Monday, 29 April 2013

My Homegrown Vegetable Patio Garden - Week 4


My plants are doing really well! I haven't had to do much this week, other than water everything. My tomatoes haven't needed watering actually. I've been prodding the soil every day and it still feels pretty moist so I've left it. I've watered the potatoes every two days, one full watering can each which seems to be working very well for me.


My potatoes have a lot more little green shoots peeping up today! I will be ready to earth them up next week.


I thought my tomato plants would be ready to plant on by the middle of last week but they haven't quite reached the 10cm yet, so I will leave them be until they are. Hopefully by next week.


My other tomato seedlings are still growing nicely. A few of the cells have not given me any tomatoes at all, which is a shame. I planted two seeds in each cell so I was hoping I would at least get one out of each. I still have plenty to be going on with though so I am not too heartbroken about it. They need at least a few more weeks until they will be ready to be planted on.

So not too much going on here this week, unfortunately. Hopefully I'll have more to share next week.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Inspiration Cafe #4


I do a monthly guest post for Inspiration Cafe and this month's post went up this morning.

I shared my fleecie pinafore tutorial. Go and check it out. There are lots of other cool things to see too while you're there :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Simple Gathered Skirt - Tutorial


I love making little gathered skirts because they are so easy to make and customise. You can make them in any width / length you want to fit any size you need.

First of all, take your little girl's measurements. Mine were 20" waist and 11" waist to knee for my 4 year old. These are the measurements I will be using in my tutorial today but I will show you how to easily change this to your measurements. 

Second, add 3" onto your waist to knee measurement. This is the length. The width will depend on how wide your material off the bolt is. Mine was 40" after I had cut off the selvedges. 


Cut out your material for the skirt. My piece ended up being 40" x 14". Fold the material so the right sides are together and the fold is down one side, you will sew the other side shut to make a tube. I like to use a 1/8" seam allowance. I run one line of straight stitch and then a line of zigzag in the seam allowance to strengthen. Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and end of your line of stitching to secure your stitches. This seam will end up being on the centre back of your skirt. As you can see in the picture, I also inserted my label into this seam, about half way down.

Fold your hem over 1/2" then over again to hide all your raw edges. Stitch with a straight stitch. I used a twin needle as it looks much more professional. A single line of stitching works just as well though. Again, backstitch at the beginning and end of your line of stitching.

Now to make the casing for your elastic. Fold the top raw edge over 1/2" and iron in place. Fold over 1-1/2" and iron. Pin along the bottom edge of the casing then stitch as close as you can to the top edge. You can then stitch along the bottom to make your casing. It is extra important to do backstitch at the beginning and end here as otherwise your stitches will all fall out when you put your elastic in. Speaking of which, when you sew the bottom edge, make sure to leave a 2" gap somewhere at the back of your skirt so you have space to insert your elastic.


Cut some 1" wide elastic long enough to go around your child's waist. For my skirt I needed 19.5". Attach a safety pin to one side of the elastic and feed it through the casing. Sew the two ends together, overlapping about 1/2" to make the elastic fit snugly. Push it into the casing and sew the opening shut. 

Pull your waistband open as wide as you can get it. This helps the material to gather nice and evenly instead of all bunching up on one side. I like to stretch my waistband and stitch a long line of straight stitch all the way around. This keeps your elastic from rolling when being worn or washed. Make sure to stretch it as much as you can when stitching otherwise you will find your stitches break when trying to get the skirt on and off.

Your simple gathered skirt is done. Simple and cute! I love how you can customise these so easily. You could attach some lace around the bottom to make a super girly skirt or add some tulle underneath to make it poofy. 


For this one, I added a little apron. Too cute!

Monday, 22 April 2013

My Homegrown Vegetable Patio Garden - Week 3


I have lots of little seedlings this week!!


I planted my tomato seeds last week and they are doing well. I don't want to plant them on yet. I'll give them another week or so and plant them on when they get a bit bigger and stronger. For now I am just keeping the soil nice and moist and making sure they get plenty of sun.


The tomato kit I bought is really big now. It's been sat on my kitchen windowsill and is growing well. I am going to plant this one on at the end of the week as it is getting pretty big and sturdy. I have been rotating all of my tomato seedlings every day to make sure they grow nice and straight. I definitely notice that at the end of each day the seedlings are all pointed towards the light.


My potatoes are coming on very slowly. You can just about see a few shoots peeking through the compost. Hopefully by next week they'll be a lot bigger.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Vegetarian Cottage Pie with Orange Mash - Recipe


Vegetarian Cottage Pie with Orange Mash (serves 2-3)

1 x small red onion, finely diced
2 x garlic cloves, minced
1tbsp tomato puree
1 cup passata
1 cup water
2 cups cooked and frozen black beans (if using fresh cooked beans, simply add them to the pan for the last 10 mins of cooking)
2 x sweet potatoes
4 x medium carrots
dash of milk
knob of butter
cup grated cheese


Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic for 10 mins, until softened. Add the tomato puree and passata, along with the water, and bring to the boil. Add the frozen black beans and bring back to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and leave to cook for 30 mins. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and carrots and place in a large pan of boiling water. Bring back to the boil and leave to cook for 25 mins, until soft. Drain, then mash with the butter and milk. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/GM6. Fill an ovenproof dish with the black bean mix, then cover with the mash. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and cook in the preheated oven for 30-40 mins or until the cheese has melted and a nice crust has formed on top. Serve with mixed vegetables.


Delicious!

Monday, 15 April 2013

My Homegrown Vegetable Patio Garden - Week 2


I have now officially got my tomatoes and potatoes planted :D


The potatoes are out in the garden. We planted them in three potato bags I bought from Homebase. I put about 5 inches of multi use compost in the bottom of each bag, then put the seed potatoes in, 5 in each bag, evenly spaced. I then added another 5 inches of the compost and let Leyla and Naomie water them.


Watering is a serious job!


My tomatoes are still in the house while they grow. The tomatoes I planted in Week 1 are growing nicely. They are little sturdy seedlings now!


The other tomatoes I have planted are a vine type I think, full sized, and a cherry tomato type. I can't remember the names now but will have a look for next week. In this little seed tray I have planted two seeds each of the full sized tomato in each cell on the top, and one on the bottom, then Leyla and Naomie have planted two cherry tomato seeds each in the other four bottom cells. Leyla and Naomie then watered them all very carefully so as not to wash away the tiny seeds. Oh, I used the same multi use compost I used for the potatoes. It's just an own brand one I got from Homebase. We will have so many tomato plants if they all grow well but we go through lots of tomatoes each week so I don't think we could ever grow too many!


Since I didn't have a propagator lid for the seed tray, I put two carrier bags over the top of the whole tray and tied. They are currently on the dresser in front of the window in my bedroom.

Hopefully by next week we will have quite a few seedlings!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Pixie Hat With Ruffle Pattern (Toddler size)


I posted the child size version of this hat the other week and thought I would put up the toddler version this week. I made the bigger one to be child size to fit Leyla and it looked too big for Naomie, despite her being nearly 3. I made this one up smaller to fit toddler size (approx 1-3 years). It is easy to adjust to fit your child perfectly though.

First of all, you need to know how big to make your hat. To work out your measurements, take a tape measure. Measure right around the top of your child's head, from where one side of the hat should fall to the other. This will give you your width measurement. For Naomie, that was 16". To make sure your gauge is right, work up the first 3 rows then measure your width. It should hit exactly 16".



To make my hat, I used DK yarn in this lovely sparkly pink colour and a 6mm crochet hook. Use whichever yarn weight and crochet hook needed to match the gauge.


I added a pretty ruffle along the edges which is easily left off if you'd rather.


Pixie Hat With Ruffle Pattern (Toddler size)

1. ch56, hdc in 2nd ch from hook and across (55)
2-18. ch1, turn, hdc across (55)
19. fold across the long edge so you end up with an almost square, measuring 7.5" x 8", stitch together on one side to make a bonnet shape, weave in ends
20. join yarn in one of the bottom corners, with wrong side facing, ch1, work 2 hdcs in same st and evenly around, join with sl st in 1st hdc
21. ch1, turn, work 2 hdcs in same st and evenly around to the other corner, skip one stitch on the corner then ch1 and work 2 hdcs into next st to make a buttonhole, continue evenly around with 2hdcs in each st, join with sl st in 1st hdc
22. ch1, turn, sc in each st around, join with sl st in 1st sc, bind off
23. attach a large button to match up with the buttonhole made in row 21, weave in all ends


...and because there is no show without punch :P

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I'm linking here:


Whipperberry  Chic on a Shoestring Decorating  The Shabby Nest
 Lovely Crafty Home craftionary TutusandTeaParties One Artsy Mama


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Garlic Yoghurt Dip


Garlic Yoghurt Dip

125g natural live yoghurt (approx 1/2 cup)
3 x garlic cloves
pinch mixed herbs (optional)

Chop your garlic cloves very finely and mix into the yoghurt. Add the mixed herbs if using and leave in the fridge until needed. Add more or less garlic to taste :)


This dip is absolutely delicious with any type of finger food and we use it for things like lentil burgers, borek and chickpea patties. Yummy!

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I'm linking here:



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