Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Felting Fun

For the last three weeks we, my dear friend Stella and I, have been going to a felting course on Monday evenings. We have had great fun and have learnt some new skills to add to the techniques we had gleaned from the two day course we attended last year.

This time our fab tutor Paula (see her on http://frecklesandflowersgirl.blogspot.co.uk/ ) has taught us more about dry felting, embellishing and how to make a seamless bag. As felting takes a bit of time as well as muscle all projects are still in production but I thought I'd just let you see a work in progress. I am quite pleased with it thus far but still have more to do to complete the work. I'll also keep you posted on the seamless bag as its production has been quite fascinating ....................but I leave that to another post. I'll also with the permission of the other students give you a peak at their work.
Silver birch with bluebells 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy.

Tell me where does the time go? I know its all relative, because when your young a year is such a significant percentage of the life you've lived and as you get older the percentage reduces dramatically, but time now seems to fly. The seasons come with such speed its like someone has just put the foot down on the accelerator and there's no time. Well I've decided since it won't slow down for me I'm simply going to get my skates on and catch up and stop moaning and groaning.  

So I'm currently trying to catch up with my daughters this is your life book, my scrapbook pages,gardening, doing a felt course,planning on a bunting course and started swimming twice a week. This on top of my three mile walk each day. I might be totally knackered by the end of May but what the heck, better to live than simply rust away. Ha! ha! ha!

Here are some of my latest pages, some from Christmas and others from my daughters book.

I hope you like them all I'm pleased with them. I'll keep you posted on the felting and everything else to keep a look out on the blog. also winner for blog candy to be announced soon. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Super Stromboli

Just thought I'd share with you all this fab recipe from the Hairy Bikers, Bakeation series (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/prosciutto_mozzarella_87370)which we tried out the other day. It was delicious so well worth a try.

Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Basil Stromboli


For the dough 
  • 450 g/ white flour plus extra for dusting
  • 50 g/1oz semolina 
  • 1 x 7 g/¾oz sachet of fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 325 ml/11 fl oz warm water
  • For the filling
    2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 8 slices of prosciutto
  • 125g/4½oz mozzarella
  • large handful fresh basil leaves
  • flaked sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

  • Method

  • To make the dough, sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the yeast. Mix the sea salt and olive oil with the water and stir into the flour. Mix with a large wooden spoon until the dough comes together and forms a soft, spongy ball.

  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for five minutes until smooth. Place the dough into a bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave it for about an hour in a warm place or until it has doubled in size.

Knead dough till smooth and elastic 

place dough in greased bowl and place in warm place to prove
  • While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan and fry the onion over a low heat for five minutes until softened and lightly browned. Stir regularly and add the garlic for the last minute of the cooking time.

  • Tip the tomatoes into the pan and add the oregano and caster sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Place over a fairly high heat and cook the sauce for 5–8 minutes until very thick, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the sauce to cool.

The dough when risen 

  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle measuring about 44cm x 32cm/17in x 13in.

  • Spread the tomato mixture over the dough, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Lay the prosciutto in a single layer over the sauce. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and dot over the prosciutto, then scatter the basil leaves on top.

  • Tuck in the two short ends and roll the stromboli up firmly to enclose the filling. Place it, seal-side down, on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment and leave to rise for 30 minutes.

We had to give our stomboli a slight curve as we did not have a large enough baking tray

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  • Brush the remaining oil over the dough, season with a little more salt and pepper and bake the Stromboli for 25–30 minutes until well risen and golden brown.

Doesn't that look yummy

We had the Stromboli with salad and it was delicious 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Sunshine and Flowers

Well the weather of late might have lead us all to believe that Spring had reared its head only to have Winter grab it around the throat and drag it back down into the frozen ground. But, no Spring has finally shrugged off winters icy grasp and taken hold. Here is the evidence, The Otely Road in Leeds ablaze in Spring glory. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Ally Pally

Yesterday, was my hubbys and my wedding anniversary, 28 years and still happy together. When asked what I wanted to do for the day I said a trip to the Stamping and Scrapbook fair at Alexander Palace, and being a fantastic understanding and easy going chap my hubby is he agreed well so long as we could also go for a meal later. No problem there I said so off we went. 

Inside the hall
I don't think the fair was a big as it has been in past years but there was still some good stalls and some interesting stuff available to buy. There were several stamp stalls as the name of the fair was suggests but I was a little disappointed with the amount of scrapbooking stuff particularly embellishments and such on sale.

I did, however, get some fabulous papers and some kits to make tags from The House of Zandra www.houseofzandra.co.uk  You should pay the site a visit as it has some very different and interesting stuff available. 

Some of the papers I purchased.

I also got some Graphic 45 papers which are all gorgeous and you'll no doubt get to see some of them in future projects.

The graphic 45 papers 
After the fair we went to Jamie's Italian restaurant  and that was pretty good too. All in all we had a great day. 


Raspberry Brownie yum! yum! yum!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Tasty Pizza

Shop bought pizzas are fine for convenience, but home made are the best if you want the real original taste of Italian style pizza.Well that's what I think. So if you'd like to give it a try follow this recipe as I can assure its been well tried and tested.


500g Strong white flour 
1/2 tsp Salt
3 tsp Dried yeast
2 tbsp Olive oil
360 ml Warm water

1 jar Pasta sauce or passata
2 Shallots
2 tsp Italian dried herbs 
2 Cloves of garlic
175 g Mozzarella
115 g Mushrooms 
1 Long sweet red pepper
115 g Anchovies
200 g Slices of pepperoni  
100 g cheddar cheese (not traditional but gives lovely taste)
and anything else you might fancy on your pizza


Mix flour salt 

Mix yeast with warm /tepid water and after it has foamed up add to flour mix. 

Mix ingredients and then knead for 10 minutes until the mix is elastic.
place dough ball in greased bowl,cover then place in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours till mix has doubled in size.

Pre heat oven to 200 C ( 400 F or Gas mark 6) 

Divide dough into 3 or 4 balls then stretch out balls to make pizza base.

Place on  greased baking sheets

Then add topping leaving about a 2 cm border around edge of pizza. Don't over do topping as it will make base soggy but even then still tastes great. 

Cook about 20 mins  

After 20 mins remove from the oven and eat ........... yummy.