About Me

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With the help of my friends, I co-ordinate "The Craft Group" which is a place for women to gather and do craft! We share a whole range of things, from craft to the small things that matter to us right up to understanding the whole meaning of life! I learn so much from everyone, I thought a blog would be the perfect way to record the memories! The "Plus..." is all about extra bits 'n pieces that I have found and would love to show you. Welcome to our Craft Group. Please feel free to say hi, leave a comment or become a follower! Enjoy!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas 2015!

Here is a beautiful Christmas Tree bouquet made by Elly.
Amazing! Look at some of the detail and work that has gone into it!

I hope and pray that this Christmas is one of Joy. If it is a time of sadness and grief, then I pray that the whole idea of God becoming man and coming to this earth to carry out His rescue plan of love for us will hit you in a real and powerful way once again and fill you with HOPE and joy.

On the home front, I am bracing myself for (emotionally) stormy weather. Our 4 teen/young adult children are all embarking on new ventures. Miss 18 is looking at courses now that she has finished High school. Mr 21 has finished his Nursing degree and has a Post-grad position in a big hospital in the children's ward. Mr 23, who has been recovering from hand surgery has just completed 3 months in a new job in the building industry and is looking forward to a new year of constant work. Miss 26 is ready to launch, but in a big way, moving to take up a teaching job in the Himalayas! So I will probably cry through much of next year as I will miss her terribly. My husband loyally weathers my emotional storms with me.

On the Craft front, I look forward to coordinating The Craft Group in our local area again next year and hope to finish some of my projects I have at home. For more inspiration... watch this blog!

Once again, Happy Christmas and God Bless you and your family in the new year.

Diana :)

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Mini Christmas crocheted stockings by Mandy - Free Pattern

These cute little Christmas stockings were made by Mandy.
There was no real pattern to follow so we worked it out easily enough by sharing crochet know how and made little stocking decorations until they were everywhere. Wil and Bev G made a heap!

Here are some pictures and a pattern!

A pentagon granny square folded in half to make a little stocking.

Make them in whatever colour you like!

Add some sparkle :)
or a bell on the toe!
Put a few sweets, a roll of mints or a roll of cold hard cash inside,
hang them on the Christmas tree
and you will be popular.

Click "read more" below for the pattern.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Card for a Couple by Elly

Elly is friends with a married couple who celebrate their birthdays in the same week.
So, why not make a gorgeous shared card?

Too clever Elly!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Bev G's finished projects

Today we were back at The Craft Group after a bit of a break.
Bev has not been wasting time - she has dusted off a few half finished projects, finished them off and brought them along to our "Show 'n Tell" time. 
You are inspiring Bev!

Here is her finished fabric box we made a few terms ago.

Here is an adorable wool embroidered blanket.

...with cute ducks!

!!! Look at those neat stitches !!!

So pretty!

Bev was given some bibs by Lyn who thought she would probably not get around to them. Bev found some cross stitch patterns in our "Swap Shop" and finished off the bibs.

And while she was at it, she finished her redwork we also did at The Craft Group earlier this year.

Thanks for sharing and inspiring us Bev!
(And thanks for helping out with our morning tea too! 
You are multi-talented and generous.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Best Ever Fried Rice Tutorial

We love sharing the skills hidden within our group. Rita and her husband Arthur ran a Chinese Restaurant for years.... and so who better than Rita and her daughter, Christine to show us how to make the best fried rice ever?

Here are some pics and the steps involved. At the end is Chris's proper version of the recipe (as opposed to my memories of it!)  Keep looking right until the last photo which is just the cutest photo of the mother/daughter team!

                                     Rita & Chris got it all together to give us a great demo!

Prepare everything beforehand and have ingredients ready in little bowls... (just like in the cooking shows!)

* RICE - boil on the stove the night before. 1 cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to the boil then turn down low and put the lid on for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice up and put in the fridge overnight. Let it dry out while it cools down. So if you need to put it in the fridge still a bit warm, leave the lid slightly ajar. Chris uses long grain or Jasmine Rice.

* SCRAMBLED EGG - Crack an egg into a bowl and with a fork really beat it up. Don't add anything. Then in a hot, oiled work, cook the egg, stirring and breaking it up as it cooks. Set aside.

* VEGETABLES - finely chop up some shallots (or spring onion) set aside some frozen peas.

* BACON - If you want to add some ham or bacon, dice it and fry it in the wok. Make sure you clean the wok out well before making the fried rice.


- Heat the wok until you see the heat shimmering above it.
- Add a good glug of oil. (Chris used Rice Bran oil  -  it smokes less!)

 Wait until the oil is really hot then put the cooled, dry, cooked rice in. Flatten it down, mix, flatten.
- This is the bit that was good to see in action... with 2 flat heat proof spatulas, one in either hand, move that rice around and around until it is all fluffed up and heated through.
- If it sticks, your wok is not hot enough (or started out dirty with bacon). If that is the case, tip out the rice, wipe it out, reheat the wok and start again.

- Add the scrambled egg and shallots. Mix with those 2 spatulas/ flat wooden spoons. Mix, mix, mix.

- Add the peas and the pre-cooked bacon or uncooked diced ham. Mix, mix, mix. Keep the wok hot!

- You can add other things like prawns or a tiny bit of shredded cabbage, but not too much as it contains too much water. Add tiny bits of chilli if you want. Corn and carrots work but they are not really in traditional Chinese fried rice where Rita comes from. So if Rita's not adding it then neither am I!

- If the rice is lumpy, squash the lumps with the spatula. If it's dry, add some oil.

- Add a tablespoon of DARK SOY SAUCE. This is only available in Chinese grocery stores. It adds a much better colour. You can use normal soy sauce but be careful not to use too much as it will make your rice too salty.

mix mix mix

A Huge THANKYOU to this lovely mother / daughter team!

Click here to read Chris's proper version of the recipe...

Monday, 26 October 2015

Cute Tea Cosy by Wil

My mum is a whizz knitter.
I gave her my tea pot and BAM it came back with a cute little cover.

She probably has an old knitting book with such things in it but if you would like to try this really thick stitch, I found this one on line and if you understand knitting patterns, you can give it a go!

Pattern HERE

Monday, 19 October 2015

Georgina's Fabric bag free!

The Craft Group's Swap Shop always holds treasures.
When someone decides they are not going to use something in their 'stash', they bring it and put it in the "Swap Shop". Anyone can help themselves to the items for free but then bring something else to replace it when they have a clean out.
It works well.
It worked really well for Georgina who found this fabric and turned it into a great bag!

I love all those pockets!

Lots of pockets inside and out!

Lovely fabric, discarded from Lydia's cupboard and finding it's purpose in life via Georgina.

Beautiful and beautifully made bag Georgina!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Napkin Folding - Pretty for Christmas

Whether you say Serviette or Napkin or whether you go cloth or paper.... be a bit fancy and fold those mouth cleaners nicely to impress!

Elly did a Napkin folding workshop at The Craft Group and showed us how to do these...

And tomorrow we are learning to make these...

You can bring along your own napkin or use the green fabric ones I will have with me.

This might help as a summary of the steps...

from Handmania

Monday, 12 October 2015

Diana's Bag Makeover

Rita gave me this cute bag. She said the Winnie The Pooh meant she didn't use it. 

But the bag is padded and fits my laptop in it perfectly!

Bye bye Winnie The Pooh.

Hello pretty crocheted flower by me!

And another fun fact about my new bag...

I used tapestry wool which I found on our "Swap Shop" at The Craft Group a while ago.
Spare tapestry wool is hard to reuse in other tapestries and is too small in quantity to use in other crochet projects (and maybe doesn't wash well) but is perfect for crocheting flowers!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Bev's chalk board quilt No. 3!

Bev I. is using up her "scraps".

She has made 2 great Alphabet Quilts with the backing made out of chalkboard fabric. You can see them HERE and HERE!

It was time to use up some fabric and so she created this fun quilt.


With a backing that can be used as a blackboard...

What a cosy way to learn the alphabet!

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