Friday 31 January 2014

A New Monthly Meme

A monthly meme you say? That’s something new around here. It is and I really hope that some of you will join me. So what do you need for a meme? An idea is a good place to start. Perhaps a snappy acronym to go with it?

I give you SIPIDI! ~ See It, Pin it, Do it!

How often do you see something, while visiting your favourite blogs or just browsing Pinterest, think it’s a great idea and pin it? If you’re anything like me, then that’s probably quite often. How often do you actually go back and use that idea as inspiration for a project of your own, or cook that delicious recipe? Not quite so often? Well, lets do it then.

Towards the end of each month, I’ll link to at least one thing that I’ve pinned to my boards on Pinterest and show you what I’ve made. It could be a card, a sewing project, a recipe, or anything else that takes my fancy. Are you with me?

Here is where I’m really hoping that somebody out there is saying, “Yes!”


This month I’ve been trying out quite a few new recipes. Being a great lover of chickpeas, this was a favourite with me. Jardaloo Ma Murghi or Curry with Apricots.

As you can see, mine doesn’t look quite like the picture, although I did follow the recipe fairly closely. I think the original looks almost like sweet and sour. My apricots were in juice and I have a feeling that Jack’s may have been in syrup, to get that shiny quality to the sauce.


I’ve made it twice now and I did change a few things. I used dried chickpeas the first time, as specified, but you have to be organised a day ahead for that. I’ve always got the tinned variety in the cupboard and it worked equally well, when I substituted those, along with some peaches, when I couldn’t get apricots.

I prefer cumin seeds to the ground stuff, I think they have a nicer aroma when you fry them. I now use Very Lazy Chillis from the jar, because I developed a particularly nasty burning sensation, all over the palms of my hands, after chopping a fresh chilli a few months ago. The recipe says 5 apricots, which was much more than a third of my tin. There were 14 halves so I used 10 of them. When I switched to peaches I used 5 halves. Otherwise I stuck to the recipe.


As suggested, the leftovers were indeed delicious the next day in a wholemeal pitta.

Have you been inspired enough, by something on your boards this month, to have a go? If you have then point me in the right direction in your comment. If you’re interested in joining in, then let me know that too and I’ll have a go at setting up a proper linky at the end of February.

PS If you like the look of the recipe and I can heartily recommend it, then don’t forget to pin from the source, rather than the picture on my blog.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #243

These dark, slightly out of focus desk shots just keep on coming, don’t they?


Remember that simple “getting my hand back in” skirt pattern from last week? Well it seems that it was not quite so simple after all. I decided I did not want darts in the front as I prefer a flat fronted skirt. I thought if I just folded the dart in the paper pattern piece, before cutting out the fabric, that would get rid of them. Of course, it doesn’t, but you knew that, didn’t you?


After an hour or so of fiddling about, I solved the problem and could get down to the cutting. I thought I’d have a go with the rotary cutter. I always think the fabric puckers up underneath when I pin patterns. In the absence of pattern weights, I grabbed a few tins from the cupboard and set to. It wasn’t without a few holding my breath moments, but I got there in the end. Much quicker than pinning. Will definitely be doing this again. All cut out and ready to sew, when I get a minute.

I’m linking up with Julia today. Head on over to see what everyone else has been making this week.

Monday 27 January 2014

Coffee and a Catch Up ~ January 2014

I’m linking up with the lovely Abi today. She invites us all to “Sit and have a cup of tea” with her and share our news.


Being British, we might well start by talking about the weather. Specifically, the endless rain we have had this month. I took this photo standing on the bridge, that leads across the river to the library. The water was sloshing right under my feet and was more or less level with the bank on the far side. We’ve lived here for six years now and I’ve never seen it quite that high before. Imagine if the library were to get flooded. In fact, no, I don’t even want to think about that. *shudder* Here in the South it’s been a very mild Winter without the crisp cold days and clear skies I love.


It’s mock exam season around here and with one embarking on his A Levels and the other her GCSEs, there’s a lot of revision needing to be done. Everyone needs a break though and not being able to get out much, we’ve been getting cosy and enjoying a film or a good board game and plenty of hearty casseroles. I’ve tried a few new recipes this month, some of which I’ll be sharing here, on the blog, very soon. Have you got a favourite tried and tested Winter warmer? I’m loving my slow cooker and it’s had quite a workout these past few weeks. So glad I bought it.


Have a look at this lovely selection of fabrics I received in the mail last week. I’m trying to be a bit more organised this year and get ahead with my blocks. The colours on the right are for Amy’s theme of “Seaside colours, washed and worn.” The silvery grey reminded me of driftwood. The two on the left are for Beverly’s Caribbean colour scheme. I already have some fabric in my stash to go with them. It’s so much fun picking out colours for everyone and I’m really enjoying this project. Maybe you’re joining in too. How are you finding it so far? Are you getting a little more adventurous as the months go by or, like me, sticking to a plan for everyone?


I’m a little late to the party, but in other news, I joined Instagram this month. Of course you may have already guessed that from the square photos gracing this blog post. The above being the almost mandatory lunch shot. I’m loving it. Beverly suggested that Friendship Quilt folk could post fabrics, that fitted their own colour scheme, to give others an idea of what they were hoping to receive. Does that sound like a good idea? I think most of you are already members, although not necessarily active ones. I am @angelfishcrafts over there and will be using the hashtag “friendshipquilt” unsurprisingly!

It’s been lovely to see you here today and I’ll be round to catch up on all your news soon. ‘Til the next time x

Wednesday 22 January 2014

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #242


Not a whole lot happening when this was taken on Tuesday afternoon. A distinct lack of light again. I was in the middle of clearing the decks, ready to begin kitting (not knitting!) for class today. To the left, a skirt pattern and a quilting book, for two projects on the go. To the right, the favourite game of the moment.


I decided it was best to keep things simple for my first foray back into dress making. It’s been a while. I had such great plans last year and then I couldn’t quite seem to get started. I bought one or two patterns and then couldn’t find the *perfect* fabric for them. I bought some a lot of fabric and then didn’t know what to make it into. Please tell me I’m not alone in this. No? OK then. Time to stop procrastinating.

I’ll be linking up with Julia before I head out and round to visit when I get home. Have a great day.

Monday 20 January 2014

Simply A Moment ~ Saturday Morning 6.50am

I’m joining in with Alexa’s lovely monthly meme today.

I lie in the dark and listen to the rain on the windowsill. My mind filling with thoughts of what this day will bring. Homework is a given and revision for the impending mocks. Chicken Paprikash to be cooked, for restocking the freezer with home made ready meals. A lemon drizzle cake to bake. I quickly inventory the fridge and store cupboard, to make sure I have everything I need. Maybe a little sewing.

I wonder if it is a more civilised hour to get up than the last time I looked at the clock. I turn my head and peer into the half light. 6.50am. I slip soundlessly out of bed, without disturbing The Mechanic. Glancing in through my girl’s door, I see her curls over the top of a lap top screen, as she works away at her latest creation on the graphics tablet. Still an early bird, even now that she is a teenager. I give her a quick kiss and carry on along the landing. Standing outside my boy’s door, I hear his even breathing. He’ll sleep for another hour or so yet, but not ‘til lunchtime like most of his friends.

Down the stairs, into the kitchen and I flick on the hob light and fill the kettle. I measure half a cup each of oats, milk and water into a bowl. Two minutes in the microwave, while my rooibos brews, a swirl of honey and I’m good to go. I push down the door handle with my elbow and cradle the porridge, while I feel for the light switch in the dark. I soak up the peace and quiet to prepare myself for the day.

Friday 17 January 2014

Peachy Keen

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I’m taking part in the 52 Card Challenge again. I was a bit hit and miss with it last year and thought by posting what I’ve made here, every now and again, I might be more inclined to keep up this time around!


The first challenge was to use stash you’d been given for Christmas. In my case, that was none! Instead I went for something new(ish) that I’d bought myself, the smaller of the two flower stamps. The larger one is an old favourite and both have matching punches, which makes things easy. Inspired by the peachy tones Alexa chose for her Friendship Quilt blocks, I made this card and a coordinating box*.


Last week, the challenge was to use a very bright colour palette, with many more colours than I would usually put together in one card. I managed to get them all in, albeit in very small doses, including a nod to the spots and chevrons in the picture.

This week it’s a sketch challenge, if you fancy joining in. I’ve yet to make mine, but I’ll share it, along with Week 4, later in the month. Here’s to keeping up with good intentions….so far!

*You can find a tutorial for the box (in a slightly smaller size) here.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #241

Here’s *what* is on my desk…..


…..but the bigger question this week is: *Where* is your workdesk?


Look, look! Tucked into a corner, beside a big bookcase, in front of the cupboard of doom (well, I didn’t want to get in there anyway!) my little desk is back. It’s not ideal. There’s only just room to get my chair underneath and I have my back to the window, but I’ll take it. So happy to have a permanent space again.

Please excuse the horribly blurry photos, but it is so dark here today. If I put the lights on all the colours are very strange indeed. I made a card last week for Nat’s 52 Card Challenge and stamped some extra pennants to make into a few more. The circular thing, top right, is a Christmas decoration. I got it for 90p, in Paperchase, yesterday and will be dismantling for the multi coloured jingly bells.

That’s me. How about you? Are you joining in today? I’m about to head over to Julia’s place and find out.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Intentions for 2014

It seems a little late in the month for a retrospective post, so bang goes my first intention for this month! Instead I’ll look forward to what the coming year may bring.


Project Life ~ I bought a small diary to jot down things that happen each day, as a basis for some pocket scrapping. I’m really keen to give it a go this year, having read with interest the blog posts of others on the subject, over the last year or so.

Instagram ~ I upgraded my phone a couple of weeks ago and for the first time I have a camera worth using. I’ve joined Instagram and am enjoying finding my way around there. I think it will also be a useful tool for PL and possibly a good way of sharing progress with the Friendship Quilt, for those that are on there.

Reading ~ Last January I began A Song of Fire and Ice, not really intending to read all the books published so far. That’s what happened though and I have about 200 pages left of A Dance With Dragons. This year I will be catching up with all the great books I missed out on. I’ve already downloaded one or two onto my Nook.

Crafting ~ There will definitely be more sewing in my very near future. I have plans for at least one other quilt, before I receive all my Friendship Quilt blocks in June. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that. If you’re taking part, look out for a post, with some thoughts on that project, later in the week.

Blogging ~ I want to get out of the rut I found myself in at the end of the year and have some plans to that end. I also have an idea for a monthly meme, which I’ll share next week. I really hope some of you will join me.

One Little Word ~ Last year I picked ‘Connect’ and that worked well for me. This year I am choosing ‘Engage’ and I’ll talk more about that another day.

There you have it. Another fresh new year ahead of us. Let’s enjoy it together.

Thursday 9 January 2014

One Photo in Twenty Words ~ Angel Bear

A monthly meme hosted by Abi at Creating Paper Dreams.


Our angel bear, bought the year we nearly lost our girl. Christmas, along with the memories, back in the box.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #240

That’s another week gone by. Seriously? I had planned to blog in between, but it just didn’t happen. I’m teaching this morning so a very quick fly by from me.


Kitting yesterday afternoon, ready for class this morning. My essential notebook at the forefront. Trying to gently steer myself away from what have become my signature colours. Kraft still puts in an appearance. It does go with everything, doesn’t it, or is that just me?

Pop over to Julia’s to see what everyone is up to and I’ll be round to visit after lunch.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #239

It’s almost midnight. I’m watching a firework display on the TV, while listening to them being set off outside. Big Ben is chiming the last few seconds of 2013 and a brand new year is nearly here.


There hasn’t been very much crafting going on in the last week. I did make these little gifts for my nieces and nephews, to give out at a family gathering yesterday.


There was a boy’s version too. As you can see they are a little outnumbered! I found it interesting to see who tore off the end, to get to the contents (Lindt chocolate teddy bears and Santas, in case you’re interested) and who carefully untied the ribbon and tipped it out.

I’m joining in with Julia and the gang for this New Year edition of WOYWW?

Thank you to everyone who has visited and commented during this last year. Looking forward to your company in 2014, whatever it may bring. Happy New Year!