Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2015

Happy Earth Day and welcome to My Earth Day Chocolate Biscuit Cake!  Global warming caused some melting and icecap displacement… apparently, melting ice comes to resemble custard, did you know?! Lol. I posted the recipe just a short while ago. Simplicity itself and no baking.

The first slice…

Followed by a few more – not for me or Himself alone but some for friends as well.

Well, the cake is just gorgeous. It does look more like a Christmas Pudding than our blue planet … but  guess what I’ll be making come Christmas? I also have a Christmas Tree shaped tin for baking… well, I can see that being used for a chockie bikkie cake… and for a Crimble log…. roll the mixture in cling flim and foil… Oh Yes…..

Putting my fat feet up for a couple of days

April 21st, 2015

Fat Feet

Just had to post these cute big  fat slippers I got at the weekend. They are the the slouchiest, smeggiest, comfiest bit of kit for my feet. All cotton and perfect for lounging around in. HE thinks they look like oven gloves. I think they’re dead cute and am loving them. I took the top picture myself looking down at my feet then rotated the image 180° to give you a different perspective on them.

Hello! What’s my Christmas Pudding mold doing out in April???

Gaia

And it’s lined with clingfilm… hmmm what’s happening here?

I’ll give you a big clue. It IS edible (OMG, is it?!) and it’s Earth Day tomorrow…… sure you can guess now.

Will be popping out for some white chocolate to melt some over the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ trying to keep them poles apart…. (bigger clue for the hard of thinking’ here – not being judgemental just keeping it light for a smile or possible amusement).

Final touches will be to print a logo or flag, if I can find a suitable image for Gaia or Gaea, depending on how you prefer to spell it.  If I find one, will print and glue it to a cocktail stick then pop it on top.

Just in case you don’t know, Gaia was a Greek goddess and the birth mother of our beautiful planet, in fact, (well, ahem, you know what I mean), not only gave birth to mother Earth but the whole of the universe. She was a very busy lady.

Anyway, whatever you do tomorrow, if you’re not actually celebrating Earth Day at least send our planet some love! It could do with it.

A card

The first card I’ve made since Christmas. I find card making a real chore and over-complicate them by designing the middle first – usually creating a pop-up just so I can use the Cougar and possibly show off a little bit. That’s time consuming. It’s laborious in that pop-up design can be fairly iterative in that it takes a few cutting outs and tweaks before it’s ready to go. Not forgetting problems with the carrier sheet – too sticky, not sticky enough… it can become very (s)wearing.

Then I think about the front… by that time I’m bored silly with the bloody thing. Done the hard bit. BUT the biggest problem is then that I haven’t made a standard size and have to make a bloody silly envelope to put the damn thing in. Bleh.

Yesterday was the crisis of realisation. It was the day of the birthday. Do I kick the hephalump slippers off and trundle myself off to the shops to buy one? Or just make one?

I made one. This time I got smart and started with the envelope size! Ya-Ha! After that, the rest was a breeze. loved watercolouring. Loved printing text on a path to personalise the greeting inside (font is Peach Sundress – free from Da Font if you’re interested). It was a pleasure to do. Ahh.

Inside the card:

Well, that’s all folks, till next time. Be good and play nicely.

Love Bunnies

April 16th, 2015

Appliquéd Cushion Cover

Hello again. Nice to see the gardens coming to life with beautiful bursts of colour – daffodils, magnolia trees…. lovely. Easter has been and gone but I’m still having a crush on all things bunny as you can see from the  cushion cover I made from some lovely soft woolen fabric. All Bondawebbed then stitched down. The eyes are French Knots and the tails are pom-poms.  This was my first and measures some 22in x 13in but am planning another and making a larger one so long as I can get a standard cushion filler for the size.

 

Tablet Case

I also made another tablet case for Himself. The fabric is one of my absolute favourites and I’ve been keeping it safe for some 8 years or so! I would have used it sooner but haven’t been able to find it since I bought it all those years ago and wanted it to be special. As Himself  loves cats as much, if not more, than I do, and loved the material I decided he was worth it!

Heart Garland

Also been making some lovely linen hearts dotted with French Knots for decoration. I’m going to string them together with beads in between for a large willow heart like the one I posted some time ago: here. I have two and wanted some fresh, spring colours to brighten up the kitchen.

Here they are, lined up like pretty maids all in a row.

Two more – these are bigger versions for a different project. I like the way the linen distorts for being stuffed and makes for a quirky, folksy effect.

And a few together in a basket to sit in the sewing room and create a splash of colour.

Sew the things you love

I was asked at the weekend to take up a pair of jeans and use the original seams. Now, I have done it before and can do it but I don’t enjoy it. I will do it for Himself and my boys and their partners but beyond close family I really can’t be arsed.  Nobody wants to pay proper money – all expect mate rates yet it takes time, is boring and not what I learned to sew to do. It’s  not about making money anyway.

I love my sewing time and have to make space for it in  my life. I found a passion in learning to sew after being afraid to do it since I was young. My mum had a ferocious machine that seemed to be ‘On’ or ‘Off’. As soon as my foot touched the pedal it would snatch the material out of my hands and tear away with it like a handbag heist! And so loud it made my ears hurt. And made nests of  the bobbin thread big enough for  crows to live in and then snarl and roar with rage  at having to stop! I don’t ever recall making anything successfully with that devil-possessed machine from hell. All in all, the experience was totally unpleasant and I didn’t touch a machine for many, many years.

Now I have a Janome. It has a range of speeds and is pretty quiet and a wonderful machine to play with. Lots of built-in stitches. It can digitise (if I ever learned to use the software – wish I’d researched what was available at the time and gone with something like Embird). It’s a joy to use. Anyway, learning to sew was a definite decision, a choice I made. It brings me heartfelt  happiness and immense satisfaction.

So I now find I have to turn down requests to turn up, turn down, take in, let out or just make things. My sewing time is special and have learned to say I don’t know how to do the alteration or don’t have the right needles, feet, thread… it’s not like there aren’t any places they can go to for dressmaking and alterations – it’s just the assumption that I can do it almost there and then and for next to nothing.

And that’s another thing, sewing costs money. It isn’t cheaper than buying from the stores. Who can compete with Penneys? For those dressmakers and seamstresses, making clothes is something they can do to fit them perfectly and be like nothing in the shops. And, if not their profession, is their particular passion.

I prefer to sew the things that give me joy and buy everything else. I ask myself now if I really want to sew something just because I can or do I really want to. There are ethnic clothes that I really like that I can’t find in the shops so, yes, I’ll make them. But do I want to make trousers and shirts? Heck, No! I want to make pretty things and unusual things and things that make me happy. So, my Love Bunnies do it for me. And the tablet cases. As will the spring heart garland. As does making things from the heart for the people around me I care about and who appreciate having something made just for them. I make things with a happy heart and keep my sewing special.

Little Pickers – be warned!

April 9th, 2015

I made a couple of these over Easter. OMG. Talk about death by chocolate. There’s no little of what you fancy does you good about these cakes – though as they don’t ever get to see an oven, let alone bake in one, they aren’t cakes in the true meaning of the word. I think they’re what are called Tiffins in England. They’re ‘done’ in the fridge.

This is my favourite recipe but you can change it around with lots of things to suit yourself. Let out your corsets and stays,  this is for all of you with Chocolate G spots:

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Ingredients

110 g  Butter
335 g  Mix of dark and milk chocolate or chocolate with hazelnuts (don’t use cooking chocolate)
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
225 g  Crushed Rich Tea biscuits
75 g    Malteasers or /and Rice Crispies
110 g  Marshmallows chopped up fairly small
Method

1  Line an 8″ square cake tin with a double layer of cling film
2  Blend the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl    doesn’t make contact with the water). Keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted  and blended with the syrup and butter
3  Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the  crushed biscuits, Malteasers and Rice Crispies
4  Stir in the marshmallows
5  Put the mixture into the prepared cake tin and press it down to spread it evenly
6  Pop it in the fridge for a few hours

Decoration is optional but for information this is what I did.  I cut the cake into circles to fill a couple of shallow bowls

I then melted another 200g of chocolate and poured it over the top of the cakes and arranged Cadbury Flakes (broken up into lumps) and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs (it was Easter) and added a picket fence of chocolate fingers around the outside of the cake.

It’s so easy to make and goes down a treat! It’s hard to resist breaking off little bits and having a nibble so remember ‘Little Pickers Wear Big Knickers’! You have been warned!

 Covered Buttons

Am still thrilled with covered buttons and added this lovely to a pin cushion recently.

That’s all for now. Out to the garden for some sunshine. Hope you’re enjoying lovely weather, too.

Byeee

Happy Easter

April 5th, 2015

Some Brandy Cream Liqueur cupcakes tucked away for an Easter treat. Nom!

Recipe for the brandy cream: here

Recipe for lemon and lime cupcakes here

Just replace the lemon and lime with a couple of tablespoons of the liqueur.

Butter icing  – again, replace the lemon/lime with two or three tablespoons of  brandy liqueur

Have a lovely day.

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