Daily Post

My Precious Ones

The Daily post Who is the person in your life who can do no wrong? Describe this person and tell us why you hold them in such high esteem.

Show us PRECIOUS.

I don’t know what this say’s about  me but it’s not actually a person who is precious to me, but 4 little furry guinea pigs. Don’t get me wrong my husband is VERY precious to me and I love him so very much, but the guinea pigs don’t leave their clothes on the floor, pee on the toilet seat, or let the washing up build up, and as the brief does say who can do no wrong the pigs have to win.

NalaNala

teddy

Teddy Bear

Louise

Louise

Princess

Princess

I mean look at their little faces! How could they ever do any wrong? They have a very calming influence on a bad day, and the little wheeky noises they make when they tell us it’s time for their veggies always puts a smile on my face. When I’m feeling sad it’s Teddy I go to for a cuddle if hubby is not around, and he sits on my shoulder and chats away to me, he’s the most cuddly of pigs and why he’s called Teddy Bear. If there was a fire it would be them that I would go back for, they really are my precious ones.

I had another pig, Thelma, who passed away last month and it broke my heart, even though they are small little furries it’s amazing what effect they have on you. It’s like losing a member of the family, because they are a part of our family.

Does this make me a crazy guinea pig lady?

 

Baking · Home

Festive Mince pies

mincepies

In the past I have been a bit too lazy, when it comes to baking. If a recipe needed pastry I would have bought it. This time though I thought I would give it a crack, and boy am I glad I did! It was surprisingly a lot easier than I thought it would be, and they tasted delicious (if I’m allowed to say so). They were so fun and satisfying to make I’ve already made another batch. You can’t beat the smell of mince pies baking throughout the flat, very Christmassy and left me feeling very festive.

mince pies

What surprised both me and hub was how lovely the pastry was. I said to him I would hold on to the recipe till the day I die! I will however share the recipe with you dear readers. What I didn’t know is that you can use icing sugar, and I’m guessing this is what made them almost crispy tasting, if that is the right word. I’m certainly not scared of pastry anymore and will be having a go at more recipes. I will though still be buying puff and filo pastry. One thing at a time hey?

mincepies3

Pastry Recipe

85g Icing sugar, sifted

125g Butter, softened

1 egg

275g Plain flour, sifted

1 Jar of mincemeat (vegetarians check the label!)

 

Preheat oven to 200C/ 180C fan. Grease a 12 hole mini muffin tin.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and a tablespoon of flour (to prevent curdling) until fully incorporated.

Add in the flour and bring the mixture together until evenly combined.

Lightly knead the mix and turn out onto a floured surface.

If it’s very warm in your kitchen you may need to let the pastry rest in the fridge for 20minutes.

Roll pastry as thin as possible about 0.3cm. Using a round pastry cutter cut out 12 circles.

Gently press into tin, using little scraps to cover up any hole.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of mincemeat into each pastry, be careful not to overfill.

Using a smaller round pastry cut out 12 smaller circles. I used the fluted end for a bit of decoration.

Place the smaller on top of the pie cases and gently press down to seal the edges.

Sprinkle a little caster sugar over the tops.

Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden brown.

Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Sprinkle a light dusting of  icing sugar to finish (optional)

Serve while they are still a little warm, and enjoy the wonderful smell in your home :)

 

Baking · Inspiration

The Gingerbread House

“…and when they went close up to it they saw the cottage was made of bread and cakes, and the window-panes were of clear sugar”

Hansel & Gretel – The Brothers Grimm

gingerbread inspirationGood Ideas for You

For the past couple of years I’ve really fancied making a gingerbread house for Christmas, I didn’t get around to it last year, but this year I’m determined. While I wait for the right cookie cutters I have been getting some inspiration. The thing I love about gingerbread houses is how it reminds me of the story Hansel and Gretel. Imagine coming across a house in the woods that was completely made of cake and sweets, I always (and still do!) wanted to find a house like this. Instead it seems I will have to create my own little fairy tale house. I also think it would make some lovely gifts.

gingerbread inspiration

Flickr

gingerbread inspiration

Lulu’s Sweet Secrets

gingerbread inspiration

Fine Art America

gingerbread house inspiration

Butter Hearts Sugar

gingerbread house inspiration

Skona Hem

gingerbread house

Soker Hem

gingerbread inspiration

gingerbread inspiration

gingerbread inspiration

Lots of great inspiration and I think I have in mind what I will do. The only thing that will let me down is making the fine lines. I’m a bit shaky at the best of times! Anyway I promise to post pictures of my own creation once I have finished it.

Chatter · Crafts · Sewing

Ellie the Elephant in felt..

Ellie the elephant

I have been creating a new little softie. Ellie the Elephant! She is completely hand sewn by me, using a Gingermelon pattern.

ellie elephant

This little purple one has already found a new home, but the little grey and pink one is now in the Etsy shop. I’m very pleased with how these two turned out, they are so cute! They will be available in other colours, so if there is another colour you fancy please get in touch.

While we are on the subject of my shop, I am pleased to say that I have now set up a shop page on my blog! You can see it here. Each item has been linked to a paypal profile so you can pay through paypal and feel confident that it is completely secure. There is only a couple of items on there but I will be adding more over the next few days.

nelli2ellie a

I am planning a giveaway soon to celebrate the start of the new range of felt goodies.  Like my Facebook page to get the details when its posted.

Crafts · Inspiration · Sewing

Some fantastic embroidery inspiration

 

Out of all crafts I think one of my favourites has to be embroidery. Ever since a child I have always enjoyed having a needle and thread in my hand, even at the age of 5 I was coming up with my own cross stitch samplers. One of the main things that has pushed me off the sewing machine and into working with felt is because I love the embroidery aspect of it. Whether it’s sewing on a little face to bring something to life, or spending hours sewing tiny seed beads on to something I thrive on it, I find it so relaxing.

Behind the scenes in the back of my mind I am planning something, I’ve hinted at it before when I shared the Craft a doodle book with you. I love the idea of making  a piece of artwork or illustration out of embroidery, something to hang on the wall and admire.

Here is what is really inspiring me at the moment…

fantastic embroidery inspiration

The Honey Diaries

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Lilipopo

fantastic embroidery ideas

Artstormer

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Art Mayster

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Gracie’s Garden Bazaar

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Down Grapevine Lane

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Misako Mimoko

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Follow the White Bunny

fantastic embroidery inspiration Prudence Grayson

Fantastic embroidery inspirationNugyen Le

fantastic embroidery inpiration

Out of the woods

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Sumptuosity

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Vechernie-posidelki

fantastic embroidery inspiration

Flickr

I hope you enjoyed my selection of pieces. I hope to share with you some of my own work soon.

Shopping

Shop Feature -The Black Apple

I have been a long time admirer of Emily Martin’s work from The Black Apple and with a sales count over a whopping 45,500 she is one of Etsy’s biggest and most popular art sellers. I have two of her prints already, but as I was browsing through her shop recently I see that there is a whole new range of prints that I must have, and who are patiently waiting for me in my favorites.

alice postcardsdream animalspostcards recipe cards the death of cock robin the white rabbit cheshire cat mad tea party

outofthewoods

If there is anyone I wish I could draw like it would be Emily. Which is you favourtite?

Crafts · Sewing

Handmade Felt Christmas Decorations

red snowflake christmas decoration snowflake christmas decoration pink and white snowflake christmas decoration snowflake christmas decoration snowflake christmas decoration

I’m finally getting caught up from the craft fair, I know I mentioned a little while ago that I had been making Christmas decorations… and here they are… The snowflake designs are now on both Folksy and Etsy.

white pink sequin silver gold geen

Super sparkly under the Christmas lights! There will also be a red and purple. These are due to be listed next, and will also be on Folksy and Etsy. I will be taking custom orders too, so if there is a particular colour you would like or more than one of a certain one please get in touch and I’ll be happy to arrange something for you.

I can’t quite believe how quickly Christmas is racing towards us, I feel at the moment there are not enough hours in the day! How are your Christmas preparations going?