Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Woyww #156 - armless monkey, one and half legged doll and two socks

That's exactly what's on my very hot, airless workdesk today........

My IPad is sitting there with instructions, a new bag of buttons which I love, some free knitting patterns I picked up at Michaels when I went today to get some more stuffing, stitch markers, two new stamps (for stamping on stones found at the beach). Sewing box, Skinky the sock monkey, knitting needle bag, and a puppet that Smallest bought for himself (how simple - maybe I could make some myself!). My knitting bag (honestly it is sooooo hot and humid up here, I normally just stuff everything I need into my bag and wander over the house and outside till I find a nice place to sit and crochet).

I have been following the very talented Annaboo @ Annaboo's House where she has been doing a weekly Crochet A Long. It's been great fun, I have learnt so much and I have created a Monkey that, at the moment, has no arms or ears and a doll that has half a leg and two arms and hair missing. That's the next part which I haven't started yet.

I made the Monkey on a size 5mm hook and cotton wool (not the kind you wipe your eye make up off with obviously, a wool that is cotton!) and the doll is much more dainty on a size 4mm hook. I can't wait to get on with the rest. Poor Small has been waiting for his sock monkey for ages, he's the only one not got one. His socks are there on the desk waiting. Just a bit longer Small, I promise.

What's on your workdesk? This wonderful weekly get together of lots of desk from all around the world is brought to you by Julia @ Stamping Ground? Grab your coffee and a biscuit and have a good blog hop - honestly, I pick up lots of tips and ideas from doing it - takes hours though.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Woyww #155

My desk for "What's on your workdesk Wednesday"..........

A bag of stuffing. Some origami from last week. Socks awaiting transformation into another sock monkey, this time for Small. Needles bag. Sewing Box. Knitting bag. The main things this week are my crocheted monkey and doll. I am following the tutorial over at Annaboo's House. She has started a CAL (crochet a long) and does a bit each week. It's very exciting and I have learnt so much as she uses good descriptions and detailed photos. The green one with the purple face is going to be a monkey. (we like monkies in this house) and the cream one is going to be a doll. I noticed this week she added a mouse, now she is adorable and I will have to make of of those soon too. If only there were more days in the week.

Some things I have finished lately.......


An origami elephant in pyjamas, Skunky, Smallest's sock monkey and two origami pecking birds.

And that's it. What do I do with my time? Well Smallest has been off school for a week and Huffle for an extra day and no-one can do crafting with them around unless the whole family is involved. Oh yeah, I did make brownies and gingerbread.

Pop on over to Julia's and see the never ending list of people prepared to show you their desks this Wednesday.


Monday, 21 May 2012

Triple Choclate Brownies and Gingerbread Mickey Mouses

For a picnic we went on yesterday I made some Triple Chocolate Brownies. I have made these before in England and they were delicious. Now we are here in Canada, and my baking is suffering, I thought I would try again.

Wahooo. They worked. Wow did they work!!!!


They went down well at the picnic too. In fact I didn't take enough.

The recipe? Here you go. This was originally from the BBC Good Food book.

185g plain chocolate chips

185g butter

3 eggs

275g sugar

85g all purpose flour

40g cocoa powder

50g white chocolate roughly chopped (I added a handful more)

50g milk chocolate roughly chopped

Oven 180*C. Grease and line square 8" tin. Melt plain choc and butter and cool. Whisk eggs and sugar till double the size. Pour over melted choc/butter and fold in. Sift in flour and cocoa and fold in. Stir in chopped choc.

Pour into tin pushing into sides and corners. Bake for 20-25 mins until shiny and papery on top with no wobbles in the middle. It should start to come away from the sides. It will be squishy in the middle so a cake tester won't work!

Leave until completely cool, turn out and cut up. It is very moussey in the middle but melts in your mouth. Yum yum!!


I also made some gingerbread. A foolproof recipe. One I always use. Huffle and I chose the cutter. We told the kids it was a Mickey Mouse shape (it's more like a club without the stalk! - but they loved it).


These didn't go down as well as the brownies but to be honest, not much can compare really. However they do go rather nice with a cup of tea.

The recipe? Okay, here goes. This one is originally from an Usborne Baking Book.

350g all purpose flour

4 teaspoons ground ginger (we like to taste it so our teaspoons are well rounded, original Recipe is half of this)

1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

100g butter (in chunks)

90g light soft brown sugar

45g Demerara sugar

40g castor sugar

(original recipe just calls for 175g soft light brown sugar but we ran out and using the sugars above made it melt in the mouth!)

1 egg

4 tablespoons golden syrup (I have used maple syrup and it worked well too but Golden Syrup is always better)

Oven 190*C. Mix the flour, ginger and bicarbonate together. Add the butter and rub together till breadcrumb texture. Stir in sugars. In another bowl, whisk egg and syrup. Add to flour mix. Mix with a metal spoon until it forms a dough (you may have to bring it together with hands. On a floured surface, stretch the dough, pushing it away and folding it until it is smooth. Roll out (I split it into two normally) to about 1/2" thickness. This makes it soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside, any thinner and it is very crunchy.

Cut out shapes and place on a greased baking sheet with room for biscuits to spread slightly. Bake for 8-12 mins depending on size and thickness.

I take them off the tray as soon as they are out of the own because I normally need the baking tray for more. The kids love making these too. They are really nice iced and decorated too.

I would love to know if you use the recipe and how they turned out.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Skunky, Scones and a Head

Yesterday I finished Smallest's sock monkey. He was made using a pair of old socks and looks old, worn, loved and really quite 'Skunky' whatever that means. This morning I handed him to Smallest who instantly smelt him! Anyone that knows my Smallest, knows that if he smells something, he loves it. It is what gets him to sleep (normally sniffing his elephant called 'Smelly').


The edges were quite frayed and it wasn't a neat sewing job, but I wanted him to look worn. These socks were originally Small's and then passed to Smallest, so they have had plenty of wear. That undeniable dirty heel that you can't ever get really clean.

I made it in two days. He loves it. Now I have to make one for Small. Thank goodness I only have two children and one husband.

Smallest helped me to make some Canadian Scones yesterday. I have had trouble baking since we came here. I blame the cooker (old, came with the house, only one cooking shelf, too hot), and the ingredients (no self raising flour here, need to use baking powder and baking soda, all purpose flour or cake and pastry flour). Anyway a lady at the Garden Centre where I work gave me this fool proof recipe.

4 cups flour (I used all purpose)

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

Mix it all up together.

Add 2 cups of buttermilk

1 cup fruit (I used blueberries)

Bake (I put them at the top) 400* for 12-15 mins.

They look like rock cakes but they do taste like scones. They are quite moist so you don't need butter or jam, especially with the blueberries in them.

I joined in with Annaboo's CAL (Crochet a long) to attempt to crochet a monkey, doll or cat. I chose a monkey - you can never have too many monkies in one house!!!!

Sorry Annaboo, I don't know why this picture is so small

She is blogging step by step instructions, which is great because I finally understand a pattern and she gives pictures to show you what it should look like. Fabulous. I started it Tuesday Evening and it didn't go well and then tried again the next day and it worked.
It isn't perfect. I didn't always have the correct number of stitches. The face is a bit wonky. But I kind of like him/her already. The kids have already asked me "who is that one for?". FOR ME, IT IS FOR ME!!!

There will be more of this CAL next week. How exciting. Maybe I will make a start on a doll while I am waiting. Or maybe I should get on with Small's sock monkey. or maybe I should finish my Granny Blanket, or perhaps I will try some more baking now I have some confidence back.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Woyww #154 a new monkey

Yay it's Wednesday, the time to share what is on work desks all around the world. Started by Julia over at http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com.

This was my desk this morning when Smallest decided he wanted to do some crafting
He is decorating Easter hangings! He started them at Easter and then forgot about them, I put them away, he remembered he hadn't finished so I had to find them! He made a lovely job.
......and this is my desk after some work. A pile of books and magazines, an old photo of me and my mum (I was showing Smallest), my sewing basket and Huffle's Skinky (sock monkey)........,,,,,,
Huffle bought me this book for Mothers Day. I love it. I have made a Dollar Bill Vikings Helmet and a leaping leopard frog. It really leaps too! What will I make next?
Two more socks ready to make another sock monkey for Small, he chose his own socks to use, not a pair but they kind of go, and my new wool and crochet hook ready for Annaboo's CAL (Crochet a long).

This is the sock monkey I am making for Smallest. He chose the socks and the buttons and has already named him Skunky and he loves him so!

Grab yourself a cup of tea/coffee and go and see what you can find on other people's desk. It may take a while though, there are a lot out there.




Tuesday, 8 May 2012

WOYWW #153 - a Monkey named Skinky

Wednesday is the day when WOYWW people show off their desks,however messy, creative, crafty, tidy they are. You can see 100's here

In the meantime, here's mine.

I had a bit of a tidy up. My pile of mending had sat there so long, I moved it to the floor. Other things that had been there too long are now filed away. I have my Kirsty book opened at the Elderflower Cordial page as we were in the woods the other day and spotted some elder. We talked about making some in the summer. I also found a cool monster to make out of felt. I don't think I will make it yet but it is cool.

I finished my monkey. We called him Skinky.

The stripe on his eyes (purely coincidental) makes him look a little like a ninja I think. He is very worn and already looks rough and well loved.

He was made using a pair of Huffle's old skiing socks that had holes in them. Therefore, the Monkey is now Huffle's.

He has the longest tail ever - Skinky, not Huffle!!

Guess who now want Monkies of their own?



Tuesday, 1 May 2012

What's on your workdesk Wednesday #152

Still the same rubbish but with half a sock monkey and a finished bag!

Smash book full of ideas, Mollie Makes Magazine and ribbon. Still a pile of mending. A lovely ball of wool and some napkins I picked up from the thrifty shop. My 'started ages ago' knitted hat. The lovely bunting that I won from Faded Reverie. Looks great and cheers me up. Wind up radio, zentangles, valentine hearts, gifts from Faded Reverie. Candles. Kirsty book. Lovely bag that was brought back from Rome with some tea and biscuits in from Huffle's work colleague. My finished knitted bag using the handles I won from The Felt Fairy. The bag has turned out a little different from what I was expecting.

One side.......

....l..and the other. Can't get a lot in it.

Then there is my newest project. A sock monkey. Ages ago, I found an odd ski sock and thought "I know what I will do with that". I started him today and then realised that I need a pair, not just one. Silly me, now I've got to find another odd one which is similar!


I don't know about Monkey, I think he looks more like a frog! I will let you know how I get on.

Pop on over the Julia's to have a look at hers and everyone else's desks this week.