Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas Card Gift Box

Two weeks and it will be Christmas!!... Woo! The one time of the year where everything stops, so we can get together with our loved ones to exchange gifts, feast and be merry :)


There is a lot of preparations for this special day... and its always the little things that make it magical, so here's a little tutorial on how to create your own Christmas gift boxes from Christmas cards...

So first thing to do... Select a Christmas card...

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Halloween Celebrations 2011

I hope you had a great Halloween wherever you may be... I certainly did,
here's a little preview from my night... 

I dressed up as Sally from the nightmare before Christmas, took me all week to make the costume but it was so worth it :)

Me as Sally and Nathan as an assassin

Mmmmmm!! Halloween treats...

Friday, 28 October 2011

HALLOWEEN Seen and Love!

Well the Halloween weekend is about to begin... this has to be my most favorite time of the year, I love the atmosphere, the smells, the sweets and seeing the effort everyone puts into their costumes and house decorations.

If you haven't yet started to get ready for Halloween, don't worry! There's plenty of time... You don't have to spend days preparing... here's a few ideas to help you create a gruuuuesome Halloween!! 

Heres where I found it 

What an awesome way to make your home look creepy and unique, I love this...  just use cardboard and some coloured plastic... so simple but effective :)

Heres where I found it 

Got some old scrap fabric lying around? Well here's a way to use it up...

Monday, 29 August 2011

Felt Workshop with Heather Miler

Felt Sample by Heather Miler
On Monday the 22nd of August I attended a 4 hour long Felt Workshop by Heather Miler, part of Craft NI’s August Craft Month.
The workshop took place in Derry’s Craft Village. 

Nothing like a bit of craft therapy on a Monday morning, I could have played around all day! :)

more samples by Heather . . .

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Personalised Pinwheels


I hope you are having a great summer wherever you are . . . and I hope you have had a chance to get away and relax . . . we all deserve a little break now and again. :)
I don’t know about you but the weather with me has been a little disappointing this summer, unpredictable would be the word! I suppose I shouldn’t complain so much as we have had a few sunny spells to warm our bones.

Well whatever the weather here is a little tutorial to pass the time on how to make your own custom pinwheel . . . why not make a few and decorate your vegetable patch or brighten up some flower pots.



What you will need:

• Card (6”x6”)
• A ruler
• A pencil
• A bead head pin
• A bead (5mm or above)
• A stick
• Glue or blue tack
• Decorating materials (I used crayons but you could also use paints or markers or even glue on pictures or shiny paper… experiment :)
• Wire cutters

And heres how its done:

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Chocolate Fudge Brownies!


 I don't think i'm alone when saying that Chocolate Fudge Brownies are one of the most heavenly treats on this earth... especially when the consistency is just right: crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Perfect! :)



Ingredients:
  • 175g - Butter
  • 96g - Cocoa Powder
  • 425g - Sugar
  • 4  -  Eggs
  • 1 tsp  - Vanilla extract
  • 160g  - Flour
  • 1 tsp  - Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp  - Salt

Method:

(1.)  Preheat oven 180c (350f)
(2.)  In a saucepan melt the butter on a medium heat
(3.) Add cocoa and stir until dissolved then remove from heat
(4.) Add sugar and vanilla
(5.) Mix in the eggs one at a time
(6.) Fold in the flour and salt
(7.) Pour into a greased tin and place in the oven for 25mins



And that's it, all you have to do now is decide whether to share or not :) ...
serve up with some fresh cream, ice cream or even custard... yum!


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Golden Chocolate Chip Cookies!



The perfect cookie: Biscuity on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside... sweet and moreish!

What else can a cookie be?

I was so proud to have finally succeeded in making the 'perfect' cookie this week. Usually they would come out a bit too cakey or over done... but with help from A spoonful of sugar and some proper measuring equipment... eh voila! A stack of yumminess  :)

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Seen and Love! Summer 2011

Whilst cruising around the internet its hard not to stumble across things that are amusing and fantastic. My bookmarks tab is always full of images I came across and stored away to look back upon another day...

Heres a random selection of images I thought I would share from my 'Seen and Love' bookmark folder... :)


Bygone Summers
'On a warm midsummer day, the young girl enjoys the sun on her face, while her shady hat is filled with the essence of summer times. The straw becomes a cornfield abounding with wild flowers and butterflies, and little scenes of idyllic rural life.'

Fantasy artist Josephine Wall

A young mans dream...
What Not To Crochet 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

New Hand Felted Purses!


I've just added some NEW PURSES! to my Coriandr shop. I used merino wool and creative yarns to design and make the felt and used various textured and metallic yarns for stitching.

These little purses are so unique, soft and cute... how could anyone resist! :)

Pop over to my shop and have a look!


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Moon and Stars Wall Hanging


Here’s a cute little tutorial on how to make your own Moon and Stars soft wall hanging.
It can be used as a decoration piece for any room, over the bed or cot, hanging on a door or even from a light.

What you will need for the moon and stars:
• Two different types of fabric (or use the same on both sides, your choice)
• Scissors
• 4 pairs of buttons
• Thread
• Stuffing or wadding
• Card

What you will need for the mobile:
• A twig or stick
• Clear thread
• Decoration yarn

Step 1:

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Our stay at The Bluebell Cottage

On the 19th of May Nathan and I celebrated 5 happy years together, and to mark this occasion we decided to rent out a cottage for three nights in the beautiful county of Donegal. The Bluebell Cottage was located just outside Donegal town, right in the Blue Stack Mountains...  it was so perfect.


The cute little thatched Bluebell Cottage
The whole surrounding area of the cottage was breathtaking and so secluded, the perfect place to relax and take in the clean country air.


Monday, 16 May 2011

Irish Potato Bread


Irish Potato Bread is also known as Fadge Spud, Tatty or Purdy Bread.

Nothing goes better with a nice fry than a few golden slices of potato bread, and it’s so simple to make from home. All you need is some mashed potato and some flour. If you have never tried this with your usual fry then you are seriously missing out.

You will need:
• Boiled potatoes mashed and seasoned with salt and pepper
• Flour
• Cooking oil

How to make it:
• Mix one part flour with two parts potato
• Flatten the mixture using a rolling pin (or glass)
• Cut into squares and fry in a hot pan of oil for a couple of minutes on each side

And that’s it! Simple and quick, a great way to use up the left over spuds from dinner . . . enjoy!  :)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

How to write a Secret Message...




video






.......Shhhhh! :)




Friday, 22 April 2011

Chocolate Orange Nests!


Hello! It’s Good Friday and Easter is knocking on our doors, what better way to welcome it than with a batch of Chocolate Nests :)

These Chocolate Orange Nests are so delicious and so easy to make,

All you need is:

• Cooking Chocolate
• Mini Chocolate eggs
• Orange extract
• Bun Cases
• Shredded Wheat

Method:

1. Melt the chocolate over a pan of warm water (not boiling) or in the microwave. Make sure not to over heat or get water into it.
2. To the chocolate add 2 teaspoons of the orange extract or until you can taste the orange yourself.
3. Scrunch the Shredded wheat in to a separate boil making sure it is well separated.
4. Add the shredded wheat gradually until there is a good mixture.
5. Put small amounts into the bun cases and squish the chocolate eggs on top and then leave to harden.


And that’s it, so easy and full of whole wheat goodness. Here are a few other ideas I came across and loved to keep us busy over the Easter break.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

New Summer Bags!





Hi there! I hope you are enjoying some nice weather where you are, it’s so good to see the sun and blue skies again… and speaking of the sun I have just put up some new items in my shop, just in time for Spring/Summer.
I have enjoyed every moment making these bags and I am really proud of how they turned out. Each bag is completely handmade and designed from scratch by myself :)
If you would like to see more and read more information on each please come and visit my Coriandr shop

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Uni, Textiles & My Happy Place...

I believe it’s about time that I mentioned a bit about my work. In my first post I briefly touched on the fact that I was at University for four years studying Textile Crafts, during which time I reflected quite a bit on my life and work as a person and as an artist.

I began University with a notion to use anything and everything in my work as I had previously been spoilt at college having been given the chance to work a bit too freely with materials. So when starting university I was a bit surprised when they asked us to choose one specific specialism from; embroidery, knit, weave or print.

Now having only discovered the wonderful world of felting I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t specialise in that, and if I did want to do it I had to incorporate it with one of the other four specialism’s causing more work for myself, which was the last thing I wanted.

In the end up I selected print as my specialist area as I felt I could express myself and apply my skills more freely with a medium that wasn’t so limited and structured. I believed that there wasn’t a lot I could accomplish with weave and knit as it was a very slow process for someone who gets a buzz from fast on the spot art. I love having a vision or a sudden flash of inspiration and being able to create it in as little time as possible.
This is one of the reasons I found it hard to listen to the tutors when they were advising us to plan, plan, research, research before making. I always thought it took the fun out of art and I still do :) The only time I actually benefited from this advice was during my final year exhibition (aka the degree show), if it wasn’t for all the planning ahead it would have been a disaster. And I suppose in the end that’s what they were preparing us for.

Luckily for me my degree show did not turn out to be a disaster, it actually went quite well and I would have to say it was one of my proudest achievements. The relief when finally getting everything up and handed in was unexplainable, such a weight was lifted off my shoulders with a great feeling of accomplishment. 


The theme for my Final Major Project was ‘Shoreline’, the reason I choose this was because I wanted to work on something that reflected me as a person and as a creative thinker...

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Irish Fruit Tea Brack


This is a recipe I’ve been meaning to try for a long time. I’m not a big fan of fruit breads and cakes, but the family would eat it until it comes out of their ears. So I gave it a go for their sake and since it is an Irish favourite. :)


Tea Brack or Barmbrack is a bready cakey loaf that is traditionally linked with Halloween in Ireland. Barmbrack, also known as Báirín Breac in Irish translates to speckled bread. I’m sure you can figure out why.

Monday, 4 April 2011

DIY Daffodils



I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
 (William Wordsworth)


Hello!! I hope you had a great weekend and Happy Mothers Day for Sunday if you are a mother, and also to my own mum :)

Here is a little tutorial I put together on how to make your own hand made daffodils great for doing with kids, to cheer someone up or just to brighten up your home and to add a constant freshness.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Visit to London!!

I had a really good time listening to good music and visiting family outside of London. The gigs we saw were Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica and (the very eccentric) Canadian musician that is Devin Townsend. It was my second time experiencing each band and it was brilliant to see them again, and in a more intimate setting.

Here we are all ready to go...

It also was great to see Nath’s family and catch up on news and life. It’s hard to keep in touch when we live so far apart, but I wouldn’t change them for the world :) and it makes it more special when we get the chance to travel over.


Spring is definitely in the air as we had lots of sun over the weekend, but not so much during the week as the rain is never far away in this part of the world. I am hoping to get stuck in to some crafting and baking soon to get us in the spring mood, so do watch this space.

Have a great Wednesday and last few days of March and I will see you soon :)

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
(Charles Dickens)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

St Patricks Day! 2011

...Things have finally started to calm down from the Paddy’s Day celebrations. It was brilliant fun and thanks to you all who made an effort and joined us for the celebrations. I think I could honestly say it was my best Paddy’s Day so far :)

To start off St. Patricks Day myself and a few others went on a journey across the border of N. Ireland to the beautiful town of Moville in Co. Donegal, where there were lots of people celebrating the day with green hair, banners, parades and good old drinking and dancing in the street (couldn’t beat it).




The parade was great!! Lots of cheering, dancing, music and humorous floats that were really well organized, it definitely made the day… along with the Guinness. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

ST PATRICKS DAY 2011 Seen and Love!

Well, it looks like the weather gods or St. Patrick himself has graced us with some beautiful sunny weather on this paddy’s day eve. Lets pray it stays the same for the main event tomorrow.

I hope you liked my Shamrock tutorial from yesterday and gave it a go. Here are a few more activities and fun things to keep us busy this St. Patrick’s day...



Isn’t this onesie adorable by Emmyloubeedoo 


These pot of gold cookies by Sweet Sugar Belle are simply too good to eat


Little leprechaun heads also by Sweet Sugar Belle

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Shamrock Hair Slide

It’s Paddy’s day on Thursday and thank goodness for it too, we certainly can’t rely on the Irish weather to cheer us up so we may as well have a day of smiling, drinking and laughing with friends and family :)



To get us in an even more cheerful mood I put together a little tutorial on how to make your own Shamrock Accessory. I hope you like it and give it a go…


It can be worn in your hair…


…or as a brooch.

What you will need: