Friday, 30 September 2011

Willard Wigan.

The chap is pretty darn amazing. I love anything very very big (makes me feel like a Minpin) or very very small (makes me feel like a giant) and this ticks the very very very small box.

I think they are fab. His work includes a teeny tiny Michelangelo's David (out of a single grain of sand), the Statue of Liberty, Alice and the Mad Hatter's tea party, the Incredible Hulk and many many more. You can find his website here (although it was under maintenance when i went to have a look).

On average it takes eight weeks to complete one sculpture and Willard has learned to slow down his heart rate as his sculptures are so tiny the movement to his fingers caused by his heart rate could ruin them.

Creativity in it's tiniest form. Do you like them? It's hard to believe these sculptures are in regular sized needles. Yup.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Voodoo, who do, you do.

Good afternoon to you. I hope you are well and have a nice day planned. If you don't, just think, in a few hours it will all be over and you'll be one step closer to the weekend. Yay.

I wanted to share with you a funny little shop that i encountered on my trip up to London. Tucked away in a quiet corner of Brixton is this little shop selling the following:

Candles to remove and prevent jinxes, enemies, death, the law. Candles to help you find true love, happiness and good luck.

('alleged protection'.....ha).
 I love them.

I looked further into the shop...

Next i found bath salts that can also do all these things and more... i was starting to think this might be the best shop i have ever been in. I carried on...
 Neon pink bath salts....and no more jinxes. Amazing.

Then i stumbled upon a air freshener spray that was 'allegedly multi purpose' (i kid you not) and would get rid of enemies, bring luck, find happiness prevent jinxes and find true love. All in one handy can. Brilliant.

Now the eagle eyed amongst you may notice that these were the very candles that my friend had at her wedding a few weeks ago (she is the one who brought me to the shop). I couldn't leave without buying something so i got a few candles and bars of soap. I may be about to become the happiest, luckiest and most loved person on the planet. Watch this space....

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A little birdy told me...

Hello hello! How are you on the sunny Wednesday afternoon? (i hope it is sunny where you are, if it isn't i'm sorry i wasn't trying to rub you nose in it).

I have just had the two best days with my chums. There was cake baking, film watching and a glass of vino or two. Amazing.

We made the most brilliant cupcakes called 'Black Bottom Cupcakes' from the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book. I have to admit i was a bit dubious about them at first and had to be talked into making them, but boy was a glad i was! They are half chocolate cake, half cheesecake with chocolate chips and cream cheese icing! I think i must have been half mad not to want to give them a go.
 (sorry for the rubbish quality photos, i only had by phone on me).
 This is the cheesecake chocolate chip part that you put in the case with the chocolate sponge part).

The recipe was actually fairly straightforward and they came out perfectly. The only alteration i would make (if you fancy giving them a go) is not to add all the egg to the cheesecake part of the cupcake when mixing the ingredients together. We added all the egg to the first lot we made and it was far too runny. Add about a third of an egg and that should be fine.

 (borrowed my friend's much better phone to take pictures of the end result).

We also caught up with the BBC's Great British Bake Off. Have you been watching this? I am slightly obsessed. It's compulsive viewing (if you're me anyway) and it also teaches you invaluable things like cupcakes are called cupcakes as they used to be baked in tea cups. Did you know this? I didn't.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Best medicine.

When you're feeling a bit under the weather a good dose of friendship will undoubtedly make you feel happy and well again.

Tired? Cross? Sad? Well you need a good friend (and probably some tea and cake.....or maybe a cocktail or two). Friends are fast acting with no negative side effects.

I am very excited because i am off to London to spend the next two days with mine. Because a great friend really is the best medicine.

Mochimochi land.

Good afternoon to you. And you. How are you this lovely Sunday? Are you resting after a manic weekend or are you having a cozy quiet one? Whichever it is i hope you are having a nice time. Yes i do.

How cute are these knitted and cross stitched little creatures. Very cute i think.

They are all the creation of Mochimochi Land. You can see their blog here and shop for things here.

Mochimochi Land is the brainchild of Anna Hrachovec, a knitter who lives in Brooklyn. Mochimochi Land is a land where 'knitted toys and people can live together in a spirit of tolerance'.

As you can see she loves to make teeny tiny knitted things. Because things are even cuter when they're small.

She also has a book, Knitting Mochimochi, which i now want. If i'm gonna progress with my knitting skills, it should be making cute things like these (as well as Innocent smoothie hats of course).

Plus i'd love to learn to cross stitch...oooh new crafty things to do. Yay.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Quilting inspiration.

Good morning! I hope you are sunny and happy and looking forward to the day ahead.

As you may know, i have just started learning to quilt. So far i have made two quilts, one for me and Lawrence and one for Lawrence's brother and his wife.

I am therefore very new to quilting and have so far been making it up as i go along. Now, as much as i love our quilt, i need to buy a good book and learn how to do it properly. Plus i know i need to get all the quilting tools like a rotary cutter and mat and patchwork ruler (whatever they are!?) and at the moment i'm a bit clueless.  How are your quilting skills? Do you know a good quilting book?

I can only do quilts with patchwork squares, but have been looking at others quilts for inspiration. What do you think? Aren't they lovely? I'm hoping that looking at them will give me the push i need to learn all the difficult technical skills. Imagine being able to make quilts like these!

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Have you heard of Threadless? Do you own one of their t-shirts or wall decals?

Threadless is a online community based t-shirt company where people can submit their designs. All designs are then voted on by the Threadless community and the best ones with the highest votes are printed on t-shirts, and more recently wall decals.

There are a limited number of t-shirts and hoodies printed and when they're gone they're gone. Unless they are really popular, then there may be a reprint.

You can buy their t-shirts from their website here. If you want one of their decals you have to buy them through their UK supplier Supernice here (also worth noting that Supernice also stocks other decal by other people, some of which are fab).

Their t-shirts aren't really my style (although some of the designs are brilliant). But i love their decals. Especially this one below, which has pride of place in our lounge.

 They're also great if you're a renter as they can be removed with no trace of them ever having been there. Do you like them? Do you have a decal in your house?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Mmmm cakes.

Yesterday afternoon i got an urge to try out my new food colours and neon glitter so i made some vanilla cupcakes. Yup.

On a whim i put a load of red food colouring in the sponge mix. Kind of like a red velvet cupcake but with butter cream instead of cream cheese icing.

The mixture turned a vibrant pink colour. Fab. (although it doesn't look like it when they'd just come out of the oven, but have a look at the last photos on this post....bright pink!).

I used the lovely spotty blue muffin cases i bought when i saw my sister a few weeks ago and then coloured the icing yellow. This was topped off with the neon yellow glitter i bought.

Not a vintage pastel Cath Kidston type cupcake, more a bright and colourful Bear and Bug type cupcake! Me likey.

A Barrel full of monkeys.

Well hello there! Today i decided to start making sock monkeys. Yup that's right, monkeys made from socks. Five of them to be precise. And don't worry all the socks are new and clean, no smelly sock monkeys around these parts!

I still have a bit of a way to go but i thought i'd show you my progress so far. Below are the socks ready to be monkeyfied.

They are easy peasy to make and i think they look brilliant when finished. Firstly you turn one of the socks inside out and cut it from ankle to heel. This this then sewn leaving a little hole to turn it the right way again. This is your sock monkey body.

The other sock is then cut into parts to make the ears, tail, arms and mouth. It's easier to show you this then explain it so have a look at the photos below.
 The heel is cut out and will become the mouth.
The long part cut down the side of the sock will become the tail, the two cut out parts at the bottom of the sock will be the arms and the two small parts at the top of the sock will become the ears.
 You them fill the bodies will toy stuffing.
 And then sew up the little hole at the bottom of the body.
 You can then fill the ears and the mouth with stuffing and sew them on.
And fill the tails with stuffing ready to be attached.

This is where i have gotten to so far. I will of course let you know how i get on finishing them and give you the rest of the instructiuons should you wish to make your own sock monkey (although i'm guessing you can probably work it out from here, you clever sticks).

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Jolly Jars.

Good afternoon! Are you having a nice day? What have you been up to?

I have been decorating jars. What for? Well, i haven't really decided yet. Although i'm sure i'll think of something to go in them. They could have jam or something edible in them or they could be jars for holding knitting needles and sewing things or maybe a vase for flowers. So many possibilities!

I got the idea of making these jars from the Dotty Angel blog that i wrote about last week. She had made some beautiful vintage looking decoupage jars (holding knitting needles) and i wanted to have a go. Mine are bright a bold though, and i think they are very cute.

I cut strips of material (a good way for using up all the odds and end i had) and then used normal cheap PVA craft glue to glue them to the jar. Once covered, i then put another layer of glue over the top.

To finish them i then glued half a doily to each one. I now have to leave them to dry, but i couldn't resist showing them to you.

What do you think? What shall i do with them?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Quilt Cakes.

Two of my favorite things. Combined! Yay.

Pretty amazing, and some of them don't even look like cakes. Fab.

Looking at all these tasty cakes is giving me a rumbly in my tumbly. Yum.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Wherever i lay my head.

Good morning and how are you? Good i hope.

Have a look at these lovely pillows i have found. I am a big fan of the cushion and have millions dotted around my house (ok, ok not that many....but i have quite a few).

You're Deer To Me pillow by Olive handmade here.

Olive You pillow also by Olive Handmade here.

Crochet Cushion by Crocheting Life here.

Call You Mother applique cushion by Alexandra Ferguson here.

Dude no......BAD IDEA! Cushion also by Alexandra Ferguson here.

Happy Monkey pillow by My Mimi here.

Senor Taco Pillow also by My Mimi here.

Mushroom Cushion by Sukan Art here.

Animal Pillow by Vintage Jane here.

Embroidered Cat Pillow also by vintage Jane here.

Mr Lobster Cushion my Lemon Lemon Pie here.

Fox Pillow by Viola Studio here.

Plush fox pillow Gingiber here.

Cute and cozy!

Friday, 16 September 2011

The Big Knit 2011.

Hello hello!

So it's that time of year again, autumn is coming and this means that Innocent Smoothie are again asking for lovely people to knit little hats for their bottles. They will then be sold in Boots and Sainsbury's for a two week period with 25p from each bottle sold going to Age UK, to help keep older people warm over the winter months.

I think this is a fab idea, and who can resist the lovely, unique and smile-inducing little hat nestling on the head of a bottle of Innocent Smoothie.
You can read all about it on their website here. They have instructions on how to knit here, with a beginner, intermediate and advanced level.

You just knit as many as you can and then send them to Innocent by October. This means that they will have hats of all colours, shapes and sizes sent to them and have no idea how many or what kind of hat they are going to get. The only thing they ask is that it be he right size to fit a bottle of innocent smoothie (a size guide is also on their website).
They even have a 'hat of the week' section with pictures of the most brilliant hats they have received. Check out some of the hats i found as 'hat of the week' when i had a nose on there (below). Amazing.

I'd better get the knitting needles out, there's little bottle somewhere that needs it's head keeping warm....

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Baking goodies.

Yesterday after work, i decided to nip into a rather brilliant independent cookery shop near me, called The Good Cook Shop. You can find their website here, or if you live in Portsmouth they are on Marmion Road and i'm sure would love it if you popped in.

This shop is full of lovely things and is a dangerous place for me to be before payday. But my thinking was that i needed some new bits and bobs (shiny pretty things) in order to utilise my new cupcake decorating skills.

I was very good and only bought a few bit, and here is what i got:

Some new NEON edible glitter. Sorry, i didn't mean to shout at you. It's just that i am very excited about my future sparkly Day-Glo cakes. They're gonna be brilliant.

I also got some food colouring pastes. They are better than liquid food colouring as they do not dilute the icing and make it runny and it's also easier to build up a more vibrant colour (should you wish to do so, which i most definitely will!).

Willy, being a girl now, was very interested in my new purchases. I think she wants to help. I will of course let you see anything i create, i can't wait to get cooking (and obviously will not actually be letting the cat anywhere near the cakes!).

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Victor Victoria.

Good morning! How are you this morning? I hope you are having a lovely morning and have a super duper day planned. I'll be at work beavering away on our new winter menu, as it won't be long before the weather gets chilly. Ooh wrapping up warm, autumn leaves and hearty food. I can't wait!

Yesterday our little kitty cat was booked into the vet to have his bits cut off. Poor kitty. So we took him in and presumed, if all went well, to pick him up later that day. We even had a tin of tuna on standby to make him feel better and everything.

My heart went into my throat when i got a missed call from the vet at lunchtime, telling me to ring her back straightaway. I presumed the worst and thought something bad had happened. However, as you might have guessed by the title of this post, when i called the vet back she told me not to worry but that Willy is more Willetta than Wilson. He's a girl!

Aww poor little thing. But we still love him/her just the same, even if Lawrence has been grumbling that he's now totally outnumbered!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Fairylicious Cakes!

Yesterday i went to a cupcake decorating class, hosted by lovely Becky of Fairylicious cakes. This is a fairly new cupcake company based in Portsmouth and owned by Becky. She makes all the cupcakes herself and it was brilliant. You can find her website here.

I learnt all sorts of things and it was really fun and great for picking up decorating tips too.

We shown how to produce the perfect cupcake and make great butter cream icing. We then were taught how to ice a cupcake, work with a piping bag, colour and work with sugar paste.

We also made sugar paste roses, and were shown how to use edible glue and glitter and decorations.

We were also taught how to cover a cupcake with sugar paste, but with a pocket of butter cream underneath. You can draw all sorts of designs on the sugar paste but also get the tasty butter cream on the cake too. Genius.

Finally we were taught how to make two tone icing, build up colour within icing and got to ice six cupcakes of our own, however we wanted, to take home.

I still need to practice, but i don't think they're half bad for my first attempt! What do you think?

I would definitely recommend taking a course like this as it was really good fun and a lot of the techniques i will take away with me and use when making cakes for friends and family. I might even suggest a few things at work too!

Plus i now get to eat six (actually i got an extra one, so i got to take home seven, hee hee) cupcakes. Yummy!