Friday, 25 June 2010

Lillian and the Slightly Sinister Strawberry

Meet Lillian she is 7. She is pretty, bright as a button, has an air of melancholia about her and likes to dress like Wednesday Adams. Lillian likes to write gory dark fairy tales where the handsome prince is incinerated and eaten by the dragon. Snow White poisoned the Dwarfs to live in their home, push her stepmother in a well and unleashed a plague on the Forrest creatures. Or there's the one where the troll eats all the Billy Goats Gruff and then goes and dies of indigestion. Its all very horrid and I shouldn't ask if I were you. She also likes to write her own endings in books with a red pen, they all end rather badly, you don't even want to know what she wrote at the end of my vintage copy of the Wizard of Oz, lets just say the lion was very hungry and leave it at that.
Lillian's pet strawberry. technically it is a pincushion but don't tell Lillian that, she says that the Slightly Sinister Strawberry is real and has slightly sinister intentions towards you. It is only ever so slightly evil, so mostly you are OK, but you might find that your shoes are tied together, that the last cookie is missing from the jar, or that the battery has died on your phone or your ipod the second you step out of the door. The Slightly Sinister Strawberry goes everywhere that Lillian goes and it helps her to write her fairy tales. Apparently it also bites.

Lillian is a one of a kind bespoke doll, made from fabric, vintage buttons, vintage doily, and yarn. She is primitive in style and not made from a pattern, I was inspired by the materials at hand and the strawberry pincushion I made the day before making Lillian. Lillian comes with her Slightly Sinister Strawberry.

'Anyhow, you’ve been warned and I will not be blamed
If your Wild Strawberry cannot be tamed'. -Wild Strawberry by Shel Silverstein

Lillian and her Slightly Sinister Strawberry will be on sale in my etsy shop in a few moments.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Bookish Craft Swap

I have been thinking about doing another swap, and of all the ideas bouncing around my head the idea for a book and craft swap appeals to me the most. Mainly because I love books. I know I'm not the only book geek out there. I think it would be a great way to send along favourite books to a new home, and to get something new in return. I have lots of books, Matt is forever going on about me getting rid of them and I can't do that. Books are my friends and if they are going to go somewhere then they need to go to someone who would appreciate them.

So who is with me? (please leave a comment and email me at meridianariel @ hotmail . com )

your parcel must contain:
a book (used any genre as long as you and your partner discuss what books you want/would like to have)
a hand crafted item or two
a treat (it can be a craft supply or some chocolate to nibble upon when you are reading your new book.)
parcel must be sent out by: the 1st of August.


a bit about you and your crafts:
book genres you read (sci fi, fantasy, horror, craft, fiction, steampunk, graphic novels, teen, biography, etc etc):
favourite books:
last book read:
a favourite quote:
favourite colour (s):

the swap sign up will close the end of the first week of July.
the swap will be international so our books can go farther and we find new crafty pen friends from across the globe.
When you are finished with the book you can pass it on to someone else and keep the spirit of bookish crafting going.

any questions?

Monday, 21 June 2010



Meet Eleanor.. she is 8 going on 38. She aspires to be a spinster or a librarian, she loves Stoker and Poe. She wishes for all the world that she had a pair Ravens to name Edgar and Lenore.

'All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.' -Edgar Allan Poe

Eleanor is another primitive doll made with scraps of fabric, ribbon, vintage buttons and a vintage thrifted doily. I think I might be obsessed with making them, but it has cheered me up from a terrible start to the day to sit in the garden and finish sewing Eleanor. She many not be every one's cup of tea but I love Eleanor's dark little heart.

'shhhhh I'm reading!'

Sunday, 20 June 2010

little red suitcase

Today H woke us a little after 6am to shout Happy Father's Day to Matt, then run around finding all the cards he made and hid about the house this past week. After coffee (because before coffee I'm evil) I baked blueberry muffins for breakfast and we went up to Tansley Carboot for a wander around in the fresh air and look at an eclectic assortment of junk.

We wandered around for an hour, I found a book I wanted for 50p(Practical Demonkeeping ...because I don't have enough books) Matt and H found a brand new little science experiment kit for £1 (that cant go well) and H bought some geomag magnet toy for 50p (we don't have enough junk really). Matt treated himself to a bacon cob (because its Father's Day and I didn't have any bacon to fry this morning), and Harrison and I shared a hot dog. When I finished my bit of hot dog I left them to it and hightailed it down a few rows by myself and found this little red suitcase for £3. Its battered and scraped but it was such cheery red colour that I bought it and wandered off to find them swinging my new case along. I would have whistled but I'm a terrible whistler.

I brought the case home, wiped it down and have filled it with books, in part to counter the warping of the bottom of the case, but mostly they were on hand. And contrary to what Matt might say, I HAVE read some of the books in the case...just not all of them yet. I may store fabric in the case as I do in the little brown case but for now I'm happy its filled with books.

Now I must be off to tidy my craft desk, make cards, and possibly do some sewing before H pesters me to play Super Mario Galaxy 2 before I make Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken and rice for dinner.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Archibald the Monster


meet Archibald, a small three eyed monster. He plays to many video games.

His favourite shows are Doctor Who, Doctor Horrible and Firefly. Archibald loves sweets, classic rock, and hates tomatoes and bananas.

Achibald wants to be a space cowboy when he grows up.
Archibald was designed by Harrison, age 6 and a very important 1/2. Harrison helped out in every stage of designing, sewing, stuffing and decorating little Archibald. I have promised that I would list Archibald for sale on etsy (which I have done *wibble* ) and that H would the profits of Arcibald's sale to buy whatever his little heart desire.

did you get that bit about me reopening my etsy shop? Because I did and I am slightly petrified but hey its for H so I had to do it right?

**** Archibald sold! When the email popped through on my phone I teared up a bit (because I'm silly). H is so excited that we get to parcel him and send him on to his new home. He has already asked if we can make another monster together! I told him he is welcome to draw some more monsters and we will make another one together tomorrow.... oh Boy has just run up to whisper in my ear that we will make one for Matt for Father's day tomorrow (nothing like last minute presents eh?) to go with the cards and the breakfast he is making for his dad. bless

Friday, 18 June 2010


Say hello to Cordelia! She is a bit shy, loves tea and biscuits, hates slugs with a passion, and often hides herself away in books. Unfortunately she has no arms so she must rely on others to turn the pages for her. She pretends she watches documentaries about weaving, the black plague and anthropology, but really she watches TV cop shows (CSI and Criminal Minds), and shows with geeks in (The Big Bang Theory) and vampire shows too (True Blood, Buffy, Moonlight, and Angel). She likes to think she is prim and proper, but she can cuss like a sailor when she wants to.

Cordelia is my attempt at a primitive style doll, I have dabbled a few times before with primitive style art (the rustic quality appeals to me). She is made from red and white ticking, calico fabric, vintage doily, ribbon, lillilotta book tape, vintage buttons, wool, thread, poly-fil, and stained with tea and coffee. I do like how she has turned out and I'm considering opening my etsy shop to sell her but I haven't the foggiest clue what amount to list her for. Any ideas my lovely readers?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy

A Crafty To Do list:

-tea stain blank note cards
-do something with the two vintage tea towels I have (possibly pincushions)
-make an apron (possibly from the fabric Amanda sent me)
-sew a primitive style doll (from random sketches in my notebook)
-organizes beads into the really useful box I bought for my beads
-make bunting (its been on one list or another for ages and I never get around to it)
-bake cupcakes ( :oP )
-order freezer paper
- zine zine zine zine... get help to figure out how to print a zine for my last two fairy tales
-work on The Poison Apple Tree story because I keep leaving it and never finishing it.
- make a terrarium with H out of an old candle jar.
-get the courage to make up some bits of stock and re-open my etsy shop (I'm not so sure about this one though)
-learn about resin jewellery making (which would mean annoying one of the very talented resin crafters I know) I don't want to make loads of things I just want to have a play to get it out of my system and move onto the next thing)

this probably isn't a quarter of the list(s) I have in my head and jotted down in notebooks but these are the first few things that came to mind and hopefully I will be able to get some of the crossed off my list in the near future.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Day 23 — A YouTube video

awesome.... I know its just the trailer but I absolutely adore Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog I even have the soundtrack on my ipod to play when I need an anti-hero boost...or when H asks to listen to it because he loves Doctor Horrible too.

Day 22 — A website

I would have to say that for a website I would choose Fail Blog and everything at Cheezburger really, it definitely makes me smile every time I visit it. I do read a lot of craft blogs that are very inspirational and most of those are listed on my blog roll feed on the side of my blog but sometimes you don't want inspiration you want idiocy, snark, and cute animals too.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Shirley Temples (Day 21)

When I was a kid whenever we would go out to dinner (and it wasn't Vietnamese, Japanese, or Mexican) I would always order Shirley Temples to drink. Every time we visit the states and go out to dinner I still order Shirley Temples and so far nobody has told me I'm too old to order a kid's drink. A few days ago while doing the shopping it occurred to me that I could make my own Shirley Temples, so I wandered round till I found grenadine and 7up and had a stupid grin on my face when Matt asked why I was buying red syrup.

• 7up or any lime flavoured pop/soda
• Dash or two of grenadine
• Maraschino (cocktail) cherries
• ice

Fill a glass with ice.
Pour 7up (lime soda) over the ice.
Add a dash or two of grenadine and stir.
Garnish with the maraschino cherries.


cook's notes: some recipes call for ginger ale but to me the simplest thing is the best, plain 7up. For a more adult drink you can add vodka, but I'm not a big drinker and the kid in me wants sugar and cherries. H wont drink any but he likes making them with me and always steals a cherry or two, the jar is almost empty!

basil leaves optional, I thought they added a bit of contasting colour!

Monday, 14 June 2010


Found a little treasure while walking around the Tansley Carboot Sale. A little white typewriter, Matt and I explained what it was to H who was fascinated by ye olde teche. We asked how much and the little old lady who owned it said £2....bargain.. we snaffled it up and took it home and H played on it for the rest of the day.

This morning H typed up his spelling words on it and was very pleased with himself. I had a little play with it myself too, and managed to get a couple of relatively decent photos too!

Mr Fox

Little upcycled fox softie made from a tshirt, vintage buttons, vintage doily, and poly fil. He didn't quite turn out like the sketches I doodled but I think he is pretty fantastic for me, when I haven't done all that much crafting lately.

button de-'tail'
he is quite a suave little fix though i don't think you quite get the feel of it in these photos (I'm still not used to the new happy snaps camera). I don't know what to do with him, I don't think he would sell in my defunct etsy shop, and I'm not sure about a giveaway as I'm not very good at those those but he was fun to make and I have a bit more of the orange t-shirt left to be able to make another little fox.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

the red necklace - a story

The Red Necklace
a story by Apryl Lowe

Lord Lucian lived in a beautiful manor house in the countryside. His coffers were filled with gold and silver, silks and spices, and the finest jewels in the land. The rooms of the house were filled with art, beautifully crafted furniture, Persian carpets, silken walls, ancient artefacts and heavy leather bound books.

In the gallery hung a series of portraits men and women, the men were all darkly handsome and beside each man, a woman with sad eyes dressed in rubies and silver.

A young servant fell in love with his master’s bride to be. He wooed her with roses, and peppermint creams. He asked her to run away with him and she agreed.

He crept into his master’s chamber and stole a necklace of black metal and glittering diamonds.

The young man wrapped the necklace of diamonds around her slender neck. Together the young lovers ran through the twists and turns of the great house. They ran and ran but each turn brought them back to the same hall, the same carved door at the end of the house, the master’s bedroom.

The door opened on silent hinges and as it did so the servant’s bride collapsed to the floor fingers digging at her pale neck, colour fading from her cheeks, terror shined in her eyes.

The diamonds around her neck bit deep, a thousand glittering teeth biting into pale flesh. Drops of crimson blood dripped down her neck as the necklace cut deeper, the diamonds colouring the pale pink of new dawn. Her lover pulled at the necklace, rough fingers tearing at the delicate necklace. He watched with silent horror as the life bled out of his love.

The diamonds turned to blood rubies. He held his bride’s cold body crying silent tears. Lord Lucian stepped from the shadows, silver and black cane glinting in the muted light before it crashed down onto the servant’s head. Lucian laughed as he tore the glistening ruby necklace from the bride’s throat.

As the servant lay in a growing pool of blood, his fingers grasping at his bride’s cold fingers. Lord Lucian opened the door at the end of the hall. The room behind was bathed in light, in a chair sat a woman in a white silken gown, her long golden hair piled atop her head, pale skin, sunken eyes that stared lifelessly at the servant. The corpse bride’s paper dry lips were peeled back in a pearly white smile.

Lucian stepped behind his bride and wrapped the gleaming ruby strand around her lifeless neck. A whispering noise filled the room, a sound of dry leaves and death, the sound of the corpse bride laughing. And as the corpse laughed the blood drained from the stones, until once more diamonds shone and the corpse flesh filled out, golden hair shining in the candle light, black eyes shining, skin a delicate cream, cheeks a delicate rose. Lord Lucian kissed his beautiful laughing bride as the light faded from the servant’s eyes.

notes: When I was small and if we were very good we could choose to listen to a story tape with massive black headphones and turn the pages of thebook at the beep. My favourite book was the halloween themed one, possibly a Dark Dark Night and other stories that had Bluebeard and The Velvet Ribbon. The Velvet Ribbon was my favourite, the tale of a man and his wife who always wore a velvet ribbon around her neck. He would ask her every day to take the ribbon off, and she would always say no. One night he pulled the ribbon from her neck and her head tumbled to the floor. There is no beheading in my story but it was inspired from the tale of the velvet ribbon, which is sometimes yellow and sometimes red, green or black depending on where you are, I just added a few twists and a little more sparkle and Bluebeard to mine. The story had been in my head for awhile so I wrote it, and painted it (sorry about the poor quality of the image, I'm not used to this camera yet and it isn't as sharp as the old one).

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Day 20 — A hobby of yours

I think I may collect hobbies, like I collect books, beading, coffee, reading, writing, sewing, knitting badly, painting, sketching, gardening, and a somewhat near suicidal attempt at crochet. I love crafting, the touch and feel of fabrics, buttons and beads, papers and tattered book pages. My hobbies tend to switch on and off, I get obsessive over learning some new craft and then one day my brain will switch off on that and I will start up something new.

But whatever craft I'm dabbling in I think I still love reading more, getting lost in a story is one of my favourite things, to sit curled up by the fire, or in a bubble bath with a drink (coffee of course..or possibly a coke)and a new world to explore is bliss. I will read almost anywhere, even in the car on a straight road, as wiggly roads make me sickly. Books are stacked everywhere in the house, we only have one bookcase that displays cameras instead of books so I have little piles of read, unread and half read books scattered about the living room and bedroom. My books probably drive Matt insane but the stacks make me happy.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Day 19 — A talent of yours

I suppose procrastination isn't a talent then? I don't know what to say I don't think I have any particular talents... unless self-deprecation counts. I have a good imagination which isn't really a talent as such as a part of who I am. Does being a good cook count as a talent because that is something I enjoy and I think I'm pretty talented at. As clearly shown by my waistline.

Obviously I'm a crafter and dabble in all sorts of crafty endeavours but never had any special talent as such. I'm a terrible dancer, I cant really sing better than a slightly off key Janis Joplin, I have no musical inclination in the slightest, and I'm not sporty, despite having been quite good at defence in flag football and floor hockey in school eons ago. Matt would probably say I'm talented at being thrifty, because I hate to shop. :o)

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy

A quick snap of part of the mantel with a pile of books, a book page painting and a fabric apple I made ages ago. I thought it says a lot about me, the things I love (books, doodling, fabric crafts) and are a part of me. The painting goes along with a little story I wrote last week, so writing is in there too. I blogged the story on my writing blog but will post it here if anyone wants me too.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)

I'm not saying this is true art but its the last thing I sketched a few days ago, its a phone picture so terrible quality but I do like the finished sparrow.

Pikachu Onigiri

Today H and I made Pikachu onigiri, with my new pikachu rice mold from CasaBento. It was fun, we nibbled on the rice (flavoured with salt, white vinegar, and sugar) and cut out eyes and mouth from slices of salami and cheese. The yellow ones were made with the same rice, with a little yellow food colouring and cumin for flavouring.

Pikachu rice mold

H ate the white Pikachu within minutes of me photographing it in his new Super Mario bento box, though he very nicely saved the salad and blueberries for me, he is kind like that. The bento box also came from CasaBento, and H is over the moon with it, and hopefully it keeps him happy a bit longer before Super Mario Galaxy 2 is released on the 11th!

Super Mario Bento Box

Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)

the album (Fleetwood Mac's the Dance) Matt gave me... or I possibly stole from him when I was still living in California and he came to visit. A lifetime ago but when I listen to this song it makes me think of back then.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Day 15 — A fanfic

I have read a few fanfics but on the whole I don't read all that many, and have written only a few which are probably quite terrible (no definitely terrible)but I figure that is was fanfics are for right?

I supposed the very first fanfic i wrote was when I was eleven or so and reading The Secret of the Unicorn Queen books. I loved the books to no end but they used the trope of the main character Sheila stumbling into an alternate verse where magic exists, she is loved, and fights the evil in that world then returns home leaving the friends who love her, the magic, and her pet unicorn, she left her pet unicorn and went home to her mundane life.

I hated the ending so I re-wrote the ending so that she went back to live in the magical world that she belonged in with her pet unicorn and everything was magical. I left the book with my written end of the story at school one day and someone stole it from my desk. I still carry a grudge about that.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Day 14 — A non-fictional book

I dont read alot of non-fiction but I do love craft books, cook books and the occasional witty travel writing a-la Bill Bryson. I bought the American Century Cookbook secondhand from a antique shop in Coeur D Alene, Idaho when H was still a baby. I payed very little for it, a few dollars (it was hidden on the sale shelf) its a fab little book that no only has some great recipes but the history of those recipes and iconic food stuffs. I can quite happily sit witha cup of coffee and flick through the pages, reading about Oreos, the history of Toll House, Sloppy Joes, and don't forget the pies. I know I like to play about inventing my own recipes but there is something magical about the recipes collected in this fabulous book.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Day 13 — A fictional book

My dad gave me a dog-eared paperback of the Stand when I was a kid, 11 or 12, and of all the Stephen King novels I have read, and the books that I have read since the Stand is still one of my favourite novels. My dad taught me to love books. And more often than not you can find me with my nose in a book, lost to the world I am reading about. Much to Matt's annoyance when I don't respond right away because I'm off in another world fighting dragons, saving star ships, killing vampires and exploring ancient and alien worlds.

I have re-read The Stand 3 or 4 times and may read it again sometime soon, there is something addictive in the epic battle of good verses evil in a world struggling in the aftermath of a super-flu virus that kills 99% of the human population. Its not just the protagonists that I love but the small details from the initial outbreak of the super-flu, though the destruction of civilization, and the struggle to survive in the aftermath.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy

We watched another episode of Glee last night ... its such a fab little show I love it... you know except for those bits where I have to hid behind a cushion due to my squeamishness at some of the more embarrassing songs. I know I watch to much tv but Glee just leaves me smiling for the rest of the day.