Monday, 5 November 2012

Practise makes perfect . . . . well almost

My dear friend Annie started crocheting about 2 years ago, 
made me a beautiful scarf last Christmas and after much encouragement help to teach me some basics.  

After much trial and error I found out how to make a granny square, then crocheted them together with a thick blue edging and finally made a shell pattern on the outside.  The final item is a blanket for my youngest daughter.  

And I am well chuffed!!

So thanks Annie for all your help, and thank you to my husband who got a bit fed up with me and my hook, all the time in my comfy red chair.

Something hopefully my daughter will keep for a long time and maybe pass it to her children?  

Oh and luckily my daughter doesn't like it . . . she loves it!!

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Apple Corer/Slicer/Peeler but not in that order.

Anyone reading this who already has such a marvellous device I apologise for delivering such boring material.  To the rest of you who may have never heard of such a device please read on.  And if you have apple trees buy one!!

Secure the device to the counter top with its suction cup.
1. Stab apple core into prongs 

2.  Turn handle.
3. Et VoilĂ 

The apple is peeled, cored and sliced all at once.

OK so I had to use a knife on the one shown below to get a little of the extra peel off it. 

But a Dozen apple in a dozen minutes.  This is a must.

And . . . . . if you unscrew the corer & slicer . . .  you can use it for peeling potatoes.

A Christmas present for the practical.

The is my second one.  The first I bought in Canada over  20 years ago, the second is just as good and hopefully will last for years to come.

If you have any great gadgets please let me know. . . . ideas for presents etc are always welcomed.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bramble Jelly and the left overs

Long time, no see. . . . guess life got a bit busy and blog seemed to stop.  But I'm back for a bit and will try to post regularly.  That's a try not a promise.

So Jelly Making.  We have loads of blackberries so have picked them all.  Bag after bag after bag.  Rinsed, in the freezer and ready for jelly.  

Made the jelly using a BBC recipe found here BBC Bramble Jelly  and had all the rubbish from the jelly left sitting in my jelly bag.  

HATE WASTE . . . so I searched  for ideas and here it is.

Bramble Fruit Leather

I simply added sugar to the waste fruit.  Tasted it.
Strained it through a small sieve.
Spread evenly and thinly on to greaseproof paper.

And baked, and baked and baked in a low oven  (100 C ) for about a day.

Then cooled and cut and rolled.


Couldn't take any pictures of the finished leather, children ate it all before I remembered.

Worth the effort ( though it wasn't exactly hard) and wow, such intensity of flavour, healthy and waste from the brambles really minuscule.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

flight of the home girl

I am going away. 

Leaving my little village in Devon, England and taking a 4 night break in New York. 

The two girls are going down the hill to granny and grandads.  And we are leaving for a quick break.  Sadly we won't be there for Thanksgiving, (flights etc get really expensive) but we hope to enjoy the US warmth and hospitality.

I used to live in Victoria, BC, Canada, and have a love of all things North American.  My husband, on the other hand is not too sure.  Having spend many hols on the West Coast it will be lovely to see another part of the US.  Any tips or ideas about NY would be most welcomed.

See you soon.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

sewing pictures again

As some have you who have popped into this blog may have seen that I have had a go at sewing pictures.

Thanks to Poppy Cottage or should I say Puppy Cottage who passed on a suggestion ( marmalade rose), hours of trawling blog land and clip art,  I have come up with a few of my own. 

I have a few more VW ones to make for a little craft fayre at my friends house this weekend, and then I shall have run out of frames. 

Have a look at three red apples for some amazing machine art.  I am so envious of her talent and imagination. 

It is sew nice to be sewing and  constantly learning more about my machine and what it can do.  The one thing that irritates me though is having to change feet.  I sew with a normal foot or walking foot, then keep switching to a darning foot which is better for the pictures. 

My screwdriver is always at the ready.

Oh what a pain life can be . . .

Thanks for looking


Sunday, 31 October 2010

tea towels - a source of inspiration

So, this is what happened.  We went shopping (the family including husband) and saw these 5 lovely tea towels. 

Thick cotton, pastel colours and thought they would look lovely in our newish kitchen. 

But then I realized that I hadn't much fabric for baby bunting so I used it.

Cut out the triangles,

Sewed them together

Clipped the point

Turned inside out

and ironed flat.

Managed to cut and make a total of 30 double sided triangles.

This equates to 2 lots of 3.5m bunting.

The fabric weight is fantastic.

The fabric is very washable.

The colours are just perfect for a baby's room.

So my hint today is next time you go shopping, take a look at tea towels, they are often textured, the colours can be great and they are often really really really inexpensive. 

If you have used tea towels in another way ( other than for drying dishes etc ) then please share with me.  Ideas are always welcomed.

Thanks for looking

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Should I sell or should I keep ?

 Should I sell or should I keep ?

Mum found this amazing material for me, just £1.00 for approx 2 metres.  Its a heavy fabric with red/maroon  furry bits, the beige is grainy in texture.  You can see I like material by texture and look, couldn't give you the name of it.   Couldn't believe my luck, so I made a bag, just a simple one with a liner ( that's so the seems are not visable). 

Its not quite finished as it needs a button and a button hole, then a quick whizz around the top edge to finish it off.  But I am soo excited by it . . . .  ( gosh I am also sad to be sooo sooo happy - get a life Sara !!)

I love it, the only problem now is that I want it. 

It fits across the body so comfortably. . .  I think I really made it for me . . . and although I have lots of material left ( this was going to be for cushion) I could make another bag . . . but that too I should really keep for the stall.
Am I mumbling on  . . . . 

So should I put it in the cupboard and use it for my stall on the green in the summer, or should I keep it ?

All thoughts welcomed.


Monday, 11 October 2010

Strawberries & Free pattern

I once said my blog in not about selling, I don't do etsy nor folksy, the selling I do at the Little Village craft fair in the summer and an occasional one in the winter with my friend Nicolette.  Sharing is something I think important in life.  Be it worries, receipies, heartaches, sewing tips, money problems . . . anything can be shared, well almost ! 

And so today I share my favourite knitting pattern for strawberries.  Very very easy ( I can't really knit) and quick to make . . . I know this should have been shared in the summer but I didn't so its happening now.  Give it a go, and all the best.

Cast on 6 sts using a red yarn
row 1  *inc 1, k1, rep from * to end of row (9sts)
row 2   Purl
row 3  *inc 1, k2 rep from * to end of row (12sts)
row 4   Purl
row 5  *inc 1, k3 rep from * to end of row (15sts)

row 6   Purl
row 7  *inc 1, k4 rep from * to end of row (18sts)
row 8   Purl
row 9  *inc 1, k2 rep from * to end of row (24sts)
row 10  Purl
row 11  *inc 1, k3 rep from * to end of row (30 sts)
row 12 With green yarn P1 st, with red yarn P4 sts, repeat pattern until end of row
row 13  Knit using green yarn before and after every previous green stitch, continue using red yarn.
row 14  Purl row in green yarn
row 15 *k2tog, K3 from * to end of row (24 sts)
row 16  K2tog across the row (12 sts)
row 17  K2tog across the row (6 sts)
row 18  K2tog across the row (3 sts)
contine onthese 3 sts for 3 more rows.
Cast Off

Options: with yellow yarn sew some V shapes for seeds. 

Then sew half way up the seam then stuff with some wadding and slip stitch the rest of the seam.

If you don't fancy these then take a look at the knitted  EYE BALLS.  I shall be trying these soon :)

Link Party

Hopefully this will be a Monday thing. Please feel free to link up your makes. I"m not fussed about you taking a button and  am always happy for you to comment on what you see.  I'd prefer no links too etsy, folksy etc but would welcome the genuine made it myself links from those of you out there who want to share your fantastic ideas. So link up and get this party going. 

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Halloween and my sewing machine . . .

So I've continued with the sewing and come up with this, first time for machine writing and have discovered that I need to practice my joined up writing on paper before I have another go on the machine. 
However, I am trying, and as my husband would say I am very trying. 

Anyway went into my local art gallery in Teignmouth and came upon this Poppy Treffrey, I just love her work.  Hope you do to.

Mega thanks to handmade by annabelle who kindly linked up.  A great poncho which I know my daugthers would love.  However I still cannot crochet.  Am trying to learn but struggling with my granny squares.  I will get there.

Link Party
So this hopefully will be a Monday thing.  Please feel free to link up your makes. I don't have a working button yet, and it may take me some time to work out what to do.  But if you made it yourself please link up every monday.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

2nd attempt - the cottage

the right side


Well if you read my last blog you will know I am drifting into machine applique / embroidery.  So after a kind prompt from Poppy Cottage who directed me to a lovely tutorial from MarmaladeRose, I had a quick, yet undisturbed 15 minutes of trawling the internet for ideas and inspiration and decided to have a go at the popular 'cottage'. 

I even like the wrong side.
the wrong side

flowers by the door

Then I snuck off to the back bedroom, cut, ironed ( my scraps are really scrappy), then sewed my  version.  Only thing I changed was instead of using an unpicker for holding down the fabric, I used my extra long, super-duper pins ( I won them from The Ribbon Girl). 


Any more useful links you can share or ideas please let me know.  I am ready to learn.

I will keep snatching moments and hopefully remember to blog some of the fantastic sewing creations out there.