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Showing posts from March, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy...24/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Joining in as ever with the lovely Jen at little birdie, here are this week's happy things:

1. New postcards from the fantastic Showler & Showler. That bear with the scarf just makes me smile! 
2. Hot cross buns made by my very talented baker friend Dean, given to us yesterday afternoon still warm from the oven and sticky with their apricot jam glaze.
3. Anything made by the children always makes me happy, especially when it hardly stands up under the weight of all the glue and tissue paper.
4. Collecting our Danish Kroner from Post Office this week. There is something so exciting about foreign currency. Our first trip abroad in almost five years is almost here!
I want to wish you all a very happy Easter. I hope you are enjoying the long weekend, wherever in the world you are. Thanks as ever for visiting and for your kind comments, they make my day. Also, hello new followers, it's s…

Almost Easter

It's almost Easter! How did that happen? I feel unprepared. I seem to remember confidently declaring here, at the start of the month, that I was going to bake a Simnel cake this Easter. Well, that hasn't happened for lots of reasons, which are mainly that I have had not had the time or the will to think about it, I don't really care for almond paste, and I still have half a Christmas cake sitting in a tin in the kitchen. I don't want to make or eat fruit cake right now. 
But what I am doing, what I have done this Easter mini eggs, lots of them. Probably too many. I made chocolate nests with the children at Angus's nursery and then again at home with Angus and I learnt that the combination of shredded wheat and melted chocolate looks charming but tastes disgusting. I dug out my felt Easter egg garland and the birdboxes I made last year. I experimented with my new bell jar, fiddling around with little arrangements and generally enjoying myself. Cards have bee…

A Geometric-Inspired Cushion

You know how I described our weekend as slow? Well, so far this week feels fast. Fast and busy. And that magical, deep, deep, snow that so enchanted me? It can go now, I've had enough. Enough of multiple pairs of socks, of icy pavements and snow piled up by the side of the road so that you can't park. Anywhere. Enough of wearing my ski jacket every single day, of cancelled plans, of chapped hands and lips. How I would love to skip out of the front door wearing footwear other than boots, minus a coat, and walk carefree along the pavements without wondering which bit of treacherous, slippery ice will catch me out.
In other news, I have made a cushion. I have been stitching away here and there over the last week or so. I have been very inspired by this wave of colourful geometric pattern I am seeing everywhere lately, on clothes, on fabric, in prints and design. I am drawn to the regularity of the pattern and the bright and happy use of colour. I feel in need of colour lately, a r…


Indulging after school on Friday with hot chocolate and waffles. 

Waking on Saturday morning to more snow. 

Marvelling at how deep the snow actually is (the photo on the left is of our kitchen door opening onto my frozen herb pots).

Braving the elements by walking up to the shops for supplies (bread, milk, CBeebies magazines, chocolate, wine). As we left the house, Bella said "Mummy, where are the steps? I can't see them." 

Drying our winter woolens on the radiator when we got home.

Changing the bedding...ooh, pink!

Moving my felt ball garland from the living room to the shelf in the bedroom and deciding I love it there. No, the novelty of a newly decorated room still has not worn off.

Eating penne with prawns and pancetta for a sofa supper on Saturday night, trays balanced on our knees in front of the tv.

Wearing two pairs of socks, every day, plus welly socks when I go out. Too much?

Attempting to make a pretty Easter coffee table arrangement while Angus interfered with my East…

52 Weeks of Happy...23/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Joining in with the lovely Jen at little birdie, here are my happy moments from this past week:
1. Bella's current crafting and junk modelling obsession. Pictured above we have "flying-unicorn-girl-doll".
2. Cancelled plans, cold sleety weather and grey skies on Wednesday meant that I was glum and in need of my favourite cold weather comfort food - cheese on toast and tomato soup. The lunch of champions.
3. The pussy willow that always sits in our living room appears to have become an Easter tree. Bella has made an assortment of decorations - the things that aren't eggs are bags, apparently. Yes, bags.
4. Our walk home from school today. We had a fair bit of snow this morning and so I took the sledge with me when Angus and I walked up to collect Bella this afternoon. I pulled Angus, then Bella pulled Angus, then Angus pulled Bella's lunchbox, book bag and ear muffs home. …

Flower Filled Eggs

About a month ago I saw a picture somewhere of an egg box filled with eggs and overflowing with little flowers. I loved it and it just stuck with me. I must look at so many images here and there throughout the day - magazines, blogs, pinterest - but I can't for the life of me remember exactly where I saw the idea.
So I thought I'd have a go at making my own little floral display. I bought a ceramic egg holder recently in the shape of an egg box. I forget who made it but it cost around £6 and you can get ones like this very easily online. Or you could paint or decopatch the bottom half of a cardboard egg box.

To create the egg shell vessels, you'll need a sharp knife, a couple of bowls, paint and brushes, and a way of drying the eggs - I used long plastic sundae spoons in a couple of tumblers.
Take your egg and tap a little crack into the pointed top of the shell, then quickly and confidently cut the pointed end off (as you would to a boiled egg before you put it in it's e…

Lately I have Been Making...

...painted eggs for a little spring floral display...

...a throw for the living room...

... a pretty trim for some plain white towels (the crochet pattern is from issue 17 of Mollie Makes)...

...a geometric inspired cushion...

...another baby blanket, very similar to this one for a friend who is due to give birth in May. I'm just doing little sections here and there, when I get a moment....

...and, with Bella, some Easter decorations to hang on the pussy willow.

Carrot Cupcakes

I had planned some seasonal baking for March - Simnel cake and chocolate nests - but I find that I've made carrot cupcakes instead. Does carrot cake count as Easter baking? I suppose rabbits like carrots, don't they? Hmm. The flavours, spices and colours of carrot cake make me think of autumn but honestly, these cakes are welcome in our house all year round. I almost make these just so I can eat cream cheese icing. There is no better sort in my book - the tangy, creamy sweetness is very moreish. But the cake underneath is very good too - moist and chewy and it keeps well.
For the cakes you will need:
200 g or 7 oz sugar (caster sugar is fine but soft brown sugar adds more flavour) 200 ml or 7 fluid oz vegetable or sunflower oil 2 eggs 200 g or 7 oz  plain flour 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 level tsp baking powder 1 level tsp cinammon 200 g or 7 oz grated carrot 100 g or 3 oz sultanas* 
and for the icing/frosting:
250 g or 9 oz icing sugar, sifted 100 g or 3 oz cream cheese (nice and c…