Got some good brambles while out cycling today…
Question is…what to make them into?
Got some good brambles while out cycling today…
Question is…what to make them into?
I’m looking forward to spring so much this year, it’s been a tough winter of illness for my wee family. The wee man and I celebrated feeling on the mend this week by baking some bread. It’s the first time I’ve made it by hand rather than machine and it turned out really well. We used this recipe by Paul Hollywood. The wee man was keen to do as much kneading as possible and he got the hang of it pretty quickly. It was rather scrummy.
Later in the week, I was having trouble with my leather watch strap falling apart…it was definitely past it’s best so I cut it off. Then I had to find something to replace it quick smart as I hate being without my watch. I think my solution may not last very long but I like it for now. I used a bit of ribbon and recycled the buckle and hoop from the original strap. I think I may just need to reinforce the hole I made in the ribbon and it’ll do me. I have also finished my latest knitting design this week – here is a sneeeeaaaky peek! I think I may have got over my wrist warmer obsession at last… I’ve just got to write up the pattern and it’ll be done and dusted – my 11th pattern – I can’t believe I’m into double figures! So long until then…
If I’ve been quiet for a little while it’s because I’ve been beavering away at the knitting designs – I have a couple nearly finished and one more just started. I’m hoping to have them all written up and ready to release for autumn. (They’re autumn/winter type accessories so I think it’s better to keep them on the back burner until then.)
Meanwhile, I have a question: when you submit a design to a publisher is it better for your design sketch to be a simple schematic or a drawing of how the finished item might look? I did submit a couple of patterns to two different publishers for the first time – without success – and I’m not sure whether the designs weren’t right for them or my method of submission wasn’t what they are used to. (I submitted drawings rather than schematics but the drawings had measurements on them…) Maybe next time I should just include both! At least then I’ll know if they are rejected then it’s probably the design they don’t like…poor rejected things. Ah well, I just keep thinking of all those famous musicians/artists/writers who were rejected before someone saw their potential – I always feel better being able to compare myself to The Beatles!
Now for some pictures! Look what I found at the car boot sale recently for only £1.50 –
The wee man and I have been baking again – we tried hot cross buns for the first time and they turned out quite well.
I am stuffing my face with one as I type and it’s not half bad. Recipe here.
Have a lovely Easter everyone.
I used to hate Sundays when I was at school. Now I love them, especially if I can get them just right…like today! It starts with a good mooch around the local car boot sale. No bargains today (but I live in hope). Then a bit of a tidy round the house, put the wood burner on, a nice wee bacon and egg crispy roll and a stroll in the woods with the family…
(Photos 1 & 3 by me, trying out the Big Man’s new DSLR camera, have to say I was a bit scared of it but he held my hand through it…)
Then home and a batch of cupcakes were baked by me and the Wee Man (he actually helped a lot more than he has before)…
Then I made our favourite coq au vin recipe for dinner while the Wee Man had his first proper Roald Dahl experience as Willie Wonka was on…(Gene Wilder version, sorry Johnny but he’s the best).
Now I just have to fit some knitting in before bed for a perfect day!
I’m probably the same as a lot of people out there in that I don’t have as much time as I’d like to make everything I want to. In fact I find it difficult to squeeze an hour or two a week of knitting or other crafts into my crazy schedule. And making things for Christmas is so much harder still, especially as The Wee Man’s birthday is on the 22nd of December. But I did manage to make a few things myself this year, although I was at it right up until the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve (no lie – that is precisely when I finished my last hand-made gift!)
Anyway, as it was such a whirlwind of activity I did also forget to take photos of a few of the things I made but I can show you the source where I haven’t got a photo – so here they go…
First up was The Wee Man’s birthday cake – he wanted a Thomas cake this year again (I made my first one last year – you can see it here). There were a few additional requests this year though – he wanted it to have a mountain/tunnel and he wanted trucks with freight. He also asked for a blue dinosaur with pink spots coming out of the tunnel but I assumed that was a joke…and he didn’t ask where it was when he saw the cake! (phew) The end result…
So, after the birthday mayhem was over (we tend to have his party a week early or no-one would come…) I could start on the Christmas crafts.
The first thing I wanted to make was a travel journal for a very good friend who was flying off to Thailand on Christmas day. I have made a similar one before, but I changed the picture on the front for this one –
Then The Wee Man and I tried our hands at some Christmas decorations with air-drying clay. We made these two Christmas trees –
Can you tell which one is mine and which one is his? No, me either.
We also made this wee train for the tree –
Then I broke out the pinny again and did some Christmas cooking…I made some sweet chilli jam for family members and work colleagues using this recipe. And I made some peppermint candy canes with leftover cake icing (always the frugal Scot!) for The Wee Man’s nursery staff using this recipe. Both turned out really well I think, although I still haven’t heard whether the sweet chilli jam jars made it intact to Scotland!
The last things to do were a couple of presents for The Big Man. He had requested a hand-knitted ‘cheesy’ hat with ear flaps so I decided on this pattern as appropriately cheesy. (This was the project that took me until midnight on the nose by the way.) I did end up leaving off the earflaps as I put them on wonky so had to remove them and by this time it was 11pm Christmas Eve…Here is a photo of him wearing the end result.
I’m sorry there’s no close-up and I’m not sure he’ll wear it again as he said he kept getting amused looks from people…if anyone out there has as enormous a noggin as The Big Man’s they may be able to make use of it!
I also wanted to give The Big Man a Christmas jumper and after seeing the beautiful Patrick on the Christmas edition of The Great British Sewing Bee sewing a felt stag onto a pre-bought jumper I thought I’d save time and do the same thing. Here is my attempt at a reindeer…
And here is The Big Man actually wearing it on Christmas day!
And…that’s all folks! Now I look back at it, I actually managed to make quite a lot. No wonder I’m exhausted.
Now all I have to do is design my own cheesy earflap Big Man hat that he might actually wear…
Happy New Year everyone!
Happy Burns Nicht everybody!
Being a Scot in England, I sometimes feel almost obliged to celebrate Burns night more vehemently than I would have done in the homeland…but it’s a bit difficult when the Big Man isn’t keen on the auld haggis, neeps and tatties combo and you have an extremely fussy eater of a 3-year-old who I can’t even imagine trying haggis. Even if I told him it is a funny little round 4-legged critter that runs lopsided about the glens.
So, I opted for something different today and tried my hand at shortbread for the first time. I was a wee bit nervous about this as it seems like it may be easy to get very wrong, but I put my trust in my new favourite baking bible. No, not Mary Berry or the Hairy Bakers or any of those fowk aff the telly. It’s a fab wee children’s baking book the Wee Man and I got out of the library. It’s called My Cookbook of Baking by Laura and Jess Tilli. So far, we have made jam tarts (yummy) and coconut jammy squares (extra yummy with fluffy light sponge star points) from this book and so I decided to trust them with my first stab at shortbread. Hooray! They did it again. This book is fab, it’s full of yummy and easy baking recipes. I may have to buy one…
Anyway, here is a pic of my first ever batch of jammy shortbread biscuits. There are a few less left than there were when this was taken…
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit
Rabbie Burns 1759 – 1796
The little man’s 3rd birthday party happened this past weekend. As he is now able to choose the kind of cake he wants, I let him decide…and he wanted a chocolate Thomas cake. This seemed perfectly reasonable to me until I had to try and figure out how to make it. I didn’t want to put royal icing on top of a chocolate cake as I thought that would taste iffy, so a 3d Thomas was out. But I couldn’t figure out how to make a Thomas ‘scene’ cake with toppers without it being a chocolatey moosh and a bit messy looking. Then the light bulb came on – cover it with icing sugar and make a snow scene!
So I did. And it turned out pretty well for a first attempt at a theme cake. The cake was yummy too. I used this recipe for the basic cake and chocolate ganache, then covered the whole thing with icing sugar, made the sleepers out of matchmakers and the rails out of chocolate piping icing and used ready to roll coloured icing for the Thomas. (The trees and snowman I bought from a cake shop.)
We still have some left over too…yum.
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