Sunday, 27 January 2013

A little giveaway

Heart kit
Happy Handmade Monday! I tried really, really hard to get round to everyone's blog last week (I don't know how Wendy does it), but I know I didn't quite make it so thank-you to everyone who posted on here. The problem is I get distracted, I read a post, I see another, I see one that looks interesting in a side bar and I'm off blog hopping!
I've also finally succumbed to pinterest! I realised that I've bookmarked so many interesting and inspiring things in my favourites folder, that I didn't realise what they were. So now I'm pinning them to my boards so I can see them all, and again it's addictive! I dare you to have a peek!
This week I haven't been busy on the making front - I've been to school (no snow day for me), I've been on a teacher's course and on Thursday I went to the craft4crafters show at Exeter. I had a lovely day morning there and was very restrained with my purchases. 
I have been making up kits ready for my first fair next Saturday, Heart kits and Easter Egg kits. I know it's early, but I am trying to be organised!  So I thought I'd have a mini giveaway...

Easter egg kit
A heart kit and a Easter Egg Kit - you can find out more about them here

How to enter
Follow my blog and then leave a comment to say you have done this. If you are already a follower (thank you) please just leave me a comment.

For extra chances to win you can....

'Like' me on my Facebook page and leave a comment on my blog and on my facebook page to let me know you have done this and say which kit you'd like.
If you already 'like' my FB page then please just leave a comment here to remind me!
If you would like to blog about my giveaway this will give you another entry. Again leave me another comment here on my blog.
I'd like to boost Pickle-Lily's own Facebook page, so for an extra entry, please 'like' her page and  leave another comment on here.
Please ensure that I am able to contact you. Pickle-Lily will pull all the names out of a hat on Friday 8th February. Good luck!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Handmade Love

Mug Hugs
 An early Festive Friday for Valentine's Day, and to give you time to make. A felt mug hug.
I actually made two - one for Valentines and then Pickle-Lily said 'How about a Mothering Sunday?' one?
Mug Hugs
These are very simple to make.
My mugs came from Sainsburys - they are special offer at the moment, less than 50p each! I chose them as they had straight sides, rather than curved. To start with, make a paper pattern, by measuring from the base to just below the top part of the handle. I made my hug a bit short so I didn't get a mouthful of felt as I drank. Cut out the rectangle from a piece of paper - it will be too long and overwrap. Then wrap that rectangle around your mug, marking on the paper where the short edge 'joins' to make a complete cylinder. Or, measure the circumference of your mug and mark that onto your rectangle. Add on a tab section at the top of the rectangle. I hoping the picture will explain!
Make a paper pattern
Next, cut out two pieces of felt using this pattern, and embellish one. For the letters I used some wooden letters I already have as template. In the olden days, I used to draw round paper letters, cut them out, mount them and then re-cut to uses as labels for displays at school. Now you can just print them off! A good font to use is vag rounded for this style. I then stitched them into place.
Stitch the two felt pieces together to make a sandwich.
Finally, wrap the hug around the mug and mark where the button will go to hold it in place. Cut a buttonhole through the felt and stitch the edge to neaten, being felt don't worry about fraying . You can put the buttonhole in the tab or the main part, depending on which fits best with your design.
These could be made for any occasion - Father's Day, an apple for the teacher or just put a name on.
And of course you can fill the mug with chocolate hearts, marshmallows, teabags, homemade shortbread ....
Enjoy x

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Winter Warmer

... and bottomless pit filler!
In my never ending quest to fill the bottomless pit that is my teenage son, this week I created -
Zap Pudding
This is a simple sponge pudding, like a steamed pudding that can be made in minutes.
You need ...
110g of butter or margarine
110g caster sugar
110g self raising flour
2 eggs


Mix these altogether - the all in one creamed method.
Grease four large cups or mini plastic pudding bowls (I got mine from Lakeland), put a large spoonful of jam or syrup or marmalade in the bottom of each one and then share the sponge mixture between them.
Cover with microwave film, and then
ZAP in the microwave.
Mine take 1 minutes 20 seconds in a 800W / E microwave.
Leave for at least a minute before eating as the jam is HOT!
You can substitute two tablespoons of flour for cocoa powder for chocolate pudding, and I'm going to added currants to the next batch.


Jam sponge with custard
I'm sharing this on Handmade Monday this week, I wonder if there will be any more yummy recipes on there? It is also the 100th Handmade Monday this week, so pop over to join in the fun! A big thank-you to Wendy for hosting every week.
Inspired by the snowy weather I've made some felt mug hugs ready for Valentines or Mothering Sunday, and I'm hoping to share them with you as a tutorial soon. I've also been watching the birds from the kitchen window and the bird feeder has been mobbed at times. I've discovered I am no wildlife photographer, as every time I've tried to take a photo, they've flown away! We have had some new visitors to the garden, a group of redwings, very pretty to watch.

As you can see most of the snow has now melted, leaving our lawn looking like a swamp, but more snow is forecast tomorrow...

Friday, 18 January 2013

World Snowman Day

Snow Bear
Today is World Snowman Day!
It is very appropriate as we woke to several centimetres of snow this morning, and so booted and suited went outside to build a snowman with our lovely neighbours. The snowman looked more like a snowbear we decided, so here she is!
 There are lots of lovely snowman ideas on the Teacher's Pet blog here .
I hope you are enjoying the snow wherever you are!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

a BIG thank-you

Valentine Owl
I want to start with a BIG thank-you to all you lovely bloggers out there who commented on my Railway Children post , with 15 comments and my post and facebook post that should be £34 donated to the charity!
I also need to apologise for not being round much, but as you may remember I was on jury service last week (and this week coming), and I was fairly incommunicado. The good new is I took my small pair of wooden knitting needles in, so I could knit when I was in the waiting room. I'm also hoping to try and visit all the lovely blogs on this week's Handmade Monday and see what everyone has been up to.
My 'Ta-dah!' this week is Valentine Owl. I had this idea buzzing around in my head, so early one morning I had to do something about it! It involved me drawing lots of lines on a page from an old exercise book, and then counting and rubbing out, and redrawing and knitting and then re-knitting, until Valentine was finished. I'm really pleased with him, and when Pickle-Lily went 'aww' I knew it had worked!
Have a good week!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Busy and a plea!


Recently I have been bursting with ideas!
Pin cushions for Valentines Day or Mothering Sunday - how organised is that!
These were inspired by my constantly knocking my pin cushion off the arm of the sofa and wanting something a bit heavier, as well as being pretty!
I've also been busy creating owls for Valentines or Mothering Sunday, some of which I can share today with you.
Valentine owls
With another idea I've very nearly finished the proto - type, but I am already seeing some things I want to change! It usually starts with me drawing on bits of paper at five in the morning, because I have an idea buszzing around in my head and it won't go away! Then I have to cut and sew or knit, until I'm happy with it. I usually get Pickle-Lily's opinion and if she goes 'awww' I know I'm onto a winner!
Flower pot pin cushions

I'm joining in with Handmade Monday this week, and looking forward to seeing that everyone else has been up to, and then on Monday I'm on jury service for two weeks, so it will be interesting! What I want to know is - can I take my knitting with me?
Before I go. I would ask a small favour of all you lovely bloggers. My last post was about a charity called Railway Children (helping runaways) and Aviva have promised to donate £2 to the charity for every comment, so if you could quickly post a comment that would be another £2 to Railway Children. I'm doing this as part of mumsnet. Thank-you!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Railway Children

Happy New Year!
Finished rather late - hence the dark photo!
Generally I blog about what I have been up to or my latest makes, but yesterday I received a very thought provoking email from mumsnet. Normally I don't really have too much to do with mumsnet  as it appears to be mostly aimed at families with young children, and both mine are that bit older. But they are running a campaign with Aviva about a charity called Railway Children - who work with runaways. It is one of the the things that really scares me, and the figures they give are terrifying.

Did you know....
It's estimated that a child runs away from home or care every five minutes in the UK
In a recent survey, one in 11 teenagers aged 14 to 16 admitted to having run away overnight at some stage in their life
It's impossible to know the true scale of the problem: two-thirds of runaways aren't reported as missing to the police, and many are too vulnerable or scared to seek official help
It’s estimated 2000 children will run away over Christmas
(Taken from mumsnet
Aviva are donating £2 to the Railway Children charity for each blogger post about this, as well as a further £2 for each comment. So today, I am joining in.
If you would like to know more see here