Wednesday, 23 November 2016


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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Best Women's Raincoats - My Top 5

You've got to love the British weather, a bank holiday is like an invitation for a sudden down pour of rain, and boy did it rain this weekend.  With a months rain fall in two hours it's no wonder we've had flooding in lots of places.  In light of this I thought I'd best dust off a post I'd been saving for Autumn, it seems fitting to share it now somehow.

I love coats and jackets and have far too many, however one thing I don't have is a good quality raincoat.  My budget 'Mac in a Sac' has served me well but I've been looking for something more sturdy and aesthetically pleasing.  Here are my top 5, some are pricey whilst others are more affordable, if I had it my way I'd buy them all.

Truro Raincoat - Plumo £298

Hedgerow Coat - Seasalt Cornwall £120

Iconic Womens Raincoat - Le Petit Bateau £126.50


Barbour Heron Cape - Smith and Morris £199.95

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Monthly Moodboard - Craft Colour Riot

I'm getting my craft mojo back and have managed to undertake a few projects this week.  My stag beetle embroidery went well (see previous post) and I've made a felt ball garland.  I've also started to make a ripple blanket using the tutorial from the brilliant Attic24 blog, it's an easy pattern to follow once you get the hang of it.  I'll post some more updates on here as I progress.

It's my last day before I go back to work tomorrow, the summer has whizzed by and there's a week full of sunshine forecast whilst I'm stuck in the office.  It won't be long before the hedgerows are full of ripe fruit ready to be picked and conkers start making an appearance in the playground. August through to September is such a lovely time of year.

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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

#Quick Crafty Makes 6 - Machine Embroidery - Stag Beetle

beetle machine embroidery

After four weeks summer holiday it's back to work for me, the summer has been great, we've been so busy and done so much.  Now that time is going to be limited I thought I'd russel up a last minute craft project.  I saw this stag beetle template in issue 28 of Mollie Makes, I thought it'd be perfect for some free motion machine embroidery.  For tips on how to do this please take a look at a previous post I've written on the subject.
I thought this would look good on the wall in a vintage frame or even left in the embroidery hoop,  alternatively you could use this idea as a decoration for numerous items such as a motif on a cushion or bag.  I'd like to sew some other insects and make a small collection of six legged mini beasts to adorn my walls.
For this one I've traced, using a pencil, on to some calico and placed the fabric into an embroidery hoop and off I went!  You can find you own motif to trace in many places such as in books, the internet or use fabrics and wallpapers as inspiration.  I also like the idea of sewing some insects in neon brights onto a grey toned fabric, i think this could look great.  Machine embroidery is so quick to do and gives immediate satisfying results and this technique is very forgiving if a mistake it made, it's ok for it to look a bit naive or rough and ready.

beetle machine embroidery

beetle machine embroidery
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Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Big Summer Share - Family Days Out, Craft, Recipes, Discounts etc.

We all know what's it's like, the summer holidays arrive and you hope the weather stays good so you can get out and about with family and friends. However one thing that we don't always bargain for is the expense of a day out to a theme park, the zoo or whatnot.  Also if the weather is forecast rain it can often scupper any outside activities.  With this in mind I decided to set up a Facebook group called 'The Big Summer Share'. The idea behind the group is to share summer holiday activities, if you know of an event, activity or have a recommendation then share it with the rest of the group, simple hey? 

Here's my list of the kind of things I thought would be good to share:

1. Any summer clubs, these could be both local or further afield.

2. If your planning a day out and it's an 'open invitation' event then why not share it, this could be a day trip to the beach, woods, park etc.

3. Any voucher/Internet or group/family deals for days out.

4. If people want to car share or plan group bookings on the train.

5. You may have been somewhere really great and why not tell everyone about it on the Big Summer Share.

6. Likewise if you've had a bad experience please let the group know, forewarned is forearmed.

7. Clubs such as Beavers/Cubs/Scouts or the PTA, dance troops, sports clubs; if you have activities or events you can post it for all to see!

8. Rainy day activities, this could include craft, cooking or fun games.

9. Places to eat, have you been somewhere that has great food, is family friendly or just great value for money?

10. Any money saving ideas or deals would be welcomed, we are all watching the pennies these days!

So far the group has been going for a month and is growing day by day, it's an open group so anyone can invite friends to join.  The have been some brilliant ideas for craft activities, recipes, days out, websites to visit and local events.  I even asked the local Primary School to add the website on their weekly newsletter so more parents were aware of the group.

Why not start your own group?  It's easy to set up and it's rewarding to share ideas, save some cash and make new friends.  We have already got an 'open invite' trip to the woods planned, this is where a day out is posted on the group page, locations, times and dates are given and anyone who wants to join in can.

Have a great summer break everyone XXX

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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Homemade Toffee Popcorn Recipe

When a friend posted her homemade toffee popcorn on Facebook I had to get the recipe.  We make popcorn in the pan a lot at home but tend to stick to our favourite flavour of butter, salt and chilli (Tabasco sauce to be specific).  I thought toffee popcorn would be difficult to make but its surprisingly easy and uses ingredients most people would have to hand.  Needless to say once I'd seen my friends popcorn efforts I set to task making my own batch with very happy results.
Here's my friends recipe below:
Ingredients for the popcorn
75g popcorn kernels
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or sunflower will do)
25g butter

Ingredients for the toffee sauce
40g sugar (light soft brown or Muscavado is best)
40g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
pinch of salt
1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the popcorn and swirl it around until coated with oil.
2.  Cover with a tight fitting lid, turn the heat down and wait for the kernels to start to pop.  Keep the popcorn moving so it doesn't burn.  As soon as the popping starts to slow down take it off the heat.
3. While the popcorn pops make the sauce.  Melt the butter, add the sugar and golden syrup and stir over a high heat for 1-2 minutes.  Be careful it doesn't splash as it's extremely hot.  Also  make sure it doesn't burn, keep an eye on it.
4. Melt the 26g of butter and toss with half of the popcorn and the pinch of salt.
5. Pour over the toffee sauce over the remaining popcorn put the lid on and give it a good shake covering the popcorn with the sauce.  Then ass the buttered pop corn, mix and then serve when cool enough.

Thank you to my friend for sharing her recipe.  I'd love to hear of any other popcorn toppings you may make at home, feel free to share them with us all.


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Thursday, 11 July 2013

# Quick Crafty Makes 5 - Upcycled Jersey Top Softie Rabbit

I'd made my daughter a softie rabbit and now it's my sons turn to have a softie made for him.  This toy is made out of an old jersey top, some embroidery thread, some stuffing and two old buttons.  My son chose the buttons and thread and I sketched out the shape of the body etc, it's nice to recycle my old clothes into something else.

So here are the instructions:

You will need

Some fabric (preferably recycled)
Embroidery thread
Two buttons (or more if your design requires it)
Fabric scissors
Paper (for the pattern, so not too thick as it will be hard to pin to the fabric)

1. Once you've designed your softie toy draw it up on to paper, I've done my pattern without seam allowance, feel free to add seam allowance to yours if this is how you prefer to work.

2. Pin you pattern pieces on to your chosen fabric and cut out remembering to cut the correct amount of fabric pieces required for each pattern piece.

3. Starting with the arms first place one piece on top of the other and sew together leaving a hole in the end to turn through and stuff as shown above and below.

4. For the ears do the same as in step 3 but do not stuff them as you want the ears to be floppy, however fold the bottom end of the ears in half to create some added shape and definition.

5. Place the arms and ears in the required position on to one of the main body fabric pieces, lay the other main body fabric piece over the top sandwiching the arms and ears in between the two main body pieces.  Pin the pieces together securing everything as shown in the photos below. 

6. Finally sew around the main body leaving a small hole between the legs allowing you to stuff your softie toy.  Turn through and once stuffed slip stitch the opening together and sew on your button eyes and other features as desired.

And there you have it, one softie rabbit thingamajig!!!  My son loves him especially as he had a hand in creating him, and it was all done in under and hour.

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