Friday, 24 February 2012

fun new craft

I've found a new craft tool which is just sooooooooooooo much fun - a flower loom.  I got it free from 'Simply Homemade' issue 12. It is easy to use and I've had a great time making pretty flowers.  

You can make 2 different size flowers in two different styles, large and small round and square. So far I've used wool, embroidery thread, raffia, and waxed cotton jewellery cord.

I like the rounds best and have used them on a few cards and will definitely be making more and using them for a variety of projects. I see them on candles, bags, cushions, tea cosies, hair bobs, and by adding beads broaches and jewellery.


If you find one I would certainly recommend them for crafting fun!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

mmm chocolate - a Mary Berry technical challange

Well how chuffed do I feel with myself, I managed to make a Mary Berry technical bake to take to a friends house for lunch.


My friend is a real foodie and an excellent cook making all sorts of wonderful food, I am a lazy cook so tend to stick to puddings.  Pudding is a treat, most of us don't eat them that often, so you can spend a couple of hours and make something exciting and then not have to do it again until you really want to. You have to be far more motivated to make really tasty main meals.

This time I decided to set myself a challenge, so I looked at one of the cookery books I got for Christmas -
'The Great British BAKE OFF, How To Bake The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets'

I have always been a little scared of egg whites, but decided it was time to bite the bullet and make Mary's Chocolate Roulade.  I shouldn't have been scared the step by step guide in the book made it simple.

175g dark chocolate - finely chopped
6 large free range eggs ( room temp)
175g caster sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

for filling and finishing
300ml pourable double cream
icing sugar, for dusting

Now for success I would really recommend Mary Berry's advice but in general the method is:
  • Line buttered swiss roll tin
  • Melt chocolate in a bowl above a pan of water  then leave to cool for 15 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180 C
  • separate eggs (this bit was scary but I went with the egg in the hand method)
  • Whisk the egg whites on high until you achieve stiff peaks
  • Mix egg yolks and caster sugar for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour the chocolate into the egg yolks and fold in
  • Add two large spoonfuls of egg white and stir gently
  • Add rest of egg white
  • Sift cocoa and gently fold in 
  • Pour into tin and cook for 20-25 minutes, then cool in the tin
  • Put baking sheet on worktop and sprinkle with icing sugar, turn sponge out onto it

At this point I was beginning to get excited as it looked like the picture!

Time to add the filling,
  • whip the cream until it holds its shape
  • spread it onto the sponge

Then for the rolling,
  • make a little cut at one end and roll it in
  • then using the paper to help continue to roll away from you
  • finish with the join at the bottom

Put the masterpiece onto a serving plate and then stand back in amazement - clapping hands excitedly!

Share with a friend for ultimate enjoyment

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Out and about at last

Well I got out of the house this weekend which was very exciting after nearly two weeks recuperating.  We went to a lovely RSPB nature reserve not far from home, and although I couldn’t walk around much to enjoy the full beauty of it all. It was great to be out in nature again.  Luckily there was a good tea shop that looked out over a lake with some bird feeders to give extra viewing success where I could sit whilst photography genius was out taking loads of brilliant photographs.  It was a lovely trip out and topped off by seeing a fox quite happily wandering around the car park checking out the smells, just wish I’d got my camera out quicker.

I did get a few shots some of which may end up on some cards before too long, either way  I will definately be going back when I can explore more.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Let the scissors rule

Well I have been a very lazy mouse of late and crafting has taken a bit of a back seat for a few weeks.  I am back now and decided to try something that I haven’t done before for fear of rubbish scissor usage – Decoupage pictures - but not the pop out kind!

 I received a couple of packs free in a crafting magazine a ‘Forever Friends’ and a ‘Daisy & Dandelion’ spring pack from DoCraft.  I don’t tend to do many decoupage pictures, I mainly decoupage items such as boxes, pots and picture frames, and if I have used it on a card I have only ever used the pop out kind.
 The designs however were so lovely I decided to give it ago.  All the designs are usefully numbered so even a novice like me can see what images go together and in what order.  There is also some extra general label shapes and accessory images.  So after a long time cutting out which is very time consuming I put together a few cards, adding some papers, glitter and many sticky pads.  I have to say I really like them, I hope you do to.