Saturday, 30 November 2013

What Can You Make Out Of These?

It's nearly the Christmas season, Advent is upon us so I bought some DAS air drying clay...

Shaped lumps of it like this...

 and collectd some empty matchboxes.

But can you guess what I did with these crafty ingredients?
Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Looking You Up and Down

Well, not precisely  YOU, unless you happen to be a part of the Science Museum or a feature in Camden, London . I just love standing under something huge and taking a photo up, or standing on top of something high and taking a photo down!

Here's the Science museum looking down over the edge from the top floor

And here is the Cyberdog robot statue from below

One makes you feel like a giant and the other like a tiny person in the presence of giants!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Lovely London

As you know if you have followed my blog for any length of time, I do love a trip to London with my camera. There are so many gorgeous buildings and iconic places there that I still haven't seen, but here are a few places I have been and captured.

All of these are taken at or near the Tower of London.

Along the Thames.

A very fortified view with the towers of the Tower in the background.

There will be more...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

A Nice Warm Fire

Yesterday I had one of those mad clear-up times where, not only do you move furniture that you usually hoover round, but you clean out the grate, build a fire and wait for most of the family to be gathered together before lighting it. The first fire of the wintery season so I thought I'd share it with you.

And no I didn't alter the colours, that is the weirdness that came out when I took the picture (although wrapping paper is fascinating to burn as the inks glow all sorts of odd colours... in the olden days before Mars bars were put in plastic wrappers the paper ones used to burn bright green!).

It had a layer of coal at the base, then kindling and logs on top. That meant that by the time my husband was home and able to settle down with us, the wood had burnt but the coals were so hot that a new log caught very quickly and perked it up all over again and everything smelt slightly smoky bacon-ish. I LOVE that smell.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Let's have a bit of Beach

It seems ages since we've been to the beach and, even though these pics look cold enough to make you keep your coat on, they also remind us of summery times and time spent more slowly.

They are a bit deserted because they were taken in December.

It's not our habit to go to the beach in December (although I'm beginning to think it SHOULD be... create good memories more often... potential new year's resolution in the making!)...

But it was a significant birthday in the family and the first time away for a weekend minus offspring (Paris being the second and with a few years in between the two events).

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dr Who saving Gallifrey

Loved the 50th Anniversary Dr Who episode yesterday, especially the two most recent Drs and their banter. So I decided to take their theme of all the Drs working together to surround and freeze Gallifrey into a moment of time, and rework it using items associated with each Dr (with apologies to Peter Capaldi who doesn't have a Whovian persona to take from yet).

I had a search throughout Time and Google images and found something for most Drs and this is the result.

They are arranged like a clockface making Dr number one at one o'clock. So you can either play a guessing game to see how tuned you are to Whovian iconography... or check below for the explanations of what I chose.

1. William Hartnell: the wiggly walking stick
2. Patrick Troughton: the stripey recorder
3. John Pertwee: Bessie his car
4. Tom Baker: Jelly babies
5. Peter Davison: cricket ball
6. Colin Baker: turquiose scarf (to represent the whole multicoloured madness)
7. Sylvester McCoy: the questionmark umbrella
8. Paul McGann: the pocket watch
9. John Hurt: the tweed scarf (maybe should have been the satchel... he's so on trend with fashion!!)
10. Chris Eccleston: Glowing Tardis key
11. David Tennent: 3D glasses
12. Matt Smith: Bow tie (but toyed with the idea of the Fez)

If you like it... pass it on    = )

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Ooooh LOOK!!!

I went to a school Christmas Fair today and, you know me, I'm always on the lookout for new craft ideas to try. WELL, today I saw these! They are sledges made from 2 (wrapped) candy canes glued to the sides of a piece of card on which are 3 wrapped parcels, of different sizes.

The parcels contain a 4 bar KitKat, a Mars bar and something else of a chocolatey nature.

No I'm not being secretive. I asked the lady who made them and she could only remember 2 out of the 3 chocolate delights and, as my son bought it not me, I thought it would be rude (not to mention unwise) if I unwrapped it to have a look. but you get the idea.

I think they're lovely. I shan't be making them but I do like to see something new and lovely on christamassy craft stalls. well done unknown crafty lady in Aldershot!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Warming the Cockles of your Heart

Sounds a dangerous thing to do but here goes... actually from the trades description point of view, this is not so much a heart warming blog as a stomach warming one.  
My Rosie looks forward to Autumn and winter, not because she doesn't like the warmth of Summer, but because she enjoys the comfort of warm blankets, roaring fires and apple and blackberry puddings with custard... or ice cream... or cream. Maybe that vision is both heart warming and stomach warming?

No claims made here to Bake Off proficiency. My pies frequently have soggy bottoms and nobody in the family minds a bit, as long as they keep coming!

In fact as pies go, this one appears to have more of a hint of Sweeny Todd than Bake Off.

But its worth it in the end.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Tangled Trees

Trees! What wonderful things, eh? Shady, cool, huge, good for the environment and, in most cases, around for a lot longer than we are!
Here are a few of my favourite twisty, tangled ones.

Like a snake infested Medusa hairdo of a tree!

A desperate scramble to the top.

And the straggling unkempt weight of a hedge in winter, clinging to its stony support.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Old, Cold London

It's getting really chilly and lots of the trees have lost all their leaves, while others cling on with a beautiful Autumn show. Here are a couple of views of a clear, cold London.

Blimey Guv'nor. It looks like something out of Mary Poppins: all poetic and olde-worlde.

A windy day in Camden (in fact by the state of that flag, one of many windy days there!!!).

Or maybe it's a scene from Peter Pan and small children will go flying over the skyline at any moment!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Another Quiz

Here are the things I used...can you guess before you get to the end?

Old keys, black card, a silver pen, silver embossing powder and coloured threads.

Here is the halfway point with a label stamp, black card and silver powder.

The heat tool fixes the powder.

The cropodile makes holes (like a hole punch) and sets eyelets.

And the end product is a key that Santa can use, with his Christmas magic, to open the door on Christmas Eve if you have no chimney and worry that he may not get in to fill your stocking! As the keys are redundant there is no security risk, and they only be used by Santa with magic.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

What else was at the Christmas Fair???

What else was at the Christmas Fair and how did you do, I hear you cry??? It was a very quiet cry but I definitely heard it. 

Well my bit of the table looked like this

and this...

My daughter's part looked like this

 and my Mum-in Law's like this

We were raising money for Challengers, a marvellous organisation that gives play and social opportunities to children, teens and adults with a range of disabilities. The total from yesterday was £80 after the expense of the table, and hopefully more when we've done the next fair.
If you want to check out what they do, click on this link

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Christmas Fairs and the Candy Cane Guys

Did you have a go at imagining what yesterday's ingredients might make when combined with Candy Canes?


Well here is the reveal...


The socks are sewn into tubes and threaded onto the curly ends to make hats.

The eyes are drawn on in a variety of styles.

They sold well at the fair. Must make some more before Dec 7th, the date of the next fair!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Candy Canes and Christmas Fairs

I have the first of two Christmas Fairs coming up this weekend and intend to decorate these candy canes. 

Accessories include small pom poms, shiny card, a permanent marker and a couple of socks. Can you guess what I'm going to do?

I'll let you see soon!

In the meantime, if you're wondering where these gorgeously bright confections came from, it was the American sweetshop The Candy Co. They are made from the same stuff as the fruity Polo-type sweets called Lifesavers.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Wherever I lay my hat

Not only a rather funky song (original and cover versions both) but also the title for this pen and ink drawing of a duck-like tramp of a Socklet, making his way through the world.

He has no home and very little in the way of possessions but still seems so cheerful.

 And here is the original Socklet on whom the painting was based.

For others in the pen and ink series of Socklets, checkout

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

First Frost

Today was the first frost of the season. I suppose we've done pretty well to get this far into November before it came. It was a very easy drive to work because most people hadn't noticed until they went out to get into their cars, then had to scrape the windows for the next five minutes, giving me a headstart!

So before we move into moaning about the cold... it's time to marvel at the beauty.

These are pictures of the frost on my car windscreen .

It almost seemed a shame to scrape it off!! But it will be back soon, I'm sure!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Giant Chocolate Coin!!!

Chocolate coins are marvellous things, whether wrapped or unwrapped they exude extravagance and promise (even though sometimes they are made out of such cheap chocolate that they disappoint, but even then I am still bound by duty and honour to eat them all!!!).

So these are the sizes of your general chocolate coins (thank you Mr 50p for helping to illustrate scale)...

And THIS is the size of the one I found in The Range yesterday (dwarfing Mr 50p in its gigantific-ness)...

Here's a comparison with the other delicious chocolate currency...

And here is the inevitable conclusion to the experiment! YUM.