What a fabulous day! We’ve had glorious sunshine here all afternoon, although Belfast this morning was grey and cold. I had to keep my fleece on all day!
I have to admit the pic in my post wasn’t taken today, I took it about 2 weeks back one morning while in Donaghadee, the sea was calm and it just looked so peaceful, I couldn’t resist a snap of the harbour.
I really must start to take my camera to work, the pics I snap are usually with my phone, though to be honest, I really don’t think it matters much as my photography skills are a bit hit and miss!!
What ever you are doing this weekend, I hope it’s sunny where you are!
A quick and easy recipe for you all today, beer butt chicken. This has got to be my favourite way to cook a chicken, it stays so moist and the meat practically falls off the bone, mmmmm!
You will need:
1 can of beer, I just use larger to keep the chook moist but you can use a stronger flavoured bee, like an ale if you want a bit of flavour too.
A large roasting tin
Preheat oven to 180oc
Anoint your chicken with oil and rub in some salt to make the skin lovely and crispy.
Place the “butt” of your chicken over the opened can of beer.
Stand upright in the roasting tin
Roast in oven until the juices run perfectly clear, no need to baste this baby, it does this all by itself.
When cooked, allow to stand for at least 10 minutes, this allows the juices to relax back into the meat and also allows the beer can to cool slightly so you can remove it carefully with oven gloves!
Serve the chicken with whatever accompaniments you like!
Oh and don’t forget to stretch the chicken even further by using the carcass to make stock!
The weather has been very changeable here and it’s been so wet for the past few days that I haven’t been able to get into the garden, a sprint to the greenhouse is just about all I can manage!! So gardening has been out, bulk cooking is out too as I have a full freezer. I never seem to have space to bulk cook much or is it just that I have a ridiculously small freezer space???? So I have been sewing again! I re-jigged the checked bag I made at the weekend as I wasn’t happy with the handles. A local craft store sells a small selection of wooden handles, so I picked a nice set to put on the check bag.
Then came reversible tote bag…………
The outside view
and the reversed view!
I’m really pleased how this one came out, I hadn’t made anything like this before and I even managed to put a pocket on it too!
I’m currently grappling with a grab bag pattern, attempt one last night didn’t go too well, I think I made the mistake of being determined (read stubborn and tired) last night to get it done, even when I wasn’t sure of where I was going with it. Hopefully this version will work a little better.
(This is a picture of the not so good version)
The fabric I’m using today come from my Freecycle stash, there’s lots to choose from and the bigger pieces left over have enough space to cut a square for my quilt :0)
I think the terminology for re-using items to make something else from them is “up-cycling” ? Plenty of up-cycling in this house then!
My friend Dianne, is very crafty and makes lovely bags, the two pictures above are ones that she made. So with that in mind, I decided to try another bag this afternoon, using some more of my freebies from Freecycle.
Here’s the result…………..
I’m chuffed to bits with this one!
Sewing skills are improving, however it will be a while before I’m up to the standard of Dianne and her bags!!
The basic bag design came from “I made it myself”, by Eithne Farry. The book is really easy to follow and has some fantastic designs, not just for bags, but for clothing as well. I’d recommend it to anyone who is just starting, like me, to venture into the world of sewing.
I’m still cutting squares for my quilt, though I haven’t cut any since Monday night as I sliced the back of my hand with the rotary cutter, ooooops!!
Off now for a very large G&T and enjoy the rest of the evening.
that’s all I can hear from 4am in the morning. Grrrr! Now, I have nothing against the little birdies, but when they nest in the eaves of your house, right above your bedroom, it can be a little frustrating.
So, sleep deprived that I am, I have made myself a little energy boosting treat for breakfast tomorrow morning. I made a yummy banana and strawberry smoothie. I used 400mls of my home-made yoghurt, one banana and a few tinned strawberries that were left over in the fridge from my frozen yoghurt. It is very tasty and I think it will make a nice change from cereal or toast tomorrow.
it’s all ready to go in my travel tumbler, chilling nicely in the fridge. Yum yum!
No sewing tonight, I don’t trust myself with the sewing machine to be honest! It will have to wait to the weekend, maybe by then I’ll be awake enough to concentrate.
Tonight I finished my denim patchwork bag and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the finished result, even if I do say so myself!
It took a little bit of time to get the lining in, this was my first ever attempt at bag making, so I didn’t expect it to go so smoothly. I finally solved the handle problem by using cotton webbing I found while out shopping today.
Hubs helped at the end to get the rivets in place. It took a bit of time to punch the fabric out, but I think it was worth it as the bag looks unique with this style of handle.
I didn’t use a pattern for this bag, I just started with denim patches cut from an old pair of my jeans. Not bad for a beginner :0)
I’m still cutting out squares to make my patchwork quilt and after seeing one on sale in a store today for £115, previously £145, I will be most definitely making my own!
I spent a very happy afternoon yesterday, sorting through a big bag of fabric. It was given to me by a very lovely lady on freecycle
There’s an amazing assortment of colours and fabrics, most of which apparently came from a dressmaker. I have one piece in a gorgeous lilac which is big enough to make something really special with. I’ll save it until my machine skills are a lot better, it’s too nice to cut into squares for a quilt!
The downside of my fabric collection now is that after I start to cut out all my squares, there’s loads of threads and fluff everywhere, the dog doesn’t help as he carries it off to play with and then leaves it sticking all over the place. *sigh* I’ll just have to get used to more hoovering I suppose :0)
I knew it wasn’t going to go smoothly making this bag. So far this evening I have completed the lining and it’s all ready to go in. The problem now is the handle, the belt I had planned to re-use is just too thick to sew in with my machine or by hand. I’m going to have to rethin k this part and so, I’ve stalled. Drawn a blank. I was doing so well too. *sigh*
I’m not going to rush this as I really don’t want to mess up. What else can I sew in place? Hmmmmm, time to rummage charity shops this weekend I think to see what turns up!
I’ve become domesticated. It’s official. Not only do I own a sewing machine, but I know vaguely how to use it too. Now this may come as a big shock to those of you who know me well. I’m certainly not the girl I was years ago!! If you’d told me way back when that’d I’d be happily married, gardening, cooking and now sewing, I would have laughed in your face. But now, here’s the proof in full glorious technicolour……..
I sewed a bag this evening from an old pair of jeans. Now not even a straight up and down bag, no, I decided to make a patchwork one. Ambitious for someone, who until recently was just about able to zoom up an old pillowcase in a not so straight line.
To make a bag from recycled jeans, I cut out some squares
Sewed the squares in a strip
Sewed the strips together to form a large piece, then sewed the two piecess together, with the right sides facing.
To square off the corners, I squashed the bag down and sewed across the corners
This is how the bag looks, inside out…
Turn it the right way round and voila!!!
To make the handle, I’m recycling a belt from an old pair combat trousers…
I have to yet finish the lining, I’m going to use an old pillowcase for this. Maybe. Or I might use some old curtain material, I haven’t yet made up my mind.
I’m so proud of my efforts this evening!! Quite an achievement for little me :0)
Here’s something to get you thinking this evening……………….
Give me just a little more time.
What’s your answer?
What would you like a little more time for?
My answer is easy………………………….sleep!
Thanks to Meme Express for the prompt!