Thursday, 31 January 2013

Treacle Scones Recipe

Fancied a bit of baking today, wanted a yummy no sugar something for breakfasts when I have to be up early for surgery (and don't want to pass out!)

This is a NannyBake recipe...

8oz SR Flour
2.5oz Marg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp black treacle
3oz raisins (optional)
1 egg made up to a tea-cup full of milk

I realise that last ingredient is a bit airy fairy but you'll see what I mean. 
1. Mix all dry ingredients together
2. Add butter and work into breadcrumbs with fingers (or the back of a fork works brilliantly for me)
3. Add treacle and again work into breadcrumbs
4. Add raisins
5. Crack egg into a small tea cup, beat lightly and add a splash of milk. This is NannyBakes recipe - I find it much easier to crack the egg directly into a well in the dry ingredients, mix in with your fork and add small splashes of milk until you hit the right texture. Not too wet - like dough really
6. Remember to be quick! Once you add wet ingredients the raising agents loose their oomph
7. Cut into 5cm rounds and place them on a baking tray
8. Quick into a preheated oven at 200 C for 10-12 mins

Mmm! Not as floofy as ones I usually do, maybe throw some bicarb in next time. They're very light though, unlike shop bought ones (which are usually horrible).

Do you see the enormous one on the back row there? That's our little tradition, the last scone is all the left over bits so it's massive and gooey in the middle - cooks perks!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sea-Weathered Treasure (and a mini-flower garland tutorial)

Tom came back to me today with a new piece of sea-weathered pottery for my collection. I have 2 handfuls now...aren't they beautiful?

And those bright threads I blogged about recently haven't done much - I'm making a teeny tiny flower chain to wear as a necklace. Some look more like flowers than others - they need a bit of moulding!

They're each roughly the size of my pinky finger nail. 

Chain 12
Sl st into 6th chain to make circle
2 double crochet
Slip stitch into centre
Flip tail over and repeat 5 times on the other side of the tail
Chain 12...repeat...

I have about 15 flowers now...unfortunately I think I need about 40!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Post from NannyBake

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about organising, packing and filing! Mums hoping to move house soon and Tom will be quitting the 9-5 job to be off traveling before I graduate so between them there's a lot of organising happening!

At uni I can't really help, but I find little bits of my own to sort out. Nanny's letter to me are hidden all over the place. I'm rounding them up and binding them - Most still have envelopes so I can hole punch the envelope without damaging her long mis-spelt letters :p

I thought the book binding rings were perfect - I would maybe buy a smaller size next time though? I'm trying to pluck up the courage to bind all the birthday cards that I have lurking around, but some are so pretty that I daren't punch holes in them! 

I have a letter en-route this week too... *excited!*
p.s. Nanny has evolved into NannyBake recently. We all need blog pseudonyms!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Daphne, Crochet, Quiche and Wasgijs...

This post is a strange selection of recent things...

I'm most excited about the crochet threads I found in a local charity shop recently...this is definitely seed bead crochet necklace material!! Watch this space!!

Oh and that's Daphne - on my to do list after I finish the trash I'm currently reading. I'm getting itchy fingers though!

I also branched out in the kitchen and made a quiche for placement this week - didn't quite fill the case but the blind-baking was enormously successful! This week was salmon, mushroom, spinach and onions. Didn't realise quite how easy this was!! Just eggs and cream! Might have to do this regularly with whatevers knocking about in the fridge :) Easy to eat in lunchtime meetings at the hospital.

 And a bit of geek-ery...the most recent flat wasgij (a backwards jigsaw - the photo on the box is definitely NOT the picture on the jigaw - it's just a clue...hilarious!).

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


...we have none here in Glasgow. BUT Tom took some photo's of what they had in the lake district...get this...on his PHONE!!
His phone camera is as good as my £300 Nikon J1. Gr.
Here's a sneak preview - the others are listed under my 'photography' tab.

I can't wait to get down to the Lakes this weekend and get snapping myself!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Flights booked!

MummySew started bloggin recently and I really like how she tells you a bit about her day to day life in-between her crafty posts and I fancied this was a good idea!

At the moment I'm on a surgical placement in the Southern Hospital in Glasgow - 5 weeks of general surgery, urology and breast surgery, clinics and ward rounds. Exciting stuff! Plus the hospital's having an epic make-over...

This is me in my 4th year of study - 12 months, 3 weeks until finals...but who's counting.

So after 3rd and 4th year in out summer 'holiday' we are expected to do a 4 week elective. Last year I went to London for 4 weeks to do Obs and Gynae...this year I hope to do A&E in Carlisle. I'm doing these in the UK for cheap unlike ALL my friends who are shooting off around the world.

On the plus side, this saves money for Tom and I to go to India for the remaining 3 weeks in my summer hols! I AM SO EXCITED!!! We booked flights this month so it really is getting exciting now!

1/8/13 - Set off Glasgow Airport to London Heathrow and eventually end up in Chennai 2/8/13 at 03:30

We decided to stop here for a few days instead of 10 hours between flights.

6/8/13 - Fly to Trivandrum, arriving mid-afternoon

From here we travel north, 1000km via Kerala and Karnataka to Goa

22/8/13 - Back to reality from Goa, via Mumbai (5 hours here...maybe we could pop out of the airport???) and London Heathrow to get back to Glasgow at 22:15

My planning head is going insane!! Hehe, I'm determined to have an open itinerary though - so make lists of cool places, and if we fancy going then so be it. This is going to be a very relaxing 3 weeks. I'm determined!

I cannot wait to get my hands on some indian textiles!! And spices!! And hide in cafes while the monsoon hits, explore temples and go on safari, see the markets and wear the local's all I can think about right now! 

My tab at the top 'Travel Diary' should start filling up nicely in August :)

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Mix it! Swap

First post swap of 2013!! (I don't think I did ANY in 2012 - too much textbook reading *yawn*)
I was paired with a girl who had a blog here - I saw she liked knitting, disney, stickers, scrapbook stuff...and I found a great collection of things to send her way.
The Tom and Jerry knitting patterns I thought were a particular find...hope she loved them.

And then some time later I received this in the post....and oh wow!! I have never been so excited to unwrap a swap - everything had its own cute little bag to unwrap (I am so stealing that idea for the next swap I do). Thank you so much Ichigoshortcake

She was sew thoughtful - vintage patterns, vintage jewellery, wooden buttons (WOW!), LACE!, gorgeous ribbon and crochet flowers which I'm trying to make at the moment (she read my mind). 
Maybe I don't need to raid mums craft room after all!

See that pink all-in-one?? I need to make this. 

Friday, 18 January 2013


Happy Birthday MummySew!!!

After stitching my header, I found this really awesome site - Sarahs Hand Embroidery Tutorials. It has a fantastic embroidery picture dictionary, sew you can pick a stitch, click on it to see how its done and away you go!! I'm loving the knot family at the moment (first 't').

I wanted to add more, but didn't really know how - better planning next time. I'm thinking chain stitch flowers and fishbone stitch leaves. 
I printed out the 'Scarlett' from the computer in a fancy font and penciled it onto the linen (I need to find a better way of marking my fabric - pencil does NOT rub out).

And then I didn't know how to present it!! Eventually I made it into a card, just glueing the edges of the linen behind a frame. Really I suppose I should have stretched it over some card...or framed it...
I had great fun though! And I hope Mummy Sew liked it :)

P.S. that linen is a recycled tea-towel. Hope you approve!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Tutorial: Crochet Necklace

This is a little tutorial for the crochet necklace that I made in my last post here.
I made the decision to keep the single strand instead of with the scallop edging...but I had a pattern ready so here it is. I'll be trying making dozens of these once I get hold of some more materials! 
Stop at step 3 if you simple version or carry on to add fancy edging (like teddy's displaying).

 1. Pick your materials...
I have a limited craft supply with me at University but I managed non-the-less. Pick a thread (be it wool or crochet thread) and then find a set of beads which you can thread on. Obviously they need to be able to pass over the eye of the needle which will hold your chosen thread.
I used 62 beads and size 3.00 crochet hook.
I wanted a very long necklace which I could wind around my neck 3 or 4 times - you can use your artistic licence with this!

2. Make your button-hole...
Use that artistic license again with this. I used the following, but I was using wool not crochet thread and quite a large crochet hook. You may need more chain and more single crochets with smaller thread/hooks.

8 chain, slip stitch to form a ring
15 single crochet into ring
Pick up the tail and chain 3
Drop the tail and chain 4

3. Crochet in your first bead...
This is easier than I expected. Snuggle the bead up close to the last chain, yarn over and do a chain as if the bead wasn't there at all!
Chain 7, add 2nd bead
Chain 7, add 3rd bead
You will need to keep pushing the beads away from your crocheting - don't worry, it's not a hardship.

4. Add your edging...
You can choose any edging you want at all! I found hundreds on blogs and on pinterest but settled with a simple scalloped edge to get me started. So after you have crocheted in your last bead...
Crochet 7
Turn, skip one chain and single crochet
Skip one chain and do 5 double crochet into this chain
Skip one chain, single crochet
2 chain to get you over the bead (with smaller beads, this may only need to be one chain)
single crochet into second chain after bead

5. Finish off...
When you get back to your button hole, weave in your tail from the beginning and the end.
Sew on a button or large bead to secure.
Some edging patterns want you go up one side and down the other so you may need to travel the length of your necklace a third time...good luck!

As I said in my previous post, I still need to block my necklace - soak in warm warm and then pin to the ironing board, slightly stretched until dry. This makes it keep its shape better!

And there you have it! A simple, classy necklace. I can't wait to try this in lots of bright colours and with snazzy beads.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Crocheting Pearls Darling

Sew today Teddy has been helping me make a crocheted necklace! Pinterest has inspired me - in my head I had a looong necklace, quite simple, which I could loop around me neck a few times.

I rummaged through the vintage suitcase I use as my craft stash and the only beads I had which would fit on my thinnest wool were nobbley pearls...which I love.

 This is what I ended up with! I really like it actually. Apparently it needs blocking which makes it holds its shape better. Soak in warm water and then pin to the ironing board, slightly stretched.

Thing is, I got a bit carried away and tried a scalloped edging - now I'm not sure if this will work...anyone have any preference - plain or with edging? I made the pattern up too which I can post if I go for the scalloped type. Do you think it would lay flat on my chest or curl up and look messy? Choices choices!
I would love to try this with proper crochet thread, a tiny needle and seed beads - there's no end to different colours and different edgings you could play with...I feel a new obsession coming on.

They were sew quick that really, I have no excuse to not make more!

Monday, 14 January 2013

A Knitting Sampler

Started to practice knitting and all the different stitched out there! Very uneven and knobbley...but that's what samplers are for I suppose! Using up all the scraps of wool that MummySew and I have kicking around :)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

New Year Organiser

I actually made this for the man to use - hoping that he'd get organised this year! But its very cool and I thought I'd like to share it with you. Click to download the PDF :)

And while we're on the spring cleaning subject...I found a set of hat boxes at a charity shop recently...problem is, I still have a penchant for all things fancy dress. At least they're stored we'll now!

And I'm back at uni in Glasgow now (and have been since Jan 6th). I wanted a heap of crafty things with me here though and have outgrown my previous, yet gorgeous, wooden sewing box.
Here's the new craft huh!

One day (soon please) MummySew and I will have the craft room of our dreams!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Gingerbread men

Mmm om nom nom...

MummySew gave me this as a cool makes hundreds!!
I think next time I'll make them super super thin.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Hairy Spiders!!!

I never know whether to split things into more than one post!! These were dug out of the A-level bag in the attic. They belong to the same immune defense system project as I showed you before. 
A hairy legged spider with menacing pincers!!!

A beautiful but deadly virus (polystyrene ball pricked all over with beaded pins). This particular virus may end up on next years Christmas tree.
 This did not come out of the attic. But needed to be shared non-the-less.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Juice Carton Purse

Sew this is an easy 10 minute craft! I have the pattern myself and couldn't remember where it came from...but I googled 'Juice Carton Purse' and there's a million blogs with tutorials e.g. Spoonful which has a really cool tutorial and a pdf pattern to print off and cut out if you want a go yourself. 
Honestly, they're the easiest thing!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Inspirational Mushrooms

Sew I stumbled on some of my A-level textiles/art work the other day in the attic. Thought I'd give you a snap shot. One day I will have to photograph all my books and samplers for you. I worked sew hard for it!! 
This project was initially inspired by viruses and the human bodies attempts to defend itself. Along the way, this morphed into mould, funghi and spores and uniform yet random cell structures. 

 As you can see, the above two sampler pieces were made from couching on ruched fabric and wrapped cords with beaded felt balls and silk coccoons nestled into them. I bought cheap petri dishes off ebay to add the medicinal, lab-like feel and filled them with yucky things! Or rather, tyvek beads and wrapped metal washers.
I still love the home died calico and tiny suffolk puffs. 
The final piece was a grand mixture of the two above samplers but with petri dishes on stalks as if they were spores. These petri dishes were decorated in the style of Michael Brennand-Woods ('Twelve dreams within the here and now') which to me felt cellular and chemical (although his intention was use shapes and patterns as mnemonic devices to trigger memories and associations).
I never took pictures of the final piece, which I am still kicking myself for. But maybe you can use your imagination?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Child at heart

...and proud! MummySew bought these for the man and I to make over christmas...serious fun!! Watercolour pencils and glitter and a bit of competition later and ta-daaaa!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Pink and Girly

I made this quite a while but unlike a lot of old projects, I still love it! I also still want to do more and more! I wish I was at home more often - MummySews creative stocks are beyond belief.
I very simply used an old canvas that MummySew had used in her teaching demonstration class things and went to town with the lace and braid and sparkley things! Very fun to rummage through all the drawers to find yummy things.
Very pink and girly, just as it should be!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Toilet Roll Owls!

My new obsession with pinterest has left me with a whole hoard of things to try out! For those of you who don't know - pinterest is basically an online scrapbook. You can search other peoples 'boards' which have 'pins' on them or pin your own ideas which you find on the internet e.g. someones blog might have a tutorial you want to try and you want to save the idea for later. Much easier than printing, cutting, sticking, losing bits of paper etc etc
I quite like all the childish silly paper ideas at the moment, but theres some gorgeous free patterns and ideas on my 'crochet crafting' and my 'felt fun' board. Can't wait to have a go!

Here's one of the more silly ideas I had to have a go at over Christmas...
...toilet roll owls!!! Yes, I had awesome fun. They look a bit like soldiers with the cupcake flags in wing. They served as pretty cute place names this year on the Christmas table.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

3 Recipes - a meal swap!

With all this crafting recently, I figured I should check out swap-bot once again! I thought I'd do a few quick email swaps first to get me into the swing of things and a recipe swap caught my eye!
Email 2 family favourites to 3 partners. I thought I'd share them with you too.

To start...

Cheese and Tomato Dip

4oz grated cheddar
2oz butter
1 small onion finely chopped
1 level tsp mustard powder
2 level tbsp mayonnaise
1 level tbsp tomato ketchup
1 level tbsp single cream
1 level tsp Worcester sauce
1/4 level tsp thyme
1/4 level tsp cayenne pepper

Serve with bread sticks or crudites.

This may not look like much, but it's the most delicious thing!! Made of (pretty much) store cupboard stuff too, so I can whip up a batch whenever I fancy!
By rights I'm stealing this off MummySew, but its sew YUMMY!


Pork Chops Oriental

1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic
2 pork chops
1 oz butter
6 oz sliced onion
4 carrots in julienne strips
1 tbsp flour
Half a pint of chicken stock
Parsley to garnish

Blend soy sauce, sherry, garlic and sugar and marinate pork chops overnight.
Drain (but keep marinade) and brown chops in oil and remove.
Cook onions and carrots in butter, add flour and cook for 2 minutes
Gradually add stock.
Pour into serving dish and place chops on top.
Pour over marinade, cover and cook for 1 hour in preheated oven.

Gas Mark 3 or 325 F

Best served with creamy, butter mash potato and a green veg e.g. beans/broccoli (although there are lots of carrots in it already!)

This I do at uni in the slow cooker although historically, Mum used to serve it when I came home tired and bruised after a Duke of Edinburgh expedition. Now its just comfort food :)

and lastly (because everyone needs pudding)...

Cinnamon Plum Pudding

For the pastry:
3oz butter
6oz plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp water

Sieve dry ingredients together.
Rub in butter with hands until texture is like fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in egg and water to form a solid ball.
Leave to stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out and line a 9" flan tin, then stand in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.

For the filling:
1 tsp cinnamon
1oz caster sugar
3 large egg yolks
200mls creme fraiche
50mls milk
1lb of plums de-stoned and cut into 8

Arrange plums (I usually go spiral) on the pastry.
Mix the custard and pour over the plums.
Sprinkle with demerara sugar (roughly 1 tbsp)
Carefully place on middle shelf of pre-heated oven and bake.

Gas mark 6 or 200C
20-30 minutes

I made this recently for MummySew and NannyBake. The plums I used were very wet so while it tasted delicious...the centre was quite sloppy. I might try a few different techniques to avoid this and make the custard set better next time...maybe lower temperature for longer, or blind bake the pastry, or use less plums?? MummySew recommends bigger tin, thinner custard e.g. 12x9" sandwich tin.
Never-the-less...yum scrum!

Friday, 4 January 2013


I've been looking through the photo's that I've taken since I bought my Nikon J1 in September 2012 and somehow facebook doesn't do them justice. So I've added a line of tabs under the SewGorgeous of which is entitled 'Photography'!!
Along with the new embroidered header, my blogs having a bit of a makeover! The letters remain on the embroidery ring, sew I might add some more stitches in the future (those visible pencil marks are killing me). 

What on earth do I do with these?!

I think they're sew beautiful but I don't know what to do with them! I made them 4 years ago for my art A-level, they were part of a big mossy landscape, but are now lonely in the supplies draw!
Any ideas?

They were actually really easy to do - I made felt balls the regular way (attempted using the tights and washing machine trick which definitely did not work for me) and then wrapped synthetic fabrics and threads (e.g. voile) around each ball, secured with a pin and then used a heat gun to melt away layers of the wrappings to whatever level I liked best. I then used the heat gun with embossing glue and powder to add the metallic shine and some were beaded

Other ideas for these were SEVERE melting, wire wrapping, threading beads on said wire, and I even tried to use washers instead of felt balls which did work but needed extreme patience.

If you don't want a felt ball base, these were started off on metal skewers or needles depending on what size hole you want in your bead.

I love all of these and used them last for pretty A-level things...but now what?