Christmas Tree Muffins

Two and half weeks til Christmas and it's time for some festive baking! These Christmas Tree Muffins are really tasty with a lovely spongy texture. Just what you need to brighten up your table at a Christmas party.


Bottom part - Tree trunk
125g flour
15g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
88g sugar
90ml milk
1 egg
50ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla essence

Top part - Branches
125g flour
1 tsp baking powder
88g sugar
90ml milk
1 egg
50ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
green food colouring


1.Heat the oven to 170C
2.Prepare the muffin tin with paper cases.

3.Bottom part:
a. Beat the egg and leave it to one side.
b. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder.
c. Add in everything else, including the egg, mix well and leave to one side.

4. Top part:
a. Beat the egg and leave it to one side.
b. Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder.
c. Add in the milk, egg, oil and vanilla essence. Mix well.
d. Add in the green food colouring and mix well. Amount of colouring depends on what kind of colouring you are using. Make it as green as you can!

5. Pour one big spoonful of the 'bottom part' mixture into each paper case. 
6. Pour one big spoonful of the 'top part' mixture over the top of the 'bottom part' mixture in each paper case.
7. Bake for approximately 20 mins.
8. Leave to cool.
9. Enjoy :) - they taste even better when they've stood for 24 hours, if you can be patient and wait that long!

Colours of Seattle

Chillies in Pike Place Market
Last month we spent two weeks in Seattle. We loved it. There is so much to see, so many different parts of the city with different characters. Seattle is famous for being a rainy city, but we got lucky and almost every day was sunny! The sun made all the colours of Seattle even more beautiful.

Flowers - Pike Place Market

Glass Ceiling - Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle Center
I totally loved this exhibition. All the colours were so powerful and the combination of colours and shapes was just amazing. The inside exhibits were made even more stunning by being lit up in rooms where everything else was black. It took my breath away when I walked into this first room.

Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle Center

 Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle Center

Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle Center

Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle Center
I loved the garden as well. The way that the brightly coloured pieces of glass looked like they belonged with the natural plants. Visiting this place made me want to learn glass blowing! 

Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle Center

Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle Center

Pike Place Market
The famous Pike Place Market is so full of colour and variety and is worth visiting at different times of day to see it in different lights.

Pike Place Market

Introducing my Book Fairy

So much has happened since I last blogged. I've been in 8 countries in 3 continents for a start! Once life gets back to normal I will post more photos and blog a bit more about what we did and saw, but for now here's a picture of my lovely book fairy which I bought at the opening of the Plush You! show at Schmancy Toys in Seattle. This amazing doll caught my eye when Kristen posted a picture of her on instagram when it arrived at the shop for the show, and then when I saw it in real life I knew she had to be mine! She is made by Pheleon Creations. I have lots of photos from the opening of the show and will blog about it in a few days time.

Nerdy Nora

This is Nerdy Nora. If you want to meet her in real life then make sure you're at the Plush You! opening night at Schmancy Toys, 1932 2nd Avenue, Seattle on 12th October at 17:00. Click here to go to the facebook event page for more info.

The last few weeks

 Here's a few pictures of where I've been these last few weeks. The month started off nice and sunny but this week there has been loads of rain.
 Paddling in the sea at Brighton beach.
 West beach at Littlehampton
 A Mandeville statue in Covent Garden - part of the Olympic celebrations.
The Team GB lion at the start of the Athlete's parade.

A Parcel from a Squirrel

It's always exciting to be part of a Plush Team swap! You just know you're going to get something fab, and this time was no exception. I got home one evening a couple of weeks ago and my Mother in Law said to me, 'you've got a parcel, it weighs nothing and it's from a squirrel!'

 I immediately ran upstairs to open the parcel knowing that this must be my Plush Team anniversary swap and that it was from none other than Squirrel Momma

And this is what I found inside! Lucky me :) Thank you so much Squirrel Momma :)

Posting Parcels

I seem to have got out of the habit of blogging - I guess life has been busy and I haven't had much time for making and baking. But in the time I have had, I have been getting things ready to post. This is my first parcel I sent off to PlushYou containing 2 lovely amigurumi dolls. Yesterday I sent a parcel to my Plush Team swap partner and hopefully today I'll send another parcel to PlushYou - just need to make time to put the finishing touches to that doll... And talking of PlushYou, there's an interview with me which went up on their blog last week. You can see it here.

Amigurumi Beach Friends

As a kid, a lot of my summer holidays were spent on the beach in France. As a tribute to those days and as my entry to the Plush Team Beach Challenge I present to you Monsieur Le Starfish and Monsieur Le Sandcastle! If you would like them to brighten up your day and bring back happy childhood memories of summers on the beach, they are available to buy from the Plush Team Shop.

Busy, busy...

I haven't blogged for ages :/ sorry about that! Time just seems to fly past at the moment! Just so that you know I haven't been lazy, here's some of what I've been doing lately. This is the beginnings of Monsieur Le Starfish who I am making as part of the latest Plush Team challenge.

And this is the beginnings of a dog which will be an accessory to one of the dolls I am making for Plush You 2012.

Summer fun continued...

Some of the finished articles from this week's creative workshops at Novi Most Jajce.

Summer fun

We've started our summer holiday programme at Novi Most Jajce, and this morning we had the first Creative Workshop. Here's some of what we got up to. The workshops continue tomorrow.

Feltmistress monsters in progress

At Novi Most Jajce we've been working on these monsters for a while and finally some of them are finished!

Crochet Caricatures

This is something I made recently as a custom order. I always find caricatures harder to do if they are of people I know well - is that strange? This one is of my sister and my little niece!

International Yarn Bombing Day 2012

It's International Yarn Bombing Day today, and this is what the main street in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina looks like. If you look closely you'll see that each street light has a stripey jumper!

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Shortbread

 These are another great Pinterest find! This recipe comes from the blog 'The view from the Great Island'. If you are American then click the link to see the recipe. If you use European measures then here it is converted:

113g butter
250g peanut butter
188g flour
31g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp sea salt
120g chocolate chips

Cream the butter and peanut butter until smooth and then add in the vanilla.
In another bowl mix together all the dry ingredients except the choc chips.
Add the dry to the wet and mix until it becomes a dough. I used my hands for this bit!
Add the choc chips and knead the dough until they are all mixed in.
Put the dought onto a sheet of greasproof paper and make it into a log shape. Wrap the dough in the paper, twist the ends to close them and leave in the fridge for at least 15mins.
Take the wrapped log out of the fridge and cut it into discs about 1cm thick. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 160C for 12-14mins.
Let them cool on the sheet for 5mins before transferring them to a wire rack.

Beware - they are very addictive! I won't tell you how many I've eaten today. I will have to give the rest away as my husband doesn't like peanuts and I really shouldn't eat any more!

Thanks again to 'The view from the Great Island' for sharing such a great recipe!

Sweet and Sour - a Scrumptious Delight?

Do you like the sweet and sour combination? I do! I love sweet and sour chicken, sweet chilli sauce and Hawaiian pizza. And I like the combination of sweet and savoury - french fries with chocolate sauce :) In our town there is an amazing pizza restaurant where they make the best Hawaiian pizza ever, but it's not very popular as people here don't get the sweet and savoury thing. I have been trying hard to convert my friends to it and I'm succeeding slowly! 

Even if you don't like sweet and sour food, you must like this sweet and sour plush combination! Both of these plush are made by Scrumptious Delight. Go and check out her Etsy shop for more sweet and savoury delights - marshmallows, cotton candy and more!

Avant-Garde Jajce 2012

We did it! The art project for young people that I've been talking about on and off for the last month or so has finished. 

It was certainly a day to remember. It started at 03:30am with an armed robbery in the centre of town, about 2 minutes from our house. At 05:00am we left our house as planned to meet  up with the others to put up the exhibition around the town but we were stopped before we even left our street by a policeman telling us to go back into our house as there was a gunman on the loose and the town centre was on lock down. At 06:30am a SWAT team turned up with guns at the ready and searched all around the area around our house as we watched out of the windows. By 07:30am the coast seemed to be clear and one of the policemen gave us permission to start putting the exhibition up. I had to go to a friend's house to pick up some of the stuff as she hadn't been able to get into the town due to the lock down. I should add that we live in an old walled town so there are only a couple of ways in and out. When I got back to the town gate, the policeman there wouldn't let me back in and he got pretty angry when I tried to explain that I live in the town and needed to go home and to set up our exhibition. After and hour of waiting outside the town gate he let me in and we started to put the exhibition up! You can watch us doing it in the video above. 

As if we hadn't had enough to deal with already, there were two big thunder storms in the afternoon right when the young people were supposed to be performing outside! You can see some dancing in the rain on this second video which is of the performances.

Crochet Hero 3KCBWDAY3

I'm a bit behind with these blog posts! Life is pretty hectic these days. But here we go with Day 3 - Crochet Hero. Pictures like this one of amigurumi dolls made by Elisabeth Doherty are what inspired me to start making amigurumi. Her dolls have so much personality and each one is unique. You can see more of her dolls if you click here. She has actually stopped making amigurumi now and has started to make other dolls. You can see them if you click here. She has published a book of her amigurumi patterns and it was that book that helped me get started in making my own patterns for my dolls. You can buy the book from amazon if you click here.

Photo Challenge 3KCBWDAY2

This is Eco Bunny, and he, like me, lives in the beautiful country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unfortunately some of the countryside in this beautiful country is messed up by rubbish - plastic bottles, plastic bags and other stuff like that. Eco Bunny is made from and stuffed with plastic bags and is leading the recycling revolution in our neighbourhood. Here he is just across the street from our house in a pile of cardboard boxes.
Here he is again in the bombed out house across from our house.
And once again visiting another pile of rubbish. Unfortunately these pictures only show the bad things about Bosnia and Herzegovina - but for the photo challenge I think they work! But - please take some time to look at some of my other blog posts where you will see how beautiful the country really is, and if you ever get the chance, you really should visit!

This blog post is for day 2 of Eskimimi's Knitting and Blog Week.

To nominate my photos for the photo challenge prize please click here.

To see more photos from today's photo challenge copy and paste the code 3KCBWDAY2 into google.

Colour Lovers

This week I am taking part in Eskimimi's Knitting and Crochet Blog Week . Today's theme is 'colour lovers'.   This is a picture of my wool stash and you can see I have plenty of colours! The top left shelf is the skin tone colours, top right is eyelash yarn for hair, then yellows and greens, blues and greys, reds, oranges and browns and last of all pinks and purples. 

I often start making an amigurumi by choosing 3 or 4 balls of wool in a colour combination I like and then finding a complimentary combination of eye colour and the colour of felt around the eyes. The personality of the doll then develops from those colours as I make it.
Looking back over the dolls I have made I've discovered that this combination of skin, hair and eye colours is the one I've used most often. It's funny because, if I'm asked, I always say that pink and purple are my favourite colours, but when I asked a friend to do a critique of my Etsy shop recently, one of her comments was that there wasn't enough pink in it, and I looked in my wardrobe the other day and realised that most of my t-shirts are green. I'm starting to think that perhaps pink and purple aren't my favourite colours after all! 

What is your favourite colour?


And the waiting is over...

After our workshop on Monday the army of babushkas in my living room now have faces :)

Waiting for Faces

 There's a slowly growing army of faceless babushka dolls in my living room! Preparing for next week's workshops...

Raspberry Smores Cheesecake Recipe

 It worked this time! So here's the recipe as promised.

Pie Crust:
185g biscuit crumbs
70g melted butter
55g sugar
a pinch of salt

Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted butter and stir until the crumbs are coated in the butter. Add the sugar and salt and mix well.

Press this mixture into a 24cm flan tin and refrigerate for 45mins.
 Interesting Fact: Biscuit crumbs with milk is popular for breakfast here in Bosnia and Herzegovina so you can buy them ready made - there's no need to buy biscuits and smash them for recipes like this!
 Cheesecake Mixture:
250g chocolate cream cheese
1 egg
50g sugar
2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
40g melted marshmallows
120g raspberries
 Chocolate Cream Cheese - another local ingredient!

Whisk the cream cheese to get some air into it. Add the egg and keep whisking. Add the sugar, sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Add the raspberries and stir them into the mixture. Melt the marshmallows and then pour them into the mixture and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the flan case and bake for 20-25mins at 180C

Leave to cool on a wire rack. When cool, refrigerate for 1 hour and then serve and enjoy :)