De-Stash Projects

Space or lack of it is abit of an issue in our house. I do say that Little L has far too many toys, the boys and husband should actually throw some of their stuff away but when I look round I play a big part too with my stash of wool, fabric, bags of half finished projects. My husband *bless him* never says a word about my stuff being here, there and everywhere and says we will never have an empty looking house because we have hobbies ( he has his guitars ).
Anyway lately I have been trying to reduce what I have before I buy anything else.

This teacosy was made for my husband ( I don't drink tea, I think it smells funny ). I got the idea for it from Crochet With Raymond Blog. Thank you Alice :). I used a teacosy pattern which I already had and omitted the frill from the  bottom. If you have not visited this blog before it is bursting with crochet made in some fabulous coloured wool plus there are some really useful tutorials posted.

My flock of birds were made using a pattern from another great crochet blog Attic 24 . Thank you Lucy :)

I also finished off a few things which had been hanging about for awhile. The bunting only needed some ends sewing in and the chick eggcosies, made last Easter were just waiting for some eyes. They do appear small though, maybe for quail eggs ?

and this cushion case was only waiting for buttons to be sewn on the back. Anyway while Little L is having 40 winks I think I will go for a rummage to see what else I can finish.


I decided to post this wip as I don't know how long it will actually take me to finish this blanket. It will be made up from different patterned squares in shades of brown and cream.The patterns I am using for the squares are from this book which I received as a Christmas present. Over Christmas I did make a few squares but the colours I chose were really dull ( I think they were boring me to be honest ) so I just left them in a bag.

I recently came across my dull boring squares and still hated them and while I am trying to dwindle down my wool stash at the moment, I had to buy some to try to cheer up these squares. I went for some reddish - brown shades and a kind of gold colour and I think its made the world of difference. So far I've made 27 squares so to make a good size blanket may take me a while.

A Trip To The Zoo

I have had a brilliant time today at Chester Zoo with Little L and Jay. We couldn't have picked better weather to have a day out. Plus as the zoo isn't in full season yet there weren't many people there so Little L was able to see the animals without being jostled about or stood on.
Today was the first time I have been in the Butterfly House they have there ( its was closed the last time I went ). Having never been in a butterfly house before I didn't realise how hot the temperature was going to be - It Was Hot. Also I had to wait for my glasses to stop steaming up so I could actually see anything.

We made sure that Little L got to see the owls.

But out of all the birds that we saw I fell in love with this European Vulture.

Something that I had never seen at the zoo ( or heard of ) before were these Bush Dogs. There were 11 of them in all and at one point they were walking in a circle, one after another like they were playing follow the leader. They noises that they make is kind of like the squeaky sound a guinea pig makes.

 Both myself and Jay said that we have not walked so far in a long time. All three of us had a lovely time, very tiring but a great day.

Chocolate Sauce

This week I tried out a new recipe for chocolate sauce which I found on Hazelnuts blog.  It can be used to make milkshakes and as a sauce for ice cream. We also tried it as a warm chocolate sauce and poured it on to a chocolate and cream sponge cake, it was gorgeous. The recipe is very easy and quick to make and has been a hit with people in this house. Thank you for posting your recipe Jacqui .

What-a-lotta-chocca cookies

Having some time off work and amongst my spring clean I treated myself to a new baking book . There are some fantastic recipes for cakes and biscuits . Imade what-a-lotta-chocca for my kids and parents the other day and they didnt have to be stored ( they never left any)
125g-plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
25g- cocoa
125g-dark chocolate
85g-soft butter
175g- light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g-milk choc chips
55g white choc chunks

Preheat oven to180c/350f/gas4 and line baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Sift flour/cocoa and bicarb into a large bowl and set aside.

Break dark chocolate into pieces and melt over a pan of simmering water.Let it cool slightly.
Cream together the butter/sugar and vanilla extract then beat in the eggs.
Stir the melted chocolate into the mixture.

Then add the milk chocolate chips and white chocolate chunks.

Fold all this mix into the flour and cocoa mix. Next put spoonfulls of the mix onto your baking trays allowing space for spreading.

Bake for 10 minutes then leave on the trays to firm up. once they have hardened slightly transfer them to wire racks.


If you enjoy these then definetly buy the book there are loads more yummy recipes in there

Visitors & De Cluttering

Its been a bit busy in this household lately for anything craft wise. I have a lot of little things that just need finishing off though.
Firstly the boys were on their half term school holidays so I took the opportunity to get their wardrobe sorted out. Which involved me throwing clothes at them to try on to see if they fit or not. Little L didn't want to be left out and tried some on too. The boys must be going through a massive growth spurt as some of their clothes they have only worn a couple of times and are now too small.Next Little L's clothes were sorted. Any clothes which are still in good condition then get passed on to two of my friends for their children. I then had a quick sort through my airing cupboard but only found some tatty cushion covers to get rid off and I did unpick the zips off these before they went into the recycling tub. When I actually thought that I maybe getting somewhere with my de-cluttering frenzy my mum rang and asked me if I wanted two sets of curtains for my living room - well I'm not going to say no am I ? I may as well face facts now, this house will never be clutter free.
When the boys went back to school after their break, I had a nice visit from my sis, niece and nephew ( their school holidays were a week behind the boys ).

Jay made these lovely cakes to bring with. They were gorgeous. She always makes excellent cakes ( a far better baker and cook then me ). I may dabble with soup and jam making now and again but it doesn't seem to matter how many pinnies I have, I'm never going to a 'Ma Larkin' not matter how much it appeals to me.

My sis also bought a variety of eggs for us laid by her hens and as soon as my youngest boy came in he asked for an omelette so omelette's for tea it was.

Just before Jay arrived I had a visitor of the feathered kind. I didn't know what it was but I know we have had a sparrowhawk in the garden recently so I thought it might have been that but when my sis saw it she said it was a kestrel. Sorry for the poor photos. I was stretching over the kitchen sink trying to take the photo through the window before it flew off.