Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Mini lemon meringue tartlets

I'm back into the cooking and baking big time at the moment. I've had a bit of a craze on lemons just lately and thought I'd try using the usual lemon meringue recipe to make mini pies or tarts. I used a recipe from my Mum's old cook book and made sure I followed her little handwritten notes that she had scribbled next to the recipe.

They turned out okay, very tasty actually but not how I hoped they would look. I got the piping bag out and planned to pipe pretty swirls of meringue on top...sadly it didn't hold it's shape enough. I remember from food and nutrition lessons at the school that you must have an absolutely scrupulously clean bowl with no hint of grease at all for meringue and ensured this was the case....so I can only assume that I didn't beat it enough. Oh well, as my old Dad used to say " the proof of the pudding is in the eating" and we certainly enjoyed them even if they weren't that pretty! The usual recipe made 7 tartlets, not bad really, I think if it had been the normal sized pie we would have just had 3 very big servings instead of making them last 2 days lol.

Mini quilt from old clothes

Last weekend I started a little project I've been meaning to try for quite a while...a mini patchwork quilt made by recycling old items of clothing. I've got as far as the top.

In real life the pink does not overpower as much as it does in the photo
 The hardest part was trying to find fabric that would match.  It took me two evenings to cut out the pieces and arrange them, but the actual sewing I did in just an evening . The look has turned out quite old-fashioned but that delights me as I like the vintage look. I haven't bought the batting/wadding yet. I think I want to bind the edges in white....so it may look vintage but will look fresh at the same time.

At the top of this picture you can see the items of clothing I cut up to make it.

I cut up a dress, a top and a skirt.The skirt ( fabric on the top  right of picture ) was originally a child's dress which I had combined with the top of a pair of jeans, remember that idea was all the rage a few years back?...well I think I only wore it once lol...anyway that fabric is on it's 3rd life now so is quite used to being recycled lol.

It's a miserable day here, rainy and windy so I think I will spend the afternoon cutting up more rectangles from my fabric stash in preparation for making more of these. It's the kind of thing you can do bit by bit...I'll put the rectangles in a box and then one evening if I have enough and the mood takes me I can get stuck into the sewing.

Not long until the festive season now...my how time flies, I don't know where this year has gone. I should really get my butt in gear and start making some gifts. Not sure what I'm going to do this year, although one person has requested something with owls so that gives me a starting point :)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

awesome paper weaving site

I'm enjoy paper crafts just lately and found this rather amazing site, I think I will play safe and start with a heart garland...just love the little lidded pots they've done, WOW!

The PaperMatrix site here

Friday, 15 June 2012

Mr D's new boxers

just a trial pair

 In my last post I talked about making our own underwear. Well one thing I have learned these last few years of sewing is the importance of prototypes...so the pair above are the prototype / trial pair. I made them out of old cotton sheeting so as not to waste expensive fabric. They were a success but when we discussed the sizing Mr D thought maybe they could do with being an inch or so bigger seeing as I wasn't going to be making them out of stretch fabric. He thought he might need some ease when he sat down.

My fabric choices below were all 100% cotton so they needed to be washed before I did any sewing to allow for shrinkage.With it being the Queen's Jubilee year I thought the London prints were very topical! I bought the bluebird print just because we like birds and it looked nice and fresh and cool!

love these fabrics :)

ta-da! I actually made some for real.

And here we have the first pair finished apart from the buttonhole. It is years since I've done a buttonhole and I have a new ( well second hand but new to me ) sewing machine, so I think I need to practice buttonholes this weekend before I do them on the finished boxers.

I have a small amount of fabric left which I could use to make a pair of knickers for myself but I will probably make a headband or something like that instead as I like the fabric so much I think it's a shame to have it hidden from view :-)

So there you go, men's boxers are certainly a do-able project...As long as my man thinks they are comfortable I don't think I will be buying underwear for him again, all homemade from now on...I hope he has a sense of pride in his unique undies when he gets undressed in the changing rooms at karate :-)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Trying new things in the sewing room...

At the moment I am trying something new....I'm dabbling in making our own underwear. It's something I never really thought I could do in the past, like there was some kind of mystery to it. I've found this is the complete opposite and it's really quite easy if you just go for it. Sorry I don't have time to put any pictures up at the moment but I will do very soon as this is my current project.

So far I have used the boxer shorts tutorial from the Weekend Designer blog to make a trial pair of underwear for Mr D...it worked very well I am pleased to report...and today I created my own pattern for a pair of ladies hipster knickers...I made a practice pair and again they have worked well, it's all very exciting. As well as being a less expensive alternative to shop bought underwear, it'll be nice to have 'original' undies that nobody else has :)

I hope all is okay you readers :)

Catch you again soon, hopefully with some photos!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tea for Three...

'Tea for Three'
I've been doing lots of baking just lately, probably too much if you asked my waistline! Mr D has been in bed poorly for a week, he's not been eating a lot which always worries me, so today when he asked for comfort food I knew exactly what I'd be giving him. I've been meaning to try my Mum's old Cherry Cake recipe out for ages so this seemed like the perfect time!

 It takes a whole tub of glace cherries...you have to wash and dry them first which always seems such a waste of that lovely syrup... but 'hey ho' it stops them from sinking to the bottom of the cake so I do as the recipe tells me! This cake uses the 'rubbing-in' method, then you add your cherries and sugar...

 I just love the rich red of the cherries...when I was a little girl. I used to take a half cherry out of Mum's mixing bowl and set the flat side against my finger and pretend it was a big red ruby lol.

                         When the dry ingrdients are done you add egg, milk and vanilla esssence...

Fresh out of the tin!

                         Look at those lovely cherries, happily they did not all sink to the bottom :)

 The cake is especially nice if you eat it fresh from the oven, when the cake has cooled just a little but the cherries are still hot ( careful they are not so hot you burn your mouth though! ) and you really must have it with a cup of tea for the experience to be just perfect!!!! :)

 It brought back memories eating this today... you know something, I don't think I have tasted this since I've been an adult...there was one slight difference between Mum's and mine...Mum ALWAYS used to burn the outside for some reason. I remember her cutting the sides off...I guess her oven always cooked on the hot side...well Mum, I dedicate this one to you and all the happy childhood memories that came to mind as I smelled it cooking and then sat and ate it afterward.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Happy girl

Well I think I owe this blog a happy post. Reading my post about Sharp End makes me cry but I am not going to remove it just because it is hard to read...he deserves the world to know how much he was loved and is missed. We have collected his ashes so he is back home with us where he would have wished to be.

I have happy news now :)

We now have a beautiful brown dobie in our life...meet Happy Girl !

Happy Girl visiting Granny!

We needed her as much as she needed us. The poor girl had been in rescue kennels nearly a year. Absolute torture for the Dobermann breed who are affectionately known as 'Velcro' dogs because of their need to be by your side every waking minute. She has a medical condition which means she has to be on tablets and have regular blood tests all her life. It seems people just couldn't see past that, but we know a sweet dog when we see one and it was love at first sight...it already feels as if she has been here forever. Her past is sad and I don't think I should discuss it on here, but I will say I am convinced she already knows all she will experience is love and care now she is with us. Don't you think she is an absolute beauty?

We've been to lots of places together already :)

Happy girl and Mr D in the woods 
The first week or so she was terrified of getting in the car, but now she knows it means going to fun places and whistles with excitement as we are getting her coat on :)

She is my 'Happy Girl' and she has made me a very happy girl too :)

I hope you are all happy wherever you are.

Doxie x