Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Hellooo...my computer has gone wizz-bang-pop, so I won't be around for a while!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

This week I love...

* skyping with my bestie in Brazil * getting an interview for a dream job * crochet * watching Confetti * Dr Who * listening to Take That and The Beatles * nice work people, who all say 'thank you for your hard work' every time I leave! * a happy, swimming, snail * planting garlic * blankets * new jeans and cardigan * going to my neighbours 90th birthday party and catching up with people I haven't seen for aggeeees * crisps * rice noodles * breaking in my new shoes * sparrows cheeping *

What do you love this week?  Hope you're having a lovely one!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Round Robin Free Crochet Pattern...

Hello, this is the first crochet pattern I've ever written, you may notice that it's very simple, I've made it myself several times, but if you notice any mistakes please let me know...

 You will need

small amount of brown dk yarn
3.5mm crochet hook
scraps of fabric to stuff it and to make the beak and breast
needle and embroidery thread

This pattern uses chain stitch (ch) and UK double crochet (dc) (US single crochet), slip stitch (slst) increasing and decreasing (dc2tog).  You might like to use a stitch marker at the start of each round to help you keep count, I never do, because I can usually see where I am without them, and to be honest this pattern is simple enough that a stitch too few or too many doesn't really make any difference!  So in the pattern, when I say 1dc, into next st, 2 dc into next st, repeat all the way round, I mean for one round, until you get back to your stitch marker (or if you're me, wherever you guess you started that round!).


1. Make 2 ch, 6dc into 2nd ch from hook, join with a slip stitch

2. 2dc in each st

3. 2dc in next st, 1dc in next st, repeat all the way round

4. 1dc in next 3sts, 2dc in next st rep. all the way round

5 - 9. 1dc in each st

10. idc in next 2 sts, dc2tog in next st, rep. all the way round.  Add your stuffing here before the hole gets too small to get anything in!

11. 1dc in next st, dc2tog in next st, rep. all the way round

12. dc2tog until the hole at the top joins up

13. ch 30, join with a sl st to make the hanging loop.


Ch 2, 5dc into 2nd ch from hook, turning ch 2, 1 dc in each st, fasten with a slst.

Finishing off...

Weave in the end of yarn from fastening the hanging loop, and the ends on the wings, sew on the wings, cut out a red circle for the breast, a yellow diamond for the beak and sew them on, embroider little eyes and he's all finished and ready to hang on your christmas tree!

If you can't crochet, I'm selling these in my etsy shop...here and here!

If you want to use this pattern to make robins to sell locally (at craft fairs, school fetes, etc) then thats fine, but please don't use the pattern to make robins to sell online, or use or copy or sell the pattern anywhere, if you make a robin please let me know, I'd love to see it, and please link back to me if you post about it online, thanks!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

How to Make Plum Vodka, Plum Rum (and probably any other plum based alcoholic beverage too!)

Last year we sampled some of my friend's damson vodka, which is totally delicious, and as we have an over abundance of plums this year, me and mum decided to make plum vodka.  We also found some Bacardi in the cupboard that someone gave us, so we made plum rum too!  There are lots of directions on the interweb that require heating the vodka and dissolving the sugar into it, we decided that was a bit of a faff and basically bunged sugar, booze and plums into a kilner jar...here's how...

1.  Clean the plums, cut off any manky bits and cut them into halves, weigh them, then measure about half their weight in sugar (so if you had 500g of plums you need 250g of sugar).  Put them in a big kilner jar.

2.  Add the vodka/rum/any-other-alcohol-you-suspect-would-be-improved-by-adding-sugar-and-plums to the kilner jar, this is where we weren't very scientific and just added the whole bottle rather than measuring anything out.

3. Shake the kilner jar until the sugar has dissolved (takes a long time, good exercise though!)

4. Keep in a cool, dark place, shake every day, for upto 3 months.

How to make plum vodka, plum rum and probably any other plum based alcohol! Plum rum is yummy! Second hand Susie blog.

This is the plum vodka just after we made it, before vigorous shaking commenced.  Below is the vodka (small jar - 1.5 litres) and bacardi (big jar - 2 litres!) about 3 weeks after we started it...mmmm....

How to make plum vodka, plum rum and probably any other plum based alcohol! Plum rum is yummy! Second hand Susie blog.

We're going to decant it into small dainty bottles to give as Christmas presents this year! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Crochet Bits and Bobs...Crochet Phone Cover, Robin and Mollie Makes Starburst Blanket...

I got a shiny new pink phone last week, and decided it could only be made better with some stripey multicoloured crochet...

I've also been making these robins, hopefully I'm going to do a couple of craft fairs this winter, so I'm tryng out ideas for things to sell...I'm working on a pattern for these to share with you in a while...scuse the horrible, flashy photo, I couldn't find any real light...

I'm also 86 squares into my Big Blanket (only 314 more to make!) for my birthday mum bought me enough of the cream wool to (hopefully) finish the blanket...yey!

Are you making anything at the moment?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Library Love...Mexican Food Made Simple, Make, Mend, Bake, Save and Shine!, Cute and Easy Crochet, When God was a Rabbit...

There have been lots of lovely new books in my library this month!

Mexican Food Made Simple - Thomasina Miers
I've been watching the TV series of this on channel 5 and mainly got the book out to read the churros con chocolate recipe in more detail, but it's actually a really nice book about Mexico and all the yummy food you can eat there.  Not many of the recipes are vegan, but I enjoyed reading it anyway.

Make, Mend, Bake, Save and Shine - Barbara Warmsley
This book has lots of tips and tricks to live a greener life and save money, most of the tips are common sense or things I've heard elsewhere, but it's a nice, positive read.

Cute and Easy Crochet - Nikki Trench
I loved Super Cute Crochet by the same author, and this book is great too, lots of easy crochet projects and pretty pictures to inspire!  There's a flowery granny square blanket I'd particularly like to try making.

When God Was a Rabbit - Sarah Winman
I haven't finished reading this yet, but I can already tell I'm going to love it, it's about a brother and sister as they grow up.  They have a rabbit called God.  I will be back to write a proper review when I've finished reading.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Things I Love Thursday (on a Sunday)

Busy week this week, was away visiting a friend at the beginning of the week, working and it was my birthday too...phew....this week I love...

* finishing my theatre job and the director giving a really nice speech about how good my team were, and getting goodbye hugs from all the kids * visiting my friend Vicki and having a lovely, PJ, cider and shopping filled time * buying a shiny new pink phone * crocheting a phone cover and some xmas robins * Chris Evans playing xmas songs on radio 2 * seeing a bunny in a field from the train window * my friends mum rescuing 2 vintage lloyd loom cupboards for me from being thrown away! * going to Aberystwyth with mummy and eating chips by the sea, buying a shiny necklace, sitting on a vvv cold beach and a nice walk by the river * sea air * applying for exciting jobs * surprise sunshine * listening to Cat Stevens * starting reading When God Was a Rabbit * getting Dr Who and Potter Puppet Pals ring tones for my new phone * lots of lovely birthday presents and cards and messages * vegan chocolate hedgehog cake * watching Blackadder * bed * sleep *

Here's a bonus picture of me 'contemplating' my birthday cake...

Hope you've all had lovely weeks too!