Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Chrysocolla and Black

faceted black agate bracelet

I love these bracelets...I'm going to have to keep one for myself... but which one?

I'm off to Ikea/Starbucks for coffee and to find some now craft storage to sit beside my little desk! wish me luck

chrysocolla bracelet

Monday, 29 June 2009

Vintage Doily Needlebook

vintage doily needle book

I admit its probably a scrap of lace, not specifically a doily but I'm still over the moon with how this little needle book turned out. This is by far the neatest sewing I have done so far, which isn't to say its very neat but its getting there. The fabric is the same linen and cotton blend that I have been using for my warm bags, the inside of the needle book has beige felt and a blue with white polka-dot cotton fabric. The red button is from Megan, and I may need to hit her up for some more vintage buttony goodness very soon.

inside the needle book

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Coconut Candy

Coconut Candy

2 cups desiccated coconut (I used a mix of plain and sweetened)
1 tablespoon butter (softened)
1 tablespoon milk
¼ cup icing (confectioners) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
A sprinkle of salt (optional)
1 x bar of white chocolate *
1 x bar of dark chocolate **

In a small bowl, combine the coconut, butter, milk, vanilla and a small sprinkle of salt.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave on MEDIUM power, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Add the white chocolate to the coconut mixture and mix thoroughly.

Form into 1-inch balls by rolling a teaspoon of mixture in your hands, and place onto wax paper covered baking sheet.

Refrigerate the coconut balls for 20 to 30 minutes.

Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave on MEDIUM power, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.

Drizzle the coconut candy with the dark chocolate (you may also dip the candy into the melted chocolate then place the dipped candy back onto the waxed paper.)

Refrigerate to set the dark chocolate. Once the chocolate has set, store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

*I used a 150g bar of continental white chocolate that was lurking in the cupboard

** I used a 100g bar of M&S fair-trade organic dark chocolate (72% cocoa) but you can use any chocolate you prefer and you can use more than one bar if you prefer the coconut candy to be covered by more chocolate.

Cooks notes: I had it in my head to make some simple coconut candy yesterday, having not made any before I searched the interwebs for a suitable starting recipe. The original recipe was simple enough but it didn’t workfor me, the mixture wouldn't stick together so I decided to experiment. I added vanilla, and melted white chocolate to the coconut mixture and it worked like a dream. Good reviews back from M, my Mother in Law, and from my neighbour down the street… and I think they taste yummy too!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

a little birdie

a little birdie in a tree

vintage book page illustration for Gloria. The birdie has been a little doodle in my sketch book for ages and until yesterday when I prepped some pages of Alice through the Looking-Glass with black tea and decided to make Gloria a little painting to go along with the bracelet she bought from my etsy shop. I didn't know what to draw but the little birdie called to me so I just had to paint her. Cute isn't she? I have a few more book pages in the works at the moment and I will try to get them finished tomorrow.

precious things

chrysocolla bracelet

No you haven't stumbled onto another blog by mistake, this is is Meridian Ariel, not in an alternate dimension either. But I have captured a muse and have been inspired to drag out some beads and play around with colours. Yesterday I crafted three bracelets, and today another three. I haven't dragged my bead boxes out for weeks, months even and 6 different bracelets in the span of two days. I think I may need a lie down, or another coffee at any rate.
faceted black agate (my favourite)

and did I mention the sketching? because I have been drawing, sketching and painting too, only a little bit but still that counts. Bust mostly I'm in love with these cute bracelets, the black agate and the chrysocolla ones are my absolute favourites and I'm really trying not to snaffle them up for myself.. but they are calling me, whispering things to me... oh but the turquoise one is pretty too...

erm something starting with a v (sorry I forgot I'll look it up later)

they may find there way into my etsy shop tomorrow.. if I don't hide them away... "My Preciousssss" ... ahem yes where was I?

chrysocolla and snowflake quartz, deep red jade,
and dyed turquoise

spellcheck thinks chrysocolla = Chrisco (ahem its a stone not lard)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Quick Tiramisu Recipe


1 tub Mascarpone cheese (or 1 1/2 packages cream cheese)
1 package lady fingers (trifle sponges ect)
½ cup caster (white ) sugar (or confectioners powdered sugar)
2 tablespoons Tia Maria (brandy or coffee liqueur)
3 tablespoons cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 shots espresso (or roughly ½ cup very strong instant coffee)
Dark chocolate for grating (or you can use cocoa powder)

6 small glass ramekins for individual servings

First make the coffee and let it cool in a small bowl. Add the Tia Maria (or other liqueur) when cool .

Open the package of sponges and tear them up into pieces to line the bottom of the ramekin dishes. Drizzle the cake with the coffee and liqueur mixture and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat the cream, mascarpone cheese (cream cheese), vanilla and sugar.

Spoon the mascarpone mixture over the drizzled cake. Smooth over the top and then grate the dark chocolate over to top. Refrigerate until serving.

For a fluffier cheese mixture, use ½ cup whipping cream, beat it in the bowl until whipped and fold in the mascarpone and sugar mixture.

Cook’s notes: I have made this several times and each time I have varied the amounts of coffee and alcohol to taste. it’s a very quick and simple recipe without having to mess around with eggs. This recipe took about ten minutes to make, much to M's delight.

Many of tiramisu recipes ask you to tip the cake fingers into the bowl, I find this unnecessary, messy and more work than you really need to do, Its easier to just drizzle the mixture over the cake until you have as much as you desire in the individual dishes. Even H liked the tiramisu, and scoffed his own little ramekin’s worth (I did put less of the coffee and liquor mixture in his).

Monday, 22 June 2009

Mermaid's Kiss

chrysocolla, silver, and glass beaded bracelet

Today for the first time in weeks I got my beads out to have a play and to sort out a bracelet that Anita at the framing gallery gave me to restring for a lady. It had some lovelychrysocolla beads but hadn't been put together very well by whomever had made it. I'm quite happy with how my reworking has turned out and hopefully the owner will be happy with it, and that it will fit her properly now too.

mermaid tattoo lavender rice warm/cool bag

Seeing as my beading supplies were scattered on and around my desk I decided to play with some green agate beads that I could never seem to put together in perfect way until today. It's a really simple design but the beads are such a lovely colour green in the light, and the bracelet sits well on you wrist. I'll be adding it to my etsy shop a little later today.

Emerald City Bracelet (green agate)

I made the little mermaid tattoo lavender and rice warm/cool bag a few weeks ago and never photographed it because I couldn't get a decent photo and I thought it wasn't good enough at the time. But now that I look at it I don't know why I didn't because its perfectly pretty, and though its small (measuring 3" by 8" ) its still very nice and smells good too so I thought I would pop it on etsy and see if I get any bites, but as its only a small bag I will sell it for a small price.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Lovely Meme Blog Award

What is your current obsession?

coffee..oh wait you probably know that allready... well recently I was obsessed with watching Veronica Mars, learning to sew the things that float about in my little brain, and possibly a rather unhealthy obsession over the exploits of zombified chickens in the Derbyshire countryside...run to your nearest mall people! its the only safe place..

What is your horoscope & do you relate to it?
Taurus, I'm probably pretty on the mark sign wise if you believe in such things, I'm strong willed, grounded (mostly but my brain sometimes wanders away from me), warm hearted, relatively reliable, not entirely patient with things...

What are you wearing today?
ahem.. I still have my jammies on but after I have made a cup of coffee (yes another) I will probably put on jeans and a t-shirt, nothing fancy.. and its cold this morning.

What's for dinner?
no idea, something with chicken, and a very small amount of potatoes that need eating or planting.

What's the last thing you bought?
an iced latte at Starbucks!

What do you think about the person who tagged you?

Megan is great, she is fabulously talented, with a great eye for brilliant finds (with and without buttons), we haven't met in person but maybe one day we will because I think we would get along brilliantly. I have swapped a few times with Vv (Megan) and bought buttons from her and will probably swap again with her when next we have created something that the other wants!

That question about a fully furnished, paid-for house that everyone answers with 'Paris' or 'New York'.
Northern California...yes I know I grew up there but if I'm getting a fully furnished house somewhere then I want it to be somewhere lovely that I miss and love and would only be a short hop on a plane to visit my parents in Idaho. Though i don't think M would be able to survive summers in California it would be too hot for him.

What is your must-have item for summer?
ice... seriously you have got to have ice for you iced coffee, your ice cold coke, and for making fruit smoothies and milkshakes... its one of those things that I can't live without and living in England even after 10 years I find the lack of ice when you go to a restaurant quite annoying. I always have to ask for extra and get this completely baffled, "Lady you are weird" look when all I want is an ice cold drink that is not luke warm with one sliver of ice floating around pathetically at the top. Give me ice goddamn it!

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would it be?
Borders bookshop to curl up with a coffee and a pile of craft books and urban fantasy novels...bliss

Who do you want to meet right now?
I would love to meet some of the bloggers/mumsnetters that I haven't met yet, like Vonnie, Megan, Juanita, Serenity, Show of Hands, Hannah, AnnieB, Jodie, all the rest of the crafter..oo'ers that I haven't met... I could go on and on about the fab bloggers that I would be in awe of meeting, but I would also like to add my cousin Tiffany who I have just gotten in contact with via the interwebs after not seeing her since we were small.

What is your favourite piece of clothing from your own closet?

my grey converse, I'm not normally big into clothing, I'm fussy, fat, and not into labels in the slightest, I prefer dark clothes, and live in jeans most of the time.

What is your dream job?

I honestly don't know, I love crafting, baking and writing and I'm scared to death to push anything to far because it will turn out that I'm not actually good at anything at all.

What's your favourite magazine?

Craft, Sew Hip (because my friends have been featured, not because my skills are good enough), Empire movie magazine, Glamour for clothes and tat, Arena/Maxim because for some reason women's magazines never have anything remotely funny and men's magazines have gadgets, blow stuff up, and are completely sarcastic and funny.. *makes note to start a zine*

Where is your dream holiday destination?

I would love to go on a family holiday to Italy, stay in a lovely little villa somewhere and bumble about the countryside and cities, that would be fabulous. Also would like to add that one of M's dream holidays is to get a massive RV and drive across the States stopping everywhere to take loads of pictures.

What is your most treasured possession?

coffee...oh erm I have a lot of things that I treasure but one of the most treasured items I own is a small antique silver and mother of pearl fruit knife that my dad gave me. I always carry it in my purse but the most it ever cuts are bits of yarn when I'm in a knitting sort of mood.

Describe your personal style.

hmmm, I'm completely unstylish, I dress for comfort, simplicity, and to not be noticed, I tend to wear a lot of black and grey this is my inner gothlet's doing, she would have me in full goth gear if not kept in check, or at least a 50's sort of Betty Paige look (at least my hair would be if I could tame it)

What are you going to do after this?

get dressed, make coffee, sort out some beads for jewellery making!

What are you proud of?

I'm proud of M and H but I'm not normally that proud of myself, this is where I get told off by my friends for my low sense of self worth and accomplishment, *shrug* that's just me.

What do you want to learn this year?

I would love to learn more sewing, and to make my own stamps, fabric design, and learn to make resin jewellery too!

Favourite childhood movie(s)?

Legend or Labyrinth, Goonies, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and The lost Boys

There are rules to this tagging shenanigan... Respond and rework – answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, and add one more question of your own. Tag eight others.
I'd like to tag these blogs:

I'm not going to tag anyone because I think you are all fab (and I'm lazy and half of the people I was going to tag have already got tagged.. so if you haven't taken this particular meme and had the award than take it you all deserve it you are all lovely people!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

poison apple

one poison apple

I'll admit its quite happy looking for a deadly poisonous apple, but that's its charm and allure. Its my first attempt at making a plush fruit, and though its far from perfect, there is a charm to it. its filled with polyfil and some rice and dried lavender to weigh down the bottom (it could be used as a pin cushion or paperweight. the stem is a small twig that H found for me awhile back and I had promised him that I would craft something with it. The leaf is a scrap piece of green felt with vintage button detail.

Its a poison apple due to my obsession with writing my Poison Apple tree fairy tale, which I keep putting off finishing because I'm afraid it will turn out to be a terrible story, whether it is bad or not it will seem so to me. I keep going back to the theme over and over again, I have embroidered, painted, doodled, and painted the tree several times, and I have an idea that it could turn into a fantastic quilt if i god talk someone into helping me turn it into a quilt. But the story must be finished first. Oh and then there was that silly promise I made to Katy about getting a small tattoo of a curling black apple tree branch with two blossoms and a wee apple. (I'm a coward like that is ever going to happen? unless Katy drags me *looks about worriedly*)

I need to get some red fabric though to make it more true to the story in my head, in my heart, and half written on my writing blog (and a bit more saved in a file on my little laptop. And paint the stem of the apple black, and a few more details I haven't figured out how to make perfect yet.

edit: I just recipeved this beautiful stamped silver pendant in the post from simply*u*jewelery that I won from papernstitch blog giveaway. I asked for "poison apple" to be stamped on the pendant and here it is, draped over my plush poison apple, perfect!

poison apple stamped pendant from simply*u*jewelery

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Red Rock Wasted

this is me knitting at Crich

Today is World Wide Knit In Public Day so I brought some knitting with me on a picnic to Crich Stand, which is not too far down the road from here. Its a lovely day for sitting in the sunshine, and I though it was the perfect chance to do a small bit of knit graffiti. I have wanted to do some form of knit graffiti for awhile now but its hard to do when you don't actually knit that often.

this is a rock on my knitting

So I sat and knit and found a small rock to wrap my knitting around, and there you have it, one small knit rock. I clambered about and took a few pictures leaving the red knit rock on a section of dry stone walling. We were ready to go, when all the sudden H realized we didn't have the rock, I explained it was meant to stay there for someone else to find. Cue tears and drama, and H hugging the rock for dear life. *face palm* maybe next time. knit graffiti = fail

red knit graffiti covered rock and Crich Stand

the light at the top of Crich Stand

Crich Stand

Friday, 12 June 2009

What's in a bloggy name?

I'm a total sucker for memes of any kind, and over at a 1/4 of an inch the question has been asked "What's in a bloggy name?"

the answer for me is that Meridian Ariel is a combination of two names that I always wished for myself when I was a little girl. Anything was better than being named for a month of the year and getting teased with the incredibly lame "April showers brings may flowers" thing, it was in no way remotely funny when said by classmates or by teachers. and for goodness sakes its a Y not and I. bitter moi? Eventually I used the handle Meridian Ariel on the WBS chat forum in the X-Files room (when not being Vixen51 or 50 other random handles). When I decided to start blogging to get me writing again (after many years of avoiding it) I decided on Meridian Ariel, its been such a part of me for such a very long time, and Meridian was already taken.

I also have a small random writing blog called The Teapot Nebula, for random short stories, drabbles, and that pesky fairy tale that I still haven't finished writing. Why the Teapot Nebula? it was random really but I was thinking of the whole tempest in a teapot thing and thought why not a nebula, as the point of writing drabbles is to create a small world in 100 words. One hundred words, infinite worlds....I thought it was clever anyway.

what's in yor bloggy name?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Knitting Needle Bangles

vintage red knitting needle bangles

I wasn't meant to be making these today, I had the lofty idea that I would play the perfect housewife and made the house a perfectly shiny and lovely place, with everything dusted and washed and lemon scented. Like that was ever going to really happen, although I did bake accidental brownies last night. I had cracked eggs that needed using. Besides baking is a different sort of craft, to me cooking and baking can either be hard work or zen like, last night it was zen like, and then there was a bowl of ooey gooey brownie batter....mmmmmm....where was I? oh yes knitting needle bangles.

Why did I make knitting needle bangles? because Megan did and she inspire me to, seeing as I was moving some winter wear up to the attic and I just happened to "knock over" my box of yarn and knitting needles and the called out to me to turn them into jewellery. What's a girl to do? why listen of course. I had read about making knitting needle bangles a year or to ago and never got around to it until I saw Megan's and thought why not. But I am adamant that Megan is a bad crafty influence on me... next she will have me scouring the shops for vintage buttons!

There are several tutorials out there if you google to tell you how to make knitting needle bangles, but its basically very simple, the hardest part is finding nice vintage knitting needles.

How to make knitting needle bangles

you will need:
vintage plastic knitting needles
a pan
tongs (or tweezers)
a tin or jar (measuring roughly 8" around)
gloves (optional if you have Teflon hands like mine)

1. boil a pot of water.

2. place your knitting needle in the pot, Its a bit like cooking spaghetti, push the knitting needle into the water a bit at a time until it is fully submerged. ( soften for 5 to 10 minutes in the hot water)

3. Use the tongs to remove the knitting needle from the boiling water and wrap the needle around a can or jar. I used my bare fingers but you can use kitchen gloves to wrap the needle around.

4. plunge the can and bangle into cold water to set.

5. if the bangle isn't quite right, pop it back into the boiling water to reshape.

easy as 1...2...3...4...5

Monday, 8 June 2009

50's B Movie Swap Partners

Swap Partners are as follows... let me know if everything is ok and if you have swapped with your partner before I can swap things around a bit....I'm really excited about this swap and I hope you all have fun with it!

Amiee and Chrissy

Juanita and Apryl

Talia and Kim

Hannah and Gloria

Tammy and Alix

Miya and Heather

Kathryn and Lindsey

*I'll add links tommorrow I promise... honest...really and truely

Thursday, 4 June 2009

One Red Tear

Today I have been messing about with different vintage book paper, scraps of fabric,lace, pen, pencil, and a small bit of embroidery too. It went a bit funny along the top and I'm not sure I like it but it is something creative right? I may leave it alone for a day or two and then look at it again and see how I feel, I do like the different textures of fabric and paper, so it definitely merits another go at mixed media some time soon, and its been ages since I did any book page paintings.

There is still time to sign up for the Attack of the 50's B-Movie Swap so please sign up, you know you want to!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Misanthrope Owl

he may be vaguely cute and cuddly but really he hates you. OK so maybe he isn't altogether that cute and cuddly but he is a softie/toy/plushie whatever you may call it...the first I have really attempted to make, and he was started weeks ago, and hidden away in a dark box due to my frustration in not getting him just right. he still isn't perfect but at least he is finished and no longer hidden in a box of jumbled craft supplies.

He is made from some small pieces of fabric I had lying around, the grey is from an old skirt, I used the same material to make H's owl lavender and rice warm bag, the fabric on his back came from the owl swap so it was only fair that it be part of a little owl. The little tag is a bit of ribbon Katy sent and the buttons for his eyes are from Megan's Vintage Haberdashery shop.

He is wonky, which is probably why he is such a misanthrope. Hopefully the next attempt goes better than this one... whenever that is.

p.s. if you haven't already signed up for the Attack of the 50's B-Movie Craft Swap please sign up!!!!!!!!!