Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A Cup of Tea coaster for your cup of tea!

What's you favourite cuppa?  Earl Grey, Peppermint and Liquorish, so strong you can stand your spoon up in it builders tea.......

Whichever it is, it would look so pretty perched on top of one of my Cup of Tea Coasters don't you think?


Now which one is your favourite?  I just can't decide so would have two of each!  
I drink a lot of tea and like to look after my cup.

I have made these from 100% wool felt.  As always, I have cut each one by hand using a template I created.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Pure Denim Corsages

No fancy colours, just pure denim in all its glory.  These corsage brooches are for those of us who aren't afraid to do the double denim look!

They look brilliant on tweed jackets, wool fabric coats and snuggly knitted jumpers.  They are your friendly perfect winter accessory.

Just like the Bright Denim Corsages these Pure Denim Corsages are made from recycled denim.  I have been badgering everyone I know to pass me their cast offs over the last few months.  Each flower is unique due to the different shades of blue in the denims and how much wear and tear the denim has had in its jeans life.  I cut and sew these corsages completely by hand giving them a lovely homespun quirky feel.  

I have been wearing one on my navy tweed jacket for about a year and it just gets better with age as it frays and takes on more character.

Fairground Attraction

Last weekend we had our annual visit to Loughborough Fair....actually I should say we went to Loughborough as my Mum and Dad live near by and it was my Mum's birthday...but strictly speaking it was her birthday the weekend before but it's the fair which determines which weekend we actually make trip!

I have been going to Loughborough Fair for as long as I can remember.  It's traditionally seen as the ending of the travelling season and several travelling show people groups come together in the town centre as their last gathering of the year.  It's huge but has a really chilled out and relaxed feel to it.  In fact this was actually the 793rd Loughborough fair as it had its first official charter granted in 1221 by King Henry III.

I have to confess to being too busy eating candyfloss and planning the next rides to actually take any photos but Mr M took a couple of snaps which I've hi-jacked.  They're a bit blurry but it was so busy and crowded plus Mr M has one hand in a cast after an accident a few weeks ago so I'm not complaining and I'm going to roll with the them.

What I love about this fair is that there are lots of rides which we know will always be there and will always be in the same place but also each year there is some new spectacular ride such as this crazy, ridiculously high Star Flyer which according to the Charnwood News is "a 120ft-high ride which is thought to be the tallest of its kind in Europe".  In the misty November evening we thought it looked like an alien spaceship hovering over the town.

The rides go so close to some of the shop buildings, it must be such a massive jigsaw fitting it all in.  I remember as a child being completely disorientated by the fair, turning a town I knew very well into a place I didn't recognise at all.  Mum and Dad would say "look there's Boots" or "we're just opposite Clarks now" but it made no difference, I still didn't have a clue which I think added to the magic...for four days the place I knew had gone and this magical fairground had been dropped in its place.

This was Miss E's choice of transport and Miss M was pretty squashed trying to curl her long legs up into the car but you can just about see how happy it made Miss E by the smile on her face.

Miss M was chauffeur driven around the next ride by footwomen Miss E. 

I remember as a child, my sis and I being given £1 each for the fair which would get us 5 rides.  I know!  We would walk the length of the fair planning which 5 rides we'd choose....such decisions.  Mum and Dad would thrown in candy floss as an extra and it's a family tradition that Mum always buys brandy snaps.

This is Miss E flying high in her Princess aeroplane.  She loved being in charge of the going up and down button in her cockpit.  

At this point I was riding the ferris wheel with Miss M and Grandad and holding on very tightly...I think Miss M had bruises on her leg from my fingers gripping her so tightly.  I was ok with the coming down half of the circle but not so keen on the going up!

We always save the best for last....the big steam driven carousel with the wonderful elegant horses.   Mr M had a little chat with the steam engine man in between the rides.   

When I was a child, this ride didn't count as one of our 5 rides, oh no, this one was special and was a whole family ride and always saved until the end. 

Miss E and I shared a very pretty horse called Lauren.  Just look at the speed we're going, with a very blurry Grandma on the inside and Miss M in the mix as well.  A couple of years ago Miss E insisted on riding on one of the hen type things but the horses are definitely better!  Confession time...I like to pretend I'm Mary Poppins when I'm on this ride!  I really do!  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Bright Denim Corsages

Lovely Autumn is well and truly here so I've packed away (for the time being) the floaty Liberty floral fabrics I've adored using over the summer months to make way for the thicker and sturdier denim.  Denim is much more suited to accompany woolly scarves and wellies don't you think?

What's even better is that I've made these out of recycled denim!  I have been badgering friends for their denim cast offs so I can turn them into these gorgeous corsage brooches.

Each flower is unique due to the different shades of blue in the denims and how much wear and tear the denim has had in its jeans life.  I so love all those worn and faded bits.   

As I cut the denim out by hand from my hand drawn templates I've created the corsages have a lovely homespun quirky feel.  

Are you a fuchsia pink or sunshine yellow fan?

 I sew the denim flower onto a felt backing to give it some strength so that it won't lose its shape when you wear it.

Halloween Yummies

Now it's always any excuse for cake at chez nous and last year I made, what I thought was a rather fabulous Halloween cake, which was enjoyed by myself and my adult friends but the children turned their noses up at it.  It was a rich spiced ginger cake with black treacle, all spice and pieces of crystallised ginger with orange flavoured icing and a big spiders web design on top.  Delicious and Halloweeny and autumnal.

So not wanting to fall into the same trap this year and have my Halloween goodies snubbed by the girls we created some gruesome non bake yummies instead.  

Oreo Eyeballs
Carefully twist apart the Oreo biscuit so that the cream filling stays intact and on one of the biscuit halves.  I made blue and green irises out of sugar paste with a chocolate drop pupil pushed in pointy end down.  Using a cocktail stick I painted the bloodshot veins on the icing using watered down gel food colouring.

Although admittedly I did eat many of the "discarded halves"....shhhh!  I pressed a circle of white sugar paste onto the ones I didn't eat so they could be made into Oreo Eyeballs as well.

Dracula Chocolate Digestive Teeth
Carefully snap a chocolate digestive roughly in half.  Yes some will break as you do this and yes you should eat these quickly before the children get to them!  Shhhh again!
Spread the chocolatey side of each half with some red icing (icing sugar, water and red gel food colouring), line up 6 mini marshmallow teeth on the bottom half and top with the other half.  I used a mix of either shards of white chocolate or pieces of almond flakes for the fangs.  

Frozen Banana Ghosts
Far less gruesome but still very delicious.  Chop bananas into quarters (one chop across the middle of the banana and then slice each half length ways).  Insert a lolly or cake pop stick and freeze.  Once frozen dip into melted white chocolate and quickly before the chocolate sets add two chocolate drop eyes.  Boo-nana!!

Autumn Love

We are so lucky to have the beautiful Old Town Gardens so close to our fact it is one of the reasons we chose to live where we do.  It takes on such different personalities at different times of the year but I think the crisp Autumn days here are my favourite.

So much to see, collect and explore.  Sometimes  we go for a walk and every other person is someone we know who we can stop and catch up with and then at other times, we can have the whole place to ourselves.

The puddles are brilliant to ride through on a quiet afternoon.

We recently enjoyed another sunny autumnal day at Lacock Abbey taking part in the Wizard School trail.

Lovely blue skies and glorious warm sunshine.

And "hello" to my shadow in the next few pictures...oops!

Cake...glorious cake....

There are a lot of birthdays in our family this month and birthdays mean birthday cake...yippee!

Miss E had a Pancake and Pajama themed party and so I created this sleepy cake with Miss E in bed with her Teddy Weddy and pink Rattly Rabbit.

Miss E always has a blanket to take to bed so this had to be part of the cake as well!

These Cookie Monster Cakes were just a bit of fun really for my birthday as I knew the girls would love them plus they were pretty quick and easy to make....and even quicker to eat!

Miss M had a Secret Agent party where we turned the house into a Secret Agent Training Academy.  Miss M had decided that this year she wanted cupcakes rather than a big cake.

I decided to mix in some chocolate cake bombs which were very popular and quite frankly a lot less fiddly than the secret agent cakes....and a good excuse to get out the edible glitter!

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