Saturday, 17 May 2014

Having fun with little monsters

Well! Long time, no see. I've been busy designing fabric and uploading my projects to Spoonflower and to Zazzle. Have a look and tell me what you think!!!!!!! It's so fun! Franz

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Girly toiletry bag

My very first fabric applied to a toiletry bag....

How to set up your Zazzle store and make a bit of money!

If you are good at designing things or with photography/illustration etc, I suggest you try uploading your designs on Zazzle. Simply create a new account with a memorable store name, upload your photos or textures etc and apply them to any item on offer on Zazzle.

When enough items are in the store send the link to your friends and to your favourite sites (twitter, Facebook etc) and see if anyone would like to purchase your very own creations.

If you are successful, you could create a profitable business with Zazzle.

Many blogs describe just how to do it and some sellers have around 150,000 items!

You will be competing with Disney and Hallmark but there are also some very simple designs.

take a look at my little store if you wish!

Have a good day,


Friday, 25 January 2013

How to make a healthy treat using a fruit leather


One of my children's favourite treats is a fruit roll, or fruit leather. This is made by preparing any smoothie and then dehydrating it until it's a soft and pliable fruit roll.

If by mistake you dehydrate it too much and it becomes too hard, don't worry! You have just made your first batch of fruit crisps - delicious!

To make the fruit roll in the photographs, I made two smoothies: one with peaches and one with strawberries (fresh or canned is your choice, of course keeping in mind that fresh doesn't contain added sugar and it's probably yummier).

When your smoothies are ready, pick up the teflon sheet of your dehydrator and spread a very, very thin layer of olive oil or coconut oil, using perhaps a silicon brush.

Slowly pour one smoothie occupying only one area of the dehydrator tray (the centre or one half).

Then pour the other smoothie, avoiding mixing the two.

Now to have some fun use a fork or any tool that won't scratch the teflon sheets, and gently tease the first smoothie into the other until you achieve the desired effect.

In my case I tried to make a big flower but waves come out pretty cool, too.

Set to dehydrate for 6-8 hours at medium temperature and do remember to check the fruit roll after the first 6 hours, unless you want chips...

When a lovely fruit leather is ready, smelling fantastic, gently take it off the teflon and with some kitchen paper wipe away the oil (which kept the fruit from sticking to the dehydrator tray).

Now pick up some cling film, already cut in small pieces, and using the scissors cut any shape you fancy, which can be rolled, made into sticks, spaghetti straps or whatever comes to your mind.

When you achieve that shape and you have rolled it, put the cling film on top of it to keep it moist and preserved from dust.

Store in the fridge and use it as a snack, or decoration for a cake and so on.
The possibilities are endless!

Have fun and let me know if you've managed to make a funny fruit leather!



Learning how to dehydrate food

Good afternoon!

Many people would like to learn how to dehydrate their food so they can preserve it. Others would love to learn some dehydrated raw food recipes.
I am posting here some bits from my book, "Back to Basics", where an entire chapter is devoted to dehydrating.

Happy reading!

How do you use dehydrators?

It’s quite simple; there are detailed instruction books, but anyway just slice fruit or veggies to achieve slices of 2 mm, spread them evenly on the tray and keep going until all the food is sliced and ready to be dehydrated. Then plug in/turn on and set the temperature to medium (for most foods), low for herbs and high for meat. That’s it. It’s easier to set the dehydrator before going to bed and when you wake up everything is ready. 

Create your very own “ready meals” cheaply

Regarding soups, you can prepare a soup roll up, make it really dry and brittle, then put it in a good blender to powder it and then store it. If you are good at cooking you can create your very own range of foods, pack them, label them and give them as a gift.

You can use these clever machines to save up food when you have made too much and throwing it away doesn’t make sense. Simply spread it on the tray and leave it until dry, then pack it and seal it. This works for rice, pasta, couscous, soup, vegetables etc. Instead of buying frozen ready meals you can choose your ingredients and quantities and be creative.

Dehydrate your own herbs and spices

If you have a garden or a few pots on the windowsill, and too much parsley or mint etc. you can dehydrate the herbs on a low temperature and save them in dark painted glass containers for later use. Garlic and onions can be dehydrated, ground in the blender and then stored.

Crisp up foods that were becoming a bit soggy or floppy

If you have any cereals, corn tortillas, bread croutons or crisps that were losing their crispiness, you can always pop them on a tray while the dehydrator is going for something else, and they will be nice and crisp again in no time!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

New year, new resolutions!

Good morning!

New year, new resolutions!

Perhaps the new you would like to lose some weight, or get rid of his credit card debt, or to teach his kids how to earn their pocket money. Or perhaps the new you can't remember how to sprout seeds, or would love to save money by growing some food in his garden or windowsill, but is not sure of how to do it.

If this sounds like you, to splash yourself with a good dose of enthusiasm, traditional skills and a 'simple how to' approach, simply read Back to Basics.
You will be amazed at how simple the instructions are - just right for a beginner!

To have a glance at the book contents, simply go to Amazon:

There is an index and a few pages there for you to browse, and some reviews which can be helpful in making your decision.

I've been asked where else Back to Basics can be purchased. 
Apart of the link above, and several other online retalisers, there is my Create Space store link here:

The only difference is that what I sell in my own store earns me more royalties, so it makes me happier and a bit more self reliant. :)

And being self reliant is definitely my goal for this wonderful 2013.
So, thank you for buying Back to Basics and well done for improving your life with self reliance skills.

If I can help you with any of your questions it will make my day. Simply post them here and I'll try my best to answer them.

Take care and have a great day!


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Fishy apron

It looks like everything I do is for the others and I keep the rubbish stuff for myself. Mmm.
Years ago...again.....a friend of mine got married and was about to move to the USA with her young husband, who comes from Hawaii or Tonga, sorry can't remember, just a robust guy with very exotic looks.

I got thinking about the beautiful environment where he came from and I chose a fish pattern in a cotton fabric, to make a cute apron for her. I know that she's a good homemaker....and I hope she still wears my apron!

I also made a Japanese one but I forgot to take a photo (typical of me!)


Knitted scarf with matching bag

When a friend of mine had a baby girl, who then became a pretty toddler and a young girl, I loved making her little presents.

This is one of them. It's knitted in acrylic yarn on my Passap Knitting machine (which has  a double bed). I added the fringes and some sequins as this girl loves sparkly things (I do, too).

It was fun to make and definitely something that most people can make in one day or two.


Bread bag

Many years ago a friend donated me a strange fabric in a weird violet hue, and it was a really tough fabric. I really didn't know what to do with it. In the end I made a large, embroidered shopping bag, and also a little bread bag (embroidered) where to slid in those French baguettes we used to eat.

Sadly, when we were diagnosed with a wheat allergy we found out that we can't eat the majority of artisan breads as they all contain milk in some form. So eventually I gave away the baguette bag and also made 5 more, which I donated to friends.

So, fabric can always be used for fun things!