Wednesday 30 January 2013




I bought a butternut squash last week and rather than make soup (again!), I decided to try something different and made these butternut squash muffins yesterday. It's a Jamie Oliver recipe from his Jamie at Home book. They are so delicious and the icing is completely moreish. The recipe said it made 12 muffins but I managed to get 30 out of the mix! Luckily I had a friend come round for a cuppa so she helped me eat some and then I took some round to a work colleague who was helping me with some work stuff today. G has also been very good at helping eat them up as he is a big fan of carrot cake, and the butternut squash muffins have a similar taste. You can find the recipe here.

I tidied out some of my craft things last night and realised I didn't have anywhere to store my embroidery needles safely. So, I just had to fix that straight away and made the little needle book above, using some nice coloured felt and my new pinking shears. (I find myself thinking a lot about projects using pinking shears lately, as I am really quite in love with mine and I don't know how I managed so long without them!)

Miss M and I hadn't done anything crafty together since last week so after school today, we got out the felt pens, sequins, paper and fabric scraps and got to work making a little chain of paper dolls. Here they are decorating her little shelf in her room.

Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my last post, they are very much appreciated :)



Monday 28 January 2013

Lazy day off

I was working all weekend so today I had a lovely lazy day! The weather today could only be described as dreich - it was so cold, wet and generally miserable. So, the wood burner went on at 11am (!) and I settled down with some knitting and crochet. I seem to have a thing for making corsages/brooches at the moment, and today I finished making the ones above. The pattern came from Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench and the yarn was small amounts of Rowan hand knit cotton which I had leftover from a project I did last year. I gave them a little spray with some Dylon spray starch when I had finished them and I think this makes them look better. I'm really pleased with how they turned out and I'm sure I'll be making a few more in different colours!

A good friend of mine is going to a themed hen party in a few weeks time and has asked me to make her a little something as part of her outfit. It involves red and white yarn and a red Pom Pom and I made a start on it today. I will show it here when it's finished ;)

At the end of September last year, G went bramble picking with the sole purpose of making bramble vodka! When it's made, you are supposed to leave it for a few months for the flavour to properly develop. It's ready now and I plan to have a little tonight whilst I do yet more knitting and crochet. It's lovely with ice and a dash of lemonade...


Friday 25 January 2013

Offally good!






Today was the birthday of Robert Burns and as is traditional here in Scotland, we have been doing a few things to celebrate:

. Miss M made a little figurine of Robert Burns using a loo roll tube and I think it bears a canny resemblance to the famous poet! We have also been enjoying some songs and rhymes from the book you can see in the photograph.

. At school, they are learning all about their country and it's traditions and legends. This week's homework was to make a sculpture of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster using materials found at home. Miss M made hers out of salt dough and a piece of wood for the loch. She is very proud of her Nessie!

. Miss M's hair tied with a tartan ribbon for school this morning.

. Shortbread was baked and enjoyed. Recipe from this fantastic book.

. Finally, haggis, neeps and tatties for tonight's dinner! Traditionally served with a wee nip of whiskey to toast the bard, but none of that here as we are both working early in the morning!



Thursday 24 January 2013

Bread, brooches and a gift


I made bread for the very first time yesterday! As you can see, it's very rustic looking and maybe a little bit overdone, but overall I was pleased with it and it tasted good. (Miss M did say that it wasn't as good as Daddy's bread but I won't dwell on that). The recipe was from Nigel Slater and it was very easy to follow - I will definitely be making it again. You can find the recipe here.


Above are the brooches I made using my new pinking shears. The big red one I have pinned on my coat is my favourite, I think it looks really bright and cheery. I plan to make lots more of these as little gifts, they are really quick and fun to make, mainly as it involves time playing with nice fabrics and buttons! The idea for these brooches/corsages came from the book Homemade Gifts Vintage Style, which is a beautiful craft book with lots of lovely gift ideas.

Little girls seem to go to a lot of parties! Miss M has been invited to a birthday party this weekend and I appliquéd this little tote bag with the birthday girl's initial as part of her gift.

Thank you so much for the sweet comments on my last post, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who appreciates a nice tea set! I have enjoyed reading through everyone's blogs and thank you again for visiting me here.



Tuesday 22 January 2013

New things


Firstly, thank you so much for the lovely comments on my last post! They really did make my day. Being new to this blogging lark, I'm having a few problems replying to comments, I will ask G to help me out as he's much better at "technical" things than I am! The photograph above is of a tea set I got in the local Shelter shop at the weekend. I absolutely love it and couldn't believe my luck when I saw it sitting on the shelf, in perfect condition. I just had to buy it and have spent some lovely happy moments just looking at it! (G and Miss M definitely do not share the love for my lovely tea set which completely baffles me). I have been looking for some nice tea cups and saucers as I'm planning to make some teacup candles with a candle making kit I was given as a gift a few years ago and have never used. However I think that these particular tea cups may be just too pretty to fill with hot wax!


Next, my new pinking shears! I have wanted a pair of pinking shears for ages and finally ordered a pair from Ebay last week, along with some brooch pins. I'm currently working on a nice wee project which calls for pinking shears (!) and will share soon.



Finally, I bought the first issue of Simply Crochet magazine today. I very rarely buy magazines these days but after having a look through this in the newsagent's today, I decided to get it. I actually really like it, it's a lovely magazine with gorgeous photographs. I adore the granny square lampshade above, but I feel that a bit like the tea set, G would not feel the same as me about having a crocheted lamp in the house! I also love the heart corsage and this is definitely something that I am planning to make in the very near future. Better add it to my already long list...

M xxx


Monday 21 January 2013

Crafting for girls




With G away this weekend it was just us girls at home. The weather was cold, grey and generally miserable and Miss M announced that she would like to "stay in and craft all weekend Mummy!" Well that was fine with me! We made some little ribbon bracelets which you can see in the top photograph. These came in a little kit received at Christmas, they were quick to do and look really sweet. We also made some more thank you cards (we seem to have been doing this for ages as we had quite a few to do with Miss M's birthday being so soon after Christmas). This time we did some potato printing to make ladybird cards. Finally we made salt dough! This was lots of fun and Miss M loved making this. The recipe for it came from Custard and Crayons with Polly and Jago (here), a lovely children's craft book which she got as a birthday gift. We made lots of salt dough hearts which I dried off in the microwave instead of the oven as it takes around 3 hours in the oven and only 4 minutes per batch in the microwave (6 year olds are not usually known for their patience and mine is no different!). Miss M then painted them and I helped her thread them with some embroidery thread to make little hanging loops. The one you can see in the last photograph above she made for me and the rest she has squirrelled away in her school bag to give to her friends.


Luckily I still managed to fit in some crafting of my own! I finished knitting the baby blanket on Saturday and now it just needs it's nice crochet edging (and pinned and blocked!). I also started knitting my scarf with my new yarn which is so lovely to knit with. I enjoyed working on it with a nice glass of cold rose wine last night...



Friday 18 January 2013

Flowers, cookies and yarn


It's been a busy week! My mum left me these flowers on Wednesday - a nice surprise to come home to after a long and busy day at work. I just love the flowers and think they look really pretty in the pink spotty jug.


My new yarn arrived today! I was so pleased as I only ordered it on Wednesday evening and didn't expect it to be delivered so quickly. I am planning to knit a scarf and/ or hand warmers to match my new navy coat. The yarn feels really nice and the colours are perfect - I just love navy, red and white together. I got it from here.


G is away this weekend with Glasgow Mountain Biking Club to Loch Lomond. I understand that mountain bikers are big fans of cake and biscuits! So, this afternoon we made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies for him to take to share with all the guys (and girls). Recipe is from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson, which is most definitely my favourite Nigella book.

I only have ten more rows to knit on my baby blanket tonight and then I can put it aside until I need to add the edging. Which means I can then start a new project using my lovely new yarn....



Monday 14 January 2013

A birthday

It is Miss M's birthday today! Being one of the last children in her class to turn six, it was a long awaited birthday! We held a wee birthday tea yesterday for which I made the cake above. The recipe was from Mary Berry and as it's the birthday girl's favourite cake, I've had plenty of practice of making it. Today she enjoyed taking some fairy cakes to school to share with her classmates and sweeties to share with her fellow Rainbows tonight. I'm also happy to report that she proudly wore the birthday badge I made her at school all day today and also has it pinned on her rainbow uniform tonight!

I've just finished the two appliqué cushions above which I loved doing. I just love hand sewing, it's my absolute favourite thing to do.

This past week or so I've also picked up my cross stitch again. I hadn't done any cross stitch for a few months as had been busy making other things for Christmas and birthday presents in November and December. I'm working on the design above, it's from Cross Stitcher magazine issue 252 (May 2012). I think it's going to take me quite a long time to complete because as usual I have lots of other crafty bits I'm doing as well! Anyway, when I do finish it I plan to have it framed and hang it up in the kitchen where there is a perfect space on the wall just waiting to be filled.....




Saturday 12 January 2013


I made this little jar last night especially to hold all my crochet hooks. It's a Bonne Maman jam jar (I love these jars and have lots that I can't bear to throw away) which I covered in scraps of fabrics and finished off with a wee stitched heart. I just loved making this and am pleased with how it turned out. This little project came from the book Granny Chic by Tif Fussell and Rachelle Blondel and is called " a handy dandy fabric jar". Granny Chic has lots of nice ideas in it and I'm planning to have a go at "a granny stitched tea cosy" next.

Today Miss M and I were busy making top hats (marshmallows dipped in chocolate and topped with a smartie) for her little birthday tea tomorrow. Then we felt like a little sewing so we made a couple of little mice finger puppets. Meet Mr and Mrs Bun Mouse (?!)

We spent about an hour making these and after I had cut out the shapes, Miss M was able to mostly make these on her own with just a tiny bit of help from me. The instructions for these little mice can be found in a lovely book called Super Cute Felt by Laura Howard. Mr and Mrs Bun Mouse have been well played with so far and have been chased by numerous toy cats already!

Now my little crafty friend is in bed, I'm working on the baby blanket I started a few days ago and also planning some wrist warmers to go with my new coat bought in the sales....



Thursday 10 January 2013

Making and baking

Today I made a banana loaf. It's a really simple recipe which I have made lots of times and which has never let me down! The recipe originally came from a newspaper a few years ago.

Banana loaf recipe

110g soft margarine, 170g caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 very ripe mashed bananas, 225g self raising flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180c and lightly grease a loaf tin (or use a silicone one like I do). Cream together the sugar and margarine until light and fluffy and then beat in the eggs. Mix in the bananas and then fold in the flour and baking powder. Put the mixture in the baking tin and bake for 40 mins. After this time, turn the oven down to 150c and bake for another 15 minutes. That's it! The hardest part (well in our house anyway), is waiting for the cake to be cool enough to slice and eat it!

It's Miss M's birthday on Monday and she mentioned that she would like a birthday badge to wear to school so that everyone knows it's her special day! So I made her the little rosette above. The idea came from this book. I love this book and we are actually planning to make a little something from it together on Saturday...


Sunday 6 January 2013

Hello Dolly!

Today, Miss M and I finished making this little rag dolly. She came in a kit all ready to be sewn up which Miss M received from Santa Claus. (I think Santa may have purchased it from here). She is a sweet little dolly and was simple to make.

I bought a little bright pink gerbera plant today and this afternoon I knitted a flowerpot cover for it. It was a really nice quick project to do and only took around an hour to complete. The pattern is from the book above - The Knitter's Year by Debbie Bliss. It's a gorgeous book with lots of nice ideas and lovely pictures.

Tonight I plan to work on a couple of appliqué cushion covers and then have an early night as school is back tomorrow and that means back to a much needed routine!