Friday, 1 April 2011

Folksy Friday - tuck your food up cosy and warm

I grew up in the sort of household where a packet of biscuits disappeared seconds after being opened.  If there was something nice in the fridge, then you ate it when you saw it because an hour later it would be gone forever.  My best friend, on the other hand, lived in a house where the kitchen cupboards were stuffed full with biscuits, sweets, shop bought cake and crisps and this stock never seemed to dwindle.  They picked at it occasionally, but there was no sense of urgency, and I remember being offered a biscuit from a packet that had gone out of date 3 years previously one day.  Unthinkable*. 

So the items that I am featuring today are of absolutely no use to me and the other gluttonous households out there as they would simply slow down the process of stuffing food into your mouth and consuming it, but would probably come in handy to people like my friend and her clan.

I love the 1950s housewife message on this.  Again, inappropriate in my household, as one of us usually staggers downstairs after being up with our son in the middle of the night to find the other one on the sofa with said son who has decided to get up at the crack of dawn to watch The Tweenies (thank you CBeebies for putting this chipper atrocity on at such a ridiculous hour, you bastards), so the day tends to be started with paracetamol and a vague exchange of grunts and oneupmanship over who had the least sleep.

This needs little explanation.  I did silent shaky laughing when I saw it and think I might just have to purchase 3 for Easter just for the comedy value.

Who knew that apples needed to be cosy?  Actually though, this is a genuinely good idea as it stops them from bruising in your bag.  Not very useful to me as I'm all "mmmm, an apple, om nom nom" as soon as I see it (or, to be more accurate, "an apple?  Pff.  Now where's that Mars Bar?")

Aha, something I could use.  Rory has developed a terror of flies for unknown reasons and hallucinates them everywhere.  We are having issues with getting him to eat anything with raisins in it at the moment as he thinks they're hiding flies.  Imagine the trauma if a fly got into his orange squash.  That's where one of these retro jug covers could come in handy.  Lots of different colours available in this shop.

Best. Lunch. Box. Ever.  Sean the monster will guard your sandwiches for you and is fully washable when the inevitable egg mayonnaise incident occurs.  The only question you need to consider is that age old decision: Five Alive or Um Bongo? (Um Bongo every time, clearly)

That's everything for today.  Happy food snuggling!

* Guess which family were skinny as rakes and which had the weight problem....

Friday, 25 March 2011

Folksy Friday - Stationery Geek.

I do miss writing letters.  Back in the day, before email and mobile phones and text messages, I used to write to people all the time.  I used whatever paper I could get my hands on - plain A4 out of the printer, my mum's fancy stationary sets, toilet paper, the back of my Religious Studies A-Level notes (look, to be fair they were never going to be of any use to me as I hadn't got a clue what Mr Britton was going on about anyway, so they were best used for another purpose).  as long as I could write on it, I would.  Does anyone else remember post wars at university or was that just my halls of residence?  We had little pigeon holes for each room and it was always really exciting to go and get your post in the morning.  These days I only get bills and endless junk mail because letter writing has become a lost art. 

I have decided that the time has come to revive the letter (or the post card, or whatever) so, my Folksy friday this week is dedicated to stationery:

1. Cowboy Talk note cards by Konnie Kapow.
I do love Ms Kapow; she sells a lot of things that I want.  I love cowboys too, so it's win-win.

2. Monsieur le Bun post-it notes by Asking For Trouble
I actually bought some of these last week for my husband as he's starting a new job soon and (I'm sure) requires some amusing stationery for his desk.  I don't know why but they made me do sniggering and I like his moustache.

3. Set of 6 postcards by The Nosuch Disco
Nosuch Dave or Dave Disco as you may wish to call him draws odd little characters, many of whom are slightly phallic.  Here are some postcards, most of which don't feature male genitalia lookalikes.  He also lives in Stoke which is quite near me.  Big up to the Stoke Folksy massive.

4. Notebook featuring a 'tache man by When the Music's Over:
Check out this shop for notebooks with sleeves made from recycled vinyl records and record sleeves.  I would like them all please and it is my birthday soon.  Just saying....

5. Pirate pencil Roll by Made With Love X
For holding all your best colouring in pencils.  because everybody knows that an especially good letter contains illustrations, and is there anything more therapeutic than colouring in? (Plus pirates = win).

6. Stamp Collage Canvas by The Jelly Special
Do you know how much a first class stamp costs these days?  41p according to sullen faced lady with the scary norks at the local post office.  FORTY-ONE PENCE!  No wonder nobody sends letters any more.  I love this colourful stamp collage and find myself wondering what all the different stamps were attached to.  Christmas present packages?  Love letters?  Plain old bills?  Fascinating.

That's the end of my collection for today.  Remember to join the letter writing revolution and tell me about it.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Folksy Friday (well, Wednesday): Biscuits

After an extended absence due mainly to my son’s disregard of the need to sleep, I am back. Don’t imagine that he has started sleeping or anything else useful though.  He has not.  I have merely given up caring so am back on the case, eye matchsticks at the ready, bottle of gin sitting reassuringly in the fridge.

It’s Folksy Friday time (well, it's not actually, it's Wednesday but seeing as BT still haven't seen fit to fix my broken internet I am typing this in the library on the only day I have free this week) and today I have chosen that most comforting of subjects: The Humble Biscuit. Where would we be without biscuits? Complete disarray I suspect, but with much thinner thighs.

On with the selection:

Tunnocks Teacakes are, arguably, not entirely a biscuit, but they have a biscuit base which I have decided counts. This glass heart by Stable Cottgage Glass is inspiring me to go to the shop, buy a packet, eat them all one by one and spend the rest of the day horrified at my gluttony and hating myself a bit. Good times.

I identify with Howard. I had a particularly good dream about a packet of Fox’s Crunch Creams recently.  This is not able to buy at the moment as Little Doodles have closed their shop for now.  But I want to buy it and if we all poke them hard enough with the internet stick they might re-open.

Now, I disagree with Jammy Dodgers to be honest.  I realise that this is a stone-able offence, but they Just Do Not Do It For Me.  I do admire someone who likes biscuits enough to immortalise them in polymer clay and make a brooch out of them though.  Visit Cor Blimey Designs for more biscuity treats.
I have a long running argument with my husband about Party Rings.  He says that they are not a biscuit and come under the category of 'party snack'.  He is obviously very very wrong and my efforts to hammer this home to him have resulted in minor acts of violence in the past.  Here are some nice ones made out of felt by Lupin Handmade.  On sale and everything.
"MEN!" shouts Rory with glee as I approach him with a gingerbread man. (Cute).  "DIE" he shrieks as he snaps their heads off. (Not cute, shows potential to be future serial killer, perhaps best not to share).  He'd love to torture this pop-up card by Cut & Fold.
My dad (a great connisseur of biscuits) would love this, although he would say it was sadly lacking in Rich Teas (unless that's one on the top left.  I think it's a digestive though).  it's by Jillty Drawings and they also do tea-towels for the non-bakers out there.
And so ends the biscuit love-in.  See you when my intenet is fixed.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Folksy Friday: Parklife.

I missed last Friday - shame on me.  I've just had no time to do anything.  Trying to slot this into Rory's very brief morning sleep time, so fingers crossed.

This week, I've searched Folksy for park related items as due to the extremely lovely weather, I've spent a lot of time in the local public gardens rolling about in the grass with the boy. (Incidentally, this is how a lot of summers of my teenage years were spent too, only the boys were much older, were not my son and  didn't eat daisies and present me with stones).  We go on the swings and the slide (brief pause here for moment of pride that my arse didn't get stuck half way down the toddler slide. Time for a celebratory biscuit), I run around the entire gardens with him laughing his head off in the push chair while I should "COME ON RORY, ONE MORE LAP" in homage to Roary the Racing Car which makes old people tut at us, we share strawberries and danish pastries under the shade of the trees, we kick the football, we roll down the hill.  it all sounds quite idyllic really, and it's much nicer than being stuck in the house, but it must be noted that we're actually doing so much park dwelling to kill as much time as possible before Rich comes home to prevent me from losing the plot completely as being at home with a naughty toddler is getting to me at the moment.  Long may the nice weather last.

Back to Folksy and my picks this week:

1. A romantic walk in the park.  Remember your contraception ladies and gentlemen.  By Mini Memory Worlds.

2. Nothing like a bit of swinging to cheer up your day. Necklace by Maggie Angus.

3. Butterflies and bees gift tags by The Patchwork Dress.

5. Picnic blanket by Fuzzles.

6. In the Long Grass print by Ed Boxall.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Folksy Friday: Birthday Nostalgia

It was my birthday yesterday, so this week I am reminded of birthdays of the past; the days when having a birthday party as a child meant 7 or 8 of your best friends from school coming round in their smartest clothes to play musical bumps and pass the parcel in your living room, followed by a tea party of cheese sandwiches, twiglets and fairy cakes and a big wonky birthday cake made by your mum.  These days it's all about Whacky Warehouses and themes and which parent can spend the most and who has the best party bags.  I'd like to hope that Rory won't be indulged in this way and that I will not be entering in to the murky world of mummy birthday party oneupmanship, but will that make my child hate me?  Time will tell.  It all seems a bit spoilt and unecessary though.  In my day, even the most spoiled of brats only got to go to the local leisure centre pool for an hour followed by burger and fries for 15 at McDonalds. Bring back party dresses and raspberry jelly I say.  (Please note:  Parents, I am not judging you.  As I say, I haven't been there yet as my offspring is only 11 months old.  Look for me in 2 years time and I'll probably be in Jungle Jim's Playbarn trying to sell my soul as I've spent all my money on hand customised Peppa Pig MP3 Players for Rory and his mates to take home in their party bags).

1. I love this birthday card. Now this is what birthday parties were about when I was small.  Add Chocolate Animals (my absolute favourites) and a cheese and pineapple hedgehog to that list and you've got perfection right in front of your very eyes.  By She Draws.

2. You want to have a birthday party without balloons?  What are you thinking, fool?  OK, these are more of a keepsake than a birthday party treat, but there's nothing more birthdayish than some bright, happy balloons, so into this week's collection they go.  This suncatcher from Bex by Design is beautiful and would make a lovely present for a child's bedroom. 

3. Iced Gems.  Nobody actually liked them because they tasted of nothing, but they were the mini snack to be seen with in the 80s and they had to be at birthday parties.  That was the law.  These are exceedingly cleverly made by British Cream Tea.

4. Everyone needs to see a bird in a party hat on their birthday.  Do party hats still exist?  And come to think of it, did I ever wear one?  is it one of those false childhood memories built on fake nostalgia?  Whatever the answer, I love these beautifully illustrated gift tags by Adrianne Illustration.

5. Just look at this ultimate party dress by Michelle Samuels Design.  Despite not being especially girly these days, as a child I was very much A Girl and refused to wear trousers from the age of 18 months because (to quote my 2 year old self) "Lisey NOT a boy". I wanted a beautiful dress like this one but never got one because there was nobody left in our family to get married, so small bridesmaid volunteers were not in demand.  I am mentally scarred.  It's a good job that Rory's a boy or he'd be forever forced into nice floral dresses and pretty shoes to compensate.  

6. Ah, the dreaded thank you letter.  My mum once put it to me that there are two types of children:  The nice ones who love writing thank you letters and do it immediately after a present has been received, and the horrid, unruly sorts who want to actually play with their presents (imagine, if you will) and put off writing their thank you letters for so long that they end up being sent out 3 months after Christmas along with a note from an embarrassed parent pretending to have 'lost' them immediately after they were written, hence the delay.  It probably goes without saying that my brother and I were the second type.  (Does the first type actually exist?  Yes.  It seems that every child that my parents sent presents to fell into the first type.  We were obviously just evil beyond redemption).  I would like to point out that it wasn't that I was ungrateful or didn't want to let people know that I loved my present, it's just the overall dullness of writing thank you letters.  Maybe the process would have been more bearable had we had these cowboy themed cards to write our thanks in (by Konnie Kapow).  I do love all things cowboy.

And that's the end of my birthday nostalgia collection.  Birthdays are definitely less fun when you're a grown up than when you're young.  I even had to buy my own birthday cake.  Woe is absolutely me.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Folksy Friday: Speccy Four Eyes.

Until about 4 years ago, I absolutely did not need to wear glasses.  No way.  My family all had the eyesight of bats, but I had perfectly clear vision thank you very much, and I didn't need to see an optician just to confirm that, no I did not.

Then shortly after I started seeing Rich (now my husband), I absent mindedly tried his glasses on while we were out one night and he was at the bar and was absolutely stunned to find that I could actually see what the photographs on the walls of the pub were. It was a revelation.  The whole of the next day, I kept stealing his glasses (leaving him temporarily blind), putting them on and exclaiming about trees (they actually have individual leaves on them, not just a blur of greenishness - amazing) and various other things that I could now see.  A quick trip to the opticians proved that I needed to wear glasses some of the time and I dutifully bought a couple of pairs. But (and this is the bad bit) I can't bring myself to wear them.  Occasionally I wake up and really feel like seeing things in the distance or not squinting at the TV and virtuously put them on, but they hurt my nose which makes me feel sick, and much more importantly, they do not suit me at all. I was hoping they might turn me into a Bond secretary type, but no, they turn this quite acceptable, not unattractive woman into Saffron off Absolutely Fabulous.  Awful.  Wanting to hide my head under a paper bag type awful.  And I know I'm ruining my eyesight even further by not wearing them, but I keep trying to con myself that if I'd never met Richard, I'd never have tried his glasses on and therefore wouldn't be aware of how bad my eyesight was in the first place.  It's a flawed argument.

Therefore, this week, Folksy Friday is dedicated to spectacle wearers in an attempt to make me love mine. (My glasses that is, not my spectacle wearer.  I love him lots already)  I do have a very small thing for men in glasses too, but that hasn't influenced my choice in theme at all, promise....

1. Glasses Case by Pants & Paper.  It's a hell of a lot nicer than my crumb filled free Specsavers one and it's got a bird on it.

2. I like this glasses case too (by Lucy's Happy Place) because it looks as though it's made out of the old 70s duvet cover that used to be in the spare room belonging to my friend's parents, and the eyes are so striking.

4. A necklace tribute to Timmy Mallett by Zedhead Ltd (well, you just choose which colour you want and buy one, but it does look like the 80s king of kiddy TV has been morphed with Sir Jim'll of Fix It in this photo. Made me smile anyway).

5. Damn it, this is what I thought my little brother was here on this earth for.  Card by Simple Kid Industries.

6. OK, so this isn't strictly a glasses item (not at all actually), but please please please can I include it purely for being the best photo on Folksy and a fabulous disguise? There's glasses in the photo.  I think I might just get away with it. It's by Lupin Handmade.

I still don't want to wear them.  Might make an effort and go and get them so I can actually see the words on the computer screen.  Nobody look at me though.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Punkypins, a new project and, um, political pop of the 80s.

First of all a very quick HURRAH as my new stockists have a selection of my designs online now HERE  Go and check them out.  There's a couple of other Folksy sellers now featured in their independent designer section too, so it's all good.  Aside from the independent designer section, Punkypins make all their jewellery and product in-house and have their own team of designers.  I'd quite want this personalised Fame style sweatshirt if only grey didn't make me look like I've been recently dug up:

In other news, I've been working on a different flower making technique and have come up with these roses:

I love their imperfections and daintiness.  very different to my usual techniques which involve folding and geometric patterns.  They're a real labour of love* though and I sustained 2 minor burns last night and have sore fingers from making them this morning. 

*swift break here as my choice of words has led to me You Tube-ing Hue and Cry.  "I don't need your psuedo satisfaction baby."  And so forth.  very topical what with GE2010.  Anyway, I've now moved on to Looking For Linda and am happily reliving 1989.  As you were.

Nothing more to add other than it's bank holiday so I'm enjoying quality time with my boys.  Out for lunch yesterday (I was a total food and restaurant snob before having a baby but since Rory was born I've been to Frankie & Benny's THREE TIMES. And yesterday I fed him chips off my plate.  I give it about 6 months before I finally give in and go somewhere with a Whacky Warehouse attached).  Not sure what we're doing today but I'm going to chase Rory around all day to wear him out so he goes to bed at a decent hour and lets me spend the evening with Long Suffering Richard and a bottle of wine.

Oh, oh, I know what I needed to ask:  We want to go to a festival this year (had to miss out last year what with me heavily pregnant/new baby).  We're usually fully paid up Latituders, but Rory's a nightmare in the car and it's a 5 hour journey.  Anyone got any more northerly suggestions?