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.