Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Make me a Mermaid!

After painting my nails a glittery mint and thinking they'd make a 12 year old mermaid jealous I decided to make a little mermaid inspired feature. I had gathered a few lovely item on Pinterest and then searched Etsy, this led me to I love crafty a shop full of mermaid related goodies! Now I really feel the need to buy The Little Mermaid on DVD, as I haven't seen it for yearrssss....Under the sea, de, de...

1 : Barry M nail varnish - Aqua Glitter 340 and Mint 304
2: Glitter shorts - Topshop or Amazon?!
3: Amazing earrings found on Pinterest, no idea where you buy them, any help?
4: Glittery Mint Purse: delux

5: Mermaid Necklace: imyourpresent
6 and 7: Tights: Carouselink
8: I‘m a real mermaid necklace: I love crafty

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Simple Things

This magazine caught my eye and although it costs a bit more than I like to spend on a magazine I had to have it. It appeals to my tastes in pretty pictures, style and unusual curios. So I may have to buy it again.

It covers everything I like, and try to post about in this blog. There's a inspiring artical on a silk scarf collector, full of great pictures of the said silk scarfs, which is nice to flick through from time to time. There are a number of great recipes and home / gift wish lists. Bread, cycling and collecting seems to be a strong theme within this addition, but I think that will change with each issue. As a whole it invites you to look more, do more and enjoy your free time, which is nice. (If you have lots of free time)

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Bat Brooch

Bats are regarded as auspicious creatures in the Chinese culture. The Chinese name of bat is bian fu -- fu being a homophone for good fortune. They also appear in Japanese art and design. I think they make a great motif with their flowing angular shapes and dark colour. I love catching a rare glimpse of bats, they remind me of late summer evenings sitting in the garden at my old house.
With a nod to Halloween I've made a glittery black bat brooch. It's hand cut from plastic and covered in fine black glitter then resin, finished of with little black plastic diamond eyes. It dose kind of look like the batman symbol, but I've tried to avoid that with the more Art Nouveau lines.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Put on a Happy Face

One thing I could do with my blank ceramics is turn them into little characters! The egg cups especially look like the head neck and shoulders of a person. Here is a collection of porcelain I've had my eye on for a while. Just adding a few lines and dots to a mug can turn it into a little person. So cute!

1: Mr & Mrs Face Coffee Cups.
2: Collection of Hand drawn plates
3: Hand drawn pot with Face
4: Heart cheek cup & saucers
5: Cold to Hot Face Mugs
6: My own photo of Japanese orange drink, so happy!
7: Three layers pot
6: Girl bathing in cup and saucer

Friday, 26 October 2012

Ceramic Painting at Home!

I've started a new project. For a while now I've been gathering the items for painting my own pottery. It's a great way to jazz up some old mugs or make a unique set of items for your shelves (great for gifts!) I love home accessories that are pretty and quirky and I've been wanting to put my own designs onto ceramics for a long time! This is the cheap and domestic way of doing it.

I've got some plain white egg cups, tea pots and mugs to start practicing with, but when I get more confident I'll buy some fancy cups and saucer to decorate. Charity shops are a good place to buy cheap cups and things to start decorating, as well as supper markets for the plain white items, or even craft shops.

The pens I'm using to decorate with are 'Marabu Porcelain Painter' pens, in a small range of bright colours. They're ideal for me because you can let them air dry over a few days (no baking or kilning!) and then they're ready to use and dishwasher safe.

Now what to put on them...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Nation Baking Week

It's National Baking Week! From the 15th - 21st of October we have a great excuse to bake. I plan to celebrate by posting a few recipes and pics of my attempts at baking, eating the spoils and watching the final Great British Bake of Tuesday night!

This recipe for scones is great, it's very simple to make and the less you do to it the better it is! No kneading or folding or separating needed here:

11oz of Plain white flour.
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 carton of butter milk (about 350ml)
1oz of sugar.

How to Make:
Pre-heat your oven to 230 'c / Gas mark 8
Sift the flour, salt and bi'carb' into a bowl and add the sugar.
Then tip the butter milk into the dry ingredients. Using one hand in a open handed claw position (much like a panto witch) mix the ingredients together just until it forms a dough. (you really don't need to mix it that much!)

Then transfer the dough onto a board and flatten out a bit with your hand so its about 3cm tick, touching the dough as little as possible. Use a knife to cut the scones into rough squares and place on baking parchment on a baking tray.
Then pop in the oven for about 10-15 minuets. Until golden brown. It's really quick!

Eat with clotted cream and your favourite jam.
You can use cutters to make nice shapes if you like, I used a star shape, but as the dough expands in the cooking these shapes can be unrecognizable, so I wouldn't bother...

Friday, 5 October 2012

Folk Art Rings

 These rings are the first of a new range of hand painted jewelery by my self. Inspired by traditional British and European folk art the collection mixes perfectly with the colours and textures of Autumn.

Monday, 25 June 2012


I got these lovely rings from Topshop the other day for only £3.50! I'm going to wear them with my maxi arrow necklace as they have the same gold and white colours.

Thursday, 31 May 2012


Ignore the freaking creepy clown in the background and look at that cute outfit! I saw a bit of this film on T.V the other day and this costume caught my eye. I love that it's covered in sequins and the layers of colour, (that merged a lot better on film) It's be great to make a bag or some thing covered in sequins like this. I really love the little wing hair accessories too. I get a lot of inspiration from old films, and will keep an eye out for more!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

May desk

This is a snapshot of my desk right now, it looks almost artfully arranged but it's always like this, and it show all the little projects I'm working on now. 

I'm making more letters for my floral alphabet necklace range (L and J's have sold the most and I need to re-stock!), the prototype arrow necklace which I love! And a gold bow necklace made from up-cycled leather.

Pliers, hole puncher and scalpel are my most used jewellery tools to, and these cutting mats are really useful to make anything on, the squares are a cm in size, so you can constantly check what your doing is the right size and of course it doesn't matter if you cut it or cover it in glue, I'm quite messy and so always do!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cat likes Pinterest

Here's my cat enjoying a bit of Pinterest. Don't we all? Here is my Pinterest account if you'd like to have a look. Feel free to share yours with me, I love looking at other peoples boards and finding some thing new. :)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Paper Plates

It's Sunday evening, and I'm scrap-booking! Here's a little find I found on Pinterest. These paper plates are great! I'd buy them just to hang on my wall, for £9.75 they'd make a great piece cheep of wall art. I defiantly couldn't eat greasy party food of them then throw them away them here: A-Z Paper plates

Friday, 20 April 2012

Folksy Friday: Seaside Wedding

Inspired by my trip to the seaside for a wedding last week this weeks Folksy Friday is a collection of seaside wedding accessories! Table decorations, invitations, jewellery and the like. For the full collection have a look at my Pinterest Board

Wedding invitation: ARTCADIA
Shell necklace: Kate wimbush jewellery
Seaside blokes : Natalie Moss
Wedding favour straws : The love paper company

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Beach Huts

I went to the Seaside this weekend. Wells Next To The Sea to be exact. They have a long beach lined with hundreds of cute beach huts! The wind was quite bracing, but the sun was shining making a pretty idyllic shot. The row of beach huts made a lovely pattern, I can see why they are often used in nautical pics. I'd like to do my own repeat pattern print of beach huts, maybe for a tea set?!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

By The Bay

I now have my first stockist! Find the full range of my bunting necklace in the shop 'By The Bay' in the picturesque town of Mevagissey. I love Cornwall, all my summer holidays with family were spent camping there as a child, so it's lovely that that's where my summery bunting necklaces are selling. Hoping to have many more stockists soon!

Monday, 9 April 2012


Did everyone have a happy easter weekend? I didn't buy an egg this year, I kind of forgot about easter this year, but I love chocolate so maybe I'll have a look for some half price chocolate tomorrow... My sister brought some toy chicks for her cats, and this is the result. Poor chick :(

Monday, 2 April 2012

New banner

I'm working on a new 'look' for The Catkin Boutique, and these are some of the banners I'm looking at. All the catkins are out at the moment, so I saw it as a great opportunity to take some nice fresh photos of catkins to use as a motif.I'm leaning towards the middle two, but any of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. :)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Once upon a time necklaces

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, these super cute necklaces were made. Get yours here and make everyday your own little fairytale!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Folksy Friday Pastels and Patterns

A lovely collection of pastels and pastel prints. Inspired by the blooming spring pastels seen all over fashion. As you can see in many forms; jewellery, cloths, pictures and cards. Embrace the softer side of life!
For all the items I've selected for this theme please take a look at my Pinterest  board.

1: Beach hut photograph : Cassia Beck
2: Mint bow necklace: iloveyou
3: Bunting Card: Memory Laines…
4: Keyring: Red Brick Glass
5: Typewritter print: Lolas room
6: Precious stone scarf: NKOYO

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Photo help

I've started to take some new product photos yesterday. Luckily as soon as I found my camera, got the setup right and the sun came out from behind the clouds Ed came to help. She dose make the picture super pretty, but is a bit distracting from the necklace....I'm hoping the plainer back ground will help show of my items better. (I also came to the realization that if any item is featured on the front page of etsy or folksy, they usually have plain backgrounds. I'm not sure I have much hope of being on the front anyhow, but maybe this'll help?)

More than anything I wanted to try and get back to my first visualization of 'The Catkin Boutique.' I like fresh Japanese-y images; minimal, graphic with small splashes of colour. I'm very inspired by Japanese craft books, and I think they are the reason I started to make crafts to sell, where as before I just made odd bits and bobs for family and friends.

{An inspiring craft photo}

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

spring solstice

Happy spring solstice! Hope we get lots of things done in this perfectly balanced day :)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Chinese lanterns

Here's a bit of visual inspiration. I love the delicate gold veins the enclose those bright orange beads. It'd be great to actually have a lamp in the shape of these...

Saturday, 17 March 2012

I'm thinking about setting up a new range of photos with plain backgrounds. And maybe set up some with models? This could mean i change the whole look of the Catkin Boutique, moving away from the brown paper (which i may still package my items on) to more neutral tones with candy coloured accents. Difficult to describe the ideas in my head, maybe I'll make a mood broad!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


It was lovely and misty this morning.

Butterfly Wallpaper

I'm working on my butterfly wallpaper till, there are a lot of elements to consider with it, so it's taking a while. Trying to space each repeat print correctly, trying to avoid any mistakes, as that ruins the whole strip... I think i'll just have to go for it and hope for the best! As you can see these are the butterfly illustration I use to print my cards and textiles with, wallpaper was always the reason i drew them though.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

bird nest

Found this cute little bird nest on my walk today :)

Monday, 12 March 2012

Andy Warhol Prints


I found these in a charity shop the other day, and I love them! Funny little drawings of cats by  Andy Warhol called "35 cats called Sam and one pussy" never seen any of his drawings before and these use the bright ink colours I love.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Coconut Cake

  Coconut Cake
2 1/4 cups plain/baking flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
140 grams butter
3 large eggs

Grease and line two 9-inch round cake pans. Heat oven to 350°. 
Heat the coconut milk 1/2 cup desiccated coconut and the 1 teaspoon vanilla until hot. Set aside.
Sift the cake flour into a bowl with the baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a bowl with electric mixer, beat butter until light and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, scraping the bowl and beating for about a minute after each addition.
Add the 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping sides of the bowl frequently.
Slowly add about one-third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture along with half of the milk/coconut/vanilla mixture. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape the bowl and repeat with another one-third of the dry mixture and the remaining milk mixture. Scrape the bowl and repeat with remaining flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and continue beating on low speed for a few seconds.
Spoon batter into the two baking pans, spreading evenly. Bake for about 30-50 minutes, or until browned and sides pull away from the sides of the pans. Cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes. Invert onto racks to cool completely.

Fluffy Coconut Frosting
2 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups fresh grated coconut

Bring the 1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil; cover and cook without stirring for 1 minute. Uncover and boil, stirring frequently, until mixture is hot enough to spin a thread when a little is dropped from a spoon, or to about 230°. Remove from heat and set aside. In the bowl of electric mixer (with whisk attachment if available) beat the eggs until fluffy and soft peaks form when you lift the beaters or whisk. Still beating on high speed, gradually add the sugar syrup in a thin stream. Continue beating until the frosting is fluffy and holds peaks.
cover cake (and in between layers) in frosting then sprinkle with more desiccated coconut.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Looking at the sky...

Dusk was very pretty yesterday, vapor trails all over the sky and wispy little clouds, the horizon was purple...not sure you can see that.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Wooden beads

I'm currently experimenting with painting wooden beads. As you can see I'm doing the 'Aztec arrows' along side with these designs. I've chosen the best shape and size to go for with the arrow beads, so now I'll try and make lots! I'm painting them in mint green, pink, ivory, powder blue and peach.

Floral Print Necklace

Florals are everywhere, it is spring after all. Top of your flowery outfit with a vintage floral patterned alphabet letter necklace! Have any letter in a range of colours all handmade by myself, so totally unique. Shop Here