Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Blueberry Muffins

First blog post here in two and a half years! Goodness. What a blast from the past it was looking through the previous posts. 

A friend of mine asked to be repaid a favour via food (a happy exchange) with the condition that I revisit my blog and post up my makings and bakings whatever they might be. So here I am. Mostly these days I use my website ( but it's more for my art work than baking or make 'n do! The website could also do with some new material so keep an eye there over the next little while. That favour may prove to be a catalyst all round!

So anyway, I made some muffins. They're not fancy - a simple but delicious recipe from Lilly Higgins' book Make Bake Love; appropriate for this first venture back to the world of blogspot as she was/is one of my favourite chefs and bloggers! They are pretty good... Definitely making them again, so quick. 

The blueberries (that haven't already kamikazed in the oven as you might notice) pop really juicily in the mouth... So good!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Stephen's Day Scarf

I'm not much of a knitter, but Santa brought some kind of miracle wool that you can knit into a whole scarf in an evening while you're watching the Christmas Downton. Tivoli spiral wool it was, and came with a small pattern. This is the result!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Little Saint Nick-nails

Candy apple red with a sprinkling of snowflakes...

Red nail polish, with white snowflakes hand drawn with a nail pen.

...For the day that's in it!

Merry Christmas all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Hootie the Hottie

Inspired by my success with Bloop, I set about making a similar present for a Secret Santa gift, though it could be a gift for any time really!

Hootie the Hottie is the result. She's a Snugowl - an interesting creature who sleeps a lot, smells like lavender, keeps you warm on a cold winter's eve, and is generally good for a cuddle when you need one.

To make one like her, you need:

  • Fleece in your colour of choice
  • Felt to add details
  • either a needle and thread or a sewing machine (or both!)
  • some dried lavender
  • a hot water bottle
  • plush toy stuffing (or old clean tights or socks cut up)

Taking my inspiration from my Secret Sant-ee's bedroom d├ęcor, I cut out a back and a front in fleece. You need to cut out two of each piece so you can fill these later. They don't need to be exactly the same, but they do need to fit together in the end. In mine, the front has the ears, but the back doesn't.

Sew the two fronts together, turning them inside out afterwards so that the seams are on the inside and leaving a gap at the top so that you can fill it. This bit is fastest on the sewing machine but totally doable by hand also.

Fill the front with some plush stuffing, making sure it's not packed too tightly, it's going to need to be pretty pliable. Then sew up the top so that no stuffing gets out. 


Do the same with the back pieces.


You need to remember that your hot water bottle has to fit between the front and the back so double check at this point that it fits!

Then hand stitch the front and back together, leaving a gap at the top so that the hot water bottle can be taken in and out. You won't see the hand stitches if you're using fleece, so make sure it's sturdy rather than pretty. At this stage you can add some embellishments too though - I added wings by hand stitching some pink felt onto the front.

I also added a square patch to the back - this is filled with dry lavender which smells dreamy when the hot water bottle is hot inside Hootie. 

Then it's on to finishing touches! She'll need eyes (for snoozin') and a beak (for protecting against enemies), which can be hand stitched on in a few minutes, or you could use buttons if you like. Oh and a tail of course, for aerodynamic purposes.

Finally she'd need some feet, you know, just because birds do. Again these can be hand stitched with a little care.

And that's all there is to it! Hootie the Hottie could just as easily be another type of animal if you so wished, but she's a simple soul and a shape which is easy to sew!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Best Thing I've Ever Made: Bloop

I had to make a special present for Someone Special. And it had to be AMAZING.

Inspired by Child's Own studio's work and Mo, who was made for a friend, I set to work on creating not just a handmade present, but something much more personal.

Based on this drawing by Someone, I set to work on bringing a creature to life, using fleece, felt, buttons, wool and some other bits and bobs...

I made a pattern. I thought that as I only had a front to go on, I could do what I like with his insides and back. He would be fully reversible, and inside-out-able, for reasons which you will discover below... 

He'd need feet.

And a brain, filled with thoughts on a bit of paper (they're not for you to see though). 

The brain comes from one of Someone's favourite books

And a circular double heart of Longing that sits in a pocket in his chest, filled with swan feathers* from swan lake, a shell from Co. Clare, and a lint of friendship ("a lint is a shell's best friend" - Marcel the Shell) - all items with a lot of personal importance.
*no swans were harmed in the making of these feathers 

He would need an old soul. The kind that grannies have.

And a Hot Water Bottom, for snuggling. Plus all those strong pink felt muscles inside for powers of minding.

As his insides took shape, so too did his outsides, with some outside help.

"make it work, designers"

He has the back of a razorback turtle/pig/dragon,

Some sparkle eyes and a distinguished french moustache,

Very stylish wooly hair,

A nose of lavender with tremendous smell detecting/defending ability,

An army patch (from his time in the war),

A terrifying mouth (great for tasting and protecting) and a trendy tie,

And a fluffy back, or a back pack rack, or a flying attack!

And so Bloop came to life... Ready to mind, defend, and snuggle.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Wall

The Beginning.
I was asked to paint a mural for a primary school so here's the progress so far!