Sunday, 24 February 2013

Some finished projects.....

It seems like ages since I've posted on my blog (a whole 10 days!) as I was missing in decorating action last weekend. This weekend has heavily featured sick children (and the sniffles for me) but I have managed to complete a couple of projects, that in combination made up to a 4 piece "order" for a friend of a friend.

A couple of the items were things I've made before - a dish cloth and a tooth fairy cushion. I have a few outstanding orders for these so had to make quite a few.

I actually made another 3 after I'd taken this photo as I realised I hadn't made enough! I really like this new fabric that I've bought for these little cushions - it's a lovely colour, and is really soft.
I also finished the bunting that was requested:

And I also finished the carrier bag dispenser.

Having made the "pattern" from scratch, based on one that BFF has, I am really pleased with it. I basically made a tube from some calico, appliqued the heart decoration and then used elastic through the hem at the bottom and some ribbon through the hem at the top so that it can be hung up. It was very simple but is very effective.

I had hoped to do some more sewing today but time has conspired against me. My sewing machine afternoon with Auntie Sarah had to be cancelled due to all of the bugs lurking in my house - we have rescheduled so as not to miss out on some much needed catch-up time. I had made a Cadbury Mini Creme Egg cheesecake ready for her arrival so I'll have to make another one now - just as well, as it was eaten before I had chance to take a photo of it to show you all!

I also made some chocolate brownies this weekend. I am hopeless when I make these. They always end up far too soft (almost runny) in the middle. What am I doing wrong? The edges were OK but the middle so soggy I actually put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes but it still wasn't right.

Not that anyone seemed to mind - aside from eating the brownie from the tin it was added to a few bowls of ice cream on Saturday evening. But I'd like to get it right first time. More practise I guess (shame, eh?).

I'll be linking this post to Handmade Monday so join me there if you can to catch up on what everyone else has been up to this week.

Have a great week - I hope we all warm up a bit (and I hope this darn snow stops).

Love Natalie

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Soup Recipes

After all the positive comments about the carrot and coriander soup photo from Monday, I thought I'd give you the recipe as it is so simple. You can't beat a homemade soup, especially in this cold weather!

You need:
1 onion, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
450g carrots, chopped
1l vegetable/chicken stock
1 tsp ground coriander
A handful of chopped fresh coriander

Heat a little oil in a pan and soften the onions.
Add the chopped potato and ground coriander.
Add the carrot and stock.
Bring back to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the veg is soft.
Remove from the heat, add the fresh coriander and whizz up with a hand blender.
Season to taste.

Voila! It really is that simple and I think it's my favourite of the soups I make.

I was also asked by the ever faithful angelkiss for my cauliflower soup recipe which is very similar.
You need:
1 onion, chopped
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
2 tbls flour
Half a pint of milk
500ml stock

As before, heat some oil and soften the onion then add the cauliflower and the flour and heat through.
Add the milk and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Whizz and season.

You could make a broccoli soup in the same way.

There is nothing at all flash about these soups but they are delicious and really hearty - and good for you! I'd love to hear from anyone who has a go at making some. Enjoy x

Love Natalie

Monday, 11 February 2013

Dodgy photo alert!

Though I have done some crafting this weekend, my cooking has been a little more productive in so far as what I started making I finished (I mean I finished cooking AND finished eating each dish!).
I put the finishing touches to 3 more tooth fairy cushions

 and did some more preparation for the bunting I've been asked to make but no other crafts to photograph. Thank the lord I hear you say due to the really poor photos that I take. I am so impatient when I'm taking photos and I can't work out why. I think I just don't find the taking of them fun at all - even holiday snaps are taken in a rush. I love looking back at photos but am always aware that they are slightly out of focus or the subject is too small. I can't decide whether I'm bothered or not, although I'm not sure that that is a good attitude. If I was taking pictures to sell things I'd have to take more care I realise (selling old clothes on eBay doesn't count!) but I'm not really there yet so I've got time to summon up the patience required.
So here are the dodgy photos of the weekends bakes: carrot and coriander soup, white choc chip cookies and a Hedgehog birthday cake.

I'm posting early today so that I can spend more time reading through the posts of other bloggers over at Handmade Monday so join me there if you can.
I hope you're not too snowed in this week! Happy crafting,
Love Natalie

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Preparation is key!

I spent yesterday evening (and a bit of time during the day) doing some preparation for some crafting for the weekend. I cut out lots of felt shapes with Mum's Big Shot machine:

 I want to make some more of the Button Heart decorations that I made before, and thought I'd try making some in other colours as well as good ol' red. And I cut out some smaller hearts and some stars because I have a keyring in mind that could be made up by layering 1 or 2 felt shapes (or maybe 1 felt and 1 fabric one?) and securing with a button and some ribbon.......It's certainly a work in progress but whilst I was there I'd thought I'd at least get some shapes cut to have a play with.

I also cut out the fabric for some more tooth fairy cushions that I will make with some new material I have bought.

At the front of the picture you can also see the component parts of some patchwork/quilted coasters that I am going to make for BFF. It would seem like I am good to go. Wrong! As I was putting this post together in my head I realised that I don't have the right threads. Doh! I have black and white but I don't think I have a colour to use on the coasters. I'll need to pop out over the weekend to get the right colour (although I can't decide what that might be). I use a lot of embroidery thread to hand stitch applique and padded decorations - does anyone have any tips they can offer on the best threads to use? I like using pearl cotton thread but it is sometimes too thick for the fabric I'm using.

So I'm not as prepared as I thought I was - and not least of all because I have just taken a few orders for things thanks to my ever loyal army of walking, talking advertisements! I now have more bunting, cloths and tooth fairy cushions to make, and I have also been set the challenge of making a carrier bag dispenser which I haven't ever done before so I'll keep you posted on how that turns out. And as the weekend approaches, I should be trying to squeeze in some decorating as well. Hmmmm......we'll see about that.

Have a great weekend everyone,
Love Natalie

Monday, 4 February 2013

Finished Bunting for Handmade Monday!

I am really pleased with it (as is the person who asked me to make it!). As usual, my pictures are not that great but they give you some idea. Each pennant is a double sided, different patterned fabric with a blank one at either end in the same pattern, and I've appliqued the letters on. Someone suggested to me today that I could just bondaweb the letters on but I prefer to sew them because I think they look more "professional".

I have made it 3 metres long and I had lots of problems  fun deciding on the spacing and pinning the pennants in place but I would certainly do it all again! I was thinking that if you had a long name to do, you could make the plain pennants then make smaller ones with the name on to hang across the front. And I was also thinking that you could sew rickrack ribbon into the seams so that each flag had a pretty trim so I've got plenty of ideas should I get asked to make some more.

This is what it looked like held up against the wall round at Hazel Cottage (doubling as a photographic studio/hairdressing salon on Saturday).

I also made another tooth fairy cushion at the weekend as I had been asked - I need to make more now because my new promotions manager (you know who you are.....) has been asked if I could make 3 or 4 more. I need to order some suitable blue fabric to make them a bit more appropriate for boys so I'll have to browse through some fabric sites - shame!

Before I do that though, I shall be linking this post with Handmade Monday over at so stop by there if you can to have a look at all the crafty shenanigans that have gone on over the weekend.

Enjoy the fine-r weather if it lasts!

Love Natalie

Friday, 1 February 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy.....

Why is it that when you know you are going to have a busy weekend, you cram so much more than normal into the week as well? It's some form of self punishment I think. For example, faced with a busy weekend that will leave little room for what really matters in life (like crafting), why did I decide to strip all of the beds this morning? My mother would say that you should never strip a bed without immediately re-making it but I thought I'd strip then make after the afternoon school run. Why didn't I just leave it till Monday? So when I've finished posting this blog, you know what I'll be up to.

I've managed to do a couple of little craft projects this week. Firstly, another quick and easy mug hug.

This actually reads HEV, it's not a gift for He-Man (although if he wants one, I'll whip out the needles for him).

Secondly, I made a lovely little tooth fairy cushion for a young lady with her first wobbly tooth.

I had bought the material with just such a project in mind - it was on my Things I'd Like To Make list - but I had to quickly put this together once the wobbling commenced. The label has a little tooth fairy poem on it that I found on the internet. It was quite popular with the other mums at school when they saw it so I have been asked to make at least one more. I'll get to work on that over the weekend.

Unfortunately for me, the weekend consists of buying new school shoes and decorating so I'm not sure that I'll be up to much else. I'm determined to finish the bunting I've been working on though, so hopefully I'll have that ready for Handmade Monday over at

Have a great weekend all,
Love Natalie