Monday, 1 August 2011

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Weeks 45 - 51!

Tis done and dusted.  Finis, the end.  A whole year of weekly makes....almost.
 I must warn you this is a long one.  There was one very good reason why each of my school report card said 'talks too much'.  I do.
You will have noticed there is no week 52, I've saved it for it's own post.

Week 45
lemon poppy seed cake

It's one of our favourites and I have made it more times than I can remember.  A variation of (rather mediocre in my view) madeira cake to be found in Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess.  I made the madeira cake once and since that particular disappointment, have made the lemon version ever since.  It's very good, very satisfying even in teeny pieces.
In fear of repeating myself; I would choose a lemon cake over all others.

Week 46
  teapot needle book

I made this because I wanted a small needle book to hold my teeny quilt needles (for the hexagon quilt I am making).  I looked all over Folksy and Etsy and to be honest (and hopefully not sounding too big headed) I came to the conclusion it would be better to make one myself for two main reasons.  Firstly, a lot were simply too big for my needs, beautiful, well made books but too big.  I needed something small, only to hold a half dozen needles or so.  Secondly, so many square and rectangle books are skew-wiffy and it winds me up.  If something is going to be skew-wiffy it should be by my hand and not as a thing I have paid good money for.    I suppose what I am saying is that sometimes hand made can mean it's not very good.  Of course there are amazing, truly amazing makes out there but there is also a big ol' pile of crap.  Badly sewn, messy stuff that I for one would be unhappy with if I had made and certainly would not have the nerve to ask money for.  
I could, though, have one of this lady's in every colourway and design.  The simple, easy way of turning the pages is a wonderful design.  When looking for a new needle book very few came close to Fishy's designs but again they were too big, having too many pages of felt for my requirements.  
Alix too, from Used-to-bees, makes an amazing Little Red Riding Hood book that is simply gorgeous and I am still sorely tempted by.
Maybe I am being harsh and I really do appreciate maker's effort but I am being real too.  There is plenty of naff stuff being sold out there along side the really truly good stuff.

I think I used a Tilda fabric. I tend to buy charm packs of expensive designer fabric.  Perfect for wee things without hurting my purse too much, along with my much loved acrylic [Fishy] felt.  I used a cookie cutter as a template and I am pleased with how it turned out.  By using  bondaweb to attach the fabric to the felt on each cover, it's very sturdy which means I can stick my needle into it when I need to put it down to turn my top layer pieces around or when newly threaded.  Quilting needles are teeny so very easy to lose track of.
It's cute too and makes me think of tea rooms and, of course, cake.

Week 47

I made these for about three weeks actually.  Nearly two thousand of the buggers and will probably have to make more white ones.  I am usually always in the process of a 'big' make meaning one that takes a long time.  Something to be picked up and put down whenever the moods suits. In a put down time I make other, smaller things.  This week all I did was wrap two inch square pieces of fabric around a one and a half inch paper hexagons, over and over again.  I loved it though, the obsessive numpty that I am.  

Expect much more on the hex's.  I have, as it were, been hexed!  Big time!

Week 48
 mint, milk chocolate truffles
(just remembered in time to take a shot)

OMG!!!  Right two things.  They are not cheap to make for their yield and two, I warn you, they are irresistible.  If you hanker after mint Aeros, whether in bar form or divine 'bubbles', these are for you.  From a recipe in Good Food (please feel free to request the recipe although it's probably on the web site) I first made at Christmas (I think from the December issue) for my parent-in-law's hamper.  These ones were for after dinner when friends were over.  They are so good.  They look a right mess I admit.  My take on truffle making is taking a teaspoon full and squishing a bit then rolling in whichever casing you care for.  Any kind of insistence on ball forming leaves too much of the ganache (God I love that word, so dirty, love it and it reminds me of Rab C Nesbitt) on your hands.  I will happily lick from my own fingers but even I draw the line at [excessive] palm licking.

Week 49
 chocolate chip and fudge cookies

I like to keep my men folk happy making batches of biscuits.  I don't know why I feel the need to do this, they already have me as a slave for their every whim.  From, I think, Nigella's Kitchen book.  I followed the recipe knowing full well they would be masseeve, next time I will make more, smaller ones.  Oh I did add fudge pieces I had in my baking drawer well, just because I had them.  Good, good cookies.  Easy to make too, not too fiddly and I got to use my beloved Kitchenaid so happy days.

Week 50
 iphone sock

This week was supposed to be the four felt flower brooches (based on  the mollie makes issue 2 flower) I made for the end of the school year gifts, for one teacher and the three ladies I help out at the school nursery.  I did a different colour for each and put them on labels etc, they looked gorgeous and then forgot to take a photo.  Dagnammit!  Just like the planned week 51 of cupcakes my biscuits helped with for them all.  Pants and poo!!!
So......this week I also quickly knitted up a felt lined sock for my iphone and because it's still here I can photograph it for this.
I like it, it's stripey which is always good.  Not as neat as I would have liked as I haven't picked up my needles in a while.  I used Debbie Bliss 4 ply yarn with ' punk pink' (not that you can see that from the photo) felt inside for extra protection.

Week 51
 granny squares

This week was, as I said, supposed to be cupcakes amazingly decorated by my Biscuits for their teachers.  Someone batter me with a baguette for my failings at remembering to photograph them.  What is it about gifts that I forget to take an image?  Maybe because they are not for me, or us but for others.  Who knows?

This week I also was [still] beavering away at the [endless] crochet blanket, trying to get it completed for our camping trip.  I stopped at 150 squares because I was sick to death of them, they were a good 5 inch/13cm each which is quite big, not easily seen from the photo.  So not quite the double I was planning but a largish single is fine enough because it meant I could stop making the effing thing.  The sewing together was much quicker I am glad to say.  I admit the only reason I got so fed up with the thing was because in order to finish it I had to keep at it even when I had had enough.  I couldn't put it down even though I desperately wanted to.  Also I was hugely resentful at not being able to carry on piecing my hex's together.
I was going to do the post I had planned on this blanket today but Eldest Biscuit is using it on the sofa as he has a bug.  Sick twice etc etc.  My poor wee man.  That post will have to keep for another time.

This post is I need to apologise?  I do, don't I?

Just week 52 to go.......very soon.  Picture me on my boat, Brinkley at my side, saying it needs tweaking.



  1. My goodness you've been busy and now I'm craving something sweet (just after brushing my teeth in readiness for a good night's sleep!) I love your little teapot needlebook and thank you for the mention. I was really surprised to see my name there! Can't wait to see the hexie quilt. Hope your boy is feeling better very soon...

  2. FANNTASTIC! Look how busy you've been. Can't believe how many makes you have managed. However will you cope when you don't have to do one every week?

  3. Sometimes I wonder if you are, inface, human. I can barely muster the energy to wash my dishes and put my dry washing away, nevermind all that! My quilt is a) rubbish and b) abandoned under the bed. You put me to shame.



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