Sunday, 30 June 2013

Free cross stitch 'J is for Jelly' alphabet PDF pattern 35

Sewing Sunday # 11 - J is for Jelly free pattern
 Who doesn't love a bit of jelly right? Here is the next installment in my alphabet range. Just click on the read more link to download the free PDF file.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sweet Saturday # 11 - recipe for blueberry muffins

Sweet Saturday # 11 - recipe for blueberry muffins

Sweet Saturday # 11 - recipe for blueberry muffins

Friday, 28 June 2013

Friday Fun # 11 - Ginger bread people

Friday Fun # 11 - Ginger bread people


225g (8oz) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1–2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
85g maragrine
85g (3oz) soft brown sugar
85g (3oz) golden syrup

To decorate:
Glacé cherries
1. Sieve dry ingredients together well.
2. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together to form a soft dough.
3. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 75mm (¼ inch).
4. Using cutters, cut into gingerbread people.
5. Lift carefully onto lightly greased baking trays and use currants, cherries, smarties to decorate.
6. Bake in the centre of preheated oven at 210°C, 190°C fan, gas mark 7 for about 10 minutes.
7. Allow to cool on wire racks before serving.
Friday Fun # 11 - Ginger bread people

Friday Fun # 11 - Ginger bread people

Friday Fun # 11 - Ginger bread people

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Tasty Thursday # 11- recipe for Tomato and basil tart

Tomato and basil tart
100g plain flour
50g butter or margarine
2-3x15ml spoons cold water
2 tomatoes
Handful of basil leaves
2 eggs
125ml semi-skimmed milk
50g cheese, e.g. Mozzarella, Gruyere or Cheddar
Black pepper

Weighing scales, sieve, mixing bowl, sandwich tin or 18cm flan ring and baking tray, palette knife, measuring spoons, measuring jug, rolling pin, flour dredger, small bowl, chopping board, knife, fork, grater.

1.             Preheat the oven to 180oC or gas mark 4.
2.            Make up the shortcrust pastry.
*                                Sift the flour into the bowl.
*                                Rub the butter or margarine into the flour, using your fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs. 
*                                Add the cold water and start to mix together.
*                                Mix to form a firm, smooth dough.
3.            Roll out the pastry, on a lightly floured surface.
4.            Line the flan ring or sandwich tin.    
5.            Trim the edges of the pastry using the palette knife.
6.            Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork.
7.            Slice the tomatoes.
8.            Grate the cheese.
9.            Whisk the eggs and milk together. Tear in the basil into the mixture, then add a few twists of black pepper.
10.         Pour the egg mixture into the pastry shell.
11.          Arrange the tomato slices and cheese over the top.
12.         Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and firm.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

W.I.P Wednesday #1 - Birds name sampler

Now I am on maternity leave I have decided to change my Wednesday slot from workshop Wednesday to work in progress Wednesday to keep it more relevant to what I am currently working on. I may return to workshop Wednesday and more educational ideas when I return to work next April but until then I'll be sharing the longer projects I have on the go with you.

So the get the ball rolling I thought I'd share the first W.I.P a name sampler I am making for he new addition to the Cartwright household. It's from Cross Stitcher magazine and should look like this when finished, apart from the name obviously!
W.I.P Wednesday #1 - Birds name sampler
Here's how far I've got
W.I.P Wednesday #1 - Birds name sampler
I'm not very disciplined when it comes to cross stitch and tend to swap the colours I'm stitching with alot of the time so I don't get bored.

W.I.P Wednesday #1 - Birds name sampler close up 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tutorial Tuesday # 11 - how to make a sea glass necklace

Here's a quick tutorial for how to make a sea glass necklace. As I've said before I am not the best jeweller and this is a very simple project that any novice could make. I apologize for the dull looking pictures, it's very cloudy here today.
Tutorial Tuesday # 11 - how to make a sea glass necklace

Monday, 24 June 2013

Made on Monday # 11 - Work in progress voile window panel

Made on Monday # 11 - Work in progress voile window panel
I thought I'd share something with you today that I am currently working on. It's hopefully going to be a window panel for my study and it's made out of samples that I made whilst at University. I think the project was a collaboration unit with print based around the work of William Morris. Hence why there are so many floral motifs. Any way when we moved house I hated the fact that yet again I was dragging huge piles of work that I had created from one loft to another and made a determined vow to myself that I shouldn't let all that hard work just sit up there and be neglected. So this is my first project to start re-using my uni work. 

The piecing together plan - trying to get a balance of colour.
Made on Monday # 11 - Work in progress voile window panel
 Joining the panels and finishing the edges.
Made on Monday # 11 - Work in progress voile window panel

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Gluten and Dairy free Blueberry pancakes recipe


  • 15g soya margarine melted
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 284 ml Soya milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g Gluten free self raising flour
  • 150g frozen blueberries defrosted
  • 2tsp vegetable oil 


  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together the egg, Soya milk, vanilla and melted margarine.
  2. Sift in the flour and mix.
  3. Add the defrosted blueberries and fold in.
  4. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan and spoon 1-2 tbsp of batter for each pancake. Cook for 2 -3 minutes and then flip to brown on the other side. Allow to cool slightly before serving to children as the blueberries stay very hot.
  5. Serve with a little powdered sugar on top. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Friday fun # 10 - Decorate plain t-shirts

This is what my eldest and I  made this afternoon. A great activity with kids, hardly any mess at all and they have something to wear that is truly unique.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Tasty Thursday # 10 - recipe for vegetable samosas

Vegetable samosa
1/2 potato
1/2 carrot
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp spoon oil
2-3 tbsp spoons water
25g peas (frozen)
1 pack filo pastry
25g butter, melted
½ red chilli, chopped
1x5ml spoon garam masala
½ 5ml spoon tumeric
1 tsp spoon coriander

Chopping board, knife, vegetable peeler, 2 x saucepans,
colander, wooden spoon, small bowl, pastry brush, baking tray.

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC or gas mark 6.
2. Peel and dice the potato and carrot (pea sized).
3. Par-boil for 5-8 minutes.
4. Fry the onion in the oil for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the chilli and spices and cook for a further 1 minutes.
6. Drain the potatoes and carrots in a colander.
7. Add the potatoes, carrots and water to the onion mixture, fry gently for 5 minutes.
8. Add the peas and coriander.
9. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
10. Lay 2-3 sheets of filo pastry on the work surface.
11. Cut into 10 cm wide strips. Brush with melted butter.
12. Place 1x15ml spoon of filling in the bottom left-hand corner. Fold over to make a triangle. Repeat this process.
13. Place on a baking sheet and repeat the process.
14. Brush the samosas with melted butter and bake for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How to make a felt fried egg

I currently do a fabric food project with my year eight textiles class and one of their favourite things to make are fried eggs. So here is a simple tutorial for how to make a fried egg out of every ones favourite craft fabric felt. 

Workshop Wednesday # 10 - how to make a felt fried egg

How to make a fabric hair scrunchie

Here's how to make a fabric hair scrunchie.
Tutorial Tuesday # 10 - how to make a fabric hair scrunchie

Monday, 17 June 2013

Made on Monday # 10 - male relative birthday card

Made on Monday # 10 - male relative birthday card
As you may have noticed I have got more into paper crafting and card making recently. I also continue my love affair with cross stitch so I thought I'd quickly share with you a card I made that combines both perfectly. I used my present cross stitch pattern and some craft papers I had knocking around that echoed the colours I'd used in my stitching. I think it's perfect for any man in your life. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Sweet Saturday # 9 - bejewelled flap jack recipe

Bejewelled flap jack

175g unsalted butter
175g light brown soft sugar
225g self-raising flour, sifted
85g jumbo oats
55g unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
165g mixed dried fruit (this can be any combination of dried fruits including exotic fruits)

Small mixing bowl, scales, wooden spoon, chopping board, vegetable knife, mixing bowl, baking tray, cooling rack, tsp


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.  
  2. Place the butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave until the butter and sugar have melted. 
  3. Chop dried fruit.
  4. In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, coconut, cinnamon and dried fruit.  
  5. Then pour over the melted butter and sugar mixture and stir until well mixed and all the flour has been incorporated.
    Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased shallow tin.
  6. Press the mixture down with the back of a spoon and smooth until level then bake in the preheated oven for 18 - 20 minutes or until golden brown and just firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for approximately 5 - 10 minutes before carefully turning out and leaving to cool completely on a cooling rack.  
  7. When cool simply cut the bars into diamond shapes. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Tasty Thursday # 9- recipe for cheese and potato pasties

Cheese and potato pasty

250g plain flour
125g hard margarine or butter
3 x 15ml spoons of water
1 medium Potato
1 medium Onion
75 g Cheese
1 egg

2 Mixing bowls, measuring jug, scales, round bladed knife, vegetable knife, chopping board, grater, baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 220c or gas mark 7.
Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl.
Rub in the margarine or butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in the water with a round bladed knife.
Form the mixture into a ball and knead until smooth.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 10 minutes.
Chop the onion and potato into small cubes.
Fry in oil until onion is clear and the potato has started to soften.
Grate the cheese.
Mix the cheese, onion and potato together in a mixing bowl.
Roll out the pastry and cut four circles.
Spoon the mixture into the centre of the circles, and damp the edges of the pastry with water.
Fold over the pastry and press down.
Transfer to a greased baking tray and bake for 25 minutes

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

How to make and use a stencil on fabric

This is a quick tutorial on how to make a stencil. I based the design on the book each peach pear plum and created a simple design of the three fruits.

First draw your design onto card. Remember any lines you want to appear have to be left in the card. Imagine that you are creating almost a negative of the image.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

How to make a scrap fabric rose

I have had this scrap fabric in my sewing bag for ages and I couldn't bare to part with it even though it is really a very small amount. I have finally come up with something to make with it, so I thought I'd share how to make a scrap fabric rose. 

How to make a scrap fabric rose

Monday, 10 June 2013

Made on Monday # 9 - new playroom cushion cover

Just a quick one from me today. Here's the latest in the recovering project of the sofa in the playroom. I seemed to have accidental slipped into a nautical theme.
made on Monday # 9 - new playroom cushion cover

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Sweet Saturday # 8 - recipe for profiteroles

150ml cold water
1 tsp caster sugar
50g butter
60g plain flour
2 eggs

For the filling:
250ml Double cream

For the topping:
225g plain chocolate

Preheat oven to 200c gas mark 6. Grease baking tray.
Melt butter, water and sugar in a saucepan. Then bring to the boil.
Turn off heat and add flour beat vigorously until mixture makes a smooth paste.
Whisk eggs in jug and add to saucepan a little at a time, beating with each addition.
Put teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to baking sheets.
Bake for 25 – 30 mins until golden brown.
Make a slit in each one and leave to cool.
Whisk cream until stiff. Fill profiteroles with cream.
Melt chocolate in small plastic bowl in microwave.
Use tsp to coat top of profiteroles with chocolate and refrigerate.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Old book fish collage kit

Here's another kit idea to keep the little one happy this weekend.

It's a collage kit based around an underwater theme. My eldest absolutely loves everything to do with the sea and can name loads of creatures I didn't even know existed  Who'd ever heard of a snot sea cucumber! So to combine his love of the sea and mine of recycle old books I came up with this kit.

Included in the kit is:

  • a variety of fish and creature shapes cut from an old book
  • sequins
  • glue
  • googly eyes
  • a black felt tip
  • blue backing paper
  • green recycled paper
  • some glittery gift wrapping paper.

Friday Fun # 8 - Old book fish collage kit

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Gluten free scone based pizza recipe

Sometime you just don't have enough time to make a yeasted pizza base, so when I'm feeling the need for pizza but want it quick. This is the recipe I go to.

You will need:


  • Base:
  • 150g Gluten free self-raising flour
  • 25g margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 50ml milk

  • 25g tomato puree
  • 50g cheese, grated
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1x5ml spoon dried herbs
  • Optional toppings: tomato, mushroom, sweet corn, pineapple, pepper, tuna, salami, ham etc.

Baking tray, sieve, mixing bowl, 5ml spoon, weighing scales, rolling pin, palette knife, grater, pastry brush, flour dredger, cooling rack, sharp knife and chopping board.

1. Preheat oven to 200C, gas mark 6, and grease a baking tray.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl.
3. Rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Whisk the egg and milk together.
5. Add the egg mixture to the flour. Mix to form a soft dough.
6. Roll out the dough to form a circle.
7. Transfer to the baking tray.
8. Spread the tomato puree over the base.
9. Arrange the onion and other toppings on top.
10. Sprinkle the cheese and herbs on top.
11. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden.
12. Serve.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Workshop Wednesday # 8 - How to appliqué using felt

I love working with felt as it comes in great colours, doesn't fray when you cut it and is a great fabric for children to start crafting with. This is a simple tutorial on how to appliqué a motif in felt that I use with my year sevens at school.

First cut two pieces of felt. One for the background and one a simple motif.
Workshop Wednesday # 8 - How to appliqué using felt
Pin the motif onto the felt back
Workshop Wednesday # 8 - How to appliqué using felt
Sew around the motif with a running stitch using embroidery thread that you have secured on the back of the fabric.
Workshop Wednesday # 8 - How to appliqué using felt
If you wish to you could use a blanket stitch. Tutorial can be found here -

Once the motif is attached you could use it to make a badge, key ring, bag charm etc.
Workshop Wednesday # 8 - How to appliqué using felt

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Tutorial Tuesday #8 - how to make a folded paper box desk tidy.

First you need to make four of the paper boxes from my previous tutorial. 

Then you will also need a square of matching paper the size of the four boxes grouped together  some clothes pegs and some PVA glue.

Tutorial Tuesday # - how to make a folded paper box desk tidy.  

First glue the sides of the paper boxes 

Tutorial Tuesday # - how to make a folded paper box desk tidy.  
 Then hold together with the clothes pegs
Tutorial Tuesday # - how to make a folded paper box desk tidy.  

Leave to dry

Tutorial Tuesday # - how to make a folded paper box desk tidy.  
Once dry glue on the large paper square to the bottom to reinforce the structure 

Tutorial Tuesday # - how to make a folded paper box desk tidy.  

Then use to tidy and organise all those little bits that normally get lost on your desk! 

Tutorial Tuesday # - how to make a folded paper box desk tidy.  

Monday, 3 June 2013

'Craftseller' Magazine issue # 8 baby booties

With the baby finally here I thought I'd share one of the booties projects I have had a go at. This pattern is from Craftseller Magazine issue 8 and they are fully reverse-able  They are fleece on one side and printed cotton on the other. The hand finishing was the trickiest bit as I wanted to avoid any lumpy seams that would irritate the baby's feet.

Made on Monday # 8 - 'Craftseller' Magazine issue # 8 baby booties 

Made on Monday # 8 - 'Craftseller' Magazine issue # 8 baby booties 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Sweet Saturday # 7- recipe for mini carrot cakes

Mini carrot cakes

150g margarine
250g carrots
200g sugar
2 large eggs
200g flour
2 x 5ml cinnamon
2 x 5ml baking powder
125g sultanas
50g nuts
For the icing
50g margarine
1 small orange
250g icing sugar

Chopping board, knife, vegetable peeler, grater, measuring spoons, weighing scales, small bowl, mixing bowl , wooden spoon, sieve, muffin tray, 12 muffin cases, 2 large metal spoons, juicer.

1.             Preheat the oven to 200oC or gas mark 6.
2.            Melt the margarine in the microwave.
3.            Top and tail, and then peel and grate the carrots.
4.            Combine the carrots, sugar and margarine in the mixing bowl.
5.            Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder.
6.            Beat the eggs in a small bowl, and then add to the mixture.
7.            Mix in the sultanas and nuts.
8.            Divide the mixture equally between the muffin cases, using the two metal spoons.
9.            Bake for 20 minutes.
10.         To make the icing: grate zest, add to the margarine, add icing sugar and mix.
11.           Cut orange in half and squeeze juice. Add 2 tbsp of juice to icing and mix until smooth (not runny)
12.         when cakes are cool smooth icing on top of each cake.


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