Wednesday 31 July 2013

Thai Chicken Stir Fry

Delicious Thai Chicken Stir Fry from the ever excellent Annie's Eats! Her recipe is for Thai Chicken and Cashew nuts but neither Lovely BM nor i like cashews so we left them out - still tasted amazing though!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Brazillian lemonade

This was amazing!! Brazillian lemonade but Lulu the Baker but its with limes not lemons. I love limes, love love love them so this was just perfect for me, i think i added less water than i was supposed to as like stuff super limey but normal people will be better off with Lulu's proportions!

Friday 26 July 2013

Restaining the garden furniture

I took advantage of the recent (rare) nice weather to spruce up our garden furniture by restaining it. I like this before and after combo photo, shows what an improvement the restaining was :) Especially since id bee putting it off for months!

Thursday 25 July 2013

Wardrobe Storage Boxes - Triangular!

So our lovely fitted wardrobes have some triangular shaped shelves in them and i was struggling to use them for much.

In the end i decided i needed storage boxes for the shelves. I went through a load of ideas, buying some (nothing was the right shape), making them out of card or thin plastic sheet (sheets big enough were expensive) until i decided the only way was to make them out of fabric and use pelmet hessian to strengthen the sides

I measured the shelf and cut out three pieces for the sides and a triangular piece for the base. Accuracy is key here, theres little room for error so make sure you measure twice, cut once, like my grandad taugt me!

I sewed the three side pieces together to make a tube

But i didnt sew all the way down to the bottom, i left a cm gap to make it easier to add in the base piece.

Then, with everything right side together, i lined up the base piece and sewed along each side. Again dont sew all the way to the end, stop when you get to the seam allowance for the next side of the base piece

That means all you corners line up nicely

I turned it all right side out and checked the corners. Sometimes the gap i left at the bottom on the side piece was too big and there would be a gap or loose stitching. If there was i just turned it wrong side again, stitched over the side seams, all the way down to the base piece to secure them.

Then i made a whole new piece in the same way for the lining.

Once i had both the outer piece and the lining i cut the pelmet hessian to the correct length for each side and tucked them into place. And added the lining piece (wrong side against the hessian) inside the hessian

I didnt think my sewing machine would stand up to sewing through 2 layers of fabric and the hessian so i decided to use an iron on tape to seal the edges

I folded the lining of the box over the hessian and tucked it in between the hessian and the outer fabric. I then folder the outer fabric over that. So the raw edge of the outer fabric formed a lip over the top onto the lining.

Then i just ironed the tape over the raw edge sealing it.

Heres they are in use, i love how they look and they really have made that area more usable. I used fabric i already had and probably spent £40 on hessian and iron on tape but that still works out much cheaper than making plastic ones or buying custom fit ones!

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Speckled birds egg chocolate cake with whipped buttercream and nutella butter cream

It was my birthday recently and i like to make a cake for the folks at work each year. This year i decided to combine a few techniques i'd been wanting to try out. The folks at work never mind being my guinesa pigs!

So i started with my go to chocolate cake recipe by Nigella Lawson -its brilliant you must try it.
And added nutella butter cream as the filling. When i saw nutella buttercream on pinterest i couldnt believe id never though of it before - such a brilliant idea!

I also used the nutella butter cream as the crumb coat. Id never crumb coated before but as my icing was going to be pale and my cake was dark i thought it would be a good idea.

I let that chill for a couple of hours and then i made my whipped butter cream topping. I find butter cream too heavy and quite sickly so i was very pleased to find this whipped butter cream recipe from Can you Stay for Dinner. It really is a winner, almost mousse like in texture, so much lighter than regular buttercream and nowhere near as sickly.
So i covered my cake with the delicious topping, coloured a pale blue in anticipation of the next step.

I fell in love with this speckled egg cake from The Cake Blog the minute i saw it and have been dying to make one for ages. So i gently speckled the cake with cocoa and water and this was the result. The picture genuinely doesnt do it justice. It was so pretty, even with my slightly dodgy cake decorating skills! I would definitely make the icing darker next time, i was worried about it looking too fake but i should have gone the whole hog and made it blue instead of pale blue!

Everyone at work loved it and it all got eaten - the biggest compliment of all!

Monday 22 July 2013

Raspberry Lemon Smoothie

Delicious raspberry and lemon smoothie - i followed this recipe but i couldnt find lemonade concentrate in the UK so i made my own with this recipe. It worked really well :)

Sunday 21 July 2013

Summer lunch for one

I couldnt resist taking a photo of lunch the other day, it just looked so delicious! I love a little antipasto platter this one was cold meat, cornichons, camenbert, sunblush tomatoes and some crackers - it was yum!

Saturday 20 July 2013

Upcycled shelves into desk organiser

Lovely BM and I have quite a few Ikea DVD towers in our house and we've ended up with quite a glut of spare shelves. So i thought id try and make something out of them.

And this is what i came up with - a desk orgainser!

I just glued the shelves together with 'No More Nails'. First the bottom, sides and middle divider

Then the back

And finally added some cut down shelves as more dividers

As you can see from the first 2 pics and the left side of the pic above the front edges are just exposed wood pulp. I didnt like this so i got some laminate iron on strip samples from ebay, cut them to size and added them to the front edges.

It looks so much more finished that way.

So a pretty handy desk orgainser for lovely BM and all i spent was £1 on the the laminate edging strips. Dont you just love upcycling!

Friday 19 July 2013

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Recovered Bathroom Storage Drawers

This is my last post of orgainsing fornight(ish), i'm going to finish off a few more things on the list over the next few weeks (months?) but ive acomplished even more than i thought i would so im officallly closing organising fortnight(ish) with this bathroom storage makeover. I hope you enjoyed my posts ive really enjoyed getting all those little jobs done, its so satisfying :)

Lovely BM and I have some very functional but very boring white woven plastic storage drawers in our main bathroom. They do the job but i dont like how they look so i decided to recover them with wallpaper scraps.

As they'll be in the bathroom i also wanted to cover the wallpaper with sticky back plastic to make it slightly more water resistant.

So first off i cut my wallpaper to size

The i cut some sticky back plastic so it was slightly larger than the wall paper

And covered the wall paper with the sticky back plastic, folding it over to protect the edges of the wall paper.

I then folded the covered wallpaper up over the drawer and fixed it in place with some foam sticky tabs.

I repeated the process for the other drawer and also cover the top of the unit in the same way.

I covered another spare drawer with some coordinating wallpaper for a bit of variety.

I think they look really good, a definite improvment.
On the other shelves are a little plastic basket for more bathroom stuff and a bread bin i spray painted which is our medicine cabinet. Love the final effect, practical but pretty!

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Baking Tray Storage

Following on from the spray bottle rail under the sink i decide to use the leftover doweling and brackets to corral my baking trays. Previously they lived in a drawer where they kept sliding down the back - so annoying. Then this same post at diy home sweet home that had the spray bottle rail made me realise they didnt have to be stored flat, they could be stored on their side - lightbulb moment!

I love how its turned out, ive barely lost any space in the cupboard but now my baking trays are together and secure - win, win!

Sunday 14 July 2013

Spray Bottle Rail

Organising fortnight has spread to the rest of the house! First up the kitchen. The cupboard under our sink is big but it doesnt have a shelf so it doesnt use the space fully. So after seeing this post by diy home sweet home i know that a spray bottle rail would be ideal.

I already had some doweling so i used that instead of a tension rod. I bought some rail brackets from ebay, like the ones you used in a wardrobe, and used those to suspend the doweling.

 So much easier to find everything now :)

Saturday 13 July 2013

Craft Room Finished!

So the craft room is now finished!!! Ive still got a few other things around the house i want to sort so organising fortnight(ish) is still ongoing but the main thing i wanted to complete is finished! This post shows how it looked before

This is the end with my work bench. Here ive got the kilner jars with my threads on the top shelf with my washi tape and zips next to them. Below is the ribbon rail and then below that are my hoop bags and various other bits and bobs. The bulk of fabric is a big really useful box under the table and the seat is a storage bench which hold all my bulkier wool.

From this angle you can see my wool wall storage and then all the various bigger things in boxes in the wardrobe. Plenty of empty space to expand into as well!

The area around my desk is my favourite bit, i love all the colour coordination just how easy it is to find everything. Im so happy with how its turned out and i love love love making stuff in there :)

Thursday 11 July 2013

Laminated Graph Paper Labels

Now im well underway organising my craft room i thought id make some labels for some of the storage boxes. I wanted to use a decorative punch to make the labels are seeing this post at I Heart Organising. I love graph paper and have quite a bit of it so i thought id use that. Paper on its own as too flimsy so i laminated it first and then used a decorative punch to cut out the labels.

I wrote the label in permanent pen and then glued them to the storage boxes. I think they look fab!

I also used my silhouette to cut out some different labels from some leftover red vinyl which i love too but the graph paper in my fav!