Monday, 27 February 2012

Cory is a fan: Su Ami

The tiniest sock money!!!  Su Ami is a site on Etsy run by a family in Vietnam.  They create adorable tiny dollhouse minature teddybears and amigurumi.  So cute!  I have enough trouble with the regular sized needles, I can't imagine the control (not to mention good eyesight) needed to make these!  Look at this tiiiiiiiiny teddybear:

I love tiny things...

Saturday, 25 February 2012

First Craft Market Booked!

It's been booked - I'm down to have a stall at my first craft market on May 5th, in beautiful Woodstock in the upstairs of the town hall. 

I love Woodstock - my husband and I spend a weekend their at a lovely Inn called The Bear, as a Christmas gift from his parents last year.  It's a beautiful Cotswolds town, with a market and cute crafty shops, and very grand Blenheim Palace nearby.  It was rainy most of the time we were there, but enjoyed all the walking trails around, and got nice and muddy tromping through fields all day and then coming back for a lovely dinner by a fire.

Woodstock is also one of the places we took my mom to visit when she visited from Canada.  It's so picturesque, it's a good place to bring people to and say "oh, yeah, England's like this all the time..."

So May 5th, Woodstock Town Hall, drop in and see my wares!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Coryographies on Foodista

Coryographies' Sushi Nails have been featured on food site Foodista in an article called 5 Fishy Manicures for Sushi Lovers!

Recently at London Fashion week models were seen wearing sushi decals on their nails... could this be the start of sushi nail fever?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Felt Pebbles: Crafting Fail

I am in love with felt pebbles.  They are so cute!  On Etsy months back I came across a pillow cover that had many felt pebbles covering it, and it really looked like a pebble pillow!  I've done a bit of searching and I can't find it again, or any like it.  I've thought, though, that I'd like to try and make my own.

Felting seems to be what happens when wool gets wet and shrinks (for example when a sweater goes in the wash!).  I thought, it couldn't be that hard... and had a stab at it one afternoon, with grand ideas to make a Valentine's Day gift for my husband!

What happened unfortunately was a bit of a fuzzy mess... I think I'll have to revisit this project.  It's didn't work due to my inability to follow instructions.  Oops!  Pictures to follow as I documented the mess...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

When life gets you down...

...kitten box attack will always be there to brighten your day!

They're like electrons in the Large Hadron Collider!!!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

New Item: Battenburg Earrings!

Battenburg is the most delicious of the tea time treats in my opinion.  I'd never heard of it until I moved the the UK - it's a pink and yellow sponge cake, with jam between the layers, wrapped in marzipan.  Genious!  Extrememly sweet, but I have a sweet tooth to match it.

I tried my hand at making this yummy treat out of polymer clay, and this is the result:

Yummm!  Makes me want to put the kettle on and have a break...

Friday, 17 February 2012

New Item: Graduation Bookshelf Necklace

Graduation Bookshelf Necklace, £30
A new bookshelf necklace!  I thought it would be sweet to have a little bookshelf necklace to commemorate someone's graduation.  I made the necklace complete with a mortarboard sitting on the top, as well as a graduation certificate on the top shelf tied up with a red piece of string.  Very cute, very academic!  I nice little gift to give to that person who has been working so hard all these years... or who, perhaps, is about to embark out on that degree and you want to give them a gift that reminds them of their goal!!

It's been a few years since I graduated, and I'm desperate to return and do my PhD... perhaps that's why this theme has spring up!  I want someone to have to purchase this necklace for me!!!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

February Sale Reminder!

Valentine's Day Pink Polka Dot Necklace
 Just a reminder that for the month of February, anyone who purchases two of my bookshelf earrings gets a pair of my Tiny Book earrings free!

It doesn't matter which two, so start your collection!  And check back every month to see which sale is on... ;)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Cory is a fan: HandyMaiden

Handmade animal totems from HandyMaiden on Etsy!  Adorable... I think I like the deer best!  Although this one's cute too:

Saturday, 11 February 2012


Here's a recipe that's truly my own... as in it most likely resembles the original idea in the same way New York resembles York.

I first learned about okonomiyaki when I was preparing to go to Japan for the first time back in 2006 - fresh faced and 22, I was setting off to backpack across the country all by myself, just me and a train ticket.

I'm once again planning a trip to Japan, so I thought it would be a nice time to share my favourite Japanese recipe, done the Cory way: okonomiyaki!

Actual okonomiyaki - before Cory has had at the recipe

Okonomiyaki is sort of a Japanese savoury pancake - filled with cabbage and all sorts of delicious things.  I never actually got to try it when I was in Japan, and I'm making it my mission to have it when I'm there next month!  I have to figure out how truly different mine is...

But, however 'different' my special okonomiyaki is, it is genuinly delicious.  And here is how it is prepared (when I am the chef):

-Disolve 1 vegetable stock cube (or dashi if you have any) in about 2 cups of water. 
-Add enough flour to make the consistancy that of pancake batter (NOTE: For the Brits, this means 'scotch' pancake batter, not that Shrove Tuesday runny stuff that makes crepes!!).  I'm very exact, aren't I?
-Beat two eggs in another bowl, and add to the batter.  Mix well.
-Chop up a good amount of cabbage, as well as a handful or so of mushrooms and green onion (spring onion, Brits!.  Add this to the batter - it should have a good amount of veggies in it!
-Heat up a frying pan with some oil, and fry your choice of meat:  shrimp, beef cut into bite size pieces, or shredded chicken; pork is good too!  Just pick one, I'm not suggesting using them all ;)
-When the meat is cooked through, pour the chunky batter all over the meat - have the meat pieces spaced out in the pan before you pour, so it's evenly distributed!

This one has orange bits, because I decided to fry it in chili oil - a nice variation with a bit of a kick!
 -Fry it on a medium high heat, jiggling the pan (use non-stick if you have it!) to make sure it doesn't stick, and sticking a spatula underneath helps as well.

Now comes the tricky bit.  You can either:

a) Flip the giant goopy half-done pancake


b) if you have a grill oven, pop the pan under the heat on medium high and wait for it to turn golden brown.  When it's cooked through and both sides are nicely golden (make sure you dont undercook or it's mushy!), it's ready to serve!

To serve, I usually cut it in half - one for me and one for my husband (but you could easily serve four people with a salad on the side - we're just pigs!), and drizzle mayonaise accross the top (believe me, it's amazing!  This isn't my innovation, this is common!).  It's also good to eat with hoisin or sweet chili sauces.  But seriously, try the mayo.

Often the Japanese recipes call for bonito flakes sprinkled on the top, or these crunchy deep fried batter bits that I can't remember the name of...

But it's pretty much the most amazing thing I can do in the kitchen.  When I taste the real thing I'll report back on if this recipe's flavour is genuine or not... I'm sure the preparation methods are a bit strange!!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Keeping yourself motivated

Being self-employed means you have no boss - no one that will get mad at you if you don't get to work on time, no one to assess your performance, no one to keep you to deadlines, and no one to try and impress.

I have a feeling that successful self-employed crafters must therefore be a pretty motivated and inspired bunch!

I'm still feeling the glow of the newly self-employed - it has been but two months since I was last working at my office job in London, and I think the initial feeling of this "new life" is still fresh and novel, and in that way I find it easy to sit at my workspace and saw and sand tiny pieces of wood for eight hours, even though my hands and back hurt (you know what?  I have started wearing socks on my hands so I dont get blisters... I can't find any of my cotton winter gloves!).

But I wonder about that feeling wearing off... what happens when you don't want to get out of bed in the morning because it's cold out and sleeping for 12 hours in a nice soft bed is lovely...?  The phone won't ring with confused coworkers wondering why you weren't in your chair at 9 (that probably wouldn't have happened in my office to be honest - it was very laid back, I probably would have got a caring email hoping I wasn't ill and to feel better soon).  It's all well and good to do that once in a while - but can it take over and away from your work?

I could easily spend days cuddled with my laptop and a cup of tea, or walking in the coutryside with the husband - I can easily be distracted from my crafting, even though I don't have any children or other responsabilities!  But at the moment, because I love what I do, I *want* to sit there and make tiny teapots out of polymer clay all day.  But I'm worried that feeling wont always be there when I need it, and I don't want what I love to become a chore!

But when I think about it, it's not worth worrying about - I'm doing what I'm doing because I love it and the situation is allowing me to live by my crafting (thanks to everyone who likes my bookshelf necklaces!!).  If I stop liking the lifestyle, or people stop liking my items, I can change my plans.  But I hope it stays like this...

So crafters (and non-crafters alike) - what do YOU do to stay motivated?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A new look! (but not personally!)

I've given my blog a bit of a make over and a new banner!  Hopefully it looks better than before :)  It's always good to have a bit of a re-vamp!  (says the person who has worn her hair back in a hairband for the last month, and hasn't worn much other than jeans and giant sweatshirts for about as long!)

It's funny how when you don't have to dress up for work, all your nice clothes fall to the bottom of the wardrobe... I was clothes shopping the other day and really felt 'free' (and ended up buying a shirt that resembled a smock! lol).  I wasn't looking for anything that was also compatible with an office environment - these days my work wear is my pyjamas and slipper socks.  It's so nice being able to work from home - but the pressure is always there to be working, and the lines blur from 'work time' and 'home time'. 

I'm starting to see how with life as a crafter, you never really 'clock out'! (and you wear less makeup)

New Item: Teapot Earrings

I've had a go at making some of the tiny teapots I  make for my Teapot Bookshelf Necklace into teapot earrings.  Here is the result:

Cute, no?  I immediately made two pairs because I wanted one for myself ;)  They're not too hard to make, although they're a bit fiddly and it's hard to get them looking the same, so I priced them at £5 in my Etsy shop.  Not too bad I think!

I think I'll try making them in a few other colours, such as red and maybe light blue, or painted white and blue...?  Maybe some polka dotted ones?

Monday, 6 February 2012

First Sewing Project: Husband Handkerchiefs

I succeeded in my first ever sewing project with my new Christmas sewing machine! 

Isn't it beautiful?  I found it so user friendly, and was really suprised at how simple it was to thread and wind a bobbin, and change settings etc. 

Here is the fabric I planned to use for this project - I used a bit to practise thread settings and find the right tension for the stitches.  Don't mind the tacky chipped nail polish...

So here we go!  I cut out a square of fabric, and double folded the edge over and ironed and pinned it.  Then I sewed around the whole thing and voila!  A handkerchief ready to use.

But I wanted to make it a bit nicer, and so I bought an embroydery hoop and some thread, and drew a stylized 'P' (the husband's initial) in the corner to embroyder over.  Don't be too impressed, I looked for a P picture on the internet and copied!

And here is the finished product!  My first real attempt (7th grade Home Ec doesn't count) at using a sewing machine and embroydering!  The P's a bit lumpy, but the gift serves its purpose!  Hubbiy's even been asking for more...

Friday, 3 February 2012

Cory is a fan: peaceloveglass

I have an inner hippie... it comes with growing up in rural pacific west coast Canada, on an island no less, saving the whales and chaining ourselves to trees (not personally).  Peaceloveglass's slogan of "stained glass art for your inner hippie" is true to its word, with sweet stained glass art pieces that make my hippie roots smile.

An interesting thing about about peaceloveglass' pieces is that a lot of the glass is recycled or reclaimed - and you can see more pieces on artist Laura's website here:

Stained glass looks so lovely with sunlight shining through.  I think it makes a room warmer and personal.  Just another thing to put on the list of what my dream house will contain...

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Craft Market future?

I'm very excited, as I've recieved an application for a craft market I'm thinking of applying for!  I'm nervous as I've never done one before, but it's in June so there's plenty of time to prepare and worry.

One thing I have to do before I apply is get Public Liability Insurance in case my bookshelf necklaces "get lodged in someone's eye" as my hubby so plainly put it!  I've shopped around and applied for some, so as soon as I've got the certificate I'm sending off my application and becoming an insured crafty market crafter!

I'm thinking it will be fun to decorate the craft table on the day, with a few old books and a nice table covering.  I think I'll keep it simple... though perhaps I should get some ideas on the web...

Oooh, maybe I could make a banner out of the fabric I just bought!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

February Deal: free earrings!

Until my blog gets off the ground and I have more readers, I'm thinking it might be wise not to do any giveaways just yet...!

So instead of a giveaway, I thought a free benefit would be nice; so, for anyone who purchases two bookshelf necklaces in February, I will send them a free pair of earrings:

They are tiny navy book earrings with gold pages.  I think they're quite sweet, and look nice on a pair of ears!  I do colour requests if you would prefer a different hue :)  I hope you enjoy them!