Thursday, 31 July 2008

Fairy Tale Swap- Partners

Chloe and Alex

Jayne and Royceann

Beth and Helen

Jessica and Leah

Selena and Me (sorry about that :) )

Ali and Charlotte

Sherry and Jill T

I hope it all goes well I'm very excited about the swap.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Peg Dolls

"Hi there. I'd wave but as you can see I'm only a peg."

Today H and I did some crafting together, its the first time in ages we have done some crafting that didn't a.) end in tears (usually mine) or B.) end with play dough stuck in the carpet or paint between the floorboards.

I bought a packet of wooden craft pegs from the Works, but any wooden pegs will do. , I had the intention of gathering together some scraps of fabric for clothing from the Charity shop, but never remembered so we got out "Mummy's special paints" and made some painted peg dolls. I'm quite enamoured of the little ginger one, he looks quite cheeky with his dinosaur t-shirt. H made two peg people but lost interested when I said the paint had to dry before he could put a face on with a pen. So H wandered off to play jedi-cowboy-alien-chef-pilot-inventor while I finished painting mine.

peg dolls

H and I still had fun making peg people and I think I will get another packet of pegs sometime soon and make more peg people, I may go whole hog and acquire some fabric scraps to make some peg doll clothes. I might even see if I can pin down H and get him to draw faces on his pegs, they are a bit scary without faces... but then again I'm like that, I think I watched way to many episodes of the Twilight Zone when I was little.

H's peg people

Monday, 28 July 2008

The Masked Girl with Butterflies

the masked girl with butterflies

This is my latest illustration that I'm working on, although not complete she is coming together nicely and has a certian twinkle of mischief in her eye. I drew her on Saturday while picinicing at Rowsley Park around the corner from Caudwell's Mill while H ran around hyped up on fairy cakes and watermelon. It was the first time I had properly dragged my sketch book out in somewhere close to forever and I felt so perfectly happy and at peace, the smell of warm grass, and freshly sharpened pencils mingling on a bright sunny day.

Later that same evening M and I watched the most beautiful, quirky and sweet movie King of California. The movie stars Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood, in an unconventional father daughter relationship . It was very funny, sad, and lovely story of slightly broken people, and fufilling dreams. M and I both agree that its a little gem of a movie right up there with house favourites Empire Records, Amelie, and Waitress as one of our favourite quirky movies.

Sunday was spent at Frizbe's house sitting watching the children play, argue, and splash each other in the paddling pool, enjoying that rare and elusive creature known as English Summertime. H had a blast but was thoroughly shattered and ready for his bed by the time we dragged him home again. I think he would have stayed and played all night if given half the chance.

update: there are a few days left to sign up for the Fairy Tale Swap!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Russian Doll Swap

As part of Katy's Russian Doll I painted this Russian Doll. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the key chain that I sent along with it, made from yellow opal. The swap was sent to Anna and it arrived a few days ago, she says she is very happy with it and it brightened her day. I was so worried about the swap and getting this painting just right, I must have sketched and re-sketched it a dozen times to get all the elements of the piece just right. I love my painted pages, though M thinks I'm a bit odd to be so obsessed with tearing apart mouldy old books to fuel my crafting needs. I'm happy and the books are now loved in a new form. No worries on finishing and sending out my swap goodies Anna, have fun and I look forward to seeing what you have made when it arrives.
I'm hoping in the next few weeks that aside from moving house, I hope to move my crafting forward to the next stage. I'm hoping that you my readers can help me think of what I should be doing next. I'm trying to save up for a goco printer, or a button making machine, but I want to know what you think. Is my art just mine? do you care? what do you want to see me make of my illustrations? would you or your child wear a pirate owl t-shirt? or like some sorrowing tree printed fabric? (I'm working on that at the moment with spoonflower) please help me make something more of me.

Back on the Bead Wagon

blue dolmite and black agate bracelet
Don't worry I didn't go completely crazy mad on beading, these are a few things I have been working on over the last few days and not had a chance to photograph. The purple and onyx is my favourite, and if I hadn't have kept the last purple jade bracelet I made I would keep this one too.
Today's to do list includes cleaning the house, as yesterday I spent 3 hours cleaning up the fall out zone that is H's room. He managed to sneak a huge box of ikea hamma beads from the shed up to his room then liberally decorate the whole room with little piles of coloured plastic beads. I was not happy, I was fuming and sent him to play in the garden while I sorted out his room and filled a massive box full of broken toys and games missing pieces and assorted junk that 4 year olds generate with an alarming rate. Off to clear up beady mess and make some mini key lime cheesecakes!

pink candy jade bracelet

purple jade and onyx bracelet

candy jade bracelet

amethyst and nephrite jade earrings

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Once Upon a Time a Fairy Tale Swap

Think about dark forests, alive with fairies, goblins, princess, heroes, and magical creature. The dark realm of fairy and all its inhabitants. Fairy tales, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Alice in Wonderland, The Company of Wolves, gothic tales, legends, and fables or whatever you can dream. Whether you like your fairy tales dark, gothic and Grimm or sweet and innocent.

Sign up will be from now until Thursday the 31st of July the end of the month (longer if more time is needed. Any craft medium is ok, if you want to knit a gnome, paint a toadstool, sew a poisioned apple, bead Cinderella's jewellery, make a plush fat wolf that ate grandma, quilt Alice in Wonderland, Card craft Puss in Boots... mostly have fun crafting.

We will have a month to make the crafts and send them to your partners by the end of August. Please leave a comment to sign up and e-mail me your details at .

Favourite fairy tale:

Friday, 18 July 2008

Small Town Hauntings

Haunting in a small town
This is me kicking ideas around, its not a finished piece by any stretch but I like the idea of a small town being haunted by some small rather lonely looking little ghosts. This will be filed away for a later date.. quite possibly indefinitely. The actual piece is a little better than it appears here.. I can't get any kind of decent light, at little sunshine would be nice.

And the Winner is.....

And the winner of my lovebird Illustration is

ElectricBarbarella from (Mumsnet). I will track you down on mumsnet in a bit and see if you want the lovebird origional or a print of something.

and because I couldn't help myself I pulled another name to win a print of any of my illustrations.

the winner of a print is SusieQ

thank you to everyone who left a comment its meant a real lot to me thank you so very much.

and remeber there will be another give away when I reach 250 posts, so keep commenting and checking back!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Burnt Coconut and Other Follies

Little White House II
This is the second little white house I have painted. The first one went to live with Annie of Overmilkwood fame, as a gift for being so sweet, and for being my biggest jewellery customer. Thanks Annie!

Sigmund the squirrel

I didn't like Sigmund when I first painted him, but somehow he seems to have grown on me.

the masked woman

I'm not sure about the masked woman yet, she just doesn't match the sketch I did which I prefer, perhaps she was just meant to be the sketch, to be in ink and pencil without any fussy bit of acrylic paint.

I know its a horrible horrible picture, don't look at it too long or you may cry, but this is the first mail label design I have come up with that I really like. I may go back to the drawing board though if the quality of this image is anything to go by. Before I ask M to scan it for me.

I bet you are wondering about the burnt coconut bit in my title? maybe just a little.. we I managed to almost burn a batch of coconut cookies. rescused them just in time, before they became burn to a crisp. Its how today seems to be going, nothing over the top bad, just a teensy bit off.

its your last chance to leave a comment on my illustration giveaway, I will draw the lucky winner in the morning, I would say bright and early, but the only one that is bright and early in the morning here is H, I need several cups of coffee before I'm even halfway human.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Playing with Beads and Personalities

teal and sterling silver hoop earrings
I have been a busy bee this morning pottering around in my bead boxes. Not a huge amount to show but I'm very pleased with the two pairs of earrings and the two bracelets I managed to put together this morning. The jewellery items listed here will be added to my etsy shop unless I get any offers in the mean time. H will be home soon from preschool so thus ends my creative time but for your amusement I have added a personality quiz at the bottom of this post. Well it amused me anyway!

yellow jacket- lime jade and onyx bracelet

punk rocker- pink candy jade and onyx bracelet

tourqouise seed bead hoop earring

I found this personality quiz linked on SewtoBed's blog and I must admit this is me.

You Are An INFP

The Idealist

You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.
Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.
It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.
But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.

In love, you tend to have high (and often unrealistic) standards.
You are very sensitive. You tend to have intense feelings.

At work, you need to do something that expresses your personal values.
You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.

How you see yourself: Unselfish, empathetic, and spiritual

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Unrealistic, naive, and weak

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Peridot, Cherries, and Twigs

peridot and cherry adventurine commissioned bracelet

twig painted page

p.s. don't forget to leave a comment on the illustration giveaway for your chance to win an original or a print.

Monday, 14 July 2008

The Trouble with Earrings

purple seed bead and sterling hoops
can you guess what I have been up to this morning? Aside from drinking copious amounts of caffeinated liquids, i.e. coffee, and quite large quantities of the stuff. I have been fighting with seed beads, to create some purple hoop earrings for my next door neighbour. I hope she likes them because I'm pretty happy with house they have turned out so far, especially the ones with the faceted purple jade beads. Sadly I will not be keeping any as I don't have pierced ears, what my neighbour doesn't want will be going in my etsy shop on Friday.

purple jade beads and sterling silver hoop earrings

Next on the crafting front I'm going to design some labels for posting as M has made the mistake of telling me he has a pack of blank sticky label paper for printing. I'm pretty sure that's not its official name but its what I'm calling it.

update: I'm going to let the giveaway run till Friday and see if I get any more comments before I do the big draw. Thank you so much everyone that has left a comment so far, its been really lovely to read your comments and cheered me up on yet another dismal grey day.

purple seed beads hoop earrings

Friday, 11 July 2008

A Love Song, a Giveaway, and Some Painted Pages

a love song

This post is my 240th, and though I was going to wait for my 250th post for a giveaway I want to give something away now.. I have had a phenomenally good week, 3 of my bracelets have sold in the framing gallery, I won two giveaways, the adorable fabric bookmark from Sarah at pink-petal-designs, and the amazing retro cups gocco print from junecrafts.

Two of my closest friends gave me presents yesterday, a lovely cupcake notebook from my friend Ali, and my friend Frizbe gave me a Supernatural (tv show) latte cup.
So I would like to spread the good karma around and do a giveaway for this original painting of two little birds on a vintage Brahms tea stained music page or a print of any of my previous painted pages. all you need do is leave me a comment with your e-mail, and I will draw the winner next monday.
p.s. I will be doing another giveaway for my 250th post, so keep checking back and leaving comments.


the redhead

So what else have I been up to today while the house is empty, aside from some random jobs about the house I dragged my paints out and along with the love bird painting I did this one of a redheaded woman that looks oddly like Dana Scully. It must be a subconscious thing from seeing the trailer for the new X-files movie that will be hitting theaters sometime soon.

argus camera

M has a collection of old cameras, some work, some are for display purposes only, I filched this argus out of the cabinet this morning and painted. I have the feeling M may lay claim to this painted page, or request I paint a Leica instead. In fact I best put the camera away before I get paint on it.. or coffee.

yo ho whoooo

Oh and I have found little owl playing pirates and stealing my jewellery this morning as well. Naughty Owl!

thanks everyone for visiting my blog, looking at my illustrations, my jewellery, and genral craftiness.

giveaway now closed... thanks everyone!


Retro Cups Print from Junecraft

A week or so ago I left a comment about the art of organizing the creative mind for a giveaway on the blog Junecrafts , and I won this amazing little retro cups gocco print that arrived in the post not half an hour ago. I love it to bits, it couldn't be any more me could it? a print of some coffee cups! Thank you so very much K! I can't wait to have this framed and put up in the new house.

Please stop by her amazing little blog and her junecrafts etsy shop, I love her things and I'm sure you will too.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

espresso got framed

espresso vintage painted page in frame

Doesn't it look fantastic? I think so anyway.. although it won't hang on the wall until we move. I had it framed for M as a gift.. then gave him the invoice for it as well... He was most amused, but can you blame me? he does get a discount with the framers via the studio. A bit of good news as well, three of the bracelets I took in for display and sale at the same framing gallery have sold! I am so very pleased at that, unbelievably happy, and she has requested some more bracelets at the end of the month to mix with whatever is left. I was so happy, but I was not going to spend my heard earned jewellery money on the framing of the pic for M.

beautiful bookmark and crocheted brooch
A little while ago I said that I never win anything, and apparently that is not true because I won this beautiful bookmark and crotcheted flower brooch from Sarah at Pink Petal Designs, that the postman delivered to me yesterday morning. Thank you so much Sarah, the book mark is on its way to nestling between the pages of my latest book purchase, the new Laurel K Hamilton Anita Blake novel.

and last but not least this is one of the little purple peppers growing in my green house, I shall miss that greenhouse when we move.

Monday, 7 July 2008

espresso and flowers

espresso shot glass

red flowers on teal

Sorry about the slightly odd angles these pictures were taken with. The light was very poor this morning, and I was in desperate need of more coffee. This is the second painting I have done of one of M's espresso shot glasses, its such a simple image yet I adore it and I really really want a cup of coffee now. The red flowers on a teal painting is so vibrant, I love red and teal together, I may just need to order some more beads and made some red and teal jewellery... mmm yummy.

I have some lovely beads that I purchased at Spellbound Beads in Lichfield on Saturday, we went to the Medieval Fair, and got utterly soaked, at one point I had to help hold down a jewellery stall, because the wind was gusting so fiercely that some of the stock was blown to the pavement. It was still good fun, H loved it but was a little disappointed that there was no jousting or strawberry stall like last year.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Space/Sci-Fi A Craft Challenge

a bit Marvin isn't he?

Space/Sci-Fi Crafting Challenge
Space the Final Frontier.. These are the voyage of a brave few crafters....
The theme for this crafting challenge is space and science fiction. It’s time to think about rocket ships, princess Leia jewellery, Dr. Who dolls, aliens, stars, astronauts, robots, alien landscapes and far distant planets. If you need help then drag out all the old cheap B-movie sci-fi flicks like Space Camp, or the more cherished Star Wars, Aliens, and Close Encounters (can you hear the music?) . Watch cheesy 80’s tv shows like Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Star Trek and Alf… well maybe not that last one but you get the drift.

The universe is yours to craft with.

So go get crafting and may the force be with you.

Challenges are not mandatory, they are just away to find a bit of inspiration and get your crafting mojo on. When you have finished you challenge craft blog it and link back to the challenge if you find it inspirational. If you have an idea and the time then do it today, or tomorrow, next week or next month, all challenges are open to interpretation and time scale. If you go on holiday and find that your crafting has gone kaput on your return perhaps a crafting challenge is in order to kick your brain into craft gear.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Dark Cherry Cheesecake

dark cherry cheesecake


For the crust:
1 1/4 cups biscuit(digestives/grahm cracker) crumbs
2 tablespoon caster (white)sugar
1/4 cup butter melted

For the cheese mixture:
2 tubs ( 250g each ) mascarpone cheese
1 tub (8oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used the one with vanilla seeds*)
For the cherry topping:
1 package (480g) frozen dark sweet cherries
2 teaspoons cornflour
1/2 cup sugar
¼ cup water

Combine the ingredients for the crust and press into the bottom and sides of a 10 inch spring form pan. Or into 8-10 small glass ramekins as I did.

Soften cream cheese and the mascarpone at room temperature and stir in the cream, and the vanilla extract. Mix until smooth then carefully top the biscuit base with the cheese mixture. As I used the ramekin dishes I left a small indent in the cheese mixture so that there would be somewhere to put the topping. Leave cheesecake to set in the refrigerator.

For the topping, place the frozen cherries into add the sugar, vanilla extract, and water, stir well until the mixture boils and thickens, then remove from the heat.

Spoon the cherry topping over the Vanilla Cheesecake once it has cooled and place the cheesecake(s) back into the fridge to chill. I spooned the cherry topping over the cheesecake while the topping was still warm just prior to serving.

Enjoy your freshly made Dark Cherry Cheesecake!

Cook’s notes: first of all the vanilla extract with seeds in was my treat to myself, well my treat to my kitchen, I may not have this whole treating myself thing down right. It is lovely, though and I’m not quite willing to go to the expense of using real vanilla pods though that would be truly lush. The mini cheesecakes turned out quite divine with only semi-posh vanilla extract. And I must say a big thank you to Gu puddings for providing me with all the little glass ramekin dishes.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Cinnamon Scones

cinnamon scone


1/2 cup cream
2 cups self-raising flour (all purpose)
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 egg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
For icing
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3-4 tsp water

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
Grease baking sheet.

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in another bowl.

Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Combine egg with cream and gently stir into flour mixture until moistened.

IMPORTANT: knead dough briefly, no more than 10 times.

Shape dough into an 8-inch round loaf. cut into 8 wedges and separate slightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

In a separate bowl, start with the icing (confectioner’s)sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon and add a little bit of the water at a time until a smooth icing is formed. Brush or drizzle the icing onto the cooled scones

Cook’s notes: these are the first scones I have ever made, they turned out really nice, although M didn’t listen to me and though I had made really large soft cookies, then wondered why I put butter on the one I gave to him. The recipe is my own based on dozens of recipes for different flavoured scones. I was desperate for a Starbuck’s Cinnamon Chip scone that you get in the US but not here so I went my own way and I think it turned out pretty good and the house smell of cinnamon, fantastic.

p.s. sorry about the poor image quality, it was too dark to get a proper picture.

Thursday, 3 July 2008


Red Riding Hood

The Button Thief and other Characters

The button thief is now hiding in a willow tree. I think she is perfect now... the willow branches fill the rest of the page and compliment one very cheeky pretty little thief. I shall be adding some prints of the button thief to my etsy shop tommorow, along with the original multi-media illustration, and things are in the works to get some button/badges made, and possibly some cards as well..oh and some jewellery too. so keep an eye out.

the contessa
The contessa is greatly displeased with me, for reasons known only to herself, I have messed about with this painting four times she has gotten better but something isn't quite right yet. And the 80's chick was inspired by an ad in a magazine, the add didn't look anything like this, and it wasn't from 1985 either but apparently she just couldn't live without permed hair.

80's chick

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Spilled Coffee

Flapper Girl

I posted the flapper girl image a few posts back with a half dozen or so other painted pages, but I wasn't very happy with her something jsut wasn't quite right so the other day armed with a cup of black coffee I restained the page, and I think she looks finished now. Then I was doodling a skull while watching that show about the real crystal skulls with out Indiana Jones attached, so I painted it and added some black vines as you do.

skull and vines

And last but not least I have dragged out poor Lulu again, and added a little detail to her eyes. I think she looks alot better now, and the painting looks much nicer than the colours have come out in this image. I still don't know what I will do with her, I can't see putting her up in the house any where, especially with this move in the future. I haven't really had many sales recently so I'm not sure about putting her up in the etsy shop though I could do with the craft money she might provide if she sold. Though What I would price her at I don't really know. She is 11x14 in and is acrylic and ink on a canvas wrapped board. any offers?


Rhymes with Orange

orange agate pendant
I put together this pendant a little while ago in the blissful quite of H being at pre-school for a few short hours this morning. It made with a large facet cut focal bead that was labeled "agate" but I have no idea if it is natural or dyed, I'm assuming it is dyed because its such a fantastic orange color. I have also included a few onyx beads, and a fire opal, I think its lovely... if only I had something to wear with it.

the back of the pendant

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

the ghost flower and the faery

ghost flower

I'm tired I want to go to bed but M is working late, and I can't settle and be happy till he is home and accounted for. I have all ready written the post once and accidentally deleted it, so I'm afraid you will have to do with the far less witty and slightly substandard version which is this.

I painted the flower last night while M watched something boring about rockets. Not that rockets are that bad but when it comes to educational shows I prefer antiquities, bones, crystal skulls, mammoths, and all things generally ancient and crumbly, while prefers to watch How its Made, rockets exploding, or some horrendously mind numbing show about WWII. yawn. I finished the flower this morning with my favourite black ink pen, the flower wasn't meant to be white but just turned out that way, it has a sort of 70's feel that I quite like.

The fairy has been giving me trouble, its a sketch that I stained with tea and added a few details in ink. She was meant to only be a sketch, but when I tried to paint her on a music sheet she went all wrong, and didn't want to be a painted version so for now she is just another picture on my amassed pile of pictures I don't know what to do with.

more beady things, and recipes coming soon... and who knows I might even drag out my knitting again.