Thursday, 21 June 2018

Almost Buying a Book

The wish list on Amazon is a lovely thing, if only because I can pop things in it and feel like I am going to get them and then at a later date when I have realised I don't really need them I can remove them.  It is a sort of delayed gratification device that often works in our favour I think.  I do love books and I can't always get everything I want from the library, but sometimes it is disappointing when you pay for one and it is just rubbish. Well that may be a bit harsh I should say not to my taste because I do admire anyone who can write a book and then get it published.  Not included in that admiration are any celebrities who use others to write books for them and then get huge royalties just because they have been on the TV at some point.  Saying that I wouldn't buy anything by a celebrity for that reason.

I do enjoy reading factual books and anything on health, psychology and faith.  I have seen quite a few videos by the doctor Michael Greger so I was interested in his book 'How Not to Die'   he is a vegan doctor and has done a lot of research in nutrition and disease.

So this book has gone into my cart then I stopped, I was sure I heard a colleague mention it some time ago so I asked her the next day.  She has the cook book that goes with it, she brought it in and I have had a look through.  Now of course it is not the same book but I am glad I have seen it, the book I wanted is all about the theory, why plant based, the science of what we eat and how it can affect us chemically.  He is not a chef so while some of his ideas may have been used to create these dishes in the cook book, it wasn't him and it is just another case of cashing in on something.

I may try and get the book from the library if it is in the catalogue but if not I am not buying it right now.  He has lots of talks online so perhaps I have already heard most of what is in the book anyway. So thanks to the wishlist it may stay there until I decide to remove it, either way it has given me the time to think do I really want that.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018


Well after a slow start the chilli plant is in full swing, I did wonder at first if it had been a wrong choice but now it is full of little chillies starting to grow and a couple of bigger ones.  I'm not sure how long they take to go red but there seems to be plenty on there for such a little plant.
My husband announced that he is not even bothered about chillies, well it looks like we better get finding lots of recipes for them where it is in there but not too obvious then.

Here is the regular pepper, also quite big already I think.  Maybe next time I will grow more peppers a these will get used in lots of things.  The strawberries seem to be getting picked a couple at a time and then we eat them as we go, I don't think there will ever be a bowl full ready at once as we don't want to leave them on to go mushy.  I heard someone else sat the same thing today so it's not just me.

On a different theme my fabric arrived today but as I wasn't home it's gone to the collection place which is closed of course by the time we get home.  Obviously most people who work are out during the day and the post always arrives late when people have left! It will be Friday now before I can collect it, they never seem to leave with a neighbour or in the safe place anymore.  The package isn't signed for so it's a bit annoying. My son once had a card saying they had taken his parcel to the collection place at the next town, after being driven there he was then told it was at the one near our home, ridiculous, really there ought to be a better system.

That's it for today after a very bad nights sleep last night I am starting to feel it now, hopefully I will feel more energetic tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Sewing Plans

After having a good look through the Sew magazine that I bought the other day I have decided to try two of the garments from it.  One is the frill front T-shirt that actually came as a paper pattern with the magazine.  This one...
I think style c, I had thought a but now I am thinking it may be too ruffled for me then I won't wear it.  I put a ruffle all the way around a neckline once before and never wore it at all.

The other garment is a pair of wide leg trousers but this time you print the pattern off, now I have not been on and had a look at the pieces yet, if it looks too basic to waste the ink I may wing it.  The other thought I have with that one is are they too wide?  I might make them then change them we will see.
 I really loved that fabric too but had a look and wasn't sure if I wanted to pay so much for an experimental make, I mean what if I don't like the style on me.  So I had a look around and found some nice magenta chevon patterned fabric at Minerva, much more reasonable.  However I did then go and put other things in my basket too like you do.

My order has been dispatched so more on those items another day, although I will say I have ordered plain white for the top I thought I would try and get at least a few neutrals in there like I keep meaning to.

This evening I made a green lentil and green assorted vegetable korma, I have to say it was not up to my usual curry standards and I think it was because I impulsively added toasted almonds at the last minute.  They seemed to alter the whole flavour, bad choice!  I will stick with adding cashews in future they go much nicer.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Best Version Gluten Free Vegan Cheese Toastie

My title states this is a cheese toastie, well that is not entirely correct as I fry the bread but as anyone who eats GF bread will know it is dry enough without making matters worse by putting it in the toaster.  As I don't eat dairy I  have tried a few vegan cheeses as well as making some of my own, currently the best store bought one for me Violife original flavour block.  It tastes good cubed in a salad and it will melt, the thing I have found is that it takes longer to melt than regular cheese and putting it under the grill gives varying results.

As I was missing my once favourite snack I thought I would try a few things to sort this out, frying the GF bread in a little olive oil on a low heat gives it a nice colour but also a bit of moisture.   I like to add a few cherry tomatoes to my pan as well, I may add a bit of onion sometimes too.

When I have fried it a little on both sides I slice some of the cheese then add it to one side and turn it face down to the pan,  (it will melt but not stick or run all over your pan)  it stays in more or less one piece and can be got off the pan easily with a spatula.  It is moist to hold so have a napkin ready to wipe your hands while you are eating.  If you are GF vegan and  miss a decent cheese toastie give this a go, it just shows there is an alternative way with most foods if you are missing something.
I think there may be lots of vegan cheese alternatives that are good but because I have tried a few bad ones I am sticking with this one at the moment.  It is a bit expensive to buy them to try and then not like them.  If anyone has any tips for any good ones let me know, I know there are mozzarella flavours but I have not tried those, it would be worth knowing if any were worth a try. 

People tend to say to me 'oh no what do you eat?'  because I am GF vegan, well I eat plenty and it is just a case of swapping things and experimenting.  Going out is always awkward as restaurants seem to have no vision at all and they have trained cooks working for them!  It is a bit annoying though when the family are tucking into fresh tiger bread which smells amazing, none of the GF versions are ever soft and fluffy like that, including the bread I've tried myself.

( My comments on Violife cheese are entirely personal preference, this is not a sponsored post)

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Another Burda Shirt Finished

This shirt has been enjoyable to work on today, I have been back and forth to the sewing machine in between doing other things.  It helps that my sewing table is in the room next to the kitchen because you can hear the washer stop and check on food. This pattern is reliable and that is  why I keep using it although the take on it has been slightly different.  On this particular shirt there wasn't enough fabric for even a full short sleeve, but adding a small folded band from the little bits of fabric around the pattern pieces gave me just enough for a small sleeve.
I didn't add the front yokes as there wasn't enough fabric, also the back yoke is single whereas usually it is double so it hides your join at the back on the inside.  That is not a problem for me, you wouldn't know that just by looking at it when it is on.
The pockets are a bit smaller than the pattern too but again I had to work with the bit of fabric I had.

Another little thing I had to do was cut the collar in two pieces each, rather than on the fold. This was to maximise on all those little bits that are just not quite big enough.
This  has not affected the look of the collar and if anything makes sure it is central at the back!
Here is the little sleeve band, I will use this idea again as it gives a nice finish.
It was just a case of folding a strip, sewing it to the bottom, neaten the edge and then topstitching on the right side.
I shortened the overlength when cutting out too as this is quite a long shirt on the pattern. 

 I am very happy with it, and managed to force it out of one metre.  There really are only tiny bits left that have gone in a little box for applique or very small patchwork.   The pattern has been carefully  folded and put away for next time. 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Starting a New Shirt

I have started cutting out a new shirt today with some of the fabric I bought last week, now I only bought a metre so I have been stood scratching my head as to how to force this shirt out of a small amount of fabric.  Craft cotton too so not even very wide, well it wasn't going to beat me so after moving things around a lot, folding pattern pieces and deciding to omit a couple of the pieces I got there.  I will finish this up in the morning and share more on this tomorrow but here it is in mid jigsaw.

I have used this pattern a few times and I am sure I will use it many more, I make it slightly different each time I make it up and it has also been a dress you can see that version here.

There were a few treats for me when I went food shopping as I bought myself a couple of magazines, I don't very often buy them so this was a change I bought Sew and a gardening magazine because it had four packs of seeds in it.  I was pleasantly  surprised with Sew, quite a coincidence there was an article on repairing patches just days after I had done a post on that, also the free pattern for a dress is almost identical to one I am about to do a post on for Minerva.  There wasn't much gained there but I may give both the patterns a try anyway ( the other one was for a top) just to see how they turn out compared to what I would usually do.
Looking at the pattern for the top the only real reason I can see for the centre seam at the front is if you are going for option A with the ruffle which is what I'll do.  I don't think the other versions need it. Thoughts on that anyone?

We are going to watch a film as Netflicks offered films on a special deal for one month, we mistakenly chose one titled Mother the other night, what a load of disturbing rubbish. The synopsis stated psychological thriller what it turned into near the end was sick horror I ended up not watching all of it.  So if you have this deal I would say give that one a miss.  Nobody needs to have that film in their head.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Drop Shoulder T-shirt (Scrap busting)

As today is my day off I had a look through my oddments of fabric to see what I could do with them.  I had seen an image of a white top the other day with broderie  anglaise at the top and I thought I should have a look how much fabric I have left that is similar.   I made a red dress a while ago  and my fingers were crossed that there was a big enough piece to do the back and front top.   There was just enough red broderie anglaise and a big enough piece of jersey for the bottom, but only just!

I cut around a t-shirt so just two pieces, and I used my overlocker today which I don't often use, actually the blades are playing up so it was more of a joining exercise using it today there didn't appear to be any trimming going on.  A blade is out of place and no amount of faffing will seem to get it cutting, new blades as well.  I need to have a bit of time looking at that tomorrow. 

Here is my quick top, I like how it has turned out.
I had to put lots of pins in the jersey when I was stitching it together, it is extremely springy, I noticed that when I made the under dress for the dress I made.
A bit more ironing required on the front I think, I quickly ran the iron over it to take these shots, the fabric had been crumpled in a drawer. (It didn't get sorted into the tidy fabric box!)

Now that top was so easy I am going to see what other combinations I can put together from leftover fabrics to make more.  A few contrasting colours might work and may have to depending on what I have left.

There has been more repotting of lettuce and Kale today, I am also a bit disappointed that the pansies and violi have taken a beating from the wind, they were doing so well.

 The greenhouse is starting to look like a jungle, here is a peek through the window...
  I don't know where the tomatoes are going to go now they will just have to grow up along the slope of the roof and down the side!    Also I  hope the winds hold off now I don't want anymore plant casualties. 

Almost Buying a Book

The wish list on Amazon is a lovely thing, if only because I can pop things in it and feel like I am going to get them and then at a later d...