Monthly Archives: October 2014

Impressive but easy

Once a year at work we host a thank you dinner for our volunteers.  As a typical charity we probably have about 5 times as many volunteers as staff, and we like to try and thank them properly for giving up their time.  We take turns in who makes the main or the dessert, last year I did a chilli so this year it was my manager’s turn to do the main and I got to do dessert- yipee!

I needed something easy because I had almost no time but with 20 people coming I actually went for two things – Dutch Apple cake from Rachel Allen’s Bake which I’ve made many times with great success, and Chestnut Ice Cream Meringue Cake from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess, which I’d never done before. It was pretty easy, and looked spectacular. Sadly I didn’t take a photo until I’d got the leftovers home, oops.

I can thoroughly recommend this recipe – several people asked for it with a view to making it as an alternative Christmas dessert. Super easy to do, and does make you look like a domestic goddess!

Messy but marvelous

Messy but marvelous


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Filed under In the kitchen

Bye Bye Han Cave

It’s been a long while since the last post, but I am making things, just not getting anywhere with them. Updates to follow if/when I ever finish anything. The main news is that the Han Cave has to achieve its true destiny now.  My mother in law has been calling it “the nursery” since we moved in (to my dismay at first!) and now that is just what it must become. Goodbye Han Cave, you were a beautiful dream…

Sorting out somewhere for my sewing stuff to go was described by Mr Han as “a cog that will allow many other cogs to turn” – I think he meant “clear out that room or we can’t do anything to get ready for the baby”.  Anyway, proof that he loves me was that he got interested in helping me find a new sewing space in the house.  We settled on a corner of what we grandly call the Garden Room (it leads to the garden) which is one of the strange rooms of the house. It is double height and has a mezzanine section which holds an office he works from home in sometimes. It’s white and light so good for sewing.

I stalked Pinterest for ideas for small sewing corners and hit the jackpot with this . Which is how we ended up going to Ikea on the first rainy Sunday afternoon for weeks, with the rest of the world. Traumatic.  I bought a bureau after some dithering about whether the drop down leaf would be strong enough when the machine was in operation. I can now confirm it will hold an operational sewing machine, and a cat. Plenty strong enough.

We spent a Friday evening building the bureau – no cross words, we are ace at flat pack. I was genuinely excited about filling it up and organising things (saddo).  This necessitated lots of purchases of nice baskets of course, mainly from the Homebase sale (luckily, this new space is adding up in cost!). I spent several happy hours sorting things into them. I particularly enjoyed sorting the yarn.

Mmmm, yarn...

Mmmm, yarn…

There is actually more storage in the bureau than the Han Cave! The light is also very nice in there.  The first thing to be sewed at it was not at all glamorous – fitted sheets for the memory foam topper for the campervan bed made from a single duvet cover that was £4 in the sale, but I did do some proper seam finishing so they are quite smart.  I think I can look forward to some happy crafting time here, if the baby naps long enough anyway.

Next up I ordered some cork “off the internet” which was cut to size and then stuck in to the top doors with no more nails to be a pinboard.  As an aside, I am always the one who suggests the low effort version of DIY. As in “we need to fill the hole above the boiler pipe, I’ll get some plasterboard, cut it to size, then plaster over it to make it look neat” me: “no one looks in there, why don’t you just fill the hole with expanding foam?”. This type of thing is why we own no more nails.

DSCN1662 DSCN1665It’s very neat right now, but it probably won’t stay that way! Top cupboards are for sewing related things, bottom for knitting and felting. It was a lot of fun putting things in, seeing what needed to go where, what needed to be close to hand… I even managed to get the wool/knitting supplies stash nearly all in here, so it’s not in three different rooms anymore!DSCN1666

The nursery has started to be painted, but I have had nothing to do with that. My weekend working put paid to that, and also I suspect Mr Han raised a few eyebrows when he had to go and look at prams/pushchairs/strollers whatever the hell they’re called on his own – the only man in Mothercare!


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