3 Jun 2013
I’ve been using Pinterest for a good few years already and was really excited to be asked to participate in the #PinItForwardUK campaign, where 300 UK bloggers are talking about how they use the site. The aim is to help promote UK pins and pinners and make the browsing experience more region-specific. Nifty!
I use Pinterest for all sorts of things, as you can imagine knitting inspiration is high on the list. I’m dying to try knitting with some super-chunky needles and roving! I also like gathering ideas for product packaging, craft fair displays, home decor or to find prints to decorate my workspace. Recently, I’ve been working towards building a capsule wardrobe (more on that soon!) and have been using my style board for ideas, and to bookmark pieces I need. This is great for spotting trends in the things I like.
I also like the secret side of Pinterest. The new private boards came in very handy at Christmas to save and share present ideas for my family, and keep them secret from the recipients. So, you know, it’s awesome.
What are your favourite ways to use Pinterest?
If you have an account already i’d love for you to drop by and follow me, don’t forget to leave your link below so I can look you up, too. If you don’t yet have an account, you can sign up here – it’s really easy and quick!
20 May 2013
Today you can find me guest posting over at Adventures and Teaparties with an ode to Spring, the Rose and Pistachio cupcake. If you’d like to try my recipe, pop over to Jo’s blog for the full details. See you there!
18 May 2013
By a crazy stroke of luck, I was given a vintage punch card knitting machine this week. Oh my gosh! Along with a big box of pretty cones to practice with. I’ve been curious to play with one for so long, so I wasted no time getting started. I’m not sure it’s been used in a few decades (and it kinda smells that way, ew), but it seems to be in perfect working order.
My first hurdle was to track down a manual, there was no way this thing was moving from the box without one. After a few hours I struck gold and set about poking and prodding it rather quizzically, trying to follow the very basic instructions. There were so many little buttons and switches, I didn’t know its arse from its tension rod, but somehow I got it slotted together, and had cast on a little blue swatch. Cue excited squeals!
Casting on seems to be the fiddliest bit of all. After my initial success it took about 20 goes before I could do it again. Cue frustrated screams! If anyone has any tips or pointers, I’m all ears. At this point the smell of ‘old’ was getting to me, so I gave my new toy a wipe-down and oiled up all the moving parts. There’s a little accessories box on the top that perplexes me. It’s full of many a plastic widget and poking device that I have no idea what to do with, but I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough.
In the end I managed to negotiate changing colours for stripes, and playing with the tension dial to make ‘textured’ stripes, but haven’t graduated from a plain knit rectangle yet. I attempted to decrease a few stitches at one time and the whole swatch fell crashing to the ground. Hum.
My next adventure in machine knitting is to (master increases and decreases) investigate the punch card feature to create patterns and lace. It looks incredible, like one of those little wind up musical toys. If the setting up instructions were sparse in the manual, the punch card instructions are non-existant, this may be tricky. If any of you have experience of machine knitting I’d love to hear your thoughts, tips, struggles – please do share.
6 May 2013
I was slow on the uptake with Panacotta. I admit, I only tried it for the first time about 4 years ago in a restaurant and it wooed me big time. I decided that year to surprise the Mister with one on his birthday and since then it’s become a big birthday tradition (along with a Marvel film release!) Last weekend was the big event, so I thought I’d take a minute to share my favourite recipe.
Makes: 4 large ramekins Time: 10 mins, 4 hours to set.
- 150g milk
- 150g double cream
- 30g caster sugar
- 1.5 sheets of gelatine
- 1 vanilla pod (or a few drops of vanilla essence)
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp water
Set the gelatine to soak in a bowl of cool water while you heat the milk, cream, scraped vanilla seeds and sugar in a saucepan. When the sugar has dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat. Squeeze out any excess moisture from the gelatin sheets and place them in the warm creamy mixture, stirring until they dissolve. Pour into your ramekins, glasses, tea cups – whatever you like, and straight into the fridge to cool. The one pictured here I turned out of a tiny espresso cup – dinky!
For the coulis, heat the frozen berries (I used the same type for my berry and oat smoothie) and sugar in a saucepan and allow them to break down into a gooey mixture, about 5-10 minutes. Add the water as you go to create a syrupy consistency. Allow it to cool and serve when the panacotta is set.
Et voila! Crazy delicious, creamy, unctuous goodness awaits – RD Jr has a lot to live up to!
11 Apr 2013
Hello, friends! I wanted to let you know about a little spring clearance sale I’m having over on Facebook at the moment, and invite you to come and see. There are savings of up to 50% off the original list prices, so don’t miss out. If you’re not already a fan of the page, hit the ‘Like’ button to stay up to date with blog updates and other special offers. See below for a full list of items.
There’s a flat rate shipping cost of £1 within the UK and £2 outside, regardless of how much you buy. Do take advantage of the jewellery mix and match deal too, all £5 each, or 3 for £10. To buy an item, just let me know what you’d like and your Paypal address, and I’ll send you an invoice. Thank you for looking! :)
24 Mar 2013
I’ve really enjoyed all the beauty posts floating around blog-land recently. It’s great to read what routine’s people have and pick up little tid bits of information and tips. I don’t profess to have a routine as such, in fact, I have so few products that I don’t think it counts. Nevertheless, it’s taken me a while to work out what keeps my super sensitive skin looking half decent, so I thought i’d share:
For a more fancy occasion I tend to build up my eye make-up with the palette, a bit of eyeliner and stick on a dab of hot pink lippy. Maybe with a dash of concealer and bronzer, if i’m feeling fancy! What are your daily faves, do you have one product you know you’ll buy over and over?
15 Mar 2013
This was the view from my front balcony yesterday lunchtime, it felt so great to catch some sunny rays in my desperation for Spring to arrive. I think it helped to re-charge my creative batteries, which have been waning over the last few weeks. That explains my obsession with foodie posts lately!
Today though, I have some exciting news. I’ve decided to start a free ad-swap scheme. Huzzah! In hopes of creating a little community network for blogs and independent businesses to connect and advertise. It works exactly the same as a paid sponsorship programme, but it’s free. Who can say no to free advertising? Why not toddle over to the sponsor page to get involved. Go on, I’ll wait here!
Have a lovely weekend all of you, we have snow forecast can you believe!
P.S I’m starting a new part-time job next week and am beyond excited! I’ll share a little bit more as I get settled in but fear not, I’ll still be here posting more foodie things, and other assorted, hugely varied topics, I promise! :)
28 Feb 2013
The little peeks of sun we’ve been getting here recently are making me long for more warm spring days, longer evenings, flowers and fresh salads. Spring is teasing us! I’ve been making this fruity smoothie for the last few mornings to urge it along and it’s cheering me up no end. I’ve slightly tweaked it each time and this is definitely my favourite version. It’s a great energy boost and keeps me full for aaages. So yum!
Makes: 1 large portion (400ml)
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1/3 cup porridge oats
- Big squeeze of runny honey
- 1/4 cup of milk
Tip the oats into a 1 cup measure and fill to the top with boiling water. Let it sit a little while to loosen up the oats. This step is totally necessary unless you want to drink a glass of dusty pink goop. Trust me! Tip all of this into a blender along with the other ingredients and whizz away. If you like a thinner consistency you can add a touch more water. I’m excited to try lots of different flavours and mixes, so i’ll post again if I find a winner. Come on spring, hurry the hell up!
22 Feb 2013
Even now it still amazes me that I can make something with my own two hands which is pretty, practical and suuuuuper warm. I’ve been wearing these almost every day since I weaved in the last stray end, feeling a huge sense of handmade satisfaction. It will never get old!
I think back to all the gloves i’ve bought in the past that fell apart and can’t imagine that ever happening to these. The one pair of proper gloves I bought on holiday in Peru, I lost within a month of coming home, sob! Since that moment I resolved to knit the perfect pair. I should probably make a chain or cord of some-sort to keep them up my sleeves, just like when I was a sprog.
I drafted out the pattern as I made these, so once it’s polished up I’ll make it available for you knitters out there. Couldn’t resist a little heart shaped fun on this walk… well, it was Valentines Day!
Do you have a favourite handmade piece that gives you that everyday satisfaction?
18 Feb 2013
After my last indulgent foodie post, three ingredient ice cream, I feel the need to balance the metaphorical (and physical) scales with this one. My stomach is usually pining for a round of toast mid afternoon, but these little bursts of energy have hit the spot recently.
I was inspired to make them initially as a pre-run snack in the morning, when I can’t have breakfast straight away but desperately need some fuel to get running and keep running. They’re made from ingredients you probably have in the cupboard, but I’ve suggested a few alternatives just incase.
150g Peanut butter, any nut butter is good.
40g Porridge oats or flax.
Approx. 30g Desiccated Coconut to coat. Any finely chopped nut or seed is perfect too.
Simply mix everything, except the coconut, in a big bowl, you can play around with quantities if it feels too wet or dry; a cookie dough consistency is just about right. Measure out little 1-2″ balls and roll in the coconut to coat, sit them in the fridge to firm up and they’re ready to grab at a moments notice. I’d love to make more store cupboard snacks, do you have any favourites to share?