'If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.' Thomas Edison

31 May 2010

Blissfully exhausted...

....after a fair few hours in the garden. Wild garlic soup with a chunk of buttered bread followed by lots of tidying and weeding. The strawberries have lovely green strawberries on them and the raspberries that came from my Nan's have just got some flower buds on too.

JJ trying out a more natural sunscreen!

The lawnmowers working at full pelt ;-).

I've got the doilies sewn onto the front of the bags and I've got a couple of cards half made. Lots of tidying up done in the house too! Hope everyone else is enjoying themselves xx

29 May 2010

Thank You Pippa

I received a beautiful blogger award from the lovely Pippa a couple of days ago - thank you so much, it made my day. I love Pippa's blog and find her a true inspiration so to receive this award from her is just wonderful. I now have to pick 10 blogs that I would want to give this award to and then right 10 things about myself. The blog bit was extremely difficult as I read far too many ;-), so I asked myself which ones I wouldn't want to be without. Here goes:-
Some are inspiring crafts, some are inspiring mothering, some are honest, all are beautiful (and one has a workshop that I lust after!)
Now 10 things about myself. Hmmm....
As a child I always wanted to be a twin.
I'm not one to follow patterns - I like to do my own thing.
I hoard things.
I married my school sweetheart and still get butterflies over 20 years later.
I always thought I would have 3 children - all 3 were planned too. (I also kept up the family tradition by being pregnant when I got married).
I dislike dusting and cleaning the bathroom - these were the jobs I had as a child.
I wish I could sing.
.......struggling now.......
I bite my nails.
I over compensate for having not much as a child to having too much stuff now!
I am just starting my spiritual path.
Heck, that was hard work ;-). Hope everyone has a lovely bank holiday weekend and that the sun shines for you all. xx

28 May 2010

Having a great time

Very busy at the minute but in a lovely way (even enjoying some housework, sshhh). The stress of having the builders in was far greater than I realised, but they are gone now and everything else is great. The above are the two snugglies I had an order for. All posted now.

I made these felt tin covers last night - just need another tin for the green one!

After a quick look in a charity shop today I came away with these three doilies for 50p - fabulous. This is what they look like now......

Definitely enjoying getting ready for this craft fair - far more than I thought I would. June is a month of birthdays, so I need to be fairly organised (hehehe) so I'm not making cards at the last minute because of stocking up on pieces for the fair. I can live in hope ;-).
Oooo, I recieved a beautiful blogger award from the lovely Pippa so I shall post about that tomorrow hopefully - got to think of 10 things about myself and whittle my blog list down to just 10 beautiful blogs!!!!

25 May 2010

Couple of Cards

First birthday card made using felt for the number one, which has then been decorated with glass beads.

This is the anniversary cards I made for my Hubby last week. I shouldn't have left it until the last minute as I don't really like how it turned out. The velour heart is padded.

Building up the stock

17 peace/cnd felt brooches.

21 button brooches

1 felt tin

and 24 small gift/'whatever-you-want-to-use-them-for' fabric bags.

20 May 2010

Busy as usual

I could really do with a few more hours each day, but anyway......Here's some scotch eggs that I made - some of them split but they still tasted ok.

And here's the "experiment" that JJ made while I was making said scotch eggs (egg shells, beaten egg, flour, breadcrumbs and some orange peel he took out of my little compost pot, just in case you wanted the recipe ;-) ).

Trying out flatbreads on my new griddle. Also great for mini pancakes.

More brooches for the craft fair. I've got a huge list of things I want to make, definitely need more hours. It's been a busy week - the builders are now gone, yay, so we've got Aaron and Nathan in their rooms now, which meant a trip to Ikea on Thursday. Remember the Ikea advert on the TV with the car overloaded with stuff - well imagine that with a campervan ;-). We drove home very carefully. The house is in desparate need of sorting out but I don't have the motivation as I just don't know where to start (although the wardrobe and chest of drawers are now out of the kitchen!). The garden needs sorting too.......
......I'm gonna stop there otherwise I'll get depressed. The sun is shining today so we're off to the beach (sorry house). Hope everyone else is doing something lovely.

11 May 2010

Busy, busy.

I have just finished the handmade soap tutorial (next post down) - hopefully I remembered everything! It took so long as the soap took 4 days to set. Hope it's ok for you all. Above is some treasures I got on our first bootsale of the year. We also managed to find a proper typewriter for the kids to use for £4!!!! Best buy of the day in my opinion.

Busy making stock for the craft fair - also got red and purple of these nearly finished, then a huge list of things that I would like to get done.
Hope everyone else is busy doing things they enjoy too.

Handmade Cold-Pressed Soap

After weighing out your ingredients EXACTLY as the recipe says, gently melt your fats/waxes/oils in a stainless steel or enamel pan (perfect condition). I put the pan on top of the scales and weigh it straight in. The same goes for weighing the water in the jug.

Wearing gloves/protective glasses and an apron, gently add your caustic soda to your weighed water. BE CAREFUL not to splash yourself or breath any of the fumes in.


Add a thermometer (glass) to each pot/pan. When both thermometers reach an equal temperature between 120F (49C) and 140F (60C), pour the caustic soda solution into the oil.


Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens to the point where you can trickle some soap off the back of your spatula and it will leave a trace line on the top of the mixture. This is called 'trace'. This is the point where you would add any essential oils/colourings/additives to your mixture. Here I added cedarwood oil and a tablespoon of powdered kelp. Mix thoroughly.

Lightly grease your choosen moulds with vegetable fat. Pour your mixture carefully into the moulds.
Cover with an old towel (insulating the soap) and leave to set for 24hours. (It may take as little as 5 mins to set or it may take a few days.)

(This one actually took 4 days)

Once set, (again wearing rubber gloves) remove the soap from the mould. I have turned it out onto cardboard to protect any surfaces.

Trim the edges off to neaten it up and then cut into bars. I have used an old cheese knife for this, you could use a cheese wire too.

Put all the trimmings into a pot to save for doing a rebatch soap or for using in your laundry.

Cover and leave for 4 weeks until the soap is cured (the soap is no longer caustic).

These two recipes are taken from 'the handmade soap book' by Melinda Coss, and they have both worked for me.
Olive Splendour (pictures in above tutorial)

30 oz (849g) olive oil, 2 oz beeswax, 10oz (283g) distilled or spring water, 4 oz (113g) sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), 1 tbsp (15g) powdered kelp, 2 tsp (10g) cedarwood essential oil, 1tsp (5g) diluted chromium oxide (green) (I left this out of my soap).

Coconut Cream Soap

24 oz (680g) coconut oil, 8 oz (227g) cocoa butter, 16 oz (454g) distilled or spring water, 5 3/4 oz (163g) sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), 2 tsp essential oils of your choice


Equipment should be stainless steel or perfect condition enamel. Glass thermometers are great. Spatulas, plastic jugs and plastic pots for pouring your soap into. Digital scales are preferable as the measurements need to be exact. Rubber gloves, protective glasses, apron to protect yourself with.

07 May 2010

Oh my gosh

One of the littlies and I went to visit a local wildlife centre today and while we were there we saw a sign advertising their next craft fair. Mm, I thought...lets just ask for a bit of info! I'm now booked to stand at my first craft fair on the August bank holiday weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to get public liability insurance and then I'm all set, well, apart from making enough stock to cover 2 days of (hopeful) sales. Eek
The above is the other fabric box I made yesterday. I contains my hairbands and is made from one of my Nan's old kitchen curtains - I love it. Everytime I look at it I think of my Nan. I also made my second batch of soap today, so tomorrow I should have a tutorial to post up for you.

06 May 2010


I made another fabric box which I'll take a piccie of tomorrow, but I wanted to show you this as I was really pleased with it. A drawstring bag to hold the cloths for the bathroom - when the hook is on the door it will hang on there. I also made two small lavender balls to go inside to keep them smelling lovely.


I should be painting some bedrooms but I really can't be bothered! Instead I've made this fabric box and.....

.....added this trim to a hand towel for the new bathroom.

This is one of the bottles blackcurrant, elderberry and rhubarb cordial I made. I also added some star anise and cinnamon to the pan while it was warming. It's lovely with warm water added to it.

05 May 2010


Back again as I was very eager to try this - antioxidant olive leaf clay mask. When I saw it on the programme I thought it looked so easy I just had to try it. It was really hard to mix it so mine is a little lumpy, but as it's for me that doesn't really matter. I also added 1/2 tsp avocado oil as well.

Naughty, naughty!

After reading Pippa's blog the other day I thought I'd take a look at the website she recommended - Blooming Felt. There is some gorgeous stuff on there, as you can see from these pictures! 3-d felted hearts and stars above.

Plain and fancy felted balls.

Felted strings (3m long), ribbons and waxed cord.

My Baldwins order also arrived this morning too - oh I'm going to be busy. Alot of these bits are to be made into christmas pressies later in the year, some are replacements for ingredients used and some are new things to try.

Empty jars ready for potions.

Oh, and I made this a couple of weeks ago and forgot to show you - a necklace or bracelet, depending on my mood.
We are now using my soap - it is absolutely divine. I am quite astonished at how creamy and moisturising it is. It lathers up lovely and you don't need to use much at all. I will definitely, definitely be doing this recipe again.