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Things that make you go hmmmm

So hi to anyone that's still out there following my little page. What have you all been up to in blogger land? So I thought I'd sh...

Friday, 3 December 2010


on it goes. It's stuck with me all year round and it's so rewarding. So for this project i took two jar lids. Sprayed them with traditional gold spray on both sides. This took several coats and in between i painted some red acrylic paint and then sprayed over the top again with the gold, i intended to distress but the only sand paper in the house was stripping back more than i wanted so i left them with the odd hint of red showing through. On the inside i rustled up two hama bead pattern kinda snowflakes and glued them on either side. I added some red rik rak (is that what you call it?) to hang it with and then glued it together. I added some rik rak round the frame of both lids just to finish off. So what do you think? I see scope for more but this late in the day i might be pushing my luck lol alongside my other unfinished, or not yet started festive projects. Happy December :)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Excerpts of 'Thanksgiving' UK

So with thanks to my lovely friends across the pond my friend Jo and i adopted Thanksgiving this year and celebrated in our own creative ways. I made a Thanksgiving cone which I'm not mad about but have had a few compliments about and incorporated some glittered cones that i did last year. I brought out my ikea wire tree and having printed of some lovely Thanksgiving freebies gave my hubby, mum, dad and son a tag with their name on and everyone wrote a little word of thanksgiving on it and attached it to my tree so thanks to them for joining with me in giving thanks. We enjoyed a lovely roast dinner which mum helped with, homemade bread sauce and some lovely chocolate sauce which we had with cream and waffles for pudding. My biggest dilemma this meal was making sure that nothing came near the meat for my dad, bless him. It was a juggling act, more so than normal when my roasties normally go in with the meat, our cooker is small enough as it is. Still i thoroughly enjoyed it and then we headed into town to see the Christmas lights go on the best of which was the fireworks. Full of greatness :)

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Let them eat cake...

Well much like last year this year has been a fun lesson...in baking. The year started with drop scones c/o my dear friend Senta when she sent me a packet mix from the states. The next thing i picked up on was flapjack followed by cookies, scones, various cakes and of late cup cakes. The best thing is it's such fun experimenting with different flavours, and the various things you can add. This last batch of cup cakes had plain vanilla cupcakes c/o the recipe from the back of the caster sugar pack with Carnation caramel added to the icing along with orange colouring and Halloween chocolates.

This lot of cupcakes had choc chips and marshmallows in, i haven't tried one with marshmallows yet as the one i had was full of choc chips lol but they look suitable for Halloween with a slightly gruesome look to them lol. Hubby assures me they taste lovely. So the fun continues and the calories well hopefully they keep burning :)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Ghouslish Cupcakes or not as the case maybe!

So this morning has been a baking morning, wasn't planned but nice that it turned out that way. I have whipped up some Condensed Milk Cookies only i swapped the plain cm for the Caramel version, which actually doesn't say cm at all but i used the same quantity and added some white choc chips instead. They'll all go down the same way whatever.

I am cooling my cupcakes which are kinda muffin size. To help with the Halloween theme I've swirled seedless raspberry jam into the cake mix thought it might represent well I'll leave that to your imagination. For the topping i intend to make an icing using more of the Caramel from above as i thought it might make for an interesting taste and also will lend itself to the colour of the icing especially as the muffins are in brown cases. Anyway at this point this is all pie in the sky guess work, time will tell and i will share the pics too :)

Ok so i iced my cakes with icing sugar and butter and several tsp of the Carnation Caramel :) Some i just used a knife and some i got away with using my cheap icing set with alteast i know with a bit of perseverance it works. The let down for me was the Halloween chocolate which had wonderful Halloween designs on the outside but on the inside was plain :( Still i shall persevere and search for some more Halloween chocolate and maybe some food dye other than black (which i didn't use for these and came out grey when i last did). Not tried them yet but will do later :)

So here it is the finished cup cake, complete with caramel icing and a Halloween decoration, they taste delicious :)

Friday, 15 October 2010

Come in sweetie, sit down

would you like to join me for a brew and something to nibble on too!!!

Ha ha ha cackle cackle cackle lol

Help yourself dearie, what's in them you ask, oh i just whipped them up this morning with some very special ingredients that have been in the coven, i mean family for years, top secret mind, for me to know and you to find out ha ha ha ha ha................................

Oh yes the bats dearie, help yourself, their very tasty especially now they've stopped flapping around, dunk them in your brew, it'll warm you through ha ha ha....

Ok that's enough of that. My morning practising my Halloween baking. First stint with the icing bag didn't work out too well so may have to have another go with that. Be interesting to see Brett turn his nose up at the grey'd icing but he may get daring enough to try one. Fairy cakes are very tasty on their own so he could always try the undecorated variety. Sadly he won't eat the batty cookies either as they have currants in  but hubby and i will lol.Oh yes i forgot to mention the little ghosts were from some Halloween cakes we bought last year from Asda, being plastic i kept them and recycled them :)

So what plan do you have for all hallows eve?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Double Trouble

Take one empty phone box...

Distress all exterior edges of the box with silver ink pad and emboss with silver powder...

Measure up suitable papers and apply with glue to all panels...

For me it was about Halloween, Magic, Spells etc etc

Cut out smaller piece of black card for top of lid and apply the same ink pad and powders and emboss round distressed area. Add beautiful jewelled Owl stickers to center stage and shazzam there we have it.

A magical little box, now i need to make a little black cushion for the inside and then decide what little blinging item will reside :)

Tick Tock

Do you get the feeling someones trying to tell you something?

Me I'm not sure what the message is. Time keeping has always been a bug bear of mine having worked in a hairdressers or as a hairdresser my entire working life, lateness mean's getting behind with appointments or just your day in general so it's extremely rare that i am late for anything. When i finished work around 5yrs ago this next month in preparation for swapping scissors for nappies i stopped wearing a watch like i stopped wearing jewellery, make-up, clean clothes and all that comes with a new baby lol.

So one asks oneself how do you end up with not one, not two but TEN watches!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So having been through my jewellery/accessory draw i am trying to halve my collection and keep those that i might wear occasion/mood allowing. The set above i got bought for my 40th this year, it's a lovely set but as yet it's never been out of the box but my sister bought it for me so I'll be staying. The round bangle watch is pretty as a piece of jewellery so that too will be staying, interestingly the same lady that bought me that also bought me a Marcel Drucker watch which has the stones in it which will also be staying. The charm watch was bought by another friend of mine who also bought atleast one of the other silver ones but i like the fact that you can clip the charm watch onto a handbag and have time...Well it's hard isn't it to part with things but one can only wear one watch at anyone time so the parting continues...

Monday, 11 October 2010

Halloween Candle Jar

So the recycle theme definitely stuck. All this year i have been re-using jars in all sorts of ways for popping a little tea light in. Having been inspired by Not So Idle Hands in a round about way i cracked on and started my first Halloween jar on Friday possibly can't remember exactly. I distressed the owl and stuck him together and having bought some tissue paper on Saturday set to cutting the paper into strips and gluing them onto the jar. Once they were all on i added some more (diluted i might add) glue on the base with a view to letting that dry and re-applying to the entire jar, but!!! the glue ran a little down the jar and i liked that it did that, it kinda added to the distressed look so i let it dry out and then distressed some more with a bit of black ink over the runs and left the jar as it was and then decorated, bar a bit of bling round the jar neck and a few bats the Owl is the star, as he should be lol. I have a new jar drying, definitely more along the lines of Emilies of NSIH once he is finished i will share him with you also. That's not all either i plan to make more lol :)

Sorry the lit up ones never come out clearly but at least you can see how much it shines.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Busy Bee's

So today has been a nice mixture of things that needed to be done and one or two that just chose to be done. This morning i had some errands to run in town but on my return i thought i would take a leaf out of Delia's book and try some of her scones. Turned out ok i think, definitely miss the vanilla extract though so next time that has to go in. Here they are...

You can find the recipe here

After than my little task was to start putting out one or two seasonal things. So i cleaned up my vase with my twiggy lights and stripped it of everything on it and swapped them for my autumnal/Halloween items, all i might add handmade my me last year :) One of my pieces of art from last year is adorning the walls above the vase too but there are still two to come out, just need a bit of dusting...leaves a turning :)

and here is one of last years pieces of art.

Friday, 1 October 2010

'Inspired' Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Bingo, i think Blogger has been playing up this afternoon.
So having been inspired by Joni of  Pop Art Minis with her pinked up Halloween art i thought i could run with this and so i did. This is another cute robin to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She will be winging her way to my Ivys Attic Etsy Store as soon as i can and the rest of the family joining her :)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Recycled Christmas

Well earlier in the year i did a blog hop and the theme was recycling and it's kinda stuck so when i planned on doing my Christmas cards for this year i knew i would be recycling the cards I've had from previous years. The theme over at Christmas Cards all Year Round was to

'The September challenge is going to be a card that is any shape other than the standard 4 1/4 X 5 1/2. It can be square, rectangular, circular, big, small, whatever, but not the standard size. You card must also have gold, silver, crystal or pearl on it somewhere as well!'

So i set to it with some inspiration from this book which i borrowed alot last year and equally this so far lol

Here are my five cards for the challenge at CCAYR

Monday, 27 September 2010

A minute here and a minute there

Today is my second Monday with my son in full time school. Monday is unofficially a housework day but i got so hot this morning that when I'd finished the bit of housework i planned to get done i moved onto some baking. I had been browsing Nigellas Christmas and found a recipe for Christmas morning muffins and wanted to have a go. I swapped the cranberries for orange and lemon peel and with the exception of changing the demerera sprinkles on top for golden caster sugar i popped them in the oven and left them too it. 

Here they are, i enjoyed one after lunch with a nice cup of coffee. I think i may swap the orange and lemon peel purely because orange juice and zest goes in the mix and maybe something less citrussy may contrast better plus the ingredients required specific spices and i used mixed spice and was a bit wary so next time i will add more spice :)

So before i go pick my son up this is a card i whipped up using some bought downloadable papers found here

Simple but effective i think :)

Not a bad day so far, i like the days when i get to do a bit of everything i enjoy, and yes i don't mind housework when i'm in the mood and that's negotiable right now lol!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Great British Bake Off

So did you get caught up in the GBBO, i so enjoyed following this series of amateur bakers showing their skills and giving us early learners inspiration to try new things. Today i did just that, i baked scones. Using the recipe found here at the BBC Good Food site. Now in true GGBO style i almost forgot the caster sugar so added it just before i took the dough out. Didn't have a brush to paint the top with egg so dunked the tops in it before putting them on the baking tray. Mixture might have been a bit thick so they were mostly big scones and the largest of them which was the first one i went for was slightly doughy near the top so i think they could have done with a little longer in the oven but apart from that quite pleased. One of the nicest scones I've had in a long time and it didn't leave that feeling in my  mouth :)

Check out Ruth from GBBO over at her blog The Pink Whisk  and go online to see how you could raise money for Children in Need  or check out the GBBO recipes here :)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Hive Creative Challenge - Autumn playtime

Well here is today's piece of creativity inspired by the Creative Challenge over at the Hive

Yesterday i was inspired by Art Attack, a children's art programme where Neil blew paint with a straw, then i added the leaves by splashing carefully some lovely colours. I'm sure we've all done it as children. I had a go yesterday and then today i knuckled down and did an Autumn tree complete with it's Autumn gown of many colours. I really enjoyed this technique and will definitely be using it again. There is alot to be said for child's play. I remember my son bringing home a funky painting he'd done using marbles. Drop the marbles in the paint and then onto the paper in a tray of some sort and wiggle it around, such fun, I've done that too. Go on unleash your inner child :)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Great Owl Challenge

Recently i joined the Hive, it's a mine of creative information from all walks of creative life. Dennis threw out a challenge to make an Owl, not sure he was expecting quite the interest that followed but just goes to show how popular they are. I know i love them but I'm obviously not on my own. Anyway i was thinking, dangerous i know, how or what would i do and yo and behold i thought oh yes I'll make a paper mache Owl, never done paper mache before, or atleast not for many many years but the gauntlet got thrown down and the wheels in motion and here we are under a week later.


I used a balloon as the base for my owl, layer upon layer of newspaper followed by some recycled paper bags. The eyes are a mixture of bottle tops with googly eyes in with a bit of string for decorative effect and a bit of purple mesh behind. I added a bit more purple mesh for his belly and then used my sons hands on the wings and part of my hands for his feet, these shapes were also covered with recycled paper bags and additional colour added with an orange ink pad. I have glittered his wings and feet so he has a bit of gold sparkle. I think hes not bad considering I've never done it before. Hope you like him :)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


As one door closes another one opens,
but i want to stay inside.
It's here i bought my ticket
for a special kind of ride.

No idea where this journey would take us,
or what we would see along  the way.
No sat nav or AA to guide us,
to lead us to this day.

Time flies when you're having fun
but it wasn't always this way.
This journey had it's ups and downs
as any parent will say.

No umbilical cord to join us 
but by my side is where you'd be.
My shadow would never be lonely
with you for company.

So this chapter is nearly complete,
A blank page stares back at me.
Ready to put pen to paper
to fill with love and memories.

Dedicated to Brett Niner on nearly the eve of school.
Written with love and tears!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Lets get cutting

So today i told my son that we were having a lazy day which basically means we're staying in. I wanted to do some baking so he watched telly, played in his room and generally kept himself amused while i baked. I thought i would have a go at some no bake cookies and then wanted to make some cookie dough to roll out and cut out. Anyway i had a go at my friends No Bake cookie recipe  but changed some of the ingredients. I'm not a big fan of cocoa so missed that out, i also skipped the peanut butter as my hubby and son don't like it either. The recipe is as follows

1/2 cup of butter
4 tablespoons of cocoa
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
Pinch of salt (which i forgot)

So melt the butter, cocoa, sugar and milk in a pan and then bring to the boil, the important bit, for one minute.This bit worries me a bit but i think it did it for a minute, then add the remaining ingredients. So in went the oats, coconut (50g), 4tbsp of lemon curd. Much like the frogs last week i ended up with a runny mixture, i added more and more oats to try and thicken, dry it up. I'm not sure whether this is down to converting cups to our measurements but at this point i knew spooning some onto baking paper that they weren't going to set. I'm no master baker so having dropped a tray full some of which were more oaty and spread less and one or two kinda melted i decided to put the rest of the mixture in a rectangular baking tray and into the oven for 15 mins or so. So hopefully a bit flapjacky. Feel free to suggest where i am going wrong with these types of cookies, not the full boil, not enough oats, not getting the quantities right?

Any i move on...next was to find some roll out cookie dough which i did here i followed the ingredients again, converting some and using my cups where the packets were accessible. I mixed everything together and added 150g of choc chips then rolled it up put it in a tub and into the fridge. It stayed in the fridge while i completed above. I got it out and rolled it out as best i could, it was slightly crumbly but i got by. There were no cooking instructions with this recipe, helpful! so i cooked them at gas mark 5 for round about 15ish minutes.The are solid and very tasty and look great but i do need to make the dough a little more pliable and then it will spread more easily and the dough will go further. We have nice thick heart and choc chip men, I've eaten one and finished my sons as he apparently doesn't like them, shame. So that's me all cooked out for one morning. Could do with a sleep now lol.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

In the eye of the beholder

It's an age old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, personally i think beauty is there for all of us to see just some need to open their eyes more than others. 

There are all sorts of beauty all around us, we don't need to travel far to see them or pay charges to see them, this was in my friends garden standing proud and being maintained by the bee's during their industrious process of collecting pollen and there must be pollen a-plenty on a big sunflower, it must be like pollen heaven :)

These beautiful lillies were in the same friends garden, aren't they just beautiful, like a work of art with their frilly petals and beautiful spray painted colours and their wonderful scent wafts the air.

This i took in my garden, it's been a while waiting for the deep red to bloom and in the mean time the ladybirds have taken up residence. This morning i popped out to see if there was any progress and this has opened up enough for me to see a glimmer of autumn colour. There are many heads on this sunflower so it's late performance will bring about a splash of beauty and colour now that many blooms are on their final curtain.

It's there, can you feel it, Autumn is coming, more beauty to follow, keep your eyes peeled :)

Sunday, 29 August 2010

All kinds of everything

So on a Sunday morning when i get the chance there is nothing i like better than a good old mooch round a car boot. Today was one such day. The weather was chilly and blowy but dry so off we went.

It's interesting what grabs you at a car boot. For Brett it's about anything and everything for me it's about books, recycled stuff and somethings that sometimes surprise me.

So today the first things i bought were from a friend of mine whom nearly a year ago ran into me doing a car boot and was instantly like, oh i can't look at your stuff. Didn't bother me and i saw this first tin, yes you hear me tin and was instantly attracted to it. I think it's about the colours and texture, not sure what I'll do with it but at 20p i know I'll find some use for it :)

The next thing i bought from the same friend was another tin, i think you can probably see why...

This little tin is just one of those that originally had sweets in it but it's kinda cute and it's wheels spin and i just thought it might brighten up a bit of the kitchen or something along with my Snowman tin that comes out.

Then i spotted this on a different table. I ummed and arrhed thinking would i make use of it and if so what would i put in it. In the end at 50p i thought yes i would use it, it goes with our decor and I'll find something small enough to pop in it nearer the time, cute isn't it :)

Infact with a new baby being born in December or there abouts that might work nicely :)
So that's me for today, might see if there are anymore on tomorrow and who knows what I'll find.

Challenge 42 and Get Sketchy Challenge 53

So i made this card up for Challenge 42 over at Michelle Perkett Studios the theme for this challenge was back to school. I also based this loosely on a sketch from Get Sketchy

So this is using Mary Margaret and as is my theme i paper piecing i used two different papers to achieve this result. Having done that i applied a clear ink pad and sprinkled clear embossing powder over her, twice infact. This made some of ink and colours bleed a little but as I've been doing quite a bit of distressing i didn't let it put me off lol. She is pretty shiny now which made it kinda difficult to photograph which is why i used several different shots so you can get the general gist of the card. I used a dream tag from some other coordinating papers, dream sequence kinda fits the events of the last few months trying to get my head round my son going to school, gosh where does the time go. I recycled some floral ribbon which came in a bag of crafty bits from someone i don't even know but inked it to co-ordinate with the other colours.I tried to keep it a bit girly as I'm planning to give this to my friends daughter for her birthday today. Anyway i hope you like it.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Baking Day - Tried and Tested Frogs

So today i was a bit undecided what to bake, i could go the safe route and do something I've already done or try something new. Usually i bypass recipes that requite cocoa but today i thought what's the worst that can happen so today i did no bake Frogs :)

This recipe requires

400g granulated sugar
110g butter
60g cocoa powder (sifted)
125ml milk
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
150g porridge oats
100g unsweetened desiccated coconut (i think mine was sweetened but hey)

Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

Combine the sugar, butter and cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan over medium hear. Bring the mixture to the boil, whisking (stirring) occasionally to remove any lumps. Reduce the heat to medium-low and boil gently for 5minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Add the oats and coconut and stir to combine.

Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls of the mixture on to lined trays. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Peel the 'frogs' from the paper and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

This recipe is taken from this well thumbed book, i had to scan my favourite recipes in order to return this book to the library, i had had it a few weeks. I think this would be an excellent Christmas present suggestion don't you :)

I have to say i did lick a rather large spoonful of this when i had finished and found it pretty tasty so once they are cooled they are going to be pretty addictive but I'll keep you posted :)

They look great,
They taste great, even Brett finished one :)
This recipe made about the 35 suggested.
So i would give this recipe a 7/10
(might make these again without the cocoa just out of curiosity)