Saturday, 24 September 2011

Beary Happy Birthday

Last post for today and I'm entering it into:

Colour Create - Lime, Aqua, White
Alphabet Challenge - Q is for Quick and Simple

The image is from Ellephantastic which I've coloured with Copics and the number has been cut using my Cricut.

Right I'm off to get this place tidied up - thanks for looking and have a great weekend.

Monster Munch

This weeks challenge over on Less Is More is a sketch and in honour of Jim Henson's 75th birthday I've created a little monster just using simple shapes and some google eyes.

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend.

Friday, 23 September 2011

I'm Cream Crackered....

We're going to the theatre tonight to see 'Men Should Weep' so it's an early dinner for us which I've just finished preparing. Just thought I'd share it with you as it's all rather scrummy

Braised Beef With Red Wine and Cranberry

Ingredients (for 4)

1kg braising steaks
3 onions
300ml red wine
300ml stock
3 rounded tbsp cranberry sauce

1.Cut the meat into large slices, about 8cm square. Tip 2 tbsp flour with some salt and pepper into a large food bag, add the beef and shake to coat the pieces. Thinly slice the onions.

2.Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the beef and fry on all sides until evenly browned. You may need to do this in two batches. Remove to a plate.

3.Heat 1tbsp oil in the pan if you need it, then add the onions and fry quickly for 5 minutes until tinged brown. Return the beef to the pan and add the wine and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring to scrape up the juices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4.Reduce the heat, cover tightly with a lid and cook at a gentle simmer for 11⁄2 hours until the beef is tender. Stir in the cranberry sauce, taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Simmer for a further 5 minutes and serve with mash, and a scattering of flatleaf parsley.

Serve with horseradish mash.

To follow I've made:

Moreish Mocha Profiteroles

Ingredients (serves 6)

100g plain flour
85g unsalted butter
3 eggs , beaten


4 tbsp Bird's custard powder
6 tbsp golden caster sugar
600ml milk
2 tbsp coffee essence (dissolve 2 tbsp instant coffee granules in 2 tbsp hot water - we used Nescafé Partners' Blend)
284ml double cream
100g icing sugar


100g dark chocolate , in pieces
50g butter
50ml coffee
1-2 tbsp coffee liqueur such as KahlĂșa

1.Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in a pinch of salt. Put butter and 200ml cold water into a pan, bring to a rolling boil, then take off the heat. Tip in the flour and salt and stir to form a smooth paste. Now beat the mixture until it starts to come away from the sides of the pan, then tip onto a plate and leave to cool.

2.Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Return paste to the pan, then gradually beat in the eggs, mixing well. Spoon walnut-sized balls onto a baking sheet, then bake for 20-25 mins until golden. Remove from oven, poke the underneath with a teaspoon, turn upside-down, then bake for 5 mins to dry out. Cool on a wire rack before filling.

3.For the filling, mix the custard powder and sugar with a splash of milk until you have a smooth paste. Heat the remaining milk, then stir into the paste. Pour the mixture into a pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Cook for 5 mins until you have a thick custard. Stir in coffee, then leave to cool. Softly whip the cream, sift in the icing sugar and mix, then fold into the custard. Pipe the cream into each choux bun.

4.For the sauce, melt chocolate and butter with the coffee in a bowl in the microwave on Medium for 1-2 mins. Pour in the liqueur, mix well, then pour over the filled buns.

It really is worth the effort, despite the mountain of dishes, just need to eat it now with a nice glass of red.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Daisy Daisy Give Me Your Answer Do....

I've found a new challenge over on The Spotted Chick - it's very simple (a bit like me) just to have kraft coloured cardstock somewhere on your card.

I've computer generated the sentiment, cut a flower using my Cricut and added Card Candy to the centre of the flower - simples!

Thanks for looking.


I went to the preview of Warrior last night. It's a fantastic film with fabulous performances from the three leads - Nick Nolte, Tom Hardy and Joe Edgerton.

The movie is about the no-holds-barred style of mixed martial arts fighting with a family story in the background. It's over two hours long but doesn't feel like it - holding your attention to the end. If you like fight movies and a good story you will love this film.

Great British Bake Off

I was out last night so missed the Great British Bake Off so I've just caught up on BBC i-player. Don't you just love the humility of Janet? Go Janet...Go Janet... I'm rooting for you!


I've just won a $50 Simon Says Stamp prize for 'A Star Is Born' - again a random org thingy but none the less I won...I won...I won! Guess what I'll be doing this afternoon!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Baby Bear

This is my third and final entry for the Less Is More challenge of Anything Goes.

The digital stamp is by Ellephantasic Stamps. I've coloured it with a combination of Copics and Sakura gel pens. The shading is rubbish - I could draw well at school but could never paint and was envious of those who did - but hey ho we can't all be good at everything. The sentiment is just a couple of text boxes using Little Days font.

It also fits with:

Crafty Callendar Challenge - Bears

Alphabet Challenge Blog - Q is for Quick And Simple

Totally Papercrafts - Clean and Simple

Enjoy the rest of your day and thanks for looking.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Onesie Card (Ooh Ah - We've Gone All American!)

This week over on The Pink Elephant blog it's an inspiration challenge from this photograph:

The photograph reminds me of school when we tried our hand at crochet. Once we had got the hang of making squares we went into overdrive making bags, blankets, waistcoats.... well it was the 70's. I can't guarantee that our efforts were in such beautiful colours though.

My entry is this onesie (or babygro to us Brits) card which I've cut using an SVG Cuts file and covered in DP from Smirk which is very delicate with a hint of sparkle. Just the addition of the baby's name, some buttons and a bow to finish it off.

Thanks for looking!


I've just been sent this and I thought I'd share it with you to salve you conscience when you're crafting instead of doing the housework.

Remember .... a layer of dust protects the wood beneath it.

A house becomes a home when you can write 'I love you' on the furniture.

I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect 'in case someone came over'. Finally I realised one day that no-one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!

NOW when people visit, I don't have to explain the 'condition' of my home. They are more interested in hearing about the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun. If you haven't figured this out yet, please heed this advice.

Life is short. Enjoy it! But wouldn't it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake cookies or a cake and lick the spoon or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time .... with wine to drink, rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around, again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it's not kind....

And when you go - and go you must - you, yourself will make more dust!

Share this with all the wonderful women in your life. I JUST DID.

It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

I'm Having A Power Surge.... second card for the Less Is More challenge has more colour and faff than my poor minimalist heart can cope with. As you know sweating is not a good look - I think a cold shower is in order.

Anyway can I introduce you to Fifi the giraffe from Little Musings which I've coloured to co-ordinate with some DP from Summer Driggs and added a little ribbon.

That's all for now I'm off to have that shower. Thanks for looking!

A Star Is Born

Over on Less Is More this week the challenge is Anything Goes. Fab-u-lous! But as an extra little challenge to myself I've decided to find an apt song title for my card. For my entry I've chosen Girl On The Moon by Foreigner.

The digital stamp is by Bugaboo Stamps. I love this image - it reminds me a bit of the baby in the Simpsons (Maggie?). It's perfectly plain with the only bit of razzle dazzle being the clouds which have been coloured using sparkly chalk.

So if you want an extra little challenge to yourself and you are kind enough to leave a comment why not tell me the name of the song for your entry?

It also fits with:

Simon Says Stamp - Inspired By A Song

Alphabet Challenge Blog - Q is for Quick And Simple

Totally Papercrafts - Clean and Simple

Have a great weekend and thanks for looking.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Entering A Challenge On A Friday.... very dare I! I know I'm a Saturday challenge kinda girl but over on Get Funky! the challenge is Birthday Fun - so that's absolutely ANYTHING birthday related except you MUST use at least ONE Funky Hand element to be entered for the prize. If you don't have anything Funky Hand there's a fun & funky freebie!!!

I haven't entered this challenge for a looooooooong time but I happened to be watching Create & Craft yesterday and the lovely Anice (doesn't she have a lovely smile?) was on which reminded me of Funky Hand.

So my entry is using a Tiffany Doodles image which I've paper pieced using papers from the Funky Daze CD.

It also fits with the following challenges:

Shelly's Images - Anything Goes

Crafty Boots Challenge - Anything Goes

Top Tip Tuesday - Birthday Time

Hope you like it and thanks for looking.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Fetch The Doctor.... it's OK I'm fine now. I've been having withdrawal symptoms all week as I didn't enter my favourite challenge last week due to a lack of artistic talent. However I'm fully recovered now and entering the Less Is More one layer card challenge with the theme 'seeing double'.

I've use a Pink Petticoat 'With Flowers' image which I've printed twice, repositioned the second flower at an angle and joined the two together. The sentiment is just a text box using the Pea Roxygirl font.

That annoying smudge is back on my camera again (honestly it's not chip fat on the card -this is a fat free household) I really must invest in a new one. That's all for now, thanks for looking and have a great weekend.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Bags Of Fun ....

....on my birthday today. Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, bread and butter in the gutter, happy birthday to me! I'm doing no housework and intend to do nothing other than play with paper and food. I've made a little handbag box for the Die-Cut Dreams Challenge which is to make a gift box or bag and also the Moving Along With The Times Challenge which is handmade flowers. This is my first ever entry to both challenges.

I've cut the bag using an SVG cuts file using DP by Fancy Pants Designs. The layered flower has also been cut using my Cricut. Just the addition of a button and a gem to finish it off.

Thanks for looking.