On my desk this week – 15 February 2017

The weeks are flying by this year already, so looking forward to spring coming.  I’ve got a few new projects on the go this week.  Two are long(ish)-term ones that I can hop in and out of to suit my mood and time availability.

First up, I’ve finally started the Persian Tiles crocheted blanket by Janie Crow.  This has been on my to-do list for a while now and I bought the pattern around a year ago, but have only felt like doing it now.  I’m using Stylecraft Special DK in 9 different colours.

Persian Tiles Colour Selection

I’ve finished my first motif and I’m pretty pleased with the way my colours have worked out.  I’ll be doing half the motifs in this colourway, swapping out Cypress and Pistachio for Storm Blue and Duck Egg for the other half.  I feel the chains in the middle are a bit long but hopefully the sections will stretch into themselves as I start to sew them together.

Persian Tiles

After my recent forays into cross stitching last year, I decided I’d really like to do some embroidery samplers, so although I’m a bit late, I’m going to jump into the “1 Year of Stitches” project.  Whether I’ll stick it out for the whole year remains to be seen but I would like to have a good variety of stitches in my finished piece.  I ordered some lovely Dove Grey linen …actually I ordered quite a lot, as I though it was sized in centimetres but it was in inches, but I’ll have plenty for a few projects.  I also couldn’t resist the little dinky oval embroidery hoop.  I only hope it isn’t too small to work on but if it is, I can always use it as a frame for a mini project and go back to one of my wooden hoops.

The last thing I started this week was at silversmithing classes.  I’ve decided my latest project will be a bracelet made of irregularly shaped links and connectors.  First link is done, although it still needs a good polish.  Doesn’t look much on its own but I’m hoping once it’s finished, the bracelet will be one I wear regularly.

Wonky Link Bracelet

I have to dash now, as really want to start my embroidery project tonight.

I’ll be back soon with more things to show and make.

Coconut Ice

I’m not a huge sweet fan, and will almost always choose something savoury instead, however sometimes only sweet will hit the spot.  This coconut ice is really quick and easy to make, although I needs to set in the fridge for a few hours, preferably overnight.  I make mine in my food mixer because I’m lazy but it can be easily mixed using a bowl and wooden spoon.

This recipe will give you a nice coconut-y coconut ice, just the way I like it.

 

Coconut Ice
Print Recipe
Coconut Ice
Print Recipe
Ingredients
  • 200 g icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 400 g condensed milk (1 tin)
  • 400 g dessicated coconut (2 packs)
  • a few drops red food colour paste* (optional)
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Grease a small baking tray**.
  2. Beat together the icing sugar and condensed milk until you have a smooth paste.
  3. Add the coconut and mix well.
  4. If you're making two-toned coconut ice, spread half the mixture onto your tray, levelling it off to approximately 1cm in thickness then beat the food colouring into the remainder until you have a nice even colour.***
  5. Spread the coloured mix on top of the plain one, again at around 1cm thickness and smooth down the top.
  6. Leave in the fridge overnight then cut into squares. You have my permission to eat any uneven edges you need to cut off.
Recipe Notes

* I  find red colouring gives a nicer pink than pink colouring

** I use a 20cm square silicone cake mould, so I don't bother greasing it.  The mix doesn't quite fit across of the bottom of my mould, but it's firm enough to hold its shape.

*** If you're not adding colour to your coconut ice, spread all the mixture onto your tray, keeping the thickness at around 2cm.

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Woolly Bully

Just  before Christmas I treated myself to a copy of Vanessa Mooncie’s fantastic book, “Animal Heads – Trophy Heads to Crochet”.  Once I had looked through it, I wanted to make almost everything, but once I put my sensible head on and told myself I was only allowed to do one until I had some other projects finished, I decided on the bull.  It will be perfect in our bedroom, which you may recall from a previous post, will eventually have a Spanish flamenco bar feel to it.

The bull didn’t take too long to do, as he’s mainly done in chunky yarn.  Also, there weren’t too many parts to put together.  I did find my hands got a bit sore making him, especially my “holding” hand.  This is probably not helped by me being a bit hypermobile, as it’s pretty easy to overstretch fingers.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Paco

Before I added the embellishments, I had fun pretending I was Kevin Keegan with his curly hair – luckily no  photos exist. I would  have finished him last week, but I was held back a bit trying to source a wooden ring which was large enough to go in his nose.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Bull Nose

 

I’n not sure he’ll be to everyone’s taste, but I love him so much, in fact he’s quite possibly my favourite make to date.  At the moment he’s resting on top of one of the sofas, as he’s pretty heavy, so will need to get hold of a masonry drill to put a rawl plug in to support him.  I’d love to hear what you think of him.

OOdles of Obliciousness - Bull (finished)

As yet, he doesn’t have a name, but I’m on the case (…and open to suggestions).

Jelly & Custard Cupcakes

It’s was my brother-in-law’s birthday last weekend, so I baked him some cakes:

Piña Colada cupcakes – by special request.  I even put little umbrellas in them.

Oodles of Obliciousness - Pina Colada Cupcakes

I also made jelly and custard cupcakes.  These are always a great hit with the little ones (and big ones too!)

Oodles of Obliciousness - Jelly & Custard Cupcakes

The Piña Colada ones were from Love Cupcakes, my hands down favourite cupcake book.  The jelly and custard ones are also based on a recipe in the book but I’ve tweaked it so many times it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the original.  Here’s my recipe for them:

 

Jelly & Custard Cupcakes
Print Recipe
An homage to that old favourite childhood pudding - jelly and custard...in cupcake form.
Servings Prep Time
12-18 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-18 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Jelly & Custard Cupcakes
Print Recipe
An homage to that old favourite childhood pudding - jelly and custard...in cupcake form.
Servings Prep Time
12-18 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-18 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
for the cakes:
  • 125 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (large, at room temperature)
  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • raspberry jam
for the frosting:
  • 125 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp (heaped) custard powder
  • milk
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
To make the cupcakes:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees c and line a muffin/cupcake tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Put the butter, caster sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of your mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and mix to combine (don't worry if it looks a little curdled at this stage, adding the flour will sort that out).
  4. Add the flour and baking powder and beat again until combined.
  5. Add the milk and beat again.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between your cupcake cases, bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, and turn out on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Once cupcakes have cooled, using an apple corer or knife, removed a section of cake from the centre, taking care not to go straight through to the cupcake case. Fill the space with raspberry jam and pop the piece of cake you removed back in.
To make the frosting:
  1. Beat the butter and vanilla until pale and fluffy
  2. Add the icing sugar and beat, slowly at first, until the mixture comes together. Add the custard powder and beat again to incorporate
  3. At this point, you will probably find the frosting to be a little too thick. Add milk, one tablespoonful at a time, until it reaches your desired piping constituency.
  4. Add the frosting to the cupcakes using either a piping nozzle of your choice or spread on with a palette knife.
Recipe Notes
  • I use a very heaped tbsp sized measuring spoon to measure the mixture into the cupcake cases.  This will give around 16 cupcakes.
  • I find squeezy seedless jam ideal for these cupcakes.
  • I prefer about 4 very heaped tablespoons of custard powder in my frosting, as I like it to be quite custardy.
  • I like to use large nozzles, as they allow me to cover the cake quickly and easily (cake decorating is not a skill I possess!).

 

 

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Bedroom (P)revamp

I’m so pleased I’m sticking to my craft project list and not adding anything new until I tick something off.  It has helped hugely that my lovely hubster has been clearing out someone the old stuff we seem to hang onto for no reason.  It means I have space in there to take photos and set up a temporary work tables and when I need it; it’s just down to me to go through all the bags and boxes of craft stuff I have and get rid of anything I won’t use.

I’m really looking forward to having a more minimal craft stash. As often I find the sheer volume of stuff I have is a bit daunting and ends up putting me off making anything.

I’ve also decided to decorate our bedroom in a Spanish flamenco style.  In case you didn’t know, I love Spain, especially Andalucia and dream of living in Sevilla one day. It’s one of those jobs which will take some time to complete así don’t want just go out, buy a ton of stuff, and shove it in the room; I want it filled with Spanish style knick knacks but also want it to reflect our own style and taste.

The first thing for the walls is almost finished…

Oodles of Obliciousness - Paco

…all will be revealed in the next day or so.

Oblibby xx

A Stitch in Time

Hello, little blog, it’s been way too long since I last updated.  The intention was there but somehow life, laziness, time, and other stuff all just seemed to get the better of me.  However, I’m now back (still with what feels like a million ongoing projects, recipes in my head, crafty things I want to do, and places I want to visit, all jostling around in my head.

Anyway, onto the good stuff.  I’ve never attempted cross stitch before, and to be honest, it’s a craft that didn’t hugely appeal to me, mainly because so many of the designs on the market aren’t quite me.  Late last year however, I came across some designs by Bothy Crafts, which I really liked.  I had some Christmas money, so decided to go for the Love Tree one.

It’s been a slow process, mainly because of ends and it being a project I do for a few days then leave for months.  I’d love to get it finished before this Christmas though, as I want to make a gallery wall in our dining room after Christmas, and this is going on it!

Oodles of Obliciousness - Cross Stitck

As you can see, I’m on the outline stage now (not sure if that’s the official cross stitch term or not).  It’s pretty time consuming, mainly because I chose a design with tons of little motifs.  I’ll get there though, then it’ll just be quick wash and press then to find a frame.

Next up I’d like to an embroidery sampler, or maybe a cross stitch ouija board – decisions, decisions….

Are you a cross stitch fan?  If so, I’d love to hear of your pattern recommendations.

Thanks for reading

Oblibby xxx

Product Review – Morphy Richards Soup Maker

I had a department store gift card which expired today.  I had sort of forgotten about it over Christmas, but suddenly remembered at the weekend and didn’t have a clue what to buy with it.  I neither needed nor wanted more clothes, shoes, makeup, perfume etc, so opted for them old fallback – something for the kitchen.  We have plenty of crockery, glassware, pans, and utensils, plus they’re a bit boring to buy yourself as a present, so I decided to look at some gadgets.

I remembered one of my friends had recently bought a soup maker, so asked her opinion on it; after hearing the good things she said, I thought why not – I might like it, it might come in useful and if not I can give it to my mum or sister.

I bought the Morphy Richards Soup Maker


Morphy Richards Soup Maker

I used it last night and absolutely loved it. I was late getting home, so it was 7:15 before I was even able to start prepping dinner.  I quickly chopped my ingredients, bunged them in with some water, put the setting to smooth and let it do it’s thing whilst I had a shower.  At 8pm we were sitting down to a lovely bowl of fresh soup.  For speed and ease it really is unbeatable – no stirring to stop the soup sticking and no having to decant from my enameled cast iron pots in order to use my stick blender.

It made enough soup for 4 main course portions, would easily do 6-8 for a starter/soup course, so will be ideal for dinner parties – one less thing to have to keep an eye on, which is always a bonus when you’re doing multiple courses.

As it made me so happy, I have written up a little bonus quick, cheap and easy recipe for Leek and Celeriac Soup.

 

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post and has no affiliate links. Product was bought by me for use in my home

Welcome to My New Home

Hello, new visitors and old; welcome to introductory post for Oblibby.com, my new home on the Web.  I decided it was time for a change, and what better time than a new year to implement all the new things – look, start, Wed address, direction, and focus.

I’m going to be posting a recipe every Thursday, with the aim to up this to 2 a week.  I’ll also still be posting my crafty makes, travel adventures and a bit about my life here in beautiful Scotland, along with regular reviews.  To add some variety (it is the the spice of life after all) from all the crafty and kitchen things, I’m going to get over my fear of being photographed share some of my favourite outfits and looks, which will show that everyone can wear really nice looking clothes and makeup without spending a fortune.  I’d love by the end of the year to be showcasing some of my own homemade clothes, as I’ve put myself on a bit of a buying ban this until I have a huge clear out.

Thanks for reading; I hope you’ll stay with me.  Feel free to leave me a comment if there’s anything you want to know about the things I show here.