Hanging crochet basket

Once again i’m in my fav local cafe, Laveli Bakery. Decaf skinny flat white. Almond croissant. Undoes any good of the skinny or the decaf. Note to self – must find out how they take the caffeine out of coffee and tea. Anyone know?

IMG_1467[1]

So me and one of bestest buds, Claire, have a little birthday present packed. We always make each other something. I met Claire whilst  we were both doing our Design and Technology PCGEs, my focus on Food Tech and hers on Textiles. We both went to work in our respective fields in secondary schools, however Claire is now off to join the world of Further Education and teach in a college! Fashion and retail, no more pre pubescent tweenies! Any way she’s a very clever lady and works part time doing sewing classes at the fabulous haberdashery shop Guthrie & Ghani, http://www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk/, yes owned and run by the ever so lovely Lauren Guthrie, Great British Sewing Bee Finalist! It’s a fab shop, and fantastic for the Birmingham area, we so needed one (yes I do live in London now, but I love a trip back to the homeland and every time me and mum make a little visit there, soooo lovely to look and imagine projects!).

So Claire’s birthday was July just gone. Hawaiian themed party at Cherry Reds in Birmingham city centre, http://www.cherryreds.com/index.html. It was pretty close to the wedding so I needed it to something relatively easy and quick, but that still had impact.

For ages on Pinterest I had been coveting a hanging crochet basket and stretchy, chunky, jersey yarn. (Find me at www.pinterest.com/jenniewren1983)

hanging crochet basket

I’d also seen the same idea on  blog I dip in and out of, Lutter Idyl, it might not be in English be I love her style, so simple and effective, not over done or over the top. http://www.lutteridyl.dk/

After a bit of searching I managed to find the pattern for the above basket, http://www.bekkibjarnoll.com/2012/09/hngekurv-opskrift.html, however Google translate i’m afraid is not that good. More work was needed.Good old Pinterest lead me to an English translation, http://dwellerinalittlehollow.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/the-infamous-hanging-basket-crochet-pattern-in-english/.

I found the basket worked up really quickly, I used a Hooked Zpagetti yarn  which I brought from Wool Warehouse (http://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/hoooked-zpagetti-dark-green-10-darkgreen10-1000g) with a size 10 hook. It was quite heavy work, definitely made my fingers ache! And to be honest i’m not great at patterns that spiral up, it requires keeping count, I really need to start using some safety pins to mark my first stitch. Anyway it turned out okish, I wasn’t too please with the round joins, but thats due to work needed on my part, and I couldn’t quite grasp how to do the handle as per the photo…. As you can see from my  poor photo it looked ok…

IMG_1008IMG_1009

But I have to say once Claire had done her effortless styling on it and ‘stuffed’ a load of scarves in it looked great 🙂 I even now have one on order 🙂

IMG_1147

Happy weekend everyone x

Next Sunday – The Handmade Fair….. http://www.thehandmadefair.com/

Honeymoon!

Hello All

I’ve been away sometime…. I found  job, planning a wedding and life generally a wee bit too much with a blog. However it was one of mine and J’s marriage resolutions that I spend more time blogging, hurrah! 

My plan over the next months is to update you on some wedding crafty ideas, one or two honeymoon highlights and current projects (which at the moment seem to be based around all my friends having babies and no doubt soon – Christmas!)

So we’ve been home from honeymoon a few days now, I found it really difficult to get myself up and doing stuff (gong back to work blues I think), but today I’ve done so well. Cleaned the spare room, bathroom, stairs and landing and our house is looking less of a hovel and now out at one of my favourite Chiswick coffee haunts, Laveli Bakery on South Parade 🙂 Currently enjoying a decaf skinny flat white.

www.lavelibakery.com/

So my honey was a complete surprise. I didn’t find out till we checked in at T5 Heathrow, and then only found out the first location where I was a presented with a spreadsheet of plans for said location! J is very organised, but he stressed there was room for variation, thank the lord!

And J says i'm a planner!

And J says i’m a planner!

We started off in Singapore for 2 nights, then to various locations in Saba, Borneo, finally ending with 4 night in Ubud and Bali. I’m one lucky lady.

One major highlight was a cooking course we did in Bali. It started off with an early morning market visit….

Ubud Market Veggies

The fresh veg and fruit was amazing, but the market also masses and masses of flowers and petals for the creation of offerings to the Hindu gods. Just sacks and sacks of petals. it was amazing!

One of my favourite images was a huge bunch of Hydrangeas strapped to the back of a motorbike, they’re about £7 a stem in Chiswick!!!!

 

Motorbike HydrangesI’m not sure what these chicks were used for… offerings? Suggestions welcome… 

How do they do this? spray hen, dip dye, genetically modify??

How do they do this? spray them, dip dye, genetically modify??

Pink chick anyone?

So the cooking, a chicken noodle soup (Soto Ayam), snapper fish curry (Kare Ikan Java) and rice flour dough sweeties (Kelepon) filled with palm sugar 🙂

We started off making our chicken stock for the soup and prepared spices for the soup paste which was blended and fried out to release the flavours. We were using fresh turmeric, which is something I’ve not used before, it still got your hands as yellow. Coconut milk was added and chicken breasts.. When the soup was assembled there was a base of fine vermicelli rice noodles, hard boiled egg, the slice cooked chicken breast, the soup broth and finished with fresh coriander and fired shallots. it was yummy.

 Chicken soup base                                     Chicken Stock                                        Fished soup

Main course, the fish curry followed a similar pattern, spices prepared for the curry paste, coconut milk and fish added, but… I recon I could have a go at home… watch this space!                         SONY DSC

The pudding was fun to make, it used a natural food dye from the XXXX plant and were poached. Have to say they had quite a gelatinous texture, I image cold they would be hard work! Fab experience though.                       

 Shaping          SONY DSC         SONY DSC          SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC

Well I think that’s quite enough photos for now…!

Next post – crochet storage!

x