V is for … Valentine

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Spotted in the window of a local cafe, Toast. Such a lovely idea! I walked right the way around the block to go back and take a photo. Glad it was early morning as it made it easier not to get customers in the shot, but I saw afterward that the pepperpot had a starring role! At least it’s red I guess!

 

S is for …. Silly Solar Sheep

I wonder if S has ever stood for Silly Solar Sheep before?

Needless to say, it didn’t go entirely to plan, but I had originally seen two of these ideas on Pinterest and decided to combine them to make a friend smile. It’s not as great as it could be, but was done in a hurry as the need to make her smile was bigger than the need to make it perfect.

I went into our brilliant local wool shop, The Wool Stack, where poor Austin was in charge while his wife Sara was at lunch. “Austin, I need some wool to knit some grass and make some sheep please”. Fortunately he knows me and is used to requests like this and I left mere minutes later with the items I needed – in fact more than I needed as he’d found me some gorgeous sheep buttons with wobbly legs in white (for good days) and black (for baaaaad days!). The local toy shop supplied me with some glow in the dark paint so all that was left for me to do was to throw it together and unsuccessfully take photos of the glowing in the dark bit. Hopefully you’ll get the general idea though…

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Please Titivate My Wreath!

When we visited, nan asked me what I was up to craft-wise at the moment and I told her I had an idea for making wreaths for next Christmas and showed her some pictures of them on my iPad. “Oooooh” she said and off she disappears into her amazing “cupboard of all things” and comes back with her Christmas wreath. “Can you do anything with this?” she said, “A bit of titivating or brightening up?” (thank goodness it was titvating and not pimping or I’d have been really worried!).

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To be honest it didn’t really need a lot doing to it,did it? It was a bit bent out of shape but, before you could say “holly berries”, it was in the back of the car and coming down to Devon with us.

Knowing mum and dad were going back up to check on nan mid-January I didn’t have a lot of time to do much but decided, after a bit of bending and tweaking, that a bit of glittery Stick2015-01-21les every now and then would add sparkle when the sun (hopefully!) catches them.

After that I added a red ribbon to the top (as a means to hanging the wreath) which had been taken from a panatone we’d been given at work (waste not, want not!) and our lovely green sparkly “Merry Christmas” sign, which is one of my favourite ornaments each year – but then this is for nan isn’t it?!  A couple of robins nestling amongst the pine needles and it was all ready for the trip back up to the Midlands. I managed to buy a wreath protector case from Betterware online so, hopefully, it will get there in one piece!

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P is for …. Produce (home made, grown and crafted!)

Many years ago, when Holly was young, I belonged to the local WI Producers Market. When Holly reached “proper” school age I had to leave and get a real job (boo!). Now, however, it feels like time to try something new, or rather to revisit something previously tried.

In the time since I last belonged to the market things have changed. The group is part of the Country Markets scheme and now goes under that title, rather than mentioning the WI. As you’ll see from the Country Markets website, there are around 300 Country Markets across England, Wales and the Channel Islands and their quest is to sell fresh, home grown veg, fruit, flowers and plants as well as baked goods and preserves. There’s also a great range of craft goods – which is the bit I was particularly interested in. I used to sell hand made cards at the market all those years ago and hope to do the same again now that I’ve re-joined (for the handsome joining fee of 5 whole pence!!).

As a testament to what a great group of people they are, many of the producers I knew when I was there nearly 10 years ago, are still there and still producing amazing goods.

Our market is open from 9am to 12pm every Friday in a local hall and the sight of the tables full of great produce before the masses invade and start buying is amazing. Have a look…

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It’s an absolute pleasure to be back amongst such lovely, friendly and creative people and hopefully long may it last.

Perhaps you could use the search button on the Country Markets website and find a group near you to visit or join…or pop along and see us in Honiton!

 

A New Craft Room!!!!

Hurray!!! I’m allowed a craft room!!

Since we moved we’ve had various discussions about the spare room and my husband did seem to have his eye on it. But over Christmas he actually moved into the garage instead (yeah, the bed looks great out there…..NOOOOOO, just to do work, honest!) which, in my view, left the spare room back up for grabs. My daughter does need room for her GCSE course work (she’s doing photography and art) but she can have the shed down the bottom of the garden (permanently if she doesn’t buck up her teenage moodiness – okay JOKING AGAIN!!!).

Since we moved in last year the spare room’s just been a dumping ground, so I spent ages in there the other morning having a sort out. I filled 2 black bags with rubbish and another with old clothes and thought I’d done really well….until my husband came home, went in there and went mad, accusing me of taking more stuff in there, not taking things out!!

Here’s a photo of what it looks like at the moment….after my tidying!

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A bit disastrous to be honest isn’t it 😦 I keep seeing all these lovely things I’d like for the room on the internet and on Instagram, but the reality of it is that the other side of the room has 2 old white MDF 80’s style chests of drawers, which came from my old bedroom at my parents house 20+ years ago, and also houses the built-in unpainted MDF shelving that the former owner made. That’s so big that you’d need ladders and a head-light, like the ones cavers use, to see the back of it.

Still, faint heart never won a craft fair exhibition…or something…. I have got some primrose yellow paint to enhance the lovely dark green skirting and door frame, so that’s a start.

Wish me luck and watch this space!

 

An Advent of Crafty Prizes!

The nice people at Crafty Ribbons are going to be keeping us busy and inspired all the way up to Christmas!

From 1st to 24th December they will be running a Christmas Advent Event where every day they will be highlighting a different craft company/shop and project….and there will also be a daily prize!

Their blog is here and there should also be (if I can work out how to do it!) a linky on the left hand side to take you directly to them.

Good luck if you have a go and I’d love to see if you try out any of their crafty projects throughout December.

 

Mad MAOAM Mummified Moggie!!

Okay – RIGHT at the start, no kitty was hurt during this process….!

Those very nice people at MAOAM raised a challenge on their Facebook page and, as you may have already guessed, if there’s anything I enjoy it’s a challenge, a chance to be creative and…maybe….a little bit of madness on the way!

MAOAM’s instructions were “Send a photo of MAOAM sweets or packaging in a Halloween setting in an image which is fun and where you have used your effort and imagination to create the image” – FUN!!!!!!!

Well, naturally, the first idea that popped into my head was to mummify the cat….. Before I hear the howls of protest, I did have our cat doorstop in mind.  Here’s the poor guy before the process started

Bare, naked kitty doorstop

Bare, naked kitty doorstop

As my daughter’s a big fan of Decopatch we thought that perhaps we could eat lots and lots and lots of yummy MAOAM sweets (yes, you can see why we like a challenge can’t you?!) and then Decopatch (or stick on paper in bits to you and I) the empty wrappers.  Here they are!

HOW many MAOAM did we eat?!

HOW many MAOAM did we eat?!

They look good just like that don’t they? The Decopatch glue is great as you glue under and over the object you’re sticking, as normally you’d use smaller pieces and layer them slightly,  and then your finished work has a nice shine afterwards too, without the hassle of varnishing.

I have to say that I’ve never really done much of this before, whereas my daughter’s a bit of an expert, especially at being frugal with what she does with her glue. As a result her sheets were dry within hours, whereas mine were still a bit damp and sticky several days later!! I had wondered how that little pot of glue had lasted her years with the amount of sticking she does!! She’ll need some new now though!

After the sheets were, eventually, dry I cut them into strips and then “bandaged” up kitty….and here’s the result! For people who are still a bit freaked out about a covered cat LOOK, I left a space for him to breathe through his nose, even though he’s an inanimate object – I’m not a complete monster!!

MAOAWWWWW!

MAOAWWWWW!

But, but, but….that’s never enough once you start an idea is it?! After that I thought I’d make a sign to go behind kitty for our final display. I hand drew this, and whilst drawing the “M”‘s realised they looked a bit mouth like….. Okay, so bring on a MAOAM pumpkin then!

I really like the M shaped eyes and mouth – they work very well

Please see below for a recipe to make your own ectoplasm!

Please see below for a recipe to make your own ectoplasm!

I think! However, that was a bit dull for us really wasn’t it?! Why not have the pumpkin’s brain’s dripping out in some ectoplasm?! Why not indeed! As our usual ectoplasm supplier is currently busy with other Halloween duties, we decided to make our own. We melted some MAOAM in the microwave (BE CAREFUL if you try this, it only takes seconds and the results are MOLTEN hot – don’t stick your fingers in it!). To this we added some green food colouring and some of the pumpkin seeds. It’s a pretty icky result isn’t it?! Absolutely ideal!!!

We decided that, as well as offering trick or treat callers MAOAM from the handy skull called Ozzle, which we borrowed from my mother (you see, it’s hereditary!), we’d make them up some cupcakes too! I’m VERY pleased with how these turned out. We wrapped the cake cases with more of our decopatch style paper, used unwrapped MAOAM as eyebrows and then a Cyclops style eye in the middle!

Eye spy MAOAM!

Eye spy MAOAM!

You’ll be pleased to hear that we really did think it was time to stop after all this crazy creativity, and put the whole scene together (before Halloween was over and done with!)…… so here’s the final result….. Hope you like it!

HAPPY MAOAM HALLOWEEN!

HAPPY MAOAM HALLOWEEN!

…and by night…..!

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