Getting Ready for the Weekend

OK. Bank Holiday weekend coming up. Not my weekend in (should I be quite so happy about that?) what does that mean?
Well, as much chocolate as a girl can eat obviously but it means a few days crafting. Whoopee.
More pics to go on and more bags to be made.

Went with my friend of Old Bag Blog fame to shop for buttons this lunchtime ands went back to work with pocketfuls of beautiful buys.
Sad when you dream of fabric, buttons and the like but I can’t help it.

I took in my bags to show the gals at the library today and thankfully they liked them. If I could just stay at home and make then I would but I need to work to pay for my hobbies. How sad is that…….

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Newsflash

Ok. I have been away for a few days to visit family in sunny Cambridgeshire (Yes, it was warm and sunny and we were wandering about without coats!) going to a Half Man Half Biscuit gig and generally wandering about reminiscing and meeting up with old friends and ex colleagues.

While doing the family bit and some frequenting of public houses, Simon and my youngest brother Peter decided that I should change the name of my blog slightly. If you hadn’t noticed then shame on you.

This was due to the fact of my other hobby which is being encouraged by others rather than as with the knitting where people just look at me in a slightly sad way with raised eyebrows and a smile. You know who you are!

The other hobby in question is cocktail making. I have to agree with both Simon and Peter that yes, they should be involved a bit more.

Hence the new title thought up by them. I quite like it but don’t tell them that.

So here it is……

Blue Sunset

Unfortunately the camera does NOT do the colour justice. It was more of a turquoise than blue. The colour of the sea when you holiday anywhere but the UK! But it did taste good. Blue Curacao, Lemon Vodka and Lemon Juice. Homemade Lemon Vodka I quickly add. I have some more Vanilla Vodka on the go as well which I will go and gently agitate in a moment.

I am also including a make as well. Oh Bliss what more could you ask?

Two of my colleagues at work are going to be grandparents this year so it is a perfect time to use up the oddments to make cute little bootees, cardigans and anything else I fancy.

The first item was footwear made in a lovely cream colour. Not the ideal shade for decent photography but it’ll have to do

The finished pair

As I’ve been away this week they won’t be given to Grandma until next week but hey are ideal as they can tuck into her suitcase when she visits. More will follow though as they are ideal items to knit in a lunchbreak or in an evening. One an evening is a good rate.

While we were in Cambridge we spent a considerable amount of time in John Lewis and now my head is fairly buzzing with ideas. Even more than it was before if that’s possible. I did spend some money on a remnant of upholstery fabric for bag making after a long deliberation! I actually want to make myself a bag out of it although it’s big enough to get a gift out of it too!

Oh well. Off to make something methinks.

What! No bags…

Yup. You read it right. Today is a bagless blog.No, surely not I hear you cry.

But Yes, today, for one day only.No bags will appear on my blog.
Don’t worry. You’ll survive.
Instead, I have a bake rather than a make. Well face it, it had to happen at some point. The title of the blog is Makes AND Bakes so there had to be a bake fairly soon.

And here it is. A stupendously tasty chocolate cake. You can’t go wrong with chocolate really can you.

This a lovely gluten free chocolate cake. Recipe as follows:

You will need:

275g dark chocolate, chopped

100g unsalted butter

2 eggs

130g caster sugar

50g rice flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

65 ml milk

a 20cm springform cake tin, lined

To make:

Preheat the oven to 160 C/325 F or Gas Mark 3

Put the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Stir until melted then leave to cool slightly.

Put the eggs and sugar into another bowl and whisk until they look like a thick foam. Add the rice flour and baking powder and mix, then stir in the chocolate/butter mixture and mix then add the milk and stir in gently.

Pour into the baking tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

If a skewer comes out clean it’s ready.

Leave to cool before taking out of the tin then eat.

Easy or what.

The finished and ready to be eaten cake

The recipe came from The Popina Book of Baking and will be made again and again as it was so easy and bloomin tasty.

Ta-daa

Et Voila! This is me in the apron made from tea towels.

Plus assistant of course. This is Ponsonby, who I think is probably trying to make me believe it’s time for yet another dish of food.

I’m not that gullible.

He can wait.

Back to the apron. I’m pretty chuffed with it I must say. My eyes are peeled for more groovy tea towels so that I can make more for Christmas. I have a rather nice stripy one that came with the spotty ones. Still pondering over what to do with that. Another bag crossed my mind………….

Not that sewing is the only thing that keeps me out of trouble.

A confession. I am a knitaholic and a craftaholic. I can’t help it. It’s inbuilt. I’m sure there’s a help group out there but I’m not looking. I’m happy wondering what to make next and who will be hte lucky or unlucky recipient.

I am now going to post two pictures of my lovely friend Holly in her birthday shrug. She might not thank me for this!

I made them in the same mohair yarn for Simon’s nieces for Christmas but they weren’t that thrilled. Holly has risen to the occasion and I love her for it.

What next?

Wait and see………………………………

And for a change…..

it’s not a bag that I made next.

Don’t faint please.

I bought these really nice tea towels. Sad, I know, but I liked the colours and I liked the patterns. Spots and stripes, what’s not to like?

My intention was to wrap some of my presents in them at Christmas but then when it came around to the wrapping, I just didn’t do it. It wasn’t until afterwards that I remembered i’d bought them.

It didn’t matter as they were from Primark and were as cheap as chips although they are good quality cotton so my brain started buzzing and I decided to make an apron. Hey! if Martha Stewart can do it so can I.

It had to be unique though so after borrowing another library book ( they’ll crop up quite alot) I did some festive cross stitch grumpy fairies. Well why not!

She has rubber gloves and a mop bI do think this apron is far too nice to clean in!

I chopped up 2 tea towels and made a handy pocket. Stitched it altogether and then used som cream coloured cotton tape for a neck strap and ties.

Well I’m pleased with it.

Bag 2.0 & 2.1

Ok. So I have a thing about making bags. I’m not as addicted to them as my Adventuring Old Bag friend but I still like them.

My next foray into bag making came after I had to buy a new sewing machine. My beloved Singer, which I had for nearly 25 years (not new then) gave up the ghost at the same time as my Mum’s. Typical, you go to use it and it doesn’t work. I took them in to the Exeter Sewing Machine Centre as they do servicing and repairs there, only to be told that it wasn’t worth bothering!

Well, what’s a girl to do but go and buy a new one?

I now have a lovely Janome sewing machine, on which I have been playing regularly. My first practice piece was a padded Christmas Stocking for my friend Frances. Well really, how could someone as addicted to Christmas as she is not already have a proper Christmas Stocking? I was stunned. So the first thing I made solved the problem.

Thing is, when you work in a library and have the whole county’s library catalogue at your disposal, you’ll browse. And yes, I did.

I borrowed a brilliant book as you’ll see below.

It is a brilliant book with loads of templates for different types of vintage bags. I was hooked.

I bought some black needlecord and some gorgeous ribbon, as well as some lining material and there is no stopping me now.

My intention for the first one was to make a bag for my friend and then if I liked it, to make bags and things for everyone for Christmas. Well, I do like….. I liked do much that I made a second one straight off for a birthday present.

Everything cut out and ready.

Everything was cut out and ready for action.

The cats were fascinated!

No, I didn’t have a tin of chocolates for inspiration! That’s the tin I keep my sewing cotton in.

I had a change of plan on the handle front as I decided I didn’t like the bamboo handles.

The first bag I gave ribbon handles too, while the second one had cord handles. I stitched along one edge of a narrow piece of fabric, turned it inside out and then stitched along each edge to keep it flat. I even impressed myself!

The first bag

The second bag

the finished article

This is the first one. I gave the second bag to our friend for her birthday. For some reason it did take her a while to realise that i’d made it. Perhaps because it wasn’t knitted!

She did comment a couple of days later. She said it was really well made. A compliment but a bit of a sarcastic one if you ask me. Still, she liked it.

I think I will make more for Christmas. I quite fancy a larger version. Not being a handbag person myself, bigger might be better.

Here’s a picture with my hand in for scale. I realised that the chair in the other picture could be for tiny dolls. Only I would know!

Here anyway is the finished item.

What next? You’ll have to wait and see.

Are you asleep yet?

Make 1.0

Well, lets start as I mean to go on.

This isn’t the first thing I made this year but it is the first that I recorded with a photograph! Simon’s niece Laura had a birthday and had complained at Christmas when the younger nieces were given hand knitted presents! In fact she was more impressed than they were but that’s par for the course.

I decided that a bag was the answer for a fashion conscious teenager.

I had a pair of bamboo handles that I hadn’t decided what to do with yet. I know, make a bag stick em on. But inspiration hadn’t struck up until that point. I had some lovely chunky wool sitting staring at me and so I found a pattern for a cabled bag.

Managed to knit it up within the two weeks prior to the birthday! Nothing like cutting it fine is there?

Had some dark green fabric left over from some cushion covers and lined it to give it a bit more stability and Hey Presto!!! A Birthday Bag.

I stitched in a “Handknitted by Linda” label and popped it in the post.

I hope she liked it……………………..

The Rest of the Family

Thought you ought to meet the rest of the family. The two ginger demons and Simon. They have to put up with knitting and crafting bits everywhere and are obviously expected to approve of everything I do. Well, isn’t that what families are for?
More than occasionally we are to be found chasing a cat who’s stolen the knitting!!!!

Getting to grips with Blogging

Well I’m still in practice mode with the blog. Although I did manage to change my header image!
I have downloaded the WordPress application for my iPod as well so that I can tap away in the warmth of the living room. Mind you it’s blinking cold at the moment.
My mind is buzzing with things to put on here. I don’t want to bore anyone rigid but your choice if Reading this so serves you right.
I am trying to find some photos to put on, which will follow.
Practice makes perfect. But who wants perfect.? It’s not natural…….

Hello world!

This is my second attempt at a first blog! The first one said it had worked and entered correctly but nothing came up. Probably tired and confused. Me that is, not the computer….

Anyhow, this is all because I am doing an attempt at some training through work. Obviously, doing wonderfully well already then. My theory is to fill these pages with all the interesting things that I make at home.  A record for me as well as other interested and bored people.

It could well end up as a good cure for insomnia as well.

Watch this space………….