Busy, Busy!!

I’ve not had much chance of late to post, so just a quick one from me for now!

Harry and Rosie are almost finished – just a wee bit left to do and they are done!!! I shall of course be letting everyone know the moment they are ready!

I have also spent the whole weekend re-decorating Big & Little A’s bedrooms. That meant a decamp of the we A’s to grandparents and a whole lot of work on our part as not only were they redecorated, but they swapped rooms too. I almost have the house back to normal with the exception of Big A’s extensive book collection, which Mr A is fashioning a special shelf for this comming weekend.

There is a solar system mural to draw and paint on Big A’s wall and a toadstool an fairy mural to draw and paint on Little A’s wall. Then curtains to make for both rooms and I will be done.

I may now be in massive pain seeing as it was just me doing the painting ( bacause of a combo of Mr A working and being the worlds worst painter – ever!), but it is more than worth it to see the smiles on the faces of my 2 gorgeous wee stars.

I shall be back with photos of thev murals in the next week or so, so don’t go away for too long!

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Lasagne, yummy!

Just a quick one today as I have been asked for this recipe quite a bit recently, so here goes:

Ingredients, Mince :

  • 800g Lean Beef Steak Mince
  • 1 Small red onion diced
  • 1 Small white onion diced
  • 3 Carrots grated
  • 4-6 Cloves of garlic chopped or crushed ( reduce or increase garlic to your own taste)
  • 2 Tins chopped tomatoes
  • ½ – 1 Tube tomato puree
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil

 

Method:

  • Sweat the onions, carrot & garlic in the pan for a few minutes until softened.
  • Add the mince, and combine well with the garlic, onion & carrot and cook over a medium heat until cooked through.
  • Add aprox. 1-2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and crumble in the oxo cube. Stir well.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, about half of the tomato puree and leave to simmer gently.
  • Sprinkle in the dried herbs and stir well.
  • Leave on a really low heat while you make the white sauce, stirring occasionally.

 

Ingredients, Bechamel Sauce:

  • 3oz Butter ( unsalted)
  • 3oz Plain Flour
  • 1 & ½ Pints of milk
  • 

Method:

  • Put the butter and flour in the pan and melt over a very low heat, stirring until you form a rue.
  • Remove from the heat and gradually stir in half of the milk.
  • Return to a med heat and add the rest of the milk, stirring continuously.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Keep stirring until the sauce has reached your desired consistency ( I like it like good custard – not too runny, not too thick).
  • Switch off heat and assemble lasagne as quickly as possible.

I use aprox 8 sheets of fresh lasagne for the following construction:

  • Cover the bottom of the lasagne dish with a good layer of mince.
  • Cover with Lasagne sheets ( you may need to trim them to fit, which is easy done with scissors or by folding)
  • Pour over one third of the bechamel sauce and spread to cover all the pasta.
  • Repeat the mince, pasta, sauce and then repeat again.
  • Top with grated cheese and black pepper.
  • Pop in the oven for about 20 mins on gas 7.

 

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Introducing Jock!

Well, first things first – Happy New Year!

This is the first real chance I have had to come on and upload the pictures of that wee surprise I was telling you about.

His name is Jock. He is a bear made from an exclusive tartan that represents my home town. My Dad was born there. He has lived and worked there all of his life. So, it seemed only fitting that I make this bear for his 61st Birthday on Hogmanay 2010.

Jock was named by my Dad and took less than 24  very hectic hours to make .  I am very, very happy with him and think he turned out rather well – even if I do say so myself!!

Dad reads my blog from time to time, so I’d love to hear what you think so he can have a wee look at what the world thinks of his very special bear.

Anyway, enough rambling from me! Introducing Jock………

And in his new home….

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Filed under Fabric obsessions, Harry & Rosie - the bear and the cat, Sentimental Old Me

More Machine Troubles!

Ok, so when I say troubles, I mean setbacks really.

I got the machine out of its case, but as you can see from the pictures that follow it needs a really good clean and service before it can be used. Which is a huge shame because it looks like a real workhorse.

It is stunning don’t you agree? I can’t wait to have it all cleaned up and ready to use. I will however have to find a good sewing machine service centre first as unfortunately there are none in the town where I live. 

I am still disappointed about Harry and Rosie not being finished, however I have yet another more pressing sewing problem. I have something special to make and finish in the next 24 hours. I can’t go into too much detail right now, but rest assured should I complete my mini mission in time I shall be singing from the rooftops before the bells tomorrow night!!

So, on that rather cryptic note, I leave you with some more pictures of the singer.

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Filed under Fabric obsessions, Harry & Rosie - the bear and the cat, Sewing Woes!

A quick “Hello!”

Hello! I do hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

We had a lovely day and both Big and Little A were well and truly spoilt! However Harry and Rosie did not get to make their appearance due to more machine trouble.

However, my wonderful Dad has come to the rescue and I am now in possession of a pretty old singer which may just do the job perfectly – I shall however have to wit until later on today to find out!!

If I do get Harry and Rosie finished before Hogmanay, I promise you will be the first to know!!

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Filed under A Home Made Christmas, Harry & Rosie - the bear and the cat, Sentimental Old Me, Sewing Woes!

Cranberry Sauce

Ok, so here is the recipe for the cranberry sauce I mentioned in yesterday’s post. It really was super easy to make and tastes divine!

Ingredients:

  • 400g  fresh cranberries
  • 1oog  caster sugar
  • 150ml  fresh orange juice
  • 20 – 50ml of gin ( add to taste)
  • 1 clove
  • ¼ – ½ nutmeg, grated very finely

 

Method:

  • Put all the cranberries, juice, gin, sugar and spices in the pan.
  • Stir well

  • Leave to simmer for about 15 – 20 mins until the cranberries start to burst.
  • Pop the lid on and simmer gently until the liquid has reduced, stirring frequently.

  • Remove from the heat and pour into sterilised jars.

  • Leave the jars until they are completely cool before putting the lids on. The sauce will set, but not to a jelly like consistency. However I prefer it like this.

Store this in the fridge and it will last well ( if it’s not all polished off in the first day or two!).  For eating with Christmas dinner, remove from the fridge and allow to come up to room temp before serving.

This is also gorgeous on goats cheese or brie paninis / ciabattas. Yum!!

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Phew!!

So, here it is. The first glimpse of Harry!!! I am so excited  – I can’t wait to see Big A’s face when he get’s him on Christmas morning!

Harry - well, almost!

All I have to do now is attach all the limbs and head to the body.  I think I will sew Rosie up tonight and stuff her and sew on her face. Then tomorrow night I can sit in comfort on the sofa and attach all the limbs etc to the bodies in one go as they will need to be sewn on by hand.

Rosie all marked out

Rosie cut & pinned

 I have decide to keep you all in suspenders though! Pictures of the finished Harry & Rosie will be posted on Boxing Day!!!!

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Filed under A Home Made Christmas, Fabric obsessions, Harry & Rosie - the bear and the cat, Sentimental Old Me, Sewing Woes!