Natural Gemstone Pendants - handmade by me in the United Kingdom


I make unique one-of-a-kind pendants using natural gemstones like Agate, Amethyst, Jasper and Quartz but at very affordable prices. If you want to be different from the crowd, then check out my pendants and other items. You will never see anyone wearing the same as you.

I design and make greeting cards too.

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Friday, 19 October 2012

Yellow Mint Sauce Indian Restaurant Style Recipe

Do you love that orangey/yellow sauce in one of the pots they put on the table with the poppadoms while you are waiting for your Indian meal to be served?

I love it and could happily eat a whole pot myself.   So I asked my favourite Indian restaurant for their recipe and this is it.  

Yellow Mint Sauce

Natural Yogurt + Milk to thin

Green Chilli to taste (approx. 2 small)


Garden Mint

2-3 dessertspoons Sugar

Mango Chutney


Blend the extra ingredients, then add to Yogurt

These are the basic ingredients but this is one of those dishes that you can add as much or as little as you like to get the taste you like best, as some like it stronger than others.

I haven't got a photo to show you but will add one next time I make it, or visit the Indian restaurant which gave me the recipe.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Ooh dear – thought they were cheap!

We have been putting up some sheds at the side of the house to hopefully empty the garage so that we can turn it into a room.

We had to buy cheap sheds as they are the only ones we could find that were narrow enough.  With sheds you obviously get what you pay for!  They came with lots of bits to assemble, which were far from perfect shapes and they don’t fit together very well.

We bought those ones that you don’t actually go inside – they are more like outdoor wardrobes or cupboards with double doors that open right out.  We needed them narrow to fit down the side of the house as the back garden isn’t very big. 

If they were more expensive we wouldn’t have been able to buy 5 of them so we can’t really complain about the workmanship of them.

Down at the allotment quite a few people have been getting sheds, which normally arrive in about 6 pieces and go up in about half an hour. 

Hmm and then there are our sheds!  Our sheds arrived in about 20 pieces (plus all the fittings) and take most of the day to put up each one.  2 days for the one that would just not sort itself out and was all twisted.

The bits are warped, not quite the right size, knots in places you need to put a screw, the tongue and groove doors have gaps – you name it, these have it.  Even the floor has an extra strip that you have to put on as the original floor is not long enough (they provide the strip for you).

Never mind, they are all up now, we now just have to put some form of shelving in them and we can start emptying the garage.

It is so good that we are both very easy-going patient people as others I know would have smashed them to smithereens by now and used them for firewood – they probably wouldn’t even burn but that is all they are really good for!

They do look a bit like a row of lockers but at least they don’t take up as much space as walk-in sheds and all the space inside is usable.  I doubt anyone will see them down the side of the house besides us anyway.

We’ve just got to empty the contents of the large (nearly double) garage into 5 incy wincy little sheds now J  

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Easy Coffee and Walnut Sponge Cake

As requested here is my very easy fool-proof recipe:

8 oz Soft Butter
8 oz Caster Sugar
8 oz Self Raising Flour
4 Eggs
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Instant Coffee (enough boiling water to dissolve – leave to cool)
½ packet (approx. 4 oz Chopped Walnuts)- keep aside some to add in the middle of the sponge and large pieces or halves to decorate

Coffee and walnut butter icing (amount to individual taste) for middle
1 teaspoon dissolved Instant Coffee
Walnut pieces

Coffee icing for top and side
1 teaspoon dissolved Instant Coffee

Turn oven on to 170 degrees.

Make coffee for the sponge (if you don’t mind the extra washing up, make 3 coffee mixtures ready to use).

Line 2 sponge tins with non-stick baking paper (or grease the tins well).

If the butter is still a bit hard, put it in the microwave just above defrost temperature for about 30 seconds until just soft as it makes it easier to mix.

Put all the ingredients (apart from the walnuts) into a large bowl and stir well (you can cream the sugar into the soft butter first if you want, but I find it isn’t essential). 

When it is all mixed in you can stir in the walnut pieces (I break mine up quite small – each half into about 6 pieces).

Divide the mixture into the 2 sponge tins.

Pop in the oven for about 30 minutes (until they feel springy on top – but don’t test until about the 30 minutes or they will sink in the middle).

Take them out and cool on a rack (tip - keep the one with the best rounded top upwards and the other one with the top downwards on the rack, so the 2 flat parts are in the middle of the cake to ice).

Make another coffee mixture with as little hot water as possible and when cool add it to butter and icing sugar – make as much as you like for the middle of the cake.

Make and cool the last coffee mixture so it is cool to make the setting icing for the top.

When the sponges are cool, put the bottom sponge on the serving dish and spread with the butter icing and push some walnut pieces into the icing (or you can add them to the butter icing before spreading it if you prefer).

Put the other sponge on top.

Make up the icing with the last coffee mixture and add the icing sugar, adding a little bit more water to get the amount of icing you want.

Spread it over the top of the cake (and round the sides if you want). 

In my photo I made the icing a little thinner plus more than normal and let it run down the sides and on to the serving plate (spoon up over the bits it missed on the sides until all covered).

Decorate the cake with the walnut pieces (tip – don’t put them too close to the edge if the icing is still runny as they will fall off).

If you want just the basic reminder instructions, here they are:

Put all sponge ingredients in a bowl, stir, divide into 2 tins.

Pop in the oven 170 for 30 mins, then cool.

Butter ice the middle, setting icing the top.  Walnuts to decorate.