Monday, 15 October 2012

Yet more stuff!

Every once in a while I am quiet and then I appear again with......well, stuff!

There are no obvious themes, projects or is just a jumble of ....STUFF!

Over the last few weeks I have been whirling around getting back into term time, not only for my own family, but for our business too.  We're all getting back into the swing of school, pre-school, college, dance and work and The Hubs now works longer hours (from 1st October) so everything is a-changing!

In between all of this mayhem....I find Little Pockets of Time!

That is MAKE!

And what a joy it is when I have those Little Pockets of Time........ *sigh*

Recently MAKE-ing has been cooking, baking, sewing, and crochet.....ahhh!  Bliss!

Here is an array of our MAKE-ing Stuff, (with a bit of doing in between!)........

fabric cut for an attempt at quilting!

Tiddly Toes first experience of a car wash!  She asked to do this for a treat!  Bless.

A day trip to Holmbush Farm World (she's in the Purple and Green waterproof).

Fabric bought ready to make my lovely Father-in-Law (FIL) a tidy to hang over the arm of his chair. impressed that she kept in the lines as well as she did!

Dunking, sprinkling and eating homemade doughnuts!
Starting another Christmas pressie....!

Playing Superheroes! Hahahaha!  Serious business you know.

Enjoying an impromptu family lunch at our local, The Holmbush Inn.  What a lovely day that was.  (Photo courtesy of Teenage Daughter).

Quilt blocks sewn together!  Hoorah!

A lovely free day out to Nymans courtesy of the National Trust and The Times newspaper.

Fabric Tissue cozies to pop in your handbag.  Whizzed up 8 in about 45 minutes.

Admiring this beauty from our bedroom window....aren't we fortunate?

A view of West Bromwich from our hotel window when we stayed in order to attend a family Christening.
Another bit of portable making that I can do whilst waiting for the Ballet class to finish.  Suffolk Puff Brooches.
And finally............ 

today's offering of doughnuts.  Different from the last lot.  Not quite as successful but VERY tasty and only 1g of fat each!
As you can probably has been rather busy here!  How has it been in your world?
I shall return soon, calmer and with some makes and bakes.  I shall share the doughnut recipes and tell you more of why I am making brooches, tissue cozies and bunting...yes, bunting.....I'll share that tale another day.
Until then, take care, lots of love....
Nora xx

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Pinaddicts Challenge - October 2012

WELCOME!  Thank you so much for popping in.

Well, here we are happy as can be.....

I love this time of the month......Challenge Time!!!! YAY!

My chosen subject came from Pinterest, but had no tutorial or anything as the blog it came from closed and went somewhere else :(

Here is the picture.....

Some time ago I won 2 pints of buttons on an EBAY auction...they were a mixed bag (or glass!) of wooden, leather, metal and plastic.  Many from the 1940's, 50's and 60's.  The sorts of things I remember on my Nanny's coats and cardigans.

Also some time ago I bought a blind from Next.  Perfect colours but when I came to hang it it had a wonky side and was FAR to long.  I set about undoing it so that it fitted in the recess of my landing window, un-wonked the sides and chopped a great load of the bottom!
What do you think?

Well, this bottom bit I hacked off was nice fabric, far to good to just throw away, so I stashed it for a rainy day!

AND.... the rainy day arrived (well lots of them actually if you've been in the UK for the summer!).  I took the left over blind fabric from my fabric stash and cut a suitably sized piece, some interesting buttons from my button stash and a range of green floss from my floss stash.

I found an old hoop used for cross stitching.  I found some felt.  I used the inside ring of the hoop as a template on the felt a marked around the inside of the ring onto the felt and cut out the circle.  I put this to one side for later.

I laid out my buttons roughly where I wanted them on my blind fabric, shifted them a bit, swapped a few round and when satisfied with the look used yellow floss to sew the buttons on so that they all had the same centres .  I used my various green colours to make back stitched stems.  I swapped around the colours so no two the same colour were together and then sewed little chain stitches for random leaves.

Once finished I turned to the back and pushed the rim of fabric at the back over the inside rind of the hoop, laid the felt on top and slip stitched the felt to the edge of the fabric.

I found some lovely red gingham ribbon....yes, in my ribbon stash.  I made a loop over the tightening mechanism on the hoop.  Separately I used another length of ribbon and tied it around the loop and made a bow to finish it off all pretty and kitsch!

So wanna see my finished article?  Of course you do!

I am so extremely, dizzily, Over-The-Moon pleased with this!  Ready......?

OK, Ta-DAAHH!......

I hope you like it.  It now takes pride of place in my lounge.....not in a flashy, showy place, but it is there (one of only 2 things hanging in the lounge at the moment!).

If you can sew, you can do this.  It might be, like me, a stash busting project that won't cost you a penny, just some time gathering up stuff.  If this isn't recycling or upcycling....I don't know what is!

I'm linking up to the PinAddicts Challenge for October, why not hop on over there and see what other wonders have been created....or enter something yourself.  If not this month then look on your Pinterest boards, pop it in your diary and join us next month for some creative crafting, blogging, swapping, admiring, commenting and general fun!

Thanks so much for dropping by, I've really enjoyed your company.  Please don't leave without at least saying goodbye in the comments!  Thanks xx


Monday, 1 October 2012

More Low Fat Delicious-ness

So moving on from the Quiche, I wanted something sweet!

Having made this delicious Green Gage Jam last week.....I thought a scrummy Victoria Sandwich would be just the thing to pop some homemade Jam into!

The jam was the result of a visit to my Mums.

We went over to get some bits out of her loft for our son Charlie to take off to University, we had a lovely lunch (my Mum is THE best cook).  When we came to leave she pointed out the abundance of green gage's on her tree.  Well, we couldn't let those waste now, could we?

I started picking what I could reach, then Mum got me a ladder and finally to get at the ones we couldn't reach she shook the tree with a broom!  They were so ripe they dropped of in handfuls.  Unfortunately the birds and bugs had lunched on some, so we just took the whole and undamaged ones.  Tiddly Toes just stood stuffing one after the other into her mouth....they were so delicious.

We took them home and they were picked at for a few days, but there were so many and they were going to go mouldy!

I had a light bulb moment.  I went through the recycling and pulled out all the jars with lids.  I found a bag of granulated sugar at the back of the cupboard.  Whacked on the oven to 160, washed to jars and put them into the oven on a baking tray to sterilise.

I weighed what was left of the fruit.....1.2 kilos!  I popped that into a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and put it on a low heat to stew down. 

I weighed out 1.2 kilos of sugar, but before I added it fished out the fruit stones.......I'm sure there were more stones than fruits!

I added the sugar and let it simmer, every so often I popped a blob on a cold plate to see if it wrinkled when cool.  Eventually it did and I spooned the jam into the warm jars.

Wanna see it?  OK, here goes..........


 Had to try some on a scone!....

SO...... onto the Victoria Sponge.......


175g of Self-Raising Flour
4 eggs (separated)
175g Caster Sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 2 x 8" sandwich tins or 1 deep 8" cake tin.

Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk until they become pale and fluffy (just like if you were using butter and sugar).

In a separate bowl whisk the four egg whites until stiff.

Add these to the yolk mixture and whisk together.

Once thoroughly combined, add the sifted flour a spoonful or 2 at a time and fold in with a metal spoon using as few strokes as possible.

Carefully put the mixture into the tin or tins and pop into your preheated oven for about 35 minutes. You can turn the tin halfway through this process if you'll know if your oven cooks evenly or not. Test to see if it is cooked by pressing the centre of the cake gently. It may not spring up like a sponge, but it should dent too badly.
Put on a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, take you 2 sandwiches (or cut your one cake through the centre so you have 2 halves). Spread the top of your bottom half with buttercream and the underside of your top half with buttercream.

 .......sandwich the 2 together and sprinkle the top with a little caster or icing sugar......Ta-Dah!

It was lovely and deep...... I couldn't resist.....I had to try a piece...........

Mmmmmmm!  Doesn't that look good?

The whole sponge part of the cake only contains 4 that's 24g of fat.  If you omit the buttercream...that's the total content of fat!!!

I used half my usual measurements of buttercream with 40g of margarine giving me a fat content here of 24g....and I only used about half of that so my total fat content in the cake was probably less than 40g!  That's really good!

Have a try and see what you think.  Even if you don't make this regularly....if you did it once in a while it is a healthy change.  You could make it slightly naughty by filling it with fresh whipped cream....maybe with some fresh strawberries slices....or raspberries.  How about cream cheese icing?

The combinations are endless....I'm going to try them all!!  A girl can NEVER eat too much of this cake....surely??!!

See you next time,
Nora xx