Wednesday, 16 January 2019


My Trello board - full of cards

 Anyone who knows me, knows I like a list.  And I’ve found Microsoft OneNote perfect for most of my organising needs, but there was still one thing that wasn’t quite working for me - my craft project list.
My craft projects fill my head, but remembering how much wool or fabric you need for a particular project, never mind all the other stuff like zips, buttons or thread, is really hard, especially if you haven’t planned a visit to a shop and just find yourself in one.
I’d created lists in OneNote for the four different types of project I tend to work on at the moment - Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Paper, but I was struggling to keep them up to date - it was really hard to see if something was already there, without reading a list that might already have 50+ items on it.
And even if I knew it was on the list I couldn’t remember if I had the pattern yet or had already bought materials.
Prioritisation was also really hard as I changed my mind about what was important.
I was feeling uninspired and overwhelmed, knowing there were lots of projects I wanted to work on but with little idea of what I should be aiming for next.
I was talking to a colleague about something unrelated and they mentioned they were using Trello to organise their project.  I’ve used Trello before, but I’ve never quite got it working to its full potential. However I had a light bulb moment and it occurred to me that this would be the perfect platform for my projects.
Trello is a free platform that allows you to have different swim-lanes, in this case Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Paper, and then each project can be a card.  Each card can hold as much detail as you need, for instance a description of the project, amount of wool or fabric needed, an image, the pattern, and labels - to do, in progress, done, etc.

What a card looks like inside
 I’ve also set up some checklists, some are for every project, for instance do I have the pattern, materials and the equipment needed to complete the project?, while some checklists are for individual projects, for instance a knitted bear needs legs x 2, arms x2, head, body and ears x2.
And I can change the priority in a moment by dragging cards up or down the lists depending on what I’m thinking at that moment.  
As I was filling it in I found lots of things that I was interested in but didn’t have to happen any time soon.  Most of these were on open tabs on my iPad and getting in the way. So I created another swim-lane called Ideas for the Future and added cards here with links to the pages of interest.  It means it is really easy to move them across to the working lists if I suddenly want to work on them and I can declutter my iPad.
The other thing I found on my iPad were tutorials or help pages about certain techniques or methods.  Another swim-lane was created titled Tutorials and links added.
I now have a comprehensive list of things I want to work on all in one place.  If I’m in a shop I can easily see how much fabric I need (Trello has an app for my phone) and if I’m wondering what to work on next I can scroll through the list and see images to inspire me, instead of trying to read a massive list.  
I’ve only just started so I’m interested to see how it works going forward, but so far it feels like I’m on the right track and I’m excited to see it grow.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Georgous Cakes - part 15

This week I made a Treacle Star Tart and a Lemon Drizzle Traybake.  Both were pretty easy to put together and both came out well.  The tart required a bit of faffing about - blind baking the pastry, then painting with egg white and cooking again, but it seems it was worth it as even the gluten free pastry, which can be very delicate, kept its shape and integrity even with a very wet filling. 
I look forward to seeing how they last the week.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

Georgous Cakes - part 14

This week I baked a Somerset Apple Cake and some Iced Fancies.  The apple cake was very simple to make and although its not the most stable of cakes it tastes really good!
The iced fancies were very involved and took ages to make.  They taste ok, but I'm not sure they are worth all the effort.  We'll see at the end of the week.

Somerset Apple Cake: This was so tasty.  I think it would work really well as a warm pudding with ice cream.  Didn't quite last the week, but still good.
Iced Fancies: Not sure about these.  They didn't last the week and tasted a bit like potato.  Think I'll give them a miss in the future.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Solomon C Gull

Last year I knitted my mum Rowan the Reindeer for Christmas, although he was late due to a hand injury!  So this year when my dad sent me a link to a page of knitted and crochet seagulls I kinda guessed he was asking for one.
However I found it really hard to find a pattern that looked nice.  The first one I liked the look of seemed to have been taken down and I spent ages looking for another.

Finally I found Solomon C Gull on The Little Song Bird.  He looked just like the seagulls I run past in Bournemouth and so with only a couple of weeks till Christmas I bought the pattern and then some wool.
He's made with King Cole Big Value super chunky wool and came out more life sized than I'd realised he would when I bought the pattern!  However I think he looks really good and my dad seems very happy.

He was really easy to make and when I had a question and emailed them, they came back to me very quickly with exactly what I needed.
This was a fun project to work on and expanded my knowledge again.  
I now have so many possible patterns I could make (knitting, crochet and stitching) I think I will have to give up full time work just to keep up with my collection!  Isn't that the dream. 

Monday, 31 December 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 13

I've done a lot of baking over the last week or so, not that I mind.  On Christmas morning, before taking Milo for a 4 mile run, I made a Lemon Meringue Pie to take with us for Christmas dinner.  It was a very simple recipe and came out really well although I don't think it would last very long (not that it got the chance).
Later in the week I made an Italian Currant Cake which came out very nicely, even if all the currants sank to the bottom.  

There are still many recipes left to try out in 2019! 


Lemon Meringue Pie:  Very nice and easier than some recipes I've tried.  Does need to be eaten on the day as it doesn't last very well.

Italian Currant Cake:  Really tasty, even with all the currants sunk to the bottom.  'im outdoors said its one of the best fruit cakes he's had.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Crochet Christmas Angels

You know how it is, Christmas is nearly here and you accidentally see a cute crochet angel pattern which you know would go down really well with your mum and mother-in-law and so end up crocheting angels when you should have been doing other stuff!
In the end I made 4 of Priscilla's Crochet Granny Square Angels and they came out really well. They were very simple to make except the crochet arms and halos which I needed some help with from my mate Lou - once she'd pointed me in the right direction it was easy.
I hung them on our tree while I waited to give them - I didn't know how else to keep them safe - they are happiest hanging.
And I think they went down well too - my sister even hung her's straight on her tree although it didn't match the other ornaments! Happy Christmas!

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 12

This week I made a Chocolate Chestnut Log and had another go at the Orange Marzipan Cake.  As you can see the orange marzipan cake turned out much better this time, mostly due to lining the sides of the cake tin as well as the bottom - something I don't normally bother doing.  However it still had a hollow center.

The chocolate chestnut log was weird to make - no cooking involved.  It's more of a mousee than a cake, much to 'im outdoors disappointment. ("there's no cake in this cake!")
Still it came out well.  I'll be interested to see how it lasts the week.


Chocolate Chestnut Log: This wasn't very nice and no one wanted to eat it.  It ended up in the bin.

Orange Marzipan Cake: This is a very nice cake and I will be making it again.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Georgous Cakes - part 11

I didn't have very much time this week so I only made the one cake, a French and Flourless Chocolate Cake.  It was pretty straight forward to make but burnt a bit on top - must remember to move the oven shelf down a little when making big cakes like this.
Once it was out of the oven it sank but this was expected, then melted chocolate was poured over it.
It was quite like a chocolate brownie with that gooey middle and crisp outer.  Not sure if this will change over the week. 
Back to festive cakes next week! 

French and Flourless Chocolate Cake: This was so good and lasted the week really well.  Still as gooey and nice at the end of the week as at the beginning.  I'll defiantly be making this one again.