Sunday, 27 February 2011

Birthday Present for Mum

This is what I have been working on for the last couple of months.  It is a quilt to go on the back of my Mum's leather sofa - bringing in all the colours she loves and hand embroidery which is one of her favourite crafts to see.

The fabric is from Moda's Awesome range - I am using a charm pack and a layer cake but will have some leftover.


I have tried a few different ways of setting out the pieces and have yet to make my mind up.




Hoping this will be finished by the end of March - just has to be stitched, backed, quilted and then the binding put on - I haven't got the binding fabric yet but will have soon.  Hope you like it. :)




Friday, 25 February 2011

Project Sweet 16 xx

This has been mine and my darling daughter Rachael's 16th Birthday project - a topsy turvy cake


Each cake has three layers of victoria sponge - the large one is 8" round, the small one is 6" round - you then taper them in at the bottom to appear like hats.


After buttercreaming the whole cakes you then take the middle of the top layer out and put buttercream in the middle again.


You regal ice the two cakes separately and put supports in the bottom cake to stop the top one from falling into the bottom cake and place the top cake on top.


This gives the appearance of a wonky cake - it looks great - never iced a cake before so please excuse the state of my regal ice but was quite pleased with it for a first attempt.



Decorate topsy turvy or Mad Hatter birthday cake


Glittered hearts and harlequin pattern along with a bow on the base of the top cake.


Another bow on the top cake along with a sweet 16 candle and stem hearts



Party bags for the five girls that are staying over - fancy dress absolutely essential :)


Meet Whisper :)

This is Whisper

Rachael's 16th Birthday present from her Grandma and Grandad

He is four months old

He is a rescue rabbit and is absolutely adorable - house bunny - very house trained - only does his business in his indoor hutch.





Monday, 21 February 2011

Tilda Fabric Easter Eggs :)

Two made today - one green with rows of pearls and one pink with chain stitch flowers around the egg on an angle, centred with pearls and french knots dotted between each flower.  Enjoy :)





Tilda Handmade Easter Egg Tutorial :)


You need to cut six egg pattern pieces remembering to include the 1/4" seam allowance and mark the top of each pattern piece on the inside with a 'T' so that you know you are sewing the pieces the right way round.


Pattern piece with the 1/4" seam allowance


Pin two pieces together at a time making sure you have the right sides together along with the 'T' at the top, then stitch with a small straight stitch - I used 1.8 but you could go less if you wanted to but no bigger.


After each piece is stitched press the seam to one side - you will see that the egg is beginning to take shape.


Stitch the three pieces together in the same way but when you stitch the last seam leave a gap for you to be able to stuff the egg.


Fill the egg with the stuffing - it takes quite a lot to fill it and as you do this make sure the fibre fill gets all the way to the top and make it quite firm.


You now need to hand-stitch the gap once it has enough of the fibre fill.


Stitch a length of thick linen thread or thin string to the top so that you can hang the egg.  You do this by laying the piece of string onto the egg and then stitch over the string over and over again until it is secure.  Knot the two ends together at the top to make a loop.


Decorate with pearls, buttons or flowers.  I stitched this one with pearls - place a pearl every eighth stitch.  It took four hours to complete from start of cutting the pattern piece to the last pearl. 

I hope this is useful and if I have missed anything out please let me know. 

Tilda patterns are copyright Tilda and Tone Finnanger

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Tilda Easter Swap 2011

Loving the look of this - will be participating - what about you?

For more information visit


Whitehaven - a little town with a big history :)


Once the fourth most important port in England after London, Bristol & Liverpool.



One of the many anchors around the harbour representing the history of the town including shipping coal, sugar from the West Indies, exported lime & rum, slave trade and fishing.


Scotland is in the background behind the lighthouse


Whitehaven Harbour - the scene of the last invasion of Britain by John Paul Jones on April 23rd 1778 just after midnight with 30 men - he was unsuccessful and fled to Scotland.  He was later pardoned at one of the Maritime Festivals.


The Candlestick - reputedly designed by the Lowther family who lived in Whitehaven Castle - the design was taken from a pair of the Baronets favourite candlesticks in 1750.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Meeting myself coming back!!!!

Loads to do and not enough time to do it in.

Hospital visits - doctors appointments - school appointments
dentist visits - opticians visits - university visits
Post 16 interviews, parents evenings, birthdays, anniversaries
Scouts, cubs, rock climbing, warhammer, prom
parties, cinemas, shopping, cooking, baking, sewing, crafting
washing, ironing, hairdressers, walk/feed Brandy,
talking, chillin', relaxing, telephone calls, decorating the house
filling in forms, reading, eating, seeing friends,
catching up with family, filling the car, washing the car, taxi
accountant, nurse, psychologist, friend, illness,
club organiser, typist, spellchecker, mathematician, negotiator

I don't know how I do this - I know there are millions like me but the last few months are really putting a strain on my time and on my health - my family are doing more and more for me as time goes on and I don't seem to be getting any better - just worse...

So...

Into the year 2011 resolutions...

I've got to prioritise - things have got to change
Make more time for me and hubby and time out with family before they move on
Get some more help - its out there

If you're like me just remember to take some time out for yourself and your partner as we are the ones the children rely on when they need someone :)

Egremont Castle




Egremont Castle Summer 2010
Louise, Rachael, James & Callum
Got great pics and enjoyed a walk around the whole place along with a game of hide and seek - oh for the sun to be back again.  Happy Days :)

Saturday, 12 February 2011

CUPCAKE LOVE

This is what I spend my time doing with my children - baking cupcakes - they just love them - my daughter is chairperson for the Prom Committee and each week she organises a bake sale for the Friday morning.  Each week I get a list of what they would like - usually cupcakes.  The first week was triple chocolate with dainty little flowers and Friday was Valentines special so they had to have handmade glittered edible hearts on.

I am getting requests on flavours now which I don't mind doing for my children or their friends but couldn't do it on a grand scale.  Friday saw me icing 70 small ones and 28 large ones.  For next week I have had requests for chocolate orange.  It has taken me over a year to perfect my recipe for both the sponge and the buttercream icing which is incredibly light - they also have a secret bit to them which I think is why they always sell out when daughter takes them.





The battery went on my camera on the last photo but I have got to make more for Valentines Day for my eldest son and my husband so will get some more pictures.  Thanks to Jodi for the cupcake wrappers which came in really handy this weekend.  :)


The best flapjack recipe in the world - just ask my kids (and their friends!) :)





FLAPJACK

8 ozs stork margarine
4 ozs demerera sugar
4 tablespoons of golden syrup
10 ozs porridge oats
2 ozs plain flour

Regulate your oven to Gas Mark 4

Melt the margarine, sugar and golden syrup over a low light until melted and combined.  It will look sticky, bubbly and golden - this might take a few minutes but is better done slowly so that all the ingredients combine.

Take off the heat and add the porridge oats and plain flour and mix well.

Turn into a greased baking tin with 1" sides and press into all corners with a palette knife - I use a tin roughly 10 x 6 inches in size. 

Place in the oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until golden brown as you see in the pictures.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before cutting into 16 pieces - don't remove from the tin until completely cooled.  You can decorate if you want by dripping melted chocolate over the top but in our house it goes down well either on its own or with homemade custard.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

WOW - what can I say - Jodi - you are sooo generous - I am overwhelmed xxx

I had to pop out this morning for my Dad but when I got back my darling daughter had taken delivery of this very heavy parcel.


Camera at the ready I couldn't wait to open it and see what was inside - it was really heavy.  There was tons of tissue paper in colours of pink, white and red, hearts and stripes.  My daughter was just as excited as I was especially when she spotted a Reese's chocolate heart - we took everything out carefully - there was loads - I couldn't believe my eyes - what I saw was absolutely incredible. 



Just look at all the yummy stash - two glass bevelled photo frames, a gorgeous handmade mug rug - needed one of those, a beautiful red heart with a pocket and card on the back.  Valentines party plates and cupcake cases, napkins, a mini cutting mat, Wonka's sweethearts, ric rac in white, a bias maker (have just been checking them out so was extremely delighted with this one as with everything else.)

OMG - A large Yankee Candle jar in Cinnamon Toast - the whole package smelled absolutely delicious and last but not least a box of my all time favourite chocolates - Ghirardelli - fabulous, fabulous, fabulous, that's the salad out window now!!!

Jodi - I cannot believe your generosity - I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this swap and I have made some fantastic new friends through it that I hope to keep in touch with.


My homemade mug rug from Jose - quilted beautifully as well with my favourite design - stippling (meandering).

All of this arrived in the box along with a handmade card which said :-

'Here's to telling you who I am and also to say how nice I think you are!
Happy Valentine's Day

Elaine - I had great fun putting this together and tried to make it as Tilda (you succeeded :)) I really enjoy your blog, have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your family.


We can't get Ghirardelli chocolate in this country and  my daughter is just sat looking at the box just about drooling.  She is off school at the moment with tonsillitus (she is now asking if we can move to America).  Thank you so much for your generous gift and for making me and my daughter's Valentine's Day very special.