Nana Bread

Nana Bread

I seem to have had a very busy weekend which hasn’t left much time for getting on with projects. However, one thing that I’ve been meaning to do for some time now is to bake some bread. BY HAND. I don’t have a breadmaking machine as I don’t need one! I’ve been making this bread for years & I use my Nana’s recipe. This is why I don’t use a machine – She didn’t. And in the 30 years I knew her, she always made it by hand. In fact, I never knew her to buy bread from a shop. She always made her own.

The smell of it baking takes me right back to her house. It would be on the table at breakfast & tea time. We always had Marmite on it & to this day I find it odd to put anything else on it! Nana was a fab bread maker. While she also made cakes, they weren’t as good as my Mum’s (plus Mum would always let me lick the mixture of the beaters – something Nana would never allow!)This is one of the reasons why baking relaxes me. It takes me back to my childhood when I could enjoy eating cakes without the calorie guilt!

It’s a very simple recipe, but it’s not particularly quick. It includes a total of 20 minutes of kneading & almost 2 hours of rising. But it is totally worth it. I use a whole bag of flour & for the first time I am using local flour from Wessex Mill. It feels great to be supporting local producers – something Nana would definitely have approved of. Making three loaves at a time this will keep us going. Plus my home is filled with the smell of Nana bread. Gorgeous.

Nana Bread

Nature

Thistles

While I appreciate the following pictures aren’t particularly crafty, I am drinking a chai while I’m doing this so I’m allowing this post on my blog. It can be quite tricky to put enough posts on here to keep people interested during the week so when I actually had a brainwave about something I could post earlier on, I was pretty chuffed with myself. How have I found the time I hear you ask? I ditched going to the gym. Don’t worry, I’ll go tomorrow to make up for it, but for now, I’m enjoying these pictures & my generous helping of my favourite chai, Drink Me Chai.

As you know from one of my previous posts, I love flowers, especially when the weather is less than lovely. The weather has been very nice this week, but that didn’t stop myself & my OH purchasing these beautiful irises on the weekend from a local florist called The Honey Pot.

Irises

 

They were closed when we bought them & I don’t think I’ve ever bought irises before. They are opening up beautifully & they really are lovely to see first thing in the morning. 

Over the weekend, my OH & I went for a walk around Dorchester. As it’s still early in Spring terms it seems, there wasn’t much to take pictures of. As our walk was coming to an end, we spotted these little things.

Thistles

I remember my Mum having some of these sprayed gold at Christmas once when I was a kid. Great crafty idea Mum. They are wicked & are great to see in the absence of flowers.

Inspiration

Kettle Image Print

It has been a busy week. It’s not good if you’re too busy to enjoy your craftiness or blog about other people’s amazing talents. The week ahead looks less busy which means I can indulge in knitting my new (secret) project.

However, while I cannot blog about that I can blog about other crafty techniques that I am turning my hand at. While procrastinating over some work last week, I noticed a tweet from Nikki McWilliams. It was advertising screen printed images that she’d done. I was very interested so took a quick peek at the Kettle Image Print image. I loved the kettle image & immediately popped over to her Folksy page & ordered my very own copy. I received it the next day and was bowled over to have received the number 1 of 30! I am most impressed with the promptness of service but also with the beauty of the screen printing. It is really amazing. I think that the fact that it is of something so simple & everyday like a kettle makes it even more lovely. It is on the wall next to my desk so I can see it all the time. Thanks Nikki!

It has also inspired me to have a go at painting. While I may not be an expert in painting, I did attend lessons for beginners in watercolour & thoroughly enjoyed it. One of my most recent purchases from Comma shop in Oxford was a stencil kit. I’ve been thinking of ways to improve my card making & thought using stencils would be a great way of doing this. Armed with my stencils & some paint, I had a go.

Stencilling

I am super chuffed with the results. These might be very simple & crammed onto one page, but I really like the slightly raised effect that stenciling gives. I will definitely be using stencils on my next batch of cards.

Crafty Me

Woolly Knitted Socks

Knitted Wool SocksIn my efforts to make as many things as possible, I’ve been knitting for a while now. I received a pack of wool & instructions for some slipper socks this Christmas. The beauty of kits like this is that they push you & your skills further & make you learn new stiches. For instance, before this I didn’t know how to increase stiches nor did I know that you could break yarn off mid-project or how to restart your knitting. I now do. Even though I can’t see anyone asking for me to make them a pair of these little socks, they are incredibly warm. This is good as I am pretty chilly most of the time (even in the Summer!). I am pleased with these & glad that they are done so that I can move on to my next knitting project.

Woolly Knitted SocksI’ve also had a go at making some cards this week. I love stationary & cutting and gluing things together – always have. So I guess it was just a matter of time before I made some greetings cards. I had a bit of practice with the anniversary & valentine’s cards that I gave my OH (He had to like them!) Then, looking around, I had a few ideas about possible Easter cards (which I don’t normally send but think these are lush so will definitely pop them in the post). I’ve also made a New Job & a Good Luck card for friends too. Now while they do look ‘homemade’, they are the first ones I’ve done. I really like
Handmade Cardscards like this & figure that if I give them to loved ones, they will too! (Or be too polite to say otherwise!)I’m also thinking about making my Mum a Mother’s Day card so starting to look out for ideas for that. I know that I need to work on the lettering a bit so am thinking about investing in a cutter board & maybe a knife as my scissors aren’t so good. What I like about these cards is that the paper is recycled & I’ve either inherited the fabric or it’s just left over from another project, as are the buttons. Wicked!