Saturday, 28 January 2012

Giveaway Result: Foxy Loxy has been found a new home!

This gorgeous Foxy Loxy Journal has been found a new home.  

This morning I went through all the people that 'like' my page and shared one of the Foxy Loxy giveaway posts, and created a lovely pile of pieces of folded paper.

They went in to my shower cap where they were given a little shake by the Tinker...

... before choosing one!

And the winner is:

Well done to you Kerry Hunt.  I hope that he becomes a very good companion to you!  Please get in touch and I'll arrange for him to be posted out to you.

  If you want a Foxy Loxy Journal, you can buy them here, and I am offering them to all those who 'like' my facebook page for £17.60 (that's a massive 20% discount) until Thursday 2nd February.  If you want to make use of this limited offer, contact me to let me know and I'll put you a personal listing in my shop (I only have 4 in stock at present!) .

Thanks to all that entered the Foxy Loxy Facebook giveaway.  Keep your eyes open for more fantastic giveaways and offers!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Feeling Shy.

This is the pressie that I made for my hubby for Christmas, that has taken me almost two months to pluck up the courage to share with you!!!

I hadn't mounted and framed it until today, and now that has been done, I feel much happier.  It is a family portrait!

Actually, it was the family bit that I wasn't happy with!

I just don't think they are good enough, and yet when you take a step back and look at it on the wall, they are fine.  They did upset me at the time though!

The words are special, and it is them that spurred me to create the papercut in the first place.  My mother-in-law had written them on a piece of paper that my husband found in her belongings after she died a few years ago.  He's had them pinned up in his studio since.

'Dance as though no-one is watching you
Love as though you have never been hurt
Sing as though no-one can hear you
Live as though heaven is on earth'

Writing them makes me get all emotional!!!
I'm not sure where they come from or who wrote them, but they are perfect.

On a completely different note, I'd just like to remind you that the giveaway for my Foxy Loxy Journal finishes tomorrow.  Here's the link to find out more.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Flower Power

At the beginning of the week I picked up this piece of gorgeous vintage fabric from one of my piles of fabric (I really must get it organized!)... 

... actually they were remnants as I had used it to make this fabulous pinny last year.

My intention was to make some simple wash bags out of the remaining fabric, but then this happened!  
I haven't done much free style machine embroidery and this was a very long time ago, but it is something that I love and would like to experience more.   

I was quite pleased with the outcome, and this little flower did actually end up being made into a wash bag, just not in the way I had originally intended.
This is now available to buy in my Etsy Shop
Once I'd done one flower, I had to do another!  This time bigger as I'd decided it would make a lovely cushion...
... with some hand embroidery.  A fabulous excuse to sit and create French knots!

And then came another cushion!
The perfect pair!!!

These are also available to buy in my shop, alongside other new products for 2012.

I feel a bit reluctant to part with them, but they wouldn't go with the fabric I have bought to make my curtains.  I'll just have to make more for myself in different colours!

Also, a reminder that this little Foxy Loxy journal will be given a new home on 27th January.  If you would like him to come and live with you please click on this link to find out how.

Hope you all have a fantastic week x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

There's always time for biscuit making!!!

This week has been a busy week.  For some reason I was under the impression that I would feel like I had a little more time as my little Tinker (3) started his two and a half days at nursery this week.  Silly really as there is always something that results in you dashing around!  New products to photograph and edit, parcels containing my goodies to be wrapped and sent, and fabric to moon over.  Oh, I also had a play around on photoshop with some fabric designs, and I am now waiting (I'm not a good at waiting!) for a sample to arrive, so I guess I have had a little time to do something I have wanted to do for a while.

We (myself and the Tinker) did however have time to make two batches of delicious biscuits!  The first one, made at the beginning of the week, disappeared very quickly... so yesterday we made some more, ready for the stroll back from school.

These biscuits are really easy to make (you could have them made in 30mins), are a healthier alternative to shop bought ones, and really are truly delicious!  It's a recipe I got from a BBC Good Food magazine years ago, I did look for a link to it on their website, but was unable to find it so here it is.

Anzac Biscuits (makes 20)

85g/3oz porridge oats
85g/3oz desiccated coconut
100g/4oz plain flour
100g/4oz caster sugar
100g/4oz butter, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp golden syrup
1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1.  Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.  Grease a couple of baking trays.  
2.  Put the oats, desiccated coconut, flour and sugar in a bowl and mix together.
3.  In a pan melt the butter, then stir in the syrup and take off the heat.
4.  Put your bicarbonate of soda into a cup and add 2 tbsp hot water, then add this mixture to the butter and syrup mixture and watch it bubble!
5.  Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together, until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
6.  Take dessertspoonfuls of the mixture and gently press them into a ball in your hands.  Place on the baking tray, about 2.5cm/1" apart (to allow for growth!), and gently press down.
7.  Bake for 8-10mins until golden*.  Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool (they are quite delicate until they have cooled).

*  My daughter prefers these biscuits slightly soft in the middle.  Take them out of the oven when they are golden brown around the edges and lighter in the middle.  If you prefer crunchy biscuits leave them in the oven until they are golden brown all over. 

Happy baking!

And here's a glimpse at the new products I have been working on.  These are now available in my Etsy shop and there will be more to come later in the week :-)

Happy weekend everyone!

Oh, I nearly forgot, don't miss out on the chance of winning this little fellow...

... find out how here.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Fantastic Mr Fox Giveaway

I am going to be giving one of these lovely Foxy Loxy Journal covers to one lucky person.

It is made from black linen, has a fantastic Mr Fox appliqued (using a mixture of hand stitching and machine stitching) on the front...
... and comes complete with a hardback A5 sketchbook (white 150gsm cartridge paper).  A perfect size size for carrying around in your bag ready to create fabulous sketches, or write important notes you need to remember!

Once you have filled your pages, you can remove the sketchbook and add another.

Can you resist having this little fellow as your companion?!!

Okay, this is what you need to do to get your 'name in the hat'.  It is pretty simple.  Pop over to my facebook page and 'like' me, then share the Loula Belle At Home: Fantastic Mr Fox post on my facebook page with all your friends.  You must do both of these things to qualify!

Do you want an extra chance to win it?  You can gain an extra 'name in the hat' by doing one of the following (if you do both you will get two more 'names in the hat'!):-
1.  Follow me on my journeys in blogland by clicking on the follow button on the right hand side.
2.  Tweet about it by clicking on the tweet button at the bottom of the post.

The giveaway will finish on Friday 27th January.  I will announce the winner on Saturday 28th January. Please note that the winner will have to contact myself to claim their prize within 48hrs (let me know if you know you are going to be away!).  If this is not done, I will choose another winner.

Good luck everyone!

p.s.  These are also be available to buy in my shop.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Master baker at work!!!

I have had a lovely day with the little Tinker today.  We decided that we would make some gingerbread men (people) using the baking set he got for Christmas (he had been hankering after one for a while!).  I made up the gingerbread before he came into the kitchen, and left it to cool before he put on his pinny and set to work...

... rolling...


... popping on to the baking tray

... and putting in the oven to make these delicious little people (and they really are delicious!).

After lunch we set about icing them.  We used Royal Icing (the stuff you can buy from supermarkets that you just add water to) and some tiny little chocolate beans that I'd found in Asda.  I put spots of icing in the appropriate places, I used the pointy end of a teaspoon to do it, but wished I had an icing syringe (I love this Tala one!).  My husband informs me that some of their eyes are a little scary!  The Tinker then put on the buttons (I suspect more went in his mouth!)

The very last one, he did himself.  He was fantastic to watch, really careful about where he was putting his decorations.  I fully expected him to cover it in both icing and chocolate beans!

A lovely activity to do.  Gingerbread is a great dough for children to work with, it feels great, doesn't mind being handled and doesn't tear easily.  

The recipe I used comes (in disguise as a gingerbread man)with these lovely 'Budding Chef's Cooking Sets', which can also be personalized.  They are available to buy here.

And on a completely different note, tomorrow I will be letting you know what you need to do to become the owner of one of these lovely Foxy Loxy Journals that I will be giving away in my New Year Giveaway.  Don't miss out!!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

I'm really looking forward to 2012...

... but first, I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and hope that 2012 brings you all health and happiness.

I would also just like to remind myself and share with you some of the things we have managed to fit in over the Christmas period. My house (and head) is in turmoil, and I am looking forward to the calm that will envelope the house once school is back.

During the build up to Christmas, we made...

... some lovely gifts of Hokey Pokey in some lovely origami boxes (you can find out how to make them here)...

... lots of mince pies, which my children love...

... and 'stained glass' Christmas Tree biscuits which we make and then share with the children's friends... 

Making Christmas Crackers also seems to be becoming a bit of a tradition in our house.  This year we ended up making paper hats (my sister was insistent that we should have them!?!) and writing jokes to put in them too (I think I enjoyed this bit the most, I'm not a fan of jokes, but the children has some corkers and they think they are soooo funny!). 

Since our visit from Father Christmas, we have battled with boxes and tried and tested presents.  The Tinker has spent a large amount of time making cars and planes out of lego with his daddy.  He is fantastic, I thought it might be a bit too difficult, but this is his 'city', he spent ages making this and when my husband 'borrowed' a piece he  noticed it was missing straight away!?!

The Fairy got a sewing book and has spent the past couple of days making and asking me if I have any fabric (!?!).  This was yesterdays creation, and she wanted to go to sleep at 7pm so she could try them out!!

So, what have I been doing in between Christmassy activities, chasing around after children, and making food?

Well, I have some lovely new cosmetic bags.  Most of last years have been sold, and I have some fantastic new fabrics. These are the first ones for 2012.  

Also, meet Foxy Loxy.  A fox I hope to use in some fabric later in the year, but that developed into some immediate projects. 

Firstly in a cushion that I made using a couple of pairs of trousers, my sister had given me a few years ago...


... and secondly in a book cover.  I have a small pile of these waiting to be photographed and put up for sale.  They have a lovely drawing book in them which are perfect for doodling, and also for writing things you don't want to forget.  I'm going to buy myself a diary to put in mine as I am determined to be organized this year.  We also have a family planner, so I have no excuses!?!  One of these lovely books is destined for a new home as a gift to one of my followers as a New Year gift, so keep your eyes open and ears close to the ground!

Oh, and before I depart from this rather long winded post.  Father Christmas came early for me (wearing a Royal Mail outfit!).  He actually came on Christmas Eve with this lovely gift (well, it wasn't a gift but I was very excited opening it!).

It looked intriguing...

... and inside were these fabulous vintage fabrics.

 I can't wait to use them!  But first I have a pile of fabric waiting to be made into some beautiful pinnies as lots were bought for Christmas gifts.