Beautiful things for you and your home!

Lots of homely thoughts on sewing, baking, papercrafts, gardening and all the things that go towards making your house a home

Friday, 27 April 2012

Citrus Bake

Onward with the Jubilee Baking Project and today's post will be short and sweet because it's past my bedtime quite honestly, but I wanted to catch you up with a recent baking creation.

This recipe was one that had been in my 'To Try' file for many years, and I just hadn't got around to making it. Mostly because I don't always have clementines in the house, which this cake requires. However, thanks to a friendly offer from the supermarket, and an attempt to get more Vitamin C, I'd stocked up on the aforementioned fruit. So, when I was flicking through, deciding on what to try next, this one was ideal.

The recipe was cut out from a magazine, and was so long ago now, I couldn't tell you which, or even begin to guess.

The cake is made with clementine zest as well as lemon and lime juice, and then the topping is basically a buttercream made with clementine flavoured sugar (bung the sugar in the food processor, add the clementine peel and press go!). The overall verdict was a 'probably not make again' in the end, which is quite unusual in this house, especially when it comes to cakes and goodies. It just wasn't special enough to go into the 'Yum' file for us. Having said that, it did of course all get eaten!

We shall see what verdict the next creation brings!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Homemade Hot Pad

As I mentioned in my previous post, I finally got to do a bit of sewing the other day too in between preparing my home made bread.

Now I'm sure for most people, a hot pad (or trivet, or whatever else you want to call it) is something they whizz up in half an hour. It took me a lot longer than that but I'm not stressing about that. I am actually over the moon with the result and know that I'm actually going to enjoy using it, and smile when I grab it and that's the important thing for me.


A certain amount of the time was taken up with hand stitching the back of the binding on. I did try to do it from the front using the old 'stitch in the ditch' routine, but it just wasn't happening. The 'wadding' I used is that sort of rubbery heat protective stuff that you buy on a roll, rather than batting, so a bit less flexible than regular stuffing. I was keen to use this because I have new worktops and was worried about not putting enough protection in and ruining lovely tops that I have seriously waited twenty years and several houses for!

I also realise that I probably should have quilted it at diagonals rather than straight lines but there we go. This was kind of a two pronged project - making something useful for the kitchen that I needed, and helping get used to a machine that I upgraded to a couple of months ago and still haven't had much time to play with.

All in, I was pretty chuffed. I have a terrible habit of making things and then not being pleased with them and they end up donated in various directions. This, I am totally happy with. I love the cheery Alexander Henry fabric that I bought half a metre of a couple of years ago. I had no idea what to do with it and couldn't afford a whole metre but just had to have some! I'm thinking of making my mum in law one for her kitchen too now.

Hope you like my little project! Please feel free to leave a comment...if there's anyone out there :)


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

More baking!

I was having a bit of a Domestic Goddess moment yesterday (well, in actions if nothing else!) and as a result, have made another addition to the Jubilee Baking Project.


As you can see, a little bit has already disappeared so I thought I'd better photograph it before the rest went. Well, you have to test these things, don't you?

In the previous post, I mentioned that an earlier attempt at bread making many years ago resulted in cannonballs, rather than bread rolls and it rather put me off trying again. We don't eat a tonne of bread but we do need it for sandwiches, etc, and it's a little worrying when you read about all the extra ingredients that go into a simple loaf of bread like preservatives and so on. Not having much success with my bread making attempt before, I'd been pondering on investing in a bread maker.

In the meantime, I saw the new(ish) book by Dan Lepard, called 'Short and Sweet'. I have to say I've no previous experience with his recipes and this was the first I'd heard of him. Looking up the reviews though, I found out that he writes a baking column for the Guardian newspaper, and that people were pretty thrilled with his recipes. One of the recipes was for Easy White Bread.

Thanks to some vouchers, I was soon the owner of a copy. This is something in itself. I have plenty of cookbooks and stopped buying them some time ago because there are so many recipes online, and you often only end up making a few out of the book. But this one had such good reviews, I decided to go for it, with the bread recipes a major factor in that decision.

Easy White Bread is the first recipe in the book, and also the first one I've tried out of it. And it worked! Yippee! I made bread! I made edible bread! Thank you, Dan!

I was also playing with the sewing machine yesterday, so I'll update you on that shortly.

Anyone else got this book, and if so, do you have any favourite recipes from it yet?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Jubilee Baking Project!

I've been thinking about doing some sort of project for my crafty blog but couldn't decide what to do. I really admire people who are able to whizz up sewing projects with superb speed and ease, but I'm not that quick at sewing (although I'm really hoping to get a bit more speedy with practice!).

So, in light of this, I thought a baking focus might be good. I also really wanted to tie it in with the Jubilee celebrations somehow. Not being of a particular sporty nature, the Olympics aren't really a great cause of excitement for me. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee on the other hand is more of an interest, and so it's with that in mind I came up with my plan; to create 60 baked goodies within the Jubilee Year. (Having said that, I'm never exactly sure when the 'year of celebration' starts and finishes. Is it just 2012?)

I did think of just doing baked goodies, as in cakes, etc but I really wanted a bit more of a broader scope than that so, with luck, I'm going to also attempt some breads. My hope is that these turn out better than my last attempt many years ago. I attempted to make bread rolls but at some point in the process they morphed into cannonballs. It rather put me off, but having recently got a new baking book, the bread recipe from which everyone is raving about, I thought I might have another go. Stay tuned for the results...good or bad! (please be good, please be good!)

In the meantime, this afternoon I made brownies with a yummy crumbly fudge topping. I am ashamed to admit that two (small!) pieces have already fallen onto my plate during the evening...

This recipe was taken from Prima magazine.

Anyone else doing any special projects for the Jubilee year? I'd love to hear!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Just For You card

I've been having a papercrafting moment today. It's been a while but I really enjoyed it. Firstly I spent some time doing a scrapbook page. Whilst I was putting it away, I realised it was probably more than two years since I did an actual page. I've done a couple of mini books in the meantime, but no actual pages. The main 'ingredients' for the page have been sat on my desk for a while but it was finding the time to actually put it together. But now it's done. I really must try and do some more!

Once I was done with that, I thought I'd make a card...

I got the idea for this card from one of Shimelle's classes, 'Pretty Paper Party' that she ran last year. It's all made out of scraps, which is even better. I hope you like it.

If you took the class, and have made a version of this card, I'd love to see it!