Wednesday, 25 February 2009

sewn leaves and conversations with my brain

conversation with myself

me: right today I have to hoover the house, take books back to the library, drink coffee, sew lavender sachets, dust, clean up the paint mess, sort laundry, do that combined challenge, do a bit of writing.....

my brain: You don't want to do that.. lets make leaves!

me: No I have to sew those lavender sachets, clean the house...

my brain: you don't have any lavender.

me: I can still sew the sachets.

my brain: Nah lets play with that branch in the corner that I made you drag home.

me: I have work to do.

my brain: Lets make leaves or I will play "I kissed a girl" all day on your internal key with only half the words!

me: you wouldn't

my brain: "I kissed a girl and I liked it...mumble mumble.. cherry chap stick"

me: *facepalm* .... fine.. lets make leaves

my brain: yay!
So I made two leave from some scraps of pale green fabric, and some random red buttons, and sewed them onto a piece of the branch I brought home with me on Saturday. I don't know what I'm going to do with it or if I will sew more leaves, but the idea popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone until I made leaves.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Sugar Scrub II

vanilla, rose and cedarwood sugar scrub

1 cup demerera (raw cane) sugar

2-3 tablespoons almond oil

2 teaspoon vanilla flavouring

1/2 teaspoon diluted rose essential oil

a few drops cedarwood essential oil*

1 glass or plastic jar with a lid, the one I used came from Ikea, but any jar with a lid will do, even an old jam jar.

mix all ingredients in a glass bowl (plastic will absorb the oil) until you have a nice slightly slushy consistency and then scoop it into the jar.

Apply the scrub to hands or feet (or any area of rough skin) in the bath or shower, rinse.

*cederwood is a strong scent and if you use too much of the oil it will overpower the rose and vanilla

cook's notes: this is the second time I have experimented with making sugar scrub, and this time the scrub is all mine, it turned out lovely, and I really like the woodsy scent of the cedarwood essential oil adds to the scrub, its fresh and left my skin smooth and soft without irritating.

the first recipe and post for my version of sugar scrub can be found here. Which I gave as a Christmas gift to Frizbe, and her daughter wanted to eat it, so I must have done something good.

brownie cupcake recipe coming as soon as I finish re-writing it!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Pay it Forward- recieved

pay it forward received

I have been meaning to blog this PIF, I received from the wonderfully talented Hope of Going Sew Crazy the parcel arrived at New Year but I kept forgetting to blog about because I am silly and quite useless. I haven't cut into the lovely striped fabric yet, it sits in my small fabric box but the adorable clothes peg doll sits on my craft desk and smiles at me every day from atop a jar of rice.

Now in the spirit of Pay it Forward I'll be be picking 3 commenters to receive something handmade from me in the next 365 days. (I promise to try to get them sent out to you as soon as possible)Something lovely and free but the only thing is if you get a Pay it Forward from me, you have to reciprocate and send out 3 PIF's into the world. Please remember to do it and keep the kindness going.

Chimera Book and Writing Group

A few weeks ago I lamented to Frizbe that I have always wanted to be in a book group, but never have because I have never been the sort of girly girl to sit and read Oprah's book club books about soppy modern romance, or tale of horrific childhood trauma. Books should be something that you fall into the world of the author, that you love, and that take you far far away from the mundane normalcy of everyday life. In my case a tendency towards dark other worlds, inhabited by aliens, demons, vampires, and other inhabitants of the night.

We talked about books and books groups and the great writing course we went on together last year. We sipped lattes and put our heads together, there were no book groups in Ripley, alternative our otherwise, and there should be. So we thought about starting our own. Frizbe took our idea and ran with it, she pestered Ripley's Librarian for information and book lists and found a slot on Tuesday March 3rd to hold the meeting at Chimera, the games shop she and her husband own in Ripley. So as of Tuesday the 3rd I will be in a book and writing group with real people (or possibly just me Frizbe and whoever else she can pin down to attend). eek!

Where: Chimera Shop Church Street, Ripley, Derbyshire
When:Tuesday 3rd March 2009
Start time 19:30-21:30
Cost: £2.50
What to bring: Your notepad, a pen, and a favourite book
genre: its an alternative book group, so horror, sci-fi, manga, graphic novels, etc....

for more information have a look here

Hmm do you think I should bake something to bring?

Thursday, 12 February 2009 I'm addicted to owls

little owl pincushion

I know I have a problem, I can't help it I adore making things with poor little owl. I have been working on this pincushion on and off for a week now, probably more off than on as thats the way things go around here. Or at least the way things swirl around my head. I don't know what to do with tthe pincusion there are a few rough areas but it mostly looks good and smells nice as I put a few drops of rose essential oil on the polyfil as I stuffed the pincusion. Its made from scraps of my favourite cotton linen blend, some laura Ashly blue and cream gingham, vintage lace, and vintage buttons which I thought were black but in certain light are a very dark purple.

the back of the pin cushion

So what should I do with this little pin cushion? list him on etsy? if so how much? keep him? swap him? stick pins in his little owlie heart? give him away?

what to do what to do.....

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Owl Swap Update

By now I hope everyone is finishing off their Owl swaps and sending them flying off to their new roosts. I really hope everyone has had fun with the swap, getting to know new people, and finding new blogs to stalk and crafting little owls. There is a week left to finish off your swaps and get them posted by Valentine's day.

I have started an Owl Swap Group on Flickr so we can all share pictures of our Owls!

I shall be posting out my swap parcel to my partner on Tuesday after we return from out trip to London to sort out H's USA passport renewal, a pain in the bum but hopefully we should have fun with a trip to the museum to see the Dragon (dinosaur) bones and a trip on the London Eye. And if I'm very good and lucky there may be some sort of crafting shop to pass by. oh and I hear tell there are now two Cinnabun stores there now so we will definitely have to zero in on one of them!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Out in the West

Have listed another lavender rice bag in my etsy shop. After yesterday's quick sale I thought it best to make another lavender rice bag and pop it in the shop, I won't hold my breath just in case yesterday was a fluke but I'm still pleased it sold and will have to soldier on up to the post office before the end of the day.

Crafter...oo Red Treasury

I know I'm part of the Crafter...oo forum but its still brilliant to have one of my bracelets featured in the crafter...oo Red Treasury on Etsy. my Valentine Berries Bracelet is the one featured and its one of my favourite bracelets, made from vibran red jade beads, and my favourite toggle clasp.

In other Etsy news much to my astonishment I sold the lavender rice bag that I listed within an hour of listing it! I'm still totally amazed by that and plan on sewing another one as soon as I can get the dishes done a battle with the dirty laundry goblins, and I musnt' forget to cull the dust bunnies either, they get quite vicious this time of year.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Do I look Pretty?

I think Alys looks adorable don't you?

As you can see for the first time since December I have actually got my beading out and have had a play around to create a few pendants and a bracelet. Though for some reason I'm having difficulties making blogger work for me so you will have to make do with two pictures of pendants and one of Alys being a jewellery model. Honestly she is the funniest little cat I have ever had, She was quite happy to sit a pose for a minute but as soon as I took the necklace off she tried to get me and it.

The above pendant is made from vibrant red jade and faceted jet, and the one below is smoky quartz and a single red jade bead. I will hopefully be adding the pendants to my etsy shop and hopefully a few other things over the next few days. For now though I'm frozen and desperate for a hot drink, coffee anyone?

Monday, 2 February 2009

Cinnamon Apple Upside Down Cake

Cinnamon Apple Upside-Down Cake


cake batter:

½ cup butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups self-raising flour
½ cup milk

to line the cake tin:

1/2 cup butter (softened)
2 teaspoons cinnamon (heaped)
1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 to 4 firm-fleshed apples (any will do I used pink lady apples)

Preheat the oven at 300 F

In a large bowl cream the butter and the sugar together.

Add half of the self-raising flour, then half of the milk and the vanilla.

Add the eggs one at a time.

Add the remainder of the flour followed by the remaining milk and beat till well blended.

Spread the softened butter in a 13x9x2" sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar.

Pare, quarter, and slice the apples thin. Spread in an over-lapping layer on the bottom of the baking dish .

Pour the cake mixture over the apples.

The batter will be thick and may need to be smoothed on top with a knife.

Bake at 300° to 325° F. for 45 minutes. Until the cake is golden brown on top and springy to the touch.

Leave on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a knife , Cover the cake with a large serving dish or baking tray and turn it out carefully, upside down.

Best served warm or cold with custard, cream, or vanilla ice cream.

Cook's notes: I have made variations of the recipe several times, starting on this post here, which is probably a more amusing read than this one. the most important thing is that you make sure the cake is cooked through (you can cover it with tinfoil to cook for a longer time if its a big cake tin. And that you turn the cake over soon after taking it out of the oven or the cake will adhere to the pan and make a horrible mess, I know. I have split the cake into two smaller tins and stacked them together with a layer of whipped cream as an alternative birthday cake for M.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

warm and cozy

more lavender and rice warm bags
I've been sewing again, more rice bags I'm afraid, I just love making them, it makes me happy to make something that will be warm, cozy, and comforting. M has dragged one up to the framing shop for me to see if they would be interested in having one or two on display. I'm not sure about that, as I doubt my skills very much at this new found sewing lark, though I doubt myself at most things anyway so its no great stretch.
Sorry about the poor quality of the second photo, if the sun ever feels like peeping out from the clouds today I will attempt to get another photo. The fabric is Cath Kidston, a small sample scrap I ordered but wasn't really sure about but I think it looks really nice on the lavender bag.

another one with Cath Kidston fabric (sorry about bad light)

My Dad says I should try and make some ipod covers, which I might but seeing as i don't actually have an ipod (just a quite cruddy Sony MP3 player) I haven't tried yet but I may try and give one a go Monday. What do you think? and would you consider buying any of my sewing items? lavender rice bag or otherwise? depending on how much more sewing I do before my brain switches to something else.

I think its time for a to do list

have a go at making and ipod cover
drag beads out and make at least one bracelet
update etsy shop before everything expires
finish owl design for swap and make it
get thinking cap on for Crafteroo Challenge
2x lavender drawer sachets/door hangers
sketchity sketch sketch
make cinnamon rolls.. (OK that's not really a to do list but someone asked me for the recipe and now I can't get the thought of ooohie gooey cinnamon rolls out of my little brain. )
watch Supernatural (what it can totally be on my to do list)
(along with) drink copious amounts of coffee

and more stuff but I have lost interest in this whole list writing thing as H whinging about wanting cake and balloons and apparently I "HAVE" to watch the end of A Knight's Tale with him for the 10 thousandth time..