get yer socks off


this weekend i needed a present for a four year old and i just couldn’t think what to make. i turned to this site ( for some inspiration. the japanese nuigurumi are so, so cute but also very cool. i have a feeling that they’re more appealing to adults than children but sonny, my 5 year old, loves his sock monster so i’m hoping this little fella goes down well. i’ve called him ‘notabus’ because he certainly isn’t a bus. he is made from a small pair of socks, with some tweed yarn for hair and some lovely red embroidery thread which i used for the decorative stitching. a few buttons and some co-ordinating cotton ribbon finish him off. he took 3 hours of my friday night – and with american idol on my planner it was a pretty perfect end to the week.


i’ve been baking loads this week and today i made some guinness cupcakes with baileys buttercream for another birthday. i still have a little bit of the buttercream left so i’m off to lick the bowl right now.

muthas bearing gifts

muthas bearing gifts


i got some gorgeous homemade gifts this christmas from some lovely clever people including beautiful bunting, an awesome apron, goody boxes and bags of home baked deliciousness like german apple cake and festive biscuits, charming chutneys, jolly jams and punchy pickles.  the food was scrummy and meant i could keep eating without any effort, which is a double whammy i’m sure you’ll agree.  but by the first week of january it was birthday season again (yep, it goes on for a full 52 weeks without any let up!) which meant i had to get busy. and so i turned to my new crafty books for some inspiration.  my friend jayne bought me ‘the big-ass book of crafts’ by mark montano.  this is my version of the urban corsage from that book. (it’s a great book) i hand stitched this for ceri’s birthday from pieces of my old trousers and flared cords, scraps of felted jumper and some hand-me-down buttons.  i took quite a shine to it while modelling for this photo – it’s quite hard to capture your own arm?! –  and i’m going to make one for myself as soon as i get the chance.

muthas bearing gifts


then it was scout’s turn.  for her third birthday she chose a chocolate cake covered with marshmallows inspired by one my friend rachel made for her daughter chloe a couple of years ago (keep up!) rachel makes amazing cakes and we were looking at some photos about six months ago when scout announced ‘that’s the cake i want’.   i baked a sandwich cake but kept the two halves separate and decorated both.  two cakes (two parties) for the price of one!

muthas bearing gifts

another great gift i received from nat was ‘muffin bible’ (who needs any other sort?), published by penguin.  i was flicking through it last week and realised i had all the ingredients for these easy honey and date muffins.  they came out a treat.  rose well.  tasted yummy.  light and sweet with chewy bits of date.  the kids have been enjoying them for breakfast all week, they’re healthy and they freeze well too.

muthas bearing gifts

i’m looking forward to trying the carrot and ginger next but here’s the recipe for these babies…until next time…
75g butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups chopped dates
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
heat butter and honey only long enough to melt butter.  stir in chopped dates.
beat eggs with milk. sift flour and baking powder.
make a well in centre of flour and add honey and egg mixtures.  mix until dry ingredients are just moistened.
three-quarters fill greased muffin pans and bake at 200°c for 15-20 minutes or until cooked.

this is it

jennie here, with my first post of 2010. its been a faltering start to the new year, but hopefully for me (and the other muthas) the new decade will be a creative and perhaps enterprising one. 2009 was productive to the last and i enjoyed the final mad push to get the presents made, wrapped and tagged. then i spent christmas day ill, under a blanket on the sofa, unable to cook the dinner. my partner eventually rustled up some ham sandwiches and while it made a change from the usual dozen or so family members descending on us (and thankfully this year we’d already decided to keep it small) it was certainly not a vintage christmas. in the hectic run up though i did get everything finished, even if i did have to ditch some of the grander ideas. unfortunately i didn’t get around to taking pictures of most of it. doh!

this is a pic of a crafty ladies evening in november which i used to whittle down the contenders for christmas sweet treats. the lemon shortbread and white chocolate bark didn’t make it. also, i’m not running a ferrero rocher factory, i just really like them!

this is it


So here’s a summary of my christmas makes…

100 christmas cards, 80 star biscuits, 20 bars of rocky road, 10 bags of white chocolate and baileys fudge, 9 felt corsages, 6 jars of cranberry sauce, 5 photo baubles, 4 pots of lemon curd, 3 jars of plum chutney, 3 jars of marrow chutney, 3 pairs of wrist warmers, 2 hanging felt hearts, 2 comedy moustaches and a wreath for my front door!

this is it

i did take a photo of the wreath hanging on the door, a bit of a cheat because i just pinned everything on at the last minute, but it does mean i can ring the changes next year without too much effort. the materials used for this were mostly recycled :- my husband’s old t-shirt, some felted jumper scraps, left over wool, plus some lovely ribbon from a secret stash box purchased from ‘what katie did next’ on the door knocker (along with the door…. and house come to think of it) has got to go! and so do i.

Happy New-ish Year !

Well what a great christmas and new year that was. 

  And now all the chocolate and cheese is eaten i needed something to keep my fingers busy, so I got out my lovely shiny new glue gun and attempted my first handmade card for Ceri’s birthday and was really really pleased with it.  i also made the felt bracelet which was really simple and looks great on.

  My son had been asking me to knit him a hat for ages so what with our winter weather i did, and judging by the look on his face, i think he wishes he hadn’t!

  I am currently obssessing over my new found love of moss stitch and am rustling up a scarf for Erin’s daughters birthday, so will post that when it’s finished.

  Right am off to stick my head in some crafty books for more inspiration!


Allo allo

as in seminal (or should that be criminal) 80s nonsense….

here are the snaps of my felt moustache disguises as modelled by my family on Christmas morning!  My Dad’s is two-tone for his look in the 70s when his hair was black, and grey for the up to date look!  My Mum got confused and thought she was a Gallagher Mother!

Such fun!

I co-hosted a workshop at work today on Stitching an’ Bitching – or just an opportunity for 8 women to gather round

crafty and you knows it. safe as.

Came across this while googling “crafty muthas”…..word



words and music by Joe Kowan, ©2009

I’m Crafty,
I got a scrapbook, and a glue stick, and a rug hook.
I got mad skills what you think about that
I’ll rotary cut you on my self healing mat.

I’m Crafty, I do what I like.
Got a deckle edge scissors and a lot of press type.
I use white glue to attach construction paper.
You know I got the moves like Dorothy Draper, I’m crafty.

I’m so crafty.
I’m so crafty.
I’m so crafty.

Why you be hating, on all my sponge painting.
And the crazy cool borders I’m creating.
Don’t give me crap, cause I ain’t havin’ it.
I’ll rock a crackle finish on my cabinet.

I knit on the subway,
I like to embroider and macramé.
And on a good day, I’ll stop and crochet.
Made a fresh doily for my friend José


I’m so crafty.
I’m so crafty.
I’m so crafty.

My name is Joe K. I’m the Craft Aggressor™,
Just look at what I make with a tongue depressor
or a lanyard, my box stitch is standard
always got an X-acto knife in my hand, word.

Chillin’ with my hot glue gun and ya know
when I pull the trigger, like my rhyme it flows,
I’ll hot glue a ribbon to a wreath or a basket,
glue a silk flower to my dead homie’s casket

now I’m going plug-free double G, cordless
got a second job, so I can afford this,
’cause my crafting is heartfealt.
And I’ll go crazy on your ass with hot melt.

I got me a can of spray glue,
and you know I use that stuff almost every day too,
And a special brush to apply gold leaf
put that junk in my mouth for some handmade gold teeth.

I like floral wire
my tape’s double sided
a tri-color ink pad
makes me the mac dad
bottle of glitter,
a magnetic sheet
I’ll be making memories up and down the street.

It’s around Christmas time the beginning of December
I be crafting handmade cards that you’ll remember
start with some paper, and  a sharp pencil.
Then I go crazy airbrush with a stencil.
Hit it with a rubber stamp once, no twice
then drop the glitter to make it look real nice
glue on some ribbon, embroider some stiches
signed, “from Joe, happy holidays bitches”

I’m crafty.

I’m so crafty.
I’m so crafty.
I’m so crafty.

I work with Fimo, it came to me in a dream yo,
I made a pattern and I rolled it up like cookie dough
then I sliced it into pieces 2 dozen,
baked it at 350 in my toaster oven

I’m crafty,
you know I’m PC
But I’m not PG
I’ll rubber stamp thee.
Cut out a picture of a scene from the Bahamas
bust into your house and I decoupaged your mama
I’m crafty.

I’m so crafty.
I’m so crafty.
I’m so crafty.

I use white glue to attach construction paper.
You know I got the moves like Dorothy Draper.

I’m good with my hands if you know what I mean,
embroidered my sweater and bedazzled my jeans.

Don’t give me crap, cause I ain’t havin’ it.
I’ll rock a crackle finish on my cabinet.

Some say I won’t but you know that I will
make an iron-on tee shirt in my George Forman Grill

I glued little gems onto my belt buckle
then quilted a cozy for my brass knuckles

But you know I’m a crafter, and not a fighter
I’ll freestyle a shrinky dink with my lighter

I’m crafty.