LJ Stitch and Sew

I’ve just set up a Facebook page as a dedicated place to showcase all of my crochet and sewing pieces. I’m trying to develop my skill set and offering pieces at low cost before I potentially start to sell things more regularly!

This hobby has helped me through a lot of stress and is currently keeping me sane through my teacher training, so any encouragement, feedback and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Please use the link to connect with me on Facebook!




For me this ‘celebration’ has no real meaning. At school we learnt about Hallows Eve and the time of harvest, at home I enjoyed fancy dress halloween/birthday parties with fireworks, toffee apples and of course costumes.

Some hate the date, some love it and we all have different reasons for making a deal out of the day or not. I love fancy dress and pumpkins, the colours of autumn vegetables, the smell of rain and freezing cold sunny days. So I see Halloween a time to celebrate this perfect season.

I haven’t carved many pumpkins in my life, maybe two or three? They never looked impressive so this year I tried out my new hobby skills and made one. I love it! The stalk needs to be made with a darker brown to accent the orange yarn more, and I need to neaten up the stuffing, but then again pumpkins aren’t usually perfect in shape.


Things Autumn Brings Us

The best time of the year in my opinion!

Oh No, Not Another Blogger

Nearly two weeks into September and the Autumn weather is definitely making an appearance. Gone are the days you can just wake up, throw on a dress and go out with wet hair and feel comfortable. Actually, I’m not sure those days ever even exist in the UK, but autumn isn’t all doom and gloom, it’s a pretty amazing season that eases the transition from longer slightly warmer days to dark bitterly cold mornings.

Leaves at this time of year are stunning. The trees become colourful with complimentary shades of orange, brown and red. They scatter the floor and on dry days are really crispy and crunchy, perfect for stomping around in.

The sun shines a bit lower making shadows look different and more atmospheric, it glows more orange which makes it look deceivingly warm out.

Despite the sun deceiving us, it’s the perfect season to get out the old…

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Blueberry Muffins

blueberry muffins

Once I attempted to make muffins without muffin cases in a shallow cupcake baking tray…as you can probably guess that turned into a messy disaster with no muffins to show. I recently attempted again to make them as I love muffins and buying four for a pound is a bargain but not when you could make 12 a little extra at home!

I have a shallow cupcake baking tray as I haven’t ever thought to buy a muffin one if I know I can’t make muffins, SO I lined each little crater with a muffin case. Made the mixture, split it between the 12 and voila! I made blueberry muffins!

The major tip I think that helped this be a success was Mary Berry suggested the mixture shouldn’t be handled too much, maybe about twenty folds maximum by hand, it should still be fairly lumpy and runny. I put complete trust into that lady and did what she said, and she was so right. I must admit I did think I was being set up for a second disaster as runny lumpy mixtures aren’t usually what you aim for in a cake mixture!

A couple of faults with these were that I followed the fruit ratio to the gram, meaning I had big juicy blueberries overpowering my muffins, although they didn’t bleed too much, there were just too many in a mouthful, so next time I will half the amount I fold in. I also feel like the muffins were shallow, even though they rose lovely. This is where a deep muffin tray might make better results as they will grow up rather than up and very very outwards!

Another tasty treat ticked off the list, I usually hate cooked fruit but in a muffin it’s quite irresistible. Now looking for suggestions for another new bake please!

Lemon Drizzle Traybake

lemon drizzle

I haven’t been on here for a while, mainly because life has been very hectic and I have just moved into my own flat with the boyfriend!! Of course, life is never too hectic for a spot of therapeutic baking!

My latest sweet treat that has been an absolute hit with myself and others is a lemon drizzle tray bake…which turned out to be a lemon drizzled massive square muffin! I got the recipe from Mary Berry of course as her traditional methods work well for me. It was also the first time I tried making a drizzle icing, so easy and simple so I am not sure why I haven’t done it before. I couldn’t resist licking the spoon either, so sugary and sweet.

It was also a first for me to use lemon zest! Normally I ignore this part of recipes and just squeeze the life out of some lemons. I thought as this was supposed to taste lemony I best follow it well, so I grated two skins of lemons, amazing! I can’t wait to give this a go with all different citrus fruits to add more taste to my future bakes.

My issue is always that I get a good rise on my bakes, it sounds so arrogant but I just follow recipes or stick to the classic ‘same weight as eggs’ method and my pots and pans can’t cater for the amounts! I always take a risk pouring all of the mixture into a tin and hope it bakes well, so next time I think I will try and split my mixture into to tins and make two bakes?

If you want to give this bake a try, you can find the delicious recipe in Mary Berry’s ‘Cookery Course’ book which is full of amazing ideas and methods. This has become a kitchen staple of mine and it was a bargain for only £9.99 from £25 in my local TK Maxx!

A tide of Blue

When it comes to politics I absolutely hate how people judge others and make those indirect statuses or tweets to people who have an alternative point of view.

All of a sudden all of my friends appear to have some confidence that they know what is best for each individual in the UK! Whilst many others are looking at what has happened in the past affect their mindset of what could happen in the future.

People are looking for parties to trip up and fail them. Britain is known for having a negative vibe and attitude towards life. We don’t embrace the opportunities enough or create a united front and back all of the very brave and passionate candidates.

We should be accepting the vote because that is what democracy is and this is how it works. Parties win for a reason and it’s time we stand up and suck it up. Here is to the next 5 years under a Conservative government and lets hope that we can be supportive and at least try and adopt to the changes forthcoming.

If anyone thinks I am taking this stance because I voted Conservative you are wrong. You are also wrong if you think government won’t have serious implications for my future! The world of Education is starting to look a little bleaker.