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Showing posts from 2016


So much cake. So, so, so much cake.

I made a chocolate coca cola cake for mum for mothers day. She loves all that stuff (cake, chocolate, coca cola) so it seemed like a good idea. I used the recipe from this months The Simple Things magazine and it turned out pretty awesome even if I do say so myself - yay me for following instructions!

Today there was a bake sale at work for International Women's Day raising money for a women's refuge and raising awareness of inspiring women. Bakers provided a print out with information of the woman that inspired their cake on.  It made me happy to see a traditionally female activity giving insight into women in more male dominated role, from journalists to archeologists and paleontologists.

Painted Ikea frame

I found this paint in my local craft shop LOVED the colour (it matches Mindy - my car) and figured I'd give it a try to make the frame below a bit more interesting

The paint has a similar finish to Annie Sloan but perhaps a bit more chalky. I did two coats and gave it about an hour in between to dry. It doesn't stick well so thin coats are best. Once its dry the paint does stick which is good (I worried it might not for a while there) and drys darker and brighter - closer to the colour of the label.

Didn't turn out too badly! I think the paint is great for small projects but I'm not sure I'd use it for the big ones until I get more used to it.

Sorry about the poor lighting - it's difficult taking good photos at the moment!

The Night Manager

I started to read The Night Manager right before the BBC TV series started and managed to keep ahead of it luckily!

The book has a lot more going on in it, Pine's relationship to Sophie much more of a focus than it is in the series (which still packs a lot in) and, rather like Bond, he encounters more women in more countries. Trimming this down is a good thing but does make his trip to Roper look pretty easy. The book doesn't end 100% closed and happy but I like that and this is John le Carre after all. It's a good read but The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is still my favourite.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the TV version does with the rest of the book - I LOVE that they have Olivia Coleman as Burr! - and of course Hiddleston is always a reason for watching something.

Oh High Rise not long now...

Cardamom and rose water cupcakes

There's a bake sale at work tomorrow so I've made these cupcakes! I had a practise go at the weekend because I wasn't sure how much cardamom to use but they've turned out pretty damn good even if I do say so myself!
IngredientsMakes 12
175g each of butter, self-raising flour, caster sugar (I like golden)
1/2tsp baking powder
3 eggs
Seeds from 7-8 cardamom pods ground (I used a pestle and mortar)

For the icing No quantities because I just add bits until it looks and tastes right..
Pink food colouring paste
Icing sugar
Pistachios - roughly chopped
Rose water (just a couple of drops - this stuff is strong)

Method Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Mix main ingredients
Distribute evenly in 12 cupcake cases
Bake in oven for 20-25 mins
Cool on rack
Mix icing ingredients to your preference
Finish with pistachios!

Pom pom blanket

Pretty easy one this. The blanket is a simple Ikea one. I used a small pompom maker to make a ton of pom poms and then stitched them onto the scallops.

I started by sewing pom poms on alternate scallops near the end. I then went back and sewed some on the empty scallops but at the other end. You get something fluffy like this when you're done.

Bedside tables

I actually took some things from my parents for once rather than storing more of my stuff in their garage!  I took two pine bedside tables that I think are as old as me (I'm afraid I forgot to take a before photo). They are sturdy and a good size they just needed a bit of love.

I used Annie Sloan paint in Pure on the outside and then Aubusson Blue for inside the draws.

I finished with clear soft wax and Anthropologie knobs.

I did two coats of Pure but should have done 3 (it looked a bit patchy after putting the wax on). The blue only needed one coat of paint. When I get a new bed I'll do another coat.

Watching, reading, listening

Watching I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio tour again last week which has started a rewatch of all the HP films. I've been doing it with one of my friends over Whatsapp with lots of messages about how stupid Harry can be...
I've also been watching some Agents of SHIELD which ain't great but it passes the time and sometimes it's funny. 
Reading Moranthology, Caitlin Moran. Its just a collection of her articles but she has provided some commentary around why things have been chosen and some other bits. It's funny but I preferred How To Be a Woman. Also she's called Caitlin and spells it right so I have to like her a bit.
Listening Please give me recommendations! I'm struggling to find new stuff that excites me at the moment. I've been listening to some Kinks, Punch Brothers, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Naked & Famous. 

Aran knit cowl

Mum asked me to make this for her for when she's out walking the dog. I put together rib, honeycomb and open diamond knits for it. It's big enough to double up.

I'd like to do more with aran knitting - mix and matching stitches to make some more scarfs, cowls, blankets and cushions!

Watching, reading, listening

Watchingvia GIPHY Saturday night two of my friends made me watch John Carter. It is so strange. At times they repeatedly explain things (Barsoom is Mars if you watched the film and didn't pick up on that at all), at others they conveniently leave out important bits, like you know, how he gets to Barsoom (thats what they call Mars). Its pretty... the guys power is jumping high, did I mention that? Anyway, it left me laughing hysterically and questioning life on Jasoom (Earth, Barsoom is Mars).

I also watched Me, Earl and the Dying Girl again which is so so good! Watch this instead.

ReadingMiddlesex is a beautifully written book about identity. Cal was born a female and then again later as a male. The narrator intertwines his current complicated love life with how he became who he is. The book takes place across Europe and America, through wars and riots and different generations but still feels personal.

ListeningHere's the Thing with Alec Baldwin is back! Alec is a pretty goo…

Experiments in blogging: writing

I've been thinking more about writing, I sit next to an aspiring playwright now so it was always going to happen a bit.
This being a craft blog, I've focused more on pictures. They're fast and speak a thousand words, but I would like to improve my writing. I don't want to be write a novel or a play or a film - I just want to be better at sharing things with anyone that happens to be reading this blog. Even if it is just so old lady me doesn't read this and think 'I such was a dickhead'...
StyleWriting this I have become more and more aware of how often I use certain sentence structures, and you know I love an ellipsis! I try to write how I speak but it would be great if writing more helps me to find my style more.
Post length I'd like some of my posts to be a bit longer because it can take me a while to 'warm up' to writing and I think it it'll help be to share more information. I don't think I'll be doing long form just yet though!

Crochet cat

There was a halloween cat pattern in Mollie Makes a while ago but it was pretty neat so I substituted the yarn for Bouffle which as well as having an awesome name is super fluffy. Its not the easiest to use (the fluff gets in the way a bit) but the effect is worth it. I wanted it to look like my friends kitten which hasn't quite worked but I think he's still adorable.

Watching, reading, listening

If weekends were a competition I think I won the 30+ category this weekend when someone thought I was 24 years old. Not that youth is everything mind! I also got to spend time with lots of my favourite people and be by the seaaaaa.

Slow West is on Netflix at the moment and you should watch it. A young Scottish man arrives in America and is heading to meet the girl he's in love with and hires a man to get him there alive. It's a beautiful film and worth trying even if you are put off by westerns because it's probably not what you think. Plus -
I've also been watching Travel Man, the funniest travel programme ever. Richard Ayoade takes a friend to a near by travel destination to fit as much sightseeing as possible into 48 hours on a budget. You can watch it on 4oD (or whatever it's called now).
I got around to reading Not That Kind of Girl this week. Obviously Lena is an over sharer and had a very particular kind of upbringing (o…


Last year I set myself some work style SMART goals and it went pretty well so I've gone and done it again. I think it helps because it's about having things to aim for rather than giving things up or trying to change your lifestyle all in one go (both of which just lead to failure).

My goals for 2016 include:
Buying a new bed and mattressGoing down another dress sizeRunning 10kSelling something I've madeBuying 0 ebooks (not because I disagree with them, but because I have a ton I haven't read yet and because I do disagree with Amazon)Reading at least 65 books (includes comics and graphic novels) If you know me in real life you'll know I don't start doing any of this stuff until February, January is a crazy month normally and I've already drunk more so far than I did over Christmas.

I'd also like to go on a couple of courses: dress makingnext level modern calligraphy brush lettering

Chalk painting before and after

Sorry for the rubbish pictures here - the lighting was not my friend. I bought the furniture in my room from the girl who rented it before me and I've been gradually replacing bits. All that's left at the moment is my ugly bed frame which I want to replace this year, and the wardrobe. 
It's from Ikea and a great size but it doesn't go with anything else I have. 
Soooo I've used 3 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure and then coated in Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax. It's all easy to use the only thing I'd say is with Pure do lots of thin coats because its so light.
The weird shadows are from my light fitting.

I finished it up with some knobs from Anthropologie 

Watching, reading, listening

Because I've been off work and that Christmas holiday period I've got more recommendations than usual this week.



Making a Murderer - just like everyone else in the worldAnd Then There Were None - it was on between Christmas and New Year and I was particularly impressed by Aidan Turner's outfit in episode 2War and Peace - not sure about this version so far but we'll see Film: Star Wars - loved it. Especially Oscar Isaac's hair and that lip bite...The Revenant - all the bad things happening in lovely looking dangerous placesLove is Strange - beautiful film which is on Netflix nowDear White People - also on Netflix now, interesting and funny Reading: The Finkler Question - it won the Booker in 2010 and some of the language use is good but the topic and characters felt odd and unrelatable (for me at least)The Master Magician - third and final book in the Paper Magician series. The first is the best one but they are easy and fun reads - also what other book m…

January in London

If you follow me on social media you'll know that I decided to cope with January and recover from the holidays by taking a week off work. It's been pretty great doing some touristy bits. As well as crafting and doing some housework I did fun things (all of which i recommend) such as:  Cosmonauts at the Science MuseumAlice in Wonderland at the British LibraryEnduring Eye at the Royal Geographical SocietyStarWars at BFI IMAXOdeon Screen Unseen (it was The Revenant)Hangmen at Wyndham's TheatreHam House and walked to Teddington