Wednesday, December 30, 2009

chrimbo limbo

I heard the phrase 'Chrimbo Limbo' on the radio yesterday and I quite liked it - Chrimbo Limbo is a phrase used to describe the redundant time between Christmas and new year. I'm not really feeling the Chrimbo Limbo feeling however as I just haven't had chance to stop over the last week.
We spent Christmas day and Boxing day with my sis, her hubby and her boys. The boys are a joy, both full of the magic of christmas, hyperactive because they'd eaten too many sweets, and had so many presents they didn't know what to play with first. This is how Christmas should be in my book. We had a great time.
I had lots of great pressies too - will share some pics at a later date though.
We were then home for a day before heading up to North Wales to see my parents - the nice thing was that that whole family was there, and everyone knows how difficult it is to get an entire family in one room these days, especially when they are spread out across the country. It's worth making the effort though - building the memory bank for a time when inevitably there won't be the opportunity for everyone to be together. It snowed up there yesterday so I snuck out into the garden to take some pics. The little robin here was looking right at me:
Aside from making Christmas cakes to give as gifts, mince pies to give as gifts and infused vodka to give as gifts I haven't done any Christmas cooking - I think it will be my turn next year. I'm presently busy making a non too festive cauliflower curry, recipe here

I spotted this little festive new year garland idea today over on the purl bee and thought I would share. I sadly won't have the time to make one, but I'll keep it in the bank for a later date!It's fair to say that I won't blog again between now and the new year, so would just like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year, and say thanks to my supportive and lovely blog buddies - if you're reading this, then that means you.

2009, over and out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

here comes the snow

As I sit here and type, we have quite a snow flurry coming down - there are no cars on the road outside so the snow is undisturbed - just a crisp, cold, white covering as far as the eye can see. I love the snow, and it certainly feels quite festive in the approach to Christmas.

I've had a lovely day today. It's Mr Monda's b'day so we both took the day off work just to have a lie in, and a potter about, a trip to the cinema and something nice to eat. We wrapped a few pressies and wrote a few Christmas cards and just generally had a nice relaxing day.
We also bought these 2 Christmas singles today, because we are feeling festive:




I don't watch the X-factor, and I do quite like the idea of having a non X-factor number one. I haven't purchased rage against the machine just yet (I already have it actually) but I might. It's currently in the number one spot on iTunes :o)

Lastly, I used the random number generator which picked Claire Hurd as the recipient of my little giveaway. Claire, I'll pop your goodies in the post soon.
Now I'm just hoping the snow might stay around long enough to snow my car in so I can't possibly get out to go to work tomorrow. I would LOVE to stay at home and build a snowman instead.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

sneaking up on us

Every year I promise myself to to be more organised at Christmas time, and every year I feel like I'm so behind with things. This feeling is probably not helped by the horrible lurgy I had last week - a full on cold with headache, sore and aching body, sneezing, tickly cough, chesty cough, blocked nose, running nose and plenty of mucus. nice. It really wiped me out for a good week but I'm back on the way up now thankfully.

My Handmade Christmas flickr group is filling up very nicely. I've picked out a few of my faves to share with you. If you've made some Christmas themed goodies, I'd love to see them in the group pool.
1. all hanging!, 2. Crocheted flower ornament, 3. christmas ball, 4. hello pear, 5. Untitled, 6. Snowflake Crochet Pillow, 7. Christmas Star Stocking - Detail, 8. robin, 9. Felt Gingerbread Biscuits // Star group

Now, because Christmas is all about giving, I've put together a little freebie. It's just a small package, but contains some nice bits, including one of these:If you'd like to partake, please leave me a comment on this blog post by midday on Thursday 17th Dec, and I'll draw the recipient randomly. The freebie will only arrive before Christmas if you live in the UK though (although feel free to enter if you live outside of the UK).

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas future, but no ghosts, I promise

If you're looking for something to do for the next couple of weekends, you could always pop over to the very lovely town of Henley on Thames for a spot of handmade Christmas shopping.

For the geographically challenged amongst you, you can take a peek into the new and ever so exciting Handmade Christmas flickr group and post a pic or two, or just feast on the festive eye candy. I know, I know, I'm so good to you.and lastly, if you fancy a pre Christmas treat for yourself, then you must buy this book : the pictures alone do it for me, but the recipes also look fab. On Sunday I'll be making a Delia Christmas cake.

Friday, November 27, 2009

crazy sewing

I'm finishing my last few bits to take to Handm@de Oxford on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to it, despite all the frantic last minute stress of making.
I've really been a hive of production this last few weeks (nothing like a deadline to get you going is there) so if you do come along on Sunday, I'll be the one looking extra tired. I wonder if everyone at the fair has had a crazy last minute making frenzy? Perhaps we'll all be looking extra tired.

This week I've made some phone/ipod cosies. They were pretty popular last year. This year, they feature my freehand machine embroidered birds:My wares will also be sporting new cards - I had a moo delivery this week:I also received another delivery this week - all the way from Dallas. I'm going to make a Christmas garland out of these delicate crocheted snowflakes:I wish I had made them, but I just don't have the time to learn at the moment. If you want to be lazy like me, you can purchase them from etsy here.

Rightio, I'm back off to sew a few more Christmas decorations whilst Mr Monda is busy making the dinner - how nice.

Friday, November 20, 2009

red and white

I know it's only 20th November but Christmas has been happening here for the last few weeks. The rest of this post is brought to you by the colours red and white:Still madly preparing for handm@de Oxford on 29th Nov. Will you be coming along?

a little bit of black and white was also quite intrigued by the arrival of the tree:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm still here, and have WIP

Looks like I went dark for a while there. I'm still here - just busy preparing for my upcoming craft fair and showcase so been spending less time with hands on the keyboard and more time with a needle in my hands.
Today, I've been sewing some festive red and white Christmas decorations: and a few more of these cheeky little monsters:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

busy weekend

It's been a busy sewing weekend. 13 new monda monsters have been made - they just need stuffing and gusseting (is that even a word?) - enough to keep me going for the next few evenings anyway. A number of new birds have flown in too - I managed to snap them whilst the light was still ok I don't know about you, but I could do with another weekend.
I'm off to put on my PJ's - I have fresh linen on the bed and today the winter duvet went on too (it was so chilly last night). Hot chocolate anyone?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

light painting

This evening when I got home from work, I switched on the TV and found myself watching Blue Peter (wow, this programme has changed a lot over the years). There was a feature on it about light painting - something I didn't know about before today. I found a 2 minute tutorial on YouTube and had to give it a go

I have to say it's not as easy as it looks but it is great fun though - give it a go, I'd love to see what you come up with. These are my (and Mr Monda's) efforts:

a squiggle

a flower

a Christmas tree

It's also 20 years of Wallace and Gromit today. This is the google home page by way of celebration:

Monday, November 02, 2009

monda loves... Milomade

Evie from Milomade contacted me a while ago to ask if I'd take part in her blog feature '20 questions'. My feature is up so please do go over here are take a peek. Evie's done a great job - I almost look like a real designer! I looked at my workspace and had to double take - probably because it's never usually this clutter free!
I was very happy to take part because I've been reading Evie's blog for a while and I think she creates some fantastic repurposed items - I've chosen just a few of my faves to share with you here:

Silver button pendant

button charm bracelet

This silver ring used to be a fork

I also thought I'd share this pic of the spooky moon that is sitting up there in the sky tonight. The stuff of horror/vampire films. ooooOOOOOOoooooo!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

pics of pifs

now that my PIF gifts are safely received by their recipients, I can share the pics:
I'm on a bird sewing production line at the moment - all birds are cut and waiting patiently to be sewn. They make pretty scraps:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's still October but...

I've listed a few of my scrappy tree Christmas decorations in my etsy and folksy shops today. I'll also be listing some of my birds soon too.This weekend I've also been working on a couple of PIF gifts for Mrs Locket and Dotty Designs. I'll share these once they have arrived with their recipients.

As most people reading this will know, the clocks in the UK went back last night (they probably also went back in some other countries too right?). How great is that - a whole extra hour of sleepy goodness, and as a result I seem to have had quite a productive day. The bad thing about this of course is that it gets darker earlier - and taking pictures is more difficult with less natural light.

This week I was also featured on Cuteable - a whole post all of my own. Sweet. Thanks Lyndsey.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

glove love

There really is still hope for all the single gloves out there. phew.



if you have any single gloves hanging around looking for a life partner, you can donate it and help it find love. You can also purchase a newly matched couple too. How sweet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

ducks, pups and chairs

check out this fab fabric (can you say fab fabric?)

You can get it online here. If I could think of something to do with it then I'd have already purchased some - especially at £3.99 per half metre!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

china

I've recently been collecting fine bone china It might seem a bizarre thing for a 33 year old but I have reason. Next year, me and Mr Monda are getting married, and have decided that we'd like an old fashioned afternoon tea as part of our celebration. It will be quite a modest affair really but will be quite beautiful with an ecclectic mix of old fine bone china. I've found some lovely pieces and feel like I almost have a new addiction for pretty china. It's understandable that people used to have this saved in cupboards and sideboards for special occasions. I think it's massively underrated and I'll no doubt be using some of the lovely pieces after our wedding too (I can't believe I am writing 'our wedding' - it makes it all seem very real).

I've not had much time for creativity this week, I've been sewing a few more birds but really need to get my butt into gear and get a 'to do' list on the go. I've been doing some drawing and have some ideas for some new softies that will hopefully emerge in the coming few weeks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

birds of a sweater

A little something I've been doing in the last few (chilly) evenings. I made some of these hanging birds last Christmas also, and they proved quite popular so I'm making a whole lot more for my upcoming fairs this year (and a few for my shops too).

This weekend I've also updated both my etsy shop and my folksy shop. Some prices in etsy are reduced (exchange rate check) and have added some of my stitched postcards into my folksy shop

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

shoes, lasers and green tomato chutney

I've been doing a spot of internet window shopping today, and came across some shoes that must be mine. It's a shame for my feet that they are not in stock in my size, but my bank account is happy about this - they are £80! They are lovely though aren't they.

Today I also had my 6 weekly laser zapping session. PCOS causes a hormone imbalance - increased testosterone and this results in excess hair growth. Some people can deal with this but it really depresses me, so I opted to pay for laser treatment to reduce and elimate the hair.
The lovely lady who does the treatment whacked up the intensity of the laser beam today, and I definitely knew about it. It's only a momentary burning sensation but I was just on the right side of yelping out loud, whilst tyring to have a conversation with her about the recession. The things us ladies have to go through just to look and feel normal.

As a couple of people have requested it, here is my recipe for Green Tomato Chutney:

1kg green tomatoes
2 medium sized apples
500g soft brown sugar
500ml malt vinegar
2cm root ginger
125g raisins
300g onions or shallots (I used white onions)
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon of mustard seeds (I used the white ones, not sure what it would be like if you used the black ones)

  1. Wash and chop the tomatoes into small pieces. 1kg is a lot of tomatoes, so I gave mine a quick blast in the food processor
  2. Peel the ginger, and bash it with a rolling pin - but don't break it up
  3. Peel apples, and chop onions to roughly similar size to tomatoes - again, I blasted mine in the food processor
  4. Put all the ingredients in a deep cooking pot or jam pan, stir with a wooden spoon and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. Prepare glass jars by washing, drying and then heating in a 200 degree oven for approx 20 mins
  7. The chutney is done when it has a jam like consistency. Depending how liquid it is, you may need to cook it for up to another 30 minutes
  8. Before decanting into Jars remove the ginger. Decant chutney into the warm glass jars and cover each jar with a disc of greaseproof of wax paper whilst still hot
  9. Leave for at least a week before eating. 3-4 weeks is best :o)
I tried and tested the chutney today - I had it with some pate on toast and it was dee-lish.