Toy sack – Making magazine bag supplement

Hello, I’ve just completed the toy sack from the current issue of Making magazine 
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. 


Summer vegetable minestrone recipe

gluten free 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 gluten free pasta.

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

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. 

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?

Suffolk Puff quick fix for damaged skirt

Here’s the problem, one red linen skirt ruined by white board pen which one lovely pupil had thought highly funny to write along the edge of the table so when I lent against it …. 
Here is my solution to the problem. Suffolk puffs which seem to be very popular at the moment. I chosen to make mine from some black satin I had in my stash. 

 I cut three circles from the satin.

I did a running stitch about 3mm from the edge 
Then pulled tight and double knotted. 

I then sewed them onto the skirt with a black button at the centre of each
I then finished of the design with a simple line of running stitch in double thread of black embroidery thread. 

Close up of the finished decoration. You’d never know that the skirt had been damaged in the first place. 

Sweet herb garden display

When I am unfortunate to be woken as early as my Little one likes to get up, I like nothing better than having a potter around the garden. There is something very peaceful about the early morning garden, too early for the insects and still dew sweet. This is also the best time to pick herbs, as when the sun starts to warm up they loose some of their potency. Also as soon as the bees wake up I can get no where near my lavender. So whilst enjoying my potter this morning I cut some herbs to make this beautiful fragrant display for the kitchen. 
Lavender, rosemary and sage 

Tutorial – how to make fuzzy felt face game

Here’s an idea to keep little ones happy. Great for long car journeys or rainy summer days as it can be all stored in a zip lock bag and taken wherever you go.
Here’s what to do;
First you will need a section of felt squares in a variety of colours, some card, a pair of scissors and some glue. 
Equipment needed

 First cut out two oval face shapes from the card.

 Then glue onto a piece of skin colored felt. (Or your can use any colour if you wanted to make alien or animal faces) and cut out.

Glue the card ovals onto the skin colored felt

 They should then look like this.

Then using the remaining colored felt cut out different facial features. You can go as mad as you like for this part. 

 Then give them to your three year old to play with….
occupied for at least 20mins…..

Here’s William’s first creation, me apparently!

Bon Voyage card

Bon Voyage to my little brother who is off today to study for his final year of his Physics degree in Paris. To mark the occasion I made him this card. This is really my foray into card making as it has never really been something that has appealed to me. That said I am really rather pleased with the results. I used some free papers that I had from a craft magazine a while back and cut the letters out with my new big shot die cutting machine. (Which I love by the way). 
Card and matching envelope 

Front of card with raised Paris detail and ribbon decoration 

Envelop with his name cut out using the die cutting machine

Lactose free American Pancake recipe

This recipe makes around ten tea cup sized pancakes. 
You will need:
  • 50g Gluten free Self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp Soya milk
  • 1tbsp oil
  1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the caster sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and the mix and whisk until smooth.
  2. Set aside for a moment and heat the oil in a frying pan.
  3. Once the oil is hot add table spoonful’s of the mixture to the pan round blobs are great or try for other shapes.
  4. Two minutes on both sides should be enough. They should be puffed up and golden brown on both sides when ready. 

Spanish lemon and almond cake recipe

Moist and fragrant. This Spanish inspired cake is a great tea time treat.

I have attempted to recreate the lemon and almond cake we ate whilst on holiday in Spain. The key elements I wanted to capture were the intense lemon flavor, the crunchy almonds on top and the moist cake with lemon curd center. I thought it might take a few attempts to perfect it but I baked this yesterday and it was like being back on holiday. So for those of your that like also like to be transported back to the Costa Blanca or who just want to try and intense lemon cake recipe, here it is….


  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups of self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon curd
  • 1tbsp flaked almonds
  • 1tsp granulated sugar to decorate
  • for the syrup
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 190c gas mark 5 and grease and line a loaf tin.
  2. Cream the margarine and sugar together and add the lemon rind. (save a little bit for decoration)
  3. Add the eggs and mix until smooth
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and almonds and mix.
  5. Pour half the mixture into the loaf tin
  6. Then spoon the lemon curd in a line down the center of the mix
  7. Cover the lemon curd with the remaining cake batter and smooth the top.
  8. Sprinkle flaked almonds down the center in a line
  9. Bake for 1 hour and ten minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch
  10. Make the syrup by placing the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  11. Poke holes in the top of the cake with a fork and spoon the syrup over the cake.
  12. Sprinkle the granulated sugar on and the remaining lemon rind and leave to cool in the tin.
  13. Once cool remove from the tin.