A Jaunt To Manchester


Last Wednesday was my youngest boy's 13th birthday and as he received mainly money as gifts we had promised him a day out in Manchester so he could have a spending spree. The shops in our local town centre are dreadful. It's all mobile phone shops, charity shops, coffee shops and the rest are left empty because the rents asked for the shops are too expensive. It was only my son, husband and myself on this day out because the my oldest boy didn't want to come (he absolutely hates shopping) and there was no chance that we could manoeuvre Little L's pushchair around most of the shops (we tried that on a previous shopping trip in Manchester)

The place my son was really looking forward to going was Afflecks. The photo above is the side of the building. He has only been in once before and fell in love with it. It is a massive old building with 4 or 5 floors which are full of stalls selling all sorts of things from handmade, one off clothes, vintage clothing, ex army gear, Gothic clothes, cute Japanese stuff.

Both my husband and myself used to go there years ago when it was called Afflecks Palace. I first started going in the late 80's so when I walk round there now I feel positively ancient. They still have a tattooist, barber and cafe but the stalls then used to sell a lot more vintage clothes but I think the clothes probably had the less posh title of second hand then.  The walls are still plastered with band posters and flyers for events but its more colourful with art painted on doors and walls now.

There is wall where you can leave your mark with the tub of pens and markers left near by. My son was slightly dubious of being encouraged to do this but here he is (yellow cap) having a bit of a doodle. After he had bought a few things from here we were off for a wander.

This mural is on a building on the same road as Afflecks. My son loves cameras so we went to the Lomography shop where he bought a Fisheye camera then we popped into a couple of vintage shops which my son also likes, he loves having a rummage through stuff. Then off to Forbidden Planet which I had forgotten he had never been in to before. I have also been coming here for years but as it was new to my son and sold everything he is interested in, comics, manga, figures, he was so excited.

We headed off for something to eat at The Printworks which is mainly bars and restaurants (we didn't eat here, I just liked this photo I took there). Having settled on burgers, after eating just half of his burger my son was struggling and had to leave it. If we have take away food at home and he has a burger, he cuts it in half and he eats it in two sittings. He does have a point. Some burgers are ridiculously big.
My son wanted some more Fimo clay so we went searching for a craft shop and didn't find one. There has got to be one hiding somewhere in Manchester. After six and a half hours of shopping, we decided to head for the train station and back home. The journey back on train takes just under an hour and I had to fight sleep. Trains always make me want to have 40 winks. My boy said that he had a great day but had achy feet.

Trio Of Foxes

Yesterday I saw a post on A Beautiful Mess blog of a plush fox and thought I'll add it to my 'to do list', as I do with so many things I see and never seem to actually get round to them. The only thing planned for today was housework. I took a look around at the bits on the carpet, the toys which needed putting away, the pots in the sink and thought it could all wait awhile, I'd do it all later. I even asked Little L what she thought and she agreed we should make foxes instead.

My foxes measure 11in from the bottom to the tip of the ear so not as large as the ones featured in the tutorial. Little L had first choice, one has gone home with my Mum and I'm keeping one for now.
Anyway I better go and finish the housework so it looks as if I have done something in the house today.


My youngest son recently got in to reading comics. I think it must be the art work that draws him to them because while he will sit and draw for hours there is no chance he will sit and read a book of his own accord. I'm glad one of the children has got in to comics really as I kept a box of mine just in case so I can pass them on.
 At the weekend I made him this hoop framed picture of his favourite comic character, Lenore.

Animations of Lenore and information can be found on Roman Dirge's (Lenore's creator) Spookyland  site

Finished Projects

This weekend two more projects were finished off though they only needed framing. Both designs are from the Hoopla book.

The One Mutant to Another design by Cate Aneski has been finished for awhile and just wanted mounting on a canvas. I had to wait for my husband to staple it on for me because the I can't press on hard enough with the stapler so the staples barely attach.

I embroidered it on calico and the canvas was an old one with a small rip in it but once it was covered with wadding no one can tell.

This other design, A Creature of Curiosity by Kirsten Chursinoff was stitched on to fabric from an old top and the frame has been hanging around the house for years.
I love it when I can make something with stuff I already have and not have to spend any money.

Oyster Boy

This evening I finished off an embroidery which I started last September. It didn't need much doing to it so I don't know why I let it languish in a drawer for so long.

The design is from the book The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy & Other Stories. A book of short verses and illustrations by Tim Burton. I love Tim Burton especially his film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I should has thought the size of the embroidery through before I started as I didn't think I would be able to sew small enough for the wording. My husband suggested writing it in but I managed to sew it on though its not as tidy as I would have liked.

Vintage Style Photo

As soon as I read this tutorial on taking a vintage style photo on the A Beautiful Mess blog I had to give it a go. I have a few vintage cameras, all in working order so when it's a nice day I take one of those out as well as my digital camera.

I used my Kodak Reflex today as I needed a camera with a waist level viewfinder. This camera cost me about £4 and it wasn't too difficult to find a film for it. I still have a few more shots left on it so what I'm dreading is the cost of developing it when I'm finished.

I dragged out some of a couple of my old toys to take the pics.

My squeaky orange hippo, Georgie, who was a present from one of my aunties when I was born so he's getting on abit

and Ted, who I have had since I was about 8 years old. He's looking a bit worse for wear now and one of his legs has fallen off a few times and had to be sewn back on but I think he'll be OK as long as I don't start taking him to bed again.

Back again with more cakes!

Hiya guys!! I'm back again! I've been away for far too long so I decided I'd do a compilation kind of blog and update you with all the things I've been baking and all my grand plans for the future! :D

First off a fair few months ago I made rainbow cupcakes with Little L at my house! And even though she kept telling me I'd put enough flour in, despite the fact it needed much more, we persevered and managed to make some edible rainbow cakes! Even if Little L did only want to eat the butter-cream sky and clouds!

Already to go in the oven!

The blue butter-cream is the sky and the white butter-cream is clouds! 

Little L packing up the Rainbow cakes ready to go back home.

Bye Bye cakeys!!

Ok, maybe just one for me.. hehe!
Yummy! These went down a treat at school! I had people arguing over them and begging me to bake more :D

My next endeavor into the crazy world of cupcakes were "Sweeney Todd Surprise" cupcakes! The deliciously creepy creations were made from vanilla cake, marzipan, butter-cream and raspberry sauce! Yum Yum!
Lots of evil little creations! 
It might look hellish, but it tastes heavenly!
 Next up in this barrage of information, is a giant cake for a Halloween cake competition, and I won!
Everything you see is edible!!
Stay with me guys I'm almost done! The next cake I made was a birthday cake for one of our beloved beaters George, who always fetched me a new paper clipping everytime I saw him, so I made this for him and all the other beaters.
Next up is my gorgeous baby cousin Celyns first birthday cake! Which was only last month, so Happy belated Birthday little 'un!
and last but not least are the cakes I made in the last few days so here they are!
Strawberry Shortcake!

Awh :'3

Mmm nice fresh victoria sponge!

Super zesty lemon meringue cupcakes!
Thanks for hanging in there guys! I know I blagged the blog! But anyway tell me what you think! and if you'd like to try any of these, tell me in the comments as I'm hoping to set up my own website to sell cupcakes! Hope you enjoyed :) 

Little L's Tiny Bed

Little L has a couple of 5in baby dolls and she said they needed a bed to sleep in. While I was thinking of a mini baby size box, my husband said he was sure there would be some suitable scraps of wood at work for him to make a bed.

Little L requested a double bed and this is what he made using 6mm ply wood. ( It amazes me how much wood just get thrown away where my husband works. Surely it could be of some use to someone ).

The mattress is a piece of wadding, doubled and covered with calico. I had already knitted the blanket for something else. The sheets and pillow were made from an old cot sheet which was used in my eldest son's cot. He will be turning 15 at the end of the year so that just shows how long I hang on to things. After a quick coat of left over paint from the shed, it was ready for Little L to play with.