DIY fancy wooden spoons

I am such a big ole fan of Habitat, I even worked there for a year when I was at college…permanent discount, those were the days!

I popped in for their 25% off evening and amongst other things, I grabbed some new bamboo panda utensils and as nice as they are, I decided to give them a little gold makeover (though neon works so well too). Thank you @craiginmotion for the paint – you knew it would come in handy!

What you’ll need:
Wooden utensils
Masking tape or washi tape
Paint (acrylic works well too)
Paintbrush

How to do it:
1. Tape up the handle of your spoon where you want the paint to stop, press it around firmly so that the paint doesn’t squidge out underneath
2. Paint the handle
3. Remove the tape straight away so it doesn’t pull any paint off
4. Leave to dry
5. Give them another coat
6. Done!

recipe ~ madeleines

Little French madeleines seemed like the perfect addition to a cup of tea for my visiting Grandma, so I sourced a sparkly new tin and set to work. Don’t be tempted to overcook, the mixture remains fairly pale! I wish I had a picture, but they got eaten before I could even sprinkle any icing sugar…next time!

Ingredients
(Makes 12 deep or 24 shallow madeleines)
2 free-range eggs
100g/3.5oz caster sugar
100g/3.5oz plain flour
100g/3.5oz butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 lemon, juiced and zested (mine was huge so I only used 1/2)
3/4 tsp baking powder

Method
1. Preheat oven to 200oC (180oC fan)/400F/Gas 6, grease and lightly flour a madeleine tin
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar until frothy
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and lightly whisk, leaving a little flour to add as the last ingredient to ensure the mixture does not split
4. Leave to rest for 20mins
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin
6. Bake for 8-10mins or until they have risen and are cooked all the way through (a skewer inserted should come out clean)
7. Transfer to a wire tray to cool and then eat!

…if you want to make them even prettier, dip them in dark chocolate or add a raspberry to the centre

DIY sleepy jumper

I’ve been seeing lots of embroidered jumpers around this Autumn and I finally decided to make my own! It is mainly good for wearing on a Friday morning when the end of the day is just a little longer away than I would like.

What you’ll need:
A grey marl sweater
A pen to mark your sleepy eyes on (I used this one)
Embroidery thread
Needle
Iron

How to make it: 
1. Mark where the eyes need to be sewn on using your iron-off pen (don’t use a ball point pen as it will be harder to remove, go for a highlighter!)
2. Sew each eye in turn, using little stitches and using all 6 embroidery threads for weight
3. Iron off the pen markings on a low setting
4. Pop it on and prance around

 

sorry for what I said when I was hungry ~ screen print

The Hungry screen print is now up on Etsy! It is printed by hand in a beautiful gold pigment…enjoy!

 

Hungry screenprint

‘Hungry’ Screeprint

Screenprint close-up

Text Close-up

Print Details:
– A3
– Gold pigment
– 330gsm white paper stock
– £40
– Dated and signed
– Packaged and shipped in heavyweight poster tube

urban gardening ~ scotch bonnet chilli diary

My parents have very green fingers and proudly tell me when I visit what we will be eating from the veg patch (I say patch, but it is more of a veg hangar) they grow so much that bunches of beans and punnets of berries have to sit out the front for neighbours to snaffle, either that or Mama T frantically freezes until the time comes when nothing else but blackcurrant ice cream will do.

My Grandad could grow anything; he had vines of grapes pushing out the windows of his greenhouse, flowers that weren’t supposed to even like our climate, misshapen tomatoes that could feed the entire street and cut up milk cartons that were nuturing little green shoots – not that he could always recall what those shoots were…

I don’t have a garden yet, but I do have the next best thing; a south facing balcony that is being turned into a mini jungle ready for Summer. However, it is missing a chilli plant, and my Cayenne Pepper finally *ahem* died, so I thought I would try growing Scotch Bonnet Chillies, and they only went and bloody GREW!! So basically, that means if I can grow something, anyone can.

A few little tips if you want to try…

Sowing
I put mine in a darkened cupboard with cling film over until they sprouted
I didn’t really need to water them as the cling film kept the moisture in
I didn’t have anything snazzy to use, so I just popped them in terracotta yoghurt pots from La Peche Mignon :)

First Sprout!
The minute they sprouted, I removed the cling film and popped them in sunlight above a radiator

Potting
They grew fast! The 1st repot is needed when they have 2 sets of leave…apparently!
I kept repotting every few weeks when they looked too big for their pot
When they got chunky, I supported them with a kebab skewer – chic!
I didn’t put them outside until it got really warm, above 20oC

Growing
They drank alorra water and needed watering everyday until they reached 30cm high (if the leaves turn yellow, they’re getting a bit too much water…so Google says)
It took about 6 months from sowing to get little chubby chillies
I fed them when they started to grow fruit…and that was it!