Gingerbread House 2015

This year’s gingerbread house was designed by my four year old son. I gave it my best shot, interpreting it as a little cottage with an outside chimney. I even included the stairs on the inside. The result looks as crazy as last year’s and the kids are delighted.

gingerbread house

It was four days in the making spread across the whole week. On the first day I made the gingerbread dough using the same recipe from last year (it really tastes wonderful even without icing or chocolate). On the second day we made a template and cut and baked the pieces, on the third day I assembled the house. I could have finished decorating it that day but I had eaten some of the chocolates in a late night attack of munchies. Oops.

gingerbread house2

Things I must remember for next year: Decorate before assembly! Make even more gingerbread dough!

gingerbread house5

I made the ‘windows’ for the door melting a lollipop in a pan, adding a few drops of water. It was messy, the pan survived.

Here’s my son’s drawing that was the starting point for this year’s creation:

gingerbread house design


Getting ready for winter: new mittens for the boys.

Initially I wanted to sew them from a felted woolly jumper but I wasn’t happy with the results. So I decided to knit them instead. So much quicker and easier to achieve a custom fit – without seams. Plus I still had some wonderful natural dyed wool in my stash that I bought two years ago at a local craft fair.

Pattern: Lilley’s Maine Mittens. Simple and practical.


Car Playmat

This is a project I enthusiastically started back in January and, surprise surprise, neglected for a few months. But this week I felt motivated to complete it. Ten hours of late night sewing / three days later and it is done!

village quilt houses

In the end I used the sewing machine to save time with the paper piecing. The finishing is quite sloppy with plenty of mistakes that I didn’t have the time / patience to fix. But it’s fine, I’m okay with it.

I’m not sure about the roads though. I originally planned to use black felt but it looked too dark. Maybe these roads just needs some road markings to make them look better.

The yellow post box has a little pocket for messages.

letter box quilt block

village quilt collage

quilt backing

For the quilt back I used fabric from old curtains and for the padding fleece from the robe I had already used for the last minute Christmas stockings).

All other fabrics are from my stash and mostly scrap pieces.

houses quilt

Now just to make the second mini quilt, one quilt for each of my boys. I think at this rate we might have to practise sharing instead:


Baking Bread In A Cast Iron Pot

So I’ve been baking our bread in the Römertopf these last few months but I managed to crack the clay pot in one of those sleep deprived moments of parenthood. Or maybe that’s just my clumsiness. Not keen to spend money on a new pot I’ve tried using our  cast iron casserole dish instead.

I decided to unscrew the lid knob as I had doubts it would survive a very hot oven.  Then I placed the casserole dish in the cold oven and let it preheat to 250 C (But I just read the maximum oven temperature is 230 C, ooops! My pot survived okay, thankfully.)

Once preheated I put the risen bread dough into the pot, put the lid on and baked it at 220 C. After 20 min I removed the lid and let the bread continue to bake for another 20 min. (I’ve changed the oven temperatures slightly since my first Römertopf experiments.)

bread cast iron pot

It worked a treat! So no new Römertopf required. Money saved and also space in the kitchen 🙂

Birthday Number T-Shirts

birthday t-shirt 4 years

My son is turning 4 years old soon and today I made him his birthday t-shirt. Appliqué on stretchy fabric is a little challenging for me but with practice the wonkiness got a little less wonky, even if the sewing machine tried to defeat me this year by chewing up the t-shirt twice. (Should have changed that needle?)

brithday t-shirt 4

The Halloween fabric is from my stash and I think my little man will be pretty pleased with these spiders.

birthday t-shirts

It has become a nice little tradition. Looking forward to more t-shirts being added in the future. But what to do with them all? 18th birthday present?

Bucket Hats

New sunhats for my boys. Using a free pattern: Reversible Bucket Hat by Oliver + S.

bucket hat

The turtle fabric is one of the first fabrics I bought many many years ago. The other fabric I won in a competition, not so many years ago: “Just For Fun” by Makeover. The lining for both hats used to be a set of curtains in a previous life.

bucket hat detail

I’ve made quite a few of these hats over the last three years. The one with the ice-cream cones is my favourite.

bucket hats

The never ending blanket – update

Good progress on the never ending blanket: 75%! Hurray!

I can almost see the finish line..

where there’ll be thousands of little ends to weave in.. Oh.

sock wool blanket

Slowly running out of sock wool so the white squares are getting scarce now and the border is being continued in black rather than purple. I still have a large bag of scraps but not a huge variety of colours. It will be interesting to see how it turns out with those limitations.