Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Birthdays and a Giveaway

The birthdays are all done.  Lula had hers yesterday and we seemed to have unintentionally gone for an Ichigo-Strawberry theme.  The doll is Hini Ichigo, a Pullip and has not left Lula's side since she opened her box.  We made the cupcakes for her girl friends and much lovely birthday fun was had be us all.  
The Hello Kitty rice paper hearts and cup holders can be found on ebay.
Penny sent her a vintage waist pinnie- so cute and a perfect fit.
And I made her a soft and huggable pillow using Ayumi's new popsicle pattern for Super buzzy- more strawberries here too!

The middle lolly is filled with a mango sorbet- in my imagination obviously- as this is a favourite with L.  I was recently sent some Art Gallery fabrics by the kind folks at Hantex and this fabric from their Floral Elements blender line really reminded me of Mango and the flower print added a little ice texture!  Art Gallery fabrics really do feel different.  They remind me of the smooth and silky cotton of Heather Ross Munki fabrics.  They are fine with a delicate sheen- I've tried to capture this with a extreme close up!
This makes them a delight for paper piecing.  Bulky seams are an occupational hazard with foundation piecing and a finer fabric which still has the strength of quilting cotton is a boon for seams. I wanted chocolate all around the 'bite' of ice-cream like Ayumi's orginal Ringo Pie block so you can imagine the potential for lumpy bumpy layers here but the Art Gallery cotton really helped keep seams flat.
The new LillyBelle line by Bari J for Art Gallery has been catching my eye since I saw the illustrations in the 'Inspiration booklet'.  There is a big focus on clothing so I thought I would try a couple of the LillyBelle prints- I plumped for Henna Stripe in grey and mustard boards for the fabric line.  There is a  video too so you can see the fabrics in action and get a feel for the colours and the story behind the print.  I like this style of promotion with a narrative of how the designs link together and where they have come from.  This is my next dressmaking project.

And a now time for a mini giveaway!  Four fat quarters which include a couple of solids, a couple of floral elements blenders and a Lace elements print.  By the way, if you are reading Art Gallery, I would love some polka dot or thin strips in your blender lines- that would be mighty fine.
I will post anywhere, they are waiting here so you to claim them and stop them disappearing into my stash you are going to have to do a tiny bit of work-
Comments are Closed
Thankyou to all who took part!
 Please leave a comment and recommend either:
1.  A recipe- salads and soups are especially welcome.  I don't eat meat but I do eat fish and there is always cake- I love cake, especially fruit cakes, so a recipe would be good,
2. a book recommendation.  

In the meantime, if you want to find more Art Gallery fabrics including the freshly available LillyBelle and the coming very soon "Indie" by Pat Bravo (check out the 'Tapestry' print for great clothing fabric) this link will take you to UK stockists online and local shops.  I know Annie at Village Haberdashery has LillyBelle in at the moment too.

Usual giveaway rules apply- if I can't find your email I will not be able to contact you if you win so please add to your comment if needed. I'll randomly choose a winner in a week x   Looking forward to the recipes and recommendations!   Giveaway closed and the winner has been notified.
sib blog


  1. I need help too we've just been trying to come up with a menu plan for the next 7 days, preferably without having to do any cooking as it's far too of our favourite salads is pesto rice with sausages (veggie for me too). Cake - I discovered a delicious one last week orange and passionfruit cake! The girls have just been drooling over the lolly's (I refuse to use the word popsicle!), they tell me you are so clever (I'm inclined to agree)!

  2. Right now Im jusssst about finished with Mansfield Park by the one and only Jane Austen. Although not my top favorite from her, it is still very good. Lots of twists! I just love her! Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  3. Oh I can always eat cake! Yumm Yumm.. I got a lovely chocolate (guilty free)cupcake recipe that its easy and delicious!


  4. I finished reading A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick and it was very good. I love the Art Gallery fabrics.. Thanks for the chance to win.

  5. I've got a recipe that combines vegetables AND cake! It's Chocolate Zucchini Bread and it's from my gram, who got it from an old school recipe chain letter back in the day. It is DIVINE! My tip: serve with cinnamon whipped cream. You can see the recipe here on my blog:

    You'll find me on Twitter as hookedupcrochet.

  6. I wish I could give you recipes but I'm not the best cook lol. But books, I love! If you haven't read Gone With the Wind, I highly recommend it. It's my favorite book of all time. Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre are timeless classics. Right now I'm reading A Tale of Two Cities and it's pretty good. It takes awhile to get to the good stuff but it does begin to get interesting. If you want something more modern, I recommend A Discovery of Witches or The Hunger Games series. The Mortal Instruments series is so good too! Happy reading!!

  7. These Snickerdoodle cupcakes are next on my "To Try" list - I love cinnamon and sugar!!!! Thanks for the chance to win - the fabrics look beautiful!

  8. These cookies are my favorites ;)

  9. Try the broccoli and spinach wraps at the!!!!

  10. my fav lunch salad ... baby spinach, canned, drained of most of the liquid, mandarin oranges. dried cranberries, sliced almonds, all in a salad bowl, toss lightly to spread mandarin juice around. ingredient amounts depend on the size of the salad. needs no other dressing. sprinkle fresh-ground pepper on it if you like! love the apron and love the colors of the fat quarters. thanx for the opportunity to win the bundle.

  11. I am a huge fan of salads particularly in the summer months and can recommend the cookery book 'Tossed' which is full of yummy recipes and even has a section on ones for making in advance and using in packed lunches. A favourite salad is Moorish Red Salad which I often make and should really blog about because I'm sure lots of people would like the recipe.

  12. Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway! I love all of the recipes on the Smitten Kitchen blog, but one of my favorites is the blueberry crumb bar recipe. I even cut down on the sugar amount and they were just as tasty. Delicious and perfect for summer!

  13. Well, I'd love a shot at those fabrics...

    Here's my link to a lemon coconut cake...YUM! This recipe is on a blog without a separate heading, so I hope you can find it! It is perfectly wonderful!!

  14. Oooh, lucky Lula!

    I love tomato salad, but you might think I'm a bit odd, I can totally just eat this for dinner...


    • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed if salted
    • 2 large, ripe beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced
    • 3 ripe plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
    • 4 oz red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 oz small Niçoise olives
    • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • ¼ tsp thin runny honey
    • Handful fresh basil leaves, larger leaves torn
    • 2 oz pecorino shavings


    1. Arrange the beefsteak tomatoes overlapping around the outside of a large serving plate. Arrange plum tomatoes in inner rings, overlapping, and place cherry tomatoes in the centre.

    2. Scatter capers and olives on top of the tomatoes, along with the basil and pecorino

    3. Place oil, lemon juice, mustard and honey in a screw top jar, season and shake well.

    4. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.

  15. Thanks for the chance to win these lovely fabrics ... your cushion is really cute ... your daughter is one lucky little girl ... can I suggest for a sweet treat my mum's butterfly cupcake recipe, you can view it at

    Bee x

  16. Happy belated Birthday to the young lady of the house.
    Don't ever ask me for recipes!
    All the Douglas Coupland books, on the other hand, I can highly recommend.

  17. New recipe for me - just tried it last night. I am fresh from a vacation to Sweden & Finland where you can become addicted to fresh dill in a hurry. This recipe uses 2 Tbsps. of fresh Dill. Got to go plant some so I don't die of sticker shock at the market.

    from Mama Pea
    Her mom & dad both work at my local grocery.

    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/4- 1/2 cup cold water
    2 Tbsps Stevia
    1/2 tsp Salt
    2 Tbsps Fresh Dill, chopped
    2 large cucumbers, sliced thin
    2 Tbsps. Red Onion, sliced thinly.

    Mix, toss, try to let sit to absorb flavors even more. Tasty.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. What a great giveaway.
    I have no recipe in english so I'll recommend a book:

    Patchwork Minus Mathwork

  19. I've just finished the latest book by Patrick Gale, called A perfectly good man, which was a good read!

  20. OK well I had to think hard about what to suggest. I suggest frannie farmer cookbook. This cookbook is awesome. I found it when I was reading the tightwad gazette. Amy suggests it in an article about cooking from scratch. I love it. I bought mine I a thrit store for 20 cents.

  21. This is my go to Summer Salad
    Green Bean and Tuna Salad
    1 1/2 pounds slender green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise
    3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
    2 large red potatoes, diced
    1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
    1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
    9 ounces canned tuna packed in oil, drained
    Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Using a mesh strainer, transfer the green beans to a large bowl of ice water to cool completely. Drain the green beans and pat dry with a towel.

    Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the same cooking liquid and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the potatoes to the simmering liquid and cook until they are just tender but still hold their shape, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to the ice water to cool completely. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a towel.

    In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, oil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the tomatoes, basil and parsley in a large serving bowl. Add the tuna and toss gently to combine. Add the green beans and potatoes and gently combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
    I hope you like it!

  22. Great giveaway! Have you read the novels by Kate Atkinson with the Jackson Brodie? They have been a favourite of mine!

  23. Place big chunks of red onion, courgette, peppers, new potatoes, whole garlic cloves in a roasting tray with olive oil & sea salt. Roast on high for about 35 mins. Lay a whole sea bass on the top, drizzle more olive oil and bake till flesh tender and skin crisp. Chuck on a plate and eat with juices dripping down your chin.

  24. A good read: a book by haruki murakami, which in swedish was called Kafka on the beach (translated into english). Wonderful, a bit like Garcia Marquez in creating a world of its own. Really good!

  25. If you haven't read The Book Thief, you really really should. Sad but brilliantly written!

  26. Thanks for the chance to win. I love all your creations. I'd like to recommend a book to you. It's called The Snow Child. It's a great read--totally not what I expected, but very enjoyable.

  27. Great giveaway - thanks for the chance to win!
    I kid myself that I'm being frugal making cupcakes from over ripe bananas, but these are so more-ish that they don't last long!

  28. fun giveaway! i would like to recommend a soup i have made many, many times from soulemama (a blogger i follow here in maine) is the link to the post with the is sooo good (her blog and the soup).

    and, having no idea what you would enjoy reading, here are a couple of of books i have enjoyed...The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch or The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley or American Gods by Neil Gaiman.


  29. You can't go wrong with Jodie Picoult! Always well-written, always a twist. I would love to win some blenders perfect for paper piecing! I've just become obsessed too and yes, the bulky seams!

  30. I've realised just how slap-dash my go to 'recipes' are! Much safer to provide a link to Hugh's roast beetroot with horseradish dressing and smoked mackerel:
    I will also be making beetroot soup with horseradish cream (from River Cottage Veg book) - roast 1kg beetroot as for the salad and put in a blender with the garlic squeezed from the skins and sufficient stock from 1 litre vegetable stock to make a smooth puree. Transfer to a saucepan and thin further with stock to texture desired and warm through.
    Serve with horseradish cream made from 1 tablespoon creamed horseradish mixed with 100ml creme fraiche and 100ml thick, plain yoghurt. Sprinkle over some dill fronds if liked.

    What lovely presents for Lula - lucky girl! Belated Happy Birthday wishes xx
    Thanks for the lovely giveaway - I'm a huge fan of Art Gallery Fabrics :)

  31. I love Nicholas Sparks books...have read most of them, Message in a Bottle, The Notebook....just finished Dear John and The Lucky One. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  32. Here's a recipe for: Nettie's Butter Cake
    4 large eggs
    1 stick of butter
    1 box yellow cake mix 8 oz. cream cheese (room temp.)
    2 cups powdered sugar.
    Preheat oven to 350 deg. Mix together: dry cake mix, butter & 2 eggs and press into greased 9x13 pan, pushing up sides slightly to hold filling. Filling: Mix cream cheese and remaining 2 eggs and powdered sugar, until smooth. Pour filling into crust and bake for 35 min. Let cool. Serve at room temp. and store in refrig. Wonderful with fresh sliced berries on top! Enjoy

  33. Looks like a fabulous birthday celebration! Love your ice cream cushion - so cute!

    Thanks for a fun giveaway too!

    A favourite soup recipe in our family is Lentil and Celery soup. I'm sure it doesn't sound anywhere near as appealing as it actually tastes!

  34. "where the heart is" by Billie Letts is a great book if anyone saw the movie it was terrible but the book was great.I also enjoyed the books "Eureka" and "the phony marine"by Jim Lehrer.I hope you find some intrest in these.Thank-you for the Give-away chance. Becky

  35. Although they have been around for awhile, I have recently enjoyed 2 books by Jhumpa Lairi, Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake.

  36. I love the book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts.

  37. I have made big batches of this soup twice now and I can't get enough of it... if you like garlic you will be in heaven :)

  38. Thanks for the giveaway! Here is a yummy Chocolate-Honey Cake recipe:

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  39. Texas Caviar and some really good tortilla chips....Google it for a recipe if you'v enever tried it...yum-o! The doll is darling!

  40. These fabrics are beautiful. I'm currently reading Drop Dead Healthy and loving it. It is by AJ Jacobs who also wrote The Know It All and A Year of Living Biblically. Both of those were great too. He is funny and you learn something along the way.

  41. A book recommendation.... It's a bit daunting at first due to its size, but A Prayer For Owen Meaney is well worth the effort.

  42. Beautiful fabrics they would be very welcomed here :)
    I read The Night Circus a few months ago by Erin Morgenstern it was an amazing book, one that I will read over and over.
    I made this lovely coffee semi freddo ice cream recently which is perfect for this lovely warm weather we are having:

  43. A book series that is reminiscent of the books of my childhood is the "Penderwicks" series. I highly recommend reading those on a sunny day if you wish to be instantly transported back to the summer you were twelve.

  44. Here's one of my favourite summer salads:
    rucola (argula?)
    feta (or some similar white, salty cheese)
    black olives
    small red onion
    fresh ground black pepper
    You can also add lightly toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds and some mint leaves.

    For the dressing you could use e.g. lemon juice with olive oil, honey, garlic (optional) and salt and pepper.

    As for book recommendation - do you know Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series? If you don't the first one is The Eyre Affair and it's quite hilarious.

  45. Thanks for the chance to win those lovely fabrics.

    Here is a terribly sinful recipie for you, it's divine but naughty, so not too many slices eh?

    Ginger and Almond Slice

    1 ¾ cups (225g) plain flour
    1 cup (220g) caster sugar
    2/3 cup (150g) coarsely chopped glace ginger
    ½ cup (80g) blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
    1 egg
    185g butter, melted
    2 teaspoons icing sugar

    Preheat oven to 180°C / fan 160°C

    1. Line 20cm x 30cm baking tin with baking paper, extending paper 2cm over long sides.
    2. Combine flour, sugar, ginger, nuts and egg in bowl.
    3. Stir in melted butter
    4. Press mixture into pan and back for about 35 minutes. Stand slice in pan for 10 minutes before lifting onto wire cooling rack.
    5. Dust with icing sugar before cutting into fingers.

  46. I just finished the book "A cat went to Paris" about a cute cat named Norton. Such a fun and lovely book.


  47. Looks like you're getting plenty of recipes, so I'll do a book. Each summer, I try to read a classic ~ something really literary. This summer: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. If that doesn't work out, Wuthering Heights is my back up.

  48. Gosh, so many books to recommend, but to start with, Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes - an easy summer read, but highly engaging and an ending that surprised me and left me thinking for a long time. If you liked 'One Day' then you will also like this - if you haven't read One Day, then it is a must read. How about an audio book? I have just finished to listening to Bring Out the Dead by Hilary Mantel - a bit more literary than the previous two, but oh so good. :) Sharon

  49. I'm not much of a cook anymore but I did a wonderful dinner last night ~ I'm vegetarian too.
    onion cut into strips
    garlic cut into strips too
    cherry or any tomato sliced
    Romano Beans halved
    salt and pepper to taste
    put everything in a warm pan with olive oil, stir and cook with a lid on it for about 10 minutes or until the beans are tender.
    Hope you try the recipe ~ I really enjoyed it and the simplicity of it.
    It was the best thing I've cooked in a while. Had it with sliced eggs.
    Oh, and I'm reading 'The Secret of Lost Things' and really enjoying it. It's about a girl of 18 who comes to New York from Tasmania and her adventures in a strange book store.

  50. I made a great dinner last night that you might like. It is simple and fresh for the summer. I made lemon pasta. You just cook up some pasta and while its cooking you mix equal amounts of oil and butter and add some garlic. After a few minutes you add the juice of half a lemon and its zest and some cream or sour cream. Add the pasta and top with the juice of the other half of the lemon, parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. I paired with some asparagus. A great vegetarian summer meal.

  51. Here is a series of books Ann B Ross Miss Julia series. they're a hoot.

  52. What a lovely giveaway, thank you!

    We recently made this Black Banana Cake from Nigel Slater, and it was very yummy indeed:

  53. Hi:

    I would have that fabrics, so I want to win too.

    We have many traditional recips, but I don´t know if you will have our ingredients, I you want to have some you can tell me.


    Costa Rica

  54. Happy Belated birthdays to Lula!! It really seems that she loves everything lovely and girly! I stared at the picture of the cup cakes with perfect strawberries on top for such a long time. They are really the sweetest cupcakes!
    I LOVE the pillow!! It's so clever that you used light weight fabric to reduce the bulkiness around seams, and the mango fabric really does look like delicious mango sorbet!!

    One of the things I make often for friends is fried chicken. I marinate chicken thigh with soy sauce, minced ginger, minced garlic, sugar, black sesame seed oil, cooking wine, and chicken stock for over a night. I then use potato starch to put on the chicken to deep-fry. It's yummy ;)

  55. Thanks for the giveaway. My book recommendation is "The Company You Keep." A favorite unknown book of mine that apparently will be out as a movie later this year.

  56. Your paper piecing is amazing! The birthday girl should love it for many years to come?
    You've gotten a lot of nice recipes for may need this salad?
    Chop one very large or two smaller fresh tomatoes into bite sized chunks. Chop one large cucumber the same. Pour a liberal amount of Greek salad dressing (or Italian)over the veggies and put in the refridgerator to marinate and chill through. You can add Feta cheese if you do dairy.
    This can be served alone or with a bit of extra dressing, spooned onto chopped crisp iceberg lettuce.

  57. An appropriate book for this Olympic summer is Gold by Chris Cleeve. I really enjoyed his two previous books; he is a master at the detail of people and their lives. He says he sits on London buses pretending to listen to his iPod but actually listening to his fellow passengers, getting ideas for his characters and books. Apparently people will say anything if they don't think you can hear them!!! His latest book follows two female sprint cyclists. The insights into the sacrifices athletes make for their careers is extraordinary. Loved it.

    Love the pillow, and the blog. Thank you.

  58. A quick and tasty salad: mixture of watercress and rocket leaves, crumbled blue cheese ( Roquefort is especially good) , halved cherry tomatoes tossed in a balsamic and olive oil dressing.
    Would love to be in the Giveaway.
    Linda on

  59. I just finished the latest book by Karin Slaughter, Criminal. Excellent next book in her series.

  60. I made a Cherry Red Velvet cake to take to a gathering and it was a big hit. See recipe at

    Also, a book I enjoyed years ago is "It's Not About the Bike" by Lance Armstrong.

    Your pillow is fabulous, as are Art Gallery fabrics.

  61. This is a vegetain salad I love the longer its in the fridge the better it gets: Oriental Salad
    1 Head green cabbage, 1/2 head red cabbage, 1 bunch green onions, 1/2 jar seasame seeds, sm bag sliced almonds, 2 pkg of Top Ramien soup noodles broken up
    DRESSING: 4t Sugar, 1 t salt, 1/2 t pepper, 1 C olive oil, 1/2 C rice vinegar, & pkgs of seasons from the soup pkg;
    Instructions: Toss vegetables, seeds, almonds & noodles, mix dressing ( shake well in jar) Pour over salad and Toss, Refrig atleast 3 hrs.
    The only variation I would do from original recipe is I would toast the seeds and nuts a tiny bit. You could also use chinese cabbage. This makes a huge salad;, I cant eat enough of it. ENJOY.

  62. Since I can't stand cooking, I'll have to give you a book recommendations instead of a recipe.

    Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson : Great summer read. Not too sci-fi and not graphicly violent.

  63. One of the best books I've read in ages has been 'The Language of Flowers' by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It was superb and I think you'll love it as much as I did. Such a very lovely book. It can be bought on which is where I got it from.

  64. I recommend A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

  65. If you like great mysteries i would suggest james patterson, the great thing about his books is the chapters are only a few pages long. if you like a great amish mystery, try karen harper or marta perry, their both great. and a great laugh out loud author is janet evanovich.

  66. One of our quilters brought this to quilt club-beware it is very addictive!

    Bean Salad:
    1 Can green beans
    1 Can cannelloni beans
    1 Can kidney beans
    1 green pepper, chopped
    1 onion sliced thin
    green olives
    1/2 C vegetable oil
    1/2 C vinegar
    3/4 C sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    Drain the beans and mix it all together. Chill for about an hour.

  67. the pillows look fab! i'd recommend anything by Sarah Addison Allen - Garden Spell, Sugar Queen, Girl Who Chased the Moon. Great reads. :)

  68. I have a simple recipe for zucchini that I found on line at I think Clean Eating blog. Slice ribbons of zucchine down to the seeds then stir fry until crisp tender adding some red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. I made this last night but I started with onions, celery, cauliflour and mushrooms. Added some Worcheshire sauce and cooked until they were almost done and then added in the zucchini ribbons and cooked on really high heat for about 5 minutes. Yummy!

  69. I read some good reviews about this book, so I am suggesting The Secret by Rhonda Byrne:)

  70. Thanks for the lovely giveaway! My favorite book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

  71. Gorgeous fabrics - they look so yummy in the popsicles !!! I would highly recommend The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher. It is brilliant!! Thank you for the giveaway!! Fingers crossed!

  72. My favorite salad is a spring mix with strawberries, chevre cheese, pecans and an onion vinaigrette, yum. or you could do oranges and almonds or peach/nectarine i love fruit in my salad can tell?

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  73. Love the pillow...happy birthday to your daughter!!!

    I suggest books by John Grisham and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Thanks for the sweet giveaway!

  74. i love all mysterys love the giveaway thanks

  75. One of my favorite books is called "Forever" by Pete Hamill. It's awesome! By the way, love the paper piecing!

  76. If you love crime and thriller - you'll love John Sandford's PREY series 9or his spin-off).

    Else, try PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving. It's a general fiction but it has everything - 'murder', laughter, and can make you cry (well it did for me).

  77. My favorite mystery books are by John Sanford... the Prey series. Start at the beginning! There are a lot of them.

    thanks for the giveaway chance

    legato1958 at aol dot com

  78. I've just been given a recipe for a wonderful carrot and cinnamon cake.
    1/2lb plain flour, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tbsp baking powder, 4oz butter/margarine, 4oz honey, 4oz sugar, 1/2lb peeled and finely grated carrots (I bought mine ready done from Asda ;o) )
    Pre-heat oven to gas mark 3/325f/170C. Mix flour, spices and baking powder in a bowl. Melt butter, honey and sugar in a pan and stir into the flour mixture. Stir in the grated carrots. (This won't look like cake mix - it forms a dough that sticks to itself and cleans the bowl as you's hard to stir in the carrots but they don't have to be completely mixed in!)
    Put in a greased 1lb loaf tin and bake for 60-80 minutes (about 50 if you're using a silicone 'tin') until it feels firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack. It tastes delicious by itself or with some butter on (and would be nice toasted if it survived that long!) and freezes well. I hope you like it!

  79. I recently discovered Penny Vincenzi as an author that I hadn't read before and I am really enjoying her books. My favorite recipe is call 3-2-1 Cake. You dry mix an angelfood cake mix with your favorite regular cake mix (chocolate, white, yellow). When your are ready you put 3 Tablespoons of cake mix in a small bowl add 2 Tablespoons of water and microwave for one minute. 3 2 1 you have a cupcake without heating up your kitchen. You can serve with fruit and whipped cream. They are really good. Thanks, Daisy

  80. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is a great book

  81. Very cute pillow indeed! I love reading Luanne rice books, always light and easy read! Nice giveaway, and Nicholas sparks is still a favorite read!

  82. This sounds like a really strange salad but it is oh so delicious:

    I haven't tried out that particular version, but it seems pretty close to the one I love.


  84. I love to cook but there is a book that is a must read for everyone, especially those who love to share. Please read "Same Kind of Different as Me". Inspiring book.

  85. One of my all-time favorite books is China Court by Rumer Godden. A more recently published book that I loved is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows. And a third title (the first in a great mystery series) is Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. Thanks for the chance to win.

  86. Loads of good books recommended already here...Kate aitkinson American gods Douglas coupland, but my favourite book is A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by dave eggers (anything by him is good though), great book, talking about it makes me want to read it for the hundredth time! Great giveaway, love art gallery fabrics, and your cushion is amazing! :)

  87. Alas, no confirmation of my comment posting and it does not appear - so here goes again.
    Book recommendation: Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini - An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
    My mother cooks and I wash the dishes - for good reasons.

  88. Have you read Divergent? SO GOOD.

  89. book recommendation it is! The Fault in Our Stars
    John Green. really great book. nearly as great as these fabrics!

  90. This is sooooo good!!!!

    Mandarin Orange Jello Salad

    1 sm box orange Jello
    1 sm box tapioca pudding (not instant)
    2 sm box vanilla pudding (not instant)
    1 lg can mandarin oranges
    1 8 oz tub cool whip

    combine orange jello, tapioca pudding, vanilla pudding and 3 cups water - boil 2 minutes - cool completely

    Add 3/4 of container of Cool Whip, 1/2 of the juice from mandarin oranges and 3/4 of the mandarin oranges.

    Refrigerate until set

    Cover with remaining cool whip and garnish with the rest of the mandarin oranges. Hope you like it -

    I have made this a few times and it has been a hit - it is a recipe from

    Thank you

    sandyb720 at gmail dot com

  91. I discovered this fruit salad recipe a month ago and have already made it numerous times. It is so good! Recipe 66575 on

  92. Recomendo qualquer livro de Drumond de

  93. I just read 50 Shades of Gray but I would NOT recommend it. Ugh, the writing was terrible. Worse than the Twilight series! A good series of books that I read recently are the "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series by Alexander McCall Smith. They are delightful to read!

  94. i have a nice veg "caesar" salad dressing recipe- whisk or whirl in a processor 1 clove garlic, 2 T lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, 6 T olive oil and 1 tsp dijon mustard. toss with 1-2 hearts of romaine and then toss again with 3T parmesan cheese. yum! no anchovies or eggs!

  95. I love lemon flavored cakes (well deserts really!) so I have to share with you my favorite lemon cake recipe. :)
    There are blueberries in this one too, which sort of takes it up a notch. Check out the rest of the blog too for lots of fantastic recipes and tips. :) Thanks for the chance to win!

  96. I want to recommend a book...or books. I really enjoy the Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency series. Have you read them?

    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

  97. Ha! I was going to do a recipe but a book recommendation is so much easier ;) I do have some of the Henna Stripe in mustard , can't wait to see what you turn out with that. (and OK, the hello kitty cupcake paper is so cute I don't think I could rip it open, even for a cupcake!
    thank you for the giveaway, I just got the pure elements and the oval elements color cards, but I haven't seen the floral elements in person before.
    So here is a totally random book recommendation - I always recommend it to my newly dating friends (sometimes to ones already in a relationship too) and have given a few to people too - "If the Buddha Dated" Love on a Spiritual Path, by Charlotte Kasl. I'm Lutheran but I find it doesn't clash with my views, and it's good for my marriage..and its goal is really to embrace surrounding yourself with positive energy. Yep, recommending a sewing book would've been too expected!

  98. Lovely fabrics! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! Here are a few recipe suggestions (I don't eat meat, either so all recipes on my blog are vegetarian) - hope you find one you like!

    Vegetarian Chili:
    Vegetarian Tortellini Salad:
    Quinoa Salad:
    Lemon Bread:
    Chocolate Berry Torte:

    handmadebytracie at gmail dot com

  99. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. These would be useful additions to my stash!

    A recipe ..

    I had several enthusiastic comments about it this lemon cheesecake recipe. I'm very happy with how it turned out. It was very lemony, creamy, easy to make, and delicious! For a baked cheesecake it was especially creamy! In fact most people wouldn't have guessed it was baked ... it was THAT creamy!

    I highly recommend it as a rather light and refreshing post dinner dessert.

    I found the recipe at Lillyella.

    Glazed Lemon Cheesecake

    2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1/4 cup sugar
    2/3 cup butter, melted

    3 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    3 eggs
    4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice*
    1 heaping Tablespoon grated lemon peel
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    2 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
    2 Tablespoons grated lemon peel
    6 Tablespoons butter

    *You will need a total of 3-4 medium to large lemons. Zest all the lemons before squeezing.

    Combine the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and press onto the bottom and 2" up the sides of a 9" springform pan. (Heather's note: I halved this recipe because I prefer my cheesecake crusts just on the bottom and not up the side.) Set the pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Let sit on a wire rack while you prepare the filling. Keep the oven at 350°.

    For the filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and beat on low until combined. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla until just blended.

    Pour slowly into crust, return pan to baking sheet and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until edges are set and center is almost set. (Heather's note: I put some water in the baking pan that the springform pan sits on because this is supposed to help prevent the cheesecake from cracking.) Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust, cool for another hour then refrigerate overnight before serving.

    For the glaze, in a small heavy saucepan, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and peel until blended. Add butter and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a small bowl and cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

    Spread glaze on cheesecake before serving or serve it on the side with slices! You will have about twice as much curd as you need to glaze the cheesecake but if you don't just eat it with a spoon (trust me, you will want to), it's delicious on toast, biscuits, scones, ice cream and sugar cookies!

  100. If you like fish, I recommend you to roast some cod after putting it in some oil, lemon and rosemary... if you like to peel off the skin it's perfect if you put it in bread crumbs... you'll leak your fingers =)
    (I am sorry for my english, but I am Italian)

  101. I love making cake in a jar recently. So, if you like the idea, you may check out this link for the recipe :)

  102. I am enjoying "The Fundamentals of Printed Textile Design" Good to think about and read slowly. I'm reading a few pages on the bus each day, on the way to pick up my kids.

  103. I would love to win anything you to books, I love to read all by Harlen Coben. I also recently re-read Sara's Key...wonderful!

  104. I am a TERRIBLE cook! My best dish is spaghetti noodles (or whatever else is handy) with store-bought pesto. Or a microwave-baked potato. Fancy, huh? :) BUT - I love to read! A recent favorite was Room by Emma Donoghue. It took me a little while to get into it, and really figure out what was going on. But it ended up sucking me in, and getting so involved with the characters and the story.

    Thank you for the gorgeous fabric giveaway!

  105. BOoks I recommend: I love Jodi Picoult, Christopher Bojalian (especially Midwives), Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris. I read The Help and liked it a lot. I also just read the entire series of Elm Creek Quilts by Jennifer Chiaverini. I've been reading a lot of Biography's from the library who look interesting. Hope that helps. Any book by those authors is good. Thanks for the chance to win! I signed up GFC and via email. I love your taste. i want to make a dress exactly like that too. I love the cherry skirt you have on. I NEED one. I've never completed a quilt, or make a dress, but I feel confident about it. I can't wait to get to know you through your blog! -Karrie

  106. I really enjoyed this book when I read it a few years ago.
    Its called "If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things" by Jon McGregor.

    My default dish to cook is Risotto - made simply with good stock, leeks and carrots plus lots of parsley. Mmmmm

  107. I just had a salad with the following:
    romaine lettuce leaves (the inside ones for shape), watermelon, grilled shrimp, and a light peanut vinaigrette. YUM!!!!

  108. Have you ever gone to the website ""? - there are lots of great recipes - which is sort of getting you do the work, but it is a great site and I get lots of my recipes from there...just have a safe place on the benchtop for your computer or iPad!

  109. I recently read 'The Art of Fielding' and loved it :)

  110. One of my favourite summer recipes is a Lemon Pasta Salad. Just take some left-over Pasta (or cook some and let it cool) and mix it with sour cream and fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper. Than add whatever vegetables you have at home, good are spring onions, thinly sliced bell peppers, cucumbers or even come thin sliced salad. Refreshing and not too hot. And non-vegetarians can combine it with grilled chicken or fish.

  111. I tend to cook on the go, you know, a bit of this and that--not so good for sharing recipes--sorry. My taste in books is eclectic, but I would recommend Four Seasons by Stephen King if you haven't read it already--The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me movies were both taken from novellas in this book and so well worth the find.. BTW, those cupcakes look very scrummy!

  112. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a great book I just finished yesterday, I highly recommend it, thanks for the giveaway!

  113. I just read Lyndsy Sands "under a vampire moon" it was great... I also discovered Sandra Hill, she has a ton of books and I cant wait to get them all!

  114. I just recently finished reading, Elizabeth George's book, "Believing the Lies". It was almost 600 pages-WHEW! But it was a good book and I would recommend any/all of her books.
    Thanks for a chance to win.

  115. What a darling pillow for your daughter. Happy Belated Birthday! I'm excited to see all the receipes, I need all the help I can get. hehe. I love to read and love there are so many recommendations. A funny series by Janet Evanovich is great. I'm on book 15 and I believe there are 18 in the series. Another great author is Earlene Fowler, she writes "quilt" mysteries.

    Thank you for a great giveaway and a chance to win.