Monday, 30 September 2019

GF Baking

Over the past week I have been making a few cakes, I have not really done much baking in recent months and it is probably because I just got used to not having cake.  This was in part because of me being gluten free and things never being quite the same, there is also the fact that I am vegan so that is a bit of a double wammy with baking.  Anyway I mastered the perfect free from scone over the summer and have started to make a few bits now.  As the dark nights are coming I probably need the comfort food too.

I made two banana and dark  chocolate loaves and this is a favourite and something I know everyone will eat.  The bananas give you a bit of security in the GF baking area as you know they will add moisture.  Then on Saturday I tried the Maple and Pistachio cake, again another success both from the same book.  I have tried things from this book in the past and they all come out well so I think I will try some of the more unusual recipes next.

There is almost a full bag of pistachios in there which all needed shelling first, so not exactly a budget cake but at least you know it is nutritious and better your fat comes from nuts than dairy.

The book in the middle is the one with the reliable baking recipes, I have also been going back through this 'Cook ,Share Eat Vegan and planning a few new things  for this week.  I made the rest pesto risotto at the weekend and that was gorgeous, I have bookmarked the walnut kofta and an aubergine dish for later in the week.  I am also currently reading 'The Organised Mind' and 'The Corset' it's good to have a mixture of reading on the go.

My next make is all cut out, I have been in no hurry to make it up though however  I must get on with in the next few days.  I think my feeling has to do with there being plenty of clothes to wear already, I love the making part of it but I| don't want to just add for the sake of it.  I need to think of ways to create that are useful and sustainable. I always keep my eyes open for items to reuse the fabric from in charity shops and recently got two garments for a £1 that will be saved for future projects.
On the sewing table
The cooler months may see me trying my hand at crochet again this year, last year I ended up making fingerless gloves for all family members!  I have seen some gorgeous shawls but then I am not really much of a shawl wearer, ideas please??

We had a long walk at the weekend which resulted in the dogs all needing a bath, we were not going to be put off by the rain but ended up very muddy.  The dogs were rushed upstairs one at a time for a bath and I think they quite enjoyed it after being out in the rain.  One of them always rushes about the house in a mad fit after and I am not sure if that is excitement or some kind of protest. 

The lovely thing about the rain was the double rainbow that followed, I only managed to capture a single one in my image.

Monday, 23 September 2019


This past week I have made a couple of items with some lovely scuba fabric that was sent to me  by Minerva, it is pretty thick so I knew I wanted to make clothes that I could mix and match with it.  I chose a pattern for the top (I then had to take it in as the fabric does not favour a baggy look!)  then I just made up the skirt based on a dress bottom.  I often find I need tops to go with jeans at the weekend so I thought using the fabric this way I could still have a smart two piece for work but also have the flexibility to wear the top with jeans.

My centre check hangs straight on the hanger so it must be me causing it to sway! The fabric feel like it will be easy care too so that is a bonus.
I will be sharing more details later on the full post on Minerva, that will be after Christmas however.

Speaking of Christmas I shared my plans for a different kind of Christmas with my son who has just returned from Spain, he thought it was a good idea so up to now there is no resistance to my non conformist plan ;)  so that's good.  We celebrate the rest of the season quite simply too so no stress here.  I mention this as I have seen it starting to creep into the shops already, in September I think it is too soon.  Who is buying selection boxes now?   I'll tell you the best time to buy those and it's boxing day.

This weekend we watched Bohemian Rhapsody on the T.V and I have to say I enjoyed it, the film was not one that I thought of as a must see but the actors did a really good job and the music of course made the film.  Earlier in the week we watched A Star is Born, again I was uncertain but another good film so check that one out too.  We have a free trial for the films so that is why we are watching more than usual.  I wouldn't pay extra for the film packages normally as I find that once you have seen the few you are interested in it becomes a bit of a waste.

All three of my dogs have been sick over the weekend, we think it must be something they are eating on the garden but we can't find what. All on the mend now, I know bulbs are toxic but we don't have any of those on the back, also holly berries but again there is none of that.  It is so frustrating as dogs really will eat anything, a neighbour of mine was shaking their apple tree really violently the other day so the apples flew every where.  We saw this so my husband ran and picked them up before the dogs saw them but if he hadn't we would have let them out and they would have made themselves sick eating those. They wouldn't fall over it is too far away it was the effect of bending the tree over that catapulted them over!

I am finding it starting to get dark too quickly for my liking at the moment, I have made a note to myself to find something to love in all the seasons.  So activities, things to watch for and enjoy, our summers are short here in the UK so the only way is to embrace all the seasons.  Any tips for how you enjoy the darker months are most welcome.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

New Blouses from an Old Favourite

A couple of weeks ago I introduced my friend to our local fabric shop, she had been wanting to buy some fabric but wasn't sure what she wanted or where to go.  I directed her to Minerva crafts first of all and she has seen a few things on there that she likes but she wanted to see the fabric up close and have a feel for this first time.  She  had asked if she could commission me to make a few items for her wardrobe, we have already agreed that I am not replicating my clothes in the exact same fabrics as she often likes my clothes.  Anyone who sews their own clothes will understand this, it is nice to be original so why would you want to make duplicates for people, especially those you see often (I work with the person mentioned).   Anyway we compromised and I have a dress she loves and she saw the same fabric in the shop, so what we agreed was that I would make her a short sleeved top in that fabric and we will try not to wear our clothes on the same days at work ;)  hopefully that will workout.   She also bought some beautiful 100% cotton print for another blouse.

Last week she brought me a favourite well fitting blouse of hers to work so that I could copy the style and fit of it.  It has cuff short sleeves and a slightly longer curved hem at the back, so I have spent my evenings this past week making these for her.
This is the top in the same fabric as one of my dresses, if you follow my blog you may recognise this fabric I also made some boudoir shorts in it as well.

This image was taken at night, the background of the fabric is navy not black.

I love this one and the fabric is so soft it has a brushed feel to it.

What a contrast in the picture colours!  It just shows you what a bonus daylight is when taking images of our makes.  I think there will be more of that as the nights draw in but we don't have to think about that too much just yet.

The tops fit her well and she has sent me a photo this morning of her wearing one, I'll not share however as that is not my decision to make.  I now really need to get on with my Minerva makes so that is my job for this evening and tomorrow, I got side tracked with these last week!

Today we have been out and had a lovely walk around Dam Flask, making the most of the sun while it is still around.  Then when we got back we were talking about Christmas of all things, it tends to be the same thing here year on year and I am sure for a lot of you just another dinner to cook while everyone else relaxes.  We did have a week away two years ago at Christmas and that was nice so here is what we have decided.  We are not having a traditional Christmas lunch this year, we are all going out for a meal on Christmas Eve, a regular  meal not an overpriced Christmas menu.  Then on Christmas day we are going to drive out somewhere for part of the day, Castleton or Bakewell maybe and have a walk with the dogs.  I think food will be soup, sandwiches and finger food that I can prepare before so we can all just eat when we want.  I booked the table earlier for Christmas Eve so that is sorted. 

That is all for now. 

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Well here we are in another month and I'm a little late I know, last night my laptop updated from teatime until 9.20 and by that time I was not in the mood for writing a blogpost.  My own fault of course because I have kept delaying the update as I am always using it when it asks, note to future self not to delay it next time. So here is my start to September.

Opening a lovely gift of fabric from Jo at Three Stories High, this is so thoughtful and I can use them in my bag making.  I like to use up lots of different bits and sometimes I have to say I use my scraps until I am fed up of seeing the same recurring patterns so this is a lovely treat.

Returning to work after the summer, this was less painful than I imagined as it is always good to see everyone and there is something to be said for getting back into a routine. Needless to say the first few days I bounced out of bed and by Thursday I was feeling shattered.  The trick would be of course to go to bed early but I am no go at that and end up restless all night, so I will just have to settle into it.

Enjoying a lovely selection of tomatoes from the greenhouse, they really do taste so much better than the ones from the shops. There are still quite a few left to ripen so I am not sure if they will all turn while on the vines.  I have read you can bring them in and put them on a window sill if it gets too late so we will have to see.  I am getting a tub like this each couple of days  and some large ones the size of apples are now turning so it will be good to try those.

Reading Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, I am really enjoying this and wondering where it will lead.  It is good to start another book and enjoy it instantly as that doesn't always happen.  I finished Everything I Never Told You that I borrowed from a friend and had a bit of a book hangover (where the characters are still on your mind!) So I have been pleasantly surprised by how easy this was to get into.

Sorting through this collection of patterns a friend has passed on to me, she buys sewing magazines so ends up with quite a lot but only sew occasionally.  She will pick out the odd one she wants to keep and passes the rest on. I have noticed there are a few I have already so I will passing on a few myself.  I may make the winter coat as it looks like the kind you can fit a good few layers underneath, also the trousers with the paper bag top look interesting.

Making bags but planning ones to gift now.  There is so much more enjoyment from making something to gift and then having it well received than the push of trying to get noticed through online selling.   It is a bit of a joy stealer I feel and I really like seeing things I've made in use.  I was out the other week and a friend of mine was using a bag I made for her years ago, seeing it being used all these years later was lovely and priceless I might add.   

Watching Chernobyl, I have actually just finished the series last night.  It was interesting but of course not easy to watch.  So many mistakes in such a dangerous industry, the story of all the brave people who did what they could to minimise the damage and knowingly giving their lives in the process definitely needed telling.  Worth watching to understand what happened but be aware very upsetting.

Discovering avantgardvegan on youtube, Gaz Oakley has some wonderful recipes for vegans or those just wanting to cut out a bit of meat a few times a week.  He also shows how to food prep for a few days ahead and gives costings.  Very clear and easy to follow instructions, I made the tofu scramble last night and will be trying a few more recipes this week.

Well that is all for now, I have decided to return to my once a week blogging routine unless I have something pressing I want to share.  There have been a couple of times when I have been busy on a Tuesday and then remembered I haven't posted anything.  This is something we do for fun and to connect with fellow crafters so I don't want it to ever feel like a job.  So it will generally be a Friday, updates permitting! Maybe the odd midweek post if I feel like it.

Back soon. 

Burda Jumpsuit

Hello I hope you all had a good weekend, I managed to get back to the machine to make my jumpsuit and I have to say that halfway through I w...