Tuesday, 12 February 2019

New blog

I've just made a new blog to replace this one, which you can find here

I'm hoping in the future to open a little shop with some sewn items in and so the blog is to unify it all. I won't be posting on laciepaperie in the future but you can find me on the new blog. Thank you for reading this blog through the years, I hope you like the new one!

Monday, 4 February 2019

Progress with sewing...


Recently, I've made a bit of progress with my sewing. I managed to get my sewing machine going (with a lot of help from youtube) and started a patch work quilt for a baby blanket for my sisters baby that's due soon. This feels like real progress as I've always been a bit worried about using it and although what I've made is not perfect I'm glad I concurred my fear and had a go...


I've since got some supplies to make a spring blanket in shades of yellow. I want to try to have another go at it and get better hopefully at using the machine. I don't have much money at the moment to buy material but hay ho I've got to start somewhere...



I've also been cooking brownies lately, first for my brothers birthday and then just because. Various types of cake have been getting me through all the DIY at the house which is still on going...



But it's slowly getting there. I've got builders lined up to come in March to finish the flooring. It's costing a fortune and I wish I could do it but I'm not confident that I know what I'm doing floor wise with the floor boards and so I'm going to bankrupt myself to put it right...


I really can't wait for spring to come as the weathers been very cold down here. I went for a walk in the park and nearly froze! I love the cosy aspect of winter but lately I've been feeling a bit down with it (I think its DIY plus freezing temperatures doing it) and so am really looking forward to Easter time, bring on the chocolate and sunshine!


Oh well, in the mean time, here is a picture of my mums cute dog Bertie to charm you, isn't he sweet! Hope you have a good week ahead :)



Sunday, 13 January 2019

Middle of winter...

Sometimes it can feel hard to get through this time of year just after christmas. I've been eating too much cake to get through January...


I'm still spending most of my time either at work or decorating the house. So I'm finding little moments to do things that make me happy, like baking cakes or sewing. I've really enjoyed reading this wonderful novel by Elizabeth Gaskell...


Since beginning this post, I've caught the flu. I feel bad but I've still been going to the house and decorating, I have to get it finished as soon as possible... 


I've got half way painting the sitting/ dining room. I still need to find someone to rip out the gas fireplace and sort all the floors out which is a big job and I can't find a builder to do it at the mo :( we may never have a floor again (Melodramatic music coming on here)...


In between all the house worries, I've started to make a blanket for my sister's baby she's expecting very soon. The fabric I've had for many years so using my old stash up. I got somes embroidery threads to go with it. I don't think I'll get it done in time but I can only try. It might be a very late present! 


Hows your January going? Do you have ways of getting through the winter too? I know some people love it. I love the cosy aspect of blankets and wolly jumpers but don't like getting ill. Oh well, sorry about my moaning! Hope your week is going well, xx







Friday, 4 January 2019

Happy New Year


Just wanted to wish you a happy new year! Hope all your dreams come true in 2019!

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Fixing the house...

This post is to chart the progress of the house renovation. It's a small terraced, two bedroom house. It was clear it needed a lot of decorating but I had a good feeling as soon as I walked into the place. However, I don't think we realised how much the house needed doing to it when we bought it...


We realised about half way through the buying process that the house had a serious damp problem. The whole of the lower floor needed damp proofing in the living and dining room areas. It felt very daunting beforehand but I'm glad we did it in the end...


The damp proofing is now finished in the living room and chimney breast upstairs. The plaster was ripped out and walls drilled with damp proof treatment and then plastered again. One of the chimneys in the living room has had membrane put on it to stop the damp coming through...


It's currently drying out, I'm leaving it as long as I can until I start decorating it. In the mean time, I've been decorating the small second bedroom...


We've also just had new radiators put in. We realised that the radiators didn't work after we'd bought it and so took the decision to re - do it all. It's cost a small fortune but its worth it to have a warm home and we we're able to reposition most of them into better spots in the house. We also hope the heat generated will deter the damp...


Whilst doing the radiators, the plumber had to remove the floorboards but many of them split in the process and so we need to get the floorboards upstairs in the bedrooms replaced...


Next is the electrics in the new year. This is an old house c.1909, so there isn't many plug sockets upstairs. Then after the floorboards are replaced, carpet needs to be laid upstairs and then a new wooden floor in the living room/ dining area...


It currently looks like utter chaos and it's all costing a fortune but I think it will be worth it to have a nice place to come home to each day. Home is like a sanctuary for us both, away from the world, peace and quiet. I love being cosy at home and am looking forward to having it all completed eventually.



Christmas chocolate




I hope you've had a lovely Christmas. Ours was brief but a lovely break from work and I felt more festive this year. As we're in the process of moving soon and currently getting work done to the house we had a low key Christmas this year. We didn't get a Christmas tree and had very few decorations...


We did however do some Christmas cooking, we made our annual chocolate cake (an alternative for those who don't like the traditional fruit version) and some home made sausage rolls from this recipe...


I didn't have much money this year either to buy presents, so I made some Christmas chocolate bark, to give as gifts for family. My brother absolutely loves it, so I try to make some every year at Christmas. It doesn't look very impressive here in its box but it tastes lovely...


I thought I'd share the recipe here:

Ingredients:

500g White chocolate

500g Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)

(The amount of chocolate can vary, but I use loads of it to make generous pieces and I try to use good quality chocolate)

x1 cartons of double cream

x1 bag of whole blanched almonds

x1 bag of dried cranberries


Equipment:

x 2 metal baking trays

Foil

Glass bowl

Metal pan


Method:

Before you begin, make sure you have some space in your refrigerator. Place your baking trays upside down and cover them with foil. These will form the base of the surface for your chocolate bark to set on.

Then put your blanched almonds on a baking tray and pop them in the oven for about 2 - 5 minutes. When their out of the oven, finely chop up the roasted almonds and dried cranberries and set aside in a bowl.

Put half your white chocolate into the glass bowl and put this over a pan of boiling water. You want the glass bowl to get the steam of the water but not touch it. When the chocolate is melted, pour it onto your metal trays using a knife to smooth a layer. Then cover this with your first dusting of cranberries/ almonds. Pop this into the fridge for 15 minutes.

In the mean time, put your dark chocolate and double cream into a metal pan to melt together on a low heat.

When this has melted let it cool for a while and then take your trays out of the fridge and very quickly put the melted choc/ cream ganache layer onto the white choc layer. You need to work quickly and with a clean knife so the white layer doesn't melt to much.

Pop this back into the fridge for 30 minutes to set. Using the same glass bowl as before, melt the rest of the white chocolate and then pour this onto your ganache layer quickly with another clean knife. The sprinkle the rest of your cranberries/ almonds onto this and pop it back into the fridge for 30 minutes more.

When it has set, take it out of the fridge and remove from the tray. Take off the foil underneath and place it on a wooden chopping board. Using a large knife, chop it up onto large chunks (or however you prefer) and put it into glass jars to give as gifts at Christmas. If you do make it, I hope you enjoy it :) Have a lovely new year!











Monday, 12 November 2018

Autumn


It's been a quiet sort of week here. I'm feeling a bit run down at the mo, so treated myself to some tea and cake. A quiet moment, in between all the house renovations and house work/day job is welcome..


It feels very autumnal here, our local park is lovely to walk through at the moment. I love the change of colours in the leaves and stillness in the air. I'm about to crack on with the house work and the decorating but must remember to stop and enjoy the season sometimes.


We still haven't moved yet, as we're going to get the damp work done after all. It's in the whole of the sitting room and two chimney breasts so is a big job. We're also having the electrics done and I'm getting quotes for replacing the radiators. I'm not sure we can afford to do the radiators yet but its worth finding out anyway. Then we have to replace all the carpets upstairs too, its a never ending list at the mo. I still have hope that we could move in by Christmas, that would be wonderful. But I think I'm hoping for a miracle! I hope you've had a lovely weekend :)