Dead Easy Carrot Cake (and a catch up!)

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2013 just does not seem to be co-operative with any of my crafty resolutions. I can’t believe it’s nearly February already! Usually January seems to drag, but this year seems to (already!) be flying by.

The main thing that has kept me away is that I seem to have spent the past two weeks in the following daily routine:

Wake up. Go to work. Go to the hospital. Go home. Sleep.

My Grandad has been in hospital for an operation to remove a growth on one of his lungs, I promised him (and myself) that everyday he spent in that hospital I would be there. Luckily for me (and of course him) he came home yesterday afternoon. I am so looking forward to getting back to normality!

And of course there has been all of this craziness:

snowyhospital

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2013: The Sheepish Return

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Hey! Happy New Year!

So, I’ve been away for a while. I have a handful of really dreadful excuses for my absence ranging from pantomime to uni work to illness, but they are only excuses and excuses only serve to make the excusee (is that a word?) feel better. So therefore I am sticking to one of my 2013 resolutions to stop making excuses!

The good news to start off 2013 is…. the oven is fixed! Yay! I don’t know if I actually mentioned that it was broken, but the seal had come away from the door and in the run up to Christmas buying a new seal just kept getting pushed down the ‘to-do’ list. So I have been baking. I will be posting a recipe for this very delicious (and easy!) carrot cake very soon.

This is from Instagram, the cake isn't really that luminous.

This is from Instagram, the cake isn’t really that luminous.

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My sewing machine hates me.

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It’s true. It does. I have had my current sewing machine since my birthday at the end of August, and since then every other time I use it it freaks out and I have to spend hours reasoning with it (honestly, HOURS).

Singer Serenade 2250

That is my machine.It looks lovely, and being a Singer I expected it to be reliable and that we would go together like bread and butter (or maple and pecan!), but Patsy (she’s named after my Nan) and I just don’t seem to rub along. It’s a love/hate thing. I love Patsy, she hates me.

Admittedly, the first problem was resolved when I put the bobbin in the right way (don’t judge me!). I suspect Patsy’s current ailment is also bobbin themed.

When I stopped sewing on Monday night, the thread had ran out on the bobbin that I was using, so I put a fresh one in last night. The only difference is the new bobbin is metal, and the first was plastic. Does this make a difference?!

So, needless to say I couldn’t finish my Sureau last night. I am most annoyed about this. The good news is I am off to sewing class tonight so fingers crossed I will be able to finish my Sureau toile! All I managed to do last night was this…

I needed to sew something!

I know it’s only a toile, and it didn’t need to have buttons, but I was so dejected at not being able to finish my Sureau, I just had to sew something, anything! So I went digging through my button stash and found those plastic buttons and stitched them on while watching NCIS. Simple things please simple minds.

I was still annoyed this morning, so to cheer myself up I purchased the pattern for my namesake skirt! (Kelly by Megan Nielsen). My next purchase will probably be the pattern for the Cambie dress by Sewaholic.

Destined for exciting work times.

This is my post-Sureau project. I’m going to make it in a black cord, fully lined, and maybe a little bit longer. I wish I could say it was for something exciting, but I actually just think it’d make a nice work skirt.

I’m not going to tell you I’ll post about my Sureau tomorrow, because knowing my luck the sewing machines at my sewing class will hate me too.

We’ll have to wait and see, but keep your fingers crossed for me!

I’m still here!

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Hello! Just popping in to say hello just in case you thought I had vanished.

I’ve actually been very busy working on my Sureau toile – I currently have a bodice with one sleeve! This does not sound like much, but I am chuffed to pieces! It’s a bit tight, I’m concerned I won’t be able to get in it, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that once properly constructed it will all come good. Here is a little sneak peek of my bodice pre facings and sleeves…

The tailors tacks are for my buttons, it’s not shoddy workmanship, I swear.

I intend to finish the toile tonight to take in to sewing class tomorrow. I’m super excited!

I have also been thinking about Christmas, which is 6 weeks today folks! I have done diddly squat of my Christmas shopping, but I have made mincemeat!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

So, I will be posting tomorrow, hopefully with pictures of my finished toile!

Before I go I must give a shout out to Sabs, who has been endlessly patient and translated the instructions for me, and is just generally a star! Her toile is brilliant and with POCKETS AND EVERYTHING. I want pockets. Pockets good.

See you tomorrow!

Megan Nielsen Birthday Giveaway

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Howdy Y’All!

I was casually perusing blog-land this afternoon, and spotted a F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S giveaway over on Megan Nielsens blog.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the launch of the pattern line (and also Megan Nielsen’s actual birthday!) there is a brilliant giveaway to win…

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Double Chocolate Orange Cake (and sewing stuff too!)

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Cover me in cream and eat me!

This recipe is adapted from the one on the Lurpak website. I did want this to be a loaf, but since I only own a ‘normal’ sized loaf tin and not the special Lurpak one, you’ll have to find a big tin, or maybe half the recipe (although that of course would be total guesstimation).

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Pumpkin Cake

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Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“ ’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

From ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allan Poe.

Being an alleged grown up now, I don’t really get excited about Halloween. In fact I can only recall going trick or treating once as a child. Nowadays I normally try to be out at Halloween to avoid the constant stream of bad attempts at dressing up. Don’t even get me started on the people that come knocking before Halloween!

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