Sunday, January 23, 2011

Let's hear it for the dabblers!

Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes is a dabbler. She is not happy until she's tried it.
And what is it?
Any craft you could think of and then some, she is not picky. Weaving, knitting, carving, quilting... you name it, she dabbles (no, wait, I think the word I am after is DAZZLES) in it.
So, what is a dabbler?
The way I understand it, and please cut me some slack as english is my second language, is: you give it an amateurish go, and if you like it, you crack on. Blogging it seems to help, too.
I started this blog because I won a crazy competition, and I haven't looked back since.
There was jewlellery, paper, felt, sugar, mod podge, spray paint, soap, candles, crochet and whatnot. I loved it all, and I still do.
There is a huge stash of supplies in our house I can't find any justification for it other that being a dabbler.
Say it with me and Pam- DABBLER. Been there, got the T- Shirt.

There are so many incredibly lovely blogs out there all written by, c'mon, you know... DABBLERS! Yeah, class, that's it. Give everything a go, immerse yourself, learn something new and be utterly embarrassed about the paint chips. But does it really matter? I, for one, have some stupid amount of fun coming up with a new blog post, supported by The Man, trying to catch your imagination with something. It might be something you have seen a million times before or something you'd never wish to see again, but for me, it is fun.

I should really start and tell you about my failures as well. A tea- died carved owl- fail. Pillowcase- fail. 70ies style crocheted scarf- MAJOR fail. That kind of stuff never makes it into this blog, but maybe it should. Germans say "dance at too many weddings", and yeah, you are bound to trip up. A Yorkshire person would say "and land on your @rse"", but let's not go that far.

All I want to say is- go with Pam. Dabble in anything you like. You might find that you are the new and upcoming queen of jewellery, or maybe you will be the most incredible model clay artist ever. If not, you could always go for the crocheting crown or tea tanning tiara. Whatever makes you happy. And if you feel the need to share the umpteenth twine- wrapped object, go for it. It's your craft, your blog, your creativity.
Go on, dabble.

My fails

The last one, I am not a bit ashamed to admit, is The Man. The Royal Fail lies in how I thought I might actually fit into the outfit, because it said one size fits all. Just so you know, it doesn't.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Night of the bunnyrabbit!

I told you yesterday that The Man came up with and idea.
When I was sketching simple stuff I thought I could make out of felt for the Easter Tree, he looked at the bunnyrabbit- face I had drawn and said "That's be cool as a cat nip toy!"
Bless him, I hadn't even thought of that. So here it is, the birth of the catnip bunnyrabbit.

Sketch yourself a bunnyrabbit on an old wine box.

Cut it out.

Draw outlines on felt of desired colour twice, flip over template after first one.

Cut out, leave a bit of felt around the outlines- you'll use them to sew along them. Sketch and stitch on a cute face. Stitch together with the sides with the outlines on the outside. Begin half way up the chin, go 'round the ears and face till you arrive on the other side of the chin. Turn inside out, a chopstick might help to accomplish this.

Stuff with dismembered pillow, add catnip and sew the opening together.

Place in front of picture of soon- to- be- ex husbands utterly adorable doggie and take a shot together with new best mate Valentine, the Voodoo zombie.
Be proud of youself, crack open that wine and relish looking at your kittehs enjoying themselves with a good, healthy dose of pacifying catnip!

Thanks to The Man, he was a real star during conception and birth both of Valentine and Bunnyrabbit. Credit where credit is due!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Folksy Friday: Your best friends!

I am in crafty limbo. Or, I was, until about 3 hours ago, when The Man, in his uniquely lovely way, sort of whacked me over the head with a great idea.
I was sketching silly stuff, like bunnyrabbits and carrots, in preparation of our easter tree. Remember the xmas tree? Same thing, but with easter decorations. Stand up and look me in the eye if you have any valid reasons why... NOT. Stay tuned and you'll see.
Anyway, his remark inspired me for this weeks' Folksy Friday.
It's all about our best friends- kittehs, goggies, feathers and scales,  you name it.

I had quite a few "pets" in my life, and I loved them all. Minus the cats, I think the best companions I had so far were my rats. Apart from the first one, Paul ( who was a female, I found her abandoned on a shopping trip in town when I was about 18), I got them all as youngsters, and they allhad names realated to ancient Egypt.

They are so wonderful- give them their space (no, a cage bought in the pet shop will NOT do!), a companion (I suppose siblings work best?) and all your love, and you have best friends for as long as it lasts.

Downside is, it doesn't last long. Two, three years on average, and they tend to meet their ends. Given that they often descend from lab rats, they have sort of damaged genes, and cancer is a common disease. I won't bother you with the stories, but you have to be a tough cookie to see it through.

After sharing my life with about 12 rats over the years, I had enough of the heartbreak. 2 tattoos are eternal reminders of the joy they brought me, the trust they put in me, the loyalty, love and friendship I received. If you can stand the heartbreak of a hard decision at the end of a beautiful life, rats might be the pets you are looking for. Intelligent, clean, friendly and always surprising, given you provide them with what they deserve to live life to the max.

Mama, don't preach and get on with it! Folksy Friday, people- for all your best friends' needs!

Treat pouch- 5% of the sale go to a greyhound charity. You know it makes sense.

Best friends- wee piggietailed critter and wee rat- tailed critter!

Hey, gorgeous, what's your name?

pocket- sized purrs- personalized portraits of your pets. (ppppp)

 I might not believe in it, but maybe there is a need for doggie coats. If there is, here's one to look out for!

Personalized bowls- how can your pet live without them?

The best kitteh is a sleeping kitteeh- tuck them in in style.

Liiiiiving under the sea... love turtles? Show it!

Free bird! Headless horsemen not included. (and this bird you cannot change!)

Show your love by buying a HUGE rabbit hutch for at least two and this cute name tag (times 2)

Hope you found some inspiration, guys. Always remember- see what your pet shop recommends for your pet and double it up- that'll be somewhere near what is required. This goes for space, company, nutrition... they depend on us, give us their love and their lives. Least we can do is meet their needs, eh? And with the help of the omnipresent and somewhat omniscient internet, it won't take long to study up before taking in a furry, scaly or feathery lodger.

Love you all, stay tuned for what THE MAN kickstarted!

update: Ooops... over all the preaching, Mama forgot to link the pictures! This is fixed now. So sorry!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Folksy Friday: Healthy!

We've been feeling a bit under the weather recently- there was a lot of coughing, sneezing and general germ- spreading going on around here. Tell you what, guys, it was NOT pretty!

So, here's some healthy stuff to keep y'all going through the flu season- everything, of course, lovingly handmade from the beautiful people that are on Folksy.

Click images to zip to the shops!

Wheatie bags to keep you warm!

Dress up that hot water bottle, you know it makes sense.

Treat your cracked lips to chocolate goodness

A lavender bath to relax before bed time

No warm kitty for your lap? Stick one 'round your neck, sure to prevent sore throats!


 Gather friends to support you!

And if all else fails... spread some love, as it might just be the best remedy.

Oh, and if you happen to encounter a severe case of MAN FLU... try this:

Have healthy weekend, everybody- love y'all, even with the sniffles!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Folksy Friday- Make me laugh!

It's been a while since my last Folksy Friday. You know, the post where you guys are supposed to find handmade items you really love and, eventually, get your pay pal ready to buy them.
The whole idea of Folksy Friday is to pick items you'd totally buy yourself, there is no marketing behind it, no money, no syndicate.
Just a little community thing to spread the love- and the Folksy Handmade Idea. Why buy High street when you can have something lovingly handmade for pretty much the same money?
This week, I want to share items that make me happy just by looking at them. They make me laugh, grin, chuckle, ROFL and smile. They inspire me and make me feel... good. Yeah, that's it. I vow to play the lottery from now on so I can buy each and every wonderful item that tickles my fancy- here's to all the wonderful artisans that put all the effort, time and love into their work to give us something truly amazing- a smile.

What makes you smile? Outwardly or inwardly. What gives you this "on top of the world" feeling?
For me, the cats usually do it. And if they fail, there's always The Man! LOL I smile when I see a wee birdie having breakfast on a quiet morning or when my idiotic kitten falls off the telly. When I wake up to sunshine and when a new customer tries to open the door the wrong way round.
There's loads of smiles to be had, it's just the case that sometimes they need to be hunted down.

Ready to grin?

Remember- a click on the image takes you straight to the shop.

And now- gimme a SMILE!!

Love you loads,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Resolutions Day!

Since there are so many New Years throughout the world, I am at a loss as to wether I shall wish you all a happy new one. Technically, for me and many others this is the first day of 2011, which is kind of scary.
I still remember the first day of 2000 (in Glasgow...boy, did we see loads of still- smoldering car ruins! (and a fair number of human equivalents) We loved every second.

2010 was memorable in many ways for us- unfortunately, largely for all the wrong reasons. Hang on... maybe one remembers stuff... largely wrong. I was about to say "financial straits, dissatisfaction with the job, getting robbed at home and at work, this, that and the other". What a silly way to round things up.

It' s a lot more healthy to look back on the really good stuff that happened.
For one thing, I started this blog, thanks to Mad Mich L. What a wonderful person to come into my (pixel-) life!
She got me started on a journey that restored my faith in mankind after life thoroughly wrecked it. And she gave me reason and excuse to come up with stuff I never thought I would createincluding jewellery, bats, ghosts and sugary xmas decorations.

Also, I found my way to Folksy, a wonderful "british" alternative to Etsy and populated by the most lovely, talented and inspiring people you could imagine. I am still overwhelmed at how nice and friendly everbody was and is towards me, even though since the robbery, I have mostly been quiet in the community. If, as a local artisan, you need support and encouragement, go folksy yourself. You will be amazed.

The Man has been a real pleasure to be around most of the time, and I'd be sincerely surprised if he could say as much about me. We are pretty much two sides of the same coin- where he is tolerant, I am judgmental. Where he is patient, I am fiery. Where he is lenient, I want heads to roll. Where he gets disappointed, though, I am not surprised, and where he gets burned, I wear the asbestos underwear. In many ways, he should be writing this blog, because he could be the genetical experiment where Jim Carrey, Billy Connolly, John Belushi, Martha Stewart, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Woody Allen each donate a toenail and the result gets to wear nappies. I, on the other hand, am called Scrooge on good days and make children check the dark areas of their bedrooms on average ones.

Another good thing... and I mean, a real good thing, has been my Mum. She calls me Loewenbaby (german for lion cub), because we are both star sign leo and (even though none of us actually believes in astrology) bloody typical of what 99 p magazines say we are like.
She is fiercely protective over her (can you believe it?) 32 year old cub and like a crown jewel. No, scrap that. She is THE jewel. The version of myself I always knew I could be if I only was more understanding, more protective, more patient, more thoughtful, more ... her. Dammit, when I was 13 or 14 and dating my first boyfriend,  I passed her off as my older sister and went to meet the lad with her in tow, only to take the mickey out of him with her over a big, fat bowl of ice cream afterwards. What a blast!

Looking around me, I see a stuffed Bob the Builder toy about the size of an average 3 year old. On top of my bookshelf there is a Bob the Builder play- o- rama (couldn't find the battery slot to disable the darn thing, so I hid it when Aaron went to the loo), and half the house is covered in glittery plastic stars I threw over the kids a few days ago when the wee man complained he couldn't see any stars in the sky. We afterwards stuck them to the windows with spit. You don't want to get the glue out when there's minions about. You just don't. And there's nothing wrong with spit in small doses.

I also see a room with no carpet and mustard coloured floor boards (ever had four cats puke on the same spot of your cheap landlord- provided carpet?), a sleeping Man, no cat, half a smoked cigarette at the fireplace (the only place we smoke in the house- we blow the smoke right up the chimney and you can't smell there's stupid, idiotic, suicidal, money- burning smokers in the house at all!), a box of Country Manor wine (an acquired, but quite refreshing taste), endless books about serial killers, a wonderful knock- off victorian birdcage with Twit and Twoo plus nest in it (stay tuned for pictures, they defy common good taste, but are totally US!), a silk scarf- turned main deco made by Mum and a load of stuff that once we are dead, people won't even donate to the charity shop, but means loads to us.

Not quite your average stylish mansion you would love to live in and be able to decorate and re- decorate endlessly. Not even your average family home. But in the last 12 months or so, it has turned into our den, our refuge, our, dare I say, home, cat p!ss on the door mat and all. We might turn on the light in our bathroom by pulling a string with a stuffed monkey soft toy dangling from it (and we can't even blame the kids) , and we might have grave candles from Slovenia in our garden, right next to a fat Buddha. Our spiders might be hard enough to knock the neighbour's spiders lights out, and I might feed the rats in our garden on the odd occasion, but that's it- the Three Bed Semi and what it was like to live in it in 2010.

Sure you wanna stick around for 2011?

Let me put you off. (the casual use of pictures NOT taken in 2010 is non- intentional and a delusion instilled into your brain by the government of Micronesia)

Happy Resolutions Day, everybody, I shall be posting crafts again very soon as all this reflective time of year is finally over. I always hate myself in hindsight and mirrors, both make me look fat!