No Fat Tea Bread – Bara Brith

My mum made this the other day – it is really delicious.

For conversion to cups please click here

350g mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, dried apricot, mango, mixed peel whatever you have)

140g light muscovado sugar

300ml hot black tea

300g self raising (all purpose) flour

1 egg

Put all the mixed fruit and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir in the hot tea.

Cover and leave for 24 hours.

Next day: Heat oven to /150c/300 f/gas mark 2

Grease and line a large loaf tin with baking parchment.

Beat the egg and stir it and the flour into the fruit and tea.

Pour into tin and bake for 90 – 100 mins.  It is ready when it is well risen.(If you put a skewer into the centre it will come out clean.)

Allow to cool slightly then remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

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March 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Food & Drink. 2 comments.

57. Valentine Card

Some days crafty things just don’t go right. I was full of enthusiasm to make some Valentines cards and had found one online that I thought I would have a try at making.

Take a look at this one

Gorgeous and relatively simple, I thought.

Not so fast…

I gathered the equipment together

and marked out the lettering.

Then I carefully cut around the solid lines and folding at the dashed lines.  This took a while.  I was engrossed in listening to Danny Baker on the radio that was mistake number 1! I wasn’t concentrating on the card and glued the wrong side of the cut out piece:

How can I fix this? – mistake number 2. I should have put it in the bin at this point.  I decided to put glitter on the glue and make it look like I meant to cover the front with glue.

The pot of glitter had not been opened before and was covered in tape. I took much too long trying to get it open – mistake number 3. By the time I had finally got into the glitter the glue was almost dry.

But I carried on – mistake number 4. Glued it to the card and found that I had cut the heart too big so it didn’t fold properly – mistake number 5.

At this point I decided to try making a different card.

This one is much simpler.

Cut 2 hearts the same size from some pretty paper. The picture below shows enough for 3 cards.

Here comes mistake number 6.  I had drawn the heart shape on the reverse of the design and found when I turned it over that I had missed the design in some places – the white stripes in the picture above.

Stick one heart to the front of the card.

Then stitch the matching sized heart on top of this one.

If you look closely you will see mistake number 7.  I accidentally got some purple pen marks on the large top heart and had to disguise it by going around the whole heart with a purple outline.

As I made these 3 cards, I refined the method.  On the last one, I glued some tissue paper to the reverse side of the top heart which hid the print on the underside.

I also made mistake number 8…as I was finishing off the stitches on one of the cards, I snipped off the thread too close to the card and cut off the knot I had carefully made to secure the stitching so the inside has a loose end.  If I had more time and wasn’t making so many mistakes today, I would cover the stitching on the inside with another layer of card in a contrasting colour but I’m going to stop while I’m ahead.

February 14, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. 1 comment.

56. Apron

I’ve been meaning to make an apron for a long time as mine were looking particularly scruffy.  Luckily some very nice people saw them, took pity on me and made me some so I didn’t have to.  One of them even has Made For Pin appliqued on to the front.

However, after coming across quite a few people who wanted to learn to sew, I decided to put on a class at the library where the participants could learn and sew an apron at the same time.  It was lots of fun, if a bit frantic at times, with varying types of machines and all different sorts of bobbins and threading systems.

Here is what we did:

Start with 1m of fabric.

I used a lovely Ashley Wilde cotton twill fabric that is 143cm wide.  I bought it at the fantastic Fabric Warehouse.

If you are using fabric that is narrower then buy extra length for the straps and pocket if you want one.

We started by folding the fabric lengthwise so that the selvedges were parallel.

Fold one side in so that the folded fabric measures 33cm from fold to selvedge.

Measure 5cm down from top of fabric and draw a 16cm line from the fold towards the selvedge.  If you don’t want to mark the outside of your fabric, turn so the right sides are together.

I cut out a plastic guide for the next step but you could equally draw freehand or use a large curve like a round tray or something similar to draw out the armhole. Draw the curve from the end of your 16cm line to the selvedge. Make another straight line from the top of the curve to the top edge of the fabric.

Cut out from the top of the fabric along your last line, around the curve of the armhole and then straight down staying close to the selvedge.

If you have used a 1m length of fabric then just cut to the other end of the fabric.

Now cut 3 ties from the remaining fabric.  Make them not less than 4 cm wide and as long as you need.

Press each tie so that one short edge and both long edges are folded towards the middle, then fold and press in half lengthwise so all the raw edges are hidden.

Press the raw edges around the whole apron in and then fold over again and press  to hide the edge. Fold the top over at the line you made and press.

Stitch all the pressed  straps and apron edges starting at the left underarm, up the left armhole, across the top and down the right armhole.

Once you turn to go down the right side, stop to add a tie. Tuck the open end of the tie under the folded and pressed side seam and fold over on itself like this:

Continue stitching over the top of the tie, down the right side, along the hem and up the left side.  When you get to the same place on the left side as you placed the tie on the right, stop and add a second tie.  Continue stitching over the top of this tie up to the bottom of the left armhole where you started.

Measure and cut the third tie to the length you need for around your neck.  Sew the two ends to the inside top of the apron equidistant from the armhole edge.

If you have any fabric left you can cut out a pocket, fold and press the raw edges.  Stitch along the top edge then pin to the front of your apron. Stitch in place around the 3 remaining unstitched sides (assuming you’ve cut a rectangular pocket).

January 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Fabric. Leave a comment.

Making Something New Every Week

Apologies, my usual blog http://www.madebypin.com is currently offline. I’m working on finding a way to transfer the posts to this one temporarily. I hope to be back with a fully working site soon.

 

January 26, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

55. Word Bird

It has been a hectic week so far.  I realised this morning that I didn’t have a make ready to publish so decided to take an hour out this afternoon to get one ready.  I enjoyed making this so much that I forgot to take photographs at each stage and totally lost track of time. That must be a sign of a good make.

The directions for this make are by Ann Ellis in the January/February 2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors

I started by roughly drawing a body, wing and beak shape on cardboard as Ann suggests.

Then I cut the shapes out:

and this is where I got lost in a dream of tissue paper and glue and forgot to take any more photographs.

The steps are very simple: tear up tissue paper, stick it to the body, wing and beak. Then embellish.

Attach the finished bird to a skewer or other handy stick and admire.

January 26, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. 3 comments.

54. Lion Hat – guest post by Sierra Lima November

This is a guest post from Sierra Lima November

This Christmas, I decided to make all the presents to give to my friends and family.  This spilled over into January. Some time ago, my brother had a Lion Hat which got lost/given away, so I decided to make one to replace it for his birthday.

Here’s how I made it.

1. First I got my brother’s girlfriend to measure his head.  She did a great job of measuring while he was asleep.

2.  Then I got a pattern from the excellent website www.fleecefun.com and thought about how I could modify it to make the Lion Hat I wanted to make.  The pattern itself can be found at http://www.fleecefun.com/halloween-hat-pack.html .

3.  I then had to decide whether the Lion had more bear-like ears or more cat-like. With the help of one of my son’s toys, I decided they were more bear-like.

4.  Then cutting the pieces.  I added for the lion some triangles of felt for the mane.

5. I then sewed all the layers together

6. Then I pinned and sewed the bottom, which was actually really cool as it made the mane stand up.

7. The final hat….

Thank you so much to www.fleecefun.com   for the original pattern – it is amazing and so easy to make and for allowing me to post this with my modifications!

Here is the hat in action on the slopes in France

January 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Fabric. Leave a comment.

50. Italian Nut and Chocolate Christmas Cake

Make number 50 already!  I can’t believe the year has gone so fast.

This week I’ve made Italian Nut and Chocolate Christmas Cake.  I don’t remember where the recipe came from originally but I’ve been making this version for at least 10 years.

It serves 10-12 and you will need a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin. (Or as I’ve done this year, 2 x 20cm regular cake tins)

  • 450g of nuts (I use hazelnuts and walnuts.  This year I didn’t have quite enough so made up the balance with pecans)
  • 225g dark chocolate
  • 5 drops of vanilla essence
  • 65ml brandy
  • 1 level teaspoon cinnamon
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • Finely chopped zest of 1 large orange
  • Unsalted butter and breadcrumbs to prepare the tin/s.

Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4.  Line the cake tin with greaseproof or baking parchment, then lightly grease this with a little unsalted butter.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Like this:

Whiz nuts and chocolate in a food processor or liquidiser until they are finely chopped but not ground. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in vanilla, brandy, cinnamon, butter and sugar.

Beat the egg yolks with a fork and then blend them in a little at a time to the mixture.

Add the finely chopped orange zest.

Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff peaks and then fold these into the mixture gently a little at a time.

Pour mixture into one or two already prepared cake tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins for two tins or around 75 mins for one tin.  Test the cake by sticking a cocktail stick in the centre.  If it comes out without cake mix on it, the cakes are ready. (It will likely have melted chocolate on it, that is ok).

Rest the cakes for a five minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

You can either store the well wrapped cakes in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze them.

Dust with icing sugar and its ready.

December 20, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Food & Drink. Leave a comment.

35. Paper Weaving

For this week’s make I’m going back to card making, this time with a paper weaving theme.

First of all find some interesting and colourful pictures that you can cut up.

I used an old calendar – sorry about the flash in this photograph.

Then cut the page into 1cm wide strips.  I used a guillotine as it was quick and easy.

Interweave the strips under and over each other.

Once you are happy with the size, shape and design, glue the front of a piece of folded card and stick on the woven paper.

September 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Paper, recycled. Leave a comment.

29. Easy painting tool

I really wasn’t sure what to entitle this post – I’ve no idea what to call this make.

The best way to describe it is as great way for little hands to get painting.

I’ve always wondered what to do with old roll on deodorant containers and this week I had inspiration.  I had just come to the end of a Sanex Roll On and decided to see if I could make it into something.  I took it apart and washed it out.

Then filled the base with paint and water, mixed it up and put the container back together again.

The paint can then be rolled very easily onto paper.  Hopefully it won’t dry up either and we can use it again and again.  I will buy a different variety of the same deodorant next time and then we can make a collection that can be used for different coloured paints.

I imagine that it could also be used for glue.

July 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . recycled. Leave a comment.

27. Bowl made out of plastic bags

Our household loves to recycle and keeping stuff out of landfill occupies a lot of our energy. This week’s make recycles 2 different plastic items.

I save the plastic tops from milk and juice containers for a local charity. Up until now I’ve had a dish in the corner of my worktop that I throw them into after washing.  Yesterday, I needed to use the dish for something else so my collection of bottle tops was without a container.

I decided to make something to put them in using plastic carrier bags.  Those who know me will know that I’ve used this technique before when I made a shopping bag.  It was the source of much hilarity that I cut up carrier bags to make a carrier bag!

So this make is a bowl made out of 3 thin plastic bags.

First cut off the handles and the bottom bit where the seam is.

Start at the top and cut a thin strip about 1 inch/2.5 cm wide in a spiral until you have a long length of plastic that you can use like a length of yarn.

I used a 15mm crochet hook and made a circle (I won’t go into how to crochet as there are many, many videos on youtube that show how much better than I can explain here).

The picture above is one bag’s worth of yarn.

When the bowl was the diameter that I wanted – this took 2 carrier bags – I stopped increasing and started to make the sides which used up the third bag.

And here it is:

Some good news is that one of my lovely daughters (the master bag maker) has promised to do a guest make for this blog.  If anyone else would like to showcase a make please let me know!

July 15, 2011. Tags: , , , . recycled. Leave a comment.

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