My Lovely Red Vase








I love going round charity shops, and this is one of my favourite finds. It’s a gorgeous bottle vase that I know nothing about! I’m posting it here for help, and will update when I find out more.

In the meantime, I’ll try hard not to spend too much time looking at it!

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“She can cook as well?”

SamosasOh yes, I CAN cook – I am an excellent chef. That’s right, ‘chef’. This should be a gender-neutral term, but has become almost universally attributed to men, with women becoming ‘cooks’ or, worse, ‘good little cooks’.

I’ve never been the kind of mother to do separate meals for my children on a regular basis. This is mostly because it seems like a faff and I’m pretty lazy, but also because “kids’ meals” are often a) rubbish and b) dull. So they mostly eat what grownups eat. I’ve become accustomed to adding hot pepper sauce to my tomato pasta, giving them ‘mince and beans’ instead of chilli (I make it without chillies up to the point where it needs to go in the oven, then put enough for them in a separate glass dish before I add chillies and chilli powder to the bulk) and, inevitably, to disappointment when they reject me as a mother my food and end up sulking with dry toast.

Anyhow, tonight we’re having Lamb Samosas. I bought a pack of Samosa pastry on a recent trip to a Chinese Supermarket (WOW) and now it’s time to make use of it.

You will need: Oil for deep fat frying (or a deep fat fryer, obv), a large pan with a lid (I’ve used a lidded non-stick wok, although they are somehow wrong and not what wokking is all about)

Ingredients (makes 30+):

  • Pack of Lamb Mince
  • Pack of Samosa Pastries
  • 2 Onions, finely sliced
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 3in Piece of Root Ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 Chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 Small Potatoes, peeled and cut into small (1/2 in) cubes
  • Half a mug of Frozen Peas
  • Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • Tbsp Garam Masala
  • Bunch of Fresh Coriander
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning


  • Whack your lamb mince into a cold pan over a low heat and slowly cook it until browned all over, remove mince from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Pour off all the lamb fat apart from about a dessert spoonful in the bottom of the pan. If I were you, I wouldn’t pour the fat down your sink, that sort of thing can often end badly, especially in the eyes of your local council. If you were me, you would pour it into an empty tuna tin, put a rudimentary wick (think about 3×1 inches of cotton material, such as a furiously-ripped-apart tea towel) in the centre and when it sets you have a tallow lamp – the best kind of mood lighting – IT SMELLS OF MEAT!
  • Reheat the oil left in the pan and add the Cumin and Fennel seeds, when they start to pop (which won’t be long) add the onion and cook until translucent, the onion not you.
  • Add the ground Cumin, Turmeric and Garam Masala, stir and then add the garlic and ginger*. Season with black pepper give it all a good stir and as soon as you start to smell the garlic return the mince to the pan and add the potatoes. Cover and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes (or until the potatoes are cooked).
  • Add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • At this point take out whatever portion you have allocated to your children and immediately stir in the corresponding amount of fresh coriander (chop it with scissors to maintain as much flavour as possible).
  • To the rest (grown up stuff) add the chopped chillies and however much salt you like (if you’re not for sharing, do this at ‘*’), cook for about a minute and then add the rest of the coriander.
  • Leave the filling(s) to cool so as not to burn your hands while assembling, switch on your deep fat fryer to 190 degrees then get a beer. It’s INCREDIBLY tedious peeling the samosa pastries apart, folding up your samosas and cooking them in small batches, beer will help.
  • The samosa pastry packet should have some nice easy-to-follow graphical instructions on the back, so get on with it. Four or five samosas take about five minutes to cook in your deep fat fryer at 190, until the pastry is golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and serve when they won’t burn the inside of your mouth.
  • Beware drips of oil, and the hot basket is particularly hazardous!
  • Enjoy.
  • And you can eat the leftover filling with, say, a chapatti for your dinner tomorrow.
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Free Pattern – ZigZag Bracelet

I’m always thinking about a) things I can make quickly and b) projects that use up oddments. I’m terrible for stopping and starting, and also my tidying up skills are not great. So, while I have an attic where all my wool is organised according to colour, I also have a number of carrier bags round the house with mixed bits and bobs of wool… people fall over them, the kids pull them out and unravel them. This pattern helps with that!

You will need, oddments of wool in your chosen colour (or colours – you’ll see in some of the photos I’ve worked two strands together for a bit of interest), a 3.5mm crochet hook and a small button of your choice (I’ve used 10mm black 2-holed buttons, mostly because they’d been sorted out and were on a string, not to mention that 2 holes take less sewing than 4!).


  • on starting, leave a thread long enough to sew on your chosen button when you’ve finished
  • ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next 2 ch sts, ch1, turn – 3sts
  • sk first sc, dc 7 in next st, sl st in next st, ch1, turn

  • *sl st 4, dc7 in next st, sk next 2 sts, sl st in next st, ch 1, turn
  • repeat from * until bracelet is desired length, FO, sew on button, sew in ends


ch – Chain

st – Stitch

sc – Single Crochet

sk – Skip

dc – Double Crochet

sl st – Slip Stitch

FO – Fasten Off

The slip stitches make each shell-type motif off centre, hence the zig-zags along the side! Your button should fit through the bottom of a shell (the stitch into which you dc7), and so the bracelet is adjustable – just choose whichever shell gives you the most comfortable fit.

This pattern and featured photographs are copyright Daisy Bailey. Do not reproduce this pattern without permission, and do not sell the finished article. Make as many as you like for personal use, gifts or for charity, and enjoy!

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Oh I’ve been busy!

Well, I’ve not been blogging very much, but the crafting has not stopped! Just one of those times where I’ve been so full of ideas that I’ve not been able to sit back, type up, photograph or share!

But I’m trying now. Have posted the little hen pattern in my shop here and I’m working hard on a very exciting Dragonfly pattern. Well the pattern’s done, but stupidly I rushed through the making without taking enough photographs of work in progress… so I’m making another one!

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FREE PATTERN – Little Christmas Stockings

In the spirit of the season, here’s a free pattern for you all. This makes small stockings (about 3 inches, obviously dependent on hook and wool gauge) for decorations, money gift holders – they will fit nicely inside cards to your loved ones, or for those very special tiny treasures.

I imagine it would be quite amusing to put precious jewels inside and hang it up for someone, small is definitely beautiful but one of these would hardly have the greatest impact on the mantelpiece!

If you don’t have time to make these yourself, you can buy them from my shop here:

Please use this pattern for PERSONAL use only – make and give as many as you like, don’t sell the finish product and don’t reproduce the pattern for your own use.

Mini Stockings

Use a hook to suit the size of your wool – a 3.5mm should do for most DK yarn.

I use US crochet terminology, so Single Crochet means Double Crochet for those of us in the UK.

  • ch 2, sc6 in 2nd ch from hook
  • 2sc in each st around – 12sts
  • sc around x 4
  • sc 9, ch1, turn
  • sc9, ch1, turn
  • sc9, ch1, turn
  • sc9, ch1, turn (this shapes the heel)
  • sc9, sc4 along row ends of heel, sc3 in unworked sts, sc4 along row ends at other side of heel – 20sts
  • sc3, sc3tog, sc7, sc3tog, sc4 – 16sts
  • sc2, sc3tog, sc11 – 14sts
  • sc around x 8
  • sc2 (or 3, hold the stocking flat so that you are one stitch away from the back), slst1, ch8, slst2, FO and sew in end.

ch – Chain

sc – Single Crochet

st – stitch

slst – Slip Stitch

sc3tog – Single crochet three stitches together



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Christmas Prep

All the other crafters out there… I presume I’m not the only one who’s started their Christmas crochet? More to follow… will I still be feeling festive in December?

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Tiny Aliens

They come in peaceI’ve created a new race of alien beings… or a pattern for them anyway. These are very sweet colourful little aliens, quick to make and great fun to give as a gift.

You can purchase them now in my etsy shop:

I’m working on the pattern too, which will be free… so give me a nudge and I’ll finish laying it out and post it up here.

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