Monday, 28 August 2017

A busy weekend...

A day stitching in good company at Fobbles on Saturday, I managed, inbetween chatting, eating and shopping to get my son's Moda Blueberry Crumbcake jelly roll race quilt sandwiched together with a beautiful wool batting, basting gun in hand as I forgot the spray adhesive I normally use to save on the backache.  Excuse the creases, it was a blustery day whilst trying to photograph.

Goodies from my shopping included five new reels of the Aurifil 80 weight thread along with a layered storage tub and my Quilter's Patch BOM and basting gun refills.

I really enjoyed the weekend as it was the first time that me and darling hubby had the house to ourselves in more than nineteen years.  We get the odd day or night but never two nights and three days.  It was the little things I noticed, the peace and quiet, everything being tidy for more than a day.  Not having to wash up three or four times - just once, cooking for two and not five.  We had some wonderful food, steak with peppercorn sauce and delicious lobster.  Healthy food for Saturday in the form of salad (well, ok, it was nearly healthy, cheesy coleslaw, tempura chicken, jacket potato) followed by caramel lattes and chocolate cookies.

A very quiet Sunday baking for my hubbies friends who are holding a coffee morning for charity on Bank Holiday Monday at the Moresby Rugby Club.  Gluten Free Cheese Scones, Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake, Gluten Free Date & Walnut Loaf, Gingerbread and last but not least a Borrowdale Tea Bread.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Smocking for a dress...

I got the smocking block completed for the Devotion dress from Australian Smocking & Embroidery Magazine Issue 53.

I changed it slightly to the pattern and was pleased with the results.  I always try to make an alteration as it is good experience and also makes it individual.

I am also going to add some bullion embroidery to the collar and cuffs that will match with the fabric print.

It is time for it to be blocked out to the required measurements.  It takes a little doing.  The large ironing board, a good steam iron, pins and patience.  I need to take out all the cotton thread from the pleater.  This will then free the smocked pleats and it will stretch and conform easily to make the front dress piece.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Gail Pan Berries & Bluebirds Block Four...

Block four now completed out of eight blocks.

It is the last one for a while. I am going to change onto something else.

I am very pleased with the results so far on this quilt and would like to finish it but I have seven quilt tops waiting for my machine and really need to get a shift on completing them.

We have had a busy week, viewing property, arranging appointments and also arranging my Royal School of Needlework Certificate Classes so that I can finish my Crewelwork piece in the next four weeks and move onto Silk Shading.  Once I have my piece of Crewelwork back from the RSN I will share my finished piece.

It's a Fobbles stitching day on Saturday so if you are in Cumbria, bring your stitching along and enjoy some good company, refreshments and, of course, a little retail therapy.  Hope to see you there.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Gluten Free Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies


1lb Bob's RedMill 1to1 GF Baking Flour
6ozs Soft Brown Sugar
4 tablespoons Golden Syrup
8ozs Baking Margarine
9ozs GF Chocolate Chips (Plain, Milk & White Mixed together)

Makes 42


Your oven needs to be on gas mark 4 with a middle shelf.

Cream the margarine and sugar together in a mixing bowl or by machine. 

Add the golden syrup (heat a tablespoon so that the syrup doesn't stick to the spoon).

Add the flour and mix well, then add the chocolate chips.

Mix well until all combined.

To check consistency, you should be able to roll into a ball in the palm of your hand without it sticking to your hand. If it sticks add 1oz GF flour and check again, repeat until you have the right consistency.

Prepare two baking sheets.

Using a small ice cream scoop, place a scoop of mixture onto the tray and repeat this process until you have 12 scoops on the tray, about 4/5 cms apart.  If you don't have an ice cream scoop, just rolls the mix into balls in the palm of your hand.  Flatten slightly with your hand. If you want a pattern on the top of the cookie, use the flat side of a fork to leave the markings.

Place in the middle of the oven for 14 minutes.

Wait for about two minutes then you can remove the cooked cookies from the first tray and leave to cool on a wire rack. Wash/wipe the tray and repeat the above process.

For added flavour you can add the zest of two oranges for chocolate orange or 2 teaspoons peppermint flavouring for chocolate mint.

For extra calories you can dip one half of the cookie in melted chocolate.

Enjoy with a cuppa or a hot chocolate.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Gail Pan Berries & Bluebirds...

Block No.3 all finished and pressed and a little bit of a tutorial...

Pressed from the back using a non-steam iron and a little bit of Best Press applied to the back only.

A close up of the stitching.  The Aurifil thread cannot be seen from the top.

I haven't got exact colour matches but they are close and you cannot see the thread at all.

The view from the back.

The first block I stitched looked like this then it changed after I had taken a couple of months off and I couldn't understand why.

Two things changed, the first was the direction I was stitching.  The easiest direction to stitch the applique is right to left.  So the needle goes slightly underneath the applique motif 1/8" across, then the needle comes up and catches only one or two threads of the motif and repeats.  This leaves no trace of thread on the top and only a little length of thread underneath.

The second was I started using double thread, I don't know why.  When I stitched with the Aurifil I changed it to just a single thread of fairly short lengths which made it easier to pass through.  I wanted to share this information, I appreciate everybody has their own way of doing applique but so far this is my favourite and I am really happy with the results.

Also cut all of ours and the neighbours lawns today and barely finished when the lawnmover decided it had had enough and packed up so lawnmower hunting next week some time, in no rush.  Off out for a couple of cheeky drinks with darling hubby as everyone else has gone out so why not us :)

Enjoy what's left of the weekend :)

Friday, 18 August 2017

FNSI ... Berries & Bluebirds

Yup that's me for Friday Night Stitchin'

Berries & Bluebirds Block No.3

All pressed, glued and two thirds stitched

The Aurifil 80 wt was so much nicer to work with that I got the colours I needed to carry on with the project.  The thread just disappears into the fabric and makes it look so professional.  It definitely is worth the money if you can get hold of it.  I did struggle for some of the colours I wanted and had to use alternative colours as there are only 88 colours.

I will carry on stitching tonight and then tomorrow it's off to Gosforth Show.  

Have a great weekend all and Happy Friday Night Stitching, thanks Wendy for hosting :)

Sizergh Castle...

A beautiful castle on the outskirts of Kendal.  It has been owned by the same family for over 778 years.

The stunning stairs at the back of the property.

Swans, beehives, an orchard and a kitchen garden.  They are stunning.

My favourite part.  This letter was written by an older father who knew he wouldn't be around when his child grew up.  

It was a brilliant day out, we worked over five miles so not for the faint hearted.

Plenty of parking, disabled access, tour guides and a gift shop.

The restaurant/coffee shop had meals for vegetarian, vegan, dairy free and gluten free.  The service was first class and the food tasted delicious.  I had tomato and fennel soup with a GF seeded brown roll and Baked To Taste Millionaires Shortbread.  It was nice going to somewhere that I didn't have to ask alot of questions about the food and to have a choice of what to have and all of it listed on the blackboard.

It might seem like I spend alot of time talking about food.  I am a trained chef and have nearly always been able to just get on and make what I liked but since my Ceoliac diagnosis I have been surprised by the lack of good eating places and the amount of people that seem to think it is ok to ask whether it's just that I don't like eating gluten or do I really have a problem with gluten.  I find it a very personal question to ask by somebody that you don't know.  It is a risk to my health to the point that in the last six weeks I ended up in hospital 20 minutes after being 'glutened' and I know that I am not the only Ceoliac that is this sensitive to food.  This is why it is such a bonus when you do find places you can just visit and eat without having to do the research first.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Gluten Free Picnic...

A day off so it's off to Sizergh Castle near Kendal with my son.

A gluten free picnic for two it is then.

Assorted sandwiches which will be made in the morning.

Prawn and Avocado salad (assorted leaves, chopped avocado, cucumber, drizzled with lemon juice and topped with prawns)

Mayonnaise (lighter than light Hellman's, fresh lemon juice, dashes of tabasco, tomato ketchup)

Salmon and Broccoli crustless mini quiches
Smoked Bacon and Vintage Cheddar crustless mini quiches

(Two cupcake 12 hole tins, 8 eggs, 1 pint milk, crispy chopped bacon, small pieces of broccoli, small pieces of salmon, 400 grams vintage Cheddar, Salt & Pepper. Mix the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Fill one cupcake tin with the bacon, then the other one with the raw salmon and broccoli.  Top with cheese, then fill each one with the milk and egg mixture, bake in a hot oven (gas mark 6/7) for about 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown.  Totally gluten free.)

Cajun crispy chicken portions

Kettle Crisps
(Pringles are my son's)

Raspberry and White Chocolate Sliced cake

I am driving so hence no fizz!!

National Trust freebie tickets for the day out, thank you Natwest (along with vouchers for free parking and 20% off in the shop - spending spree!!)

Hope sunshine is available tomorrow :)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Raspberry & White Chocolate Gluten Free Cake

Yes - it's absolutely gluten free and it's delicious...


7ozs Bob's RedMill 1to1 GF Baking Flour
6ozs Golden Caster Sugar
6ozs Butter
1/4 tsp Vanilla Paste or 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
2 Eggs or 3 if they are small
50 grams White Chocolate Chips (Callebaut are GF)
60 grams fresh raspberries or two thirds of a tin of raspberries, juice removed

Cream Cheese Topping:-

50 grams Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese
25 grams White Chocolate Chips - melted
8 ozs Icing Sugar


Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and set a shelf in the middle.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Add the flour in parts along with the eggs one at a time until it is all mixed.  Stir in the vanilla.

Add the chocolate chips and stir well, add the raspberries, don't overmix or your mixture will turn pink and you are looking for a marbled effect.

Place the mixture into a loaf tin lined with a greaseproof liner, it will only look half full.

Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes.  It will have a lovely golden brown crust on the top and split only slightly.

Leave to cool, completely cold before adding the topping.

Mix the cream cheese and melted white chocolate together and then sift the icing into the mix about a third at a time.  It will turn quite runny, then as you add the rest of the icing sugar it will thicken, make sure you don't have any lumps of icing sugar that are not mixed in.  I find Silver Spoon is the best icing sugar to use and barely needs
the sifting.

The loaf will slice into ten pieces.

Share and enjoy :)

Monday, 14 August 2017

Friday Night Sew-In

Pop over to Wendy's blog and sign up for the Friday Night Sew-In..

18th August 2017

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Berries & Bluebirds applique...

I have done a little bit more work on my applique quilt.

Block one is finished and I am happy with the results.

I have done the applique with Aurifil 50wt in matching colours.  However, after I started the applique Aurifil brought out the 80wt thread.  It is incredible, it just sinks into the fabric and disappears after stitching.  

The next block just waiting on me to stitch the brown and then onto a new block.  I use short applique pins from Clover for placement as well as a little Roxanne's Baste It Glue.

My hand stitching applique kit consists of the following:-

Clover thimble, this type doesn't slip off your finger and is really comfortable to wear.
Tulip or Bohin Size 10 large eye applique needles, quite short but glides through the fabric when stitching.
Aurifil 80 wt thread, sinks and disappears  leaving beautifully placed applique pieces and it is easy to thread the needle as it is so fine.
Gingher Applique Scissors, who can't resist a pair of Gingher's.  I love them and these are curved at the bottom so they get very close to where you need to cut.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Shepherd's Bush Cross Stitch Anna Stocking...

Here she is...

All cross-stitched with the charms, beads and buttons attached.

I decided on the words 'Do not open until Dec 25th' because I didn't want my name on it and with those words it can be passed down through the family.

It needs a good press but I am not going to do that until I have chosen my fabric for the backing, lining and binding.

I will be doing a tutorial on making the stocking up very shortly but for now it's going to be folded and put away.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe Gluten Free

Lemon drizzle Cake Recipe Gluten Free

Both of these recipes are gluten free, one belongs to Juvela and the other is my own using Bob's RedMill 1to1 Flour

Juvela Ingredients:-

6ozs Juvela white flour Mix
6ozs caster sugar
6ozs melted butter
2 eggs

1 lemon
4 tbsps caster sugar


Bob's RedMill Ingredients:-

6ozs Bob's RedMill 1to1 Baking Flour
6ozs Golden caster sugar
6ozs melted butter
2 eggs

2 lemons
4 tbsps caster sugar

Icing sugar mixed with a little water, make as much or as little as you like.


Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 with a shelf in the middle of the oven.

Grease a 2lb loaf tin or use a greaseproof paper tin liner.

Put the flour and 6ozs caster sugar into a large jug and mix well.  Add the melted butter and eggs and give another good mix.

Add the zest of the lemon(s) to the mix and pour into your loaf tin, this is why it is easier to make it in a large jug.

Put it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes.  It will rise beautifully and have a split crust on the top that it is golden brown.

Take the juice of the lemon(s) and mix with the 4 tbsps caster sugar and stir well. Whilst the cake is still warm use a skewer to make holes in the cake all across the top and then drizzle the lemon juice mix over the cake.  Leave to cool.

Mix the icing sugar with the water to make the icing top, for extra flavour, use lemon juice instead of water.  I piped the icing across the top in a zig-zag pattern.  It sets lovely and gives an extra sweet bite along with the lemon taste.

For a non-gluten free cake just replace the flour with your favourite self raising flour.

Enjoy x

Shepherd's Bush Anna Stocking...

Wednesday stitches...

I made a start on the sheep and hills yesterday, this is the heel part of the stocking which is completed.  Now moving onto the foot part for the shepherds, more sheep and a boat, then it is onto the charms.  I haven't decided on the wording for my stocking, it says Fear Not on the pattern but I am not sure about those words so still thinking on that one.  

Baking again this morning and made a Bara Brith, which I have never made before.  You make it with strong tea, I don't drink tea but willing to give it a try in tea bread form.  Will share some pictures later.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Herlid Vikings at Heysham Viking Festival 2017

Heysham Viking Festival 2017

Herlid Vikings in action

A brilliant day out on the 15th July this year.

Viking Merk Borgesson in the light coloured trousers, deep yellow tunic and chainmail along with a three boar shield.

In action for photographs

Battling it out on the field

Rest after battle.

If you get a chance to go to any re-enactment shows, they are incredible.  A lot of work goes on both in the backgound and at the shows to make it as genuine as possible.  Most vikings have their own trade like making shoes, candles, jewellery and clothing as well as weapons for use and for show.  These are all available to see at the shows and give a great insight into the viking history.  They have living history camps which show how the Vikings lived, cooked, slept and what they trade with.

Proud to be a Mork, our Danish heritage.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Friday Night with Friends Stitching....

My Friday Night and some of the weekend was spent stitching some more of the Shepherd's Bush Anna stocking.

It doesn't look like I have done much, but the top half is finished and I am tired so decided to fill in the red as it doesn't need me to check the pattern so avoiding mistakes.

I am still stitching now and not far off finishing the Lancaster Red.  Then it's out of the frame again to do the hillside scene at the foot of the stocking.

Hope everyone has had a good weekend.  I am hoping to avoid the migraines this week - got caught out by two seperate ones last week, what a nightmare.  

My gluten free Sunday kitchen...

Who doesn't love a Sunday lunch, in our family, they would have it everyday.

Ours isn't for the dieter I am afraid, lots of butter, honey, cream, you name it, it's there, I do a reduced fat version, but today, we are having guests so going all out.  I will put the recipe next to each item and if you fancy having a go, it's delicious.

Juvela Yorkshire Puddings 2ozs Juvela white mix, 2ozs cornflour, a little salt, 3 eggs and a little milk, mix it all together and it should be the consistency of single cream.  To get the best rise, put fat into a 12 hole cake tin, put in the top of the oven and wait for it to smoke, remove from the oven and place onto the stove with the burners on medium underneath it, it will smoke but it will start to cook the yorkshires as soon as the mixture hits the pan, fill each one, then carefully put the tin back in the top of the oven, I use gas mark 9, very high, they take about 20 minutes, don't take out too soon or they will drop.

Mashed potatoes - mashed with butter not cream, best results from Tesco Finest which are the same price as the maris pipers but they are fluffier once cooked.

Roast potatoes, par cooked potatoes then placed in hot goose fat and into the top of the oven.

Sage and Thyme creamed leeks.  Sliced leeks with chopped Thyme and Sage, sauted in butter, then a few minutes before serving, add about 80ml of double cream and stir on a low light.

Beef gravy made with Bisto Best gravy granules.  I am hypersensitive when it comes to gluten and this one works best for me.

Sliced carrots - steamed.
Broccoli and cauliflower - steamed.
Broccoli and cauliflower cheese - made the cheese sauce with 1oz butter, 2 tablespoons of Bob's RedMill 1to1 GF flour, 1pt milk and 3ozs strong cheddar, cook the flour in the butter until the flour is cooked (not coloured), add the milk and whisk until it has thickened and there are no lumps, add the cheese and whisk until it has melted in.  Pour over part steamed broccoli and cauliflower and place in the middle of the oven to brown on the top.

Honeyed parsnips, par boil the chunks of parsnip and then place in an ovenproof dish.  Melt 1oz butter, 1oz demerera sugar and 4tbsps honey in pan and once combined pour over the parsnips. Put in the oven to crisp.

Carrot and Swede mash - I cheat and buy either Tesco Finest or M&S as our daughter loves it.

Roast Beef and Roast Chicken - daughter doesn't eat beef so we have to do an alternative.  Courtesy of our local fab butcher - Hamblings in Whitehaven.  I buy a very large piece of topside - about 50.00 to 60.00 in money not weight, cook it, slice it and freeze enough for four people in tinfoil.  I usually get enough slices for 8 Sunday lunches without the hassle of having to cook the roast every weekend.

Last but not least - the pudding - 

Blackberry and Apple Crumble.

5 Bramley Cooking Apples
10ozs Blackberries, fresh, frozen or tinned
2 cloves
3 ozs Caster Sugar
150 ml water (reduce the water if using tinned fruit).

8ozs Bob's RedMill 1to1 GF Flour
2ozs Ground almonds
4ozs Butter
4ozs Caster Sugar

Demerera Sugar for sprinkling on the top.

Peel, core and slice the apples, place in a pan with the blackberries, cloves, caster sugar and water.  Cook until the apple has nearly mashed but not quite.  Pour into an ovenproof deep dish.  Warn your guests that they might get a clove in their pudding if you can't remove them.

Mix the flour, almonds and butter until it resembles a breadcrumb texture and then add the caster sugar.

Pour onto the top of the apple/blackberry mix, level out and sprinkle with the demerera sugar, cook in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with Carte D'or Vanilla Ice Cream - which is gluten free, not all ice creams are so please check.

Get the children to wash up afterwards whilst you chill on the sofa with a coffee.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Shepherd's Bush Anna Stocking and the next project.

Shepherd's Bush Cross Stitch Stocking Pattern Anna.

I started this stocking in March, it is going to be mine.  It is brilliant changing over from stitching on 36 count to 18 natural linen.  They make up beautifully when they are finished and I will be doing a tutorial on making them up once this has been completed.

The pattern from Shepherd's Bush.  The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, you don't have to photocopy them and enlarge to see the details.  They are stitched in No.5 perle as well, so no splitting threads, it is pretty chunky to use when you have been using one thread floss.

My Millenium frame arrived this week, many thanks Needle Needs for the excellent customer service and less than two week turnaround.  My last frame that had the stitching treasures on is now in the bin, the screws stopped working and the staples kept coming lose that the linen was stretched on.

On the Millenium Frame is my 28 count linen from the Lizzie Kate 2015 Mystery Sampler Kit.  It was really easy to get the linen onto the frame, it took a fraction of the time that it usually takes.  They are more expensive than the usual frames however I was lucky as mine was a gift but I can see why people have more than one.

There is a new kit coming out in September so I figured I really need to get this one completed before the next one turns up.  I have mine pre-ordered with Fobbles in the Lake District, they have fabulous customer service and a whole array of threads and patterns to suit all embroiderers.  

Off to get some work done and organize what I will be stitching on my Friday Night with Friends.

It's nearly the weekend already whooooh!!!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

My Stitching Treasures... The Finale

Here she is in all her glory atop the wooden box I bought for her but not where she will be permanently displayed as it is too small.

Over 70 hours of stitching including 7 hours of unpicking.

The golden needle in place, not the one I used for the box, as that one was no longer gold!

I altered the pattern slightly to suit me, I am not into putting alphabets on stitcheries so I did the vines very close in pattern to the one on Jeannette's original box.

The fruit is also better in satin stitch rather than the cross stitch I had stitched in.

All done and dusted.  She does look pretty good and that is without being stretched.  I have decided on a wooden watch display box to use that will be plenty big enough.  They seem to be available in all kinds of sizes on Amazon and I think it looks like a good alternative to the original box that isn't available in the UK.  I don't think the photographs do the colours justice, it definitely looks better in real life!

Thank you Jeannette for a great pattern.  I still have the accessories to do, but they can wait as I want to change onto some patchwork and quilting, of which, I am way behind.