Monday, 31 January 2011

My poor little neglected blog!

I am so busy trying to play catch up that its almost the end of the month and Im still thinking its the beginning!! EEK I have projects due tomorrow and this coming week so please bear with me as I start posting our very first celebratory meal planner. I will be posting it in sections each day with a big post at the end of the week with how the whole thing came tomorrow may be the starter and the goody bags, the 2nd of Feb may be the main meal and invitations etc.....well, you get the idea anyway and I promise it will all pull together for you to make your own 'dinner party' a huge success! :)

I have been making lots of goodies lately including bubblegum lipbalm, chocolate lipbalm, lots of candles and brooches etc - my little empire is coming along nicely!! MWahahahah!!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Beatrix Potter Demo Day @ CraftyNook Durham

The lovely Susan from Crafty Nook in Durham marketplace is having a demo day using the Crafters Companion products on Saturday between 1 and 3pm. Please pop by to see the brand new Appley Dappley range of stamps etc :)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

All day workshop - 5th March @ The Scrapbook Shop Durham!

I am starting to do a monthly workshop at The Scrapbook Shop which is from 10am until 4pm, all day including lunch (sandwiches, salads and cupcakes).

You will complete at least 5 layouts/projects and we have unlimited use of facilities including cutting machines, punches, paints etc. The day will be mainly technique based and you will learn how to use a variety of mediums showing how to make your own embellishments etc...

£25 per person and maxium 12 spaces so prebooking is required.

First workshop is the 5th of March and spaces can be booked via The Scrapbook Shop website - although i dont think kathryn has added the button yet but if you phone you will be able to book now :)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Crazy Busy!!

Lately when I'm in the kitchen....
if I'm not in an apron, I'm in a mask and goggles...

if I'm not baking, I'm making a concoction of some sorts...

if its not a recipe I'm writing, its a cosmetic product information file...

the joys of EU rules and regulations...on all counts!

Heres a little sneak of what I am busy making - there is so much to do as there are whole ranges of products from lipbalms to face masks, hair care to foot scrubs, cold press soaps to fizzing bath salts and everything inbetween all made by my own fair hands.

I have taken the plunge and I am setting up my own business, it is taking a lot of time, a lot of certification, paperwork and hoop jumping but nothing ventured nothing gained!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Banana Frog Project of the Day.

Today was my turn, well the 21st of each month is now my day actually to upload a project of the day to the Banana Frog typepad blog :) I uploaded 3 projects using one stamp showing different ways you could use it - click through to the blog to see step by step pics!

The stamp set is actually in the sale for £5.50 and is one of the most go to stamp sets I use! Swirls and Butterflies....I made a valentine card (the heart is one half of the butterfly), cupcake toppers and 3D flowers - all with one stamp (and using that fabulous technique when you were little of spending hours colouring in so that no two colours were together) Simple ways to spend hours colouring in and keeping the kids quiet! LOL

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Walnut layer cake!

I know you are waiting until the first of the month for me to do a whole meal planner etc but I couldnt help but share this for now :) I made this yesterday afternoon with and its gorgeous - next time though I think I would do my own version of frosting (see link down the site to divine frosting) as this one was a little bit bland....


Mary Berry recipe from Mary Berrys Ultimate Cake Book

Cuts into 12 generous wedges

225g/8oz soft margarine

225g/8oz caster sugar

4 eggs

225g/8oz self-raising flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

100g/4oz walnuts, finely chopped

For the frosting:

2 egg whites

350g/12oz caster sugar

4 tablespoons water

14 teaspoon cream of tartar

To decorate:

walnut halves

Pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Lightly grease and line the base of three 20cm/8in sandwich tins with greased greaseproof paper.

Measure all the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and beat them together until they are thoroughly blended. Divide equally between the tins and level the surfaces. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25- 30 minutes, until the cakes are golden and springy to the touch. Turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting: measure all the ingredients into a bowl over a pan of hot water and whisk, using an electric or rotary whisk, for 10-12 minutes, until thick. Sandwich the cake layers together with a little of the frosting, then use the remainder to cover the top and sides of the cake, swirling the icing to form soft peaks. Decorate with the walnut halves.

Enjoy xx

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Thank you to a lovely reader who asked if I had picked a winner for the 29th of Dec draw for the resolutions for the new year comp! EEK - I hadnt!! I forgot all about it - sorry!

I have just randomly drawn a name from the hat and the winner is....


Congratulations, please email me your address to debbie(at) and i will get a pressie out to you :)

I will do a major giveaway once I hit 800 followers - I use to love making up those parcels to send out! :)


Sharing a little more....

Hope you have entered the giveaway on the Crafters Companion blog - ive told you 3 times now...go enter as it would be lovely to see a winner who came from here!! :) Heres another little sneak at the stamps. This time I simply printed one of the lace backing papers from the co-ordinating cd and mounted that onto the bottom half of the card. A little ribbon, 2 buttons and an adorable little decoupaged mouse and voila - superfast but elegant card :)

Before I go to whip up the cream frosting for a 3 layer walnut cake (...mmmmmm!) I thought I would share the latest 2 shabby chic chalkboard frames. They all have different little finds on them including pearls, gems, hand twisted rosettes and lots more!I LOVE the blingage on the pink one!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

That smile!

I think all mums have a point where they know their kids will break their hearts, wrap them around their fingers and generally melt your heart with a single smile....Evie has perfected her 'melting smile' *sigh* Ignore what looks like half of the botanical gardens growing out of the top of her head, Im busy making more headbands for some older girls (have a photo shoot next week hopefully!) and couldnt resist! lol

Here is a little sneak at another of the new Appley Dappley stamps which are being released as pick of the day on the 21st Jan. I stamped the rather dapper little gentleman then watercoloured him. Cut out a piece of dark chocolate suede to use as backing for the mount. A little ribbon and decorative punch to finish.Remember to check out the Crafters Companion News Blog for a chance to win some goodies!! :) Good Luck!!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Crafters Companion new release....

As part of the Beatrix Potter range of stamps, Crafters Companion are releasing Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes!! This is such a cute set, there are stamps and a cd rom that will be launching as pick of the day on the 21st of January, tune in to Create & Craft to bag your set as soon as they go live!

Here is my take on one of the stamps from the set - I absolutely adore this stamp and will be using it on many occassion! I stamped the random background using Tim Holtz Distress ink and watercoloured the main image. A little ribbon and plain cardstock are all that are needed to tie it all together for that soft 'Beatrix Potter' feel :)

To see some more sneak peeks and have the chance to win a fabulous prize: the Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes CD and stamp set, plus a pack of watercolour card and a tin of 12 Derwent Watercolour pencils check out the Crafters Companion News Blog.

Starting at the news blog, hop your way around some of the design teams blogs. Just follow the instructions and you could be in with a chance of winning :)
Good Luck :)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Theres worse things to be addicted to....

I will hold my hand up and say I am well and truly addicted to making things....any things!! I look at something in a shop window and think first...

1. Could I make it?
2. Where could I buy the supplies?
3. Damn it theres another hobby started!

How do you stop yourself from trying all kinds of hobbies? I must admit to going through phases of cross-stitch (hardly ever completed one!), knitting (I need instant gratification otherwise I get bored easy!), Crochet (love it but again a time consuming one as I have to concentrate! lol) and probably loads of others!

AND PLEASE dont get me started on wanting to do that 'make your own silver for jewellery', the 'metal/gate/hanging basket - bend your own metal in one simple move' and the woodwork table etc on Create & Craft....I havent gone there....yet! ;)

At the minute though I am messing about with lots of different textures and styles, so as well as scrapbooking, im making all the goodies for the etsy shop....this being the latest! You know my passion for shabby chic/vintage looking goodies, well, who can really do without a gorgeously stunning over the top chalk board?! Not me!! :)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Been busy....

Setting up my Etsy shop - I have bought a domain with the view to starting up a full website but in the meantime Im trying to get things moving (Im not technically minded so computer/websites scare me!) lol

How cute is this little princess...
...lots more to come including everything from custom cookies and cakes to handmade headbands, soaps and lipbalms!!

What was my word for this year again...oh yeah, adventure! It most certainly is!! :)

Monday, 10 January 2011

Pimp your Etsy/Folksy/Blogshop!

I knew i kept all of my fabric for a reason!! That reason being a hot glue gun!

After years of needing one i finally gave in and bought my very first glue gun....and boy do i love it! There are fabric flowers all over this house and ive been making some goodies to go in my little store!

Since im going to be pimping that soon i thought it might be nice to have a run down of some of your favourite handmade stores again - link up below for us to check out your (or your favourite) store and hopefully we can all generate a little bit of New Year goodwill...I know i still have some Christmas pennies left!! :)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Who 'da thought it??

Im going to issue a warning to sit down before I tell you the next bit!!Are you sitting??I made a layout! I almost forgot what to do but heck once that sticky glue and papers were back in my hands it all came flooding back, just like riding a bike (although I think I will skip that one for a while!) Since I havent bought any stash for ages I just used what was on hand, Sunkissed by Bo Bunny mainly!
I can feel the addiction building again and cant wait to create another - please let me know what stash is 'in' at the minute and what I really cant live without! :)

Monday, 3 January 2011

A day of firsts!

I have a confession!

Pastry was my nemesis!

There Ive said it!

I have tried in the past and it has always hated me, Im sure it was personal, so I refused to bake anything with pastry again..........until I realised I need to conquer this dilema once and for all!

I rang my mum today to ask if she could give me a hand to get this 'problem' under control...Well. you know how it is, no sooner had I put down the phone then I got the urge to try and bake some pastry....just to prove how pants I was and work out where I needed the help!!

I recruited a little helper, so with her bowl and whisk at the ready we set about making a lemon meringue pie (yeah you guessed it, I dont set easy challenges and concidering my last meringue slid out of the bottom of the oven door as it was too runny...well, least said the better eh?) lol

We blind baked, we make lemon filling, we whisked those meringues until we could whisk no more and look what happened......Im not sure if it was my little helper, the fact I was out to prove a point or I was just damn lucky today but something went right and boy was it delicious!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2011 Countryheartandhome Cooks plans.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has followed, tried out my recipes, given me feedback and helped me along the way during the 52 week cooking challenge in 2010 :) I have had so much fun and although it went a little awry at the end due to me losing internet connection for a while, well, im glad to say that it did finish with 52 recipes before the end of the year! :)

I have received a couple of email from people wondering whats happening next so when Lydia suggested I carry on, I put it to the followers on facebook and a lot of you like the idea of something continuing. Im up for that but thought we deserve a facelift and something a little more special. 52 recipes are a lot to try out and a lot to keep up with....which is what brought me to my idea of...

11 for 11*photo by Countryliving*

Starting on the 1st of February I will be posting, over the course of a week, an ENTIRE meal plan. Lets have 2011 as a year of saying thank you to people, invite them over for a special meal, plan a birthday party around this meal, heck just do it for the fun of it!!

I will be posting a complete menu, including Starter, Main Course and Dessert. How to make your own rustic bread, sweets and drinks for once the meal is over - whether that be on how to make a perfect Cosmopolitain or a heart warming creamy hot chocolate depends on the type of dinner we are throwing :)

Over the week I will not only be showing you the entire meal I will be making place settings, table decor, invitations...everything down to the party goers gifts for them to take home. We can tie in the love of cooking with our love of papercrafts too - the more elaborate you want to be the better and if you have any suggestions or requests then please feel free to ask :)

I will be posting a link section on here where you can post photographs of your celebration and little snippits of what you made. Our dinner/celebrations/parties can be held anytime during the month the menu etc is posted. I will keep a seperate gallery for each month and please feel free to share as many pics and stories of your event as you wish :)

My word for 2011 is ADVENTURE and I am so excited to start this part - whos with me??