Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Share the Handmade Love Wednesdays - Buttons

This week's Share the Handmade Love is about buttons. My button box now holds four generations of buttons. I have my Great Grandmother Parrish's buttons, my Nanny Donn's buttons, some of my mum's buttons and some of my own. I have a HUGE box full to overflowing! On that note here are some items made from buttons - enjoy!

Seaglass Junk Charm Bracelet by Deezie Blue Handmade Beaded Necklace by TheRetroRainbowEver After Button Bracelet by magpieandbutton Circle Cell Ameoba Hand Embroidered Quilt Square by KBKExtrasUpcycled Button Ring by jennifermagnesi Secret Garden Button Necklace by SmallButtonBigHeart

Top to bottom, left to right:

Seaglass junk bracelet by Deezie

Blue Handmade Beaded Necklace by TheRetroRainbow

Ever After Button Bracelet by magpieandbutton

Circle Cell Ameoba Hand Embroidered Quilt Square Applique by KBKExtras

Upcycled Button Ring by jennifermagnesi

Secret Garden Button Necklace by SmallButtonBigHeart

PS... Salvaged Mutiny is now listed at the Home Based Jewelers Showcase here

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

chocolate cake

I’ve been working on a present for my friend Julie over at The Life of a Cupcake. I can’t show it to you yet though, as I have to send it to her and I want it to be a surprise! Instead, I decided to give you a recipe for scrummy chocolate cake to tide you over!! I found this recipe for Double Chocolate muffins online a few years ago and now use it all the time. Don’t worry that it has coffee in it – it doesn’t taste, it just makes the cake moist. And if you wrote the recipe, send me the link to it so I can credit you as I can’t remember where I got it from. I use it to make a big cake, not muffins though ;-)



9oz/225g plain flour 

3tsps/15ml baking powder 

3oz/75g cocoa powder 

9oz/225g granulated sugar 

6oz/150g butter, melted 

12fl oz/300ml black coffee, cooled 

3 large eggs

Buttercream Filling:
2oz/50g butter
1oz/25g cocoa powder
5oz/125g icing sugar

Chocolate fudge icing:
4oz/100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
2tbsps/10ml milk
2oz/50g butter
2oz/50g icing sugar

Combine the first four ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir together well. Add the melted butter then, in a mug, beat together the egg with the cooled coffee, and pour on top of the butter. Whisk briskly with a fork until all the ingredients are just combined. Share out into two sandwich cake tins and bake in a preheated oven at 200C/Gas Mark 5 for around 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking and cooling make the filling and icing. For the filling mix together all ingredients until smooth. You may need to add more icing sugar for taste. For fudge icing heat the chocolate, milk and butter in a saucepan, stirring until melted. Removed from heat and beat in the icing sugar. As with the filling, add more icing sugar according to taste. With the fudge icing you will want to chill it for at least an hour until it is solid enough to spread… unlike I did on my first try above where it was a bit runny!

When the cake is cool spread the buttercream on one half and sandwich on the other. Swirl on the fudge icing to finish. The cake can be eaten as it comes or is amazing with cream too!

I made this with my 2 year old nephew, we had a lot of fun!

birthday cake

And just to keep you happy, here’s a sneak preview of Cupcake’s pressie….


Friday, 23 April 2010

When It Rains, It Pours and Sun Bleached Beauty Necklace

sun bleached beauty 1

Nothing seems to be going right lately. As I have said previously, I’m currently not on my cruise ship as I came home for my Grandmother’s funeral. It all went very well, thank you for asking! However, I’m now stuck at home because of the volcanic ash cloud crisis. “But Joanne, the ash cloud has gone away!” I hear you all cry. Yes, I know, but at the beginning of the week my employer decided it would be safer to keep me at home for two more weeks to save me getting stuck somewhere. This decision and new flight bookings were all made before BA pushed the first flight through! Ah well, more time for crafting I say! And to top it all off, my other Grandmother is now in hospital with a suspected heart attack…. When it rains it pours apparently! To cheer me, and you, up here’s some new crafting…

sun bleached beauty 2

When I picked up this piece of shell in St. Kitts, battered smooth by the power of the ocean, I knew it had to be made into a necklace. I wire wrapped the top with white coated wire, then chose beads that reflected it’s colouring. I chose a pallet that made me think of wood or bones bleached in the sun on a hot dry beach. I used frosted white glass beads found in New York and pale wooden beads from Miami Florida. I strung the whole thing on pale hemp to give it that washed ashore feel.

I think the neutral colours and simplicity of this piece will work well with many outfits. It is currently available for sale in my store

Sun Bleached Beauty 3

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Share the Handmade Love Wednesdays - Noo Friends!

This week's Share the Handmade Love focuses on some people I just met on Etsy. While I have been home I have made the effort to get involved in the community. The free internet is the main cause, I have to say! I have been spending time in the UK Etsy chat thread and met some fab people, who are the focus of my treasury today...

Wildflower Necklace by Lazygiraffe Highland Mist Whisky Marmalade by MarmaladyRoller Disco Bear by Clarebear Pink Flowers Wall Hanging by OneLittleHouse
Real Bird Tweet British Kingfisher by Feltmeup Turtle Neck Poncho by Moocowhandknits
Left to right, top to bottom:
Wildflower Necklace by Lazygiraffe see it here
Highland Mist Whisky Marmalade by Marmalady see it here
Roller Disco Bear by Clarebear see it here
Pink Flowers Wall Hanging by OneLittleHouse see it here
Real Bird Tweet British Kingfisher by Feltmeup see it here
Turtle Neck Poncho by Moocowhandknits see it here

ps.... the treasury frame here was developed by Haptree. Check out the blog here

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Deep Blue Sea Necklace and Happy Birthday Dad!

Deep Blue Sea Necklace1

I got a little bit of time to myself this weekend, so I overhauled my site and added new items to my Etsy store. Leave a comment to let me know what you think of both!

See my website here

See my store here

And now for some new craftiness...
I found this chunk of shell in Aruba and it reminded me of a pelvis bone ;-) I liked the bleached quality of its colours, but also liked the negative space created by the central column. Rather than combining it with just pale beads I opted to use it as a base to showcase brighter colours… like the blue of the sea where I found it.

The shell is wire-wrapped with blue coated wire. It is accompanied by wooden beads from Miami, Florida and glass beads from New York and Germany. The harmonising sea grass coloured hemp and blue green beads bring the power of the ocean to this piece.

This necklace is currently available in my store

Deep Blue Sea Necklace2

And finally, it's my Dad's birthday today. So everyone say Happy Birthday to Mr. Donn!!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Share the Handmade Love Wednesdays - Mermaids

With my grandmother gone, my family and I are clearing out her house. I’ve found a lot of my own stuff there, and lots of bits and pieces that my grandmother kept, that she really didn’t need.

Each member of my family has picked out pieces that they want to keep for sentimental reasons and the rest we are selling, giving to charity or throwing away…. But some of the stuff that could be thrown away I have rescued to create with. Once we have finished I plan to sit down and make a necklace in tribute to my grandmother. I had this idea pop into my head soon after I arrived home and I have been finding the perfect materials to make it with all over my Nan’s house…. It’s almost as if she is finding them for me and leaving them in my path!

The necklace is going to have a mermaid come seaweed theme, so in preparation and for inspiration, I had a wander around Etsy to see who else had used this theme. Here are three of my favourites:

Sargasso Sea Choker by Skywatcher1121

This choker combines trinkets and fabric, and idea I have been toying with for my own designs.

The Mermaid Queen in Purple Charm Bracelet by Poetsummer

Yet more trinkets, I like the idea of lots of little bits on the necklace, just like Ariel’s collection.

Nautical Statement Necklace by Bionicunicorn

This piece uses several strands of varying length and construction to make up the necklace. Another idea I am toying with myself.

So keep your eyes peeled for my own creation, appearing here soon and go check out the stores of these creative peeps!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

A Very Happy Unbirthday?

While being home for my Grandmother’s funeral, I’m also home for my birthday…. Which I almost forgot! It wasn’t until my nephew, who is two, ran into the kitchen this morning and sang happy birthday to me that I really remembered…. Ah well!

On the bright side, I got to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D while I’m here! I’ve heard mixed reviews about it but I loved it! I think Tim Burton might have read The Looking Glass Wars books as it really reminded me of them. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are fabulous as always and the costumes were AMAZING!! I’ve found a few images of my favourites to show you…

Costume Designs

Colleen Atwood, one of my favourite designers, often works with Tim Burton and I was very glad to hear that she worked on this film with her. Here are a few of her designs – The Red Queen, Alice and The White Queen

The Red Queen – Helena Bonham Carter

I was unsure how I felt about Carter playing the Red Queen, but she is excellent. Her costume is very much influenced by Queen Elizabeth I and is very intricate.

The Mad Hatter – Johnny Depp

This version of the Alice story was not quite what I expected. I think I was expecting the ‘usual’ story, just a bit darker, but I liked the direction Burton took. A lot of this is due to Depp’s Mad Hatter who is an integral part of the story and brings a lot of heart (no pun intended) to the table.

Alice – Mia Wasikowska

Alice’s costumes are probably the most exciting! They change so often because of her increasing and decreasing size that there were plenty to look at. My favourite however, was not her stereotypical blue outfit, but her red ‘Um’ dress worn in the Red Court. It is truly beautiful and if I had time I would probably try to find a way to make myself one!

My other favourite Alice costume is worn at the end of the movie and is hardly seen. I saw photos of it around Halloween as someone was trying to make it for themselves… however, is the movie you hardly see it! She wears a beautiful skirt made fro wide ric-rac that must have taken someone huge amounts of time to make…. But you never get to see it! It is hidden under her coat the whole time! I feel for this costumer and want to show the skirt here – it is gorgeous!

In conclusion – GO SEE THIS MOVIE!! You should try to see I in 3D as well, it was worth wearing the silly glasses.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Mary Jane Donn - My Grandmother

I am at home for about three weeks right now. On Saturday night I got an urgen text from my mother telling me to call home and when I did I discovered that my grandmother had passed away.

I am very close to all of my family. We all live very close together in the same town. For a short while my brother and myself even lived with my Nan and Granddad while my mum went to university to get her degree.

My Nan taught me many things. She taught me how to grow flowers and tend a garden. She gave me my love of animals and nature by taking me to every zoo and farm we could visit. She introduced me to peanut butter. She taught me how to look after my hair, which I always get comments on.

Along with my mother, she has always been an example of a strong woman who always did what she wanted. She raised a functional and happy family and had a loving husband.

Though I didn’t get to see her before she passed, I know she was proud of me and happy that I was doing what I loved.

To my Nan, Mary Jane Donn – your memory will live on.