The Adventures of Montgomery Mcvitty…..

My Mr Sharp works very hard, very hard indeed! I wanted to give him a little something to make him smile; something he could have on his desk at work to cheer him up when it’s all getting a bit stressful. I pondered a while. “What does Mr Sharp like when he is feeling a bit overworked?” I wondered…..”Tea!” thought I. “And what is better than a mug of tea?” I asked myself….”Tea with biscuits!” I replied! I thought and thought of how I could combine the two to be a permanent fixture on his desk at work. And from my pondering, Montgomery McVitty was born.

Biscuit mug!

Montgomery McVitty is no ordinary mug… oh no. Not only does he sport a well-groomed moustache and a distinguished gentleman’s monocle, Montgomery the mug has a mouth. “A mouth?” I hear you cry. “Yes, a mouth” says I. “But what use does a mug have for a mouth?” you ask. I agree, it’s quite obserd. But then again, it is actually a very useful thing for a mug to have. Our chap Monty simply looooves biscuits. He can’t get enough of them! When you fill his head with tea, biscuits are what he craves. So pop some tasty biscuits in his mouth and he will willingly share them with you whilst you sup tea from his brow.

"Nom!" says Monty as he stuffs biscuits in his mouth.

I do hope he will enjoy his new home at Mr Sharps office. I will be sending him a fresh supply of biscuits every Monday to see him through the working week. This week, Monty had Double Chocolate Chip Shortbread, and he decreed that he liked these very much. They really are truly delicious. So delicious in fact that the batch I made on Sunday to last all week had been devoured by Monday evening – oops! I’m now hurriedly baking another, much bigger batch to hopefully last Monty and Mr Sharp until Friday.

The recipe is very easy to make with just a handful of store cupboard ingredients. Here’s the recipe incase you fancy baking some too:

Ingredients

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100g chocolate chips (milk, white or dark)

Method

  • Mix the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour and cocoa, followed by the chocolate chips – you’ll probably need to mix it together with your hands at this stage. Halve the dough and roll each piece into a log about 5cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr or for several days. Can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Slice logs into 1cm-thick rounds, transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 10-12 mins. Cool on the tray.

Shortbread is definitely one of my favourite types of biscuits to bake at home, but I always feel guilty eating them when I have seen just how much butter goes in to them. I wonder if there is such a thing as a healthy, low-fat biscuit that actually tastes good? If you have such a recipe, I’d love to hear from you!

Biscuit mug

While Monty’s face would cheer the most solemn of folk, he does look rather sad whilst bobbing around in the washing up liquid…. His happy little face suddenly looks a bit panicked. Fear not Monty my friend, we won’t let you drown, it’s merely bath time dear chap! You need to look smart for your first day at the office.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week so far folks 🙂 TTFN! xx

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like Easter ……

Here’s a sneaky little peak at whats been occurring in the sewing laboratory over here at Gizmo and Stitch Towers:20120328-150353.jpg

The sun is shining splendidly over London town, so it’s the perfect opportunity to sit on my balcony, soak up some rays, and do a little bit of hand sewing. I have discovered that I am very much a seasonal crafter; In the autumn and winter I knit, and in the spring and summer I sew. What with all the glorious weather we have been having over here in Blighty recently, I have cast aside my knitting needles, and picked up my sewing box again, and boy am I having fun! I often forget how much quicker it is to make something in fabric than it is to sit and knit it, so I have surprised myself with how many of these little rabbit finger puppets I have managed to whip up in just a couple of hours! They will make perfect little gifts for all the small folk that I know, and a wonderful alternative to chocolate – although I’m sure there will be lots of that being passed around too, it is Easter after all, the perfect excuse to a gorge yourself silly on ridiculous quantities of chocolate and end up feeling a little bit sick, yet very satisfied. Mmmm, chocolate….

Anywho, I digress. I found this wonderful little felt bunny finger puppet tutorial over on the extremely gorgeous blog The Purl Bee.

Image courtesy of The Purl Bee

Image courtesy of The Purl Bee

The tutorial has fabulously clear step by step instructions to follow, and I can assure you that the bunnies are an absolute delight to make. You can find the tutorial by clicking here. I can’t wait to pop the finished little bunnies in to the post for all the gorgeous little children I am lucky enough to know for them to play with this Easter. I am even going to have a go at making my own eggs with a kit that a bought last Easter but sadly didn’t get enough time to use. Fear not Easter egg molds, for this Easter you will fulfill your Easter egg making destiny! Nom nom nom….. x

Things I’d like to do this weekend

This weekend will be the first weekend in a very long time that we have absolutely no commitments, and we are very much looking forward to it. Mr Sharp and I are both extremely exhausted from our trip and busy work schedules, and so a weekend to be lazy, recharge our batteries and do the things we love is definitely needed. For Mr Sharp I imagine it will mostly involve lot’s of x-box  playing and sitting around in his pants, for me it will largely consist of making things.

I love compiling lists, in fact, I can’t function without them! All this week I have been jotting down the various things that I would like to do this weekend and growing increasingly excited with each passing day that took me closer to Friday. This is said list:

This weekend I would like to……

1. Remain in my pyjamas from the moment I get home from work this evening until Monday morning, and drink copious amounts of tea brewed in a tea-pot and drunk from a china tea-cup.

I love these rocket pyjamas by Zade Home on notonthehighstreet.com

2. Knit this little pug:

It’s another Barbara Prime pattern, and they are always fun to make. You can buy her patterns on Ravelry by clicking here. I would quite like to knit him some little dungarees instead of a coat though.

3. Stuff and sew these bunnies that I knitted months ago and completely forgot about. I think they will be little girl bunnies, I’m in the mood for knitting some little dresses.

4. Do a little bit of quilting. I was inspired by this quilt that featured on the blog andothersillythings. So beautiful! With a few of my friends expecting babies in the coming months it will make a perfect baby welcoming gift .

5. Now that I know just how much cats like to play with the knitted mice that came from the little blue knitting case, I’m going to create an army of knitted mice to help make cats up and down the country very happy kitties. I will be selling the mice for £2.50 each (plus £1 p&p) to raise money for the cat rescue charity from which we got our Rosie cat.

If you would like to order one of these little knitted mice to make your cat a very happy kittie, and to support a very worthy cause in the process, please leave a comment below or email me at gizmoandstitch@live.com to place your order. Please state what colour combination you would like – you can have any colour you like!

Have a happy weekend folks! I hope you have a good’un xx

Eeeeeek! I saw a mouse!

What with our recent epic european adventures, the balls of wool and knitting needles in the little blue knitting case have been left a little abandoned of late. The needles haven’t been performing their usual clickety clickety dance of wool seduction to whip those balls of wool into their destiny of a new creation…. or so I thought…..

I had begun to feel sorry for the deserted needles and wool, and with a head full of new ideas spawned from our incredibly inspiring trip, I went to the cupboard to say hello to my neglected old friends.

I opened the cupboard door, and reached up to grasp the little blue knitting case from the shelf, but as I did, I was greeted with more than a spattering of dust…..

I heard a noise…. a curious noise coming from within the little blue knitting case’s contents….a sort of scuffling noise….

I gently lifted the case from the shelf, and placed it on the floor. With excited anticipation I reached for the little brass latches, carefully lifted the lid and was greeted by a friendly little “squeak!”.

And there, nestled cosily in a bed of wool were Mr and Mrs Mouse! And what a pleasant surprise were they.

 That cheeky little blue knitting case often gets up to curious things when my back is turned! It’s a bad influence of those normally well-behaved needles and balls of wool. Do you remember Tatty Babbit?

He was an unexpected creation spawned of the little blue knitting case too! (You can read all about his birthing by clicking here.)

As always, the new little creations were desperate for an owner of their very own, so I did my usual bit of match making. Mrs Mouse was given to our cat Rosie, and the two of them set about playing happily together. Rosie had recently lost her previous knitted mouse whilst on holiday at the cattery, and had been missing it terribly so she was very pleased to have a new one. Mr mouse was given to my incredibly fabulous friend Charlie’s cat Tommy, and they set about playing happily together too. A happy ending for Mr and Mrs Mouse. They have made two cats very, very happy 🙂 x

Little Pip meets baby Henry.

Little Pip the knitted rabbit has been on a very big adventure. In his little ship, the SS Parcel Box, he journeyed north on a sea of post to Staffordshire where he was united with his new owner, the adorably cute and very diddy little baby  Henry.

Pip is a very happy little bunny indeed. He is looking forward to lots of lovely cuddles and many more adventures with gorgeous little Henry.

Bless!

A week off, ah bliss!

I have got an entire 9 days off work, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I intend to spend it drinking copious amounts of tea, taking the occasional nap, knitting blanket squares and little bunnies for easter, making a patchwork cot quilt for a baby boy, watching back to back River Cottage episodes, and cooking lots of yummy treats for my hardworking man to enjoy when he gets home from work.

 I have been working on a few commissioned items for the past couple of weeks which has been really good fun, and I thought you might like to meet them:

Ladles and jellyspoons, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Wolfgang Woolfingson the knitted wolf.

Rather excitingly, this little knitted wolf is going to live in Canada!! That is the furthest that my work has ever been sent! Giggle! I hear it gets quite nippy in Canada at this time of year, so I made little Wolfgang Woolfingson a very warm knitted coat to keep him nice and cozy on his very long trip.

Have a safe trip little knitted wolfgang, have a lovely time in Canada, and take very good care of your new owner.

 And now to meet little Pip the knitted rabbit, cousin to Tatty Babbit.

My fantastically lovely and fabulous friend Hannah has just become an Aunty for the very first time, and a very proud Aunty is she. Little Pip is a gift for her very new and teensy nephew Henry George who was born on Wednesday. Pip is currently winging his way first class to Staffordshire to meet his new owner. He was in such an excited rush however that he forgot his clothes! Ooops!

I will pop some warm clothes in the post to follow after him, but I’m sure little Henry will keep him warm in the meantime.

I love the feeling I get when I finish creating a toy and post it off to its new owner, it’s very exciting!

Ooo, I’ve just seen that the sun is shining outside, yay! I’m going to get out there and make the most of it before it goes into hiding again. Enjoy your day folks, have oodles of fun! Mwah! xxxx

Another happy and very cute customer :-)

The very beautiful, spectacularly cute little baby Blaike with knitted kitty Callie!

My utterly wonderful friend Isi (who is currently all poorly sick with tonsill-nasty-itis, yuck! Poor Isi, get well soon my lovely! Mwah!) commissioned me to knit a little grey and white stripped kitty in a pink dress for little baby Blaike, and the other day she kindly sent me this piccie to show me the two of them together. I always really enjoy seeing my creations with their new owners, it gives me a genuine feeling of contentment. Apparently little Blaike holds the knitted kitty all the time and likes to suck it’s nose! How sweet is that? Oooop, I’m going all gooey now…. I can’t help it…. I’m going to have to say it…. awwwwwwwwww!!! And now for a random outburst of baby doting speak…. “iddybiddyboobooboowajawajawoodododoboo”! Ahem… Sorry about that… Now I just need to find me some squadgy cheeks to pinch… Any volunteers? Anyone? No? Oh well.