Friday, 27 August 2010

52MM Week 6 - Personalised Bunting

Now I wasn't going to cheat, and use things I'd made for orders as part of my 52MMMC, but this kept me pretty busy last week, so I am counting it for now!
I had some lovely orders for personalised children's bunting, three for boys and one for a little girl, which I really enjoyed as I have not had the chance to make for girls until now.

So we have a cute teddy print for George, with sweet blue buttons, 

Under The Sea theme for Charlton, again with those buttons, which I think add a lovely little detail to the flags, and another sea themed for Alexander. I love the sea print, it has lovely gold detailing on the fishes and bubbles and is a really lovely print for little boys. My nephew has this very same bunting hanging in his room (with a different name of course!)

And lastly lovely pink and floral for Lola - such a pretty name.
So pretty bunting was all that was asked for, and I hope I have achieved that! I used some hot pink buttons on the end flags to match the hot pink of the polka dot letters, and am really pleased with the outcome.

Lots more crafty and foody posts coming soon, would love to know if you are enjoying my foody ones or if you prefer the pretty crafty stuff? At the moment I am so into making and baking from scratch, so I am enjoying seeing my blog filled with a bit of a mix.
Would love your thoughts

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Summer Swapshop Received

I took part in a Summer Swap over on the Shabby Chic Cafe and was lucky enough to receive my gorgeous goodies the other week.
I was partnered with a lovely lady called Madison, and she sent me a brilliant parcel which contained all these beautifully wrapped little items.

The first lovely thing that I unwrapped was this sweet little hand stitched felt strawberry which smells delicious and is so neatly made. This came at perfect timing as I was up to my eyes in strawberries that week so it was a great choice. 

Secondly, the prettiest pink rose ring, which is just so me!
I am a mad rose addict, I love rose jewellery, rose accessories, rosey bedding, rosey bags...and I am so pleased and chuffed with this ring I have hardly taken it off since I unwrapped it.

And it just so happens to be a perfect fit too!

Next I opened this pink polka dot organiser which comes with a pink notebook, pink pencil, and handy sized map of the UK. I think this might be the perfect little item for planning weekends away, day trips and exploring new places to go. Very handy to keep in the car too, which is what I think I shall do.

I also got a lovely metal Gisela Graham butterfly hanger, which is now hanging looking pretty in my room. I love Gisela Grahams things, but there is hardly anywhere near me that sells it, so I am always so pleased when I get something of hers in a swap. Perfect for the summertime swap theme too.

And even more fitting for summer is this fabulous ice cream luggage tag, complete with a cute strawberry and beady hundreds and thousands too. 

I have hung it on my Cath Kidston shopper for now (til I go away!) as its so pretty I wanted it out on display where it could be admired!!

I am a little behind with sending out my swap, but I just wanted to show you my lovely goodies!

Thank you for a lovely swap!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

52MM Week 5 - Jam

Hello and welcome to my rather late Week 5 of the 52 Marvelous Makes Madness Challenge!
This was what I made about a week and a bit ago, so I believe I am now on week 7 (done and dusted!), but I am catching up to tell you about my jam making expedition!

I saved around 500g of the strawberries we picked at the Farm, and kept them aside to try my hand at jam making. I was (and still am!) extremely nervous about jam, the fact that only minutes can separate you from delicious jam and disgusting tasting jam/burnt pan syndrome! (Just so you know since my first try I have experienced both!)

But I gave it a go, and thankfully it turned out fine, no major hiccups, no burning, and the result was a success!! Above is my strawberry jam in progress, this is using the biggest saucepan we have, and it was nowhere near large enough to make batches of jam. I only got one jar full and a little bit left over once it was poured into the jars.
I also gave it a go with the raspberries and got an even smaller jar out of that!

(above is my raspberry jam bubbling away)
So I am pleased to have given it a go, it would have been disastrous if I had wrecked all the yummy fruit we'd picked, which is why I only used a small 'trial' amount, and I was pleasantly surprised by how quick it was to make, and how pleasing it is to see a resulting jar of something you've made yourself.

 (my finished jars, L-R Strawberry, Raspberry, Strawberry)
Next step - Labels!!
Almost as much fun as making the jam itself!

Out came my gorgeous Cath Kidston labels, and on the jars they went... 

Oh how proud I was!!

And ooohhhh how yummy it was!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Parkside Farm PYO

Some lovely fresh green photos today - no pink at all - as I want to blog about my little trip to our local PYO Farm, which, rather surprisingly is in London (as am I!)
We spent a lovely afternoon at Parkside Farm the other week; picking and pulling (you'll see!) and I must say if you are in North London it is a lovely place to take a little trip and we had so much fun despite the drizzly weather.

The farm is unusual in that the strawberries are not growing in the ground for you to pick from, rather they grow "tabletop" which is in boxes above the ground at perfect picking height : so no sore backs by the end of it!

We picked a large basket full and sneaked a few samples along the way! 
As I am a London girl I love being in the countryside for a change, and was loving it! 

This photo below shows the "tabletop" strawberries, which although not particularly attractive, it certainly was easy!

Next we moved onto the blackberries, which I do pick normally in London, but these were huge and juicy and perfectly ripe, so we filled a punnet with those too!

Mmmm lovely fresh blackberries :)

Can you guess what came next?

Yes, delicious raspberries (my favourite) which we were lucky to get as they were almost out of season, so we made the most of what we found and nearly filled another punnet. 

While my sister and I picked the raspberries, my mum went and found the cherry tomatoes and some courgettes too.  So there was only one more thing we fancied picking, which was rather far up a hill!!

On our way we passed the spinach, and green beans....

And picked ourselves eight cobs of delicious supersweet sweetcorn!!


So the corn was eaten with some yummy marinated chicken and flavoured rice, the strawberries and raspberries, well most of those were eaten for pudding, but some was saved for a little experiment. Blackberries went in a pie. Our courgettes were munched with hummus and in a delicious homemade lasagne, with the tomatoes in some summer salads.
And all of it was so much more enjoyable knowing we had picked it ourselves.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Progress in Patchwork

Hooray Hooray Hooray I have managed to get the memory card working!
I have spent such a long time today trying desperately to figure it out, and fingers crossed - I think I have sorted it. So I am able to show you my patchwork progress, which I am rather excited about as I have been working on this a couple of evenings a week just sewing new hexagons, adding different fabrics, and stitching my hexagons together side by side. 

Here is one of my newly made piles of hexagons, I am taking the paper pieces out as I go so that I can re-use them, which is rather thrifty of me!

Yes there is still lots of pink, but the difference is there is a variety of patterns and shades, not just baby pink and floral. I have added different ginghams, polka dots, fruity fabrics, and more with a light or white background to break up the pink. 

This is the middle section where I have removed all the tacked stitches and paper pieces and its really starting to look like a little quilt. I am chuffed with it so far, and am enjoying picking little hexagons at random, stitching them up and removing the paper. You can see some of the newer additions like the pink check and some blue polka dots too. The fabric with the floral print on blue polka dots was part of my prize from Tamzin. I actually used to have some of this material and used it all up on my last hexagon project (which looks ever so surprisingly similar to this one!!) so I was so pleased to have another piece to play with.

I have sewn together about 60 hexagons and have around 30 more ready to sew, at a slow and steady pace! There is actually not one part of hexagon sewing that I don't enjoy. I like making the hexagons, there is something really enjoyable about folding fabric over pieces of paper and ending up with a perfect little hexagon shape. I am enjoying picking fabrics from my favourites, using the ones I have been saving for something special.

I really enjoy laying them out, planning where they are going to go, picking and choosing from the pile I've made. Using fabrics sent to me by lovely bloggers, in swaps, prizes and just general acts of kindness, many many many of these hexagons are of this kind, and I know it will remind me of them when I look at them in the future. 

So if your looking at this quilt-to-be and seeing some fabric that you sent to me, then I hope you are pleased to see it in use, and also pleased to know that I was saving it for something special, which I think this quilt will be. A real labour of love indeed.

Memo to self, that dark hexagon in the front looks odd on its own. Add more dark hexies!
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Gingham, Spots and Stars

I had planned to share my patchwork hexagon progression today but unfortunately the cable to my camera has decided to stop working, so I thought I'd post about some bunting I made for a lovely custom order, some of my blue gingham bunting for boys. These were the last photos I managed to get uploaded before it all got a little messed up!! I have lots of photos to share though, once I get a new cable/sort out whats wrong with the old one!!

This was for a little boys birthday and I was really pleased how it turned out with the red star fabric as the end flags, as I have only previously used teddy and fish printed fabrics. I love making bunting, especially personalised ones which give it a really personal feel. I added some lovely little baby blue buttons to the end flags too as a little extra touch.

If you have a little man you'd like to order some personalised bunting for feel free to check out my blogshop which you'll find over there on the right hand side of the page.

I have sooo much to share, my trip to a PYO, my jam making experience, cakes, 52MMMC, patchwork, more bunting and lots more.
Pop back soon to see if I've sorted my camera!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Vintage Goodies

I just wanted to do a quick thank you post today, a thank you for a little bundle of vintage goodies I received in the post this week.
I was lucky enough to win a gorgeous giveaway from Tamzin at The Little Vintage Company, which is a lovely blog by the way, please do go check it out!

I received some lovely vintage sewing and haberdashery goodies, especially those great buttons! 
In my parcel was some very pretty pieces of vintage and new fabrics, some vintage binding, buttons and threads and a brilliant little Union Jack flag!

Thank you very much Tamzin for my parcel, I have already begun using some of the fabric for my patchwork hexagons, which I will be showing a little update on very soon, I have been hexagoning like crazy lately!!
Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

52MM Week 4 - Nectarine Muffins

Welcome to my fourth week of the challenge!
More baking this time, although this was more out of the desire to not waste a couple of nectarines which were going soft in the fruit bowl. I am really trying to be less wasteful and more thrifty and have been enjoying spending more time on MSE lately.
So stuck for what to do with my nectarines I thought I'd chop them up and make muffins!

Well, cupcakes really as they didn't rise very well!! But they tasted lovely!

Now I won't be giving you the recipe (if you were wondering) because although they were deliciously spongy when I made them, two days later, after being in an airtight tin (as below) they had gone rather soggy and didn't taste quite so pleasant :(

So if anyone can help me figure out what went wrong with my nectarine cupcakes, you would be doing me a huge favour, as I am rather reluctant to use any more fruit in cakes incase the same thing happens.
So my recipe was just a basic sponge mix with 3 chopped nectarines, day one: yummy, day two: still ok, day 3: moist and soggy :( any thoughts? They were in a tin the whole time!!

The photo below was the first one I tried while they were still warm and it was delicious so I am pretty disappointed that they got ruined.  

See? Delicious!!

Any thoughts grateful received :)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Growing Our Own

Nothing crafty from me today, but I just wanted to blog about our strawberry plants!!
The BF has a great space for window boxes, and we have had trials and errors in what to grow in the window boxes, which plants and flowers can take the sun, and which sadly die within a week :(

Anyway, fed up with the daisies and such dying on us, we took a trip to the garden centre, and got inspired by the gorgeous displays of grow your own food, the tomato plants, lettuces and fruits.

Knowing that we only had space for small plants that wouldn't have lots of space, we chose strawberries. So off home we went with our plants, I was feeling pretty excited (and anxious) about whether they would survive, how long they'd last and if they'd even ripen!!

Four little plants sitting on the window, slowly ripening in their rather pretty enamel tubs.

And I am pleased to report that they are doing well and flourishing! With the help of the sweet enamel watering can too. Well I may not have a garden, but I can make the window ledges pretty can't I??

Oh and if you were wondering...
they are...