Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Haunted Halloween!

If you were to visit me at the moment, this is the scene that would greet you at my front door! I found these cat window decorations at Sainsbury's, and while I'm not loving my orange tinted lounge in the daytime, I do think it's worth it for this nighttime glow!

Don't you just love Flickr for photo inspiration? I don't know what I did before I discovered it. Now, every time I need inspiration, I skip the Google image search of old, head straight on over to Flickr, and get more ideas than I know what to do with. I found the witch on a broomstick, drew it onto my punkin, and cut it out with my craft knife. Next year, I think I'm going to have to try the haunted house on the hill...

And then, what do you do with your punkin seeds? Throw them away? That's what I used to do... until someone on TwoPeas mentioned the fact that they were eating their roasted seeds. So I got the recipe, and this year, I roasted mine. Oh. My. Gosh. Would you like to know how?

wash your seeds
soak in salted water for about an hour
pat dry on kitchen towel, spread out on foil covered baking sheet.
Drizzle in olive oil or melted butter, grind some more salt over, I added some Chinese Five Spice, shake up and roast at 150ºC for an hour or so, stirring up every 20 minutes.
You can spice them any way you like - whatever tickles your fancy.


skip the salt, and use sugar and cinnamon. Just as good, I did this with my second punkin ;-)
Happy Halloween, have a fun and spooky night!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The very happy thing about birthdays...

It was my birthday on Sunday, and I've had a lovely weekend full of fun! My OH took the kids down to Grandpa's house on Saturday morning, leaving me the whole afternoon to do a grocery shop, tidy the house and get myself ready... for a girl's night in! I had five friends round for an Indian take-out. We had a lovely evening, drinking great wine and bubbly, yummy curry's, having a laugh, and topping it all off with these gorgeous cupcakes that my friend Becky made. Can you believe you get edible food glitter? I can't imagine a cupcake without some sparkly fairy dust now!

Thank you Becky, they were divine!

Then, after they all left at 1:30am !!! I set my clocks back, so it was suddenly only 12:30am and a perfectly reasonable time to go to bed!
Sunday, I woke, had a leisurely breakfast, then headed off to Ikea on my own, where I bought a new desk for my computer. I've had it on my Oupa's old bureau, which is a piece of furniture I have always loved, it has wonderful memories for me, but it was just never a great solution for the computer. So it is now headed for a bit of a makeover and will be my daughter's new desk in her room, and with all it's drawers and secret cubby holes, she is very excited about that! After Ikea I stopped off at my sister's house for a fantastic lunch...roast chicken, roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, cauliflower and cheese sauce, mixed veg, and a cheesecake for pudding - Yum!

On Thursday I received the most wonderful parcel in the mail...from Mercedes! She has really spoiled me, and I know she didn't know it was my birthday this weekend, but the timing was great and it did make me feel very special indeed!

I went down to fetch the kids on Monday, and we stopped off in Chichester for a touch of shopping. There's a tiny little dollshouse shop there, so I bought the house a hanging basket (being held up by Holly here!) a strawberry plant and a great rusty old watering can. At Ikea, I bought a lazy susan, so that the house can swivel easily from the front to the back. Clever, huh?

I have always loved birdhouses, and when I first lay my eyes on Mercedes's birdhouses I fell in love with them, and begged her to make some to sell me. Now, she has given me these exquisite birdhouses, but I'm still begging her to sell these on Etsy because I think they are just the bee's knees!

Cupcake cushions! How absolutely perfect! And I just love the little gift bags Mercedes always uses...I must ask her where she gets them from...

And then, because I had sent her the little elves, she was inspired to make me a set of her gorgeous little water jugs and bowl, and an enamelware container, wit the sweetest little elf pictures! I can see the inspiration for a few more mini elves coming from these.

And then a set of her famous enamelware containers, and they are every bit as amazing and realsitic in real life as they look in pictures. I am amazed at the little signs of wear and rust she gives them!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Ta Da!!

Need I say any more?!!

Getting the moon to hang was tricky, but so long as it travels okay it should hold it's place!

And the finishing touches, the banner wishing Ann a Happy 70th Birthday, and some cute little Halloween punkin tealights. I think the word pumpkin should officially be changed to the way my son says it - Punkin - it's so much cuter, don't you think?

Friday, 23 October 2009


The cakes after they'd been covered...and the kids' favourite part - the 'tops' cake - made out of the rounded tops I cut off the cakes, stuck together with raspberry jam and buttercream, slathered in the leftover buttercream and covered in sprinkles. Yum.

And a sneak peak - this was shot now at 8pm so the lighting crappy and you're gonna have to check back tomorrow if you want to see the whole thing put together and done, and photographed to death, ha ha!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

What I'm Up To...

So, I've had a bit of disappointing news, with regard to some work I was doing. I'm not sure I can share the news yet, other people are involved and I need to wait until I get the all clear. But, at least I've been able to concentrate 100% on my first proper cake order. It's for a lady's 70th birthday party - she was born on Halloween - so I've been asked to do an elegant Halloween themed cake. I've decided to use the base design of Arthur's Christening cake. So it'll have orange and cream stripes on a brown cake, then brown spiderwebs on an orange cake, and orange and brown spots on a cream cake, with a haunted house on top.

Here are the panels for the house...busy drying so that when I construct it, it's not going to go all floppy and cave in on itself. Okay, that's the plan, if it doesn't work I'm stuffed. I hadn't mixed enough brown so I still need to do the roof, but that'll come.

The first batch of cakes are on the cooling rack, the second are in the oven, and this is what my kitchen looks like!

The other positive side to my news is that I've had time to do the Arthur's roof: it's on, glued, fixed, sanded and waiting for paint. The colour I've been looking for has been ordered, I can pick it up this weekend.

I'll post pics of it and the finished cake soon.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Harvest Creatures

Every year my kids' school has a Harvest Creature competition. It is hugely popular and the kids have great fun thinking up creatures weird and wonderful to create.
I am always blown away by the creativity and humour, and as one mum said, even where you can see the parent has helped/taken over - it still means they spent time with their child and created something together. By the 5th and 6th Years though, the kids rule and you can be sure to find the funniest creations on their tables. Here are some of this years' critters....

Indiana Mouse and the Temple of Cheese, created by my son...and he was one of the two winners for his year!

Fiona Firebird and her Newly Laid Eggs, by my daughter.

A Cortoise ;-)

Time for Bed!

A Harvest Spider.

The Cutest Little Hedgehog!

Chili Eating Competition.

Don't you agree, they're absolutely fabulous?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Taking a Break

Well, it seems a shame that after Mercedes linked to my blog and I got so many new mini fanatic followers that I need to take a break from building my dollhouse, but my commitments to Scrapbook Inspirations must come first. So, while I'm happily creating pages for the magazine I am still popping over to your blogs for a visit, and I'll be back at work on the Arthur early November, I promise!

The November issue of Scrapbook Inspirations is out now - I did a page of me and my sister, so if you can get a copy, check us out!'s the page with my layout...but this is no excuse not to buy the magazine, it's filled with yummy colours and great ideas!

Friday, 9 October 2009


What colour would you paint the roof? I'm busy sticking all the shingles together in sheet sections for each roof section, so when they're all done I'm going to want to paint them.
Bottom right is the raw natural wood shingles, bottom left is brown, top left terracotta, and top right, slate grey. I was leaning towards the grey, but I am struggling to find the right shade.

Also, whatever colour I paint the roof will dictate what colour the door will be...So, dear visitors, please don't be silent, don't keep your opinions to yourselves...tell me what colour you'd paint the roof and door?!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Passion Flowers!

My passion flower plant has finally flowered. Back in August I posted about my late flowers and now, just over a month later, my passion flower buds are still growing strong and one opened yesterday. The vine is covered with buds, but they are mostly quite small and I am not sure how many will reach this size before the frosts hit, but I'm happy with this exquisite flower! I took pictures. I have proof that it flowered. And of course, who's going to complain about a few more days of sunshine, and a few more flowers on the vine?

I love the story behind the flowers. I found this version on the internet.

The Passion Flower

Unusually for such a story it has a well-documented and undisputed origin. Jacomo Bosio, a scholar, lived in Rome in 1609. He was working on a treatise upon the crucifixion when an Augustinian friar of Mexican birth showed him drawings of a remarkable flower. After much prevarication (and a rather liberal interpretation of the facts) he agreed to include the drawings of the flower in his book. The symbols of the Passion of Christ were many and varied. The unique corona represented the crown of thorns. The ten sepals and petals represented the Apostles (except Judas and Peter, who both distanced themselves from Christ prior to the crucifixion). The five anthers were the five wounds on Christ’s body, and the three stigmas the nails. The leaves were the spear that pierced His side, and the tendrils the scourges that flayed His flesh.

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Mother, wife, photographer, crafter, scrapbooker, painter of murals, dabbler. Sometimes in that order, sometimes reversed! Trying to juggle all of them and having a ball in the process.

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