Sunday, 28 February 2010

Chocolate Fudge Pudding

This is a simple and lovely pudding to make but can also be eaten like a cake too. It was given to me by my Mother in law. I have only made it once but it worked and it does not take long to make.
40g Butter
40g soft dark brown sugar
15g Cocoa powder
2 Tbs single cream
50g walnuts finely chopped (could use something else crunchie if you have a nut allergy)
1). Place all ingredients in a heavy based pan.
Heat gently until boiling, stirring constantly, and boil for 30 seconds.
2). I put the walnuts in a bag and crushed with a rolling pin as chopping them they kept whizzing onto the floor!)
3). Line the base of a sandwich tin 20cm wide. (I used whichever one I had)
4). Pour the mixture into the tin and leave until cold.
2 eggs
125g Caster sugar
125g Butter
125g Self raising flour
1 Tsp baking powder
1). Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat together until well mixed.
2). Place mixture on top of cooled fudge mixture, spread evenly with a palette knife.
3). Bake in a preheated oven 160 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.
4). Leave in the tin for 5 mins.
5). Invert onto a serving plate and peel away the lining paper.
6). Serve hot (or cold) with cream or ice cream (we like custard too)
Easy peasy, it even came out of the tin easily and I was worried that I would have to chisel it out!
Try it, next time I may leave the cream out of the fudge to make it a bit more crispy.
After lunch Sophie and I having another Sunday baking session.
Aprons at the ready............

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Parcel of Kindness

The house of Indigo had many knocks on the door on Friday of which my hubby needed to answer. The postal service was very busy with things for him to take on a business trip to a Boat Show in Ireland this weekend. I had some items turn up for the craft Fayre next Saturday and then there was the above........

What could it be? I opened up the bubble bag very carefully and found some lovely and very unusual tissue paper.
Then a cute hand made label on it from Tiggy! at Twiggypeasticks. Very similar to the chicken juggle bags that I make with the students at school.

Inside was this lovely powder compact! I have a collection which I have been adding to over the past 10+ years and I did blog about it about a year ago. It was so completely out of the blue that it all the more of a surprise. I think that it is made by Stratton because the inside and the back design is similar to other Strattons that I have. The design is very bright and I do not have any other compact like it, no red ones at all.
I have found a spot in the cabinet and shuffled a few around. I like to do that just to disturb the dust a little!
It stands out very nicely from where I am sitting typing this post.

Thank you very much Twiggy for thinking of me and remembering that I collect these items which link to our social history. For wrapping it and packing it, and taking out of your day to take it to the Post office . I have social networks pages and they are surprised that we send items to each other like this. Maybe this is what makes blogger and blogs so different to other online networks. What do you think?

Off to do some baking and make up some more items for next Saturdays Craft Fayre.

Take care all


P.S It is actually sunny here in Cornwall today.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Hi Little Birdie...

"little Birdie" range
Remember the quilt block that I made a few weeks ago? Here is the start on my "Birdie" range of book covers. This is the first and will be listed in my Etsy shop once I have taken some more pictures. I have several more cut out waiting to be made up. I am going to have variations of this idea and slot a special section into the shop for it to. If you prefer to deal with Folksy and would still like one of these covers in the next few weeks then let me know and I will transfer the item there instead.
On 6th March I am taking part in a CraftFayre, the first in two years, and I shall be shutting the shops for that weekend on Friday 5th march. So if you want anything for Mother's Day or Easter then please purchase the item before the 5th. There is a chance (maybe a slim one!) that the item will not be there on Monday 8th March. I have a 50th Birthday party on 6th too so it is going to be a very busy day.
I have been off work this week with abdominal pains. Thought I had simply pulled some stomach muscles but I have been told that I have not. It has been very painful, it hurts now as I type this but I am getting bored of just sitting around. On some tablets to try and see if it is idea A if not then have to think again. Well it has certainly curtailing any housework too, oh what a shame I hear you cry!
Take care all, back tomorrow

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Bag Lady....

hand knitted bag I have been wanting to make this knitted bag for some time. However, the knitted blanket simply had to be completed first. With that done I could know think to the next project.
I found the pattern in "Let's Knit" magazine issue 13. I did have several false starts and I came to the conclusion that the number of cast on stitches was wrong. The pattern asked for 39 yet to get the basket weave pattern to work with the rest of the rows I used 37 instead. I wanted to use what I had already rather than buying new, so I used a super chunky and I had the two sides knitted up in two evenings. Quite good for me.

I decided to line the bag with some cotton that I bought when I visited Craft4crafters in Exeter earlier in the month. I hand stitched the knitted sides together and carefully made a box base. It worked well despite the thickness of the wool. I made the lining to match. The handles I bought years ago. The loop attachment unscrews so that you can slides things onto it. I have had these wooden beads for years, left overs from my degree days, and they fitted perfectly. I also had the right number! I then made two fabric loops which I stitched to the lining before adding the lining to the knitted bag.

The magazine used bamboo handles which I actually find quite difficult to find a decent size. The wooden beads were a good alternative and enabled me to use up some of my stash.

The finished bag is modelled again by my lovely Sophie and I am really pleased with the way the basket weave pattern shows up even though it is cream wool. This may well be my next favourite stitch after Moss stitch. The magazine has a corsage added to embellish it. I think that is does need something and that is now in the pipeline. I am very bad at taking pictures of things that I make and then forgetting to post them here so I have decided to add them as I finish and then if I add to the item I shall re-post any updates. This is my third knitted bag and each one has been different so far.
What do you think?
Sophie has a friend coming round today for a sleep over so best go and make sure all is tidy etc.
Well done to Amy Williams for winning Gold in the Womens Skeleton in Vancouver. I was gripped watching a sport that I had not really heard much of before!
Take care all.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Do you ever get the feeling......

...that you really should not have started something!
On Tuesday Sophie and I decided to spring clean her play house. A friend of hers is coming for a sleep over on Saturday and they often like to use the playhouse, even if it is raining.

Now, when Sophie was given this cooker for her birthday one year it came with about 30 bits and pieces. However, it did not stop there and that year she recieved loads of kitchen and cooking bits and once washed it filled the drainer sink!

It took ages to wipe and dry each piece and Sophie made several trips to the play house it bring it all in-doors.

There was a box with some art stuff in it and her Early Learning Centre cooker with pots and pans etc. it filled to top of the cooker (it was swithced off by the way!).

I think that if it is not in this colourful pile then it has not yet been invented!

It did make a very colourful display. Some odd bits have been thrown away and it was all put back on or in the cooker. The play house is now ready for use! Job done.


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Knitting Triumph!!.....

....well it is for me! Our little knitting group at school have always said that they would like to make a knitted hat. Eventually we managed to narrow it done to a sort of cloche shape that may or may not have a flower or some kind of embellishment on it.
So, my colleague and I set to work looking for one and of course we would need to test it out first.

Here it is being modeled by Sophie but it is the adult pattern. Due to its lacy stitch it stretches for me but still fits Sophie! Now here is the good bit....I not only followed the pattern first time without any hitches , but I also made this hat in about an hour!!

I found the pattern by googling cloche hat. There is a down loadable pattern but it does not have the link on it so I can not write it here and I have only just spotted that piece of info (blast). I will add it here later if I can find it.

The hat needed a little extra and it actually took me longer to crochet the flower than it did to knit the hat or maybe it was because I was too busy watching Pirates of the Caribbean! I have attached it with a brooch back for now but I may stitch it on.

So for now I shall add the instructions:

Needles: US 11 / UK 8

I used a super chunky wool. Anything of that thickness really.

Cast on 42 sts.

Row 1: Yarn over, k2tog. Start each row by taking the yarn over the needle to maintain the 42 stitches.

Repeat for 19 rows or until you get the length/fit you want.

Next row: k2tog this row then knit the last stitch.

Next Row: k2tog this row.

Next row: k2tog until the last stitch and knit this.

Cast off as normal but then cut the wool and weave the cast off wool back through the stitches and pull to gather the top together. Thread this wool through a wool needle and stitch up the side of the hat.

You can crochet an edging around the hat, but I decided to just leave this as it was. I did then make the crochet flower. I have several since completing the hat so that I can change then around.

I shall certainly be making some more of these once I have been to the wool shop.

I now have a lacy scarf in my sights. May be 2010 will be my knitting year!


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Recycled Duvet -OPAM 2010 - February Finishes

The Valentine Cards featured on a previous post were one of my February finishes as were these Pyjama trousers.....

I used this pattern again as the wrap around skirt in the past and it went together really easily and my students wanted to make these trousers too.

I managed to find a duvet with an all over pattern last October when I went to visit my sister in law.

The main problem with commercial patterns is that the sizing's are very general and do not always fit very well. If you embark on a project knowing this then you will not be disappointed. This syle is so simple it should not cause a problem and the skirts have darts which enabled me to get a more personalised fit.
I have PJ trousers which range from a size 10 to others being a 14. I did make a toile of this pattern before making these which may seem a bit daft for a recycling project but I can keep that toile at work for next year. So I made a size 12 this time and it is a little generous but for this type of garment I think it is suitable.
The waistband has been elasticated and a fake tie has been stitched to the centre front. I needed to adapt this pattern to work with a group in a classroom.

They fit well over the bottom and I did have to take the legs up quite a bit but as the legs are pretty straight that did not cause a problem when getting it to lie flat for sewing. I over-locked the hem edge first then just turned them up 1.5cm.

I would definitely make more of these and next time I think some cotton fabric to make some casual trousers for the summer. I do not like and I am too old for hipster trousers so these will do me just fine.

Since finishing these I have found yet another nice duvet cover and pillow cases. I think that I shall think of another use for those. This really has been a very good pattern and the long wrap around skirt may well feature later in the year.

Any final interest in the ATC swap ladies? Tomorrow is the sign up deadline and I am two short still to make it go ahead.

Take care all.

Will post my knitting project tomorrow as I have yet to upload the pictures. I am secretly really pleased with it and my hubby was quite impressed too.


Monday, 15 February 2010

Cath Kidston - Spring time bag

A new addition to my Etsy shop is this floral bag which I finished just before the start of the new year. There are other colourways to this in both my Folksy and Etsy shop. It is my own design and pattern and I really enjoy making these. Free shipping for all in the UK for this item and other bags featured on Etsy. If you would like one for Mother's Day on Folksy then I will extend that offer to bags featured there as well.

The strap can be adjusted by sliding the strap through the ring and re-positioning the knot. So it can be used across the body or as a shorter shoulder bag or a handbag. I like to be able to adjust the strap and make a feature of the fact too. Lovely Cath Kidston fabric and linen look cotton were used to make this......................

I also like having external pockets for finding things quickly such as my keys, mobile etc. This pocket goes the full length and width of the bag too.

I have made several of these bags and no two are the same. My rebellion against mass production and I do not think that I am alone in thinking that one of a kind handmade is better, especially when it comes to presents. Well, off to do some sewing with Sophie.

I have a knitting tale to post tomorrow.

See you then.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine's Day.
I have made Valentine Day cards to take to work for the past few years and they have been very popular. So last Sunday I sat down for a couple of hours and made the following. It is mainly the fact that i am sat down, relaxing and playing with felt and blanket fabric which is the main aim of this. Colleagues at work also get a card that is much nicer than shop bought. I am gradually converting them to handmade you see.

I also like using square cards, they seem to work better proportionally.

I did come up with an idea and then just made variations of it to create a batch run. Tried to make some slightly plainer for the men in our lives!

I gave hubby the dark blue one on left. Next on the cards (sorry no pun intended, but it worked didn't it?) are some Mother's Day cards. I skipped this last year and then was asked had I made any, typical, so this year I will make a few and take them in. I have also cut out some Easter items for this year which I shall be listing in my Folksy shop. I was very busy with these items last year and there will also be a couple of new designs to add to the range. More on that nearer the time.

I hope you all have a great day what you have planned.

Many thanks again for the lovely comments that are still being added to my Kitchen post. The highest number of responses that I have had since I started my blog. My hubby is really chuffed by what you have all said.

I now only need 4 more people to join in the ATC swap. remember, you only need one idea and make it 6 times and it can be on any theme. I need to know by Wednesday at the latest. Otherwise, I may have to call it off as I do not how to get around the numbers bit. Let me know. here is a link where you can see the type of thing you could make or though they could be much simpler. Mine will be.

Creative Swaps.

Go on, be brave.

Take care and have a great day.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

ATC Swap...

I am looking for 6 people to take part in an ATC swap (Artists trading Cards) The details have been passed on to me by a friend who emigrated to Australia.
The Rules: Sent to me in a letter.
"You only need send out 6 ATCs to get loads back. This swap scheme is an effort to exchange ATCs in an expanding universe of creators.
Make and mail an ATC to each person on the list below. (List to be supplied to swappers only). Then remove the top name and add your name to the bottom of the list.
ATCs should measure 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Use any media - textiles, threads, paint, plastics, mixed media etc, etc. The choice of subject is yours, or you may prefer an abstract or patterned design. There are no rules except the size. Put your name and address on the back of each card."
So, if you would like to take part in this then please leave a comment and a way of getting in contact with you so that I can then pass the rest of the details on to you. I really need to contact via email so that I can try and send you pictures of some examples produced by those on the list already.
These should be quite quick to make and you could make 6 all the same as they are going to different people.
I am on half term this week so I would really like to get this organised pretty quickly. Do not worry if you have never made these before, neither have I!!
So I shall say that the deadline for sign up will be next Wednesday 17th February, or as soon as I have the 6 names taking part whichever happens first.
So the first 6 comments saying "Yes" but I will have a back up list too.
It would be nice if you could blog about the cards and link back to this blog as part of the swap.
Many thanks for the lots of lovely comments about our kitchen, my hubby is practically blushing with pride and embarrassment!
Any questions about the above just email me, see profile section.
Take care all.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Kitchen Update - The final instalment...

Our kitchen is mainly white and to avoid a clinical look we looked around and the colour red started to creep into the conversation. We have been delighted with our oven and the other day we had it all on to cook dinner, bread rolls etc and it must have been cheaper in the long run as before I would have had to have had the oven on for longer to get it all done. The items such as buns have turned out better and I am convinced the last oven was not right because I could always get good results before we moved to our present house.
So, getting back to the question of a bit of colour in the kitchen. We did not want a steel oven back splash as it looks a little cold and we did see some tiles that we liked but were not sure if it was too much.
After much thought and the knowledge that we could take them back if we changed our minds we decided on these................

As usual the picture maybe does not do them justice, but we found them in B&Q for about £6.99 each. Better value than the alternative in a specialist tile shop and perhaps not as nice. I am not a floral person when it comes to walls but it is a feature and it does seems to work. The other tiles by the sink etc will be plain white, so this is our feature wall.

Our old kitchen had this awful corner carousel thing and it was a pain to keep clean, would not rotate properly and it went so far back that I was convinced that whilst reaching in for a saucepan I would one day find myself in Narnia! So the above IKEA version was a must have and it went together sooooo easily. Light-weight but strong, it pulls out so I can reach everything and the way it is made makes it much easier to keep clean. A winner with us.

We decided to swap cupboards for their extra deep drawers ans it is actually easier to see everything and helps you to keep them tidier. So three of them were fitted in this section of the kitchen. Again, very easy to put together. No messy glue, dowels etc.

The corner area under the sink is always a tricky area so this time we bought some of IKEA's recycling buckets, which are quite tall but slender to pop round to the right but can be easily got to for things that are needed but not used every day. Then directly in the cupboard we decided on their black recycling bucket and two level grey one for every day items and the cat food etc on the second level. So far this has worked very well and stops things increasing and getting out of hand. I had to be quite ruthless when putting the kitchen back together and during the building session it is surprising just how little you do actually need to get by each day. A friend of mine has just bought her own house and we are passing any good unwanted items onto her.

At the moment we have a half size dishwasher (pre-sophie stage) and one day it will need changing. So with this in mind we have planned in for this. So at present that extra space is being filled with these little cubby holes. It has been fitted but can be removed if needed. Once, IKEA used to sell drawers to go into the gaps but sadly they do not do them any more to fit. Luckily these fabric boxes did fit, I could have made some otherwise. So we have one each plus one for bill, scissors, paper etc.

Before - central

Central - after.

Before - left-

After - left.

Before - right

After- right.

Just the white titling and switches to do in the next couple of weeks then it will have taken about 6 months to transform our kitchen

Hubby was the sole builder of this kitchen, what do you think?


Monday, 8 February 2010

Sunshine Award for you.

I was given this a couple of weeks ago and it has taken a while to get all of the links together to
put on this post. (It did not help when I lost the bit of paper that I had written them on). I would like to thank Twiggypeasticks for passing it on to me. it is a very lovely and bright button and would look very good on any blog.

However, after the chilly nip that was in the air today I am notso sure that spring is quite here yet, and the possibility of snow at the end of the week?
I am meant to pass the award on so here is the list. I have included some of my new found followers and blog friends here too:
Julia B: Marmaladekiss
Maria: Wonderwomen
Angela: Fenland Textiles
Molly: Crocheting my Worsted
Barbara: Moore whimsies
Tatyana: Mouse House
Julia: Primrose Corner

Please accept the above eye-catching button with my good wishes and all the best to all of my visitors, both those who comment and those who pass through.
Take care all

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Blog Refurbishment 2

Well, the response to the 'new look' has been positive so far. I am still going to live with it for a bit and see.
I thought that you might like to know where I got the ideas and guidance from:
Take a look, it is easy but I did need to print off the intsructions to make the changes as there was too much to try and remember in my head.
Off to The Eden Project today for a wander round and I think that I shall take my camera as well.
Enjoy the day.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Blog Refurbishment

Still here, just having a little play with the blog layout etc.
Nearly there but my banner is still too big and I do not seem to be able to make it any thinner. I may need to re-do the picture.
Back soon.
Updated at 4.20pm:
Well, I am going to live with this for a few days and see. I have had to remove my Indigo Blue banner as I can not get it to fit and is too over powering. Maybe just the title is enough. Might have a play with the fonts styles if I can.
What do you think? I need a change and it is very easy to just stick with what you have. It is also a bit scary to change it in case it looks a little rubbish.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Blue WOW Bag

Took quite a while to make this bag but I enjoyed every minute if it. Blue has become my favourite colour over the years. I used lovely thick Sirdar WOW wool which is no longer available, which is such a pity as it is great to knit with and is such a lovely deep blue. Darker than the picture suggests even though it was taken outside, wierd that.

Making an organza corsage with a brooch back added to the fun and I think finished of the design. It is attached using a brooch pin so it can be removed and put on a coat if you wish.

I do not like Nylon lining, even for clothes, I much prefer cotton. So this bag is lined with dark blue cotton. The bag is very spacious inside and the lining will support the contents so that the knitted fabric will not be stretched and mis-shapened.

May be one of the draw backs with this wool was that it was quite expensive at the time but certainly well worth it and it is such as lovely texture to work with.

It has just been added to my Etsy shop and if you live in the UK it could just get to you by Valentines Day, special occasion or a treat for yourself.. Why am I am not keeping it? Well, the aim part for me is the fun in making something to my own design and my hubby would say have I have enough bags already, bless him. In fact I have already started another one! Cream this time.

Hope you have a great weekend. As for me I intend to try and get some sleep and hope that my developing cold like symptoms are just my imagination! Here's hoping anyway.

Take care all xx

PS Many thanks for your comments on the last post. Lovely to read and some new followers too. On my way to gaining a 100 fancy that.


Thursday, 4 February 2010

Felt Birthday Book

I has been a little while since I made a small felt book cover and my sister's birthday gave me a good reason to make another. The idea being that it could be used for anything including shopping lists or making notes at work.

I went back to my funky flowers design and added hand embroidery. I used metal brads to go in the middle of the flowers to add a little bit of texture.

I like to add a bit of interest inside the cover as well so here I added some green leaves and more hand embroidery. Blanket stitch is also a favourite and it also adds some strength to the edges.

I do have several of these already cut out so this has given me the push to finish them. I shall put them on my Folksy shop ready for Easter.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Spring Surprise Swap.

I have signed up for my first swap of 2010, over at Dutch Blue.
I have just heard that my swap partner is to be Tatyana who lives in Moscow Russia!! How exciting is that?
I now need to make a pretty spring item that is soooo nice that I want to keep it for myself. i have already been to the Post Office to ask about postage issues and it will hopefully not cost any more than sending to Australia. I also need to send two pretty fabrics a note etc.
So, any ideas?
Glad half-term is coming up as this week has been a bit hectic with hubby working away so not much in the way of stitching being done here. People think that teachers work from 9am to 3pm and that is it, if only. But we have to juggle our lives too and also our own children. I have had to make special arrangements with work to be able to take her to school because hers and mine start and finish at exactly the same times. Then of course after school meetings and the evening parents evenings that go beyond the after school club sessions. Called in a few favours this week as I needed to be in three places at the same time today. Sophie's school, my tutor group and start an exam off at the same time. Then today I had to quickly collect her then dash back with her to meet a parent. We both eventually got back gone 5 armed with fish and chips from the chippy. Sophie, bless her has been so good about it all, a real star.
Sophie and I did manage to make something but I need to get the camera out for that so I shall post that tomorrow. However, it has been rather nice being just Sophie and me. Not done that since she was a baby. It has been fun to have a little lady to talk to and you now what the best bit was? (Even if she has had a stinking cold all week and nits......again, poor thing.) When she said at dinner on Monday, " It has been a very nice change having you take me to school and pick me up at home time" Well...., how chuffed do you think I am then?? Very chuffed indeed.
My Year 10 group took an exam today based on the theme of Sustainable Design and they and myself are very hopeful. The paper was reasonable and we had covered all of the contents. One tricky question, but still we are hopeful. Should know the result in March. Fingers crossed.
Take care
(Still chuffed, you know what? I love being a Mummy!)
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