Monday, 31 March 2008

And the Winners Are.....

First I want to say thank you to everyone who left a comment on the give away post. It was truly beautiful reading your lovely comments and reduced me to tears at the kindness and impact of a few nice words. So thank you very much everyone, I was very moved by the lovely things you said. It was also heartwarming to find a few new names in my comments. Thank you so much everyone. There will be another draw soon, though probably not until after we return from our holidays. I'm not sure anyone would want to win a draw for a postcard from California or Idaho... :o)

I have had M pull names out of a hat to get a fair draw.

And the Winners are...

drum roll please....

For the earrings the winner is: Bloggy Mama (Elizabeth)

I have e-mailed you, but if for some reason it has gone astray e-mail me at with your details.

and the tree painting goes to: Miaou

Can you e-mail me your details Miaou as I haven't got your e-mail address.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

An Apple a Day

Carnelian and white onyx bracelet with apple toggle

Yesterday I wrote a craft challenge on the Mumsnet Arts and Crafts blog and this morning I made this bracelet. My inspiration for the challenge is Emily at The Black Apple. Her artwork and dolls, are brilliant, but beyond that I think that she in herself is a brilliant person, her blog is witty, amusing, incredibly talented, and inspiring. Recently I bought my first Black Apple print, the fern print, technically it was a present for M's birthday but that's just an excuse because I really wanted one of Emily's beautiful prints.
I had ordered the silver plated apple toggle clasp from a shop on etsy and all I could think about was how cute it was, and that it made me think of the black apple (aside from it being silver that is) I considered pairing the clasp with some onyx beads but then I took inspiration from the little red and white toadstools in the print and dug out red carnelian and white onyx beads.

close up of the apple toggle


nephrite jade and black agate bracelet

Sunday Morning crafting-

As I had another apple toggle clasp I decided to make a green jade bracelet, but as I didn't have quite as many jade beads left as I thought it is now jade and black agate. It looks really nice on my wrist and I'm very tempted to keep it for myself and dig out a green t-shirt that has gone AWOL in the closet, Aside from the green Halloween t-shirt that says "wicked" across the front in gothic script...hmmm nah I'm not that cool to get away with that. ;o)

remeber the give away closes on monday so if you haven't left a comment please do.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Nephrite Jade and Amethyst earrings

As I have been blogging away here for nearly a year I thought it was high time I got it into gear and did a giveaway. The first item up for grabs is this pair of nephrite jade and amethyst earrings( the earring findings are silver plated.) And they will come to you in a small hand knit pouch.

also up for grabs is a small 5 1/2 in x 10in boxed canvas original painting. The painting is entitled Whispering tree, and is much nicer than the poor quality of the image below. My apologies for the poor image quality, but there is no sun today and there for no remotely decent images can be taken on my camera. All you need do to be entered into the draw to win is leave me a lovely comment. I will draw the name on Monday morning and the winners will be posted.

whispering tree painting

I promise to take a better picture if the sun actually appears in the sky and I get some good lighting.

thank you for reading my blog, my random witterings, adventures in crafting and baking.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Apple Brown Betty

apple brown betty


Pastry for the pie crust
5-6 apples (I used eating apples)
1 cup flour
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup butter (room temperature)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 375° F

Grease and flour a pie dish and line with the pastry trim and crimp the edges.

Peel, core and slice the apples and fill the pie crust with them.

In a bowl mix the, flour, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon by hand until it becomes the consistency of damp sand.

Cover the sliced apples with the crumble topping completely.

Bake for 25 -35 minutes, until the topping is golden brown in colour.

Let cool and serve while warm with vanilla ice-cream, custard or cream.
cook's notes: This pie was for M's birthday today, he requested apple pie instead of chocolate, which is very odd if you know my husband at all. I considered making a plain apple pie but I thought it would be a little nicer to make an apple brown betty. It went down well M happy, and H too. And got a lovely compliment from M's dad who stopped by to drop off a card and birthday check. I used eating apples because I really don't like English cooking apples and we had an over abundance of apples in the fruit bowl hovering towards oblivion or at least rotten apple status. The apple pieces were still recognizable as apple and not turned to mush, if you prefer that I would suggest covering the pile for the 15 minutes with foil and then remove the foil and bake for an additional 25-35 minutes.
The only side effect is that I have had the song "Black Betty" stuck in my head all evening.


Katy over at I'm a Ginger Monkey tagged me with a four things meme. So here goes my answers.

4 Jobs::

I worked in the school snack hut in high school (out of class early, free food, and $$$)

A temp job at a stamp producing company, rubber stamps that is, filling out orders fitting loads of little wooden stamp blocks onto a sheet of card..yawn.

a manager in the cash office at Target my manager Terry was a complete psychopath.

Working with M at the studio from time to time, obviously not too much now but I still balance the till and help bounce ideas around, make cards when needed and various other things.

4 Favourite Movies::

The Goonies as that was one of my favourite movies from childhood and I have been to where they filmed a little north of Bodega Bay in California.

Serenity brilliant sci-fi from the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv show (we all know the movie didn't quite work)

Amalie- brilliant and quirky

The Lost Boys- another favourite from childhood, I know half the dialogue by heart, same as the goonies really. I'm not a total film geek but I'm definitely pretty close, narrowing down a life time of favourite movies is impossible. This is just the start of the list, the tip of a very big dvd iceberg.

4 Places I've Been::

Italy, on a bus tour, beautiful had a great time, I ran out of money though and the last few days I subsisted on rock hard bread rolls from the breakfast table that I secreted in my purse. Everything was great till the driver nearly passed out at the wheel and we nearly crashed into a ditch on the way back.

Paris with M for our first anniversary. We did it on the cheap side but had a completely brilliant time wandering around aimlessly.

Inverary Castle, Lock Fyne Scotland- Its where M proposed all those years ago. In a week we will have been married for 7 years, and he hasn't gotten fed up of me yet.

Portuguese Beach near Bodega Bay, Ca- Its one of my favourite places to go in the world, the English seaside cannot compare to the crashing blue grey waves of the Pacific, the salt spray sticking to your skin and the massive tree trunks studding the beach that just moved along by the waves and are different every time. The last time we went there there was a massive storm and we were unable to actually get to the beach, we just sat in the car and watched wave after tremendous wave crash down on the rocks and beach.

4 Places I've Lived:

New York- In an old farm house that was surrounded by fields and the fields were surrounded by woods.

In a camper van driving across the US when I was little. It kept breaking down and a trip that should have taken a week, took several, I thought it was a grand adventure, my parents me, 3 dogs, 3 cats, and a big jade plant, that fell on me. The table had a map of the USA on it so every day we would look at what state we were in and what the next one one be.

Santa Rosa, Ca- I hated it while we were there but now that I haven't been for over 5 years I miss it, I miss the mall, I miss the location so near to the coast and Sonoma, In a week and a half we will be flying to Cali so I will get to snoop around my old stomping grounds, see what has changed and what should have changed and hasn't. I can't wait.

Northern Idaho- technically its were my parents live, and where we just go to stay on holiday, but its a home away from home, with my dad's wonderful home cooking and the dogs for H to run wild with. Its such a great area in the forrest and the people in the town are friendly and nice. Its a great place.

4 Favourite TV Shows::

Supernatural- Its great, gothic horror, sarcasm, and great rock music... and the actors are cute too

CSI- Vegas is best, but New York is growing on me, and David Caruso is over the top hysterical in Miami.

Dexter- a new favourite, a likable serial killer.. if my dad had cable I think he would definitly appreciate it.

Boston Legal- yep its a lawyer show, but were I hated Ally McAnorexic I love boston legal its a very funny show.

4 Favourite Radio Programmes::

Don't really have one... I don't really like English radio all that much.

Radio 1- is just annoying pop noise

Radio 2- is musical tourettes (sp?) it just spits out random bits of music with no relation to anything else.

Classical- is music to crash your car by, becuse you are either falling asleep to it or being scarred to death by opera.

i have no specific programs that I listen to regularly.

4 Favourite Foods::

Italian- pasta with an alfredo cheese sauce ( I make a damn fine one, you can ask M and H they will agree)

Vietnamese- lemongrass chicken yum yum

Thai- Tom yum soup or green curry

dark chocolate

4 Places I'd Rather Be::

In a coffee shop inside a book shop, my favourite places to be.. the smell of coffee mingling with the scent of paper products... mmm

In a city just wandering around looking around the shops and soaking up the atmosphere.

In a tidy and clean house istead of the cess pit this one is.

on holiday in California all ready without the packing and flying bit.

...time to randomly tag some people I know.

Frizbe consider yourself tagged
same goes for you Miaou
and you too Laurie
Last but by no means least.... sky rocket sews

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Crafting to Boston Legal

cherry adventurine and peridot bracelet

russian adventurine (I think)

dolomite and silver bracelet

I haven't had alot of time to craft the last few days, and am running low on a few bead essentials. But with what bits I have left in my beading stash I made these three bracelets lastnight. I'm quite happy with then except for the clasp on the adventurine one, its nice but just dosn't work with the rest of the bracelet. On the plus side in the post this morning came an order of toggles from etsy so I will have a play tommorow with my new toys!

I have also been working on some ideas for my vintage craft swap and deciding what to put up for a blog give away so check back in a day or two and see what you can win.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Corn Bread Muffins with Honey Butter

corn bread muffin

3/4 cup cornmeal (semolina)
1 cup self Raising Flour
1/2 cup white (caster) sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk (any)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

grease muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.

Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar. egg, milk and melted butter mix until just until blended. *

Scoop batter into prepared muffin pans. The batter will be very liquid because of the amount of milk and melted butter this is fine no need to worry it will be absorbed by the cornmeal/semolina.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of muffins before baking if desired.

Bake for 15- 20 minutes remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.

*Fresh chopped jalapeno peppers can be added at this time, as can chopped red pepper and/or tinned corn kernels(about ½ to 1 cup worth of sweet corn). I left the muffins plain so that they could be topped with honey butter.
Alternative cornbread method: use a cast iron skillet, then add a fine layer of half/half or light cream to the top of the batter before baking.

Honey Butter
½ cup butter at room temperature
1-2 tablespoons honey
Mix the honey and butter in a bowl with a spoon or electric mixer. The amount of honey is to taste if you like the butter very sweet add more, or use very little for the slightest hint of honey. Place in a small bowl or ramekin and refrigerate until needed.

honey butter

cooks notes: worked great everyone happy and only about 3 muffins left from a dozen. H says "dewishous."

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Happy Easter

hardboiled eggs dyed with food colouring
Here it is a lovely snowy Easter Sunday, H is hyped up on jelly beans, chocolate eggs, and cake batter. In fact he is the only kid I know that we had to go wash his hair out in the sink because he got cake batter all over while litterally licking the bowl. The hardboiled eggs look great, the one that is crackled was one that he dropped on the table so we cracked all of the shell and dipped it into the food colour. It lasted all of about 3 seconds after this picture was taken as he devoured it.
The cupcakes are standard yellow cake with mandarin orange icing, coloured orange to match H's sweater. This was apparently very important, not red, not yellow, not green, but orange. With little eggs on top, the icing is lovely, I know because Starbuck nearly begged for some, he almost looked cute. No crafting aside from the cupcakes, though I did tidy out my beads and drew a few jewellery design ideas to mull over later.
hope everyone is having a lovely Easter Sunday.

Easter cupcakes a la orange

Friday, 21 March 2008

Rocket Road (a rocky road recipe)

Rocky Road


200g dark chocolate (2 x 100g bars)
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup pecan nuts (toasted)
1 cup short bread or other biscuits (butter cookies) broken into small pieces
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons caster sugar
¼ cup cream

Line a 8x8 square pan with waxed paper

Melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave or on the stove top, add the cream, sugar, and mix thoroughly.

Add the nuts, biscuit pieces, and the marshmallows. Mix until just combined.

Spread into lined pan and refrigerate until firm.

Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares or rectangles.

You could try adding dried fruit (cherries, raisins, coconut) or candy (m&m’s, reece’s pieces, Turkish delight cut into small pieces)

cooks notes: This is the first time I have tried to make rocky road. I'm one for going my own way in the kitchen and figured I would have a go and see what happens as Rocky Road is M's favourite treat from Starbuck's and as it is his birthday next week I thought I would give it a go. One of the bars of chocolate was 85% and the other was 72% so it made for very dark and rich rocky road. I'm happy with the outcome H says "The Rocket Road" was better in the bowl when it was still warm and he got to steal some of the mixture. I shall see what M's verdict is a little later when he finishes with the wedding he is shooting today. I like it anyway and will probably adapt the recipe again next time. Which may not be that far away as M says he wants a rocky road birthday cake. hmmm

The Briar Rose

briar rose garnet and sterling silver necklace
another view
I completed this necklace about 5 minutes ago. The pictures are of rather poor quality due to the light being rather absent but I'm extremely happy with the finished necklace. I love the rose clasp and the garnet is so vibrant in the 5 minutes of nice light I got when half finished with the necklace. When I get some better images it will be added to the etsy shop though its lovely and I'm sorely tempted to keep it for myself.
Next I am going to attempt to make yet another felt flower to use up this bit of felt that keeps taunting me, and I might even manage to get my knitting out again over this long Easter weekend.
Its M's birthday next week so I have to do some shopping for that...but I will not say what on the off chance that he may actually read this never know he might... I will say he has bought himself a Nintendo DS light and brain training, and super mario brothers for H when we fly to the states next month. very generous I thought.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Baubles, Bangles, and Beads Oh My!

cherry adventurine, nephrite jade, and sterling silver

garnet and silver bracelet

I haven't got much crafting done this week as it has been busy here this week. Monday we had the loft ladder people come and install a brand new wooden loft ladder. So now we we be able to sort out the attic and turf out all the stuff that has gone up there to die. Yesterday we had a lovely family trip out to Cadbury World with some vouchers from tesco's. S o we only paid 95p to get in and ended up with a bag of free chocolate worth more than that. Sadly I am not a fan of cadbury's chocolate, I prefer good quality dark chocolate, but M and H were quite happy.

The two bracelets I made this morning are with left over bits of beads as I am waiting for a bead delivery that should have come monday morning but is still not here. The cherry adventurine and jade is my favourite, I wasn't sure at first as I don't tend to wear colours that are that bright but it looks good and espcially with the beautiful sterling silver clasp from BobbiThisnThat , it arrived in the post this mornign with a few other goodies I ordered and I couldn't wait to put it to good use.

Everyone seems happy with their Vintage Swap partners, so hopefully everyone is crafting happily. I will start crafting for my swap partner Mel of Skye Rocket Sews ( I just love the name of her blog) on friday when H is at school all day and I can craft happily without interuption.

keep a look out becuse its my blog-iversery (spelling?) soon and I will be posting some give aways so keep a look out and post some lovely comments.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Vintage Swap Update

the vintage swap sign up is now closed.

swap partners are:

Adele and juanitatortilla
katy and kittykat
Whizzz and Chloe
Megan and Dizzy
Claire and Amy
jackblackroady and shirley
Annieb and Diane
Meridian and mel

I have e-mailed everyone except for kittykat, jackblackroady as I haven't got your email addresses yet.

let me know if I have forgotten to email you. or if you have any questions.

California Turkey and Avocado Wrap

california turkey and avocado wrap


1 package flour tortillas
1 tub sour cream ( or crème fraiche or mayo)
1 ripe avocado
2 ripe chilli peppers
1 package turkey breast meat (I used stir fry cut pieces)*
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1 tomato (chopped)
½ cup Cheddar cheese (grated)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 or 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped0 fresh or squeeze kind only
Juice of 1 lime

Cut the turkey in to strips or small stir fry sized pieces and fry in a little olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Alternatively you can use ready cooked turkey slices.

Cut the avocado into slices, or chop into small cubes, drizzle with the lime juice to prevent browning. Chop the chilli and add to the avocado, If you desire you can use pre-made guacamole from the shop or make your own by mashing the avocado, lime, salt and pepper, and cilantro with the back of a fork.

Place a tortilla on a plate, add turkey, avocado, a small sprinkle of cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato. If you desire bacon can be added but it rather negates everything being towards a healthy slant.

Roll up the tortilla and slice in half and serve with a few tortilla chips and salsa. serves 4

*vegetarian option, you can use tofu turkey substitute or package of 2 minute microwave rice.
cook's notes: M loved them even though I was dubious about him eating avacado and not guacamole. His plate was clean so therefore I must have done good.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Notebook of a Slightly Mad Woman

doodle for a bracelet that I haven't yet made

I have taken up the challenge from Jill at Miaou Crafts to take a few pictures of some of the things in one of my notebooks. Now she shows pictures of her Happy book, I'm not so organized or possibly as happy as that, I am a notebook hoarder though, I hate journals, aside from blogging of course, but have always kept notebooks everywhere, there is always one in my purse, and I covet them fiercely when I see pretty ones in shops or on Etsy. My notebooks are normally a collection of anything from doodles, recipes, knitting patterns, quickly scrawled out story ideas and dreams, and lots and lots of lists. M thinks I should join list makers anonymous.

"Hi my blog is Meridian Ariel and I am a List Maker. " naah It would never work.

Anyway here is random selection of sketches from my current bag dwelling notebook. A peep inside my messy little brain. Aside from a few jotted notes my handwriting is quite awful, I'm pretty sure that only I can read my notebooks for the most part, and wont put you through the horror of my serial killer scrawl, If you are interested in my writing then you can have a peep ad my sorely neglected drabble blog. The Teapot Nebula several of the drabbles were actually roughly written in my notebook first, namely "scene" and "butterfly" and "lunatic" my personal favourite drabble. I really must get to writing more, but I have been having such a fun time crafting...

random doodles of necklaces

lotus blossom sketch that I painted

a cartoon blue heeler

Fire Opals and The Dark Side of the Force

carnelian, fire opal, and sterling silver bracelet

tourmilinated quartz, onyx and silver bracelet

H's Jedi Knight bracelet

A few Items I have been beading today, the tourmilinated quartz and onyx bracelet is my favourite. And I love the fire opal beads, I have used up all my clasps so I need to wait for some beads and Clasps that I ordered to arrive next week. I do have some more felt to play with and two boxes of yarn I have been ignoring, I really must get on ravelry again.


me: "Yes H."

H: after a long pause of gun and laser noises " will you make me a bracelet."

me: "What sort of bracelet? a blue one?"

H: "Um a Star Wars one. A Jedi Knight Bracelet." accompanied by light saber swooshing sound effects.

me: "What colour is a jedi knight bracelet?"

H: "Black... and um red. Red and Black are scary right?"

me: "Yes. Black and red can be scary. "

H: "Like baddies, like Darth Vader!" he then wandered off making battle noises and giving orders to invisible armies.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Mad Flower

purple felt flower brooch

I have just finished this flower brooch made from a woolen hat that M accidentally felted in the wash. It was my favourite hat from H&M but now its a slightly mad flower coursage. Its recycled too so is part of the recycle challenge. to be continued when i have time later....

the back of said brooch with view of wonky sewing

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Gothic Necklace

onyx and garnet necklace with bali silver s clasp

I have not gotten much quality crafting time this week but have managed a few projects here and there. The above necklace I made last night in an attempt to have something to do to calm me after a tiring day of H doing that testing of boundaries that 4 year olds do. In other words he ignores everything I say then ends up in trouble or hurting himself and it all ends in fits of temper, floods of tears or unending whining that drives me up the wall. So last night while M was working on the computer I got my beads out and made this vaguely gothic necklace, it sits right at the bottom of my neck just above my collar bones, I love the s shaped silver clasp, I haven't decided to keep it or put it up in the shop yet when I update it on Friday.

The Java Jacket is for a friend, The colour is this beautiful lavender wool, and I love the huge button, which is semi recycled as I found it in a parking lot and thought I would snaffle it before a car ran over it and it would be an ex button. I tend to find lots of things, its a habit of looking at the ground to find arrowheads and things when walking in the fields with my dad when I was small. We lived in upstate New York and the Iroquois native american people had lived in the area long ago, so whenever the local farmers tilled the fields you could find arrowheads, loosely napped pieces of flint, beads, bits of pipes, and other pieces of the past. It was a game and an adventure to go for walks with my dad and see what new treasures we could discover.

lavender java jacket with wooden button detail

Monday, 10 March 2008

What the Felt?

teal felt flower brooch

glaring evidence of my lack of sewing skills

Go on feel free to laugh, I have always maintained that I cannot sew, aside from the occasional button replacement. I took pottery and art in school instead home ec, my reasoning was I already knew how to cook, I grew up on a farm so I could take care of animals, what else was there to learn? I'm pretty sure the pottery course didn't really do much for me, although I did make a damn fine puffer fish shaped tea pot! My parents stiff have it but as far as I know it has never held any tea.

This was also part of the Recycle Reuse Recraft Challenge the felt was from a charity shop find of a slightly stained teal scarf that was 100% wool that I bought for a bargain 99p. I have only used the edge of the scarf to make this slightly wonky flower brooch but it is recycled. Even the thread is, its from a hotel travel kit that was kicking around in a drawer.

the scarf in question pre-felting

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Cappuccino Cupcakes

coffee cupcake


2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 4 cup caster (white) sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 12 cupcake cups or line with paper liners.

Sift the flour into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Then add half of the flour to the butter beating well.

Add half the milk and beat well then add the eggs one at a time.

Add the rest of the flour then the remaining milk and the vanilla mixing till smooth.

Pour the batter into the cupcake cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and onto a rack to finish cooling completely.

Coffee Icing

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 or 2 tablespoons espresso (cold)

Place the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and coffee in a bowl and slowly add in the powdered sugar as you mix. Blend until smooth and ice the cupcakes. Sprinkle the top of the cupcakes with a small amount of cocoa.

Serve with coffee of course!

cook's notes: the cupcakes are great, I have a small addiction to coffee cake, and good coffee cakes are really few and far between. Often ruined, in my opinion, by the inclusion of walnuts which I have never particularly liked. The cake part is just a vanilla cake and as iI baked the cupcakes yesterday and did not ice them until the morning I used them to create cheats tiramisu just tearing up a cupcake or two and using the pieces instead of ladyfingers.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Vintage Swap

The object of this swap is to create items with a vintage vibe. Take inspiration from Vintage Posters, images of old sewing patterns, vintage knitting patterns , charity shop finds, replica style fabrics.
Be inspired by old Hollywood style glamour, antiques, buttons, ribbons, colours, anything and everything that says vintage to you.
No more than £5 should be spent on procuring your crafting supplies. If you cant think of something to craft but find something that your swap partner might adore that is equally acceptable.

Please sign up and we will see how many people are interested in participating. Sign up will be from now until next Monday17th of March. We will have a month to make the crafts and can post to partners by the end of April. so leave a comment if you wish to participate and email me at
Please feel free to add any comments or inspirational ideas.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Death Takes a Holiday

H on the Nottingham Eye

We took the above picture in Nottingham the other day, H loved it, I was slightly less enthusiastic about beign stuck in a gondala ferris wheel on a windy day. M and I smirked and laughed about H looking like Death with his black hood on to keep out the wind. I haven't done much crafting this week but I did make this slightly gothic bracelet that i wasn't sure about until i finished it and now I think its totally fab. I'll be updating the etsy shop on monday with a few new goodies, so keep checking.

carnelian, onyx and silver bracelet

Wednesday, 5 March 2008


carnelian and silver bracelet

carnelian, garnet and silver bracelet

I have a commission to make a carnelian bracelet and these are two different examples. The top bracelet I'm quite happy with, I love the simple clean line of it. The carnelian and garnet one on the other hand I'm not happy with, the toggle clasp is too loose and I don't trust that if it was worn the bar would not wiggle around and slip off. I don't' think I shall be ordering any more clasps in that shape again. I have one other toggle clasp in stock and need to get some on order sharpish I am just trying to save my crafting pennies for a larger order of beads... so I best get busy with paint and brushes, wool and needles in the mean time... must keep busy.

I have finally gotten some knitting needles out again and am currently battling with some lavender coloured wool there will be pictures soon.

Carnelian: motivation, creativity, initiative, and inspiration.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

A Night at the Movies

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Last night 3 friends and I went to the Ritz Cinema in Belper to see Sweeney Todd. The movie was great, the perfect macabre story for Tim Burton's dark off beat vision. Johnny Depp was wonderfully sinister and Helena Bonham Carter too. I'm not normally a musical person, and I haven't seen it on stage, but with a cast like that and directed by Tim Burton I had to see it. And the theater in Belper is wonderfully old fashioned and cozy with sofas, and coffee and cakes, wine, olives all sorts of lovely treats.

Two of my friends were shall we say a tad bit squeamish during some of the scenes but we all had fun and I have promised M I will book some seats for his birthday as he hasn't been to the Belper cinema since he was a little boy. It reopened a year or so ago after having been a bingo parlor for many years. The songs are still buzzing around my addled brain, and I have a desire to have a Burton Film Fest sometime in the near future.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Mother's Day

teal blue candy jade and ice flake quartz bracelet

amethyst, peridot, and silver bracelet

wooden beaded bracelet for Frizbe's DD2

Some how Mother's day, my supposed day of luxury turned out to be incredibly busy. H woke at 6:30 ish as usual. The M and H trooped downstairs, I had hoped to get a lie in but ten minutes later they were looming over me with coffee and cards. It was sweet but I can't help thinking sleeping till 9 would have been the best present. ;o)

M had booked a surprise, he had booked at table at Shottle Hall Country House Hotel
for a beautiful Mother's Day lunch. Gorgeous food but way too much to eat, I had spring pea soup for a starter, my main course was perfectly roasted beef with a red wine gravy and fresh vegetables, and my pudding was raspberry and hazelnut pavlova. M and his mum took H out to run wild around the gardens while I read the paper and enjoyed a coffee. Just before leaving the hotelier ( owner of the hotel) came to talk to us as she knows M as he has done weddings there and taken photos for them. She was very kind and let us have a look round the basement, because that is very exciting when you are 4 or just nosey like us.

After lunch we headed back to attend Frizbe's DD2's second birthday party. We gave her a bag of assorted peppa pig socks, drink bottle, pj's, and the little pink and green beaded bracelet above. Frizbe asked me to get some plastic bangles for her, but for some reason I could not find anything that I though she wouldn't strangle herself with, or wasn't horribly over priced so in the end I bought some wood beads and made an elasticated bracelet myself. With a little help from H, who strung 2 beads before wandering off, then returned to examine the finished bracelet. He proceeded to try it on then marched around the house wearing it for 20 minutes.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Sour Cherry and Coconut Cookies

Sour Cherry and Coconut Cookies


2 ½ cups self raising flour
1 cup butter
1 ½ cup caster (white) sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup sweetened dried sour cherries (chopped roughly)

Pre-heat the oven to 375° F

In a large bowl beat the butter, vanilla extract, and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour slowly until well blended. By hand stir in the coconut and cherries. Drop the dough by teaspoon onto un-greased cookie sheet. For larger cookies drop by the tablespoon. Bake for 10 minutes, until the centre is puffed up and the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven, let them cool for a minute on the baking tray before placing on a wire rack to cool.

* If you don’t have self -raising flour then use plain flour and add to it 1 tsp baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt.

the sour cherries I used in the cookies

Cook's notes: This was a lets makes cookies with whatever we have in the cuboard recipe. H kept pinching the coconut because its his favourite and was slightly dubious of my useage of dried and sweetened sour cherries, something he loved a few weeks ago but decided he wouldn't like yesterday, when we opened the packet. I think the slight sour flavour of the cherries balences out the sweetness of the cookies... I shall test them out on Frizbe and her girls when they arrive in a little bit, and later on M.

H says "Delicious!"