Thursday, 31 December 2009

Reflecting on the decade...

2000
18 Years old - Finished and left School, 4 A-level passes and plans to go to university in the autumn

2001
Left the University of the West of England after embarking on a degree in Business Studies with extra modules in German and Human Resources.
Started to work for Cheltenham and Gloucester Plc as a Deeds Administration Clerk

2002
2 promotions later and was now a Senior Accounts Administrator

2003
Promoted to possibly the worst job I've ever had - Team Leader (to this day I still recall how much pain my line manager caused me and how unprepared I was to deal with other peoples problems - even with the desire there to do so)

2004
Process Improvement Leader

2005
First trip to India to the West Coast and Mumbai for 2 stints totalling 6 months. Blanked a lot of this year as on my return things just didn't go right for the rest of the year and this left me very low and battling to regain my sense of self - betrayal will do that to you!

2006
Met my now husband, 3rd trip to India for work this time 3 months and to the East Coast and Kolkatta.
Holiday of a lifetime to Dubai
On the stroke of Midnight 31/12/2006 - DH proposed and I accepted

2007
Now a Mortgage Sales Trainer and travelling the country
January the 8th - I moved into DH house and we began planning our wedding for 07/07/07 (a day short of a full year we would have been together - some say quick but after going through wrong relationships we both knew that this was right)
The sun shone for the only whole day in July for our wedding and probably for the only day that summer - the year of floods.
Honeymoon in Dominican Republic - Puerta Plata, a second holiday of a lifetime (I've been very lucky)
September discovered carrying our first child

2008
18/05/08 Little Man born after an epic 22 hours - epic in many varied ways but not for this blog

2009
April - discovered carrying our second child and as I write only 3 weeks left to go until we will have 2 children - one in each of the first 2 decades of this century

Only written very briefly but still bringing back lots of other significant memories - a surprising amount can happen in 10 years.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Christmas Pics...

Don't we look smart before heading out for the Christmas Do!

Opening up the rest of my stocking - what has Father Christmas delivered?

Wow where did all of these come from?

I haven't sat still since first thing this morning - hence all pictures are blurred!

My Christmas Day outfit and the xylophone I got from N & G

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Festive Fuel...

Christmas wouldn't be christmas without a traditional fruit cake - but who says the icing has to be traditional, I've gone for a more minimal and fun look this year with snowmen preparing for a snowball fight and whizzing down the hill on their toboggan (of course that is if snowmen could move - which I'm sure they will after we've all gone to bed)!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Quilting Bricks...

My colourful brick wall...

A close up just for the heck of it!


My latest make has taken some time in development and then even longer in putting the colours together as I wanted - thanks to DH for patience and colour charting! Also, so that I haven't wasted anything, the back was made from the last large piece of duvet cover left over from making bumps moses basket lining.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Christmas bounty...

Both Little Man and Bump now have a Santa sack I hope they will be proud to say their mummy made; especially in years to come when I truly want them still to be in use and an annual debate to take place over who had the green star or the red star!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas make...


Having been housebound for the last 3 weeks I really wanted to do something for my wonderful colleagues at work and without trawling the shops - so I made some christmas votives and gingerbread shapes to share.

Bits for Bump II...


The set is complete - although I think I would like to add a second pair of bootees that are a bit more sock like and suitable for a boy if that's what bump happens to be!

I think my nesting instinct is rather lax this time around but I feel much better now baby has something new of it's own to come home in.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Bits for bump...


It was about time that I made something completely for bump and it suddenly occurred to me that time is rapidly running away with me on this front too! Thank goodness it will only be small projects that I should be able to whip up in days or even quiet evenings as is the case with these. There will be a matching cardigan and maybe a beanie too if I have enough yarn!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Fluffy Bunnies...


I'm using Sublime Angora Merino in a luvverly chocolate brown to try and make my own cardigan/wrap top - it's all very much in my head at the moment and I'm keeping it quite plain. Will try to post pictures as it develops (unless it all goes horribly wrong).

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Big star...

Well, maybe more of a pentagon but this stash busted 4 balls of rowan holiday that I didn't have a clue what to do with!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Button...

How best to show off this fantastic button as created by my fab dad - why knit it's very own felted bag of course!

You will need::

6mm circular needle (approx 40com cable works well)
6mm straight needle
6mm DPN (smaller is fine if you don't want to go out and buy a bigger set that you'll probably never use again!)
Great button to show off!
Stitch Markers 8 in total
5 Balls Rowan Soft baby or other suitable yarn for felting

Pattern::

Cast on 121 stitches to your circular needle and join by knitting the first and last 2 stitches together - you should now have 120 on the needle, take time to check it's not twisted now as that's a lot of stitches to have to re-cast on if you have to pull it back!

Round 1:: *Knit 30 place stitch marker, repeat from * to end, you should have four markers in situ now (these should be left for later)

Round 2:: Knit into front and back of first stitch and after each stitch marker

Round 3:: Knit

Continue repeating rounds 2 and 3 a further 6 times - you should now have 148 stitches in total.

Continue knitting each round until work measures 26 cms from cast on edge

Shaping for base of bag::
Round 1:: *Knit 18 place stitch marker, knit 19, repeat from * to end
Round 2:: Knit 2 together after and before each stitch marker (reducing number of stitches by 16)
Round 3:: Knit

Continue repeating rows 2 and 3 until you have 52 stitches remaining.

Cut your yarn 20cm long and thread this tail back through your stitches pulling tight and closing hole, fasten off and weave in ends.

Bag flap::

Pick up 30 stitches from cast on edge with 6mm straight needles (between line of 2 increases), continue in stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row - making sure you keep pattern the same as bag right side - smooth on the outside) until flap measures 18cm.

Cast off and weave in ends.

Bag handle:: Using 6mm DPN's cast on 6 stitches and make an I-cord of 40cm (don't worry about back of cord as felting will sort out how loose this looks.

Cast off and sew I cord to bag.

Felting and finishing::
Wash your bag with similar colour items (helps if not a full load) on a 50 degree cycle - don't tumble dry.

Once washed - reshape and use a couple of tea towels or hand towels to form shape - leave to dry

Sew on a fab button to bag flap and use to your hearts content - the benefit of felting is that you don't have to line the bag unless you want to!
This is my own personal pattern and I'm happy for you to reproduce the bag for your own use - please don't distribute the pattern without my permission. Copyright Clobelle 2009

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Christmas crochet...

Courtesy of Attic24 and other contributors, my attempts below at a Christmas Star and Snowflakes. Only practice go's but I love how simple they were to make and quick too!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Bump update...

Both myself and little man haven't been well for a little while - I'm resting up after a nasty chest infection really knocked me for six and Haydn has Chicken Pox (although he has recovered from the poorly stage very quickly - we're just waiting for the spots to dry up completely now). We're both on the mend and improving daily.

Thought it may be nice to record for posterity's sake a pic of the bump as it is today (not sure I'll be brave enough to take any more photos as the weeks go by and the inevitable expansion occurs on a daily basis!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Birthday weekend bonanza...

First up was BIL - for whom I made a light choc sponge and this is intended to look like a bottle top, cake tasted good and I was pleased with overall finish. I also tried out some flooding - which would have gone a lot better had my royal icing been stiffer to start with, however the end result was all that mattered and I'm pleased with that too.

Next up was Mum's birthday cake - a rich fruit cake fully marzipanned and fondant iced - this was great to practise using a tappit to make the letters and the flowers were using my punch. Picture quality could be a lot better, it was very late at night and I should have taken some more when I was rested and in natural daylight!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Number fun...

A little girl turned 3 yesterday and so to celebrate I made a lemon sponge and decorated it in true dotty style. One of the hardest things I've had to cover so far as the fondant didn't want to fall between the legs of the 3!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Baby 2 preview...

It's taken a couple of weeks to put these up but here they are...

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Very vanilla...

More testing of recipes produced the following cupcakes - very light and very vanilla! Also, thought I'd see what edible glitter looked like and was very pleased with the result...

Spooky Sparkly...


Just a couple of catch up pics from Halloween and Bonfire night!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Brummmmmmmmmmm...

How fast will this be eaten? No particular reason for making - just a bit more practise, was so much fun to see it taking shape, I really enjoy these character cakes and feel more comfortable with fondant than I do with piping icing!
To all who have sent e-mails or left comments, thank you it's lovely to think people read this every once in a while. I've a treat for next weekend, we're going to have a 4d scan of bump and I'll post pics just as soon as I can!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Basket after...

Just realised I never posted the completed pictures d'oh!
Into the last trimester now as well so the countdown to using it begins - scary indeed.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

oooOOOOoooOOO!...

Not so scary but my contribution to halloween this year - the usual dense, sticky and gooey choc mud cake - think this recipe can now be classed as achieved and a definite success!

I love how in making grey - my fondant has flecks of the other colours that combine to eventually make black - it makes me think of a strangely clear sky with spooky lights and wisps of cloud floating past!

And my bloodthirsty bats are out in force to hunt their prey - those foolish enough to go trick or treating! We'll be ok as we've got a baby bat coming with us this year!

Friday, 23 October 2009

No apologies...

but here is yet another creation - Choc mud cake base with fondant pigglies on a buttercream pool of mud and straggly grass for snuffling in!
Only made last night to tell my colleagues they are exceptional!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Yummy yummy...

Just another creation for you all to see and another special day coming up (obviously a little artistic license in the colours and exposure above). Rich Chocolate Mud Cake and fondant decorations fit for a very Happy Birthday...
I'm so pleased with the progress i'm making on my cake decorating course - I hope that it's visible in the pics too - maybe I ought to take a course in photography???

Friday, 16 October 2009

Special day...

As I struggle to remember last year let alone 14 years ago - my niece turns 13 shortly and has joined the ranks of teenager. So to commemorate the occasion I created this...

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Ally Pally and all the palava...

A long and tiring journey:

Gloucester to Swindon Station - 40mins
Swindon to Paddington - 60mins
Paddington to Kings Cross - 20mins
Kings Cross to Wood Green - 20mins
Wood Green to Ally Pally - 10mins

2 and a half hours from home not including the time it took to pick up and drop people off too. Was it worth it? I ask myself and the answer isn't a simple yes. Saturday was not the best day to go to a heaving show with possibly the worst catering I have ever come across - a queue of 40mins for a bottle of water is not my idea of fun and yes I should have been more prepared but the NEC and Olympia seemed to manage so well that I took a risk!

A 6mth bump does not appreciate the narrow aisles and lack of seating too much either but the aisles were braved twice; as far too much to see in one go.

When it came to buying anything it was bedlam trying to get anywhere near stands to pick up what you'd seen earlier so I probably saved myself some money!

On a positive note - the exhibitors and vendors were marvellous and finally filled the gap in other shows for knitting accessories - so with some knit pros, a bag, a beautiful shawl pattern (and yarn) and two skeins of the softest most luxurious 100% silk ( hand dyed and hand spun) at a ridiculously low price - I came home, hungry, thirsty, weary but very excited with what I would make next!

New Cake Tin...

It has taken me some time to put these pics up but as we've started our cake decorating course and i'm trying to practise techniques all the time so I've been a bit short of the aforementioned time. Anyway - whilst I try to avoid the rambling I so loathe in blogging - The tin was a dream to work with, needed filling to within an inch of the top (to keep the sponges moist and dense) and took twice as long on a lower heat than most normal sponges would take.
My fondant skills are sadly lacking but I noticed the improvement with each cake I did and the decoration was simply a practise of all sorts of things.
I'm ashamed to say that my first cake was so abismal - wonky and much like the leaning tower of pisa that you will notice a distinct gap in the pictures - I will save that for perhaps a disasters blog one of these days!
I love my new tin and can't wait to try a nice rich fruit cake in it and perhaps Royal Icing would be easier than trying to get fondant to cascade down all the tiers in one go!