Monthly Archives: August 2011


Chocolate Fudge Brownies

A lovely recipe at the bottom of the post for you to download and make. If you have a chocolate G-spot and love the dense, moist chewiness of a fudge cake, these brownies are for you!

Like the graphic? It was made in Illustrator.

It’s been an odd week of strange dreams. For instance, I had one the other night where I dreamt I was holding up my thumb as if hitching a lift and it was making a loud fizzing noise. You know when cartoon baddies plant bombs – they’re always round, black and have the word ‘bomb’ written on the side – when they light the fuse, it always has a sparkler on top and hisses and fizzes? Well, that is what my thumb was doing – fizzling very loudly. I called to my partner and said ‘Listen to this!’ and he replied ‘I think I’ve been taken over by aliens and filled with cardboard’. What was that all about?!

I have also sorted out my cutlery drawer. It was anarchy in there. Forks and knives inter-pronging and tining their tongs in whisker things. I won’t say what the spoons were up to. All nicely segregated now, though. I will keep my eye on them and see how they’re behaving but won’t have that bunch of nonsense again.

Download here the recipe here:

Chocolate Brownies Recipe - Free PDF


Sunday best christening gown

Still checking out the files to be converted and found this little lovely – a christening dress card.

It’s got a  pretty cut out flower motif around the hem, some lattice diamond cut-outs,  a lovely patterned bodice, scalloped sleeve edging, a sweet collar with  floral detail, and cutesy fold-over pockets. It also cuts out quickly and is easy to put together. The file includes a lining to add extra quality.

I’ve cut mine with champagne metallic Conqueror paper with a light lemon floral lining – it looks beautiful! I’m going to make another in denim blue and cut the collar and pockets from a cherry red or a riverboat yellow for pretty contrast. And, cos I really like making things with wire, will make a squinchy little hanger to to go with it.

The card works for many occasions, from little girls’ birthdays to big girls’ birthdays as well! Ha ha.

It’s available for immediate download and includes the formats: GSD, SVG and DXF (DXF is compatible with the free version of Studio) for just €3.00 (euro – Pay pal will convert other currency for you).

Thank you for looking.

Illustrator Tutorials

Dragging handles for equal and opposite effects in Illustrator

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I was asked recently how to drag a handle out from an element, or shape, in Illustrator so that it would apply the same stretch or contraction to the opposite side by an equal amount. I mentioned it to someone else and was surprised they didn’t know how to do it either. So I’ve posted the How To and maybe it’ll be useful to you, too. For some reason IE refuses to display the SVG so I suggest you try another browser. I’ll keep trying to find a solution to this. As a PS: I guess you know to hold down the Alt key when clicking on a handle with the Direct Selection tool to move the handles independently of one another.

Lots of spam today making as much sense as Holly from Red Dwarf when the ship was hit by a meteor storm:
“Rude alert! Rude alert! An electrical fire has knocked out my voice-recognition unicycle! Many Wurlitzers are missing from my database! Abandon shop! This is not a daffodil! Repeat, this is not a daffodil!”.

Some spam bots are much more sophisticated than this though and make seemingly intelligent and appropriate comments like “you have obviously thought a lot about this and given me something to consider”.  It’s nice to have my ego flattered and be considered thought-provoking with my intellectually-challenging crocheted sock designs – especially when the comment links back to a site selling ‘make your willy bigger today’ sorts of things. Heheheh.

Red Dwarf also came to mind when I got a preview of an article in a crafting mag. There was a picture of a GREEN stainy pattern – apparently on a handkerchief with copy saying something like ‘well it looks like I made a mess of my hankie….’. I couldn’t agree more and thought but why photograph it and then post it on the www?

Kryten’s words of wisdom came to the fore: “Well, let’s forego the noise and the revolting burbling sound and go straight to the really gross part where you always, and I mean always, having blown your nose, open up the handkerchief and take a look at the contents. I mean, why? What do you expect to see in there? A Turner seascape, perhaps? The face of the Madonna? An undiscovered Shakespearian sonnet?

You know the expression: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well, that came to mind at the recent change to the icon set in the latest version of Skype.  I use Skype a lot as I have friends and family in far flung places and don’t use Face Book. The icon set was fairly basic to begin with but I did like the Cheeky one. They’ve replaced it with a really lame, sad and crappy thing. Gah! I have designed icon sets for interfaces (admittedly, industrial design) and know that it can be difficult to capture the function of an icon to make an interface more user-friendly and intuitive to use. But, when you’ve got it right, leave it alone.The Cheeky change wasn’t the only retrograde step – check out Emo (I used to use that one to depict a certain person!) and Cool now looks smug and gloaty. Bleh!!!

So, thank you for looking and as a measure of my unstinting regard for you:
Understand me when I saaaaaay
I’m trying to say nungy-nangy (nangy-nungy)
Ningy-nongy, but I can’t tell you clearly (clearly)
Be-dobby-durgle (dobby-durgle)
Durgle-dobby (durble-dobby)
Whenever you’re around (around)
Whenever you’re around (around)



Butterfly Gatefold Card

Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself. My visitor left on Friday – seemed like only a couple of days previous that we drove to the ferry port… oh well, can look forward to the next time. Still, saying goodbye is always a bit sad and the hanky came out and my nose was a bit pinker by the time we got home again.

My partner cooked dinner last night – it was really, really tasty. Spaghetti Carbonara with a lovely mixed salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives stuffed with garlic, raw garlic, spring onions, grated carrot and garlic cream cheese (in addition to the squinch of garlic that he fried with the bacon and mushrooms for the carbonara). You can tell we’re big garlic lovers, can’t you?! And he made a fabulous job of serving it. We have some big Denbigh pottery plates, they’re odd wobbly shapes – not round or square,  just wobbly roundish shapes.  They have a big ‘water-coloured’ flower design and with the food on top looked so colourful and fresh and just lovely… a feast for the eyes before I’d even tasted it. We finished it off with a glass of cold pear cider. Beautiful.

My elderly cat (he’s twenty) is not eating very much despite what we try to tempt him with. He’s giving things a sniff and a lick but no real appetite for head-down, arse-up scoffing. He is taking a little of this and that and he’s drinking okay so he doesn’t seem to be ill. And he’s become such a fuss pot. He’s always been affectionate and loved being petted and stroked but he wants to be on my lap all the time and has plenty of energy to jump up and get comfy. The loss of appetite can’t be a good sign though and  I’m sure it is the beginning of the last goodbye and am steeling myself  for the inevitable day …

To think, I never intended to have a cat… he turned up in my front garden as a kitten twenty years ago. It so happened that it was my son’s birthday as well and he thought the kitten was ‘sent’ to him as a present. I explained that somebody had lost him and would be upset and we couldn’t keep him but we’d take care of him until he was claimed. His birthday is just before Christmas and that year it was very cold and the actual  night he turned up was very bitter. I couldn’t leave him out there. I asked the neighbours and put cards up in the two paper shops we lived near to. Tried again after Christmas. Nothing. No response whatever. Of course, we’d fallen in love with the little scatty scrap and the rest is history. I’ve told him that we all wear out and go into a special big sleep where we get new parts and be like new again and to wait for us when he gets there so I know we’ll see him again…

Enough of this talk of goodbyes and sadness. I’m getting a bit teary eyed thinking about it! We should live like butterflies and enjoy our time in the sun! Today I’m posting a butterfly gatefold card. It has the words ‘with love’ cut from the front (the front does close completely though the picture doesn’t show it very clearly). There is a 5mm fold so you can embellish the inside of the card so things don’t get squished. I’ve used my pretty butterfly again and added a couple to cut out as embellishments. It’s delicate and pretty and perfect for all sorts of occasions.

It’s available as GSD and SVG. Prices are in Euro (Paypal will convert your currency).

Download here:


Enjoy the day!

Illustrator Tutorials

Make patterned swatches in Illustrator: Free PDF tutorial

Howdy doodle! How are things with you? The weather here is a bit gloomy – got rain for the third day in a row. Still, at least the daisies seem to like being tickled by raindrops. And, in the great scheme of things, a few drops of rain is small beer and if this is all I’ve got to complain about, my life is very blessed!

Anyhoo, here’s a quick PDF tutorial explaining how to make a variety of swatches in Illustrator. This was something I’d had on my To Do list (though I pronounce it Toddle list’ cos there’s no hurry!). Hope you find it useful.

Please register to access the download:

Free: Make swatch patterns in Illustrator pdf


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