Archive for ‘Craft: General’

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Some good news…

Firstly, some very good news: Chris got a job!!! I am so VERY happy about this (time to pay off some credit card debt!!)

Next, I got a package in the mail today, from Australia! Inside were 2 lovely fat quarters (pieces of fabric!) and a printed fabric ‘made by’ label. They are from a swap on the down to earth forums, which I visit every day. I hope my swapee likes their parcel from me!!

And today, I attended a book binding (making journal/sketchbook type books, rather than binding novels!) craft class at the local gallery. The day didn’t start great with a stonking headache til lunchtime, but by the end of the day I finished something I am really happy with :)

The two books I made – the one on the left is my first basic attempt. The one on the right is the second attempt which I’m a lot happier with.

A close up of the second book. The cover is made of vellum (vellum was originally made with calf skin, but is more commonly used now to refer to semi-transparent paper – sort of a nicer version of tracing paper!), and it fastens with a simple loop of thread and a celtic knotwork style button.

The inside of the book – it has 80 pages, alternating muted gold and a lovely marbelled green. There is an ‘inner cover/front page’ of a gorgeous printed vellum .

I will definitely be exploring this more – I have a sort of ‘in progress’ idea of a nice little photo album made like this.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Goals for 2010

And yet again it’s been another month since I posted!! Must get back into the habit – a lot of it is that I’ve been using the old laptop downstairs rather than my computer in the cold room upstairs, and the laptop really doesn’t like photo uploads.. so I’ve been really bad with updating.

I’m proud to say I finally made soap from scratch! Using the cold process method with oils and caustic soda – it came out great in the end though thanks to my clumsiness it was a bit messy to clean up – next time will be better. I did take some photos so I will try to get them uploaded. This is part of my Grand Plan this year, which leads me on to….

Things To Accomplish in 2010

inspired by

  • Practice and experiment and learn to make really good soap
  • Learn to make a face scrub/wash using all natural ingredients
  • (Re)learn to make bathbombs (have done this before!)
  • Sew more! and…
  • … make one piece of clothing!
  • Eat less dairy, and make more of it ethical (organic/freerange)
  • Learn how to make a really good curry!
  • Learn how to make yummy authentic-ish mexican food
  • and finally, give more handmade gifts!

    What would you like to accomplish this year?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Photo Catch-up!

Well, my computer gave up the ghost a while back, and I’ve been using my ancient laptop, hence no picture posts (I couldn’t be bothered to install photoshop, and it would probably throw a wobbly if I did). However, we got a new power supply for the pc today, which has hopefully fixed the problem, so here’s a few pics to make up for it!


A random piece of wire/bead work – quite large, might make a nice suncatcher type decoration? (looks darker than it actually is – the beads are semi-precious stones and glass).

An apron I made myself, with gorgeous fabric from the swedish shop in the local town – lined and everything!

A button tortoise, made of felt – I added an inner pad with beans to the design to give him some weight. He’s imperfect but I still like him ;)

Chocolate cupcakes! With sprinkles!

A necklace/bracelet set I made to match a particular top… very happy with it :)

A bracelet made today – another one I’m happy with :)

And some gratuitous cuteness :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Relaxing Sunday

My sunday plans:

~ Late brunch of avocado, cajun tofu, fresh coriander and salsa wraps, with a little chocolate ;) (this is just for me, Chris hates both avocado and tofu). This also makes the hamsters happy as they REALLY like avocado!

~ A cupcake practice run (for the upcoming Think Pink charity cake sale) – pink cupcakes! (hopefully)

~ Scrabble with a friend. Because we have decided to give up trying to be cool kids and embrace our inner geek ;)

~ And maybe a little crafting – either making things for Warhammer or starting a sewing machine cover!

I hope you all have a nice Sunday!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Hamster Environment

Here’s the project I’ve been working on – a larger environment for my hamsters.

This is made from two 32litre ‘under bed’ style storage boxes. I’d say it gives them 2-3x the floor space of their old cage, and the space is open rather than ‘ledges’ meaning they’re much safer (less to fall off!).

Compared to a standard plastic cage like this one at £29.35 (a larger one could cost £50+), this one offers far more room/possibilities, I can stuff it full of tubes, houses and bridges for them and still have empty ‘space’ for them to run on.

2x boxes from Wilkinsons = £9.00
Plastic tube to connect the two = 50p (I bought a boxful for a fiver secondhand, normally these cost a couple of pounds each)
Large metal ladder* = £1.95
Cable ties + glue = 50p
Total: £11.95

Safe, spacious, humane, interesting, stimulating hamster environment for a quarter of the retail price – well worth the effort.


Sunday, December 30, 2007


Well, its about time to make some resolutions for 2008!

1) Lose Weight.

You know, I’ve resolved to lose weight every year for god knows how long. I live in eternal hope that it’ll actually happen!

2) Cut Down My Landfill

Despite the fact that we recycle most of our tins, glass, card, some plastics, and paper, we still fill a wheelie bin every 2 weeks! So my aims for this are – a) recycle ALL glass/tins, even if it means extra washing up, b) check out what plastics can be recycled – theres a lot of those shaped plastic tray things that don’t have obvious symbols on so they end up getting binned, c) compost compostables! – get a small ‘bin’ for the kitchen for veg scraps etc, and d) stop using disposable sanitary products. I already use a mooncup about 75% of the time, but I do also use some towels and pantyliners. Once I’ve run down my stocks of disposables I want to switch to washable pads.

3) Cut Out The Chemicals.

I am gradually becoming a more environmentally-friendly person, but nowhere near the extent I’d like to. So my main goals for this year will be a) to cut out nasty chemical cleaners and b) use mostly natural skincare/soap etc (anyone know a ‘green’ anti dandruff shampoo that works??).

4) Sort Out Finances.

Despite the fact my boyfriend is working, I seem to be running out of money every month, possibly even to the same extent as I did when he wasn’t! That’s totally ridiculous so my aim is to really sort out my spending and stop blowing money on useless crap. I have what to me seems like a lot of debt – £1200 or so on my credit card, £300 constantly-used overdraft, plus a student loan of £6000+ (but that won’t kick in til i’m earning more). I’d really like to make some headway at getting rid of the CC debt and overdraft this year, and hopefully starting some savings.

Then, there’s the things I’d like to do… not resolutions as such as some of them are enjoyable things, new skills I’d like to learn, etc.

1) The Garden.

I’ve decided to do a lot of growing in pots on the patio in 2008, as it worked so well in 2006. I will of course still be using my bed but for things that don’t suffer slug damage so much – ie tomatoes and beans. I’d like to get a little more serious with growing salad veg this year and try and succession sow properly so I have a little to pick all the time. I’d also like at growing peppers in the greenhouse – the sweet kind, but also jalapenos, which I’d like to learn how to bottle for mexican meals. kethry also has some mild chilli seeds which sound great for roasting and stuffing.. yum!

2) Craft.

The main thing I’d like to learn is how to sew on a machine – both for fun and for practical uses such as hemming scraps of cloth/old clothes for reusable cloths, and making washable sanitary towels.

3) Cooking.

I definitely want to improve my cooking skills. The main thing I’d like to work on is vegetarian dishes that don’t use meat replacements – Chris loves them so we use them far too much for my liking. For the sake of gradually working towards a simpler life with less processed crap I’d like to use more vegetables, pulses, beans etc.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Yesterday I decorated my Christmas tree and iced the cake that kethry made me. I would have blogged about it then, but to be honest that video put me in a pretty bad mood for the rest of the day.

The tree is a new, 6ft artificial from B+Q (and not bad for £14.99). The old 4ft one will be going on freecycle. Rather annoyingly I was planning on two sets of 100 lights – my old ones and my new LED ones – but the old ones have decided to go on the blink. So the tree isn’t quite as bright as I’d hoped, but still looks nice :)


After that I set to work icing the cake. I’d marzipanned it a couple of days before to give it time to dry out. I simply used premade fondant icing from Tescos, rolled it out and then decorated it with small stars and some silver balls. For a first try I think it looks rather good :)


Friday, November 16, 2007

This looks really simple, but actually took THREE HOURS.

It involves cutting the shapes, stitching lightly (inside out), turning right side out, stuffing, re-stitching (decorative), cutting the icing/holly/berries shapes and stitching them all together, stitching on a hanging loop, and finally attaching the lot to the main pudding ‘ball’. It winds up to make quite a large decoration, about the size of an orange.

It took forever. I’m never making one again.


(it was kinda fun though, and kept me occupied while half-watching Children in Need)

Friday, November 16, 2007

I’ve taken a couple of days holiday, tagged onto the weekendthis week. Yesterday I spent quite a lot of time shopping – got some christmas bits bought without the boyfriend in tow (it’s like shopping with a 5 yr old… ‘I’m bored can we go home yet?’ style whining.. I love him really though :D ) – but I did waste a fair proportion of the day just surfing the net etc.. not good. So this is my list for things to do today, let’s see how I get on!

  • Hang out washing (bedlinen)
  • Spraypaint box for C’s gift / Paint inside black
  • Driving Lesson
  • Get another load of laundry on the go / hang it up
  • Tidy my room (computer/craft room)
  • Trip to Post Office (post stuff for kethry / get gas card topped up)
  • Get xmas tree out to check height … really not tall enough for it’s new position in the front room (was in bedroom before), so christmas tree shopping beckons!
  • Order bits from ebay (cellophane (have emailed fav seller to enquire about a couple things, and made a list of the various things I want) , earplugs for C, possibly stocking fillers)
  • Work on decs (cinnamon stick bundles/felt ornaments)
  • Clean kitchen / empty bins / wash up
  • Order rpt prescription (2-5pm)
  • Start working on assembling xmas cards

Phew, that lot makes me tired just looking at it! Time to get going!

[edit] and try and watch Children In Need prog tonight. Cus OMFG Boyzone have reformed! <squee>

[edit 6.15pm]

Well, I think I’ve done pretty well with that lot. Chris has gone to the pub with his workmates so I think I’m gonna cook something nice for dinner (a bit of a treat, as I’ve not had much / eaten healthily today so I have a whopping 18 weightwatchers points left tonight :), then settle down with some felt to make ornaments from, and the telly. The washing up can wait til tomorrow, though I do have to hang he laundry up still!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Spice Jars and Christmas Decorations…

Today I’ve finished off the herb and spice jars I mentioned previously. Chris looked on totally bemused while I soaked, de-labelled, washed and dried the jars.

dscf0141.jpgHe was even more baffled when I carefully made up labels on the computer.. didn’t understand why I didn’t just ‘write them on like a normal person’…

… Men just don’t understand these things :D

dscf0142.jpgI’ve also continued work on the christmas decorations, this time with a small gingerbread tree shape. I’m pretty happy with it, apart from the stitching on the trunk which I think needs work.