Monday, 25 March 2013

My first Pyrography project

I'm all about trying new things and when I saw Elsie's blog posts on Wood burning I knew I had to try it, it looked so much fun! I asked for a Pyrography tool for my birthday and after some reading, I set to work making a sampler of the different tips and techniques.

I bought a wood blank door hanger from Hobbycraft and I made a name hanger for my nephew by drawing my design on to the wood in pencil, burning the outlines, then filling in the colour using Acrylic paints. What do you think? I haven't mastered any of the extensive techniques yet, but I love this first, simple attempt!

Have you tried using a wood burning tool?

Nanna Kate X

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Super Quick DIY Magnets

I have a bunch of wine corks (if you want some - get in touch I have loads!) and I am constantly looking for little projects to complete using them. I was in serious need of some new magnets so I decided to make some with my corks as they would look quirky, unique and would be easy to grab a hold of.

Using a small hacksaw, I halved three corks. Then, using a hot glue gun, I glued on the magnet back which I bought for 99p from my local Boyes. I left them to dry (although the glue creates an instant bond) overnight before popping them on the fridge. They look cute, are practical and I have now used THREE out of my bazillion corks!

Nanna Kate X

Saturday, 23 March 2013

DIY Fancy Button Card

I went to Liberty of London again recently (pretty sure I should just take up residency there) and I bought a pack of Liberty fabric FQs in four coordinating prints. As I was wandering around, I noticed their button bowls which are filled with cards which have 2/3/4 buttons on them, either fabric covered, or hand painted, or decorated and they ranged in price from £6.99 up to £16.99. I may be a little strange, but £16.99 for FOUR buttons?! Jeez Louise, I like a splurge but that's more than half of my weekly food budget!  

I decided to try making my own. I purchased some Plastic Self Cover Buttons (like these on eBay) and I covered four, one in each fabric. I then purchased a postcard from Paperchase with a cute floral design (black on kraft) and I pushed the buttons through the card. Finally, using my retro Dymo Jet 1855 Labeller which I purchased from eBay a while back now, I made a quirky label for the card. 

This card went to my friend for her birthday and she loved it. Have you tried to replicate any expensive supplies you've seen in craft stores lately?

Nanna Kate X 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Crochet mission complete

I recently told you that one of my goals for 2013 was to learn to crochet. Well, guess what, I have and I have also completed my very first crochet project. To begin with I was using some self patterned wool which my friend gave me to practice with. Then, I was given Cath Kidston's Crochet Kit in a Book Tin as a gift by a friend at work and I must say although it was a bit scary at first, there's not a colour change or Granny Square I can't manage now!

I wanted to share some pictures with you of my journey...

What do you think? Have you mastered any new skills this year so far?

Nanna Kate X

Thursday, 21 March 2013

♥ Harbour Bar, Scarborough ♥

Recommended! Try the Cherry Soda Float ♥ Amazing! I am in love...

You can find the Harbour Bar at 1-3 Sandside, Scarborough, YO11 1PE  ♥

Nanna Kate X

Salt, who'd have known!?

I burnt my stove top with a pan when I was boiling milk, it spilt right over. It's a glass oven top and I tried scrubbing it to no avail. I live in rented accommodation and the oven is part of the furnishing, so I was a little worried about the mess. After some simple Googling, I found that most people recommended waiting until the stove top was cool, then using a craft knife blade to scrape away the residue. I did this and it was pretty effective. 

While I was searching I bookmarked this article from the Reader's Digest which chronicles over 60 ways to use salt... I hadn't time to read it all, so I left it for later and used the knife method. Anyway. Once I read it and discovered you could use salt as a sprinkle to prevent the spills on the stove top from hardening, I planned to use it if ever it happened again. 

As luck would have it, it did happen again (no, I did not do it on purpose to test out a tip...) and I sprinkled salt on right away. Would you believe, the salt absolutely did the trick and once the hob had cooled all I needed to do was wipe it away to reveal a clean stove top! 

Have you got any fail safe tips for using salt? 

Nanna Kate X

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Farro and Lentil Soup Recipe

Today I wanted to share another of my recent soup discoveries with you. For Christmas, I got possibly one of the best recipe books I’ve ever read (and when I say read, I mean, cover to cover, every delectably delicious word). It’s called Bought, Borrowed & Stolen: Recipes and Knives from a Travelling Chef and you can purchase it from Amazon for a bargain price of just £16. Worth the investment. Seriously! Anyway, I wanted to try a recipe from it so bad, but I am following Weight Watchers, so wanted something which was pretty easy to adapt. I settled for the Farro and Lentil Soup that Allegra had tried in Italy. It sounded (and looked) amazing, so I went shopping!

Here’s my twist on Allegra’s undoubtedly beautiful recipe…


1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Large Red Onions
1 Large pack of Celery, with the leaves left on
1 or 2 Leeks
½ Pack Smoked Bacon Lardons (around 100g)
2 Pints of Chicken Stock, made up to 3 pints with Water
2 Cloves of Garlic
Chilli Flakes, Sea Salt and Peppercorns
100g Pearl Barley
100g Soup/Broth Mix (Lentils, Split Peas, etc)


Dice the onions as small as you can. Similarly, the celery and leeks; I found that splitting them lengthways as Allegra suggests works particularly well. Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the smoked bacon lardons, onions and leeks, sauté for a few moments, add the pan lid and let them simmer.

Meanwhile, make up 2 pints of Chicken stock, or if you are not lazy, retrieve 2 pints of stock from your freshly made supplies. Add a pint of water to it (3 pints of liquid in total). Prepare your cloves of Garlic by peeling and crushing them. Grind your chilli flakes, salt and pepper.

Once the onions have started to go translucent, add the celery, leeks, garlic and a pinch of the chilli, salt and pepper to the pan. Rinse the pulses and grains, then add them to the pan. Stir fry them and coat them in the seasonings, vegetables, bacon, etc. Pour on the Chicken stock and ‘put the lid on askew’. Then leave to simmer; I used hob setting 3 and left for around 45 minutes.

Now for the magic (which is so not my own!). Take about half the soup and stick it in the blender, just roughly blend it for a short amount of time and put it back in the pan. Season with the remaining salt, pepper, chilli grounds and then cook for about 10 more minutes.

Allegra serves hers with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I opt not to because of Weight Watchers, but even without, it’s incredible.

This recipe serves 6 and for those following Weight Watchers works out at 3ppts per serving. Enjoy!

Nanna Kate X

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup for the (poorly) soul

I was feeling under the weather last week and I couldn't work so I called in sick, my boss (I am lucky) said plenty of chicken soup and rest... we had every soup but chicken in the cupboard and so I decided to knock my own up!
This recipe will clear you sinuses and comfort you, plus it's very low in calories and fats so added bonus! This recipe makes two generous bowls...

Spray of olive oil
30g raw chicken breast
2 pints chicken stock
30g dry noodles (I used pumpkin rice noodles and then another time plain egg noodles)
Chilli (fresh or flakes)
Garlic (fresh or salt)
Fresh parsley
Salt and pepper if desired


Spray a pan with olive oil, cut the chicken into shreds, add it to the pan and 'seal' (no pink bits) over a medium heat. Then when it starts to brown add the chicken stock. Chuck in the noodles, herbs and chopped parsley and then pop a lid on it askew. Reduce the heat down to low (I used 1 on my electric oven) and cook for about an hour.

Serve alone or with bread. Amazing! Will keep for about 2/3 days if you want to make a big portion.
Good for freezing, once defrosted warm gently on the hob. Don't re freeze.

Nanna Kate X

Monday, 4 March 2013

Take 10

Current Wish List

Current Wish List by katyboo84 on Polyvore

1 - Pan Am Season One; by far one of my favourite ever programs on TV. Christina Ricci is amazing as Maggie and her Pan Am colleague Colette played by Karine Vanasse is awesomely beautiful!
2 - Haim; great new girl group with ethereal sounds and a catchy beat. This is their Vinyl LP, perfect for my new record player!
3 - Sew Iconic; yep, sewing projects to recreate iconic dresses. How fabulous?
4 - The Good Cook; written by my current food obsession Allegra McEvedy, this book will complete my Allegra collection.
5 - Vintage Craft; I just finished reading Pearl Lowe's candid autobiography 'All That Glitters'. After wearing a couple of her beautiful dresses I've become a little bit obsessed with Pearl too...
6 - Halcyon; Ellie, Ellie, Ellie - you are so amazing and I love listening to your Electro funk
7 - Cocktail Bitters; say no more. Cocktails with delicious bitters. Nom.
8 - Skinny Weeks + Weekend Feasts; Another of my food crushes Gizzi has written a book. I obviously have got to have it! 
9 - Gossamer; I found Passion Pit when I was watching Haim on You Tube. Amazing. 
10 - Listography; I am in love with Lists... can you tell?!

What are you lusting after this March? 

Nanna Kate X

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Upcycle Recycle Re-purpose

What seems like forever ago I won a lot of broken Tatty Devine jewellery from eBay. I got two broken bracelets with vinyl record charms dangling from them in Black, Red, Orange and Pink. I also had a Tatty Devine Name Necklace with an old nickname on it which I no longer wear, so I decided to repurpose it!


Using some small long nose pliers similar to these ones I carefully took the existing pieces apart. The vinyl records were quite frail and I am quite heavy handed so I broke a couple - but with the ones I managed not to break, I managed to create a matching bracelet and jewellery set. 


I used the lightening bolt from my name necklace and attached it to the similar coloured vinyl record to create a brand new piece. I love how they turned out... Have you tried re-purposing, recycling or upcycling your broken jewels?

Nanna Kate X

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Personalised Recipe Journal

When my Sister and I were small we loved Care Bears... so when she announced she was going to be moving in to a new home right around her birthday I decided to make her a personalised recipe journal using some Care Bear Washi-Tape I'd bought last year (don't ask me why, I saw it, it had Care Bears on, I had to have it!).

I used an oversized A5 multi journal with a Kraft cover, which I purchased from Paperchase - you can find it here, a Sharpie Marker in black to match the elastic on the journal and the binding and I downloaded Irish Spaghetti from (an invaluable source of legal, free fonts - but always remember to check the licences) to use as a template.

As well as the front cover I added a little 'Recipe for life' recipe style poem to wish her luck love and happiness in her new home, collecting recipes and making new dishes.

Nanna Kate X