at home with Hannah Lifestyle

Current Cards I Need To Write

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IMG_2308Notecards, birthday cards, new baby cards, wedding cards, thank you cards, even hi how are you cards, the list is endless. I have a little corner of my house dedicated to cards, as every month there is bound to be an event I’ve forgotten about. If I see something I like in a shop I will just buy it and hoard it for when I need it. I haven’t quite got to the stage of a present draw yet, but I know it’s coming.

Cards and props: feature window people card, Alexander Girard at Lagomdesign.co.uk. Hi & lightbulb cards, FSC.org. Doughnut card, M&S. Mini fake succulent, Paperchase. Party Blower, Talking Tables. Nail varnish, Nails Inc.

 

 

Baking

Aga Pavlova with soaked summer fruit 

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Being at the cottage in Dorset, it’s fun to get to grips with baking in the Aga, here’s a simple show stopping pudding that is great for the family to share.

Ingredients 

6 large egg whites

150g white caster sugar, sieved

200g light brown sugar or golden caster sugar, seived

1.5 teaspoons corn starch

Food colouring, optional

Seasonal fruit, I used 2 peaches, handful raspberries, a pear and half a nectarine.

Apple juice

1pt double cream.

Serves 6 generous portions

Method
Start by soaking the fruit, place the chopped pieces in a shallow bowl and cover with the apple juice. You can also use a fruity liquor if you want an alcoholic version. Cover with cling film and place in fridge.

To make the pavlova, whisk egg whites until they form stiff soft peaks.

Combine and add the sugar tablespoon at a time. Whisk until mixture is thick and glossy. The mixture should be fairly stable so keep whisking until it gets there.

Fold in the cornstarch and a few drops of food colouring.

Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the middle creating height.

Place in the top oven for 10 mins, then if you have a middle oven move the for 30-40 mins, if you only have a bottom oven move and slow bake for 60 mins.

Once cooked, leave to cool fully. It can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days or served immediately.

Whisk the cream and dollop over the top, then scatter the fruit.

Baking

Rhubarb Lemonade Crumble

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At this time of year, I can harvest the last crop of rhubarb from my little urban London garden and as the autumn in fast approaching I love to make a crumble. (You can still get it in the supermarkets pretty readily too.) In this delicious recipe you soak the freshly cut rhubarb in lemonade overnight. As you can imagine the rhubarb drinks it up and becomes even sweeter, brining out its flavour in the best of ways.

Ingredients

500g rhubarb, chopped to an inch

100g golden caster sugar

2 cups of lemonade

150 g self raising flour

100g unsalted butter, chilled

2 tbs ground cinnamon

50g dark brown sugar

Method

Place the rhubarb slices and lemonade in a shallow dish and cover, leave overnight or up to three days.

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.

Pour soaked rhubarb into a saucepan and add the golden caster sugar. Warm on a low heat for 15 minutes or until softened, but still intact, try to avoid stirring. Pour into a medium dish.

To make the topping, rub the flour, cinnamon and butter together with your fingers until you have a soft, crumbly topping. Now add the sugar mixing together with your hands.

Scatter the topping over the rhubarb and sprinkle some extra golden caster.

Bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.

Serve piping hot with a big serving of thick vanilla custard.

Craft Flowers

Pressing Really Large Flowers in the Microwave

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It’s starting to feel like part of the summer is coming to a close, I may be wrong and we may get a second wind, but I didn’t want to miss out on preserving some of the wonderful flowers that are around right now, for projects later on in the year. It was my birthday over the weekend, a friend of mine bought me a beautiful bunch of flowers with my absolutely favourite peony in it, called Lovely Rose. I have been reading up on ways to successfully press flowers, I have been pressing since the beginning of the summer and had some good and some very disappointing results. Gorgeous poppies fading into a brown mush, surprisingly bad presses from flowers that are so pretty and colourful before drying. Continue Reading

Craft

D.I.Y. Air Drying Clay Love Letter – 9th Wedding Anniversary Gift Idea

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I can’t believe it, today I have been married to my gorgeous husband for 9 years! It goes so very quickly, and we have actually been together for a total of 15 years. We got married young by todays standards, but we were lucky enough to have met young too and getting married was one of the best decisions we have made.

So this anniversary gift is ceramics, clay, porcelain, pottery, any of the above. I’m not quite sure how interested my husband would be in me making him a pot or a vase… but a small clay token is cute and very romantic, of course!

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Style in the City! Cover girl and 6 page feature in the Sewing Network OUT NOW!

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Press play and check out their little Instagram video of some of the projects below!

I am so delighted to see the 6 page spread of some of my Sew London projects in this months gorgeous The Craft Newtwork Sewing Magazine! This is only the fourth issue of the mag and I really think it’s one to watch, as there are so many up to date projects in there for all sewing abilities.

The projects from the “Style in the City” feature are dear to me for many reasons, firstly, I am a Londoner and I can’t tell you how much fun we had shooting the projects on the streets of my hometown, secondly of course its great to have lovely photos taken of you by the super talented Ms Tiffany Mumford. Thirdly and most importantly, you may or may not know that I wrote two sewing books last year, one was to be called Sew London and the other Sew NYC. After completing the books, the publisher (Kyle Books) I was working with ripped the rug from under my feet and pulled the plug on the project. I of course was devastated. It wasn’t an easy thing having a 1 year old and trying to work at the same time around the clock, every nap time and evening. I could say my confidence in sewing was a little dented, as they were not gentle with me ( waaawhaa poor baby!) So I was over the moon when the wonderful Jennifer Morgan ( from Craft Network),  took one look at the projects an commissioned them immediately!

If you like sewing, do go out and grab yourself a copy and tell me what you think!

Shopping

HobbyCraft July Haul! My £20 bargains

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So this month I visited my local HC to see what bargains they had on offer… Firstly I’ll admit my eyes did a cartoon bOyOyOyng when I spied this ginormous bucket of clay for only £10, I keep seeing and adding gorgeous Pinterest posts for air-dry clay ideas to my page, pretty plant pots and doily stencils, so I’m really keen to have a go myself. I also managed to get two balls of sumptuous Rowan wool, which I thought I could use to make some sort of Macramé plant holders for my new pots. In addition I got this cute graphic “My Guy” themed card book from Trimcraft, which will come in very useful for card making. I have been working more and more on sewing patterns recently, having a 6 page spread in the Sewing Networks mag this month, I thought it was time to expand my tool kit! So this pattern marker is very helpful indeed. And finally I got a selection of those puffy stickers for my little boy, who is going through a sticker phase at the moment. He is totally addicted and HC seem to do some really great ones.

Thanks HobbyCraft, I’m excited to get going on my new projects!

Craft DIY Fashion

D.I.Y. How to make a hand painted watermelon clutch bag with SkillShare

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Lets get making! Come and join me for this free class here
Fancy making the perfect clutch for this summer? I wanted to create a project that used several skills when working with fabric. In this lesson you will learn how to work with fabric paints, embroidery threads, attach a zipper and line a bag. Skills that can be translated to all sorts of bag projects once learnt.
When designing this project I started off making it as a smaller coin purse, then realised it had far more impact as a clutch bag, I totally love the result. What do you think? Watch the intro video below or click on the link above and enrol to the class for full access.
 I am delighted to have recently been asked to join the ever growing teaching platform Skillshare. It’s a brilliant, its a far more advanced form of classes than say YouTube, where lessons are broken up into easy to digest sections and classes can be anywhere between 20-1 hour long ( on YouTube 5 mins is about as long as they get) so its a really in depth way of working. And the great thing is that it’s cheap! Currently they are running an offer for only $0.99 for 3 months! it then goes up to around $8 per month, which still isn’t much for what you are getting. Click here if you want to learn more.
It’s a great platform for someone like me to teach longer lessons and reach a larger audience. So I am totally in love with the fruit trend this summer and have had watermelons on the mind for a while ( probably as my son Teddy LOVES them and we eat them a lot in our household!)

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Baking

Heavenly Elderflower Cupcakes Recipe

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IMG_0483These beautiful cupcakes pack a punch with the most wonderful floral flavour. Why not try making your very own cordial to go into them, heavenly.

Ingredients

180g unsalted butter, softened
180g caster sugar, sieved
3 large free range eggs
5 tbsp elderflower cordial see recipe here
180g self-raising flour, sieved

Icing

110g unsalted butter,softened
300g icing sugar
3 tbsp elderflower cordial
50g cream cheese

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180° gas mark 4.

Line a 12 hole muffin tin with matching paper cases.

Using a kitchen aid or electric whisk cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. This can take a good 5 mins to do, the colour should be almost white.

Next add the cordial to the mixture and blend well.

Then add the three eggs one at a time.

Finally add the flour and fold in until the mixture is evenly combined.

Place heaped tablespoons of the batter into the cases and bake for around 20mins until cakes are golden and a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack.

4For the icing, cream the butter, icing sugar and cordial together for 3 – 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese until you have a thick, creamy icing. Spread or pipe over the cupcakes and decorate.

*Adapted from Waitrose.com recepie

Baking Drink

A Years Supply of Elderflower Cordial Recipe!

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I have very vivid memories as a kid of our annual elderflower picking trip, it always felt very exciting and a little bit naughty as we would literally jump out of my mums cream 2CV somewhere along the railway lines near our house and grab as many of the flower heads as we could before speeding off ( I say speeding, not sure a 2CV can do that!). We would get the lot home and my mother would boil down the sugary mixture on the hob, the smell was evocative. We would drink most of it before it even got cool, but that was part of the fun. To be honest as I grew up, I forgot the joys of elderflower. It wasn’t until about 6 years a go I noticed a resurgence on the supermarket shelves when Belvoir released the very prettily bottled elderflower cordial and I began to get a taste of it again. This time of year, the flowers grow everywhere, in parks, by railway lines and in unkept front gardens! As I live in an urban part of London you wouldn’t necessarily think there would be lots of green space, but there is so much to be foraged, even in the city, so get hunting.
This recipe includes citric acid, which may be trickier to purchase than simply going into a local chemist ( as apparently addicts use it to shoot up, eek!). So I would suggest make things simple and buy it on amazon click here !
N.B. this recipe makes 8 ltrs of the cordial, thats around 6-8 bottles. If this is too much for your requirements you can half the ingredients required.
Ingredients

40 heads of elderflowers

4 unwaxed lemons

3ltrs water

5kgs white sugar ( granulated or caster)

160g citric acid

plus…

extra large saucepan

muslin or thin tea towel

colander

Sterilised bottles for the syrup

Method

To clean your elderflowers, firstly give them a good shake outside, as there may be a few little insects hiding. Next wash them with cold water in the sink. Trim the stems right up to the base of the flowers.

Place the flowers into an extra large saucepan, then grate the zest of the 4 lemons on top. Slice the lemons into rounds and add to the pot.

Add the citric acid.

Next add the 3ltrs of water and put on the hob to boil. Once it has reached boiling point turn off hob and leave to one side. I would suggest leaving mixture to stew for 24 -48 hours.

To strain away the flowers and lemons, line a colander with the muslin ( I used one of my sons old ones!) then in batches ladle liquid through into a saucepan.

Pour the sugar on top of the liquid and place on the hob to boil for 5 minutes.

Allow to cool fully before dispensing into the serialised bottles.

Check out Pintrest for a list of inspiring elderflower drinks ideas