Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 9!

Another week and another make.  We went for a lovely walk along a local canal and took tubs with us, just in case, and luckily we found lots of these...

and with a thrifty, home made Christmas in mind and an offer of five half bottles of vodka I decided to get these together...

and make some of this...

I also plan to make a cranberry version too as I still have two bottles of vodka left.  I've made the cranberry one before a few Christmases ago and it went down (excuse the pun) very well.  They are such easy things to make, fruit, sugar, vodka and a couple of months of shaking the jars daily at first, then weekly later, a decant through a sieve into bottles and that's it.  You can use the drunken fruits up if you like, my father-in-law puts his raspberries which have been steeping for months in gin, in his Christmas trifle.  It sure adds a kick!
Here is what it looks like

...the vodka has already taken on the vibrant colour of the brambles and they have plumped up drunkenly with the vodka.  I may even try a wee taste of it myself.  I have only drunk vodka properly, twice, the first time at uni and my flatmates claimed I became very argumentative and aggressive so I tried it a second time as and experiment and I felt argumentative and aggressive so I haven't partaken in it since but I wonder if I've mellowed with age (it has been fifteen years) and should give it a try again.  I did try some scrummy shots in a vodka bar in Edinburgh before uni and I was fine then and I have lovely memories of cola cube, soor plume and chilli flavour shots, ice cold and head clearing.
I got the quantities etc from Nigella's Kitchen book and have a recipe for a cranberry and a lemoncello vodka from old Good Food magazines.  If anyone would like them get in touch.

Of course I have assumed you all know brambles are blackberries and you didn't need me to clarify!

Monday, 27 September 2010

On a wet, dark and dreary Monday...

...all I need to do to feel content is put this on.

(You can just spot the tiniest green dot in the bottom left corner that reveals this is my television and not the real thing.)

And dive into this.

 and make the all important choice of which to while away some time with.  
The ironing can wait I say!!


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 8!

Another make finished (isn't sewing up always the worst part?) and I'm pleased to say blogged about in my 100th post.  Mad to believe that almost a year ago I started this malarkey and as of yet have not bored myself into stopping and more importantly seem not to be boring you lot (I hope!?!?).  

May I introduce Penny Pig...

Knitted up for a Christmas gift for a dear friends baby, from a pattern from fluff&fuzz (see here for links to all of Amanda shops) and because I love pigsI mean look at this...

...adorable no?
I also stuffed my Christmas wreath and completed all the sewing, had lots of fun at Picnik editing the photo and here it is...

Any excuse to indulge in Christmas glee 
I loves, loves, loves Christmas and feel that something so magnificent, so special requires a decent build up, a lot of planning (who doesn't love to plan?) and even more savouringThere will be no end of Christmas cheer, be warned!


Thursday, 16 September 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 7 and not so much a rant as a monologue.

I am weeks behind with this business with lots ( I really, truly mean lots!) of WIPs.  I have a bad, bad, self inflicted stress inducing, habit of doing too many things at once.  Was I a fool to think that a weekly make challenge would somehow change this?   Yes, I think I was!!  I tend to flit between projects depending on my mood.  Sometimes I feel like sewing, other times knitting or picking up my crochet hook, or baking.  I know I cannot be alone in this.  I call it multi-tasking, Hubby Biscuit calls it never finishing anything.  I've said it before, he may have a point!!  

Week seven's make faltered at the last hurdle due to the excessive amount of stuffing required and I was not willing to use my whole stash in case I had a creative emergency, an urgent need to make 'something'.  I have since bought a child size, equivalent amount so can complete my make.  But I have moved on since then.  As I write I am in the middle of knitting four (one of which is made up of three) things, crocheting two blankets, sewing more christmas decorations, revamping old curtains and replacing cushion covers.  Say it cannot only be me that does this or has such a huge list! 
I also do not want to get into shame spiral about repeating myself AGAIN about pain.  Yes I had another visit to my Orthodontist and yes my mouth hurts in an annoyingly all encompassing way.  I tried popping pills this time which is helping a little and have even tried copious amounts of cleaning to distract me because for some reason the pain makes me sew like clumsy lump and unable to read knitting patterns properly.  Therefore I cannot create and one full day of cleaning is quite enough thank you very much!  Pants to it all!!!  I am finding myself utterly dull now about it and please, please let my next wee bit of surgery work so I only have braces for another 10 months, pretty please universe!!  I'll give you cake, lots of cake...

It gets worse, can it get worse?

It is a crime indeed when I cannot even bear the thought of baking or eating a cupcake!  I had quite forgotten the appointment when I went on about baking this week in honour of National Cupcake week!  I may just have to be a voyeur of those of you who whipped up a few!

So... week seven's make.

a felt holly wreath!

As I was making this I kept thinking, have I seen this before?  I have seen something similar somewhere?  Have I?  Am I totally stealing someone's design without realizing it?  Tell me if you think I have and I will give credit for inspiration where it's due. 
I felt in need of a Christmas wreath.  I am lucky enough to own one of Mrs B's gorgeous woolly wreaths (buy one here - they really are the most delightful things!) and would really love another but Hubby is having none of it and I've already played the 'Christmas gift' card for new merino wool for a scarf so I'm scunnered!!  The result being I had to come up with one of my own.  I just have to make the important decision of where to put a jingle bell as it must, must, must, must have a jingle bell.  I must be forced to imagine Santa on his sleigh or it's just not Christmassy enough!!  It's a rule that must be enforced!  
Another restraint of my own making!  And another...

...I have the next few weeks makes sitting awaiting completion - eek!!


A bit of a rant?  
Me thinks more of a  monologue but that, in essence, is blogging!


Thursday, 9 September 2010

An invitation!

Sponge + buttercream icing = happiness

Next week is National Cupcake Week!  
Can you think of anything more worthy of celebration?  Well of course you can but still I invite you all to join me in praising this humble little sponge by baking up a batch or two or three for that matter. If you are not a baker then buy some and enjoy! I for one, need little encouragement but will use this celebratory opportunity to maybe try something new or that recipe Hubby Biscuit has been requesting or just to stare at the little beauties before I devour them.  
I love cake.  
It's really as simple as that.  I love the alchemy of it.  I love the word.  I love the smell of it wafting through my home as that smell is home.  The varieties are endless as is the choice to suit yourself and bake the cake that does it for you.  Aah, the disappointment of bad cake, of horridly hard chocolate cake, of a bland powdery muffin!  The heartache...
Now cupcakes...oh those itty bitty cupcakes...I love how the sponge looks like a really comfortable bed with it's buttercream duvetI want to crawl into one and nap!  Yes, I know, I sound like a loon but I am confident there are some of you out there who feel the same (not you Heather, I know, not you!).  I have a bad case of the smittens!
Please join me next week in celebrating by baking some cupcakes and blogging about it.  I'd love to see which flavours you choose and photos of your finished masterpieces because that's what each and everyone is, an ickle masterpiece!  And always, most importantly, made with love!

Have fun!


Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Plasma ball fun!

It was, it really was.  
I was secretly thrilled when my Biscuits declared they would like to spend their save pocket money on a plasma ball but who knew the potential for photographing in the dark.  Please indulge me, these images, to my mind, are very, very cool.

Close ups!

 When the menfolk thought it would be fun to place their foreheads on the ball!

 Hope you liked them!

Can I leave you with the wonderful new Nigella cookbook, I think my favourite of all her books already.  I confess to wandering around my house hugging it, with a huge grin on my face for a good five minutes when it arrived (I hate dour, soor-faced delivery men!!) before I even considered opening it.  Unfortunately my mum was coming so I barely got a look at it until Friday night but when I did....there's a problem though, what to make first?


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I've just received an e-mail to say........

...that this most anticipated item...

image from amazon
...has been dispatched and is on it's way!!


It's a bit much! 

Breathe Ali, 



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