Wednesday, 31 July 2013

W.I.P Wednesday # 5 - cross stitch advent calendar

You may remember I started a new advent calendar for my new son George. At the time he was still in my tummy but he's finally arrived and I still haven't finished the advent calendar. As opposed to William's advent calendar which was all felt decorations I decided to put my cross stitch skills up to the challenge and stitch the entire calendar for George. I borrowed a new pattern book from the library last week and have been stitching a few motifs from it. It's called Quick to stitch cross stitch cards
I may borrow it again once I've finished the advent calendar as there are some great designs for cards in it and I like the fact they are broken up into quick, quicker and quickest to stitch categories.
 Pictured are a mistletoe motif and a crown half stitched.
W.I.P Wednesday # - cross stitch advent calendar 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Tutorial Tuesday # 16 - how to make a tiger cake

Tutorial Tuesday # 16 - how to make a tiger cake

Tutorial Tuesday # 16 - how to make a tiger cake
It was tigers birthday today and so to honour him we had to make a stripy cake for him.
To do this we made a normal cake batter mix and then divided it in half colouring one yellow and one brown using cocoa powder then we spooned the mixture into the pans blobbing the brown and yellow mixes. Then William dragged a fork around the mixture to level it off. Not as stripy as we had hoped but it was great sandwiched together with nutella frosting.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Made on Monday # 16 - King George Bib

Well you may have heard that there was a George born recently, set to be future King of England etc. The thing is I had already bagged the name George for my latest lovely boy born 14th May 2013. So to mark the occasion and his namesake I made this bib the other night.
Now with a William and a George in the household that must make me the King mother!
Made on Monday # 16 - King George Bib

Made on Monday # 16 - King George Bib

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Sweet Saturday #15 - Lemon and ricota baked cheesecake

Lemon and ricotta baked cheesecake

3 eggs
175 g (6 oz) butter
175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
zest of 3 unwaxed lemons
250 g (9 oz) ricotta cheese
125 g (4.5 oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas mark 3,
and grease and lightly flour a 7" inch cake tin
2 Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
3 Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4 Grate the zest of the 3 lemons and add to the butter and sugar mixture. Then gradually add the egg yolks and ricotta, beat until very smooth.
5 Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.
6 Fold the egg whites, sieved flour and baking powder into the egg and sugar mixture. Then spoon the finished mixture into the cake tin and place in the oven for 35 minutes.
7 Remove the cake from tin and leave to cool

Friday, 26 July 2013

Friday Fun # 15 - outdoor painting

Friday Fun # 15 - outdoor painting

Friday Fun # 15 - outdoor painting

Friday Fun # 15 - outdoor painting
Since the weather is so very lovely at the moment. We've been looking at ways to enjoy the sunshine as well as doing some fun craft activities. This one is a clear favourite and if you make a mess, no doubt it will rain soon anyway and wash away the paint. All you need is a large roll of paper. Lining paper or the back of wall paper is good. The paper we used we bought on a roll from our local resource exchange and it only cost a £1! Some washable paints, paintbrushes, a few rocks to hold the paper down and our creativity! 
William choose to paint a rainbow. He loves reciting the colours and uses them a lot in his art work. When the painting is finished use it to decorate a fence panel or other outdoor flat space. It would look great as decorations for bar-b-q's and other summer parties!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Tasty Thursday # 15 - spicy bean burgers and home made coleslaw recipe

Spicy Bean Burger with Home-made Coleslaw

10ml olive oil
1/2 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Pinch of mild chili powder
1 small carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
1 x 410g can mixed beans, drained thoroughly and roughly chopped
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
25g Cheddar cheese, finely grated
½ tsp Marmite
1tbsp freshly chopped mixed herbs of your choice
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp plain flour
30ml olive oil
For the Coleslaw
2tbsp mayonnaise
2tbsp natural yogurt
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
1 carrot, peeled, trimmed and shaved into 'ribbons' lengthwise using a vegetable peeler
1/2 small white cabbage, cored and very finely shredded
1. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for 2 - 3 minutes or until softened.  Add the chili and carrot to the pan and fry for a further 1 - 2 minutes stirring constantly.
2. In a large bowl mix the prepared beans together with the breadcrumbs, cheese, marmite, herbs and onion mixture and enough beaten egg to bind together without making the mixture too sticky.  Season to taste.  
3. Using the flour, divide the mixture into 6 equal amounts and shape into burger shapes.  Place on a plate and chill in a fridge for 30 minutes.  
4. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and sauté the bean burgers over a medium heat for 10 -12 minutes turning over frequently until piping hot and golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, whisk the mayonnaise together with the yogurt, lemon juice and seasoning to taste and stir in the carrot ribbons and shredded cabbage.  

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday # 4 - practice birthday cake

Just thought I'd share a few quick pictures of my first run at making a birthday cake for my mum's birthday. I bought some new daisy flower presses from Lakeland and I had a vision of a daisy strewn cake . It's not come out as well as I hoped and I think I will cover the entire cake with flowers and ditch the ribbon but it's pretty and above all edible.
W.I.P. Wednesday - practice birthday cake 

W.I.P. Wednesday - practice birthday cake 
W.I.P. Wednesday - practice birthday cake 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Tutorial Tuesday # 15 - button bobby pins

Inspired by an image in this months issue of Making magazine, I deicide to show you how to make some button bobby pins. They are very easy to make and can be made to suit any age or colour palette.  
You will need:
  • buttons, 
  • bobby pins,
  • a needle
  • some embroidery floss separated into two strands

Sew the bobby pin onto the back of the button with the embroidery floss, overlapping the stitches will make it more secure. 

Knot and trim the ends so it should look like this.

 Once you have a set, mount them onto some pretty card and they make a great personal gift for friends.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Made on Monday # 15 - Thank you cards

Card making had never really been my thing, but I have recently got more into the craft and find the cutting and sticking quite therapeutic. I also have found it's great to have a stash of hand made cards ready when you need them. In particular Thank you cards. So here are a selection of my latest makes. 
Made on Monday # 15 - Thank you cards

Made on Monday # 15 - Thank you cards

Made on Monday # 15 - Thank you cards

Made on Monday # 15 - Thank you cards

Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

I titled this Friday fun go mad with paint, because sometimes that is just what you need to let kids do. I know it's messy but that's the joy of it and with washable paints and a messy mat the cleaning up is no hard task. So here are a few suggestions of what you could paint.
#1 Make some cereal box houses and let them decorate them. Release their inner interior decorator!
Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint
 #2 Let them paint themselves! They'll think it's really naughty and that's the joy of it
Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint
 #3 Make some salt dough shapes and decorate them. They make great gifts or decorations.
Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Friday Fun # 14 - go mad with paint

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Tasty Thursday # 14 - recipe for lamb rogan josh and Nann bread

lamb rogan josh
225g lean lamb leg steaks or neck fillet, cubed or Quorn pieces
1 tbsp spoon oil, 1 onion, sliced, 1 clove garlic, crushed
200g can chopped tomatoes, 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
Please bring 20p for these additional ingredients
2 tbsp spoons Rogan Josh curry paste, 1 tbsp spoon fresh coriander, chopped
Naan bread
60ml milk, 200g strong flour
1tsp baking powder, ½ sachet instant yeast
1tbsp spoon plain yogurt, 1tbsp  spoon oil
Equipment for rogan josh
Measuring spoons, spoon, knife, chopping board, large saucepan, garlic press, spoon, can opener
Equipment for nann
Baking tray, measuring jug, saucepan, mixing bowl, sieve, wooden spoon.
Method for rogan josh
1.             Cube the lamb, slice the onion and cut the tomatoes.
2.            Heat the oil in a large pan and add the lean lamb. Cook for 3-4minutes.
3.            Add the Rogan Josh curry paste, sliced onions and garlic. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
4.            Add the canned and fresh tomatoes and cook for further 2 minutes.
5.            Stir in the fresh coriander.
Method for nann
1. Preheat the oven to 250C or gas mark 8. Put the baking tray in the oven.
2. Warm the milk (either in a saucepan or microwave).
3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the yeast.
4. Add the yogurt, oil and warm milk and Mix into a soft dough.
6. Knead for 10 minutes shape into four tear shaped pieces and Leave the dough to prove (rise) for around 30 minutes.
10. Cook the naans on the heated tray for 3-4 minutes, until
puffed up and brown.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Made on Monday #14 - flower arranging

I have received lots of flowers recently and its a shame when parts of a bouquet start to fade. You don't want to get rid of the whole display, so I've been experimenting with how to rearrange and extend the life of flower arrangements. 
First pick out an architectural flower and display purely on it's own to show it off and make maximum impact. 
Made on Monday #14 - flower arranging

Next tightly pack a vase (or in my case a glass) with blousey blooms to created a domed display of fluffy delights 

Made on Monday #14 - flower arranging
 Finally group flowers that can be dried to create a display that will last and give year around enjoyment.
Made on Monday #14 - flower arranging

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Lemon curd butter cream icing recipe

Lemon curd butter cream icing recipe
Lemon curd butter cream icing recipe


  • 75g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon curd


  1. Beat the butter with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until creamy. 
  2. Beat in the icing sugar. 
  3. When mixture is light and smooth add the lemon curd and mix. 
  4. Use to sandwich an 8'' cake or to top 12 cupcakes.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Friday Fun # 13 - felt egg cosy

This is a great little make to do with younger ones. It just takes a little bit of organisation before hand and then you can let them get as creative as they like. 
You will need a large piece of felt folded in half big enough to go over the egg cup and rounded off at the top.
A selection of felt shapes pre - cut
Some buttons (do not use with very small children as they can pose a choking hazard)
some craft glue
Friday Fun # 13 - felt egg cosy
Then let the children stick the piece on in any design they want.
Friday Fun # 13 - felt egg cosy

 Once they've added their decorations, glue around the open edge of the large felt shape and leave to dry.
Friday Fun # 13 - felt egg cosy
 A great make that the kids will get to enjoy every breakfast time.
Friday Fun # 13 - felt egg cosy

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Tasty Thursday # 13 - recipe for macaroni cheese bake

Macaroni cheese bake

150g macaroni
50g plain flour
50g margarine
500ml milk
50g cheese grated
25g wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 large tomato sliced

2 x saucepans, scales, jug, wooden spoon, colander, pie dish, grater, chopping board, vegetable knife

  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 6 200c.
  2. Heat water in a large saucepan until boiling
  3. Boil macaroni until soft (approx. 15 minutes)
  4. Drain macaroni using colander
  5. In the other saucepan, add four, margarine and milk, heat and whisk continuously until thick.
  6. Add half the cheese
  7. Mix sauce and macaroni thoroughly and place in pie dish
  8. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and remaining cheese.
  9. Slice tomato and place on top
  10. Bake for 20 minutes

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

W.I.P Wednesday # 3 - Embroidered Pliers case

So, here is another of my works in progress. I don't know about you but I find it hard to keep all my jewellery pliers tidy. They don't stack and they are too large to pack in a box. So I decided to make a case for them. Rather like an over sized pencil case but made from tougher material, probably denim and to be able to identify what was in the case quickly. I drew around one of the pliers onto felt and then embroidered around the pencil design with a backstitch. I think it looks really striking and I'm going to use this technique on other projects I have in mind such as a cutlery roll up for picnics. I think it would look great with an embroidered Knife, Fork and Spoon on. But as ever the list of things I want to make continues to grow and there is always a work in progress going on. 
W.I.P Wednesday # 3 - Embroidered Pliers case

Monday, 8 July 2013

Made on Monday #13 - what to do with a broken necklace

It's a common question in my household as My jewellery doesn't seem to last well with a four year old around. So what to do with a broken necklace?
Here is the necklace in question.
Made on Monday #13 - what to do with a broken necklace

Here is what had broken

Made on Monday #13 - what to do with a broken necklace

So this is what I did. I took off the broken clasp with some jewellery pliers and reattached the chain to one of my favourite handbags.

Made on Monday #13 - what to do with a broken necklace

New bag accessory in no time! 

Made on Monday #13 - what to do with a broken necklace


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