Friday, 31 January 2014

Poppy seed heads. Painting with bleach and ink.

One of my favourite ways to sketch is to use bleach and ink. It may sound extreme and you must use it in a well ventilated area, but it can produce some of the most amazing effects. This is a good example of the technique. It is a sketch of some poppy seed heads I had dried from my back garden. It is drawn on tissue paper that had been glued down to my sketch book page. First outlining the shapes with pen and ink and then adding bold stripes of colour using the bleach and then a wash of ink.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Thinking about valentines day

I've been thinking about crafting for Valentines day and have been gathering some materials as inspiration. What do you think? I love the red pom pom trim, just not quite sure that my husband would appreciate it in the same way!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Leek and potato soup recipe - review 'vegetables from the earth to the table'

I got a new cookery book for Christmas from my husband. At first glance it didn't look very exciting but I was leafing through it later and I must say that I want to cook at least 90% of the recipes inside it.
The first recipe I had a go with was for leek and potato soup. I have often found that recipes for leek and potato soup can be bland and gloopy. This however was fantastic, heart-warming, rich and satisfying. Just what you want on a cold winters day. The key ingredient into making this recipe a triumph? In my opinion it is the addition of cheese stirred into the soup just before serving. It improves the texture and flavour 100% and will always be going in my leek and potato soup from now on. 

Leek and potato soup recipe - review 'vegetables from the earth to the table'

Friday, 24 January 2014

Free cross stitch Valentines rose on black PDFpattern

If you fancy stitching up something a bit different for Valentine's this year. Why not try this free rose pattern? It looks very striking on black adia and would make a great gift or just something to treasure for yourself! 
Free cross stitch Valentines rose on black PDFpattern

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Free cross stitch Rasta mouse PDF pattern

I made this for my nephew who is a big fan and thought I'd share the pattern. Click on the read more link to download the PDF pattern.
Free cross stitch Rasta mouse PDF pattern

Monday, 20 January 2014

Cheese and sweet corn muffins baby led weaning recipe

Cheese and sweet corn muffins recipe
I have really got into the baby led weaning with George. He loves being involved at the dinner table and its great as I can already see he won't be a fussy eater. He'll give anything a go, like these cheese and sweet corn muffins that have spring onions and Wensleydale cheese in them. Unfortunately things like this don't hang around long in our household and George only got one muffin.

The recipe is as follows
85g frozen sweet corn defrosted
3 spring onions trimmed
4 tbsp milk
30ml vegetable oil
1tbsp maple syrup
1 egg
85g self raising flour
a pinch of paprika
50g Wensleydale crumbled
Silicon mini muffin tray.

This recipe make 12 mini muffins

preheat the oven to 180c gas mark 4
Put the sweet corn and the spring onions in a food processor and pulse until chopped.
Add the milk, oil, maple syrup and egg and whiz to combine.
stir in the flour and paprika.
Fold in the crumbled cheese.
Spoon into your muffin tin.
Bake for 14 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
Allow to cool and then remove from the tin.

Best eaten on the day or could be frozen and defrosted at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Button Valentines day card ideas.

I love buttons. You may have noticed but the regularly feature in my crafts. I was playing around with my buttons and I have come up with two lovely valentines day cards made using buttons. I made a heart and a 'love' using my red and pink button stash. It's so easy to do just create your pattern and then glue in place with PVA as this dries clear. Just remember to use strong card as the buttons can make it very heavy and you don't want the card falling over all the time. Now I can give one to the hubby but who can I give the other to....
Button Valentines day card ideas. 

Button Valentines day card ideas. 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Butternut squash and chestnut risotto recipe

Butternut squash and chestnut risotto recipe Serves 4
Butter nut squash and chestnut risotto recipe
I love this risotto recipe! I always seem to have a pack of chestnuts left over after Christmas and this is the easiest risotto to make, no ladling in a bit of stock at a time.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Chocolate chip loaf recipe

The perfect cake for picnics or to slice up for lunchboxes. Great for feeding lots of people and fantastic with a cuppa. Who wouldn't want a slice of the delicious chocolate chip loaf?

Chocolate chip loaf recipe.
200g baking margarine
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
200g self raising flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
50g chocolate chips.

You will also need a lined 2lb loaf tin.


  1. Preheat the oven to 170c gas mark 3.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl except the chocolate chips.
  3. Using an electric mixer mix until smooth.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin and level the top.
  6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours check it is cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle and ensuring it comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out and dusting with icing sugar
Update: I have remade this recipe using gluten free self raising flour and gluten free cocoa powder and chocolate chips. It worked fine.

Like this? You'll love

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Pirate Birthday party.

I have written a few times about mine and William's pirate themed activities. When it came to his birthday this year there was no question about what he wanted to do for it.
We dressed up and had a treasure hunt in the garden for gold doubloons and smashed up treasure chest full of sweets.
These were some of the pirate themed foods I made for the party.
Pirate Birthday party.
I also decorated the tables with pirate treasure maps.
Pirate Birthday party.
The shark cake was a real hit and I was pleased with how well the teeth stayed in.
Pirate Birthday party.
Pirate cupcakes with toppers.
Pirate Birthday party.
Shark invested bloody jelly. Some pirates must have already met a grizzly fate.
Pirate Birthday party.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy new year. A more organised craft room resolution.

A belated Happy new year to you all. I was going to apologise for not updating my blog sooner, but I decided that I wouldn't as I feel that it was right to take some time out from working on it. Christmas is a time for family and my number one priority is them, so I feel it's Ok to let other things slide for a little. That said William went back to school today and I feel reinvigorated to get my craft back on. I have made two resolutions that I will share with you.
1. To de clutter the house (and that does include my study)
2. Not set myself ridiculous goals. I will not try and maintain writing every day as it was almost an impossible task but will endeavour to write two to three times instead.

With the first resolution in mind I tackled my study this morning. It had become a bit of a dumping ground over Christmas and I could hardly see my desk. I am trying to be more organised with my materials and resources so I thought I'd share some of the ways I am organising my stuff. 
 These wooden swan shelves were made for me by my dad when I was a little girl and I have carted them around every house I've ever lived in. They are the perfect size for me to store my jars of beads, buttons and ribbons on.
 I love a basket! This one was left over from Christmas having had beauty products in it. Its the perfect way to store large reels of cotton, yarn and ribbon in.
 This was a present from my husband and I just love looking at the neatly organised coloured reels of cotton. So many sewing possibilities.
 The shelves in my study are laden with craft books and magazines and I am hoping to get a better organisational system for them.
This cute box was a gift from my sister in-law and makes the perfect addition to my sewing corner. Now what to store in it....

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Free Purple butterfly cross stitch PDF pattern

Free Purple butterfly cross stitch PDF pattern
 Free for you today a beautiful Purple butterfly design. Just follow the read more link to download the free PDF file. If you like my designs why not visit my Etsy shop and take a look.


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