Friday, 29 May 2009

Attack of the 50's B Movie Craft Swap

A swap that is all about B Movies, all the terrible 50’s B Movies filled with monsters , aliens, vampires, 50 foot women, badly designed tin foil robots, irradiated critters of all sizes. I have a great love of crappy horror and sci-fi films and I’m sure I’m not the only crafter out there who doesn’t love huge amounts of cheese in their movie viewing habits. So if you craft and love Dracula, Gort, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and pie tin spaceships then this is the swap for you!

Here is how it works:

1. SIGN UP by Friday, June 5th! Email me at with the following information:
-Mailing Address
-Website or Blog Address
-your favourite B movie (or favourite sort of B movie horror, aliens, radioactive, etc.
*Swap partners will be chosen randomly by me, after the signup closes Monday. I will email you you're partner’s details Monday night, Tuesday morning at the latest.

2. Your parcel should contain:
*Candy (or chocolate) to eat while watching B Movies

*Handmade crafts with the 50’s B Movie theme.. (For example a cuddly werewolf toy, a notebook decorated in flying saucers, creepy alien cards, a crocheted alien, vampire jewellery, and a brain shaped candle for the mad scientist etc…) The swap can be as simple or as extravagant as you wish, just make sure that the things you send are something you would be happy to receive yourself.

*craft supplies

You don’t need to spend the Earth (pardon the pun I couldn’t help myself) but make sure you and your partner spend roughly the same amount. I would say spend around £20 ($30 ish)

3. Mail your package by the end of the first week of July!

4. Take a picture of your swap parcel once you receive it. Upload your images to the Attack of the 50’s B Movie Swap account.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

an idea for a swap

just putting out the feelers to see if anyone would be interested in doing a "B-Movie" themed swap?? monsters, aliens, spaceships, mutant bugs etc... I thought it could turn into a rather fun swap... if there is sufficient interest I will do a proper write up and design a button etc.

let me know if you think its a good idea.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

gardening, baking, playing

H doing very important planting

Yesterday H and I did some baking and gardening, what else is a boy to do at half term? He helped make some banana coconut and pecan muffins, and had been practicing his barista skills with M making coffee. We haven't really got much done, but that doesn't matter he has helped to plant a little plant in the garden, and played at being dragons, monsters, Jedi knights and Darth Vader, most of this didn't involve me as he was twirling around the garden having a merry time for himself.

liliac in the garden

About five minutes ago H went off with his grandma to go to his swimming lesson so I have the house to myself for an hour or two before M comes home, I'm not feeling particularly motivated to craft, or bake or clean, but then again I rarely ever feel the desire to clean, Martha I am not nor will I ever be. Instead I'm watching an episode of Veronica Mars that I downloaded and mulling over some ideas for working on the fairy tale I still haven't finished writing (honest one day it will be done) and thinking about all the comments that were left after my last blog post. Thank you so much everyone who shared their thoughts and themselves with me, it means agreat deal to me, and I will attempt to email you all back individually, but as you should all know by now I'm very slow at writing emails.

banana, coconut, and pecan muffin

p.s. I'll write up a recipe for the muffins if anyone requests it.. they did turn out very nice and got rid of half of the bananas in the fruit bowl that were turning a nice shade of brown.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

through a scanner faintly

This week I have got no crafting done what so ever, I barely cracked a book open. The hamster wheel is spinning but the hamster has left the building. I have instead of crafting done a small amount of writing, and when not watching episodes of Veronica Mars, I have been thinking a lot about who I am, and what people think of me.

Friday night I went to dinner at a friends house, four skinny birds and me the fat hen, if you like your poultry analogies. I’m well aware of the fact and though I find it depressing that I’m the fat one I also find it more so that I feel as if I’m a lost cause, I’m the only friend that doesn’t work, two of the group are teachers, one works in an office and Heather runs the comic shop. Me I don’t do anything much or anything that is particularly worthwhile, I start things but never finish them, I’m over qualified or vastly under qualified for nearly everything.

I’m a stay at home mother, but I am far from a domestic diva or Suzie Homemaker, aside from a flare for cooking. M says I should get a job or volunteer more for H’s school, but to be honest M is much more outgoing and happy go lucky than I am, he can easily talk to anyone where I really struggle at times to talk with people that I haven’t anything remotely in common with, aside from being parents. I loath having to pick H up from school, standing there at the class room door waiting for the kids to be left free, I talk to Heather and maybe two other mothers the rest ignore me and keep to their own cliques. I hated that when I was in school and I hate it still, I’m not an “in with the in crowd” sort.

That rules out any more volunteering for school, I will bake cakes and I will help out at craft nights, as long as I don’t have to do the sticking and gluing table because there is nothing that annoys me more than gobs of glue dribbled everywhere. M got very cross with me for my refusing to help the school out on a walk up to the church in town, its not my bag, I don’t believe in church I believe in belief, anything more organized just leads to trouble. I am American and schools in the States have nothing to do with religion aside from the small mention in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Work…I don’t know what I would do I’m not qualified for much, I only did a few years of university/college before burning out and coming to England to be with M, instead of having M move to California. I have worked retail so that bit isn’t a problem, I have done cash office and been a manager for Target in California, I worked for a few years at IKEA at Giltbrook until I fell pregnant at the same time they refused me working in the actual cash office. They were for reasons known only to IKEA getting rid of all the managers that actually gave a damn about the cashiers and changing the job title so that they could give a pat on the back to the people they liked, not the ones that could actually do the job. Bitter? Moi?

Craft…I have always been artistic, and for the past two years I have been getting back the artsy side of me that I misplaced when I moved to England. I have taught myself to knit (badly), beading, stamping, card making, vintage book staining and painting, and lately I have been learning to sew with my dinky little sewing machine. Crafting has lead me to blogging and meeting with some very talented and brilliant crafters, and to the knowledge that I’m a scanner.

Scanner…I never heard the term until last summer when I did the Fairy Tale Swap and partnered with Selena (Apron thrift Girl) who is a fantastic writer blogger and crafter who also happens to have a scanner personality. A scanner is someone who isn’t one thing, we aren’t this or that, we can become intently focused on one thing until it is mastered then may never do that again, having switched on to doing something entirely different. A Jack or rather Jane of all trades, that’s me(one of my lovely skinny blonde even told me so), I’m an expert in nothing, yet I will turn my hand to anything that I’m intensely fascinated by or in love with. Then a few months, weeks or days down the line I will drop it and move onto the next thing whatever that might be.

I have always admired those people who know what they want and have the drive to be the best at one thing, I have no special one thing that I am, I’m not a photographer, a writer, a doctor, a mechanic or anything special in particular I lack that drive to be that one thing and be the best at it. I wear a lot of hats but they never seem to stay perched atop my head for very long. And I never know what the next thing is going to be, aside from getting my arse in the kitchen and finding something to make for tea.

For more information about scanners have a look at the link below.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Let's Play

“Let’s Play”

Have Fun!!

1. What is your last name? Lowe
2. A 4 Letter Word? Lame
3. A Boy’s Name? Logan
4. A Girl’s name? Lily
5. An Occupation? Librarian
6. A Color? Luscious Lavender
7. Something you wear? Lint
8. A Beverage? Latte
9. A Food? lettuce
10. Something found in the bathroom? Lemon Lime (technically its "citrus") Lotion
11. A place? Lincoln
12. A Reason for being late? Lethargy
13. Things you shout? Lummox

Tag. You’re it.

Peanutbutter's Quilt

don't laugh! ...well OK you can laugh if you want to...the stitching is wonky.. in fact I'm pretty sure everything is wonky but H picked everything out to make a quilt for Peanutbutter. As the quilt is slightly less scruffy than Peanutbutter himself I think its turned out OK... its made from scraps of fabric, the tan is left over from the curtains in the living room, the gingham is from Laura Ashley's and Hannah sent me the little bit of owl fabric.

The Boy says its just perfect and that Peanutbutter loves his brand new quilt. I don't think I will be joining in any doll quilt swap anytime in the near future.. my baby sewing machine is just too small to quilt it and I can't cut straight to save my life (even with the new rotary cutter I bought, though luckily I haven't cut myself with it yet) and as H kept "helping" well if you have kids you can imagine. I can understand the principals its just the skills I am sorely lacking in.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

every zombie needs....

somebody to love...and eat the brains of...

my very first zombie plushie. His name is Bob and he likes brains, the colour pink, and long walks through zombie infested streets.

he also makes an excellent pincushion... Zombie Bob is only tiny, he easily fits in the palm of my hand. Not a bad attempt at a softie, seeing as I have only made a small owl before this. He didn't turn out exactly as I doodled and imagined him but still cute enough, for a zombie.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Carrot and Coconut Cupcakes

Carrot and Coconut Cupcakes

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups caster (white)sugar
1 cup melted butter (or vegetable oil may be used)
3 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups finely shredded carrot
1 ¼ cups sweetened desiccated coconut

1 package cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup butter (softened)
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan or muffin tin (or use paper muffin cup liners, I had run out).

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar, add melted butter (or oil), eggs, carrot, coconut, and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon until well blended.

Stir in carrots, coconut,

Pour into 9x13 inch pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Or scoop into muffin tins filling 3/4Th's full.

Allow to cool; when cool, ice the cake.

To make the frosting: Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the icing sugar a little at a time and beat until creamy.

Cooks notes: I haven’t actually eaten carrot cake of any sort since I had H. It may have had something to do with my weekly treat while pregnant was a Starbucks frappichino, with a pastrami panini and a slice of carrot passion cake (or whatever it was called) ... it was the one thing I lived for while pregnant.. and it didn't matter what I ate as due the the Hyperemisis nothing stayed down for very long anyway. M says this is one of the best carrot cakes he has had, which I'm quite pleased with, it may have something to do with the amount of sugar, and the sweetened desiccated coconut (its softer than plain dessicated coconut). I made the recipe with butter because I have never been a big fan of oily cakes but for the dairy intolerant you can easily substitute oil for the butter used, and it can be served with a water based icing or plain.

Acid Toadstools and a Magical Mystery Tour

you knew I meant fabric right?

I made this little toadstool fabric lavender and rice warm bag, and matching pincushion for Katy. Now Katy's birthday was quite awhile ago, and I really meant to send her something but no matter what I made it just never seemed quite imperfectly perfect enough to give as a gift. I here worriedly this morning waiting for Katy to open my bag of goodies. I even had back up lavender and rice bags to substitute if she didn't like this one. Luckily she did so that was a big relief.

In addition to the pincushion and warm bag I gave Katy a bracelet made with onyx, and green jade, with a cute little apple toggle clasp. I stamped her name on a small jute bag, and made a card which I forgot to take photographic evidence of because I'm a total dork. But it doesn't matter as we had a fab day out. Katy drove and I navigated us to a lovely little quilt shop in Darley Dale, followed by lunch at Caudwell's mill and then a mooch round Scarthin Books in Cromford and a cup of tea. It was a fun outing and next time I promise to be more organized and get a few more local crafter's in the mix and convoy ourselves around Derbyshire's pretty (and crafty) places. Chatsworth anyone?

green apple bracelet

Friday, 8 May 2009

tattoo lavender and rice warmbag

Sewn using the smallest piece of tattoo fabric cut from the edge of the half yard of fabric I bought on Bainbridge Island, WA. I was too cowardly to cut a larger piece just yet so practiced with a small piece and made this small lavender rice warm bag, a perfect little warmer for your hands or small aches and pains. I plan to make another with the fabulous tattoo fabric, I think I may be in love with it its so cool, and far less painful that a real tattoo, unless I manage to sew my fingers together. Which is always a possibility with me.

I started the bag with the intent that I would make it for Katy, in the umpteenth time I have attempted to make a present for Katy and it ending up being not quite right. I'm probably my own worst enemy in that regard, and imperfect perfectionist, if such a thing even exists it most definitely is me.

M thinks this is one of the best ones I have done, I mumbled that its off center as it was on the edge of the fabric, he said he liked the stars along the edge. Which I guess I do too, I may be popping it in my etsy shop a little later and see if anyone is interested in it. I suppose I best go get something useful done in the mean time, like putting the kettle on, a very useful thing.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Strawberry Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter ( room temperature)
1 cup caster/white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (a good pinch)
2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (sliced and sprinkled with a tablespoon sugar)
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup milk

Heat oven to 375° F (180° C ish)

Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups (or 12 large size muffins) or line muffin tins with paper cases.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.

Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt. With a spoon, fold in half of flour then half of milk into batter.

Fold in the remainder of the flour, and then the remainder of the milk.

Gently fold strawberries into the batter and spoon into muffin cups.

Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown and springy to touch.

cooks notes: I made these last Saturday to use up some strawberries that were of the use them or compost them state. We had Flame staying with us so I thought muffins would be a nice morning treat. Any excuse really, you know me and my baking. M said they were the nicest ones he has had and H didn't want to stop eating them so I must have done something right.


Sorry I'm behind on updates, I will be posting a few more things soon.. as well as a giveaway when I have managed to actually sell something in my etsy shop *tilts head meaningfully to the right* to pay for a giveaway.