Thursday, 31 March 2011

A different Easter wreath with moveable bunnies

I have always loved cardboard and the endless possibilities it has for craft projects .
So I decided to play around with it and see what I  could come up with for Easter.
Here is a different kind of wreath with moveable bunnies I made of card-board plus handpainted eggs.
 I will show you the steps so you can make your own .
I first started with looking for a bunny shape- you can hand draw or use a non-copyrighted silhouette .
Decide which silhouette  you want to go with, then enlarge by hand or on the photocopier.
Draw or trace on a piece of paper and cut out with scissors so you have a template.
Decide which silhouette  you want to go with, then enlarge by hand or on the photocopier.
Draw or trace on a piece of paper and cut out with scissors so you have a template.
                                 Split the bunny up in moveable bits, like back legs, front paws, etc .
Make sure the bunny looks like it makes sense- just use your judgement.Just fiddle around till it looks right.
Use these separate and move-able bits of the bunny and trace them on sturdy cardboard from a card-board box from a grocery store.

        Then trace on the cardboard -
and cut out and put together so it looks right..
And then attach the legs  and paws and tail to the main body using those pins you can use in a stationary store .You need to look for  a pin with a head, which splits in two with two legs, so you can fold one leg through the hole ,then  to the left, and one to the right, so you attachthe one piece of card board to the other.
Here some more pictures.
You see here two already complete bunnies, and one in the making.You can give the bunnies a white tail and an eye if you like.
You can use these bunnies around the house, on the breakfast table, as decorative bunting around the room, or on Easter wreaths.

Now for your wreath.
To make a standard wreath , go about it as follows :
Get some branches  or twigs from a tree that are flexible, and some string from a hardware store.
You can also use some bits form an old-fasioned broom, which is what I did.

Make a long garland, tied the together with string, at intervals, then fashion this into a circle and attach the end to the beginning. This  will give you your basic wreath.

Give the bunnies some cheerful coloured ribbon around their necks, and attach the bunnies to the wreath with a glue gun.                                          

Add some ribbons and some coloured Easter eggs, and also attach these with your glue gun.
No cats were harmed in this production by the way, not sure about the eggs though!

How the eggs were made and decorated, I will cover in my next blogpost.
That is also quite fun and super simple.

 Happy Easter preparations and happy crafting !!

And enjoy the Spring sunshine!

This was featured on the Italian craft website Pane amore e creativita

I am linking this to:
Wow us Wednesdays
Tablescape Thursday
Transformation Thursday
Inspiration Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Home sweet home
Tickled Pink friday
Fancy this Friday

Maud and Millie.



If you want to follow their latest adventures, check out their latest blogpost !!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Murder at the vicarage- a cup of tea and a slice of seed-cake like Miss Marple

Today I wanted to share with you the recipe for a nostalgic cake,which the world has forgotten : seed-cake -  which you come across often in Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novels quite often, like for instance
" Bertram's Hotel".
This delicate cake with a sprinkling of caraway seeds, is quite unassuming, like Ms Christie's modest sleuth, Miss Marple , and equally strangely additictive and charming.
There is nothing more cosy than a nice cup of tea in front of an open fire.
This tea-service, Wood's " Beryl" dates from the 1940's so you're already halfway there as far as Agatha Christie's atmosphere is concerned.
Then a nice " Miss Marple" book for reading and added enjoyment........ 
"The mirror cracked from side to side" is pretty good and full of English village atmosphere...
 And to top it all of, a couple of slices of lovely seed-cake, like Miss Marple herself used to eat.
Absolute heaven!!You really can't get better than that!

Here below is the recipe so you can bake and enjoy your nostalgic treat yourself- it's a pretty simple cake .

250 gr butter
(  american weights:1 cup butter  = 227 grams butter->so take 1 cup and a bit of butter)
300 gr self-raising flour
( American weights: 1 cup flour = 125 grams flour  ->so take 2 and a bit cups self raising flour)
200 gr caster sugar
(American weights: 1 cup sugar  = 200 grams sugar-> so take 1 cup sugar )
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs

Butter a rectangular cake tin, then sprinkle a bit of flour in it, and shake the flour around so the butter is coated with the flour.
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Centigrade.
Cream the butter and the eggs.
Then add the eggs- one egg at a time.

Add some flour after each egg.
Then mix in the rest of the flour, then the grated lemon zest and the two teaspoons of caraway seeds.
Bake for an hour, then check if the cake is done.I usually stick a knitting needle in , this should come out clean.
Enjoy your baking !!
And of course enjoy your nostalgic cake with a nice cup of tea in front of an open fire on a comfortable sofa.
Or , in case you have pets and the sofa is taken, make do with a cushion instead !!
Enjoy your cake.
Have a great week!!


Friday, 11 March 2011

Box topiary deliciousness - and another blog award!

I adore box topiary. I am very priviliged to live in a beautiful part of the world, with gorgeous country side , cute chocolate-box cottages and lovely neighbours.
Think Agatha Christie novels like the Murder At the Vicarage without the high body count .
My neighbours are all completely besotted with box topiary- though thankfully you won't find a life size steam engine cut out of box here, or one of those frightening monstrously big squirrels.
It's more box balls, cones and spirals.
Look at this lovely display- isn't it gorgeous !! All my neighbours are people with an artistic streak, a  great eye, and all are keen gardeners, so you can imagine how lovely it all looks .

So I thought I would share with you how you can get your box spiral topiary on a budget and how to cut your own topiary spiral .
Just be brave, get those scissors out and you will have your own topiary for next to nothing !!!

Your first step : hunt around for some basic box shrub at a garden section of a hardware store.
You are bound to get it most cheaply there-I managed in the past to get box balls, priced down at the end of the season for £5,-.

Let it grow for a few seasons till you reach a height of about knee-high.
 This would be your starting point for your spiral. I took me about 3 years to grow this from a 1 foot high box shrub to this height.You can also buy the box much bigger but basically , the smaller the box, the more inexpensive.Just buy a small plant, put it in a corner of a garden and let it grow.
Now for the cutting. These are your tools.Sharp scissors- small and bigger.
The weather should be overcast and drizzly- no hot sun.This will scorch the leaves and you will end up with brown bits on your box- so rain and drizzle and blah weather like below is what you need .
Think of your spiral cutting as though you are going to cut a three-tiered wedding cake, where the horizontal lines of the tiers rise from low to higher up.
Keep that picture in mind while you are cutting.
Start with the lowest tier.Cut and remember, the line needs to go UP.
Cut a horizontal line that rises up in an angle of about 20 degrees ,  in the box, as though you make the lowest tier on a wedding cake.
Here you see that the horizontal line going up is cut. Piece of cake! Bit of dog on the picture as well, they were trying to see who could break my concentration first running around like mad....
Then you cut a vertical wall on top of the first horozontal tier.A bit like you cut the sides of the second cake of the three-tired wedding cake.So you are going more inwards.This is what I mean.
Then you cut the second tier of your "wedding cake " - again a horizontal line rising from lower to higher up.
And again, you cut a vertical wall on top of the second horizontal tier.

You continue with the third tier ,going up again and you're done.You've made yourself a box topiary spiral.
Get your scissors out and give it a go !I think Maud won the contest by the way of who runs circles fastest.
 I was lucky this year with some more box extravaganza for the front garden which I  tidied up in this post,  as my lovely neighbour had managed to get an enormeous amount and kindly let me share in it.
So the front has gone from this.....
                                   to this ......with a wealth of ( minute )  box extravaganza !
                                     Such deliciousness!!Can't wait for these babies to grow!

And more surprising good news- I have won another blog award !!

Thank you Mariette from Mariettes Back To Basics
I am so thrilled!! What a lovely surprise
Go check out her lovely blog- it's so full of beauty, love of gardens, love of animals and love of people- worth a visit and a follow !!!
.There are so many blogs that are fabulous but I would love to pas the award on to the following bloggers :
1. Munchkin Munchies.Check out this lovely blog full of surpising and beautiful recipes and gorgeous looking biscuits.Sue's rainbow cookies are sure to put a smile on your face this weekend when you bake them !! Go and spread the blog-love if you can and become her follower!!
2.Crejjtion. Maaike from Amsterdam in the Netherlands has a beautiful ( English ) craft blog with fantastic photography- her projects always make your day better.Whether you look at her crochet projects  or her pictures like this Christmas teacup , it always delights and puts you in a happy mood.
3.Melissa's Cuisine .This talented lovely lady shares her love for cooking and baking on a fabulous blog where she posts recipe after wonderful recipe.You are strongly recommended to become her follower - such great recipes like this giant double chocolate cookies . MMMmmmmm!!!
4.Primp . Michelle from Primp is an incredibly talented creative spirit and decorator.Just check out her inventive book pumpkin for instance ! Another really interesting blog that you really should follow..Check it out and be in awe!!
5.Mod Vintage Life .Nita's blog not only shares her love for beautiful interiors, but for animals as well, so she really is a woman after my own heart ... and her posts are always so the fabulous bathroom she did .. and then of course her posts when she helped poor Zippy , a lovely dachshund, to find a home- which ended happily with Zippy being rehomed.So a woman with style, taste and a great heart.The world should be full of Nita's  and we would be in much better shape !!!
6.Me, you and a wiener .Not only a talented decorator and artist, which you can see from this makeover post here.( Bri  managed to make a simple Ikea chest of drawers into a very stylish designer bit of furniture which looks just fabulous..) but also a very funny girl-  Bri's blog had me weeping with laughter with her cartoon on her blog  about how she would defend her dog till death in the worst case scenario if her Timmy would be threatened by a bear.Go and visit and become her folllower ! You won't regret it !
7.Cocina Diary .Angie is such a stylish cook and her blog is beautifully presented and gorgeous.Look at these delicious flaky pastry cookies for instance- I only wish I had more time to make all her recipes.Strongly recommended for popping by and for a follow!!
 Well, I am off now to let all the candidates know about their award.Hope you visit them all and follow them- have a nice browse this weekend and enjoy!!

Happy weekend!!

I am linking this to
 Masterpiece Monday
Amaze me Monday
Tutorial Tuesday
All things related Tuesday
Tuesday Garden Party
Outdoor Wednesday 
Wow us wednesdays
transformations and treasures
Swing into Spring
Transformation Thursday
Time travel Thursday
Thrifty Thursday Bloghop
Fertilizer Friday
Project Party weekend
Weekend wrap up party

Inspiration journey linky party

Sunday Favourites

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Moss topiary pots

Today, I would like to show you how to make some easy and useful topiary for indoor and table decorations.
You can, of course, take some box and cut this in a required shape.
But for indoors, this is not really any good as the box will dry out as this is an outdoor plant and it will wither away.
Here is how you make your topiary.
This is the material you need :
-some old terracotta pots
-chicken wire
Cut a a strip of about a meter or so long and about 20 or 15 centimeters wide for your pot, from the chicken wire.
 I have found secateurs really handy to cut chicken wire.
Crunch the strip of chicken wire with your hands into a dome-shape and make the bottom part fit into the top of your pot.
 Here are the two pots seen from above.
Pat and mould the moss around the chicken wire-dome.Just hold it and press it gently .This is the moss-topiary half way through.
Here are the two moss topiary pots when they are both finished.
Super simple and easy to make and practically zero costs.
It really is very handy to have a bit of topiary around for displays as it gives a bit of body to the whole display and adds a bit of a green counterpoint.
You can use it with all kind of flower displays - here below it is used with
                                                  and best of all, cheerful Daffodils.
We all can do with some cheering up from time to time and there is nothing like a bunch of daffodils to make you smile.
I have been hobbling around the house unable to stand or walk properly for a week now with a lot of pain in my knees and will see the doc tonight to see what the result of the tests are.
Keep your fingers crossed I don't have some form of arthritis as I am way too young for that and I have two little dogs I have to be able to walk!!! Plus a job to go to !
I hope I have inspired you to get to that hardware store and stock up on chicken-wire and start your own topiary !!
Happy crafting!!
 This was featured at

I am linking this to
The DIY Showoff Project Parade
table top Tuesday
Toot your horn Tuesday
get your craft on
Wow us Wednesdays
Show and tell Wednesday
Swing into Spring
Whatever goes Wednesday
Wassup Wednesday
Transformations and treasures
Tablescape Thursday
Transformation Thursday
Time travel Thursday
feathered nest friday
Inspiration Friday 
Tickled Pink Fridays
Feature yourself Friday
Show and tell Friday
Pink Saturday
Saturday night special
Seasonal Sunday
Think Pink Sunday
Easter mantel link party


Just to let you all know, this story has a happy ending.
Zippy has found a home !!
Check here for the update on Nita's blog.