Thursday, 28 July 2011

Threads, Cushions and Yumminess

I bought some things that weren't in a charity shop!  They were cheap from Boyes, however.  They were just right for my living room and a bit Orla Keily
I did pop into a chazzer or three on the way home and bought a mixed bag of threads, which turned out to be rather lovely
I think some of these are quite old.  The tiny green twist at the bottom of the picture is small but gorgeous - a shimmering pure silk.

The morello cherry tree has started popping out its little red fruits now.  I collected lots and used a few in the cherry streusel cake below
Yummy.  Really, really yummy.  Even yummier warm with clotted cream icecream!

Now I don't usually like to show my face on my blog.  There are nicer things to look at.  However, I couldn't resist ending with this pic as I'm so proud of my little grandbabies, so please forgive me!

Star Date 30/07/11 - Additional:

I have been asked for the cake recipe so here goes.  It's actually adapted from the Apple Streusel Cake from Hummingbird Bakery's "Cake Days"  I've tried to make it as short as possible as I'm sure you know how to cream a sponge and "breadcrumb" flour and butter:

For the Sponge:
60g(2oz) butter
140g(5oz) plain flour
100g(3.5oz) demerara sugar
1 egg
Half tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder, pinch salt
80ml(3floz) milk
700g(1.5lb) cherries, before stoning

For the Streusel Topping
70g(2.5oz) plain flour
Half tsp ground cinnamon
40g(1.5oz) butter
70g(2.5oz) demerara sugar

Preheat oven 170 C (325 F, Gas 3). Grease and line 20cm(8") diameter springform cake tin.

1. "Breadcrumb" the streusel topping and leave to one side.
2. Cream butter and sugar, add other sponge ingredients as you would an ordinary cake.  Pour batter into cake tin.
3. Cover with cherries (Remember to stone them!!)
4. Sprinkle streusel mix over sponge and cherries, smoothing to an even layer.
5. Cook for 35-40 mins.  I did mine longer, about 50, because I wasn't sure if it was cooked in the middle - the cherries make some of the sponge quite moist.

Enjoy warm with cream, custard or icecream. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

Monday, 25 July 2011

A Productive(ish) Sunday

I was going to treat myself to a whole day of crafting this Sunday.  I had spent Saturday showing 115 children how to make Plastic People keyrings at a sports festival and the evening at a charity pub quiz on behalf of the local hockey club.  I believed, therefore, that Sunday would be "Me Time".  

Not quite.

Sunday morning was coffee with Daughter and Son-in-Law of C then a desperate visit to every shop open in town to try to purchase a suitable leaving present for "Man-in-forties-with-interest-in-cars".  I'm not a car person and there were no car shops.  Anyhoo, I bought a big variety of home office items as said man is going to be working for himself in the future.  Then it was lunchtime.


... I sat down and crafted ALL AFTERNOON!

I used one of the plastic keyrings myself.  The children had crayoned footballers and other sports people for theirs. I made a vintage lady (two sided)
I have really got into the faded, natural-dyed vintage look.  These are the Williams I made
and these are little booklets.
I have lots of other things on the go, so will post when they are complete.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

PS:  I got another interview - and also turned this one down!  Feeling so much more positive, partly due to you lovely people xxx

Friday, 22 July 2011

A Candle for Norway

My thoughts are with the Norwegian people today.  What a tragedy they have suffered.  I don't understand how some people can be so evil.  As yet I haven't heard the gunman's "cause" but surely nothing can warrant such actions.  Certainly made my little worries even less significant. 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Thank You

What a lovely lot you are!  Such nice, helpful comments when I was feeling down.  I think I've got my head together again and am quite a bit more positive.  Thank you again.

My Thursday work didn't take as long as I thought it would so I called by the Care Shop on the way home.  My mum calls it "Aladdin's Cave" as there's such a variety of charity items.  This was my little haul:

Two more Kathie Winkle plates for my little Retro Collection
 Two more rosebud plates for my Vintage Collection
 A little selection of pretty crockery, which I made ...
 ,,, into another cakestand
A bundle of clothes (all three for £1) to cut up for fabric (and no, the little dress wasn't worth keeping whole for grandbabies)
 And finally a little metal tray

Isn't it wonderful how a charity shop can make you feel so much better for such a small outlay!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Sorry, Blogfriends, I have been Rubbish Recently!

There, I've said it!

I'm sorry I haven't been posting and commenting for a bit - just been stupid-busy and slightly pathetic about things in general.  For example ...

1. Just can't get my head round doing proper crafting.  I'm having half an idea then finding it doesn't really work out and, before doing it properly, wandering off onto something else.  I then wonder why I've got half-finished, tatty-looking items.  

2. I have been taking on too much work and not leaving myself any real free time.  Since I am quite a self-centred person under this nice exterior I feel really grumpy about this.   Horrible Me!
 3. My job is tricky at the moment.  I've mentioned this before so I won't go on about it, but on a Monday Morning Whim I applied for another job and got an interview!  I didn't even know if I really wanted to leave or, indeed, that particular position. After a couple of days of soul-searching I cancelled the interview and will try to make the best of what I have right now.  I feel like a really flaky person now, having done that.

Anyway, the only way to get out of this situation is to be positive and DO STUFF!  So here goes with a few bits that have at least been started.

Big Granddaughter's mum asked me to make a pinny which will go over her pink bridesmaid's dress at her uncle's wedding, so she doesn't have a gravy frock.
I made one out of the lovely rosy fabric from Odd Socks and Pretty Frocks' fab swap, using a pinafore dress pattern with just the back yoke and edging in pale pink lace.

The next three photos show some of the bits I've been half-heartedly trying to make for the August fair.  I've been trying for a vintage, faded and distressed feel with natural dyed cotton plus doilies and tea-dyed fabric.
 I'll do close-ups of the birds, dolls and Williams later when I have a bit more faith in them.
 This is the linen bag I bought for 50p, with doily, appliqued flower and button embellishments.
A pair of cushions made from old chair protectors and pink fabric.

And finally ...
...all the stuff I'm hoping to sell off cheaply to friends and neighbours at a home pop-up sale in a couple of weeks.  I have so much clutter and old makes that I just want to be rid of them!
Wish me luck!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Littlelegs and the Sunny Day

Yesterday was the most beautiful hot and sunny day for ages, so Mr C and I took Big Granddaughter C down to the beach for a morning with her aunty and uncle.  As she only has little legs it's fortunate that we live only two minutes away from the seafront. 
Pink bucket was poorly (well, actually it had fallen to bits) so Aunty bought a new pirate-based one.
The little crab-shaped sandpie mould proved very popular with Aunty too!  Note cornflower-blue sky - it really was this colour.
The beach was busy and it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves in a simple, traditional way, far from computers and tv's.

Littlelegs posing and enjoying running around Ross Castle.
Littlelegs, Pelican and Waterfall.  A strange selection of words to put together!

And finally a cropped and recoloured pic which I think is really quite vintagey.  What do you think?

Friday, 15 July 2011

A Post about Nothing

I thought I would have loads of time to blog about great things this week as I'm on holiday from work.  Not so! The week has flown by and I seem to have done very little, even though I've been busier than ever.  The new ideas for my fair stall are progressing at an achingly slow rate, very unusual for me as I'm normally full of enthusiasm about such things.  I'm either tired or the ideas are not as good as they should be.  Oh dear ...

One of the highlights of the week was meeting up with an old friend, Nick.  He's a very talented writer and was delivering a workshop on crime writing at the local library, so met him for coffee and catch up in a nearby seafront cafe.  His writing style revolves around the seamier side of life in London and the North, especially in the    1960's, 70's, 80's, with references to the social culture of those times - music, fashion, etc.  It's very atmospheric and evocative.  Nick has also co-written two books about the Grimsby fishing heritage:
Nick has also told me that "Frank is Coming"! (More on this later in the year).  In the meantime there are some brilliant short stories on his blog Electric Lullaby.

Even my charity shop ventures were mostly failures this week.  I only bought
An Ironstone Broadhurst handpainted plate, designed by Kathie Winkle
and a cute mug, just right for my fancy teas.

I even did an extra day's admin work at Artlandish, my other job, instead of lazing around or crafting, and today is Granddaughter Day, so I'll be busy again.  I'll just leave you with a few photos of a garden in full bloom with growing produce.