Monday, 29 March 2010

Bunnies and Bootees

I've blogged about my latest crochet pattern already, but I've just made another cutie from the pattern and added a little bag and a carrot, so I thought I'd share the piccys with you.  I made the bunny for a creature shop, organised by  Giraffe Craft on Folksy. I hope the little bunny doesn't eat the creme egg en-route!!  I also hope my creature swap recipient likes my bunny.  The cute little chicken isn't my work - I'm recycling it from a previous swap.

I've also made a pretty little pair of bootees for my mum-in-law for a friend who is having a baby. I looked everywhere for a nice free pattern for bootees but wasn't over-excited by any of them, so I have created my own. This is another of my patterns that I'm just about to release - I'm just working on a matching beanie hat.

I really must get my patterns written up and published soon, but I just don't seem to be able to fit everything in these days. There's just so much to do all the time.

For example, today we simply bought 8 shallow bowls for our Denby collection (they were a real bargain at £3.99 each so we coudn't resist). However, when we got home, we had to sort the kitchen cupboard out to fit them in. This resulted in all cupboards being sorted. It's amazing how many cups and plates you can amass over time. We've had a massive clearout and now got a huge bag full of mugs, glasses and other bits and bobs to take to the charity shop. Now everything doesn't just fall out of cupboards all the time. I'm really pleased to have a nice clean and tidy kitchen again.

But I digress - here are my latest fibre works of art.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Easter Bunnies Folksy Friday

I've been busy crocheting rabbits for the last couple of weeks, testing my latest pattern. So to continue my rabbit obsession, I've chosen my favourite folksy bunnies, especially whilst it's nearly easter. They're so sweet. From top left, clockwise, these fab folksy sellers are

1. Widget and friends
2. Dotty Daisies
3. Once Upon a Charm
4. The Linen Cat

For more folksy fridays click here. There are some gorgeous items on show this week.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

White Rabbits

For some time now I've been working on the design of a crochet rabbit. My first design was OK, but I thought it was a little too small and fiddly to crochet. Not a good basis for a pattern really, especially for the less experienced crocheter.

So I've fiddled and pfaffed with the design and now I think I have it. My little bunny is slightly bigger and the ears are much better, although I may end up fiddling with them a bit more. This is where my pattern designs often come to a halt, as I tend to get a little fed up with fiddling, and move onto something different. But I'm determined to finish this pattern and get it published.

The other aspect of design for me is to make sure my creations are different to what's already out there. Now that'a a challenge, especially with something like a rabbit as there are lots of amigurumi bunnies out there, some of which are really sweet.

I checked all of the online shops like etsy, folksy, MISI and I happy that my little bunny is quite different.

I hope you like her - I have some little 'additions' to make - they're a secret, but will just finish her off nicely. I'm in the process of writing up and checking the pattern, so it should be available in the next few weeks.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Cheery Folksy Friday

Yes it's that time of the week again. I can't believe how fast folksy fridays are coming around. It's a lovely bright day outside, must havng some washing out!! The bright sunshine has inspired my folksy friday, along with noodlebubble's button swap.

Here are my favourites this week.....

From top left, clockwise,
For more fab and funky folksy fridays click here.

Aslo a BIG thanks to oddsox for including my ladybird bootees in her pretty picks this week. It's the first time I've been included in a folksy friday, how exciting.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Gluten free cheese burgers, potato wedges and veg - a 40 minute meal

We've just had tea, and everyone's plates were empty. To be honest, they always are in our house. My little boy has given up asking whether he can leave his last potato or handful of veg - he knows the answer is no - eat them up like a good boy - and he does. He's a little sweetheart.

Tonight our gluten free meal was cheese burgers, potato wedges and veg. The rest of the family have 'normal' buns because they're OK with wheat and gluten. I have a gluten free bun and no cheese because it triggers my Rosacea.

For anyone else out there who's gluten free, here's the recipe. Apologies about the vagueness of the quantities, I just make stuff without weighing. You don't need to use organic veg - I buy them because they have less additives and pesticides.

Serves 4 people.
4-5 medium-large potatoes
4-5 slices cheese
1-2 organic carrots
large handful of organic green beans (about 50g)
approz 300g lean steak mince
Normal buns (for non gluten frees)
Gluten Free bread or bun

First make the potato wedges. Scrub the potatoes and slice into eight wedges - cut each potato in half, then cut each half in two and each quarter in two. Put them into a glass bowl. Drizzle two tablespoons of oil over them. Cover with a lid and shake the oil around the potatoes. Place the bowl (with lid) into a microwave for 10 minutes. Drain off the excess liquid and tip onto an oiled baking tray. Spray or drizzle oil over the potatoes. I spray them, to avoid using too much oil. Put into a hot oven at 180 for 20-25 minutes.

Next cut the green beans in half and peel and slice the carrots. Wash and put in a pan with enough water to cover them. Don't starting cooking them just yet.

Next put your mince into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper (I don't use pepper as it triggers my Rosacea). Squash the mince into balls and flatten with the palm of your hand (I do this on a plate). Make the burgers as big or small as you like - depending on the size of the buns. There should be enough mince for 6 or 7 medium burgers - in our house that's one each of the children two for me and three for big daddy (that's tall daddy not large daddy - heehee).

Turn on the veg and turn down the heat when the water starts to boil - your potates should have around 15 minutes to cook now, so both will be ready at the same time.

Turn on your frying pan to heat it up. You may need two pans if you have 7 medium burgers. If it's non stick you shouldn't need any oil. If not, put a little bit of oil in to stop the burgers sticking.

Place the burgers in the pan (or pans) and leave to cook on each side for 5 minutes on a medium heat. When you turn them over, after 5 mins, turn on your grill. After 5 mins each side place the cheese on top of each burger and grill until melted. Slice your buns. For my gluten free burger I just have one bun cut in half, or a lsice of bread and place a burger on top. Gluten free buns can be quite dry and difficult to swallow, so I just have half a bun with the burger on top and I cut it up and eat it rather than pick it up with my hands.

Turn the oven off and serve up your wedges. Drain off the the veg and serve. Place the burgers on the buns. All done - a nice quick meal for all to enjoy.

Let me know if you give it a try.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Mother's Day ...........

To all mums out there.

I've had a lovely weekend so far. Yesterday we went shopping with my mother and father-in-law. We all bought some lovely things and they stayed for tea. We had a good catch up and everyone had a nice night. My mother-in-law has been poorly and is still recovering, so it was great to see her smiling and happy.

My thoughtful family bought me a gorgeous silk scarf for Mother's Day, an eyeliner pencil and some origami papers which I can't wait to use.

We're off to my parents today, so looking forward to seeing them.

Hope you've all have a lovely day too xx

Friday, 12 March 2010

Folksy Friday

This weeks picks are in the theme of Lime Green, one of my favourite colours.
From left to right, top to bottom, these fab folksy sellers are

Moocow - gloves
Oh gosh - purse
Sweet Scented Soy - candle
Lily Vanilli - brooch

Click here for more Folksy Fridays

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

My First Award

I've been nominated the Sunshine award by The Felt Fairy - thank you, it made me feel so happy. It's a lovely sunny day too, which makes it even better.

The rules for accepting the award are -

Place the logo within your blog or post.
Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
Link the nominees within the post.
Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.
My 12 nominees, in no particular order, are as follows:
I've really enjoyed this award as I have read some great blogs during the process. Thanks guys and sorry I only had 12 to choose - I could have chosen a lot more xx

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Gluten free living

I promised to talk about gluten free living, and haven't done much of that, so I thought I'd share some tips and advice on gluten free meals and products. The problem with my diet is that I also suffer with Rosacea, a skin disorder, which is triggered by both foods and environmental factors (like heat). It can be really painful, irritating and soul destroying. I'm managing my Rosacea at the moment with prescribed antibiotics and gel treatment from the doctor. They're working well together, so I'm a happy bunny.

So as well as being wheat and gluten intolerant, I am trying to work out my Rosacea triggers. So far I know they're wine, chocolate, pepper and heat. So my diet is pretty restricted. Here's an insight into my daily routine:

Breakfast: Whole Earth Organic Cornflakes topped with a chopped banana and skimmed milk (I'm slightly dairy intolerant too, so only skimmed milk passes my lips; definately no cream). Earthwhile Organic Cornflakes are cheap compared to other gluten free cereals, at around £1.30 for a good sized box that last me about 10 days and I have a big bowlful everyday. I have a large glass of 'not from concentrate orange juice' (juices made from concentrate make my face itchy - I think it's the sulphite preservatives that they add but I'm not sure). That pretty much lasts me until lunch time.

Lunch: I have Dietry Specials crispbreads with butter and tuna, ham or left over cooked meat from our previous evening meal. I love these crackers, and they're cheap for a box at about 90p. They're also yummy with jam (must be homemade for me to avoid the dreaded sulphites). I also have a couple of pieces of fruit and a gluten free biscuit (I try to avoid ones with potato starch in as these also contains sulphites which make my face go red and itchy). Trufree bourbons are my favouites, but they're a bit pricey at around £1.80 for a box of 10.

Tea: Fish or meat (chicken/turkey/steak/pork or omlette or bacon although I have to choose bacon with nitrate preservatives) with potatoes - either wedges, roast, mash or sliced, or rice or pasta (I have Dove's gluten free organic pasta) and a couple of veggies - carrots, green beans, courgettes, brocolli, swede, leeks etc; whatever's in the fridge. The rest of the family have sauces on their meals or gravy, but I just eat mine without. You get used to it and you can taste the flavour of the food much better.

Pudding: Vanilla ice cream (swedish glace is great at £1.80 a tub and it's free from everything being soya based) with fruit or another gluten free biscuit of some description. Sometimes I have a soya yoghurt or soya dessert.

If I get hungry before bed I have another bowl of cornflakes. I don't drink tea or coffee - tea aggrevates my rosacea and coffee hurts my stomach - it's not recommended for people with wheat and gluten intolerances or allergies, so I just drink hot water which I leave to cool to a nice temperature before drinking. I'm always nipping to the loo, I drink so much water.

Sticking to this diet, I feel a lot more healthy. Before I was diagnosed with a wheat and gluten intolerance I was tired all the time with headaches, bloating, severe stomach pains and lots of other problems. Now I just feel great although I really miss the wine and chocolate.

People often wonder how I cope with no wine, chocolate, cream cakes - basically anything nice!! It's funny really because I don't think of it like that. Instead I see them almost as a poison - if I eat them I have a reaction that ranges from mild to severe depending on how much I eat or drink. So I prefer not to have them at all, rather than have to deal with the consequences.

I will share some recipes asap and would love to hear from anyone who suffers too.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Folksy Friday

Well it's Friday again, and I was determined not to miss Folksy Friday again this week, despite my busy day....

My theme this week is Dinosaurs. Here are my favourites.

Dinosaur baby shoes from With Hugs and Kisses - so sweet

Mini T-Rex silhouette pin from Lost at Sea

Stompy the Tricerotops rocker from DreamCraft

Eat your Greens bib from Nickynackynoo

Last but definately not least is this cute card from "It belongs to turtle". I haven't seen this shop before on Folksy and I've definately been missing out. Now I know where to buy cute birthday cards.
For more Folksy Fridays click here