Friday, February 27, 2009

Yet more cards

Just another two today - my card calendar is so busy this time of year. I think I'm going to have to make a stock of them in advance. Yeah, right. Who am I kidding? That would require forward planning. Pah.

Anyhow. I'm still using the same kit I won from SI/Creative Expressions, in fact, the same piece of paper. Who knew how many cards you could get from a 12x12 piece! I'd never used patterned paper on cards before I started scrapbooking, and it's really opened my eyes. There are only so many things you can do with blank cardstock!

The lettering is more done with the pound stamps. Also, rub-ons are now my "thing". They're great, and I want more. But then there's no surprise. Since I stopped buying paper, I've been accumulating more stash for embellishment. Now I really need that house extension for my craft room...

P.S. Still one more space left on my PIF post - take a look down the page :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Buyer beware (or perhaps baker beware)

Yesterday, I made my most favourite recipe of the moment - apple cinnamon rolls (there would be a better pic, but I only have one left). It's a recipe I received in my Abel and Cole veg box last year in times of plentiful apples (one of their staff, Rachel, made it) and I made it A LOT. I swear it's addictive. You have been warned...

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls

3 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1cm cubes
Juice from 1 small or ½ large lemon
50g unsalted butter, chilled butter, cut into cubes
Extra butter for greasing
Plus 3 tsp butter set aside for glossing the rolls
200g self-raising flour
¼ tsp salt
25g caster sugar
2 tbsp natural yogurt
100ml milk
3 tsp cinnamon mixed with 6 tbsp caster sugar

Place apples in a pan with 2 tablespoons of cold water and lemon juice. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Strain liquid off and leave cooked apples to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 220C. Butter a 18-20cm loose-bottomed, round tin thoroughly. Line the base with baking parchment.

Sift the flour with the salt. Drop the butter cubes one by one in the flour, coating each with flour until all of the butter is in the bowl. Use your hands to gently rub the butter cubes into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Fold in the sugar.

Whisk yogurt with the milk. Gently incorporate into the flour. Mix until you have soft, slightly sticky dough. Turn dough onto a generously floured surface – if it’s is too wet to roll out, fold in a bit more flour. Pat into a 18 x 30cm rectangle.

Spoon the cooled apple mixture evenly over the dough. Sprinkle 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar over the apples. Roll the whole lot up tightly from the longer edge. Use a serrated knife and cut into 7 even slices. Position the rounds in the tin, cut side up, and with plenty of space between them.

Add a pinch of the reserved butter to the top of each roll. Sprinkle over the remaining cinnamon sugar, covering the tops of each round. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Remove and cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool slightly before eating warm or cold.

That is the full recipe, but I don't put the extra butter on the top, nor do I use 6 tbsp sugar for the topping - I use 4 and adjust the cinnamon accordingly. They still taste fab, and I feel a little less guilty eating them. However, I feel this good behaviour is negated somewhat by the fact that I usually eat 4 out of the 7 rolls that it makes.

Enjoy :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Card city!

Well, four anyway. Which is more than I've made in quite a while.
Luckily I made them yesterday before my mojo once again left me. 2 birthday cards, 1 V day (of course!) and a very early Mothers' Day card. The more observational of you may notice that I have clearly succumbed to the call of the Cuttlebug. I relented and spent the last of my Christmas money on it. And I love it! Of course, I had to get a couple of Nestability scallop dies to go with, but all in all, I am very happy.

It's the first time I've made cards since redoing my appalling effort at Christmas cards. I'm not over the moon about all four, but they have their bits of appeal.
I do love the lettering stamps (in the "always") - they were part of my Best of British Scrapbooking prize from Creative Expressions, as were the stems, the patterned paper and the pink ribbon. I thought I'd actually better make something with the stuff, rather than storing it neatly away under the bed or on the shelves.

The photo is one I've been waiting to take for a while. We have a fab Royal Mail pillar box over the road, and I've been waiting to get some decent snow to take this shot. The postie didn't make the pick-up that day :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Crafty "Pay it forward" - what an EXCELLENT idea! FREE STUFF

I just visited my old pal Trees's blog, she's got a FAB post about Pay it forward. (I've also gone on to leave a PIF comment at an Aussie blog, so not sure about that one - postal charges etc) Just my sort of thing - I love giving presents, so... here goes.

If you are one of the first 6 people to comment on this post I shall send you something handmade by me which shall arrive at your abode in the next 12 months. If it doesn't you have written permission to publicly denounce me as a liar and a cheat :) Trees, you don't count, cause you need something to cheer you up, so I'm sending you something anyway!

My understanding of the 'rules' are that if you are one of the 'winners' you then have to set up your own Pay It Forward handmade giveaway to the first 3 that leave you a comment on your blog and I think you also have to use the PIF heart picture in your post.

HOWEVER, I'm with Trees and her friend Soph on this one, please leave a comment even if you don't blog and if you don't feel you could hand make a gift then maybe you could do someone a good turn or make a small donation to a charity. Whatever. Just leave your comment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

52Q - weeks 4 and 5

Back to the weekly art journal challenge for me. I'd been mulling over week 4's question - What do you see when you look into your eyes?

I wanted to use a close-up of my eye, and decided to mess about with photoshop. I converted a picture to black and white, adjusted the contrast and brightness to end up with what you see to the left.

My trusty £1 letter stamps came in handy, I've been wanting some of the making memories mini alpha stickers that I see on a lot of layouts, but these do much the same.

The "Time" is a 7 gypsies rub-on, and the rest is handwritten. All in all, I'm happy with the result!

The next week, the question was "How do you feel today?". With all the snow, I was out early this morning with my camera, snapping some fantastic scenery in glorius conditions. The front of the ATC is a photo of a snow-covered roof near me, complete with weather vane. It just looked to perfect, all clean, and against a beautiful blue sky. It summed up for me why I LOVE weather like this. Clean, peaceful and beautiful.

Simple crafting today, another couple of rub-ons and just a metal photo corner to finish off the journaling. I am thoroughly enjoying this project, but have a couple of layouts up my sleeve for this week. Watch this space ;)

What do you feel about weather like this? Do tell!