Jazzy!

August 3rd, 2015

Here You go! Jazzy or what?! A few metres of fabby fabrics there!  The orange/grey and yellow flowers is very retro. I like it. It will earn its keep, I’m sure. The white and lilac is a fairly ‘neutral’, pretty in an  inoffensive kind of way. Useful to have. It doesn’t compete but stands back like a gentle wallflower. Sweeet.

BUT, who does grab the attention?! Isn’t the black with rainbow zig-zags just in -your-face JAZZY! It’s a colour high, it’s a lift me up, spin me round and spank my bottom in a loud party-mad kind of way! Juicy, vibrant and bonkers! I love it! Just what I needed.

Christmas is getting to me

Also, fairly snazzy, I bought some ribbon and a length of silver ‘beads’ (my beading foot is getting itchy!).

I can’t believe I am actually thinking about Christmas. I saw these happy doodats in Tigerrrr – purple sequins and gold rik-rak on sweet little wooden (maybe!) spools. Destined to adorn some Christmas Samsara decorations and garlands… I think some cinnamon or Christmas spicy scent will add to the festive ambience for the next clutch of birdies.

Doorknobs

TK MAXX. Who doesn’t love TK? It’s a great mooch around. An eclectic emporium of everything from clothing to clocks, cookware to foot wear, glad rags and handbags, shoes, pews and Barney McGrews! Can spend a lot of time (and money) there but always with a cheerful heart as they sell the most gorgeous things.

I  spotted then developed a real crush, real quick on these doorknobs. I know exactly where these guys are going. Hot press and the wardrobe across from it on the landing. We’re doing the house up bit by bit and done loads but have a way to go yet!

The floorboards in the pic – manky but living with them till we get a belt sander then they’re being stripped back and re-varnished. Until then, they’re a convenient surface for where we paint plant pots and Modge things…  it’s another extension to my mad bats-in-the-belfry craft stations.

We could use the shed – or we could have – except it’s set up for paint spraying and is draped with drop cloths and plastic sheetings over the windows. We have more projects than I can shake a stick at so will be glad when we can start moving furniture back into the house and clearing some space in there. Anyway, back to the doorknobs – don’t you just adore the brown, striped paper packaging?

Talking of packaging, I want to thank the guy at Tiger who wrapped my purchases (including the little boxes of licorice seasalt – OMG, gorgeous) in tissue paper.

I fell in love with the stripy cat design and he folded up a few sheets and gave them to me! Joy!

Fabby!

And, remember the glue – the problems with the very-nearly €30 3M spray and the other, the Bostik, that came out like jets of string? Art & Hobby Craft refunded the money for the Bostik €14.99) as I had the receipt for it and exchanged the 3M for a new tin of 3M (no problems with it) , so a big shout out to the staff there for being absolute smashers. Ta!

Then, to top it all, Obsession was on a special down to €31 for the eau de parfum and my other half bought me a bottle.

I am blessed and thankful!

Bird of Peace

August 3rd, 2015

What a week – first some lovely visitors. Made chocolate biscuit cake together. Helped A make a beautiful Samsara bird  for A to take home to her mum. Went to Skerries and collected some nice, fat rocks for my garden (A and Other went to the local silversmith for the afternoon and had a few hours crafting their own designs in silver). I did it a few years ago. Very absorbing and a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Also, had a bit of a splurge in Dublin (you know I’m a material girl!) – might take pics and show you the jazzy fabric I bought. Not anything I would normally go for but it’s definitely got a real buzz to it.

The visit could have been a disaster. Turned out that A, who thought she would get the results of her MA Aug 10th would actually be getting them on the Monday. Well, nobody slept well Sunday night. The result came by e-mail at 9.00 am the following morning and brought relief, delight and sunshine to the day. She passed! We whooped and all had big grins slapped over our faces for the rest of the day – though the day was a bit shorter than most as we were all pretty much flaked by early evening and toddled off to our beds to catch up on some sleep.

So, a happy week filled with roast turkey dinners, yorkshire puddings, fruit crumbles, lasagnes and spicy chicken saucies with chips. Glasses of wine in the evenings, happy laughter and happy conversations.

All too soon it was time for them to leave. Always a teary moment. Since then, the house has been cleaned top to bottom – just something I do! Keeps me busy and takes my mind off the empty house.

Finally, I sat down, designed the bird and then sliced and snipped away until I became truly absorbed in the process and got myself grounded again.

Winter wooly Samsara bird and meringue nests

July 21st, 2015

That ‘Christmas in July’ thing has started

I know we’ve had a bit of a mixed bag of weather this summer with some very chilly days and nights but I’m starting to get those e-mails from crafting sites reminding me about Christmas. Or, more accurately, trying to encourage me to embrace (buy into – literally) Christmas and start shifting some of the Christmas stock they’ve ordered in and want gone before the end of December.

I usually delete them without even looking. The end of September is plenty advance notice for me, thank you.

Samsara winter woolie bird

Having said that, I had the urge to make another Samsara bird and use some winter wooly tweed. Here she is looking cute with her pom poms on. They came off a scarf I got from Vincent’s for €1. Brand new with its Penney’s tag on. Well, I couldn’t buy the trim for that AND there were 3 metres of it.

The rest of the materials were full price… Anyhoo, this one’s for me. Stuffed full of dried lavender and smelling gorgeous and now I am floating on a cloud of serenity despite the sufferings and dimensions of failure I have endured recently.

The dimensions of failure – meringue nests

First I made a batch of meringue nests. I’ve made them hundreds of times. No bothers. What I forgot was that I’d tipped a full box of fruit sugar (fructose) into the sugar tub and so measured out 6oz of ‘sugar’ unwittingly using a sugar whose natural sweetness is much greater than that of caster and should have been a third less…. I thought the mixture seemed runny when I started beating in the sugar…

While they were in the oven I made a fruit crumble – Bramley apples, blueberries and pears. What could go wrong? I used the same effing (‘f’ for fructose, obviously) sugar, didn’t I?! And made it to the same proportion of caster sugar to flour and butter. It was revoltingly sweet.

Now, this was before it was cooked. I always taste mixtures when raw (except egg white – ew) and decided to add more butter and flour just willy-nilly. There was plenty of time, you see, as the meringues were still cooking away.

And they were still sitting there in the oven an hour and a half later, (oven turned down a bit) giving me more opportunity to mess with the crumble mix. I kept adding a bit more flour… a bit more butter… taste… uuh… It ended up a bit bleh (A LOT BLEH).

Finally, after 2 hours plus, I got fed up waiting for the meringues. They were not drying out. Their physical properties were now defying  Newtonian physics. They were squidgy dumplings with a very tacky surface. I thought and thought (yes, I had to sit and think about this!) and finally decided they had been a failure. A total F for failure. Two tray loads of them. So, pulled out the first tray and what happens? The sheet of baking parchment they were on just slid off the tray and the whole load just fell face down on the hot oven door. Steaming heaps of slurry covering the glass front. I just made a whole heap of hot garbage.

I took a bit more care with the second tray. They were like sticky toffee while hot. Like a packet of Murray mints left in the sun. Still, I transferred them to a cooling rack. Maybe they’d dry out and improve for it. What was I on??? Another dimension of failure. They were fit for nothing – and sooo sticky – YUK. I tried to throw them out to the birds but they wouldn’t leave the cooling rack. Stuck down like industrial strength epoxy resin. I had to force them off with my fingers, coating them with sticky goo which was VILE.

And so to the fruit crumble

Anyway, I should have realised something was very wrong. Anyone in their right mind would have realised something was wrong. Anyone with half a mind would have realised something was wrong. But I didn’t. My critical faculties had deserted me so I cooked it anyway!

Maybe it would improve by cooking (still naively believing many impossible things before lunchtime). This course of action just defied logic. I have no excuses, I was obviously a total dingbat. Thick as a whale sandwich.

Anyhoo, back to the crumble. Did it improve? Of course it bloody didn’t. It went in tasting like old plasterboard and came out like paving slabs.

But, like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive. Did you think I’d crumble?

Here Goes… At Last!

July 12th, 2015

** I have opened an Etsy shop – whooo-hoooo! It’s called PaperCrinkles!! I’m new to it all so will find the ‘proper’ Etsy badge and post it when I get more time but it’s there!! I did it!! **

I think this will be the first cutting file I’ll place on Etsy as either a PDF template or actual papercut. This one is custom made, obviously and was for a winter baby, hence the snowflakes. But the main part of the template is easily (ish) customisable although I#d have to find a substitute for the snowflakes. And the moon wouldn’t be appropriate for a day time baby….

***Paper Crinkles – NOW ON ETSY!!**

And what if the baby’s name was more than say, 13 characters or so long?  And shipping out a flimsy piece of paper makes my toes curl. How could it survive the rigours of the PO?

Just trying to think though the logistics and whether I’m prepared for all eventualities… off to read up and research but fingers crossed. We shall see.

The White Rocking Chair

July 12th, 2015

A quick pic of the now-white rocking chair without the cushions. This came from a charity shop and was a dark brown colour. Now, with its fresh white paintwork it’s transformed into something lovely. It’s stored in the gloryhole of my back room, which is also waiting for a paint makeover… Isn’t it always the way, you do one thing up and suddenly everything else looks the worse for it! Meh!

We stripped off the wallpaper a long time ago – one of those washable ones that leaves a lining paper behind it and have still not got round to either re-papering or painting. One day…

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