Friday, 21 January 2011

TFI Friday - Time for Inspiration

Wow I've had a difficult week. Work related I hasten to add. I could not be any happier that it's Friday if I tried.

Anyway, putting that officially to one side until Monday morning...

I'm organising my very first swap over at Craftster , and it's a Moomin themed swap (hurrah for Moomins!). As a child I had a love-hate relationship with the Moomin TV show...I loved the Moomins themselves, the designs and the stories but something about that show haunted my childhood dreams and for a while I absolutely feared it. As I grew older the fear turned to respect for the beauty and wisdom of the Moomin world and now I find them absolutely captivating. I thought I'd share a few Moomin pics from Flickr that I've found while searching for some swap inspiration...

Moomin father
I love Moominpappa and his stylish top hat.

Moomin Troll

This handmade Moomin is just adorable.

Moomin cupcakes

Moomins + cupcakes = love

Moomin card

I felt a bit like this during the past week

moomin 001

But I'm hoping the weekend will be a bit more like this.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Imelda May

I think i have a new girl-crush...

I've just bought her second albumn - Mayhem - and on first listen it's just amazing - love, love, love her voice and her style. also - see that amazing dress she's wearing? I think it came from a shop i was drooling over in Brighton on wednesday Get Cutie.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Stitching Sunday - Bazinga!

Unfortunately I don't have any charts to share today (I absolutely need to get my designs in some kind of order so I can post them...sometime this year would be good ;) )

So to fill the gap...I thought I'd share a recent hoop I made for a swap over at Craftster . It was for a lovely crafter who was a big fan of vintage style...and of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. What else could be stitched other than a floral Bazinga?! :)

I absolutely love The Big Bang Theory...especially Sheldon, so this was a joy to stitch. I have a few other projects floating around my head along a similar theme...Sheldon is just so...quotable.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Woodland Hoops Ahoy!

I just wanted to share a couple of pics of these adorable hoops I received last week from a swap over at Craftster. They were both stitched by different people but I guess my love of all things woodland related came over loud and clear to them both :)

First of all...this tiny little gnome with his house (this is seriously so tiny and adorable as it's in a 3" hoop)

 And then this gorgeous squirrel...the stitching on this is amazing...I totally need to learn some new stitches.

I'll post one of the hoops I made for this swap tomorrow. Hoops are seriously so much fun to make. The only dilemma I have now is how to hang them...I'm dreaming of a hoopla wall at the moment but I'm not sure how kindly my landlord would take to me making approximately 1000 holes in the wall ;) I can feel some kind of ribbon or washing line construction taking shape...

Friday, 14 January 2011

TFI Friday - Time for Inspiration

Today I thought I would share some art that I adore and would very much love to decorate my oh-so-boring magnolia walls with..

The Wonder Kittens

The Wonder Kittens by berkley illustration (more on this artist later...)

Tea and Cake by amberalexander on Etsy kitchen wall neeeeds this print

Chickadees by badbird on Etsy ...does it get much cuter than chickadees? No, I thought not.

Under the Weather by arian on Etsy ..I love this...and feel a little bit like that owl today

Little forest bear care by thepoppytree on Etsy ...a print from this artist already hangs above the fireplace...I think it needs this design to keep it company

Sometimes I wish we didn't live in a rented fear of putting too many holes in the wall prevents me from buying too many of my current dreams is to have a wall of my very own, to put as many holes in as I like :)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Random Review Wednesday - Already Dead

Sometimes I worry that I read too many vampire related books....and watch too many vampire related films and TV shows.

Then I come across something like this book and realise that no, as long as there are original pieces of chilling magic like this out there then there is still room for more vampire-lore out there.

To say this book is fast paced would be an understatement, I was hooked from the first page. Add to this the character of Joe Pitt and you get a pretty perfect read. He shouldn't be that likeable...a Vampyre with a dark background and blood on his hands, but I found myself getting attached to him in the same kind of way as I did to Marv from Sin City, mostly because you know that however dark Joe gets, he'll do anything for the people he cares about. The first person perspective (which I always love) means you're right there in Joe's head throughout...and sometimes it's a very difficult place to be. I love Charlie Huston's take on Vampyre's. I don't want to spoil anything, but I found it provided another really fascinating take on the whole mythology. Huston throws in some zombie's for good measure, just to crank up the interest that bit more. The story itself was, for me, an engaging crime story...horrible and dark, and at times uncomfortable, but well crafted with a few twists and turns. The supporting characters (Phillip, Lydia and Evie particularly stood out for me) add some other elements to the book including humour and a romance so complicated it actually somehow achieves more realism than so many other 'dark romances'. The first book leaves some unanswered questions...which have intrigued me so much I've already started on the second book in the series.

Definitely recommended for any crime and vampire fans alike.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Mushroom Love

I just thought I'd share piccies of a couple of mushroom (or are they toadstools?) themed items I've made recently. I have no idea what it is I love about their red and white spottiness, but love them I do.

This pincushion was made using a chart from Cross Stitcher Magazine Although I'm happy with how cross stitch/ backstitch turned out, I think I messed up a bit on shaping the top of the pincushion. I had a go at hand sewing it (I fear the sewing machine...I really do), and I struggle at anything curved. Still, a cute place for pins nonetheless.

I also stitched this cute little mushroom girl using a pattern from a book I bought a few weeks ago called Felties. It's packed full of little cuties...I think I'll be making them all. I think my favourite part is the little red beads lining her cute.

Friday, 7 January 2011

TFI Friday - Time For Inspiration

Yay! I made it through another week at work. Oh how I do love Friday evenings...they symbolise the longest expanse of time before I have to be back at work again.

I thought Fridays would be a good time to share a few things that make me happy and inspire me. I haven't decided yet if these things will always have a theme, but for this week they do. And that theme is.....Blythe!

I've chosen Blythe because I'm going to Brighton on Monday...the place where I first saw a Blythe up close and fell in love. So here are a few Blythe goodies I adore...

I would love to improve my photography skills and take more pictures of my Blythes. This photo, available to buy as a print from This is Blythe, totally inspires me to actually get started.

Oh Bohemian I do love thee. Photo from

Is there anything cuter than a mini watercolour portrait of your Blythe? No, I didn't think so. I'm so tempted by this...the question is...which Blythe gets her portrait painted first? From Little Dear on Etsy

 I know a certain pink haired Blythe who would love a cashmere slouch beret to keep warm this winter. From You're Fancy on Etsy

What Blythe doesn't need a tiny teddy of adorableness to keep her company? From knittingdreams on Etsy

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Random Review Wednesday - Big Up for the Big Blue

My taste in things is random to say the least - I love so many different things and I thought that a good way to share them would be to do a random review once a week. It could range from books, to films, to nail varnish or the latest cupcake of yumminess.

If I had to write a list of the ten companies/ shops I love the most in the world then Lush would have to be on it. The reasons for my adoration are many...their products are gorgeous, they are one of the most ethical companies I've come accross, they do good work for charity, they originate from the town I grew up in and...did I mention that their products are gorgeous...seriously?

It seemed like one of their products would be perfect for my first random review, so I present to you...

Photo from
Big Blue

I love this Ballistic..pop it into the bath while the water is running and it tranforms your bath into a blue lagoon...seaweed and all. The water turns the most gorgeous of blue, it smells like heaven (containing lavendar and lemon oil) and has actual little pieces of seaweed contained within - which soften in the water and makes my skin feel sooo soft. It's one of the most relaxing products I've tried from Lush and I totally recommend it. My only caution would be the seaweed because a) it can leave a bit of mess to clean up and b) some people find it icky.

 If you're too icked out by seaweed then check out Lush anyway - they have about a gazillion gorgeous products and are a company well worth you time.

Monday, 3 January 2011

The Wings of the Dove

I think I'm becoming a bit of a hippy as I get older. Well actually, I think I was a bit of a hippy when I was younger (my mum was a firm believer that I should have been a child of the 60's and teen of the 70's). When I reached my adult years I let life events make me feel a bit jaded...and well...grumpy.

So it's a happy relief to feel like I'm getting back to my more peaceful ways.

Anyway, in a mellow and 'spread the love' moment last week I bought a few of these peace doves, made by Mayan artists as part of a free trade enterprise. They've arrived and are sooo sweet and tiny. I've written a little message for a few people in my life  - just a little 'good luck' message for 2011, but each with something I know they're hoping to achieve this year. Stuff like this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside these days.

See? I said I was becoming a hippy.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Motifs - The True Blood Selection

I love True Blood. I love the characters, actors, style, humour and even the theme tune. My first swap over at was a True Blood swap. As part of the swap I put together a True Blood themed cross stitch sampler for my partner, and thought I'd post a couple of the motifs I put together for it to help spread the True Blood stitching love.

Click on the link below and you should (hopefully) be able to download a pdf containing the chart for the vampire mouth shown here as well as the chart for a vial of "V". I've done the charts in colour, not as black and white symbols. I think believe people should use whatever colours they like the most for their stitching (I'm such a stitching hippy).

The designs are small and simple so you can vamp up your life in a stress free kinda way. Click on this link to download the designs. This is my first time trying something like this so if you have any problems downloading then let me know.

I'm also open to taking requests for motiffs from the world of TV and if there is anything you have a burning desire to stitch then let me know.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

2011...the year that will be

 So it's arrived...and I have to say I really am feeling quite relieved...let's hear it for 2011. I guess that means it's time for resolutions...although this year I think I'm going to call them "things I should do because it will make me happy" ...much less scary, right?

 Here are my 11 for 2011...
  1. Spend more time on my blog - aka...actually write some useful and interesting. I'm hoping to start using this as a place to share info on the things I love - mostly crafting, geekery, films, books and pretty or cute things (or pretty cute things)! I'm starting to put together a little catalogue of quirky cross stitch designs I've created and will start sharing some of those as well.
  2. Do more exercise on a regular basis. Me + exercise = happy feelings inside. 'Tis a simple equation, so who knows why I never follow it?! I'm going to keep up with my yoga classes but also start jogging. I'm actually looking forward to it. I give it a week. 
  3. Sponsor an animal of some kind. 
  4. Learn to crochet. My personal crafty Everest. I shall conquer it. Oh yes, I shall.
  5. Open an Etsy shop to sell some of my own crafty stash off but also to start making items to sell. Having my own little business has always been a dream. I think it's time to make it a reality.
  6. Read more. I used to devour books. It's been about six years now since I lost the capacity to get my brain to focus long enough to enjoy reading...with a few exceptions. However, my desire to read has returned ten fold in the past few weeks so I'm going to try and read at least twelve books this year.
  7.  Get on with writing the book that has been floating around in my head for the past few years before the plot lines and characters crawl out of my head and write themselves because I've left it so long.
  8. Learn how to use photoshop. The Blythe banners from yesterday and today are my first attempts and wow is it fun. Time to get a book and learn how to use it properly.
  9. Build up enough craft stock to run a stall at some point in the year. I used to do this with mum, and loved it...time to get back on that horse.
  10. Take a in..actually go on holiday. I don't know where I'm going or how long for...but I think it's time to see some sites.
  11. Stop letting work stress me out. Easier said than done, but you remember what Yoda said?

Ah Yoda...where's a little green guy with a stick when I need some sage advice?

And so that is it...quite the list, and thankyou for bearing with such a long post. There's something quite motivating about committing these to a blog instead of a diary which I've forgotten about by January 5th. Let the good times begin and I hope 2011 brings you the very best things, whatever they may be for you.