Monday, August 29, 2011

Crochet bracelets

I thought I would share some of my makes...

I have really got into playing with crochet and found a couple of fab blogs that have patterns for bracelets with beads:

Firstly, Mrs Micawbers Recipe for Happiness
So here are some bracelets I made, I have since made a few more. They are made using 4ply cotton (a bargain in John Lewis, I asked if she had any odd balls and the lady brought a box out from the store room - all marked down from £5.20 to £1.50 - so will pop back)

and secondly (this was the pattern that got me started) - see post from May

Future girl

These are more of the same like the first one I did - made by the pool in Jamaica :) Using crochet cotton - same size beads so they move a lot more as the cotton is much thinner. I bought the pink beads just before I left and on the web site they were much pinker, so mixed them with the blue as I didn't have as many of those:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Photo cards

I have been walking at the weekends a lot recently so have started taking local pictures, and decided to make them into cards. I had already shown the one that I swapped with Melis, and here are a few more in the same idea. Sorry the camera one is out of focus and I don't have it anymore to take another pic...but do have more planned. Would love any ideas that I could theme some more. I nipped down and took some of the allotments and also a friends garden, that maybe I can add some garden embellies to them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Double up swap

My challenge - I have already put this on the forum but thought I would add it here - this is what I was sent from Melis:

and I will admit that I struggled with this as it was such a 'blank canvas', and so much paper just didn't know how to incorporate it all on one card! So I decided to make some roses by cutting spirals using deckle edged scissors and rolling them up from the outside in - iykwim. I added some glitter and then used a brad for the centre of the flower.

All became very clear once Melis had showed me her creation, what a fab card:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I saw this link on one of the crochet sites, and just knew I had to give it a go.

I have the crocheted cotton from long ago, but didn't have any suitable beads. I managed to get some when I went to the NEC recently, and so finally got around to finishing it this morning, as I was off out to lunch with Sue and Clare, and it matched the top I was wearing!

I did need to make it a few more rows longer than the pattern - not sure if it is because I have large wrists or tight crocheter...I assumed the second reason....

We met up in Baldock for coffee wandered to Scrap Revolution and Wool n Things, then went back to the coffee shop for lunch. It was sunny enough to sit outside :)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Double up swap

Net organised this on the forum, and I have been partnered with Melis. Melis has made hers and sent me all the bits - which I keep staring at....and I made mine and sent my bits to Melis and she has made a brilliant card.

So this is the one I sent - which includes a picture of a walk in Ampthill Park, I did leave the 'title' off the one I sent so that Melis could use the card without it being too far away for her!

This is what I sent:

And this is what I made

Monday, May 02, 2011

Flitwick Moor

I have vowed to get out and about a bit more and see the countryside, and also get a bit fitter. So for the past few months each weekend I have been going on a walk with a friend, and we do try and go at a reasonable pace, and then I have been doing occasional walks - more of a stroll with the other half!

So I have been taking pictures and not really doing much with them, although I have made some cards which I will have to put on a post. So I thought I ought to put some of the walks on here....

Today it was a stroll around Flitwick Moor and also some information here

I have never been before so we drove to the car park, if you are not sure where to turn off the Maulden Road - it is literally the track by the farm buildings. On arrival the car park was empty, and we commented how quiet it was. We walked into the wood to be greeted by a 'marshall' and was told there would be about 140 runners just going past - apparently the Flitton fun run :). None of them were laughing and joking so not quite sure that it was fun......We let them go past - puffing and panting - and then continued with our walk!

The actual Moor is quite small and won't take long to follow the paths around, there is a longer walk entitled the Two Moors Heritage Trail, and I hope to do that another day.

We just followed the paths around the Moor which takes you out to the meadow, and then brings you back into the Moor once more. I really have not learnt much about the history around here and was fascinated to read that peat was extracted here up until 1967.

The land is iron rich and so the streams running through are coloured orange - just like the Worsley Canal in Manchester. The place is indeed very boggy, and the reeds are starting to grow and in the summer I am sure the place will be much more interesting, if you have not been it is well worth a visit.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Banana Muffins - decorated

I put up the recipe a while back but have now decorated them for the Country Markets.  They are a great way to use up squishy bananas - the squishier the better.  I do find I can't plan to make these as the unripe bananas will not work, so it is a case of what the fruit bowl looks like.

this was the first time I made them for the market - and the top picture was the second attempt.  I used choc chips as that was all I had around.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mother's Day card

I actually got around to making some cards for Mother's Day, but for some reason I didn't take a pic of them all - clearly a senior moment. I have managed to sell a few on Ampthill Country Market stall - I still sell cards for £1.50 - I probably should ask for more but tbh I just want to get a little bit of money back from all that I spend as I like to 'craft' :)

The first one was a bit of a cheat as the papers were already glittered and patterned. Bought them in a sale last year, some are far too girlie for me, but managing to find a use for quite a lot of them. The stamp was free with the new craft mag that is out.

The second one is an image I got from a swap on the forum some time ago - I think from Susanne - I am sure they are Penny Black stamps.

It has been really windy today - big gusts - although the sun has been out too. I planted some daff bulbs from Poundland in the veg patch at the end of last summer and have just picked some and brought them in to the conservatory. I reckon it is cheaper to buy them from the supermarkets - but it was a nice achievement! My rhubarb is looking excellent this year it is now its 3rd season so should be big and strong!

I have started using Picasa to crop/edit my photos this year, and have put a little watermark on them - bit of fun really - maybe I should put the full web address down.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another new outfit for Sindy!

I got this lovely yarn from the knitting machine shop and I just had to make Sindy a new dress with matching bag! I think I have officially gone mad! Having said that it gives the Country Market stall a bit of interest - I took her along and she modelled a dress and lots of people noticed.

I shall wrap it up and see if anyone will buy it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lemon Cake - take two

This is a slightly different recipe to my previous one - no idea if it would work just as well. But this one I decided to bake in a square tin which is around 18cm/ just under 8 inches square. I then cut it into 4 portions to sell on the market - I reckon each portion is enough for up to 4 slices depending how big you like them!

4oz 125g butter or narg
6oz 175g sugar
2 large eggs
6oz 175g self raising flour
2 lemon (I reckon 1 big lemon would be enough)
sugar approx 2 ozs

Oven is at 180c 350f gas 4

cream together the fat and sugar, add the egg and beat. Add the grated rind of one of the lemons, and also the juice of the lemon (or half if large lemon). Fold in the flour. Bake for 30 mins.

Now there are several ways to finish this. You can melt the sugar and lemon juice and poour over the cake whilst warm. You can mix the juice of the lemon with the sugar and pout on the cake whilst warm. You can add lemon rind to the mix too.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Forum birthday

This weekend is the forum birthday - it is 9 years old awww! Glad to see that people enjoy visiting being part of a community, so here is to the next birthday which will be double figures. So if you have not stopped by in a while, pop in and say Hi.

Not got anything to show today - although I have actually made some cards - just not taken any photos.

I ventured out into the garden yesterday as we had beautiful sunshine, and pleased to see lots of the plants are emerging after a cold winter.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Red Cabbage

DH is a pickled cabbage fan so thought I would give this a go. I don't really understand all the difference between all the different vinegars, so for a first go - I used standard brown malt vinegar. The recipe is dead easy.

Basically you chop the cabbage finely put layers in a colander with salt, and leave over night for some of the liquid to come out. Give it a rinse. Pack loosely into sterilised jars and top with the cool vinegar.

Pickle your vinegar - I used 1 tablespoon of pickling spices and 1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar to 1 pint of vinegar, simmer for about 5 minutes and let it cool, and strain.

Apparently you need to eat within a couple of months otherwise the cabbage will lose its crunch.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Hair clips

I have been making crocheted flowers, and decided that they could be used as hairclips - hairclips seem to be 'in' at the moment. So yesterday I spotted the clips in Poundland and thought I would give them a go. You get 30 and are several colours. You can also get plain silver, gold or black.

I wasn't quite sure how to attach so I blobbed some glue on first and then used the ends to sew them. I have made some brooches too - and will put up some pics later.

I love this yarn - it is so pretty, it is the end of a spool designed for knitting machines, and cost me £1 and I have loads and loads. I must pop back to the shop to see if they get any more.

I actually cropped this photo in Picasa as I was looking how to do it for someone on the forum and added a watermark too! It was quite easy to use. I also found out that it will scan every photo on the PC and find every face so that I can name them - like you do on FB and Friend Reunited etc - once you start putting names to faces it will start searching through and come up with suggestions - not always right - but often is!

Thursday, March 03, 2011


More from last year....

I had a bit of tomato glut, loads of green I decided to make green tomato chutney. I hunted around and in the end used Clare's recipe on the forum, and realised it was the same as a book I had. Funnily enough I didn't find any on the internet like this though.

4lb green tomatoes
1.5lb onions
1lb cooking apples
1 pt vinegar
8 dried chillies
1oz dried root ginger
8oz raisins
1lb sugar
2tsp salt

Chop first 3 and boil 30mins with half the vinegar.
Add spices (in muslin) and raisins and simmer about an hour.
Add sugar, salt and rest of vinegar and cook until thick and all liquid has boiled away.

I use this as a basis and it is probably different every time I make it!
I have never used dried ginger (never see it these days) and just replace with about 4tsp dried ginger or some grated fresh. I usually use dried chilli flakes or powder/cayenne straight into the pan - again just whatever I have to hand. I have also added garlic which works too.
Malt or distilled malt vinegar is fine - never tried cider vinegar, but I think with chutneys you don't need as strong a vinegar as you do for pickling so no reason why it wouldn't work just as well. Brown sugar as it gives a nice dark colour and a slightly richer flavour I think, but not necessary.

I tweaked it a bit and added garlic and sultanas as I had no raisins, and not so keen on chilli.

Then the green tomatoes that were left on the side all ripened so I had a glut of those!

I made red tomato chutney - which is sweeter than the green, but perfect with a strong cheese. Again I searched around for a recipe and did one similar to the green, but put a couple of eating apples in instead of all cooking apples - as I had a couple of dodgy ones in the fruit bowl. I put in slightly less sugar, and I think I added some paprika.

I made more labels - as I gave several of these away for Christmas. This was my first adventure into chutney making and enjoyed it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Chocolate Orange Squares

...I will admit I have found some posts that I never made they have been sitting here as drafts - no idea why! So it seemed a shame not to share - so will post them over the next few days - they are all recipes:

I have done this recipe before - but I reduced it by 1 third and replaced some of the milk for fresh orange juice, although you can't heat the juice as it curdles the milk. I will try it with all juice next time and heat it up. I also grated some orange zest into the cake.

I baked it in a square tin I think just over 7 inches

Hot Milk Chocolate Sponge

Makes a 7 inch cake
3 eggs
8 oz Caster Sugar
4 oz Plain Flour
2 tbsps Cocoa
2 tspn baking powder
4 fl oz milk
1 oz Margarine

Chocolate Butter Icing:
3 oz butter softened
8 oz icing sugar
2 tbspn cocoa powder 3 tbspn boiling water, mix and cool

Whisk the eggs and sugar together really well until the mixture is thick and pale. Sift flour and cocoa and fold into egg mixture. Sprinkle the baking powder on top of the mixture. Heat the milk and marg together (I do mine in the microwave), make sure all the marg has melted and the milk is hot. Pour this on top of the mixture and allow to froth up, fold together. Pour into two 7 inch sandwich tins.
Cook at gas mark 4, 180c or 350f, for about 40 mins, cool on a wire rack.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I saw Pam (the Jam) on Hugh FW Riverside Cottage make piccalilli and it looked dead easy and as Paul often eats it I decided to give it a go. At the end of the last summer I had a glut of courgettes, so I bought a cauliflower, and there were radishes marked down in Waitrose (Pam had used these in the TV program), and I also added some chopped onion.

Pam's Piccalilli recipe

2kg washed, peeled vegetables - select 5 or 6 from the following: cauliflower or romanesco cauliflower, radish, green beans, cucumbers, courgettes, green or yellow tomatoes, tomatilloes, carrots, small silver-skinned onions or shallots, peppers, nasturtium seed pods
100g fine sea salt
60g cornflour
20g ground turmeric
20g English mustard powder
20g ground ginger
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1.2 litres cider vinegar
300g granulated sugar
100g honey
Method: How to make Pam's piccalilli
1. Cut the veg into small, even, bite-sized pieces. Place in a large colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with the salt. Mix well, cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours, then rinse the veg with ice-cold water and drain thoroughly.

2. Blend the cornflour, turmeric, mustard powder, ginger, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander to a smooth paste with a little of the vinegar. Put the rest of the vinegar into a saucepan with the sugar and honey and bring to the boil. Pour a little of the hot vinegar over the blended spice paste, stir well and return to the pan. Bring gently to the boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavours into the thickening sauce.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully fold the well-drained vegetables into the hot, spicy sauce. Pack the pickle into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately with vinegar-proof lids. Leave for about 6 weeks before opening. Use within a year.

I checked out my book of preserves that I have had for years after I made this and note that they added 2 crushed cloves of garlic and used less sugar 175gms

...I didn't add the honey or cumin as I didn't have either, but I think I did the rest. It tasted lovely - I don't normally like it. The veg was actually recognisable, unlike supermarket stuff that is all diced. Having said that it was quite chunky for a sandwich!

I gave some away for presents - and realised I was an 'l' short in the label! It was very much liked :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tea cosy - crocheted

I have made a few of these using double wool and a 4.5mm crochet hook. The fluffy wool makes it a bit different and is dead easy, rather than having to make a pom pom or something else. Unfortunately it looks like the fluffy wool is not made any more so I won't be making too many :( I was lucky enough to get an odd ball on the charity stall in Ampthill for 50p last week, so that should some in handy.

I basically started from the top, and then split it in two once I reached the handle and spout and worked on one side, then went back and finished the other side. I joined both halves together with a couple more rows of crochet, and just added a few chain before attaching to make it a bit wider.

2 friends gave them for Christmas presents, so I have made another couple - but not really sure if there are too many people into tea pots and tea cosies these days.

My friend took me out for afternoon tea at the Inn at Woburn recently for my birthday, and I notice that they could have done with tea cosies as by the time we were onto our second cup it was going cold.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I have not been making cards recently I seem to have quite a stock of 'general' cards, but needed to make a couple of specific cards this week. They are pretty much a matching pair as I had the papers out, I decided to kill two birds with one stone as it were! The one with the heart was a Valentine for Paul, I actually gave a pressie too - a DVD and a bar of chocolate!

The paper I bought when I went out to lunch with Sue & Clare - they are 'old' but tbh I don't think the recipients will notice :) Love the colours.

What a rubbish weather day it has been - it is the start of half term as well, not very just been mooching around indoors and can't get motivated. Still trying to decide where to go on holiday!

It is the so will have to get a few things ready for the
Ampthill Farmers market next Saturday 26th Feb, Country Markets stall, and I have offered to put up a banner tomorrow in the Prince of Wales car park. so don't forget if you are around and about in Ampthill - come and visit. It is just opposite Waitrose.

Not sure I will keep this blogging up - but still have a few more things that need a photo and putting up here, so watch this space!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blackberry Jam

I made this in September last year and have already eaten most of it. I did two batches the second included elderberries :) I don't like lots of pips in jam, I find that as the fruit is cooked down the pip ratio goes up as opposed to eating them fresh, but wasn't fussed about making proper 'jelly'. So wandered around the internet, and after much searching came up with these quantities:

1 kilo of blackberries and 1/2 kilo of windfall apples chopped up whole - that someone had for free down the road and some water...

Made juice by cooking for a while and then I sieved the lot.

It basically made 900mls of juice - read somewhere to go for 75gms of sugar for every 100mls. Boiled it up using the normal jam making process - it wasn't perfectly clear like jelly, but no pips is what I wanted!

I guess I should show some out of the jar.....

I made labels as I intended to give some as gifts - but I have eaten quite a bit so kept it all to myself :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

More Barbie - well in my case Sindy

Another dress for my Sindy with a broken ankle - you can't see it - she just can't put too much weight on it. Luckily she is super slim and barely weighs anything....

So this one is dead easy - I wandered around the internet and saw loads of patterns and this was a conglomeration, I made one in yellow 4 ply (I had given to me from when Mum knitted stuff - probably for Owen!) and sold it on Ampthill Country Market before Christmas, just for £2 - wasn't really sure how much to charge....

The frill is just knitted in garter stitch, and after a while reduced down to 30 stitches - then it is st st and then rib for the top. But this was the first time I had done it with this particular 4 ply, and I really needed a couple more - so did increase it to 32.

I managed to find this ball for £1 at Hexton Village Hall - Country Matters. They have an eclectic mix of handmade items as well as other bits and bobs like wool. It is run as a co-operative, and well worth a visit if you are that way. They have a lovely tea shop - with a roaring log fire and homemade cakes. I thoguht they had a web site - but I can't find one now. Also in the village is the Bothy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hats - more knitting and crochet

I settled down and made a few hats to put on the Country stall market in Ampthill for the run up to Christmas, unfortunately we just don't get loads of the custom, so I didn't sell them all - but I did sell a few, not that I priced them that high - it was really for something to do and kept me out of mischief, and used up some yarn that I had for a while.

I made them in all sizes for babies right up to adult, mainly crocheted, but knitted a few. I gave some for presents and I also crocheted a couple from wool supplied to match scarves that my friend had woven, you can see some of her scarves on Ampthill Country Market, which is a little site I put together for them. Doing them in double crochet gives a close texture similar to weaving and matched in nicely.

So I guess I made around 15 of them but I do have a few left if anyone wants one :)

Friday, February 04, 2011

Hot water bottle cover

So here is another yarn project - you may already have seen it as I posted it on the forum.

So today's show and tell of past projects - was a quick crocheted cover for a hot water bottle that I bought in Poundland - I gave it to my Mum for Christmas. Sorry not the best picture - I have always been doing things in a hurry, and the light was not so good :) I made the pattern as I went along, and decided to start with a chain where I worked into both sides, so I didn't have to sew it up and went around and around. When I got to the top of the bottle I decreased it a bit just so there wasn't so much to gather, but you can still take the bottle out of the cover easy enough.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Kindle cover

I got a Kindle for Christmas with a beautiful bright pink leather cover, which stays attached to it. But the cover is quite bulky and heavy, so when I read it at home I like to use it without the cover. So I decided that I needed to make a slip cover for it. So out came the knitting needles, and this was the end result. I made sure that the rib was a bit smaller so that it can't slip out. I didn't want to put any buttons or hard items onto it in case it damaged it, so just finished it with a couple of crocheted flowers.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

..the first yarn project

So as promised I thought I would add a few things that I made over the last few months, when I have been playing with yarn, as I have been sitting on the sofa watching TV. Note - I started doing this to use up some of the bits and pieces I have had hanging around for years...then I saw some bargains and then DH bought me some for Christmas and so I have twice as much as I started with! Isn't crafting always the same!

So today's show and tell -

... I have been playing dolls clothes...

I have a Sindy all of my own that I bought for a friends daughter back in the 80's, I had the brilliant idea of making clothes for her then - and managed to break her ankle! I didn't take it back as I had bought it direct from someone that worked for Hasbro at the time and was all too complicated - so the upshot of it I have a limping Sindy, that can model anything I make for her - but clearly has problems walking up and down :)

So here are a few bits....

Side picture - she has a 'boob' tube under the jacket

Fluffy scarf and hat

I quickly packed this up when I was away, so wasn't the best card - but did make a bag to go with it! Someone bought it on the market stall :)

And these are tiny placemats that are crocheted using crochet cotton

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh dear - been off my blog for ages...

...OK I admit I have completely forgotten about this, I just don't know how that happened!

So I thought I would make a quick post to let you all know I added a few pages to the web site, and I am determined to make the odd post on here from time to time.

This picture is available to download for free from the website. A little bit different - I hope that you can make use of it. I have been busy knitting and crocheting - so I will have to show some of my creations on here in the next few weeks.

Sue has also put up a time to create recipe or template - pick what you fancy..the recipe is:
as many as you like of the following:

So you can make a card, do a layout, decorate a box - or whatever takes your fancy.