Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Jolly Jam Jar Project 2010

I hope you have been enjoying your winter holidays. We certainly have. I don't think I have ever seen such beautiful icicles around here. Perfect weather for long evenings by the fire.The vista from my kitchen is fringed with icicles !

Anyhoo...I dropped by to tell you about my Jolly Jam Jar project 2010. I hope to bring you a little creative inspiration - a Jam Jar upcycling tutorial every month. ( I say jam jar, but there may be a honey jar, or pesto jar in the project too.) So watch this space...

It's going to be fun!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Snow snow snow

There has been quite a bit of snow here the last couple of days. The kids have had a happy time making igloos and snowmen. My husband had a snow day from school, but had to go back in today, (after digging the car out!) The main roads seem fine now, but we were kind of hoping that we would be snowed in for a few days!
It's the best snow we've seen here for some time. It might not seem much if you live somewhere a little colder, but we're impressed.

One of the things I love about this time of year is when we start candlemaking again.
It's my husband's craft really, but he very graciously lets me play too. He made the blue candle and I hand dipped the pillars. These are for a friend, but we will get around to selling some once we get going again. (For me, part of the fun is packaging them!)

Friday, 18 December 2009


I had to share this with you. My 3 year olds lovely drawing of her granny. Not sure it is totally complementary - but isn't it a great drawing? (Proud mummy)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Distracted as usual!

It doesn't take much to distract me from my intended projects does it! This time it was some Pebeo 150 porcelaine paint which caught my attention. I bought some cheap white plates from Tescos, and some black paint which you cure in the oven to become dishwasher proof, and this is what I made. I used a little stencil that I cut from an old brochure.
I have a thing about topiary trees, and also black and white artwork, and so I combined the two.
I think these would make nice gifts - with some homemade cookies on them of course!

Friday, 4 December 2009

A quick Aloe!

This is my favourite house plant. Aloe Vera. I hardly water it or give it any attention, and I haven't managed to kill it off yet. I love the way it looks, and I can pull off a leaf, slice it open and use the wonderful healing properties of the gel inside for wounds and skin irritations. If you're only going to have one houseplant, get an Aloe Vera. (I think it is time I re potted this one.) I can get lots of new baby plants from this one!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Wintertime activity

On those long dark winter evenings, I like to keep my fingers busy, so I tend to make my little felt creations sitting by the fire while we are all watching TV.
Usually, I spread all my felts and threads about the place making a right old mess, but this year I am more organised. I picked up this wicker 3 drawer unit for £5 at my local auction. The castors make it easy to shift out the way when I am not using it, and there is ample room for all my felt supplies.
My next problem was that I didn't have a proper work light and the rest of the family didn't want the big bright overhead light on. I priced floor standing lamps but I thought they were a bit too expensive, then I found this very handy clip-on light from B&Q for about £10. It works a treat. I have to stop Miss G switching it on and off all the time, but I am sure the novelty will wear off eventually! So I am all set. Watch this space to see what I churn out!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Bubble trouble !

(I think I used this same title for my first ever blog post.) Here is my littlest daughter having a bubbly time. It's been a bitterly cold day today...the very slightest dusting of snow fell last night. Little Miss G was so excited when she woke up and saw it - but a little disappointed it came to nothing. She is desperate to build a snowman. I have older daughter and husband at home today not feeling so well, so I haven't achieved much today, I wouldn't even say I have played nurse very well! Never mind. I'm going to go and make a veggie curry now.
Whatever you are doing today, I hope you are having a bubbly day!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to drop by and wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. I hope you have a wonderful day.
(The image above is from a postcard by Naomi and myself - sorry - I didn't have a picture of a turkey)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

quick hello!

Hi there! Life seems so hectic just now - trying to do so many things at once, and often failing! I feel kind of frustrated, but I know it will get better...could have something to do with my hormones today. It's just one of those stay inside rainy days where I have to do mundane tasks like ironing - and I have discovered there is a leak in my utility room ceiling just above where the ironing basket was sitting and some of the clothes will need rewashed as they have a water mark on them. But, hey, enough grumping. I still have much to be thankful for. I'm not suffering like so many who have had terrible floods in England right now. I need to give myself a talking to!
So as I haven't taken any photos of me ironing, here is another example of the Cupcake Queen's cupcakes. Hope you have a lovely day, even if it is grey and rainy where you are.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

There be Dragons...

I was inspired by this book by Jackie Morris, Tell Me a Dragon...
...and these wonderful sea dragons that I saw on a recent BBC documentary... make a sea dragon necklace. I know the real thing is so much more beautiful, but this one will be fun to wear. It certainly will be a conversation piece!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

more buttons...

I think I have that button making spurt out of my system for now- more or less. Thing is, now I am not so sure it is worth my effort listing them. Maybe on Artfire as it is free to list, so I guess I have nothing to lose. But if I don't get around to it and any of you crafters out there see something you like, then please drop me a line and I'll see what I can do for you. Custom buttons to go with a garment can be made as well if you can't find what you are looking for. Thing is, for all the time I put into making them, I am not really sure what I can charge. If you have any advice, please feel free to offer it!
Now, I really must do some writing...some sewing...some painting...some necklaces..some cooking...some tidying...some ironing (bleugh)...too many things to do, and not enough time to do them in. Anyone else have that problem?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Three little elephants...

Three little elephant pendants, off to explore the world. A wise old elephant named Emerald, and two young and inexperienced little girls, Ella and Elsie. I wonder where they will end up. The last two ended up in America - one of them went to Honolulu ! I wonder if he learnt how to play the ukulele? With his trunk !

Monday, 2 November 2009

New brooches

Here are some of my newest brooches. I'll be getting round to putting them in the shop sometime soon. I may even list them on Artfire. I feel encouraged - I just made my first sale with them yesterday. It is Free to list items there, so that's always a good thing!
The windows of the quirky little house glow in the dark!

Rain - something we get rather a lot of in Bonny Scotland!

Thursday, 29 October 2009


Here are the first of my button collections. No, I know there are not very many of them, but I am not thinking of buttons down a cardigan, I am thinking more for embellishing a cuff or a neck piece, or a bag. Or even a handmade journal. What do you think?

I used a parrot feather to impress the clay here, and then added a strip. The scan doesn't quite show the iridescence.
These look dimensional, but are smooth. They are indented then covered with liquid clay.

Faux leather...I hope you could tell!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


I was playing around with the polymer clay and these pendants kind of happened, but I am not so sure about them...what do you think? My family just gave me that kind of response that doesn't do much for the vote of confidence. The response was "Hmmm!" I think the fact the pendant above has an unintentional scary face makes it a no no for selling, and the one below is just too weird. Ah well...back to the drawing board!

Musical interlude....

Way back in this post I showed you a youtube clip of a couple of young ladies singing the Riddle Song, (a song I sing to Gabriella at bedtime). Well, after research, I discovered that the girl with the guitar, Naomi Sommers is an up and coming folk singer from New England. Well, I never imagined she'd be touring in the Highlands of Scotland, but the other night my husband and I went to see her play in a very local venue, only about 10 minutes from our home. We had a fantastic evening. What a talented singer songwriter, and a lovely person. Do check out her website where you can listen to her music.

Cupcake Queen!

Not much to say here, other than my 16 year old daughter Naomi is the cupcake Queen. Would you just look at these cupcakes! I hope you are not too jealous! And what is more, they taste as good as they look. (Of course, they don't really help much with the healthy eating plan, but we never buy shop bought cakes and biscuits any more, so at least we are not getting all those nasty additives and flavourings.)

Friday, 23 October 2009

A Giveaway !

If you are in the UK and you would like a chance to win this little birdy brooch of mine, and a whole lot of other really cool handmade stuff, then please visit Shop Handmade UK and enter their competition. You never know !

Thursday, 22 October 2009

A Lovely Day

We had a special time yesterday when we visited our son in Glasgow. We trailed around a few shops - including Ikea - which was a real treat for me, and then we had grub at Pizza Hut before heading back to the Highlands. A good day was had by all, but it was a long day and we are all a bit tired today. I walked my feet off!
I bought this lampshade for my little girl's room. It is sooo cute!

Here is my son modelling his lab coat for us. That's my boy!!!

...And on a totally unrelated note, these are some buttons I made about 20 years ago. My mum had come across them and brought them with her last time she visited. I feel the urge to make some more buttons now. It will be interesting to see how they turn out. I think I have come a long way creatively speaking since then. I hope so anyhow.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Good Pud !

When you're not feeling so good, there is nothing quite as comforting as a bowl of homemade rice pudding . I use this recipe . I grated fresh nutmeg on the top and it has a yummy skin on it! I know not everybody likes that, but I do. This version I made used dried cranberries, as we had run out of raisins.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Autumn colours

The leaves are starting to change, but they are still not quite as spectacular as the rich colours of this sunflower. A bee and a Peacock butterfly came out to enjoy a rare patch of sunshine yesterday morning.
I've tidied myself a spot on Ben's desk - well I might as well make use of the room while he is at Uni. I have set out my coloured pencils and watercolours, and now I am waiting for a moment or two to myself to enjoy using them. Trouble is , we have all been unwell with colds and viruses for the last few days!
I really must sharpen those pencils!!!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


No, not life, the universe, the cosmos...just Cosmos the lovely flower that is blooming away in my garden when everything else is starting to die back and look quite autumnal. There is quite a chill in the air, and these lovely flowers are not at all phased, and continue to blossom beautifully. I shall be saving seeds and growing a whole lot more of these next year!

Friday, 2 October 2009

The wonders of the Internet!

...when it works that is.
We have bought a webcam and we were very excited to chat with my son via Skype when the internet decided to go down for a few days. Thankfully, it seems to be OK again now. Seeing my son by webcam has made his absence much easier on us all, especially his littlest sister who takes all the amazing technology for granted and chats away to him as if he was in the same room. I am very thankful for webcams.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009 a rule

I came across these printable rulers this morning and thought they might be useful for sticking on workspaces and counters and tables - anywhere where a bit of measuring is required from time to time. Check it out!