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.
Beat together the icing sugar and condensed milk until you have a smooth paste.
Add the coconut and mix well.
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.***
Spread the coloured mix on top of the plain one, again at around 1cm thickness and smooth down the top.
Leave in the fridge overnight then cut into squares. You have my permission to eat any uneven edges you need to cut off.
* 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.
I have no idea where this week has gone; I always think the worst thing about winter is leaving for work and coming home in the dark. It feels like by the time dinner is done and dusted, I just want to have the lights turned low and the flat nice and cosy, which means that really the only craft I do on weekday evenings at the moment is crochet, as I don’t need good light for it. Anyway, there has definitely been a touch of light in the sky the past couple of days, so onwards and upwards.
Last summer I made a dress to wear to the wedding of close friends. I decided that, as I’d been hearing good things about them, I’d try out a StyleArc pattern. They’re an Australian company, but my pattern scuttled its way from the other side of the world really quickly. I chose the Layla dress, mainly because I loved the neckline. I made some basic alterations to the sleeve and skirt style just to make it look a little more glam. (original post about the dress is here if you’re interested.)
I was so pleased with my dress, I decided to make another one. I chose this black and red polka-dot fabric because it reminded me of Sevilla, and we all know just how much I love that place!
Again, I decided to slightly slim the skirt, add a godet, and lengthen the sleeves. I’ll admit I hate my arms, so I much prefer to keep the covered. I’m happy enough to do that because I do love some fancy sleeve detail, as you’ll see in my next dressmaking project.
As I used a stretch cotton, I decided not to bother with lining it, as didn’t want either the dress sagging over the lining or the lining bulking under the dress. It’s always going to be a dress that I wear for a few hours at a time, and the fabric is a good weight (and I’m lazy), so I don’t think the lack of a lining detracts from the dress, other making it look badly finished when it’s hanging up. Luckily no one sees the inside of it when I’m wearing it.
I wore it to a friend’s birthday party at the weekend, styled with black patent tango-style shoes and a waspy belt. I wish my belt had been a bit narrower as I have a really short, high waist, but as usual, I left it to the last minute and couldn’t find one the correct width. I have one on my shopping list now though. Here I am in all finery.
Now, I need to make some nice black jewellery to wear with it.
I’ll definitely be buying more StyleArc patterns in the future. This one needed barely any alterations, other than the design changes I chose to do. The instructions were great and just seemed to make sense (hahah, if that makes sense!). There are a few I’ll definitely be getting in the next month or so because I definitely have the sewing bug now and appear to have overcome my fear of inadequacy.
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.
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.
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.
As yet, he doesn’t have a name, but I’m on the case (…and open to suggestions).
Happy New Year, Oodlers. Hope 2016 brings you everything you wish for. I always have mixed feelings at New Year; excitement at the fresh start and all the projects I’m looking forward to undertaking in the next 12 months, mixed with sadness (and a touch of anger) at everything I’ve failed to achieve in the past year. I know I can’t do everything, but I really, really want to structure my life so I become more productive and use my free time better this year. We shall see…
When I’m making up my project list for this year* I’m definitely adding a couple of things from these books I got a Christmas. Both look wonderful and have so many things I’d like to make. I think I’ll got with the orangutan from Edward’s Menagerie and the bull from Animal Heads as the first one from each book.
*Actually, I think maybe listing the projects I want to do and ticking them off as they’re complete might be the way forward for me. Ideally I’d only like to have one large and few small projects on the go at any given time, as I’m terrible for starting larger projects and having so many on the go I become overwhelmed and end up doing nothing. I’ll report back on the list situation and let you know if it’s working or not.
I’m also looking forward to trying out my new cooking and cocktail books. The Nopi one will be great for dinner parties and special occasions, whilst Spuntino is full of hassle-free food to cook at weekends. Tequila Mockingbird is full of literary based cocktails, so looking forward to posting some fab booze pics soon.
On the subject of cooking, I’m definitely going to get back to posting regular recipes here. I’m also going to slightly change the way I cook and start doing more batch cooking for midweek meals, instead of cooking something from scratch every night. I’m hoping this will free up a bit more time to spend on my crafty projects, as I’d really like to do a fair later in the year.
One of my current makes is taking a little longer than expected. I’m making a Fair Isle tank top, using a pattern from Debbie Bliss’ Blue Faced Leicester DK book. I’m using Patons Merino Extra Fine DK in shades Camel (105), Wine (132), Olive (171), Chartreuse (174), Blue Nile (155), Black (199), and Cream (102). It’s a long time since I’ve knitted anything and had forgotten just how much longer it takes to do than crochet. I’m really enjoying making it although it has to be said it’d definitely a design which needs my full attention. Here’s my progress so far.
Thanks for looking. I would love to see what you’re making or cooking, or even projects you’d like to do at some point in 2016.
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!
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.
You may recall from my last post that I was making a dress (the final results of which will be seen shortly; I just need to beg someone to take a photo of me) to wear to the wedding of really good friends of ours. As I have recently rediscovered my beady mojo, I decided it was only fitting I made some jewellery to go with it. Now, I’ve always been a bit underwhelmed with the new shaped beads which have been abundant of late, however when I saw this Daydreamer Rope by Jill Wiseman (even better as it’s a free download), I decided to buy some Czech Superduos and give it a go. I decided on Halo finish in Tangerine, French Rose, Razzmatazz, Persian Rose, and Celestial. For my seed beads I chose Miyuki seed beads in Taupe Lined Crystal AB. As I was bursting with beady inspiration, I also decided to try out the new beading technique by Melanie de Miguel’s book, Let’s Hubble. As I love throwing myself in at the deep end, I chose the Solar Flare Pendant and thought the deliciously exotic-sounding Pardparadascha Swarovski rivoli would go really well with my other colours. I’ve never worked with this colour before and when it arrived I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a lovely reddish coral colour and bang on trend this season.
Here’s a what was on my bead board when I began my project (minus the 14mm rivoli, which must be hiding):
Originally I was going to do a necklace and a bracelet, but the sizing worked perfectly for a bangle which meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about a catch slipping round or potentially snagging my dress.
Here’s what I ended up with after a few hours of work:
…and because the pendant doesn’t show up very well from that distance, a little close up showing the padparadascha colour in all it’s beautiful glory.
The colours I used went so well with my fabric. I had originally planned to use brights, but the Superduo colour selection wasn’t wonderful and the ones I did manage to find were too garish and just didn’t give the look I wanted, whereas these muted tones really brought out the vibrant colours in the fabric. Also, taupe lined crystal AB have rocketed into my favourite seedy colour list.
I’m delighted with the finished results (and to have my creative mojo back again).
I strongly encourage you to have a go at the Daydreamer Rope if you’re at all beadily inclined. A really simple yet effective design which works up pretty quickly.
Okay, so it’s probably the coldest summer in Scotland in a long, long time, but at least the crappy weather gives me an excuse to stay home and get cracked on with projects.
I’m making a dress and jewellery for my friends’ wedding in a couple of weeks, and so far, it’s all going very smoothly. My last attempt at a dress was a Gertie pattern (Butterick B5953), and was an unmitigated disaster. Even though I had added a FBA allowance, the top part just seemed too low and wide to cross properly. I may have another go at some point but will try using a fabric with a bit of stretch instead of the recommended woven.
Anyway, on to my current project, a much more enjoyable experience altogether. I’d heard good things about Style Arc, an Australian pattern company and their Layla design seemed to be exactly what I wanted, albeit with a bit a tweaking needed to give it a bit more of an ‘Old Hollywood Screen Siren’ vibe. At the moment I’ve done the bodice and the skirt; I’ve made a minor adjustment to the skirt, opting for a slightly longer, narrower silhouette, and adding a godet at the back instead of the kick pleat. I’m not sure if the godet will stay, or if there is enough give in the fabric to just do a wiggle skirt.
I’ve chosen a thickish stretch cotton, with a slightly satiny sheen to it, which I ordered from Fabric Godmother. It’s my first time ordering dress fabric online and I have to say I’m very very happy with it – it’s lush.
(don’t let the hangar size fool you – I’ve made it in a 14.)
I’ve not decided if I’m going to put the zip in yet. Part of my thinks if it fits well without it, just leave it out, but we’ll see. The one thing I will definitely change are the sleeves; the cap sleeves on the pattern are lovely, but I hate my upper arms, so wouldn’t be comfortable with them on show, also if the temperatures aren’t fantastic, I’ll feel less chilly with 3/4 length sleeves. I just need to find another pattern with sleeves which will fit, but I have a feeling I have one in a Burda Style mag which will be perfect.
I can’t wait to show you the beaded jewellery I’m making as well; I’m hoping it will go beautifully with the dress style and fabric.
I’m still crocheting away on Sophie’s Universe. One round to go on my first one and up to Section 8 (I think) on the one for me. Sometimes I liked to take a week off and do something else, so few weeks ago, I decided to have a go at amigurami, mainly because I fell in love with some Lalylala patterns. A couple fell into my basket, and I decided to have a go at Fibi the Fox first.
After a few mishaps, mainly because I wasn’t marking the start of my rounds (if you’re new to amigurami, please don’t think you won’t need markers – you will!). Once I learned about using a scrap of yarn to mark my place, on Dedri’s blog I didn’t look back.
Although I love adapting patterns and I’ve seen a few of the Lalylala ones used as the basis for something else, I decided it would be a good idea to stick with the original design, especially as this was a first attempt.
..so, let me introduce you to Fibi, the cutest little fox you’re ever likely to meet.
I can thoroughly recommend these patterns. I’ve already started my next one.
Last month, I kept seeing the most gorgeous crochet afghan showing up on my Instagram feed. After investigating a bit further, I discovered the joys of a crochet along and the beautiful Sophie’s Universe. After crochet like crazy since I returned from Sevilla (travel report still to come), I am finally up to date and eagerly awaiting the next installment’s release on Sunday.
This is a little closeup of my favourite part of Sophie.
We’re now about half way through and I have to say the pattern has been a joy to crochet. Very little repetition and lots of interesting new stitches and features throughout. If you’d like to give it a go, pop over to the designer, Dedri’s site at Look What I Made. The instructions are very clear and well written. If you do decide to give Sophie’s Universe, I’d love to see your colour scheme and progress.
I decided to do this Sophie in Stylecraft DK from my stash. I’ve had to buy a couple of balls when I’ve run out of a colour I’ve wanted to use again, but it has been great stash-buster so far.
Oh, and did I mention I’ve already started another one in a more subdued colour scheme, as my original is earmarked for my niece as a starting school gift. I’ll miss Sophie #1 so much when she goes though!
I kept seeing Sophie’s Universes popping up in my Instagram feed and was really taken by how pretty they looked. It’s been a wee while since I’ve had a crochet project on the go (with the exception of the Granny Square a Day – hahaha -blankets I’m (not) doing).
I decided to use Stylecraft Special DK from my stash. It’s cheap, but doesn’t feel it, works up really well, comes in a great range of colours, and is easy to get a hold of. I’ve now got the first 4 sections completed, and have decided I’m going to give the finished one to my niece when she starts school in August. Because I love the design so much, I also got some Stylecraft Chunky to make another one for me.
I’m really enjoying the crochet along – it keeps me focused without allowing to go hell for leather and get sick of it quickly. I’m still a behind, but once I get caught up, I’ll start me new one and try to work the 2 consecutively.
Here’s Sophie Parts 1-4:
I’m being very good and sewing in my ends after each part, having learned my lesson from the first crochet blanket I did, where I spent as much time sewing the ends and bits together as I did crocheting, and almost lost the will to live in the process.
If you fancy having a go at Sophie’s Universe, you can find all the details over at the Look What I Made blog. Don’t be put off by how complicated it looks, as long as you can do a basic crochet stitch and follow a pattern, you’ll be fine. The instructions are really clear and easy to understand.