Carrot & Cashew Nut Cake

There’s something about a summer’s day that makes me really fancy a bit of cooling sweet  carrot cake. I love the way it sounds healthy, though despite its long association with health food shops it’s far from healthy! Sure you can hide some veggies and some nuts in there but it’s still a naughty little cake. And I love a naughty little cake!

Finding myself on a sugar craving snack hunt I found we had a lot of carrots to get through, a carton of cream cheese in need of using up and a big bag of cashews at the back of the store cupboard. To be honest I was really after some chocolate for a quick sugar fix but found these random ingredients whispering… carrot and cashew nut cake. By adapting the basic carrot cake recipe I substituted cashews instead of walnuts and added sugar cashews for topping. I…

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A Ticket to Rye

Last month over the bank holiday we took a road trip to Rye in Sussex. We’ve been through Rye a few times on our way to Camber Sands or back in the day to All Tomorrows Parties at the Pontins at Camber, but we’ve never ever stopped to look around the town. This time we set of with the intention of visiting the town rather than just driving through.

We had a lovely day browsing the eclectic  antique and vintage shops nestled together in the old smoke houses, rummaging through old Observer Book’s of… , once loved teddy bears, crockery and other delights. Fell head over heels with everything in Crocks & Cosy a 1930s pastel enamel heaven! Where I took a few sneaky snaps while the shop keep was busy on his MacBook! The store was full to the brim with wonderfully displayed vintage delights such as the old mint stove below, gorgeous D handle garden tools, tin baking paraphernalia and old floor polish tins (if you look closely it contains D.D.T in the ingredients! A different age indeed.)

The best part of all was a visit to the Merchant & Mills shop on Tower St. I was quite excited indeed! I certainly wasn’t disappointed it lived to my hopes spending a good half an hour browsing the shelves of their beautifully simple packaging of quality sewing and tailoring tools. I did not leave empty-handed purchasing a pattern for their factory dress and few haberdashery delights. Died and gone to glass headed pin heaven!


After a stroll up the high street stopping for tea and cake at Cobbles tea room, the purchase of some local strawberries, asparagus and two bargain galvanised tin buckets for the allotment we headed up the feet achey cobbled streets peaking in windows and admiring the old Tudor cottages as we went. Soon though it was time to head back to the car and homeward via the chippy of course.

A lovely day was had by all. You expect us back some day soon Rye, no more just driving through.




The Nostalgia of a Tin of Buttons

Collecting buttons…


While flicking through my copies of Mollie Makes over a cup of tea one rainy afternoon the page fell on issue 38’s article of collecting buttons by Gemma Nemer, of ~Rotherham’s The Button Tin.

“I Have memories of when I was a little girl, playing with my grandmother’s button tin… I spent hours looking through the buttons, sorting them in to colours while my grandmother told me stories about where each button came from”

From this very first paragraph I totally identified with the sense of nostalgia from a tin of old buttons. I too have a collection though small of buttons handed down to me from my grandmother. I would spend hours just rummaging and running my fingers through the buttons in the tin. Some were just snipped and salvaged from old dresses or left over from garments my grandmother had made in the past (she was a court dressmaker in Piccadilly London for high society girls in the 1930s and 40s. ). Running my fingers through the them now, even though now housed in a different tin the smell remains in the buttons transporting me to my childhood.

Looking through them now I recognise many of my favourites and even those my grandmother and mother had used for clothes made for my brother and I as children. Below are some Instagram snaps of some of the highlights from my late grandmothers collection.




Horses for Courses


I’ve been meaning to enrol on a textile design course for ages but being the expert procrastinator I am I’ve just never gotten around to it. Inspired by the lovely late spring weather we are enjoying in London I’ve decided to take the plunge! Yes, honest, I really mean it this time… I’m going to enrol in a short course at City Lit to get my creative taste buds going. Recently I’m really craving the creativity being a lapsed Fine Art graduate I have pipe dreams of one day doing something more artsy smartsy with my career.

That’s if I can just get off Pinterest more and… Oh look crochet bunny ears….

Pinned it, done it! : Earl Grey Hot Cross Buns



On any given bank holiday you can guarantee that someone somewhere is having a baking frenzy. I’ve often attempted to bake Hot Cross Buns to varying success, mostly pretty rotten attempts at heavy rocks rather than fruity buns. Enriched dough is not easy to work with, often finding myself panicking at the kneading stage. The dough always feels overly wet and sticky making me freak out and give up thinking it’s all going wrong.

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What You Sow Blog Garden Party Competition


Today I came home from work to find a mysterious missed delivery slip from our Postie waiting for me in our post box. What could it be I thought? I didn’t think I had ordered anything off the internet recently, it certainly wouldn’t have surprised me if it was some order of yarn I’d ordered on a whim and forgotten about. Seeing as the parcel depot in town a few minutes down the road opens late Wednesday evenings off I went to pick up the mysterious package.

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Welcome to Crafty Sew & Sow

Welcome to my new blog Crarty Sew & Sow the baby sister of my main blog, Crafty Garden Hoe. A place to blog about my crafty adventures. Pretty things I’ve seen, crafty bits i’ve made and tasty cakes I’ve baked.

This is all a bit of a work in progress, so if you’re reading this, thank you for stopping by.

Emma B (AKA Crafty Garden Hoe) x