Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Camper Van Goodness

Well I'm still struggling with exactly what to make for the Camper Van swap. Talk about cutting it fine...
However, whilst Googling this afternoon I came across this fabbo website which I just had to link to.
Add these to your Christmas list Camper Van Divas!!!


PS Yes it looks like it's Bitesize Blogging today. Maybe later I'll do a full length one with proper photos and everything. :o)

Magic Fairies Mosaic

Magic Fairies
Originally uploaded by ethel and edna
OK. It's not Monday (which is when people normally blog mosaics). And they're not all fairies. And they're not all dolls (spot the odd one out), but these are a selection of magic pics from my Flickr faves.

I will post pics of some of my own work later but I just thought I'd give my blog a little burst of other peoples' creativity.

Don't you just love them.


Monday, 29 September 2008

Nintendo DS Catz 2

Catz 2
Originally uploaded by purpleamy014111

Does anyone have a DS whizz at home who can answer a question about this game?
My small kiddie bought it last week and has a problem, but I am clueless when it comes to her DS. :o(
Apparently when you start the game there should be 10 kittens to choose from - she only has 3. It is a pre-owned game. Is this a fault or can it be unlocked or something?
See - I don't know what the heck I'm talking about!!!


Originally uploaded by bzmch

The Torbay Lifeboat Crew have won the Pride of Britain Award!!


Thanks so much to everyone that voted. Don't forget to watch on Wednesday night (with a box of tissues at the ready).

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Look what's flown in...

This little brown parcel was delivered on Friday by my friendly-neighbourhood postie.

Inside the brown paper wrapping was a white cardboard box. Inside the cardboard box was lots of lovely scrunchy lilac tissue paper.
Pull back a corner of the tissue and a peep of a black beady eye can be seen.
Pull back a bit more and - ta dah!!!!
Please meet Mr Ponsonby Sprocket - Mr P number 040 from the lovely Charlie at The Piegon Loft. Yay! I finally managed to get my 'click' in before everyone else and buy one of these fabulous crocheted chaps. Here he is with his very own passport (mini ID photo soon to be added). Those eyes are just amazing - so Feathers McGraw.

The other inhabitants of the workroom were eagerly awaiting his arrival and threw a little shindig in honour. Here they all are doing the 'Y.M.C.A.'
And here is Mr P all excited at his cake complete with candle. Look at those little wings flapping. I know that the original Mr P is partial to a bit of cake every now and then, well in the diet-ridden household the cake is calorie-free, indeed textiles-based. It lasts an awful lot longer though!!

He seems to be settling in very well. He has a lofty position on the shelf above my work table, where he sits and surveys his surroundings with his new little mate Felty Duck. I'll keep you up to date with his progress.

Other flying things...

The weather has been so 'fablious' today and our garden has been all a-flutter. The trees that run along the back fench are smothered in ivy which is in flower, and it seems that several species of flutter-bye are very partial to ivy nectar.

The one above is a Red Admiral. There were three or four of them around all afternoon making the most of the sunshine.

This little orangey coloured beauty is apparently a comma. This species is gradually moving further north as the temperature rises. There were three of these all having a bit of a feast. We usually have a lot of a very pretty little butterfly - the holly blue - flying around but I presume it is getting too late in the season for them to be around. Our garden is nothing much to look at. Nothing pretty really flourishes in our rubbishy soil but even we have managed to attract a bit of wildlife.

Will post some craftiness soon. Haven't been very productive during the last couple of days as I've been struggling with doll boobies!!



Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Mistress Lowern Penvrane - Cloth Witch Art Doll OOAK

'Tis done. Look ye across to the sidebar for my etsy button and ye will see Mistress Penvrane be listed for sale.

Why do I get so carried away in the detail? I've spent ages writing the description but before that I was on the 'net for ages just coming up with a name for her. I'll leave you to Google and find out what it means...


When is a pair of curtains not a pair of curtains?

When it's a skirt, of course!!

This is what I made yesterday as a practise for my costume for the belly dance show next month.

Each class is performing their own special dance then the rest of the show will be solos from tutors and group dances across the classes. The dance that our Thusday class is performing is a gypsy style dance and we need BIG swirly skirts. Unfortunately the pukka ones - with hems in excess of 10 yards - cost a fortune (upwards of £35). I found several different websites with instructions on how to make them so, of course, I had to have a go.

This one has a 12 yard hemline so you needed about 6 yards of fabric. I didn't have any lengths like that in my stash but then I spotted some tab top curtains that I'd bought for our bed when we had a 4 poster. There were four of them. Plenty of material to play with.

Handling that much fabric was a bit of a nightmare but i'm quite chuffed with the result (just wish I'd put some make-up on yesterday before I got OH to take the photos!!!).


Monday, 22 September 2008

The Weekend

Hmm... washing and ironing or blogging?...

...washing and ironing?...


Nope! There's no contest, is there?.

So what did I get up to this weekend? Well my 'ickle sis and her boys came up to visit. She hadn't met her new nephew yet so she was itching for a 'munch'. And also, we hadn't seen each other since before my birthday. Which meant....



And what's more she did like we do for Christmas. We set a tariff of say £15 and have to buy as much as we can find for each other for that amount of money. BUT - chairty shops, pound shops and car boot sales are all fair game. We can make stuff as well. Anything that we think the other will like.

It's great. I know for myself that I put so much thought into it. I collect bits all through the year whenever I see them.

Anyhoo. This is what I got.

Yes. Poking out of the top you can just see my bag of Maoam Stripes. I love these chewy sweets, although not good for the waistline..

Proportionally the hips and boobs on this little fairy are about right, just wish my legs were that skinny!
Think I've said before that I love Charlie and Lola. So this is a pair of Jibbitz (charms) for my Crocs.

And this is my beaufitul necklace.
My sis wanted to keep it for herself as it was the last one in the shop but she wrapped it up quickly and selflessly gave it to me instead. What a love!

She also gave me this -

my own beach, so that when I'm pining for the coast but can't get down there, I can feel the sand between my toes in the comfort of my workroom. :o)

Thanks so much Nack xxx Just got to start collecting again for Christmas now ;o)


On Saturday night I had another belated birthday treat. Here's a clue -

Can't get it?...

OK. Here it is a bit bigger:

These two people were very much involved:
Yay!! 'ethel and edna' went to see Mary Poppins. It was FANTASTIC!! I only wish I'd taken kiddie to see it 'cause she'd have loved it. The umbrella was a guilt prezzie for her instead. If the show is coming to your part of the world do go and see it.

And finally, I finished this just before the weekend but thought you'd like to see the finished woman! I've taken a stack of photos of her and popped them over on Flickr. Click on the button in the sidebar if you want a lookie.

My problem now is where to sell her? I had thought about etsy as they go for Halloween in America in such a big way, but I don't know what to charge for her. So then I thought eBay with a lowish starting price to see what she reaches.

What does anybody else out there think? Your advice would be most appreciated (or an offer if you want her :o) hee hee)

Hmm... washing and ironing...? Tsk! Suppose I'd better get back to it.



Friday, 19 September 2008


The voting lines are now open for The Pride of Britain Awards.

To register your vote for the Emergency Services Heroes click on this link and then on the bright pink box. VOTE LIFEBOAT LIFESAVERS.

If, like Monkee Maker, you missed the guys on the telly yesterday this is a link to the GMTV website where you can watch their bit of the programme again.

Please, please PLEEEEEEEASE vote for them. You have from now until midday on Monday so not long.

Thanks so much.


Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Pride of Britain Awards 2008

No I haven't gone mad and I'm not a secret Carol Vorderman fan.

On 30th September the "10th Pride of Britain Awards" will be held. Now I admire the sentiment of these awards and only have admiration for the heroic deeds of some of the people who receives the awards, but it's not a programme I normally watch. Apart from anything I'm a real Jessie and cry at the teeniest bit of sentimentality - I would spend the whole evening in tears.

this year is different.

This year I will be watching. Avidly.

This year, before the ceremony is televised (on 1st August) I will be watching GMTV. In fact...

tomorrow morning between 7.00 and 9.00am I will be watching GMTV.


These 7 blokes in yellow rubber are why.

Who are they?
Mark Criddle COXSWAIN
Alex Rowe DOCTOR
John Ashford PARAMEDIC
Nigel Coulton CREW
Darrell Farley CREW

This is the crew of the Torbay Lifeboat. They are based in Brixham and the coxswain is the hubbie of my sister's BF.

No! Don't glaze over. This is serious.

To get to the point...

...on 13th January this year, in treacherous conditions, Mark and his crew saved the lives of 8 men from the ship, the Ice Prince. The full story can be found here and it makes scary reading. As this photo (taken on the night) shows things were pretty horrendous. These lifeboats are ENORMOUS but yet looked tiny next to the listing cargo ship.

This is the state of the Ice Prince the next day, once the weather had calmed down. Luckily all 20 crew were saved, not so the cargo of timber which washed up on the beaches of Sussex and Kent.

Tomorrow Mark and the crew will be on GMTV telling their story and asking for your votes to crown them the "999 Heroes of 2008".

Earlier in the year the men received RNLI awards for gallantry from Camilla P-B. Mark received a Silver Medal and the crew received "vellums" (the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on vellum) for saving the lives of 8 men on the Ice Prince.

It's hard to choose between the RNLI and the other emergency services, particularly when I'm in the Midlands and miles from the sea,

the Police, Fire Service and Ambulance crews are all paid to do their jobs. Yes there's lots of risk involved and there's much debate about whether they are paid enough. However, with very, very few exceptions, Lifeboat crew are all UNPAID volunteers. They can get called out in the middle of dinner, in the middle of the night, at ANY time and they have to drop everything and go. They face cold, wet and dangerous conditions purely to help save lives.

So please, please, please watch GMTV tomorrow and vote for them. They deserve so much recognition for all they do.


Monday, 15 September 2008

Better late than never...

Here is my fantabulous Robot Swap parcel, courtesy of my partner, Katy. Look at all this loveliness.

Please meet and greet Frank and Bob. Frank is a robot from Seattle. He was a bit nervous about flying (especially as he wasn't allowed to go in First Class) so Katy made him a teddy to cuddle. Bob the teddy was named after Frank's favourite film start - Robert Redford.
Frank is a helpful 'bot. He is quite happy to hold all manner of items - notes, photos, postcards - although at the moment he's still settling into his new home and is reluctant to let go of Bob.
He's also holding a shrinky-dink type tag/pendant and his instruction manual.
In his travelling case were other fab treats: postcards of Seattle library - a really groovy building which is a work of art (just a bit hard to find books in apprently, peanut butter pretzels in case he felt peckish (although I think he may have a nut allergy as he didn't eat any of them - all the more for me :o) and two balls of fantastic wool. Katy used some for knitting she says, but I feel some fab doll hair in the offing...

Look at the attention to detail. Frank's fully operational switch on his head (you tell me what it activates???), his great authentic American jeans, and I love his polo-neck - he knew he was coming to the Land of Eternal Damp.
Here's a close-up of Bob complete with his little red and white scarf. He too knows about our weather..
Thanks so much Katy. My parcel of goodies was fabulous. I just hope you like yours when you get it.

I enjoyed my needle sculpting class so much I decided to have another go. I had a bit of the pink 'hair' left and a scrap of stretch fabric so off I went...

What do you think? I love her. I got so carried away I found some great patchwork fabric and proceeded to cut out and stitch 2 body patterns from my new Patti book.
It is so curvy - it's fab. Unfortunately the scale is wrong for my heads. Bah!! They are way too big for this pattern. So instead I added the head I made last week.
I'll have to find another pattern to use for the stretchy heads, or design my own of course. But in the meantime I decided I wanted to make another doll. Crafteroo are having a Halloween Challenge so, I thought, 'Why Not?'...

hee hee hee I love her! I just tweaked one of the 'Patti patterns' to give a pointy nose and chin and off I went. I'm really pleased with the mouth as it looks like I've needle sculpted it but it's all drawn with pens and coloured pencils.
I know she's not very beautiful but I didn't want a glamorous witch. I wanted a Shakespearean, ugly old hag. Just not too sure about the eyes...

I've done the limbs and just need to stuff the body, then I can begin to put her all together and start the fun bit - dressing her.

My plan is to actually cost this doll properly as I go along, and - SHOCK! HORROR!! - sell her on etsy. In America Halloween is a big event so I'm hoping maybe someone out there will want a handmade witchy art doll for their collection, in time for the 31st October.


The smell has gone!!! Hooray!!!

Well OK. Not completely. There is a faint tang of burnt offering if you put your head inside the microwave but apart from that, the kitchen is useable again and we can shut the windows and unplug the air fresheners now. Phew!!

Maybe the lesson is that I shouldn't cook anymore... Please OH?...

I've been the lucky recipient of two awards. Thanks so much to Jackie and Susan. I'll post them and tag my nominees next time.



Saturday, 13 September 2008

Knitting and Stitching Show

I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking, after all, it's eye candy you want in a show report really.

I was soooooo organised (for me). To start with anyway. Got to the show before it opened. Bought brochure, ticket, breakfast (yeah - the picnic idea went out the window quite quickly) and, when the doors opened, went straight to Learning Curve Registration Desk to book myself on the Ray Slater class. How cool - a man who makes dolls!! (Ha! More on that later...)

So, then I sat in the refreshments area eating, drinking and perusing my shopping list and brochure to plan whete I was going. This stand was right next to the food area. The lady (I'll find her name in a bit) had created this interactive installation as part of her MA course. The 3 walls of her booth were like an old-fashioned sweet shop, lined from floor to ceiling with these jars FULL of old buttons! I wanted them all. The idea was to select 'ingredients' off the shelves, add them to the mixing bowl and mix them up to make something. I couldn't do it! All those fab little MOP buttons... how could you mix them up with so many other different coloured buttons. So I played safe and just used these ones to make my concoction below.

OK. Serious stuff now.


In no particular order:

Wool tops/roving in white and brown for needlefelting.

White hot fix Angelina fibres for... pretty, sparkly stuff.

Embossing glitter and 5 bargain rubber stamps (doll decoration).

Four tubes of seed beads for £1 each in lovely colours.

Pigma pens for doll faces (are you picking up on the doll trend?).

Multiple needle holder for needlefelting.

Roll of freezer paper.

Bags of fabric remnants from Bombay Stores for £1 each. There are loads of pieces in each one, all sari-type fabric off-cuts. Perfect for dressing dolls. I bought three of them. They also had scarves and shawls in chiffon and organza for a couple of quid each. Perfect for belly dancing so I got a black one of them.


This one by Sarah Lawrence is fab. I'm just miffed as Crafty Notions (her company) wasn't at the show :o( .
I spent ages at Art Van Go, flicking through back issues of CPS. I love this magazine but only have one or two copies. It's not cheap as it's an American import, but it's one of those mags that you can flick back through again and again for inspiration. (One of my copies was the basis for my Fairy Tale Swap piece - which you'll see soon).

This was my first purchase of the day, when money was burning a whole in my pocket and I was feeling VERY impulsive. It's a fabulous book. I love her work and she's such a nice lady. It's just that I don't think I'm going to be doing any quilts in the near future. It's just diversifying when I really want to try and focus more on doing one thing. SO I kind of regret buying it. Ah well.. That'll teach me. This is where things went pear-shaped. Normally I work my way up and down the aisles in an organised fashion, but cause I'd rushed to book onto the class I'd ended up right in the middle so then I walked around aimlessly, and that's when the pretty book lured me in.
This is going to be my birthday present from my bruv and his family (he's offered to pay for it :o))). It's great. I'm not hugely into beading but there are loads of other great ideas and patterns in it. I have two books by Patti Medaris Culea and they are so good. This one is a great addition and I can't wait to get playing.

Other stuff.

This was my final purchase from 21st Century Yarns (drool... that stand is so beautiful). They were 75p each or 3 for £2. I was down to my last few coins and spent ages trying to work out how many I could get for what money I had left. Doh!! They will make fab doll hair, in case your wondering.

So, onto the workshop. Ray Slater is a lady!!! Well I didn't know did I? She's a lovely lady actually and a great teacher. And cause we were the last session of the afternoon we over-ran a little. This is the wonky-faced woman I ended up producing...

I'm quite pleased with her and learnt a lot. Just need to get practising so that my features are straight and in the right places. I made the bridge of the nose to narrow to begin with so then had to move my eyes. My mouth is a bit lop-sided but here expression shows how I was feeling by the end of the day. Hmm...

I started to play with her when I got home as it was such fun. Out came the coloured pencils.

I think she's looking a bit better now. And with hair attached (kindly provided by Ray)...

... I quite like her in the end. She just needs a body. Now where's my sewing machine...

Other highlights.
I loved Ray's own dolls. They are really funky and I intended to buy her book but didn't! Why? Cause I'd bought the quilting one and hadn't got enough money left. Aaargh!
The Upfront bra art was amazing. I wanted several of them the hang on my wall, or wear for belly dancing.
Ruth Issett's exhibition was amazing. All that colour!
So all in all a great time was had, a lot of dosh was spent, a new technique was learnt and I even managed to escape without paying the car park fee!!!
If you are visitng the show this weekend ENJOY!!! and please could you bring me another couple of bags of the fabric from Bombay Stores? Thanks. :o)
Will post again soon. I've received my Robot Swap parcel of fab-ness from America and I must show it off.