Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stone stories

I am totally obsessed with my latest make it is the most addictive crafting I have done recently.
My inspiration/tutorial came from Emily at red bird crafts.  She really does have the stone addiction thing going on as well.  Thank you Emily for sharing your creative ideas and sharing the love for stone stories.
Let me run thorough why I think sticking things onto stones is so wonderfully amazing.
  • Collecting stones.  It is a great excuse to get out and about.  And what child, or adult (OK maybe its just me) doesn't love stones?

picnic by the river, stone collecting
  • Using up scraps.  I now have a second bag of remnants, I save even the most minuscule scrap of fabric to reuse.  Very satisfying.
  • Mod Podge.  What's not to like? Great name, great label
  • They are quick and easy to do.  Once you've decided on your design (I dream about my next creation) all you have to do is cut it out of your chosen fabric & stick onto your chosen stone.
  • And if your still not convinced have a look at these little beauties...

  • They inspire imaginative play. As we speak the dinosaur is roaring at Jess the cat and a story is unfolding..

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pinterest and the world of blogs

The blogsphere is new to me and I must confess to still being not 100% au fait with it all. I remember asking my husband what a blog was not that long ago (we are talking years not weeks) and he explained. Nope, still didn't get it. 

Until now.  Wow.  There are so many talented people out there!! Every surf trip I discover something truly beautiful/amazing/clever/witty/creative. It can be a very humbling experience.

My latest find is Pinterest.  Now forgive me, as I am sure you have all discovered this fabulous treasure trove long ago, but what a great idea!  It is going to be my new go to source of inspiration. I have set up my own pinboard and hope to do plenty of pinning in the future. If I properly get the hang of it ;-).

It is true the bloggers' life can be a little lonely and disheartening at first.  After the intial flurry of hits from friends the numbers drop off....and before you know it you are lost at sea.  I am hoping Pininterest and installing the "followers" gadget on my blog will up my stats, a little. So please take the time to hit follow, and thanks to my husband, my only follower - so far! xx

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stationery holder

The girls of the family are heading back to Blighty for my Mum's 70th birthday party (amongst other things) at the end of August. I am all to aware of the 11 hour flight & the need to keep 2 little girls entertained (to be fair to them the novelty of squeezing into the tiny loo & going to the loo should keep them occupied for a good 5 hours).  
So I am coming up with things to keep them busy.  I had been coveting this fabric for a while but couldn't really put it to use until now!  Quite apt as Grandma & Grandpa live in London and no doubt we will be going on a bus & in a taxi at some point.
I made these stationery rolls/holders for them and hope to keep them a surprise until loo trip boredom sets in, or taxing down the runway.

I used the pattern from breadandbuttons which call it a travelling art show pattern.  Its super easy to follow and I knocked them both up in no time.

Wish me luck for that flight ;-)

Mummy meals

A friend of mine has had her second baby boy a few weeks ago, hubbie has just gone back to work, her parents have left and she is home alone with the little men! So I signed the roster that came round to cook a few meals for them.

Tomato, rocket & ricotta tart

2 ripe tomatoes sliced
1 packed of ready made puff pastry
2 cups of ricotta
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup cream
1/4 grated parmesan
ground nutmeg
1 cup of finely chopped rocket
egg for brushing 

Heat oven to 200oC (400F). 
Place tomatoes in a colander, sprinkle with salt & set aside.  Unroll dough and roll out a little bit so its 1/4" think. I made this quantity into 2 but you could do one big one.  One went on a floured baking sheet and the other in a foil flan dish (for ease of transport).
Mix ricotta, eggs, cream, parmesan, nutmeg, S&P in a bowl. Add in rocker and stir to combine.  Spread this mixture over the dough leaving a border which you then fold over to encase the filling.  Brush pastry with egg and bake in the oven for 40mins or until golden.

Blueberry cake

1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
75g (2 1/2 oz) cold unsalted butter
2 cups of plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
125g (4oz) softened butter
1 cup of caster sugar
3 beaten eggs
1 cup soured cream
2 cups blueberries

Make the topping first.  Roughly rub in the 75g of butter to the brown sugar & 1/4 cup flour until its slightly breadcrumb like.
Preheat oven to 180oC to 350F. Sift flour, baking powder & salt into bowl. Cream butter and sugar until pale and slowly mix in eggs (I do spoonful at a time to stop it curdling).  Add dry ingredients and alternating with soured cream until all are incorporated.
Pour mixture into 2 loaf tins or one 9" round. Sprinkle with blueberries & topping mix.
Bake until a skewer comes out clean (my 2 loaf tins took about an hour). Cool in tin then turn onto wire rack.  

Both recipes ever so slightly adapted from bill granger ones.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest room slippers

My sister and her family are coming for their summer holiday very soon - yippee! I wanted to make her something to welcome her and to christen my new book Weekend Sewing (thanks Kate who sent it to me!).  Lets face it everything in that book is worth making, but in the end I plumped for the slippers.

Even allowing for the diminutive nature of my sister & her feet I think they may have turned out a little small, so they could end up as a present for my aunt who has size 1 feet (there are tiny genes in my family).  
Mr Maker suggested I "just make them again" for Sis; as much as I love her I may have to reconsider her welcome gift...Any suggestions? Bare in mind I have a list of projects to finish before they arrive in 13 days (and counting)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Greetings cards

I snapped up this old school atlas at a yard sale a few weekends ago with the thought that I could use the maps for other things.  
I am/was a geography teacher so it really goes against the grain to be cutting up atlas's but I am reusing & recycling so I think that kinda makes it OK....
As well as maps it has some great retro images.

What every self respecting space man should wear

I haven't found their new role yet (suggestions please!)

This image I used for a friends birthday card to evoke those feelings peace and tranquillity that come from outdoor spaces.

A moving in card for a family moving out of the big smoke to the countryside.

And a get well soon card for my cousin-in-law.  Hope you are feeling on top of the world again soon James!