Felicity Taylor Eclectic Handmade

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Friday, 28 December 2012

New Year New Hopes.

I hope you all had a great Christmas.
I can't believe  another new year is looming. Like last year, I intend going with the flow.
We are still on the path to a simpler life. Our pre- Christmas was a stressful affair, worrying about the kids having less and the awful feeling of them being disappointed. I underestimated them completely. They were really happy with the things they had, and we had a wonderful day without too much of everything!
We were together and well! Something denied to many.
In an effort to shift a creative block.
I started to read a book we've had for years -'The Artists Way' by Julia Cameron, and came across a quote that seems very apt for new year inspiration.
'Why should we all use our creative power...?
Because there is nothing that makes people so
generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate,
so indifferent to fighting
and the accumulation of objects and money.'
By Brenda Ueland.
How was your Christmas?

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas.

A very Merry Christmas to you all!
Thankyou for reading and commenting, and I look forward to catching up soon!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Slow Sunday.

I have been pottering around today, almost in slow motion! We've put up a few more decorations.
Homemade mushrooms and funny little egg santas.
I have one of the angels from my childhood- I can remember thinking she came alive on christmas eve!
A (little faded) karate santa! -he makes me smile.
A cornish fairy on top of the tree.
It was raining this morning, then hail, then sun.
Maybe snow to come soon?
I took a picture in the garden when it was icy,all the leaves were beautiful and the droplets of water were frozen.
I hope you are warm where you are.
Bye for now.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Maud Lewis' Painted House

Two posts on one sitting! Here's another film where her preserved house sits rather strangely in a museum.

RetroBites: Maud Lewis (1965)

I have just come across a folk artist called Maud Lewis who painted despite great hardships.
Anyone who likes folk ar outsider art may like this!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Christmas elf elp.

In the flurry of inspiration before christmas, I wanted to ditch some old and tacky decorations.I have tried in vain for several years to prize some truly awful (not retro) tac out of my husbands hands. These inlcude smoke stained tinsel (not ours!) and tinsel with anly a few brushy bits left on! Also enough lights to light the entire town.
I thought I may discretely loose the advent calendar with pockets, so I tried to make an elf similar to the lovely Maileg ones.
I started with the pattern from the Tilda santa I made last year, drew in on greaseproof paper and enlarged and elongated it..a lot..Lost the beard and stuffed it with cushion stuffing.
Here they are 'laid out in state' As you can see I enlarged it quite a lot!
The body is made from bits of old and new fabric, and I had a go at some small patchwork on the machine.
I used an old pillowcase and some moda fabrics.
And here she is, complete with hook for hanging.
Unfortnately I've run out of time to do the pockets! Maybe I'll make some for next year.
Bye for now, has anyone else had time for makes?

Friday, 30 November 2012

Just thought I'd show you the little cabinet I posted ages ago, as I finally finished the inside!
As you will see tomorrow I made an advent ... Without the pockets, so I was looking around the house for something to use for the countdown.
I know there aren't 24! I'm going to label some boxes twice- with little tags.
So in theory it should work,sssssh and I'm going to put some thrifted things and maybe the odd sweet.
 All the items including the cupboard were from jumble sales, boot fairs or skips.
My favourite are the little skiing pair.
The paper I covered it in is by Alexander Girard.
I'd better get labelling!

Lights up in Liskeard and other things.

A couple of new members of the family that I bought yesterday.
Twin deer, and a funny little man from the USSR.
As you may be aware it has turned cold in the U.K! Not as cold as many of you may be used to.
We're lucky enough to have a multi fuel stove, and I thought I'd pop my veg on and it didn't take long at all.
Domesti bliss (please excuse the laundry!) If you have a burner and haven't cooked on it give it a go, it took no time at all, and the veg was ready before everything else.I have cooked baked potatoes (in Foil) inside before now-they were a bit unevenly cooked but edible.
In Liskeard we have an event called 'lights up' with giant lanterns made of paper and willow. Both our children are in it. It is lovely to walk through the town. One year there were more IN the procession than watching it! It's a lovely start to christmas,and ends in the town lights being turned on and some fireworks,it usually rains, but tomorrow it may be dry! and it gets better each year-watch out Truro-our lanterns have colour! 
Have a good day!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Feeding the chickens.

Some mornings I ask my daughter to feed the chickens.
She feeds them in the hall.
And the soldiers sometimes stand to attention.
I love the faces it's amazing what you can do with a few dots!
Have a good day!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mark Hearld.

 I have just visited my facebook page, and I was pleased to see photos on St Judes site of the exhibition of work by Mark Hearld. I like to save these links to look at in the future too. I love the beady eyes on the birds, and the painted frames.
Have a good day!

Sunday, 25 November 2012


As I said in my last post I've been sorting out a few things. One of the things I do- to cut down journeys- is to stock up on things. Under the stairs in our house we had an old fashioned storage room complete with meat hooks. It has a slate floor and stays a constant temperature, so we shelved it and stored stuff! It's really making a virtue of a pitch dark room that can't be used for anything else.
I'm trying to plan meals, shopping etc.. but I'm never very good at it, and always forget something.
I found a blog recently- Our Handmade Home- with a plan that makes sense so I'm going to give it a go!
How does everyone else manage?
I'm lucky to have a handy husband, so having quite a lot of books as well, he has made a large shelf in the hall. It's a bit in yer face but we can find the books we want quite easily.
It was made from odd bits of wood and stood for AGES unpainted and waiting for doors, but now even with all the books I don't mind it without doors.
(I'll post a piccy with the books at a later date!)
To continue with the sorting theme, I recently found the rabbit postcard (Racey Helps) for 5p, and the plate a while ago for 25p,and I love it!
Little dolls -plenty of room for more!
Same with this cabinet, but not until after Christmas, and only if it's a few pennies!

Friday, 23 November 2012

De-cluttering- I did it my way.

My way was to not de-clutter!
I have had some time off blogging, I have however been finding other blogs and enjoying lovely pictures etc..I find so many like minded people! I tend to go for blogs to see around interiors and collectors of stuff. I also love the thrifty blogs, homesteading, and of course crafty ones. I like alternate views to too much consumerism, home schooling, fires, home cooking and pantries! (is that how you spell it?) I've taken a few pics of a bit of nesting in our home.
With so many school trips coming up not to mention Christmas, I've tried to spend only on necessary things. So I have just rearranged what I already have, and haven't got rid of much hence the non- decluttering, trying to 'arrange' things instead.
I love birds, especially Robins, the little glass dome was a gift bought last year by my children, it was the first time they had gone out on their own to buy something for Christmas. My son was sad because he wanted to buy me this or that, something he perceived as more valuable..  this was perfect and made me cry! I have quite a few things from my childhood, and the most precious things are those that are handmade.
I can remember being in the classroom in year 6 making the little rabbit - no change there then!
Little grey rabbits house was another from my childhood.
Anyone for tea?
A bit more sorting to do.
I've found a few Christmas bits and bobs that are waiting for their turn.
It's too early!
Byee for now.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Salley Mavor vimeo video

I wanted to save and show this lovely film giving a look into the  work of Salley Mavor, found via Mimi Kirchner. I love seeing her studio and her use of driftwood in the work shown.
I have been quiet for a while, and I'm still in a period of work and contemplation.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Mark Hearld. Collecting things.

I was introduced to this video by Helen over at her blog, and had to paste it for posterity on mine! I love the way he talks about the creativity behind collecting and arranging things. It really gets to the heart of how I look at my 'stuff'.
Hopefully it may strike a chord with some of you out there!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Three bags full.

I am sitting down now for a rest after MORE blackberrying and cooking. For a long time now I find I go around supermarkets NOT buying - looking at things and thinking -I can make that or that's full of rubbish or too expensive. If you are into budgeting take a look at  the frugal queens blog which is full of money saving tips and down to earth common sense.
Back to my cooking. There is nothing better than free foraged food! So an unexpected blackberrying trip bagged three bags of them. Most were frozen, but a few made a crumble ( a small one!)
Also as you can see I made fairy cakes with pink glitter.
I try to make sweet bits for lunchboxes,so I dare say my son will opt for the flapjacks instead!
I do have a few gizmos and gadjets in the kitchen like mixers and processors, and use them to make things in bulk for when time is tight. I also have a breadmaker which- inspired by the frugal queens blog and all her comments -will be out more often. If there is one thing I can't eat, it's cheap bread,so I do buy at the local bakery too often for my budget!
I have this week done some applique work as well as beginning to tackle my Etsy shop, thinking more clearly about what I make.
So in the pipeline is a shop with handmade items and found and repaired or remade things.
So watch this space!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

'Country Living' streusel, jam and rabbit houses.

A little cooking and rabbit post, Oops not a cooking rabbit post -a jam and streusel cooking and rabbit house one. I've been blackberry picking, and made some greengage jam.
I froze some of the blackberries and made jam with the rest -I sieved it and weighed it -ran out of enough heavy weights!
I usually weigh the fruit and use the same amount of sugar.
So after counting the greengage jam (which didn't quite set but tastes yummy anyway!)
I am ten jars of jam up!
My labelled jars are functional but not photogenic!
I also tried the 'Country Living' streudel.
I only bought a few plums to cover it.
I varied the recipe slightly and left out the hazelnuts.
I made a dough from:-
150ml milk
7g dried yeast (recipe says 30g!! I thought that would make about eight loaves and give me thrush to boot)
110g oz caster sugar
225g plain flour
225g strong white bread flour
2 medium eggs
100g soft butter.
I made this into a dough and left it to rise until doubled in size, then made a topping:-
100g demerara sugar
50g soft butter
1 tsp cinnamon.
Rolled the dough out to about half an inch in thickness, and spread the topping and added some more demerara sugar.
It went in the oven for 10 mins at gas 6 then 20 mins at gas 4.
Kids thought is was a tomato pizza.
It was a soft dough and not too sweet.
Also a little update on the rabbit homes.
Our garden now looks like a rabbit rescue centre, but at least they are safe and cosy - well they will be when we make the windows!
This is Bumbles house.
This is Liquorices house.
And this is Cinnamon settling in.
Hope you are all having a good summer despite the rain!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Thrift store hunting.

I much prefer the term thrift store, than charity shops as we say in the U.K.
I love seeing what treasure other bloggers find, and although I visit said shops a lot, I don't tend to post what I find. So as a summer resolution - here are a few thing I got recently.
A gorgeous childs knitted cardi.
A tiny brooch, maybe a swiss tourist brooch? with a tiny bell.

Two vibrant tea towels - helps to get through boring dish drying.

And a piece of 1950's barkcloth.
We have all been busy in the garden cutting and replanting. Generally making room for our rabbits. They are loose so have eaten most things unless they are wired off.
So... cue rabbit houses first stage.

Hubby made 4 as the rabbits don't all get on
so they need to be in separate houses.

Windows and ramps need finishing off and then they will be put in situ. More piccys to follow!
Hope you have been able to make the most of the weather!

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