Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Book Review - Gifted Mags Kandis

Welcome dear reader....I have a rather large collection of crafting books - some of them could be described as Vintage my oldest sewing book goes back to 1934! It is getting a bit of struggle these days to find really unique ideas - I notice many of the crafting books have the same projects but slightly revamped, so it was a real pleasure to pick up this book and find something new. 

This felted mouse rest is delightfully done - filled with wheat and heated gently will give relief to a tired wrist. I love the apple like quality to this project - so fresh. 

I have never come across this idea before, knitted bangles that it made me want to shrink a jumper straight away! I love bangles but after a little while of wearing them and getting the clack clack clack every time I move my arm, I usually remove them long before the day is out. Somehow I think these just might last a little longer... and they may well manage to be a gift for someone! 

I have a large willow pattern teapot that I use first thing in the morning, I bought about 25 years ago!  Mr D and I need lots of strong breakfast tea to get us going in the morning - it makes a good two mugfuls and several refills of my delicate edwardian tea cup.  Since it is larger than usual it does not benefit from a tea cosy. Seeing this gorgeous simple design has inspired me to take up my needles - of course with my own unique twist! Will show you the finished result when its made! 

This book is well worth buying if you can get hold of it, a great addition to a crafter's library.

ttfn... x 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Happy Birthday Mr D

Felicitations on this glorious hot July day, it is my beloved Mr D's birthday

The cup cake making the other week put me in the mood for a spot more cake decorating, and despite the soaring heat (for the UK at least) I put the oven on and made a cake.  My kitchen is not the biggest, in fact I could not hold a party because it is too crowded if more than one person is in there at a time.. so you can imagine with the cooker belting out I was not in need of a turkish bath that day! 

In case you were wondering if good taste had finally left me altogether, the colour is Mr D's favourite football team... as much as I love pastels, it was his cake after all and he is not really a pastel shades kind of a guy. Partick Thistle makes his heart leap so it made sense to make a heart shaped cake in Patick thistle colours.... He knew something was up when he spotted the icing in the shopping trolley last week - but his acting skills are improving since he managed to look both surprised and delighted at the somewhat bumpy cake! 

Of course all was revealed when he cut a slice out poured his favourite sweets, (good taste has well and truly abandoned me - liquorish, cake and icing..an interesting combination!). 

One thing about us English is that our weather is so changeable we don our sun hats as soon as the sun breaks through the twenties... beaches are crowded and picnics abound

so we headed to the beach nearby for picnic and what a picnic! 
Mr D made prawn noodles, cherry tomato tarts and a fruit jelly made with raspberries and pink champagne - delicious! 

The view behind us was gorgeous, you can just make out the South Downs

the beach is not as developed so it is easy to find a quiet peaceful spot

the sea is warm! something rare in these shores!

Happy Birthday Mr D

Enjoy your weekend, ttfn..x

Book Review - The Second Life of Amy Archer

On 31st December 1999 Beth Archer’s daughter, Amy, disappeared without a trace. Ten years later Beth is still bound by her grief, separated from her husband Brian, and still trying to come to terms with her daughter’s body never being found.
On the tenth anniversary of Amy’s disappearance, a woman called Libby comes to Beth and introduces her daughter Esme, to her. An uncanny double of Amy that knows details that only Beth and Amy would know, Libby insists that Amy has been reborn in Esme.

The tension and inner turmoil of the main character, Beth, is palpable on every page. Pateman maintains the momentum right though the books journey, Beth's frenetic swings of belief or disbelief in re-incarnation; combined with the slow unravelling of the events of her daughter's disappearance is tantalising, we get glimpses of the past cleverly mixed with the present day. I read this book in a day, because I could not put it down. 

I have an open mind about re-incarnation, cleverly Pateman's Beth is not a believer - she so desperately wants to hold her daughter again, it is almost too much to bear that she cannot bring herself to believe. The innocent Esme pulls at the heartstrings, her knowledge of the past is convincing, she is unaware of the pain she causes in her throw away remarks, revealing dark secrets that even Beth has repressed. 

Beth's emotional swings and unravelling, the way women and mothers are judged in society, maternal guilt and deep harrowing grief are so well written that it amazed me to discover that Pateman was a man! 

The only niggle is the connection of Esme and Amy's past, it seemed a bit tenuous, but that aside, it is a very good tale, one that will have you reading deep into the night. 

Well done Mr Pateman, this is an outstanding debut novel, can't wait to read the next one!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Icing on the cake

Our Belle's activity last night was cup cake decorating and what fun we had! I am simply astounded by the many gadgets and gizmos that are available it feels like child's play! 

It was lovely to have an excuse to bake cup cakes, I miss my children being young as we often baked cakes together. These came out quite well although their peaks might just have to be cut off. 

Oh my, this takes me back to my days of making birthday cakes for my children, I once made a lot of Pokemon creatures for my son's tenth birthday. 

I was not sure about the colours that were available from the store so I chose smaller quantities and then mixed in my own colour. It was supposed to be vintage - so I chose pale green, pale blue and pink. It was such great fun and I had not even arrived at the meeting! 

I can also give you a little glimpse of my vintage china I picked up at a local sale this weekend. This is a little corner of a beautiful art Deco plate. 

I could not resist the beautiful design - it reminds me of the embroidery patterns that were abundant in the 1930's - and I like to dream about having a cottage garden one day! 

I had such fun making the circle of little flowers - less is more is not a philosophy I ascribe to more of the 'how can I fill the space with as much as possible' 

The pink icing was used with a stencil rolling pin - I love the raised daisy design.  

The green and white Gerbera  was a mould I have had for a long time but I had not really played with it much. It is so effective - I like the combination of the white and green. 

The blue plate is a small cake plate my son gave me for mothers day years ago. 

The quilted design was from a press, it was amazingly easy! 
I had the little button makers - I cannot resist adding a sewing theme to my baking! 

The lady running the event had some gorgeous little cutters, these little hearts are tiny! 

The butterfly moulds were also easy to use, and I lightly dusted this one with edible glitter to highlight the delicate design. 

I found this sandwich plate in a vintage shop recently, it matches my rosebud tea set!

Someone's birthday is coming up soon, just the perfect excuse for more fun.

Can't let all that effort go to waste! 

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