god's country

god's country
near carrick-a-rede

Friday, 17 December 2010

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

christmas stamps

Today we have an angel and some sheep (but no shepherds) and Whini the Witch is making a comeback! though she is a little less Witchy this time!
I hope you like them!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Oh Christmas Tree


I hope you like them : )

Friday, 3 December 2010

on the first day of Yuletide...

I believe that the first day of Christmas is actually boxing day - the 26th of December - but as far as I'm concerned its the 1st of December - if you think I'm going to pass up a whole month of Christmas you're wrong!!

Particularly if we're going to continue having weather like this! I'm definitely feeling Christmasy now! In fact i could have done with this feeling when i was trying to design Christmas cards - I've made 192 for other people so far this year! how many of my own are done you ask? none. not one! but i have a cunning idea (which will be facilitated by this digi stamp) that should have them done sharpish - i only need about 45! (*cries*)

And yes, I am aware that my Partridge looks a lot like a Chicken - but I assure you that she is the genuine article. Her name is Penny. And yes before you say anything I also know that my Celtic inspired tree looks a little sinister... it needs Christmasafied!

Friday, 26 November 2010


We don't really celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK - but then I'll celebrate anything given an excuse (see - the opening of a mailbox, the day that ends in 'y' etc) - so I decided to cook something festive last night in recognition as it were, of what's going on across the pond.
In addition, Al was all set to fly out to Leeds (Yorkshire) this morning to see his folks and look at a few houses before heading down to London for the World Tour Finals - so I felt we needed a wholesome proper dinner together (why? this is MENTAL).
Ive had a pumpkin in my kitchen since before Halloween, and I've been putting off eating it because ITS SO BIG - and this was a really small pumpkin! so we had that, nicely roasted with salt and pepper and chilli, and a roasted chicken and some lovely salad (sun dried tomato, mozzarella and baby leaves with Al's special dressing that he makes) - it turned out really pretty!
I'd like to point out that i did not eat a whole half of a chicken!! some of that's my lunch and there's more in the fridge!!!

My lunch is probably closer to proper Thanksgiving food, by virtue of the fact that its mainly Quinoa. (so tasty!!!!!)

other than my lunch being awesome, things are not going well so far today! we had a late night (packing and finishing a birthday card I had forgotten that I had to make etc)

and a very early morning getting up to head for the airport . Car wouldn't start. of course.
so I had to wake my dad up to bail us out - if he had had any hold baggage or hadn't checked in he would definitely have missed the flight, and now I have no car! dreading the prospect of getting the bus home in this weather - Al's already been spreadeagled on the road this morning and his balance is MUCH better than mine! I should probably point out that its probably only -1 outside, and there are those who would be practically sunbathing in this temperature in other parts of the world - but its WET here, and everything's made out of pointy rocks....

and then one of the letting agents called to say the house that we were to view at 2pm (our appointment was for noon...) has been let this morning : (
we really liked that one! it had a pretty garden! and a Chinese Restaurant about 3 doors down! clearly not meant to be though! we have one more house to view today - but first reports are grim - its amazing what some people think that they can get away with charging people for! this just goes to prove that you HAVE to view the properties! Al's taken his dad (who was the head of housing for Bradford for about 25 years) with him to see the place though, so i hope he's giving them what for!

that's all for the moment - but i have an exciting weekend planned, with lots of crafts and a SPECIAL OUTING...

Thursday, 25 November 2010

one scary dragon

as requested by bcriminger
I hope your boys like him!
I actually drew this originally about 8 years ago - I found it in my high school art folder - is that cheating?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Very familiar basset hound

Not wanting to get into trouble - personal use only this one!

Thursday, 18 November 2010


Today we have a Nautilus - because they are awesome!!!

You liked that?

Everyone really seems to have liked the anatomically accurate heart from yesterday's digi's - if you liked that, then you'll love this!this pattern - believe it or not is available for FREE from Ravelry (who should be congratulated on reaching 1000000 Ravelers last week)!

In other news, I saw James Martin last night! And it was totally awesome!

There were around 350 people there, and I believe that we collected a large amount for Children in Need - though I was slightly disappointed not to get to eat anything he made : ( Everything smelt SO GOOD, we were starving by the end! I took a few pictures, but I'm not sure that any of them are any good - I'll have to have a looky. My mum also bought me his book (proceeds to Children in Need), which I had signed! I took the opportunity to ask him about his new restaurant which is opening in Leeds in January - so local and handy for me! - but I think I was going a bit off program, he seemed a little surprised that i didn't just want my book signed and to gush at him! Oops : )

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Look everyone! 30 followers! Already we are beginning to become a throng! in celebration here are some "love you loads" stamps!


Monday, 15 November 2010

Happy BIrthday Bear

I needed two cards for older people this weekend - it was my Grandfather's 80th and my partner's pseudo-Gran's birthday also, so I needed something unoffensive! here's what we ended up with...

I may also do a version holding a football, and a wee pile of hearts! Any more requests???
(I haven't forgotten about my scary dragon!!!)

Friday, 12 November 2010

That's what I'd buy

Well, we only had one suggestion (quite surprised) so I can but deliver - one stall full of kittens! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Awning Card

Ive been looking at this Awning card tutorial from the Papercraft Planet newsletter - it's so awesome!!!
And I got to thinking, what other things could I draw to put in this adorable little stall?? Fruit and Vegetables aren't really handy card making material...
flowers maybe? I was thinking maybe fish for a Man's card?

If anyone has any ideas please let me know - you suggest it I draw it!
What else could I put in my market stall????

Monday, 8 November 2010

pin up 2

Today I have some stamps to go with the last lot - things to pin up with all our pins and pegs! I've done some baby clothes and a Christmas stocking and also a scroll and a Polaroid photo!

I'd love to see what you've done with my stamps!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Pin Up

Necessity is the mother of invention!

And as a result we now have all sorts of pegs and clips and pins for Christmas cards and scrapbook pages, all those Halloween photo scrapbooks and whatever else!

I hope they come in handy!!

Yup, thats right

Just had a dodgy Phone Call AT WORK!
oh yes, its hard to sexually harass people at home now - they work such long hours and they're out all weekend.
So lets start calling them at work - better yet, lest also call them back to ask why they hung up!

AWESOME start to the day!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A worm of Robins

A 'worm' of Robins for you today - one of the more unusual collective nouns if you ask me.... but they're SO CUTE!

or as Terry Pratchett says "stroppy, evil little bu**ers" - actually, like pigeons, quite unpleasant to each other as a general rule. There are a few that show up in my Mum and Dad's garden periodically that look just like red and brown tennis balls

I hope that these prove useful ; )

incidentally, I also found a fantastic photography website and blog today that's worth a look - Austin Thomas Photography. Some truly AWESOME photos : )

Monday, 1 November 2010

TIS the Season!!!!!

Reindeer are one of my favorite things about the Festive Season (she says, resolutely trying not to mention the C word) - I like to think of them as a symbol of the working woman - in a very Post Feminist way - (only the female deer keep their antlers all year round, the males have to grow a new pair every year to replace broken bits from rutting etc, so ALL of Santa's reindeer, as traditionally depicted, are GIRLS!!!) they are cute and fluffy and consummate career women!
All the stamps and whatnot with reindeer that i have been able to find this year are really tiny - so here is one that you can make AS BIG AS YOU LIKE!
I hope you like her : )


Hahahahah! I have won the Sophisticated Skirt Contest on Your Style Rocks.Com!!! This is so awesome, I never win anything!!! I can't wait to see the finished article and have a go at sewing it myself - statistically there are only so many things that can go wrong with my sewing machine... perhaps this time....

I also finished the napkins that I was working on for a friends wedding gift - the finished napkins were embroidered with a compass rose and the map coordinates for her favorite place - but I forgot to take a picture!!!!!!! Such a moose!
Never mind, there's always next time (there probably wont be a next time - they took AGES). I got my inspiration from Coastal Living - which is one of my mum's favorite magazines - though, I did add to the design with my Wind Rose : ) I hope she really likes them!

And now I'm on to Christmas Cards and presents - I have 180 cards to do before I start on my own! I hope my friends and family wont mind if my cards are arriving a little late in the season...

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Lucy is a strange cat - totally round the twist.
But she'll always find a way to tell us what she needs.
For example, let us assume that Lucy's water dish is empty and she needs a drink. She will not make a cat noise (she never does anyway - she makes bird and phone noises) and stand by the bowl - Oh no! not Lucy.

She'll sit in the bath... and then the sink for a bit.

It's like trying to do the cryptic crossword!

Here is a wee painting of Lucy in the sink for your enjoyment! thank goodness for Photoshop!
I'm thinking this might make a nice get - well - soon card : )

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Autumn Leaves

I had a plan for these - so I had to make them!

Friday, 22 October 2010

now thats what i call a squid dissection!

Squid is like Heroin. You have that amazing calamari that one time, and then you spend the rest of your life searching for that same hit. Really really good squid is rare – or perhaps it just is in this relative backwater! I had tried calamari several times – mostly rubbery rings served with a salad and dip with a dangerous amount of garlic, but my first good squid was in South Africa. It was proper sweet succulent melt in the mouth stuff – one of those memories that really sticks with you and gets absorbed into the Id – this may have been added to due to my being 16, in South Africa and at my cousins Hen Night, all guaranteed to pack a psychological punch! I find that, as with most other things, its best to make your own…

Now if anyone hasn’t seen the channel 4 documentary “Inside Nature’s Giants: the Giant Squid” – well it’s about time!!!

It may be worth warning that this documentary is not for the faint hearted – it’s actually quite gory and explicit – but if you’re going to prepare fresh squid, well, it’s not going to be anything new! Understanding how the thing was put together and how it worked really helped me do it efficiently.

I cooked from “Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course” again last night – I’ve used a cookery book twice in the last week or so – and it’s been this one both times – I don’t know that I can say the recipes are better, but there are over 1,100 of them – so you’ll get what you’re looking for! The instructions for filleting (?) a squid were the clearest I’ve ever seen – and after watching the dissection of the Giant one the other night I found it really easy! I’ve made salt and pepper squid with baby squid before, and found it really fiddly, so this was much better – I must admit though, when I opened the bag and realised that it still had eyes I nearly backed out!

This was a fairly awesome meal for the price! I’ve been poor for too long now to ever pay full price for anything – we had lime scented rice (oh yes – a cheat! It costs £1 and it does in the microwave in 2 minutes), a reasonable large whole squid (reduced to clear £1.80 at Tesco’s, weighing 0.485kg) and a packet of pak choy that my mother gave us – so it was free. I don’t see much point in including 2tbsp of flour or salt and pepper, oil, sweet chilli sauce etc – I’m going to cover it with 50p and have done – so I estimate that our awesome dinner cost £1.65 each. Ha! Take that ready meals!

So in honour of my Thursday night salt and pepper squid we have a really cute digi stamp : )

I hope you like it!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

my prezzies

As promised - here are the digi stamps of a selection of my lovely birthday prezzies - i hope you like them!

Monday, 18 October 2010

the most wonderful birthday

I decided to book my birthday off work as it was a Friday, best decision EVER!

I had such a fantastic day, Al had to work, but he was on the 10 – 6 shift, so we both got up a little later than usual (sad when 7.30 is 1 and ½ hours of a lie in, huh?) and we had my favourite breakfast – eggs Benedict, with a toasted crumpet, hollandaise sauce, smoked salmon and a poached egg.

(I don't know why the computer has turned this on its side - its the right way up in the folder...)

I have always made eggs Benedict with salmon rather than bacon – but I think it’s a regional thing, of course in Ireland our pigs and salmon are both awesome (and in some cases, the stuff of legends) – but with the salmon it somehow feels more Irish – maybe because that’s how mother used to make it!

I made my Hollandaise sauce the night before, as I couldn’t get any at ASDA and I had no intention of starting at 7.30am – I used a Delia recipe, and it worked perfectly, for my personal taste though, I thought it had too much butter in – not that I didn’t enjoy/ eat it all anyway : )

I followed breakfast with a relaxing bath, and a lot of tidying and cleaning, and then took a trip to Donegore (donegore landscape center – their website has no pictures! I must tell them off!) with my parents for lunch – herein followed the obligatory row (as in noisy quarrel), which only spoiled the day ever so slightly and was soon, if not forgotten, at least forgiven. It wouldn’t be a birthday without it! This was followed by more ‘spring’ cleaning – involving mainly getting logs in for the fire – because its COLD!!

At 6 I dolled myself up and headed out to fetch Al from work, and he took me to one of my favourite Chinese restaurants for tea – I have to admit that the last time I was in this particular place I thought that it had lost its touch - but the dinner on Friday was SO good! It was even the best rice I have ever had!!! And then we headed over to my bestest girlfriend’s house (brand new first home no less) – to meet her new kitty and go to the cinema, where we say despicable me. Which was just lovely.

Now how’s THAT for a birthday!?!?!

I have also been given the most wonderful cards and presents – things that I would not have expected or even guessed at in 100 years! The brand new sewing machine that I had started saving up for was just handed to me by my parents – which means that I now also have a wodge of cash! I’ve been given bottles of bubbly, awesome cookery books, adorable Chinese bowls, fluffy ponchos and mittens, makeup and goodness knows what else! I am well and truly spoiled : ) and really happy about it!

I have cooked one recipe out of my new “Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course”so far – Al wrote in the front of it that I’m not to try and cook all the recipes in it in a year (see Julie and Julia) – but there are over 1,100 recipes in it – so I guess there isn’t much chance of that! I had half a can of coconut milk left over from making Nigella’s Chicken Noodle Soup – tamerind paste has proven almost impossible to lay hands on in Northern Ireland – so I made the coconut sorbet off page 400 and something. And it’s wonderful! The lime juice gives it just a hint of unexpected bitterness that takes the edge off the creamy sweetness of sugar syrup and coconut milk. It’s a winner, what can I say?

I’ve been thinking about what sort of digi stamps to do today – and I think what I’d like to do is make some stamps along the theme – what I got for my birthday (how vain am I?) so I hope you will like them! Hopefully I will get them up tonight or tomorrow : ) so watch this space!

Also re snehal watwe welde’s comment – I’m working on it! I haven’t forgotten, I promise : )

Thursday, 14 October 2010


World Standards Day!

OK - I know this isn't what they actually mean by standards.... But I suspect these will be more useful from a digi stamp perspective

Hope you like them!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


Today is International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, which is certainly a hot topic of late with the earthquakes, eruptions etc. Not to mention today’s very appropriate rescue of the trapped Chilean miners! (I guess a mine shaft collapse probably shouldn’t be described as a natural disaster, but it probably wouldn’t have happened at all without the earthquake in February).

So here are some very politically incorrect digi stamps! It was also Bring a Teddy to Work Day but I’m not a teddy kinda girl I’m afraid : (

I hope you like them!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Live Free

Today is International Scream of Frustration Day, National Face Your Fears Day and Free Thought Day amongst others, so today's stamps reflect that - well not the screaming part...

I have a mind to make a card with this to send to a friend who has recently been through a traumatic breakup - thought perhaps the screaming element would not have been inappropriate!

Monday, 11 October 2010

native american day

Apparently today is Native American's Day, so that's what inspired today's digi stamps
I hope you like them!the Buffalo looks a bit unhappy - i swear it wasn't intentional!

Friday, 8 October 2010

dressed to frill

new design for yourstylerocks.com ! I gave up last month, I couldn't think of anything : )

click here to vote!

Thursday, 7 October 2010


I'm not going into what inspired these stamps.
they're for Halloween. That's all.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


as requested! some critters to live with last week's little vegetarians : ) a cow a cat and a chicken to follow!

birthday card

so pleased with my card!

I used stretch n bubbles digital stamp "tooling 2010" paper packs: dovecraft - "eastern promise" and papermania "hampsted". I wanted to use my Chinese lanterns as well, but there wasn't room in the end!

It was very fiddly and took me a good while, but I'm really pleased with the results : )

i used lemon yellow A5 card stock and made (what i call) a wardrobe fold and covered each of the two 'doors' with paper from the eastern promise pack. i printed tooling twice - this one and then a mirror image which i cut up and glued to the back of the papers i wanted to use for the dress and then cut out again - there is probably a much more efficient way of doing this...

Friday, 1 October 2010

1st of October - World Vegetarian Day...

Personally? Carnivore. No doubt about it.

In fact I make it my personal mission to 'cure' vegetarians (2 and counting) - so far I have had success with Nanny's Irish stew and a Bacon Sandwich.That said, I believe that everyone is entitled to their choice, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else... i just don't understand this particular choice, so in honour of all the strange little vegetarians here are some digi stamps.
Again, if you would like to use them please help yourself and feel free to sell anything you make and post a link! Please DO NOT sell my stamps - online or to hallmark or to anywhere else, or market these as your own artwork etc

i am now adding some clothes as well - i thought about colouring in animal print on these wee things and felt a bit ill....