Saturday, 31 December 2011

Crafter...oo Issue 2

Issue 2 of Crafteroo Magazine is out right now please go check it out on Crafter...oo. The online magazine is only £1.50 and packed with projects and articles written by some very talented crafters. I have a tutorial (Wired for Sound page 10) and a thrifting article (For the Love of Thrifting page 14-15). Many thanks go to Kerry for all her hard work editing the issue and being all around fabulous! Please pop by the forum and buy a copy of the Crafter...oo for download.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Reindeer Food (Luxury Granola) recipe

Luxury Granola (aka reindeer food)


2 1/2 cups porridge oats

½ cup flaked almonds

1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted butter (margerine)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons light brown sugar

¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried cranberries (sweetened)
3/4 cup plain chocolate chips (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 300F (150 C)
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mix thoroughly and place in a single layer on a non-stick baking try ( if you don’t have non-stick then you will need to grease the baking tray with butter or oil).

Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Every 5 minutes you will need to open the oven door and stir the granola mixture.
Cool completely and add the raisins, dried cranberries and chocolate.
The granola can be eaten on its own, or with milk for breakfast, sprinkled over yogurt or ice-cream, and of course left out on a dish for Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve.

A little help for those who don't use cups as measurements. Oh and for the record I just use normal everyday teaspoon and tablespoons for measurements, less hassle than attempting to locate the measuring ones. Which I think have migrated to H's toy box.

U.S. to Metric Conversion Table
1/5 teaspoon = 1 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 fluid oz. = 30 ml
1/5 cup = 50 ml
1/4 cup = 60 ml
1/2 cup = 120 ml
1 cup = 240 ml
2 cups (1 pint) = 470 ml
4 cups (1 quart) = .95 liter
4 quarts (1 gal.) = 3.8 liters

Cooks Notes: later today H and I will be baking this recipe so it will be ready to place in a little dish for Rudolph next to cookies and milk for Santa. Tomorrow we shall have it for breakfast too. It is also a great topping for yogurt or ice cream. Merry Christmas everyone! Sorry I have been such a bad blogger but hopefully with the New Year it will see a return to my craft blogging, some tutorials and bunches of geekery.

Monday, 21 November 2011

LaffyTaffy, magic and little houses

Autumn is a difficult time of year for me but the magic of crafty friends on the internet means that when I go about in a grump for weeks on and and get homesick my friends are there to help. I lamented on Facebook that I was missing of all improbable things banana flavoured LaffyTaffy. Odd I know but it is something that reminds me of being a kid, trick or treating or just going to the store with my best friend for that magical elixir of sugar and chemicals to send us into the stratosphere..or at least spend three days staying up watching movies without sleep. My friend Lisa replied to my misery and said she would happily swap with me.
If you don't know Lisa's work, and you really really should, then visit her blog lil fish studios and be prepared to be inspired. I don't know Lisa all that well but I have chatted with her on twitter and Facebook a bit and I really must say I'm in awe of her phenomenal talent. We share a love of the Little House books and I knew I had to make a badge for her with a Laura Ingalls Wilder quote on it, if I had had a broken copy of one of the books to tear apart for paper craft I probably would have made badges from that too. The doll I made and sent her was simple and made with vintage mother of pearl buttons that I think little Laura Ingalls would have loved.

Lisa's package arrived last week and I think I am still stunned by the beautiful toadstools she sent me, the picture above does it no justice as there seems to have been no decent light for days here but having the art on my desk has kept me smiling all week... well that and the pieces of LaffyTaffy I have *NOT* been sharing with anyone. Mine Mine Mine!!!

Lisa also sent me a vintage matchbox filled with vintage mother of pearl buttons that have gone to live on my desk and will one day be added to the new dolls I have in the works.

forest child doll I sent Lisa

I think Matthew must think I'm crazy for the gleeful squeeing I did when I opened the parcel, though I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy from the moment we met, ( he still kept me though). I hope that Lisa was half as happy with what I sent her. I didn't take many photos of the parcel I sent as I forgot to (I know I'm useless) and though I wrote a story for the little Forest Child doll I sent I can't seem to find it at the moment. (no real surprise there either) Happiness in small magical things.

Home is the nicest word there is. - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, 18 November 2011

Believe me....

'Believe me, heart's got nothing to do with it.' - Tin Man quote badge

I made this badge a few weeks ago when Matt ordered Tin Man for me. I may possibly have bribed him with promises of bakes goods and Mexican food. Tonight or tomorrow shall be movie night and I plan on watching Tin Man by my self if nobody wants to watch it with me. Its a syfy miniseries that is an updated darker Wizard of Oz, it was on the syfy channel a few weeks ago but it was the last episode of the miniseries so I couldn't watch that so I really needed to own a copy on DVD to indulge my inner geek...hell who am I kidding I'm a geek inside and out.

I have a bunch of crafting to do in the morning as it's been ages since I have made anything other than a few birthday cards and zombie badges and I really should restock my etsy shop with some more dolls and badges. Perhaps I shall make a few more geek quote badges. Any requests? :o)

Friday, 11 November 2011

little red queen

Ages ago when I posted about my moo mini cards arriving Jess of Kids' Napping? I'm Scrapping asked if I would like to do a little swap with her for some of my moo cards. I swapped with Jess before on the Nightmare Before Valentine's Day Swap I ran last Valentine's day. I may have taken a lot longer than I needed to to sort out what little treats I would send to her and what crafty things I could make for her. We emailed back and forth, mostly with me saying I haven't sent anything yet but that I was working on it.

After much grumbling with myself I finally settled on a vague Alice in Wonderland theme of things to send and started gathering together materials to make a small Red Queen doll. The yarn was the last thing I found and I think it turned out perfect for making a little Red Queen. I painted the little heart shaped mouth, eyelashes and eyebrows with acrylic paint before staining her with a mixture of tea, vanilla, and cinnamon. I must say that she is one of my favourite dolls I have recently made, though I must admit that each doll I make is a part of me and I love them all dearly. I forgot to take a picture of all the bits that I sent to Jess but if you mosey over to Jess' blog you can read her post about what I sent.

I have more red yarn left and found some white material with red hearts so I think it is safe to say I may jump back on the crafting bandwagon and sew another little Red Queen doll sometime soon.

Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my last blog post. I really appreciate everything said and am trying to have a nice calm week and get back into crafting, and blogging though I have a cold so I can feel a little bit sorry for myself. *snuffle* *cough*

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

break: here be whining

hey everybody sorry I haven't blogged in forever but I took a break from blogging and the internets. Shocking I know but I needed some time to myself to sit and read, listen to random music on my ipod, read a bit more, sulk a bit and feel a bit homesick for the states. Autumn is my favourite time of year.... but not here. I have lived in England for 11 years and still sometimes I feel like an utter fraud. I can casually talk about the weather for about 30 seconds before my mind wanders off and I desperately wish to shoot myself in the head with an overly dramatic finger gun. I am utterly abysmal at small talk anyway so usually attempt to avoid it at all costs when on the school run. Thankfully I'm quiet and shy and only a few friendly parents talk to me anyway.

I have always been reserved and have a tendency to withdraw into myself for a bit, fall into an out of the puddles, lakes and oceans of depression. I'm ok just a bit down, I miss my parents. I miss the dogs. I miss the states at this time of year. I miss Idaho and California. I miss the autumn festivities of being in the states surrounded by autumn leaves, pumpkin spice lattes (I don't drink them I just like the idea of them), pumpkins, pie and just all things Americana.

This is my time of year, I really don't give a damn for winter and Christmas, Matt says that's because I'm a Grinch. I just say it's because I hate 98% of Christmas music. I adore Halloween, I always have, and Day of the Dead is pretty damn awesome too. I hate that the schools here don't do anything fun and Halloween related. Halloween is pretty much a bust anyway, maybe in another 5 or 10 years they will get it right. Maybe not.

I have so many things ticking over in my brain and I have taken the last few weeks to just curl up read books, magazines, fan fiction, and even plot out a few broken fairy tales of my own here and there. I am fine. See I said it so it must be true, it's just sometimes hard to remotely attempt to be vaguely perfect. Not that I am anywhere near perfect, if I was I wouldn't be this fat, this grumpy or this hard on myself for every little thing I think is something I am or have done wrong.

I have never been a bubbly blonde, my roots are very very dark but the last few weeks of having a break and having a week away down in Dorset have settled my mind a bit. I do love England and Dorset is beautiful though I did find myself feeling just a little heartbroken on the beach missing the Pacific ocean just north of Bodega Bay in California. I did find some pretty pebbles to bring home with me so that's all good right?

I find it strange that I have barely been on the internets for weeks on end and not done any blogging and here I am having a cathartic whine about nothing and everything.

I really think I need coffee.

And to work on some blog posts of a crafty nature.

I shall go bumble into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and see about working on something creative this afternoon while H is at his grandma's house.

Also I may need cake. Good thing there is some leftover from H's 8th birthday party. Yup my little boy is the grand old age of eight. He is still brilliant and sweet and an utterly charming, wild, loud, imaginative and excitable kid.

I'm ok and I'm happy but sometimes, sometimes I need to curl up and hide inside my head. I'm going to go put my ipod on and shuffle the laundry along and think a bit more.

Your regularly scheduled blogging shall hopefully resume soon.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Crafteroo Magazine

Tomorrow marks the launch of Crafteroo Craft Forum's shiny new online Magazine. I along with the great creative team at crafteroo and especially the Editorial skills of Kerry have worked our fingers to the bone to make the online magazine worth the modest £1.50. The magazine is out tomorrow and is filled to bursting with tutorials, blogs, recipes, reviews and so much more.

I have written book reviews, app reviews, and a recipe for the issue and I would love for every one of my loyal blog readers to visit crafteroo and purchase the magazine for download. It has been a great joy brainstorming and collaborating with forum members to create a brilliant little craft magazine.

The idea of Crafteroo Magazine began with a wish to keep our small little forum running, all sales of the magazine will go towards upkeep of our little forum. Crafteroo is a small UK based craft forum that we started several years ago after several founding members fell victim to cyber bulling on another craft forum and decided to create a happy and safe little forum of our own. I hope that the magazine will do well and it will brink new life and new inspiration to our little craft forum.

Please pop by Crafteroo and say hello and have a little look at the Issue 1 Overview page and see a little of what the 64 page magazine has to offer.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Miss Elmira Ravenhurst

Miss Elmira Ravenhurst was a school teacher in the small town of Doornail in the foot hills of the Serra Nevada Mountains in California. Fourteen years since the discovery of gold, and five years since a steamer ship docked in San Francisco carrying a cargo of death and the end of the world. The ship carried a plague of the living dead. Grey fleshed corpses that should have been buried six feet under, their flesh rotten off the bone as they infested San Francisco feeding off living flesh. Now the country was at war with a plague of un-dead zombies in the west as war raged between North and South.

Elmira had dreams that were broken when her fiancée was eaten by a pack of zombies on a supply run to Sacramento. The children solemnly listen to lectures with wide eyes as she walks back and forth the heavy ring of keys at her side jingle with every step. A bell rings in the distance and Miss Ravenhurst, mouth set in a grim line, uses the keys to open a small door in the tidy little school house. The door opens on a tiny room with a hatch leading to an escape tunnel underneath the town. Elmira ushers the children through, dabbing at tear stained faces as the children march down the tunnels to safety.

Elmira locks the hatch as the last child disappears down into the escape tunnel. The iron key gripped tightly in her hand as she scans the walls of the room. Guns, ammunition, wickedly sharp blades and machines of copper, brass and glass fill the walls. Miss Elmira Ravenhurst smiles grimly as she reaches out for her favourite guns. Miss Elmira Ravenhurst, spinster, teacher, and ruthless zombie hunter stepped out from the school house raised her rifle and aimed as the first zombie shambled along the dirt road.

Dear little Miss Elmira Ravenhurst is listed in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

*bespoke* zine

the cover of *bespoke* issue 4

*bespoke* zine is the creation of Jessica Van Den of Epheriell Designs, a blogger, zine publisher, jewellery maker, and all around fabulous lady from Brisbane, Australia. A few months back Jess called on the crafty community to submit ideas for issue 4 of the zine. I said it would be great to do a little piece on drabble writing, something I like to do in my spare time and tend to hideaway on another tiny writing blog. A little while later Jess got back to me saying it was a great idea and can I write up 200 words for the zine.

My little bit in the zine

I think my head nearly exploded before I went into panic mode as I dug through my notebook and files to find a few craft based drabbles. I then tried to pull my thoughts together to explain not only why I write them but what drabbles actually are. I was quite possibly a nervous wreck and bothered several of my best friends (Thank you so much) to read through my article before I sent if off to Jess for her approval. Jess asked if I had any photos to include with my drabble article. I didn't but I knew just who to ask. At which point I bribed Matt with promises of cake and chocolate to get him to take some photos of my craft/writing space, dolls and general clutter. I'm pretty sure I still owe him more cake.

So now you must all go out and order issue 4 of *bespoke*, because you all love me very much and want to see what I wrote. Right? Right?

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Blue Skies Coconut Ice

Blue Skies (coconut ice squares)


2 cups desiccated coconut

½ cup caster sugar or icing sugar*

¾ cup condensed milk

Blue food colouring


Line a square pan with baking/greaseproof paper.

Mix the sugar, dried coconut, and condensed milk together in a large mixing bowl. The Mixture will be quite stiff once thoroughly mixed.

Add a small amount of blue food colouring to the mixture, mix until you achieve an even colour.**

Press the mixture into the pan gently then top and press with the other mixture.

Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes then cut into small bars with a sharp knife.

Wrap the coconut ice with waxed or greaseproof paper and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

*I used caster sugar as I didn’t have any icing sugar in the house. I like the gritty texture the sugar adds but Matt says I’m weird.

**I used blue food colouring but If you prefer a more traditional looking coconut ice then divide the mixture in half and add red food colouring to one half of the mix to make it pink. Press the white half of the mixture into the pan before pressing the pink on top.

cook's notes: It's a super simple no cooking/baking recipe that I slapped together after reading through several different variations of recipes. In the end I threw everything together and took notes all the while. I may also have got food colouring all over my hands and on my chin... I'm a total klutz. I think there is a room to add a bit more of this or that to alter the consistency of the coconut ice, it is a sticky mixture but by keeping in the fridge it keeps it from falling apart... and it can be hidden behind the lettuce.

Why blue skies? Ever watch Dollhouse? If not you should, It's a reference to something Echo says as Taffy the thief. Yeah I'm a geek, but you probably knew that already.

Friday, 26 August 2011

my craft space

vintage buttons, measuring tapes and magical things

Today I have been working on a few different small projects. I've been painting, drawing and sifting through buttons and nifty things for a swap with a friend. I dragged out more buttons and things to inspire my crafting and the notes I'm writing for a little story in my battered notebook. I hope you are all having a lovely crafty Friday. I have done my housework...or as much of it as I can stand to do without pulling my hair out. I have made cheesecake and there is a pot of chicken bubbling on the hob to shred for chicken burritos later. I feel I have accomplished something today, aside from drinking three cups of coffee...What have you been up to today?

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Craft Club: Strawberry Pincushions

Why a craft club? Why not. After much dithering, daydreaming and wittering I spoke with Caroline at the Book Boutique about my wish to start a Craft Club up. She agreed and I Decided on a date and then figured out how to make an Event on Facebook right here. Please click if you feel like venturing into the deep dark heart of Derbyshire and dragging your crafts along.


Learn to make strawberry pincushions. Come along to the craft club and make some small strawberry pincushions. We shall have some small strawberry making kits available to purchase or bring your own fabric and sewing supplies.

Where: the Book Boutique, Church Street, Ripley, Derbyshire.
When: Monday the 26th of September
Time: 7pm-8:30pm
Apryl with any questions you may have.

The Craft Club is a brand new friendly and informal place to hang out with like-minded crafty folk. We’ll be here at the Book Boutique In Ripley 7pm until 8:30pm on the Monday the 26th of September. If things go well there will be more meet ups in the future.

Please do pop along and join us. Please feel free to bring along any craft project you are working on, chat, learn some new skills, browse the bookshelves and have fun. There will be tea and cakes to purchase and we really hope you have fun joining us for some crafty fun.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Caleb the Imp

Caleb the imp is small and lonely little creature, prone to mischief, bouts of melancholia, lover of fairy tales and converse shoes. He is a tiny bit huffy and stubborn, but you didn’t hear that from me. He is wicked, and sweet, a charmer and a procrastinator. He has a way of generating messes that make you forget about the job you were meant to be doing. Caleb love listening to fantasy stories of broken knights, hysterical dragons and forgotten magical realms, and watching epic fantasy movies and shows like Game of Thrones, Conan, Camelot, Legend of the Seeker and Labyrinth to name but a few. Did I mention he loves shoes? Because he really loves converse shoes, he won’t go to a home without any chucks in the house, and may drive his owner to buy more and more shoes. He says the shoes are his pets and his friends.

You must be careful if you own Caleb for you might come to harm tripping on carefully arranged piles of converse. He mostly means well, honest, but Caleb is an imp and that means trouble no matter how many shoes you own.

Caleb and my favourite chucks

Caleb was made from a Converse One Star button down shirt, vintage buttons, vintage doily, and toy filler.Caleb was stained with a mixture of coffee, vanilla and cinnamon. He is meant to be a decoration and not to be roughly played with my small children, due to his button eyes. Caleb the imp is a one of a kind creation, and I hope that you love him as much as I loved making him. I mean just look at that face, how could you not love him?

Friday, 12 August 2011

I've packed my case

I have packed my case but not to run away. I have filled a small vintage case I thrifted a few summers ago with geeky badges and poison apples for a small display in the Book Boutique. It's a local book shop that opened not too long ago, family run and filled with very nice books. I may end up spending whatever money I get for any sold badges on new books.

I am ridiculously nervous about having my crafts on show so please come hold my hand and tell me it will all be alright and that people will love my lavender filled poison apples and bookish pin badges. I did have some jewellery on sale in another shop a few years ago but I wasn't nearly as nervous about that. Possibly because the bracelets I made were tucked away with a little card and my little suitcase of fairy tales is on display on the counter. Please if you are local to Ripley, Derbyshire pop into the Book Boutique, wander around, have a chat, buy a book and buy a badge too? Pretty please with sugar on top? I'll make you a coffee.
I dithered over what to take to the shop to display, and decided to take in some of the little poison apples I have been obsessed with making the last few days. I have made apples before but every time I have made them I have used a different pattern*. I think my little case display turned out OK, it is very me with bits of paper, poison apples and pin badges. I may bring in a small doll or the half finished fox plush I have hidden under my desk.


*When I say pattern what I really mean is what shape of scrap fabric I have and what I can do to fit it together. Mainly whatever if buzzing about my brain. I really don't do patterns so very well.

p.s. please can you like Meridian Ariel on Facebook ? And while you are at it will you like the Book Boutique too? *flutters lashes*

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Moo mini cards

strange little dolls, jewellery, vintage, geekery & fairy tales

I wanted to share with you my moo mini cards that arrived the other week. Most of the pictures I used were ones through instagram, and a few from a secret project I'm very excited about. I know I'm totally obsessed with instagram, I even added an app on the right hand side of my blog that links to my instagram. I'm really pleased with this set of cards and wish that I had ordered more, next time huh? Anyway I must run off and get some housework done or at least put the coffee machine on while petting my moo mini cards...definitely the latter option.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

What's in my bag

I'm not much of a girly girl most of my handbags are simple and functional, my favourite bags are probably the two men's leather satchels that I have had forever or so it feels anyway. For the last few weeks I have been using a book bag/shopping bag I got in the sale at American Eagle Outfitters last April. I bought it on my birthday with a larger red satchel/man bag as my present. Why am I going on about bags? Well A Thrifty Mrs blogged about her's yesterday and as H is having a lie down on my bed watching cartoons I thought I would work on a quick blog post while I drink a cup of tea. Yes really I have a cup of tea.

the contents of my bag

First there is the vintage flowery purse it holds all my precious pennies and paper..and occasionally random buttons too. I found that purse in a thrift shop in Railroad Square in Santa Rosa while shopping with Apron Thrift Girl a few years ago. It's lived in my various bags ever since.

A little dusky pink leather card holder it was ridiculously cheap in T.K. Max and I had to have it to hold a random assortment of credit and store cards.

A few of my new moo cards in case I run into anyone to swap with or anyone that enquires what do I do all day.

Ipod and headphones. I can't walk without my headphones on listening to whatever music I'm currently obsessed with.

House keys with a little torch/flashlight.

Notebook for doodling and writing plus a pen and pencil to do said writing.

A silver fruit knife that my dad gave to me.

A birdy pouch that most of the small junk fits into. I bought the pouch in the shop at the end of the Seattle Underground tour.

That's about it for my handbag though there are a few things not in there. I quite often bring a book with me where ever I go but I just started reading A Game of Thrones yesterday and I'm not lugging that house brick with me everywhere. Also Matt has a tendency to give me his wallet, keys and whatever else he doesn't want to carry for himself. And I often carry snacks or the DSi for Harrison.

So what's in your bag?

the two badges on the outside of my bag.
A manga badge and a Serenity quote I typed.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Molasses Rye Bread Recipe

Molasses Rye Bread Recipe
  • Ingredients:

    2 packages dry yeast

    1/2 cup warm water

    1 tablespoon sugar

    1 cup warm water

    1/2 cup dark molasses

    1 tablespoon salt

    2 tablespoons oil

    3 cups rye flour

    1 1/2 -2 cups bread flour/plain flour

    1/2 cup cornmeal (semolina)


    Soften yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.

    Stir in the sugar and let stand until frothy and bubbly.

    In large mixing bowl combine the yeast/water with 1 cup warm water with molasses, salt, oil and rye flour. Mix in the plain (bread) flour until the dough is smooth and elastic.

    Knead the dough and then let it rise in a covered greased bowl until it’s doubled in size.

    Punch the dough down and shape into 2 large round loaves or 6-8 small rolls.

    Placed the loaves a few inches apart on a greased and cornmeal dusted cookie sheet. Sprinkle a bit of the cornmeal over the top of the loaves as well.

    Let loaves rise in a warm place until doubled.

    Bake loaves at 190C (375F) for about 30 minutes (20 minutes for small rolls) The crust will make a hollow sound when tapped lightly.

    Serve warm with plenty of butter.

    Cook’s notes: my recipe is the combination of a few different recipes from and a clone recipe for Outback Steakhouse’s bread. I would have used the recipes I found exactly but I only had a cup and a half of plain flour to add to the bag of dark rye flour I bought from Caudwell’s mill. I’ve not strayed too far from the recipes other than I used Billington’s natural molasses sugar (a very dark brown sugar as I had no molasses).

    I’ve heard that the bread will freeze very well but we ate it all up before there was a chance to freeze it.

  • crafteroo button swap sent and recieved

    button swap sent

    I am terribly behind on my blogging. That whole summer thing of 'lets play all day and we wont do much' that didn't work and somehow I haven't caught up on blogging, writing, reading the tower of books beside my bed, or caught up on the housework. Ok so I probably wouldn't have caught up on the housework anyway because who *actually* does that? Seriously? We have been out and about on family trips and never seem to have stopped. It has been fun though. Today Harrison is at holiday club for the day so along with getting to grips with the housework I'm going to attempt to catch up on blogging. I promised some recipes and some pictures of thrifty finds and to blog about having started a facebook fan page for Meridian Ariel things. But more of that later.
    framed button art I sent Caroline

    About seven ages ago I signed up for the Crafter..oo Button Swap... A simple little swap of button-y goodness. I dithered though. I could not think for the life of me what to make for my lovely swap partner Caroline. Eventually while out thrifting for buttons and other crafty things I found a little brass frame and some inspiration. It was small and circular and had faded dried flowers in it. I was drawn to the frame and that afternoon I gathered together buttons, lace and vintage keys to find a way to display them in the frame. It was a bit if a tight fit and I may have got craft glue all over my leg and the carpet but was pleased with how the frame turned out with a slightly darker edge.

    handmade button mint creams I received

    I added a slightly sinister strawberry pin cushion and sewed some vintage buttons onto a vintage playing card and added some more buttons to a little pouch to make sure there was enough button-y goodness. I entirely forgot to add any chocolates or sweets to the swap package as I was in such a hurry to get it sent off to Caroline as I was so terribly late in sending the swap. The very same day I sent the swap I received the parcel she sent me.

    buttons, buttons and doily buttons received!

    I was amazed by the parcel Caroline sent because it was filled with buttons and some awesome button shaped mint creams that she made. I did not share them with anyone they were hidden on my desk where nobody goes but me! I loved the crocheted button doilies she made for me and have put them in a safe place on my desk. I'm almost tempted to use them for doll making though. Thank you so much for swapping with me Caroline.

    Sunday, 17 July 2011

    secret message holder and picnic plans

    Saturday morning I made a secret message holder for H using an old key chain and a pet i.d. that had been kicking around the house forever. I typed the note and gave the secret key chain to Harrison wrapped in a bit of tissue paper. He has spent all weekend twisting the pet i.d. capsule open and shut and reading the note 'Dr. Horrible is my hero.' over and over again. I told him he can type his own secret note or the location of a secret hiding place and we will play spies. Or possibly list the secret location of food stores in the event of an alien invasion or zombie apocalypse. A simple thing to make a boy happy.


    picnic plan update: Its been a manic few weeks here with awards, organizing the school summer fair and more things than I can remember to blog at this moment in time. A few interested bloggers, twitter-ers have said that they are free to come play on Mondays or Wednesdays so I'm going to call the shots and say:

    Picnic Blog/Tweet Up
    Where: Chatsworth Grounds
    (meeting near the car park on the grass near the trees leading up to the shops)
    When: Monday the 8th of August
    Time: From 11am-4pm (ish)
    What to bring: a picnic, the kids, craft work in progress bag if you want to sit and sew/knit/sketch while picnic-ing and chatting. Cake works too but is not essential as Chatsworth has excellent cake and coffee.

    Nothing is set in stone I figured this would be as flexible as possible with many different people coming from all over the place. I just thought it would be great to have a little get together. I may possibly be mad, as I like many of you I'm an anti-social introvert, But I have met quite a few bloggers and twitter people and so far we have all got on like a house on fire.

    Any Questions?

    Sunday, 3 July 2011

    Who wants to go on a picnic?

    There are so many of us like minded crafters, creatives and friendly folk on twitter it would be nice to all meet up. I have been thinking for awhile now that we should have a picnic tweet-up at Chatsworth during the summer holidays.

    Lets chat and gossip in person while the kids form an intricate tribal infrastructure in the manner of Lord of the Flies... hmmm ok maybe not quite that. I have mentioned a picnic a few times on twitter and Facebook and thought it was time to blog about it and put some sort of plan together. Many of you have expressed an interest in a meet up-tweet up, some of you have come to the little crafty meet ups at Starbucks near ikea Nottingham. So who is with me for a big summer meet up?

    I will need a little help to narrow down a day or two that would be ideal for meeting up? You don't have to have kids to meet up but as most of the people on my twitter feed do it makes sense to plan something out that can keep the kids busy as well. There are a lot of things to do at Chatsworth especially the farmyard and playground, plenty of places to let the kids roam and nearby favourites like Caudwell's Mill, Stanton Moor, Matlock Bath, Scarthin Books and more. Oh and I also know where there are some lovely fabric and quilt shops nearby if you are of the fabric persuasion.

    So who wants to come out to play?
    Can you help me figure out a date? (With Matt being a wedding photographer we don't tend to go far in the summer holidays so pretty much all days are clear with me.

    Will there be people willing to give rides to others who don't have transportation there?

    I'll be on twitter if you want to ask me anything.

    Monday, 20 June 2011

    car boots, junk warehouses, and garage sales

    doily and vintage buttons

    The last few weeks I have cut down on my blogging, days have been busy with school activities, half term holiday outings and general running around like headless chickens. Today I will share with you some of the little treasures I have found in the last few weeks. Some may call this modest hoard junk but it is all bits and pieces of things that I will use to craft dolls, monsters, jewellery and whatever else takes my fancy.

    key and cog collection, almost too pretty to craft with

    This weekend started with going to Cromford to the little festival that took place on Saturday. After the mystifying and quite frankly terrifying sight of a prancing unicorn-man I spied a sign that read 'Garage Sale' and a little arrow. I blinked twice and we turned around and went to find two little garage sales down the road from each other. I bought some doilies, a vintage chain, an airplane pin (for H) and two bags of toy filler all for the princely sum of £1. I may possibly have been quite giddy at this point as you just don't see garage sales here... ever. From Cromford Mill the previous week I managed to find a lovely letterpress tray that will be going up on the wall in Harrison's room to display lego figures (it was half filled with them about ten minutes after we got it home.

    vintage baking tin, watch parts, keys and other treasure from Wirksworth

    Last weekend we went to Wirksworth, it was late in the afternoon and we missed out on the farmer's market but still had fun roaming around the antique, chocolate and charity shops. I bought a vintage sea shell cake tin, from the vintage rooms. A little rusty, dusty and there was a bit of burned black cake left in it too, but it sits on my desk full of the bits and pieces that inspire me and I will be working with to create new dolls and monsters. After that Harrison and I explored an antiques shop that looked more of a hoarder's home then a shop, boxes piled high bursting at the seams and a little old chap running the place that I swear walked straight out of and 80s fantasy movie. I found buttons and vintage watch parts that made my little heart sing as they were exactly what I needed to finish the Steampunk Red Riding hood doll.
    treasures from Banana junk Warehouse in York

    While Harrison was on his half term break we went up to York for the day, we had a ball roaming the walls and streets and I was allowed an hour to rifle through the junk in Banana Warehouse. I found a little wooden box, more vintage buttons, vintage measuring tape, a large spool of orange thread and a mother of pearl belt buckle (which was similar to one in Duttons button shop that cost more than I paid for everything I found.

    Lego treasure beyond compare

    On rare Sunday morning when the day is clear and Matt isn't rushing off to a wedding or a wedding fair we sometimes go rummage around Tansley Car Boot sale. It's bleak up on the fields where the car boot and market are held but the view is outstanding. On the last trip up we found a stash of lego, vintage ladybird books and a crystal growing kit. Treasure for everyone.
    Pork pie tins from Cromford Days

    doilies, buttons and vintage chain from a garage sale!!!!

    letterpress printer's tray from Cromford Mill

    I'm linking to Apron Thrift Girl for her fab Thrift Share Mondays and Her Library Adventures' Flea Market Finds

    Now back to the reality of sorting out all of my craft supplies. I'm decluttering and getting rid of various bits of fabric and beads that I won't use, so that I have room for more of the things that I do use. So that totally means I can thrift more right? I'm also hoping that by tidying and sorting things out it will inspire me to get one with crafting, writing and listing said crafts in my poor little etsy shop. I'm hoping I will have a few sales and be able to order some new moo cards and pluck up the courage to exhibit my crafts at a real craft fair. *wibble*