tilly makes & bakes

Always striving to achieve a state of domestic bliss!


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My Easter decorations

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♥ My Easter tree made using twigs from the garden and hanging decorations I have collected over the years.

♥ Egg garland made from paint sample strips.

♥ Happy Easter bunting made with £-shop plastic eggs and stickers.

♥ Hand painted eggs ready to eat for Easter morning breakfast.

I hope you all have a peaceful Easter weekend!

 

 

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An Autumn of firsts…

I have started back at work part time in the last few weeks which meant a tiny girl starting at nursery for the first time, early mornings and leaving the house in a semi-presentable state for the first time in what feels like ages! I feel like I am finally managing to strike  balance between work and still enjoying enough time with my girls at home. We like to make the most of our days together and these past Autumn weeks have seen a fair few “firsts”:

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We have enjoyed lots of Autumn walks. The tiny one now walks along quite confidently in her first pair of wellies 🙂

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I crocheted a nice snuggly cowl scarf for myself and it has already been in use several times. It was only the third item I had ever crocheted (and the first ever scarf) so I’m quite pleased with it. I tend not to use any patterns and just make it up as I go along.

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I know it has been ages since Halloween now but this year for the first time we embraced the whole hoohaa and baked some themed goods to take to a friends’ house for a little party. My friends’ older daughter took my two girls trick or treating around a couple of relatives’ houses which they had never done before. Needless to say the sweets were a winner with my little girl.

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I made apple pie from scratch for the first time ever using this recipe. It was really very scrummy and it made the most of our last few apples from the garden.

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We made caramelised onions in our trusty slow cooker and ate them with sausages in rolls. I had never used the slow cooker for onions and I must say it really worked well. I popped them in the pot late in the morning and they cooked on low until early evening by which time they were soft and nicely browned. Success!

What have you done for the first time over the last few weeks?


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Learned something new: sugar craft!

I recently went on a sugar craft workshop and learned how to model jungle animals from sugar paste. It was a 3 hours lesson and was actually really relaxing. I’m not normally great with activities that require attention to detail and excellent fine motor control… more of a slap dash sort of girl! However, making these animals was strangely relaxing! Very pleased with the end results… taking into account that it was my first time!

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I incorporated two of these little fellas into my little girls’ fourth birthday cake– will post about it in a few days. I can reveal that it was a fairy princess castle cake as requested by madam herself! Can’t quite believe I have now made four birthday cakes for her. Four years! Wow.


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I redecorated the whole house!

Luckily, I am talking about the doll’s house and not our own, life sized house. That would just be a task too big to even contemplate. Not to mention expensive!

The doll’s house for my girls was a bargain that I got second hand for about £10. It was well used and just in need of some TLC to bring it up to date and ready for two little madams to start playing with.

P1000912The “before”.

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Work in progress! I decided to give the whole house an off-white base coat first.

The finished article:

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I used a few Dulux tester pots to paint the whole house, including the base coat. I was lucky as I got them when they were on offer as 3 for a pound. I probably used less than £5 worth of paint for the whole project.

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Not the neatest paint job- I haven’t got the patience!! Besides, I knew it would soon be bashed, chipped,  played with!

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The wallpaper is ordinary craft paper and the curtains are bits of scrap fabric glued into place. Really pleased with all the colours and how they go together!

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Doesn’t Granny look right at home in her new pad?


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Sandy footprints

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One day this summer we decided to use up some plaster of paris from my crafty drawer and made some foot prints in the sandbox. It is so easy and yet the results are very impressive. It’s not just a fun activity that the lil’ uns will be able to join in with, but it also creates a really sweet keepsake that will be yours to treasure for ever!

You need:

cardboard boxes or lids from shoeboxes

some plaster of paris powder

clean cold water

wet sand

box frame, decorative papers, sticky pads

1. Pack some wet sand into your cardboard container/tray

2. Get your little person to make an imprint of their feet (or hands) in the sand. You might want to do one at a time and you will also end up trying a few times until the print is just right and smooth.

3. Start stirring some cold water into the plaster of paris until it is a thick but still pourable consistency.

4. Don’t waste any time! Before the plaster of paris goes hard, gently and slowly fill your sandy imprints with the mix.

5. Wait!

6. Wait some more and when the plaster has hardened, gently remove them from the sand. This will be about 30 minutes or so after pouring them (maybe longer depending on the consistency you used).

7. Admire your sandy footprints and then keep them in a dry place to completely harden and dry out (ca. 2 days to be on the safe side, especially if wanting to keep in a frame)

8. Leave them as they are or box them up in a pretty frame!

My little girl loved getting stuck in with this and she loved seeing the end result even more. Ours came out a bit wonky because the imprints in the sand weren’t perfect and we could have been more careful pouring in the plaster mixture. But that only goes to show how easy they are to make, even if you are 3 years old or a bit heavy handed! The results are still pretty brill!


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Hooked up!

Excuse the cheesy title for this post but i just couldn’t resist!
Well, I have been away from blogland for a little while but I have been busy busy busy. We recently spent several weeks abroad visiting family and it was during that time that my mum taught me how to crochet! YES!! We decided to jointly make a blanket for my two little girls- something they could use and keep as a memory forever. So mum started us off- bless her she made the blanket wide enough to fit on a single bed! Once I got the hang of it all we took turns doing the rows. And boy do those long rows take an age! Sure enough mum soon got bored and left me to it! Pffff… Ah well, here I am still going up and down making stripes, making stripes!
People have said I must be mad for doing this for fun but I actually find the repetitive motions of it all very therapeutic and relaxing. I still cannot believe how easy crochet is and am amazed everytime I see all that yarn being transformed into an ACTUAL blanket!
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blanky

crochet

I am so pleased with how it is coming along. I was initially worried a crochet blanket would end up looking granny-ish and old fashioned but I think the colours i went with make it look very lovely and modern. What do you think?


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Owl babies

I have been crafting owls as birthday party invites for my little girl who turns one in a few months. As we have lots on over the coming weeks, I thought I would get ahead of myself and start making a few bits and pieces ready to use nearer the time. I used just a few bits of card and patterned paper.

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I made hand drawn templates on thick card and checked if everything looked ok when put together.

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I drew around the body template twice, whilst overlapping the two shapes a little. I then folded the two body parts over one another to make a card.

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I used patterned  and plain paper for all the other parts to create the patchwork effect I was after.

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I love the way each little owl is different and just look how you can create their owly characters by changing the eyes slightly.

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And whilst talking about owls… have you come across the book “Owl babies” by Martin Waddell ? One of my all time favourite children’s books. Tugs the heart strings every time and the illustrations are just gorgeous!

Cover of "Owl Babies"

Cover of Owl Babies