Tag Archives: jewellery making

So, a Sunless Summer Spent…Saving the Universe!

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Well hello my lovely blog-reading friends! I hope you managed to have some fun this summer, despite all the gloomy damp weather. It was all a bit disappointing wasn’t it? As the sun failed to make many appearances in the sky for us, I have added a sunny yellow glow to my bloggings for you, by way of the delightful dahlia pic above. I just adore dahlias: so vervaciously vibrant they can’t fail to cheer you up.

If you managed to escape to anywhere exciting for the summer dear reader, I hope you managed to find some sunshine, for we certainly did when we visited wonderful Wales for our hols. During our time there we enjoyed the many delights of Cardiff such as the castle..

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…all very impressive with rather a lot of steep steps that were fine to climb up but somewhat scarier to descend (eek!) We also loved ambling around the many Edwardian and Victorian shopping arcades…

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…enjoyed a brew and Barabrith in the many cosy coffee bars…

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…we wondered at the many delights of Cardiff Bay, or Tiger Bay as the locals call it…

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…such as The Roald Dahl Plas…

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…the mighty Millenium Centre…

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Oh, and did I mention that we saved the universe there too? Yes indeed, we visited The Doctor Who Experience and had an epic-awesome adventure working with the current Doctor Who to save the planet from various aliens…

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…and generally had a fab out-of-this-world experience…

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We also visited the beautiful Barry and Barry Island, where we walked in the footsteps of TV’s Gavin and Stacey and I’m not gonna lie to you, it was crackin’!

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We were made up to visit Trinity Street where Stacey, Gwen (not Gwen from Budgeons), Bryn (don’t mention the fishing trip) and Doris lived, Marco’s where Stacey worked, the arcade where Nessa (sort of ) worked…

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…Boofy’s their chip shop of choice…

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…and sat on the same wall that Gavin, Stacey, Smithy and Nessa all perched on for that final episode and looked out to sea…

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…genuine!

Back in England, we had a delightful day out in Teignmouth: still as serene as ever…

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…a trip to Totness and Dartington…

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…and gazed in awe at the beautiful, big, big skies of Budleigh…

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What have I been crafting up this summer? Well for starters I’ve only been at the chalk paint and had a go at a bit of upcycling! Yes I ‘updated’ my ‘dated’ solid pine bed with a lick of pebble grey chalk paint and I have to confess, I am rather chuffed with it…

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I must warn you though dear reader, painting furniture is seriously addictive, as I have been eyeing up other suitable candidates around my abode that look ripe for a quick makeover! My new watercolour paints had a quick testing too…

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…and my ink pen enjoyed a little ‘mindfulness zentangling’ or doodling as we know it…

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My crochet hook worked up a sweat on a chic chevron cushion I designed with a buttoned closure on the reverse…

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…along with a whimsical wall hanging for darling daughter, complete with tickly tassels and dreamy driftwood…

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A trio of charm bracelets were crocheted from a Mollie Makes’ kit and as there were three I let my two darling daughters squabble out the distribution between themselves; far too dangerous an area for me to venture into…

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My knitting needles have been happily stitching up some cosy treats for autumn, such as a textured caress of a cover for my notebook…

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…several squares in many, many patterns, in glorious greys for what will one day become a warming throw…

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…and a cosy cushion cover in gorgeous grey stripes of a selection of stitch patterns…

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I had a little go at crafting with leatherette via another Mollie Makes kit, this time a tropical cocktail of a couple of brooches…

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Thankfully there were two of them, so I was spared any teenage traumas when it came to sharing them out – phew! A bit of baking was also enjoyed which produced a lush lemon loaf…

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…it didn’t last long mind you! Bit like our summer… Well I will leave you now dear reader and as I began my bloggings with a dahlia, so I shall end with a dahlia, well, a jug full of the dashing darlings actually! Keep on crafting…

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Bountiful Blossoming Blooms

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Yes indeed dear reader, summer has well and truly arrived in my garden, as you can tell from the bountiful blossoming flowers that have appeared on my courgette plant in the photo above! Courgette flowers are definately not ‘backwards in coming forwards’ as far as blooms go, for they are indeed rather enormous and rather yellow. They do however perform the most breathtaking magic, by turning into one of these beauties…

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Rather impressive is it not, dear reader? My first ‘crop’ I do declare, but maybe just a ‘cropette’ seeing as it’s just the one. My pepper plants are also producing perfect peppers of the green variety…

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…and to top it all, I’ve only gone and grown real live olives on my little olive tree!

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There has been much excitement in our household dear reader, at the tentative initial success of our petite patio potted allotment efforts!
It’s delightful to sit amongst the bounty of blooms in my garden, all buzzing with the hum of happy honey bees. Ho hum…

There have also been a few ‘blooms’ in evidence in my latest sewing project, for I have finally finished the cute-as-pie Lucky Bear free project from Mollie Makes. The flowery embroidery was a joy to stitch and has left me yearning for more floral-fancy needlework and as for the little bear himself, well I was so enamoured with the cheerful chappy that I just had to draw him…

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He’s quite a flowery, fanciful fellow isn’t he? Talking of fancy flowers, my coloured pencil sketch of the cottage garden hollyhock ‘bloomed’ (pardon the pun) this week…

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I just love the blousy blooms of the handsome hollyhock, don’t you? On the knitting front, the delightful diamond lace stitch cowl I was knitting is now complete…

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…which leaves me with an empty pair of knitting needles and in a bit of a quandry as to what project to pick next, from my infinite list of ‘oh I must try that’ to-do list! I also have an endless list of ‘ooh I so have to bake those beauties’ cakes and cookies to-do list. One such scrummy delight was baked up during a rather miserably muggy day of rain at the weekend: my oat and chocolate chip cookies. A Facebook pal has requested the recipe, so as promised here it is…

Oat & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
4oz (115g) butter
4oz (115g) dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3-4tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla essence
5oz (150g) plain flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
4oz (115g) rolled oats
7oz (200g) milk chocolate chips

Apologies for all the ‘ounces’ reader, for although I declare myself to be fully ‘metrical’ whilst in public, at home behind closed doors I am totally beholden to my dear old imperial chums: pound and ounce!

Method:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla essence, beating well. I usually add a little flour with each glug of eggy mix, so as to prevent curdling hazards.
2. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, stirring until well mixed.
3. Fold in the rolled oats and mix well, then add the chocolate chips.
4. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. Place 2 teaspoon-sized heaps of the mixture on a greased baking sheet or one lined with baking parchment. Leave room for them to spread a little and press them down a bit in the centre with the back of a spoon. You should be able to make about 20.
6. Bake the little beauties in a preheated oven set at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 10-12 minutes, until they are just starting to colour at the edges, then carefully transfer them to a wire cooling rack with a spatula.

These cookies are of the soft and squidgy variety even once cooled, but you must devour at least one whilst it is still warm from the oven, as they are divine! They are also extremely fabulous when warmed slightly and eaten with ice-cream but they are also lovely just enjoyed with a cuppa…

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Mmm, don’t they look delicious…sorry dear reader, but my cookies are calling me so I will leave you to bake, blossom and bloom my friend!

Floating Happy as a Cloud…

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Yes I’m in a ‘happy-floaty-dreamy-cloud’ kind of a mood at the moment dear reader, for I have finished many-many WIP’s, including a couple of squishy cloud pillows. The first completed cloud can be seen in the pretty pic floating above here; it’s a hanging version with hand-embroidered wording and shiny beads on sparkling silver thread. A little bit of hanging heaven☆ My other completed cloud pillow is of the rather larger variety, more of your normal cushion size, with hand-embroidered wording once again. When I started to work on it I wasn’t sure what other decorative bits-and-bobs I was going to adorn it with, but as I was stitching away a daisy popped into my head (as it does from time to time) and indeed a crocheted daisy fitted the whole ensemble perfectly – I hope you agree…

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I just love daisies, such a happy flower don’t you think? Keeping to the pillow theme, have a ganders at my latest cushion design – an embroidered star☆ which once again has hand-embroidered wording…

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…and is made from fabric with teeny-tiny stars on it. Ooh, and modeled by one of my darling daughters: my little star, holding a star☆ and ‘sew’ on to more sewing (pardon the pun) for I have finally sewn up my two doggie plushies: a sweet sausage doggie…

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…a darling Dascshund indeed, who was often to be found in my garden, dashing around after daisies…

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…while Scottie Doggie plushie was totally captivated by butterflies, bless him…

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Pleased as punch with my plushies dear reader, so expect to see more soon in other fabrics. Now for something completely different (but still crafty, fear not) a little bit of weaving! Yes I finally managed to weave a triangle into my woven wall-hanging and added some totally terrific tassels along the edge, then mounted it on to a darling piece of driftwood I discovered on one of my beachcombing forages. Want to see it?

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My little bit of monochrome magic, which looks marvelous on my lounge wall. So pleased with the triangle, so shall attempt another weaving with more triangles, now I’ve got the hang of it. If you fancy having a go yourself dear reader, ‘A Beautiful Mess’ blog has some great weaving-related ideas, so head on over to http://www.abeautifulmess.com and search for ‘weaving.’

Now for knitting. You know I was getting well into lacey knitting last time? Well, I searched through my stash of magazine cut-outs with different lace stitch patterns and came across a diamond lace pattern I was rather drawn to, so I decided to use the lovely linen and cotton mix yarn I had in my stash to knit up another lacey neck cosie, in a delightful denim blue shade…

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Lush colour and fab pattern♡ Of course as well as my continuing obsession with lacey knitting, my obsession with crocheting pebble cosies continues too…

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Simply adorable aren’t they? And now that the autumn mornings are becoming a little on the chilly side, perfect for the poor pebbles. Well I think I have rambled on rather enough for now dear reader, so I shall leave you with a pic of some of my comfort baking to off-set the end-of-summer blues: yummy-scrummy chocie muffins♡ Keep crafting…

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Meet Miss Matilda Mouse…

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Well hello there dear reader! I do so hope you have had a super summer and that you managed to get out into the sunshine to craft in the lovely fresh air somewhere. I myself was often to be found doodling, knitting or crocheting on a beautiful beach and Miss Matilda Mouse is just one of the creations that I crafted up in the sunshine. Isn’t she cute? She is an adaptation of my bunny pattern design and I can’t wait to start on my next cute creature which is based on the same pattern: a monkey! In a pretty dress of course!

Still on the crocheted creatures theme, I have also designed a unicorn pattern, as I wanted to make a unicorn for my fab friend Joy. We both have a bit of a unicorn obsession and she even presented me with a lovely gift of authentic (obviously) unicorn poo! If you don’t believe me, here’s photographic evidence to prove it…

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…see, told you. Anyway, I’m keeping it in my fridge so it stays fresh (as you do) and it makes me smile whenever I open my fridge door! Now there aren’t many people who can say they have unicorn poo in their fridge, are there? Well here’s a couple of pics of the unicorn I designed…

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Isn’t he adorable? Of course I shall have to make myself a little magical fellow now too. Still on the crochet theme, I have also started making cute little crocheted cosies for pebbles (gosh, what with monkeys in dresses and unicorn poo and now pebble cosies, bet you think I’ve gone stark-raving bonkers, but bear with me dear reader) anyway, these pebble cosy thingies make pebbles even lovelier to hold in the palm of your hand, sort of cuddlier and softer, but still keeping their rather pleasing curved shape…

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Oh-so-pretty, pastel pebbles♡ Loving them muchly. Now for something more normal but still on the ‘cosie’ theme, I have finished knitting the lacy snoods I was working on; one in gorgeous Debbie Bliss yarn, which is a cotton, linen and silk blend…

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…and the other in a Rico Design cotton blend yarn…

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Aren’t they simply divine? I used a Rowan lace pattern which you can download for free on their website ( http://www.knitrowan.com ) and I am now addicted to lace knitting, so be warned!

Well that’s all my crafty news for now, next time I should hopefully have some embroidered cloud pillows and a couple of canine plushies to share with you, as they are the sewing projects I’m currently working on, as well as a bit of wonderful weaving too. I will leave you with a couple of sunny-summery shots from my beaching adventures dear reader, as I wish you farewell for now. Until next time – keep crafting!

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Presenting Pedro Penguin, One Chilled-out Chap

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Well hello there dear reader! I do so hope you are in a happy-smiley-sunny frame of mind and that Pedro the Penguin has put you in a laid-back, summer hols kind of mood. He’s crocheted from an amigurumi booklet free with this month’s issue of Simply Crochet magazine and he definately brings a warm, sunny glow to my blog, bless him.

I also had a go at hooking the granny square of the month from the very same issue of Simply Crochet mag; this one’s called Granny Florence…

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Aren’t granny squares fab? I have to confess that I am becoming an little bit addicted to them and the speed with which I completed my teeny-tiny granny square cowl is probably all the evidence you need dear reader, to prove my obesession! I just couldn’t stop crocheting the darling wee bundles of cuteness!

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I know it’s the wrong time of year for woolly cowls and I do hope I haven’t caused you to break out in a sweat dear reader, but I am rather pleased with it and aren’t the amazing little granny squares just adorable? Truly smitten…

I also had a bit of a baking bash in the kitchen this week. First of all I rustled up a yummy-scrummy sweet-treat in the form of my Coconutie-Cakie…

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If you fancy having a bake of my Coconutie-Cakie yourself dear reader, then here is my recipe:

Coconutie-Cakie

Ingredients for the sponge:
6oz soft cooking margarine
6oz castor sugar
6oz self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
3 eggs (beaten)
2oz dessicated coconut
2tbsp milk

Ingredients for the buttercream icing:
8oz icing sugar
3oz cooking margarine
A few drops of vanilla essence
2tbsp milk

Method:
1. Preheat oven to Mark 4/350°F/180°C.
2. Grease 2 sandwich baking tins and dust with flour.
3. Cream the margarine and castor sugar together until pale and fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, with a spoonful of sieved flour to prevent curdling.
5. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and whisk well.
6. Fold in the coconut, along with the 2 tbsps of milk.
7. Divide the mixture evenly between the two baking tins.
8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and starting to come away from the edges of the tins.
9. Allow to cool on a cooling rack once removed from the tins.
10. Once cool make a buttercream icing and use half the buttercream to sandwich the sponges together and the other half to cover the top.
11. Sprinkle the top with dessicated coconut and then spread the silver balls evenly to form a pretty and pleasing pattern.
12. Now admire your pretty cakie for as long as you can before you devour it! Hopefully not in one sitting…especially not all by yourself…

Well that’s all for this time dear reader chum. Let me know if you have a go at the cakie, or the teeny-tiny granny squares, or even Pedro the penguin, bless him. I’ll leave you with a couple of pics of my other yummy-scrummy baking efforts: cranberry and white chocolate fab flapjacks and oh-so-lush chocolate chunk and hazlenut cookies. Keep on making…

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The Wise-Words Waffler Doodles On…

I had a truely amazing time at the Craft 4 Crafters ( http://www.craft4crafters.co.uk ) show on Saturday! There was a fabulous atmosphere there and it was just great to be able to soak up all those creative vibes. If you have never been to a craft show, I highly recommend that you find one to attend post haste dear reader and go! There were crafty temptations galore on Saturday and as always happens I was once again lured into a new craft – jewellery making! Yes dear reader, those endless trays of sparkling gems hooked me in good and proper and I came away with enough glistening bounty to keep any self-respecting magpie well-chuffed. I’m beginning to think jewellery making will be my new ‘thing’ dear reader, so bear with and await further jewelleryish developments…

My Sharpie pen also had a bit of a workout at the weekend, mainly on a ‘Be’ theme as you shall see. I’m having a bit of a thing about wise words at the mo, particularly short ones. I do think that if your are truely wise your words should be a well-chosen few and waffle-free. Definately quality over quantity where wiseness is concerned I reckon, plus there is always the point that if you’re a bit of a wise waffler-on-erer your listeners do tend to stop listening or at worst, nod off bless ’em. Anyway, here’s some wise words – short and prettified to keep the wiseness recipient awake.