Monday, 30 May 2011

Five green bottles...

An oldie but a goody!

The t-shirt was a birthday pressie for a friend's lovely little boy who liked the Oliver Jeffers book 'Lost and Found'. It's a sweet little story with beautuful illustrations.    
  and as for the bottles!

9 litres down and 10 to go with some elderflower cordial to top it off. It was quite a palaver straining the liquid through a muslin cloth through a funnel  into the bottles, I must have been doing something stupid cos it took me ages. Does anyone have any good tips??Hopefullly it'll all be worth it! I opted for plastic rather than glass after hearing of many horror stories of exploding bottles.
Next project is ginger beer. Let me know if you have any good recipes?  

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Elderflower Alchemy and beans!

Have made the first (10 litre) batch of Elderflower Champagne today. I find it amazing that this ....

and a bag of sugar and some lemons  = super yummy alcohol.
Also in my nerdy gardener mode I was pleased to see that the first broad beans have set, we are going to have ALOT of beans soon!...although our 3 little rows pale in comparison to the acres and acres or beans filling the fields up the road!

 and the farmers fields..

Have also been building some rather rustic tepee's for the french, limca and runner beans.
My apologies for the gardening overload of late, I realise now that it was probably rather a daft idea to star a craft based blog in my manic gardening time of year. I do tend to spend alot more time crafting in the dark winter evenings. Although I am in the midst of designing and making some new cards and some new tails and wings (due to persistant nagging from M who REALLY REALLY wants to have a fox tail and wings!)

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cakes, Breaks & Proms

More Cake..?
 I think the universe is trying to tell me something... I have been trying to bake a cake for the last 3 days but my efforts have been hampered! No.1 Inner door of my oven exploded No.2 Rayburn handle broke off  so had to switch off rayburn too cool overnight and mess about swapping handles etc No.3 New handle just broke off as I was putting the cakes in (aaaaaaaagggggghhhhh). I've managed to wedge the door shut, I WaNt CaKe!!!! (The cakes turned out pretty bad hmmm crunchy cupcakes dammit)

but I still love you!
 On a more pleasant note I went to 'Last night of the Spring Proms' and it was amazing. One particular piece (Massenet - Meditation from Thais) had me in tears, it was played by violinist Ruth Palmer who is incredibly talented and played with such emotion and expression it blew me away. I've always thought I didn't like the violin as a good friend (sorry dear!) of mine learnt the violin as a child and the screechiness really put me off.  The crowd were mostly blue rinse wartime era folk and I did find it pretty surreal at the end as everyone was waving union jacks and singing Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia! I was in the front row and I felt like a right lemon as I don't even know the words....and frankly I'm just not 90 yrs old yet!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

I don't much fancy yours...

A lovely thing happened today as I was sitting quietly on the stairs enjoying a rare moment of peace as the kids were playing. A little house martin flew in through the back door (opposite the stairs) and hovered in the hallway and then darted into the livingroom hovered and then darted out again. He obviously didnt much like the look of the mess of toys and piles of washing everywhere and quickly scarpered.

Speaking of birds, I havent had a chance to get crafting lately but these are some little fella's I made last year. The bird pattern is free to download from the blog at They are quite addictive to make once you've started and a friend of mine made dozens of them for her wedding reception marquee. They looked amazing, I'll find a shot of them soon too.

Wishing you sunshine in your day...x

by M 4yrs (with some help from Ma! )

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

More cake...?

As i'm pretty short of time...(am off to bellydance in a short while!) Here are a few pics of cards i've made and how Ive made them.

and then...

(I'm quite impressed that my fingernails look clean, as I tend to be covered in mud half the time, I often can't find gardening gloves or hand trowels and the like so I end up digging the earth with my bare hands...cave woman style)
Im going to work on scanning in the cards cos my photography skills are a bit poor at times! Heres another oldie..
 I'm back from bellywiggling and hip popping now...It was a laugh although I may have injured myself! No photos of that as yet! It'll take a while before I can get the intense (and I expect, rather gormless) look of extreme concentration off my face.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Cheesy Puns

 Here is a peek at a card I made last night for a friend (a pretty bad photo but you get the idea!)
and another one from way back in February (valentines). I'm a sucker for a terrible pun! ( a rather good one I reckon!)
Owl Always Love You

Most of my cards are made by sewing directly into the card (I use 3 fold cards so there are no visible stitches on the back). Bizarrely I find it very satisfying sewing into cardboard...I think Ive found a new fetish.

Anyways, back to terrible's another... (I'm such a saddo)
I only have eye for you
and finally back to kitchen walls are now funky purple speckled following a kids painting extravanganza..nice!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The art of faffing

One of my favourite quotes is from Ralph Blum's Book of Runes
"For even more than doers, we are deciders. And once the decision is clear, the doing becomes effortless".

In the moments of peace amongst the choas of kids I spend alot of time daydreaming about new craft projects, looking through my old book stash or staring at the garden thinking about what to grow. I did alot of that today.
View across fields behind my house

Some images from my favourite vintage lovelies ...
From Babar's friend Zephir

  I might just have to paint all my shoes like this and wear them ....or maybe my mans work shoes. hmmm!

I love this page from my 1950's Ladybird,"Things to Make" book. Its for a "useful hearth brush" which would apparantly make "an acceptable little present". How twee indeed!

   and on that note..Good night!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Blackbird singing

Just a peek at a little fellow I made for my Ma, which was inspired by the beautiful Beatles song Blackbird. I ended up making seven of them although only 3 have been completed so far. Thet are adapted from a pattern in the gorgeous book 'The Artful Bird' by Abby Glassenberg. I have been following her blog ( for a while and have always wanted to make my own birdie. The next project is an owl!

Little Blackbird

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly Into the light of the dark black night.

Farewell, wishing you love, light and laughter

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Sketchy late night gardening

No crafting today folks, just about managed an hour or so gardening after kids were off to bed. It was 8pm by the time I got out and light was fading fast so I attempted to cram as much as I  could into the last rays of light. This did however  lead to a series of unfortunate events, firstly i filled my boot with water after trying to fill the watering can at high speed and then my crowning moment, shortly after admiring my lovingly sewn bed of greens and lettuces I slipped and fell on the edge of the raised bed and very nearly squashed the entire lot.

so gardening tip not run around like a speed freak
                    tip no. not attempt to garden in the dark
good night!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

and the point is....?

I am a crafty mother and my aim is  to document my creative journey and projects I am working on regardless of whether they turn out to be fabulous or crud. I have been an avid follower of many creative/family blogs for the past few years and I like the idea of joining in more fully in the online crafting family network.My main interests at the moment are card making, using freehand machine embroidery, collage, sketching, making birds and daydreaming..alot. There is also alot of growing going on in the garden, a mass of vegetable planting and weeding. In a few months I will again become chutney crazed as I fill my home with vinegar and onion fumes.

 A peek at the first bird I ever made (for my flamingo loving friend about 4 years ago). He is now living near Brighton mounted on some fabulous patterned fabric in a black box frame..the bird that is, not the friend!.

Painting by Tania Corbett (Brighton) and bird by me.

 Must go now and tidy the aftermath of dinner as left by two toddlers. Oh the joy.
bye bye


Monday, 2 May 2011

hello and welcome...

to a blog about stuff and things! Stuff that I'm making and things that happen in and around my little world.

button eyed folk of brighton

The adventure of dotty bird begins about 6 years ago with the (strange) little creatures that sparked my love of sewing. My mum had lent me an old singer machine, which i had no clue how to use properly but I managed to fandangle myself some sketchy net curtains for my flat and even more sketchy little button eyed folk. I made one to cheer up my bloke and then made a load more and then planned an empire of scrappy button eyed folk. I took an evening course in freehand machine embriodery and a tonne of other pretty random workshops...including a needlefelt doll making one which led to the freakiest thing I have EVER made (which is still hidden somewhere in the depths of my crafty crud stash). Needless to say it did not represent the Fearie like figure that I had envisioned!

what is this thing i have created....?

I think her lip fillers went wrong?
and then I tried to fix the freakiness...
stuff of nightmares

it didn't work! Still makes me laugh though.
and with that beautiful image...I say farewell for now
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