Welcome to my blog!

If you ask me what my very favourite thing is I would not hesitate to say my family. I came into motherhood quite late on, and was immediately overwhelmed with how amazing it is. Now I would like nothing more than to be a Domestic Goddess, and surround my family in love, good food, beautiful things and lots of happy memories. And like the majority of families these days, we need to do it on a budget!

I firmly believe we all have a little bit of the Domestic Goddess inside us, just waiting to break out. Whether that is knowing how to make a roast chicken feed a family of 4 for a week, being able to make, repair or recycle clothes, hunting down a bargain, or simply turning everyday, simple things into pretty or useful items, with a little bit of imagination we can all dip in to the Goddess inside and make our lives that little bit more interesting.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy sharing my (challenging) journey into Domestic Goddessness!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Baby Tag for a special new baby!

I am very excited about this post today. I wanted to show you this tag last week, but I also wanted it to arrive safe and sound with the lovely lady who had asked for it first. I was asked by Rach (who has a blog called This Woman's Work - go and have a visit!) to make something to celebrate the birth of her new baby. yet another miracle. So I thought and thought hard about it before coming up with the idea of a tag, which could be personalised too by Rach when the baby arrived (birthday, weight etc)

I made it using Artists mounting board to give it some strength, and covered it with scrapbook papers. The back is a plain yellow paper, and the front is a patchwork of the same yellow paper on the reverse, and some papers fromNitWits' Waddles and Whimsy collection, and finished with Mod Podge.

I used embellishments from the same collection, mounting them on artists' board again for some depth.

Added some brightly coloured star embellishments I discovered in a craft shop, and some buttons from my button box.

And a couple of tags so that it could be personalised.

(Sorry, it has come out sideways for some reason and I can't correct it but you get the idea!)

Finally I added some ribbon, paper thread and funky coloured fibres to the top of the tag to finish it off.
I was quite pleased with it on the whole, even though it wasn't perfect and I kept finding fault with it right up to posting it off,. And of course it turned out nothing like I had originally planned. But most importantly, my friend was pleased with it, and that's really all that matters!

I am thinking of making some more in the future and will see if there is any demand for them.

We have finally set a date for my littlest's christening. It will be in June and she will be 10 1/2 mths old. Flop was christened at 3 1/2 mths so there is no chance that the dress she wore will fit the Bud! Pity, really, as she wore my sister's dress and in a way it would have been nice to have Bud wear it too! Instead I had thought that I would make one - either knitted or crocheted. What a faff that has turned out to be! And that is even before I have purchased wool and cast on a single stitch. It would appear that babies should be christened before they are 6 mths old, or on the rare occasion I have found a pattern that goes up to 12 mths, it is ridiculously small (or else my daughter is a giant!) as going off the chest measurements she would be hard pushed to fit in the finished article now, at 9 mths old! After a lot of searching I was led to communication with a lady on eBay, who was very helpful and I have bought two patterns from her. Now whether they can be made in time remains to be seen! But I did manage to buy a lovely dress (an occasion dress, not a christening one) at the weekend, on standby just in case! It isn't the gorgeous silk creation from Marks and Spencers that I was coveting (for £50 for a one off dress that is likely to get covered in snot, vomit, food or all three and will be difficult to clean given it is made of silk, I will continue to covet from afar!)  but I am more than happy with the alternative.

I am off now to read through my new baking book...I have been treated to the Hairy Bikers Big Book of Baking. So looking forward to that!
Don't forget to see what's going on over on Wendy's blog for Handmade Monday

Til next time!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Making and Baking

A little later than usual this week, thanks to a quite whingey littlest yesterday who was in one of 'those' moods. (You know the kind...'how dare you leave me for 10 seconds mummy! Why aren't you carrying me about everywhere??!') but still in time to link up with Wendy for Handmade Monday. My two are currently glued to Toy Story, so as soon as I'm finished here I will be heading over to see what everyone's been up to.... wish me luck that Woody and Buzz can work their magic for long enough!

I've had quite a busy old week this week, and I've managed to make quite a few things, edible and otherwise. I'm now in the last couple of weeks of 'freedom' before ,whispers> work beckons, so I'm trying to make the most of it. Bread has featured heavily in the baking stakes, as has sourdough of course. On the bread front I've had my first true and epic bread failure, using yeast anyway. I've had a couple of failed sourdough breads but never a 'normal' white loaf. I suppose after so many years on and off of making bread (about 15 I would guess at) one epic fail isn't too bad really. I'm still not sure what went wrong, but the dough was sluggish on it's first rise and then decided it wasn't going to rise at all second time round. My guess is that the water I used was a bit too hot or the yeast was a bit stale. But my next attempt (using different yeast) was a riproaring success and definitely restored my faith!
Continuing the bread theme, we had bread and butter pudding for Sunday tea. I love making this as it is really minimum effort, maximum rewards. I don't think there is a better end to a roast dinner. I once read a Nigella recipe, where she made sandwiches with ginger jam to put in her bread and butter pudding, and I have to admit I stole the idea, changed the jam for orange marmalade and have never looked back. On Sunday, however, I rang the changes with chocolate chip brioche. Delicious and went down a storm with everyone,, but it will be back to the old one next time I think. I know I should have taken a picture of it, but I forgot in my haste to get into it. I will leave it up to your imagination, but just think about a rich brioche studded with chocolate chips, covered in a lovely thick set egg custard, with lots of dried fruit and you're there.

Herman has been eaten, of course. It can be taken for granted now that every week I will have eaten Herman in one form or another. This week I was lucky to have 3 portions to get rid of cook with so we made 2 lots of pancakes and one lot of muffins,

I made the muffins to the 'standard' recipe - apples and raisins, but added a cup of porridge oats as well. It was unanimously agreed that these were the best muffins so far. I don't know whether that was the addition of the the porridge oats or the fact that Herman has been living with us for ages now and I'm getting used to using him!
The pancakes were made at tea time, incidentally, when I had a bit of spare time to make them, and stored in the fridge for breakfasts through the week. The girls had the last 2 this morning, still as tasty as when they were made at the end of last week, so they definitely keep well.

On to other making and I have produced a few things, one of which I will share at a later date, as I want the recipient to see it first. But just a couple of ATC's to share that I made for the ATC Trail on UK Scrappers

This was made using some gorgeous card stock I have that has a great vintage, shabby feel. I love the muted colours.

I used cosmic shimmer on the background of this one. I have not used it before, and I was introduced to its delights by my friend Sharon (here's her blog Chasing Art ) I sprayed it over a piece of sequin offcuts and I love the effect. I sprayed the background before I had even thought about the other elements. I thought it looked like the sky and a rummage in my stash led me to some beautiful flowers I obtained from somewhere at some point and never got round to using.

The making continues today. We are having a messy play day, just as soon as Woody saves Jessie from the plane to Japan.

PS Jill I haven't forgotten the award. I will post a blog nominating my 15 bloggers in the very near future, I promise. It's quite difficult choosing just 15 from all the blogs I read!

Hope you all have a good week!
Til next time!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Life's Simple Pleasures.

I usually visit my mum's on a Sunday morning. She only lives round the corner and it's only a few minutes walk. This morning though I opened the door and it was pouring down, with two small kids this doesn't make for a quick dash!

I could have evicted Himself from his bed and asked him to take us round in the car. But instead I brought out the wet weather clothes and prepared to face the elements.

I'm so glad I did. The journey took three times as long because Caoimhe had to jump in every puddle she saw. And when we got to my mum's her lovely once white tights had to be washed as they were brown with muddy water flowing over the top of her wellies. But the look of excitement on her face when I brought her wellies out was enough for me.

She had a ball on the walk round. Who am I to deny her such a simple pleasure?

I love being a mum.

Monday, April 16, 2012

An Award, A Thank You and a teeny bit of Magic.

No blog last week as we were away sunning ourselves in the gloriously....wet, windy and cold Fleetwood! But I hope you all had a lovely Easter and had lots of chocolate and treats! What are you going to do with them all? Apart from eat them I mean. We are going to enjoy eating all the middle bits - the sweets, the treats and the chocolate buttons and creme eggs - and then melt down the actual eggs themselves to bake with...what I haven't decided yet! Last year we made chocolate cornflake cakes and cakey truffles I recall. Probably more of the same here. I try not to let Caoimhe gorge herself on chocolate and sweets and I think the large collection of confectionery currently sitting in the kitchen is a bit overwhelming so we've decided to do something nice with it other than just eat it all until we are sick! Though I have probably got the only child in the country who hasn't eaten all her eggs yet!

The Thank You goes to Bath Bomb Creations whose giveaway I won a few weeks ago, and picked it up from the sorting office last week (why does the postman always call when you're out and never when you are in?!) I won some pretty earrings and some lovely bath bombs so thank you once again! I can definitely vouch for the loveliness of their products, having had them before so if you're after bath time treats then give them a visit. I have yet to use my new bombs, I am waiting for an opportune moment (doesn't come around very often with two littlies!) but I am looking forward to doing so!

Thank you as well to Gill at Christmas Pie Crafts who awarded me the versatile blogger award. I will post about it, later in the week. It is so nice to have people leave comments and recognise my blog, even though I do wonder what people find interesting about what I chunter about sometimes!

Crafting has been a bit slow this week, though I have been quite busy in the kitchen. We have decided ...well actually that would be my husband... that we should have homemade bread rather than shop bought stuff if we can. It tastes better and lasts longer and at least I know what's in it. It's also not hard to make at all and works out surprisingly cheap to make compared to buying shop bought bread. So bread has been made - not sourdough this time, but 'normal' white bread. To go with the bread we've had home made soup (sweetcorn and potato) and pasta with homemade tomato sauce (infinitely better than shop bought sauce) I have even got myself a bag of pasta grade flour and will have an attempt at making pasta too.....

I have also found another use for Herman. Instead of Herman cake this time I had a bit of a bimble around the net and found a recipe for sourdough pancakes using Herman starter. They were not an immediate success. The batter is a much different beast to the one I usually use and the pancakes are much softer and harder to manage. But perfect them I will! One lot of Herman starter makes enough pancakes for a hungry family, and they keep for weeks in the fridge apparently. Sounds like a great plan for when I'm back at work. (but no more will be said about the W word as it is only weeks away now and I am sad!)

The make I am sharing this week is a bit of a cheat, as I actually made them before Easter. They were for the children of a couple of friends of mine, so I didn't want to show them til I had posted them and I knew they had arrived. I made fairy doors for a little boy (who has been poorly with chickenpox so I hope you're better now Callum!) and two sisters, Amelie and Francesca. I hope they like them. I made them from artist's mounting board off cuts again. The one for the little boy was the most challenging as I didn't want it to be girly!

That's it for this week, just time to remind you that as it's Monday you should have a visit to see Wendy over on her blog for Handmade Monday. I'm off out now for one of the last remaining free Monday mornings I have before....well, you know!
Til next time!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fabric tag swap

I entered a fabric tag swap over on UKscrappers and found it to be a great challenge for myself. I live fabric but as you know I really lack the skills to do it justice. I was looking forward to using the tag swap to get out my sewing machine and try and practice my sewing but it didn't quite work out that way. We have a small domestic problem with our electric and using my sewing machine was out of the question. Hand sewing was never going to happen either! So with a change of plan and not a single stitch sewn I was happy to produce a simple, less is more tag. Well 6 of them actually.

I wasn't satisfied with the finished product, but then are we ever pleased with it or wonder whether we could have done better? I rarely am! However I've never made fabric tags before, or indeed any tags, so it was interesting on that count. Back to ATC's for the next few swaps!

I'm linking up with Wendy for  Handmade Monday  (once again I'm blogging from my phone so if there's a problem with the link, you'll find another on my sidebar) so have a wander over and read what other crafty bloggers have been up to!

Til next time!