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Category Archives: Crafts

I Make Felt Dolls!!

Hey!!

I don’t know whether or not I’ve written much about the story of my StitchUps dolls..

These are the first 2 that I ever made:

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I started making my felt dolls in my last year of school. To read about the beginning, click here. Fast-forward a couple of years ….

To be honest, I haven’t made a lot of dolls these last couple of years. I stopped for a while, not enjoying the process of making them since I lost a lot of custom. See, a few years ago a friend of a friend had a small shop in a town where they sold their own handmade cards. This person took most of my dolls and sold them for me, not asking for any percentage at all. One day when I went along to the shop to see how things were going, it was completely bare and nobody was there.. This person just happened to disappear, apparently hadn’t paid to rent the space and upped and left without saying a word. So I suddenly lost 20 – 30 of my dolls out of nowhere and obviously it stumped me for a bit and I didn’t feel up to making them for some time. Since then, I simply haven’t made dolls as often as I used to at all ((I used to make 3 – 4 dolls a month, now I make about 3 – 4 a year, outside of requests)).

So before Christmas I got a request on my Etsy shop to make a doll of a character from a particular computer game, Five Nights at Freddy’s. Heard of it??

It’s a fantastic horror game and if you haven’t heard of it I recommend checking it out!! ..Just, not on your own!!

Anyways, so I received this request and decided to accept the challenge and personally I don’t think it turned out too badly..

Say Hello to FREDDY FAZBEAR :

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What do you think??

It took quite a while to make, having been busy over the Christmas period and New Years, but right now I have plenty of time again to get creative!!

I would happily make Freddy again and experiment with other themed characters like this.

Freddy Fazbear StitchUps

I made a Smurf a while ago for a Smurfs-obsessed friend, but this time I’m a lot happier with how the Freddy doll resembles the character. I’m happy with how my dolls have progressed since I began making them in 2009 …. Wow. That is a long time!!

I’ve been getting a few customers on my Etsy shop, not a lot, but every now and then. But I’m happy to make them as and when people want them, so that I can take extra care making each one. 🙂

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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Crafts, Serious Stuff

 

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Finally Caught A Break!!

Woohoo!!

I finally feel like I’ve just caught a break in my life 🙂

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After loads of waiting, sitting around, not knowing WHAT to do with myself for months and months, I have a job. An alright job. That may turn more permanent, depending on how I do!!

I had 3 days of work at the Kent County Show, selling Strawberries & Cream, fruit salads, other fruit, smoothies, OJ and water. It was great!! So much fun and I honestly wish that I could do it full-time!! But alas, it was only the 3 days of the show. Hopefully the guy running the fruit stalls will call me again the next time he’s in the area, because I loved doing it and all the team were really friendly and great 🙂 . But ahh well, for now I have other things to focus on..

..Like making a new StitchUp for a friend of my Mum’s:

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Like my new job!! So, what am I doing?? Well, I’m working at a tiny café at a country park, just a couple of miles from my home. I’m just selling ice creams, cold food and hot and cold drinks, as well as serving and cleaning up, so it could just be a summer thing, as they are much busier and need help in the summer. But hopefully it will turn into more than that. They have already increased my hours to 32 a week, from 20!! Though I don’t agree with what they sell ((me being vegan, and it being a traditional café)), it is a job, a job at last. Something that I have been waiting for ((again..)) for far too long. I no longer need to go crazy 😉 woohoo!!

Funny 5 Minutes

I’ve been fuelling up on fruit – lots of it!! Loading up on carbs and as many summer fruits as we can afford!! I’ve been riding to and from work most days ((I started last Monday)), but not been cycling much more than that, so only about 5 miles a day right now, mainly due to the intense heat!!

Since I have been cycling more this year generally, I have felt happier and more alive and energetic. One problem though – I got low iron from increasing my activity so much :/ – I went to give blood last month and they told me that my iron was too low to give. Iron deficiency is the most common amongst mineral deficiencies, and, depending on absorption, shouldn’t be too hard to remedy. So what have I been doing to up my levels??

EATING WATERMELON!! Yup, half of a large watermelon ((a favourite breakfast for me)) is 30% of my iron requirements in one day 🙂 who knew!!??

SONY DSC..hence why there are currently 5 in my bedroom!! Ohh, that and the fact that it’s watermelon season and I LOVE WATERMELON!!!!

So should have no problem with bumping up my iron again..

12.09.2012 - Half A Watermelon

This was in September last year – around the time that I found the high-carb lifestyle. It’s not a big melon at all, really!!

Unfortunately, I’ve been lacking in the photography department ((apart from of fruit, of course 😉 )), as I’ve been more busy and it’s slipped my mind. Hopefully tomorrow ((my day off)) and over the summer I’ll snap some photos of outside, animals, people and this weather!! For now, this is the most recent photo I have, really:

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Oops, that’s another fruit pic – my current haul, actually 😛 . Well, here are a couple of snaps from Cornwall last year, as this weather is reminding me of that holiday right now….

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Maybe I’ll get around to making that WIAW post soon…. 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Crafts, Photography, Serious Stuff

 

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Simple Pleasures, Sunshine and Secrets

Hi, you 😀

Monkey Madness

We’ve been seeing more of each other lately, haven’t we…. Let’s try to keep it that way 😉 .

((What’s she talking about..??))

I’m going to try to be much more regular with my blog posts than I was last year.

A lot happened last year, but that’s no excuse to slack in writing!! So, hi everyone. Hope you can put up with me writing more often than usual 😉 ..

Computer Lessons From Ozzy

((^^ About 5 years ago, on a VERY old laptop 😉 )) — and in case you were wondering, ^that’s^ not me, that’s Ozzy., the Bengal >^.^<

Aaaanyways, what’s with that title?? Well “Simple Pleasures” and “Sunshine” are kind of linked into each other. See, I have been quite the “hermit” lately, getting myself stuck in the house when the weather is “gloomy”, “too cold” / “wet” / “windy” / “blahblahblaaaahh”, which eventually, always leads to “cabin fever” for me, the feeling that I HAVE to get out right NOW!! So todays sunny and warm weather was quite the turnaround. The “Secret” in the title?? That’s a secret!! Read on if ya wanna know it 😉 ….

I have Bandit here today ((see here for more about Bandit)) and try to make sure that I take him for long walks that will give him a chance to stretch his legs, get some fresh air and calm him down for 5 minutes!! tire him out a bit.

Today we went for a walk for a total of 10 kilometres exactly ((a bit over 6 miles)), according to my Omron pedometer. And well, it certainly worked 😉 Bandit is lying beside my bed falling asleep as I type this :D.

Sleepy

It was a very eventful walk, so I’m not too surprised Bandit’s so sleepy!!

We walked around the village, then down the country road into the next small town. Felt really good just being outside and walking. The warm sun and light breeze made it the perfect temperature – it almost felt like summer!! We walked through another small town and stopped at Sainsbury’s for a bottle of water, as Bandit was panting heavily and I’d forgotten to bring one..

We headed back after going to Sainsbury’s, walking a longer route back home. We met a Black Lab, a Chihuahua, a Yorkshire Terrier and another Jack Russell, who Bandit appeared to be in-love with – the 2 ladies walking their new Jack Russell ((Billy, 7 months old)) stopped and asked me if it would be alright to let the two meet, as her dog was new and hadn’t had much experience with other animals yet. So we let them play and sniff and follow each other for a few minutes, before parting again, but both dogs were straining their leads to go back!! We also came across a sweet old man who stopped me briefly to chat about dogs. I was asked for directions ((again!!)) once. Bandit didn’t like the look of a bus that zoomed past us, and tried to chase it.. and when we finally got back home, the moment I let him off his lead, Bandit ran up and down the length of the house about 30 times, stopping every now and then to bark at random inanimate objects 😛 . He does have his moments….

"Who, me..??!!"

“Who, me..??!!”

Back at home now, and feeling inspired and optimistic after being out in the sun, out in nature. Why have I been keeping myself cooped up all the time???? Silly..

So now I’m about to start making another StitchUp, I’ve uploaded a new one to Etsy today, so check it out here if you’re interested. I have some ideas for some brightly coloured, Spring-themed dolls. We’ll see what happens 🙂 ..

Ohh right, you want to know about the secret?? The secret is simply a recipe that I made for after my dinner today. It’s a  simple, low-fat, vegan, sugar-free, creamy pudding, and the “secret” is the hidden ingredient 😉 . I’ll be posting that soon, possibly tomorrow, so stay tuned if you like the look of this..

Secret-Ingredient Pudding....

Look good?? Don’t worry, the secret ingredient isn’t gelatine or anything nasty, it’s 100% natural and nice 😀 .

See you tomorrow!!

((P.S.. Pat will soon be featuring on my blog, and we’ll be talking gadgets, the future, bikes and other things 🙂 – Watch this space!!))

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2013 in Crafts, Photography, Serious Stuff

 

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Dolls, Fruits and Raw Foodies

Hi there!! 😀

So, I’ve had a few requests just recently, for my StitchUps :). I haven’t been getting my stitch on lately ((for a couple of months..)) but now I’m up and alert and ready to take orders!!

Please, keep reading - they're much better than this, now!!

These guys ((my first ever!!)) like to help me out when I’m not very motivated 😉 . . . .

 

Unfortunately, as I had no laptop for over 6 months, I couldn’t blog about my Christmas StitchUps, and couldn’t even put them on my Etsy page, either, so I didn’t sell any over the Christmas period :/. This is really what de-motivated me, because I couldn’t upload them. But now I’m thinking “why?? I don’t make them for money, I make them because I LOVE to!!” So things are in full swing again now 🙂 and I’m stitching and sewing and making holes in my fingers again and realise that I have missed being away from my ((2 huge massive!!)) craft boxes. They’ve just been sitting there in the corner waiting to be used again. Now I feel bad ;).

So anyways, I am going to put up a few pics of what I made for Christmas. Because I want to. And I don’t care that it’s now March ;). So here goes.. Please let me know what you think!! – and if you’d like me to make you any for THIS Christmas, let me know and I’ll get it done for whenever you like :).

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The Santa and Elf -style StitchUps come with “Christmas sacks” – small knitted bags to put little gifts in for the tree :).

In 2011 I made lots of mini Christmas stockings, too. I sold so many and was getting requests for personalized ones with peoples’ names on 🙂 I had to keep lists there were so many!! Anyways, back to the future present ;).

I also made some Halloween-style dolls while I wasn’t blogging, and one in particular already has 6 “admirers” on my Etsy page and I only uploaded him the other day!! Here’s the one:
Zombie Zack :P

I call him Zombie Zack 🙂 and have been mulling over an idea to make a whole “Zombiez Section” in my StitchUps. I’ve got a lot of ideas for them. That will be a lot of fun :P.

As well as updating everything, I’ve been enjoying lots of fruit as usual – in fact, as much as I can get my hands on!! Yes it’s been very cold over the past few months ((at least it has here!!)) and fruit isn’t as easy to come by in the winter, but that doesn’t phase me. I need my fruit 😉
This year so far I have discovered the amazingness of beautiful Blood Oranges. They are now a favourite and I’ve been juicing them whenever I can find them 🙂

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Not as blood-red as most blood oranges but gorgeously zesty and tangy nonetheless. All the others that I got were much more vibrant in colour than this, but of course, I forgot to photograph them ..grr. Maybe I’ll learn one day :P.

So, how else have I been enjoying my usual copious amounts of fruits whilst still keeping warm?? Well I recently found a network of HC/LF raw vegans ((high-carb, low-fat)) on YouTube and Facebook ((using my phone for most of it..)) and thought I’d investigate how they do it through the winter. It’s really interesting 🙂 and I even tried it for a little while. I was 100% raw for about 3 weeks and felt amazing!! Definitely going to look into it more I the future, and I’ve been including more raw fruits and veg in my diet since then :).

One such raw vegan is Chris Randall, who has just turned 20 and has been living this awesome lifestyle for a few years, and has an amazing story. He has lost over 150lbs eating as much fruit and some veg, as he cares for!! Sounds amazing, right?? 😀 I certainly think so, anyways. I made his Persimmon Pie, which is super-filling, so rich and tastes like heaven!! Only a few ingredients, too. Raw food can be so simple, yet so delicious!!

Persimmon Pie

OK, so mine didn’t turn out as pretty as Chris’ did 😛 but ahh well – it’s about the taste, not the appearance!!

Another HC/LF raw vegan I found is the beautiful Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, who has lived this way for about 7 years now!! She also has a YouTube channel and occasionally posts recipes. I loved the sound of her “Fully Raw Persimmon Nog“, her take on a vegan eggnog, so gave it a shot and woooow!! I think that I will be using persimmons a lot more in the future!!

Persimmon Nog

I made mine super-thick 🙂 it was almost a pudding!! The cinnamon in this makes it so warming and also makes it feel Christmassy 🙂 so I made extra and took it to my Mum’s house to have with our Christmas breakfast.

As well as these two wonderful people, I came across HC/LF raw vegans Megan Elizabeth, Freelea, Harley Johnstone, John Kohler and Tarah on YouTube. They all have great advice, tips, recipes and tricks for living the lifestyle they all believe in. If you’re interested in raw veganism/fruitarianism, I highly recommend you check them out, as well as the book, The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas Graham.

I’ve learned a lot about the benefits of a plant-based diet, and have decided it’s for me. It makes the most sense to me in terms of health and sustainability, I love doing it and I’m learning more every day!!

This has been fun :). I’ll be making more StitchUps soon, and I’ll post pictures when I do!! But for now, I’ve juuuust realized that it’s 02:30!! My head should have hit the pillow hours ago!! :O….

So goodnight / good morning, depending on where you are in the world :D.

Question:

Do you include many fruits in your diet?? What’s your favourite way to prepare them?? If you’ve been here a little while, you probably realize that I love mine in juices and smoothies….

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Crafts, Recipes

 

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Foodie PenPals – September Reveal ((and other things..))

Hi 🙂

In my last post I wrote about Foodie PenPals and my first experience of taking part. Well I took part again, for September, and got matched up with Jessica. She sent me the following:

A Vegan book 🙂 as soon as I saw the title of this it made me giggle a little, but then when I saw that bit at the bottom: “Foreword by Isa Chandra Moskowitz”, I got excited!! I used to visit Isa’s blog a lot, here, ((which I plan to do again around Christmas time to make these….))

She also sent me a box of lemon-ginger tea ((which I will be enjoying in the evenings when I read and sew 🙂 – I love the taste of lemon and ginger together)), a pack of Miso soup sachets, which I love and haven’t had for quite a while, as well as a bag of lentils, which she even included a quick, cosy-sounding recipe for, in the cute card that she included..

Here is the recipe:

Sausage, Rosemary & Lentil Stew

Slice some veggie sausages into thick rounds and brown in a frying pan with some olive oil. Put sausages to one side.

Saute some onion, garlic, finely diced carrots and celery until softened. Add a couple of chopped, fresh rosemary stalks to the pan, then stir in 200ml of stock and a tin of chopped tomatoes.

Add a couple of tablespoons of lentils, then return the sausages to the pan. Stir to combine, then simmer gently for 30 minutes.

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Thank you Jessica – I really like and will use everything you have sent me, which I may post some recipes for in the future 🙂

I sent out my Foodie PenPals package to Sally, but she has not posted about it, for some reason :(. Anyways, as far as I can remember, I sent her a jar of PB & Co. Smooth Peanut Butter, some Vanilla Redbush Teabags, a small sachet of my Nori Sprinkle, a bar of Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries, some Nairns Oatcakes and some other things..

Anyways, other happenings of the last few weeks have included:

Doll making, including these..

      

..which are now all for sale on my Etsy page 😀 please check it out HERE!!

Dad, Pat and I went to Tonbridge Market on Saturday, then to a Farmer’s Market on the way home ((where I met and caught up with an old friend, who works there 🙂 ))!! We ended up getting quite a load, for an amazing price!! I got:

  • 2 bunches of green Bananas
  • Some very big, fresh Vine Tomatoes
  • 5 fresh, ripe Figs
  • 3 huge Bell Peppers
  • A bag of Pistachios
  • A bag of mixed Nuts and Raisins
  • A bag of Potatoes ((well, these were Dad’s))
  • A bag of Chocolate Brazil Nuts ((Pat’s))

and more that I can’t remember.. but it was a heck of a lot for the price that we paid 😀 I am definitely going back there soon!! As well as the haul of fruit and veg, when at Tonbridge Market, I went over to a craft stall, where some buttons ((of course 😉 )) caught my eye. So, naturally, I got some for my StitchUps ((of course I already had about 400 at home but I can’t seem to pass them without looking ^_^))..

Check out that leopard-print one 😀 I hadn’t seen one like this before!! Yup, I collect buttons 😛 ..and socks.. but that’s another story 😉

..I finally got around to painting this canvas of Otis, for my Mum..
To be honest, I’m not 100% happy with this painting.. I really hope to get better!!

….Aaaand September brought lots of fruitiness ….

   

Want the recipes?? Look out for my next post 😛 …….. Thanks for reading 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Crafts, Foodie PenPals

 

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Foodie PenPals!!

Hi there!! Long time no see 😛 Sorry about that!!

Soooo, a couple of months ago I came across Alek’s awesome blog, Run Serve Cook and read his post about Foodie PenPals. This interested me, as I had been hoping to interact with more bloggers, and this seemed a great way 🙂 .

Basically, you join in by signing up at Carol-Anne’s blog, This Is Rock Salt, who got the idea from The Lean Green Bean, here.

Two people are “linked-up” by Carol Anne and email each other, a sender and a recipient. The sender must ask the their PenPal questions about their dietary needs, allergies if they have any, preferences and so on.. gaining knowledge of what to buy for them. The spending limit for the UK and Europe, is £10 and you must include something written. If you’re interested, just click on the above button 🙂 .

So, last month I took part and was paired with Anna, who sent me a great box of items:

See those two tubs?? Well the one at the back was filled with some gorgeous Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – Anna took my veganism into much consideration and made me vegan cookies 🙂 thank you Anna!! They were lovely and soft with a slight crunch – a great balance!! Here’s a close-up:

Yes.. I did open the tub before even taking it out of the box :O hehe..

Now, the other tub contained something quite interesting, as you can probably see in the first photo.. Salt & Vinegar Chickpeas?? Yes!! Now I must say I never EVER liked Salt & Vinegar flavoured crisps – in fact the smell would make my eyes water!! But these – wow!! They are crispy, very vinegar-y ((yup, that is a word 😉 )) and not to salty at-all!! Check these out..

Anna was so good, she even wrote down recipes for both the cookies and the chickpeas 🙂 Thanks, Anna!! She also included a letter explaining why she chose the items she sent me. Anna loves to make and bake “comfort food” at home, and she found a way to make things healthier and vegan, as I requested in my email 🙂 .

Also in my box was a huge 70% bar of Green & Blacks, which I had never tried before ((and did not realise was vegan until then!! It lasted me about 2 weeks 🙂 . Those cookies – not so long 😉 )), a bag of Free-From Chocolate Discs, which I found a bit overly-sweet, not being a fan of “milk” chocolates, but anyways my bro liked them and was none-the-wiser to their vegan-ness 😛 . I also got 3 – yes, 3!! Nakd bars, including my FAVOURITE – Cashew Cookie!!

I found the experience really fun and really enjoyed going out to the shops to find things for my PenPal.

I sent out my box to Keeley at Phat Cupcake who informed me that she had a sweet-tooth but looked for healthy treats, and also wanted something “bizarre” ….fancy seeing what I sent her and if you think it was bizarre enough?? Keeley wrote an amazing post about what I sent her 🙂 . Check it out HERE

So, why did I not post this last month?? As explained in an earlier post, unfortunately my laptop is not working as it should 😦 . I took it to a man who fixes computers but he saw no faults and informed me that it does not have a virus – which is a positive of course.. But it is still messing up a lot…. SO I am posting as often as I can, inbetween the times where I get so frustrated that I’ve had to write up the same post 4 or 5 times, I want to throw it out of a window…. Don’t worry, I won’t!! 😉

Stay tuned for my next post – probably this month’s Foodie PenPal swap  – which, I am hoping, will be soon, if this laptop allows it!!

I am sending out my parcel today, to Sally, who has 2 blogs. One HERE which is all about food, dishes and recipes, and THIS ONE which is more about things that Sally likes and finds interesting. Be sure to check them out soon!!

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Crafts, Foodie PenPals

 

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Things I Like To Make & Do….

My_CrEaTiOnS….

OK, so I was going to post a picture of EVERY ONE of my StitchUps, but that would mean over 100 pictures, so I’ll just post the ones I deem worthy ;), including ones I have given as gifts or sold in the shop:

First of all, we have the original-style bunch. This is how I started off ((I won’t post my first ever one here as it’s just too embarrassing!!)):

                       

Then I started to make “people”:

And thought about making animals after that!!:

I have lots more ideas, including dolls for holidays such as Easter, Halloween and more Christmas ideas..

I have also made 2 baby mobiles, the first for my new baby cousin!! and another for a friend of my Nan’s:

   

Awesome wallpaper, right?? LOL..

I like to paint and draw, too. Here are a few of my pictures..

I’ll continue to upload more pictures as I create them ((if not too embarrassing, of course..)), and always welcome any comments and opinions. I’m not really sure why I’m posting these things but for now they will stay, until I have decided what I will do with this blog-thing :) .

So…. enjoy!!

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Crafts

 

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