Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Hot and sweet pickled figs

I make no claim that this is a tried and tested recipe, or indeed that it even works! The following is an experimental attempt to recreate some most delicious pickled figs I had not so long ago. They had chilli with them, and yet were still sweet, hence the title. Ive just finished jarring these so I shallnt be able to tell you what they're like for a while yet, but if you have an abundance of fresh figs and fancy joining in my experiment, please let me know how you get on.


1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsps chilli flakes
700ml white wine vinegar
100g granulated sugar
1 split vanilla pod
12 fresh figs

In a medium saucepan toast the spices, minus the chilli flakes, until starting to smell aromatic. Add the chilli flakes and toast for a moment more.

Pour in the white wine vinegar, vanilla pod and sugar, and warm slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a very gentle simmer.

Slice each fig in half and carefully pack in to hot, sterilised jars, cut side facing out if possible. Pour over the pickling liquor and seal up the jars.

Simples! I plan to wait at least two weeks before I try them, but longer may allow the flavours to mature better.

P.s. If you're not sure about how to sterilise jars, take a look at my August post 'feeling plummy.'

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Crafty individuals stamp tapestry scenes

This week I have been experimenting with a bit of flat stamping with inks. I love how easy it is to be creative with the tapestry style 'build your own picture' stamps. For each of the cards below I have inked backgrounds using versa colour and distress inks (applied with my favourite dry baby wipe!) and then stamped the foreground however pleased me.

This one was made using the CI build a meadow set. When I finished I added a few highlights with the gelly roll white pen though these don't show up too much in the picture.

To  create the line of blue and white on this one I simply masked off the top with a piece of white paper whilst I inked the rest of the background. The stamps are a new set from rubber stamp tapestry ideal for men's cards!

To really bring them out, the fairy and toadstools are the only thing stamped in black embossing ink and embossed with glitter.  This is the same build a meadow set in the background but I have used Lindsay mason fairy stamps. 

I plan to pop these on to this weeks craft Barn challenge and see how I get on! 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Animal magic - The Craft Barn Challenge

I've been a quiet watcher of the Craft Barn blog for a while now, but I couldn't resist their weekly challenge of 'animals' this week. I'm constantly making cards with an animal theme so I thought I would submit this one made with the hobby art owl stamp set.

To make this card;

Stamp the owl on to a patterned paper of your choice. Cut it out and add highlights to it with a white gelly roll pen. Set aside until later.

Cut out a circle using a fiskars large punch and stick it to your card where you want the moon to be, using some low tack tape.

Use clear versa ink on the little star stamp and stamp in the background. Emboss with a blue glittery embossing powder and colour the centre with a lilac promarker.

Use versa colour ink pads in a mix of blues and lilacs to create clouds, leaving some whiter areas for effect. Remove the circle mask and ink a cloud or two across the moon if so desired.

Stamp the branches and hanging hearts in black. Colour with promarkers and add stickles glitter to the hearts. Stamp your message in the lower right corner.

Use silver liquid pearls to add a few spots in the background.

Add your owl back in, in front of the moon, fixing it with 3d mount foam pads.

Mount your image on a dark colour and then on to a white card. You will notice I have left lower aligned the mounting to mirror the whites in the owl's eyes.

Sit back and admire your work!