Monthly Archives: April 2011


Chickie Chic

Taking liberties with how Chic is pronounced to give this post a decent looking title so go with it please!

I’ve been spring cleaning with my steamer to  get things freshened up. It’s great but a bit on the heavy side so my partner was very good and helped. The steamer is one of those with a cross-the-body carry strap and looks a bit like something from Ghostbusters and doesn’t look too effeminate like a pink pinnie with ruffles on, for example – the devil would be performing Bolero with Torvill and Dean before he’d wear something like that.

Sadly, he knocked one of my paper houses down and squashed it! What did I do?  I phoned the Jeremy Kyle show to see if we could get on with  ‘My husband was steaming and smashed the house up’. Harr.

I updated a few old CS3 files to CS5 this weekend including the shoes and bag in the picture above. I’d forgotten how much I liked these – the shoes were made from a template by Pam Curtis back in 2006. Hers were in pdf format and I made my own in Illustrator so that I could have an ai. file to cut from. The bag is my own design and was made so that a pair of shoes would fit inside the bag perfectly. When the bag and shoes are blinged up they make great favours for hen nights or birthday parties. I did the one in the picture as a print and cut because I fancied having some text (lyrics from Little Green Bag) as part of the pattern.

Not sure if my birdie is just off for the weekend or away for the summer but she’s got new shoes and a bag of glory to fly away with.

Inside the bag:

Many thanks to Yasny Chan for the floral brushes.

3D, Boxes and Packets, Cards

Das Singende Klingende Baumchen

Since I started this blog nearly a year ago, numerous people have asked me about the Singing Ringing Tree (Das Singende Klingende Baumchen) and was it an influence on the naming of this site. Well, no it wasn’t. I was warned the Singing Ringing tree was disturbing in a David Lynch kind of way. Well, that was no deterrent. Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart are brilliant films. At uni, I took an elective module to study film. One of the assignments was to apply a Freudian analysis of the Uncanny. I based mine on Eraserhead, a very disturbing film, weird and compelling. So, The Singing Ringing Tree was allegedly that disturbing and was a kids’ tea time programme??! I was intrigued. When I saw it was available on DVD  AND as cheap as chips, I ordered it and gave it a good watching.

What can I say? I wasn’t disturbed. I found it charming. Utterly charming. The production itself was a little dated and, ahem, not as lavish, shall we say, as it could have been.

It centres on a prince seeking the hand of the local Princess in marriage. The Princess is the stereotypical brat and sends him off on a Fool’s Errand – fetch the Singing Ringing Tree. The cast of tens (as my partner snarkily commented) were shaken to their boots at this outrageous demand! It’s impossible! It cannot be found! It’s halfway across the world (that is, the known world at the time which was obviously shorter than from here to the library and back).

Away rides the prince, galloping past watercoloured backdrops and chocolate muffin mountains, and stops to ask a man looking uncannily like the ‘need a number nifty? Dial 11850’ man pruning trees… he didn’t know,  he asked a ‘herb lady’ and she didn’t know … and then… having travelled half way across the world, meets a third person, a  dwarf ( looking very like the love child of Peter Cook and Frankie Howard) who DOES know.

He is prepared to give him the tree providing that by sundown he has both delivered the tree and the tree has sung! The singing of the tree, is, in addition, conditional upon the princess falling in love with him! He jokes ‘May I turn into a bear if that is not so!’ We’ve all seen enough of these wish fulfillment type fairytales to know what happens next…

Yes… he delivers the tree,  Princess Bridezilla  doesn’t want it and the prince  returns to the kingdom of the dwarf and duly turns into a big brown bear  – well, a bear outfit covered in what looked like hedgehog prickles. He can only be freed if the princess falls in love with him in the kindgom of the dwarf! The dwarf is the embodiment of Schadenfreude and delights in every misfortune and unhappiness of the bear. Especially when he cries and wipes his tears away with his plastic-clawed paw attachments.

Meanwhile, back at the palace where no expense has been….. the king (looking like a proper mathematician in a thick wooly beard, sufficiently thick and long enough to hide at least one albatross, a slide rule and a set of compasses) has been sent to find the prince and bring the singing tree back to fickle and fey Bridezilla who has changed her mind and now wants it.

The king meets the bear and the bear agrees to giving him the tree providing that in return, the king gives him the person who meets him first on his return… (guesses on a postcard please).

The princess, back at the palace, is cruel to the palace doves, the palace goldfish and every other animal and person generally. She sees the king coming and rushes to meet him – making her the currency of exchange.

Cutting it short a bit here… she ends up back at the kingdom of the dwarf with the bear. The dwarf turns her hair green (haven’t we all done this with a home colouring kit at some point?) and makes her ugly in a nose-like-a-pickled-gherkin sort of way. She learns to treat animals of the dwarf kingdom with care and tenderness and gets a little less ugly with every act of kindness she performs.

The dwarf is beside himself with rage at how well they are getting along and throws all sorts of mischief their way. One big advantage is that the dwarf has an absolute abundance of magic dust  that can be swept, blown and brushed about to turn anything into stone, stir up violent storms, freeze water to ice  in a matter of moments, etc. The usual sort of fairytale magic dust/warped dwarf evil imagination type of thing.

Anyhow, the dwarf really is a nasty little bugger (makes  the toilet germs you see in Domestos ads look attractive) but  her new animal friends  come to her aid and save every situation. Eventually, the tree sings, the bear turns into a prince and they get married.  It all ends happily ever after as all the best fairy tales do. The prince tells the princess that ‘No evil can match the good magic of kindness’. Well said. Take care to plant only thoughts of good in your mind for your thoughts become words and your words are your wand.

Both my partner and I are very much animal lovers. Even spiders.  I’m not keen on woodlice, however,  but still helped one onto its legions of legs when I found it on its back in the conservatory the other morning.

I have found a couple of beauuutiful words/phrases to share with you! Both German:

Dunkle Stoffe – dark fabric (as seen on the side of a tub of fabric paint). Somehow, the prospect of all that unseen dark matter in space sounds so much friendlier if you think of it as lots of dunkle stoffe.

And, how about this most lovely word?! Morgenmuffel??? Isn’t is sweet? It means a person who is grumpy in the morning! I am not (usually) a morgenmuffel but have known a few morgenmuffels  in my time.


Jubbly Jamboree

Here’s an easy peasy jubbly for you. Each one is made from a simple rectangle approx 110 x 230mm, rolled into a cylinder then crimped together to give them a decorative edging.  I made a bunch of these with a few chocolates inside for some playful people I know.

A pdf is attached if you want more detailed instructions.

For information, I got the idea for the ribbon tutu from Mels Stampz blog.