Excited to be part of Modamo.KreARTiva Concept Store.

On Wednesday night Modamo.KreARTiva Concept Store opened in Mostar and I am very excited to be a part of it. They are calling it 'a small shop, full of style' and that is what it is!

Everything that is for sale in the shop has been handmade in Bosnia and Herzegovina by young, up and coming artists and designers. They are selling everything from clothes, bags and jewellery to paintings and amigurumi dolls! And that is of course where I come in. I feel very honoured to have been asked to be a part of this new exciting adventure and to exhibit and sell my work alongside that of some very talented people.

It is great to see creativity being encouraged and celebrated in Bosnia and Herzegovina and I look forward to seeing how this adventure unfolds.

Handmade Birthday

We arrived back home yesterday after visiting the UK for 3 weeks. In the first 30mins that we were back I  bumped into quite a few friends including one who invited us to their daughter's birthday party that evening. Being totally unprepared and not in the mood to go shopping after a long journey I decided that it would be a handmade birthday present. I set to work and 4 hours after we had arrived home, as well as unpacking and other stuff I had made this! The little girl loved it and jumped up and down when she opened it. All in all a good first day back home.

Plush Team Summer Challenge

After a lot of busy months I am so happy that I have managed to make something for this month's Plush Team Challenge. The theme is 'Dessert or Desert' and I decided to combine the two and make a cactus ice cream! I drew a little picture of the idea that was in my head, and a few hours later, after some unravelling and re-doing, I finished it!

The perfect desert dessert. The cactus ice cream cornet.

What do you see?

If you watched the video on my last blog post you may have already spotted some of these wooden dolls. They are so easy to make and so cute and effective. We made about 40 of them for our Street Art Day!

This is what they look like before they are painted. I buy these in a shop which sells building supplies. On the label it says it is a finishing piece for a column. I think it looks like the end piece for a curtain rail or maybe banisters. Anyway, a couple of years ago when we were looking in this shop for something we needed for our house I saw these things on a shelf and instead of seeing a 'finishing piece for a column' I saw a doll! (That probably says a lot about the way I think!) I decided straight away I had to buy some and use them for a craft activity. They went down a storm and so ever since I have been buying them and turning them into dolls at craft workshops. 

Next week we are going to camp. It is a camp for teenagers and the theme is 'Discovering life in an Indian way.' They asked me to run craft workshops, so guess what we'll be making?

Street Art brightens up the day!

I can't believe I haven't blogged since March! Well, I have a kind of excuse - I've been very busy running this street art project for young people. The project had it's grand finale on Sunday when all the art work was displayed on the street. Here's a video so you can see some of the highlights of the day. And here's a facebook link so you can see the photos. Hopefully I'll have a bit more time now to get back into blogging! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the video.

When the pages of a book come alive...

This year I am involved again in organising a Street Art Project in our town. This year's theme is 'Finding Neverland', giving people space to use their imagination to create a fairy tale kind of world on the streets! With fairy tales in mind, I tried my hand at a bit of book sculpture and I'm pretty happy with the results.

Introducing my Mardi Gras Dragon

 On the morning of 12th February I went to the Post Office to check our PO Box and in it I found what I had been hoping for! A yellow piece of paper - which could only mean one thing; there was a parcel waiting for me! And I was pretty sure I knew what kind of parcel it would be.

I picked the parcel up and took it with me to work. I knew from the label on the box that it was from Zooguu and I was excited to see what kind of plush creation was inside...

I opened the box, and when I saw that little tail poking out of the packaging I had a good guess at what it could be - a dinosaur or a dragon.

It was a purple and gold dragon! So cute and beautifully made.

 I love his little arms and his shiny gold wings.

And his little white teeth :)

As well as the dragon there was a lovely note from Jen and her bright and happy business card. Thank you so much Jen :) It made my day to receive this. If any of you readers are jealous of my lovely dragon, make sure you check out Zooguu's etsy shop or her website where you will find lots more lovely creations and perhaps be tempted to get yourself one!

It's Fat Tuesday!

Today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or as we call it in England - Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day! Here in Bosnia and Herzegovina they call it Maskara and their tradition is to do 'trick or treating' like we would do for Halloween. I'll wait and see how many of the kids we know knock on our door tonight! We will be observing the British tradition of eating pancakes :)

As the Plush Team we are celebrating this day by doing a Mardi Gras themed plush swap. Mine still hasn't arrived - but I haven't been to the post office yet today so maybe it's waiting for me there... This is the plush that I sent to Jen of FuzFrenzy.

Still Enjoying the Snow!

We've been going snowboarding a couple of times a week. Yesterday we went to try out the slopes at Rostovo for the first time. I'm getting better everytime I go. Still not confident enough to go on the lift and snowboard down from the top, but that will come...

S'mores Bars

I thought I'd let you know about the latest recipe I've tried out. This one is a good 'un! They taste amazing. If found the recipe here on Sugar Cooking's blog and adapted it just a little bit as some of the listed ingredients are not available here in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Instead of Mashmallow Fluff I just used ordinary marshmallows and lined them up over the chocolate as you can see in the picture above. The other ingredient not available here is Graham Cracker Crumbs. Instead I used a local breakfast speciality called Plazma. If you can't get Plazma or Graham Crackers where you live then just smash up some kind of plain biscuits such as digestive biscuits and use that instead.

Cactus Love

If you're looking for an original, cute valentine's gift for that special someone, look no further! There are now plenty of cute little cacti available in my Etsy store. You can find this little on by clicking here!

Meet Judith, your perfect desktop companion, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face even on the most difficult of days. Give her to someone special in your life so that they remember you every time they see her cute face! She is a great gift for those plant lovers who just can't keep a plant alive, but need a little life and light brought into their office or study. She would also be happy to be an ornament on your bookshelf or mantelpiece. 

Sandy is a plant who will never die! Perfect for those of us who don't have green fingers, and those who do! She would be a lovely gift for that special someone. Or, if you want to keep her for yourself she would very happily be an ornament on your bookshelf, desk or mantelpiece. 

Chocolate and Cookie Dough Muffins

After some experimenting on Monday evening I came up with this recipe. They are yummy and they  taste even better the day after, so don't eat them all right away! The cookie dough has a slightly salty taste compared to the muffin which makes a great contrast.

To make the cookie dough:
90g butter
100g sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
200g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g chocolate chips

In one bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and leave to one side.
In another bowl cream the butter and sugar. Then mix in the egg and vanilla.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, mixing all the time. At this point I usually use my hands to knead the dough. If the dough feels very sticky you can add more flour, a little at a time. When the dough is a good consistency add in the choc chips. Put in the fridge whilst you make the muffins.

This will make more cookie dough than you will need for the muffins - but when is too much cookie dough ever a problem? Wrap up whatever is left and put it in the freezer ready for a day when you feel the need for cookies!

To make the muffins: 
200g flour
75g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
175g sugar
2 eggs
100ml sunflower oil
175ml milk
2 tsp vanilla essence

Heat the oven to 170C and put paper cases in a muffin tin.
In one bowl beat the eggs.
In another bowl put the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix. Add the sugar and mix.
Add the eggs, sunflower oil, milk and vanilla and mix until it is all combined and looks like the picture above.

Put one teaspoon of muffin mixture into each paper case.

Put a small ball of cookie dough into each paper case.

Put 2 teaspoons of muffin mix into each paper case so that the cookie dough balls are completely covered.

Then put them in the oven for 20 minutes.
Once they are done, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool on a wire rack.

Once they are cooled, eat them!

I shared this post on the Back for Seconds link party.

And in this week's news...

We went snowboarding again today and I really enjoyed it! I still can't quite believe I can do it - I know I'm not going down any steep hills or anything yet, but I didn't think I'd even have the guts to step on a board so I'm very happy :) This is a video of me today.

In other news, on Friday I bought some new shelves to try and bring some order to the mess in the craft corner of my bedroom!

And it's time to get busy making a Mardi Gras themed amigurumi for our Plush Team swap next month.

New adventures with socks

Last year I taught a lot of people how to make sock monkeys! It seemed to be very popular and as I'm planning art club activities for this term I've been thinking about variations on that theme. After looking at pictures on google images I decided to go for an elephant. I found a tutorial on Fretta and Friend's blog and I mixed that with how I make the monkeys and this is what I came up with!

I added the scarf as his neck was a bit scrawny looking. I'm not totally happy with the dimensions of it. I think the arms and trunk are too fat and the head is a bit too small but for a first go it's ok. I'm looking forward to seeing what the young people at Novi Most Jajce come up with when we make them at art club.

A Good Start to the Year

2013 got off to a good start. We spent New Years Eve in London on the Victoria Embankment, dancing in the street and watching the amazing fireworks.

Then we came home to Bosnia to 10 days of snowboarding. I had intended to just sit and watch the others as I was terrified of the idea of snowboarding, but somehow I got convinced to join in and after a day and a half I managed to snowboard on my own without holding onto anyone! I can only do it on a gentle slope, the idea of going to the top of a ski lift also terrifies me, but it's more than I ever thought I'd do and I've got the rest of the winter to improve as we have a ski centar just 30 mins drive from our front door.

And just to prove that I did it...