Wednesday, 27 February 2013


I have just borrowed a cookery book from my Mother.  It is a copy of a book her Mother was given as a wedding present in 1929My Mothers childhood  memories of the book are that it was well loved and well used - used so often that parts were missing.

The title of this book is THE OLIO COOKERY BOOK and by 1928 it was already on its fifteenth impression (and in this year it was also revised).

Every page of the book has an uplifting quote:- BREAD AT PLEASURE, DRINK BY MEASURE;  ONE CAKE EATEN IN PEACE IS WORTH TWO IN TROUBLE.  The recipes range from simple soups and meals to how to make self raising flour (patent flour).  In edition there are Medical recipes, Toilet recipes (bath salts, hair restorer  and the like,  helpful hints for cooks and the home.  

At the back of the book are very useful tables for measuring ingredients - including how to use coins as weights6 penny pieces or 10 shillings in silver is equal to 2 ounces.

I love old books - there is often a wealth of social history to be found in them.  So many of the recipes in this book list ingredients by price.

Although some recipes do not appeal there are others I cannot wait to try.  


There is even a recipe for TURTLE SOUP!! And ROOK PIE!!
A remedy for Diphtheria reccomends raw pineapple juice - 'as it cuts the membrane from the throat when nothing else will'.  

Advice is given for preventing kid gloves from cracking and how to restore colour to carpets, used tea leaves keep the dust down when sweeping carpets and stairs.  A wealth of knowledge.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


MY latest creations LITTLE CRITTER POT HOLDERS these, if I am honest, do not look like the animals they were supposed to be.  Instead of looking like cats and dogs I think they look more like rabbits and pigs.  

I am very pleased with them in spite of this.  And I am having so much fun making them.  

A good excuse to use my BIAS TAPE MACHINE.  So they either have contrasting or coordinating tape.

As the eyes and ears go on they develop their own characters.  And their tails fold over to make a useful hook for hanging.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Knitting and the search for inspiration

Finding a bag of fancy yarns stored in a cupboard has started me knitting.  There is only one ball of each type - I think I originally brought them for fibres on the cards I was making. 

One ball is enough to make a pair of fluffy/funky or fun fingerless mitts.  Great fun to make.  


A collar and matching mitts,  a glorious multi-coloured pair of mitts and a pair being knitted in the muted shades of an autumn sky.

There are still quite a few balls of yarn in some beautiful colours left to make up.
My bedtime reading at the moment is old craft books and magazines while I search for inspirationSearching for inspiration so I can start new projects may not be such a good idea as I seem to have the attention span of a mayfly and am trying to finish the stack of things that are piled up on the dinning table.  
 Assorted hair clips, pot holders and purses to name but a few.  

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Making my own bias tape

Craft shops are a must on any shopping trip and I found this little gadget for making bias binding (bias tape) just after Christmas.  I had not realised I 'needed' to make bias binding until I saw these.  I brought the 3/4 inch one because it would be the most useful size.

 It is very simple - the fabric is cut into strips 'on the bias', is then threaded through and ironed flat.  It takes very little time to make, although it is a bit fiddlyLots and lots of co-ordinating bias binding ready to be used for my next project.

  Having started to make my own bias binding I wanted to be able to make other widths.  While I was looking I saw this - a Simplicity electric tape maker.

 A nice compact unit that will be easy to store.

Very simple to set up and use.


Just cut the fabric into the right size stripes.  Join together.  Thread into the machine.  And press a button.

A little help needed to go over seams but so simple. 

No need to iron the fabric, wind the cut fabric onto the roller, press the start button and away it goes.  A nice pile of bias binding ready to use.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


I recently found a bag of fancy yarn that had been 'put away safe' until it was wanted and as I was having a knitting phase, thanks to to wonderful OWL mug warmer and fingerless gloves in MOLLIE MAKES, I started knitting.

I made several pairs of mitts and then made a pair with a matching collar.   The asymmetric design needed a button to complete it 

  Finding the right button was hard and the search triggered a slight button obsession and the buying of a couple of bulk bags of assorted buttons at Hobbycraft.

Sorting through the buttons took me back to childhood and the pure joy of 'playing' with Mum's button box.   A treat usually saved for when we were unwell.
tiny tiny buttons

I found buttons that had come as cover gifts.

The packs sold for scrapbooking and cardmaking.

 Some needle felt brooches that I decorated with buttons and beads.
from when I was making most of my clothes

The beautiful Fimo buttons that my Dad brought me over twenty five years agoStill unused because I love them so much.

Buttons are big - there are even card buttons.  Not quite sure why.

 I re-discovered these belt buckles in my button box.  I have no idea how old they are.  I brought them in a little shop in King Street, Ramsgate in the early to mid-eighties.  I used to buy mother-of-pearl buttons and cut work collars from there as well.