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Birmingham streetart pt.2

Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart

Except the third one, that is from Leicester

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Project 52: 2 and 3/52

So, the project 52 slipped my mind and i completely forgot to take pictures the weekend before last. So these are both from this week, but you wouldn’t really know that unless i told you, so i am not sure why I am, hehe!

2/52 Milo

This is Milo with his new goggles. He has been refusing to switch from armbands to rings in this swimming class, but we realised we were able to bribe him with a pair of goggles! So now he’s worn the rings and won’t get water in his eyes when jumping in, which may mean he’ll do it without holding onto the coach, you never know!

3/52 Milo
This is him showing off his new tshirt. More on which soon!

2/52 Ellis
Ellis on Portobello Prom before a playdate in the softplay. He managed to get round the 5-10 year bit all by himself, proud!

3/52 Ellis
And joining in with the epic brio layout building

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A couple of Christmas knits

Lady Grey
Lady Grey
Lady Grey
Lapsang
Lapsang
Lapsang

I bought the Clare Devine Tea Collection of hat patterns just before Christmas and these are the two hats I’ve made from it, for Christmas presents. The yellow one is the Lady Grey, made for my sister. The example hat picture she sent me was all slouchy, so it’s perfect that this one is.

The other one is the Lapsang, for Dave’s sister. Here the slouch is accidental. This is actually the non-slouchy version of the pattern, believe it or not! I didn’t swatch and it came back to bite me. I think this is actually a bit too big all round, with a bit more blocking you might see the pattern a bit better, but I didn’t want it to be ridiculously massive.

My sister wants a cowl to go with hers, and there actually is a cowl pattern for the Lapsang (though really I just need to figure out how many repeats of the chart I need to do), plus I have more of both yarns, so hopefully I can get these done as part of the great 2017 stashbusting drive!

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Birmingham streetart pt.1

Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart
Birmingham streetart

During the Christmas holidays while we were staying at Dave’s mum’s, I took a little daytrip to Birmingham. I thought it was ridiculous I’d been going to Leicester regularly for at least a decade and had never been. Dave wasn’t keen as he is convinced it’s a shithole, based on last having been there in 1997, and isn’t open to change his mind, so I arranged to meet up with sewing bloggers Roisin, Charlotte and Victoria for some lunch and fabric shopping. I was a lovely day, sewing people are always so easy to get on with, even if you’ve never met them before! It was also the first time I ever had Korean food, and I got some lovely fabric (and am very jealous at the selection and prices)

But that’s not really what this post is about, it’s about what I did before I met up with them, which was walk around this area Digbeth that is a street art nirvana. Seriously, a higher concentration of stuff than in Prenzlauerberg in the early 2000s! These were mostly large mural pieces, although there was also a few smaller ones. It’s difficult to explain how exciting this was for me, with a new amazing thing round every corner. Anyway… The area is also home to this cultural centre/creative offices thing called the custard factory, so I expected it to be a bit hipster central, but actually it was pretty much just dead. It was a weekday so you obviously can’t expect massive crowds, but it felt quite forlorn really. There’s an article here suggesting that it is being mismanaged, fingers crossed it can be saved. It seems a shame, because from what I could see it has huge potential, and it’s only about 20 minutes from the station and the bullring shopping area.

Outside of the custard factory, it was quite an industrial area with big brick warehouses, lots of garages, taxi firms, car parks, some clubs (which were obviously closed at 11 on a Monday), though there were a couple of guys filming themselves rapping along to a hip hop song in front of one of the murals, it was pretty funny.

I’ve got LOADS more photos, so I’ll do at least another couple of these posts, these are just the landscape format pictures!

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Raspberry Mousse with Hazelnut Biscotti

Raspberry mousse with biscotti 1
Raspberry mousse with biscotti 2
Raspberry mousse with biscotti 3
Raspberry mousse with biscotti 4

This is what we made for Christmas day lunch – raspberry mousse with hazelnut biscotti. Both parts of the recipe are lovely, although they are weirdly proportioned. The recipe as given (which is supposed to be for 4), made 6 of these small pots and about 30 biscotti. Recipe from here:

For the hazelnut biscotti

225g/8oz self-raising flour
100g/3½oz caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
100g/3½oz hazelnuts, shells removed, chopped
2 free-range eggs
50g/2oz butter, melted
25g/1oz flour mixed with 25g/1oz icing sugar, for dusting
icing sugar, for dusting

For the raspberry mousse

3 gelatine leaves (or veggie alternative)
500g/1lb 2oz raspberries
50g/2oz icing sugar
50ml/2fl oz raspberry liqueur (or raspberry juice)
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ lemon, zest only
175ml/6fl oz double cream, whipped

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. For the biscotti, mix together the flour, sugar, vanilla seeds and hazelnuts in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs and butter together until pale and fluffy, then add to the flour mixture, mixing to form a dough. Shape the dough into a ball.
  4. Flour a work surface with the flour and icing sugar mixture. Turn the dough out onto the work surface, halve it and roll each half into a 24cm/10in long rectangle 1cm/½in thick.
  5. Place the rectangles of dough onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes, then cut 12 biscuits out from each sheet with a biscuit cutter. Return the biscuits to the oven to bake for 15 more minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 20-30 minutes, then dust with icing sugar.
  7. Meanwhile, for the raspberry mousse, soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes, or until softened.
  8. Place half of the raspberries in a bowl and stir in the icing sugar and raspberry liqueur. Set aside and leave to macerate.
  9. Place the remaining raspberries in a pan with the caster sugar and gently heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the pan, stirring until the gelatine has dissolved.
  10. Leave to cool slightly then, using a hand blender, blend the mixture to a smooth purée. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  11. When cooled, fold in the lemon zest and cream.
  12. To serve, spoon the raspberries in liqueur into the bottom of four serving glasses, followed by the raspberry mousse. Spoon over another layer of raspberries, then top with a final layer of mousse. Decorate with the biscotti.
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Meet Octopus Prime!

Octopus Prime 1
Octopus Prime 5
IMG_1005x
Octopus Prime 3
Octopus Prime 4

Presenting Dave’s holiday knitting! A three foot Octopus! He was like a man possessed, sitting in his chair knitting away, while we were at his Mum’s, but it’s paid off because he got it done while we were there. The pattern is Opus the Octopus from Knitty, but our name of Octopus Prime is much better, clearly! The yarn is Ginger’s handdyed DK from Gingertwist Yarns. Yes, Dave spent £100 on yarn to knit a soft toy – I might be the chief knitter in our household but it’s not me that’s got the yarn budget problems! To be fair it was a treat since he’s just got a promotion, and it does look amazing, much nicer than a single coloured yarn would.

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Beautiful Yellowcraig

Beautiful Yellowcraigs 8
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 22
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 21
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 16

On our last day of the holidays, we drove down to Yellowcraig beach, another one of these place where I’ve never been to, but really should have. we drove along the coastal road, which took longer than I expected (I think of all these places as close together because there’s so little time between them on the North Berwick train, plus one of my colleagues cycles in every day from Longniddry which I now have renewed respect for). It’s a beautiful place, though it was absolutely freezing and windy, so we didn’t last very long. We had planned a picnic, and both me and Dave were like we’ve lobbed this food around the beach, we’re bloody well gonna have some, but even in the shelter of the foresty bit it wasn’t really happening. Next time!

The light was very strange too. In these photos it looks all twilighty, but these were actually taken between 11am and noon! I have no idea what that weird sunsetty light against the purple sky was, it looked much better in real life as well!

I should also make a mention of Milo’s hat/balaclava. It was a Christmas present that came with other clothes (i.e. it wasn’t bought on its own), it’s supposed to be an owl and that’s what he calls it, but obviously it does have something of the Mexican wrestler/bank robber about it! Certainly it drew some comments from people we passed! But then Milo likes it and it was good for the extra windy weather!

Beautiful Yellowcraigs 20
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 5
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 9
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 11
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 12
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 1
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 3
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 19
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 23
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 2
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 13
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 26
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 14
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 24
Beautiful Yellowcraigs 17

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Project 52: 1/52

New Year, new photo series! It’s difficult to pick a picture every week sometimes, and sometimes hard to have to take the big camera out to get one, but it’s the perfect number of photos to have to make into an album at the end of the year.

Anyway, here’s the first ones of 2017! These are from the National Museum, where they had a kids programme on called Sprogmanay. Ellis is standing in front of a thing you could tie your wishes for 2017 to (Milo’s wishes ‘Christmas’ and ‘holidays’), and Milo is in the cardboard version of the Dazzle Ship, which you could decorate. There was also lantern and crown making stations and a trail of ape pictures to find around the museum.

1/52 Ellis

1/52 Milo

Couple of extra pictures to show the ship better

dazzle ship
dazzle ship

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2017 make nine

Happy New year all!

A thing has been going round the sewing/crafty Instagram world recently – ‘2017 Make 9’. It’s named in response to the ‘2016 best 9’ thing that’s also been going round, which picks your most liked 9 posts out, and is basically about sharing 9 things you plan to make in 2017, so I thought I’d play along. I’ve left out things I’ve made before, like another Ginger-Onyx combo, and another Plantain.

So, here we are:

1. An Emery dress. I bought this years and years ago and am finally attempting it. If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen I am currently wrangling with the bodice fit. I’m plowing ahead with the one I’m making as I’m too far into it to be able to make the changes needed, but after that I’m doing a proper toile. I have some liberty fabric I bought for this pattern, and a wedding in may that I hope to wear a handmade dress for, that’s my plan!

2. Waiting for Rain shawl. This is what I will make with the two skeins of speckled gray la bien aimee yarn I got at last years Edinburgh Yarn festival. It was going to be the thing I was going to wear to this year’s, but I’ve just realised I’m actually on a hen weekend then, so I don’t have a deadline.

3. A Moneta dress. I got this pattern when Colette allowed you to use Seamwork credits on Colette patterns. (Mine are now all spent and I’m happily unsubscribed). I have a very similar RTW dress from ASOS that I wear all the time, so I’m hoping to get this pattern to a point where I can make them quickly and make a few.

4. Colour Affection shawl. As per post the other day, this is to use up three bits of sock yarn I’ve got. I’ve decided this is the only pattern that is really going to work with the amounts I’ve got. I’m hoping to give this as a present, depending on how long it takes me to make.

5. A Lexi dress. I bought this in the 2015 end of year sales. I’m a bit apprehensive as I understand Named draft for a very flat chested body shape, and I’m not sure what this will look like with an FBA, but I intend to find out!

6. Belcarra blouse. Got this pattern from a swap. It has the potential to be a staple and to be used for all these random 1 -1.5 m bits of fabric I’ve got kicking about

7. Lola cardigan. I only discovered this recently and really like it. I’ve got some yellow bamboo jersey I could use for this (bought with the intention of making the Seamwork Elmira, which I ended up not getting on account of being able to get actual patterns with my credits), though I’m not sure this doesn’t want something more stable, and also it’s finished with bias binding? Not top of the list but I am in the market for cardigans as I wear my two Julias constantly and most of my RTW ones have died, and this seems a bit different.

8. Peppermint leaves hat. I bought the tea collection recently to make Christmas presents with, and Dave has got a skein of the exact yarn used for this sample left over from his epic octopus knitting (more on which soon!), it would be rude not to.

9. Something from the Burda Style magazine. I got a subscription for Christmas and hope to use it to make a lot of staples.

We’ll see how far I get into that list!

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