Thursday, 28 February 2013

February highlights

I really enjoyed my monthly round up at the end if January, it was a great reminder of all I'd managed to get up to over the previous few weeks. February seems to have flown by (three fewer days seems to make a big difference) and it's suddenly spring! Things have been a little quieter on the blog recently but here are my highlights nonetheless. 

On the blog:

craftypainter: February highlights

I enjoyed fluffy vegan pancakes and took part in my first ever yarn bomb, snuggled with Ivor the Lovely and enjoyed my first gardening session of the year.

Off the blog:

craftypainter: February highlights

Half-marathon training stepped up a gear with my first 10 mile run and I stopped to take this photo of vegan inspired graffiti. I went on a thrifty shopping trip to Hitchin and explored the many charity shops (I got more than I bargained for when I bought the whole bowl full of buttons!). I attended my first ever crochet class where I learned how to crochet ripples and I ate my first crop of tasty home grown oyster mushrooms! 

There'll be more on the charity shopping and crochet class on the blog in the next week or so.

As for the cat, she's been keeping herself busy with a spot of gerbil watching...
craftypainter: February highlights

How was your February? 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Bunting and crochet (an update)

A few weeks ago I shared with you the needle felted bunting that I made from the Crafty Creatives January box. The woodland themed box arrived just in time for me to make the bunting for baby Ivor's woodland bedroom. Last week I had the treat of visiting him, his lovely mummy Ro and big brother Rufus for lots of cuddles. 

craftypainter: the boys

We attached the bunting to Ivor's cot and it went really well with the beautiful quilt made by Ro.

craftypainter: needle felted bunting

Then there was the red hat that I had promised to make; I've knitted baby hats before, making it up as I go, but this time wanted to try crochet. After a bit of digging around on Pinterest I found this really easy pattern from Hooked on Needles. UK readers bear in mind it's written in US terms so use trebles instead of doubles. It only took a few hours and was all done after a couple of evening's work. It was just the right size with a bit of growing room. 

craftypainter: crocheted baby hat

Ivor decided that sleeping was more important than modelling, I can't blame him.

Friday, 22 February 2013

February in my garden

Brrr... It's been a chilly few weeks but last weekend was perfect for a bit of much needed gardening and provided lovely conditions for a few garden snaps. 

The miniature daffodils started flowering at the end of January (nutters!) and are looking lovely and jolly. Yellow usually makes me (and most people probably) think of summer but these happy yellow blooms are flying the yellow flag for February!

Despite the lovely sunshine it was still a little too chilly for some people, this brown caterpillar didn't want to say hello. I popped him back under the leaves after taking the photo. The Chinese Lantern skeletons looked amazing and the pretty self-sown violas brightened up an otherwise empty plant pot.

During the week we were reminded that it is still winter really and I had to stop as and take these frosty pics before setting off for work in my fleece lined tights!

Have you managed to get out and about to enjoy some of the sunshine? Let me know what you've been up to. 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Sheepish heart bomb day

Last night I snuck out after dark and decorated some of my local trees with crocheted heart decorations to spread a little love around my neighbourhood. I discovered Sheepish heart bomb day via twitter and found out that it was the second yarn bomb day organised by Meredith of One Sheepish Girl. This time, being near Valentine's Day, the theme was hearts. 

craftypainter: Sheepish heart bomb

As one who sometimes likes to throw wild flower seeds around neglected patches of land on my way to work, the idea of yarn bombing really appeals to me (something about making the world a more cheerful place). I love to decorate things and hopefully my little tags will cheer someone's day. 

craftypainter: Sheepish heart bomb, crochet heart tags

I was a little late to the party only seeing on Thursday evening when people tweeted what they had done, but Meredith had already thought of that and gave us four days to heart bomb. I followed the pattern on her blog and crocheted around 20 red hearts, I then glued them to mini gift tags with my messages on the back before setting off in the dark to hang them around the local park.

craftypainter: Sheepish heart bomb

After my run this morning I checked back on some of them so I could snap them in the daylight, with the spring branches of the cherry trees bare of leaves they stand out really well. We haven't seen blue sky in a while but it's suddenly feeling very spring like. 

Don't know what yarn bombing is? Read this lovely blog post by claireabellemakes and check out her Cambridge heart bombs here.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Vegan pancakes

Vegan pancakes are probably a bit pointless since traditionally Shrove Tuesday is supposed to be when we use up rich foods before Lent, but I'm making them anyway.

This recipe is super easy and I'm still amazed that you can make such good pancakes without eggs or cows milk.  It's so easy that you don't really need me to tell you what to do,  just that it can be done.

The baking powder in this recipe makes the pancakes really light and fluffy and reminds me of the scrummy pancakes I had for breakfast everyday on a trip to New York.

1 cup Flour
1 table spoon + 1 tea spoon baking powder
1 tables spoon sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup soya milk
2 tables spoons vegetable oil
Up to 1/2 cup water

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or measuring jug, add the soya milk and oil and mix well to form a smooth batter. If the batter is really think add some water. I like to use a measuring jug as I find it easier to pour the batter into the pan.

Heat a small/medium sized pan over a medium/high heat and add enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook on one side for a couple of minutes and then flip over to cook the other side. Cook the remaining batter (should make approximately six pancakes depending on size).

Serve with your choice of topping, mmm maple syrup!

For yummy banana pancakes which are also gluten free check out Laura's post over at Wrapped up in Rainbows.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Etsy shop give away winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my Etsy shop give away! The lucky winner chosen at random is...



As an extra treat for everyone else I'm offering a cheeky 10% off purchases in the shop with the code FEB10, until Sunday 10 February!!

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