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Vanilla Swirl Cake

I know recently I promised you a chicken pie recipe, I am still working on that….But this well it couldn’t wait, after all its cake and cake with two types of chocolate in it!

Yesterday my youngest finished high school and I had promised him a grand dinner to celebrate finishing his 12 plus years at that dreaded place as he calls it. I thought I was doing well getting things organised when my daughter said “mum what about the cake!” (Insert face palm here) How could I forget a cake! I couldn’t believe it. I had an hour left until dinner and there was no way I could run out and get one! So I thought well I will just try and whip one up. With no time to look through recipe books, I came up with this recipe, a one bowl recipe that is quick to put together and only takes 30 minutes bake. So without further ado, here it is!

Vanilla Swirl Cake

Recipe by: Vickys Handrafted Designs

Ingredients

450g Self Raising flour

175g Caster Sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 Olive oil

375 ml milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon essence

50 g milk chocolate

50g dark chocolate

Prep time: 10 minutes Baking time: 25-30 minutes

(See end of post of nutritional information)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Spray a 20 cm round cake tin with oil and line bottom with baking paper.
  2. In a large glass bowl, sift flour then add caster sugar. Mix with wooden spoon so that the sugar is evenly distributed amoungst the flour
  3. Add eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and lemon essenses and mix with wooden spoon until ingredients are incorporated and mix is free of lumps, use hand mixer if you prefer.
  4. Pour mixture into cake tin and set aside
  5. In a heatproof bowl, break the milk and dark chocolate into peices, microwave on high heat in 10 second intervals until chocolate starts to melt. Once it starts to melt, take out of microwave and mix to combine chocolate into a smooth mixture.
  6. Drizzle into cake mixture and with a toothpick or skewer run it through the mixture in a figure eight formation to distribute chocolate through cake.
  7. Place in heated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Check cake after 20 minutes as some ovens cook faster than others.
  8. Serve with berries and your favourite ice cream or fudge topping.

Nutritional Information (per serving size)

8 Servings

Each serve equals : 70.8g

Net Carbs: 70.8g

Protein: 9.2g

Fat: 14.2 g

Calories: 453

Dietary Fibre: 2.2g

And there you have it, a one bowl, easy to put together cake, you can whip it up and serve it to your guests in 40 minutes! Hope you enjoyed this recipe. Let me know if you tried it. It’s a new recipe so I am curious as to how it goes for you guys.

Thank you for reading this post as always and I will try and get this chicken pie recipe to you as soon as I can.

Vicky

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Tools of the Trade….. Take a look at what I use to block my crochet squares

With any type of trade or craft, the tools you use make all the difference in your finished work. With crochet getting that perfect finish is not always easy, but lucky for us there are many gadgets on the market that can help.

I found this amazing blocking square on Amazon. It is cheap and effective and you can move the pegs to suit your size square. Best of all you can layer squares one on top of the other to save space. The pegs hold the squares tight into place and once you remove them they keep their shape. I leave mine on the block for a few days so that they keep their shape. To give them an extra boost. Spritz each square with water so that they dry into shape as well.

There are many more blocking tools on the market. Including large foam blocking squares and pins for blankets and larger items. I have found Amazon to be a treasure trove of many tools and gadgets for crocheting and other crafts. I definitely will be looking there in the future for more items I need.

What is your favourite place to shop for your tools and gadgets? Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. I will keep you updated on more items I have found on amazon.

Vicky

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Looking for a quick and easy Friday Night recipe?….. Read further for details

Friday night is usually the end of the working week for most people, the night you just want to go home and crash on the couch with your favourite show to binge watch. Cooking is the last thing on your mind! Before you reach for the Uber eats app, take a look at what you have in your fridge or pantry instead, with a few key ingredients you can whip up a healthy meal and still be sitting in front of your tv or computer ready to begin your binge watching marathon in no time!

This recipe is quick and easy and cooks in 15 minutes!

Grilled Chicken fillet and steamed vegetables

Grilled Chicken with mixed vegetables

Servings: 2

Cook time: 15 minutes

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

500g chicken breast

1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning

1 tablespoon plant based butter or margarine

2 pouches of steam ready vegetables (any type of vegies you like)

Method

  1. Pre heat grill and set on a medium heat.
  2. In a microwave proof dish melt butter/margarine
  3. Wash and slice chicken breast into fillets
  4. Place in glass bowl and add , melted butter, herbs and seasoning. Mix through to coat chicken
  5. Place on grill tray and grill until golden brown and cooked through (appox. 15 minutes for thin style fillets) If you cut them thicker leave for longer, appox. 20 minutes) When grilling turn fillets over to other side halfway through cooking time.
  6. In the meantime place one pouch at a time of the steam vegetables into the microwave and cook for specified time.
  7. Once chicken and vegetables are cooked place on a plate and serve. Can be served with a salad or your favourite bread.

If you like you pan fry the chicken instead for quicker cooking. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this recipe.

Nutritional information

Net carbs: .01g

Total carbs: .4g

Dietary fibre: .3g

Protein: 51g

Fat: 10.5g

Calories: 302

Vicky

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Work in Progress Wednesday…..Take a look at my latest crochet project this week

Well its the bane of any crocheter’s existence, multiple projects on the go. No matter how many you have you will always start one or two more. I have lost count to be honest but below are a few.

SOME OF MY LATEST PROJECTS

http://https//:www.instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

Included in the photo above are: Top left – granny squares to make a throw pillow, top right, the Aster rug Pattern by Stitchedupcraft, bottom left a bobble stitch dish cloth and bottom right sample Tunisian crochet squares. And that is just a sample, there are more hidden away! I have made it my mission to take six months off from customer orders and just concentrate on finishing off these projects. Hopefully I stick to this!

I have also been busy shopping on Amazon. It is an amazing treasure trove of items for basically anything you need. I purchased this set of crochet hooks and crochet accessories. I needed new hooks as the ones I was using were too long for my hands and they didn’t have the handles like these. I have found these hooks to be amazing, they are the right size for my small hands and have a thumb imprint where you can rest your thumb will crocheting. I have found this has increased my speed and my hands don’t hurt as much.

Well that is it for today. Thank you for reading. I have also bought some new crochet books too. I will talk about those more in upcoming posts.

Vicky

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Learning Tunisian Crochet….take a look at my latest crochet journey.

I love to learnt different types of crochet. My latest journey is learning the Art of Tunisian Crochet.

I love the simplicity of it and at the same time the variety of stitches and projects you can create.

Take a journey with me and learn about Tunisian crochet.

I am learning from a book called Tunisian Crochet from beginner to advanced written by Dijana Warrender.

It’s a well written guide of the different types of Tunisian crochet stitches and projects. I will feature each one as I go through them.

This book is available from http://www.Amazon.com.au

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Learning Tunisian Crochet….take a look at my latest crochet journey.

I love to learnt different types of crochet. My latest journey is learning the Art of Tunisian Crochet.

I love the simplicity of it and at the same time the variety of stitches and projects you can create.

Take a journey with me and learn about Tunisian crochet.

I am learning from a book called Tunisian Crochet from beginner to advanced written by Dijana Warrender.

It’s a well written guide of the different types of Tunisian crochet stitches and projects. I will feature each one as I go through them.

This book is available from http://www.Amazon.com.au

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Cheese Omelette with Vegetables

Cheese Omelette with Vegetables

15 min prep
10 min cooking
1 serving total
441g weight
20 Grams/serving

– 8 ingredients –

2 large 122g Egg whole omelet
1/4 cup 30g Shereded mozza-cheddar cheese kirkland signature
1 tsp, ground 2g Oregano dried
1 tsp 5g Avocado oil plant-based butter by Pure Blends
1 small (5-1/2″ long) 50g Carrots raw
1/2 cup, sliced 46g Red bell pepper
1 pepper 148g Green bell pepper
1 slice 39g Lower carb 5 seeds bread by Helga’s

– steps –

1) Wash and slice 1 medium carrot, half red bell pepper, half green bell pepper. Place in serving plate and set aside.

2) crack 1 egg into a small glass bowl, add oregano and mozzarella cheese, beat mixture until well combined.

3) place a teaspoon of butter or oil in. Heavy base frying pan. Heat up until melted. In the meantime time place your bread in the toaster to begin roasting. Pour egg mixture into frying pan, swirl mixture so it covers whole base of pan. Cook until top starts to cook, flip over and cook other side. When both sides are brown. Place into plate with vegetables and serve with toasted bread.

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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

4)

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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

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Throw back Thursday….. Looking back at some of the Art of Crochet squares I have made!

I have finally finished all the Art of Crochet squares and am now frantically sewing them together.

This blanket is a departure from my usual muted earthy tones. To be honest bright colours scare me! This blanket though changed all of that! I love all of these colours and how they all interact and mingle together.

This is series 2 of the art of crochet series! I hope they do a series 3!

Vicky

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2022 hear I am! It’s been a challenging few years for everyone – How to stay Positive

Well here we are the start of a new year and many a new resolution. Already the year has started with disparaging news as Covid runs rapid.

This year is a significant year for me. I will be 50. I have spent the last 49 years in a somewhat negative and only slightly positive mindset. Turning 50 has made me realise that life waits for no one and that we are the master of our own destiny. So I will be adopting a glass half full attitude from now on.

Unfortunately in life we will encounter many sad and devastating situations. Things that will definitely break us. It’s important to keep going and remain strong. By doing this you will find that you will achieve so much more and conquer many of life’s tribulations.

These holidays I have been busy working on my Art of Crochet throw. Crocheting helps me keep focused and given me confidence to handle any situation. I have now finished all the squares and am joining them together. Can’t wait to show you all the finished throw.

Thank you as always for reading my posts. It means the world to me. I wish you all a wonderful year ahead and sending out hugs and prayers to all those who are going through hard times.

2022 I am keeping positive.

Vicky

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Starting my New Years Resolution Early! Healthy Eating! What’s Yours?

Ok well we are at the tail end of the year. The time of year we are going to make a bunch of promises to ourselves which we will most likely never keep!

Mine again is too loose weight and be healthy! And this year I have extra motivation. My 50th birthday! So wish me luck. I will definitely need it. Here is a quick recipe for a delicious and nutritious breakfast to get you started.

Berry and date yoghurt bowl

Ingredients

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blueberries

3-4 dates

1 teaspoon mixed chai seeds

4-5 tablespoons natural Greek yoghurt (I used lactose free yoghurt)

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Method

1) Wash berries and place in bowl add yoghurt, sprinkle chai seeds and dates on top. Drizzle with maple syrup and you are good to go!

That’s it. Simple Fresh and Tasty!

I have stocked my fridge full of berries, yoghurt, avocado and salmon! As I come up with more recipes I will put them up for you!

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog and subscribed. I really appreciate your support. If you haven’t subscribed already please do to get all the updates on my latest posts.

Wishing you all a happy and safe New Year!

Vicky

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Meet Henry the Alpaca

I have been learning the Japanese art of Amigurumi. It’s crocheting objects with yarn. It’s a beautiful and interesting art with so many variations man’s ideas on things to make.

Checkout my pin below on my latest project. A cute Alpaca. Amigurumi is not an easy art to learn it takes a lot of practice and patience but I think I am making progress!

pin.it/2JBec7d

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Throw back Thursday……back to the beginning

I can’t believe in March next year it will be 10 years since I started crocheting. It seems like yesterday!

My mum attempted to teach me when I was a teenager but for me it was way beyond my comprehension. Fast forward 20 years later and I was looking for something I can do from hone to earn an income. I remembered my mum trying to teach me crochet and I thought why not give it another go!

I found the Art of Crochet series at a local news agency and I thought why not! I will give it another go! And to my surprise I actually was learning and making granny squares! Fast forward to today and hundreds of granny squares later I am so glad I gave this beautiful craft another go.

In this world full of hustle and bustle. Rushing around and never having time to even think. Crochet helps me relax and settles my mind. I forget whatever is happening and lose myself in the world of colour and yarn. I have learnt so much and made some amazing friends along the way! Looking forward to what the next 10 years will bring! Thank you for joining me on this journey and I look forward to many more years!

Thank you for reading my post and I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!

Vicky

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Work in Progress Wednesday…take a look at the latest squares I have crocheted for the Art of Crochet Throw!

The Art of Crochet series is one of my favourite subscription series. That’s how I learnt to crochet. Each week a new pattern would arrive for me to make. Along with the pattern I also received the corresponding colours needed to make the square.

The series I am making at the moment is series 2. it’s very different to series 1 which featured plum, mustard, teal and ruby coloured squares. Series 2 is far more adventurous in colour and variety of squares.

Below are some progress photos of the current squares I have made in this project.

Thank you as always for read my posts. Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Vicky

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It’s Tuesday so I guess that means Tacos

Who doesn’t have tacos on a Tuesday, well us sometimes, but the last few Tuesdays we have definitely made up for it!

I have been watching a show on Netflix completely dedicated to tacos its called Taco Chronicles. Its an amazing journey into the world of tacos. I had no idea on the variety of flavours involved with this little guys! From authentic Mexican food to American style Mexican food, your eyes will feast on a vast array of flavours and colours and definitely will be enticing you into making everyday taco Tuesday!

A while back I found a recipe on the internet for slow cooked pulled beef tacos. Up until then I had always used minced beef, slow cooking slabs of meat and shredding them for tacos and sandwiches is totally on another level. I am new to slow cooking and definitely a novice, though I am learning how to blend flavours and adjust cooking times to get the just right tenderness. Now that I am learning I don’t think I will go back to just quickly frying up some mince and there you go!

I have been buying brisket meat for a while now and slow cooking it. I don’t know all that much about meat and I mainly prefer chicken, brisket is definitely a meat that is better slow cooked and depending on how long you cook it , it can be made into a corned beef style meat, either flaked or cut into slices or cook for longer and you get the delicious pulled beef everyone seems to be craving these days! Its also inexpensive and the slabs of meat can be cut into smaller portions and frozen until you need to cook them. Perfect for the whole family.

Well enough of me raving on. Below is a recipe I have adapted to suit our tastes. Its perfect for tacos, burritos, hero sandwiches, salads, anywhere you would normally use pulled beef.

Ingredients

1kg Wagyu beef brisket

2 tablespoons BBQ meat rub

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons brown sugar

salt to taste

2 cups water

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon smoked BBQ sauce

1 punnet grape or cherry tomatoes

1 large green capsicum )bell pepper cut into large chunks

Method

  1. Place brisket on clean surface and gently pat with paper towel or clean cloth to dry any liquid from the packaging.
  2. In a bowl combine BBQ meat rub, smoked paprika, cumin, brown sugar and salt, take handfuls of the mixture and rub onto the top of the brisket slab. Set aside in the fridge for approx 20 minutes to half hour. ( mixture should look absorbed into the meat)
  3. In the meantime in a large slow cooker combine water, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, BBQ sauce and ketchup. Mix together until combined. Add chopped tomatoes and capsicum and mix again.
  4. Gently place beef into slow cooker and add more water if necessary to ensure the liquid covers the whole brisket. Set on low and cook for 8 hours.
  5. Once cooked gently remove from slow cooker and either slice of pull beef, use immediately or place in bags to store in refrigerator or freezer for later use.

And basically that’s it! Its a simple recipe that you can put together the night before and slow cook ready for the next day or on a weekend too. I haven’t used any garlic or onion as these ingredients don’t do well for us health wise, but if you like them you can add them in if you want.

Well as always thank you for reading my post. Sorry its been a while since I have put up any recipes, its been a hectic few months. Hopefully once things slow down I can add more. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Vicky

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The Countdown is on!!!! And so are the Sales!!!

Can you believe its already November! The second last month of the year! Christmas is only 8 weeks away! 8! How did that happen? I swear it was only January the other day!

We always say time goes so fast but the truth of the matter is time is always the same, its our lives that chop and change that we don’t notice how it goes. Especially since the last two years have been a blur, chaotic and often traumatising. We are yearning for a slower pace, and a more relaxing lifestyle and less commotion!

One thing that gives me peace is my crochet work. At night I will put on my favourite Netflix show and “watch it” between stitches. At the moment I am watching the Dynasty remake. Have you seen it? If you haven’t you really should, its amazing and full of drama of course, so many twists and turns. It also stars two of our Australian actors – Alan Dale from Neighbours who plays Joseph Anders and Madison Brown who plays Kirby Anders. How exciting is that! Two of our best Aussie imports acting along side Grant Show, yes that’s the one and only Melrose Place Grant Show and Vanessa Williams. I am nearly finished watching season 4 and am already hoping they are doing a season 5. No wonder I don’t notice time going by!

Art and craft has not only given me peace and but also a sense of achievement. I love it when I finish a project and often I will photograph it in its stages to see the progress. My work takes me on many adventures and through the years I have met so many interesting people and been involved in many amazing events. Recently one of my Newborn baby gift packs was selected for a charity event at a local school. I am beyond proud that money raised from raffle tickets will go to benefit the kids at the school and someone gets to enjoy a handmade product, something that is unique. Its something that truly means the world to me.

https://vickyshandcrafteddesigns.blog/checkout/shop/

So if you are not sure what to buy for Christmas or you or someone in your family has a new baby, take a look in my online shop https://www.vickyshandcrafteddesigns.blog for gift ideas. I have limited packs available and starting today they will all be going on sale! I love buying handmade, I hope you do too!

Thank you again for reading my post and I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Take it easy and doing something you enjoy doing.

Vicky

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What a week it has been!!!!

Do you ever get the feeling you should have stayed in bed! Well parts of this week have certainly felt like that! Sometimes you feel like you are working for nothing putting in endless hours and not getting any results. You just want to give up. Its at that moment I do precisely the opposite. I keep going. Its on those days that I have had the absolute worst day, or encountered the absolute worst people that even though the universe says give it up, I am sending you this situation and these people to tell you stop right there! that I pull my socks up even higher and plough through.

I have come to far to stop, I have invested too much to let it all go. Ten years! Yes that right well almost 9 years and 7 months to be precise, 10 years in March next year, to just give into the universe and its annoying whispers. Look I could fall flat on my face but I am going down fighting!

Vickys Handcrafted Designs was born out of the desire to do something for my family, to contribute to our income and to teach my kids about the value of hard work and the magic of handmade products. Handmade items have been in our family for generations. I have said this before and I will say it again. There is nothing more precious than holding something your grandmother or great grandmother or someone has made with their own two hands. They have spent hours, mostly likely at night, to create something beautiful for someone to treasure.

So here I am at the end of an exhausting week saying I am going to keep going, moving right along. I have way to much in my head that I want to create to just let it all go. So if you have a chance take a look in my online shop and see all the hours of hard work packaged beautifully for you. Not only my work but also that of other creators and artisans that I wanted to share with you.

Thank you as always for reading my posts. I really appreciate it and the time you take. Thank you for all the likes and comments. Its means the world to me.

Take care and until next time I wish you all a fabulous weekend.

Vicky

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I have been a little quiet….But working hard behind the scenes

When I first started this blog I was able to post everyday, then it became every other day and then maybe once or twice a week. The thing is I really do love writing in my blog and connecting with other bloggers on WordPress, each one has their own individual take and a wealth of knowledge to learn and read about.

Life though sometimes has other ideas and even though the topics to blog about whirl around in my head, the time to put them on paper so to speak is limited.

I have been slowly developing my gift pack range and also looking to expand into other areas of handmade products. Last night I finished a beautiful hexagon shaped handbag made of bamboo and cotton thread, I can’t wait to show you all tomorrow when I put the post up on Instagram. I have always loved handbags and when I first started crocheting that is one of the first things I made and also the very first thing I ever sold on Etsy.

There is so much more coming up in my range, I will do my best to detail it as I make progress. I will be starting my Christmas range in the next week so I hope to debut some items by the end of next week. So all in all I have hit the ground running and this blogging thing is getting further behind me!!! Not to mention the hundreds of food pictures I have with recipes waiting to be written! Aghhhh! I will get there eventually. Isn’t it the tortoise that won the race after all!

As always, thank you for ready my posts and if you have gotten this far, say Hi in the comments. If you wish to keep updated with any latest developments on my products or posts you can subscribe to my blog. Thank you to those of you who follow me so far. 193! I am blessed, I hope to bring you more interesting content.

In the meantime I wish you all a wonderful and until next time……Ciao!

Vicky

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Pretty in Pink – Newborn Gift Box

I am excited to announce I have a new gift box available soon in my online shop.

Pretty in Pink is a selection of handcrafted items made by myself and local designers and artisans. A baby being born is a very special occasion and what better way to celebrate than with a gift that’s beautifully crafted by talented artists.

Pretty in Pink Gift box

Take a look at my Instagram page for details http://www.instagram.com/vickys_handcrafted_designs

Thank you for reading my posts. I will update you all soon when I list them gift box.

Vicky

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The benefits of buying handmade/handcrafted products

In this day and age is it really worth buying something handmade, I mean with so many factories pumping out so many products at ridiculously low prices, why would you spend the money to buy something someone made?

Handmade gift box

Well I will tell you why, because unlike its factory made cousin, a handmade product is carefully crafted, the materials lovingly selected and crafted into a work of pure art. Its artisan has spent hours working on the product, making sure it just perfect for you to buy. You see with each handmade product you buy, you are not only buying a product you are also receiving a beautiful gift of someone’s time and devotion. Of the late nights and early mornings, the weekends spent making your product.

A handmade product has something a factory made product could never have, a personality, part of the artisans personality is lovingly crafted into each product. Tailored just right so that not only you but generations to come can enjoy the beauty of the artisans creations.

Newborn gift box

I have a number of handmade items that were handed down to me from my mother, in turn they were my grandmother’s (her mother). Beautiful pillow cases lovingly embroidered with my grandmothers initials, a baby blanket crocheted by my mum, play suits and clothing beautifully made by my mother in law. Each piece is carefully washed and stored and ready to be handed down to my daughter when she has her children. Though she has never met my grandmother she will always have part of her legacy in the beautiful embroidered pillow cases.

So I decided to carry on this handmade tradition, making heirloom pieces that can be handed down from mother to daughter, father to son. A history of craftsmanship, passion and love beautifully integrated into a handmade product.

So next time you huff at what you think is a ridiculously priced handmade item as opposed to its factory made counter part. Think of the time, the love, the passion, the artistry, the commitment, the dedication of the person who took the time to make this for you to buy. They have no guarantee their products will sell but something inside them compels them to keep making these beautiful keepsakes for someone to treasure.

I have joined forces with other amazing designers, writers and artists to bring you a carefully curated gift box of beautiful handmade products for you or a loved one to treasure.

My New born Nursey and Reading Decor pack is available now. Only this one of this particular type in stock, so whoever buys this will have something unique and special. I try to make every box that little bit different so that you have something as individual as you to take home or give as a beautiful gift.