Monty Mcvitty goes to work

Our little Monty has settled in beautifully at Mr Sharp’s office, and he takes his role very seriously indeed! Every morning he fills his little head with a dose of caffeine, nibbles on a biscuit (or three), and sets about helping Mr Sharp with whatever the day has in store:

Montgomery McVitty the accountant

Montgomery McVitty the telephone operator

Monty just loves manning the telephone lines. He sure does rock that headset! Hang on a minute….. Is Monty talking with his mouth full?! I will have to have words with him about that, how very rude……Tsk tsk!Mr Sharp and little Monty make a fabulous team, and I’m sure that if Monty had arms those two would be high fiving each other all day long. It’s wonderful to see them becoming such good friends, bless ’em! Between the two of them they manage to consume an extraordinary amount of biscuits, which gives me a fantastic excuse to get my bake on, something I get great pleasure from. And, as all the biccies get eaten by Monty and Mr Sharp, I am saved from the temptation of those calorific little blighters while it’s bikini season, phew! I can bake and stick to my bikini diet all at the same time, huzzah! Monty’s favourite biscuits by far are my Vanilla Shortbreads, which is lucky because they are also my favourite biscuits to bake! They are so ridiculously easy to make, and are completely fool-proof, so I urge you to give them a try, you won’t be disappointed: 

Ingredients:

  • 325g plain flour
  • 200g chilled salted butter
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large free range egg yolks

Method:

  • Tip the flour into a food processor. Cut the butter in to small pieces and drop them into the bowl, then whizz together until the mixture looks like bread crumbs
  • Add the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks and whizz to until it comes together as a dough.

OR

If you haven’t got a food processor, rub the butter in to the flour in a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix to a form dough with your hands.

  • Roll the dough in to a sausage shape approximately 5cm in diameter. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30mins.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180c/gas4/fan 160c.
  • Once the dough has chilled, remove from the fridge and take off the cling film. Cut the dough in to slices 1cm thick and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20mins. Once cooked, sprinkle the shortbread with golden caster sugar while they are still warm.
  • Eat and make yummy noises, for they are darn tasty biscuits. Nom.

I hope you are all enjoying the fabulous weather we currently having here in old Londinium. It’s so good to see the sun again, I had almost forgotten what it looked like. Fingers crossed it will be here to stay for the duration of the Olympics! Today I shall mostly be making bunting, for bunting is awesome and I love it so. It’s impossible to be miserable in the presence of bunting, it’s just too darn jolly! xx

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After a brief interlude….

….normal service is to be resumed! Huzzah!

It’s been such a long time since my last post, I’m so sorry folks! Life had gotten just a smidge too busy after the yuletide season, and I was struggling to keep up! What with writing copious amounts of essays and completing projects for uni, working extra shifts in the evenings, and having a birthday (my birthday very rudely and inconsiderately interrupted me being in my 20’s, a decade a thoroughly enjoyed, and has now pushed me somewhat reluctantly in to my 30’s even though I kindly asked it not to, hurrumph!), my head has been in a bit of a spin and my mojo got a little lost 😦 My usually smiley face was replaced by a frowney, somewhat serious and at times pouty face. I don’t like essays, and I don’t like getting older, but after being a good girl and getting all my work done, my smile has pounced back on my face and kicked the frowney face clean off, yay!

Such a smiley soft drink lid

I found this little happy face peering up at me from Mr Sharps soft drink lid this morning, and it made me smile. It just looks so very happy! I felt quite mean when I had to put it in the bin….

My thoughts tend to go to sleep unless they and I wonder, and wonder they did thanks to my beloved Mr Sharp; for my birthday he whisked me away on a wonderful surprise holiday to Amsterdam for 5 glorious days of debaucherous giggle filled bliss to celebrate my 3rd decade of being. We had a most splendid time, a much needed holiday for us both. I have come back feeling revived and inspired. I love Amsterdam, it’s such a beautiful city.

Now that my Handmade Christmas has come to an end, I need a new project, and thanks to my favorite ever website, Ravelry, I have found one. Over the next few weeks, any free time that I have will be spent on making these little fellows:

Photo by Rachel Borello Carroll at Petite Purls.

Aren’t they just adorable? The pattern for these delightful little creatures, known as “Anything Animals” is available for free at Petite Purls. I plan on making a whole menagerie of different animals to give to the little people that I’m blessed to have in my life.

Photo by Rachel Borello Carroll at Petite Purls.

Off to my wool stash I go! It will be an excellent project for using up all my little scraps of left over wool. Excited much? Er, yes! Muchly! Happy knitting folks! xx

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

Something silly…

My very wonderful bestestest chumley Laura was birthed in the month of Augustus, and to celebrate the anniversary of her birthing I decided to stick to my handmade pledge and make her a few little somethings as a birthday offering. One of these somethings is a work in progress and is taking longer than expected (Sorry Laura! I promise to get it to you before christmas so that it doesn’t become a yule tide gift). But, I did manage to finish one of the gifts in time; a rather silly but very cute knitted apple cozy:

The apple cozy is not to prevent the apple from getting cold for I don’t think apples mind that too much, no no, it is to stop the apple from getting bruised in your bag when you take one out with you as a traveling snack. I’m very proud of my Laura for she is a student at university training to be a nurse, and I thought a knitted apple cosy is just what she needs so that she can have an unblemished healthy snack while she is busy being studious. I found the pattern at The Vegan Lunchbox blog and you can find the link to it here. I did change the way the leaf was knitted and the pattern for that is as follows:

Knitted leaf pattern:

  • Cast on 3 stitches on 4mm needles.
  • 1st row (RS) K1, MK1, K1, MK1, K1 (5st)
  • 2nd row and WS rows K
  • 3rd row K2, MK1, K1, MK1, K2 (7sts)
  • 5th row K3, MK1, K1, MK1, K3 (9sts)
  • 7th row K4, MK1, K1, MK1, K4 (11sts)
  • 9th row K5, MK1, K1, MK1, K5 (13 sts)
  • 11th row SSK, K9, K2tog (11 sts)
  • 13th row SSK, K7, K2tog (9sts)
  • 15th row SSK, K5, K2tog (7sts)
  • 17th row SSK, K3, K2tog (5sts)
  • 19th row SSK, K1, K2tog (3sts)
  • 21st row SK2po, fasten off remaining stitches.

Happy knitting! xx

Monkey business

I was recently comissioned to knit a little toy Monkey for a little girl called Isla, who is 4 years old and completely monkey mad!

And here she is, cheeky Miss Monkey, all finished and ready to meet little Isla.

 She’s even got Isla’s name on her dress so there will be no mistaking just who this monkey belongs to.

100 flowers to knit and crohet

As I mooched around the craft book section of  Waterstones on a torturous shopping trip with no money to spend, I stumbled across a book that left me breathless. “100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet”  by Lesley Stanfield. It was love at first sight!

Each of the 100 flowers within were absolutely beautiful and I wanted to make them all!  We shared a moment, this book and I.

I sat crossed legged on the carpet like a small child captivated at story time. I gently caressed its pages with my finger tips and devoured its contents with my lustful eyes.

Look how pretty!!

After a few wonderful impassioned moments, I was snapped back to reality by my shopping companion and had to part company with my new found object of desire. remorsefully, I gently placed the book  back on the shelf. I nestled it between the other craft books hoping they would keep it safe for me until a day that I could return with some coinage to claim this book as my own. With a heavy heart and one last wistful glance I walked out of the shop and continued with my day, but all I could think about was that book. I simply had to have it!

That evening, I was still thinking about the book. It had captured my heart and inspired me, I not only wanted the book, I needed it! I was already justifying it’s purchase to myself with all the many, many projects I was now dreaming up for all the pretty flowers. Sure, I don’t know how to crochet, but it’s a very good reason to learn! “It’s what overdrafts are made for!” I told myself, “essential and emergency purchases”! I considered this both an essential and an emergency purchase. So, I logged into Amazon, ordered the book and instantly felt much better.

A few days later the book arrived, and I didn’t regret its purchase one little bit. It is beautifully presented book  and the patterns are very easy to follow. If you like to add knitted embellishments to the things you make and flowers are your thing, I highly recommend this book. It is simply delightful and truly inspiring, a most excellent and recommended purchase.