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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Quilted Cupcake Fleece Blanket

Good morning everyone!
It's finally done! 
You might remember this (if not, it's totally ok), three years ago, I bought some baby sleeping bags made out of some very cute cupcake material at Primark.This was before I got some even better cupcake fabric from Joann's so it kind of just stayed in the to-do pile for a long time until I finally got about to taking at least one of them apart and see how much fabric I actually had. This was the fleece:


Isn't it cute? A bit too pink really but it still has potential!

So I searched in my stash and lo and behold, I had so much fleece left from other projects that I could actually quilt something out of this and make it pop a bit more :) I had orange, blue, and purple left so that would work quite well actually. I cut it all into squares and made a nice simple pattern out of it. 

I left it like that for a while but something was missing as it was all a bit dark and depressing. So at the Knitting and Stitching Show, I found this baby yellow fleece which was just the icing on the cake. It pulled it all together :) The pic already shows the border but you get the idea.
 
 
 I now love it :) 

 This blanket is supercomfy! I didnt quilt it in a sense that I sewed over it, but I did sew the two layers together at all the corners of each square (which was a much longer process than anticpated!)

 Clearly it was not easy getting a nice shot of this... 

This light is much better. So yes this is it! Still  not an officially proper quilt, but good training for once I finally start sewing my Halloween quilt together! And in the meantime I am nice and toasty. 

Making this also means that my pirate slanket has now been permanently claimed by the bf as he just refuses to even go near this blanket, he says it's too colourful! LOL he may have a point but I love it :)

And speaking of the Knitting and Stitching Show, check out this London cab all knitted up! I cant believe I didnt actually post about that yet although I do have a few leftover pics like that... 

 
 How cool is this, it even have a knitted picnic basket!

And of course a very happy me, fabric shopping whoohoo!

So another project done, let's hope I can keep this momentum going. There is a lot more in this to-do pile!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Star Wars Tote Bag

Hi everyone!
I've actually done some more sewing :) During my lovely trip to the US last year (which I haven't told you about yet, mmm I foresee a blog post about this LOL) I bought yet another "bit" of fabric at Joann's. The good thing was that I actually saved more than I spent this time, I love the US for vouchers :)

Anyway, I had this fantastic Star Wars fabric and I wanted to make this into a tote bag. I didnt use a pattern and kind of just used all the fabric I had (only 1/2 yard anyway) so it worked out quite perfectly. Check it out:


On one side I managed to get the symbol in the middle, quite happy with this actually!

The other side has it slightly off centre but it still looks good this way. It's the blue print fabric for the ships in SW. They had the same in blue with white but this was nicer I thought. Notice how I also made the straps from this?

The yoga tote has the better pattern and sewing, but this also came out well I think. I use it in the supermarket and I must say am getting some looks. I mean, how many people have a cool tote bag like this? ;)

All in all, the year is off to a good start. Let's hope it stays this way!!

Monday, 13 January 2014

20 Minute Tote Bag

Hello again everyone!
So far the new year is going well, am getting rid of all the backlog I have for blogging about stuff :) At Joann's last year, I found this super cute fabric which would be perfect for my shiny new yoga bag. Several months later and said bag still has to be made of course... In the mean time, however, my yoga teacher has gifted me a yoga bag as I kept on carrying the mat around without one, she is so sweet! So that means I have some more time in making my own bag with this fabric. 

As I wanted to give her a Christmas present also, I used the same fabric to make a tote bag for her. It didn't really make much sense to give her a yoga bag now did it? ;) I found this super handy tutorial on a 20 minute tote bag (which in reality of course took me a couple of hours as I am really not that fast at 11pm...) which I made for her with this fabric. The tutorial can be found HERE and comes complete with photo instructions. So handy! The end result is too cute as well, check it out:

One side of the bag, isn't this fabric the cutest?

I just love how the frog is doing all the yoga poses!

This fabric also comes with a girl mouse, but sadly that was sold out. My teacher really liked it which was great :) Now I just have to find some time to make the actual bag that I had planned!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Recipe - Lamb Pepperpot

Hi everyone!
On NYE, I made lamb pepperpot, a wonderful and easy dish which is perfect for cold winter nights. Yes, even though it is Carribean, the spices just heat you up! LOL

This recipe came from www.goodtoknow.co.uk but they don't seem to have it online anymore. Good thing I printed it as this is so yummy! They do still have it HERE including a video, so you can even watch this being made :) Otherwise, just use the below instructions:

You will need:
  • 450gr lean lamb neck fillet, sliced (you can also use beef or chicken if you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and sliced or chilli flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 150 long grain rice
  • 750ml lamb or vegetable stock
  • 100gr cabbage, shredded
  • 50gr lettuce, shredded
  • large handful of spinach
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the lamb neck fillet on medium heat for 4-5 mins, until browned.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, chilli, cayenne pepper, paprika, black peppercorns, and rice. Stir well and pour over the stock. 
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 20 mins until the rice is cooked.
  4. During the last 5 mins of cooking time, add the cabbage, lettuce, and spinach to the pan. Cook for the remaining 5 mins and serve.
Your end result should resemble this:


I always cover the pan so mine is always very soupy which is not ideal, although it does let me add more rice for the next day and have it again ;)

I make it quite spicy now as I use chilli flakes. It may not look as nice as in the original recipe, but it is so amazingly good! 

UPDATE:
I knew I had a better piccie somewhere of the finished dish on the plate. It looks much better this way!



Saturday, 4 January 2014

Recipe - Mary Berry's Double Crust Apple Pie

Hi everyone!
Now that the new year has begun, it is time to begin blogging again. I don't think I have ever slept as much as I have in the last few days! It's the last weekend before I have to go back to work, and here I am with the Christmas tree up and Christmas songs in the background. LOL yes very weird I know, I normally want the tree out the day after Christmas but this year I just can't seem to part with it...

You may recall that I made an apple pie for NYE. The bf just loves apple pie but the one I made last year was so sweet and had so much sugar that we didn't really want to finish it (it had half a cup of white and half a cup of brown sugar!). So I checked online for another one and of course Mary Berry came to the rescue :) The original recipe can be found HERE and is from Mary Berry's How to Cook: Easy recipes and foolproof techniques. I used store bought pastry so I have taken out the whole bit of how to make the pastry, making this recipe very short and quick ;)

You will need:
  • 2 x 375gr packs of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
  • 1kg apples
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 85g granulated sugar
  • 1½ tbsp cornflour
For the glaze:
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 1tbsp granulated sugar
 Instructions:
  1. Unroll one pack of pastry and place this into a pie dish. Blind-bake the pastry as per the instructions on the pack, I normally do this for about 15 mins. Don't throw away any leftover pastry you have trimmed off the edge, you will need this later!
  2. Once the pastry is blind-baked, take it out of the oven and start working on the apples.
  3. Preheat to 220°C (fan oven 200°C), Gas 7. Quarter, core and peel the apples. Slice them, toss in the lemon juice, then in the sugar and cornflour.
  4. Turn the apples into the pie dish, then use a fork to distribute the slices, heaping them up towards the centre. Brush the rim of the pastry with a little milk.
  5. Unwrap and roll out the 2nd pack of pastry and roll it on top of the pie. If you use ready rolled pastry, this is a piece of cake (pun intended LOL). Place the pastry over the filling and gently press the edge with your thumb tips. Hold the pie dish in one hand and cut off the excess, holding the knife at a slight angle.
  6. Edge the pie by making shallow cuts with the back of a knife. Flute the edge with your fingertips, then brush the top with milk. Cut a 1cm steam hole in the centre.
  7. Cut out decorative shapes of the trimmings and arrange on top of the pie, leaving the steam hole clear. Brush the shapes with milk and sift sugar over the pie.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C (fan oven 170°C), Gas 4 and bake for 30-35 minutes. The pastry should be golden and the filling soft when pierced.
The end result is so yummy and not too sweet as you've only use 85 grams of sugar!  For my decoration I used a star, it's very new yearsy and made me think of the fireworks outside.


Yes, I have to work on my fluting LOL


But the top sure looks good!


And this is the inside, it was very yummy. Mary Berry to the rescue!

Apple pie is never healthy, but this sure didn't make me feel as guilty as the other one, so I can highly recommend this one :) Start the new year with something yummy, why not? ;)

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year everyone!!

The bf was a little worried about this sparkler here I think...

Again I was working today, but I made this wonderfully easy Jamaican lamb dish (recipe will follow later)...

 ...and also this lovely apple pie which was not as sweet as the one I made last year (recipe will also follow)

I hope this year will bring you much happiness, stay healthy and let's hope for more blogging this year. Coincidentally, this is my 500th post that I am writing here, that just HAS to be a good start of the year :) 
Cheers!!
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