Construction Birthday party

For my youngest’s birthday we decided to have a ‘bob the builder’ party. He is absolutely mad on it from the things we had kept from my eldest when he was younger. But when it cam to doing his birthday we hit a brick wall as much of the merchandise is now not longer available because Bob is being re-branded and updated.
Construction Birthday party

So we came up with a construction inspired birthday and it turned out to be really simple to put together. I made a building site cake with chocolate raisins rubble and added a few little toys (washed) to finish it off.
Then to dress the table I raided the toy box again. As a center piece I used a crane and then used dumper trucks and diggers to hold some of the snacks. It only took about and hour to put together and I was pleased that it pulled the theme together.

Construction Birthday party

You fancy doing a construction party too. There are some great ideas on my Bob the builder Pinterest board.
               Follow Ruth Cartwright’s board bob the builder on Pinterest.  


Gluten and lactose free Strawberry and vanilla cupcakes

Gluten and lactose free Strawberry and vanilla cupcakes 
These cakes smelt amazing even before they went in the oven. There is nothing better than strawberries in summer and these cakes make the most of them. 

To make them you will need:

  • 1 muffin tin
  • 12 paper case muffin liners
  • 300g gluten free self raising flour mix. (I use Dove’s)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 50g soya margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g soya yogurt
  • 200g fresh strawberries halved

Gluten and lactose free Strawberry and vanilla cupcakes 
  1. Preheat the oven to 200c /gas mark 5
  2. Line the muffin tin with the paper cases
  3. Melt the margarine in a saucepan over a low heat, leave to cool.
  4. Place the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl and stir.
  5. Stir in the melted margarine.
  6. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract and yogurt and stir until just combined. 
  7. Stir in the strawberries.
  8. Spoon into the paper cases.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack once baked and allow to cool until warm.
  11. Serve warm and if your feeling naughty add a spoonful of dairy free cream.
  12. Best eaten on the day.

Gluten and lactose free Strawberry and vanilla cupcakes 

Gluten and lactose free Strawberry and vanilla cupcakes 

Blackwork umbrella

Blackwork umbrella
I must admit I am starting to have a love affair with blackwork. It makes a nice change from cross stitch and I love the endlessness of the patterns. You continue filling in shapes with them for a lfie time. For this umbrella pattern I chose some of my favorite blackwork filling patterns. I wanted to get a mix of dense and lighter patterns to give a three dimensional look to the shape of the umbrella. 

Blackwork it relatively quick to produce which is also a good thing in my eyes, with limited time in the evenings to sew I like a project to be complete over a couple of nights. I don’t have the patience for anything else.

Blackwork umbrella

Once you’ve got the rhythm of each pattern, you barely need to look at the pattern sheet to filling in your shapes.

Blackwork umbrella

I am really pleased with the pattern and I love working in one colour. Someone asked me if I stocked a red version but really once you buy the pattern you can stitch it up in whatever colour takes your fancy. Or multiple colours even? I bet this would look great as a rainbow umbrella, just like one I had as a kid.

Blackwork umbrella

Now the piece is finished, I just need to wash it and get it framed. I think I’m going to send this one to my bother as he’s never seen any of my stitching before.

Blackwork umbrella

Top ten sewing projects to sew for boys

As a mum to two boys and in my previous career as a Textiles teacher I was often looking for projects that boys would be interested in sewing. If your boys are not old enough to get on the sewing machine yet why not have a look at these inspiring projects and make something unique for the boys in your life.Not often we see sewing project for a boy and this will be a fun one.

Tool belt
I know my youngest would love this toolbelt from Make it love it. He is a mad Bob the builder fan at the moment and everything in our house it seems currently needs mending. This would be the ideal accessory for him to carry his tools in.

LOVE finding cool little boy projects like these Stegosaurus socks by Happy Together Creates. (Of course you can make these for girls, too!) #sewing

I know my eldest would love these socks by oh so happy together, and they are so simple to do. Why not make a pair to go with every outfit?

Sewing Secrets: Sewing Projects for Kids Roundup

While your at it why not make a dinosaur hoodie too? Coats and Clark sewing secrets will surely inspire you to make something Jurassic today.

Southern Seven: Sewing Projects for Boys

Monster cushions

Everyone needs a good cushion to snuggle up to and these monster cushions would go down well with any boy. Take a look at Southern Seven to find out how to make them.

Functioning cushion.

Monster pocket cushion

Or how about a handy cushion for on the sofa. This pocket monster cushion from tip junkie will keep your remote safe.

Are they a purse are they a monster? Whatever they are, they sure are cute and look easy to make to. Why not make a whole monster gang like let me love you has.

Southern Seven: Sewing Projects for Boys - My 4 year old would love this!

Travel games

I know how hard it can be to keep kids occupied on long journeys but southern seven might have the answer with this great soft tic tac toe game set.

sewing project for Chase and Boy S's room. "Monster" bookends.

Monster bookends

Aren’t these the cutest bookends you have ever seen. The only problem is I don’t think they would keep the mountain of books in our house under control. Take a look at Homemakers to find out more.

cloud, house & owl cushions for kids

Soft furnishings

If you don’t fancy giving the sewing machine a whirl but still want something unique for your boys room, why not check out ebabee. I just love the cloud cushions.

Comic book bang cross stitch

Finally, I couldn’t make a top ten projects to sew for boys without including a cross stitch pattern. This would look great on the back of a hoodie or on a cushion. A must for any comic book fan no matter what their age.

Girl with the red lips cross stitch

Girl with the red lips cross stitch 

I’ve been busy recently sorting out my cross stitch design work and stitching up sample pieces. I couldn’t decide if I liked this pattern ‘Girl with the red lips’ when I first created it. It’s very different from my previous work and had a very fashion / pop art look art it, When I showed it to my Stepdad he even commented that it looked like a Roy Litchenstein picture.
As I started to sew her, I enjoyed the pattern more and more. It was liberating to work in all black to start off with and it was exciting to see her appear on the fabric. I have loved photographing her appear and sharing it on Instagram.

Girl with the red lips cross stitch 

Her eyes seem to look right at you and she certainly has attitude.

Girl with the red lips cross stitch 

When I finished stitching her up in black I was torn about whether to add her lipstick as I had so enjoyed working in just one colour.

Girl with the red lips cross stitch 

However I wanted to stay true to the pattern and create a good sampler piece of the pattern for my Etsy store. I am so pleased I did the pop of colour makes her lips look luscious and my husband was so impressed with the design he said we should hang her in our bedroom. He has never said anything so complimentary about any of my designs before.

Girl with the red lips cross stitch 

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Free cross stitch sand timer PDF pattern

Free cross stitch sand timer PDF pattern
Do you know anyone with time on their hands? Or perhaps a clock watcher. Then this sand timer pattern is perfect for them. 
For more on my cross stitching follow me on Instagram

Free cross stitch sand timer PDF pattern

Free cross stitch sand timer PDF pattern

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Spoonflower Lemonade contest

Do you know Spoonflower? It’s a great website which allows you to design and print your own fabric. It is also a great place to shop for unique and original designed fabric as many of the designers list their work in their own little store. I have a store on Spoonflower and would love it if you took a look.

They also run a weekly design competition and I love to take part as it often make me design things I wouldn’t normally draw.

The latest competition is entitled Lemonade and I was so pleased with my design I have used it as the new background for my blog.

What do you think?

If your a Spoonflower user or want to take a look please stop by and if you like my design I’d love it if you’d vote for me.

Gluten free muesli recipe

This is a great way to start your day and is perfect for those wanting something more interesting to eat when they start a gluten free diet. Please be aware oats are not always suitable for Coeliacs and you should seek advise from your dietitian before eating oats if you are a newly diagnosed coeliac.

For 10 portions of Muesli you will need
40g Sunflower seeds
50g Flaked almonds
75g Hazelnuts
300g rolled oats
4tbsp of Gluten free fiber flakes
125g Dried pineapple
75g Dried cranberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon.

Stir well to combine and store in an airtight container.

Gluten free lemon and poppy seed cake recipe

A great simple tea time treat for Gluten free baking lovers.


  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100g Gluten free self raising flour mix. (I use Doves)
  • 100g Stork Baking Margarine
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp of poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp of Lemon curd for the filling.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c gas mark 4
  2. Grease and line two 7” sandwich tins
  3. Cream the sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs until well mixed.
  5. Gently fold in the flour.
  6. Stir in the juice and zest of the lemon.
  7. Stir in the poppy seeds.
  8. Divide the mixture between the two tins and level.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  11. Once cool sandwich together with the lemon curd.