A blog for cooking and crafts

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

I don't do flowers

As any of my crafty buddies will tell you, I don't do flowers ..... or pink ..... or glitter..... or cute .....

However, a few months ago, I won the raffle at the crop and the prize was - a bag of flowers :-) I have used several on Little Girl pages, but the bag doesn't seem to get any emptier! So I have combined them with my mission to use the old card blanks, in this case some of the pastel pack. I was at a bit of a loss as to how to use the peachy pastel blank, it's not a colour I would normally choose, but the copper mat and the Pearlescent Rust stamping go very well with it. Just as well, I have 8 more of this colourway to use up ........ :-)
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Monday, 30 August 2010

Krafty Karen's birthday card

Now Karen's birthday has passed, I can share the card I made :-) It is the biggest card I have ever made (A4 card folded in half), in fact I didn't have an envelope large enough and had to put it into a jiffy bag to give to her!

The papers, image and sentiment are from Making Cards magazine and this is an adaptation of one of the example designs. I wrapped some black lace around the spine of the card, used narrow pink ribbon as a border between the two papers, and added some gems for a bit of sparkle. The tassel and butterfly are actually from earrings bought at the bling-y jewellery shop in Eastbourne - the tassel is attached with a brad and the butterfly stuck down with Matte Accents.
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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Trip to Devon LO

This LO went through a lot of changes ...... I wanted to stick ribbon down at angles round all four sides, but having done two strips, I realised that the DSST showed right through the ribbon - I hadn't realised it was so sheer. It was obvious that it would have to be covered somehow, so first I cut some scrolls in bazzill metallic copper to put over the top. This didn't really work, but I decided that the scrolls looked much better down the side anyway, especially with the navy buttons :-) Next I painted over the ribbon with bronze. That was OK, but still not quite right.

At this point I discovered that having the scrolls down the side meant that the photos I had printed out at 6 x 4 were too big to all fit in the remaining space and I didn't want to obscure the scrolls ....so.... I printed them out again, half the size!

I was stuck on how to do the title, especially as my craft robo blade is in need of replacement and I didn't think it would handle bazzill. So I used some thickers for the "3 go mad" and found some thinner turquoise card in my stash which the robo managed to cut. The journalling was printed onto safmat and stuck to the copper and turquoise card. I didn't want the title "floating" in space so I stamped a background using rings and swirls, in three colours, though the two pale aqua ones look almost identical..... never mind :-)

I still wasn't happy with the ribbon lines though, and suddenly inspiration struck - I used a border punch (EK Success, Effervescence I think) - then cut the punched strip very close to the edge of the design and stuck it over the ribbon. Perfect :-)

All in all, this has taken me several days to get my head round - I am really glad it's finished!
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Monday, 23 August 2010


100g / 4oz butter, softened
50g / 2oz caster sugar
150g / plain flour
25g / 1oz ground rice or semolina

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add flour and rice or semolina. Mix to a soft dough – I use a hand mixer until it all starts to form big clumps, then lightly knead together by hand.

For Petticoat Tails: Base line a 7” quiche tin, grease the sides well and press the dough into it. Mark into 8 triangles with a knife, prick all over with a fork. Bake at Gas 3 / 170C / 325F for about 40 minutes, until pale golden. Leave in tin for 5 minutes, then cut into triangles and leave in tin to cool.

For Round Biscuits: Line baking sheets with parchment. Roll out dough to about 8mm / 3/8ths inch thick – I do this on a silicon mat, saves covering the entire work top with flour! – and cut into rounds with a 2” fluted cutter. Prick with a fork twice. Chill for 5 minutes. Bake at Gas 3 / 170C / 325F for about 10 - 15 minutes, until pale golden. Leave on tray for 5 minutes to firm up, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

These freeze very well. I usually make a double batch at a time :-)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Triple Choc Chip Biscuits

250g / 8 oz butter or margarine
100g / 4 oz caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
300g / 10 oz self raising flour
3 x 100g / 4oz packs choc chips - white, milk & plain

Cream fat and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Mix in flour and chocolate chips.

Place dessertspoonfuls onto greased (or parchment lined) baking trays, a little apart. Chill for ten minutes. Bake at Gas 4 / 180C / 350F for 15 minutes. Leave on tray to set for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Tropical Fruit Cake

8 oz / 225g self raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp baking powder
4oz / 125g soft margarine or softened butter
4oz / 125g soft light brown sugar
8oz / 225g combination of dried tropical fruits – papaya, pineapple, raisins, crystallised ginger – diced quite small
2 eggs beaten
3 tbs milk
sugar crystals or demerara sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Grease and base line an 8” spring form cake tin. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and put mixture into tin, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with the sugar, if using. Bake in the centre of the oven at Gas 3 / 170C / 325F for 50 minutes – 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Cheese Straws

2 oz margarine
2 ounces lard
8 oz plain flour
4 oz strong cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 egg, separated
water to mix

Rub fats into flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Add the egg yolk and mix in enough cold water to form a dough. Roll out to about 1/4" thick, and cut into “straws” about three inches long and half an inch wide. Place on greased baking trays and brush with egg white. Bake at Gas 7 / 220C / 425F for about 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Leave on tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

At Christmas I cut these into holly leaves for a festive nibble :-)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Birthday Baking

I work in an office, and it's usual to take cakes in on one's birthday - or the nearest day to it! Since I have something of a reputation to keep up, this is what I spent Sunday baking: Caramel Squares, Triple Choc Chip Cookies, Shortbread and Cheese Straws - also a Tropical Fruit Cake which I forgot to photograph. Recipes will follow over the next couple of days!

They didn't disappear as fast as usual yesterday, there are so many people on holiday that perhaps I didn't need to bake quite so much! I suppose that is the drawback of a birthday in August :-)
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Monday, 16 August 2010

Birthday Weekend!

On Saturday it was my birthday - I got some DVDs from DH and DS1 and I had already had some crafty stuff in advance from DH. I had a lovely relaxing day playing around in my craft room, trying out distress inks (still can't get the hang of them!) and making a couple of cards. One is for Krafty Karen's birthday, so you can't see it yet - and all I can say, Karen, is mwah hah hah *evil cackle* :-)

The other one is pictured above and is a 40th card for a friend of ours. The dress is an image from some free magazine papers, the cardstock is embossed with daisies and the swirls are a Marianne D die. Using old blanks: the pastel pack and the metallic silver pack.
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Wednesday, 11 August 2010

August Craft weekend, Part Three

These are the ATCs for which I made the backgrounds at the crop - if I had thought to print out the words and take them with me I could have finished them on the same day as I started! Hindsight is a wonderful thing ......

They all have smooshy inked backgrounds and then I have overstamped with various patterns. The door is a stamp which I bought at Ally Pally from Lavinia Stamps and have now finally used! On the two "achieve" ATCs, I inked half the blank in green and the other half in blue before using the meadow stamp on the green bit, I think it's worked quite well :-) The words were all printed out onto Safmat.

Now to get back into swapping :-)
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Tuesday, 10 August 2010

August Craft Weekend, Part Two

This is another LO started at the crop, I got it all done except for the journalling and frame. I had printed the photos as a collage in Picasa and cut out the whole mass of pictures as one piece. The background is a bazzill metallic cardstock - "Charlie" I think - and the top / bottom strips are a Craft Creations paper, the title is done with thickers. I printed the journalling onto Safmat and the frame is more bazzill metallic, this time in gold, with black gems around the edge - I am really pleased with the effect :-)
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Monday, 9 August 2010

August craft weekend, Part One

We had a shopping spree on the Saturday - we went from Uckfield to the Glitter Pot in Burgess Hill, to Hobbycraft in Crawley, to the Craft Barn in Lingfield, then back to Uckfield where we dropped into Craft Buddies. It took about 5 hours in all :-)

On Sunday it was off to the Cardinal Colours crop, where I did some cross stitch in the morning, then after lunch I worked on 5 LOs, including the one above which only needed title and journalling but I just hadn't got around to finishing off. It uses paper I bought in 2004, when I first started scrapbooking! The title is done with thickers and I think the crystal swirl is a Prima one. Very simple LO, but I like it :-)

I also got some cards covered with Christmas paper and a few ATC backgrounds done, so all in all quite a productive day :-)
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