Tuesday 30 April 2013

BB Colour Challenge April 2013

The time is 23.31 on the last day of April, and I have just finished my piece for the Bead Buddies Forum monthly colour challenge.

I realised at 23.00 that I had not done anything to enter into the challenge, which might have been ok if I had not pledged to make sure I took part the previous month :/  ***Headless chicken mode - ON!***

The colours were a randomly generated selection - this.....

What can I make?..... aha, my Shrink Plastic and Sharpie pens were still out on the work table, good plan.

I had bought a cute owl template in the clearance section at Hobbycraft the day before so decided to use that.

Stupidly though, I picked up the purple pen instead of the green one, I do have a tendency to lean towards the purple side so I wasn't surprised, just a bit annoyed at my lack of concentration.

This is the first time I have used the white Shrink Plastic since my first trial method, and it bled!  Not as much as the regular felt tips bled, but still too much for my liking.

Now, the directions in the packet say to use the rough side of the plastic, but when I used the shiny side on a test piece, I got a lovely crisp finish with no bleeding, so guess I will be using that side from now on.

After a big sigh, I took some clear Shrink Plastic and started again, this time only putting the correct colours on the table and locking the others away so I could not be tempted away again.

Not chuffed with this one either.  The grey is way too dark and it was a bugger to photograph.  Still, the colours are kinda correct so I will be entering it.  

ps:  I will tell you now, I will not win  :)   You see, I actually do the draw for the winner and of course will not be putting my name in - no good sending a winning gift to myself now is it?

ps: The Amazon links I've scattered throughout the page are affiliated  if you click and buy I might get a few pennies.

Monday 29 April 2013

Beach Huts

I have been playing with Shrink Plastic again.  My results are slightly betterer than last time  (I know that's not a real word but I like it!)

I decided on Beach Huts for my theme this time, I love Beach Huts, love the bright colours and the rows of identically built huts, all different.  I would love a beach hut.  I would also love a camper van.

Here we are then, a row of brightly coloured beach huts.

After my last appalling attempt I decided that Sharpie pens were the way to go.  They work really well.  They don't bleed and the colours stay bright.

I linked each hut onto thick chain so to space them out sufficiently,  then added a thinner curb chain as the necklace part.

I will definitely be returning to play with Shrink Plastic again  :)

ps: The Amazon links I've scattered throughout the page are affiliated  if you click and buy I might get a few pennies.  

Sunday 28 April 2013

The opening of Warwick Tower

Last night I was invited to the opening of Warwick Tower.

Warwick Tower is at the top of Warwick Road in Carlisle, above the Aga shop.

Looking out onto the Crescent, Carlisle.
As you can see, it really is a tower, sadly I don't know the history of the building, I did try and research a little on Google but could find nothing.

It is being promoted as a "Covent Garden" type market, with local traders having various little stalls in there.

I was invited by Maddie, who I blogged about last week. Here she is beside her beautiful display of artwork that is adorning the staircase as you climb between floors.

There was wine and nibbles on offer, which was very nice  :)  And I was given permission to take some photos for this blog.

So much wonderful things to look at, vintage clothing, hats, home accessories, decorative items, toys, anything you could imagine.  I walked around saying "Oh, I had one of those when I was little!"

Different sellers abided in various rooms, each having their own little space and style.  I think I NEED this chair!

The tower floor itself is still closed off, due to ongoing renovations I believe, but that floor should be open soon apparently.

They will be starting craft workshops soon too, will have to keep an eye out for those.

Go and have a look around, it's very interesting, especially check out the toilets, vintage style upcyling at it's best.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Superheroes day at Hobbycraft

Today was a Superhero day at Carlisle Hobbycraft.

Lots of Superhero related arts & crafts, including Face-Painting....

Mask making.....

And a cake sale.  (yum!)

Some of the colleagues entered into the spirit of things and dressed up.




And Charlie had his face painted.

Even our manager, Dawn, had a bit of face-paint..... on her hand!

And our visiting Artisans, Shona and Marie, did their bit too, dressing up and running the mask-making craft table.

The next event is our "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" which will be held on 25th & 26th May 2013.  Hope to see you then.

Friday 26 April 2013

Mixed Veg Lasagna

So you have had the Mixed Veg & Edam Pie and you have half a bag of mixed veg left..... what to do with it?

How about a Mixed Veg lasagne?

Lasagne for vegetarians is usually a pain, trying to think of something nice to put in it (my absolute favourite is spinach, mushroom and pesto by the way!) this recipe is great as you have the ingredients in the freezer or cupboard usually.

You will need:
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Bag of mixed veg
  • Mature cheddar
  • Plain flour
  • Mustard powder
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Dried pasta sheets
What you do:
  • Put a blob of butter in a good non stick saucepan (I use Olive Oil spread, but always check you can cook with your chosen margarine or it will split)
  • Add half a teaspoon of mustard powder.
  • Heat gently until the butter melts
  • Add a tablespoon or two of flour, you will become more adept at how much flour you need the more you make it. 
  • Stir it in well and add more flour until your mixture turns into a lump and cleans the sides of the pan when your stir it.
  • Add a good splosh of milk and stir until it turns back into a lump.  (Don't add too much milk as we will keep repeating this stage to make the sauce nice and smooth)
  • Don't be alarmed if it looks like a stodgy pudding gone wrong, keep stirring, it will come back.
  • Keep adding milk and stirring until you end up with a nice smooth, if slightly thick, sauce.
  • Now add grated cheese and another splosh of milk.  Stir until melted.  Taste - is it cheesy enough?  
  • No?, then repeat this step until it is.
  • You should end up with something that looks like this  (great action shot huh?)

  • Take your mixed veg and mix it with the chopped tomatoes.
  • Put a layer in the bottom of an overproof dish.
  • Top with a sheet of pasta (breaking it up if it doesn't fit).
  • Add your cheese sauce and spread so all the pasta is covered.
  • Now add another layer of pasta, then a layer of veg, a layer of pasta and finished with a generous layer of cheese sauce.
  • Top with grated cheese and dried oregano.
  • Pop into the oven, gas mark 6 for 30 mins or until brown and bubbling.

**I usually make my lasagne ahead of time as it allows the juices to soak into the lasagne sheets making it tastier.
***  It is always nicer re-heated the next day, so make double  :)