Wednesday, 11 June 2014

New Baby Boy!

I have been away from my blog for some time now because I have had a baby and he is taking up a lot of my time.

Our little boy Joshua was born on the 18th March 2014 and is now 3 months old and its been a real journey getting to this stage.

Little Joshua was born 2 months earlier than his expected arrival and it was a huge shock!! 
Weighing only 3lb 2oz he was whisked off to the neonatal ward for specialist treatment.

My husband and I spent 7 weeks visiting our little boy and it was an up and down emotional rollercoaster.

3 months on and he now weighs 7lb 4oz and is doing very well. He is still much smaller than other babies at 3 months, but he is very strong and gaining weight every week.

My crafting has taken a back seat due to the round the clock feeds and nappy changes, but although I am sleep deprived I am enjoying every moment of it.

All photographs on this blogpost are taken by my husband James Perry, James Perry Photography ©. We are very lucky to have such a talented person capturing all of Joshua's special moments.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Crochet Mood Blanket 2014

I have decided to embark on a 365 day challenge which will be to crochet one Granny Square every day throughout 2014 and so far I am off to a good start. 20 days in and the blanket is getting pretty big already!

I will actually be making 2 Granny Squares a day so that I will have 2 identical blankets one which I will keep for myself and the other will be a gift for my sister as she has mentioned a few times that she would like a crocheted blanket, but I just never got around to starting one and so this way it can be made bit by bit throughout the year.


I am getting more than a little addicted with making these little Granny Squares and I have started to make several other little blankets alongside these mood blankets. The colour combinations are endless and I just love checking out all the different blankets being made on Instagram.


I do love my hobby and often sit listening to the radio forgetting what the time is and crocheting long in to the night.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Swapsies Event

This weekend I held a stall at the Swapsies event in my local area.  It was a fantastic idea where you could bring up to 3 unwanted items from your wardrobe and swap them for something on the racks! A great way of refreshing your wardrobe, saving money and recycling clothes that would otherwise end up in the bin.

Fiona together with a few friends organised this event and I hope they have plans to hold another one in the near future.

Above is a picture of my stall and below are a few close ups of what I had on sale.  

Matryoshka dolls - patterned designed by Annabooshouse House. Such a cute and easy to follow pattern which can be made in array of colours.


Mushrooms made from my very own pattern which I hope to share with you soon. 

I loved the event and even had a rummage through the racks myself 

Monday, 18 November 2013

I have been a busy bee...

Wow! Its been a busy few months and I am now starting to get back on track with things now that my Christmas fair has been and gone!

It was a fantastic 3 day Christmas fair and I made some wonderful friends and had some lovely customers buying my creations to give as gifts to their loved ones.

This was the fair that I was involved in and it was amazing!!!


I sold so many of my creations and I purchased a few lovely things as well including this gorgeous tea set


My Nan has a lot of the Willow patterned crockery so when I saw this I just had to have husband sighed and said "more teacups! do we really need more teacups?" to which I replied a lady can never have enough teacups.

I also purchased some gorgeous little presents from Dainty 'N' Arty a lovely lady who makes the most beautiful brooches in an origami style using fabric and leather; another of my purchases was a lovely knitted tea cosy from two very friendly ladies. It was a fabulous weekend but very tiring.

Here's a few pictures of what my stall looked like 


And another with a view of my friends stall selling the brooches I mentioned above


My best selling items were my toadstools, Christmas puddings, ice-creams and items I made using patterns from PlanetJune and Annabooshouse House.

I will definitely be holding a stall here again next year.

Monday, 9 September 2013

A rather dapper looking cat!

Meet Loki, our British Shorthair pussy cat. My husband and I picked Loki up just under a year ago and he soon became a part of our family. Loki will be celebrating his first birthday on the 15th September so as an early birthday present we decided to make him feel special by buying him a bow tie in blue to co-ordinate with his coat. Loki doesn't seem to mind his new collar at all and we were a little worried that it would irritate him, but he seems quite at ease with it and looks quite proud of himself sat at the window.

My husband and I love watching the reactions of people as they pass the window and see Loki sat there in his bow tie. Some laugh, some say awww cute and others just give a strange look as if to say the owners of that house must be insane!!

The bow tie is one of my Etsy finds and as someone who makes handmade items I like to spend that little bit extra on something that someone has taken the time to make; I just feel like it has that little extra something that mass produced products don't have. 

 The lovely lady that we purchased this from is called Chloe Griffiths and she has a little shop on Etsy called Closline

Chloe lives and makes these collars in Australia.

My husband takes all of the photographs for my blog and these are some of my favourites of our cat Loki wearing his new bow tie.

I will definitely be shopping with Chloe again when I need a Halloween themed collar and again for Christmas. They are fantastic quality, they tie tight enough so it doesn't just fall off, but if Loki was to become entangled it will loosen quite easily so that he can get free. The collar is made of a good quality cotton and comes with a little bell attached.

I love it and I think you will agree that Loki seems very pleased with it in these photographs as well

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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

English Muffins

This weeks episode of The Great British Bake Off saw the contestants baking English Muffins in the technical challenge and so as part of the challenge to myself I also had a go at them this week.

You can find Paul Hollywood's recipe for English Muffins here.

If you look carefully in the photo above you can see Paul and Mary watching over my every move!!
I had never baked bread of any kind up until this point and was feeling a little skeptical as to whether I would be able to create an English Muffin to be proud of, but I decided that the worst possible outcome would either be raw dough and a husband with an upset tummy or burnt discs of dough that get to see the inside of my bin instead of my tummy, so I went for it!!

I soon discovered that English Muffins are not easy to make at all! the dough is very wet and it really takes some arm strength to knead it to the required texture. Paul's recipe says to knead for 10 minutes; however it took me a bit longer than this because I don't have much upper body strength.

It was a little worrying and throughout the kneading process I was convinced that I had messed it up somehow as the dough was just clinging to my hands and the kitchen surface, but I kept on going and it did eventually start to come together.

So once the kneading was complete it was on to the proving and the waiting game began. Eventually my dough doubled in size.  Like I said I have never made any kind of bread before and muffins probably wasn't the best thing to start with as the dough is completely different to bread due to the fact that it is a lot wetter and so harder to knead, but at least now I have developed my arm muscles.

After an hour and a half my dough looked like it had proven enough and I was able to roll it out gently and it was then left to rest on the side for 15 minutes; Paul Hollywood's recipe says that this is important as if you cut out the discs before then they may shrink in size in the second proving.

The second proving is a little less and mine only needed 45 minutes. Both my first and second proves needed a little longer and I think this was down to the temperature in my kitchen.

Second prove done and they were ready to be baked griddled.  I don't have a hot plate at home so I used my heavy frying pan and it did just as good a job in my opinion.

Baking Tip: I used a gas hob and even on the lowest heat my pan heated up quite quickly so in order to control the heat I only left it on the hob for half the time and then left the muffins to cook from the remaining heat - this prevented them from burning and allowed them to bake evenly throughout.

All baked and after a long time in the kitchen here is the final product...

I am very proud of myself for pulling this one out of the bag frying pan.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Angel Food Cake

I love watching The Great British Bake-Off and this week they made Angel Food Cake in the technical challenge and the end results looked delicious! I don't have a Mary or a Paul judging my baking skills, but I do have an eager husband and a willing group of family and friends who are all hungry for more of my baked goodies, so I thought I would give it a go.

In week one we saw the 2013 contestants bake and decorate an Angel Food Cake

Mary's Angel Food Cake looked like the one above with a lemon and passion fruit curd which sounds divine! My husband isn't a huge fan of lemon flavours so I decided to go for something slightly different and topped it with fresh berries instead.

What do you think?

I was so impressed with myself and the final cake looked and tasted fantastic!!

...this weekend I will be attempting the next technical challenge and will be making breakfast muffins! wish me luck.