Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Magic Muffins...and magic boxes that are hot hot hot!!

"I want to live in America" Actually no I don't not anymore but I have always loved that song.....I remember it well from the production of West Side Story at school.

I have however, always wondered what that whole blueberry muffin fascination was all about!!

I have bought Millies blueberry muffins, Tescos blueberry muffins and countless nameless other bland pathetic tasting imitation muffins....until BEN discovered Blueberries and ate so many on day 1 that on day 2 he simply couldn't face I looked up my ....recipe book........all cups and no weighing...ya gotta love the Kiwi way of baking!!

Basking in their glory...

Ripe and ready to be picked......

One pot of Bluepberries 50p the sound of silence....priceless!!

You know I adore Nigella....OK not her but her food/recipes ....the unfortunate fact is that each recipe consists on a block of butter and half of a small county of cream ..think Devon!! So in the end we stopped making her recipes because the indigestion just wasn't worth the effort!!

Anyway I saw this on a blog and had to laugh and share it with you on my foodie page...(I am an honorary member of UKFoodBloggers thanks to Gez and my new Aussie bud Chele.)

I used to love to bake but alas I very rarely do it nowadays unless it's birthday cakes and even then Georgia is busy pointing out the latest tasteless supermarket wonder with Hannah Montana on it and dreaming of her special day........I used to come home from school on my Birthday and Mum would be making a marble cake...year in and year was always fresh always exciting and always special as you knew it had been made especially for you.......and then when we grew up and our house became full of exotic tastes .....we made Black Forest Cherry Cake woop woop!!

Mark has already chosen his for next year...Lemon Drizzle cake.......suits me: hopefully by then he can have fresh lemons picked from the tree!!

Anyway some Nigella funnies for you!

1. Nigella's Way - Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice-cream drips.

The Real Woman's Way - Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone. You are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway.

2. Nigella's Way - To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

The Real Woman's Way - Buy Smash and keep it in the cupboard for up to a year.

3. Nigella's Way - When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking tin, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

The Real Woman's Way - Spar sells cakes. They even do decorated versions.

4. Nigella's Way - If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a potato slice.

The Real Woman's Way - If you over salt a dish while you are cooking, that's tough! Please recite with me the Real Woman's motto: 'I made it and you will eat it and I don't care how it tastes.'

5. Nigella's Way - Wrap celery in aluminium foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

The Real Woman's Way - It could keep forever. Who eats it?

6. Nigella's Way - Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

The Real Woman's Way - Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and drop it into 8 ounces of vodka : Drink the vodka. You might still have the headache, but you won't care!

7. Nigella's Way - If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

The Real Woman's Way - Why do I have a man?

8. Nigella's Way - Freeze leftover wine into ice cubes for future use in casseroles.

The Real Woman's Way - Left over wine???? Helllloooo?!!

and now for a little magic

Yup these magic boxes open out to reveal four boxes in a stepstyle. perfect for Xmas presents filled with mince pies,goodies or jewellery which is what is going into mine!!

Easy to make and bang on trend....I didn't even have to cut or measure mine as the boxes require 8x8 and I used my QVC Cosmo Cricket set which is all 8x8!!

I am such a cheat!! Sssshhhhhh!!

Love and magic

Ruth xxx

Monday, 28 September 2009

Just one word........PRIMA

I have only one word to say......Purple Prima Perfection...does that count as one word because in my book Prima and Perfection always go together !!

I have seriously lusted after these papers on SB.Com where everyone has been using them as part of a well known kit. So you can imagine my squeals of delight when the postie delived a box of these to my door from Bubbly Funk right here in the UK!!!!

Caroline has called the kit Enchanted Christmas which is such a perfect name for the stunning flowers and accessories she has put together.

I have stocked up on Purple and Lilac paint and am about to head out for some Purple Perfect Pearls..another 3 "P" word and some lilac glittery stuff!!

Don't expect to see this page soon though I shall be stroking it for the next 3 weeks and will show you the finished layout in the final week. (I'm expecting perfection from myself here...ooh the pressure!!)

The kit is available to purchase through Bubbly Funk from Thursday 1st October....... Make a note in your diary!!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Minty Snowmen and oddments or is that oddmints?

Fridays Fabulous Bubbly Scrumptious Projects

I am very sorry for such a late post I have been working and sleeping and taking the kids to my nieces birthday party and crashing exhausted on the sofa to watch X-factor!! So here it is:

My mother taught us how to recycle from my early childhood in washable nappies and hand-me-down clothes!! So today we are recycling glass jars.............but first a little reminiscing.......

I distinctly remember the year we made a snowman for the fireplace. First of all we needed a large Cocoa Cola type bottle....a rarity in our eco/hippy/healthy house...the drinking of the lemonade bottle was probably more exciting to me than the making of the snow man at the time!!

Mum cut the top off and removed the hard plastic base that it had and turned it into a lid and we covered the bottle in cotton wool wadding and decorated it. Then...get this...Mum filled it with chocolates...OMG real live chocolates and they sat near the fire for the whole of Christmas...except they didn't really because I must have sneaked loads and don't forget I have 3 siblings who were probably stealing them too! So I am planning on putting Mints in mine...I am one step ahead of my kids.....just call me Scrouge!!

I have used some left over journaling cards from a previous Bubbly Funk kit and made a few more pages for my Christmas Journal...I am still of the mode that I will work with whatever I have made and not get stressed by it, which is keeping me sane...unlike the thought of the actual shopping lists needed for the big day!!

I might journal a page now....."September and already stressed about Xmas presents.....searching for bargains, worrying about what to buy a 1 year old and where to hide things from a 6 year old!!" Oh the joys of Christmas!!

To see the other journal pages that I have made please visit Bubbly Scrumptious HERE.

This weeks Challenge over at Bubbly Scrumptious weekly challenge blog is Vintage...not hard for some of you huh? Simply add a link to be in to win!!

Love Ruth xxx

Thursday, 24 September 2009

OMG It's Lets get Shabby Day with a secret twist!!

I have always been a shabby girl at should see my skirting boards!!! (A little dust and a few old accessories are just my thing!! )

So when I was invited to become a member of the
Lets get Shabby Design Team there was no hesitation on my part....just a little panic at the next day deadline!!

Boy I have never scrapped so fast in my life. In-between school runs and a training morning for work I met the deadline!!

....Phew..... No time for indecisions, I have fallen in love with my stapler again - how quick is that gadget for attaching cotton lace!!

I followed the sketch but reversed it a little and met the twist with a scrap of very old lace and a little vintage diamonte buckle. I took inspiration from the design and the neckline of grannies dress and hopefully this is reflected in the angles of the lace and the large flower.

My interpretation of the two circles

I'm not sure how old my Grandmother was in this photo but she didn't get married until she was 27 ....I loved her hair cut into a Bob...she had it this way for all of her 93 years!! As for the photo it's a poor quality replica of the original but I am grateful for having it anyway and to have finally given it a good home, although I'm not sure she would have approved of the title!!

I'd like to thank my new colleagues for such a warm welcome today........I can't tell you how excited I am......I don't think I'll ever get to sleep this morning!!

Love from a very happy scrappy bunny
Ruth xxx

Saturday, 19 September 2009

My two faced Jack-0-Lantern

Last year I was given this white wood and glass lantern as a Christmas present with the strict instructions it was for altering......I waited for Prima Vines to inspire me......then I wanted a Japanese theme........I toyed with collaging it.......finally I came up with AUTUMN.

I couldn't do "true" Halloween due to that whole Non-Halloween English thing with craft shops......I know it's not their fault they don't sell enough but I really feel the need to play with Halloweeny things!

In the end I found some lovely Bo-Bunny Autumn coloured papers at The Hobby House.

Then as luck would have it my good friend, the gorgeous and talented Carol aka Carols Paper Pantry send me some Twiddlybitz (take a look at her blog for breathtaking details) the Twiddlybitz DT Blog rocks too!!

yup..ever since they arrived I have been playing with my Bitz lol!!

The Twiddlybitz cat was perfect for A Halloween Lantern so I decided to do Lantern now has two faces.....An Autumn side and a Halloween side......

..for someone who intensly dislikes orange it seems to be taking over my lounge!!HELP!!!

Love and black cats

Ruth xxx

Friday, 18 September 2009

This Beautiful Moment

This beautiful moment must have been special as I have now scrapped it twice. My niece took this photo when she was about 7 0r 8 and I have loved it ever since. I found a spare copy that Helena must have given to me so I couldn't resist scrapping it again.

The big paper flowers are LOVELY and I bagged every single one of them that my secret flower lady had!! You would swear they are Prima but then I had to go and alter it by brushing on some gesso to tone it down a little.

This week I was the lucky recipient of a parcel all the way from Singapore...yup I won my first (and probably last giveaway) from the supremely talented Wendy Kwok. My bag full of lace and cotton lace arrived with a few extras in it...some brads and pins and pretty beads and butterflies. I used the K&Co covered brads straightaway on this layout and added the pink and white floral trim that came in the parcel too.

Ha I just realised I added more dry brushing on the layout with my gesso...I must have thought I was still making the Recipe Book!!

Love and moments to treasure

Ruth xxx

Funky Recipe Book

It's Bubbly Scrumptious Friday again and today I have made a Paper Bag Recipe Book from the September Bubbly Funk kit to hold those Favourite Christmas recipes that lie around on scraps of paper or hide in forgotten books.....where is that Delia Book? hmmm!!

I used up lots of those epoxy alphabet stickers that have been sitting in my stash for years....I think most of them came from the pound shop!

I Still can't get enough of these cute papers and fabulous embellishments from the My Minds Eye kit. It's dead easy to make as I'm sure you know.........just ignore my atrocious handwriting please!!

To see the rest of the pages and for full instructions on how to constuct the book please visit Bubbly Scrumptious HERE.
Love and mince pies
Ruth xxx

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Butterfly Whisperer

I saw a challenge on to use butterflies on a layout and already had this layout partially know you have 3 or 4 going on in your brain at once!! All I needed was the motivation to get it started..... I did and I finished it in one's not very often that ever happens!! This large paper flower looks alot better in real life but I found it hard to usuall!

The pretty paper is from the Baby to Bride collection by Graphic45 such fabulous quality cardstock to work with.

The white butterfly and stunning corner flourish are made by Twiddleybitz and kindly sent to me from Carol who is a Twiddleybitz Designer......more about them on my next post.

In total I squeezed 8 butterflies onto the layout and the 2 real ones in her hair makes 10!!

Love and little wings

Ruth xxx

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I Love Mittens as Winter Warmers

When I spied these wooden mittens being sold at 3 for a pound I couldn't resist getting a handfull for Fridays Bubbly Funk Project!!

There is something about the shape of these that evokes winter days, cosy fires, snow, snowball fights.....etc. So I decided to make a Winter Banner (the autumn one is still in the design process!)It makes a nice change from the obvious Xmas (which I am going to do on the other side with some vintage papers to match my tree, that way I can keep it up for the whole three months!!)

I used only the paler patterned sides of the My Minds Eye Colorful Christmas papers from Bubbly Funk as I wanted to keep them white and pale blue after the riot of colour in the Xmas Journal!

The Bubbly Funk stack of chipboard shapes, stars and hearts came in handy as embellishments......

..and a few die cut ones from the these miniature mittens with all my heart. Almost too much to use them!

A little gesso, mod podge and some puff paint. More of those glittered Making Memories alphabet letters, a few embellishments from the My Minds Eye embellishment sheet and a dash of chiffon ribbon and my project was finished in a day and a bit.....I thought about adding some bobble fringing but decided not to over complicate things.......I reckon you could make your own template for these or find a similar one on the net.

I used a lot of Puff Paint last year and my supplies ran out, fortunately I have discovered some more as I was told that Woodware no longer make theirs but Boyes sell standard puff paint and after leaving it to dry for a couple of hours it puffs up lovely under a heat gun! You must must must buy some for your just isn't Xmas without it!

I made this wee spinning card see how this card is cleverly constructed click HERE for more..........

Love and cold hands means a warm heart

Ruth xxx

Vintage Baby Block Swap

Ok so I cheated by using paper that was a perfect match for this project....I promise my singular one for the swap will be Vintage with lace, buttons and embellies on it

Benjamin-James Philps decided they were so cool he wanted to get his hands on them too......

...although I'm not entirely sure they'll withstand a mauling from his dribbling mouth!

I have been meaning to get on with this for ages....and then a visit to a super inspiring blog made me pull my finger out!! Check out this blog Mod Podge Rocks it's so cool you'll freeze!!

After gessoing and mod podging these blocks they only really needed a few simple papers.

For the swap the rules are:

1) You must be local to my area

2) First names on the comments get a place

3) I have only 5 blocks 6 if you include mine, unless anyone else has any more and would be willing to make this a bigger swap by donating them...please let me know

4) Blocks are to be decorated in a Vintage Baby theme...ABC's, toys, cute babies etc....

Participants are:

1: Ruth
2: Polly
3: Helena
4: Sue
5: Kate

They are only small but awkward to post due to the new sizing situation. I may deliver some by hand but if your name is added to the list can you please e-mail me with your address.

Oh and you know me for'll take as long as it takes!

Love Ruth xxx

Monday, 7 September 2009

Altered Windmill and a sea of sails-Bubbly Scrumptious Challenge

For Septembers Bubbly Scrumptious Monthly challenge ( with a super prize) the theme is houses......I decided to make this little cutie. It's a 50p windmill from the pound shop!!

I covered it with Melissa Frances papers and an owl from Elements.

I couldn't think of an appropriate house saying so decided apon "You are the wind beneath my wings". I am going to give it to my best friend as a housewarming present seeing as I kept the birdhouse that I made for her oops!!

A Scrumptious Prize could be yours!!

Make sure you join in the fun because the winner is randomly selected so it's all about taking part and adding your blog to the can't get it much easier than that huh?

Yesterday we went to the Grimsby Docks Open Day to see the Clipper Boats that are just about to start their 10 month journey around the world. There is an entry from Cork where we used to live in Ireland and Hull and Humber are hosting the race so of course we loved that one too, unfortunately we missed the other 5 boats as they had left to cross the river at 6am so we didn't get to see Australia and there wasn't an NZ entry which was a shame.

I dressed in very smart Red, White and Blue and we snuck into the members only area for a close up!!
Note to Georgia: ....Listen and learn and stop asking questions about things like "Mum are we allowed down here because I haven't got a life jacket on!!"

I couldn't resist taking an atmpospheric photo....if only I could spend a day alone with my camera the area is awesome....all full of fallen down Victorian buildings with beautiful windows and moss and ferns growing out of the roof. Last week I watched Attonement and kept an eye out for the part that was filmed on Grimsby Docks...I think I figured out which bit...basically blown up buildings!!

Love and little houses with sails on, be it boats or windmills!

Ruth xxx