making frog lantern

I made a lantern for Sheffield’s Sharrow Lantern Carnival. It was a week or so ago and it was pretty great. I did a few shifts helping out with the workshops, which were quite quiet when I was there so I had the time to put my own together. Twas jungle themed so I done a frog. I thought it would be a pretty modest first lantern. Other people didn’t seem to think so.

To make one you bend and tape wet willow together to make a frame
frog1which dries and sets into place, and then you put fairy lights in it, and make sure there’s a big stick sticking out of it so you can carry it.

frog2 Continue reading


making cloth and other things

It’s been a busy few weeks since moving house. From an art point of view I’ve been trying to get things done for the Lake District International Comic Arts Festival where I have half a table to fill with my printed knick-knacks. The main thing to get done is a special tablecloth / banner that I can use at all future such events. I’ve had the cloth and design for a while but was putting off doing anything with it by waiting to move.
cloth-1I did, however, make a tie with the fabrics to do a little practice sewing and because there was a wedding to go to.

Continue reading


orange swizz

We return to orange cocktail making because we feel that Orange Bam was not very good and we can do better than Orange Bam.

Orange Swizz has a 1920s feel to it (which is an instant improvement) and is a lot better than Orange Bam.

To start skin the orange once again and dump it all in plenty of gin. You don’t have to skin it all in one go, this isn’t Orange Bam you know.







When the gin looks like wee pour a big glug of Cointreau in a glass







and then strain the gin into the glass.







Add a couple of good looking pieces of peel and ice







and finish with soda water. How much depends on how dilute you want it.









This is a robust and dry cocktail and is suitable for getting drunk on, although because the orange oils float it tastes weaker as you go. Probably worth leaving several pieces of peel out of the initial infusion and adding them just before you drink it.

Makes a great aperitif before the mini cheddar and charred sweet potato fritter course.


the 3 week baby mobile tutorial


This is a continuation of my highly regarded, award winning tutorial series on how to do the stuff that I sometimes do. This tutorial takes three weeks to complete and is called the 3 Week Baby Mobile Tutorial tutorial.

I didn’t take a good enough photo of the completed baby mobile to show as a demonstration of what you are about to make and so you are going to have to trust me that it is good and then get started! let’s get started!

First collect the stuff that you need from Hobbycraft. Hobbycraft can be found and is a land of packaging and prescribed plasticated creativity. I immediately got in a little huff and Cecy immediately found loads of useful stuff. I stood for most of the time  looking at the back of Warhammer boxes. I don’t have a photo of the stuff we bought.

I do, however, have a photo of clothing:









You will need some clothing.

First you make some animals from clothes. You base your animals on this less good tutorial.  Go choppy choppy with the shapes and then sewy sewy sewy sewy sewy sewy. Then do the inside out and then stuffy stuffy stuffy sewy sewy.  Then you are here:







Sewy sewy choppy choppy sewy sewy then push inside out with a pencil:









(sewy sewy)












um…then, you uh first you did the rest of the animals. Two more animals. No, one more animal. The snake is there and then I made a monkey and that was frustrating. Don’t make a monkey, they’re all stiff and hard and they’re made from corduroy that doesn’t feel very nice:







And now you’ve finished the animals! That was fun at first when you were doing the birds but then the others were not as fun and you were a bit impatient really. But it’s okay now because now you make the leaves and they’re different and that means that the living room doesn’t have to be knee deep in miniscule scraps of cloth anymore.

First go to the kitchen and get the stuff out. But the kitchen is dark and so you can’t really take photos so well:






First, get the lengths of wire out and bendy bendy bendy. cut. bendy bendy bendy. cut. bendy bendy bendy. cut. Then glue the leaves on to the wire.

First, glue the leaves on to the wire leaves that are small because the leaves are small. The green plastic leaves are small, you see.

Then dip:








Then firstly, with the bigger leaves, dip them into the other stuff that’s green, not clear. When you have dipped them stand them in the window box with coriander in that you’ve brought in from the garden specially. But don’t leave it in the kitchen for more than 4 days because it’s too dark in the kitchen for the coriander and it will kark it. Then you’ve finished the leaves!












After the saucy photoshoot in the garden (crop out the dead coriander, it is not saucy) it is time to do the next thing that I took a photo of, which iiiiiis…..oh, mister twisty twisty. But this is an especially bad photo:







So, First, twisty twisty etc. bend. glue? maybe some glue there after. Get the leaves, sort them, twisty twisty, bendy bendy, little bit painy. Glue the green, wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap. glue. wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap awwrap rawpr  awpr aww. glue. etc. sucks. bells. forget the bells. remember the bells. forget the bells. go back. glue the bells.

Next. Paint some beads as bees. First, get the beads and paint the bees on them. Paint them as bees, the beads:







I made a frog at some point.

Then make flowers from the cutty cutty sewy sewy that we learnt earlier:






Then hoover the living room again.

And then! bendy, bendy, bendy, bendy (on both lots) glue. wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap. glue. etc. cut. cut. cut. twist twist twist twist. thread etc. (flowers) glue glue glue glue. thread thread (bees) tie. glue. And then you have finished! That’s really basically all there is to it. It has taken you three weeks to complete the 3 Week Baby Mobile Tutorial and it looks like this: