Monday, 31 October 2011

Making Play-Dough

I just love

Play Dough

It's such fun.


I recently got given (by my cousins partner Lara) the recipe to make 
home made play dough 
which is so easy, I absolutely love making it and Luca loves playing with it.

This morning I made a fresh bright yellow batch.

This is how you make it:

1 Cup of Flour
1 Cup of Water
1 Large Tablespoon of Sunflower Oil
1 Teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
Food Colouring
Vanilla Essence (to make it smell nice, but you can add any essential oil if you prefer)
Finally, 1 Cup of Fine Cooking Salt

Put the flour, water, sunflower oil, tartar, food colouring and essence in a non stick pot and cook on very low heat until evenly combined.

Add the salt and stir until it starts to look like "dough".


Take off the heat and roll the dough into a ball (be careful because it's very hot at first).




Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Seaside Dress

Another fashion creation for little Nina.

I made this

Nautical Dress

before she came along, in, what I now call

My Weekend of Sewing Madness


Al and Luca were away for a long week end at Grandads', and I had my hands free (for the first time in 4 years!!!) to... well, to go crazy with my sewing machine whilst watching rubbish telly, without disturbing either big man or little boy with the "wrrrrrrr wrrrrrrr wrrrrrring"of my trusty Singer.

I was very pregnant at the time, feeling mild contractions coming and going, and went craft mad, up until 2am, sewing away all day... and practically all night.

I think I produced about 8 garments over the 3 days.
All baby/toddler things, so nothing too taxing, but great fun none the less.
Mainly fueled by that unusual sinking feeling:

"What do I do with myself, whilst very preggers, and all alone at home for the first time?"

Very rewarding too, though I WAS happy when they finally got back... so I could finally get some sleep and turn my now overheated sewing machine off!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Halloween


I love Halloween.
I am yet to enjoy the whole "dressing up in scary outfits and trick or treating" with my little ones.
Luca just doesn't fancy the whole dressing up thing... yet.
But I do think it's such a fun holiday.

I found these great freebees on the fabulous Ellinee website, and thought I'd try out the Halloween decorations.


My Pumpkin is trying to grow... but dare I say, I am not sure it will make it to Halloween big and round and orange.


Also... on the same site, check out the wedding freebees...

 The Birthday and Easter freebees.

So cute, lovely and easy to make!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cosy Cushion


The Autumn colours have inspired me to crochet an

Autumnal Cushion

 Simply... it's a large Granny Square, changing colours (mostly) every row, making the colour
the prominent shade.
(I am loving cream at the moment)


 Here you will see, the mad wool collection I am accumulating, with my other current obsession:
Wicker Baskets.
I recently bought a GIGANTIC ball of cream aran wool, which seems to be taking over half the room!


Now for the other side of the cushion.

Before sewing them together, with buttons down one side.


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Hat Warmers

I've gone


One (reversible) for summer (sewing project)...
Once again, the pattern is by the fabulous
little things to sew


and two for winter (crochet-ed).
My own creation

which goes something like this:

Ch 4, join with sl st to form a ring
Rnd 1: Ch 2(counts as first dc), 9 dc in ring. Join with sl st to top of beg dc. (10 dc)
Rnd 2: Ch 2, dc in same st, 2dc in next st and in every st around. Join. (20 dc)
Rnd 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in next st, *dc in next st, 2 dc in next. Repeat from*. Join. (30dc)
Rnd 4: Ch 2, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, *dc in next 2 st, 2 dc in next st. Repeat from*. Join. (40)
Rnd 5-11: Ch 2, dc in every st around. Join (40dc)
Rnd 12: Ch 1, hdc in every st around. Join. (40 hdc)
Rnd 13 Picot Edging: *Ch 3, sl st in first chain, sl st in next 3 st**. Repeat from* to ** until the end. Join.

The little white flowers were made like this:

First a basic for the petals:
1. one flower petal: 5 dc, take hook off loop, put hook (from front to back) through 3rd chain (the last ch of space before the 5 dc) and the ”loose loop”, then you pull through both loops on hook.

At the start
Chain 4, Slip Stitch into first chain (to make the first circle)
1st round:
chain one, 7 single crochet in circle. end round with slip st in chain.
2nd round:
make 1 flower petal in each single crochet with chain 3 between each one, end round with slip st in 3rd chain at beginning of round = 8 petals

Makes sense?

If not, just email me/comment and I'll do my best to describe it to you...

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A 5th Wedding Anniversary

Recently... Alex and I celebrated our

5th Wedding Anniversary

I can't quite believe that five years ago little Luca was in my tummy and now, little Nina has joined us.
My... my... my... how time flies and yet it feels like yesterday that Alex and I met.

For our "home-made-date" anniversary dinner, we had a beautiful meal at home, comprising of candle light, cocktails, starters, main and pudding...

For pudding, I made ten cup cakes - my absolute baking favourite
(five cream ones and five chocolate ones)


with little romantic flags, made from the freebie printouts off the inspiring website Ellinee.


Thank you big A for these gorgeous years together.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Little Snacking Cheddars

I have been thoroughly obsessed with the British BBC TV series called

Couldn't stop watching it, religiously addicted...
Re-watched the whole series on the iPlayer as well, which I know is rather sad... but hey... what else am I going to do whilst holding a sleeping baby?

Then... whilst browsing in WHSmiths, I went and bought myself 

Which is just as exciting... so many yummy things to make.

This is what I made:


They are scrummy yummy and equally as addictive as the TV series.

Luca was immensely pleased when I turned up for the school pick up, with a box full of these golden cheesy delights. He munched on seven of them, before the car journey was up... then another four whilst watching cartoons.

This is the recipe:


200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
chilli flakes to taste
150g extra mature cheddar cheese (or other strong hard cheese)
150g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 x whole medium free-range egg, plus one egg yolk
I recon you could also add a little semolina flour to the mixture, to give them a little crunch. Haven't tried this yet, but I think it could work.


Mix the flour, salt, chilli and cheese in a food processor until it's well mixed.
Add the butter and blend until it is a sandy texture.
Add the eggs, which will bind the dough into a soft ball.
Put the dough on a floured surface and gently knead until it's all stuck together.
Bang/slam it on the surface a few times to get the air out.


Roll it into a long sausage (about 50cm long).


Cut the sausage into three, then wrap them tightly in greaseproof paper and stick them in the fridge for 30mins.


Heat the oven at 200c.

Cut the three sausages of dough into 1cm thick "coins".


Place these on some non stick baking treys and cook for 10-12mins until golden brown.


Let them cool down and harden before eating...

Ecco qua'...






This next book
(probably very similar to the first book, but who cares... I love a shelf stacked with cookery books)
will be on my Xmas list...