Sunday, 30 January 2011

Pineapple, Flowers, Cat

A rather miscellaneous title, but it covers everything today.  Last week Mr carrad  bought a fresh pineapple which was on its last legs, so I made a pineapple upside down cake.  It was so much yummier than with tinned pineapple and just to make it a bit different I used Starbucks caramel syrup instead of golden syrup and walnuts instead of cherries.  This turned out to be a more grown-up version and was delicious.

I had a bunch of really manky (the only word for it) fake orange roses which either had to go or be recycled.  As you know me, you can guess which.  I also had the heads of a more attractive bunch of fake brown chrysanths, so I swapped them over and they look much nicer.  They now reside on the hearth in the living room.  The cheap fabric roses come apart and look better in kit form and I would be very grateful for any brainwaves as to how to reuse them ...
Yukky roses, nice chrysanth heads
nice chrysanths, yukky rose heads
What to do with yukky rose bits? ...
Finally say hello to Kitty, a little lavender pusscat, made from a pattern by Ros Badger, fabulous maker of crafts and wonderful teacher.  I feel a few more of these coming on as I have a bundle of old teatowels too nice to be used for dusters.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

I think the sun would help

It's a depressing old time of year and I notice one of my lovely friends and fellow blogger, bibbitybob, is feeling a bit down.  Lots of her followers have commented on the same thing and I'm rather that way myself.  I think my problem (besides lack of sun and vitamin D) is that yet another year has started and the endless brainwaves of making huge amounts of money and international fame from crafting hasn't happened again.  The Fashionistas did quite well over Christmas but things have gone quiet again.

I made a decision to close my website for now.  While it was lovely to see that people from as far afield as Russia had looked at it I didn't get any sales, or even messages, and it was simply money going out and none coming back in.  I'm satisfied it was the right thing to do and instead I've returned to Etsy so please look up my girls on my shop.

To more positive things I've made another little dress for Jasmine out of scrap fabric and old curtains.  I'll try to get a photo of her wearing it, but she doesn't like her picture taken at the moment as she has a nasty skin infection, probably impetigo, and the poor little soul looks dreadful.  Hopefully she'll be her cute little self again soon.

Bridget the dog was happy to be photographed on our new rug anyway.  Mind you, she was asleep at the time.  She's doing her chameleon impression and trying not to be spotted.

Anyway, as I said I think the sun would help to cheer us all up, so here's a nice picture of it to remind you!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

A Good Read and a Good Sew

I haven't enjoyed a good read for ages, mainly because I've developed a whole bunch of "floaters" in my eyes and, combined with the varifocals, have made reading a bit of a chore.  However, the good news after a visit to the hospital is that I've just got fat eyes and no other problems!  Actually it means that, with age and myopia, the eyes tend to squash a bit and stretch the jellied layer causing a few tears (as in "rip", not "weep").  I've also rooted out a pair of my old specs which make close work clearer, so hurrah! back to a happy hobby.
I celebrated by reading "Started Early, Took My Dog" by Kate Atkinson and can thoroughly recommend it.  Some of Kate's books feature a detective called Jackson Brodie, who has had one hell of a life but somehow stumbles on.  This one is no exception but Jackson is only one of a number of finely drawn, interacting characters who all do something for the best and learn that even good deeds have consequences.  It's bitter-sweet with some very interesting moral dilemmas and great writing.

I've also done a bit of detailed sewing too.  I found this beautiful scrap of fabric in the nearby soft furnishing shop and it was just calling out to be embroidered into and made into a little bag.  I quilted it and used gold thread stitching around the edge of the circles and some of the flowers then added a variety of black, copper and gold beads and sequins.
The lining is ivory silk-like fabric and the catch is a little frog fastening I was given in a big bag of buttons.  The handle is a plait of black beads, navy ribbon, ivory ribbon and a gold chain.  I'm really pleased with it and it only cost me £1.
Back (or front if you prefer...)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New Year's Resolution

My New Year's Resolution is... to buy more shoes than I need!  I think I might stick to this one!

Another thing I mean to do is try to sell a few more things, whether on Etsy, Ebay or other means.  My lovely friend, bibbitybob, and I have long considered doing a sort of Gifts At Home evening, starting with friends and hopefully progressing.  We would both make a variety of shabby chic, vintage, retro type things for sale and also bring along a selection of carefully chosen items of the afore-mentioned styles that we have hunted out.  Things such as lovely teacups and saucers, vintage finds, baskets, etc.  It would all be very girly and pretty.  I hope one day we can do this.

Talking of pretty and girly, I bought some lovely dusky pink fabric roses and added them to my birdcage.  I think they look perfect.

And talking of finding and selling things I bought four tea plates and six dinner plates in 1960's Portmeirion Totem Ware for £1.49!  Now I just have to sell them for a huge profit.  Hmmm.

Even better than that - I have actually made another doll!  It seems like ages since doing the last one, but really I haven't had recent sales (see previous moan in blog) so the girls are just collecting in a huddle in my workroom.  This lady, in her feathery finery, would grace any 1920's tea room.
There are other things on the go including a little dress for Jasmine for the summer and a hand-embroidered bag, plus lots more being made in my head each night before I go to sleep.  News update later xxx