Hello and welcome to my blog. I am a new student, starting a distance learning degree through the Open College of Arts, and I am going to blog about what I have learnt and my work. You may be visiting this blog expecting to see work for sale, however I am now concentrating on being a student and loving it! Come and join me for the ride.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The horrors of being a baker and being on a diet!!

It is pretty safe to say that I over indulged over the festive period. As I put on my uniform I had to do some breathing in. So, the new year diet and fitness plan has begun! I have been successfully tee-total so far this month, although my best mates 30th birthday party may test my resolve tomorrow. I have been very good and only had one teeny weeny Green and Blacks choccie bar, sticking to cherries and nectarines. But I don't care what anyone says, they simply are not as goods as a home made muffin or slice of cake.

Here is some piccies of latest creation; banana, pecan nut and maple syrup cakes. I had some black bananas looking at me that were just needing to be made into something. However, I took them al into work and passed them out, without even trying one!! It was a sad but proud day for me. I was informed that there wasn't enough syrup, so I will have to try again soon.

This weekend I will be making a fruit cake for a friends wedding, the aroma of rum wafted through the kitchen the other day as soaked the fruit. So this will once again fulfill my baking needs without me breaking my diet rules. However, at the sight of my friends home-made chocolate fudge bday cake I may falter........................I will let you know how I get on.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy New year everybody. I hope you have had a good christmas break. I was visited by my family for the Christmas period, and cooked a mammoth amount of beef. I found myself bamboozled in the butchers when presented with the selection of Christmas meats. I chose rib of beef on the bone, and it came in at a whopping £65!!! But, it was delicious, and my only mishap was under cooked parsnips.

I am now visiting my partners family on a grand tour of England, but I have my knitting with me to keep me occupied. Although, I have lost one needle under the car. I found it by lying on my belly with a torch!! The next mishap was my partner attempting to whip me with the needle and snap!!!!! Sense of humor failure I have to admit.

But I hope your new year is going well and I will be back soon with photos of my makes over the holidays.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Thursday challenge - Natalie Aird Glass Artist

My chosen artist for this week is Natalie Aird, a glass artist based just outside of Grantown-on-Spey. Her work is made using a kiln to create striking pieces of glassware inspired by local landscapes.

Ship's Ribs Turquoise and Black

Loch Calder

Natalie also makes a range of tea light holders as shown below, they come in a large range of colours to suit any colour scheme. They cause the light to spill out in gorgeous patterns.

Email : glass@natalieaird.com Web : www.natalieaird.com

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Thursday failure aagghh!

I can only say sorry for the lack of posts of Thursday. My excuse is that I was out with friends viewing the new Harry Potter film, and it was brilliant. I have been a closet Potter lover ever since I was handed the Philosophers Stone by my Mum, to wean me away from the famous five and other Enid Blyton delights. I do admit to being disappointed when there are differences in the films from the books, but they are still fab!

So here is a delayed Thursday challenge post......Fifi Loves. Fi is a graduate from the NCAD in Dublin and now works at Glasstorm in Tain. She creates unique and fun fused glass jewellery, capturing pictures between two layers of glass, or using traditional fusing techniques, with a twist!

Fi is available to take commissions for the centre of the pieces, making them a gorgeous, personal gift, for friends, or simply yourself. I have already commissioned two pieces myself! Her work ranges from necklaces to cufflinks, suitable for male and female.

Fi's work is available at Glasstorm Contemporary Gallery in Tain, and at http://fifiloves.bttradespace.com

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Christmas disappointment

A few days ago I experienced such a great amount of disappointment. As many of my friends have also admitted to, we gauge when it is ok to accept the Christmas bug, on the viewing of the Coca-cola advert. You know, the one with the line of trucks all lit up with that jolly Father Christmas on the side. For years it has been a good gauge, it seemed strong enough not to bow to pressure and start earlier and earlier each year. So, I was devastated to see it last week. It's not that I don't like Christmas, I love it, the tree, the cake, and the music. However, I do feel that if the whole world left it well alone until December, then I wouldn't be that little bit bored of it come the actual day! And, it seems that now the advert gauge cannot be used I need to find a new one. Any ideas anyone??

Now I can admit to posting a festive themed post on this very blog already. But, as a crafter you find yourself preparing months in advance, and the onslaught of Christmas fairs inevitable. However, I am going to resist in adding the Christmas decorations to my Folksy shop until December. I am also working on an array of vintage stamp themed pressies, so keep a look out this weekend.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Thursday Challenge - Irisue yarn crafts

Today I share with you, Irisue Yarn Crafts. A mother and daughter duo who knit and felt by hand beautiful bags and woolen vases.

Here are two examples of the gorgeous vases or bowls. They are hand knitted and then felted in a hand turned washing machine, imagine the arm ache!!! The colours vary from bowl to bowl depending on the yarn used. You can find a bowl to suit every room in your house, I did. They just make you want to pick them up and hold them, as I did for most of the day.

The bags are made using the same method, hand knit and then felted. No two bags are the same, finished of with different fastenings. The bags are all lined internally and are incredibly strong due to the felting process.

There was also a jolly array of hats on sale, all hand knitted again with different fairisle patterns. They are incredibly warm, tested out while walking the dogs on a wintery day this week.

They will be at Eden court Christmas fair on the 3rd-5th December to stock up on some unique christmas presents.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Thursday challenge - Crooked Crafts

This week I am going to introduce you to Crooked Crafts. A Father and Son duo, based in the Highlands of Scotland. They make and sell bird boxes from found or recycled materials, and because they are made from re-used timber no two are the same!

The style and varieties are simply gorgeous, taking the humble bird box to fantastic new levels. Wiggly roofs, heart shaped boxes and the new sail house box would look fabulous inside and out of your home.

I am particularly in love with the blue heart shaped box pictured above!

They have also created a box suitable for the discerning golfer, a recycled club becoming a comfy perch for the birds.

Smaller wooden items such as these lovely coasters are also available, alongside hand turned mushrooms and jewelery.

You can visit their website at www.crookedcrafts.co.uk or see them at various fairs in the Highlands.