Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year

"Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source - a Sower of Dreams - just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true." -- Sarah Ban Breathnach, author

I wish you a very happy and peaceful new year

Gertie xx

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Seasons greetings

Here's wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Gertie xx

Friday, 12 December 2014

December's bake of the month


I fancied making a lemon cake but on no account was it to have the word ‘drizzle’ in it!!!!

Don’t get me wrong I love a lemon drizzle cake. However it just seems that every recipe for lemon cake is a ‘drizzle cake’. I wanted to do something different for a change.

I flicked through my various recipe books and came across something from the Good Food magazine which sounded promising. It didn’t have ‘drizzle’ in the title so that was a good start....

The recipe was for a citrus poppy cake. I’ve only ever used poppy seeds in bread making so thought it would be interesting to see who they tasted in a cake.

It didn’t disappoint. The citrus really hits you and the poppy seeds gave it a lovely nutty taste. It would also work brilliantly with just lemon or orange.

I’m a big fan of licking the bowl clean. It’s one of the perks of baking. However on this occasion I would strongly recommend you don’t. The batter mix is horrible!!!!

Citrus poppy cake 
(adapted from a Good Food recipe)

  • 6oz/150g butter/margarine, softened
  • 6oz/150g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 9oz/250g self-raising flour
  • 2oz/50g poppy seeds
  • Zest of 2 oranges and 2 lemons
  • 4 rounded tbsp of natural yoghurt
  • Icing sugar (optional)

  • Line a 2lb loaf tin. I use Lakeland’s cake liners but you could use baking parchment.
  • Pre-heat oven to 150º c/Gas Mk 2. Fan oven 130ºc.
  • Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix everything together until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf tin and level the top.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown. To check to see if it’s cooked gently press the surface of the cake with a finger. If it springs back it’s done.
  • Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely you can serve it as it is or dust the top with sieved icing sugar.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Crosses before my eyes

For the past few years I’ve made it a little tradition of cross stitching a Christmas card (or two).  Here are this year’s offerings.

There is another one nearly completed. I’ve just got to finish the backstitching so that should be ready for the big day.

These are previous year’s cards.


Things have been really slow with ‘Gertie’s Bags’. When it was first open for business on Folksy a month ago I did get a few hits and a couple of ‘likes’, but sadly that’s tailored off.  I also tried the eBay market with a small number of make up bags, but again nothing. I’m not giving up as I know it can take a while to get established.

Having read books on starting your own craft business social network seemed to be very big in promoting yourself. That maybe my downfall as other than blogger and, more recently, pinterest, I don’t use any of the others.

I do have a facebook page (I was persuaded into getting one by my friends) but I never use it. I just can’t see why you’d want to tell the world ‘I’m in a restaurant eating a bowl of spaghetti and here’s a picture of it’ or ‘I’m doing the weekly grocery shopping in ASDA’..... 

Got any tips for a social network phobic!!!!

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.