Tuesday, 30 December 2014

New year

It has been a busy year and next year promises to be even more eventful. In the new year I move from my beloved sea front flat to a lovely little house in the suburbs. Its going to be hard to say good bye to this home, we have been so happy here for the last 6 years but there are lots of pluses to the new place.

One of the big bonuses of the new house is that I get my own hobby room. I have to share it with the tumble dryer and my wardrobe buy its not a big sacrifice to have a room dedicated to crafts and lets be honest having all my clothes in my craft room could be good.

Its with the expectation of my impending craft room and the normal time of reflection that comes with Christmas and the new year my thoughts come to my new years resolutions. Normally like everyone else this time of year we want to say "this is the year". We set our self goals that by march are abandoned or forgotten, I will loose weight, I will get a new job, I will do this other big thing and so on. Not me this year.

This year I will set my self just 5 achievable goals.

1) Pastel Herb cord
Make or buy a Lolita cordinate based on mint green or lavender. I have had a passion for mint green and chocolate for a while, and lately I have been loving lavender, I must have an outfit based on one of these.

2) Make something to give away
To remind me to show those in my life how much they mean to me.

3) Make something in chiffon or crepe
Materials I have never used before so will be a challenge. Plus I have been longing over a certain favorite skirt for years and lately fan plus friends chiffon lovers line, I need the soft decedent feel of these clothes in my life.

4) The book of old bears
I have far too many teddy bears, over the years I have collected more that any sensible girl should, so I plan to give lots of them away. It feels so wrong to just give them away as most of them hold a memory, so I will make a album of them to remember them by.

5) A place for everything and everything in its place
I will have a clean and tidy craft room, my sanctuary away from the world. It will be organised, every thing will have its place and it will stay that way.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Strawberry jam and embroidery

Late summer means strawberry day, my tea girls and I head out to a local pick your own farm and gather a few punnets of fresh fruit. Then back home to cook up the jam and some scones.

This year not many of us could make it but my self, Mother and Sally had great fun. The farm had raised strawberry beds which was great for Mother on her sticks, so we left her gathering them while Sally and my self went to go get plums and raspberrys. Once we had a bag of plums and 2 punnets of raspberrys we headed back to help Mother finish the last of the 5 strawberry punnets.

Check out this mutant strawberry with leaves growing out of it.

Then back to mine we went, as I had agreed to be host this year. We hulled and washed 2kg of the strawberrys and set about cooking them into jam. There are not many smells in this world that can beat that of a pot of jam cooking away. Mother made up a batch of her fruit scones, while wrighting down the recpie for me, and soon we where ladeling the jam into little jars.

We had thought that 2Kg of strawberrys would not make too much jam but soon realised we didnt have enought 2oz jars for it all. A mad scrabble was on to find any jars we could and wash them, and in the end we ended up storing the last bits in plastic tubs. I got 15 little jars and one tub, Mother and Sally got 17 jars, 2 tubs, and 2 other larger jars all from our one pot.

Sadly the jam did not properly set again this year, we dont have much luck with that, but it tastes amaising. I made some topper for the jars as shown in the first picture and gave 4 of them away to people at work. So far all those that have tried it agree with me about it tasting great but a bit too runny.

I kept a punnet each of strawberrys and raspberrys and over the next few days set about freezing them for later. I need to test Mothers scone recipe and see if it works for me, and f it does make it into a scrapbook page for my recipe book. Still need a successful atempt at making jam before I can write that one up.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Grey floral dress

For my birthday I was given some money so I spent it on materials for a new dress, this dress:

My friend Lou helped me with the fitting as I adapted a pattern from one of my Gosurori books. I think its turned out really good, I am very happy with it. 

The pictures where taken at a picnic we had for a friends birthday last Friday. 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Beaded crochet rope spirals

Here is a little something I made this weekend. Two crochet beaded rope bracelets.  

The one on the left is to match my new dress (pictures soon) and the other is just because I love the colours. They are so relaxing to make once you get the hang of it, and once you have a few rounds done.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Tea cup

Its been a long while since I have posted but I have been busy making. I plan over the next few weeks to try and update my blog with all the projects I have missed posting. 

One of the many things I have made or rather decorated is my tea cup. Me and the other girls all decorated some cups on our friend Lou's birthday. It was really fun an I hope she enjoyed the event as much as I did.

I kept mine simple, I like simple. I am really pleased with it, I think it turned out lovely, I really enjoy using it at our tea meetings, makes me feel all special to drink from it. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mozzarella and roast tomato pizza.

This is quickly turning into my favourite weekend breakfast. Roasted cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pizza. I made it the following week with slices of baguette instead of the flat bread and it was just as lovely. 


Cherry tomatoes, or any small fresh ones.
Tomato sauce or purée.

1) Cut your tomatoes in half or quarters depending on their size. Put in a dish and roast for 20 minutes at Gas 7. They should be super soft and browning a little when done. 
2) Take out the tomatoes and turn on the grill. 
3) Build your pizza. Spread a dollop of tomato sauce over your bread and layer on the mozzarella and roasted tomatoes. 
4) Pop under the grill till the cheese is all melting and bubbly. 
Done, eat.

It does not matter what bread you use, naan bread always makes for a nice pizza base, even a slice of everyday bread will be good, just toast the underside before you put the toppings on. This is lazy morning food, so don't feel you need a proper pizza sauce. A sprinkle of mixed herbs could also work well. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Getting Hexy - Sewing Machine Mat Start

I found my self looking at English paper piecing reasonably and decided I want a picnic blanket. Well that a big commitment for a busy girl like me, and what if I don't like English paper piecing when I try it? So I decided to do a smaller project using the technique first.

The other weekend, a few weekends back now, I was using my sewing machine when my partner got up, and it was rather loud to him having only just woke up. Then I saw a pin on pinterest with a pin cushion that ran the length of the front of the sewing machine. Slowly the plan came together. 

What I need is a sewing machine mat that is nice and padded to dampen the noise and protect my dining table. It needs one of those long pin cushions in front of the machine and some nice big pockets to keep all my sewing bits in. So I had a specification and with the help of some hex graph paper I soon had a design all drawn out. 

I though this was such a good idea I invited some friends to join me, so now there is 3 of us making sewing mats, and another who is making there own thing but still learning English paper piecing with us. Its all so fun.

I did some research and watched some very good videos on you tube and came to the conclusion that glue basting was the way for me. I treated me self to a Sewline fabric glue pen that the lady in the tutorial recommended and have been so pleased with it. It is so relaxing making up the hexagons ready to sew.

I have to admit I have had to make my self work on my other projects because lately I have just wanted to glue hexes. But will power and all I have told my self I must finish my other sofa craft project before I start sewing hexes together.

Although I did make this cute little box bag to keep all my hexes and supplies together both at home and on the move, its rather travel sizes. I am calling it my hexypack.

Perfect for crafting at work during lunch.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Shopping In Our New Skirts

The weather at the weekend was lovely, sunny and a little warm. A welcome change to the grey and wet us British have endured for the last few months. This weekend was also when we had planned a little shopping trip, so it all worked out rather well. 

We met up for a cup of tea (of course) and then went for a rummage in a couple of local craft supply shops. From the first shop I got some scrapbook sheets for a project I am plotting, some cute sticker, and some clamps.

Then we went to my favourite shop. I got some needle, thread and fat quarters for my hexy sewing mat project, I will tell you all about that later. 

So here is a picture of me and my friend in our matching skirts. We made them together. Last year for her birthday I gave her a set of IOUs and this is one of them, make her an item of clothing. I did the pattern work and showed her how to make it as I made hers and then she made mine while I supervised.

She did a really good job and I can see this becoming one of me most loved skirts.We do of course look really cute together all matching. I cant wait to make more clothes together as I teach her and learn more myself. Although not all will be quite so matching.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Something New To Eat. Asparagus Wrapped In Prosciutto

I have been feeling rather uninterested in food lately. and as a result I have been eating rather badly. I want to get excited about food and cooking again. I want to look forward to my meals rather than treat them like a chore. 

With that in mind here is a little experiment I tried. Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and griddled. I saw this pin and was inspired. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/369084131934119004/

So this is my attempt. Here they are all wrapped and ready to be griddled. 

On the griddle.

And finally served with griddled chicken, new potatoes, veg and a chicken and garlic white sauce.

It was a success, my partner liked it, I liked it, it was easy and quick. So full marks all round, will be making it again. 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A Best Friends Birthday Party - Minecraft Style

Its my best friend Lizzie's birthday party today so me and Lou our other best friend is throwing her a minecraft themed party.

We had minecraft decorations made by Lou.

We had minecraft themed foods.

We even have a minecraft cake

We have Steve being chased by a zombie.

some tnt

I loved the little iron golum 

It all looked so good, and Lizzie was so pleased. It was a fun night and after some technical difficulties we has some multi-player minecraft going, although not the 8 player we had hoped for.  

Even our friend being hit by a car (don't worry it just clipped him) and a sudden hail storm on the way there didn't spoil it. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Feeling Organised

As mentioned in my last post I am on a mission to get organised. Banish the mess and have a nice, clean, organised home.

Its going well, I have a housework plan that lives on a cupboard door and the food plan lives on the front of the fridge freezer, both for easy access. Using them is helping, splitting the jobs into small bits that each can be done in a few minutes makes it more manageable. Having a schedule for the jobs means that I do a little each day and with each day the house looks a little nicer.

Little things like making the bed and picking up the laundry make such a difference in my home, adding things like feeding the fish makes the list look longer so I feel like I have achieved lots each day when I have only spent 5min doing stuff.

The food plan is a must for me and my partner, we are terrible for never knowing what we want to eat. I would buy lots of nice food and plenty of vegs but with no plan I found that I was throwing out a heartbreaking amount of food. I cant abide waste, its the way I was brought up, waste not want not. But with a food plan I can buy just what I need, especially when it comes to fridge stuff.
Then I attacked my craft organisation. I had a big sort out of my stash a while back so that is doing well but it was my to do list that was causing me troubles. I, like most crafters I know, have a problem of too many unfinished projects.

I have plans and designs for tones of stuff and I wanted away to keep a track of it all. So I made up a project front sheet to record all the details of the project. I keep each project in a plastic pocket and all the projects in a ring binder. At the front of the binder is my to do list that lists all the items outstanding.

I'm terrible for forgetting things that I start or that I buy part of what I need then get distracted by the next idea. I have to limit my self, finish something before I start the next. I like to always have what I call a sofa craft on the go, something I can do while we watch tv or my partner plays games. But at the same time I tend to have what I guess is a weekend craft like dressmaking, something that needs more space or tools.

So I am restricting my crafts to one sofa and one weekend at a time. Which for now means my partners blanket and a dress once I have some jewellery finished.

If you are interested have a look at my planners etc linked below. I may change them a little as I see how they work out. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Getting organised

If I am honest I'm not very good at housework, I have never managed to get into a routine to help me get all those tiny jobs done that make a beautiful clean house. So this week my plan is to make me some plans, I don't mean just work out what to do but make lists and a timetable to break up all the tasks and spread them out.

I already do my best to do a weekly food plan but need to make sure I do it every week. I have already made me a simple plan chart that has all the boxes I need. Many of the ones I found on line didn't suit me. I don't need to plan in snacks, I don't have kids and my week starts on a Monday. So I made my own one with just lunch and dinner, Monday to Sunday with a extra column for notes so I can record things that are happening that day.

Next I need a housework plan, looking at ones other people have done I think I want one that covers a month, or rather 4 week. It wants to have daily tasks like to feed the fish but also weekly and monthly tasks for things I don't need to do that often. If I can spend 30 min per day doing jobs with maybe a little extra at the weekends for those bigger tasks I should be good. I also want a space to record a to do list for jobs I need to that are not regular like putting up that mirror I bought ages ago.

If I can work out how I will of course share, they won't be all that exciting though.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

My view

We cleaned the windows at the front of my flat today, we did it later afternoon and by the time we finished the sun was going.

This view made the work well worth the effort. 

I love the view from my flat. 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Hopes and dreams and plans.

As ever there is so much I want to do. I am part way through making my partners blanket, got about 20 squares knitted on my loom and about 8 of those sewn together. He seems happy with it atm. I'm making it of some soft baby yarn, its a bit more expensive than the normal yarn I use buy my partner is worth it.
I started making some bloomers with the new sewing machine I got for Xmas but the machine is broken. The peddle or circuitry that controls it is broken and despite my best attempts to work around it I just can't sew with any accuracy with it. So its being sent back and I hope to buy a replacement in the next few weeks, a trip to my local Hobbycraft a few towns over may be in order.
I am taking a break from beaded crochet rope atm, although I must post about the latest 3 I have made, they turned out quite well. I have a good stash of size 6 beads now, my favorite size, and I will make more soon, like one for my Aunt.
I also now have a cake pop machine so expect a post about my adventures with that soon.
Other than that my to craft list includes 2 dresses and to glazing some charms. Then I will have a look at my new crochet book, maybe make some blouses and/or a new petticoat. It is safe to say that there is a lot to keep me busy atm.