Friday, March 30, 2012

eeny meanie miney beanie

have you checked out our Woolly Beanie Competition yet?  Have you got an ace pattern in mind?  I thought I'd post some links to free beanie patterns to give you some ideas to expand you need any, you crafty kittens!  

you could try this one here 

or how about this one here

or this stripey one here

I'd love to know how your beanies are getting on so do let me know x

Sunday, March 25, 2012

blog hop: Attic 24

last night I hopped over to visit Lucy @ Attic 24 - I first discovered Attic 24 a few months back when I was madly googling for a simple crochet heart pattern and 'voila' - she had the best one!  Lucy has such a lovely way of writing and sharing that even if I'm not seeking to peek at her awesome crochet patterns, it's nice to see what she has written and check out the lovely pics of the English countryside which she posts.  There are sneaky peeks at the inside of her home and her projects too which are just so colourful, you can't help but smile :)

Well, it just so happens that last night I was there to find one her patterns!  This super funky looking neat ripple pattern is experiencing a bit of a craze at the moment and after a few rows in some (secret) funky colours, I think I might be hooked (lame pun intended).  It is a very effective pattern no matter which colours you use - how about a baby boy's blanket in a few shades of blue?  or a pastel rainbow scarf?  oooh, how about a cushion in sunny yellows and oranges?!  The stitch works up so neatly and easily that it's hard to believe it looks so nice!  Maybe it has something to do with the super simple way in which Lucy writes her patterns - trust me, with her step-by-step photo tutorials, you could hardly put a stitch wrong.  
Now I'm off to work some more 'neat rips' on my super-secret project ;)  Promise to post pics in a month or two when the gift has been given.
I highly recommend you check out Lucy's blog, read her lovely writings and have a go at some of her ace patterns.  Let me know what you think x

Term 2 sneaky peek

here's a sneaky peek at one of the things we'll be teaching in Term 2 - the 'owl beanie'.  These guys are pretty popular right now and i thought they were so cute, I had to design my own take on the pattern.  It's super easy and rather quick so it's bound to be a fun workshop!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

playing with polymer clay

here's a couple of quick pics of what LittleRedMiss & I made today with polymer clay.  It's the first time I've used this type of product but it's really fun!  Maybe I should start stocking Fimo, then we could all sit around and make our own jewellery and ornamental stuff!.  Wouldn't that be fun?
a yummy lollipop, a person and I think that's a purple spotted toadstool
some autumn things

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wool Week Beanie Competition

If you've been wanting to show off your crochet or knitting skills or maybe you've been to try out a funky new pattern, here's your chance!  To celebrate Wool Week in April, we're running a beanie competition and we want you to enter!  You can knit, crochet, finger knit or use any other process - as long as you use wool.  We want to see what new, fancy & unusual creations people can come up with.  Entry is free so have a go!

the crafty kitchen: autumn apple cake

This recipe has been adapted from one I found in a favourite UK mag (Country Homes & Interiors) and it is steadily becoming our favourite.  As it bakes, it spreads a beautifully warm and spicy smell through the house, just the kind of scent kids will love to come home to after a day at school!

You'll need:
175g butter, softened
3/4 cup raw caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup ground almonds
2tsp ground cinnamon
2 apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
1 cup walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line an 8cm deep slice tin.
2. Use an electric mixer to beat, butter, sugar & eggs until creamy.
3. Mix in flour, ground almonds and cinnamon and beat for a few seconds until combined.
4. Chop half of the apple into rough matchsticks and stir them in along with half of the walnuts.
5. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish and smooth down.  Layer remaining apple slices on top, poking them halfway into the mixture then sprinkle with remaining walnuts.
6. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until risen and cake springs back when lightly touched in the middle.
7. Leave to cool in tin for an hour or so then slice and serve warm with double cream.

Next time I'm going to try different fruit/nut/spice combos such as apricot, slivered almonds & ginger or plum, hazelnut & cinnamon (using ground hazelnuts in place of ground almonds too).  

If you bake this at home, I'd love to know what you think of it!

school holiday workshops April 2012

back in the blogosphere

I know, I know - it's been a super long time since the last post as I got swept away by the convenience and global reach of Facebook - sorry!  But now, after lots of re-arranging of time, priorities & web stuff, I'm back in the blogosphere and ready to share all the latest news!  
So I guess the first thing to share is that our School Holiday Workshops are now available for the April holidays - I'll post the timetable shortly - and as they fill up super quick you best get a wriggle on if you want to book your kids in!
Next on the share-fest...we have a new website coming REALLY soon!  It's in the final development phase and you'll soon be able to browse, shop, book in and generally hang out on our site :D  The address is'll keep you posted as to when it will be launched!
Third bit of news...Campaign for Wool has launched an initiative aptly named Wool Week - it runs from 23rd to 29th April and we are going to have ONE WOOLLY WEEK to celebrate!  There will be free workshops, new products, free patterns and our very first competition to re-invent the beanie!  There will be loads more news to come really soon!
Okay, that's probably enough for now but rest assured, we're back in the blogosphere to stay so check back often and remember to say hi!