Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Carrot Cake Recipe.

The other day I went out for coffee and tried carrot cake for the first time!
I loved it.
So with the help of a few recipes this was my creation, plenty of spice and a nice orange and lemon cream topping.

You will need:
For the sponge
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 ground nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
pinch of salt
200g light brown soft sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
75g walnuts, chopped up
4 medium eggs
150ml sunflower oil
350g carrots, grated

For the topping
200g full fat cream
50g unsalted butter, softened
150g icing sugar
zest of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 lemon
25g walnuts

a greased cake tin, with the base lined with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Sift the flour, spices, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon mix in the sugar, lemon zest and walnuts. Beat the eggs and sunflower oil together then add to the bowl along with the grated carrots and mix thoroughly.

Pop the mix into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once out of the oven leave it to firm up for about 5 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the topping beat all the ingredients together either with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until creamy. You may need to chill this slightly before putting it on the cake. Scatter the walnuts over the top of the icing to finish.

Happy Baking!

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Monday, 30 January 2012

Sunday Walks.

 We went for a gorgeous walk yesterday to Stanmer Park.
It seems as though every weekend we find a new stunning place to go thats within an hour of the city. I love feeling so in the wild, even though civilisation is only 5 minutes down the road.

I have decided I want to live in Stanmer park, no houses are for sale, but there are lots of trees...maybe we could build a house in a tree and no one would even notice. That would be nice.

I need some new wellies, what use are wellies with holes in them?

Peace and quiet.
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Saturday, 28 January 2012

Love List.

Vivien Westwood Buckle Shoes...

We sell these in the shop I work in and I want them so much!!
The feeling of love for these is a little overpowered by a feeling of sadness...that it's not my birthday until JUNE!
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Friday, 27 January 2012

Django Django LOVE

The sun is shining,
It's the middle of January.
This just came on the radio,
It makes me smile...Alot!

(Thankyou 6 music for playing this, I love you muchly!!)

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Knickers Tutorial.

Here is how I made the knickers I posted yesterday. Please be aware that my sewing skills are totally self taught, therefore if I'm doing something in a seemingly odd way, that is why, and please feel free to let me know how to do it properly!

You will need:
Sewing machine
A rectangle of cotton
Old knickers (to be cut up)
Paper (for pattern)

1. Cut a pair of knickers at the hip seams and crotch. Make sure they are made of a similar fabric to the fabric that you are using (strechy, cotton etc). Remove the elastic if they are non strech material. This is to make your pattern.

2. Draw around your old knickers onto a piece of paper, this is your pattern.

3.You can use any material, I used this old nighty that I never wore. Don't bin it, upcycle it!!

4. Place the pattern onto your fabric and draw around it, you can use chalk to do this or special dissapearing ink pens. Then cut the 2 shapes out.

5. The first bit of sewing is the crotch area. Get the retangle of cotton (I used an old Tshirt) and the front and back panels of the knickers. With the crotch lined up, place the front panel - right side up, the back panel - right side down on top, then the rectangle right side down on top of that. (I hope you're following this!!). Sew along this line.

6. Fold out the front and back panels so that the right sides are both facing down, and flip over the cotton rectangle so it is right side up. You will now see that the seam you have just sewn is hidden! hurrah!(arrow 1.). Now you need to hem the other end (arrow 2.), just fold it over and sew it. No need to sew it onto the knickers as its attached at the other end.

7. Sew together the hip seams.

8.You need to have an overcasting foot for your sewing maching to do this next bit. If you do, put it on now. If you don't, just hem the knickers all the way round both legs and the waist.

9. Choose an overcasting stitch to suit your fabric (practise on a spare bit to get the right length of stich etc). Overcast all the way round the legs and waist to stop the fabric fraying.

10. This is my wonderful assistant helping me to take a photo of the elastic! I cut two pieces 19 inches (for the legs) and one 22 inches (for the waist).

11. Here I'm going to divert you to a youtube video of how to sew in your elastic, as I'm sure I will needlessly complicate matters if I try!!

12. The material should start to rouch up like this, creating beautiful frilly knickers. Sew your elastic around both legs and the waist.

Et Voila!!!

So here are your nifty thrifty knickers!!

Let me know if you make them, I would love to see different takes on them!

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Monday, 23 January 2012


I made some knickers!!

I feel like I've been so busy lately, not having time to make anything or update my blog...and I was doing so well with my daily posts! I'm getting back in the zone, and to start with I thought I'd share my 'trial and error' knickers.
 These were the knickers that got sacrificed (for the pattern)

 This was the first error (I didn't take into account that the fabric wasn't streachy...silly me!)

The finished product!!

They look very cute on! I'm going to put up a tutorial in the next week or so...once I've mastered them.

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Windows and Cows

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Monday, 16 January 2012

3 Good Things

• Snowboarding! We didn't quite make it to the mountains but the Chill Factor was defiantly the next best thing!
• Spoiling loved ones.
• Nandos!

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

3 Good Things.

  • We had a date tonight at the cinema and watched The Artist. Oh my! What a wonderful movie! If I could be in any era it would have to be the 1920's...(it got me practising finger waves in my hair)
  • There's nothing that gets you in the mood for exercise more than getting new gym clothes, I invested in some purple, yes purple, tracksuit bottoms...They.Are.Great.
  • Bolognaise the second time round, it always tastes so much better.

(Picture from amandafoust.wordpress.com)

My finger waves.
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Handmade Cards

So this is my first design, all ready for Valentines Day!

£2.50 each

If you are interested in purchasing one please contact me at madijohnson@hotmail.co.uk
(If you would like it blank inside please state in email)

There will be some more designs coming soon so watch this space!


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Monday, 9 January 2012

Christmas presents that keep on giving.

I was given a beautiful Cath Kidston book from my dear old Dad for Christmas. It's such a great book with loads of sewing inspiration in it, but the best part about it is it comes with everything you need to make a cute little cushion (or tote bag, but I have a LOT of bags). So here was my attempt...
(Please excuse my wonky picture frame!)
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Saturday, 7 January 2012

3 Good Things.

  • Saturday coffee dates before work with Mr. seem to be becoming a regular occurrence, and I love it!
  • Being safe in the knowledge that I have 6 days off!!!
  • I discovered this AMAZING blog post from Rock'n'Roll Bride (no I'm not getting married....I just like her blog OK!) a DIY Tutorial on how to make your own cake stand, I know what I'm doing next week!

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Friday, 6 January 2012

Nothing says I love you like....

 Hanging hearts (lavender filled...mmmm!)

Valentines day is just around the corner...
and they're only £3 each!

If you're interested please email me at madijohnson@hotmail.co.uk

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Thursday, 5 January 2012

3 Good Things.

  • Today I went swimming. I DID 50 LENGHTS! (The pool is tiny, but still, I did 50 lenghts!) If you can't tell, I'm very proud of myself.
  • I made a list and did everything on it, including getting crafty and making this Pom Pom.
  • The Christmas decorations came down today which is not a "Good Thing" but in turn this encouraged me to give the whole house a Spring (erm Winter...??) clean. Tidy house = Tidy mind.

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    Pom Pom Tutorial

    My Pom Pom on my favourite hat got mangled in the wash the other day, tragedy! After a few hours of heart break I decided it was about time I refreshed my knowledge of Pom Pom making and get making me a new one. I decided to use red wool as one of my dear friends gave it to me and I have yet to muster up the courage (or gain the skill) to make something worthwhile out of it, also it gave my hat a new look!

    Here's how I made it:

    Step 1 - Cut out two cardboard discs the same size. Make sure the inner circle is quite a bit smaller than the outer circle as this will stop your Pom Pom falling to pieces at the final stages! To cut out the inner circle you can cut a straight line from the outer edge to get to it, this will also help you to remove the cardboard at the end.

    Step 2 - Place to two cardboard discs together.

    Step 3 - Start wrapping your wool around the cardboard discs. You don't need to tie them to it. I have used two pieces of wool and wrapped them around it together (because I'm very inpatient and it's alot quicker!!). Don't worry if you run out of wool, just cut off another length and keep on going (still no need to tie, sorry if this is obvious but I kept on wanting to tie the loose ends together!).

    Step 4 - Wrap the wool around the disc about 3 times, you can do more or less depending on the thickness of your wool and how dense you want your Pom Pom to be. I did mine 3 times with very chunky wool. Now it should look like this:

    Step 5 - Now to release your Pom Pom, I used embroidery scissors to start off to cut through to the cardboard disc. Then, if you want to, get some bigger scissors and keeping one blade between the two cardboard discs, cut around the edge of the Pom Pom.

    Being careful not to let it fall apart it should now look like this:

    Step 6 - Get a piece of wool and place it in between the cardboard discs and wrap it around the Pom Pom. This is what holds it all together so it is very important to tie it very tight.

    Step 7 - Once you have tied it, remover the cardboard discs et voila! You may have to cut some longer pieces of wool to make it a nice shape. You can use the wool that you used to tie it together to attach it to what ever you so choose, which in my case is my hat!

    Happy Pomming!
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    Wednesday, 4 January 2012

    3 Good Things.

    • Watching the sunrise (see photos below!)...so beautiful it almost justifies getting up at the crack of dawn.
    • Picking up our little pussy cat from the cattery after nearly 2 whole weeks! I was so excited to see her, although she was obviously VERY annoyed with me. She has also learnt a new mieow at the cattery and was very vocal, showing it off all the way home!
    • Cooking up a yummy winter warmer dinner...mmmm...(the new year diet can start tomorrow!).
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    What a wonderful start to the year - according to my iPhone...

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