Sunday, 30 October 2011

Chocolate Spiders

Warning: these are a pain to make, patience is a must!!!!!
Well I decided to make these at a ridiculous time of night so with hindsight if I make them again, it will be at a better time of day.

Ingredient List:
Strawberry Laces
Vimto Skidaddles
Cherry Lips
Black food colouring

Chop strawberry laces into 'legs'
Cut the cherry lips in half to make 'fangs'
Lay out each spider to make sure you have everything ready before melting the chocolate.

To get the pupils on the 'eyes' I used black food colouring and the end of a strawberry lace to apply a dab of it to each vimto sweet (also used a clean cotton bud to tidy them up as required)
Melt the chocolate, there are a couple of ways to do this.  I melt mine in a glass bowl in the microwave, break 100-150g into chunks.  Melt for 30seconds on 50%, stir, continue to melt in 20second bursts, stirring after each (be careful not to overheat).
Coat each marshmallow in chocolate and place on greaseproof paper, leave to harden. 
Once hardened, attach eyes, fangs and legs using a little melted chocolate on each to attach.
Place in fridge to set
Some slightly smudged eyes, but this can be corrected with a cotton bud

this one has extra chocolate, but I don't think that's a bad thing!!
I appreciate they are not a masterpiece, but just a bit of halloween fun.  I did have an idea for ghosts when making these, so may try these next year

Halloween Outfit- Cat Ears Free Crochet Pattern

Last night we had a family halloween party and at 5pm I still had no idea what I was going to go as (fancy dress was compulsory!!)  The night before I had been busy making chocolate spiders and carving our pumpkin with Mr N, as a carved pumpkin was also on the list to take.
So last minute I decided to go as a black cat......I had the black clothes and boots and even managed one black glove and one white glove as I quite liked the idea of a white 'paw'.  Black eyeliner and mascara and by some stroke of luck managed to find some black lipstick in our fancy dress box (having had 3 years at uni and plenty of hen and stag parties we keep all the fancy dress stuff as it always seems to come in useful, whether for us or friends), for my nose and whiskers.  But what about ears?????? Well I had a look through my stash and had some black and peach wool and a black headband so set about making some and ended up with these

We were about to run out the door when I realised I was tail-less, so a quick wrap of a dressing gown cord and I was ready to go!  Not bad for a last minute outfit

As you can see Mr N had spent considerably more time on his outfit than mine!!! The children loved a stormtrooper turning up and all wanted their picture taking with him.  One little boy wanted to know why his daddy doesn't have a stormtrooper helmet and another checked that the stormtrooper wouldn't kill batman...all quite surreal!!

Anyway, for anyone needing a last minute outfit, this is how I made the cat ears:

4.5mm crochet hook (you could use a diff size hook, it will juist alter the size of finished ears)
DK Yarn, black and peach
Wool Needle

With black wool:

ch 17, turn
sc in second ch from hook and sc in each ch across, turn ch 1 (16 sc)
sc2tog, 12 sc, sc2tog, turn ch 1 (14sc)
sc across, turn ch1 (14sc)
sc2tog, 10 sc, sc2tog, turn ch 1 (12sc)
sc across, turn ch 1 (12sc)
sc2tog, 8 sc, sc2tog, turn ch 1 (10sc)
sc across, turn ch 1 (10sc)
sc2tog, 6sc, sc2tog, turn ch1 (8sc)
sc across, turn ch 1 (8sc)
sc2tog, 4sc, sc2tog, turn ch1 (6sc)
sc across, turn ch 1 (6sc)
sc2tog, 2sc, sc2tog, turn ch1 (4sc)
sc across, turn ch 1 (4sc)
sc2tog x2, turn ch 1 (2sc)
sc across, turn ch1 (2sc)
sc2tog, Finish, stitch in loose thread

With peach

ch 9, turn
sc in second ch from hook, sc in each across, turn ch 1 (8sc)
sc across, turn ch 1 (8sc)
sc2tog, 4sc, sc2tog, turn ch1 (6sc)
sc across, turn ch 1 (6sc)
sc2tog, 2sc, sc2tog, turn ch1 (4sc)
sc across, turn ch 1 (4sc)
sc2tog x2, turn ch 1 (2sc)
sc across, turn ch1 (2sc)
sc2tog, Finish

Stitch peach triangle to black triangle, leaving a small strip of black across the bottom.
Stitch ears to headband (loop thread from back of ear, around headband and through front, continue across ear to other side, tie in loose thread)

This is the first pattern I have written up, so please let me know if you have any questions or comments or constructive criticism (be kind!)

Hope you all have a good halloween, hoping to write up my chocolate spider post later, if you need any last minute goodies pop back and have a look

Friday, 28 October 2011

Christmas Came Early

Well i've just done my first blog swap.  It was kindly organised by Lynda and was a handmade decoration swap with a few other Christmas bits.  I was so pleased to be paired up with Debbie as after reading through her blog, I came across some lovely makes and think are tastes are very similar.
We are both taking part in Lynda's other Christmas swap and so after both being very excited and starting pretty much immediately on our shopping and makes, we agreed to do the swap at the end of Oct as an early Christmas treat :)   
So when the door bell went at 7.45 I was so excited.  Mr N was just leaving for work so brought my parcel up to me.  I tried to get back to sleep but was like a five year old on Christmas morning and couldn't sleep.  So at 8.15 I hoped out of bed and eagerly ripped open my parcel to find these beauties
Just a sneaky peek tonight as my camera battery was flat after these too so I have now charged it and will take some photos of the goodies in the daylight and share next week. 
You can just about make out the gingerbread man and teddy hanging decorations.  I was going to make this teddy as part of Debbies gifts, but noticed them on her blog recently, told you our tastes are similar!!  I also didn't realise how small they are and i'm not sure my knitting skills are as good as Debbie's, she has made him perfectly.
I've just been making chocolate spiders for a halloween party tomorrow and Mr N is currently carving our pumpkin, which means pumpkin soup will be on the menu tomorrow yum.
I'm hoping to do a post on the spiders tomorrow and will be back in the week with pics of my swap goodies unwrapped

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A trip to the beach and my mobile reveal

Another lovely weekend.....

Yesterday I went to a Christmas event with some friends at a local shop, seemed a little early but they only do one a year and we didn't want to miss it.  Made a couple of purchases, including some for the Christmas swaps I'm involved in, so all will be revealed at a later date.  Also got some ideas for some decorations for my tree.
Today we met my friends new baby and had a trip to the beach with them

the dogs and Mr N raring to go
I did take one of Baby E all tucked up in her pram on her first visit to the beach, but not sure whether her parents would appreciate a pic of her on the internet, so airing on the side of caution.  And then I have to confess we were too busy catching up, so I forgot to take anymore photos until the end of the walk!
Cockle pickers hard at work
They loved the mobile I made for her...although not sure Baby E loved it as she started crying, but she was due a feed, so hoping it wasn't the sight of the mobile that upset her!!  Are you ready for the tears or i'll get a complex!!!!

Mr Messy

Little Miss Naughty

Mr Tickle

Mr Bump
This has been the biggest challenge I have taken on as I didn't have a pattern for them.  I have made hats and ripple blankets without a pattern, but these were in a completely different ball game. 

Mr Bump & Mr Messy being camera shy

I used an embroidery hoop and covered it in this lovely bright spotty ribbon from Crafty Ribbons then used one of their pink ribbons looped through a metal hoop to hang it ( but appear to have cut this off the top of my photo, oops).  So I was really quite pleased with the result.
Off for a cuppa, something sweet and a bit of crafting

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

WIP Wednesday

Well this week my main aim is to finish the Mr Men/Little Miss Mobile I started back in August.  As you may remember I started this for a friends new baby, who was born early August.  However, for one reason and another, and the fact they don't live round the corner, we haven't managed to meet up yet.  We are getting together on Sunday so after putting the project to one side, I really need to crack on and get it done. 

This is where i'm up to with Mr Bump, Little Miss Naughty & Mr Messy.  My plan is to get these finished tonight.  And then make Mr Tickle tomorrow.  I've also decided I might hang them on a string that can be hung from a shelf, rather than a mobile, as I would imagine they probably already have one of these with Little Tickle being 2months old.  Also this can continue to be used as she gets older.
Anyway, wish me luck in my quest to get it finished, I must say it will be a relief as making up the patterns for these has taken a lot of time and brain waves!
I'm off to watch Kirstie's new series whilst I do a bit of crafting myself

Monday, 17 October 2011

Sooooooooo Beautiful

Well i've had a fantabulous weekend, hope you all have too.  We met up with friends for a curry on Friday to get the weekend started in a relaxed manor. 
After Mr N had been to work on Saturday morning we went for brunch at Bridgettes our lovely local cafe, which happens to be a couple of doors down from MADE, my local wool shop.  So it would be rude not to pop in and have a browse and I made some beautiful purchases, both for family birthday presents and some for the Christmas swaps i'm doing. 
After a snooze on Saturday afternoon (well all this yarn shopping can be tiring!!) we went to a friends house for you see a theme here, I haven't had to cook once :)  I have made some mittens this week to go with the apple hat I made for my Goddaughter, so I delivered these whilst we were visiting and they fit, phew, big relief.  I will post some pics when I have them.
We also called in at our other friends to drop something off and had a welcome surprise in the form of a belated birthday present.  They had ordered my present weeks ago but kept being sent the wrong thing.  She did give me a cute ceramic IOU, which I was actually quite pleased with as a present as I thought it was a really lovely idea that I haven't seen before, much more sophisticated than the paper IOU's I remember as a child....i'm easily pleased.

Anyway, my actual present totally blew me away, it is sooooooooooo beautiful.  Want to know what it was?  My very own grown up knitting bag and not any old knitting bag, a CK knitting bag :)  I will happily skip to knitting group tomorrow night swinging my new bag along.  Want to have a peek?

even the handles are pretty!

and it's already being put to good use
It certainly beats the asda bag for life i've been using.

The weekend finished with a trip to my parents on Sunday for a roast, no cooking again.

And we went to my MIL's tonight for tea, we have been spoilt for a few days.

Whilst we are on the subject of beautiful things, look what else I received today, my 'prize' from Jacquie at Bunny Mummy blog

I entered her crochet bowl giveaway and was one of the lucky 3 to be picked, and I mean lucky as 112 people entered.  Imagine my delight when the postman knocked this morning.  I lept up to the door and ripped open the envelope, to be greated by a beautiful smell, not what I was expecting at all, but so much more.  Inside along with my new crochet bowl

was an owl notepad (well you can never have enough notepads in my view), a cute crafted heart

and the culprit of the gorgeous smell that met me upon opening the parcel.....a Christmas yankee candle

Well my eyes welled up, this is the first time I have been lucky enough to receive something in the post from blogland and I felt quite overcome with how kind Jacquie has been.  So I want to say a huge thank you to her and make sure you pop along and read her blog as she has some great ideas and tips and projects.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Relaxing Sunday

Mr N is in work this weekend and I spent a good chunk of yesterday cleaning, so I felt I deserved a rest today.  I've enjoyed knitting whilst watching a saved film on the box.  Then watched the Great British Bake Off Final....not sure whether this was a repeat as unfortunately I missed the series.

Even the dogs got into the spirit of the day......

 This is Willow having a snooze and Monty watching the baking!

For those Cath Kidston fans amongst you, The Telegraph has got a make & sew supplement in it today, not sure if it's the same material as her make and sew books as I don't own these, but worth a gander.

I missed part one yesterday :( I'm off to have a peruse through my mag and run Mr N a bath so he can relax upon his return from grafting 

How are you spending your day?

Friday, 7 October 2011

Finished Friday

A bumper reveal for this Friday as I've had a finishing off spurt of late

First up the Apple Hat I have made for my Goddaughter, I hope to get a photo of her in it soon but for now........

It is a pattern by Kay Meadors and this is the link to the free pattern on ravelry, so go take a look and have a go.  It worked up really quickly and was made in one evening.  It is crocheted in the round from the brown through to the red and the green leaf is crocheted separately then stiched on.

The next reveal is a hat my sister requested for her boyfriend as part of his birthday present, a little unusual and probably not to everyone's taste.  She is taking him away as a surprise for his 30th, but wanted a few bits for him to open and requested a fish hat as he is a keen fisherman.  I didn't think i'd find a pattern but good old ravelry came through again.  It's def worth signing up to this site if you haven't already as it has sooooo many knit and crochet patterns..and even better oodles of them are free.

Again this makes up quickly.  I started it on the Saturday and was all finished by the Sunday.  I did make a few alterations to the pattern, as I found it too tight around the head (I do crochet quite tightly so may be that).  The pattern is by Catrina Usher and can be found here, there is also a knitted fish hat pattern here by Thelma Egberts....I think this was the original pattern.  I will try to get a photo of Tony in the hat when he has received it :)

Another hat to reveal, this time made for my youngest sister (age 21) a bear hat, again at her request.  IT seems my sisters enjoy 'different' hats :D

I will get a photo of her modelling it and write up the pattern for anyone who is interested in having a go.

Lastly I have finished another newborn cardigan

The pattern is by Kay Jones and can be purchased here for $3.50

Three hats and a cardigan, i'm pretty pleased with ticking these off my list. 

Must dash have a date Mr N, a cuppa, some Fox's bisquits and Due Date.   Hope you're enjoying the start of your weekend

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Hi all

Head on over to Betty Bee's blog, she is having a giveaway of a teacup candle, but you'll have to be quick as the winner is being chosen tomorrow (although secretly I want to say.....don't enter as I want to win ;) !!).

On the theme of giveaways I was lucky recently and won a giveaway from Jacquie @ this blog and i've just heard it is being posted tomorrow, so very excited and will post pics when it arrives.

I'm hard at work getting bits together for the advent swop and Christmas decoration swop that I am doing, but can't gice anything away about those as I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise for my swop partners.

Just a short post today as i've just got back from an overnight stay at my folks so going to put my feet up and make a brew, will be back tomorrow with a Finished Friday bumper reveal

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

September Picture Scavenger Hunt

September's Photo List-phew just made it in time

Something taller than me............

I took a few different shots for this one, the London Eye, some buildings etc.....but then came across Rodney at Gatwick Airport.....well it's not everyday you meet a teddy bear taller than you, so I couldn't resist.

A road sign...............

Well a street sign really, and I was in very good company taking this picture as it seemed the 'touristy' (is that a word??) thing to do.  And whilst on Portobello Road we paid a trip to the Hummingbird Bakery, oh my goodness their cakes were devine.  Even my gluten free red velvet cake was soft and fluffy and Mr N hadn't realised it was gluten free, it was that good.

A view from above..........

When I saw the list for this month this was the one I knew I'd have no problem taking.  You can't get much higher than this, on our way to our happy holidays.  Mr N took this as he had the window seat and thinks he took this whilst we were still over England


Well just one, a hat I made for my goddaughter, but don't have a picture of her in it yet as we've been having surprisingly good weather for this time of year 

Back to school...........

As I have no children, back to school in September means holiday time for me and the husband :)  We love to go away at this time of year for a bit of sun before winter and this was our September trip to Jamaica.


The last of our garden crops, harvested when we got back from holiday


Mr N relaxing in a hammock on our hols


My crafting workspace with my armchair 'nest' holder, bought for my birthday from a very good friend

Football Season.............

Mr N's well used goalie gloves and knee pads and his trusty Everton top, always worn on a match day

The contents of my bag..........
A tissue, Mr N's inhaler, a pen, lipgloss, newly purchased crochet hook, alcohol gel (peeking out of the pocket), and receipts....must de-clutter them

A pile of things.............

Well this photo featured in a Sept blog post about de-cluttering a pile of things on top of my microwave, now de-cluttered and still nice and clear....i'm still following flyladys advice and working through the clutter
A public phone box.............

Well I forgot this one so took one of my not so public telephone box keyring, that was a present when my mother-in-law recently visited London, taken in my fruit basket as it justr made the photo more colourful!!

That's it for September's List, must get started on October 

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A quiet week

I've been a little quite since my holiday, no WIP Wednesday or Finished Friday and no holiday report as of yet.  I ended up with a post-holiday cold, must have been the change in climate and so have taken things easy this week.  I have to admit, I was greatful for the change in the weather in the latter half of the week, it felt like we'd brought the Jamaican sunshine home and I enjoyed warming the bones :) 
We had shopping planned for yesterday, but rearranged as you can't very well spend a rare English sunny October day inside.  A little drizzly today though so the planned picnic with friends was shelved and the shopping got done.  We haven't had a shower since mid August as ours broke and I was extremely excited to return with a shower and the blissful thoughts of an extended rinse tonight.....but it wasn't to be, the shower didn't fit and back to the tub it is.  I do enjoy a soak in the tub, but it is so much easier washing your hair with a shower, fingers crossed it will soon be rectified.
Whilst Mr N was soaking in the tub he shouted down that the sky had gone a lovely colour so I dashed outside for a shot

 Gorgeous reds and purples, a lovely end to a lovely week of weather.

I've had quite a productive weekend getting projects finished.  Will do a post for Friday.  But just a little pic of something I made last weekend.  Lucy over at Attic 24 blogged about some homemade cookies and also a link to homemade hobnobs.  It was a friends birthday last week and these are his favourite biscuits so it was as if fate was nudging me in that direction and I decided to have a go

I drizzled chocolate over the top and prettified them with wrapping, I was quite impressed for a first attempt.  Going to try adding a few bits into them next time, maybe raisins or nuts.
Anyway way past my bed time, night all