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Pick a Pocket of Pesto

Well, it’s been a long time! But a busy, creative one nonetheless 🙂 It’s time I shared more makes, bakes, crafts & creates!

The other day, I read this lovely post from the marvellous Attic24. Only a few days previous had I cycled through the beautiful woods surrounding Dean Castle in Kilmarnock (my new home town, for now!) and noticed lots of lush wild garlic begging to be picked for pesto. It’s so lovely to do something like this when you know there’s a window of opportunity once per year, it won’t be shipped into megabucks supermarkets from Israel all year around and it literally is time to seize the day!

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I think I had around 300g of wild garlic and I used a mix of about 200g cashews and almonds because that was to hand. It’s so tasty I could almost eat it by the spoonful but settled for one jar for the fridge and bagged the rest in freezer portions.

AND the beautiful colour reminds me of my ‘promise to self’ to draw, colour, doodle and paint more….

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Everyone’s favourite mouse – Milford!

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The resident art instructor drew this beautiful cartoon or me hosting my Craft Group onboard a cruise ship!

I know I’ve got several readers who have been waiting patiently for this tutorial & pattern… having lived without internet for several months, I’m only able to do this now!

Click for: MILFORD MOUSE instructions

I made this lovely pincushion with my craft group on a recent World Cruise, and many of the crafters enjoyed it so much that they made a second (and perhaps a third!).  He’s named ‘Milford’ as we were sailing through fjords & Milford Sound in New Zealand at the time.  The friendly mice in the pic below were not made by me – I sold mine at the charity sale without taking a final pic!  You’ll need approx 12″x12″ of your chosen quilt-weight cotton print fabric, some finer-fill to stuff, a pipe cleaner for his tail and some beads/thread for eyes & nose.  Feel free to ask if you have any questions!

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Meet ‘Milford’ and friends 🙂

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Vital signs!

I baked some cookies for a charity bake sale earlier in the summer, and whilst dropping off my contribution at the sale, I offered to write a few signs and price-lables to make the shopping experience a little easier! It also reminded me that my working on my handwriting skills is worth it 🙂 I’m guilty of relying on scrapbook apps, spell-checkers and font builders on my computer, but often a simple Sharpie & card is just what’s needed…

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Something old, something new…

Just a quick update to show you some furniture I’ve been giving a little t.l.c. to.  This time, it’s a Georgian side table that’s been waxed & polished to transform it into a phone/tablet charging unit! It was a perfect piece, with the lift-up lid to hide all the cables & wires underneath.  The drawer knob was missing, and the door handle was falling apart, so I added two new wooden knobs that I painted/stamped.  I’m really happy with the end result, and I enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t endless sanding & painting involved to spruce up the lovely timber 🙂

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Party Time!

I had the pleasure of some craft-indulgence in Dublin recently. I went along to the Guidecentral Summer Craft Party which was held in the CHQ building.  I’d only recently downloaded the Guidecentral App on my ipad, mainly out of curiosity, but it was great to learn more about it and I’m really impressed! I particularly like that the content is actual tutorials, not just images of nice things but with no information or instructions linked to it (which happens on some other Apps).  The content is provided by bloggers and crafters and they, as ‘Makers’, are paid for their guides.  And the result is consistently decent content – everyone’s happy!

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While at the Craft Party itself, I put together this scrapbook page on Project Life (my favourite scrap-app!), and I also took a few snaps of some pom-pom monsters we made… I loved that much more than I expected to!  It’s funny how we can sometimes get fixed ideas in our heads abut what we do/don’t like, while the opposite may be true 🙂  Other craft projects were led on the day by fellow bloggers Agi’s WS and The Crafty Mummy.

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Craft = Perfectly Imperfect?!

I had a great time at a recent Auction, seeking out new projects & pieces for our home.  One of the things we snapped up was an old Victorian chest of drawers with a few knobs missing…. the remainder were mismatched anyway, so I purchased a few additional plain wooden ones, painted them all white and got to work with some Sharpie markers….

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I was really happy with the results, and thought I’d protect my work with a coat of varnish… little did I know that the ‘permanent’ markers would bleed with the spirit-based varnish! It sounds obvious now, after the fact 🙂  Luckily enough, I was gentle while brushing it on, so it wasn’t too bad and I’ve gone ahead and used them on the drawer unit.  I have one particular rule in crafting…. if I wanted something perfect, I’d buy something that was manufactured in a factory. The opposite is of course true, hence I hand-make as much as possible.

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If anyone has any tips for a better result, perhaps a varnish you’ve used that works better, make sure to leave a comment!