Spoonflower design competition, Gnomes

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 makes me design things I wouldn’t normally draw.

The latest competition was a design based on Gnomes
The brief was:


‘No one appreciates getting cosy quite like gnomes, preferring to nestle into subterranean caves and nooks. Although we hear they DO love to travel….’

Spoonflower design competiiton, Gnomes

I took the word cosy when designing my Gnome pattern, I like to feel they have a felted handmade look about them. I added woodland features and gave them a hand stitched look. I am really pleased with the final design and hope others like it too. What do you think?

If you like my design please pop over to Spoonflower and vote for me. Voting opens today.

Spoonflower design competion, Ditsy Mistletoe

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 makes me design things I wouldn’t normally draw.

The latest competition was a design based on ‘Ditsy Mistletoe’
The brief was:



In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce or warring spouses kiss and make-up. Create a festive holiday mistletoe design in “ditsy” fashion: which is defined in the design world as a small scale, scattered, non-directional print. 

Spoonflower design competion, Ditsy Mistletoe

I love how fresh yet festive my Mistletoe and red bows design looks. I could imagine this as bedding or a lovely tablecloth. What do you think?

If you like my design please pop over to Spoonflower and vote for me. Voting opens today.

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Why I’ll be giving books this Christmas

When I am given lists of what the various children in my life want for Christmas, I always take note of the lastest must have gadget or newest lego addition on there and then I look for what books they want.

Why I’ll be giving books this Christmas

If I don’t see a book I always pick one of my children’s favourites or one of mine and give that child it along with something from their list. Because, reading and the love of books is so important. In both my children’s rooms we have a reading corner with a bookshelf crammed with books and a cosy cushion to share them on. I read every night with my children not just for their benefit but for mine too. It’s a great way to share time with the kids, unwind and get lost in a book.
I was so lucky to be sent some great books by Puffin books this week and I know they are going to make my niece and nephew’s so happy this Christmas.

I was sent three delightful books, The Tale of Kitty-in-boots which I can hardly bear to part with as I love Beatrix Potter books. Alfie and His best friend, my children have loved Alfie books and I know my nephew will too and The fairytale hairdresser and the Princess and the pea. This is a new one to me but I’m sure it will be perfect for my niece.

The Tale of Kitty-in-boots.
“A serious, well behaved young black cat, who leads a daring double life defeating vile villains.”

When Miss Kitty sneaks out to go hunting in her beautiful boots she gets herself into all sorts of scrapes, but on this particular night she meets the foxiest hunter of the all – Mr Tod!

This utterly entertaining tale is filled with mistaken identities, devious villains and even the an appearance from Peter Rabbit.
Told with Beatrix Potter’s trademark dry humour and wry observations, this brilliant tale is sure to become as popular as her original classics and is illustrated by the best loved Quentin Blake.

Alfie and His very best friend
Alfie and Bernard are very best friends and together they have lots of adventures. Join them as they go to the library, take part in scooter races and make a very special club with only two special members! A heart warming tale of friendship by the award winning Shirley Hughes, creator of Dogger.

The Fairytale Hairdresser and the Princess and the pea.
Princesses from all across the land are flocking to fairytale village for the chance to marry the prince. But one princess is not all she seems…
Amid the excitements of the annual festival of food, the fairytale hairdresser must use all her skills to root out the wicked witch and ensure true love’s course runs without a hitch. Featuring all the fairytale favourites, hilarious hairstyles, outrageous outfits and fantastic fairytale foods!

One piece of advice that always sticks in my mind when buying for Children.


One thing you want,
One thing to need,
One to wear and
One to read.

Happy Christmas reading.

This is a sponsored post for Puffin books working with Britmums.

BritMums

Spoonflower design competition, Snow day

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 makes me design things I wouldn’t normally draw.

The latest competition was a design based on ‘Snow day’
The brief was:


‘You know that magical feeling you get when you wake up, look outside, see the big fluffy snowflakes falling from the sky and it hits you: SNOW DAY! Somehow it always makes us feel like a little kid again. Break out the hot cocoa, parkas, sleds, soup, mittens, or anything else that says “snow day!” to you.’

Spoonflower design competition, Snow day

My design has a Kawaii look to it, I created a snowy scene against a pale blue background then created, frolicking snowmen, hot chocolates, mince pies and flames. I must admit I am really in love with this pattern and would love to get it on fleece for a great snow day blanket.

If you like my design please pop over to Spoonflower and vote for me. Voting opens today.

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Gluten free Chocolate and Banana tray bake recipe

I do love a tray bake, so easy to make, easy to slice up and a great crowd pleaser. As we reach December and you want to make yours bakes a little more festive, this Gluten free Chocolate and banana tray bake is sure to be a hit.

Gluten free Chocolate and Banana tray bake recipe
You will need:
  • An high sided rectangle baking tin, 8” x 12”
  • 250g gluten free plain flour mix (I like doves)
  • 1 tea spoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1 tea spoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 70g soft dark brown sugar
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • icing sugar for dusting
Gluten free Chocolate and Banana tray bake recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 375f /190c /gas mark 5. Line the baking tray.
  2. Place the peeled bananas in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until mashed.
  3. Beat in the egg, sugar and oil.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
  5. Pour into the baking tray and level.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.
  8. Cut into12 squares and dust with icing sugar.
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Gluten free coconut and lime traybake recipe

I do love a tray bake as you may have noticed. I also love coconut and I love to bake with it. One of my favourite flavour combinations in coconut and lime. It can instantly transport me away to somewhere far flung and tropical. If, like me, you have no chance of getting anywhere tropical soon. Enjoy a slice of this and a day dream or two.

Gluten free coconut and lime traybake recipe
  • 100 g Gluten free Self Raising Flour
  • 100 g margarine
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 25 g desiccated coconut
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp spoon milk
  • Icing:
  • 100g butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Juice of one lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp chocolate coated coconut shavings
  • 1tsp desiccated coconut

Gluten free coconut and lime traybake recipe


1 Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a high sided
rectangle baking tin

2 Place all the cake ingredients, in a bowl and beat well until light
and fluffy.

3 Spoon into the tin and smooth level and bake for about 25 minutes
until risen golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
Then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely

4 Beat the butter till soft, add the lime juice and icing sugar and
beat until smooth. Smooth over the cake and use a fork to add a decorative
pattern.

Mix the desiccated coconut, chocolate shavings and lime zest, then
sprinkle over the top. 

Gluten free coconut and lime traybake recipe

Have you got a great gluten free recipe? I’d love to you link up your recipes for me to try.

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Free Cross stitch advent calendar.

So here is the complete cross stitch advent calendar. It includes: A gingerbread man, a snowman, a penguin, a Christmas pudding, an angel, a robin and a Christmas tree, as well as many other cute seasonal designs. Each section measures 26w by 34 h on 14 count aida. So they are perfect to stitch altogether as an advent calendar or split up and use for card making and decorations. I hope you like it and I hope to see some pics of the stitched up patterns before Christmas. You can find the complete set of patterns on my cross stitch patterns page.

Cross stitch advent calendar.
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Free cross stitch advent calendar pattern, Santa Hat

I couldn’t help myself had to finish the Advent calendar with Santa, or at least Santa’s hat. I hope you have enjoyed this series. If you missed some of the patterns, you can find them all on my Free cross stitch patterns page.
PDF Advent cross stitch pattern
Free Advent cross stitch pattern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have loved making this series of mini cross stitch patterns for Advent. As I’ve designed them I’ve thought of lots of other uses for them as well as the calendar. They would be great stitched up for cards, made into decorations and used for gift tags. Have you got any other great ideas for them? I’d love to your stitched versions of my designs.

As always just click on the pop out button for the printable version of the pattern, if you don’t like stitching from the screen.

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Free cross stitch advent calendar pattern, angel

How sweet is this little angel? I had to include one in my advent calendar and I wanted to keep it till near the end. I do hope you’ve enjoyed this series and I would love to hear back from anyone who has stitched it.

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Have you stitched any of my designs? Tweet me a pic or post on my facebook wall and I will include your image with credit on my blog.

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Free cross stitch advent calendar pattern, robin

I do love to see a robin out in the garden. Their little flash of red is so cheery on a grey gloomy day. For me they are a traditional festive image and I had to include one in my advent calendar.

Be sure to have a look at all the other Christmas patterns I’ve been designing. There is enough on my Christmas Cross stitch page to keep you going all through the winter.

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