Breakfast: Heart Shaped Waffles

I can’t help it, I’m going to waffle on about waffles!

We’ve been celebrating this weekend, can you believe it’s actually SIX years since Higgins came into our lives…SIX!  Life hasn’t been the same since! Mini Dachshund 2009-09-23 07.19.48So a celebratory breakfast was called for, and excuse to test the super duper waffle maker kindly sent by Cakemart for me try out.  I’ve never made waffles before, simply because I didn’t think I could manage one of those traditional heavy waffle irons, but this one is really easy.

It’s very Planet Penny don’t you think? Pink AND heart shaped…heart shape waffle makerThe only thing to note is the waffle maker is supplied with a European plug and so will need an adaptor if you are in the UK.

The waffle maker comes with it’s own recipe leaflet, but I used the Cherry Poppy Seed Waffle recipe from my new favourite cook book, A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones and it was completely yummy.  The recipe uses oats ground to a flour, something I’ve not tried before, but it makes for a lovely light consistency and you need about 3 tablespoons of batter at a time to make the perfect size. (I had a few wonky waffles to eat while I worked that out!)

Bestron waffle makerServed with the warm cherries and a drizzle of yoghurt these waffles are an absolute treat, and warm up well in the toaster too if you have any leftovers (there weren’t many!)cherry & poppy seed wafflesThe waffle maker is non stick so just needs a wipe with kitchen paper after you’ve finished, no washing up, hooray!

So if you’ve never made waffles before it’s worth giving this a try, and if you are already a convert, what’s your favourite recipe and topping?  It would be great to share in the comments, don’t you think?

I’ll be back soon…x

p.s. before you ask, Higgins had his waffle naked…he didn’t mind!

The Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile – Ta-DAH!

At last I can share with you the project I have been beavering away to finish, the crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile,  made using the new pastel selection of Planet Penny yarn.Planet Penny Cotton Yarn - New Pastel Shades for Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile

I’m really happy with this pastel version of the rainbow shades and hope you like it too.  I’ve got lots of ideas for pretty pastel blankets and cushions, but for now I’ve been having fun surrounding myself with loads of butterflies and flowers.  We may not have had much sunshine this year, but it’s definitely been summer on Planet Penny!

Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyI made lots of butterflies in different colour combinations, used the Lemon Sherbet to make the flower centres and saved the Peppermint Cream for the leaves (and then had a happy half hour arranging them for the photos!) Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & yarn from Planet PennyBut the ultimate goal was to make a mobile.  I used a wooden hoop as the base and crocheted round to cover it (but actually it would be fine left ‘au naturel’ or painted)…covered hoop for Crochet Butterfly & Flower mobile…and added three crochet chains for hanging.

After arranging and pinning the flowers to cover the hoop…crochet flowers for mobile PDF pattern - Planet Penny…I used my trusty hot glue gun to fix them securely.Crochet Butterfly and Flower Mobile - PDF pattern - Planet Penny(and then got very excited about the idea of a coronet bed head with filmy drapes over a little girls bed, or a bridesmaid headdress, or framing a mirror…or…or… shhh…calm down dear!) 

Anyway, for now it’s butterfly time and I added these with nylon thread which is nearly invisible, hanging each butterfly at different lengths and… da-DAA…! The finished Crochet Butterfly & Flower MobileCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - PDF pattern - Planet PennyAnd then the sun came out so I was able to let those butterflies loose to flutter in the breeze…Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile made in Planet Penny Cotton Pastels _PDF pattern & yarn - Planet Penny You can find a downloadable PDF of the instructions here:  Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile and the yarn is available in the Etsy shop.

I’ll be back soon…x

Just a little post…

…to say thank you!

Thank you for all the positive comments on my last post.  It’s lovely to hear you are happy to read my ramblings, and Higgins is positively swollen headed at the thought that you want a bit more ‘Dachshund Action’…  He’ll do his best to provide it!

A lot of the things which have been keeping me away from the day to day Planet Penny stuff have been related to getting to grips with sorting out my parents home, my mum’s stuff and all sorts of things I had stored at her house and forgotten about.  It’s an unwritten law, isn’t it, that you always have something left in your parents’ attic, even when you have a home of your own? I know we still have all sorts of odd boxes full of our off-springs’ stuff and they’ve long left home.  I’m being hopeless at parting with things too, even things I actually don’t like, like this Toby jug which has scowled at me from a shelf for as long as I can remember…Toby jug

He’s been banished to a cupboard now, but we haven’t parted company even though he obviously disapproves of everything I do!

And then there are clothes, especially things my mum knitted.  How fabulous is this Patricia Roberts cardigan she made me in the eighties?  I thought I had lost in in one of my many moves, but no it was safely in the attic.  Quite a good incentive to diet, but probably not to have another perm!Patricia Roberts CardiganSitting out here in the studio listening to the rain on the roof it’s hard to believe how hot we were over the weekend.  Higgins is very fed up right now because he hates the rain and would prefer to stand around with his little cabriole legs crossed rather than got out into the garden.   It was a different story on Saturday when it was 28°C, a steamy hot August afternoon… A little post - Norfolk in AugustHe really was a hot little sausage!dog_walk hot_dogSo for now I’m indoors and working on a crochet project with the new Planet Penny yarn. Here’s a sneaky peek…Planet Penny Yarn PastelsI’ve also finished a bag that I started on the Crochet Retreat when I decided to go outside my comfort zone with chunky yarn and a size 12mm hook. I love the bright shades of this DMC XL Cotton…

DMC XL cotton yarnIt turned out to be a little more XL than I had planned.  Just as well I’m 5’9″ or it would drag on the floor but it’ll be great place for a yarn stash!crochet bag DMC XL yarnI’ll be back with a new post to share those pastel butterflies, see you soon…x


Getting back that blogging habit…

Why is a bad habit so much easier to hang on to than a good one? stopping the nail biting habit

It took me years to stop biting my nails, but it’s been horribly easy for life to get in the way of something I’ve enjoyed doing since, I can scarcely believe it, 2007!  So I’m going to try to get back into the old routine and I hope you will join me on the way.

I have a question though, and I hope you can help.  There is SO much stuff out there written about the best way to blog, and I know that it’s recommended that you should find your target audience, and a subject and keep focused.  And I find that really difficult…me…focused?

I’m too much of a butterfly brain, and that’s a habit I won’t ever lose!

I will admit to hiding behind the old ‘Lifestyle’ label which is rather frowned upon these days, but that’s so that I can ramble on about an eclectic mix of stuff. So…can you tell me, what you’d like more of, or less of come to that?

I’ve got a real back log of things to catch up on after the last months and I’ve been sent some great stuff to review.  I have a new crochet project in the making with the second new Planet Penny Colour collection and the sun came out today and Higgins and I went for a lovely walk. That’s another habit I mustn’t lose…

I rather suspect that one of the things some people would like to see more of is Higgins, who has been conspicuous by his absence lately…

Miniature Dachshund the dog walking habit…but as you can see he is in fine form!

So if you have some feedback I’d love to hear it (and if you got a habit you would like to share – a good one or a bad one) please do share!

See you soon …x

Planet Penny Cotton Colours – Ice Cream Shades

Those of you who signed up for the newsletter will know that the new Planet Penny Cotton Colours Ice Cream Shades selection is now available in the Etsy shop.  And despite the ensuing flurry of of orders I’m pleased to say there are still some packs available!
Planet Penny Colours Ice Cream Shades

I’ve really enjoyed playing with this new palette of colours, especially as I have got just a little bit obsessed with making these gorgeous crochet roses from the Frank & Olive Crochet CAL.  It’s a super simple pattern, and if you would like to join in you can help Ruby with her wedding flowers! 

Planet Penny Cotton Colours Ice Cream shadesThe yarn is exactly the same super quality as the Planet Penny Cotton Colours Rainbow Shades, a lightweight DK, and the packs of 10 different Ice Cream colours in 50g balls is £26.00.  It comes with a 3mm crochet hook, which I recommend if you are making amigurumi and need a denser stitch.  For blankets, throws etc I use a 3.5mm hook or knitting needles.

Find it in the Etsy shop right HERE

I’m off to work on the second new collection, a Pastel rainbow this time.  It’s going to be soo pretty for baby things, and with a new baby for the family putting in an appearance in the Autumn I’m going to have fun with it.

I hope you love the new Planet Penny Cotton Colours as much as I do…

I’ll be back soon…x


The Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive

Well I’m home, bright eyed and bushy tailed from a simply stunning weekend at the very first Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

I hopped on a train to York on Friday afternoon and after the taxi driver had negotiated the rush hour traffic I arrived in the peaceful Yorkshire countryside at Deighton Lodge, a converted farmhouse.  Here I was welcomed by Ruby and Kim, of Frank & Olive Crochet.Ruby & Kim - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveRuby is a fabulous crochet designer as seen in Mollie Makes, Simply Crochet, Inside Crochet and Kirstie’s Handmade Britain.

As the other ‘Happy Hookers’ arrived we were given a very welcome glass of Prosecco to sip while we gazed with wide eyed wonder at the heaps, piles….mountains of gorgeous yarn which surrounded us.  Just yarn heaven!

Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveI really wanted to bring this sheep home! DMC sheep - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveThere were pattern books galore to inspire us and it wasn’t long before we had all dived in and started new projects and we were a little reluctant to stop to eat.  That is until we saw the gorgeous Greek themed feast which had been prepared, just scrumptious!

And that is how the weekend continued, with fabulous food and drink, more yarn than we could ever use, inspiration, lots of laughter and new friends.  It was exactly what I needed and I’ve come home thoroughly inspired.Marna Lunt - Crochet retreat with Frank & OliveRuby had arranged a workshop with  Marna Lunt the textile artist who is lovely and had us all crocheting, cutting and stitching to make our own creations, I’ve nearly finished mine…Marna Lunt workshop - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveThe final luxurious touch was a massage with Nassira, who was fantastic – it just added that extra relaxing element…

So I’ve come home full of enthusiasm and have only been slightly daunted by discovering that our internet is on the blink! So. I might get this published, who knows but hey…I am sooo chilled…

If the Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive sounds like it might be right up your street you can find out more about it here… and I’ll be back soon to share a few more of my makes…x

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