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When am not doing the everyday stuff of life i am making things. Or thinking about making things....

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Mostly Easter

Happy Easter! Here are some things we have been up to.

Decoupage plastic eggs! Filled with choc, I did wonder if I could get them open ever again once they had dried! A quick score around the middle with some scissors and a squeeze and phew they cracked open like the real thing. Presents for our friends.

J's Easter cards. From a link via Crafty Crow. Hand prints for bunny ears and tail. He drew the faces himself. then I thought if we reversed the handprint and did it in yellow we'd get a lovely chick too.

Choc Easter spoon sweets. They pop out really easily and look like posh continental dragees. We will be making them at my first holiday craft club running on then12th April. Wish me luck! 6 girls inc O and 3 crafts in 2.5 hours. Thanks Zola for your push to get me going.

 

At last some sun! We went for a lovely walk in the park and helped lots of canal boats through the locks. We built a den from fallen branches much to the amusement of the onlooking golfers.

 

 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Mostly chickens!

Lots of things are conspiring to make me consider keeping chickens recently. However I am not as committed as my animal loving friend Zola! She and I went on a chicken keeping afternoon at Hen Corner in Brentford at the weekend. We dodged the showers and the sun came out for a while too. Sara Ward, who runs the course, was very generous in her knowledge, her time and her cakes! Her goody bags were filled with information, a box of 4 eggs, chilli and apple jelly and bay leaves: totally charming. Whilst O and I didn' t cuddle a chicken, Zola and Pheebs did. When we came back outside we found 6 lovely newly laid eggs from the amazing Omlet Eglu and O was thrilled to carry them back to the house. "They are very hot!"she said. We had boiled eggs for breakfast on Sunday!

If it weren' t for the fox I have seen in our garden every day this week, then maybe I would consider it... Watch this space.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mostly Annie Sloaning

Is there any more gorgeous and easy to use paint than Annie Sloan's chalk paint? I mean you don't have to sand anything down, the paint washes out in the sink and you can layer it up distress it and wax it. So I have invented a new verb, to Annie Sloan: i.e. to make a boring old bit of wood more wonderful with a lick of paint. After a wonderful morning in the snow at a vintage fair with Zola and Mark, i came home and decided it was time to paint the boring bookshelf we inherited from someone who was moving house and which sticks out like a sore thumb in the living room.
There's nothing wrong with a bit of child labour is there?!
Paris grey with French linen (Annie Sloan colours) on top, a light waxing and sanding of edges provided the necessary distressed effect. The selves now house a culled cookbook collection and nic- knacks. I need to find a nice wicker basket to fit the bottom shelves for linen storage but like the other two baskets on the top.
Whilst i missed out on a standard lamp stand at the aforesaid vintage fair I found found fully electrically tested at my local hospice shop for 20£. A bit of Annie Sloaning has transformed it into this! I need to sort the shade out next as it's too bright without one!
Half term and my birthday conspired to make it a very busy end of Feb. Thanks to all my lovely friends for their birthday pressies, cards and good wishes.
Finally i have been sewing too but my machine has gone away to be fixed as it has stopped zigzagging. Hate to think how much that will coat. I made a bubble dress for O for a party. It s lovely but the sizing needs changing as she has got sooo tall now. I added a waist tie too as it was large round the tum. Pattern and impending improvements available here
http://straight-grain.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/bubble-dress-patterns-and-tutorial.html

Hope you enjoyed the posts today!

Mostly flapjacks

I struggle with flapjacks. I never manage to make any that stick together and usually end up with a tin of greasy, oaty crumbs. Very depressing. My most recent disaster was Nigella 's recipe (yes i know! Nigella!) and it used up a whole block of butter to boot. I mean if you are gonna get a coronary at least do it with a recipe that works! I added some chocolate in the hope that it would aid the sticking properties. Nope: the usual crumbly, greasy mess. So some research happened and after reading long blog posts about the type of oats, the merits of syrup v honey, adding flour (apparently a no no), I found a recipe that may be a success at last. It seems that there are two flapjack camps, the crunchy or the chewy. Most people do seem to favour the chewy, as I do, but for years I seem to have been trying to make crunchy (when actually it was chewy i wanted - doh). Now I have seen the light and Dan Lepard's Halva flapjack recipe. So at this moment in time this recipe is cooking away and fingers crossed it is what I am after.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/24/halva-flapjacks-recipe-dan-lepard

Not only does it contain condensed milk, possibly my favourite ingredient EVER, but I had some tahini paste to use up and the rest of the muesli mix so a win win situation all round.

NEWSFLASH I can confirm success at last!!!!! I used golden syrup not honey and no extra sesame seeds or fruit, just what was in the muesli mix. It is yumptious. However my buddy Nicki has found a recipe on Good Food that she was happy with so maybe the search continues afterall.......!

I did have a better picture than this but its gone somewhere into the ether.

I made these cute Valentines Owls with hot choc and marshmallows inside for Johns school teachers and they were really sucessful. I am sorry but I cant remember where on the web I got the tutorial but i think i found it via Pinterest. They are made from cardboard kitchen rolls.

 

J made a box with Daddy a week ago. I am not sure what it is for but am sure it will be a useful box!