Wednesday, 1 July 2015

How to Upcycle a Wooden Sewing Box

I have a wooden sewing box that was bought for me as a gift for my 40th birthday a few years ago. It is a sturdy and practical sewing box, it fits in many of my essential sewing accessories perfectly.  Since completing the Makeover of my Sewing Room the wooden sewing box looked out of place, as though it did not belong.

Solution? Upcycle the wooden sewing box to match the Sewing Room. 

I am so pleased with the result. It has turned out perfect, and was so easy to do. A task I had started outside in the sunshine, but with typical British weather and rain clouds forming it was completed inside. A small match pot of paint is sufficient to complete two coats.

Why not follow my easy steps to update your own sewing box.

Equipment Required to Upcycle a Sewing Box
  • Sand Paper 
  • Paint Brush 
  • Tin of Primer 
  • Tin of Paint or Paint Sample Pot
  • Sewing Box

Are you on Pinterest? Why not pin this to your craft board? 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Yogi Tea Hamper Review and Giveaway

I enjoy many types of tea. This can include some of the more unusual herbal or fruit teas. So I was pleased when I received a hamper of Yogi Tea, who are celebrating the launch of their new branding. Founded in the 1970's, and is the original organic and ayurvedic (hindu medicine) herb and spice tea brand. They encourage people to live a happy, healthy and conscious lifestyle. Their teas are created to help promote individual well-being. 

Yogi Tea
A selection of herbal teas
Their herbal and spice teas stimulate the harmony between body, mind and soul. They have an impressive range of over 40 different flavours to try from.

Over the last few weeks I have been enjoying some of their teas. I particularly like the Stomach Ease tea, which I have to say I was surprised with. Included in the list of ingredients were fennel and ginger, both of which I would normally shy away from. But have to say I really liked it. There was a lovely subtle licorice taste to it. I would definitely recommend trying them. 

Stomach Ease Tea
Stomach Ease Tea

Bedtime Yogi Tea
Bedtime Yogi Tea
About Yogi Tea
Yogi Tea take seriously their social and ecological responsibility for people, the environment and nature. They support various sustainable projects via their partners in the growing locations which provide the farmers with a guaranteed income and facilitate adequate living conditions. They are also working to provide sustainable support and development for children and adults in need throughout the world. Our projects run through India, Nepal and worldwide.

You will even find a inspiring phrase on the tab of your tea bag, along with a yoga pose at the bottom of each box of tea. 

Yogi Tea can be found at all good health food shops, including Holland and Barrett.

Yogi Tea Giveaway!

Yogi Tea are offering one of my blog readers the chance to #win six boxes of tea and a recipe book.  

The prize consists of:-

  • 1 box Yogi Tea Classic (a blend with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger)
  • 1 box Yogi Tea Throat Comfort (a blend with liquorice, fennel and thyme)
  • 1 box Yogi Tea Choco (a blend with cocoa shells, liquorice and cinnamon)
  • 1 box Licorice (a blend with liquorice, orange peel and cardamom)
  • 1 box Bedtime  (a blend with fennel, chamomile and valerian root)
  • 1 box Stomach Ease (a blend with cardamom, fennel and ginger)
  • A Yogi Tea Recipe book
each box of tea contains 17 tea bags.

How to enter
To be in with a chance of winning this lovely prize confirm your entry using the Rafflecopter widget, for extra entries complete the additional tasks. If you can not see the Rafflecopter widget below, you may need to refresh your page using F5. For more information on how to enter you can watch this Rafflecopter video or visit fellow blogger Super Lucky for a simple guide on using Rafflecopter. 

Remember if you enter the competition by tweeting be sure to include the link to your tweet. If any of the links are not working on the widget leave me a comment or tweet me.

Closes 30 July 2015. Winner must respond within ten days of being notified, after which time a new winner will be selected. UK entrants only. For full Terms and Conditions click the link on the Rafflecopter widget.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cherry Cake Recipe with Lemon Icing

Sometime ago a Mary Berry recipe for Cherry Cake was featured on The Great British Bake Off. I adore Cherry Cake, a favourite cake of mine that was baked by my late Aunt Fay. So for my birthday this year my sisters and niece all got together to bake me a Cherry Cake.  I pointed them in the direction of a recipe I found on A Very Melly Bake blog. You will be pleased to hear that all went smoothly, possibly because my sisters both understood who was in charge - my niece!
Cherry Cake Recipe
Cherry Cake Recipe
This recipe made a lovely cherry cake, and everyone (who likes cherries) in the family tucked into a slice. 

Cherry Cake Recipe 

Cake ingredients 

200g glace cherries
175g butter or baking margarine
175g caster sugar
3 eggs

175g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
75g ground almonds
1 tbsp milk

Icing ingredients

175g Icing Sugar
Juice of ½ a Lemon
5 Glacé Cherries, quartered

Cherry Cake Recipe
Cherry Cake
Preheat the oven to 160C Fan/180C electric.  Line a 18cm round cake tin. 
  • Rinse the glace cherries and pat dry with kitchen paper towel. Put 5 cherries to one side. Chop the remaining cherries into quarters and toss in a little flour. This helps to prevent the cherries from sinking to the bottom.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together
  • Gradually beat in the beaten eggs.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder into the mixture, and fold in.
  • Add two thirds of the cherries with the ground almonds to the mix and fold together. Now add the milk and stir.
  • Pour the mixture into the cake tin, sprinkle the remaining cherries on the tip and push them just under the surface of the cake mix.
  • Bake for 50 minutes, check with a skewer If you need extra time you may need to cover the top with foil or greaseproof paper.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin slightly, turn out onto a wire rack after approx. 15 minutes.
Cherry Cake with Lemon Icing
Cherry Cake with Lemon Icing
Making the icing 
I was reliably informed you sift the icing sugar, add the lemon juice and mix. Then using a spoon drizzle the icing on the cake, using a criss cross pattern. Then top with the remaining cherries cut in half, add as many extra cherries as you like. 

I believe there may have been a slight disagreement when it came to the style of decorating. But as far as I am concerned, it looks great and tastes great. Which for me, makes it the perfect cake.

I am linking in with June's Love Cake challenge of Midsummer Madness, for more information visit JibberJabberUK.
Love Cake logo

Chocolate Fairy Cakes Recipe
If you liked this recipe you may also enjoy my Mini Back Forest inspired Fairy Cakes Recipe.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

A Day Out to Leominster and Burton Court in Herefordshire

Earlier this week I visited Leominster for the first time, a small market town in Herefordshire. It was only planned as a brief stop, the main purpose of the day was a private group tour of Burton Court

Leominster is known for having quite a number of antique shops, and often features on the BBC show Antiques Road Trip. Aside from these shops it also boasts a fabulous cook shop, stationers and one or two gift/vintage type shops. Many of which are housed in some beautiful old buildings. I did my best to ignore the vacant and run down shops that can blight many Market Towns and focused on the quirky and attractive ones! Thats rather vain of me I know. 

The Merchants House, Leominster
The Merchants House, Leominster

Period Tea Room - Herefordshire
Period Tea Room - Herefordshire
Hanging Tea Cups - Merchants Haouse
Hanging Tea Cups - Merchants House
I can certainly recommend The Merchants House Tea Room and Antiques Shop. It was a really gem, and served fabulous freshly made scones and a tasty lunchtime menu. There was a nice garden area to sit in, though I chose the inside, with the original wood beams, and a feature of china cups hanging from them.

We moved on from Leominster to the private tour of Burton Court. A country house located in the pretty village of Eardisland, Herefordshire. Having driven through Eardisland village, and seeing just how pretty it is, it has now been added to my list of places to visit.  

Burton Court, Eardisland
Burton Court, Eardisland
Highlights of the house tour for me, were the wonderful cantilevered staircase, and the dinning room which overlooks the garden. If you are lucky enough to stay for bed and breakfast this is the room  you will have the pleasure of enjoying breakfast being served at the long table. Such a fabulously light room, with wonderful views of the garden.

Roses and Daisies

Gardens Burton Court
Burton Hall gardens
The formal flower garden is located to the side of the house, stepping down to enter it you will find  roses galore. There was a wall to the one side that saw Ferns and Daisy's finding a home clinging to the outside.

Entrance Hall Burton Court
Entrance Hall Burton Court
Tea and Cake at Burton Court
Tea and Cake -  well you would, wouldn't you?
Of course before leaving we indulged in some homemade cakes and a cup of tea. Which finished the day off rather perfectly.

There have been many different families living at Burton Court through the years. You can find out more details about the house and its history on the Burton Court website.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

My Craft Room / Sewing Room Makeover

My new craft room has been months in the planning.  Gone is the under used spare bedroom,  now I have a bright and functional space I can use for sewing, blogging or crafting. I have used a bright palette of colours, which I hope will help inspire me to be creative and energised. There is no falling asleep in this room.

Craft Room Makeover thanks to Homebase
The room is on the small side, a typical box room. So I felt a feature wall of bold colour may make it feel a little swamped, instead I decided to use bright colour to enhance pieces of furniture and accessories.

Add colour to your sewing room
It is only once you empty a room that you can appreciate just how marked and grubby the walls are. I would definitely recommend bringing a paint chart home or better still a few colour pots, so you can try the paint on the wall. At different times of the day, natural and artificial light can have a huge effect on the colour you will see. Be sure to look at the colour sample at different times of the day, with curtains open, drawn, and lamps on.

Homebase Home of Colour Paints
Homebase Home of Colour Paints
For the walls I used Antique Ivory, one of the new range of colours this seasons Home of Colour paints at Homebase. This gave me the right colour canvas for the room, white would be too stark, and a darker cream would have too many brown tones to it. Few of use find painting a pleasure, so where possible I would recommend a one coat paint. So I was pleased to see the Antique Ivory was available in onecoat. Having removed the old curtain batten, which I think was original to the house, there was significant marks and holes in the wall as you can see from the photo above. These needed filling, sanding and painting with primer, along with a few picture hook holes.   I did think it may be a case of more than a single coat of paint,  but true to its claim the paint covered the walls in one coat.

Upcycled Sewing Box - Bubblegum Pink
Upcycled Sewing Box - Bubblegum Pink

I used the Bubblegum pink paint colour to transform my wooden sewing box, against the Antique Ivory of the walls it really adds impact as you walk into the room. Along with my handmade pin board, that corner of the room looks fabulous.

Fabulous 3D effect display shelves
Fabulous 3D display shelves
I have so many bits of ribbon, fabric, crafting bits and pieces keeping them all organised and easy to find can become something of a chore. I like tidy, I like organised, I also like things labelled. I have lots of jars but no where to store and display them properly. The three oblong 3D style shelves (Homebase £29.99) allow me to recycle my old kitchen glass containers and store my ribbons where they can all be admired. Along with one of my favourite birthday cards of an old sewing machine.

Wicker Chest of Drawers
Wicker Chest of Drawers
Rather than just stack my storage boxes in the corner, and wanting to get easier access to additional items, I  found this white and wicker unit of drawers (Homebase £59.99). This allows me to store, lots of spare fabric and crafting materials and also means I can put storage boxes on top of it. This way they are not on the floor and I do not have to keep bending down to pick them up. Storage does not need to be boring.

I even found a sweet little heart shaped china dish (Homebase £2.49), perfect for popping my pins in when I am at the sewing machine. So far I have not found any on the floor! I also get to see my lovely sewing tins by storing them in the pretty and practical glass lidded Sweet Things box (Homebase £9.99), this will ensure I keep this box neat and tidy. No labels are needed as I can see straight away what is inside. Although, it is just as well there is no glass lid to my new pink sewing box, some times it can be a little chaotic inside, just sometimes mind.

Lots of things storage box
Sweet Storage Box for my Sewing bits n bobs
I also have wooden board with hooks on, which I am planning to add colour to and use as a place to hang my current craft and sewing projects on. I will of course share this with you when it is complete. I am still awaiting delivery of a roman blind, to finish dressing the window.

Disclaimer - I would like to thank Homebase for the inspiration and vouchers that have allowed be to complete my craft room makeover.