Monday, 30 December 2013

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

1 large head of Broccoli 
3 small potatoes chopped into chunks
2 onions sliced
2 oz butter
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 pints hot water
4 ozs Stilton cheese crumbled
4 tbsps double cream
Black pepper

Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onions.  Saute for five minutes with the lid on, not letting them brown.  Add the chopped potatoes.  Remove the stalks from the broccoli.  Give the mixture a quick stir and then add the broccoli, stir again.  Add the stock cubes and the hot water.  Cook on a low heat for half an hour until everything is cooked through.  

Blend the soup mixture and pour into another pan once blended.  Place the pan on a low heat and add the cream and Stilton cheese, keep stirring until all the cheese has melted.

Season to taste with black pepper.  I don't add any salt to this recipe as the cheese tends to give it quite an intense flavour.

Enjoy with buttered crusty bread on a cold Winter's evening.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Inn On The Lake

We had a beautiful family wedding at the weekend and I thought I would share some of our memories.

My handsome and beautiful nephews and nieces along with my three children.

My four nieces and our daughter

Our two sons and daughter in the middle

Family get together

Me and hubby with Lake Ullswater in the background in the grounds of the Inn on the Lake at Glenridding.

Me and my boys.

My niece was one of the bridesmaids in beautiful silver shimmer dresses with faux fur capes.

Me and my gorgeous daughter.  She wore an Eliza J gown that was just stunning with her hair in a large bun with a crystal band that wrapped around.

The bride after the ceremony.

The Bride and Groom with their magical castle wedding cake.

We had a fantastic weekend, staying for two nights and even though there wasn't any electricity for a few hours the hotel still provided us with an evening meal that was delicious.  Plenty to drink, beautiful rooms with a seating area and a great view of the fells.

It was just magical and everything went off smoothly.  A great place to enjoy a family celebration, reunion and Christmas all in one weekend.

Congratulations to the Bride and Groom, we hope you have many happy years together. xx

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Giving Thanks Blog Hop Giveaway

It's The Quilting Gallery Giving Thanks Blog Hop Giveaway November 21st to November 26th 2013
Hop on over the Michelle's Quilting Gallery and check out all those great blogs from around the world that are taking part using the Blog Hop Party link on the sidebar and remember to take part in the giveaways, you've got to be in it to win it.

  My giveaway will be a great Art To Heart Book called Easy Does It For Christmas and a Moda 5" charm pack with 1/2 metre matching fabric so that you can make a start on some of the lovely crafty goodies in the book.

I have a copy of this book myself and although it is not a recent one it is one that is a great resource for Christmas gifts and quite a rare find from a local craft retailer.

I am happy to send items internationally and locally so everybody can enter.

What do you have to do, well, it's simple just become a follower of my blog and write a comment to say you have done so, you can also tell us what you are working on at the moment or what you like making for Christmas presents.

So there it is, very easy to enter and you could have some quilting goodies winging their way to your craft space.

Hope you enjoy the blog hop giveaway and remember to leave your contact details for your entries to the giveaways.

Click HERE to go to the quilting gallery blog hop giveaway

I will pick the winners by random number generator at the end of November 26th 2013 and let the winners know either the same day or the day after.  As soon as I get replies from the winners I will get their goodies posted out to them.

Enjoy :) xx

Monday, 28 October 2013

Kay Unger Vogue Pattern

The patterns I have chosen for my wedding outfit, all by Vogue.  I love their patterns, simple to follow, great choice of designs and designers and they each come with a Handmade with a Vogue pattern label which really gives you a professional looking finish if anybody decides to have a look inside your collar :)

The Kay Unger Dress pattern is for the daytime and is going to be made in purple silk dupion and lined with an anti-static lining.  Both of the fabrics were purchased in the uk from

I ordered over the phone so I got exactly what I needed and knew when it would be arriving.  They were very obliging over the phone and I received my fabric the next day with just plain old first class post.  I will be using them again as I love good customer service and a quick turn around on posting.

I will keep you updated on my progress.  The patterns are all cut out but I want to wait until the beginning of November to start sewing because I will have finished all the wedding stationery by then.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Peyote Stitch Kit

 I made a bracelet up for my daughter to wear with an outfit for a wedding.  It started with a barrel of beads, which are the light blue beads and then you had to cover the whole of the barrel with a larger size bead and charlotte on each end.

I am really pleased with the results.  Initially I struggled to start the Peyote stitch and had to call on the assistance of a good friend who is also a jewellery maker to help me out.  

A beautiful bracelet with a host of colours so that it could be worn with a variety of outfits.

The kit is available from Fobbles in Cumbria for £13.50 plus postage and also comes in a lighter shaded mix of beads.  

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Swarovski Necklace

I decided to make my own jewellery for my nephew's wedding in December.  I am making my outfit so I thought to complete the ensemble it would have to be handmade.

The book I bought from Amazon is brilliant, Stitch Workshop Right Angle Weave.  It has some lovely jewellery and easy to follow instructions with clear illustrations on how it should be worked and what it looks like at certain points.   

I am wearing an aubergine/wine coloured outfit for the daytime and purple at night and this colour fits both outfits.

A close up of how the beads actually sit together.  I used 6lb Fireline braid thread in a 3 yard length and didn't have to add any more thread which made making the necklace very easy.

The crystals are Swarovski Bicone crystals in Amethyst and a multi-tone clear that picks up off the light whenever it moves

The finished necklace in its box - borrowed from another piece of jewellery until I find something to put it in.

The website's I used for all my purchases were as follows:-

Would I do it again?  Well, I am not sure, it took seven nights to make but I did undo any mistakes I made so I know the piece is absolutely perfect from one end to the other but I don't think I will be taking jewellery making up anytime soon, I think it is better left to the experts. :)  

Did it work our cheaper?  No I don't think so, we are lucky to have a couple of local places to buy handmade jewellery and from looking at the prices there wasn't a lot of difference.  Taking into account the book purchase, all the materials, none of which I had, it took the cost well over £40.00, but I do think it was worth doing because of matching my outfit and being handmade.  I will use the book again to make something for another special occasion so it was worth the £6.00 purchase price.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Fobbles Workshop

Fobbles, Holmrook in Cumbria

Patti and me along with Laurelin, Princess of Valor.  This lady was an incredible tutor, nothing was too much to ask.  Everybody got lots of her time, all shared out equally especially as there were beginners and more experienced people attending for the three days.

Patti made sure everybody knew what they were doing and between Patti and Beverley, Fobbles Store Owner, everyone had the equipment and materials they needed.

I hope to be attending a lot more workshops in the future as they cover a variety of subjects like quilting, embroidery, stumpwork, goldwork, applique, The Linus Quilt Project, Cloth Doll Making and loads more.

I look forward to meeting Patti again in 2015 at a Doll Making Class and wish her all the best for next year.

Many thanks Patti and Beverley for a great week, all the good food, endless supplies of coffee and help and a new group of friends that I hope to craft with very soon.

If you are interested in any of the above subjects and would like more information just contact Beverley on 019467 24764 or visit the website

Beverley has an abundance of goodies on offer in her store including fabrics, cotton thread, silk thread, silk ribbons, books, beads and a huge array of tools and accessories and is always ready with a helping hand if you get stuck.


Saturday, 28 September 2013

Peyote Bead

After attending a Patti Medaris Class last week I learned how to do Peyote beading.  It is the first time I have attempted this kind of beading and it turned out really well.  I thought I would share what I have learned and maybe it might make others think about having a go at this kind of beading.

I used Miyuki Seed Beads Size 11 in two different colours, one was a matt teal/green and the other a crystal.  The thread is Nymo thread which is available in all sorts of colours to match what beads you are using.  It is a strong thread that stands up to the large amount of pulling through each bead.

When you start beading it is good idea to have a bead mat, which is like thick velour and also a Scoop-Eze, both of these are available from Fobbles, (Holmrook in Cumbria, they also have a website) and make life very easy as your beads don't roll anyway and when you have finished you can scoop the remainder up quickly to put back into your storage pots.

To begin the Peyote you need a circular strand of beads which is then worked through to give the second layer. 

I am using the Peyote to make joints for my doll, Laurelin, Princess of Valor.

As you can see from the picture I have already completed one leg with the Peyote as the knee joint.  My doll is made from a darker skin fabric covered with a fine net that was decorated with sequins and beads.

I am adding more drop beads and Miyuki Seed Beads to the bodice but it has quite along way to go until it is finished.

The Peyote Bead after four rows which is now ready to go onto a painted compressed cotton ball.

The easiest way to measure what you need is to place a piece of cotton thread around the middle of the ball and cut where one end meets the cotton after wrapping once around and then cut.  You then have a accurate measurement that you know will fit onto the painted cotton ball.

Start going through the centre of the ball and up the outside through the beads until you think the beading is securely wrapped around the ball.  You can do this as many times as you like, until you feel it is comfortable to work with.

As you can see I do it about 8 - 10 times so that there is no movement of the beading.

Start working your way around the ball for another two rows.

After two rows you now need to start decreasing so that you end up with a nice curved shape at the top. 

Pull your thread through to the other side and through a couple of beads.

Bead for another two rows and then start to decrease until you get to the top and secure the end of your thread through some of the beads, making sure it will not loosen off.

Your Peyote Bead is now ready for decorating and to be used for your project.

I hope this gives a little insight into beading, I am certainly no expert but I was really pleased with my first few attempts and I am sure you will find it easy was well.  Thanks for looking. :)

Monday, 23 September 2013

Patti Medaris Culea Doll Classes

I have the great fortune to be on one of Patti Medaris Culea Cloth Doll Class this week which is being held at Fobbles in Holmrook, Cumbria.

We are making Laurelin, princess of the Trees of Valar.

I adore the colours that are being used as I have always been a fan of green, purple and pink.

We have a class list and a pre-workshop job to do before we make a start at the class on Tuesday.

I will try and keep you updated on my progress.  This is hopefully going to be the first of many.

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Since I was a small child we have always had a Monopoly board game.

When I lived at home with my Brother and Mum and Dad, we always played the game every chance we got, always a fair game, never cheating, go around the board once and you can't buy anything at all but you are allowed to claim chance and community chest money.  If someone got a property of an orange colour then nobody else would buy that colour, see, I said fair, my Dad always used to win because he always used to land on the Park Lane and Mayfair properties and bankrupt the rest of us.

After I got married we still had the Monopoly board that we had been given as children and up until a couple of years ago it was really lasting.  However the box fell to bits, then pieces went missing so we gradually ended up with only so many houses per person, so many hotels per person so I figured it was about time we bought a new one.  I had some John Lewis vouchers and decided we should have something a little bit special since we always play it when the kids are back so here it is, A Monopoly Deluxe game box.

The board sits atop a beautifully made wooden box and has all the pieces underneath the wooden gameboard.  Good quality playing pieces, cards and money, all sticking the traditional design 

As you can see it, its already in use, but we DO NOT play my family's fair game, oh no,

the first time I played Monopoly against my husband he was ruthless, really keen and never lost, so over the years we have had some everlasting games that have lasted over days with nobody wanting to give up.

I won this particular game as you can see, my cards, my money and my properties with everybody else hardly having any.  

The Deluxe Monopoly Box has a few surprises, turn the board over and you have Cluedo, with a drawer underneath that has all the original pieces needed for the game.  It also includes a pack of playing cards, chess and draughts, a chess/draughts board the same size as the Monopoly board, Cribbage and Dominoes.  We took this on holiday with us for the evenings, it was well worth the £69.00 paid for it as everything in it and that it is made of is a good quality that won't fall apart too quickly. :)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Secret Ministry of Ag. & Fish

I don't generally read books, but after seeing Noreen Riols being interviewed on This Morning last week giving us an insight into her latest book I couldn't resist ordering it.

I received my book on Friday morning and quickly got settled down to read.

I love it, before I knew it I was on chapter 2 in no time at all.  I love the way she writes, very honest, at the moment I am feeling very sorry for old vinegar face, whoever she is!

I am a firm believer that we should not forget about our past history and all those lost and forgotten people that helped us through our battles both at home and overseas and this book certainly gives you an insight into a secret world which until recently most people never knew existed.

All about Churchill's Secret Army - the S.O.E, ( Special Operations Executive ) you can't help but be drawn into a world that you would think only existed in fiction.

If you aren't reading at the moment and want something to renew your interest in books then this is definitely the place to start.

Brilliantly written Noreen, I look forward to reading some of your other books too, thank you. :)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Scrapbook Stash September 2013

I have had a seriously depleted scrapbook stash over the last year and couldn't decide what needed topped up first, the card, the hardboard albums, the gems or the glues.

Craft Island had a fantastic sale on last week so I took full advantage and got completely stocked up on all my very needed goodies as you can see from the picture :)

Over 200 sheets of Bazzill cardstock including hardboard, dotted swiss and linen in a variety of colours as well as the necessary black, white and cream.
Cricut 12 x 12 cutting mats
Cricut cartridge Sweet Tooth boxes
Prima Border with lace and gems
Fiskars Corner Punch
Webster's Pages Mother & Child Cameo's
Herma Permanent x 8
Cricut Idea Books x 8
A variety of decorative pins including hearts and flowers
Melissa Frances Frames
Simple Stories Baby Steps full collection x 4
Scrap Easy Hardboard and Acrylic Shaped Album

This year I have had an unbelievable amount of mini books, cards etc asked for so this stash will definitely go towards the next lot of albums and cards.

I have two albums on order already for October, along with two quilts and that isn't including items I want to do myself.  

I am on a Cloth Doll Making Course next week being hosted by Fobbles and taught by the one and only Patti Medaris Culea, can't wait, will post pictures.

Friday, 13 September 2013

New kitchen

With any luck by the time this post has been placed on my blog my new kitchen will have been installed.

Waited patiently for years for one to come along that had everything I wanted.  The Belfast Sink with under storage.

Plenty of drawers all the way round and also plenty of cupboard space.

Whoooh, five burner hob with a wok stand in the middle.  Great for using the Fissler pans that we have been buying courtesy of Tesco at a bargain price.

Loving the drawers underneath the hob, all working, not for decoration.

I have chosen a lighter coloured worktop along with light coloured flooring and wall tiles.  I need to get a lot more light into my kitchen as it is quite dark even though there is a big window.