Friday, 9 November 2012

Make do and mend... bringing black jeans back to life

After watching Kirstie's new series "Vintage Home" and realising that I do a reasonable amount of "making and mending" I thought I would share with you my tips and tricks for making things go a little bit further and lasting a little bit longer !

So, the inspiration for my first post came from the fact that my sister had asked me to re-dye her black jeans, something I have been doing to my own jeans for quite some time, as I'm sure many of you will know, a good pair of jeans can be hard to come by.

To do this, you can either dye by hand (messy!) or dye by washing machine (much easier and I have never had a problem so far with the colour staying around and ruining my other clothes).  This is what the jeans looked like before... a lovely faded shade of black...

You then take some Dylon Wash and Dye (available from large supermarkets or general "sell just about everything stores").  They do a whole range of colours to suit your needs, for this project I bought velvet black"

Then basically, in a nut shell the instructions are:

  1. Clear washing machine of any lint/fluff etc
  2. Add the dye to the washing machine followed by dry garment (for intense colour change like this one, only put one item in, the more items you add the less dye there is per garment)
  3. Set washing machine to 40 degree wash without any detergent or fabric softener in
  4. Once cycle has finished, wash with usual detergent and softener for another 40 degree wash (obviously check instructions fully for garments that can't be washed at 40)
  5. Dry the garment on an airir or line, don't tumble dry
  6. Clean the washing machine by running another 40 degree cycle without detergent before using it for your normal laundry.

And this was the finished result...

Not bad, £6 for the dye to revive a sad grey pair of jeans into almost new, much cheaper than buying new jeans!

Until next time...

Amanda xx

Mexican Hot Chocolate...... yummy!!

As the nights (and days) are getting colder I realised it was that time of year again to make a big batch of Mexican hot chocolate.  After making it, I thought I should share it with you all as it truly does warm you up....

As I don't have a food processor of my own I asked my lovely Mum if I could borrow hers as grating chocolate by hand takes a loooooong time!  So I've made her a little jar of it as a thank you (will be giving it to her tomorrow).

So here's the recipe for making 2 yummy cups of hot chocolate:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 125g of dark chocolate (or a mix of dark and milk like I did) - finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Heat the milk and sugar, when sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat
  • Add in the chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne pepper until the chocolate has melted
  • Bring back up to a simmer for 3 minutes
  • Sieve mixture before pouring into pre-heated cups
  • Enjoy!

If you want to make a bulk batch for yourself or as presents then all you do is scale up the measurements of the chocolate, sugar and cinnamon and add to jars and decorate. 

Don't add the cayenne pepper until you make it as it gets lost in all of the ingredients and you don't get that kick.  Also, don't add the vanilla essence to the bulk mix as it just makes it wet.  So you can either buy these to go with your hot chocolate gift or leave it if you know that your recipient has a well stocked spice and baking cupboard! 

Finally, add the method for making to the jar and voila..... Yummy Mexican hot chocolate

Until next time...

Amanda xx