Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Harry and his dinosaurs - latest cross stitch project

Harry and his dinosaurs - latest cross stitch project
My eldest was flicking through a pattern book I borrowed from the library the other day and told me he would like all of the dinosaurs! So this is the start. I adapted the colours slightly to suit what thread I had at home (anyway people don't know what colours dinosaurs were anyway). I particularly like the sketchy quality of the design and the wobbly pronunciation writing at the bottom. They then get made into a hanging tidy. I'll post more dinosaurs as I do them and hopefully the finished tidy sometime!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Dinosaur making kit

My eldest enjoyed the robot making kit I made him the other day that I thought I would make him another. He is really into dinosaurs and knows a lot of their names so I thought this would make a good theme. 
In the kit I put:
  • green background paper,
  • some coloured paper cut into dinosaur shaped heads,
  • red, black and brown felt tips,
  • some craft foam pre-cut sticky shapes,
  • and gold and green glitter glue.

Here are the results of the kit:

Dinosaur making kit - My eldest thinks this one is really funny because he's given him a moustache

Dinosaur making kit - the results

Dinosaur making kit - the results

Robot making kit - the results

Earlier in the month I posted about a kit I had made for my eldest inspired by an Usborne book we were reading. He absolutely loved the kit, I left it on the table for him when he returned from nursery one day. He spent a good hour arranging the pieces and talking about what each robot was doing. I have been meaning to post the pictures since then, but have only just downloaded my camera.
So here are the results:
Robot making kit - robot man, car and robot dog

Robot making kit - robot man, car and somewhere for him to sit

Robot making kit - robot man

Friday, 15 February 2013

Valentines crafts

Queen of hearts valentines jam tarts
As a rule we are generally not very romantic in our household, but I do like a good heart motif. So, with that in mind here is what I created to mark the occasion.  
Some queen of hearts jam tarts for the lunch boxes with raspberry and blackcurrant fillings.

Paper heart tree valentines decoration

A paper heart table display for the kitchen using my sizzix die cutting machine and a branch from the laurel bush in the front garden. 

Close up of paper heart tree, valentines decoration 

And a card for my Hubby (just to make him feel a little bit guilty that he hadn't read my mind) from this January's issue of cross stitcher magazine. 

Cross stitched valentines card

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Christmas cross stitch decoration

Here's another decoration I sewed last night. Yes, I'm still sewing them and I know it's weird to be thinking about Christmas in February but I like to be organised!
Christmas cross stitch decoration

Robot Making kit

My eldest and I have been looking for inspiration for different activities to do at home as we're spending a lot more time together with me being off work at the moment. One of the books I bought to inspire us was this great Usborne book '365 things to make and do'. Usborne make great children's books and they are definitely ones I come back to time and time again. One of the activities inside the book caught his eye was to make collage robots. The only downside to this book is it is a bit old for him and he got frustrated and upset when he tried to follow their instructions. So whilst he was at nursery I made him this Robot making kit which simplified the idea a bit and had the activity all assembled into an envelop which can be refilled and pulled out from the craft box when we need an quick craft fix. 

Inside the Robot making kit I put:
  • Pictures of wheels, bolts, pipe, electrical cable etc. cut from a trade catalog,
  • Some paper fasteners as their shiny and metal,
  • some silver glitter glue,
  • some pva,
  • some paper,
  • some sequins,
  • and some washers and bits picked out of the toolbox. 

Valentine table decoration

I do not expect to get any flowers for Valentines day tomorrow, as it's been a long time since Hubby and I exchanged gifts. However I do like to decorate my table and with a nod to all that is romantic I created this display. 
Basically its made from;
a white twiggy branch I rescued from a Christmas bouquet that Mum bought me, 
some green sequins I stripped from a bag I didn't like, 
a red ribbon rose bought from a haberdashery store,
and a red and white beaded wire heart I made.

Valentine table decoration

Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate butter cream icing

Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate butter cream icing
My eldest had his first go at piping icing yesterday. I think the choice of chocolate butter cream icing and a smooth nozzle was a bit unfortunate as I think some of them resemble dog poo. We tried to improve the look of them with some chocolate stars but all the time I could just hear my dad saying they look like' s**t with sugar on'. Despite this they tasted very good and luckily my boy did not make any similar comparisons and is keen to carry on icing. That's my boy!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Alphabet cross stitch

Alphabet nursery sampler
I have started work on a alphabet sampler for the new nursery this week. I have almost come to find cross stitch additive at the moment. I think that I have to concentrate to remember the counts takes my mind of the pain I'm in at the moment with the SPD. I love the bright colours and the little motifs that accompany each letter. I post a picture of the completed alphabet when I've finished.

Happy pancake day

Happy pancake day!

Just thought I'd share a quick pic I took of my eldest this morning. He wanted to spread his own pancakes with chocolate spread this morning. Half a jar of nutella later - one very chocolaty but happy boy. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

Recipe for Lemon and poppy seed muffins

Recipe for Lemon and poppy seed muffins

Recipe for Blueberry bread and butter pudding

I love blueberries but find them expensive to buy fresh, this is a great recipe for using frozen blueberries (which are much cheaper to buy) and you don't even have to defrost them!

Recipe for Blueberry bread and butter pudding

12 slices of white bread with the crusts cut off
125g margarine
85g frozen blueberries
125g demerara sugar
300ml milk
150ml double cream
2 eggs


  1. Spread each slice of bread with margarine.
  2. Cut the slices diagonally and arrange half overlapping in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, margarine side down.
  3. Sprinkle over half the sugar and the frozen blueberries.
  4. Top with the remaining triangles of bread, margarine side up.
  5. Beat the eggs, milk and cream together and pour over the bread.
  6. Sprinkle on the rest of the sugar.
  7. Leave to rest in the fridge for about an hour.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven 180c gas mark 4 for 40 minutes until set and golden brown.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Recipe for vegetarian 'bacon' and egg pie

vegetarian 'bacon' and egg pie
Recipe for vegetarian 'bacon' and egg pie

225g short crust pastry - either home made or shop bought

1 packet quorn bacon rashers
3 eggs
salt and pepper
pinch of mixed herbs
milk to glaze


  1. Preheat oven to 190c gas mark 5.
  2. Line pie plate with grease proof paper
  3. Split pastry into two and roll out one half to line the plate
  4. Grill bacon according to packets instructions.
  5. Beat eggs and add chopped cooled bacon, salt and pepper and mixed herbs.
  6. Pour mix into pastry and cover with second half to seal the pie.
  7. Cut a hole in the center to allow steam to escape
  8. Brush with milk
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes

Viennese roses recipe

Recipe for Viennese roses

175g margarine
50g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
glace cherries quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 160c gas mark 3.
  2. Cream margarine and sugar then stir in the flour and vanilla.
  3. Put mixture into a piping bag with a large star nozzle on the end and pipe roses 4cm in diameter onto baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. 
  4. Add a quarter of glace cherry to the centre of each one 
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. 

Viennese roses


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