Sunday, 27 July 2014

I'm back!

Can it really be almost 18 months since I last posted? It looks like it must be... I should hang my head in shame

Admittedly, I've been a tad busy, but really that is no excuse

I have done some crafting in that time, but as usual mainly forgot to take photos! Late last summer I moved back to Norwich and I've been busy settling in, catching up with old friends, finding a job and making some lovely new friends

Some crafting has been done; mainly making costumes for fancy dress parties... I do so love getting dressed up and am lucky that I have friend who throws the best fancy dress parties ever

So, here's what I made for Halloween & an 'A' party for New year's Eve

Little witch-hat fascinator & net capelet

Persuaded the son's best friend to go as a unicorn...
made him papier-mâché 
gold horn & rainbow tail of ribbons

Son's lovely GF...
made a net skirt & corpse bride veil fascinator

I was Agnetha from Abba; cant see the flares I made sadly
(with chum's bro as Alice Cooper)

I did make a few homemade gifts for Christmas too... but that'll be another post!

Hope you've all been keeping well whilst I've been AWOL... I'm now off to catch up with what all you lovely people have been up to... see you soon!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Oops!

You know you're going to have 'one of those days' when this happens...
I'll be back in a few days once that little lot is cleared, up with an update on my blog swaps once they are received

I have been busy crafting and not just chucking buttons about the place... honest!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Loving Beetroot

My sister is a fantastic cook and creates the most delicious lunches when I go to her house, so it really gets me thinking about what to whip up when we do lunch at my house

Last week my mum had given me a pack of beetroot (I adore fresh non-vinegared beetroot) and I had just bought some sunflower seeds and had a some fresh crunchy celery lolling about in the fridge... so I whacked them all together with a dash of balsamic vinegar and a splodge of crème fraiche. It was ridiculously easy, tasted scrumptious, was healthy, lowish in calories and fat and the leftovers tasted even better the next day... a hit!

So if you fancy making it...
(with my recipes the amounts are mostly guesstimates - this made enough for a side salad for 2, plus the leftover portion)
  • A couple of fresh cooked (but cold!) beetroot
  • 2-3 sticks of celery
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • Small handful of sunflower seeds
  • Generous dash of balsamic vinegar
  • About a tablespoon of crème fraiche

Roughly chop  the beetroot and bung in a bowl
Splash some balsamic vinegar over it
Throw in the sunflower seeds & finely chopped spring onions
Stir in creme fraiche


Top with thinly sliced celery
 
I served it with pittas stuffed with mayo-crayfish tails and lettuce flavoured with chilli dipping sauce. It was supposed ot be a marie-rose dressing, but I had had run out of ketchup and the chilli sauce was close in colour* but I used a bit much so they were quite fiery!  

The leftovers were delicious in a wholewheat pitta the next day



* substituting ingredients on the basis of colour is probably not one of my best ideas!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Making it Big... first update....

The lovely Helen over at Moonstruck Creations has thrown down a gauntlet...
I'm joining in with my crazy quilt

As ever, I am not one to shy away from joining in and as I started an odd kind of crazy patchwork quilt type thing back in the summer, I think this will spur me on to get the darn thing finished!

Progress so far...

I have been randomly sewing chopped up scraps of fabric on to a single sheet I picked up in a charity shop on one of my lovely days out with the old stick my lovely mum

 The plan is to gradually fill all the gaps, then I shall be embellishing it with some ribbons and fancy embroidery stitches inspired by Sue at @home and Briony at Crafty Cats Corner

Having seen the soft and comfy looking fluffy rag quilt Kath at Hillside House made recently, I am humming and haa-ing about whether to leave some of my edges fluffy too. (I wonder how many ideas from other blogs I can incorporate in to one project?!)
 

Once all that is done I shall get some wadding/batting from The Spinning Weal. When I have that and a nice soft flannelette sheet for backing I aim to take the whole lot down to The Stitch Academy in Taunton to hire one of their quilting machines to put it all together

I discovered this interesting looking place on a jaunt out with Mum one weekend to a scrumptious craft fair and the girl manning the stall was so lovely I can't wait until I get to the point where I am ready to sew it up. If she is at all representative of the Stitch Academy I know I am in for a good day... she was really helpful, clearly enjoyed quilting and the machines she had on display and was just all round a Jolly Good Egg!

I do realise that there will some sharp intakes of breath from some real quilters out there at my admittedly bizarre method, but I know you won't mind too much really... I do like to experiment... although in this case I ave already realised I am using far more thread that I really need to! Ah well; live and learn! 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Ssh...!

Want to know how to make a secret book?

My advice is don't... it's a pain to do! Oh, you really want to? OK, then, here we go...

1: Find a cheap hardback book; charity shops are often good for this. I picked up a couple of old bonkbusters for 50p each

2: Get some:
    PVA glue
    Gold paint
    Sharp craft knives
    Felt
    Wrapping or scrap-booking paper
    Sheet of plastic (or a piece of cardboard covered in cling film will do)

3: Open the book near the top and slide the plastic sheet between the pages

4: Dilute the PVA glue with an equal amount of water in a cup and paste the closed pages. Keep doing this. A lot

5: Put the book somewhere warm to dry. Weight it down with a heavy object to keep it from warping

6: Once it is dry open it up, measure out an oblong on the bottom pages

7: Using your craft knife; cut around the lines of the olbong. Continue to do this until you reach near the bottom, your entire house is covered in little shards of paper and your wrists ache. Hint - make sure you cut right to the corners as you go down otherwise you'll be left with small lumps of paper that are really hard to cut out

8: Mix up some more PVA/water solution and slap it on all over the cut edges of the pages. Put some more on the outer sides too

9: Repeat step 5   

10: Once the book is dry paint the pages gold all over

11: Dry the book in an open position otherwise the paint will glue it all together and you will get cross 

12: Cut the wrapping paper to fit the front and back  and glue in place

13: Think of an amusing title, print out, cut to size and glue to the spine


14:  Cut 2 pieces of felt to fit the cut out hole; glue one in the hole and one to the top part to create a nice box effect

15: Once this is all dry cover all the outside with PVA/water solution and leave to dry - best to do that in stages so you don't stick the book to anything

16: put some chocolate coins in the secret compartment and give to young child

17: Bask in the glory of being an amazingly cool aunt 






Thursday, 3 January 2013

Patchwork bag

In my stash I have a few upholstery fabric samples that various friends have kindly given me over time

Back in the summer I was playing around with the thicker ones and decided to make a patchwork bag

I started by randomly sewing the samples together until I had an oblong big enough for a bag. Then I rummaged around in my stash and found some strong canvas type fabric that I had received in a bag of fabric from freecyle to use for the lining

A few smaller samples that didn't make it on to the outside of the bag made ideal pockets for my business cards and mobile phone, plus one for a notebook with a pen holder
I had picked up a couple of really cheap curtain tie-backs some time ago from Dunelm Mill that were just right for long straps

I was going to embellish it, inspired by this post by Sue at @home and also by Briony at Crafty Cats Corner - but being my usual impatient self I started using it before I got that far! Must try better next time... oh yes, there will be a next time... after all, there's no such thing as too many handbags!