Friday 30 October 2009

Halloween Jumble...

'Tis the night before Halloween and I have a couple of things to share...

I finally remembered to get a picture of the Pumpkin Mini Garland in my window, much better to see them hanging I think. And it was lovely to see them and the treat bag on the wonderful DIY blog,

This is a link I definitely should have shared sooner as you will want to get making the things you find there straight away! If you don't know of One Pretty Thing already, it is a wonderful collection of craft, food and decor tutorials all put in one place. Rachel arranges the daily posts by theme and the Halloween ones have been amazing!! Its always my first stop when someone asks if I know a pattern or a tutorial... I have pointed so many friends this way I'm surprised I have sent you over there sooner too!

A tutorial I found through One Pretty Things was this one for Monty Pythons' Chocolate Crunchy Frogs. I made these a while ago for my Dad's birthday... but I was remind when he mentioned they would make good Halloween treats.  I think someone wants me to make more which isn't too surprising as they tasted really good! The tutorial is chocolate covered gummy haribo frogs with popping candy. I struggled to find many frogs in my packets so I used the sugary foamy apples as well and you couldn't tell the difference in shape and they had a bit more crunch! I've since found you can buy a bag of frogs and all the other ingredients at this wonderful old fashioned online sweet shop...

And it wouldn't be Halloween without something a little spooky...
 Le Petite Oiseau shared a link to this set of old black and white Halloween photos. All the old costumes are amazing to look through and the skulls at the beginning of the set are so cleverly done. I do love old photos especially ones that look a little ghostly. These are a couple I found recently...

An old theatre postcard... I love the moustached man in the middle the most but there is some strangely eerie about the group...

A Xmas ghost... if you look closely (click to make it larger) there are three people in the bottom right corner and you can see straight through the couple under the umbrella.

Thats about as spooky as I can bear hee hee
Have a Happy Halloween!
I'll have to go make my pumpkin to share with you tomorrow...

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Mail by Snail

Ooh I popped off there for a little unexpected trip North but I am back now and I came home to some lovely snail mail...

My first international snail mail from Leanna in Canada!
Canada has the 2010 Olympic games and the stamp has the cutest little hockey player. I am not a sporty person so for me to say this is cute makes it super cute indeed! She also added a sweet little bird and mushroom which will be going on my inspiration board as soon as it has the tidy up it really does need. You can visit Leanna at Bird on a Pencil, a cosy crochet blanket of a blog filled with yarn and pretty finds. Thank you so much Leanna!

My second snail mail is from Bunzi and is from far away too...
Now I know I am supposed to be collecting stamps but I am quite smitten with your letter paper too and this one really made me smile. Along the top of the page, a line of sweet little bunnies with carrots and stars and post boxes... they are just too cute! Bunzi blogs at Bunny creates and she is taking a bit of a crafty break to be Mummy to her adorable little girl, but I really hope she will be thinking of making stationary one day... Who doesn't need little bunnies in their post box?

I have more snail mail to share but I'd like to spread it out a little so I can say a proper bloggy thank you to everyone. The stamp badges are being posted one by one on daily walks to the little red post box so most are on their way and if I have received your snail mail then your Stamp is definitely on its way to you. Unfortunately the good old British Postie is having a couple of slower days this month so please be patience... it really may be snail mail

Thanks again everyone!

Thursday 22 October 2009

A Good Reason to Treat Yourself...

There is a brilliant craft forum Crafter...oo! They are a friendly bunch and there is just about every crafty thing you can think of going on, you should pop over and take a look for yourself!

They are also a very generous bunch and have opened a Folksy shop to raise money for Children in Need filled with crafty pieces made by members.

Its a very good cause, helping make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. All the money raised will go to the cause as the lovely Folksy folk have waived the fees. If you are new to Folksy, it is a place for UK crafters to sell to all over the world. It is very easy to register and simple to use, so go treat yourself for a good cause!

Find out more about Children in Need here

Wednesday 21 October 2009


Between "The holiday I have perhaps mentioned too much" and spending most of the past few days stitching treats for "The holiday that will be mentioned too soon", my little head is a little to full to think of things to mention...

So mindless wrecking it is!

The 4th page of my Wreck this Journal with the instruction:
"Tear strips Rip it up!"
My first actual wrecking act on the thing (not including the lame attempt to break it spine) and it was so much easier than I thought. I loved ripping the page! Mwah ha ha...

And I also enjoyed colouring it in in a more genteel  way...

'Tear' used been a funny word for me.  We must learn to place it automatically in sentences, but my first thoughts on seeing it always seems to be the other tear as in crying teardrops.
That will never help you open a carton of orange juice...

And just because I'm interested... how did you read the title?
Ripping or Crying?


Eeeek! All the pins from "The holiday I have perhaps mentioned too much" are now half price in the little shops if you fancy a cheap little treat... 

Monday 19 October 2009

Stitch Yourself a Halloween Treat Bag

A little Halloween How-to for making a Pumpkin Treat Bag to fill with your favourite spooky candy!

This takes about 30 mins start to finish with the sewing machine but you can easily hand stitch it.

You will need:
Pumpkin coloured fabric for your bag body
Stalk colour felt for the top
Black felt for spooky features
Small piece of felt for eyes
30cm of ribbon or string
Needles, threads, pins and scissors
(Sewing machine optional)
Yummy chocolates to fill and nibble as you sew :)

First cut out your pieces using the pattern here, two of the body, stalk and eye.
It may be easier to make the mouth by taking a rectangle and cutting small triangles from each side.

Pin the felt tops to the body, wrong side together.
Stitch along the top edge of both pieces.

Fold along the seam so felt top is on the right side of your pumpkin fabric and press.
Stitch along the bottom edge of felt 'stalk' (no need to tuck the edge as its lovely unfrayable felt).
Stitch a line along the middle, making sure the width between middle and bottom stitches is slightly wider than your ribbon/string.

Stitch on your pumpkin features.
I used white highlights for my eyes as I like my pumpkins cute, but red looks spooky (three pictures above) and yellow flames look like a real pumpkin (two pictures above)

Pin right sides together, taking care to line up your stalk stitch lines.
Leaving the space between the middle and bottom stalk stitches open, sew around the edges to make your bag.

Turn right the right way and press.
Those much talked of bottom and middle stitches make the space for your drawstring. In the centre, snip two slits 2cm apart in the stalk felt between the 2 lines. Just the felt layer, don't cut through the pumpkin fabric. Using a large needle or safety pin, thread your ribbon through the stalk.

As the side seam is left open, your needle and ribbon will come out and back into the fabric here making it easier to thread.
 If you accidentally sewed up the drawstring gap at the seam, you can snip a couple more slits in the felt at each side and it will work just the same with no fiddly unpicking :)


Stuff with candy and tie ribbon to make a fat round pumpkin treat bag with a gather stalk.
Give to your favourite Trick or Treater!


Sunday 18 October 2009

Halloween Garland and a Winner!

A picked a pumpkin from my little giveway patch and it told me the winner is...

Please let me know your postal address and I'll send your goodies straight away. My email address is in the side bar :)

And to say thank you to everyone who joined in and everyone who stops by my little blog, I have freebies for you too!

My little Trick or Treaters left me some lovely treat links which you should visit:
Bad Bird's free embroidery patterns - a Pumpkin girl and the cutest Bat boy
A chance to win the most amazing Alice in Wonderland costume! I wish I could fit into the Queen of Heart one so badly!!
And there was some very sweet mentions of my Dangly Spider Stitches from last year...

This Pumpkin Treat Bag is part of my pumpkin giveaway, all the chocolates are going in here to be sent. Silly me left it out of the pictures!! Its also my little Halloween How-to for this year and I'll share the instruction to make your own this week! But you needn't wait for a Halloween treat as I have printable Pumpkin Mini Garland for all...

Click here to make full page and print!

All you need to do is print the page, cut out your little pumpkins and fold them in half to make pretty fronts and backs. Punch holes below the stalks and thread them along a length of string or the like. I used a metre (a little over a yard) of fine wool and spaced them at 10 cm intervals with little knots to hold them in place. You can print as many as you like to make longer garlands or share with friends. And if you like your colouring pens or different colour pumpkins, there is a black and white version here for you!


Friday 16 October 2009

Snail Mail!!

I got some lovely snail mail from you dear bloggy friends this week.

First came brightly coloured stamps which made my eyes light up and this adorable cupcake card from Natasha who's known as Nattybumbum in the bloggy world and that name has to make you smile! She is a finder of the random interesting lovely things so you have to go visit her to see what she has found for you today.

The very next day a rainbow landed on my door mat! Bex had made the loveliest envelope from a page of flower-wearing cuties (with fairy instructions!!) and filled it with some pretty old stamps, so very generous!! You'll find Bex at Stuffed Nonsense, which is not just a lovely blog but also a real shop in Cheltenham, UK. If you live near, you are a very lucky thing! But for those like me who are a little too far there is a Stuffed Nonsense Folksy shop with floaty shelves filled with cuteness, like the Plumps!!

Thank you so much Natasha and Bex!
And to everyone who is joining in! I hope this will make you as excited as your snail mail makes me... I posted my first stamp badge snail mail out today in the freshly painted post box at the end of road :)

Happy Weekends everyones!
Oh... and since you've been listening to my Halloween ramblings for the whole of October, please do join in my pumpkin giveaway!!

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Pumpkin Giveaway!!

Time to play Trick or Treat!

And I have a bunch of goodies from the pumpkin patch to give to one bloggy Trick or Treater!

All together we have a Spooky Cute Mini Pumpkin Softie and a Little Pumpkin Felt pin from the little shop, a pumpkin 'surprise ball' which I have no idea of the contents but I am hoping will be something silly and fun, a bag of chocolate pumpkins and ghosties, four halloween balloons and a Mini Pumpkin  paper mini garland...

If you'd like some Halloween goodies, the rules are the same as last year. Just pop your Halloween costume on, knock on my bloggy door and Trick or Treat me in the comments below! 

And if you want to leave a treat (or a trick!) in the way of something Halloweeny (a link or some spooky fun things to do perhaps) and I'll put your name in the picking cauldron twice

I will pick a random name this Sunday (18th of October) giving you enough time to come knocking and me time to get your goodies to you for the Halloween night!

Happy Haunting!

Monday 12 October 2009

Cosy Crochet days

Sundays are becoming my cosy craft days.

Cosy craft for me is baking something yummy then curling up with a movie and some yarn to crochet. Yesterday was particularly grey, perfect weather for that kind of afternoon...

The little coaster above was made last Sunday but its ends were woven in yesterday. Does anyone have any tips for weaving into quite open stitches? I can't say I'm doing it right...

...but I did take special care to follow the pattern exactly which is a first for me. There it is by the picture in the book, see? The book is Kyuuto! Lacy Crochet, a Japanese craft book in English and its wonderfully pretty. I started with something that looked like a granny square because I've got the hang of them now but beginning this felt like making a evil granny square. Small is tricky!! I really admire all you teeny crocheters.

Speaking of granny squares...

I made all of my 108 squares (thats 4 of each of the 27 colour combinations I found) and I started piecing them a couple of weeks ago. This has become the main event of my Sundays and the blanket is just at that size you can sit under it as you sew it. Cosy indeed!

Ah but today is Monday and I better get on with something...
Hope you all have lovely cosy weekends too and are having Happy Monday mornings!

Saturday 10 October 2009

Reward Stamps for Snail Mail (part 2)

Oh Wow!
You guys are so great! I feel incredibly lucky to have such lovely bloggy friends :)

I was a little unsure whether I was being too cheeky, asking too much or just being too nutty and that is the only reason I didn't make squillions of little stamp badges to begin with. I really want to say thank you to everyone so as long as people are happy to send snail mail, I am super happy to keep stitching and scribbling badges so everyone gets one... and thats what I did this morning...

The front five are the newbies, but I hope you'll let me make some more soon. I really enjoy making these. I don't know if you can see but I've been numbering them in pennys on the top right corner and I'm thinking each should be unique. I'm not sure how many stamps it will take to fill my journal page but until it is, I will have a stamp for everyone who wants to join in :)

If you've come straight to this post and have no idea what I'm talking about, this a little snail mail project for my Wreck this Journal where I am collecting the stamps off of my mail. I will send you a stamp badge by snail mail in return for a piece of snail mail with a postage stamp I can tear off the envelope and stick in my journal to make a pretty page. There is more about it in this post.

If you'd like a little snail mail, please leave a comment with your email in either of the posts or email me at, so I can give you my post address and gets yours to send the badge.

If you have already left a comment I am emailing you all now. I am terrible for replying to comments by accidentally sending emails to the noreply@blogger robot so if you haven't heard from me within a couple of days, give me a nudge because that naughty robot has eaten your mail.

Thank you so much to everyone whose replied or is thinking about it.
You are lovely!

Thursday 8 October 2009

Rewards for Snail Mail

How can you not love good old fashioned snail mail?

This is the last piece of snail mail I receive... Its a super sweet snail from Ai's sweet little crochet shop. She is  called Nutmeg and accorded to the little bio that came with her (how cute is that!) likes cappucino, chocolate truffles and cozy nights in front of a fire.

Nutmeg, as well as this lovely post about letter writing, got me thinking about good old fashioned stick-a-stamp-on-it post. I don't get much... franked and printed postage, yes plenty, but stamps...
Want to see how many in the last 6 weeks?

This is another page from my Wreck this Journal. Basically its sketchbook with a random instruction to follow on every page and it's fantastic! This page says "Collect the stamps off of all your mail" and this page is going to take sometime. But then I got thinking...

I've seen some people asking for stamps for their WTJ so I was wondering if maybe I could ask if people could send me some. This feels quite cheeky I must admit, but nothing ventured, nothing gained... and you would of course gain a little something too!

In return for a piece of mail with a good old fashioned postage stamp on, I would send you back a piece of mail with a good old fashion stamp on too and inside a newly fashioned fabric postage stamp badge like the ones above to say thank you!

I don't want anything fancy. The cheap stamps fill a page as good as any and you haven't to send anything but a note with your name on so I can make sure you get your badge and a thank you mention here too.

The Stamp badges are about the same size as a stamp and are hand drawn with a proper brooch fastening and I will send them anywhere you would send a stamp from :)

If anyone would like to help me, please leave a comment with your email address or email me at the address in the side bar, so I can send you my post address and get yours. I've made up the five little badges above and you can pick your own, please say which in the comments here so other people may know its yours. If there is more than five people (pretty please) I will be happily making more and more...

Thank you so much for reading my little request,
I know its a bit of an odd one but I think it might be fun...

Tag! I'm it...

I was tagged by Leah of All Things Nice! If you haven't  visited her over there you really should. She is a total sweetheart and she really does find all the nicest things... 

1. What books are on your favorite shelf?

I don't actually have any shelves, I have a rather large book stack against the wall but I do have many favourite books... 

This is my absolute, makes my heart swell with happiness, favourite book. "This is for you" by Rob Ryan, a sweet story writen and illustrated with paper cuts. Everyone should treat themselves to this or buy it for someone they love.

2. What DVDs are on your favorite shelf?
I have a quirky dvd collection... There is so many films on telly so I only buy one I won't see on there and think I'll watch hundred times. My favourites are Ameile, Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Science of Sleep... films that feels more like you are seeing a life rather than watching an event are my favourite kind.

3. What are your two favorite cookbooks?
Easy peasy! I just bought Rachel Allen's Bake, so good! Cakes, breads, meals... if you cook it in the oven its probably in here. And Nigella Express - quick, yummy and you have to love the ridiculousness of her :) 

4. Select 1-3 recipes you will cook for your special guests:
My favourite meals are the inbetweeny ones brunch and afternoon tea although I rarely get to have them. But since its special guests... toast, eggs, crumpets, jam tarts and fairy cakes, all that kind of goodness

5. What will we be drinking that's available?
Nice hot tea in favourite mugs of course :)

And  to keep this going, I will tag: 

Hannah at Span's Stitchin' - nothing makes me want to pick up crochet like her blog
Woolywotnots - Everyday is inspirational over there
and Mollie who everyone knows as the super cute Wild Olive - she is crafting for a brilliant charity so be sure to visit her shop too!

This isn't the strange request post I said was coming, I hope you guessed that hee hee!
I have a touch of photo sorting and then I'll be back later to ask a tiny favour...  

Happy Wishes,
Jenny xo

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Behind the Screams

I saw that title on a horror movie dvd extras menu for their 'behind the scenes' and just had to borrow it for this :)

The Spooky cute pumpkins were such mini little things you only got a glimpse of their little scene. The whole thing was the twisted tree spooky forest you see above. I still have it set up as a rather creepy corner, just incase I feel the urge to make more Halloweenies.

I'm from the fuzzy felt school of set design. A piece of fabric wrapped over a pin board will magically hold light fabric pieces in place and a pin will always hold the bigger stuff. I made the trees from off cuts of brown fleece. I can't throw anything out that may possibly have a use somewhere in a future unthought of project. I have 4 boxes stuffed with the tiniest offcuts, they slowly find there uses... 

And remember how I said a few posts ago I said I'm trying to make the most of each possible last day of Summer sunshine? This was took on that possible day as its been rainy and foggy since. Making the most of it... with the curtains closed tight at two in the afternoon and a daylight bulb?!

I said to myself I wouldn't do Halloween this year, I'd skip straight to Christmas after my August break. But then I scribbled this Batikins in a sketchbook and he nibbled and nibbled until he got his way...

This Bunnikins didn't get her way! Even with the biggest box of calico strip off cuts, its incredibly fiddlely to mummify a Bunnikins without her looking messy or, bizarrely, like a pineapple. Plus Mumikins sounds like more motherly then monsterly... 

Something that is easy to wrap up is Halloween goodies in the shape of pumpkins, especially when there is a pumpkin inside like this one. I got the idea after seeing this on the My Paper Crane blog last year. Its a square of orange tissue with the corners gathered at the top and brown string tightly wound quite a few times around before being tied in bow that holds a little fleece offcut leaf. It would be a cute way to make pumpkin decorations now I think about it!

Under the parcel is a little freebie something I'm working on. I'll have it ready soon but not for the next post.

No, for that I have a strange request for you with a teeny tiny reward... 

Sunday 4 October 2009

Spooky Cute

I am a scaredy cat and like my halloween more silly than scary, but I thought I'd give spooky a go with a little bit of stitching...

It looks like I almost got a creepy pumpkin. Almost... you know hold you hold a torch under your chin to make telling ghost stories scarier? Well, that what this pumpkin was doing as I snapped his pic.
His story wasn't that spooky, tales of pumpkin pie and toasted seeds. And in the daylight, neither was he...

Quite bright and cheery really!

It looks like I can safely come out of hiding from behind the sofa as its going to be another cute Halloween in my house. I must admit I'm pleased.

You have to love photoshop's ability to make felt pumpkins glow!

Finally but importantly, Thank you for letting me be all giddy yesterday. I always feel incredibly lucky that I get to share my little stitchings and you guys stop by to see them, not just there but here too. I don't say how happy that makes me much so I wanted to say it now.

Thank you bloggy friends
You make my day!

Saturday 3 October 2009

EEK! Spot the Batikins!

Just look where that Batikins is lurking now...

I'm so proud of the little fanged one for getting himself on the front page! I have never been there and it was such a thrill to see him that I have gone quite giddy and the post I was planning is completely lost to me. Oh well it can wait until tomorrow... I have a batikins to treat to some cake!

Hoorah for Batikins!!

Thursday 1 October 2009

Eek! Batikins!!

There's a full moon and something is lurking in the dark corners in the little craft room...

It looks like one of the Bunnikins has been bitten by a naughty little Halloween vampire!

What happens when a bunnikins is bitten, you ask?

...he grows tiny pointy fangs...

...he acquires a taste for high collars...

...he sprouts an impressive wing span...

...he calls himself "Batikins"...

...and he can be found hanging around...

...upside down (of course!)

Happy October everyone!