Friday, 22 February 2013

Coal becomes Shale...

So that cake of yarn I showed you ages ago, finally it has been turned into this...

Ta Dah!

Pattern Details:
Plain and Simple Pullover by Veera Valimaki

Medium size with Wendy Mode DK in Shale (not the 4ply the pattern called for but it got gauge beautifully for me).

Link to my Ravelry Project Page
Link to Ravelry Pattern Page

and the best news? The pattern is FREE!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

T-shirt recycle

As you know I'm a stay at home mum and thought it was about time I made use of my Textiles GCSE to help contribute to the household budget (or rather I wanted to save on spend!).

I have two young boys, the eldest turns 5 this year and the youngest is just 3 - they were born in different seasons so whilst hand me downs do work, I always find myself shelling out to add to the youngest more than I would like to. And of course the eldest is growing like a weed all the time!

Soooo, with the huge internet resource out there I decided to take inspiration and see what I could come up with.

Today, a T-shirt recycle, littlest man has just outgrown a lot of his winter tee's and is coming into the handed down summer items (albeit a lot of them are a bit loose on him - in particular trousers and shorts) but the eldest still fits these too so I can't pinch from him too much just yet.

In order to save buying them both new items I took a plain tee that neither would really wear and had come from a pack of 3, cut out the design from an old winter tee that was very much adored and worn constantly and added it to the summer short sleeve to make a snazzy new top....

I should add finally - he is wearing a second long sleeve Tee underneath as despite it being beautifully sunny today it is still too cold for bare little arms.

Monday, 18 February 2013

The birthday train is in town

and it's for me this time, thought I would share my birthday cake creation. I was going to ask for a bought cake but many are a bit stingy on the jam - I decided therefore to make my own and get the Jam/Buttercream ratio to my liking. Here's the outcome, may even share a cut slice pic when we've cut it later x

Many happy returns to John Travolta and my favourite but perhaps less well known, TV's Biggest Loser personal trainer Jillian Michaels amongst of course many others too!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentines...

The fabric painting continues, below with another craft stamp I had in my stash of papercrafts and above with a heart shape doily acting as a stencil.

Guess I'll wear the heart one in honour of saint Valentine today.

Hope yours is full of love and joy.

I'll share my gift to DH tomorrow (after he's had it xx)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Jersey Scarf / Cowl...

Can you tell we're on half-term at the moment??? Two blog posts in a week and both makes!

I have seen a lot of printing and fabric paining around the web recently and I thought I'd join in. I fancied making myself a long cowl from a soft jersey fabric so off to e-bay for a cotton t-shirt fabric and a pot of silver fabric paint.

I used the 60" width of my fabric to make the length of the scarf and cut it to 50cm wide. Then I put a thin layer of paint on a paper plate and used a craft stamp of a postage mark to cover the fabric in a random fashion

This took ages to dry and I then ironed the paint with a teatowel on top to seal it.

Finally I stitched the length of the cowl wrong sides together, turned it to right side and sewed the short ends together to make my loop - here are the results:

Looking back at the pictures I wish I'd taken them after my 10 mile run when I was a bit more colourful and not against a grey background, boy I look washed out!!!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Spiced Orange Cookies...

 How do you like your cookies, a couple of bites or a treat that lasts a few moments longer? I've adapted my own recipe from several others over the years and thought you may like to enjoy them too. These soft, sweet cookies are simple to make and as they use cup measures are great for the children to join in and help out too.

First decide if you want to make a regular batch (approx 30 smaller cookies) or a giant batch (50-60 smaller cookies), you then select your cup size.

Childs Cup - smaller batch
Mug - giant batch

Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees, 170 fan

Line baking trays (I love the silicone sheets that you can get from the foil section of the supermarket - just add them to the washing up bowl afterwards and they're all set to go again)

Ingredients for melting in a microwave safe bowl, melt on high for a minute then stir until smooth

2 cups Caster or Golden Caster Sugar
1 1/2 cups Butter
1/2 cup Syrup (I like to use Treacle too)

Ingredients to add to melted mix (I use the same bowl, yay no extra washing up)

1 or 2 Large Eggs (2 if making a giant batch)
5 cups Self Raising Flour (I have used both white or wholemeal to great results)
2 teaspoons Mixed Spice (double if using mug)
2 drops Orange Essence (double if using mug)

Add all the dry ingredients - this is a good point to add dried fruit/choc drops etc if you want to, 1 of your measuring cups would be plenty.

Give it all a good stir and it should come together to a sticky dough, you don't have to wait for the mixture to chill before using.

Dollop 12 teaspoons / 6 tablespoons of mixture onto your lined tray. Don't be tempted to do more as they will spread quite a lot in the oven.

Bake them for 5 or 7 minutes respectively, they should only just be turning golden brown and nice and puffed up. If they stay in for much longer, you'll have a crunchy biscuit instead of a gooey cookie.

Within a couple of minutes they will have sunken and look like the picture below - wait til they're completely cool to transfer to an airtight container where they keep for at least a week.
Enjoy x