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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!

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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!

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.

I Do DIY… finding a home in our home for wedding stuff

5 Sep

“What do you do with wedding stuff after the wedding?”

Of all the wedding related questions I’ve received
recently this (from Lorri) struck me as a striking one…

You spend so much time making things and then what?

For us, there’s a simple answer.

We had a wedding sign – a gorgeous, gorgeous thing
made by my super talented uncle – and there was no way
it wasn’t going to become a feature of our home.

So at the weekend, we hung up our sign in our kitchen.
The space totally seems like it was made for the sign.

It made me so happy to see while
eating my cereal this morning!

As for our other bits and bobs…

We also put back up our gin print.
(It was our ‘bar sign’ at our wedding.)

And hung up our new ‘bike’ print… a wedding
present from our best man and best lady.

Happily the two co-ordinate very well!

This is where our chalkboard sign currently resides…
I may have to think of a better place for it eventually
but I kind of like it here at the moment.

We also finally found a spot for our Hang It All
(a wedding present from very generous friends).
And somehow one of our stags seems to suit being here…
so he’s found a home too.

Elsewhere in the flat, we have jam jars with candles
and jam jars with leftover pinwheels. It makes
me smile to see them every day and glad
that we don’t have to put them ‘away’ just yet.

Happy Monday everyone xx

P.S. What’s your advice? What did you do
or are planning to do with your wedding diy?

P.P.S. I have no idea quite where to begin with
blogging about our wedding. I have a few DIYs
to share but if there’s anything you want to
know or ask, do let me know!

Because it’s Monday…

15 Aug

Some days… well, some days are just a bit Monday-shaped aren’t they?

But these beautiful masks by Keely of (Kiss Me) Go made me smile.

I like the bear one especially with his little rosy cheeks.

“It’s Monday. Bear with me.”

But of course everyone knows I have a soft spot
for foxes… maybe it could be for wearing on Tuesdays?


*****
All images via (Kiss Me) Go

 

 

Because it’s Monday… a little bit of rain

18 Jul

When I was little, very little, I thought I could control the weather.

Whenever there were tears running down my face,
the world seemed to weep with me.

Big fat raindrops to match my own wet chubby cheeks.

(I blame my literal interpretation of my Nana
singing ‘When You’re Smiling’ for this.)

Then you get older and realise that no, the weather just does as it pleases.

You plan a picnic and it pours.
You want a rainy day for movies and there’s a heat wave.
You want a white Christmas? Well, tough.*

And like most Scots, I learnt to just deal with it.

And then I learned to like it.

Blame living in LA straight after uni as it taught me to miss weather.
Every day there started with grey smog which would clear to blazing sunshine.

Brilliant yes? Well, kind of. After a while, I missed the unpredictability.
I missed the need for a cardigan. I missed the sound of rain.

****

We knew three weeks before our wedding that
it was going to tip it down. Proper, proper rain.

So we bought brollies, gazebos, wellies, the works.

Lots of people told us the day would be ruined if it rained…
And I never understood that. How? How ruined?
Would we not get married on account of the weather?

So when I spotted this little beauty below by Heidi Burton
I wanted to have it for our wedding day.

“I like people who smile when it’s raining.”

I do. I really do. And from the wedding pics I’ve seen so far,
my god, me and my now husband are two
of smiley-est people you’ll ever see.

Surrounded by lots of lovely other smiley people.

And maybe they sort of did control the weather
that day as it only really rained a little bit.

*******

* Likelihood of snow at Christmas is now pretty likely I know!

P.S. My lovely print was framed by the lovely people
at Curiouser & Curiouser. They did a fab, fab job!