Sunday, 26 February 2012

... a shed number

I have to admit it - we have been running an illegal allotment.  We have not been displaying our plot number which is a clear breach of allotment protocol.  Before this became a matter for the allotment police I decided to do something about it as well as getting to have a play with my pyrography tool that was uncovered during Dan's mammoth studio clear out session recently.

So as part of my half term craftathon I made this.  Ok so if we wanted to we could have simply painted the plot number on the shed or a bit of wood but where's the fun in that eh? 

Pyrography is fun.  Hmmmmm what can I burn next?

Friday, 17 February 2012

... a wooly green hot water bottle cover

Dan desperately needed a new hot water bottle cover and this is it.  You could actually see the hot water bottle through the old one!  It is made from one of his favourite jumpers which had a nasty experience with the washing machine and some hot water making it a lovely felty fabric but not good as a jumper.  Lined with one of Dan's favourite old t-shirts that had also shrunk a bit this is upcycling at it's comforting best!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

... truffles

Ok so I normally only blog my crafty makes but I am pleased with these babies so thought I would share the loveliness (and the recipe) so everyone can enjoy!

It is Valentines Day a day late in our house as while I was of work all day yesterday, Dan was working from 8:30 in the morning to 9 at night on the real Valentine's Day - not much room for romance there!!!  Never ones to follow the crowd we decided to have it on the 15th as we are both off work.  Lovely.

This was a present I made for both of us.  We are having an economy drive at the moment and expensive chocs were definitely not in the budget.  However, these little lovelies only cost me about £1.50 for 12 super lush truffles - that we can afford. (the eagle eyed of you might notice there is only 10 here - we had already tried them before i took the photo :) )

They are really simple to make.  I would love to tell you where I got the recipe from to credit the genius that wrote it but I got it off the internet years ago and have no idea - but whoever you are I owe you one.


Generic Chocolate Truffle Recipe

            8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
            1/2 cup whipping cream (32% milk fat)
            1/4 cup unsalted butter
            2 tsp vanilla OR 4 tsp favourite liquer

            Place whipping cream and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low
            heat and stir occasionally until chocolate melts Add butter and
            continue stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat and
            let cool to room temperature. Add liquer or vanilla (or nothing!
            Works this way also). Let sit in refrigerator until hard (about
            eight hours or so). Dig out by the teaspoon and form into balls,
            then roll in finely chopped nuts (ground almonds are heavenly),
            cocoa, icing sugar, or coconut or dip in chocolate.

(the only thing I do different is I melt my chocolate over simmering water in a metal bowl - much less chance of burning the precious chocolate)


In this case I made orange truffles coated with candied orange peel (homemade - really easy and super gorgeous, you get candied orange peel and a fantastic orange syrup from making it mmmmmm - look for instructions on the web and never throw your old orange peel away again), orange truffles coated in orange chocolate (just regular chocolate melted with a bit of orange zest in it).  Both orange varieties have triple sec in the truffle mix - hooray!  Also there are vanilla truffles coated in chocolate surprise (the surprise being popping candy in the chocolate - popping candy is great, it is a couple of quid from the supermarket and it last for ages and ages as you only need a bit of it)

Quick tip - I froze the truffles first before I coated them in the melted chocolate - it means they don't melt and the choclate sets super quick on the outside of them.

All in all gorgeous and inexpensive - therefore excellent.