Sunday, 28 December 2008

Frosty !


I don't think I've ever seen such lovely frost!

This is the road to our house.
Freezing fog everywhere.
It's a good day to sit next to a roaring fire!
I hope you are all enjoying your holidays.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Little Hoots

These little guys and gals will be in my Etsy shop soon.
They are my Little Hoots character owl brooches.
They are only about 2 inches tall.
Each one has a unique personality.

This is Blossom and Romeo.
Blossom likes poetry and pretty things.
Romeo - well he's a bit of a ladies owl!

Pearl and Oswald
Pearl's a singer- she likes a bit of JAzZ!
Oswald likes nothing better than a good read.
(His book has real pages from a vintage encyclopedia)

And this... is Claude.[sold] (He's an eccentric artist.)

and they all come in little handmade boxes.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Ben saves the day!

Ben the superhero!
Brother and sister posing like crazy - real crazy!

Last Friday I went to turn on the computer
and before my eyes was one of those
horrible messages. Horrible!
"windows cannot start."
I flapped about for a bit, trying a Windows installation disk,
and various other things, only to get the message.
There is no hard drive installed on this computer!
Oh No! What to do????
So I called my wonderfully smart 17 year old, Ben.
He said, it might not be as bad as it sounds.
All I could think about was all the hours of work put
into all my box templates and card designs,
none of which I had backed up recently.
...Anyhoo, to cut a long story short...
Dear Ben managed to access the faulty hard drive using Linux,
and he backed up all my precious files. He then installed a 'new'
hard-drive which he had got at the local dump.
After that, he installed Windows and all my other files,
and we are now back in business.
I'm so glad that Ben is such a whizz on the PC!
Thank you Ben, you are wonderful!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Morning light and munchkins.

This was around 8:30am
That is frost not snow.
It's the view from my kitchen window.
I wish I could capture how beautiful it was.
The photo isn't as good as the real thing.

My mum made a little pullover for my munchkin.
I sewed a little felt cat on it this morning.
Gabsy chose the colour.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

on a cold and frosty afternoon...




My husband took these pictures last Saturday afternoon.
Such beauty everywhere.
Even thought the flowers are gone,
the seedheads remain, and they look stunning.
And today, it is snowing again, and
somebody is desperate to go outside!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Don't forget to enter my blog giveaway (two posts down)

JUST ABOUT TO GO IN MY ETSY SHOP...

Pretty pink romantic rose earrings

some tiny owls for your ears [sold]

...and a tiny little mousey playset,

that fits into a matchbox suitcase. [sold]

Thursday, 27 November 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING !

Don't be afraid to be yourself!

HaPpY tHaNkSgiViNg

to all my American friends!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Blog Giveaway time!



And here it is, my blog giveaway.
I'm giving away this little owl necklace.
His name is Otto.
I made the focal bead from polymer clay and
threaded him together with some pretty
cobalt seed beads.
To enter to win Otto, all you need to do
is leave a comment here in the next week.
I'll put your names in a virtual hat
and draw one out next Wednesday.

Thankyou Diane Duda !

I've just received three lovely prints from
Dudadaze. I won her blog giveaway.
I can't remember ever winning anything else
- ever - so it was a lovely treat.
This is my favourite print.
'I believe in spontaneous dancing'
They will look lovely in my little girls room
when I finally get around to decorating it!
My next post will be about my blog giveaway !

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Raggydolls

Artoholic was asking what else I'd sewn,
and I found these photos from 2000
when my older daughter was just seven.

These are two rag dolls I made for her.

I had thought back then of making the dolls
as a business, but it took me so much time,
that I decided it wasn't worth it.
Each strand of hair is sewn on individually
so that the hair can be styled and played with.
My daughter used to spend hours
putting clips and bobbles into their hair.
I guess I'll need to make make my littlest girl
her very own dolly some day.
At the moment, she is not much into dolls
so there is no rush!

This doll was her first, it was just named Raggy.

This is Anastasia, and she is a Princess.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Free Pillow Gift Box Template and Tutorial

I wanted to share one of my box patterns with you.
So here in a few easy steps is my pillow box tutorial.
Firstly, click on the template image for the larger size
and save to your PC. Now import it into your favourite
desktop publishing software.
I use Microsoft Publisher, even though I have Quark,
because I find it very intuitive to use.

I manage to fit two box templates on one A4 bit of paper.
To do this, I have the images sized at 90%.
I'm not sure if you can fit two on letter size,
but I would think you probably can.
(If you are going to resize the images,
make sure you do it equally horizontally and vertically.)
OK, so now you print your images on the wrong side
of a nice bit of patterned card. Card that is about the
right thickness for a greetings card works fine.


Now you cut along the solid lines, and score along
the dotted lines like so. Pre fold along the scores.


I like to use a circle punch to take out a semi circle each side
to make it easier to open the box when it is finished.
You'll see here where I have made the holes.
Actually if you make them on the panel where the flap isn't,
then it works better. Not like what I did here!
(I was too lazy to retake the photos)



Now place some glue on the flap and hold
together or use clothes pegs until the glue is dry.

Now push in the ends of your box, and voila!
A little pillow box for you. Now get creative, you can glue and stick
and decorate your little gift box to make it extra special.


If you make some, then I'd love to see!
Please send me a link.
Have fun.
Please feel free to use this pillow box
for your gift giving.
You may also use this to package items that you sell,
but please do not sell the pattern.

Need a different style gift box?
Why not have a look at my Free template for a Playing Card Box

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Two little monkeys

Here is my little squishy monkey with the sock monkey
I made for her. His legs and tail turned out a bit long
but never mind! It just makes it more fun to swing around!
He is just called Sock Monkey!
However, Geninne has more imagination than me
and is asking for suggestions for names for her sock monkey
on her blog. Why not join in !

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Some older boxes...


These are a couple of watercolours I did
quite a few years ago. I have them hanging
in my bathroom now. I really, really want to
paint some more compartment boxes some time.

Monday, 17 November 2008

One box too far?

There's always a danger when you go with the creative flow,
that you might disappear off on some tangent or other.
That's what happened when I thought I'd create
a few new gift boxes to go with my jewellery,
ready for the gift giving season.


Little suitcase matchboxes.
I have used some scraps of leather for handles.
I even made some tiny travel labels.
The larger box is just the right size for ACEOs.
The smaller ones are ideal for small jewellery items.

The biggest matchbox here is standard small matchbox
size and the other two fit inside like Russian dolls.



First I designed myself some new printable templates,
and then one thing led to another, and now some of the
boxes have become almost as fancy as some of the things
that go in them. So now I am trying to decide what I
shall do with them. Should I sell them separately?
I even started trying to think up new things
to put into some of my boxes.
Like this handmade game of tic,tac, toe.

(I upcycled a bit of leather from a broken
vintage chair for the game board.)

These boxes have taken over at the moment.
The family think I have gone a little box crazy.
PS> Look out for my blog giveaway in the next week or so.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

My Morning!

The bed frame broke - it can't be fixed
The TV wouldn't work.
The toddler's bored and grumpy,
and I feel like such a berk.
Sometimes these little happenings,
start to drizzle on my day.
So I stop and count my blessings

then that rain cloud goes away!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Picture Book

I caught this programme on BBC4 the other night.

Not sure if you'll be able to see if you are not in the UK,

but if you can get to watch it, it was a fascinating

insight into the growth of picture books in the UK.

Here's the link

Friday, 7 November 2008

Guessipe



Whenever I cook, it always involves a fair amount
of estimation and guesswork, so when I am
asked for a recipe, I'm always a bit vague.

So from henceforth, my concoctions shall be known as
GUESSIPES

Potato Soup/ Pasta Guessipe.

The basic guessipe for the soup, was a few potatoes,
a bunch of carrots and some onions cooked in some vegetable stock.
These were the only vegetables I used for the soup as this is
what we have available in the garden at the moment.
I then added some soy milk and a little flour to thicken.
(I'm not a vegan, just trying to increase our soy intake.)
You can add salt and pepper according to your taste.
On the second night, I added some cooked pasta,
a tin of beans and some peas.
Both versions went down very well.

I often do the pasta fling with soup on the second night
if there isn't quite enough left for a meal.

(Pasta version shown here served with homemade wholemeal and oatmeal bread.)

Hope this inspires some cooking!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Sick Notes

Whenever my son returns to school after an illness,
I suffer his teacher to a little poem instead of the
usual boring sick note. He must think I am
completely crazy, but that's OK - 'cos I probably am.
(I might do something with them all one day.)
Here are a few funny sick notes I found on the internet:-

Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots leak.

Please excuse my daughter´s absence. She had her periodicals.

My son is under a doctor´s care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.
I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don´t know what size she wear.
Please excuse Raul from school yesterday. He had a stomach egg.

Please excuse John being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and also 33.

Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

Please excuse Roland from PE for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Who Needs Paper ?

I was drooling over some moleskin journals today,
and thinking how it might inspire me to draw more if I owned one,
then I came across this blog
If you've ever tried to draw with an etch a sketch,
then you'll realise how awesome this is.
But it does make me wonder if this
guy has rather too much time on his hands.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Something Old

I've been working on my writing today.
So I've posted something old for you to see.
This was to illustrate "September" for an online kids
magazine. OK, so it's October now.
Yeh....I'll go back to my writing