit of a faf and William lost interest half way through with all the chilling and re-rolling. Any way I have tried them now and can tick that page off. Good with coffee or would be nice with a creamy dessert.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Christening cross stitch

Christening cross stitch sampler
Just finished a sampler for my nephew's Christening. It's based on a Jo verso design and I'm really pleased with it. I had to adapt the church to make it look like our local one and I've enven set the time on the clock to be correct for the service.

Prima Christmas Owl

Prima Christmas Owl


I have nearly finished the owl decoration from Prima's Christmas makes 2011. I am going to make these with my craft club. I changed the suggested colours and I think the club with love coming up with different colour combinations. I just need to finish stitching around the outside and give him a bit of a stuff. Owls aren't just for Christmas .... 









Monday, 15 October 2012

mixed material autumn collage

Just thought I'd share a piece of textile art work I made as an exemplar to show my year 7's for their wall hanging project on the seasons. The main materials are just bits I picked out of the scrap box. I particularly like the cord I picked for a freshly ploughed field. I also like the sky as I hand felted the grey and white to reflect a cooling autumn sky.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Great British Bake off - pistachio shortbread

Here's a quick pic of what I served to the in laws this Friday afternoon. I made the pistachio shortbread from the great British bake off. They were an alternative version to the stem ginger recipe in the book and I must say I was rather pleased with them!
Great British Bake off - pistachio shortbread

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Rock cake recipe

My eldest told me yesterday that dinosaurs eat rocks and cherries. So following on from that we made dinosaur rock cakes topped with cherries today.
rock cakes

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Lavender felt hearts part 2


lavender felt hearts
 Here is the second set of lavender felt hearts I made. Although I don't think they are going to make it into my wardrobe as the colour scheme is more fitting for William's. The blue one is a starry night design and the green one I practiced a few different embroidery stitches to make a wild flower design.
lavender felt hearts

Making magazine

Just found out that my toy sack I made for William is going to be in the january issue of Making magazine in the making views section.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Speckled Mocha cake - Great British Bake Off

Speckled Mocha cake - Great British Bake Off
I baked the Speckled Mocha cake from the Great British Bake Off book this weekend, on a recommendation from a friend as school. Truthfully I wasn't that impressed with the recipe. It didn't turn out speckled and the coffee flavors were too overpowering. However, I did like the chocolate icing and would definitely use it again in a plain vanilla sponge.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

I've only recently discovered the delights of the American Red Velvet but I find it definitely suits this time of year. Intense dark and chocolaty it's all I want in a cup cake now the weather has turned colder. And what a revelation cream cheese frosting is; like a heart attack on a cake it's so moreish I couldn't stop at one. Now it the time to put on an extra layer of fat for the winter, no one will see my tummy under a big jumper anyway!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Lavender felt hearts

lavender felt hearts in progress

So the lavender in the garden has been very lush this year and I've cut swaths of it from the garden to dry. I am trying to make lavender hearts for each hanger in my wardrobe but when I counted 52 hangers in just the one side. I think I may have set an unrealistic goal. I am working on them in stages and have chosen to do each set in a different colour way. These are red and white ones and I think they would also do as great christmas decorations too. 
finished set of lavender felt hearts

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Peanut butter rice krispie cakes

Here's something I whipped up after school last night. The in laws always come around on a Friday afternoon and always expect cake of some sort. So feeling rather tired I tried out this quick recipe for peanut butter rice krispie cakes. It's from a Annabel Karmel cookbook and it did suggest that you made them to look like bears but that seemed too much effort on a Friday afternoon.
Product Details
http://www.annabelkarmel.com/ 
My mother in law and my brother in law were so impressed they both asked for the recipe.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Apple pincushion


You can never have too many pincushions as far as I'm concerned and I just made this apple pincushion from an old issue of Mollie Makes Magazine. 
http://molliemakes.themakingspot.com/ 

I tried out the pattern to see if it would be suitable to be made larger for my year nines fabric food project. The only thing I would adjust is the size of the stalk and leaf as I think they are a bit oversized for the apple. 


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Getting organised - cross stitch button jar labels

Set of jars with cross stitched labels
Continuing the theme of organisation, I have been sorting out my button collection and trying to organise into colour. I love the bon mamon jam jars and have a big collection of them in regular and miniature size. So they were perfect storage solutions. I have cross stitched the labels for them in matching colour. Although I have a long way to go till they are all done.

close up of cross stitched label

close up of cross stitched label

close up of cross stitched label

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Getting organised - back to school

Nursery kept commenting that I had not clearly labelled William's bottle and lunchbox. So before returning at the start of the new term, William and I had a crafty afternoon labelling. I used my sizzix die cutting machine and a new alphabet die I had bought and some sticky back plastic. I cut them out and William stuck them on, hence the slightly wonky look but I'm just a perfectionist. He also wanted to add his age, I have reminded him that he will have to change it soon but never mind. Nursery have yet to comment if this is suitably labelled.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Pin board revamp



I have revamped my notice board in my study this weekend. I based it around a wallpaper sample I picked up at Homebase. I love the blossom and butterfly pattern, but I'm not sure that my room could carry off the black background even on one wall. I then added all my favorite images and works in progress. I find it good to have a place where I can stick things and stare at them. Some of the works in progress include: some laminated jewels, some magazine paper flowers, a pom pom, a wire beaded hear and a tassel made from the cut out hanging ribbons from clothes.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

weekly menu - gnocchi with sausage


 For one reason or another, I haven't managed to photograph or update the rest of last weeks menu. So I will make sure that I remake those dishes soon and I will post the results. However this is a new week and I am continuing to cook from the same recipe book I bought. With tonight's dish being gnocchi with sausages in a tomato ragu. I must say that whenever I cook gnocchi I am always concerned that it never looks enough. But I was pleased to be full after eating this and the sausage made a nice addition to what is a fairly standard ragu sauce.


Weekly menu - gnocchi with sausage 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Pumpkin Curry - weekly menu No.1

Here's the pumpkin curry. It was very easy to make and basically could be left alone once it was all in the pot. The good thing about it was it was quiet mild and so William could eat it with no problems with the addition of some yogurt.
Pumpkin curry - weekly menu No. 1

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Stuffed peppers - weekly menu No. 1

Here's a photo of Tuesday nights dish - Stuffed Peppers. They were stuffed with rice, cherry tomatoes, carrot and feta cheese. I made the addition of spring onions as I wanted a stronger flavour to balance out the feta as it can get a bit overpowering. I was overall very pleased with them, the only thing I would want to change is where the breadcrumbs hadn't quiet covered the rice, it had overcooked and gone to hard.
Stuffed Peppers - Weekly menu N'o.1

Monday, 3 September 2012

Pancakes with Spinach and mozzarella - weekly menu No.1

Pancakes with Spinach and mozzarella - weekly menu No.1
Here is the first dish from my weekly menu. Pancakes with Spinach and mozzarella. I found the recipe easy to follow, but the filling lacked a little flavour despite my addition of nutmeg to the spinach. Also the portion size was a little on the small size and I feel I will probably find myself snacking this evening. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Weekly menu No.1


I like to plan my weekly menus as not only does it stop me over spending at the supermarket on things that might not get eaten in time and end up in the bin, but it also stops me getting into a food rut.
It is so easy to be lazy when I get home from school and just throw some pasta in the saucepan, but if I have already decided what we're having I am already mentally prepared before I get home. I have been working my way through my collection of cookery books to plan my menus, but I have recently bought a new one which I found at the local garden center when I was shopping with my mother in law. It's called 'Food lovers Vegetarian' and for once I would like to cook every thing in it. I think it's Australian as some of the ingredient names are different.
Vegetarian (Food Lovers Simply)



So I will attempt to cook and photograph these dishes this week and I will post the pics and a review each day.
Do you like to menu plan? Have you got any top tips to avoid waste?

Friday, 31 August 2012

Toy sack - Making magazine bag supplement

Hello, I've just completed the toy sack from the current issue of Making magazine http://www.facebook.com/pages/Making-magazine/158069764232832 
It was featured in their bag supplement and having some of the green starry material left I thought I'd make one for Williams room. I altered the design slightly and used felt for the bunting and I personalized the design for William by cross stitching his name in rainbow colour order. We love anything rainbow colored in our house. I'm not sure how much use William will get out of it but it looks lovely and it's an extra place to stash soft toys. 
Toy sack - Making magazine bag supplement 

Close up of cross stitched name in rainbow colours 
This has since been featured in Making magazine 'Making views' section. 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Summer vegetable minestrone recipe

Summer vegetable minestrone 
Here is my recipe for summer vegetable minestrone.
I must admit it was quite chilly as we took a stroll to feed the in laws fish after dinner tonight. (definitely a touch of autumn in the air) Which is why I'm thankful that we had just eaten a wonderful meal of all that is good and bountiful in the garden.

To make the summer vegetable minestrone you will need: (feeds 4)
1 onion,
2 sticks of celery,
1 Carrot,
1tbsp of olive oil,
1tsp dried sage, 3 leaves of fresh sage,
100g broad beans
50g peas
1 1/2 pints of stock
1 tin of tomatoes
100g small shaped pasta.

Dice the onion, celery and carrot.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the veg for 5 minutes, season well.
Add the dried sage, pour in the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the tinned tomatoes and the pasta and continue to simmer for a further 8 minutes.
Add the peas and broad beans and cook for a further 2 minutes. 
Finally add the chopped fresh sage. 



Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Back to school, new planner cover

Well the end of the summer holidays looms closer. So the time comes for a new planner and heaven forbid could I cope with the boring cover that it comes with. This year I have gone for a slightly Gothic look. As I wanted to utilize some of my new dies for the Sizzix Big shot I bought recently. I'm note sure what my fellow teachers will think, but I'm sure it'll scare the Year 7's. 


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Afternoon tea


I have come to realize what a lovely occasion afternoon tea is. I'm not saying that I don't eat lovely things on a regular basis but to actually put aside time to sit down and really enjoy a good British afternoon tea is really a delight. Here are some of the treats William and I made for the family afternoon tea. Included are raspberry and lemon curd tarts with sweet shortcrust and extremely vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd butter cream icing. I am also rather pleased with my improving piping skills. What do you think?

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