Sunday, 22 February 2015

Rose Flavoured Cupcakes

I don't get that much time off nowadays but when I do I still love to bake.
Like many people I have been watching the Red Nose bake off over the last couple of weeks and as a result I decided to make a few little buns.  Not red nose ones but even so I really enjoyed making them.
I always use the same recipe given to me by my good friend Lucy Murray.  We worked together for about six years before I quit to run my own wool and haberdashery shop.

The ingredients I used are as follows:

6oz Margarine or butter
6oz caster sugar
3 eggs
7 oz self raising flour

Cream the margarine and sugar together. Beat in the eggs and fold in the flour.  That's it.

I added 1 teaspoon of rose water to the mixture to give them a lovely unusual flavour.

I got a bit carried away with the decorations.I made a butter cream icing using 8 oz of icing sugar and 3 oz of margarine.  I didn't use as much margarine as usual because I didn't want the icing to be too sickly.
I also added half a teaspoon of rose water to carry through the Turkish delight flavour.

The flowers were made using fondant icing and flower and blossom cutters.

The cupcakes tasted gorgeous with just a hint of the rose flavour coming through.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Happy 2015

After promising to blog more I seem to have actually blogged less which is very annoying as blogging means so much to me and did at one time seem to take over any spare moments I had.
As ever life gets in the way.  I am however determined to get back in touch with this wonderful pass time as I do love it so.
After a short walk along the Chesterfield canal and the brief taking of a few photos I resolved to start again and try to be a frequent visitor.
I have missed looking with the eye of a blogger at the scenery around me.  I have rarely bothered even to remember my camera lately which is not like me.  In my defence I haven't actually managed to get out much what with the shop and all.  However that should change as my very good friend Catherine has volunteered to work the odd Saturday for me so maybe I will be able to go further afield in the future months.
The newly renovated house at Top Lock
New Years Day was a bit murky but we were just happy to get out in the fresh air having been cooped up for far too long.  We had my 91 year old Mum over for Christmas.  Unfortunately she fell backwards off the last step on the stairs on Christmas Eve damaging her knee ligaments.  We spent boxing day in A & E as the pain got gradually worse.  She then had a TIA (slight stroke) a day later but being a tough cookie she is recovering much better than we could have hoped for and has remained at her home rather than go to hospital.
This has been the house of my dreams for a long time and has recently been rented out. No amount of arm twisting could persuade hubby that we should take it! Obviously there is something better around the corner.  I can but hope.
As you can imagine it has been quite a traumatic time for all of us and therefore we are welcoming in the new year with a little trepidation.  However onwards and upwards as they say.
Happy New Year x

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Our Visit to Newark

I have always enjoyed Sundays apart from when I was a teenager that is.  Then Sundays were the day I had a major lie in coming downstairs just in time for a massive Sunday dinner followed by endless hours of nothingness.  Oh how I wish I had realised then how precious weekends were.
I only get Sundays off now and I guard them with my life.  As an added bonus I get the house to myself every other Sunday since my son has a new girlfriend and prefers to spend weekends with her and not me!
I always get permission from my hubby (not that it would make any difference) to take it easy and do absolutely nothing on my Sundays off but that is easier said than stuck to.  I have already done 2 loads of washing and the washing up left from last night so I have been quite busy actually.
As far as food is concerned I have just eaten a gorgeous plateful of easy prepare snackiness and have a coffee laced with Hazlenut syrup standing by so the day is looking good.

After blogging I intend learning how to use Netflix which is a new addition to our family, introduced by my son and not us you understand.
We do manage to get out and about occasionally when Steve gets a Sunday off work and last week we went to Newark.

What a surprise that was.  Although it isn't that far away for us we have never visited apart from when we went to the theatre there.  The problem was that we entered Newark from another road and I was under the illusion that it consisted of a couple of merky shops and a theatre and that was it.  No No No I tell you.

We entered the town this time and immediately found a Waitrose supermarket.  Now that in itself is quite amazing as neither Doncaster, Retford or Worksop have one of those so I was immediately impressed.
Further down the road we discovered the most amazing castle.

Now from the road this does look very imposing and beautiful.  We later found out that the castle had been dismantled/demolished by invaders at some time or another and as a result there isn't a lot to see from the other side, however this was still impressive.

Before reaching the castle we walked through a very pretty park and came to the river running between both.  There was a lovely big lock which was manned by the lock keeper and as the weather was so lovely we were able to watch several boats passing through.

We stopped at a little river side cafe for a light snack before discovering the town.  There were all the usual shops but also some wonderful little boutiques and gift type ones too.  There were also three vintage shops, unfortunately only one was open.  I must point out that Sunday is not the best day to visit should you wish to enjoy the full Newark shopping experience.
Back to the river to listen to a lovely chap singing his heart out by the floating barge bar and a good walk before returning to the car with our batteries fully charged.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would recommend you all to go and have a look for yourself. We will definately be going back soon.

Monday, 11 August 2014

I'm back after being away for far too long.

Hello everyone and a big thank you to anyone who has visited over the last few months only to see that I had disappeared.
Life has and still is hectic and as I now work six days a week in my relatively new shop I unfortunately don't seem to find the time to blog.  However I intend that to change as there is so much I can now involve you all in.
Hayfield Bonus Buzz Double Knitting yarn - £2.79 per 100gr ball

I have had a great six months since the shop opened.  I know it doesn't seem that long but it is.  The shop has been very successful so far and the stock of wool, and now fabrics has increased immensely.
My new fabrics from £4.50 a metre

I have enjoyed choosing and re-choosing all the beautiful items to stock and hope that I have struck a good balance of quality goods which are reasonably priced.

Needlecraft Corner, 19 Ryton Street, Worksop, Notts, S80 2AY
It is a dream come true I can tell you.
Also what's great about owning my own wool and haberdashery shop is that I get to try out as many products as I want.  Well it would be rude not to wouldn't it?
Wendy Roam Sock Wool in Fosse - £5.99 per 100gr ball (75% Wool)

I have some gorgeous sock wools.  This one is a Wendy 4ply called Roam in Fosse which as you can see is a variegated yarn changing from green to blue with a number of other colours intermingled in it. It is fantastic to crochet with as it doesn't split.  It is quite firm and perfect for the lovely shawl I am making in a corner to corner stitch.  Each row increases from one original stitch which means that it immediately becomes a triangle which just gets bigger.  You are supposed to start decreasing when you get to the right size so as you progress the triangle then develops into a square but I wanted a shawl so will keep going until I reach the right size.  I thought it would be perfect for when I go out on a cool summer evening or alternately when I sit in bed knitting I can look like a granny!
James C Brett - Double Knitting with Merino - £2.75 per 100gr ball
Above is a cardigan I have started in James C Brett double knitting with merino which is the nicest wool ever. It feels so cosy and soft. I just love it.
Cross stitch in an embroidery hoop which has been crocheted round

Hand stitched heart of my own design
 As you can see, I have been busy making wall decorations.  I love just deciding what to make and then having all the equipment readily to hand.  I can then plod along and finish things in my own time and in between customers of course.
Below is a picture of our recently finished craft classroom.  It is so bright and fresh in there and painted in a vibrant sky blue which according to our research is the perfect colour for creativity. 
Our new craft classroom is available to hire.
Well I hope you have enjoyed my quick resume of what's been happening in my life.  Of course I will keep on blogging now I have finally broke my silence.  I have truly missed stopping by and it is lovely to get back on the horse as it were.
I hope to speak again soon.  Best regards, Paula x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Hi everyone. Just a quick note to let you know that I am fine just extremely busy.  I will be back very shortly so please bear with me.  I am having a fantastic time working six days a week in the shop which is still extremely successful. 
We went to see the Sheffield leg of the tour de France at the weekend and will post the photos in the next few days.
I have missed you all very much and regret not having blogged for soo long.  Will be back soon I promise x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Clumber Park Yarn Bomb

There are draw backs to owning your own company one being the long hours.  This ultimately plays havoc with your social life and days out seem to be a thing of the distant past.
We did however manage a short run to Clumber Park, Nr Retford a couple of weeks ago.
A lovely lady at Clumber contacted me and many others with a view to contributing to a yarn bomb they were organising to celebrate the wassailing season.  This is when the apple trees are blessed in order to guarantee a good harvest in the months to come.

I put it to my knit and natter group and being a very enthusiastic crowd, they took up the challenge to knit rectangles to wrap around the trees and knitted apples to hang off them.
In total we produced and large carrier bag full of beautifully knitted bits and pieces which I then delivered the week before the festival.

Steve and I then went along to see the finished result.

There was lots for the kids to get involved in and also freshly squeezed apple juice for the adults to sample.  There was singing and dancing and much merriment.

We had a lovely time and it was great to pick out our knitting on the trees.  It certainly put us in the mood for further excursions should we have the time.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

New for Old Chairs

We have now completed week three in the shop and it is still better beyond my imagination.  I love being there and I love everything about the whole working for myself thing.
My customers have been great and have welcomed the new shop with open arms.
There has been the odd quiet time and I have been filling the lull by reupholstering the old chairs which I inherited from one of Steve's friends.
This is what the first one looked like before its makeover.
And afterwards ...
I used some fabric that I bought on Worksop market and a mighty staple gun from Rymans and hey presto.  It took literally half an hour, maybe less and the chair has been transformed in to something I would be proud to have in my house let alone in my shop.  I popped a bit of wadding under the fabric just to give is a little bit more of a feel of newness.  I love it.
You probably noticed in the shop pictures that I have a very green table.  This originated as a £20 charity shop find and now takes pride of place in the central area of the shop.

It gets used everyday and is invaluable when we hold our knit and natter sessions.