Friday, 28 May 2010

Cupcakes Galore!

Hi Friends

Still no new crafting managed, but I have been having a lovely time with my sister Jo! We took a drive into the New Forest yesterday hoping to see some baby animals on the way to the tea rooms for lunch. I'm not sure where they were all hiding as all we saw were some lovely shaggy brown cows and calves when normally you see loads! When we got to the tearooms we were delighted to see a Mummy donkey and her gorgeous baby. After a delicious lunch we weren't disappointed when we saw loads of babies on our way home.

Today after walking the dogs, we headed into Ringwood and had a little mooch around before again being "ladies who lunch"!!! When we arrived home, we just couldn't resist any longer, and just had to try one of the recipes from my new Cupcake book! This was very much a joint effort - I made the cake and Jo made the icing.

Malt Cupckes
OMG!!! I can't tell you how absolutely, and completely delicious these cakes are! This recipe is definitely a keeper! If all the recipes in such a lovely book are all as good it's not good news for my figure!!!

These tags that I made last week seem appropriate for this post - one I made for Gill to save her the calories of a real one (or two!) and the other one just because! I was aiming for a garden tea party feel what with the bunting and cupcakes ...

Happy Bank Holiday!

Carole x

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

New Baby Card

As I had feared, sadly I haven't managed to do any crafting this week :( It's not looking good until next week either ... but on the up side, my sister is arriving in the morning and I am really looking forward to spending some time with her. Not sure what we will be getting up to, although I have some ideas, we'll have to see how we feel.

I made this card a while ago, but as I know that it has been safely received, I can now show you! I made it for Tracy, a forum buddy who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Daisy-Ann.

I was delighted to receive some lovely post this morning - Gill made me this gorgeous tag! I love it Gill and you're right, "Hank" and "Marvin" really do appeal to me! Thanks!!!

Unfortunately, I haven't even managed to do much stitching ... but here it is up to date anyway!

Hope you are all managing to be more "crafty" than me!

Carole x

Monday, 24 May 2010

Why I love living here

Last week, while walking to the forest with the dogs, I saw one of my elderly neighbours in his front garden planting out his bedding plants. George is such a lovely old man, his garden is immaculate, and he is always so cheerful despite failing health. He insisted that I was to call back on my way home from the forest as he had "a little something" for me. When I returned, he had sorted me out three healthy little tomato plants, one marrow and a sunflower! Last year I had tried a couple of tomato plants but didn't get many tomatoes so had thought I wouldn't bother again this year! Never mind, I have tended to them and had sorted out big pots for them to go into and had sussed out which part of the garden gets the sunshine for the longest.

Today, while doing my food shopping I met some of my other neighbours, Ralph & Hillary, and whilst chatting I mentioned how lovely their poppies are in their front garden (my favourite!) When I was unpacking my shopping there was a knock at my door, and there was Hillary with a baby poppy plant that she had dug up for me and a bag of rhubarb (OH's favourite crumble filling!)

Then, later on this afternoon, yet another neighbour, Sue, knocked with another couple of tomato plants for me!!! So, I thought that I had better plant them out to give them the best start I can. As I had found the sunniest spot in the garden, I got very hot and bothered lugging heavy bags of compost and filling seven large pots, but they are now all in and watered, and will hopefully provide more tomatoes than last years did!

What lovely neighbours, and friends I've got around here! We have found everyone to be really welcoming and friendly in our village, none of that newcomer business after years and years (we've been here six years in July). We've also got amazing walks in the forest on our doorstep, the beach just 20 minutes down the road, the New Forest 10 minutes away - I just love it!

OH and I had a very tiring weekend, inside all weekend working on our kitchen instead of enjoying all that glorious weather! I must say, that it is all looking really lovely, we are definitely on the homeward straight now, the oak windowsill is the one thing that is holding us up now! I was really aching from sitting on the cold tiled floor painting the cupboard doors and drawer fronts - three coats in all! All worth it though - will take pics for the "reveal" when it's finally complete!!!

We did however, manage to eat all our meals outside this weekend (and even breakfast this morning!) My clematis is just an absolute mass of colour at the moment, really beautiful, especially against the red of my Acers. Lovely!

No visits to the Crafty Corner, obviously, but I have been stitching! It's coming along nicely, over half done now! It's a lovely quick one to stitch, with no great big blocks of solid stitching.

Carole x

Friday, 21 May 2010

Happy Friday

We have made great progress on the kitchen today! Well, I say we, the carpenter had just arrived when I got back from walking the dogs this morning, and he brought with him our old cabinet doors remodelled, and the seven new ones. He has fitted all the doors but not the drawer fronts, and he has made the new cupboard to house all our mugs and to hide our boiler. So, I probably won't be crafting very much over the next few days due to door painting! Then, my sister is coming to stay with me for a few days at the end of next week, so it will be lovely to spend time with her!

I have heard from Alma today that she has received her friendship tag, so now it is safe to show it to you - best I get in quick before Alma pops it on her blog!!!

SusieJ, thank you for your comment on my Mum's new home card - take a look at the door sign I made for Alex based on the card!!! There's the chook ...!

I got on quite well last night with the stitching - OH was out so we had dinner earlier, then Alex and I watched Brothers and Sisters, so a good few hours!

Wish me luck with the painting!

Carole x

Thursday, 20 May 2010

New Home


As predicted, no crafting for me today - tomorrow, I hope will be a different story!

My Mum has now moved into her new home, and I've spoken to her this evening and they have unpacked about 50 boxes already (only about the same again to go ...!) The Postman didn't let me down - he delivered the New Home card that I made for them this morning, so now I can show you! They were delighted with it, and said that it didn't even get squashed (I asked Mum just to refluff the flower, and gently bend the daisies back up, just to be sure!)

I managed to do quite a bit of stitching last night too - if I can tear myself off of the laptop, it's amazing what I can achieve! I must admit that when I was stitching the red object, my immediate thought was why on earth they had chosen a pepper mill as an illustration!!! Then I remembered that as Lizzie Kate is American, it would be a hydrant, just right for tiddling on (if you were a dog that is!!!) Love the "take naps" advice too! If only!

I'm hoping to get more stitching done this evening, OH is out on a work thing, so Tinks and I might snuggle up and watch Brothers and Sisters live instead of recording it and catching it some other time - we absolutely love Brothers and Sisters - the best TV programme on at the moment (in our humble opinions!)

Carole x

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A different kind of crafting

Good evening friends!

Unfortunately no crafting for me today :( My DS has been feeling poorly all week, but even more so this morning, so I've had him at home with me today. He has been in bed for much of the day, and worrying about his room. I had promised to help him sort it out at the weekend, but since it was worrying him, we tackled it this afternoon, after having done my iro*i*g and walking the dogs this morning. Well, I say "we" ... Mum seemed to do most of the work. Anyway, all done now, spick and span.

I have today posted off two packages, one to Alma and one to my Mum who moved house today - so hopefully I will be able to share those projects with you tomorrow once I know that they have arrived safely!

So, yesterday I mentioned that in my son's Amazon parcel was also something lovely for me - and here it is! I definitely think that baking and making gorgeous tasting and looking cupcakes is a form of crafting! Can't wait to try some of these but sadly am trying to be good at the moment! The book itself, a lovely hardback is just so pretty and inspiring .... yum!

Didn't manage too much stitching either last night, but here it is so far -

So fingers crossed that the Royal Mail don't let me down tomorrow, because I don't think I shall manage any crafting tomorrow either what with dog walks and orthodontic appointments :(

Carole x

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Waiting in for the electricity man

Today I had to wait in for the electricity man to come and install a new meter (we were also expecting a delivery from Amazon). My time slot was pm, sometime between 12-5pm. I had therefore planned a day at home (after our customary dog walk in the forest this morning). In the event, he arrived at 11.45 and was gone by 12 noon! (the parcel eventually showed up at 6 p.m. the main item was something my son had ordered, but it also contained something lovely for me!)

I was a very lucky girl today - look what I received from my very lovely friend Alma! Thanks Alma, I really love it.

I also put a last few stitches into my cross stitch so that it made sense for when I showed it! Not sure whether I will need to outline the dog, it isn't in the pattern, but it maybe doesn't pop out enough without. I will see how I feel when I have done a little more.

I also managed a short while in the Crafty Corner, and made these!

Over the last couple of days, Morris has been enjoying time outside, and I have managed to get a few good pics and a few funny ones! These I am saving for a day when I don't manage to get to the Crafty Corner!

Carole x

Monday, 17 May 2010

A work in progress ...

I wanted to share with you my new project, started last night. It is a Lizzie Kate design (my very favourite cross stitch designer) and it is entitled "Dog Lessons for People". It appeals to me immensely, and so this may well end up on my wall instead of being given away! I love cross stitching, but since I have inherited my laptop, for some reason I don't seem to have as much time to stitch!!! We will see how this project progresses ...

I also managed a few hours in the Crafty Corner this afternoon! It is becoming a little bit like an addiction, I miss it when I haven't been there for a while - or in this case, since Saturday! Didn't do much, and only one thing I can share, a wedding anniversary card for our very good friends Louise and Ian. Can't help it, I'm still loving that chicken die!!! (And I take no responsibility for any late night ebay purchases, can I help it if it is the cutest die ever?!)

Carole x

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Easy like a Sunday ...

Not much going on around here today ... no crafting, family time instead. I did have to go to the supermarket - had planned on that tomorrow - as my son announced that he was doing food tech tomorrow and needed ingredients for a salad. The instructions are all a bit vague, it could be a fruit salad, a savoury salad, we aren't sure if it is just an assembly job or if he will be required to cook some of the elements :( He wants to do a chicken and bacon salad with honey and mustard dressing that we eat quite often in the summer. But do we pre cook the bacon? The chicken is already in the oven for our Sunday roast, I already have some new potatoes cooked in the fridge, but what about the bacon and the green beans? DS is no help at all!!! Men!

I left OH to the kitchen remodelling yesterday and headed to the Crafty Corner. At Tink's insistence, I made her a door sign along the same lines as my Mum's new home card, so sadly, can't share that with you yet. I just had time to whip up one more tag, and I apologise for it being similar to those in my last post!

Thought you might also like to see a couple of cute photos - we realised that Ollie had let Morris snuggle with him the other day (Morris won't want to when Ollie gets smelly again!) This is a real breakthrough, and one that we have never had with the two dogs! The other one is Morris enjoying a snooze in Tilly's bed - his favourite place to nap during the day!

Carole x

Friday, 14 May 2010

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken

I've got a new die! It's all Katy's fault, she had decorated some of the egg boxes that she fills with her hens fresh eggs, and I just had to have that cute little die! It is a little bit fiddly to assemble (and cut!) and stick come to that, but so worth it! I love, love, love it!

I made these tags this afternoon - I did say that I thought I was developing a tag addiction(!) - after making a new home card for my Mum who moves next week. I was really happy with how the card turned out and can't wait to share it with you once I know Mum has received it (could probably publish it now as she is up to her ears with packing, but just in case, I will wait! Mum if you're looking at this - hi!) Tinks was also happy with how the card turned out and has cheekily added an item to my crafting "to do" list - another card for her, but as a kind of bedroom door sign!

Do you also notice the bunting making a reappearance?! Another addiction! Oh dear! Also those little tickets, love them too! And brown paper, and twine, and hens - lots of my favourite things...

Hope you like them too!

Carole x

Thursday, 13 May 2010


I love bunting!!! A couple of years ago, I made some bunting. I used all sorts of fabrics that I had to hand, including pieces cut from checked school dresses that my Mum had kept from when I was a little girl, and bits left over from things I had made the kids. I love this bunting for being so full of memories and just for being bunting - lovely, cheerful, happy bunting!

Then it occured to me that I could also make paper bunting using up scraps of my most favourite papers too! Love it!!! I have made this card for my daughter as she is about to start her GCSEs, but I love how it could be adapted for ANY occasion - and I most probably will!!!

Hope you've got sunshine where you are!

Carole x

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Today's crafting ...

After yesterdays failed attempt at spending time in my Crafty Corner, I was determined to try again today. I succeeded! Sadly though, I cannot show you everything in case some of the people the projects are intended for see them before they receive them! I can however, show you these:

I really enjoyed making these tags! Not really had a go at tags before, but I think they could become a little addictive. They are also great at using up those little bits of paper that us crafters can't bring themselves to throw away! I'm loving those little tickets - you'll be seeing them a lot in my crafting! I used Madame Royale (We R Memory Keepers) papers for the single tag, a bit of vintage lace, some pages from an old book and the most perfect vintage button for the centre! Despite it having a shank, it still works as it nestles in the flower middle.

I have also just got a few new bits of stash which I will show you later on in the week!

Carole x

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Last Song

You know how the best laid plans don't always work out? Today was one of those days. I fully intended to craft. I wanted to craft! I've made a list of things to craft. I walked the dogs, came home and went upstairs to change out of my dog walking clothes when I spotted this book laying on my bedside table.

I couldn't resist! It was calling out to me - shouting in fact. Just one chapter I thought then I will get on. Hangs head in shame to admit that I finished the book, and it was lunchtime already!

Nicholas Sparks has long since been my very favourite author, but I have been slightly disappointed with his last couple of books. Not this one! It's brilliant. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who may read it (or see the film) but I cried, and sobbed, and just loved it! I would almost go as far as to say that I enjoyed it as much as the Twilight series and I REALLY loved those books!

So sorry, no crafting to show you. Now that I have finished this book, however, hopefully I will make a dent on my "to do" list soon!

Might have to go and see the movie now!

Carole x

Monday, 10 May 2010

10 Years Younger

Well OK, not 10 years younger because then he would be just a puppy, but look at how handsome my Italian Spinone looks (and smells!) when he comes home from the groomers!!! It takes years off him (lucky thing!) In the before picture, he's got knots in his ears, a grubby beard and a very doggy odour! In the after picture, he feels all soft, his ears are silky and he smells like shampoo! We all love him so much more when he comes home, and he gets loads more cuddles and hair ruffles!


Now that he is getting on, he finds a day being pampered exhausting, so I didn't take him out for a walk with us this morning, and sure enough, as soon as he got home, he popped outside for a "comfort break" and has been asleep ever since!

Meanwhile, I have been busy doing the dreaded housework and ironing today, along with washing all the dog beds and towels to match the clean dog!!! I have made a list of crafting projects that I want/need to do, so will hopefully find some time to spend in my corner this week!

Carole x

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Happy Birthday weekend

Now that he is officially 13, and has opened his card, I can share it with you too! I also made another card at the same time - what's a girl to do when the piece of paper for the base needs cutting exactly in half?!!! Seemed silly not to make another while I was at it - there must be a male birthday looming sometime!

Hayden and our Cocker Spaniel Tilly just adore each other, so a pic of her went on, and thank goodness he loved it!
Thought you might also like to see the birthday cake all chilled and ready to go.

We had a quiet but lovely day. Hayden (with a little prompting from his sister!) requested pancakes for his breakfast (I was very good and resisted, opting instead for Weetabix). OH finished off the kitchen ceiling then we all played a game of Monopoly. I won!!! I never win Monopoly! And just to think they were all laughing at me when I was buying the stations!

We then drew the curtains - even though it was already dull and gloomy - and snuggled down to watch Hayden's new DVD "Avatar". Fabulous film, loved it, however it was a long movie, so we didn't eat the requested dinner - steak and chips - until quite late.

Last weekend, our plans were messed up by the plasterer. This weekend the carpenter has let us down :( He was meant to be collecting our cupboard doors on Friday to remove the moulding and make them ready to be painted and delivered back next weekend. He is also making us an oak window sill, so hubby has been unable to finish the tiling around the kitchen window, although all the others are now on, and looking really lovely! It's very exciting!

Carole x

Friday, 7 May 2010

It's a Rocky Road

No crafting again today :( Far too busy, and out of the house for most of the day. However, after walking the dogs, in between phone calls and leaving the house, I made a start on my son's birthday cake. Not a traditional birthday cake, but the cake of his choice - everyone in our family gets to choose what birthday cake they would like and what birthday dinner they would like - either home cooked (usually steak!) or at a restaurant. The chosen cake is Refrigerator Cake, or Rocky Road or as it was called when I was little "Polish Cake". Not sure why it was called that. This is the original recipe but with a few additions.

Now, don't blame me if you try this and also get addicted like my and son and I! It should come with a warning! Seriously delicious and seriously calorific - but hey, it's his birthday!

Polish Cake
8oz digestive biscuits, crushed but with some small bits left
4oz butter
1 tablespoon Golden Syrup
1 tablespoon cocoa
2.5oz raisins (optional)
2oz mini marshmallows (optional)
6oz milk chocolate

Melt butter, syrup and cocoa gently in a saucepan. Crush the biscuits in a large bowl. Add the raisins and marshmallows if using. Pour the butter mixture over the biscuits and mix well to combine.
Press the "rubble" evenly into a square tin. Chill.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, cover the top of the cake.
Refrigerate for at least an hour, or until the cake is firm and the chocolate has set. Cut into small squares, or if using a round tin, small slices! Keep stored in the fridge.

(tip - if you are using a loose bottom cake tin, line it first with clingfilm as this will make it easier to release from the tin and also will avoid any slight "seepage". If you are making this as a birthday cake like me, put the candle holders into the cake when the chocolate is still liquid or it will be impossible!)

Yummmmmmmmmmm!!! I would love to know if anyone tries this - let me know!

Carole x

Thursday, 6 May 2010

My Birthday "Season" continues ...

I had seen some really cute handcrafted quirky items in a magazine (Country Living I think). When my sister asked me what I would like for my birthday, I referred her to the website along with suggestions of things that I really loved. She was going to give me my gift last weekend at our niece's birthday party, but the plasterer messed that up, so she posted it to me, and look what arrived this morning! She also sent me their catalogue, and the Christmas things are just to die for (anyone who knows me will know about my Christmas obsession!) I love it all!

The website is : - take a peep and let me know what you think! I just love the wooden things and the cloth items, especially the mice, hares and hens! They might do well on my Christmas wish list this year!

In the same postal delivery, the postman brought me two cat food boxes full of these:

the new knobs for my kitchen units! Not really exciting I know, but it's all these little things that come together to make my (hopefully) dream kitchen! The plaster is very nearly dry now, just a few damp patches lower down, so maybe some painting and tiling this weekend and then it will really start to take shape!

Carole x

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Crafty Corner works it's magic again!

I made my way to The Crafty Corner after lunch with the intention of making my son's birthday card (for Saturday). Having successfully done that (sorry, can't share it with you at the moment as he is also building his own website - as a school project - so is interested in what I am doing on my blog) I went on to make another card along similar lines, and also another scrapbook page!!! Having not scrapped for ages, that's two in one week - and my prediction of doing many Morris pages is coming true!

I love this photo of him, taken after about two/three days of him coming to live with us. He was just sat on our bedroom windowsill looking out, maybe thinking about when he is big enough to venture outside. I'm not very good at journalling. I thought about it for this page, I know what I want to say (pretty much what I just did say!) but now I'm not sure if it needs it, or if the title says it all, but if it does, where on earth would I put it, and on what?! Any suggestions, comments, advice gratefully received!!!

Used a piece of crate paper as the base, then my absolute favourite Basic Grey papers, this time "Granola". I also really love the vintage leather "Grandad's cardigan" button that I found in the button tin that I inherited from my Nanna.

I'm now feeling guilty that Morris has only been with us for six weeks and I've already done two layouts of him, but I've only done one each of the dogs (and that was a double LO!) Something I need to rectify I think!

Carole x

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A quick card

I wasn't sure that I would have anything to show you today, but then I remembered that tomorrow is Jonathan's birthday :( So I had to make him a card, photograph it and then get it in the post box as quickly as possible! Normally, I would take the opportunity of crafting to make more than one project, but just didn't have the time! Before I had the Crafty Corner, I would probably have nipped to the local card shop as it would have been too much hassle to get all my stuff and stash out just for one card. However, the Crafty Corner came into it's own, I was able to put a card together fairly painlessly - even though it was for a male!!! I love my corner!!!

I have another card to make some time this week, it's my son's 13th birthday at the weekend ... I also have other projects that I am itching to get out of my head and have a go at, so we'll have to see how the week pans out.

Just had to show you this too! Of all the cosy places around here that Morris could have chosen to snuggle up in, he chose the log basket! How uncomfortable! He's so funny.

Carole x

Sunday, 2 May 2010


My OH collected our new kitchen tiles yesterday. They were worth the tedious search! I love the "rustic" handmade feel to them, the crackle glaze, the little imperfections and colour variations! However, they are not easy to photograph, but I hope you get the gist. They are a sea green/blue colour (don't know how else to describe them, their name "Moselle" doesn't really help!)

No crafting for me this weekend :( but the kitchen is progressing! After waiting in all day yesterday for the plasterer - and missing out on going to my niece's 2nd birthday party - he showed up this morning! Kitchen now a lovely pink plaster colour, which is a vast improvement on the yellow it was painted before! OH has also filled the ceiling and re lined it ready for painting. So, progress has been made!

Carole x