'If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.' Thomas Edison

30 May 2011

Where does the time go!!

It's been such a busy week that I've not managed to get my little give-away done - since the weather is pants I'll try and get it done in the next couple of days. Back to the busy week...we've had a trip to Manchester to go to the Legoland Discovery Centre (what a complete waste of money that was!!) and I also took the opportunity to meet a lovely lady I've been chatting with online for a few years now.

I've been on a little freebie jewellery making course where we got to make a pair of earrings and got a free pack to bring home too. The ones on the left are the ones I made there, the ones on the right are the free set and the ones in the middle I made with some beads and wires (sorry findings) I had hanging about.

There's the usual home ed group and then there's the monthly farmers market where I'd managed to save some of my pennies to spend on the spinners stall...yay. I think the lady said this is hebridean but I can't remember ;o). It's a gorgeous grey colour, not particularly soft but not scratchy, so I just need to think what I'm going to use it for now.

And I've also been putting together a separate blog for the shop things. I'm hoping it will keep it a bit more professional looking, and I can keep the whinging ;o) to this blog. Hopefully it will keep me motivated where the shop is concerned too, although if it can manage to add a few hours to the day, that would be great too. If you pop over there now you'll see a couple of new cards I've managed to get done.

24 May 2011


Wow, 500 posts on my blog! I never really thought about longevity (two and a half years so far) when I started doing this, but here I am still. It's gone from something that was originally to share my crafts with, to something which has helped with my grief, something to rant with, to advertise my business with, to meet some lovely people with, to learn so much with...what a wonderful thing this online world is. Thank you for all your love, support, comments, friendship...it means an awful lot to me. I shall be organising a give-away prize in the next few days so watch this space.

Now then, back to the real reason for the post :o). I've been doing some serious thinking about my little business these last few weeks. Cash is tight (as it is for most people) so I was considering trying to find a job, but then I thought I should just put a bit more effort into Handmade Haven...so with that in mind I made myself a banner :o).

18 May 2011

Something a little different

I love the Harry Potter books and films and wanted to make something to put on the wall with the words "Severus...please..." (if you've read the books or watched the films you will know the significance of those two words) so I searched for a couple of images I could use to make a small needlework piece. Not something I would usually do but I really enjoyed it. I traced the image onto some thin tissue paper then pinned it onto my fabric. Then I stitched along the lines then tore the paper off, very carefully. I really need to learn how to do some proper embroidery stitches so the doe can be more than an outline, but this will do for now. Just got to trim the fabric and finish of the back then I'll hang it up in this hoop.

16 May 2011

WIPs complete

Two corsages/brooches.

My mittens! :o) I know the picture isn't good but the light today is rubbish...but I love these. They were quite easy and so quick too. I've not added any stitching details as I don't think they need them...I like my things plain and simple. I may have to add these to the list for handmade gifts now.

09 May 2011

Crafty Joy :o)

Yes I know summer is upon us but I've had an urge for a while to try some chunky mittens, so last night after the Knitter Natter group I thought I'd make a start. I found the pattern on Ravelry, it calls for a chunkish wool and 6mm dpn.

I've also been doing some new brooches - these will have big felt leaves added to them to make a good sized brooch. And see my little treat there....just £8 on ebay for some gorgeous hooks.

The ongoing flower scarf - I have to admit that this is a pain in the butt...all the counting and remembering to join, and it's so fiddly....I think that's why I've got a few other things on the go too.

And this is the bag I'm making for my sister-in-law's birthday. It's all stitch up on the sides, I've made the loops for the buttons, a long piece which I may add to the handle (not decided how I'm doing that yet) and the fabric arrived so I can line it. She loves purple and cats so this fabric should be perfect ;o).


I wasn't sure whether I was going to add this bit but it was so freaky, in a good way, so I'll tell you. While I was at Knitter Natters last night the conversation got onto Mum's. The lady I was there with (yes there's still only 2 of us) didn't know I'd lost my Mum so she asked me what happened. As I got to the final day at the hospital the song we played at her funeral came on the jukebox!!! I was speechless and the other lady was near to tears too. So odd, freaky and comforting all at the same time. When hubby got home from work I was telling him and he grabbed my arm in comfort, but I told him there was no need, it didn't upset me, it was just amazing really. So there, she's still with me, helping me, watching me, guiding me, loving me xxx

Random assortment of joys :o)

Not something I usually do but here's a few random piccies of the last few weeks. A fresh rabbit hole discovered on a walk.

My boys climbing in a jeep at the fabulous Eden Camp - well worth a day out if your up this way.

A free exhibition by a fabulous talent (his first exhibition too) at the local library. Wonderful stories to go with the pictures.

One of the exhibits at a fabulous art gallery which is super child friendly. You could use the pedals to make the grasshopper pedal the bike - just wonderful.

The joys of hubby's work allowing the armed forces to use one of their fields for practise manoevres - we've been 100 yards away on previous occassions.

Free food growing from a purchased bag of salad. As soon as I saw the roots on this snippet of watercress I stuck it in a tub of water. It's now growing happily on my windowsill.

Oops, wild garlic ;o).

Wouldn't say this was a joy exactly but the help I got from The Green Spirit Forum to try and ease the conifer rash was.

And lastly, the joys of presents left on the living room floor by one of the cats. Hope your days are filled with joyful things. xxx

01 May 2011


Getting the tattoo finished :o)

Altering a top I got in the charity shop so that it actually fits ;o)

Getting the last lot of wild garlic and then making lunch and tea with some of it.....

...wild garlic and cheese on toast....

...and prawn, pea and wild garlic risotto.

That'll be the last of it....I promise ;o).

Prawn and Cashew Nut Curry

1 400g tin of tomatoes
1 200g tin of coconut milk
200ml hot stock
oil for frying
1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled
5/6 garlic gloves
1 large onion
1 heaped tsp curry powder
3 cardamon pods
1 chilli, chopped small
1tsp cumin
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 or 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
handful of cashew nuts
Spinach or wild greens
1 tsp garam masala

I make mine in a slow cooker as follows:-

To your slow cooker pot add the tomatoes and coconut milk (only the white creamy bit). Chop or blitz your ginger, garlic and onion then soften in a pan in your oil. Once softened add the curry powder, fry for a couple of minutes then put it all in the slow cooker. Add your stock to the frying pan to remove all those lovely flavours then put into the slow cooker. Now add all the other ingrediens, reserving the garam masala and wild greens/spinach for latter. Cook for 5ish hours, then add your wild greens/spinach and your garam masala. You can leave the lid slightly off to allow the sauce to thicken slightly for the last hour too. Serve with rice and flatbreads (remove the cardamon pods).

If you were cooking in a pan then fry your onion and bits first, then just add everything else after that. Cook on low for a couple of hours (making sure it doesn't stick on the bottom), adding the garam masala and greens 1/2 hour before the end.

I also make this curry with left-over chicken, or with just the tatties and greens. You could put whatever you liked in.