Saturday, 31 January 2015

Winter Sale, knitting, recipe and he's 21!

Saturday, 31 January 2015
Hello friends

A long chatty blog post today!
First off my eldest, Mitchell is 21 today!!
I remember my 21st clearly and I cannot believe I now have a son who is 21,
someone please stop time!
Here he is with a variety of pets....oh yes he's a bit of an animal lover!
With Imogen - posh name for a grumpy cat of ours!
Lucy - Mum and Dad's cat.

 And of course Bella!
Mitchell has chosen to spend his birthday with Elliott and I,
he's just not into parties and drinking (unlike me when I was 21!)
We have a busy fun day planned in London, we are visiting some really geeky stores...
Forbidden Planet, Cyber Candy, Tokyo Toys and a special dinner planned at
Benihana - a Japanese hibachi restaurant.
I am sure I will be posting on Facebook and sharing photos on my blog.

I've received a few requests for the blueberry muffin recipe.
These muffins are calorie free - well, in an ideal world!
But they do contain a lot of blueberries so that's good.
They are not too sweet, if you prefer sweeter I would add a little more sugar on the top!
Ingredients:
350g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g sugar
125ml vegetable oil
1 egg
125ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
sugar for sprinkling
Method:
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
Place the oil, egg, milk and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Add the blueberries and mix.
(Do not over mix, it makes the muffins too firm and chewy!)

Spoon mixture into a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.
Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked
when tested with a skewer. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack. 
Eat and enjoy!

I will be posting the chocolate chip cookie recipe soon,
again it is nice and simple - I cannot cope with complex recipes!

Next item...

I heard from Raystede Wildlife - they are doing really well for chickinis now,
if you are knitting them then please finish and send.
There is now another item they need... knitted nests!
Though it may not feel like it, spring will soon be upon us and Raystede see a surge in the 
numbers of young birds being brought in. 
Knitted nests provide a safe and comfortable place for the baby birds whilst they are being looked after.

This is the pattern:

Using 2 strands of yarn, cast on 54 stitches; then divide evenly among 4 dpns (double pointed needles).
Work in stockinette (all K stitches) until the nest is approximately 3″ tall.
Purl one row, and then start to decrease:
Row 1) K7, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 2) K6, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 3) K5, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 4) K4, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 5) K3, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 6) K2, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 7) K1, K2tog—repeat to end

 Cut yarns, leaving a 6″ tail. Slide yarn on needle, draw tight to close up end 

(put a few stitches across the gap if need be.) Weave in yarn and cut off.

Tips:


To make sure the nest is tight and washable, use two strands of washable yarn 

(using two different colors to make counting stitches easier). Use three strands if the yarn is very fine.

Use double-pointed needles—just about any size, from 5 through 9, depending on the weight of the yarn. 


You can use circular needles if you prefer.

When doing K2tog, it seems to be easier to knit through the back loops rather than the front. 


If you’re still having problems with K2tog, try using a crochet hook to pull the yarn through.

Only decrease to the point where you have a small, easily closed gap in the bottom of the nest; 

otherwise there can be a bump on the bottom that can make the nest unstable.

Directions given are for nests that are about 4” across. Cast on fewer stitches for smaller nests. 

They knit up so quickly, it’s easy to experiment. 
(If the nest is much smaller, start the decrease with K6, K2tog.)
The yarn should not be fuzzy so toes don’t get caught!


And lastly... phew...long blog post!
Over on the website there's a Winter Sale going on, nearly 200 items reduced!
Pop the kettle back on and have a browse - here is the link.
Take care friends - keep warm,
I'm back tomorrow - 1 February!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday Die Day

Friday, 30 January 2015
Hello friends

It's Friday so that means Friday Die Day!
This week I am featuring Diagonal Chevron.
This is one of the Spellbinders® decorative card front dies, using these mean your
half way there in creating a card!
The set consists of two die templates, the outer border and inner decorative die.
Approximate measurements:
Inset: 3¾ x 5”
Border: 4¼ x 5”
This is how it looks cut/embossed.
To create my card I wanted to use the bottom section of the inset die to cut/emboss
patterned chevrons (the fallout pieces).  And yes, that's a well loved cutting plate!
Here they are, lots of patterned mini chevrons. I've done this with
two pieces of patterned paper from my scrap box.
Adhered my white card front to some spotty kraft card.
I then started to apply the chevron pieces,
raising some of them with 3D Foam Squares cut in half.
I matted the card front onto pale green patterned paper and white cardstock.
Then the extra die cuts to decorate, Sprigs, Blooms One and Sentiments 4.
The finished card.

Eagled eyed may have noticed that the card is a little similar to a recent
Tuesday Tip/Technique...
the same spotty kraft paper and the sentiment - I made use of the 'Get Well'!
All bits and bobs still laying around on my craft desk.
Have a great weekend everyone, still no snow here which saddens me a little,
I love the snow although I know it's not practical, can't help feeling excited by it though!
 
I've had a few requests for the blueberry muffin recipe, stop by tomorrow :)
 
Take care friends.
 


Thursday, 29 January 2015

Let's bake ...and craft!

Thursday, 29 January 2015
Hello friends

I've been hit by a sudden urge to bake this week!
Not sure if it is the cold weather, craving home cooking or just that I'm waking up
early and wanting the house to smell of cookies and cakes.

So far this week there has been chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins.
There was 8 cookies but by the time I took the photo the boys had walked by!
 I found the simplest blueberry muffin recipe so I think these could be a frequent make.
One of the first Charity Kits was a recipe notebook/organiser with additional
monthly add-ons and recipes, it proved really popular.




I'm wondering whether for March onwards a journal with add-ons may be a good 
Charity Kit idea - what do we think?

February's kit is well underway, here's a sneak peek!
Full details will be revealed next week.

Back at London work today and while I'm away I'm having work done on the roof
of my house, there's been a few leaks and I'm finally getting things sorted.
The boys are left in charge of tea making and offering blueberry muffins!

Take care friends, stop by tomorrow for Friday Die Day!


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Charity Kit Winning Number

Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Hello friends

January's charity kit has been such a success - huge thanks to you all!
There is still a few left and it's not too late as a lucky number gets placed
in every kit and it follows on to the next month's draw :)

For this month...announcing the winning number and it is....


Rush off and have a look at your tickets please.
If you are the winner please send me an email hope-chances@live.co.uk
Don't forget to include your address and a whole host of goodies will be
on its way to you - dies, stamps, papers, embellishments and more!

Now what else have a I got for you today...??
my fellow Ambassador Yvonne made up some beautiful cards featuring
Card-io stamps, I featured some last year and here are some more.



These stamps work beautifully with your Spellbinders too,
Yvonne has used Matting Basics for her tags.

Take a look at the website as all Card-io stamps have been reduced,
in fact I've been hitting that 'sale' button quite a bit recently :)

There appears to be an error on the website this morning,
I've got my best techy people working on it (got the boys out of bed!) - apologies -
hope it have it up and running again very soon!

ALL UP AND RUNNING AGAIN NOW :)

The little Versa Color ink pads work brilliantly with these stamps and
they appear to be on sale too!

Take care friends - I'm back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Tuesday Tip/Technique

Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Hello friends

It's Tuesday Tip/Technique.  As with most weeks this might be a new tip/technique
for you or a reminder of what you can do with your Spellbinders dies.

Today's project uses A2 Fancy Postage Stamps.
I've cut/embossed the edged rectangle and left the die cut in place in the die.
I applied a little distress ink around the edges first - Antique Linen.
 Still keeping the die cut in the die, stamp the complete area. I've used a script stamp.
 You can see it has stamped onto the outer edges of the die - no problem,
a quick wipe and it comes off easily.
 And this is how it looks when the die cut is removed from the die -
selective shading and stamping, you get the nice crisp edge.
 I chose to use it on a tag along with Jewel Flowers and Flourishes and Foliage.
The other die cuts are all from the A2 Fancy Postage Stamps set.
 A close up pic.
Have fun die cutting, inking and stamping! :)
Take care friends, I'm back tomorrow.


Monday, 26 January 2015

Winner! And some other bits and bobs!

Monday, 26 January 2015
Hello friends

I hope you all had a good weekend, still chilly isn't it.
I like winter but I must admit I'm definitely craving Spring at the moment.

Thank you for the lovely response to Chickini's!
Some lucky hens will soon be cosy and warm.

The January Charity Kit is still selling - again, thank you so much everyone!
Elaine kindly sent me a photo of her made up kit and said:

"Really loved this months kit it's beautiful, however I couldn't bear to cut up 
 the beautiful flower die. So I used some pink paper and used 
the whole die cut on a card instead."

I love this - it is great to see that the kits can be versatile too.
Thank you Elaine.


Now to announce the winner of last Sunday's Giveaway, the prize 
is Sentiments 5, all the Sentiment dies have been popular and I'm pleased
to say I have all the designs back in stock here.  
The fineness of the script works so well on cards and tags!
The Winner is.....

Sandra 

Congratulations Sandra, drop me an email with your postal address and I will
pop the die set in the post to you.
hope-chances@live.co.uk

Please stop by tomorrow for TTT (Tuesday Tip/Technique),
I'm thinking this is becoming more popular than Friday Die Day looking at my 
blog views!  Who would have known.

Take care friends, keep warm.


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