Sunday, October 30, 2011

Batpoop crazy!

I find that simply posting on this blog really got me in the right mood to craft again. I mean, what's the point in moaning about a house that needs... customizing.. and then not do anything about it?
So I got to work Friday night. And I mean night, as I came home LATE after a rather long shift at work and a despicably tedious, wet, cold hike on the bus (which is new to me as the old house was so close to my shop that I only had to fall over face first twice and I was there) and decided that the lack of bats in the living room was rather disturbing.
Hoarder that I am, I luckily had some black cardboard at hand. Out came the trusty old scissors, and with the help of a bat shape neatly copied onto a white piece of paper from my laptop screen (hey, do I look like I can afford a new printer??) turned stencil, I got to work and cut out 18 ridiculously cute, fluttery bats.

Yup, another mobile phone picture as it was 3 am in the morning and my proper camera has decided that working her flash is just too much hard work. Can't blame her.

Obviously, there had to be more spiders since my arachnophobia is a considerable entity in my life and nothing says "batpoop crazy" better than surrounding yourself with the one thing you really fear, right?  So I used about 750 square feet of fake cobweb and loads more plastic spiders to really make a house a home.

By the time I had finished my infernal webbing, it was about 4 am... maybe I should mention that my alarm was due to go off at 8 to pull another fun filled, joyful shift in the bookies? I reckon that was what inspired the finishing touches. Enter Stephen King.

I figured (with stupid o'clock logic) that ketchup would be better than food colouring. Since ketchup does not contain food colouring. *d'oh* I also got the second R wrong, should have faced the other way 'round. Silly, overtired me!

I wasn't around to see the kids' faces when they turned up Saturday afternoon, but if the fact that they insisted on staying up 'til after ten to wait for my arrival back home to actually thank me is an indicator, I reckon they liked it.

I hope to be able to show off my chandelier tomorrow (THE BIG DAY, as Halloween is MY holiday of choice!) because it is sadly not even finished yet. On the twelfth day of Halloween my true love gave to me... *sigh* Please forgive the lame photos, I hope you still sort of get the knack.

Now if you will excuse  me, I have a little bit of sleeping to do to be fit for tomorrow! (bless me, I got 2 tubes of glow in the dark makeup for £1, I'll either die of the most epic rash ever or have the coolest complexion known to man. Maybe both.) Stay tuned, if you feel so inclined, for the chandelier reveal :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hey, did I make you jump?
This old ghost from the past just crept up on you! Well, if there are any of you left to be crept upon.
I shall not even try and bore you to oblivion with why I was away for so long, let's just say we had a few major changes going on, including moving house. And just in case you've never tried to stuff a large 3 bed semi into a cozy 2 bed terraced, just be told DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!
Only today did I manage to get a little bit of my mojo back and make a few little decorations for my upcoming favourite day of the year, Halloween.
Just to illustrate how bad I suck at blogging, the pictures were taken not with my beloved DSLR but my mobile phone- if you can forgive me for being invisible and despicable and awful and altogether rather unwholesome, I promise a proper post with proper photos in the very near future.
What do you say, do I deserve a second chance? If I throw in a few spiders?

The arrangement is not final, I just wanted all I got so far in as few photos as possible. All there is are a few cheap pound shop Halloween toys, old book pages, red and green food colouring and fake cobweb. We are on a really tight budget, which sent me on a quest to come up with really cheap, yet cheerful stuff to creep the kids with.
There will be some more things, the coup de grace being a big roadkill rescue IKEA chandelier all spooked up.
I hope that I have not lost all my bloggy friends, as I've missed you all pretty much like crazy in the last few months of madness and mayhem.
Keep calm and scary on, eh? ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What the &;^%$#@ Are You Wearing Wednesday!?!?

I am, my lovelies, wearing a big, old, chunky wool sweater. Because the house is so dang cold that we actually considered switching the heating back on!
Don't get me wrong, it is lovely and sunny outside, but this lovely house of ours takes MONTHS to warm up and only minutes to go back to its natural freezing state. I reckon my next What the... Wednesday will feature me with snot stoppers stuffed up my nose! On the upside, my bathroom is now lime green rather than mould green. The walls are still bare and will remain bare until I find a stencil to spruce them up a little before putting up my new bling organizers.
Now... behold, yours truly:

Have a good day, peeps! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's not easy being green!

So we survived another weekend of minion infestation. Took 'em to the park, and a good time was had by all.
Who am I kidding? We had a blast!! The weather was awesome, the kids were on their absolute best behaviour, and it turns out that a walk in the woods is about a gazillion times more entertaining than the TV, the PC, and any random heap of plastic ever deemed a toy. This will be a (kinda) crafty post, but please let me show off the babes!

There were football hooligans, imaginary dogs, bear caves and ancient graves. Take that, Playstation, Wii and Cartoon Channel!


I figured that with my Mums' visit approaching fast, I better get my behind into gear and tackle the worst disaster areas in the house. Pretty much the first thing that come to mind is the fungus farm in the bathroom. It hasn't seen a lick of paint since we moved in, and mould is spreading like there is no tomorrow. There is pretty much nothing we can do about it- the house is old, the room is badly ventilated and the paint that graces the walls at the moment was, I suppose the cheapest on the market.
So we went all out and bought a bucket of "lime crush"- yes, "lime crush". My choice. In my first flat, I was still a teenager, I had a green "wet cell", and it sort of tickled my fancy. Wanna see the disaster zone I'm talking about? Behold- our poor bathroom!

I had a few brush strokes to test it, and I guess I can live with the colour. As long as it's not mould green, I'm all for it!

I intend to take down the shelves you see in the picture. All they do is steal light! Honestly, if I wanna slap on some make- up, I have to do it somewhere else because for the love of mascara I can't see what I'm doing in that bathroom mirror.
But that means the wall is going to be empty. And there is nothing worse than an empty wall, right?

Say hello to my new earring organizers!!

No tutorial needed for these bad boys. Have a look:

All I did was adhere some fabric to cardboard I cut to size to fit the frames (this way I can keep the original backing in case I get tired of organizing my bling!), added some wire to one of them, some crocheted flowers (please check Mandys blog for the super- easy tutorial, the green flower is my first ever and not at all bad, if I may say so!) to the other, stuck some of my shinies to them and there they are, ready to grace the new lime crush- coloured walls.

Unfortunately, the daylight disappeared before I could take pictures, so the colours look a tad (very) odd. In reality, they actually match, and I'm hoping they'll look ok on the wall, once it's done.
What I shall need now is a solution for my necklaces, but I think that a few twigs and white spray paint might help me out.

Stay tuned, I have a hunch my next post will involve paint, brushes and a lot of green!

Love y'all, hope you had a great weekend.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gimme a jellyfish, will you?

Guys, I had this post all planned out.
I meant to present you with some perfectly crafted jellyfish, in honour both of Mich L and Saraccino.
Now, have you ever produced an utter FAIL? I mean, something so dang bad you can't even sell it as kids' craft, recycling, upcycling or repurposing?
Check out my Jellyfish.

They jelled their way into the bin, without even getting the benefit of doubt tentacles.
After failing with model clay, I decided that one fail isn't quite enough, I had to fail with the needle felting technique, too. On the upside, I got a pretty flower and some really decent felt beads out of it! But on the whole, there will be no jellyfish in the Three Bed Semi at any point in the foreseeable future. Boy, am I cheesed off!

In order to rescue todays post, I have something that I would love to share with you all, if you'd allow me. Nothing I had planned, just one of them little LOL moments that make jellyfish seem quite unimportant, even if you've spent a whole day off on creating a jelly disaster.

The Man and I went on a little stroll today, exploring charity shops and generally enjoying the nice weather. I came home with a bag full of fun finds, he came home regretting he ever took me for a stroll. Bless his cotton socks, he took it like a man and stopped crying about an hour ago, I am SO proud of him!
To cut a long story short, when we came home, I went upstairs to change into something comfy and found this:

Brownie points if you find the kitteh. I called The Man upstairs, and I swear he did not notice her! Domestic bliss on a mad cat lady scale.

She eventually emerged, and I managed to get some shots of her and Bob which I am really proud of, for no reason whatsoever. The light played into my hands, the camera is pretty much courtesy of my insurance (hey, a D40 was all I asked for, cheers!) and the models seemed to be in the best mood ever. All I did was click, and I was blessed with pictures that, in my book, capture the very reason why we put up with hairballs, spraying, hissing, cat fights, a bannister that is reduced to a mere toothpick and no room whatsoever on the couch, bed, comfy chair and pretty much anywhere else.
Meet Erin and Bob, people.

There are two more supermodels in the house, but apparently they were unavailable for this shoot. Divas... If this wan't too much for you guys, I will happily post glamour shots of them as soon as I manage to get an appointment in. As I am writing this, Shannon (skinny black slinky cat) is trying her upmost to sit on my lap, so I reckon I might have a foot in the door.
Sorry for another utterly non- crafty post, but if anyone feels the need to say JELLYFISH anywhere near me, I swear I will hurt somebody. Badly.
Love y'all, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What the &;^%$#@ Are You Wearing Wednesday!?!?

Here's another one for Sunny!

I am wearing
A) an incredibly sexy baby- blue, 100% artificial fibres, made in the 3rd world, ill fitting work blouse and
B) an equally sexy, just as incredibly well- made black skirt, courtesy the local charity shop.

Both items show every wobble, every blob and every fold there is to be shown, and I don't think the blazer I shall don to complete the outfit will help a lot.

Why the heck am I wearing this as we speak?

Because I am on my way to an interview which, if successful, might or might not grant me a small promotion within the bookies. Same job, worse hours, different job title and a few shillings more a month. And I mean few. But, should I ever apply for a PROPER job, "deputy manager" will look better than customer service assistant, right? So I clench my teeth, get myself suited and booted and go for it.

Wish me luck, guys, I think I deserve the promotion just for getting dressed in work stuff during my official holiday and hauling my sorry behind into town to bare my teeth in a Cheshire Cat grin at whoever sees fit to assess my abilities. Err.

Love y'all, have a good 'un!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, everyone!

The Man and I wish you a wonderful day filled with eggs, chocolate, sun and whatever else makes this a brilliant holiday.
Nightmares of Donnie Darko included.
Love y'all!

Friday, April 15, 2011

He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood!

He's the one that makes you feel alright.
Nothing like a bit of Motley Crue, people, reminds us how old seasoned young at heart musically educated we are!

Both The Man and I suffer from ridiculously dry skin at the moment. Dry to the point where it gets itchy and, as a result, painful from the scratching. His mainly affects his face and back, mine the areas around my big gob and arms. Basically, we both look like considerably less cute versions of this:

There are few options, really, especially when your dry skin borders on something that might require cortisone creams. My grandma always used to say they make your skin thinner, and that would be counterproductive, right?

So I decided to go with the flow and try something so simple, it really should not work.
Entry Dr. Feelgood.
Sugar, extra virgin olive oil and honey.
If you google olive oil sugar scrub, you'll find tons of recipes to whip up within a few minutes. So the only point of this post, really, is to gently nudge you towards giving it a go.

You can use fancy stuff like oil made from olives harvested by Sardinian virgins on the last full moon before their 15th birthday and mix it with honey produced by a rare breed of pink- and- black chequered rain forest bees, but all I do is get a cereal bowl full of simple, cheap white sugar, about a shotglass full of ALDI extra virgin olive oil (you can tell it's fancy, it comes in a glass bottle rather than plastic! whoo- hooo!) and a splash of whatever honey you have knocking about. Actually... if you would be so kind, try and get ethically sourced honey. I won't bore you with the details, but it makes sense.
Anyway, mix it all up into a rather sandy, yet smooth happening, stick it into a container with an airtight lid and you are all set.
Smother it all over your body in the shower or bath and do NOT wash it off with soap. Clear water will do. Then... don't towel yourself down like you normally do, just get an old towel and gently dab the moisture away so as to keep the oily film on your skin.
You can happily use it from head to toe, and if you feel so inclined, even lick your fingers after applying the mix. Sweet, baby!
I promise you will feel divine. Your skin will thank you a million times over, and your wallet will cry tears of joy for not being disemboweled for purchasing empty promises of eternal relief.

If you use it on your face, there will be no need for extra moisturizer after your bath or shower. Your face might be shiny like a babys' behind for a bit, but that's better than a face like a bearded dragon, right? Oh, and did I mention how you exfoliate at the same time, save loads of money and feel divine? Yeah, I think I did.

So, if you have not yet made your very own olive oil scrub, I strongly suggest you get started. Zero hassle, almost zero cost and you can (almost certainly) bin that cortisone cream. Convinced?

Have yourself a divine weekend, love y'all!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What the &;^%$#@ Are You Wearing Wednesday!?!?

Sunny over at Life in Rehab has introduced the worlds first "What the &;^%$#@ Are You Wearing Wednesday!?!?". You all know "What I wore Wednesdays", right?
Well, Sunny is keeping it real. Or surreal? Not too sure, but please go see for yourself. To put it in her own words- it's just... weird!

Anyway, here's me this afternoon (!) before work.

exhibit A: Oversized Glasgow Celtic hooded sweater jacket, bought about 10 years ago on sale in Glasgow.
exhibit B: "This is England" T-shirt, featuring the picture of a full English breakfast in all its artery- clogging beauty. Bought on sale last summer as an anti- support for the English national football (soccer) team during the World Cup. I support ABE! (anything but England! To keep it fair, I also support ABG, anything but Germany, and when England played Germany, I only JUST stopped short of displaying the England flag.)
exhibit C: flowery jammy pants, bought on sale at ALDI. Yes, they have a PINK print. Got a problem with that??

Altogether, I look a proper tramp in the house! But I couldn't be bothered any less. It's MY lair and MY dress code! HA!! Please note that I took the picture at an incredibly unfortunate angle, though- my chin has, in reality, less than 3 layers. But only just.

Ah, knock it off, will ya?

You might or might not remember that I promised a little knock- off the other day. It'll cost you pretty much next to nothing, and I'm pretty sure you will laugh all the way to the bank because yours truly is about to save you a whopping £118! (don't ask how much that is in $, but it'll be a lot of dough.)

How do you feel about these babies:

Minoan earrings that, according to Anthro, give you some sort of divine powers. And they'll give THEM aforementioned £118. For a bit of brass. You WHAT? I don't think so, people.

Ready to kick some Minotaur butt, guys? Go and pour yourself a pint.

Yes, pint.

Then grab the empty can, carefully cut it open and do this with a sharpie:

Just estimate the length, it totally depends on what size you want your shinies to be.

CAREFULLY cut out your shapes, the metal is really sharp. Keep away kids, cats and clumsy significant others! You'll get this:

Sand down the edges. Please don't skip this step, unless you feel the urge to decapitate yourself with your new earrings!

Now, bend the metal strips into shape. I tried to make mine resemble the original, but again, it's totally up to you!

Now... I am lucky enough to have a crazy talented Man in the house who used to paint wargaming miniatures. He does not paint anymore, but all the equipment is still there. You might want to enlarge the following two photos (click on them!), just to treat yourself to the full range of, well, INTERESTING shades available to yours truly.

Snot green is my all time favourite, but I went with Mithril Silver, followed by a coat of clear varnish. I'm pretty sure you could use spray paint or even nailpolish instead!

Oops- I forgot to mention- before I started slapping on the paint, each shiny got a little hole at the flat end.
Anyway, it won't do any harm if the brushstrokes are visible- the original Anthro version seems to be brushed brass, so no smooth surface there.

Now, let everything dry out nicely and gather two beads of your choice, two headpins and two earhooks.


Take a final picture:

... and sit back to imagine what you could do with the £118 you just saved.

Notes: I made a couple of mistakes. I applied one thick coat of paint rather than to thin coats, so little "blobs" of paint accumulated at the edges, and at some points, the green permanent marker still shows through.
I also did not make the little holes smack- bang in the middle.
But since this is so ridiculously easy, I'll just have another go and experiment a little!

I hope you are a bit inspired. Now, go spend £118 on something that's REALLY worth it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This one goes out to the one(s) I love!

I apologize for the lack of posts. Let's just say that liquid and laptop keyboards are a less than perfect match!
I am posting this from The Mans' laptop, late at night while he's serenely snoozing away in bed. Bless him!
My recent inability to actively participate in the blogland community left me feeling slightly guilty and immensely handicapped. So many wonderful posts, comments and ideas I would have loved to answer! Eeek.
But for the time being, I shall have to remain quiet until my keyboard is fixed. Thankfully, my laptop works justfine, minus the keyboard! It'll be fixed soon, but until then, it's quiet time.
While I have the reign over The Mans' laptop, though, I would like to introduce you to a couple of peeps you have seen, yet not properly met before. I promise this is not going to be a photo blog (in fact, I am hoping to be able to present you with a ridiculously easy Anthro knock- off soon), but in my book, there are things that need to be put out in the open.

I mean, WHAT??? See the big guy doing an obscene gesture? And see the wee guy laughing his big head off at it? And don't get me started on the princess wearing shades way too small for her. She actually prides herself in needing glasses in teenager sizes because, and I quote, "a big brain needs room". Darn right it does, my little Viking queen. Her namegiving, not mine.

The Viking queen, as you might recognize, is Abigail, 8 years old. She is hard as nails, soft as dough and pretty as a spring flower. She is NOT a lady. She never will be, and I love every hair on her head. If I ever had a daughter, I would wish for her to be a lot like Abi. Clever, funny, caring. I got her and her lil' brother a Kinder surprise egg on Saturday, and after she cracked hers open, she immediately offered me half of the chocolate. What a girl, peeps. What a girl!

The big guy in the middle... I will not bore you with details. All that counts for me is that he loves me, the kids and the cats (VERY important for me) from the bottom of his heart. He has zero manners (obscene gesture?), cares zero for what people might think and has the most creative mind I have ever encountered. His cooking skills are unrivalled and he looks, well, INTERESTING wearing nothing but an apron Just trust me on that-further proof found on my Facebook.

Have you noticed how happy the little guy on the right looks? Aaron, 4 years old and the master of the whingy voice. "...but... I am a goooooooooooooood boy!" Yeah, man, you are, and a bloody pain in the behind! This little fellow can crack you up at the drop of a hat. He does not WALK down steps, he'll slide down the steps on his behind. Panicky adults will only increase his pleasure. He's perfectly able to wipe his bum, pull up his pants and sort himself out, but there seems to be nothing more pleasing than a shrill shriek " Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" (yeah, it hurts, doesn't it?) and the world is at his disposal. But look at that smile, even I, certified Ebenezer Scroogesse, can't growl. His main feature is the incredible ability to take apart every £30 Transformer he encounters and turn it into an interesting heap of scrap plastic, keeping adults entertained for hours on end, trying to fix the unfixable.
For some obscure reason, he calls me "weird" and "Womble". I think I like him.

Anyway, so much for today, this is as close as this blog will ever get to a Mommy blog. I'm no Mommy, just a victim of circumstance and dang happy with it! And in case you picked up upon wee man and big man wearing the same odd outfit- they are Croatia football (soccer) tops. I have a relatively large collection of tops The Man likes to wear, and I happened upon the tiny version in the charity shop. Don't they look awesome together? I suggested to Abi she get a Croatia top, but she objected, she reckons us girls need to stick together. Hello Kitty it is, then!

Love y'all, please stay tuned for my Anthro knock- off earring tutorial. Have yourselves a good time!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy Mothers Day (UK)!


this is a post that's not about the crafty endeavours of yours truly. In fact, it has no crafts, success or fail, in it whatsoever.
It is about my Mom, and I would like you to get to know her through the awesome pictures she takes.
I know that most bloggers and blog readers appreciate beautiful pictures. I also know that many pictures we get to admire on our favourite blogs go through some kind of post- processing, often wonderfully done. Most of the pictures on my blog are at least cropped, and more often than not they go through some sort of enhancement, even though they are still amateurish in most cases.

My Mum, as far as I know, has no photo- enhancing software at her disposal, and I truthfully doubt she even knows how to crop a picture. But she seems to have "the magic eye". She sees things, and it is like the camera turns into an extension of her eyes. *blink*, and the magic is done.For me trying to photograph, it's more like *blink* and the magic is gone!

I would like to show you some of her pictures that make me want to laugh, cry, embrace the world and believe that there might be some good left in the world. They can all be found on her Flickr, if you want, I'll share the link.

Now... meet the incredible woman I am proud to call my Mum and see the world through her eyes.

Years and years and years ago I requested that she should please only send greeting cards from her holidays that feature some sort of critter. You know, not your boring old "sooo cute highstreet" shot, wish you were here and whatnot. She has not let me down ONCE after that. In fact, there was one occasion where she did not send a card at all because she could not find one with any kind of critter on it.
She sends me parcels with home made chocolate pralines and my favourite ketchup and crisps (I can't get that stuff in England, so she spends stupid amounts of money on postage to make sure her offspring has something to spice up her sandwich with) and (true darn story!) has kept a piece of puff pastry in the shape of a frog that adorned a meal The Man made her on one of her visits in Leeds.
When I was a kid and on holiday with my grandparents, she would send me letters with the pawprints of her pets stamped in lipstick (how she got the cat to do it I still do not know) and one year I received a full carriage horse- headcollar as a christmas gift. We passed her off as my sister to my first boyfriend and  laughed for years afterwards. She got bowel cancer, survived and still contemplates tattooing a zipper over the scar. Heck, she had herself tattooed at the same time as me more than ten years ago! She paints on silk and buys the students of the university she works at little gifts- because she can. She never wears the socks I get her because they are kept for special occasions...?! Her kitchen counter is packed with stuffed animals, all of them little gifts from me and Her Man, and she still lights candles for my Rainbow Cat Penny.

Her name is Marion, she's my Mum and when I grow up, I want to be just like her.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bang goes the bangle!

Remember me mentioning a fail in my Scotty- post? Well, I figured it was about time to show you my new yarn- wrapped bangles candle holder adornments!

I scored this beautiful yarn in, you guessed it, a charity shop and immediately thought of making it into some sort of jewellery.

So out came the cheapo bangles I got with wrapping in mind.
Wrap it, baby! And end up with something that looks like your favourite childhood teddybear had a terrible accident:

The blue version is not much better, like a carpet sample turned cupholder:

So, after photographing them, I actually meant to throw them away, but found out that they fit snugly around my little IKEA tealight holders. Like so:

They kinda make me smile, not because they are pretty (and heck, they are anything BUT pretty!) but because of my blind enthusiasm to put my own spin on some of the really beautiful stuff I have seen sprout up all over blogland, failing royally. So, for as long as my mantel sports the blue- ish look, they are allowed to stay, and then end up in the dress- up box for the wee ones to mess around with.

Behold, my yarny endeavours did not stop there. A fail will not prevent me from trying out anything that looks do- able, easy and satisfying, so I grabbed myself a fork, some yarn and got to work. This little tutorial shows how to make neat little pom poms without much ado, and I strongly recommend you guys give it a go. No fuss, no messing about, just you, your fork and some favourite yarn scraps. Aww, bliss!

I made 13 of the little fellas (13 is my favourite number, just for the heck of it!) and stuck them to my now- bare winter wreath with some hot glue.

Unfortunately, the pictures do the wreath no justice at all. I'll try and get some better ones in proper daylight!