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Throw Back thursday – Taking a look at some crochet blankets I have made through the years.

As the dreaded cold months approach we all reach for our trusty blankets to keep us warm and safe during this time. Nothing says cosy more than a handmade blanket. My favourite to crochet are the granny square blankets. There is a infinite number of stitches, colours and combinations you can make. The best thing about granny squares is that you can make them a few at a time and sew them together whenever you want to.

In the last few years I have learnt new techniques and stitches. Next to granny squares I love the chevron stitch, where each row is a series of v’s this too can be made in any combination of stitches and colours. Be in plain or texture stitches, the design ideas are endless. Which brings me to my other favourite to crochet, blankets with texture stitches. I love how the texture stitches lend to the coziness and snugness of the blanket. They give it depth and character and are great for when you just want one colour in the blanket.

Below are some expample of recent blankets I have made through the years. You can see the full range in my Instragram account Vickys Handcrafted Designs.

I am currently working on a version of the “Peoples” blanket which is featured above, with bunny rabbits for the border and texture stitches for the body. Take a look at the photos below.

I love how the different stitches all work together to make one blanket. I will be finishing this soon and will put photos up.

Thank you for reading my posts. I hope you enjoyed this venture into my world of blankets.

#crochet #crochetblankets #grannysquare #grannysquareblanket

Vicky

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Is Pizza Tuesday a thing?

Cooking dinner during the week can be a challenge. How do you feed your family a healthy meal in the short amount of time you have available to cook during the week?

I find the ready to cook range from Woolworths a godsend. They have a really great tasting cauliflower pizza base ready to be baked, all you need to do is add your favourite toppings! The cauliflower base is low gi/low carb which is a great start if you are watching your sugar levels or weight. It has a great taste which will even be a winner with the younger children and best of all you can buy a few and freeze them so you have them ready at any time. Below is a quick recipe which I like to use when making pizza’s using the cauliflower base.

Vegetarian Supreme Pizza

Ingredients – Pizza Sauce

1 x 750ml bottle Italian passata

1 x 400g diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt/pepper to taste

If you wish add 1/2 diced onion and 1 glove of garlic if wanted

Method

  1. Place oil in the bottom of a heavy based pan, add oregano and if you wish onion and garlic. Lightly fry for a few seconds to allow oil to coat oregano or onion or garlic.
  2. Add passatta and diced tomato. Stir and allow to boil
  3. Once boiled reduce to simmer and simmer for half hour. If sauce thickens up too much add some water to thin out. Once cooked thoroughly (oil should come up to the surface) set aside

Pizza topping ingredients

1/2 cup fresh chopped tomatoes

1/2 large capsicum diced

1/4 cup sliced black olives

2 sliced plant based cheese or 1/2 cup grated plant based cheese

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Method

  1. Place thawed pizza base in oven 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 5-10 mintues.
  2. Remove from oven and top with pizza sauce, cheese, tomatoes, capsicum, olives and oregano
  3. Return to oven and bake at 180 degrees Celsius until cheese is melted and toppings are cooked.
  4. Serve with garlic gluten free bread.

Hope this recipe takes some of the stress out of preparing a weekly meal. I will put up a few more recipes soon to help you navigate weekday meals.

Thank you for reading my posts.

Vicky

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Brrr, it’s getting cold outside!….Warm fluffy blankets are what I am thinking about!

Can’t believe it’s nearly winter. For those who know me, it’s not my favourite season that’s for sure! The only thing I like about winter is the food and fashion and decor. It gives me a reason to take out my warm fluffy blankets, eat delicious soups and casseroles and adorn myself in scarves and fluffy sweaters.

I have been working on a gorgeous baby blanket using the front and back stitches in alternative rows. This gives the blanket a beautiful soft texture as well as making the blanket more flexible. This blanket once done will be 1 metre by approximately 1 metre or 40 inches by 40 inches for those that aren’t familiar with the metric system. This is perfect for a crib or toddler bed. Its extra wide on the side of the blanket so you can drape it over and tuck it in.

Can’t wait to show you the finished blanket. That will be in a few weeks. I am using 4 seasons Marvel 8ply for the main body of the blanket. I recently ordered some more from my local Spotlight store. I love how soft and flexible this yarn is! You can use it not only for blankets but also hats, scarves and many more items. It comes in many colours too! Spotlight has an awesome online store too!

Here are a few progress photos along the way. This blanket is also inspired from a pattern from the talented designer Catherine Crochets. You can find her patterns on Instagram.

This blanket also represents my first venture in design. I am thinking of writing up the pattern but I will see once I finish the whole blanket.

Thank you as always for reading my posts. I hope you have a wonderful week.

Vicky

ps. any links that I put are my own opinions and I am not affiliated nor do I receive any income from these links.

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It’s been a while……why I haven’t posted in my blog lately.

I actually can’t remember when I wrote my last post! It’s been one heck of a year so far. So many sad and distressing things are happening around the world it dashes your hope in humanity, add to the the bustle of everyday life and things get ahead of you.

I have a ton of recipes I want to share with you. Perfect for the start of the school holidays. I have started a new crochet project. Something exciting. I have a sneak preview below. I will document it as I go along.

I want to thank you all for reading and liking my posts. It’s been a tremendous inspiration for me, especially on my most difficult days. Hopefully it won’t be too long between posts from now on!

New baby blanket project

I have designed a blanket for a customer inspired by the Peoples blanket designed by Catherine Crochets. It’s something I haven’t done before but am excited to learn how to do. Can’t wait to show you the finished blanket.

Thank you so much again everyone. Have a wonderful day!

Vicky

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Throw Back Thursday……..Back to where it all began

Next month will be 10 years since I started my crochet business! Where has the time gone? One minute I was thinking what can I do to earn an income from home and here I am 10 years later doing just that! A lot has changed in that time, but my love of crochet certainly has not!

My love of crochet first began years before when my mum tried to teach me how to crochet. As a teenager I did not grasp the concept and quickly gave it away. When I was looking for a business to do from home, I remembered my mum trying to teach me and I thought well maybe I should give it another go. Our local news agency has an “Art of Crochet” series so I thought why not! Here is my chance.

I was slow to start but as I bought each issue, I was learning more and more and growing more confidant in my abilities. I wasn’t able to to finish the first series blanket as I couldn’t get all of the issues. When series 2 came out I was super excited as this time I thought well I can do it, I can get all of the issues and finish the blanket this time. Well that wasn’t the case, but lucky for me my sister had the series and lent me the missing issues and I was finally able to finish the blanket! So here it is the finished blanket. Not sure if I have shown you guys before as its been awhile since I have been able to blog.

This blanket now proudly sits in my lounge room as a constant reminder of what I can achieve and how far I have come in the last 10 years! I have so many new projects to talk to you guys about this year. Despite the dreariness of Covid, I am determined to make this year my best year yet!

Thank you to all who have joined me on this journey and have supported me throughout this time. I really appreciate each and everyone of you.

Take care and thank you as always for reading my blog. I am hoping to hop on tomorrow and show you my lasted work.

Vicky

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Sunday Brunch Sorted! A quick & healthy recipe to make for Sunday brunch

Ok so we all know Sunday’s should be for relaxing, reading, sleeping in but at some point you are going to have to eat! I love this delicious open burger recipe I make for my family. It’s quick and easy to make and full of nutrients. Perfect for those who are eating Keto style foods or gluten free and lactose free.

Mushroom open burger

Serves 4 cooking & planning time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

500 g beef mince

Salt to taste

2 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes

4 teaspoons Chives

4 tablespoons Lactose free cream cheese

4 very large mushrooms (for burger base)

4 slices lactose free cheese

1 tablespoon plant based or lactose free butter or margarine

Method

1) place mince in a large glass bowl and add salt, mix salt in and split mince into 4 equal size piece and form into balls. Place in fridge until needed.

2) Fill a medium size pan halfway with water, add salt to taste and peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks, place in pan and set to boil. Once boiled, remove and drain and set aside until ready to use.

3) While sweet potatoes are boiling, heat up a grill or grill pan. If using grill pan add butter/margerine, once melted add one ball of mince at a time and squash down with a metal spatula to form burger. Set on medium and cook 2-3 minutes then flip and cook other side for the same amount. if pan is big enough add mushrooms and fry a couple minutes each side or do one a separate pan.

4) when you flip burgers over add a tablespoon of cream cheese on top, sprinkle chives and add cheese on each burger.

5) Mash sweet potatoes and once mushrooms are cooked place in a plate and add burger sprinkle at chives if you like.

Serve with French fries or healthy salad.

This burger is not only delicious and healthy but very filling. All the flavours blend beautifully and is perfect for not only brunch but lunch, dinner and breakfast!

Thank you as always for read my post! Hope you enjoyed this recipe.

Vicky

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Work in progress Wednesday…….The Art of Crochet Blanket

https://www.instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

Well I did it! I finished all the squares in the Art of Crochet blanket and have sewn them together. I am still deciding on a border so I am hoping to get that sorted by the weekend.

Thank you for joining me on this wonderful journey of this gorgeous blanket. I still have a few more squares to show you so I will be keeping this series going for a while longer.

After this I am hoping to recommence the 365 days of granny squares challenge i started back in oh 2016 I think! So I hope you can join me in that one soon!

Thank you so much for reading my blog posts and talk to you all soon! I have some exciting recipes to share with you at the end of the week.

Vicky

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Monday motivation – but first coffee!

Well here we are the beginning of the working week for most and for some the start of the new working year.

Usually it’s when we make a whole bunch of promises to ourselves to be more productive, to eat better and to exercise more. All goes good the first week and then slowly, slowly we fall back into the same pattern.

How do you keep the momentum going when it all seems all to much? First of all you need an end goal, a finish line in the distance. You need to visualise what you want the end result to be, without this you won’t be able to work out the path to get there.

Once you do this, work out how you are going to achieve your goal and keep motivated. What works for you. One thing that works for me is to do weekly checks to see if I am on track. Don’t worry if you have fallen off the path it will happen, get right back to it otherwise you will let it go.

One obstacle I often face is the worry of not getting enough support or feeling like I am in this alone. This is enough for me to let everything go. What I am learnt is that I can be my own support. My own cheerleader. You don’t need anyones encouragement or approval to keep going. You just have to have faith in yourself. Prove it to yourself you can do this!

Make sure to reward yourself when you reach your goal or goals along the way. Be kind to yourself and allowing yourself to celebrate a victory no matter how big or small it is will give you the encouragement to keep going.

Make Monday your best day. The start of something good and exciting. And if all else fails there is always coffee. Coffee solves everything.

Thank you for reading as always. Have a wonderful week ahead.

Vicky

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Want a quick, healthy & delicious brunch/lunch recipe keep reading!

Fresh sushi platter

This year I am making a big effort to lose 10 kg that I have been hanging onto for the last 17 years! It’s been an on/off dilemma that I feel no matter what I do I can never win.

I started last year with a calorie counter app which helped me keep control of what I have been eating and then of course the holidays kicked in and out went my diet! So here I am again new year and hopefully new me!

Here is a recipe I put together that’s fresh and easy to make and very delicious and filling!

Salmon Sushi Platter

Ingredients

100g salmon

1 small avocado

3 mini cucumbers or 1 medium one

1 tablespoon chopped chives

2 tablespoons fat free mayonnaise

1/2 cup cooked basmati rice

1 tablespoons white vinegar

Salt to taste

Method

1) Wash and cut cucumbers into strips

2) Peel and slice avocado into thin strips

3) In a small bowl place rice and pour vinegar on top, mix thoroughly.

4) in a large plate place rice in the middle of the plate and place the vegetables and salmon around the rice. Place mayonnaise on the plate.

5) Sprinkle chopped chives on top and salt to taste and serve.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe.

Vicky