Saturday, January 31, 2015


I popped into Market Street the other day .... not something I do too often, but a real treat when I do.
While browsing the fruit section (I realize just how lame that sounds .... I love spotting the unusual though !!!), I found grenadillas ..... my heart quite literally skipped a beat. In the 10 years we've lived in the US, I think I've only seen them one other time. I have sometimes been able to buy the tins of pulp from British Emporium - but it's just not the same as the fresh fruit. Here in the US, you know it as Passion Fruit.

Rewind about 35 years, when I was a little girl, growing up in Rhodesia, I remember my late Mom making a grenadilla cake ... delicious.
I have the recipe book, that the recipe she used came from (with hand written notes, and all :-) ...... it's an old fundraising cookbook from my Primary School. It was created back in the day, before photocopying was even commonly used (well, back in Rhodesia anyway) ... the recipes were typed up on a typewriter, and the pages were roneod ..... for those who may remember - that handle you used to wind to make copies ...
This will  give you an idea of what a Roneo Machine looked like, if you're interested :-)

As you can see it was really well loved, but is very fragile now. The sad thing, about that exact recipe, is that the printing has faded so badly, that I couldn't use it ... I wasn't confident, that the cake would turn out. So I did a little snooping around the great WWW ....... and I came upon This Recipe, shared by a South African lady. When I compared the two recipes (as best I could), they looked almost identical :-)
So, on went the apron (after a visit to Market Street, to buy the grenadillas), and I got to it !!!

Oh My Goodness ..... while I haven't had a hunking great slice yet (I can assure you, that will happen before I go to bed tonight), but I will confess to picking a little of the inside to taste, and licking the icing bowl out .... this is cake perfection !!!! It is a grenadilla cake, that tastes unmistakably of grenadilla, and I LOVE it !!!!

This recipe will now be written right alongside that old faded recipe that my Mom used to use .... there for future generations to use and enjoy.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A QUILT .....

Quilts just speak to me of all things home .... they're like a big fabric hug !!!!
My desire has always been that my kids have at least one "Mom Made" quilt each .... well, I have now accomplished half of that desire ...... Brittany has one !!!!
I saw this  9 Square Quilt, and decided it would be perfect. Quick and simple, but still cute.

I'm taking part in Val's Year Long Craft Along (click on the button on my sidebar for the details). Each month she sets us a crafty challenge .... January's challenge was to make a blanket/quilt ... something to wrap up warm in. I needed no better excuse to get going !!!

I chose a central feature fabric. Brit loves tattoo art (she can't wait until she turns 18 - she'll be knocking on that tattoo parlors door!!!), and this fabric reminded me of that. I chose 8 other complimentary fabrics, and cut them to 16"x16" squares. The sashing and border strips, are just plain black fabric, cut to widths of 21/2". Sewing up the quilt top was fun ..... the next part (yes, the quilting), not so much !!! In all honesty, I REALLY didn't like this part - too much bulkiness being shoved through too smaller space. I think those quilters who piece their tops, and then send them off to be quilted are very wise:-) Anyway, I did it - I may have said a naughty word or two during the process though !!! The quilting I did was very basic, I sewed 1/2" around the inside of each square, and then 1/2" around the outside of each square ..... Voila - Done !!!

I used bright red binding, because I love it, and because it tied in with the roses of my feature fabric. The backing was just plain black fabric.

Brit loves it, which is what counts. It's been through the washing machine a couple of times already, and I must say, I love it a little more after each wash. It gets a little more crinkly and quilty each time ..... Just as it should.

I'll leave you with a picture of my sweet girl all wrapped up in it .... nothing makes my Mommy heart sing more, than a picture like this. Something made with so much love, being loved so much :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I have a bit of an obsession at the moment, with my hook and yarn !!!
Perhaps it's the cold weather, or maybe it's that there are so many lovely patterns available at the moment, but I just can't seem to get enough of it. I have three long term crochet projects on the go at the moment .....

My 2015 Mood Blanket ...... Wow, it has grown a bit since this picture was taken !!! An update will happen on January 31st, after the first month of the year is over.

Sophies Universe ..... a CAL that has got me completely hooked (Hee Hee), and will run for 20 weeks. This one is for me, and will eventually be a lovely afghan.

And a second Sophies Universe. This one came to be, because my plan (which will remain a secret for now) for the first one, was not going to work out.

So three long term crochet projects needed long term homes ..... the Joann and Michael's bags were just not cutting it. Ugly .... Ugly .... Ugly .... they were, and I can't stand that crinkly, packet noise that plastic makes !!!
I pulled out old faithful again ..... my reusable shopping bag pattern. It's roomy, it's cute and it's quick to make. I dug out some stray pieces of duck cloth (I like the thickness of it for these bags), as well as some half cards of binding I had left over from previous projects, and spent a couple of blissful hours sewing.

 Arent they so bright and cheerful ..... I love them !!!

See what I mean about roomy !!! One of the bags is holding 14 skeins of yarn, without a problem :-)

Here they are, all packed full of yarny goodness.

I'm not the neatest person ... my parents will vouch for that, but I do like everything to have a home ... and a plastic shopping bag did not fit the bill !!!

Last week I mentioned my friend Val's recipe series that she's running on her blog .....
Well recipe number two, was for Hot Chocolate. I am not a hot chocolate person - I find those sachets you buy at the grocery store pretty tasteless to be honest. However,  there is a restaurant back home, called Spur, that makes THE most delicious hot chocolate (the only one I've ever enjoyed. Even Starbucks hot chocolate doesn't do it for me). This recipe tastes almost identical to that,  So THIS HOMEMADE MIX, may just have changed my views ..... it is outstanding !!! You really need to give this a try !!!

The kids believe that unless it come served with spray cream and sprinkles, the hot chocolate is not the real deal !!!!

Thanks for popping by for a visit - I so appreciate it.
Until next time ...... Happy Crafting !!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

OLAF .......

The Frozen frenzy seems to still be in full swing ...... Well it certainly is if you're 6 years old !!!!

My little niece has just turned 6 .......

Here she is, the little cutie pie. This is an old photo (from Summer 2013), when we stopped in London for the day en route home, so she has grown a whole lot since. It is the most recent photo I have of her though ....... BAD Aunty award for me !!!!

Being an Aunt is honestly one of my most favorite things .... I can't explain why, it just is :-) I'm lucky enough to have 3 nephews and 1 niece.

Over Christmas, I got THE absolute cutest voice message from her (I've got it stored on my phone, and I listen to it occasionally), telling me, she has learned to knit (Granny taught her), and she's busy making a scarf, and doing a mighty fine job of it too. My task, when next I'm with her, is to teach her to sew !!!

I thought it would be cute for her to have a special bag, to carry her knitting around in. So ..... this is what I came up with ....

I did one of my freezer paper stencil tote bags. I found a picture on the web, and used that as my jumping off point. I used fabric paint to do his mouth, nose and stick arms and hair. The design is outlined with embroidery. Those googly eyes were just perfect to finish him off !!!
I couldn't find snowflake buttons, so settled on stars instead, which I think I now prefer.

I found some really cute Olaf fabric at Joanns, which I used to line the bag ... I was so excited at how well the blue of the fabric and the two blue spray paints I used for the front matched .... Winner !!!

I made her this shaker card (my new favorite card to make), to go with her bag and other goodies I'm sending (all Frozen themed of course).

I filled the shaker box with the number 6 and some sequins ....... every girl needs a little sparkle !!!!
The cupcake is one I made from a mold, using sculpey.

Happy 6th  Birthday Jess .... We love you to the moon and back !!!!

On a side note (and a delicious one at that), my friend Val has started a recipe series. Once a week she's posting a recipe ... not just any old recipe, but one with a history. Hop on over to her blog to read the background to this idea .... It's so sweet -  you won't be disappointed. My goal, is to make each of these recipes ...... Her first recipe was for PECAN TASSIES ... they were outstanding. I've tried many varieties of this recipe, but this one wins hands down for me ...... I personally think it's all to do with the pastry/dough you make :-)

They were a breeze to make too. So ..... pop on your apron, start heating that oven, and get baking !!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

MOOD BLANKET 2015 ....

EDIT (1/14/2015): I've been asked if I'd be interested in hosting this as a CAL for 2015 ..... So here goes ladies(and gents) It's my first venture into the realms of this kind of thing (so please be patient with me)....

     SQUARE A DAY CAL 2015 !!!!

The year is still young, there's time to get caught up .... so grab your hooks, grab your yarn, choose your square pattern, and lets get hooking !!!

The idea will be to crochet a square a day ..... 
-You may decide to do a Mood Blanket, like I am. 
-You may decide to crochet a square that matches the sky for each day.
- You may want to just crochet a square in a color that takes your fancy on that specific day 
The possibilities are endless. The squares don't have to be made into a blanket ......
- Perhaps a scarf or cowl (just think ..... my January/February Cowl or Scarf)
- Anything you can make using crochet squares is a possibility.

From time to time, I'll have a few fun giveaways too, for our participants.

The idea will be for you to post on your blog, on the last day of each month, to share with us your progress, and show us what you've been up to that month.
So, come join in the fun ..... 
Email me ( with your info (Name, Blog Name), so that I can add you to the sidebar.
Then grab the badge, so that we can spread the word. If you know somebody, who you think would like to join in the fun, pass the info on ...... the more we have join, the more fun it'll be !!!

So lets get hooking !!!!

This concept took flight last year (well, it was the first time I'd ever heard of it) .... it's popularity has not waned, and there are hundreds of crocheters around the world, who have decided to take up their hooks and yarn this year, and create one of these beauties !!!!
I toyed with the idea of doing one last year, and decided against it. However this year, I'm up for the challenge. A square a day for 365 days of this year .... a gorgeous blanket to show for it on December 31st ... Ahh, I'm excited.

I've chose ten colors to match my most common moods (the white is my border and joining color), and I've chosen this SUNBURST GRANNY SQUARE PATTERN, to make my squares.
I've chosen to use Bernat Satin yarn with a 3.75mm hook ..... I've never used this yarn before, but there was a great selection of colors to choose from, and it's super soft and squishy. I'm three squares down so far, and it's not too bad to work with either.

I've only bought one ball of each, and I'll buy more as I need it. My hope is that I wont need to buy any more black and grey, and that I'll be back at Joann's to buy many more balls of pink, yellow and red !!!!
I chose to use Lucy's (Attic 24) JOIN AS YOU GO to join the squares. If I had to sit and join 365 squares at the end of this project, I can truthfully say, this blanket would remain a WIP. I really like the join as you go .... I can watch it grow !!!

2015 so far .....
The first square has a white center to signify January 1st .... When I look back, I'll know where the year begun.

I have twelve of these in my planner (I made my own planner this year ..... that'll be a post on it's own). I LOVE it .... I've been able to personalize it to me !!!
I found this free printable somewhere in the wonderful world of Google. Each evening, I decide which mood best describes my day, and I color that days square in .... that way if I fall behind, I know which colors to use to catch up.

I love the idea of having a project that will span this entire year. Each square only takes me about 15 minutes to make and join. It's a great way to unwind at the end of each day.
My plan is to give you an update at the end of each month. So stop by and visit with me, and together we can watch this beauty grow !!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

WELCOME 2015 ....

From our Family to yours .........

Happy New Year !!! May it be a year filled with love, laughter, memories made and dreams come true, for each and every one of you.
May your creative juices flow abundantly - let's make it a year of creating beautiful (and tasty) things.