Tag Archives: Mollie Makes

So, a Sunless Summer Spent…Saving the Universe!

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Well hello my lovely blog-reading friends! I hope you managed to have some fun this summer, despite all the gloomy damp weather. It was all a bit disappointing wasn’t it? As the sun failed to make many appearances in the sky for us, I have added a sunny yellow glow to my bloggings for you, by way of the delightful dahlia pic above. I just adore dahlias: so vervaciously vibrant they can’t fail to cheer you up.

If you managed to escape to anywhere exciting for the summer dear reader, I hope you managed to find some sunshine, for we certainly did when we visited wonderful Wales for our hols. During our time there we enjoyed the many delights of Cardiff such as the castle..

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…all very impressive with rather a lot of steep steps that were fine to climb up but somewhat scarier to descend (eek!) We also loved ambling around the many Edwardian and Victorian shopping arcades…

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…enjoyed a brew and Barabrith in the many cosy coffee bars…

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…we wondered at the many delights of Cardiff Bay, or Tiger Bay as the locals call it…

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…such as The Roald Dahl Plas…

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…the mighty Millenium Centre…

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Oh, and did I mention that we saved the universe there too? Yes indeed, we visited The Doctor Who Experience and had an epic-awesome adventure working with the current Doctor Who to save the planet from various aliens…

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…and generally had a fab out-of-this-world experience…

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We also visited the beautiful Barry and Barry Island, where we walked in the footsteps of TV’s Gavin and Stacey and I’m not gonna lie to you, it was crackin’!

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We were made up to visit Trinity Street where Stacey, Gwen (not Gwen from Budgeons), Bryn (don’t mention the fishing trip) and Doris lived, Marco’s where Stacey worked, the arcade where Nessa (sort of ) worked…

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…Boofy’s their chip shop of choice…

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…and sat on the same wall that Gavin, Stacey, Smithy and Nessa all perched on for that final episode and looked out to sea…

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…genuine!

Back in England, we had a delightful day out in Teignmouth: still as serene as ever…

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…a trip to Totness and Dartington…

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…and gazed in awe at the beautiful, big, big skies of Budleigh…

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What have I been crafting up this summer? Well for starters I’ve only been at the chalk paint and had a go at a bit of upcycling! Yes I ‘updated’ my ‘dated’ solid pine bed with a lick of pebble grey chalk paint and I have to confess, I am rather chuffed with it…

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I must warn you though dear reader, painting furniture is seriously addictive, as I have been eyeing up other suitable candidates around my abode that look ripe for a quick makeover! My new watercolour paints had a quick testing too…

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…and my ink pen enjoyed a little ‘mindfulness zentangling’ or doodling as we know it…

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My crochet hook worked up a sweat on a chic chevron cushion I designed with a buttoned closure on the reverse…

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…along with a whimsical wall hanging for darling daughter, complete with tickly tassels and dreamy driftwood…

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A trio of charm bracelets were crocheted from a Mollie Makes’ kit and as there were three I let my two darling daughters squabble out the distribution between themselves; far too dangerous an area for me to venture into…

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My knitting needles have been happily stitching up some cosy treats for autumn, such as a textured caress of a cover for my notebook…

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…several squares in many, many patterns, in glorious greys for what will one day become a warming throw…

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…and a cosy cushion cover in gorgeous grey stripes of a selection of stitch patterns…

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I had a little go at crafting with leatherette via another Mollie Makes kit, this time a tropical cocktail of a couple of brooches…

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Thankfully there were two of them, so I was spared any teenage traumas when it came to sharing them out – phew! A bit of baking was also enjoyed which produced a lush lemon loaf…

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…it didn’t last long mind you! Bit like our summer… Well I will leave you now dear reader and as I began my bloggings with a dahlia, so I shall end with a dahlia, well, a jug full of the dashing darlings actually! Keep on crafting…

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Bountiful Blossoming Blooms

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Yes indeed dear reader, summer has well and truly arrived in my garden, as you can tell from the bountiful blossoming flowers that have appeared on my courgette plant in the photo above! Courgette flowers are definately not ‘backwards in coming forwards’ as far as blooms go, for they are indeed rather enormous and rather yellow. They do however perform the most breathtaking magic, by turning into one of these beauties…

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Rather impressive is it not, dear reader? My first ‘crop’ I do declare, but maybe just a ‘cropette’ seeing as it’s just the one. My pepper plants are also producing perfect peppers of the green variety…

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…and to top it all, I’ve only gone and grown real live olives on my little olive tree!

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There has been much excitement in our household dear reader, at the tentative initial success of our petite patio potted allotment efforts!
It’s delightful to sit amongst the bounty of blooms in my garden, all buzzing with the hum of happy honey bees. Ho hum…

There have also been a few ‘blooms’ in evidence in my latest sewing project, for I have finally finished the cute-as-pie Lucky Bear free project from Mollie Makes. The flowery embroidery was a joy to stitch and has left me yearning for more floral-fancy needlework and as for the little bear himself, well I was so enamoured with the cheerful chappy that I just had to draw him…

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He’s quite a flowery, fanciful fellow isn’t he? Talking of fancy flowers, my coloured pencil sketch of the cottage garden hollyhock ‘bloomed’ (pardon the pun) this week…

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I just love the blousy blooms of the handsome hollyhock, don’t you? On the knitting front, the delightful diamond lace stitch cowl I was knitting is now complete…

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…which leaves me with an empty pair of knitting needles and in a bit of a quandry as to what project to pick next, from my infinite list of ‘oh I must try that’ to-do list! I also have an endless list of ‘ooh I so have to bake those beauties’ cakes and cookies to-do list. One such scrummy delight was baked up during a rather miserably muggy day of rain at the weekend: my oat and chocolate chip cookies. A Facebook pal has requested the recipe, so as promised here it is…

Oat & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
4oz (115g) butter
4oz (115g) dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3-4tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla essence
5oz (150g) plain flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
4oz (115g) rolled oats
7oz (200g) milk chocolate chips

Apologies for all the ‘ounces’ reader, for although I declare myself to be fully ‘metrical’ whilst in public, at home behind closed doors I am totally beholden to my dear old imperial chums: pound and ounce!

Method:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla essence, beating well. I usually add a little flour with each glug of eggy mix, so as to prevent curdling hazards.
2. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, stirring until well mixed.
3. Fold in the rolled oats and mix well, then add the chocolate chips.
4. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. Place 2 teaspoon-sized heaps of the mixture on a greased baking sheet or one lined with baking parchment. Leave room for them to spread a little and press them down a bit in the centre with the back of a spoon. You should be able to make about 20.
6. Bake the little beauties in a preheated oven set at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 10-12 minutes, until they are just starting to colour at the edges, then carefully transfer them to a wire cooling rack with a spatula.

These cookies are of the soft and squidgy variety even once cooled, but you must devour at least one whilst it is still warm from the oven, as they are divine! They are also extremely fabulous when warmed slightly and eaten with ice-cream but they are also lovely just enjoyed with a cuppa…

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Mmm, don’t they look delicious…sorry dear reader, but my cookies are calling me so I will leave you to bake, blossom and bloom my friend!

Been Bath, Been Baking, Been Busy!

Well hello there dear reader! Yes indeed I have been to beautiful Bath recently, I have been baking cake and cookies, I have been crocheting and knitting, so I have indeed been busy-busy-busy! First of all I will let you peruse a few pics of my holiday in the beautiful city of Bath; where I of course visited the Roman Baths…

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… where it was just so breathtaking to stand on the terrace with the Abbey in the background, surrounded by tourists from all over the world. Then there was the Abbey itself…

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…with its inspiring stained glass windows…

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…and superb ceiling…

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There was yet more awesome architecture with The Circus…

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…a sensationally spherical street, along with The Royal Crescent…

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…which also had a rather interesting Georgian museum at No.1. So if you are a fan of architecture, as I am, then Bath is right up your street! I also visited the Jane Austen centre, truly inspiring and well worth a visit, but particularly fab for me as I studied Austen’s novels for my English Literature A Level. Plus you also get to dress up in a bit of Austen-like finery if you so wish! Needless to say dear reader, I failed to find my Mr Darcy there…

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Whilst in Bath I also had my first Bath Bun at the Bath Bun Tea Shop…

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…and a famous Sally Lunn Bun at the Sally Lunn teashop, the oldest house in Bath…

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…and the bun is as big as a plate and you have to eat it with a knife and a fork! I had mine with milk jam, which tasted just like salted caramel…mmm…

When I returned to my humble abode I was inspired to do a bit of my own baking so made some sultana cookies and an apricot and almond loaf cake, from my own recipe…

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If anyone would like the recipe just let me know and I’ll endeavour to include it in my next bloggings. As for crochet, I’ve been busy making up a couple of free kits from two of my favourite magazines: Simply Crochet which involved a charming ooh-ooh owl key charm…

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…and Mollie Makes’ cheerful cherries brooch…

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As for knitting, I have just started a lacy snood with some yummy yarn I purchased at the fab ‘Wool Bath’ shop; it’s by Debbie Bliss and is a mix of cotton, silk and linen and yes I can hear you saying “Ooh, sounds pricey!” dear reader, but it was half price in the sale and I only needed 100g for this cute little project…

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Looking lush me thinks, and it’s super-silky-soft too! I also bought a couple of balls of cotton yarn in a rather perfect-pastel-peach…

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…and I’m rather liking the pink and peach together actually, bit like a peach melba! Well I’d better leave you in peace now dear reader, as there has been rather a lot of pics this blog, so you’re probably a bit overcome with all the visual excitement and need to sit down quietly with a cuppa, oh and some cake of course, to restore your inner calm. I shall leave you with a positive pic of a pretty pavement pansy; proof that even the powerful pavement slab can’t prevent the pansy from it’s destiny of bringing prettiness to a grey, grey world…

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Fa-la-la! For the Fearlessly Flamboyant Frank the Flamingo!

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Frank definately needs a fanfare, for he is indeed a bit of a vain flapper dear reader! I crocheted him from a pattern in Simply Crochet magazine for my daughter, whilst watching Cary Grant and Doris Day films, as you do… I thought the flamingo thing rather suited the fifties theme and I’m sure Cary and Doris would have been mildly amused. He has been named Frank after the character Frank Moses played by Bruce Willis in the film ‘Red,’ hence the ‘fearlessly flamboyant,’ for dear old Brucie is most definately fearless, is he not? Especially in my favourite Die Hard movies which I have a weakness for and I’m sure he would have a good old chuckle in his grubby white vest at being linked to a pink flamingo…

I have also crocheted up a little teddy-in-a-teacup amigurumi bear from a pattern in the lovely, lovely Mollie Makes magazine. I suspect he’s trying to distract me with his cuteness however, by deliberately posing rather coyly in a teacup just so he can get his grubby paws on my cookies. Too bad little bear, I’m on to you…

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This week I have fallen in love with the granny square once again, after crocheting up a little pastel cutie from Simply Crochet magazine. They take such a tiny time to make, yet are like a burst of colourful cheeriness once completed and always make me smile…

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This one looks a little lonesome though, for granny squares seldom operate alone dear reader, as they are far happier joined together with other fellow granny squares, so I must crochet my solo square a crochet clan soon… I have however discovered something even more smile-inducing than the granny square: the mini granny square! They are sooooo teeny-tiny you just want to weep! I am joining my little mini squares of joy into a jaunty cream and grey cowl, via a Simply Crochet magazine pattern. Be prepared to coo over their sheer tiny cuteness dear reader…

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Aren’t they adorable? My crochet hooks have been well busy lately reader, for I have also made a couple of fruity-fab cool coasters from Simply Crochet magazine for my daughters…

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Fruitilicious are they not dear reader? And oh-so-summery… Of course my knitting needles have not been totally neglected, for another one of my weird-but-wonderful moustachionos appeared this week; meet the one and only Monochrome Mike, complete with a rather dapper and dashing Fred Astaire style white bow tie…

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Well that’s all my makingness for now dear reader, although I have started hooking up another crocheted mandala which I’m rather excited about, but more of that next time. For now I will leave you with a few pretty-pics of flouncy-floweriness I captured on my camera phone, whilst on my wanderings. Farewell dear reader, until my next bloggings and remember: keep on making!

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Oooh La La Lapin!

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Hello dear reader, or should I say ‘bonjour’ seeing as I am introducing my latest crochet creation: Monsieur Lapin (or Mr Rabbit for those who require a translation) isn’t he fab? He’s from a pattern in the latest Mollie Makes magazine ( http://www.molliemakes.com ) and was very quick and easy to make. I also attempted to make the stripes on his little top ‘jogless’ by following a tutorial by June Gilbank on You Tube called: Perfect Stripes for Amigurumi (right-handed version). She demonstrates two types of jogless stripes: the no-cut join and the invisible join which involves cutting the yarn. As it was only a teeny tiny project, I plumped for the no-cut join and the stripes turned out pretty near enough ‘jogless’ but I would probably use the invisible join for a larger project. You can always pop over to June Gilbank’s website for more tutorials, along with other amigurumi awesomeness, at http://www.PlanetJune.com .

On the subject of crochet, this month’s Simply Crochet magazine ( http://simplycrochetmag.co.uk ) has some lovely ‘must-add-to-my-crochet-to-do-list’ projects, such as a rather fetching rucksack, a lovely lacey cowl and a delightful rainbow-striped Daschund.

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Oooh, and guess what else I’ve been up to dear reader? I’ve only been ‘upcycling’ haven’t I! You see, one of my delightful daughters had sadly outgrown her favourite sundress but loved the fabric so much that she did not want to part with it, so good old Mummy here magiced it into a skirt! Ta-da!

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My upcycling of said dress involved opening up the back seam, chopping off the top of the dress, removing the zip and then sewing the back seam up again. It has to be said however, that removing the long zip at the back took longer than re-sewing the whole skirt, but there you go. Delightful daughter was well-happy with her new skirt and I was well-chuffed with my first attempt at upcycling, so what can I chop up next…

I also picked up a copy of Cross Stitcher magazine this month, as it had a rather fab notebook freebie which caught my eye because it had a super vintage typewriter on the front cover…

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So I am presently stitching the cute heart on the front cover of said notebook. There are also some lovely projects inside too, such as the terrific town house candle holder and the cute cloud cushion. Of course I need to finish the vintage camera cross stitch I am still stitching, but more of that another time dear reader…

How about a little artful gallery time now, for I have been playing around with pencil-sketched people, what do you think?

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I rather enjoyed drawing her so think I will probably draw some more pencil-people and may even add some colour, possibly watercolour paints, so bear with dear reader. I also had a little play with my coloured pencils and came up with this young lady who is rather pleased with her new hair-do…

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And on that note I shall leave you dear reader, for I must craft on…

Thanking Fab Followers!

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Yes thank you dear reader! For unbelievably I reached the giddy heights of having 20 followers of my humble little arty-crafty bloggy thing this week! It is truly heart-warming to know that there are 20 lovely dear reader chums out there. I do hope I can keep you all entertained with my makeryness and crafty adventures, as well as inspiring you to get stuck-in with some creating!

I also have more exciting news dear reader, for I have finally purchased an electric sewing machine! Yes, following my recent exploits with a brand new sewing machine, which rather alarmingly kept sewing all by itself even when my foot was NOT pressing the foot pedal, I now have a much more friendly machine that only sews when I intend it to do so. I am very grateful to the muchly helpful lady at The Exeter Sewing Machine Company http://exetersewing.co.uk who was very patient with me with regards to my foot pedal fears and other ‘issues’!

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I have never owned an electric sewing machine before, having only ever used a hand-operated vintage Singer, so am still in the ‘tentative getting to grips with it’ mode at the moment. So bear with on the sewing front, dear reader! The lovely and talented Jane Foster http://janefoster.co.uk also visited the Exeter Sewing Machine Company this week which is a bit of a coincidence, as the first item I sewed together on my super new sewing machine was the Jane Foster dog sewing kit that came with an issue of the fab Mollie Makes magazine! How spooky is that?!? And here is that rather dashing Daschund..

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Not bad for my first machine sewing me thinks. Talking of Mollie Makes http://www.molliemakes.com the latest issue is just as fab as always and am rather smitten with Monsieur Lapin so have my hook poised ready to crochet the chap forth with…

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Talking of crocheted bunnies (I do so hope you are noticing all these lovely links dear reader) I also hooked up a cutie-pie of a bunny brooch this week from a Simply Crochet magazine pattern http://www.simplycrochetmag.com in prepartion for my Eastery ensemble. So I shall leave you with a Springful pic of my happy-hoppy bunny, as I have some makings to be getting on with and I need to hop to it (sorry)…

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Fame for My Fab Foxy Felt Brooches in Mollie Makes!

Good day to you dear reader, back for more I see! Well this time I have some exciting news to share with you: the lovely Mollie Makes magazine ( http://www.molliemakes.com ) only went and included me on their Facebook post for their January craft round-up! Yes I know, truely astounding isn’t it? I do hope the shock hasn’t caused you to nearly spill your cuppa as it did me when it popped up on my Facebook page. It was such a delight to spot my foxy felt brooches in all their glory. Thanking you Mollie Makes.