The Christmas blanket

I may have been absent for time time, however in the background I have busily been trying to finish a crochet blanket for my mum for Christmas. The idea of doing the blanket probably started about a year  and a half ago when I saw Attic 24 post about her coast ripple blanket. My mum loves the sea and her favourite colour is blue so the colour way seemed perfect for her. When I first learnt to crochet I remember my mum saying to me to crochet as much as I could and not loose the skills I had learnt. I thought the blanket would therefore be a perfect gift for her for Christmas, however I never thought it would be Christmas 2015! Continue reading

Handmade Christmas Fair

Last weekend I started my Christmas activities early and popped along to the handmade Christmas fair in Manchester, organised by Kirsty Allsop. As part of the ticket price you were able to select 3 different workshops to go to. I went along with my friend Karen and after much debate we decided on doing some folk art, making some mini Christmas stockings and a demo on how to make Christmas Parkin.

The demo was first and we were delighted that Kirsty was there in person helping with the demo and doing some decorating of the Parkin

It was passed around for us to try and we managed to sample the one Kirsty had made, it was delicious!

 In between the demo and workshops we had plenty of time to browse the beautiful things that were there to buy. So many talented people were there and I managed to find a few unique Christmas gifts and treated myself to a few things too!

Next we did the folk art, run by Folk it! The proviso of getting Karen to do this with me was that she didn’t need to paint anything, it’s all done with dots. By the end of the 20 minute session we had both made a beautiful heart plaque that can be stuck onto a card. We were both stunned at how simple and effective it was!

Lastly we made some mini Christmas stockings. Simple to make yet still very satisfying. The highlight for me was meeting Deborah Simms who was on the Great British Sewing Bee and talking to her about dressmaking.

The whole day was fabulous, certainly value for money and a lovely way to kickstart the festivities. I’ll certainly be going back next year!

Sarah x

Stir up sunday

Each year I always see people talking about stir up Sunday on social media but I have never been prepared enough to join in. For those of you who don’t know, stir up Sunday is traditionally when people mix and steam Christmas pudding on the last Sunday before Advent (i’m a little unsure why it falls this year on the today 22nd, but I’ll go with it anyways!). This year i saw a recipe that didn’t require any complicated muslin or fancy steaming techniques, so I decided I would give it a go. On looking in the cupboards I was pleasantly surprised to find I had all the ingredients I needed, including the apples and lemon that had been unused in the fruit bowl for a bit too long and needed using up. Continue reading

Sew not buy project #8

So yet again I have been absent from my sewing as normal life takes over. I have questioned over the last few weeks as to whether I can carry out my sewing challenge to the end of the year. This has been due to several things and not just time, which has always been a challenge. This week I have started back at uni for my second year of my masters degree, I have also just started a crochet along, plus other commitments such as WI and other social events keep meaning I push my sewing to the back of the list of things to do. I have also realised that I’m not really enjoying the process as much as I had hoped. Continue reading

Great British Bake off – chocolate week

This week was chocolate week in the GBBO tent and with chocolate tarts and souffl├ęs to choose from, I was drooling at the thought of my challenge for this week. I decided I would keep it simple and go for a chocolate tart, however I used a recipe I had seen on Twitter rather than copying one from the show. Sew White does some amazing recipes and her chocolate ganache, strawberry and passion fruit tart seemed like the perfect choice. Continue reading

Spice of Life crochet along

So as if I didn’t have enough things to be doing (2nd year of my masters degree starts tomorrow) I decided to join Cherry Hearts Crochet along for making the Spice of life blanket. The pattern and colours are so lovely, a delicious mixture of bright colours and different stitches. I choose the style craft colour pack, with a lovely mixture of different colours such as plums, pinks and blues. Plus I love using this yarn as its So easy to work with. Continue reading

Great British Bake off – patisserie week

I waited to see what the bakers had to make for patisserie week before deciding what my challenge this week would be. I thought the cream horns seemed the easiest option and I quite fancied making my own puff pastry, something I’ve had on my list to try for sometime. I thought the flavours that the bakers chose all sounded lovely, however I went for something very straightforward – cherry bakewell flavour. Continue reading

Great British Bake Off – Victorian week

This week I’ve failed my bake off challenge. After watching the programme I decided that to bake anything from the show or even remotely Victorian would be too complicated. I therefore compromised and make something from a previous episode, using the GBBO book for inspiration.

Early on in the series the bakers had to make a cheesecake and I particularly liked the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake that Mat made as part of his show stopper.  Luckily the recipe is in the book along with the recipes for the other 2 cheesecakes he did. Continue reading

Great British Bake Off – pastry week

I have been waiting for pastry week since the series started. I knew it would be a good one and I thought all of the bakers did really well. I really liked Tamals Christmas frangipane tart, think I’ll be trying that one for a delicious treat at Christmas! 

Bake off coincided with my husbands birthday which was on the Friday. He loves anything to do with pastry, so my bake this week was Eccles cakes, his favorite. I also decided to bake Chorley cakes too. There’s been a long standing debate over which is better within Lancashire however I’ve never really known how they were different. After looking at the recipes for both of them I could see that the way you made the pastry was slightly different and the way that the finished cake is made is different, however the filling is essentially the same. Chorley cakes are flattened, encorporating the currents within the pastry Continue reading