Because it’s January… or Jaguars Need You, Larry

9 Jan

So it’s January 2012.

Or it’s Jaguars Need You, Larry
according to my Cats Let Nothing
Darken Their Roar
calendar.

(I missed out on getting one last year
so I was determined to have the 2012 one.
I’m trying to be good and not peek
at what the following months are…
we’ll see how long that lasts!)

Yup… I even put the cover in a frame.
It’s ridiculous just how much I love it.

So how’s everyone else coping with January?
I’m refusing to take down all the extra
fairy lights from around the flat…
and I’m still happily eating Xmas chocolate
which I need to stop doing soon!

Apart from that, I’m back to work,
back to yoga, back to reality…
and planning (hopefully) some rather
exciting stuff for 2012.

Yes, this cat is going to let
nothing darken her roar…
whatever that means!

Happy 2012 so far everyone xx

P.S. Thanks for all your lovely comments
and interest on the book project I was
working on (still doing a bit now actually).
I’m only part of the book, no solo project yet…
but I’ll tell you all about it as soon
as I allowed to. Promise!

Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011

22 Dec

Eeeek! Only 3 more sleeps to go!
How on earth did that happen?
(I still have about 10 days to open
on my Grinch advent calendar!)
The last wee while has just been work, work, work.
Some of it good, exciting stuff but still work.
So my feeling festive has kind of slipped away.
But last night I put up some of our cards
in a little tree shape… Which strangely
cheered me up no end!
And drank some mulled wine,
while playing some cool yule tunes…
thanks to some lovely twitter people.
(I’d already played She & Him to death!)

Here’s their wonderful suggestions:
Christmas with the Beach Boys (a favourite of Seeds & Stitches)
This Noel playlist by isabelleoc
An alternative Xmas mix by Last Year’s Girl
For Folk’s Sake, It’s Christmas 2011
A Charlie Brown Christmas,
Muppets Christmas Carol soundtrack,
This cool playlist by naurnie,
Sufjan Stevens, Low
and R2D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas!!

And for the Christmas holidays…
Here’s what I have planned:
That’s yummy food, presents,
taking pics with my car boot Polaroid,
roasting chestnuts on our fire
(never done this before ever!),
watching Christmas movies
and getting my skates on…

Oh yes and some sitting on the couch
doing absolutely nothing too!

(Weird fact: the penguin with the bauble?
That’s how he came out of the Christmas box,
holding that bauble… it seemed mean to take it off him!)


So I’ll see you all in 2012.
Thanks so much for dropping by this year,
leaving comments, emailing me,
even saying hi sometimes.
You guys rock, you really do.

I hope you all have some lovely, relaxing, fun plans?
But whatever you do, remember the following:
You do indeed!

Merry Christmas.
Hope you all have an amazing time.
And get super, super spoiled!
xxxxx

Image 3: Lillian & Leonard (at our wedding)
Image 5: merriweathercouncil

It’s beginning to look a lot like a rather crafty Christmas…

12 Dec

So Christmas has arrived…

On Friday night, we bought our tree
(and named him Bruce the Spruce)
then on Saturday we set about decorating.

A lot of last year’s decorations were looking
a little tired… so I decided to make my own,
using things that we had left over from the wedding,
like baker’s twine, paper doilies and washi tape.

Candy canes, word banners
and a stealthy deer!

I looked for pretty paper to make
my Joy word banners with…
I couldn’t find any so I made my own
using washi tape. (God I love that stuff!)

I even cheered up this mirror with a little ‘joy’ too.
(Yes, I was watching Home Alone at the time!)

If you’d like to make your own,
here’s how in this mini ‘how to’:

1.a Find yourself some pretty paper.

1.b Or fail to find to pretty paper
and decide to make some yourself.
I just took A4 sheet of paper
and stuck rows of different Japaneses
washi tape to it. And voila!

2. Draw in pencil your letter shapes
(I do it in pencil so I can rub it out!)
3. Then cut out using scissors or a scalpel.
4. Using a needle, thread some baker’s twine
through each letter twice. Then tie the ends
with a loop and a slipknot so you can adjust them.
That’s it!

******

I still had lots of paper doilies leftover
from the wedding so I turned them into

… Xmasy doilies with typed phrases
and dotted ’em round the flat.

There has to be a fox right?

I’m counting the elephant as festive since he’s red!
The rest we hung up, using fishing wire…
(it’s virtually invisible which is great for decorations,
not so good when you’re trying to find the end of it!)
We also made some ceramic hearts…
Strangely I didn’t take any pics of making them.
But I did take pics of our ceramic stars.
It’s the same theory, different shapes!
1. Basically you roll out some ceramic clay
(like you would with some pastry).
2. Then use a star/heart shaped cookie cutter
3. Depending on your clay, leave to dry or bake.

(I’m planning on making a little star banner,
that’s why they have holes in them.)

And to complete our ‘love xmas’ scene
I added my wee snowman, tree and pudding.
(The pudding makes me laugh so!)

****
The rest of the weekend was spent
doing secret crafty stuff.

Handmade presents mainly…
but also crafty things I’m making
for a book which I can’t tell you
more about until next year!

******
So I’m starting to feel a mite more
festive now… how about you all?

Because it’s Decembrrr… letterpress gingerbread cookies

5 Dec

A while ago, I had the thought of using
our wooden letterpress blocks to
stamp letters into cookies.

I tried it. It wasn’t a failure.
But it wasn’t a great success either.

Then my husband tracked me down
some letterpress cookie cutters instead.

With Blook Club 3 on Sunday,
I thought it was the perfect excuse
to try them out…

So I made up a lump of gingerbread dough
based on an adaptation of this recipe
(Lump being the technical term of course!)

140g unsalted butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
6 soup-spoons of golden syrup
350g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon powdered ginger

Heated up the sugar, butter and syrup
then mixed in the rest until there was
a lump of gingerbread ready to go!

Then it was just as simple as pressing
the letter you wanted into the dough…
firmly or they lost their shape when rising.

And then cutting them out using the cutters…
Much simpler than my original plan!

And then they went into the oven
for 10 minutes at 200C…

And the finished result…
Not bad for a first attempt!

I did consider icing the letters
but thought that might
look like they’d been iced on…
which would defeat the point!

*****

What will you be baking this Xmas?
I’ll definitely be making more of these
and some of Danae’s amazing brownies
that she brought to Blook Club too.

*****

P.S. I owe the title of this post
to this gorgeous illustration
(found via Wit + Delight‘s pinterest)
… it’s blooming freezing isn’t it!

Saturday I’m smitten… with vintage markets

3 Dec

It’s been a while since I’ve been thrifting…
(and I’ve kind of been craving it
if you can crave such a thing?)

So with Christmas on the way,
I got up early this morning to head to a few markets
with the intention of finding some presents
and potentially a cosy coat for me
since for some reason I don’t have one.

(I blame my overenthusiastic
charity clearouts in the summer!)

Here’s some snaps of what was on offer
at one of the markets… I think I snapped
much more than I bought!

A toy typewriter…
so so so tempting but I resisted!

I used to collect badges when I was little.
I had a whole pinboard of them from every
exhibit/museum/zoo I’d ever been to.
I still have a thing for them now.
Love the design of this cookbook…

Love these angry little owls
and their ‘be wise save’ message.

A beautiful opera glove holder!
Who knew such things existed…
very Downton Abbey!
A Daily Mail (!) annual for girls
on a reworked blue chair.

Was rather tempted to buy this just as it’s so random…
a book for logging who you got your Christmas cards from!
Vintage books… I should have bought
the one on coffee for my coffee-addicted husband!
No market is complete without cake!
How gorgeous are these ice-cream sundae cupcakes?!

****
So what did I pick up?
Well, I can’t show you everything as some
are presents… but here’s the things I got
as happy December gifts to me!
A cosy vintage cape… not quite a coat
but it was such a bargain from the
lovely Totty Rocks gals I couldn’t resist.
Years ago, I used to stalk these 70s German elephant
moneybanks on ebay. But they always, always
went above my price range… so happily
I found one today. In your face, 2007 ebay!
A Sergeant Major moustache…
apparently this came out of a 1950s magic box.
I can’t really think what magic tricks you’d
do with a moustache but there you go!
A pair of vintage shoe clips…
I’ve resolved not to buy any new party outfits
this year and just update my old ones instead.
Love how these clips transform a dull pair of shoes!
Oh yeah… and cake.
You didn’t think I’d leave without some of that!

Our kitchen table has a whole lot of craft clutter on it
right now (mostly from my printmaking class)
so I thought it might be easier to snap the cakes
on the floor… I thought wrong!
Yup, I got one picture before my cake
was in danger of getting licked by a cat!
So in order to save the cake, there’s no more pics!

I’ve also entirely forgotten what flavour
my cake is… so I won’t know until I have it.
Looks rather pretty and festive though.

*****
So I think that makes for a good little haul
and I got a few presents too…
tomorrow, I’m going to try and get up
for the car boot sales too.

Let’s see if I can get all my Christmas shopping
done without any high street shops!

Happy Saturday everyone xx

Because it’s Monday… Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom

28 Nov

One of the first things I ever blogged about was
wanting a ‘Awopbopaloobop Awopbamboom!’ print.

It was my Wayne’s World print… often coveted,
considered, sometimes in the online shopping trolley
but never actually purchased…

So imagine my surprise and delight
when at a certain Secret Santa swap
my present from the lovely My Spare Thoughts
turned out to be a handmade cross-stitched
version of my so long longed for print.

Surprise and nearly tears!
(Yup, I may have been a little emotional!)

*****

Back home, I added a little washi tape
and then put it next to my Airstream.
Another one of my often coveted things.
Wonder if anyone will ever
handmake me one of those?!

I’m lucky indeed
but maybe not that lucky!

******

P.S. Anyone else ever got
a really good Secret Santa? 
I think this might be my first!

P.P.S. I can’t show you yet what
I made for the Secret Santa
as I might be making a version
for my family.

Weddingnesday… scenes from an impending marriage

23 Nov

I picked up this book on my last visit to London.
I bought it because I’m a graphic novel geek
(not sure if I’ve mentioned that before)
and I have other books by the same writer.

I’d expected it to be good.
I hadn’t really expected
to go through it nodding.

“That was so us.”

“Um, this was us.
Oh and this.”

“And heck, this too.”

Yup, we are not original, unique snowflakes!

Here’s the bits that were very us:

This:

(It may have been me who brought up eloping. A lot.)

This:

(Every single bit of this was us. Except we didn’t go and help a charity!)

This:

(Ah the rain question… Look at weather website, fret, and repeat.)

This:

(This conversation happened a few times.
The funny thing is that in the end
the other half invited so many people
that we nearly didn’t have enough seats.)

This:

(On the Thursday before the wedding, I tried shopping
for wedding socks. For the groom, best man etc.
And all that happened was that I lost my mind
in John Lewis and had to go home instead.
The responsibility of socks was too much for me!)

That:

(Our wedding was the same week as a funeral.
As a result, we kept calling our wedding a funeral.
And the funeral a wedding. Finding yourself
talking about making a bouquet for a funeral
is a very, very odd thing indeed.)

This:

(We painstakingly handmade, hand-wrote our invites.
Crazy fools that we are. This makes me laugh
in a slightly manic way as a result.)

And that:

(Perfect is overrated. Really it is.
Something will go wrong.
And guess what? No-one will notice.
Except you. But by that point,
it’s just funny. And screw it,
you’re married. So who cares?)

******
So, anyone else  over-identifying?!
(For those who had the scanner gift list,
there’s a bit in the book about that too!)

Also I can’t decide if this book would be good
to give to friends when they get engaged?
Or to only give to them once they’re married?

P.S. Apparently this book was originally
the favour for their wedding.
How cool is that?!

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