Saturday, 30 June 2012

Upcycling a light shade into 3 pictures......

You may remember that back in November I witnessed the birth of my beautiful God-Daughter, my Tiny Angel.  Since then I have posted some of the makes for her including Bunting (from an old blind....remember that fabric for later in this post!), Baby Slippers and Butterflies.

Well Tiny Angel Mummy bought a lovely bedroom set from Mamas and Papas, unfortunately the centre light shade was redundant as there is no centre (or ceiling) light in Tiny Angels room.

Not wanting to waste anything, Tiny Angel Mummy gave it to me AGES ago and asked me if there was anything I could do with it!

Ha-ha....she knows me well, I love sprinkling Crafty Dust to morph objects for one use into something totally different AND (as she well knows....!)....if you throw down the gauntlet, I'm not one to shy away from a challenge.

So....... what to do with a square, central light shade like this......

I started by unpicking the four side to give four separate sections.....

I delved into the stash (which doesn't seem to be getting any smaller despite having finished some projects!!) and found leftover fabric from the Bunting and some floss in the bright colours of the Mamas and Papas bedset.....

I trawled my magazines and yet again a free template sheet from Simply Homemade offered me exactly the font I wanted to use......

I used the same applique adhesive sheets as I used in the 'Love' cushion and traced the letters from the template onto the sheet like this......

I laid the letters on the scrap fabric and peeled of one side of paper to stick it down, it's great can just keep repositioning it.....I got it how I wanted it and cut out the letters......

I then positioned the pieces onto a section of light shade and just free-stitching with lime thread....stitched outlines onto the letters.....


One of the sides of the light shade had a mouse embroidered onto it, one of the other creatures on the bedset is an elephant.  I laid a blank section of the shade over the embroidered mouse and traced the main parts of the mouse....I just chandged his nose to a trunk and played with the ears.....I did it with water erasable pen......

I used my floss stash...... embroider the elephant......

Once this was done I started the business of mounting my sections onto this.....

....3 joined canvases picked up for about £6 in The Works

I started by using the canvases as a template to roughly cut the excess from the fabric (with a bit of overlap)....

I did the same with some white felt to the exact size of the canvas  (wadding was too thick and it just needed a little cushion of something between the canvas and fabric).... 

I used Hi-Tack Fabric Glue to paint the canvases ready to bond the felt......

I used the same fabric glue to paint a strip around the sides of the canvases so that I could stick down the light shade sections....I decided to cover the join with this......

...... some Rouleaux ribbon from our local haberdashers The Cloth Store.  Beautiful isn't it?

I wrapped the ribbon around the canvas to cover the fabric edge, I fixed it with the fabric glue like this.......

I secured it at the top of each picture with a tiny upholstery tack........

So there we have it.......

A light shade upcycled with the help of some Crafty Dust into a personalised picture for my Tiny Angel, Holly......

...want to see?

Oh!  Go on then.............................Ta-Daaaahhhhh!...................

(sorry about the slanty picture!!)  Do you love it?

I'm quietly quite proud of this and so pleased the light shade got used.  I do hope that Tiny Angel and her Mummy like it.....

Off to do more things to sort out Flossie-van this afternoon....then I will share some pics of the old girl!

See you soon,

Nora xx

Monday, 25 June 2012

By Popular Demand

When I'm not blogging I am quite often Facebooking.

I just post little updates about daily life.  Mostly for my friends to enjoy but also for my sisters in Denmark.

And also quite separately on FlyLady to catch up with my FlySisters there and encourage/support/compare our chore Ta-Dah's

One of these posts resulted in a request for recipes (Hi Lisa!) and an enquiry about Mug Cozies (Hi Louise!)!

It started like this.....

We were invited to a friends house for a BBQ on Sunday evening (a chance for the men to get together and watch the football!!).  We were asked to bring a pud!

Hmmm! What was in the cupboards, what makes a transportable pud, something that tastes good, something that looks good.....

Rocky Road!

My recipe is a Nigella special....I think it was from her book Nigella Express.

BUT......we don't do it quite like Nigella!


1) Mostly I cook for kids who don't appreciate expensive ingredients
2) The ingredients are too expensive (especially for kids!)

I can't show you any creative step-by-step photographs as I'd made it before I received the request to share......( you need to get your crystal ball plugged in Lisa and ask BEFORE I've created so that I get the snaps done!)  Teehee!

125g Margarine (Butter in Nigellas)
300g of chocolate (Best Quality Choc in Nigellas....I used the Easter Eggs the kids hadn't eaten!)
3 tbsps of Golden Syrup (and if I don't have that I use anything runny like Honey or Maple Syrup)
200g of Rich Tea Biscuits (but I have also used shortbread and homemade gingerbread)
100g mini marshmallows (I only had 25g as Teenage Daughter had used my stash to decorate her Ice Cream Share at the weekend!  I also added 25g of Glace Cherries and 50g of Raisins!  I think you might be getting the picture of how this Delight can empty your cupboards of all those irritating bits!)

I line (not very prettily) an 8 or 9 inch square tin with baking paper.  Melt the marg, choc and syrup in a pan (do not allow to's YUK!). Just using your hands (very satisfying!) crush up your biscuits into the pan (crumbs to lumps is fine) and add all the other ingredients.  Mix it up until it is all coated in chocolate and put it into the prepped tin.  Use a spatula to press the mixture down and into the corners and smooth the top off.  Pop it into the fridge for an hour or two.  When set, cut into small chunks (I got about 30 out of mine), dust with icing sugar if you like and EAT!

And eaten they were!

I could only rescue this one sorry piece for a photo shoot ......

Not very Ta-Dah...but...TA-DAH......

...looking good huh?

The next offering was sparked by cleaning out my baking box in which I found Poppy reminded me I had bought them to make Lemon Poppyseed I thought....I'll make them now!

I preheat the oven to 190C and pop cases into my muffin tin before I start.  I then get 2 for wet and one for this.....

Dry jug:
10oz of Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3oz Sugar

Wet Jug:
3 floz oil
8 floz milk
1 egg

(for a lower fat version use 1floz oil and 10 floz milk)

This is my basic muffin mix to which I add all sorts!

5oz berries, 4oz choc chips (a mix of the 2 for Raspberry and White Choc muffins), apples and raisins with spices, I'm sure you'll think of something!

To this I add 2 tbsps of Poppy Seeds to the Dry Jug and the juice and zest of 1 lemon and the zest of a lime (should have been juice and zest of 2 lemons BUT the lemon was very juicy and I fancied some lime zest for a hint of zing and a greenish tinge to the muffin!)

Add the wet to the dry and combine, don't worry if there are a few floury's best not to overwork this.

Anyhow it looked like this..........

Divide the mix into 12 muffin cases and into the oven for around 20-25mins.

Once cooked remove to a cooling rack.............Ta-DAh!

Once cooler (but maybe still a little warm!), accompany with a lovely mug of Green Tea all cozied up in it's little jacket and EAT!!!!!!

I sometimes drizzle water icing over the top, maybe lemon/lime zest, or for different flavours buttercream and sprinkles.....go wild...have fun! (If they last long enough!)

But most of all ENJOY!

See you soon
Nora xx

Friday, 22 June 2012

R & R

Hasn't the weather been just awful?

We did get a few rays of hope sunshine last weekend, but since's not been great.

Today was dry but so windy....I managed to get some washing dry, but sit out? I don't think so! 

I have to say that I'm not a great outdoorsy person, I love to be wrapped up inside my home, even the garden is an adventure!

But I am beginning to feel like a caged animal....a little stir crazy from months of self-imposed enclosure to avoid, gales & rain.

I wondered if there was a solution that could up my daylight exposure and at least MAKE it seem like I was outdoors when I was in!

And there it was....staring me in the face.....the conservatory!

Ever since Tiddly Toes arrived and we had to turn our office back into a nursery, our conservatory became our office.  Then with the ever growing piles of toys it also doubled up as a playroom (with little room to actually play!)

Could it manage a third job too!?

YES!  Of course!

With FlyLady in mind, I set to..... clearing toys, tidying, throwing out 'stuff' and streamlining the necessities.....I won't show you a before shot - far too embarrassing!

But I managed to clear a spot next to the toys (which still need a bit more sorting) for a comfy chair......for sitting and watching the playing (yes there's room for that too!), for sitting and watching the wind blowing in the trees, for sitting and watching the deer in the garden, for sitting and reading a book or magazine..........

Just perfect for a spot of Rest & Relaxation *sigh*.

So to a quick review of the garden, deer and reading matter.

I have three BeAuTiFuL roses in my garden at the moment, this is a climber rambling its way up the trellis between us and next door....

This is a lovely stripey, highly scented and incredibly prickly bush rose..............

.....and this is my personal favourite....I've had it for about 17 years, it has moved house with us and is called Alexander......(my son who will be 21 in October!)

Want to see the deer?

She is VERY shy, she's new.  An older deer used to come into the garden but she became very dishevelled, sadly we haven't seen her for months now.  We have seen her baby....and now this new one..........

Sorry about the flash bouncing off the glass and the blue swing through her tummy....but unfortunately when you have to be quick and the subject isn't keen on posing...this is as good as it gets!  But I'm sure you get the idea.  We are privileged and thrilled to have her come to our garden to mow the lawn for us!

And as for reading...... I do love crafty mags.  I've gone off them a bit lately as they're not very inspiring.....nothing new that you either couldn't think of yourself OR find for free on the Internet.

SO..... I found myself buying a house-y magazine the other day!

But, oh!  What a mag!  Beautiful relaxing, calm homes and sprinkles of vintage and handmade.

It was the July edition of Country Homes and Interiors which is all very seaside-y.  Look.....

Who wouldn't want to stretch out on that welcoming shore-side day bed with a glass of something chilled........?

I've always loved verandas (something about being outside but inside).....look at this stunner.................

Pale, whitewashed, boutique style bedrooms.....oh, for a relaxing night here...............

and for the little ones a light, airy little room with wonderful touches of days gone by in the quilt and bunting....gorgeous little cushions on the bed........ and the bird flying overhead......

(and I've been searching book storage...if you go onto my Pinterest board for Craft, you'll see some of them...although I did find another today which I must add from Littleflowerbaby, amazingly made from a radiator clothes airer! Take a look!)

It hasn't inspired me to make any more projects than was already on my To-Do List (thankfully!), but it was dreamy to sink into the pages whilst sitting in a perfect Sitting Spot that I hadn't realised we had. What a treat.

I think I should start looking at other spaces in a whole new way and see what transpires.....what gems have you got hiding in an unexpected place?  Let me know if you find something.... 'new'.....

Nora xx

Monday, 18 June 2012


No, sadly I have not been on holiday to Spain! *dream, dream*

Would have been nice to escape all this rain wouldn't it?

We got a few rays Little Lady was desperate to get into the she is washing up her tea set.....

Look at the chubby little dimple on her elbow!  Don't you just love it?!

They also wanted their faces painted......

Teenage Daughter is an Aquarium and Tiddly Toes a Cat.....couldn't do much on her as she is a bit of a moving target!  And also still has a scabby face from 'chickenpops'!

I digress......I'm here to share another Abel & Cole recipe....Spanish Potatoes.

The decision came from needing something quick and simple but tasty for myself and finding a leaflet from Abel & Cole for this recipe.......

 and realising I had ALL the important ingredients.......

Following the recipe I boiled the potatoes until just tender and in a little oil fried off the onions, peppers and potatoes, to this I added the spices, orange juice and zest, white wine vinegar and a handful of fresh thyme and basil leaves roughly chopped.

It looked like this..........

The smell was DiViNe!!!

I accompanied mine with Lambs Lettuce with Balsamic Vinegar, Cherry Tomatoes, Salmon poached in White Wine (in the microwave for 2 mins!!) and some all important Beetroot to give my sluggish liver a kick.

Want to see my 20-minute-in-the-making supper.........


It tasted great and despite the rain, I was in Spain for a moment....that mix of a light meal and warm sun aromas from food that makes you feel happy.

I hope the recipe is big enough for you to read and try....ENJOY!

Hasta Lluego!....Nora xx

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Stir crazy......!

Those of you who know me (even a little) will know that I bake...sometimes successfully....but cook.....woah!  Not really!

Cooking has never been a strength of mine.....Gorgeous Husband, well...what can I say...he produces THE MOST lovely meals.

Not tied to any one nation his Chinese is as good as his Indian, Italian, Traditional British.....great cooked brekkie!

Me?  Well, if you want to eat something half decent, you wouldn't rely on me to produce it!


2 Butternut squash sitting in the bottom of the fridge lead me to the scariest meal EVER!


Not for the faint-hearted, weak-kneed or limp-armed!

I had heard horror stories of Risotto....sticks, burns, comes out in wobbly slices!  (that sounds like my rice pudding!!)  Teehee!

Unperturbed, I got out the Abel & Cole cookbook, the one that I got free with My first order back here, this one......

Found a Squash recipe.........

I doubled it up to use as four main meals and instead of rocket used spinach ('coz that's what I had!) and as I can't eat cream (too high fat) I used 4 tbsps of Sojade soya 'Cream'......mmmm!  I can't eat normal cheese either so I used half fat cheddar,I find the best tasting, cooking and looking one to be Tesco's own.

This is a very steamy rice, onion, wine and some stock picture right at the beginning.

This is a nearly cooked butternut squash picture....

It took about an hour of constant cooking and stirring to get there (oh!  my arm!!!!), but, I was in NO hurry.  I could have probably turned the gas up a bit....but I didn't want the burning thing or stodginess......and I added the stock S-L-O-W-L-Y so as not to drown it and have it not as sticky as it should be!

Once the rice is cooked you then add your spinach and squash and serve immediately.

Want to see........


..... we topped ours with lemon juice and black pepper.

It was really rather good!  My youngest son (who turned 16 this week) went back for more.....!  That's always a good sign.

I suppose the point to this story is, step out of your comfort zone....try something different, it'll probably work out if you take it S-L-O-W-L-Y.  But if it doesn''ll have learnt something you didn't know before!

I have put the recipe up big enough for you to read and try....go on, give it a go!

See you soon,
Nora xx

Monday, 11 June 2012

Yo-yo embellishment

Do you remember the little yellow sundress I made my Tiddly Toes?

This one.....

It needed the straps moved in at the back to stop it slipping off of her shoulders.

Once I'd done just looked bare somehow.  What do you think?

I had some sweet little Bee buttons, but they were too small on their own.......

Yo-yo', not the toy, the Suffolk Puff type!

I've never made these before so decided to chart the adventure to share with you!

It started like this.......

I made a running stitch all the way around the edge (think I should have folded that over to give a neat edge....but it doesn't show!)......

Once you've gone the whole way round like this......

Pull it firmly so that it looks like this............

Then I popped my little Bee button in the centre and sewed through all the layers into position.......

....and here it is........Ta-Dah!

That Sun-Shiney day seems like decades ago.... all it seems to have done since is rain!

But that's quite a good excuse to stay in and craft!

Hope you enjoyed sharing this little journey....I think I'll be back soon with....some cooking!

Until then, take care

Nora xx