Art by shelikethis

Thursday, 4 June 2015

 Today I am featuring a wonderful lady that I have befriended through selling myself on Etsy. From someone that isn't good at art myself I admire her work and her gift which seems to shine through her work. There is something for everyone from bookmarks, journals, felt and beaded brooches to modern wall art you will be never be short of gift ideas. If you like what I picked and want to see her visit her shop here

 Just one of Ali's beautiful journals

I love creating with colour and texture, mixed with a little fun.
Selling on-line means that I am free to create art wherever my heart leads, it also enables me to be involved in the whole process from my studio to you.I love creating with colour and texture, mixed with a little fun.
My usual week normally takes me into town at least one day where I indulge myself in my favourite museums often sketching and looking longingly at my favourite pictures.. maybe a Renoir, Degas or Cezanne not missing the only Modigliani in the collection….dreams are so sweet!
I draw every day, my art materials, papers and paints, are always out ready to use. I do have far too much stuff, loads of quirky things, bits of old wood, odd shaped stones, feathers, bits of curled up papers, fabric threads, odd bits and pieces that are just far too yummy to not pick up and treasure.
I love to take time out to have my favourite goats milk latte mid-morning and quietly watch the world moving around. Surprising what thoughts and inspiration that brings.
Afternoon usually seeing me settling into more serious painting usually working on 2, 3,or 4 paintings at any one time.
If I am not painting you’ll find me involved with a textile project, maybe designing and making a new quilt or creating an textile art piece, maybe making more fabric beads.
In my spare time I make books not only my sketch books but beautifully bound arty books (my latest was using those wooden coffee stirrers) great fun….
I photograph the world around me as well as sketching, often old walls, doors, windows and great textures. I do like to add to these and use my imagination to create my own style in my work.
I like to have projects. I’m just starting a new project, which will be on my blog site
I have just finished doing a daily sketch for a year also on my blog.
Inspiration is usually things I seen around me or ideas I’m trying to work out, usually a few at a time."

 Water colour Painting

 Bookmarks by Ali which are suitable for all age groups.
  Felt and beaded brooches


Bargain Bags Wednesday

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

“Each week I will pick on a theme and find them at a sale price. Todays theme is bags andI  selected just a few that I found from the NewLook website.  I know from experience that if you want something you  need to buy it fast as these tend to sell out quickly.

I hope you like my picks and will follow my blog to check out my sale items finds next time.

Fashion Tuesday Finds

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Each Tuesday I will put together an outfit that won't break the bank. Some will be on sale and in limited stock so you need to be quick. Follow me to see what I choose each week.

Left Over Pie

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

“ We had a joint of pork for dinner on Sunday and plenty left over for another meal so decided to make a pie with it. The joint was only £7 and was big enough to cut it into half for another week so this meant for a roast it was a really good buy. The fact that it did a family of 5 two  meals meant it was a super value deal.

Here is my meat pie recipe

Leftover meat cut into small pieces
Handful of peas
2 medium cooked sliced carrots
4 large potatoes cut into small chunks and cooked
Medium sized casserole dish

6 oz of Plain Flour
2.5 oz marg or half marg and half lard
spot of cold water

Put the flour in a mixing bowl and add your chosen fat. Rub it in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. With a knife slowly add a bit of water, keep stirring the mix with the knife until it starts to come together to form a ball. It doesn't need much water due to the fat content so don't over do it. If it is too dry add a bit more water or if it's too wet add a bit more flour. Form it into the shape of a ball and put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

When your vegetables are nearly cooked make some thick gravy and add the meat to it. Thoroughly warm through until hot ( I use the microwave for quickness)

Put the meat and some of the gravy in the bottom of the dish then place the cooked peas and carrots evenly on top. Add the potatoes then roll out the crust to fit your dish and place the crust on top. Use a form and stab the pie crust in a few places to let the steam escape whilst it is cooking.
I cook it on gas mark 6 for 20mins or until the top is a turning brown.
Serve with  gravy and cauliflower and green beans or vegetables of your choice.

This also works with any other left over meat.

My kids love my leftover pies and they are so much better than shop bought ones and so much healthier.

Scones to Eat

Monday, 1 June 2015

“ I have a sweet tooth but this has been causing me problems lately. Having been diagnosed with gallstones anything with too much fat in it makes me feel very sick and in a bit of pain.
 I have had to adjust my diet to a low fat diet but if I sneak the occasional treat in now and again I am ok. I  fancied something sweet so decided on scones as these do not have too much fat content in them.
I did a batch of plain scones and a batch with cherries in them.

Here is the recipe

200g self raising flour
30g margarine
30g sugar
120ml of milk ( add a little more if needed)

fruit or cherries are optional,  I added 40g of cherries to the scones mix

Mix the marg and flour together until they look like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix in well, now add the fruit if you decide to add it. Stir in the milk with a knife until it starts to come together to form a ball. Lightly shape it into a ball and roll out to 1/4" thick on a lightly floured cooking board.

Put in a pre-heated oven gas mark 5 and cook until they are golden on top.

Cool and enjoy.

Yummy 1st Pull of Rhubarb

Sunday, 31 May 2015

“ Since my rhubarb started first showing it's first tip pushing through the soil I have been wishing it would hurry up and grow so I can make a crumble. I must say the weather hasn't exactly helped it grow much this year as the baby bunnies in my garden, this has now been covered up to help it get going.
As a child I didn't like rhubarb as I found it too tart but our next door neighbour gave us a great tip for getting rid of that problem. Here is what I do

1. Wash the rhubarb and cut it up into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
2. Boil a full kettle of water and pour over the rhubarb until they are covered and leave for 30mins.( This is the process that removes the tartness)
3. Strain away the water, cook the rhubarb and make your crumble topping

     I just managed to pull enough to make a crumble and will finish the rest today after my roast pork.

    Gift Ideas

    Saturday, 30 May 2015

    “ Just a few items that caught my  eye today whilst browsing. The link below will take you to the shops that I have picked. Hope you like what I chose.

    Body Shop Facial Update 5 Months On

    Thursday, 28 May 2015

    I know that I have already given a review for this item before but I am sure that some people like to know what I think 5 months later on. This is for body shops Tea Tree skin clearing facial wash.
    I have gotten used to the strong smell but for those of you that like a subtle smell this isn't for you. I use a tiny spot every other day in the morning. Slightly dampen your hands as it makes it go further. The way this bottle is lasting I think that it will see me through to next year. As I say a little bit goes a long way.
    I have had no reaction to it and don't seem to have as many spots as I was before.It also hasn't dried my skin out in anyway or caused any rashes. My daughter who is in her early 20's who has dry skin found that it was too strong for her so she stopped using it. I now have 2 bottles to use so will be ok for a while yet.
    This review is my own unbiased review and haven't been paid to say what I have.

    xCottonKisses Cross Stitch Gift Tags

    Wednesday, 27 May 2015

    Just perfect with Fathers Day just around the corner

    Whilst browsing today I came across this delightful little Etsy shop called xCottonKisses. I have chosen just 3 of my favourites from her shop.  This is a little bit about her.....


    "10 years ago, I moved to the very bottom of the UK. My new neighbour was a lady who lived by herself... and a living room full of guinea pigs, chinchillas, degus, etc. I thought it was brilliant haha. By visiting her, I discovered she was a cross stitcher and in time she began to give me her unwanted magazines, leftover threads and fabrics. It wasn't long at all before I was hooked!
    Throughout the years I would stop, start, stop, start. I took a textiles class at High School, and cross stitching made an appearance in my Art GCSE. I stopped again for a little while until I lost my little dog in July 2014, so I started on a huge portrait of her face. I'm yet to finish ♥
    Along came Christmas and desperate for a break from the 26 beiges and browns of my dogs face...I made hot pink reindeer gift tags for a friend. I posted a photo on a website that people use to sell make up and clothes, and managed to sell 4 orders in time for Christmas. I was so happy and started to stitch up some other designs. One month later and I had sold 57 tags. I am looking forward to joining the etsy community and becoming a shop owner ♥

    Why have I called my shop "xCottonKisses" ?
    It's exactly how I see cross stitch! Cross stitches are made using cotton.. And the stitches resemble the letter "x", which I mostly recognise as a kiss! ... xxx"
    I picked this one as I have a family of baby bunnies come several times to play in my garden and devour my plants


    How you liked what I chose. If you are blog or have an online shop leave a comment and who knows it might be you that gets featured next week!

    Colourful Inspirations

    Wednesday, 27 May 2015

    “ After years of knitting and crochet I have so many bags full of wool I could probably knit a piece long enough to go around the world - or at least that is what my hubby says.

    I designed a particular baby hat pattern that I absolutely love doing and have always done it in plain colours but changed it by adding different flowers.

    The other night whilst watching TV I thought why not try adding bright colours for a change so gave it a go. I must say I like them but am not sure if mums would buy them for a new born so will have to see.

    Here is a couple of pics that I took of 2 of them. See what you think! Any input appreciated before I get carried and make too many items.

    This is the first one that I did

    This is my 2nd

    First Duck Egg For The Year

    Tuesday, 3 March 2015

    “I guess spring is here now the girls have just laid their first egg this year. I have been looking every morning as last year they started early by laying in February. I have noticed a difference in their behaviour the last few days, especially our only male duck George.

    Now the question is what can I make with the egg!

    Jif Lemon Juice Is Great For Pancakes and Taps

    Friday, 6 February 2015

    “ Well it's nearly pancake day again but we like to eat them anytime. I made some a few days ago, I love treacle on mine whilst hubby likes freshly squeezed oranges. My son likes lemon juice so I buy jjf lemon juice.
    I noticed that it was just out of date so instead of throwing it away I squeezed it all over my sink tap and  plug hole.

    I left it for an hour then rinsed it off. To my amazement all of the limescale had been removed. My taps are shiny like new so if your jif is out of date try it.

    Why Yoghurts Makers Are So Good

    Wednesday, 4 February 2015

    “ I have had to alter my diet this year due to problems and remembered that as a child my mum had a yoghurt maker, the one that you plugged in. I found this one which was on offer at £12 and had good reviews.
    I have been using it every week for the last 9 months and love it. It is so easy to use and works out much cheaper to make them yourself in the long run. You can also add your own ingredients such as fruit, nuts etc. I use the ice cream syrups and drizzle a bit of that on top, honey is also yummy.

    I start off by sterilizing the jars and lids in a jug of  freshly boiled water. Place them on a clean tea towel and let them air dry. Once dry I put 1 5og carton of natural yoghurt in a mixing bowl and add 2 heaped tblsp of semi skimmed milk powder ( this helps it thicken more). Whisk it together then add 1 litre of milk and mix well.
    Now pour the mix into the jars, place the lids and switch on. I switch it on for 7 hours. As it hardly uses any electric it is cheap. When the time is up put them straight in the fridge and once cool are ready to eat.

    When you come to make the following batch just us one of the jars and continue in the same way. I put an s on one of the lids for the starter. You can buy a larger unit to make more in one go but this size suited me fine.

    You will be amazed by how much better they taste . I also use them for baking with and in currys.

    Snowy Ducks

    Tuesday, 3 February 2015

    It's that time of  year again for snow. As I live in a rural very flat countryside we do not usually get much snow and doesn't tend to last long when we do.
    My ducks hate snow as it means no pond for them until it isn't frozen over. It's very comical watching them trying to have a wash in a washing up bowl.
    This is an old picture as they are refusing to come out of their shed today for photo's , can't say I blame them.
    When they are allowed back on the pond they go absolutely mad ducking and diving for ages. One good thing is next month they might be back to laying eggs again and they are the best eggs to eat and for baking with.

    Cute things your cat does

    Sunday, 1 February 2015

    I have had quite a few cats down the years and my latest cat just amazed us with what she does when we first got her.
    She was a rescued cat from an abusive home and is such a loving cat with us. Her favourite things are playing hide and seek with me and watching her favourite TV programmes.

    She loves Shaun the Sheep and will literally stop in her tracks and sit glued to it until it has finished. She is also a fan of Scooby Doo and Hacker the puppet dog. She loves any animal programmes apart from when dogs start barking then she hides.

    I have to play hide and seek with her a few times a day. I tell her go hide and she runs off and hides and this will go on for ages. I usually get fed up first.

    Does your cat do anything that is cute and funny. I would love to hear your stories.

    Body Shop Face Cream To Keep

    Wednesday, 14 January 2015

    “I have been using the face cream for a few weeks now and must say I love it. I used to use an expensive garnier face cream but started to have a persistent dry patch of skin on my forehead that itched and just wouldn't go.  This has now completely gone since using the cream.

    I use it morning and night and a little bit goes a long way. I was lucky enough to get it half price and will be stocking up again when it starts to get low.

    The smell is gorgeous and is easily absorbed into the skin and doesn't leave it looking greasy unlike so many others. I feel like I am pampering my skin when I use this.

    New Years Day Nails

    Thursday, 1 January 2015

    “ I just had to try out my stamping template and co-ordinated them to the dress I am wearing. For anyone that has never done nail art stamping like me this is what I achieved the first time and must say I was impressed by how easy it is.

    I used 3 coats of Barry M silver glittery nail polish. Allow to dry fully between each coat.

    I decided to try out the leopard print stamp. You bit a bit of your choosen colour on the template ( mine was Rimmel 60 second in black). Use the scraper and press down firmly on a slant to move the polish down over all of the leopard print stamp.  You then use your pick up tool and press it down hard on top of the template and roll it slightly to pick up the polish. I chose the wider end of the tool for this.
    If you do not press down firmly when doing it the pick up tool tends to slip on the template and blurs the print.

    Quickly press the stamp over your nail in a gentle rolling motion until you have gone over your nail,. You should now ave a black leopard print over your base colour. I only had a white crackle one so that is why it looks cracked and will look so much better with a normal white nail polish.

    You can either leave this as it is or colour in some of the spots with other colours like I did. Allow to dry then finish it off with a top coat. I used Sally Hensen Insta Dry as I have read that this doesn't smudge the pattern when applied.

    I have loads of templates to try out and when I have perfected it will be adding some videos so you can see just how easy it is.

    Hope you like you look.

    Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs