Category Archives: CRAFTS…

Homemade Garden Markers…..

I was looking at ways to make garden markers on the wonderful wide web…actually I was looking for ways to make them that wasn’t going to cost me anything and something I could do over winter. Want to get ready for Spring and planting …and hopefully not growing the huge amounts of thistles that we’ve managed to do this year Flirt male

…fount this blog…..

…and these….

garden markers

Now this is using tin can tops (well we’re only going to biff them in the recycling)…I have loads of either wire coat hangers or some high tensile (really thick) wire that could be used to make the stakes….the only thing I will do differently I think is use Chinagraph pencil to write on the “tags”  as can then be rubbed off again if need be….but I like them so I think they’re going to be a project for the Winter.


Unicorn & Rainbow Birthday cake

Well my interpretation of them anyway….

So you start with a few bits of fondant icing…DSC03472and….




You end up with something like this… version of a Unicorn

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Then because you didn’t tear your hair out enough trying to make the unicorn…you decide you will make hundreds of little flowers and stick them individually on the cake to make the “Rainbow”…yes I did that Flirt male…and it was so relaxing I couldn’t believe it ….no seriously…I lost a few hours just sticking on flowers and it was really relaxing!! (well apart from nearly getting repetitive strain injury from punching out flowers)…I love the gel colours because the colour you get is more “true” if you know what I mean….

So the final cake…


The flowers on the board are to hold the candles…I don’t know why I just don’t find a place on a cake to put candles so I like to think of things to do to put them in on the board.


A view from the top (this was before the other bits and bobs went on)…..


and a sneaky peak around the back …well it’s got to have an interesting bit …it’s so easy to forget the “back” of cake …if there is one….



……….Does a round cake have a back to it?

I did another Unicorn…not the same obviously (can’t have that!!) but if you’d like to have a look……

Christmas Cards….

Pretty much got on a roll with the whole Christmas thing…so today cards. 

I rediscovered paper snowflakes….Oh my I haven’t made them since I was little….Actually there were paper snowflakes but I also tried out foil snowflakes …lovely shiny snowflakes to go on Christmas cards….DSC03443

Foil is a challenge (shall we say) you have to be careful when you unfold them as they seem to develop their own mind and want to rip themselves apart but when you can get them apart I think they look lovely….

                                                                   These cards…our version of Pop-ups……

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They are very simple to do …you just have to make sure that whatever you are going to “pop up” isn’t too tall or when the card is closed it sticks out …I opted for Christmas trees (mainly because they were easy to do)


Christmas Decorations…

Salt dough!!!!…the perfect and frugal way to make your own Christmas deccies. I know it’s not a new idea but it was for J…we’ve never made Christmas decorations this way before and as we weren’t going to eat anything produced it was the perfect pastime for sick boy Winking smile

So ….2 cups of flour, a cup of salt a little water, a few cookie cutters and some arty farty design (J loves this phrase and it has repeated on numerous occasions …I think the farty word it the draw LOL!) and we were off….DSC03356DSC03358-001DSC03359

Into the oven to dry on a low heat …and make sure it is low or they get very dark and puff up (yes I know this from experience!!)…I reckon you go for what’s low on your oven …all the “recipes” say 170 ish…my oven seems to consider this the ideal temperature to cremate !! I think the temperature might need calibrating perhaps???

Anyway out they came and out came the Acrylic paints…..


J did quite a few decorations putting his own twist on them…apparently the Angel is a Ninja Angel … I didn’t go there so never got to how he came to this conclusion Flirt male

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The tree has our thumb prints in it…so it will be one of those decorations I can reminisce over in years to come…


                                                                             DSC03376                                                    The red baubles…they are my tribute to kiwiana..the red is like the Pahutakawa (the New Zealand Christmas tree), the green fronds are like the New Zealand fern and represent the four of us…and the 4 white dots are representative of the Southern Cross.. They will be heading to the UK for the grandparents (if my mother-in-law is reading this pretend you didn’t see this bit …hey at least you’ll know what they’re about now LOL!! x x x)

These were just a bit of white acrylic paint and a red permanent pen.


All they need now is a varnish and we’re done …

We got at least 20 decorations out of the 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of salt …I rolled the dough quite thin..about 5mm as I thought it wouldn’t take too long to dry. I think it’s about right for you average decoration…well it is for us anyway.

Christmas Crafts……

J and I have been occupying ourselves over the last few days making some different bits and pieces for Christmas….namely Christmas decorations and Christmas cards.

It was great because J could do his own thing and there’s no right or wrong….Last week he was off sick from school with a dodgy tummy so Christmas crafts seemed to be the way to go to give him something to do…..

Today mostly I’ll be making Cheese ……

Well as the title says yesterday (not today) I spent the day making cheese. I am so pleased I have finally found somewhere I can get raw milk from (which until my cows can have calves I really need) and I can get easily as much as I need…….so yesterday I got 40 litres (in fact a little bit more).

So I spent the day making cheese and put 25 litres of milk to what I think was good use.


In the end

Gouda ~ did one large one which I cut in half and 2 small ones – one I put cracked black pepper in (I had this made by a commercial company and really liked it)…altogether around 3kgs (61/2 lbs)of cheese

Had huge amounts of whey left so that was used 2 ways..

Ricotta ~ I would say about 1kg (2lbs)
…….and after that had been strained what was left went out to the pigs this morning….so nothing was wasted….I like that…a lot Smile


I’ve still got 20 litres or so left so I’m thinking Mozzarella either today or tomorrow.

It’s been a bit of a revelation to rediscover just how fascinating milk is. Don’t get me wrong I think I’ve always though it was amazing because there are so many things you can do / make with milk but cheese making has given me a completely different appreciation of it all over again …..

Does that make me sound sad ?!!!…Oh gawd I sound like I have no life and now I find milk fascinating!!! Ahhh well  I’ll just go and sit quietly and rock in a corner LOL!! Nyah-Nyah

Something new to learn…Crochet.



I’ve always wanted to learn to crochet, I can knit but crochet was always something I wanted to be able to do (probably because I hate the thought that I can’t Winking smile)….so I had decided a little while ago that I wanted to learn.

I am lucky a friend of mine knows how to crochet so the other night I did my first piece (above)…hey it won’t win any prizes but it’s a start.

Make your own cards…..

My dear friend and colleague is working her last night tonight…it won’t be the end of our contact but it will be the end of a routine we have got into…

She only lives about 5 minutes away from us (living a similar lifestyle) and our children are at the same school (they are a few years older than our little man ) and she worked 2 nights of my 4 …so we would drive in together and… Oh my the laughs we have had on those drives!!

But tonight is the last night…so I wanted to do something to mark the event…a card and some cake (hey it’s what I know …so why change the habits of a lifetime).

I made a card because I think it’s more personal ..I’m not the greatest card maker on the planet but I try ~ I think she’ll like it..


We’ll see about the cake Smile with tongue out

How lovely are these?

I had a friend who came to stay whilst he was awaiting his visa to be approved for Australia….he well and truly threw himself into our way of life and wanted to take full advantage of his time with us (a week).

He has some wonderful talents himself and brought us some beautiful gifts …

“Phillip” is an incense burner which was part  of our gift.

He is made of Ash and is absolutely beautiful. All hand carved. The up close picture shows just how intricate the carving is the detail is amazing….

He is also quite handy with a needle and thread and give him a bit of leather and ….a Sporran!!


How lucky am I ????

A colleague at work and I were discussing all things lifestyle and he asked me if I did weaving. Reply was obviously Nope but it’s on the bucket list…would love to but at the moment finances just don’t run to that.

Well I am wanting to get into spinning so the next step, other than knitting, would be to learn to weave. I’ve got the spinning wheel and when I’ve got myself sorted and sussed out how to spin the wool then the next thing logically will be to use it….knitting is something that I used to do a lot especially when I was a student nurse but not something I have done for a long time BUT as with everything it’s not new …I want to learn something new all the time…hey it’s what life’s about as far as I’m concerned.

So the next question was would you like a loom? Errr YES!

“Great” was the reply “because  I have a floor loom that’s in a hundred bits. I just want rid of it, we need to make some space so you’re welcome to it – if you can work out how to put it back together”.


So I am now the proud owner of a Thorp Floor Loom (David Thorp was apparently an engineer who lived in Amberley and who has unfortunately passed away….pity I would have loved to have had the chance to meet him and talk about all things weaving).

So I don’t know how long it will be before the giant loom jigsaw puzzle is completed but it will be….gotta go on the list of things to do for now though……but at least it’s here.