Friday 31 October 2014

SIPIDI and a Friday Find

The blogging schedule, such as it was, didn’t quite go to plan this month, so I’m squeezing two posts into one today.

I mentioned last week that I was having another attempt at teaching myself to crochet. I found a local class, but unfortunately it’s the same time that I teach my own classes so it was back to Youtube for me. I pinned this video for a simple flower. Armed with an odd ball of yarn and a magazine kit freebie hook, off I went.


I’m pretty chuffed with the result. I’m struggling to hold any sort of tension. Told you I was cackhanded! I had to go and do something part way through and lost my way a bit. Not exactly sure how I managed it, but the top two petals are upside down. You can clearly see the chain around the edge of the bottom three petals, but it’s underneath on the other two. I realised I’d made a mistake, but didn’t know how to right it. Having got that far, I wasn’t going to start again!

Do you crochet? Have you got any tips for me or links to helpful videos and blogs. I’m a keen follower of Attic 24 and aspire to make some wonderful creations like Lucy’s Jolly Chunky Bag or a rainbow striped blanket. One…step….at….a….time!

If you’ve made something from your Pinterest boards this month, or inspired by something you found while browsing the internet and filed away for another day, then please let me know and I’ll be round to check it out. All info on SIPIDI can be found here. Looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to in October.

And finally, that Friday Find. We’re big fans of Studio Ghibli around here and this has to be the cutest Halloween costume I’ve ever seen.

How brilliant is that? Check out the Sew Chibi blog for lots more.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday 29 October 2014

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #282

You get two for the price of one this week. Laying out the squares for a small quilt….


….on the living room floor and sewing up the first pair….


….and the last row….


….at the kitchen table.

Lovely vintage charms, cut and ready to go, from Mary’s Etsy shop.

Linking up with Julia and her army of deskers. Happy Wednesday.

Monday 27 October 2014

Me on Monday

The beginning of another week and we’re on half term here. So nice not to have to get up and chivvy everyone to get ready for school, after a busy couple of days.

It was (another) university touring, “I saw the sea, I saw it first!” shouting, gammon and chips cooking, pancake making, chicken roasting, Youtube watching, yarn hooking, persevering and finally succeeding kind of weekend.


Buoyed up by yesterday’s small miracle, I’ve had the yarn out again this afternoon, in a quiet moment. I think I *might” be hooked!

Waving to Sian as always. I can’t get my laptop to connect to the internet at the moment so I’m not sure when this will publish. Fingers crossed, some time today.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Photo A Day ~ October Round Up #4

Yes, I’m still going with this challenge. I’ve got another half dozen shots for you today.

Q is for….


….quarter inch seams. I’ve sewn a lot of these this week.

R is for….


….red onion. It seems to be a feature of everything I cook lately.

S is for….


….stripes. A wardrobe staple for me.

T is for….


….Tula Pink, Tree of Life. It *might* become a dress eventually.

U is for….


….university tours. Two down….

V is for….


….vanilla bean {vegan} lip balm. My current favourite flavour.

W is for….


….will I crack it this time? I think I might just do that!

Friday 24 October 2014

Friday Finds ~ Bunnies

I’ve tried teaching myself to crochet a couple of times, but never quite got to grips with it. These sweet little bunnies might tempt me to get the hook out again.

You can find the free pattern on All About Ami. There are many others available including practical cowls and beanies, as well as more cute animals.

In other news: I posted off the last square for the Friendship Quilt this afternoon and we are off on another university tour tomorrow. Have a great weekend.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Throw Back Thursday

About this time two years ago, I held my very first card making class. I was very nervous, but friends came along to support me and it all went well. A lady came all the way from South Devon, much to my surprise, and I’m happy to say she was at last week’s class too. My numbers have more than doubled since then and I’ve started a second class in another nearby town, which is growing rapidly.

I thought I’d share my post from that day for Throw Back Thursday.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday ~ 176

I didn’t work at my own desk today. This was what my kitchen table looked like this morning, before I packed everything into the car.


I went to the local Arts Centre and taught my first ever paper craft class. We made two different card designs and two gift boxes, in different colours, to match them.


My sweet girl made this cute Good Luck card for me, before she went off to school…


…and my lovely friend brought this delicious cake along for us to share.


I got to bring the leftover portion home. All in all a very good day.

To see what everyone else has been up to head over to Julia’s place.

Posted by Fiona@Staring at the Sea at 19:16

Labels: Blogtoberfest, cakes, cards, classes, woyww

Here’s the other card we made that day….

….and that blue is still a favourite colour cardstock!

Wednesday 22 October 2014

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday #281

Wednesday comes around all too quickly, but Tuesday came first and that meant a fun day out with Jan and Julia. Of course, I realised too late that I should have snapped what I was working on while I was there, because there would be nothing happening at my Tuesday afternoon kitchen table.


I had to wait until the middle of the afternoon, when I had a chance to dust off my sewing machine. I finished a long overdue something, the trimmings of which can be seen at the back and began a quilt square for October. The very last one. Can you believe it? Those Wednesdays keep rolling around and a year of Friendship Quilt square making has been and almost gone. I’m feeling a little bit sad about that.

I’m linking up with Julia and the other desk sharers….eventually!

Note to self: if you schedule a post for Tuesday, because you are going to be out, it helps if you actually put Tuesday’s date on it! Never mind it will come in handy for another day instead. Have you guessed what that “Q” might be now?

Monday 20 October 2014

Me on Monday

I was just beginning my bedtime routines and rituals, when I realised I hadn’t waved back at Sian today. So here I am.


Today has been all about the soup. Restocking the freezer with some of our favourites. It has also been about the baking. Although the less said about that the better! I tried something new: a fat free flourless brownie. That’s a bit of a stretch for me. It really is a very strange “cake”. I decided it was a poor offering, even though my friend had requested something virtuous. I thought I should have an alternative. While I had the oven on for dinner I mixed up some Cornish Fairing dough. Despite having made these at least a hundred times, with no problems whatsoever, today was always going to be the day they went wrong. They didn’t spread out, but sat stubbornly in their allotted lumps. I whipped them out of the oven, pressed them down with a fork and popped them back in. They became stubborn lumps with fork marks in the top. Ah well. My girl managed two after dinner so they can’t be too bad!

Sunday 19 October 2014

Photo A Day ~ October Round Up #3

A few more of my photos for the Fat Mum Slim photo challenge.

L is for….



M is for….


….mushroom stroganoff.*

N is for….



O is for….


….odd one out.

P is for….



Q is for….well you can probably guess, but that will have to wait until Tuesday, for a post of its own.

* The recipe can be found here.

** The instructions can be found here.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Stampin’ Up Saturday ~ Notelet Set

If you visited on Wednesday you would have seen the panic stations preparation for this project. As last minute makes go, I’m pretty pleased with it and it was well received. The box is very easy to put together, using the envelope punch board.


You’ll need an 8” square of cardstock, stamped with your choice of design. I’ve left mine blank for the photos so that you can see the score lines more easily.


Line the left hand edge of the cardstock up at the 3 1/2” mark, punch and score. Slide the cardstock a little further to the left, lining up at the 4 1/2” mark, repeat.


Turn the cardstock anticlockwise, line the score guide up with the previously scored line, punch and score. This gives a perfect right angle, which you might not achieve by lining up the edge of the card with the measurements at the top of the board.


Continue to turn the cardstock anticlockwise, until all four sides are punched and scored. Lining up the score guide with the previously scored lines each time. Use the corner rounder, at the back of the board, to finish the top and bottom flaps.


Cut from the first score line up to the second, at the corner squares, to form tabs.


Turn over and bring the side flaps in, adhering with a small amount of glue. Add a little more glue on the inside of the bottom flap (as shown) and on the bottom tabs (marked with a star in the previous picture) and fold up to form the box.


This size box will hold four 4” cards and envelopes.


To hold the box closed, I added one of my “fluffy” flowers. It is raised up on foam pads, stuck only to the side and bottom flaps. The top flap tucks behind it. I stamped my cardstock to match the notelets, but you could use heavier weight scrapbook paper and substitute a scalloped layered circle to match your box.

The Envelope Punch Board is a very useful tool, not only for making envelopes to match your handmade cards, but for lots of different boxes, including these. Endless possibilities for packaging little gifts. If you make one, I’d love to see it.

Friday 17 October 2014

Friday Finds ~ The Quiet Fox

There’s been no time for sewing around here lately, but that doesn’t stop me pinning cute projects when I come across them.

Ros at Sew Delicious has made this lovely pencil case, using a free applique template, designed by Cassandra at Cass Can Sew. If cute little foxes aren’t your thing (really?) then there is also a Russian doll template available. There are links to lots of examples of how folk have used them, in various crafting projects, to give you some extra inspiration.

Could be a contender for SIPIDI, which makes its return later this month. Will you be joining me?

Thursday 16 October 2014

Throw Back Thursday ~ Rolle Reversal

Having just taken my boy to his first university open day, I’ve been thinking about my years at Rolle College. We seemed to spend a lot of our time in fancy dress, but I think that’s just because I don’t have many everyday photos. The camera only came out if the occasion was deemed worthy of capturing on film.


Here we are all dressed up for Rolle Reversal night, during rag week, in our charity shop suits. This was taken on the landing in our halls of residence. It was a huge old house, all boarded up now and a far cry from the modern, purpose built en suite study bedrooms we looked at on Saturday. Happy days.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #280

Another week has rolled around and here we are sharing our workspaces again. All the details can be found over at Julia’s place.


Yesterday found me in panic mode at the kitchen table. I had planned the projects and made the samples, ready for class, well in advance. But….the supplies I ordered for the kits, ten days ago, were still en route somewhere between here and the warehouse. This has never happened before. I had to think of something else for today. I came up with a set of notelets and a box to keep them in. Just in the nick of time. Phew! On the plus side, I now have the projects ready for the next class so I’m ahead of the game….as soon as that cardstock turns up.

I snuck in just before midnight last week so tea time is an improvement. I hope to make a few more visits this week. Happy Wednesday everyone.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Time for a Recipe Tuesday ~ Stroganoff

I cook an evening meal from scratch pretty much every day. However, I’m no domestic goddess and if there’s a shortcut to be taken, I’m there. I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re after a traditional stroganoff then you’ll need to look elsewhere. But, if you want simple and tasty, then you’ve come to the right place.


Mushroom Stroganoff

1 red onion chopped

4 cloves of garlic crushed

400g mushrooms*

2tsp paprika

100-150ml vegetable stock

1tbsp tomato puree

1tsp dijon mustard

100g cream cheese

freshly ground black pepper

Heat a good glug of olive oil in a pan and sweat the onions with a lid on. Once they have softened, add the garlic and mushrooms, stir and replace the lid. Leave to cook for about 10 minutes. Add the paprika and mix well. Stir in the tomato puree and mustard. Pour in the stock. The amount you need will depend on how much juice there is from the mushrooms. Simmer for a few minutes** and stir in the cream cheese, just before you’re ready to serve.


*I prefer chestnut mushrooms and leave them whole if they are small, otherwise I quarter them.

**I usually make it up to this stage earlier in the day, then heat up at dinner time and stir in the cream cheese once the rice is cooked.

Monday 13 October 2014

Me on Monday

Monday again. A day to catch my breath, after a full on weekend.

It was a hundred mile driving, city centre navigating, traffic jam sitting, driver swapping, needle in a haystack car park space finding, campus exploring, History presentation enjoying, Student Ambassadors meeting, accommodation block and library touring and information overloading! Not to mention more driving, hospital visiting (all is well now), worrying and curled up on the sofa sleeping sort of weekend.

M is for….


….me on Monday (of course!) making mushroom stroganoff.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the recipe. Waving to Sian as I rush through today.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Photo A Day ~ October Round Up #2

Another week and I’m still keeping up with this alphabetical photography challenge.

E is for….


….egg and soldiers.

F is for….



G is for….


….Grove buildings.

H is for….



I is for….



J is for….



K is for….



Friday 10 October 2014

Friday Finds ~ Dr Seuss

I’ve been dabbling a little bit with Project Life this year. Mostly I make my own filler cards with odds and ends of paper and cardstock, decorated using stamps and punches. I’m always on the look out for cute printables, to supplement them with.

These Dr Seuss quotes fit the bill perfectly. If you’re not a Project Lifer, these little cards come in handy on layouts and can be added to all sorts of other projects. If you like them you’ll need to scroll down a bit on the download page. There are lots of other useful designs in the list so it’s worth a look.

We’re off to the first of our University Open Days tomorrow. Have a great weekend.

Thursday 9 October 2014

One Photo in Twenty Words ~ I is for….



A proper old fashioned shop. Here when I was a child and still serving the local community forty years on.

I’m joining in with Abi’s monthly meme and still keeping up with Photo A Day. Yay!

PS Did you spot the name of the Hairdresser Abi?