Sunday, 28 August 2011

A creative couple of days...

Have really been bitten by the creative bug now.

Have got some time off work and have decided to cram in as much crafty stuff as possible.. this will either make going back to the day job easier or unbearable.. yet to work that one out..

So instead of a sleep in on Saturday I woke up bright and ridiculously early... much to the OH's horror.. and started making a mess in his eyes.. but was glad it was keeping me distracted from the washing up he hadn't done from the night before....

So the first thing I made was a fabric flower.  I got the idea from Leanne from Luvleescrappin . She shared a lovely vid blog on how to make flowers, but I wanted to incorporate a bit of Girlybunches crochet in there somewhere.

Using some old fabric I had (cotton drill) I hand dyed it using glimmer mist (for those of you who are interested I used Starfish (pink), Meadows Green (green), Purple Pansy (purple) and a hint of Tattered Rose (clear pink glittery glimmery sheen), cut six wiggly circles and attached to a felt backing.  I also hand dyed a crocher flower I made and affixed this as well.  Finished off with a jewel brad!

Not bad for a first attempt at such things... I think anyway...

The next thing I wanted to do was to make another vid for my YouTube channel - - Girlybunches I've made a few vids on how to get started with crochet, but wanted to do a start to finish vid of myself crocheting a doily.  So with the help of iMovie and Garage Band I made a quirky bit of film and also with the help of The Husband we made some music to go with the vid.  You have to be careful of music on YouTube, as its all copyrighted etc... and I didn't want to loop the music for 8 mins!!! That would drive even the most patient of souls nuts!...

So here is what we came up with.. please subscribe to my channel for other vids that I have in the pipe line....

After all that.. I decided that I would have a cup of tea and a sit down for the rest of the day.

Today, however, I woke up with further creative crafty gusto!

I got from Ebay the other day a CD that contains 2800 vintage labels... and indeed it did.. and for £1.00 it was silly not to really. I really really love, and always have done old crate labels.. I just adore them.  Such great artwork in them... and this CD was packed with them...  if you're interested the seller is.. CD/DVD IMAGE'S they are currently doing 4 CD's for the price of 3.. hurry!

Using the images I am going to decorate things around the home.. and my first project was a Mingles tin left over from crimbo....I'm rather pleased with it.

From this...

 To this...

Thats if for now.. off to go and plan what to make tomorrow.. aside from a mess that is!.. ttfn xxx

Monday, 15 August 2011

More than just a doily!

Lately I have been feeling more and more 'restricted' in my crafting work.. I LOVE to make things. I can't tell you how much I do, apart from most of the time I feel like I could burst with ideas that I never get a chance to even get down on paper let alone make!

Work is very busy and I'm very grateful to have a job.. but sometimes I just want to make make MAKE!...

So, I took a couple of days off and now I'm waiting for the Gas 'person' to arrive to fix the boiler so I have no choice but to have a play!.. such a shame!!

I've been having a look at lots of lovely blogs lately and of course YouTube.. what a mine field of lovely info people are happy to share with everyone.. just so fascinating. I love seeing people making lots of lovely things.. so wonderful.  One lady has caught my eye in particular a Super Lovely LADY!! Leanne from Canada.  She has the most wonderful channel on YouTube and I highly recommend you check out her channel. She shares so much good stuff.. and often shows the fabulous way she makes things in mesmerising start to finish speeded up films. Also love her Haul videos showing the great things you can get over the pond at sickeningly low prices compared to Blighty!... (reminds me of holidays in the US when I was a kid)... Please please plesae go and check out Leanne's channel YouTube - Luvleescrappin - make sure you have a cup of tea and a biscuit to hand before you do as you will be there a while! :)

(I have however found since, that Dunelm Mill do stock quiet a lot of nice bits and bobs at reasonable prices.. check out their website.. Dunelm Mill - Arts and Crafts)

So... This long weekend I have been making! YES!! feels so good to just make things....

I've wanted for a while to apply my crochet to a 3D item... and just love the paper mache boxes you can get.. I found these boxes in Hobby Craft.. 89p for the box.. I think is a rather good price.

This box is one of the smallest they do.. I also got a heart shaped one which I am yet to do anything with.. so watch this space.  The box above measures 7.5cm x 7.5cm x 4cm (old skool - 3"x3"x1.5") Just the right size for special little trinkets.. lovely. I painted the box using some acrylic paint and to be honest I wasn't very happy with the finish, it felt sticky.. even after leaving it to dry for a week...!!! I sanded it back and added another layer.. but still felt sticky! umm not what I want! so.. I decided to try some emulsion paint.. I went to Homebase and got some sample pots, much cheaper and you can get a Matt finish paint. This is what I went for .. and at £1.50.. not bad.. have painted three boxes so far with this.. so happy with that..

I was much happier with the finish, however this time it did leave a 'chalky' feel to the box!!! So I decided to give it a coat of Mod Podge... bingo!! perfect.. a slight sheen to make it feel durable... but not tacky!! 

and this is the finished (painted) result...

I love the colour and now to make some lacy crochet to go on it..... I played around a lot with different styles, and this is what I made to go on my trinket box.


Now for the tricky part of sticking it on the box!

and here is the finished box..

Purple Trinket / Keepsake Box with Crochet Lace

Now available to purchase in my Folksy shop.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Oh Hey Wow

So I've been too quiet for too long! I know.. I'm terrible at this blogging malarky! However I do love reading all the other lovely blogs out there.. so keep putting me to shame.. and thanks for your support guys.

I thought that I would tell you about what I have been getting up to of late.. one.. making a shawl for a lovely lady at work, its being made out of mohair.

Mohair! I hear you cry... yes. Mohair! It is (if I had ever done this) similar to crochet with cobwebs! However, hopefully, looks stunning.. I'm about half way through making that, so will post pics when it is finished.  Never made a shawl before either so two birds one stone and all that!

... and in between making the shawl and other pretties to keep my shop on Folksy ticking over... I have been making a special 'order' for a couple of lovely ladies who have just opened up a lovely new little shop!!! (squeeeeelll)

The shop is in Worcester.. and has the best name ever! OH HEY WOW!!! Bethany from Oh Hey Wow approached me and asked me if I would like to supply items for their little shop.. and how could I say no?

So I said YES!

So if your in the Worcester area... and want to get your hands on some of mine and other lovely crafters work.. then check out their website for details and BUY BUY BUY!!! :)

Here are some pics of what I will be sending them!


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Look what I've been making...

Haven't done any blogging for a while.. been a busy be with some custom orders lately...

Thought I would just show you some pics... I've been also planning something a bit special that I will be making over the next few weeks... lots of planning and I really hope it turns out how I have it in my minds eye...

Just for now though here are some photos of what I have been working on lately.

Promise to blog a bit more.. very soon...

Monday, 4 April 2011

O2 - Never thinking of You

I hate to feel like if I have been done a dis-service and in this instance I would think it fair to say that I really have been 'sharfted'!  This might sound a bit odd to some of you lovely younger peeps out there, but when I was twelve I wasn't expecting a mobile phone for my birthday, some trainers, the latest Now 13 tape (yes tapes)... some extra pocket money and day out if I was a good girl, maybe.  So when I passed  my driving test aged 17, my Dad, being protective let me have use of this funny new thing called a mobile telephone.  It was great, it meant I could go out and not worry about breaking down and not being able to call for HELP...

The phone that Dad lent me was to say the very least a brick.. but I loved it... I've just spent about an hour searching the tinterweb and I found a picture of it... and here it is...

Notice how it doesn't even have screen!! How on earth did I know who I was calling? Anyway, when I went to university Dad lent me phone on a more permanent basis.... in those days the phone provider was called Cellnet... heard of them... maybe not?  After a year or so, the phone didn't hold a charge and I found out that people were starting to use this new way of communicating called 'Text Message'... weird new fangled thing... you write a short message and send it to your chum and you don't have to bother them with actually speaking to them! Result!...I want this... so I called up Cellnet, and not only did they tell me that they were becoming BT-Cellnet, but also that I would need a new digital sim card...Crazy talk!.. Ok, just send me the goods.. they did, no fuss, no trauma. The new phone arrived and I got this dinky little sim card to put in it (the old one was the size of a credit card!) and ... it had a screen. Now, not only will I be able to see who's number I am calling, but also any messages I might get or indeed send!

My next phone was a Nokia (what a funny word... that will never take on a product name! HA! where do they get these ideas from?)...

When I finished University (2000) I took over the payment of the mobile phone and it became my account.   And here is where BT-Cellnet and I became BFF's!.. we enjoyed years of me paying the bills on time EVERY TIME, they gave me lush new upgrades and better deals, and we didn't even fall out when they changed their names again to O2... 

The cracks in the relationship started to develop about 2 years ago... admittedly we only spoke once a year when my contract was up, or and new upgrade was available, but some relationships work when you can have a comfortable silence.  Something was about to go horribly wrong and I'm sure it wasn't me.

The invention of the iphone 3Gs killed our relationship.  Being a hip and modern kinda chick I wanted to upgrade my phone to a new hip and modern kinda phone... so I called the number I found on the website and explained that I know I had recently had an upgrade, but I wanted to buy my own iphone and would my sim work in it... yes I was told, but you will need to change your tariff to an iphone tariff.  Ok I said, I'll call you back when I have the new phone... which I did!.   It was this second  call to O2 that broke my heart.  They were telling me that because I had been with them for so long, and that my account was so old,  I was on an old billing system.  This old billing system would not allow me to be upgraded to the new iphone tariff! "Interesting", I thought, glad the young man who advised I could go ahead and spend £450 on a new phone knew what he was talking about! Cheers for that!

There follows approx. four weeks of phone calls, each time having to be passed on average to four different people because I was on an old system and how dare I try and assume I should be treated like any other O2 customer and expect to speak to someone who actually cared...Each time I called I was told that someone was 'migraiting' my account to the new system, and the phone would work very soon.  No such luck! It was clear that they could not do this and EVENTUALLY someone took pity on me sobbing down the phone saying I had bought the phone on their recommendation, and hadn't been able to use it as they can't change my billing system.  After admitting to me that they couldn't 'migrate' my account to a new system, O2 provided me with a bolt on free of charge each month to allow me to use the new iphone.  I was relieved to have it working and decided that I didn't need to call them again, ever!

Sadly, I have recently made a massive mistake in thinking that I could upgrade my phone again, to the iphone 4... I called O2, and to my dismay I was passed from pillar to post again, being told the same old story about how I had an old account (I was starting to feel like this was my fault) and it came to a head last Friday when I was told because of this, they couldn't upgrade my phone.  However, they would be able to 'migrate' my account to a new system! Really! WHY HAD YOU NOT DONE IT BEFORE?? 

I explained in no uncertain terms that if this was not done withing 7 days, I would be forced to go else where.

This morning (Monday) I started to get text messages from O2 saying that I wasn't on an iphone tariff and that I would get charged extra for any data used! Charming, I called them, and told them that I KNOW I'm not on an iphone tariff! They are the ones that wouldn't / couldn't make that happen.  ARG!

After talking to a lady in customer services, I asked to speak to someone who would be able to tell me what it was they would offer me to keep me, after all, I have been a customer for OVER 10 years.  Paid my bills on time EVERY TIME, and had endure their red tape.  I spoke to Michael in 'Retention' and proposed what it would take to keep me, which is as follows :
  • £35 per month line rental
  • 2000 mins to any network
  • 5000 mins to same network
  • 5000 text messages
  • Unlimited Data Usage
  • iphone4 16GB - for free.
 I based that on the Three Network, The One Plan, and all I asked was the phone for free... Three are asking for £69 upfront for the phone.

But Michael said no, and not only the no, but no suggestion of anything else to make me stay.  So thanks to Michael, I am no longer a very unhappy O2 customer.

(screen shot taken from the current O2 advert explaining how O2 are ALWAYS THINKING OF ME)

... Michael has set me free to be ONE VERY HAPPY Three customer!!

Thanks Michael I owe you one!!!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

I ♥ Crumpets

The other day I allowed myself to go into Lakelands whilst visiting the mothership .... I try not to go in there to often as I am easily seduced into all the kitchen gadgets!!!

I insisted that the Husband come with me, purely so that he could ground me and prevent me from picking up gadgets that I simply 1) have no use for 2) space for 3) afford.... etc...

However, whilst he was distracted by the bright lights of the Soda Stream section... I was seduced by Crumpet Rings!!!

Now... I've been an expert on crumpets for many years... and I know that there must be more to life than the rubbery crumpets often found on sale... and where as I have been happy with those for a long time I fancied trying to make my own!

So.... I followed the recipe on the packaging... handy!!... and the first batch was a disaster... so after lots of huffing and wishing I hadn't bought the silly crumpet rings I couldn't bare to be defeated... so had another go!

I used a little less flour than the recipe suggested and it worked!!!!

here are the results......

This is them being cooked... the batter isn't very easy to 'pour' into the rings... and the photo shows two that were overfilled and two that were filled correctly....

The batter mix makes this many crumpets... the next batch will be more as the Husband insisted on trying the first two... and there were a couple of mutants that needed to be rejected....

A moment or two in the toaster / grill (I don't have a grill)... long story!... and a knob of butter... and hey presto!!!....

Enough said!

So if you want to have a go...... get some crumpet rings and this is how I made them....


Makes 12-15 (+ or - a few mutants!)

450g / 1lb (I used about 350g, but see what works for you...) - Strong plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt optional
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp / 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
300ml / 1/2 pint warm water
300ml / 1/2 pint warm milk (I used lactose free milk, and no probs)
vegetable oil
4 crumpet rings, slightly greased.


1) Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in an extra large bowl and stir thoroughly leaving a well in the centre.
2) Gently heat the milk and water until tepid or finger hot ( I zapped in the microwave)  Pour into the well and thoroughly mix to give quite thick batter; cover with a tea towel or cling film.
3) Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour until the mixture has a light, spongy texture.
4) Stir well to knock out any air and pour into a large jug.
5) Heat a drop of oil in a non-stick frying pan or griddle (I didn't bother... my pan is very non-stick). Wipe the pan with kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.  Place the greased crumpet rings in the pan and allow the rings to heat up for a couple of minuets.
6) Pour in enough mixture to fill the rings just over halfway, as the mixture will double. (YES IT WILL) Leave to cook until plenty of holes appear on the surface and the batter has dried out on the surface of the crumpets. This will take about 10-12 minuets (YES IT WILL)
7) The rings can be lifted off once the crumpets have set.  Let them cool and re-grease them for the next batch!!
For best eating results... let them cool down for a good couple of hours.. (yes I know...but trust me)... then stick in the toaster and add lashings of butter... low fat of course!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Knot what you think!


What a week!! Glad it's the weekend tomorrow!

Loving the lighter early mornings and evenings so nice not to go to work in the pitch black!

Now that my eyes are adjusting to the light, I am starting to see the wood for the trees!! (groan).... yes.... these are the jokes folks!!!

Ok, so terrible puns over... and onto the good stuff.  Anyone following my facebook page Girlybunches
 will know that Mummy Girlybunches & Girlybunches have FINALLY managed to get Daddy Girlybunches AKA The Meadow Craft Workshop to list some of his handy work on my friend Folksy.  So in light of this.... I have selected some items crafted in Wood as my theme for this Folksy Friday Blog.

So here is my selection of items from folks on Folksy who have a natural talent for making beautiful items from the oldest fuel man has...wood.



Sunday, 27 February 2011

Two Crafty Ladies

Have just spent a lovely few days at the Homestead with Mum, just doing our own thang.

After a stupidly stupid week involving cars that don't work well not enough for me to get back from the garage and get to work! (to most that would be a blessing, but to me was STRESS to the max)

Height of frustration, my evil internal twin sister who is a control freak couldn't cope with having to leave other people to do things for her (ok me)... needless to say I am eternally grateful to my friendly garage Church Avenue Garage Ltd (the garage were able to take my car in so quickly... however couldn't get the car back till Thursday afternoon...  I already had Friday booked off work, so luckily my boss was very understanding about the fact that I hadn't been at work for two days... and told me to enjoy my weekend....

I don't need to be told twice to do that... so off I off I trotted to Wales to visit the Mother-ship and Granddad!

Mum and I had managed to get rid of the Husbands for the weekend... Dad is off doing his Fly Fishing Days Out - Fish the Fly ... and my Husband spent the weekend on the Raindance Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking Course.... Since appearing in this (as the bully) Martin wants to make his own films, Martin's Showreel

It was my Granddad's birthday in the week, and any self respecting 88 year old Granddad needs to have some fab cupcakes... so I got my work friends wife to make some fabulous Cowboy themed cupcakes for my Granddad,  and as you can see from the photos Elaine's Cupcake Kitchen did me proud!

As for Mum and I amongst pots of tea these are some of the things that we made this weekend!!!


Time to get back to London!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Happy New Year!!! & Stylish Blogger Awards

Ok, ok, yes your right I'm serisouly late to the Happy New Year party, but hey I'm fashionably late...aren't I?

Granted I've been tardy in blogging this year, however, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I've been given a very very good reason to put right my henious blogging crimes and annouce that I have been lucky enough to been nominated by the lovely Philippa from Court and Spark for a Stylish Blogger Award!! My latest purchase from Court and Spark was this lovely Hanging Heart... and I love it!

How it works is....

Stylish Blogger Award Rules!
The rules of the nomination are:

1. Thank the person and include the link for the nomination.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Nominate 15 blogs for the award.

4. Let everyone know they have been nominated...

So Seven Things about me!

  1. I find it very difficult to talk about me but love to talk to others about them!
  2. I don't like corriander.
  3. I LOVE TEA!
  4. I would like to read a book, but don't have the time and keep thinking about other things I should be doing.
  5. I used to hate crochet! (I know!)
  6. I want a small holding, a couple of donkies, goats, cats, a dog, a hampster, chickens and polly tunnel. Not sure the husband does... yet
  7. If I can't have a small holding, I want my own shop!

and my nominations are..... drum roll please!

Happy Nominating! & Browsing