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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Hat-oween

Normally I would have posted about some kind of sweet Halloween treat I'd been working on but the cakes have been a little quick and dirty here of late and I have a couple of big birthday cakes to make on the horizon so I have been using the calm before the storm to hone my new-found crochet skills, so I thought I'd share a little Halloween crochet make I knocked up one evening last week for Missy.


It's a super cute pumpkin hat, I converted a free baby pattern from FaveCrafts and here's Missy modelling the finished article.




One thing's for sure, I certainly won't lose her in it!!!


Happy Halloween everyone!


Linking up with White Lily Green's Handmade Thursday 



Inspire Me Beautiful

Thursday, 20 October 2011

I'm A Granny Square

During the summer holidays Mrs B and I decided that we were going to start a craft circle (technically a craft line as there's only the two of us) of our own and our first project was going to be to master granny squares.


As I'd done a bit of crochet before I volunteered to try and get my head around the pattern then teach Mrs B what I'd learned.


They've always been a bit of a mystery to me so I got into my Moo-Moo, hopped into bed and set to work, I know that this technically makes me a granny square but who cares, granny is the new black right?


Anyway, a couple of hours and one step closer to arthritis-gnarled fingers later here are the fruits of my labour
Now that I had mastered the art I spent a sunny afternoon in Mrs B's back garden during our inaugural 'Hook Up' imparting my new-gained knowledge and taking her through the process one stitch at a time until she had completed a square, 
she then made a couple more under her own steam 
and I now think I've created a monster as she tells me she's been busy making loads more, I look forward to seeing her finished blanket soon.


Speaking of blankets, I turned this charity shop find 
Into this lovely blanket for Missy with my trusty crochet hook
I love the neatness of the rows of stitches, I was addictive to make and is addictive to look at

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

60 Watt I Want

I'm sad, sad that I won't be able to buy these anymore
I have a real hatred for energy saving light bulbs, the light they emit is dreadful, they take ages to get going, they're ugly and they don't fit my lamps and chandeliers, not to mention the mercury they contain and the expense of them.


Understandably Mr Right keeps trying to get us to convert to the energy saving ones and even went so far as to change the bulb in one of my most used lamps without telling me thinking I wouldn't notice!!


I try to do my bit for the environment, I compost, recycle, upcycle, buy in charity shops rather than new, make do and mend, save fuel where I can and grow my own so why can't I have these?  If I want to pay a little bit more to my energy provider every year for the ability to actually see what I'm doing in my own home then why can't I?  


I'm sure there's someone somewhere with a clipboard and calculator that will tell me that I'm solely responsible for the icecaps melting away but they probably can't see to do the sums!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Silver Spoon Of Sprinkles

Wanted to share these little munchkins with you, I spotted them in the (thankfully ever expanding) cake decorating aisle in Sainsburys this morning, they're little packets of coloured shimmer balls from Silver Spoon, I thought they were a great idea as large amounts of these in different colours can be expensive and then hang around in the cupboard for ages doing nothing.  


These babies were 20p per packet and they do pink or blue.  I'm hoping they'll expand the range as I love having lots of different sprinkles to choose from when I'm decorating cupcakes.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Cupcapers - The Real Cupcake Company Review

A while back my patisserie radar was alerted to a Twitter request for any bloggers that wanted to trial a cupcake kit from The Real Cupcake Company for free, being addicted to cake (and free stuff) in any form I volunteered.


The Real Cupcake Company provide fresh, dairy-free gourmet cupcake kits using real fruit and no artificial colourings or flavourings.  The kits contain everything you need to make 12 iced cupcakes and come in either Naughty or Nice varieties, I was sent the Orange Cupcake Kit from the Nice range.


It arrived in a pretty little cardboard box with a sticker on the front informing me to keep refrigerated which I duly did until I was ready to make them up.


I was pleased that the parcel fitted through my letter box which meant I didn't have to be in to receive it (or traipse down to my local Royal Mail collection office) and that the ingredients had quite a lengthy shelf life (10 days from its arrival with me!).


All I needed to add were the eggs and I can tell you it was quite liberating not having to weigh everything out as the cake batter is ready-mixed for you.  I was also pleased to see that they had provided muffin size paper cases as that's what I use and can't stand piddly little fairy cake cases.


I mixed up the batter as per the instructions and divided it between the cases, I was a little trepidatious that there wasn't enough to make all twelve but my concerns were unfounded and after the allotted time I had 12 cupcakes cooling, ready to be iced.


The icing came in a piping bag and all I had to do was snip off the end and drop it into the second piping bag with one of the two nozzles provided fitted and away I went.
Then all that remained to do was add the sprinkles and I had a plate yummy cupcakes without having to think too hard about it.
I was pleased to see that they were super generous with both the icing and the sprinkles, I can't be doing with stinginess when it comes to icing and sprinkles and the icing did indeed taste of real oranges.  Although I found the piping nozzles a little small but perhaps that's because I used the icing when it was still rather cold from the fridge.


All in all for someone (unlike myself) that doesn't have much time or inspiration when it comes to baking and wants all-natural ingredients then these would be great and according to their website there's free delivery throughout October.  The £9.99 price tag might sound a bit steep but that works out at about 83p per cupcake and you'd probably spend more than that in a coffee shop and for the sheer lazy factor it's probably worth it if you're not a regular home baker.


Anyway, the fact that these cakes didn't hang around long in a house where the residents are constantly spoiled for homemade cakes speaks volumes for their tastiness. 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Mirror, Mirror...

I was at Mrs B's house over the summer and I spotted that in one of her back garden boarders she had positioned a rectangular stone monolith and I thought it would be nice to have something architectural dans le jardin to complement the plants, that evening I remembered I had a couple of old mirrors in the loft and some glass etching cream I was itching to try so I hatched a plan
I covered the mirrors in clear sticky-backed plastic (Blue Peter eat your heart out!) and printed off a suitably horticultural phrase, spaced the words onto the mirror and used spray mount to stick them down whilst I used a craft knife to cut out the letters
I then painted on the glass etch cream and waited the allotted time
Washed it off and here's the result
I placed it in my butler sink herb garden, although ironically I now see there is a weed next to the Rosemary!!!!
I had a bash at a second mirror by using some wallpaper with a floral theme I liked as a template
But I didn't heed the warning on the glass etch that it's not really suitable for large expanses of glass and unfortunately it didn't come out as well as I had hoped so I stuck it behind some foliage and will just have to keep my fingers crossed that nobody notices!
I quite enjoyed using the glass etch and will certainly use it again, although this time I shall wear thicker disposable gloves as I managed to melt most of my fingernails whilst making these mirrors!


As ever, linking up with Handmade Thursday over on White Lily Green



Inspire Me Beautiful

Monday, 10 October 2011

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

I went on a bit of a birthday tat-fest with Mr Right over the summer and here are my finds, packet of flower beads 75p
A shed load of wool from a few different shops, my collection needed a boost as I have a few crochet projects in mind £6 approx
Dessert cutlery in box £6.99 incomplete, the six forks top middle are mine from a previous charity shop rummage, not only do they match but there's just enough to fill the gaps, kismet me thinks!
Old skool kitchen utensils pot £1.50
Diddy glass cheese/butter dish £1.50
Paddington Bear cake/jelly mould, not sure if it's old or not but I have stuck a nail through it and it's hanging on my kitchen wall, 99p
Small silver metal tray £3
Small glass cake dome £4
As ever linking up with Liz and her other magpies over on Me And My Shadow






Me and My Shadow

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Play Your Cards Wright

My sister and her other half sent Mr Right this birthday card and I loved it so much that I told him I'd frame it when his birthday celebrations were over
a couple of days later I was rummaging in a charity shop when I came across these for 50p and had a bit of a craft sesh with them
I framed up six cards spelling out our surname
and Mr Right's original card
I also made some with the kids' christian names and even made a little one just for me!
I've since seen a 'Mr and Mrs' done professionally with the same cards and they wanted about £60 for it!  This thrifty business is paying for itself in spades (humble apologies for the terrible card pun!)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A Festival Of Harvesting

Totally loving this time of year as everything plant-based is bountiful and Mr Right and I have been harvesting like mad, we scrumped this lovely basket of apples from my sister's groaning tree
As well as the apples we got some plums, damsons, elderberries and a ton of blackberries
My freezer is at bursting point with all this mellow fruitfulness, just need to do something with it all...

Monday, 3 October 2011

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

More stuff I've had to make room for in my already crammed-with-crap home for your delectation, four pretty floral dinner plates £2
Noddy Fuzzy Felts, I had hoped these would be good for a textile craft project and as I couldn't open the box as it was stuck with sticky tape I took a punt for 30p, when I eventually did get it open the Noddy characters were made out of paper so not sure what I will do with it now
Box of Sculpey home-bake clay £2
It was unopened and just look at all the lovely colours, you wouldn't get one block in Hobbycraft for what I paid for all 30!

As ever, linking up with the no longer homeless Liz and her Magpies over on Me And My Shadow





Me and My Shadow

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