Monday, 29 December 2014

Handmade Christmas part 2

I bough home a tray of strawberries from the local fruit & veg shop a couple of weeks ago, and made a new batch of jam...

The recipe is from here of course-

We also made a batch of Picalilli vegetable chutney, recipe from the River Cottage website. Must remember to take a photo of a jar of Picalilli. It was made back in November, because it has to sit for 6 weeks before eating! It was hard to wait, but worth it! Lots of lovely chunky veges ( about 6) and spicy mustardy flavours, great with a slice of lightly toasted sourdough, and some cheese for a " ploughman's lunch".

I also made a batch ( about 8 logs) of biscuit salami! It is a heat and mix combo, a bit like the classic condensed milk and Marie biscuit "rum balls" or "blobs" as my sister and I used to call them, but with a few extras like sultanas, dried cranberries and macadamia nuts. You roll it into logs and tie up like a sausage, them cut into slices to serve. Yummy! The other difference is no coconut- I love coconut milk in curries, but cannot stand dessicated/ flaked/ diced etc. coconut. So I use biscuit crumbs instead for rolling. The logs are stored in the freezer, so handy for last minute gifts, or making ahead of time if you are super organized!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Handmade Christmas part 1

This was going to be made for a birthday a while back, but it didn't quite happen. But better late than never, it will be a Christmas gift instead! She is quite tall ( sitting on a half inch grid if that is any indication). The patten was in a UK craft magazine from last year - "Handmade Living" issue 23 May 2013.

I modified ( ok too short cuts!) the pattern a bit- no apron, no fancy bow at the back, no appliquéd lips & cheeks. I embroidered the eyes & nose, but the cheeks are drawn with blusher- of course! And the lips with water colour pencil. One of the reasons I had put of making the giant babushka was all the embroidery/ appliqué involved with the face, but then I remembered reading somewhere sometime, on another pattern, the idea of drawing on the features with water colour pencils ( yep, as I always say, I have a head full of random stuff - handy for trivia nights and random craft projects!)
She is weighted with a little bag of wheat in the base, so she stands nice and upright for a pillow, or can be used as a doorstop. And yes, keen readers may recognise the purple floral print from previous sewing projects, including a Colette Sorbetto top from last summer.

No sewing this time, baking ( gingerbread) and decorating with royal icing. Can you name the 7 different characters/ objects?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Craft shopping at Daiso

Have you discovered the Daiso stores yet? Kind of like an upmarket $2 shop. Except that everything is $2.80. And I mean everything. Takes a while to get your head around the fact that there are no price tags, because every single thing is the same price! I popped into the new Craigieburn shops to grab some lunch on the run at work the other day, and spotted a Daiso shop! I went straight to the craft section and spotted sheets of thick- ish plastic. I wondered if it would work to make cutting templates out of, rather than using paper or cut up cereal boxes. And it works perfectly! The only catch is that the sheets are not very wide - about 70 cm by 25 cm.

I cut out a pattern to make fabric buckets, so I can cuut them out with a rotary cutter and make these-

And I also cut out a set of small circles, so much better to cut around sturdy plastic rather than flimsy paper, to make fabric brooches ( photos soon, still sewing !) would work to make your own quilting shapes, and the plastic is see through and comes in about 4 colours. I will definitely be buying more, and replacing all my small craft paper patterns with sturdy plastic. So glad my idea worked! Plus now I just have to go back to Daiso again! Who knows what I might find next time...

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad