Monday, 26 March 2012


My son who is coming up to 5 months has been suffering already with his teeth so I wanted to make some bibs to save the constant change of clothes we've been having. Unfortunately the two I made only last a few hours so I'll have to get back on the sewing machine to whip up some more. 
The pattern for these was from and there are also good instructions to follow.
The hardest part of this was turning the bib the right way round after sewing it.

You can opt for press studs or velcro fastenings for the bib. I wanted to get a tool for the press studs so that I could use it for other projects. My dad very kindly got one for me so I've got plenty of things to have a go at now!



I have made many a banana loaf before but this one's a new recipe I haven't tried by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall in the River Cottage Family Cook Book.
It uses dried apricots and sultanas with the banana.
I didn't have any apricots in the cupboard so I doubled up the sultana quantity instead.

  • 75g of dried apricots (the squidgy ones that come ready to eat)
  • 75g of sultanas
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g of unsalted butter, soft but not melted
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 2 large, free-range eggs
  • 3 large, ripe bananas
  • 200g of self-raising flour

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas Mark 3. Line the loaf tin with baking parchment or, even better, us a loaf tin liner

2. Chop up the apricots so the pieces are roughly the same size as the sultanas. Grate the zest of the lemon.

3. Cream the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl with the wooden spoon until they’re well blended. Break in an egg and beat it into the mixture completely, then beat in the other egg. Add the dried fruit and lemon zest.

4. Mash the bananas well with the fork on a plate and add them to the bowl. Stir well.

5. Sift the flour in the bowl and carefully fold this into the mixture with the large metal spoon, making sure you don’t leave any ‘pockets’ of flour.

6. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the top with the back of the spoon. Oven gloves on. Put the tin in the oven and bake for about an hour--but check the cake after 50 minutes. It is ready when you can insert a knife into the middle and it comes out completely clean. Leave the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes, and then turn it out of the tin and peel off the paper.

It was a definite winner in our house and my husband has confirmed it is the best banana bread recipe we've tried. 
We can count it as one of our 5 a day can't we?! 


So on my list of things to have a go at has been teacup candles. I have been wanting to do these for years and I finally got around to ordering the bits and pieces I needed.
Unfortunately the first set of wicks that came were too short for the cups that I bought, slight oversight there. I ordered a second lot of longer wicks from ebay but after 10 days they still hadn't arrived. Mother's day was fast approaching so it called for a rethink.
Instead of the hot chocolate candles in a mug I had hoped to do I had to use some glass containers that used to hold an ikea candle as the wick was the right length.
I'm still waiting for those wicks 3 weeks later, I don't think they're coming!

The key with these is to use a themometer as the fragrance and colourings have to been added at certain temperatures so it's a worthwhile investment if you're going to have a go at candlemaking. Once I've had a few more go's with some other colours and fragrances I'll post some more details.
The photo was taken before the wick was trimmed, it needs to be trimmed to 1cm to make sure it burns properly. 


I haven't been too good at keeping up to date with the blog lately. We've been hit by one bug after another in our household in the last few weeks which has meant that I haven't had the time or energy to get the laptop out at the end of the day. Fingers crossed both boys are on the mend now and the recent warm weather will put an end to these dreadful germs.
A lot of the recent makes that have been going on have been gifts for others, so I wanted to wait until they'd been given before putting any pictures on here!

I am so pleased that the clocks have changed and the weather has been very spring or rather summer like. It's given me lots of inspiration and as soon as I've finished the spring cleaning I'm all set to go with lots of makes in lovely pastel colours.

Another recent find and obsession is Pinterest. I have started pinning and once you do there's no going back, my crafts board is filled with so many ideas that there aren't enough days in a year for them all.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


I have a huge list of things I want to make and each year the list gets longer but not much gets crossed off.
The things at the top of the list have been sitting there for about 4 years!! So I've decided to type it up on here in the hope I can motivate myself to actually do these things this year.

Teacup candle
Plate cake stand
yo yo ring
Felt Slippers
Quilt for the nursery
Cupcake Bouquet
Ice cream cup cakes
Shopper bag
Owl cushion
Sock monkey
Pastel bunting
Tin candles
crochet poppy
Dribble bibs

I have made progress - just ordered some fabric and fleece to make the dribble bibs as they are needed urgently by my teething little one.
I feel a new wave of enthusiasm coming on!!

Sunday, 29 January 2012



This is a traditional Scottish recipe which we had for pudding on Burn's night.
Here's a link to the recipe which I used

It feels a little strange when you make as you need to put a large sheet of muslin in boiling water and then spread it out on the worktop you then dredge it with flour and push the flour into the cloth with long sweeps. This creates the barrier to encase the dumpling in.
The dumpling does still get a bit wet during the cooking process so I dried it out in a hot oven for 10-20minutes as recommended in another recipe for clootie dumpling.

I was so busy that I forgot to take any photos of the cooking process or the finished dumpling. There are some left overs in the fridge which I'll take a snap of later!


This is a quick way to make croissants for a weekend treat taken from Nigella's express book.

Ready rolled puff pastry
100g dark chocolate or milk chocolate if you prefer
1 egg,beaten

Spread the sheet of pastry and cut into 6 squares, cut each square diagonally to create 12 small triangles.
Cut each square of chocolate in half and lie the two pieces end to end along the longest side of the triangle.
Roll up the triangle from the longest side and seal together when you reach the point. 
Pop onto a baking tray and brush the croissants with a beaten egg.
Bake for 10-15mins at 220degrees C.