Monday, 30 September 2013

Sew Good

I had a go at 'sewing' with Big Girl a few weeks ago. I punched some holes in a polystyrene tray and gave her some wool and a plastic needle that I found through Ebay. It didn't work. She pull through the holes with the wool really easily. So when I saw some lovely 'sewing' cards from Minieco on Pintrest, ready designed to print on card and then punch the holes I thought it looked worth a go. It was better, although she did use up the wool going back and forth between holes in no particular order and then get grumpy. (She has just started preschool and is so tired!) What really surprised me is how long the Little Ones stuck at it. They seemed to quite like it! Will definitely be trying again sometime.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

What's Cooking This Week?!

Ooh, I haven't done this for a long time!

Firstly, a friend bought me A LOT of plums, so many in fact that I was able to make plum jam and plum tarts!

I love cooking but I don't have time to faff these days so I was delighted to find a recipe for jam that proclaimed to be "no peel, no pectin". In fact it really was easy peasy, I highly recommend it, here's the link. However, I did make less than half the amount I was expecting. I don't know why. The recipe calls for 12lb plums! I only had 3lb for this. Then I made 2 Plum and Ginger Tarts from good old BBC Good Food . I love that site! I cut one tart into six and froze in pairs for Sunday evening treats. We ate the first ones in front of the new series of Downton Abbey with some creme fraiche. It is quite tart, I am not sure the girls would like it. The other one I popped in the freezer whole ready for some guests in a couple of weeks time. It got me thinking about making something similar with pears. Oh, and reminded me that I need to get started with making my annual batch(es?!) of Chilli Jam.

On the evening menu for me and PJ?

Burgers, Chips and Onion Rings
Since getting pregnant with the twins it has become tradition to eat 'junk' on a Saturday night in the non-BBQ season. And PJ cooks it, which is lovely. I sit and sip my G&T. Soon this will be in front of Strictly Come Dancing! This is not to say that PJ can't cook proper food. He's a great cook, see below!

Beef Carbonade 
My Dad made this a lot when I lived at home. It's a beef casserole cooked in beer, then in the last 10-15 mins you place pieces of bread with french mustard spread on them on top. It's scrumptious. 

Spaghetti Carbonara
My version uses creme fraiche so I don't feel so guilty!

Fish Bake
A new one for us which an online friend told me about. It involves frozen white fish pieces with creme fraiche spread on top. You can add veg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, depending on what you have in. It's cheap and should leave enough to give the girls a portion at their lunch the following day.

Rosemary chicken with tomato sauce
A new to me BBC Good Food recipe. Hope to report back next week.

Fish & Chips
Oven baked versions from Tesco, cheap and cheerful to end the week!

One evening missing, right? That's because PJ cooked for me tonight, beef and noodle stir fry. Yum!

Monday, 23 September 2013


I made this handbag charm, or keyring for a lovely customer who also bought two Dollies and two canvases from me.

Find out more at

Monday, 16 September 2013

Simple, but effective!

Today I stuck a length of wallpaper lining paper to the dinning room table with masking tape and then let the girls loose with pencils and stickers.

Big girl wouldn't stay sat down though! She was enjoying drawing things for her sisters and doling out stickers to them. I may have even joined in myself a bit!

Kept them all amused for 45 minutes, something of a record in this house. Definitely one to repeat!

Maxi Dollies

I am now making Maxi Dollies! They are 12" tall. My original Mini Dollies are 8". They began this size because you need a large piece of material to make the skirt for the girl Dollies, even at only 8" tall. But I think that the paneled skirts on the new Maxi Dollies works very well and they're also good for using larger garments, if that's what a customer has decided they would like to use.

find out more about my Dollies at 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Super Heros!

A friend of mine has a son who turned 6 and a daughter who turned 8, both in August, 9 days apart! So I made these personalised super hero capes and masks. I designed their logos on the PC. I really enjoyed making them, a few more children might get them as presents yet!

There are a couple of super hero pins on my Pintrest 'Presents' board. I took a little bit of inspiration from most of them

Saturday, 7 September 2013


...of this

"Please excuse the mess, the children are making memories!"

 I prefer this

Grumpy, moi?!

Ready to G&T

I'm a huge fan of the humble G&T. My girls are generally very good but I still really look forward to a cheeky glass or too on a Friday or Saturday evening but I don't like wasting lemons or limes and I don't want ice watering it down so for a while now I've chopped up a batch of fruit and frozen it in a freezer bag. So when the time comes I just pop a couple in my glass and put the rest back in the freezer. Divine!