Thursday, 28 March 2013

New Constellation Products

   I've got some new products up in Grumble Cave Monsters! They're not monsters, as such, but they are plushies! Constellation plushies, to be exact! I've got a couple more still to come, but these are the ones so far, including a custom made zodiac star sign plush!
Aquila Star Constellation Plush
Cassiopeia Star Constellation Plush
Custom Made Zodiac Star Sign Constellation Plush

   There are two more currently waiting to be stitched and stuffed, and a couple more constellations are on the cards to be created, but as it stands at this moment, these are the three that are available.



Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Win £10 / $15 Jewellery Gift Card and a Spectacular Print!


Head on over to Vivid Please and enter to win a £10/$15 Peaches and Pebbles gift card,
and a spectacular "spectacular" print from Vivid Please, too! Open worldwide!






Etsy Favourite Feature

Pastel is lovely. I love it. I couldn't live in it, I tend to need strong colours around me, but light, pastelly shades are lovely as accents. Pastel-coloured clutter seems to take up less space, too :P
These are some pieces from my favourites, once again. I hope you like them, too!











Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Bookmark Dump

Bethesda have finally opened their own shop, in the same fashion as Bioware - identically so, in fact. This is wonderful, because Skyrim tshirts were only available while they were advertising the release of the game - and in a most extravegant fashion - unless you bought copyright-infringing knock-offs. Unfortunately, however, I dislike most of the designs. Though we did go ahead an preorder the Alduin's Wall hoody for Seeg. Not for me. It was a sad day, and, just the same as Bioware, their ladies' section is just awful - there's next to nothing there. However, the website has only just opened.
Having said that, however, I am so pleased to see they finally did it, and I hope to find lost of lovely things to empty the already thinly stretched bank account with.

Artifolk.co.uk is an amazing arts and crafts website - they don't stock a huge amount, but what they do stock are brand names at low prices, with exceptional postage - £1.99 for standard orders, or free for orders over £10. I've purchased from them several times and find them to have an excellent service! They have a wonderful array of books as well as art supplies - manga, fantasy, oriental, as well as material-specific ones like watercolours and pastels, and so on. They are well worth the time if you live in the UK, especially for shipping fees like that.



This book is one from the above mentioned website, Artifolk.co.uk - Amazon.co.uk only has 6 reviews, all of which are 5-star. I am desperate for this book. Honestly. I used to draw so well, but when I tried to draw fantasy and different angles, it all fell apart. This book apparently really helps with that, especially with fantasy aspects of drawing (wings, flying, expressions and so on), and I honestly believe I'd be able to draw again if I had this.

You can design your own fabric with Spoonflower.com - and you get 10% off when you buy your own designs. You can buy other people's work, and you can get your image printed onto a whole number of different fabric types.


This video is just a PTR view of one of the new mounts coming in World of Warcraft patch 5.3.
I don't know what other players think, but, having always loved the Faerie Dragons in the game,
this mount just massively appeals to me. It was only shown recently - it may end up being pulled
from the game for a later date - but I just know that a mount like that - bearing in mind that there
aren't many that I truly like - will be either from a raid that I can't get into, a faction I can't
get exalted with, an achievement I can never achieve, or a trading card that I'll never find.
If it's even real. It could be April Fool's. I hope it isn't.




Monday, 25 March 2013

Moodboard: Normandy

   I was browsing Ted Baker dresses from Javelin, when I clocked this beautiful dress, called Sonia. I rather love it. At first I felt it had this sort of sci-fi sophisticated look, with the hip wings and all, but then I quickly noticed how familiar it seemed. Fashion is limited in Mass Effect, and most women in the game wear a variation of this very dress! So it was only natural for me to create a Mass Effect themed moodboard, starting with this dress.



   The capped sleeves and hip wings really give it the sci-fi shape, and the zip straight up the middle certainly ads to its skin-tight fit and its easy wearing. The pencil skirt equally gives it a much more fitted look. Personally, if I was working in an office, this would be my favourite piece - understated with a definite air of fantasy and sci-fi, two of my favourite things.






1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9



Saturday, 23 March 2013

Constance Stotzer at Blackbird Studios



  Head out to Blackbird Studios in Las Vegas on April 4th and 5th and support one of my favourite artists, Constance Stotzer as she makes her debut solo art show, Kismet!! I think she is a wonderful artist, her talent is wonderful and unique. I'd love to go! I'd love to see her wonderful shadowboxes!

Follow her on twitter and tumblr to keep track of her progress! I love watching her work come together! And visit her Etsy shop for originals and prints! I own a few myself!



Friday, 22 March 2013

Sponsorship Changes

   I read Why Girls Are Weird a lot. I find Krysten to be very entertaining and interesting, and her posts don't drag on for half a day like mine do. She recently had the fabulous idea to change the way her sponsorships work, and I intend to follow on (read: copy) the idea.
   I don't like blogs who charge $100 for an ad. I also hate blogs who have an unlimited number of ad spaces. If you end up paying $25 for an ad and you are put on the sidebar with about 35 other people, you will not be seen. So I quickly decided that, even if my blog were to gain 5,000 followers, I would not increase my sponsorship prices by much.
   Krysten, however, has taken a much bigger step to attempt to help out us smaller, poorer bloggers. Every month she plans to hold a giveaway - the prize? Ad spaces on her blog. The only ad space she will charge for will be the largest, leaving all other ad slots and sizes as prizes to be won in the giveaway. This means that everyone has the chance to advertise, whether you can afford to advertise or not. It also means that there isn't a mad rush of people booking up slots in advance so you don't stand a chance of getting to them, but by charging for the largest ads, she is still making the money she needs to be able to advertise herself on other blogs.

   I intend to do much the same thing. My post-footer ad will still be purchasable, since it is doubtlessly the most effective ad space on any blog, which leaves the small and large ads as monthly prizes.
   Everyone will have the same chances, too, because the only entry will be to follow my blog. No Twitter, no Facebook, no other social media that not everyone might have. Just following the blog through any means. Once this is done, the winners will be announced and contacted, being asked for appropriately sized ads and their links - blogs or shops - and their ads will then be manually placed onto Passionfruit, with rotating ads on every page load.

   This will take place pretty soon. Hell, I'm writing this post on the 21st of March, I might have decided to actually put the giveaway live as soon as I post this thing!
   The giveaways will go live for two weeks (though the first is likely to be just one week), always on or around the 14th of each month. Whether they will be in individual posts, or on the sponsorship page, I've not decided yet. Probably the former.



Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Netherlands and Shop Vacation

   As some of you may know, Seeg and I are going to The Netherlands again in April. I am still looking for guest posters for that week. However, I also wanted to let you all know that because we will be away, both Peaches and Pebbles and Grumble Cave Monsters will be unable to ship for that week.

   Both shops will remain open, and all items will be purchaseable - likely with a limited holiday week discount code - but nothing will be shipped until we return. The estimated shipment date will be visible in the shops' announcements, and in their banners.
   If you'd like to have your goods shipped before we leave, please purchase before Wednesday the 10th of April.

   Gift cards, however, will continue to be emailed. If you purchase a gift card from Peaches and Pebbles you will still be emailed the code within 24 hours, as you would if I were still here.



Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Etsy Favourite Feature

This is my attempt at trying to get back on top of this. I figured the best thing to do was make a bucket load of these posts and schedule them througout the coming months, and since I'm putting these posts together in bulk, I can try out themes, too. 
Some of the items shown may end up being unavailable, in that case, but if they are, there
will surely be equally as amazing pieces in their shops! So, as usual, enjoy.
I really need to find a better way to introduce these posts.









Monday, 18 March 2013

Bookmark Dump

These brightly coloured stamps. My mother had lots of these in her collection, and I'd really like a set of my own, brand spanking new, because of that. I took over my mother's stamp collection a few years ago, and I treasure it dearly.

A website full of lovely clipart for blogs - there are some wonderful bits and bobs on here!!

Basil Fawlty of the amazing 'Fawlty Towers' is actually based on a real person. I could not believe this. While watching it just last night I had to ask myself, in jest, "does someone like this actually exist?!" And when I pulled the leaflet out of the boxset's pocket, I found out that, actually, they did.


A ground pangolin, covered in huge scales, found in Africa.
It's like an armadillo, mixed with Sonic.


Google Reader is leaving on July 1st - but you can transport all of the blogs you follow with GR onto Feedly.com for free, instead! Read about how here.

This absolutely wonderful flora and fauna birthday party! I don't like kids, but I realise there are upsides, and birthday parties are one of them. Though, to be honest, I'd gladly throw one of these for myself. Unfortunately I honestly don't know enough people to make it all that huge, though.


Another Pixar short, this one is called La Luna and is shown on the Brave DVD. I adore it.






Feeling...

Amazing.

   In contrast to my last quite personal post, I'm feeling bloody excellent at the moment. As you may have already read, I decided to take a big risk and push aside the story I've been working on since September to make way for something new. I just wasn't feeling it with that story - the world had no history, my characters had little depth, and I just wasn't looking forward to any of it. If I had gone about it a different way, it could easily have become a good book, but I made big mistakes right from the start, because I hadn't followed my own bloody posts. But I began work on something new this very weekend, and I have to say, I am very excited about it. My world has a good history, my main character has a solid lineage, and the plot is original.
   An original plot is not something I usually struggle with, and I pride myself on that. It seems, however, that the planning process can go wrong. The Creative Writing Tips series I've been working on  feature my best advice and how I plan my own works - unfortunately while all this planning applied to my trilogy, I did not apply it to my last book, which, I think, is why it failed before it had properly begun. This time, however, I actually read my own posts and found it a whole lot easier to formulate my plan, and, after just a few days, I have the book's plan more or less solid. In time, of course, it will change. My trilogy saw that happen many times. I'd write out the entire plan, neatly and clearly, and within a month, new things would be scribbled between lines, with arrows and whatnot all over it. After a while, the notes would get too much and I'd have to rewrite my plan, and again, within a few months of that, it would be covered in new notes again. And I love that, the story changes while I write it, with new ideas that fit in perfectly and often doesn't require me to go back and add or change anything, and I expect - no, I know - that it will happen again this time.

   But this isn't the only reason I'm feeling so positive. I've got new ideas for Peaches and Pebbles products again, and while I don't actually believe they will do amazingly well, I am actually still very excited about actually making them. If they don't work out then I'll keep them for myself, or use them for scrap. It won't be the end of the world. So I'm very excited about having physical projects to work on, as well as my book. Those are two areas that are extremely important to me, and to be feeling so positive about them both at the same time is truly rare. I also have a few personal projects I'm working on - I've got about five t-shirts to screen print for myself, but I'm waiting for the t-shirts to get in before I start. The t-shirts themselves are amazing, too, but I needed a smaller size, so I'm actually waiting on replacements. I'm also working on the Ohgma Infinium - a book within the game, Skyrim. It belongs to a Daedric Prince - I suppose you could say the Daedric Lords are somewhat akin to the Devil, because they contrast to the Aedra, who are purer Gods. It belongs to Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge, and in the game, once acquired, if you read it you gain a huge number of skill-ups which help to progress not just your level but your skills as well. I got lucky, though, because after reading it, it is destroyed, but my game bugged and I got to keep it, so I've been able to use my copy as a full model rather than relying on pictures from the Web. So I'm also excited about that. The tough part is knowing what to put in it.

   Also, I had an amazing weekend with Seeg. I was thinking to myself a few weeks ago that my idea of a great weekend is either playing Skyrim all day long, or watching Skyrim all day long. Either suits me fine, and this weekend I just watched Seeg play Skyrim all day long on Saturday, and spent Friday and Sunday working obsessively over my new book's plan.

   There are a few other things that have made me happy lately but I don't quite remember them - I've been spoilt, I suppose! But I have to say, I'm really quite happy at the moment, and with any luck, I'll be able to start actually writing the book in the next couple of days! Whether it's a single book or a two-parter, I don't know yet - it depends entirely on how long it gets, and how many ideas I end up adding to it.

   What has everyone else been up to? Anyone else particularly happy? Is there a reason for it, or are you just generally happy?




Sunday, 17 March 2013

Blog Take Over Opportunity


   Well, we're going away to The Netherlands again in the middle of April for another tooth-pulling session, so I'm sending out a plea for volunteers - not to have their tooth pulled instead, but to provide content for my blog. While I am sure I can compile a couple of posts for the week I am away, I thought I'd offer the opportunity to everyone else as a blog take-over instead.

   We'll be away from Friday the 12th until Saturday the 20th of April, so it would be great to have one new post every day from and including Saturday the 13th to Thursday the 18th. That's 6 new posts, one every day. That means that six of you can each write a post to be posted on my blog.
   The posts can be about anything you want - you can choose to interview a fellow blogger or Etsy seller, you can choose to write about your own shop, you can choose to write the sort of blog post you'd post on your own blog, or you can supply a tutorial, short story or advice post, or even have a giveaway. If you choose to post a giveaway, I will send it into Etsygiveaways.blogspot.com to help gather more interest for it, but I cannot necessarily tweet/pin/facebook it constantly. I will have access to the internet while away, but I don't want to feel like I have to be online constantly. It's a "holiday" afterall. Dental or not. I will, of course, be able to approve (and read) blog comments.
   Feel free to include as many pictures and links as you like.



   The catch is this: it will not necessarily be the first six people to send me their posts, but rather the first six posts I receive that I am happy to post. Therefore, if I deem your post to be poorly-written, to be a little too self-promotey, or just a bit offensive, then you will not be chosen.
   This means that you CAN take your time, and I will update both this post, and the announcement at the top of the page as to how many more posts I need. It is not a race for first comment or anything like that, I want good-quality posts. Posts should be submitted to me by email in HTML format by Wednesday April 12th for consideration. Any posts submitted after that, or after the message at the top of the blog states there are no more positions available, they will not be chosen. However, if the post is particularly good even after all six spots are gone, I may consider scheduleing it for another point the following week.

   Each post will, of course, stay on my blog, they will not suddenly be removed (unless they offend people and I actually end up disagreeing with them), but they will only be live on the top of the blog for a day, unless I don't get enough takers.
   The writer can, of course, introduce themselves and provide a link to their blog and/or shop in their post, whatever the post is about.
   Please do not, however, include any of the following; if any are included, they will be rejected:
  • Racism
  • Homophobia
  • Politics
  • Religious material
  • Nudity

    As I said, please submit your posts in HTML format, by email, before Wednesday, April 12th.
   It will not be the first six posts I receive, but rather the first six good posts I receive. You will be notified when your post is scheduled to go up, and you are free, of course, to tweet, facebook, pin your posts and so on. You will not, however, be able to edit your posts. They will be posted as received.




Saturday, 16 March 2013

Etsy Promotion - FREEMARCH13

   EtsyUK are currently doing a promotion with participating shops, mine included: there is free UK delivery available in both of my shops! The code is shared among many shops - FREEMARCH13 - and there is a special keyword to search: uketsypromo0313.
   All of my monsters and jewellery is part of this offer, whether they pop up in the above search or not. So grab yourself some free local shipping!




Friday, 15 March 2013

Etsy Favourite Feature

It has been forever. My favourites have built up massively and I have every intention of getting
back onto these posts. I enjoy my products getting publicity on blogs - it happens very rarely. When
it does it feels so amazing to be acknowledged, regardless of the size of the blog, because I also
know that the blogger liked me enough to include me, and their readers might just like me too.
So I love to give this opportunity to fellow Etsy sellers as well by making these posts, as infrequent
as they have lately become. But, to start this off, this first post is made up of favourites of mine that
are currently involved in the EtsyUK free shipping month promotion. All of the items shown below
offer free UK shipping with their purchases, either by item, or after a minimum spend.



That's right, FREE UK shipping on all of these items and the rest of their shops! Use the code
FREEMARCH13 at checkout unless otherwise stated by the individual shops themselves.
Please do check out the rest of these stores - these are all personal favourites of mine!






Thursday, 14 March 2013

Why Extra-Terrestrial Life Must Exist

First of all, let me just state that this isn't some sort of weird, fanatical, crazy sci-fi post. This is just another post, similar to the original "what if?" post I did some time ago, outlining what I think about the matter of life on other planets.


   I'll come right out with it: Life on other planets must exist. I won't say "do", though there is literally no way to prove it, but I maintain that it must. Afterall, we exist, and we are complex organisms. Why should this planet be so special to be the only planet with living things in existance? Why do you think you're so special, to be breathing and thinking right now? Afterall, there are something like 6 billion+ humans on this planet, nevermind the number of animals, far, far greater number of bugs, and probably far greater number still of bacteria.
   When I say "life", of course, I am not referring to equally, if not moreso, complex life forms than us, though that is entirely possible. Why shouldn't it be? No, I am talking about anything as simple as bacteria. If bacteria can survive, then other life can form, too. Afterall, all life on this planet evolved from single-celled organisms. Planets where there is only bacteria probably has what it takes to create more complex life. It only takes a spark.
   It is generally accepted that water is needed for life to form. I call bullshit. Water is needed for our life to form. Life on this planet needs water. And why is that? Probably because water was here in the first place, and that is what fuelled it, it is what encouraged the cells to form in the way that they did. Not all planets have water. That's a crazy thought, when it comes down to it, but I am willing to bet that a lot of planets consist of a lot of things that are entirely unknown to us. As far as I know, we're still discovering elements on our own planet.
   I believe our life only requires water because it was there before life began. Planets that have an abundance of never-before-discovered gas will probably allow life to develop that can easily live off of that, instead. Or some other substance similar to water - or perhaps not a liquid at all. Life just needs the right environment.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wHSphRihsvE/Tl3Zy_p9jmI/AAAAAAAAAC8/vL_cc4axl3E/s1600/milky-way1.jpg
Our own galaxy. The light at the centre is a super-massive black hole which gives the galaxy its spiral shape.

   I'm not going to say that life can pop up just anywhere. I realise that life does require certain circumstances - some planets will probably never, ever host life. But to say that Earth is the only planet in existance that hosts life, when you take into consideration the sheer size of our galaxy - let alone the ever expanding universe - is simply bullshit. We are not that special - we're not. We're nothing, in fact. Hell, even the scale of our Earth against just stars in our own galaxy shows how little we mean. To say that this planet is the only one to host life - complex or not - is simply the most hedonistic thing to say. Ever.
   It may take less time for complex life to form on some planets than ours, or it could take longer. And, of course, in some cases, single-cell life could be the pinnacle of evolution. But that is an interesting word: evolution. Evolution implies change, it implies growth. We evolved from single-celled organisms, we did not suddenly just appear. That means that, if you hear a report of bacteria being discovered on another planet, it is a seriously big deal. It means that that life could some day evolve into something more complex, and more complex, still. We are not even done evolving, ourselves. The earth is still changing, naturally and by our own hand. We will change. We have changed. Look at the Neanderthals. We have changed since then, our bodies have changed - and who knows, as we continue to evolve we could grow to be even more beautiful (I say that, not meaning we are all wonderfully gorgeous, but because I know that none of us could look at a Neanderthal and say they were attractive). The most gorgeous person in the world right now could be considered ugly as hell a few thousand years from now (of course, even then, us ladies would still consider ourselves hideous whether we are or not). Or we could become absolutely hideous.
   Even on planets with extreme conditions - absolutely frost-bite cold at night, and an oven during the day - all it takes is for one cell to form that can withstand both for life to evolve. That cell will multiply, and then that cell will multiply, and then the others will multiple, and life will grow. Any that form from it that cannot handle the drastic differences will not survive long enough to multiply - that's what evolution and natural selection is. Evolution is the process of adapting to natural changes, and natural selection is what kills of anything that can't handle it - things are naturally selected to continue, and others are naturally selected to desist.

This is a tiiiiny sample of the Universe. All of those lights and smudges are galaxies, just like ours.

   I am not a scientist. I have done no research to write this post. This is what I believe, based on my own logic. Religious people can scream blasphemy all they like, I have not written this to offend people. There are a million people who blog about their religion, some shoving it down people's throats, and that can offend people of other relgions as well as people who are not religious at all. This is simply my "Jesus Loves You" post. Disprove this all you like, but I don't believe that it can be disproved, regardless of how many diplomas you have on your wall. Unless you live for eternity and visit every single planet in existance, you cannot prove me wrong.
   And if I have made any of you feel worse than shit by telling you all that none of us truly matter in the grand scheme of things, our lives matter to us. That is why, despite believing this whole-heartedly, I continue to write my books, I continue to send them to agencies, and I continue to hold onto my dreams - my life and accomplishments might not matter to the universe, but it sure as hell matters to me.



Goodbye Google Reader, Hello Feedly

   It was announced today - as I'm sure many of you know already - that Google Reader is leaving on July 1st. Google Reader is the platform with which many blogger blogs are followed and read, so this creates a problem for anyone who doesn't already follow blogs via Bloglovin.com and other such websites.
   However, Feedly.com has a solution. By installing the addon to your internet browser, it can seamlessly transport all of your Google Reader blogs to another location, so you can still read each of them with ease.
   You can read about the transition here. Feedly also offers a much nicer view of blogs than Google Reader.
   Personally, I will be sticking with BlogLovin', but I have transitioned over to Feedly as well. There are blogs I follow with GR that I don't follow in other ways. So I'm grateful to Dana from The Wonderforest for bringing this to the attention of her followers and fellow bloggers.



Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Moodboard: Vintage Travel

   I saw a wonderful bag by Fossil this morning (Fossil is the best thing to come out of Texas), and it really got my mind onto travelling. I don't know if it was the colour, the leather or just the fact that it's a bag, but I just couldn't get it out of my head. There are so many places I want to go - Canada, Iceland, Denmark, the Arctic - and while I know I'll never get to most of them, it's got me itching to leave the country. Fortunately there's another trip to The Netherlands coming up in April, so that will certainly do.
    The Fossil bag itself is wonderful - I'm not one that goes for bags usually, but there are specific things I look for in them if I do decide to buy one. This one has everything. It's understated, with its lack of detail, but the key charm is a wonderful addition, and really completes it. It's more than big enough for my needs, which also means less carrier bags when I go out shopping, and it has a long strap which means easy access while I'm carrying it around. It would never need to leave my shoulder. The leather is a lovely shade of brown, and the antique metal details don't attract the eye too much. Plus it looks sophisticated enough for me to use it without feeling like a showy twit. Like I said: it's got everything I look for in a bag.




1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7



Monday, 11 March 2013

Brand New Products

   Miniature bell jars were the main cause of these pieces. If it weren't for them, I'd probably have never done them. I loved the jars as soon as I saw them in my stockist's website, and I just had to use them, and considering how well my foxes in jars had sold, I figured I was along the right lines.
   I've expanded the wild animals, and I have also began custom pet portrait necklaces, hobbit houses, and soon there will be another custom portrait of a different kind available! I love how they've turned out - the hobbit houses, especially - and I'm so excited to share them with you all!


   Not all of the necklaces shown are currently available - some of them will be listed in coming days. Each bell jar measures 35mm in height, and about 25mm in width. The all come on 16 inch chains. The custom pet portraits can be made of most mammals, but, as the listing states, please contact me first if you have an unusual animal as a pet, so that I can tell you whether or not it will be doable.
   Other wild animals are available that are not shown here, along with other Hobbit Houses, and other items soon to be announced.

   Once all of the remaining listings are up, I will have 80 listings - I can hardly believe it! When I reach 100, there will likely be a sale, and a giveaway! But keep your eyes open for the announcement of another giveaway first!



Peaches and Pebbles gift cards are also now available as £10/$15, and £20/$30!




Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Marshmallow Sandwich Biscuits

   These are the biscuits that came of the 28th, alongside the cakes. Like the cakes, I used a marshmallow mixture to make them special. I only made these biscuits because I saw VividPlease's post about giant jammy dodgers, which I was going to make, until I realised we had no jam. So I resorted to marshmallow (Jam = Jelly to Americans, Jelly contains gelatin, so do marshmallows).
   I also learned something that explains every failed biscuit I've made to date: they're supposed to be soft when they come out of the oven. I used to cook them until they were hard, and I could never work out why they were always as solid as a rock - I'm serious, it was more like a snap than a crunch, and if there was a crunch, it was probably just your tooth. I had to look it up. Some things just don't come naturally to some people, and for me, that's baking.


   Anyway, so what I did was use a standard biscuit mixture, roll it into balls, press them down with my clean hands, and then to make them a bit more special I used a heart cutter. In truth, I was trying to make marshmallow dodgers, but I didn't have a rolling pin. I substituted it for a long glass, but the dough was a bit too weak - not sure what I did to it - and whenever I used a cutter it just fell apart. I managed about 8 hearts, 4 of which had little hearts cut out of them, but in the end I scrapped it and did this instead. I used the heart cutter to make an impression in the top of each cookies, so they all end up double sided.


   When they came out of the oven I was surprised to see that the dough had grown like that - like I said, some things just don't come naturally to some people. The hearts stood out a lot!
   Once they had cooled, I paired them up by size, and took the marshmallow mixture I'd made (keep it moving or it'll set, like I said in the cake post!) and put a small amount on the bottom of one of each pair, then sandwiched them together.


   The marshmallow set quite quickly, so while a couple of the biscuits did try to slide off, they stopped doing so within 10-15 minutes. The marshmallow set, adding a lovely softness to the centre of the biscuits. They could easily become smore-like if you added some sort of chocolate to them - or coated the entire thing in chocolate!




Monday, 4 March 2013

VividPlease - Wooden Brooches

   I like brooches, I think they're marvellous things, I really do. I used to love mpin badges, I had a tiny little school bad - seriously, it was the best thing ever - and I COVERED it with badges of bands and swear words. I wish I still had that bag, I really do. It was tiny, black with tarten, pyramid studs and straps. It. Was. Awesome. It was too small, though, I had to leave half of my books with the teachers and I had to stop bringing lunch altogether. Luckily my friends fed me xD I feel awful for it, but it turned out a few years later that one of my best friends had Coeliacs Disease so in a way, I was helping xD
   Anyway, since then, however, I've grown out of badges. They were always the same: round and, occasionally, cheap. These days I prefer brooches, but I still use them for the same purpose: decorating my bags. Particularly the gert big bag I take with me to the post office.
   The reason I prefer brooches is that there's so much more variety, and I am particularly fond of different shapes.

   My good friends over at VividPlease have gotten new brooches in, too, and they are to die for. Gorgeous wood, no paint - neutral is just as good as a splash as colour, in my opinion, you can never have too much of either - with lovely shapes and features. They've had the anatomical heart, paper aeroplane and ampersand brooches for some time, and they are lovely - I'm partial to the heart, myself - but they've just released a whole bunch of new ones!

via Twitter.

   A bear, a goldfish, ship in a bottle, 'oui' and 'non', a pug and a puzzle piece! They are marvellous, and a wonderful expansion to their shop. Personally, I love the ship in the bottle, the bear and the pug ♥
   It's brooches like these that I love, shaped specifically for the subject, and the lovely natural texture is just awesome. I've seen plenty of bright coloured brooches, geometric ones are particularly nice, but I'd choose a finely shaped and detailed piece over those every day.
   I particularly love how the Vivid Pug has come into play time and time again, and he's back again, ready to follow you everywhere.




Amethyst Gemstone Bracelet Tutorial

   Hi, my name is Meghan and I'm from Whatsername Jewelry. Whatsername Jewelry takes up two parts of my life. One is an online Jewelry Shop where I sell hand stamped initial and name jewelry and the other is a Craft & DIY Blog that shares my love for all things handmade with reviews, recipes, and fashion to boot. I'd like to thank Kim for having me today and I wanted to share with her readers not so much a post about me and what I do, but something to that you can take away and make on your own. I first shared this on my blog earlier this month and it is a super-simple DIY on how to make a Gemstone Cuff Bracelet.


   I hope you enjoy the tutorial and when you have the chance, I'd love to see you around the Whatsername Jewelry shop and blog. Now through April 1st, I am offering all A Blackbird's Epiphany Readers 20% off all purchases of $10 or more (excluding shipping) with coupon code BLACKBIRD at checkout. Now, on to the Amethyst Gemstone Cuff Tutorial. 


  I have been making Memory Wire Gemstone Cuff Bracelets for a few years now and wanted to share with you the basics for creating a beautiful gemstone bracelet of your own. All you need are a few basic supplies and the ability to make a basic loop and you will be creating these cuff bracelets in no time.


Supplies:
Memory Wire
Amethyst Gemstone Chips
Flat Nose Pliers
Round Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters

Directions: First, count out five rows of memory wire and cut with wire cutters. Next, make a basic loop at one end of the memory wire. Then, begin sliding the amethyst gemstone chips onto the memory wire and continue adding beads until all the rows of memory wire are covered. To finish the bracelet, create another basic loop at the end. Easy as 1, 2, 3 and you have a beautiful gemstone bracelet you can wear anytime.




   Thank you so much, Meghan! This is a wonderful little tutorial, and I am partial to amethyst myself! Ever since Fable II and I (easily) got my hands onto the Legendary weapon, "Hammerthyst" - a great big hammer with a giant amethyst for a head! Thanks so much for being a sponsor and for contributing this wonderful post ♥