Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Friday, 24 December 2010

Jourdan's christmas guinness cake

Every year Jourdan's contribution to Christmas is a Guinness cake. This year unfortunately the cooking started quite late last night and to say it was pretty messy in the kitchen by 11pm is a bit of an understatement! He is a very vigorous whisker and there was mixture all over the place, the cooker, the worktops and even up the walls.

But hey he made the cake and delicious it will be too.

The main component - the Guinness

Everything goes into the pan, then into the tin.

Add it's cream cheese topping and it looks like a pint of Guinness, brilliant!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Another painting

After handing over the 'golfer' painting recently I was emailed a second photograph to paint. I didn't think there was anyway I would get this done before Christmas eve but have surprised myself and finished another painting. I say finished but I know I will keep fiddling with it until it's actually delivered on Friday.

I found this one more difficult, partly due to the size (60cm x 60cm) but also the subject. It didn't help on Monday that the water from the shower upstairs came through the kitchen ceiling and ruined my paper reference, so I had to wait another day to get a second one printed, I really need to get that fixed! 

Anyway I spend a good six hours or so on this yesterday and here we go, another painting for Madeleine.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Homemade decorations

This year I really wanted to make some homemade christmas decorations, so after doing some searching I decided on two to have a go at.

So first off we have a glittery, shimmering christmas tree, made from newspaper and diamond dust and I absolutely love it. Not a quick job but pretty enjoyable to do.

I didn't have any Fimo so used air drying clay for the base, but as expected I couldn't wait to get stuck in and didn't leave it to dry quiet long enough before sticking the spike in and so will have to just accept the fact that mine is slightly wobbly and maybe just a little bit lopsided, but no-one will know unless they touch it, which they had better not! I also made my star out of air drying clay which I am really happy with.

Not the cheapest thing to make in the end, once I brought the diamond dust and spray glue, but I have some left over for other projects so its not too bad and this will be the christmas table centrepiece.

The instructions are found here on the Martha Stewart website.

The second make isn't really a christmas decoration at all but is cheap and easy to make - flowers made from loo rolls!

The instructions for these and lots of other brilliant ideas are here on the Michele Made Me blog, a great place to visit.

So today I put up my tree and along with my previously made hanging snowflakes I have my trusty dragon lights, which replace baubles and have done for quite a few years now.

So with one week to go it's finally starting to feel a bit festive around here.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A bit of a bargain!

I had a bit of luck at the auction yesterday. 

At the moment I've got a bit of a thing going on for Poole pottery, having last month acquired my first piece. But also in the auction last month was a Poole dinner set for oh way over my budget, three lots of it in total. Not fantastic colours its true, 'mushroom & sepia' maybe a bit dull, especially when the things that I really like are the oranges, browns and reds which can be very expensive, but the lots were interesting all the same.

Anyway they were back in the auction this month as one lot and again they didn't sell. So after the event I put in a bid, won it and picked it all up today.

So here it is, slightly retro, maybe a bit vintage, maybe a bit boring, but its mine to keep or sell, to do whatever I want with and I haven't quite decided which it is to be yet. So maybe I ought decide after a dinner party in January, see how it works out, a whole dinner set instead of mismatching plates etc and that will be a new experience.

2 handled soup bowl

A fruit bowl, whatever that is..

vegetable tureen x 2

Tea set

Coffee set
Now to put things in perspective see the little cruet set below, we looked it up on the internet today and to replace it at replacement china shops online (with the top of the mustard pot missing!), it would be £60!! and I paid less than that for the whole lot, for over 100 pieces of it, with 6 of everything - wow.

So all in all a definite bargain wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Twists and turns

I made a couple more scarves last week involving spirals and corkscrews. Both made from one ball each of Araucania, Ranco multi, 344m per ball. A really beautiful wool to work with and I get mine from here.  Both scarves are very easy and pretty quick too.  I used a 5mm hook for both, but maybe a 5.5mm would have been better for the spiral one.

My corkscrew scarf. 

To make a corkscrew - Chain 24, 3 trebles into 4th chain from hook, then 4 trebles into each following chain.

Row 1, Make a corkscrew, chain 224, make corkscrew out of the last 24 stitches
Row 2, double crochet into each of the 200 chain, chain 24 and make corkscrew.
Row 3, treble into each double, chain 24 and make corkscrew.
Row 4, as row 3.
Row 5, as row 3.
Row 6, as row 3.
Row 7, as row 3.
Row 8, as row 3.
Row 9, as row 3.
Row 10, as row 3.
Row 11, as row 3.
Row 12, double crochet into each treble and slip stitch into last, weave in ends and you're done. You should end up with 6 corkscrews at each end.

My spiral scarf. 

Chain 231, or length required as per hook size.
Row 1, double into each chain, chain 3, turn
Row 2, 2 trebles into each double, chain 3, turn.
Row 3, 2 trebles into each treble, chain 3, turn.
Row 4, 2 trebles into first treble, 1 treble into next treble, 2 trebles into next treble, 1 treble into next treble, continue all the way to the end, chain 1, turn.
Row 5, double crochet into each treble.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


All ready for collection and delivery

The last painting before Christmas, thank goodness!

And one brandy filled christmas cake.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Bits and bobs update

As far as I know the bits and pieces sent off with Rhiannon are doing ok. I guess i'll find out next Thursday when she brings everything home again.

So far I know that a scarf has gone 

Pattern by me! A double ruffle

And two little crocheted bags, all fully lined, that I was asked to make for a teachers nieces 

A small Lucy bag

A children's size granny bag

Apparently there has also been some interest in my cloche hats

Pattern found here

and a mohair wrap too

So we'll see, I might even end up with a few pennies for the gas bill and finally put the heating on.....

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Painting number 2, done and dusted..

I've finished the second painting. 

From this photo, emailed to me as shown

To this, slightly different from the usual.

Lets hope its not a disappointment!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Its snowing! well sort of...

More finished crochet for school.

Pattern from Lucy at Attic24

Pattern from Drops

Pattern from Drops