Christmas Cake

For the last few years I always say I would bake a Christmas cake but for one reason or another I left it too late or never got round to making it. This year with Mabel being a bit older I really want to start some Christmas traditions with her, and not forgetting my husband loves Christmas cake! So this year I have made sure I made enough time for it!Christmas cake baking

I used a Mary Berry recipe from my old faithful book of hers, but after I found another recipe online that she claims is the one she uses every year and I wish I had used that! I can’t quite believe how much fruit is in it, I do have plenty left over and am debating making a Christmas pudding on Stir up Sunday (21st November), but my husband is the only one who would eat it so maybe not? As you can imagine the smell of the cake baking in the oven smelt amazing! I’m not normally a fan of Christmas cake but I think I may have to indulge this year!

Christmas Cake

The cake had an obligatory feed of brandy before being wrapped up and stored away. I will feed it every couple of weeks until it is ready to be decorated, the exciting bit! I’m off now to Pinterest to get some inspiration for my decoration!

Are you making a Christmas cake this year? What is your favourite recipe?

x

 

Hello!

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last blog post! For those who follow me on Instagram you will be fully aware as to where I have been, for those who don’t I will share with you now… I am now a mummy to the most beautiful 1 year old little girl!

My pregnancy was not the easiest and wiped me out pretty much from day 1. Think 24 hour sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) for most of the pregnancy, crippling fatigue and then in the later stages back and pelvic pain that required the use of crutches and to complete the mix carpal tunnel syndrome. Basically it didn’t leave me much time for blogging or sewing or anything really! It was just a case of getting through the 9 months.

Before I got pregnant I had visions of sewing up beautiful creations for my baby and having a permanent glow, the reality was very different!! The birth was not an easy experience either ending in an emergency C-Section (a story for another time maybe)..

The past year has been a whirlwind blur of sleepless nights, feeding and changing nappies. We celebrated Mabel’s birthday on the 29th September and I feel ready now to engage again with the blogging world and crack on with some sewing projects!

Fear not lovely followers this blog will not become a mummy blog, this will be my space to be me, so expect posts just like before, sewing, baking, ramblings and inspiration, maybe the odd baby picture. I can’t promise daily posts, but I will update as much as I can.

For those still following me after all this time I thank you! WordPress told me when I logged in it is 4 years today since I started this blog! Very appropriate that my first post in so long is today! (Edit: My first post was actually 19th October)

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Story Time Sampler

So have you heard the news? The clever gals at The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery have brought out a new year long cross stitch sampler.

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Each month you will be emailed a favourite story time character. Starting this month with Alice in Wonderland. The first pattern was released on the 15th January but fear not you can still buy and download the pattern here.

If you need some supplies I can recommend The Homemakery. Kate sells all the thread and fabric you might need to get you started. There is also very helpful blog post on picking your fabric, as the fabric the Pumpkins use is only available in the US.

I’m off now to do some stitching, I’ll of course keep you posted with my progress!

x

Friday Favourites

It has been a while since I last did a Friday Favourites feature, I’m hoping to make them more of a regular thing this year. Here is what has caught my eye and love this week.

CustardCream Crochet PatternA super cute Custard Cream Crochet pattern. Which you can see here.

Forget me Not by CocoRose I love Vanessa from Coco Rose Diaries photography, and just love this simple but stunning picture of some Forget Me Nots.

Down Grapevine LaneI am totally in love with this EPP from Down Grapevine Lane. Perfect fussy cutting!

Chase and chloeAnd finally look at these beauties from Chase & Chloe, sadly my days of wearing heels this high are long gone so I can appreciate these from afar.

 

(Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I’m just sharing some of my favourite things from the week and are my own personal opinions, all links were correct at the time of publishing)

Pretty Hexie Pincushion

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I thought I would start the year with making something pretty, and you can’t get much prettier with sweet floral Tilda fabrics.

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It all started when I came across this little hexie flower in my sewing box, the hardest part was deciding what backing fabric to use. I was drawn to both the dots and the floral, the dots really made it pop but the floral is so pretty! So I put it to some clever ladies on Instagram who all agreed on the dots.

pretty pincushionI decided to go round as inspired by some pretty pincushions by Amy at Nana Company. She really does have the prettiest style! After appliqueing the hexie flower onto the dots I did a little bit of quilting, and joined it together with some matching Tilda fabric.

pretty pincushion2I am pleased with how it turned out but the perfectionist in me wishes it was slightly neater. So although technically I started this last year, I finished it in this year and so I think it is allowed to be called my first make of 2015. Here is to many more pretty makes this year!

Hello 2015 {Updated}

I’m looking forward to a brand new start this year. 2014 was spent mainly being unwell. I tried to play it down on here but well its not been easy. It didn’t leave me much time for what I love doing dance, making and blogging. I received my annual report from WordPress a couple of days ago and was shocked to read I had only managed to publish 70 posts.

The great thing about the start of the year is all the plans and ideas you promise yourself you’ll do… the disappointing thing at the end of the year is when you realise you’ve not fulfilled them! The key is to not beat yourself up about it, last year taught me to be thankful for the little things and (try) not to worry about the big stuff. Take each day at a time and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

The highlight of the year definitely had to be Louie!

LouieIts amazing what a difference to your life one little dog can make! He really did brighten up an otherwise miserable year.

EPP!

2014 was the year of the hexagon! I had a lot of fun with these, including two quilts! Which brought my completed quilt count up to 3! There will be plenty more hexagons in 2015 I’m sure!

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I almost forgot to include my bakes of 2014! It doesn’t look as many as I remember baking, so I’m pretty sure some didn’t get photographed! I know I made plenty of mince pies in December and a Christmas yule log.

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A major achievement for me over the year was to quit smoking. One year ago today, and I’m so pleased with myself. These figures are based on a 20 a day habit, so if you are trying to give up now these stats could be yours in a years time.

FabricThanks to the extra pennies here is just some of the lovely fabrics I was able to treat myself with. It is one addiction I don’t want to give up!

So what’s the plan for 2015? Well I can’t give it all away now but I hope to have some new things in the shop, I hope to get back to my ballet classes, do more photography and take more time to blog and maybe another quilt.. or 2.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year! Thank you for all your support in 2014.

xx

P.s The shop will reopen on Monday 5th January

 

A Belated Merry Christmas

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Hello all! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I’ve just popped on here to share my completed Christmas Celebration Sampler. I finished it late on Christmas Eve, so just in time for the big day!

The border was a real labour of love I have to say, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.

Sorry for the short and sweet post, it’s quite busy here, I’ll be back before the end of the year which excitingly is only a couple of days away! x

Happy 1st Birthday Louie!

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Our little pup turned 1 today! I’m not entirely sure where this year gone! Its also hard to think that he was not in our lives a year ago.

Today we celebrated with a lovely birthday cake just for dogs (not made be me but by these lovely folk here), some new toys and his little cousin Chewie came over for cake and play followed by some roast chicken for dinner. He’s now collapsed in a heap having happy dreams.

Happy Birthday Louie, lots of love!

xx

 

Mincemeat Crumble Squares

If you fancy something a little different to a mince pie but still want a little Christmassy treat, then these are perfect. I adapted the recipe from my raspberry crumble square recipe. This is such a super simple treat to make all the taste of a mince pie with no pastry making in sight!

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mincemeat crumble squares

You will need:

1 cup of plain flour

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 cup of oats

1/2 cup of light brown soft sugar

1/2 cup of butter

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped hazlenuts

1 jar of good quality mincemeat

1 8 inch square baking tin

Method:

* Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4, grease and line your tin.

*  Place the flour, bicarb and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the sugar, hazelnuts and oats, mix together with your fingers to break up an lumps of sugar.

* Add the butter and rub together until evenly combined.

* Place 2 cups of the oaty mix into the tin and press down firmly until it’s packed in and even.

* Spread a generous layer of mincemeat, you may find the mincemeat won’t spread so just dollop little spoonfuls until the base is covered.

* Press the remaining oats over the top

* Bake for 40- 45 minutes until golden brown

* Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.