Friday, 9 December 2016

Learn to Wrap gifts with Alison

Alison Westwood, a fantastic and talented friend of mine has a gift wrapping course for you at her  workshop in Wales.

She also has a set of taster videos on YouTube so you might want to have a quick idea of what you can learn.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Italian plums in abundance

The long awaited plum  season has finally arrived and this year there is an excellent harvest.  I couldn't resist taking this photograph of a branch of a plum tree so heavily  laden with plums that it had to be supported with a crutch.

 Now all I have to do is make lots of jam. Watch this space.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Felt Heart update

Hope that you liked the felt hearts that I made yesterday. I promised that I would make a white one to go with the other two so that's exactly what I did.

This time though I used a green embroidery thread for the detailing and the sewing. White would have blended into the background and not been worth having at all.

Below are alll three. So very, very cute.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

These felt hearts are just too, too cute

We all live in hope and mine today is that Spring is just around the corner. I feel like this because it has been an awful day. The rain has poured down and we have had to keep the lights on almost all day. So to cheer myself up I decided to make some Spring like hearts to decorate my little tree in the lounge.

These hearts were quick to make as they only used running stitch for the edges of the hearts and the buttons take no time at all to sew on. The extra bits and pieces are embroiderd on. I used some straight stitches, some lazy daisy (fantastic name), and some French knots for texture.

I'm going to make a white one this evening but I shall use green embroidery cotton  for the stitching. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Diet Blues? Diet books that work.

I doubt that there is anyone that doesn't have a bit of an expanding waistline after the Christmas overindulgence.

'I think that I'll have that extra chocolate as it is Christmas after all.'

Is there anyone that hasn't said this? I know that I'm as guilty of this as the next person. The trouble is, that the extra chocolate leaves extra pounds on our waist line. So, what to do?

Well, I've tried the Fast Diet and it really does work for me. In fact I find it the easiest of all the diets that I've tried over the years. Some days you eat and some you don't. The thing that I find it lacks, is really good things to eat on the non fast days. There really is no point in eating a skimpy 500 calories on the fast days only to eat far too much calorie heavy food on the non fast days.

So, my solution to this is to use the fantastic books by our almost national treasures of food: The Hairy Bikers. I have made recipes from all of these books and I am so impressed with them that I even make some when I'm not dieting.

The one above is the first one that sets out the diet. It's the one that accompanied the television series and the recipes are wonderful because they are the sort of things that you might want to make every day, but with the calories reduced. I don't know how they do it but they manage to make these foods that you usually associate with lots and lots of calories, into tasty but lower in calories. You can eat them and not put on weight.

My favourites are:
Old-fashioned chicken and vegetable stew
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Chicken Korma

By the time that they write the next two books they are concentrating on the recipes rather than the site and boy, oh boy do they get better at what they create. can anyone imagine it possible to make a low calorie Scoth Broth? I didn't hink it possible but the bikers have managed it.
My next favourite is the creamy Chicken and tarragon pots. How can anything creamy be diet food? Make it and you will see that it satisfies every craving with our pounds and pounds on your hips.

From the last one you might want to delve into the Meals with Mates section. Chicken provencal is super good and easy to make. Just in case you think that I'm only going to go for chicken, you might want to try the beef goulash. Fragrant with paprika, it's perfect for this time of the year.

On a healthy note. the bikers make sure that everything has a good dose of vegetables to go with all the meals.

All of the nutritional information can be found at the bottom of the recipes. Can't wait fot he next one.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Let's Make a Cushion

I don't have my sewing machine to hand these days, as I left it with my daughter. I had a vague inkling that there was an old Singer machine in my loft so, armed with a torch and some dusters I found the beautiful vintage machine that I thought was there. After some time cleaning and dusting it I found that it was still in working order. There was even an instruction booklet so I was away. Not too far away as it only does straight stitching but that was all that I needed to make this cushion.

I have been itching to use the fabric that I bought last year especially as I've now got some beautiful lace to sell too. So, I decided that it would be cushion making for me this weekend. If you want to buy the lace then please leave a message.

Cushion making seems to me to be the latest trend. I'm not one for trends, but this fabric and lace was calling out to be made into a cushion.

 The first attempt is below. I thought it a little plain so I made a ribbon rose and added it to the cushion.

Much happier with this one.