Be my Valentine

I’ve been making a few Valentine’s Day themed bracelets to go on the Ramsey Crafters’ stall at Potato Day on Saturday.  Potato Day is an event organised by the Cambridgeshire Self Sufficiency Group, it’s a chance to buy seed potatoes to grow at home.  They have over 60 different varieties and you can buy just one or two of the ones you fancy.

There are some nice simple memory wire bangles, they fit pretty much anyone and are really easy to make, you literally just thread beads.

The black stars are hematite which is supposed to be good for grounding and helping people cope with stress and depression.

I also made some seed bead bracelets  with words included. Aren’t they cute!

Hopefully someone will like them as much as I do and they’ll all be sold!


Today has not been a good day.  Actually it’s been a massive kick in the teeth kind of day where we found out that our poor dog is very sick with cancer.

I needed something to take my mind off of things so I picked up some beads and started making


I think it’s kinda cute. especially the little teapots on the chain ends.  The colours are those of the bi pride movement.  I’m not 100% sure how the teapot fits with that, but somehow it just does.


These are a congratulations gift for a friend who is celebrating completing her phd but I have loads of these beads left so may make some more – I think I’m going to need a lot of distraction over the next few days, I just wish my stupid body would stop hurting and let me keep making for longer.

Wedding Update

My daughter has let me have copies of her wedding photos, so I can bring you an update on how it all went.

This is the bride and groom with their parents.  I’m the one in purple

I think the flowers turned out really well, Vicci’s choice of colours was lovely and bright and cheery

Beautiful autumn shades for all the bridesmaids

The men weren’t left out

The groom’s buttonhole

I do think my darling daughter looked particularly lovely 🙂


My son scrubs up pretty well too – Heffalump was also part of the bridal party


It was definitely a wonderful day, filled with happy people enjoying themselves.  The perfect start to a marriage.

This is my favourite picture from the day.  I have a framed copy to go up on the wall.  It’s just so fabulously romantic and gloriously gothic, there could be werewolves or vampires hiding behind those gravestones and the lit up window in the background is just perfect!



Christmas Chocolate

This is one of those recipes I end up making most years around this time, it usually starts out as a chocolate fondue with the left overs turned into chocolate truffles.  We’ve never managed to eat all of the fondue as it’s just so rich so I don’t even both making extra unless I want a lot of truffles.


Muti purpose chocolate ganache recipe

250g dark chocolate
125ml double cream
Slug of brandy/rum/whisky or other spirit

In a saucepan, gently heat the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate has just melted – do not boil. Add the booze and stir thoroughly.

You can use it still warm as a chocolate fondue or sauce, cool for a while and use as cake filling or covering or cool thoroughly and shape into truffles. A little goes a long way.

For the truffles you need to keep the mixture cold and work quickly, I use a melon baller but you can roll it with spoons if you’re less clumsy than I am.  Roll the finished balls in cocoa powder, chopped nuts or sprinkles and plonk into petit four cases so they look fancy.  Or just scoff them as you make them and then buy a box of chocs for whoever you were making them for 🙂

Being Art

Last night I had the pleasure of modelling for a life art class in Huntingdon.

It’s a fabulous thing to do.  It’s one of the few times where it genuinely doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, you will still be appreciated.  I find it really relaxing, all I have to do is keep still for however long the pose it, it gives me time to meditate with absolutely nothing to distract me.  The time just flies by.

I usually hate photos of me, my mental picture of me doesn’t match up with the short, fat, clumsy looking blob that always turns up in photos and seeing the reality is depressing.  I’m absolutely dreading the photos at Vicci’s wedding, I feel like I’ll ruin any of the pictures I’m in by being so fat and ugly.  I’ve been dieting ever since I knew it was happening and I know it will be a wonderful day but I’ll still feel like a hideous monster when the photos start to appear.

Somehow though, drawings are a different matter.  I love seeing the wonderful range of pictures that people produce.  There’s so many different ways of making art.  The artists always manage to capture something I like, even when they’re showing all the lumps and bumps.

I inevitably come away feeling really good about myself and just that little bit more confident about how I look.  I know I need to lose weight but even as fat as I am, I still have a body that can inspire art. (I’ve just been diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetic so I definitely do need to lose weight and improve my eating habits as it will have a positive impact on how I feel) .

Last night was especially good for me.  A couple of the artists told me I was their favourite model and one of them was kind enough to let me have one of the pictures she had drawn of me curled up in a comfy chair with a book.  I am going to get it framed and it will hang in my bedroom as a reminder that however bad I may feel about my body, it is still worth something.  I am art.

Shiny things

Today has been more wedding makes. My mum bought a pretty necklace for Vicci to wear and I offered to make the bridesmaids ones to match.

I’ve used purple beads and beading wire so they match with the bridesmaid dresses but the long silver tubes and diamanté rounds match Vicci’s set.  I’m quite pleased with them, they are more delicate than I would usually make but that is what Vix prefers. I hope she approves and the bridesmaids like them.

I have loads of left over beads so I might make myself something sparkly to wear as well 🙂

They haven’t photographed very well but you can see the idea


Salt dough decorations

Such fun at Ramsey Crafters this morning. We made salt dough decorations, and it was just like being back at nursery school playing with the play doh.  Very therapeutic. I may make some more at home later

I made a Santa-thulhu and a tentacle and a skelly and a few more traditional shapes. Just need them to dry nicely so they can be painted.


Wedding game

Something different for my blog, I haven’t written any reviews here before but I am just so impressed by the fabulousness that is Librium games I couldn’t help myself.

The basic box of Librium
The basic box of Librium – game counters and dice for scale

Librium is a really fun game.  You take it in turns to add a card and the whole thing builds and builds and gets more and more wobbly until it eventually collapses.  It’s small enough to carry around in a pocket and takes literally seconds to set up so you can play it anywhere anytime you have a few minutes to spare.  I’ve been a fan for a couple of years.

Anyway, Vicci and Dave like games almost as much I do and are including some at their wedding (which is now only two weeks away!) Having noticed that Librium offer a branding service which is usually used by business clients to add their logos etc I thought it might be fun to arrange a personalised set for their wedding.

This is where the customer service from Librium really impressed me.  I don’t have the graphic design know how to create a print ready logo from scratch – I had a go but the quality just wasn’t good enough.  That’s when the lovely people at Librium said if I sent them the photo I wanted included they would replicate my design at a print ready quality.

They did a fabulous job and even including all the extra work the cards arrived this morning having only been ordered four days ago.  That’s amazing!

And, don’t they look amazing?  I think we’re going to have a load of fun playing this on the 14th and it will be something a little bit different for Vicci and Dave to keep as a wedding memory.

Playing librium
Librium in play


Feeling fruity

Finally got round to putting together the sloe vodka today.  While I was at it I also made a strawberry vodka and a peach vodka.  It’s probably a bit late now for the sloe vodka to be ready for Christmas, but the fruit ones only take a couple of weeks so they should be good to go.

It’s the same method for all them – just fill a bottle with fruit, a couple of spoons of sugar and top up with vodka or gin or any other clear spirit.  Give them a good shake every day or so until all the sugar is dissolved and the liquid has a good colour and then strain off the now yummy flavoured booze.  If you really want a boozy hit you can eat the fruit too – or throw it in a trifle.

I’ve not tried peaches before but strawberry and sloe are both old favourites.  I have some vodka left over which I am thinking of adding salt and licorice to just for something different.

With the sloes you’re supposed to prick them first, but since I froze mine until I got round to bottling they were splitting anyway so I didn’t need to.  Apparently you get a better flavour if you wait to pick the sloes until after the first frost but freezing them at least overnight is almost as good.

A trick I picked up from a friend recently is to add a few drops of vanilla – it’s the same flavour you get when spirits are aged in oak barrels so it makes cheap booze taste that bit posher.  These are definitely made with cheap booze, I went with Vodka rather than Gin because it was on special offer so this whole lot is only about £12 worth of alcohol – bargain!

I’ll try and remember to come back and add photos of the finished results.

Buried in flowers

Today I have been swamped in all things floral.  Darling daughter’s wedding is fast approaching and I had finally assembled all the flowers so it was time to turn them into bouquets and corsages and boutonnieres.

She wanted something fairly informal and in autumnal colours to go with the lovely purple frocks her bridesmaids will be wearing.  I don’t think I’m too far off the mark 🙂


Today was also the day that Vicci’s wedding shawl arrived.  My friend Janet does the most amazingly delicate shawls, so fine they will actually pass through the inside of a wedding ring!  She has been extremely kind and made one for Vicci – the work in progress posts on ravelry are just stunning so I can’t wait to see how the finished shawl looks with Vicci’s beautiful dress.  It’s lovely having such wonderfully talented friends, it sounds a bit soppy but in my head seeing that shawl wrapped around my daughter on her wedding day will be like having her wrapped in love and friendship and that has to be the perfect omen for a happy marriage.  That’s pretty awesome.