Tuesday, 20 November 2007

SOSF Christmas exchange

I've just announced over at the SOSF that there is to be a Christmas exchange with the theme "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The sign- up deadline will be Friday 30th November, with a post-off date of Monday 10th of December. Please read through the FAQs and email me from here if you wish to take part with your name, blog address and postal address. There will be a full invitation posted later this week.

EDIT: Here is the invite*:

*Please excuse my dreadful spelling of "swimming". Apparently it doesn't always have two Ms.

Monday, 19 November 2007

"OMG, Emma's joined a Facebook for knitting."

...said my sister, Holly. And the truth is yes. Yes I have. It's called Ravelry and it's highly addictive. It has rekindled my long-waning entusiasm for knitting and I love it for it. Hip hip hurrah for Ravelry! You can see my Ravelry profile here.

I've put my fingerless mittens up on my etsy shop today. I also finished off a blue pair last night, but my mum's friend Daphne bought them off me straight away. Resultamundo! I'd post a picture, but it seems Blogger has a huff on this evening and refuses to co-operate. I'll stick it up here later if it's in a better mood.

EDIT: Here are the pictures of the mittens:

And even better, I've already sold them on Etsy, too!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

I finally received the tags I ordered for my knitted monsters. Unfortunately, they sent me iron-on tags instead of sew-on, but it was too late to send them back. Even though they weren't precisely what I wanted, they still look pretty fab, don'tcha think?

I managed to send all the monsters off to HK Handknit on Friday, so all I have to do now is update my Naughty Little Monsters blog with all the info for each monster - once I have a spare minute that is! Things are deadline-crazy here. I'd be glad for a minute to catch my breath. Here are a few of the finished fellas:

Friday, 2 November 2007

Trick or Treat?

How beautiful are these things?

This is my lovely Trick or Treat package from my Secret Fairy, Naturegirl. How fab are those socks, huh? Or those "E" shaped sticky notes? Now they are pretty damn cool. And the buttons!

The silver pouch holds an amazing Green Tea Ball. Look what happens when you put it in hot water:

And it tasted amazing too, very slighty of roses, like drinking perfume.

Thank you so much, Naturegirl. A fabulous present.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

I Heart My Camera

These are the bracelets I made from my illicit ebay button binges. They will be up on my etsy shop by the end of this week (internet connection willing)

Monday, 15 October 2007

This may come as quite a shock....

...but today, for the first time in seven months, I picked up a pencil and made a few sketches.

I have the vague notion of turning these into an autumn promo postcard, or, depending on how organised I get, a Christmas promo card, but the main thing is, I drew. Whoa.
Cat tagged me last week to display what's on my desktop. Well, at the moment I am at my mum's, so what I have here is the family desktop, complete with obligatory tea:

For some reason the family computer doesn't have any kind of "paint" programme, so I had nowhere to paste my screen capture, so a photo of the screen will have to suffice.:

See, I have the Illustration Station forum constantly on.

My own computer for PhotoShop and the like is directly opposite this one on a baby desk, but I don't have it connected to the internet.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

I finally received my LOVELY new camera last week, and this has been the first chance I've had to have a proper play with it. I LOVE it. Seriously. If it offered me a dirty weekend away in Brighton, I'd take it. It's already a million times better than my little point-and-shoot Samsung and I've barely begun to use it properly. I sat myself down yesterday afternoon and worked my way through the manual taking random pictures of the coffee table, but I thought I'd use it today to take a few snaps of my latest WIP, a pair of wrist warmers/fingerless gloves knit in gorgeous Freedom Spirit:

Check out the depth of field on that first one. Yum. I can already see this camera and I going places. One of my New Life Resolutions is to take more photos and that'll be a doddle on this baby.

So chuffed!

Many, many thanks to Not-as-lovely-as-he-was-but-still-pretty-spesh Jon for buying it for me.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

There's a lot of awkward and painful stuff happening over here right now, so I'm only going to blog about happy things. One thing that makes me very happy is Fantastic Cookies. It so happens I have a recipe for Fantastic Cookies, so when I met up with Paula and Cat this week, I took along a few. Here, as requested from the two of them, is the recipe for Oat and Peanut Butter Cookies*:

225g plain flour
175g rolled oats (the bigger the better)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
175ml vegetable oil (or sunflower or rapeseed or anything with a neutral taste)
175g crunchy peanut butter (I usually go ahead and use nearly a whole 340g jar instead. I love peanut butter)
200g caster sugar
225g brown sugar
125ml milk (moo, soy, rice or oat is fine)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease two baking trays.

In a large bowl mix the liquids, the peanut butter and the sugars.

In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then add dry to wet and mix. You want a firm, moist dough, so if it's a little runny - as it may be if, like me, you've used extra peanut butter - just add more oats to bulk it up a bit.

You can make these any size you like, but I normally go for a tablespoon-sized lump. Roll it into a ball (you may need to flour your hands to stop them getting too sticky), place well apart on the sheet and flatten slightly. These will spread quite a bit.

Bake for around 12 minutes, depending on their size and your oven, until golden brown. Leave on the baking tray for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

These are yummy-delish eaten still warm with a glass of milk.


*Adapted from a recipe from "Vegan With A Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Just came across an amazing illustrator, Victoria Maderna, here. I love this image. It's very sexy and retro and funny and makes me want to get up draw! Shocking, I know. I can't seem to get her website or blog to load, though, but I'm going to keep on trying. Fab stuff.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Last week I asked the lovely fairies at the Society of Secret Fairies if there was to be an autumn exchange. The reply said they hoped so, but things were a bit manic. I offered to help out, and so here I am creating my first invite and taking on my first stint as fairy organiser!:

I hope lots of people will want to take part. All the info for the exchange is over on the SOSF blog.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

How bizarre that your home grown produce totally dies off in the July rains, only to come back to life again at the end of the season, thus:

And here:

They did look like this:

and most of them still do, but the others have literally come back from the dead after a bathe in the sunshine. Odd.

Shame it's pretty much the sum total of this year's harvest, though!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Whoa. Where has the summer gone? Or rather, why didn't the summer turn up in the first place? That said, today and the previous five days have all been glorious. I expect that summer will now stretch right through September and it'll probably still be near 20 degrees come October.

I'm not really a fan of summer. OK, I like the golden evenings with long shadows and hazy clouds, and the fresh, crisp sunlight through the curtains first thing in the morning, but I'm not a hot weather person. August, even though it's my birthday month, has now come to mean loneliness coupled with a desperate desire to see the back of it. Lovely Jon has just returned form his third August in Edinburgh. I never went up there myself this year, so today was the first time in three weeks that I have seen him. Right now he's asleep. He didn't manage to make it to bed last night as he was frantically cleaning his Edinburgh flat on his lonesome, as all the other flatmates had already gone back home. I keep sneaking down there just to look at him, or to stroke his face, just to check that he is really is there.

This August hasn't been too bad, though, really. I've just spent the previous two weeks with my mum and sisters (one week of them here, the second with me there) and I had a great pirate-themed birthday and some fabby presents, including these excellent Converses:

(Now is the plural Converses? Or Converse, like "one sheep, lots of sheep"? I prefer Convi, meself.)

And some mega-inspiring craft books:

I have to say I'm feeling more positive right now than I have for a long time. It's amazing what a new hair-do and being able to fit into a pair of jeans in your regular size can do for you!

I also have a meeting tomorrow with a local publisher. I'm not getting myself het-up about it or over-excited. If no work comes of it, then that's OK, but I think it'll really help my confidence in my work just to have someone else look at it. I'm planning to send out a new promo card by the end of this month, too, and the prospect of creating something new is really exciting. Who knows, I may even get some of that bounce-out-of-bed-because-my-job-is-great enthusiasm back!

For me, September is New Year. I still like to work on an academic year basis. Right now it's that shiny shoes, new pencil case feeling of a new term that's getting me all powered up and ready to work. Let's go!

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Any minute now my mother and sisters will be swooping down on me for the following week, so Lovely Jon and I have spent the last few weeks (and just me for the past two) getting the once vibrant-purple room ready. Here's what we've done:

Thursday, 9 August 2007

I have amazed myself with my productivity today. Four windmills made and up here on etsy. I even persuaded my camera to take some decent pictures: