Friday 28 February 2014

Bob Marley Crochet Rasta Hat

For the last year or so the monthly challenge themes on the Bead Buddies forum that I moderate, are colours.  But this year we have changed to themes to spice it up a little.

The first theme of the month (February as we were too late to get January's sorted) was "Bob Marley" chosen because it is the great man's birthday in February.

I immediately thought of a rasta style beanie with dreadlocks.

What fun I had with this.   I just did a regular beanie hat, but made it longer in the body (or should that be head?) so it sagged at the back.  

Then I added curls of crochet as dreads, sewing them into the hem of the hat.

It has brought much hilarity when people try it on.  My most favourite photo is Hubster looking cross while wearing it - he won't let me show anyone, but trust me, it's hilarious.

In the meantime, here are some other silly people wearing the "Bob Marley Crochet Rasta Hat".

Daddy L
Mother V

Edited 11/01/15:  I have now written up the pattern for this hat and you can find it here...


Thursday 27 February 2014

Decisions, decisions...

I have just recently purchased a pattern from the very talented Marken from The Hat & I.

You may remember I did her Owl Obsession Blanket a while ago for a work colleague.

While browsing her patterns I found a little beauty called The Dreamer, which I thought was really rather nice.

While visiting Etty-Lilly in Morecambe last week I bought two balls of yarn, one of them was the James C Brett Woodlander DK in the pink shades  (L8).

So I started making this pattern. I adapted it slightly as I couldn't get mine to sit right, it's not very different really, just the odd stitch change, which meant the edging rows are slightly different too.

One ball did just under 12 motifs, which obviously was not enough for anything really.   As it happens my daughter Shona was in Morecambe that weekend so I asked her to pick me up two more balls.   It is still not really enough so going to have to go find some more!

In the meantime I can't decided whether to join them in a random assortment, or go for a colour blending effect.

What do you think?

Wednesday 26 February 2014

It's been a funny kind of week...

After the departing of my sweet little Dotty Dog I have felt a bit lost.

I actually didn't realise how much I interacted with her through the daytime when I am in the house on my own - it was a lot.

I also didn't realise that I was deliberately quiet when doing certain things, like opening a packet, as she would be there, under my feet, until I had fed her what was in the packet - regardless of what it might be, if it made a noise it was obviously edible.

I am sure I still hear her wandering around the house, looking for somewhere comfy to grab a nap.

I guess this will go on for a while...

In the meantime I have been zipping about like a blue-bummed fly, trying to keep my mind occupied, but not really actually doing anything really productive.

I've been doing quite a bit of listing stock on my new website, but that is rather autonomous and takes very little effort or thought.

I started a crochet blanket, not because I need one, or even really had the desire to have one, just because I needed something that took little thought.  My hands just cannot stay still, especially on an evening when we are watching a couple of hours of TV, but my mind couldn't cope with patterns or concentrating hard.

I really need to give myself a good shake, put some music on (to drown out the silence) and get productive.

I started today by going up to Hobbycraft  (Carlisle) and doing a proddy rag rug demonstration.  People quite like to see older crafts resurged so loads of people stopped to chat to me? Some even took away fliers for the upcoming class, which was nice :)

I'll settle down tonight and watch The Great British Sewing Bee which I have on Sky+, in the hope that it will make me want to fire up my sewing machine. Some of those guys are mighty clever. I made a platypus once and that's as far as I've got.

Do you watch it?

Monday 24 February 2014

Tangy pink coleslaw

This is my recipe for tangy pink coleslaw, which is yummily delicious and goes with anything.  It is especially nice in a sandwich with a little bit of mature cheddar.

What you need:
  • Carrots
  • Red Cabbage
  • Radish
  • Seafood Sauce dressing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Black Pepper

What you do:
  • So, as usual, no proper quantities, just take a guess.  Grate your carrots  (I used two)
I use my nifty kitchen gadget Tefal Fresh Express, it is one of my favourite gadgets as it just takes as quick to set up as getting the hand grater out of the cupboard, and just as easy to clean.

  • Trim your radish and grate them too.
  •  Euwww, looks like onion  (I hate onion, hence there not being any in my coleslaw!)

  • Then add red cabbage - forgot to take a photo, but you want a similar amount as the carrot. 
  • Give it a good stir up.
  • Mix equal amounts of seafood sauce  (no seafood in it) and mayo with a good sprinkle of black pepper.  Just do a little, you can do more if you need it.
  • Mix.
  • Serve with anything, in a large portion  :)

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

The BBB Winner is....

Thank you for taking part in the Birthday Blog Box giveaway, if you did. There was a load of entries, some coming in via email, some via blog comments, others via Facebook.  There were names popping up all over the place!

All the names were put into a random name generator and the button was pressed......  you can see it HERE.

The winner was LEZLEY W.

Well done Lezley, this box of bits & bobs collected throughout the last couple of months is yours.  It will be with you very soon.

Sunday 23 February 2014

My new website

I have been busy working away all this weekend on my new webshop.

It was supposedly set up for my new craft kits to go on there when they are produced, but I thought in the meantime I will pop on all my shop stock that needs to be sold off to make some room.

I have quite enjoyed tinkering about with the webshop - I went with Opencart in the end after struggling for a few days with Zencart, and once you get into it, it's quite easy to use.  (thankfully!)

I have added a customer reward scheme into it, where if you spend  pennies you get points back to put towards your next purchase, or you can save them up to buy something outright.

If you go and sign up for an account, you don't need to buy anything, I will put you 50 points on there to start you off  :)

The point will only be redeemable (and awardable) on craft kits though, as I have reduced the bead stock so much there is no further room for discounts and reductions.

You can also sign up for a newsletter so you can be notified of new lines when they are added (I promise not to spam you)

I better give you the web address then hadn't I?

The main site is  and the webshop is  Although you can click through from one to the other.

Please do let me know what you think, like or dislike.  Feedback always appreciated  :)

Saturday 22 February 2014

Vegetarian 'Spam' Fritters

Do you know that moment when you just fancy something naughty from your childhood to eat?  

I had one of those a few days ago, I had a Spam Fritter Craving.   But, alas, I am now vegetarian so proper Spam is off the menu.  Here instead is my recipe for Vegetarian Spamlike Fritters.

You will need:
  • Couple of tablespoons of plain flour
  • Seasoning
  • 1 Egg
  • Splash of water
  • Quorn 'ham'
  • Burger cheese
  • Sunflower oil to cook.
What you do:
  • Pop the flour in a bowl and season well.

  • Make a hole in the centre and drop in the egg.

  • Bring the edges of the flour into the egg and mix.

  • Once it gets a bit thick splosh in a little water to make a thick batter.

  • Use two slices of ham, top with a slice of cheese...

  • Then another two slices of ham.

  • Lay it in the batter mix, turning it over until it is fully coated.

  • Heat up the oil in a frying pan and pop in your fritters.  Turn over once browned.

  • Serve how you like, I popped mine in a tiger roll with lettuce and mayo.  Well, if you are gonna be naughty, might as well be very naughty  :)


Friday 21 February 2014

Wendy Pampas mega-chunky jumper

A friend picked up this pattern in the vain hope of knitting it for herself  :)  I figured out I would probably get it to do once it had been unpicked a couple of times, so offered to do it from the start, rather than working with frogged yarn!

It is a Wendy pattern 5313, in the Pampas yarn, which is a mega-chunky.  (excuse the crinkled pattern, it had been sat on a couple of times.

My friend rather liked the look of a yarn which was just a chunky and not a mega chunky, so I figures that it would work out the same if we just doubled the thickness and ran two balls of yarn at the same time.

So it ended up getting done in Hayfield Bonus chunky in "Stormcloud".

It was so quick to work up, only taking a couple of evenings.  It was only 50 stitches on a 12mm knitting needle.  Basically the pattern is just a square with armholes inserted.  Simples.

Teamed with a HUGE chunky coconut button which finishes it off rather nicely.

Thursday 20 February 2014


In October I wrote THIS blog, explaining that on the 19th February 2014 I would have been blogging for exactly 5 years.  Wow, where did that go?

To mark this anniversary I decided to make up a Birthday Blog Box full of bits and pieces that I had come across, or made since that date in October.

So let's have a look at what is what is in the box .......

crocheted facecloth in 100% cotton.  So luxurious to use, but natural too  :)

Three pairs of beaded earrings - fun, fashion jewellery on plated wires.

A cutesy memory wire coil bangle, easy to wear and just the thing to brighten up any outfit.

A chunky cosy earwarmer head thing  (daughter not included) in muted shades of green.

A folksy style felt hanging heart decoration.  Suitable for all year round. not just for Christmas  :)

A bar of handmade soap.

A cutesy crocheted Owl as mentioned on THIS blog post.

A Bead & Wire bracelet kit.

A hand-made fused glass pendant, made by me :)

9 tubs of different colour glass beads in various sizes.

A set of tutorials for beginners Beadweaving.  Colour, step-by-step print outs so you can learn all these stitches and clasps too!

A gorgeously clashy necklace in pale pink, red and hot pink, with a silver plated clasp.

A little bluey lilac crochet rose on a brooch pin.

A Snowflake Obsidian pendant  :)

An earring book by Bead & Button.  28 pairs of earrings to make - but it's in Spanish!   However, I am sure someone can work them out from the photos.

6 beautiful crystal buttons.

And I might have dropped a few more bits in on the way ....

A couple of lavender triangles for your undies drawer  :)

A ceramic pin badge in the shape of a super cute cat.

And some surprise bits too.

So, what do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning the Birthday Blog Box I hear you ask.  Well it's very easy actually, all you have to do is let me know.

This can be via a comment on this very blog, or a comment on the Facebook page link, or even an email.

The winner will be chosen by a random name generator, I just type all the names in and it gives me back a randomly picked one.  I will accept entries up until 7.00pm on Sunday 23rd February 2014 (British time) and I will do the draw after that on Sunday (or perhaps Monday, if I should forget :) ) 

Anyone from anywhere can enter and the winner gets everything listed above.

Good luck, and feel free to share if you do not fancy putting your name down.