Mandala Madness 2018 edition

Love the saffron yellow

Well after giving away my original mandala to a very dear friend, I decided that I had to make myself one in all my favourite colours. The pattern is a wonderful free pattern by Helen Shrimpton. It was a crochet along that ran in 2016. Please see my previous mandala for all links to written pattern and video tutorials.

I have loved making these blankets, so imagine my delight when I discover that Helen has designed a new blanket that will be available as a crochet along starting on the 17th April 2018 🙂 Happy, happy days. Her website Crystals and Crochet has all the details and available yarn packs and links.

I am already intending to use my existing stash to make this but there are some cool colour suggestions on her site for those who like a well laid out plan.


Do have a go at making one of these yourself, I learned so much and the videos and photo tutorials make this very achievable for the adventurous beginner 🙂 As long as you can yarn over and jam your hook in somewhere, have a go 🙂





2018, new year new me. January is so tedious with it’s demands to self improve :(

I have pretty much lost my life mojo over the last year or so. I feel like I have been coasting through the last few months, doing what needs doing but not really doing what I want to be doing.

I have come to the conclusion that this is due to the children getting their adult lives up and running and so not needing me as much. I also feel that my career is a tad off track (not sure what track it needs to be on though!) I have always taken jobs that have suited my family’s needs and now find myself in the terrific position of being able to choose a job that I want to do…………trouble is, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up (I do appreciate that time may not be on my side here!)

Anyway, with a view to doing something that gives me joy but not too demanding I set myself the challenge of using up the last half balls of yarn before I was “allowed” to buy more. I did make some very cute amigurumi items for my sister (see below for links to amigurumi patterns) as well as a collection of baby converse booties. Loads of patterns out there but after some trial and error I chose to buy a great pattern from Etsy for these. Good value, clear straightforward instructions and cute box to make for the shoes too 🙂

Then,  whoopee,  shopping at wool warehouse for all the style craft special DK colours that I can justify 🙂 I am now happily and busily working my way through another mandala madness. I am really enjoying this pattern. Usually I don’t like to make a thing again but this pattern is so varied,  it keeps me interested. I love the way this pattern lends itself to my use (overuse) of colour 🙂

The next task (thanks January for making me look at my life) is to really look at what I want to be doing Monday to Friday (hopefully to Thursday!)

February update – well for goodness sake, how are we half way through February. The only thing I have really achieved so far this year has been my mandala madness, currently just completed up to part 14. Love, love, love making this. It has proved to be useful avoidance tool when it comes to, well pretty much anything I’m wanting to avoid!! Ha ha.

Anyway, I have been productive with the crochet club too which now has added new members. I am enjoying the challenge of trying to teach people something that I have learned through the magic of youtube.

Note to self – I must print out UK and US crochet terms for everyone. I tend to use US terms but a lot of the patterns that we have been working from are UK. This is adding a level of difficulty we could do without!!



The first two patterns are paid for patterns. The unicorn is a free pattern. Both of the paid for patterns had really clear instructions with helpful pictures. Highly recommended 🙂

Dendennis donkey pattern 

Lalylala kangaroo pattern

Unicorn pattern

Sticky ginger flapjacks – such an easy recipe, not so easy on the waistline!

Well, it turns out that 2017 was not my year to blog. I started out with good intentions and many many plans and then it was Christmas! Anyway, January 2018 is here and I found this recipe that I clearly intended on posting last Autumn. No pictures of the finished product but a fabulous picture of my cats, just because!

Enjoy, Lx

What a gorgeous Autumn day it is today. Sun is shining, leaves are crisp underfoot and I have been oh so virtuous today. Yoga class first thing and then a smidgen of housework. Socks are paired and the sofa cushions are plumped 🙂

Having had lunch I still feel a tad hungry and yearn for something yummy and homey. Decided to hunt down a decent flapjack recipe.

These days flapjack recipes all seem to be trying to reduce the butter and sugar content in order to make them healthy. Sadly this makes for dry and disappointing flapjacks. If you are after a healthy, low calorie snack that is low in sugar please search elsewhere. This is not the recipe for you! This recipe was found in my old faithful Good Housekeeping Step by Step cookbook. You can always pick up a copy of this somewhere relatively cheaply. I still have my Mums copy from 1957 as well as my shinier version bought more recently with, joy of joys metric measurements.


  • 350g unsalted butter
  • 275g golden syrup
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 450g rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger

I never seem to be able to completely adhere to a recipe and this one is no exception. I had some stem ginger in syrup in my fridge that looked lonely so I chopped that up and popped it in too. Entirely optional yummy extra. I thing sultanas would work too in this.


  • Grease and line a tin approx 18 x 28cm (your traybake type)
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees c
  • In a large saucepan, melt together your butter, golden syrup and sugar. I added my stem ginger pieces to this too as it will help them combine later.
  • In a bowl, mix your oats with your ground ginger and then add your syrupy liquid. Stir to combine.
  • Pop this mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Keep an eye on it. After 32 minutes mine was going just a little to0 dark (rescued in the nick of time, still yum). You want it golden and still squidgy in the middle. Overcooked flapjacks are not yummy and are not worth the calories.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for a while before lifting out onto a cooling tray. Cut when cold in to 12 squares or 24 triangles depending on how you feel.
  • For those who really want to know (I didn’t want to know but the book very (un)helpfully gives the calorie count) 517 calories per large square!!! Yikes.




Spring has Sprung (maybe) hopefully :)

Well the last couple of days have seen a delightful shine in the air. Birds have been chirping, sky is blue with cottonwool balls of clouds dancing along (I know, the words are a tad whimsical but that’s how I feel today 🙂 enjoy it!). My garden is showing signs of life too. Lovely, although it is a teensy bit early so hope we don’t have too much of a downturn on the weather front (forecast is looking a little chilly ahead)

Anyway, I digress. I have found myself recently with a little time off. Apart from napping, I have also been crocheting like a demon and also a spot of baking again. Lovely.

Todays venture has resulted in a batch of lemon curd for my daughter to take back to Uni with her tomorrow so that she can make some lemon curd and white chocolate muffins. Check out my recipe here, for the lemon curd. Keeps for about two weeks in the fridge although we’ve never had it long enough to test that theory!!!

I am hoping she sends me some pics. I have also finally got all the pieces together for my latest blanket, here is a sneak preview of some of the pieces 🙂 

The other thing I have been doing is trying to get better at my food photography skills, looking back over the last year to try and find a picture of spring flowers, I stumbled across some pics I took last year that never really got showcased. Apologies for the self indulgence but I really like them despite the fact that one of them is of the peel of a garlic bulb!!! Not to mention that this is the best pic I have produced in the last year (I think!)




Well for goodness sake, how is it March again already!!!

I am such a lackadaisical blogger!!! I keep crocheting and lately baking a bit more too. Think to myself, mmm must write up a blog post about that and then promptly don’t. Anyway, the next few posts will (I hope) have new recipes and also some links to some exciting CAL’s (crochet a long) that are coming up or already started.

This post though is motivated by my sweetest, youngest child. In her third year at uni she has decided that it is time to embrace the baking genes that run deep in this family! Text received requesting a recipe for banana muffins. I directed her to my blog as that is where said recipe resides. Shock horror, the offspring has not read my blog. Rude!!!!

Anyway, once over the shock, we discussed the pitfalls of baking without scales and she went ahead and produced a delicious batch of muffins that she shared with her coworkers that weekend. happy days. I am looking forward to the next time she comes home so we can bake something together and post pics.

Although I don’t have a picture of her baking, I do have a really cute picture of Agnes!!

Cute Agnes



Gingerbread House 2016 edition

As always, Christmas Eve is made up of me and mine making gingerbread houses. See my previous Christmas posts for recipes (although there are very many fabulous ones online). This year we also made two miniature houses for gifts as well as a gingerbread star tree. I have to say Christmas Eve is truly my favourite day during the festive period. Have a wonderful time, love and sparkles xx



Love L x

Mini Lime Meringue tarts – yummy and super cute too :)

img_3488 Not much baking seems to be happening these days in my household. The children have grown and are all busy living their lives. There simply isn’t the need for all the baking that I used to do. That coupled with my passion for crochet that has developed over the last few years has meant that baking has slipped from my daily routine.

I decided that this quite possibly was not the way forward for me. Welcome to my mini lime meringue tarts.

Sweet Shortcrust pastry

  • 125g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 50g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar

Meringue topping

  • 4 medium egg whites
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

Lime curd

  • around 5 – 8 limes (depending on size), squeezed- warm them up first to get lots more juice and zested into the bowl
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 100g butter



  • Firstly you need to make your pastry as this will need to be rested in the fridge for at least half an hour, an hour is better 🙂 Preheat your oven to 190 degrees c
  • Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Chuck in your butter
  • Rub the butter in until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Using a fork you can then add your egg yolk and if needed a tsp or so of water.
  • Gather the dough together with your hands and wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge.
  • Once your pastry is rested you can line your tins. I used muffin tins that I had lightly greased with butter. I pricked the bottoms of the tarts and then baked for around fifteen minutes or so until they were just turning golden. Basically you want them around 90% done I think. This recipe was very much about winging it so play with it to suit. You can use baking beans if you wish, up to you. You could also make a large tart as well.
  • Whilst your pastry is chilling you can get on with your lime curd.
  • in a double boiler (one bowl over a saucepan of simmering water) pop all your ingredients, whisk together over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves and then heat gently for around 20 minutes. Leave it to cool, it will get thicker. Hey presto lime curd. This will make a reasonable amount so any leftover curd can be popped into a jar and then stored in the fridge for up to two weeks, yummy spooned straight from the jar into my mouth 🙂 Other citrus fruit works just as well, lemons (obvs) but also orange and although I haven’t tried it I suspect grapefruit might be a bit yum too.
  • Meringue – whisk your egg whites until stiff peaks form. Mix your cornflour, vinegar and vanilla in a small separate bowl.
  • Add the sugar whilst whisking, a spoonful at a time. Once your mixture becomes stiff and glossy you can add your cornflour, vanilla and vinegar mixture. Whisk for another minute or so. Pop your meringue into a piping bag or you can spoon on the meringue. Whatever your creative juices require really.
  • This mixture makes enough meringue for a dozen tarts plus a couple of trays of meringue kisses or you could even make some small pavlova bases. It will depend on how much meringue you got out of your four eggs and how generous you were on the tarts 🙂
  • In your pre baked tart shells spoon in some curd and then pipe on or dollop on your meringue. Pop into your oven that is now around 190 degrees c for around 5 – 10 minutes, keep an eye, you want the meringue to start browning. Once they are going brown, turn your oven off and leave them in it with the door slightly ajar to finish drying out the meringue a bit more.

All of my recipe components came from the wonderful step by step cookbook by Good Housekeeping. I have had various versions of this over the years including my Mum’s 1957 version. Cannot recommend it enough. You can often find a version in charity shops and pretty cheaply online too. Have a hunt.



Mandala Madness, completed, happy days

Well, finally am getting round to posting a few pictures of my completed Mandala. I have so enjoyed this pattern. What a generous designer Helen Shrimpton is 🙂

The links to the pattern as well as all the helpful pictures, links to video tutorials can be found here . The video tutorials from It’s all in a Nutshell were truly invaluable, check out the website for those and many other fab ideas .

Here are a few pictures of my finished piece which has already found a new home. Turns out it was almost impossible to get a shot of this thing without at least one cat on it!!!!

So here she is, my cat approved Mandala.








Mandala Madness parts 14 and 15

img_3365Oh me ,oh my, so busy crocheting this beasty I neglected to post any pictures of the progress made. Oops!!

As ever, could not have managed this without the fabulous pattern and video tutorials available online.

Here is the link to Helen Shrimpton’s site for this pattern and others. Well written and beautiful pictures to help guide you if a written pattern is your preferred method 🙂

Check out It’s all in a Nutshell YouTube channel for all of Esther’s tutorials for this and other patterns. Cannot recommend enough 🙂





Pokemon go – crochet version



Too hot to work on my Mandala at the moment so inspired by my kids love of Pokemon and the new craze of Pokemon go, I decided to make some small crochet Pokemon for them to find 🙂 I also needed to use up some of my teeny tiny bits of yarn scraps left over from my Mandala Madness blanket.

Had a look on Ravelry for patterns and found to my delight Nicole’s Nerdy Knots. She has created for free, some great teeny patterns that are really straightforward to do. Although they are free, you can make a donation to her page if you fancy. I have not been asked to do this on her behalf, just felt her stuff was good so we should 🙂


Stupidly I only took photos on my phone so forgive the quality and enjoy the following creations.




This last one, a Skarmory, did not have a pattern that I could find so for the first time in my crochet life I had a go at making something without a pattern. Luckily the internet is helpful with plenty of pictures. I am thrilled with the result and now wish I had written down what I did!!!







P.S Weedle! 14051568_10153962836841896_147498420460497343_n