Happy Halloween!

A happy Halloween to one and all from Gizmo and Stitch towers!

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Hope you all have a spooktastic time!

If you are planning on carving a pumpkin for the evenings frivolities, Martha Stewart online is offering some amazing free pumpkin carving templates that look simply divine!

Beautiful! Click here to access the templates. There are loads to chose from, from very simple yet effective designs,  to beautifully intricate and ornate ones.

Once your pumpkin is carved, you can use the flesh to make these wonderfully delicious Pumpkin Passion Cupcakes:

Nom!

Ingredients:

  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g coarsely grated pumpkin or butternut squash flesh
  • 100g sultanas
  • grated zest 1 orange
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting:

  • 200g tub full-fat cream cheese
  • 85g icing sugar
  • toasted chopped pecans to decorate (optional)
Method
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat together, then add the grated pumpkin, sultanas and orange zest.
  2. Stir in the cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will be quite wet. Spoon into the cases. Bake for 25 mins until firm and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. At this stage you can freeze the cakes for 4 months.
  3. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth then spread on top of the cupcakes. Leave plain or decorate with toasted pecans. Store in the fridge, but return to room temperature to serve for the best flavour and texture.
Tip: If the flesh of your pumpkin is quite wet when grated, give it a good squeeze before using it.
Nom nom nom! Have fun folks! xx
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Knitted kitty portrait

This adorable, fluffy little kitty belongs to my good pal Lucy, the Urban Goblin.…..

…..and Dennis is his name. Oooooo I just wanna snuggle up to him!! He looks so very cuddly! I miss having kitty’s very much, they are so very ace.

Lucy and I met a few months ago when we both enrolled at the local adult education college to do an Etching course. On my first day I sat anxiously and wide-eyed in the unfamiliar room, surrounded by medieval looking printing presses, my nose being tickled by the smell of acid and ink. I surveyed the room, checking out my new classmates, all of whom were on the side of elderly, working in a respectful calm and quietness. I have to confess my heart sank a little. I love getting the chance to meet new people and have a bit of banter and a good old natter while  learning a new craft, and it was quite evident that the people in this class were there to etch in peace and not be disturbed by a young whipper snapper such as myself. And just then, when I had resigned myself to the fact that no new comrades would be found in my fellow etchers, Lucy walked in and I could tell straight away that we would become partners in crime. The nattering between us two quickly commenced and we soon discovered that my Mum had been the librarian at Lucy’s secondary school and that she knew my brother from the pub. We had both quit our tiresome, life draining jobs to find inner happiness, and we both had a love of retro cartoons, zombies, warcraft, children’s books, growing veg, creating things, randomness, weirdness and general giggling.

So, anyway, back to Dennis the cat…. Lucy had commissioned me to make her a knitted version of her gorgeous kitty for her dad’s birthday. I happily obliged, I love any excuse to get knitting!

And here he is! Ta da!! Little knitted Dennis. Tee hee! His little daft face makes me chuckle!

I tucked him up all comfy cosy in a box and posted him off to Lucy to give to her dad. I hope they (and the real Dennis the cat) all like little knitted Dennis! Enjoy your new home dude, I know you will be very happy there. xx