Sunday, 15 May 2011

Framed Wipe Boards

This is a simple way of making wipe boards I've seen a couple of times around the net & thought it was a great idea.
I already had 3 silver frames so simply slipped inside some pretty purple paper that I'd put headers on in silver thickers.
I can now add any items onto any of the lists by writing them with a whiteboard pen straight onto the glass & wiping it off when no longer needed..... & the colours match the ones I'm planning on using in the kitchen.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Eek Pie

This pie is a great way to use up left over meat, I make one most mondays to use up the roast left overs. & dont let the name put you off, the main ingredient is Leeks which Kai calls "Eeks"

Glug Oil
500g leeks - chopped
2 veg stock cubes (make up with 2pints water)
2tbsp plain flour (heaped)
1 sheet puff pastry
egg or milk to glaze
Left over meat
2tbsp creme freche/cream/yogurt (heaped)
Pepper (optional)

Add the glug of oil to the saucepan & follow with the leeks. give a quick fry & then turn the temperature down to simmer with the lid on. Leave it to simmer for 30mins, stirring every 5-10 mins to stop it from catching.

Take off the heat & sprinkle the flour over the leeks before stirring in. Add the stock, meat, pepper and creme freche (or which ever you choose) & stir. At this stage you can also add any other veg, herbs etc that you want. Put back on the heat until it boils.

Remove from the heat & strain the juices into another saucepan - this can then be reheated later as gravy &/or soup.

Put the mixture thats in the strainer into a pie/pyrex dish and cover with the puff pastry - you can then tuck in the edges, or cut to fit. Brush over milk or egg & put into the oven - 190°C/375°F/gas 5 for about 30mins, checking towards the end of the cooking time to ensure  the pastry is golden but not going too dark.

Serve up and add the reheated "gravy".

Mmmm, creamy leek soup.

I have tried this so far with bacon, ham, and chicken so far, the ham one being the favourite of my family, but all enjoyed. Its also a fab way to get vegetables into them :)
Altering the type of stock also varies the taste enourmously, This week I boiled the chicken bones & used the stock from them giving the pie a strong chicken taste that almost hide the leek taste.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Whats On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Click HERE to join in.
My table is filled with multiple projects today to try & get myself to actually get some finished!!!

The upturned swivel chair at the back left is waiting to be covered with the foam & the red material, unfortunately my staple gun is not strong enough to go through the plastic so I shall have to hand sew a drawstring to attach the material.

The sewing machine, red fabric by it & the wood thats on it & you can see leaning against the table on the left is for another project I'm working on for our bedroom .... all will be revealed next week.

The sewing machine is also to make the table cloth smaller (its actually a bed but it was the exact colour I was after) & to use any excess material (including the packet you can just about see on the radiator) to make curtains & cushion covers for the kitchen. The cushions will be made out of the cot foam matress you can see leaning against the left of the table.

FINALLY the scrapbooks are open for me to make sure they're in order as well as adding plastic wallets with little pieces of paper saying which photos should go on that page (my albums are in chronological order). I'm hoping this will cut down on me having to open them up to add new pages. I know D-ring albums would make this far easier but I havent got any & beggers can not be choosers.

Oh & yes, though my fruit bowl has moved off the table onto my recycling draws some of it is still in the bags as usual :-)

Quilting a card

I was honoured when I was asked to be a Guest Designer on the Creative Craft World - The Challenge Blog this week.
The card challenge for this fortnight is "Anything but square"
As soon as I saw "Just Ted with Heart", from this fortnights Sponsor - The Crafty Pad Designs, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with him ....
I printed out his image before tracing him onto white cotton fabric & added wadding underneath. I then embroidered around the design to "quilt" him, making him slightly 3d. The hearts are made out of felt that I cut out & sewn on.

I cut an oval from some navy blue card & glued this to the material as a frame. I added a sticker bow & the word "congrats" before applying onto a white card (unfortunately you cant see the white border with my white blog background) & finally sewing a border.

I think the last time I tried this technique, or any kind of embroidery, was when I was 14, more than half my lifetime ago, so I'm quite pleased at how well it turned out.

Fancy having a go at the challenge? Hows about an insentive of possibly winning 5 digital images from The Crafty Pad? The theme is "Anything but Square" and runs from May 11th until May 24th.
Head on over to & join in.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Caramel Shortbread

WARNING: Turn away if you are on a diet!
This are sooooooo not good for your waste but yummy in the tummy.

225 g. plain flour
75 g. caster sugar
175 g. unsalted butter
Caramel200 g. unsalted butter
379g. can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons golden syrup
Chocolate Topping
325 g. plain chocolate

brownie tin or similar, greased and the bottom lined with waxed paper
Preheat the oven to 170 C/gas mark 3/325 F

Put the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter, clumping the dough together to make a ball. Press this shortbread mixture into the tin and smooth it down, I used my sons little rolling pin to do this.

 Prick with a fork and cook for five minutes, then lower the oven to 150 C/gas mark 2/about 320 F, and cook for a further 30-40 minutes until pale golden and no longer doughy. let it cool in the tin.

Melt the remaining 200 g. of butter in a large microwavable bowl, then add condensed milk and golden syrup. Whisk the mixture well until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. Now, I read that you could heat this mixture in the microwave for 6-7 minutes until boiling, stirring thoroughly every minute, however it boiled up & over within that minute. I could only heat it in 15second bursts which meant it took a very long time - next time I'll heat it the old fashioned way over a double boiler.
What a mess!!
It's ready when it's thickened and turned a light golden brown. I found the best way to test it was on a plate that had been in the fridge, like you would jam. If a drop goes solid/ doesnt run on the plate then its ready. Pour this molten toffee over the shortbread and leave to set.

 Melt chocolate and pour over the fudge mixture and leave to cool.

Once set, cut the caramel shortbread into pieces. Makes about 24.

Monday, 9 May 2011

My lovely birthday cards

I received some beautiful cards this year, the highlights as always were the handmade ones.

I think its becoming a running joke with Ruth (aka Furrypig) that she uses pink on my birthday card ... coz I dont generally like pink! But how can I dislike something covered in skulls & so nicely made!
The digi stamp, kindly bought with me in mind :-) has actually inspired me, so watch this space & at somepoint there will be cupcakes with skulls on.
I openly tell Sarah (aka Rainmac) that I am envious of her coordinative skills ... there is no way I would of thought to put these patterned papers together, the ribbons etc, she just has an eye for it.

Debbie (aka Padster) sent me a card with her trademark image on it ... a Teddy :-)
I really like the embossed squared pattern used ontop of a tiled background.

& last but certainly not least Toni (aka OAP1945) sent me this beautiful monochrome card. That ribbon is beautiful (I'd love some for in my hair, lol) & I really like how she highlighted the embossd image at the front with (I'm guessing) chalks. It highlights the embossed images lovely.

Thank you gals, its the time & effort put into handmade items such as these that makes my birthday feel special :-)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Rocking My World Friday

Join in at Celtic House.
There was no way I couldnt do a post this week as its been such a fab one.

First of all I have to say a HUGE thank you to my internet based friends that have been supportive of me lately as I strive to tackle my social anxiety & Agoraphobia. They have truely rocked my world this week with their openess, and kind words.

My other half has been off this week & though hasnt helped out round the house (tut tut) he has been very supportive & got me to chill out a bit, its been lovely to have time with him.

Being able to re-use 2 beds has been totally rocking my world, I have been turning them into other things & thoroughly enjoyed it .... not finished yet but I shall be blogging about it when I have, maybe a week long special.

I'm a bit of a lazy bod, well, not lazy as such but I usually much prefer not to exercise, but having started doing coach to 5k while actually in the middle of the jog/walking I am really enjoying it & its giving me a real sense of satisfaction. 

Oh & my Postie has rocked my world (minds out the gutter please!). On the other side of my estate to my home I was on my way to get Kai, my postie saw me while doing her round & said she'd got some parcels for me but I had been out, would someone be in so she could bring them round soon as she'd done the rest of the houses. Ry had just walked home so yep, someone was definately in.
She dropped them off while I was walking Kai back, and gave an enthusiastic wave & a smile as she drove past us. OH was very happy as she called him beautiful, I kept quiet thats one of the things she calls everyone.
Half an hour later, another parcel drops through the door & we see her walking back to her van ... it was very obviously a birthday present as it was covered in "Happy Birthday" (thank you fluffy :-) so she must not have wanted me to miss out. I've got an email addy from the lovely people @RoyalMail on twitter so I can send a compliment email to them saying how nice our postie is .... well most people are quick enough to complain, I like to balance it out with a well done.

Its my birthday today, yay! & I've received some beautiful cards (which I shall blog this weekend) and lovely presents. I have been thoroughly spoilt & have had a lovely day ....

Now wont you all join me for a bit of virtual birthday choccy cake? Its calorie free :-)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Using the reverse.

Having used the outer edge for THIS layout I then used the centre piece - still using Sarahs Cards LTD sketch as inspiration - for this page...
It made a lovely spikey, frosty shape. I dipped the edge of the photos in glue & then white flock. I also put this on the foam letters to continue the frosty look.

The Black Sheep

A childs first Nativity is like a coming of age in the UK, even for Pagan influenced children like mine.
Kai's nativity was a musical, the youngest children such as Kai being characters such as the sheep. Kai was the only black sheep, which thoroughly amused me.

Though I had lots of christmassy embellishments & papers, I had problems finding religious ones in my stash (which was no real surprise). I did come across an image of Jesus, angels and a star which I thought were perfect.
 I used a sketch from Sarah's Cards Ltd (Sketch challenge) ....
Having cut out the outer "flower" shape I decided if it was inverted then it would look like a gap in the "heavenly clouds". The school sold photos of the children dressed up as we werent allowed to take photos, so I used one of these in the centre of the page, behind and to one side of this I positioned an image of the baby Jesus in the manger, so it was an important piece but not the main focal point.
I cut out the angels and added them as if they're looking down from the "cloud", holding a brass star charm.
I covered a chipboard tag to do the journalling on before sticking it on the page.
I finished off with the title, a play on words of the saying "Black Sheep of the family"  & finally added the sheep, one of which I inked up black.


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