Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween

Vincent the Vampire

A small little vampire arrived on our doorstep this morning. Hiding in the shade of a dour looking jack o' lantern. He was shivering a cold and scarpered into the hall through the living room wall and perched on the chapel chair by the fire. I didn't have any spare blood on hand but he didn't seem that bothered as long as the drapes remained closed. I did find a rather suspicious pile of cupcake cases and candy wrappers hidden behind the chair, and a rather suspicious chocolate stain on the corner of his mouth.
We asked what his name was but he didn't seem to know, so we have named him Vincent until he can remember properly.
Vincent was made by the very talented Katy of I'm a Ginger Monkey and he is totally brilliant, H loves him to bits! thank you Katy!
Now I have a pumpkin to carve some cobwebs to hang and some garlic-y (sorry Vinnie) tomato sauce to make.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Happy Birthday Little Buddy

Yesterday was H's 5th birthday, and as such I spend all weekend in a flurry of baking wrapping presents and furiously cleaning the house. I can't believe my little baby boy is now 5. He had a Halloween themed birthday with a fancy dress (costume) party...

I think we managed one game of pass the parcel before things deteriorated into plastic guns vs. lighCheck Spellingtsabers and swords. I managed to stay calm and relatively collected and the kids were brilliant, H was ecstatic. though mostly because we bought a Wii for him, as he has been trying to save his money for months to buy one. bless.

The house is tidy now, except for the decorations we will leave up till after Halloween. And now we will be off to Paris in the morning for two nights, as part of H's present, and someplace to go away for a bit so I stop thinking about being homesick for the states.

More pictures of the house and the party and Paris when we return. I best go get packing then!

Friday, 24 October 2008

The Thursday Night Project- wip

Poison Apple Bracelet III- red coral and obsidian

items made for the thursday night project.. more to come but time to take H to the fair.

black agate and lapis chrysocolla bracelet

coffee snowflake obsidian bracelet

smokey quartz and onyx key chain

the mess at the start of the Thursday night project

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Candy Corn and Cupcakes

no you can't eat it!
Halloween is nearly here and that means one of many thing, costumes, scary movies, and candy. And if you life in the states or just grew up there like me there is one thing that screams Halloween more than anything else, and that thing is candy corn. f I mention it around here I get blank stares, Halloween isn't the big deal here as it is in the states. H doesn't even have a Halloween party at school, they have a Harvest festival and concert singing songs about a scarecrow. This is the first year for a long time where we haven't gone to the states in autumn where I can gorge myself on candy corn, hot tamales, and Reece's pieces.

the candy corn is mine, all mine I tell you!

I had a dig through my stash of American goodies and found a tiny packet of candy corn. What was I to do with it? eat it? share it? hide it? no I sent it to my friend Kerry ( of PennyDog Jewellery fame) to turn into some resin jewellery. Kerry didn't know what candy corn was but she got to eat the broken pieces in the packet and made me some fabulous candy corn jewellery. She sent me three beautiful candy corn pendants, I have worn one of them and shall be turning one into a fabulous key chain. Kerry also has a brilliant blog " PennyDog Jewellery blog" with great interviews with other artists, jewellery makers, and etsy dwellers, so pop by and have a visit, and say a big hi from me. And have a look at her etsy shop and drool over this or this or ....just everything.

cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting

Right I best get back to the cake baking for the Harvest festival!

Monday, 20 October 2008

what Katy made me

Katy's wreath

Look what Katy made for me, this brilliant wreath from her lovely wreath tutorial. Katy came to visit me with the little ginger one in tow, last Friday. I made lunch and attempted to make some soy coconut cookies, that turned out more like little coconut rocks, they tasted good, and were surprisingly fluffy in consistency but resembled rocks. She has a dairy allergy so I hand to scramble up into town to fetch some soy milk and soy butter/margarine, and pay the carpet vampire(honest he looks like a vampire) for my lovely new living room carpet.

I hope she had a nice time, and a nice natter I know I did, it was nice to get to know your friends better and to talk girl/craft talk over coffee, coconut biscuits and shiny cobs. Hopefully she didn't think out house was too boring.. as only the downstairs is mostly done and upstairs.. well lets not go there. She did say she liked my quilt, sadly not homemade, my mother got it from Target for us the year we were married. In the clearance sale naturally.
look at my pretty fireplace
I will have M take some proper pictures of the downstairs when we finished painting the skirting boards, hang the curtains up, and badgered M into putting some more pictures up on the walls. I need some more accent pieces, some cushions and throws to make everything cozy.

turquoise and red jade bracelet II

This weekend I didn't get very much done craft wise, the above bracelet which I love with the remainder of my turquoise beads, and I framed one of my vintage book page paintings. Technically that was an accident though as I ripped the page and hastily trimmed it down and stuffed it in a frame and it sits in the box room waiting to be placed somewhere.

framed toadstool painting on vintage book paper

thanks for popping by my house Katy!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


toadstool- red and white jade

holly berries- red jade

turquoise and red jade

into the pink - deep pink jade and sterling silver clasp
A sample of the jewellery I have been making over the last few days. I think I may be addicted to those red jade beads, I don't even wear much red, I normally keep my colour choices in the bruised realm, purples, blacks, greys, and browns with the occasional green or teal thrown in. I need to order more beads though, as I have woefully run short of onyx and the last time I went to a bead shop they no longer had my favourite rounded square silver beads. I should be adding these to my etsy shop soon but I'm not holding out much hope as I haven't had a sale for ages on there, but you never know.
The jewellery is photographed on the title page for the sheet music Requiem by Johannes Brahms, I stained it with tea and was going to paint some blue birds on it but M says he wants it framed on the wall as it is. I have painted on a few of music sheets, one of which I gave away ages ago, the other was of some little houses and ghosts which I hated... well not so much hated but didn't like but the painting has grown on me and I like it now. I do that often though, make something and not like it then hide it away for months and forget about it.

Time to tuck H into bed.

thanks for popping by my blog.

Monday, 13 October 2008

kissing frogs and melancholy robots

linen napkin with Frog Prince embroidery

A while ago, to be honest quite along while ago I had the idea for the Fairy Tale Swap, I organized everyone and then began crafting for my swap partner Selena, and then we moved house, two months later and I finally finished crafting and filled a box with the linen napkin above, a vintage fairy tale book, a golden ball necklace to go with her favourite fairy tale the frog prince, and a few English treats. I parceled everything up and posted it to the US and returned home via the antiques shop across the road from the post office.

Then I remembered something, I remembered that I forgot to take pictures of everything to document it, so erm all I have is this photo of my embroidery of a frog prince doodle I designed. And the only reason I have a photo of it is because I was in such a tizzy over whether or not my embroidery was good enough to send or if I should try something else. The parcel arrived at Selena's house last week and she says she is very happy with everything which is such a relief as I was in a mild panic over it all. Well maybe not so mild but I'm quite relieved now.

and now lets talk robotics.

melancholy robot cushion

This robot cushion is what I made for the Robot Swap organized by the brilliant Claire (thank you). Both my swap partner Annie and I were terminally late with completing the swap, and I was in such a hurry to post the parcel off to her on friday that I forgot to take pictures of anything but the cushion. So if you want to see anymore please pop by Annie's blog Overmilkwood to have a better look at the goodies I sent her.

I really adore doing these swaps, you get to know other bloggers and it stretches the limits of your creativity, or at least mine, in trying new crafts and toying with new ideas, colours, and designs. Hopefully the next swap I join or organize won't have me being last again!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Scrap Owl

little scrap owl

Please be gentle he is only small and made from scraps of fabric. But he is my little owl, from my little doodles and paintings and I love him. His back is a scrap of my favourite Old Navy jeans, that fought the good fight but died none the less. I acquired the other scraps from Dunelm the other day much to M's disgruntlement at following me around while I looked at kitcheny things and fabrics. I didn't really intend to buy any fabrics just to have a look around, I asked for a few samples though to have a play with but I haven't really got the skills to do a great deal with fabrics and I dare not buy anything nice in fear of ruining it with my less than stellar sewing skills.

The little Owl is only tiny maybe 2 and a half inches tall (can't be bothered to find a measuring tape at the moment. Its really a test run as I really want to make H a wheat/lavender bag for his bed, the one he has now is old and store bought, if I can't make it myself I may have to call upon one of my crafty friends who are far better at sewing than I am.

a closer look... his eyes are made from vintage black buttons (thanks Vintage Violet)

My sewing skills are improving slowly, not enough to be able to get a sewing machine and I don't know what the hell most of the paraphernalia is in fabric shops, but that doesn't normally stop me when I want to figure something out for myself. And I'm lucky enough to have some lovely blogging friends to help me when I get myself into a muddle, again.

owl got back... scrap of my old navy jeans

The decorator is here to paint the living room so it can be a real living room and get our house that bit closer to being a real home. I really should be tackling painting the kitchen and not blogging but I rather not make a fool of myself with my untidy wall painting antics, at least not in front of the decorator anyway. I paint pictures messily enough no one wants to see me tackle walls, and especially not ceilings. Pictures of the house soon I promise when there are a few things to look at and not cringe about.

p.s. I miss Old Navy

Friday, 3 October 2008

one blue bottle

vintage blue bottle

From as far back as I can remember my parents have always taken me to yard sales, estate sales, garage sales, flea markets and thrift shops. It was always a new adventure, to look on with curious eyes at the things people once cherished and collected now marked with little price stickers and intent to bargain and haggle. I miss a good flea market or garage sale, the occasional car boot sale here just isn't the same. They overflow with electronics, burgers, and the plastic toy paraphernalia that plague any parents' life. Toys and more plastic toys but you never seem to find the really interesting things, like broken clocks, walking sticks, crusted up pocket knives, strange kitchen gadgets, bizarre woolen hats, and ancient tattered cook books.

I had a troll through the charity shops in town and found not a single thing I was willing to part with my money for, until I went for a browse around the big antiques shop across from the co-op. The majority of the shop was filled with clocks (sorry daddy none of them are broken and in need of fixing), ugly vases and furniture. The clocks I don't need, the vases were indeed hideous, and the furniture to heavy to carry home. There used to be a lovely battered green wooden chair that I fell in love with months ago, but it was missing today from its place outside the shop. I did find one blue bottle in a dusty corner and took it home with me. I didn't particularly need a vintage blue milk of magnesia bottle, but it is pretty and now its mine.

the real reason bees buzz

With the kitchen being done the last few days I have gotten little to no crafting done other than a few random doodles I have photographed in today's dismal light. Apologies for the bad photos. I did get a spot of good news today. Anita the lady who owns the Framing gallery I have some of my jewellery with has asked me to bring in more stock next week and paid me some commission on my jewellery that sold last month. Which is great seeing as I have been meaning to bring her some more jewellery for the past three weeks. Its nice to know someone wants my jewellery as I haven't had a sale on etsy for months and not a single enquiry through folksy, aside from bills of course.

I'm off to go store some more pots and pans away,joy, and see what I have to christen the kitchen with as a first meal. I have a bag of toll house chocolate chips that I have been hording for months but I'm not going to use them until the kitchen is decorated and completely finished. Then I will share some pictures, I promise.

Gilbert's Pumpkin

Vintage Violet's Buttons

vintage red buttons

Aren't these vintage red buttons beautiful? and the presentation too? I ordered them a few weeks ago from Megan of Vintage Violet's Buttons and Vintage Haberdashery, they arrived a few days later beautifully packaged and gorgeous. You can also visit her blog!

black and red vintage buttons

I have no idea what I will be doing with this amount of buttons, my attempts at sewing are still laughable but my embroidery has improved a little bit so I may embroider a few more button thieves and poison apple trees on some linen tea towels. Once I have sourced some natural linen tea towels that is, or find someone willing to make me some linen tea towels to embroider and add some lovely buttons too.

mother of pearl buttons and a pretty little note.