Saturday, 30 April 2011

Weekend Treats - Kids Edition

Another week has rolled around and it's time for another Weekend Treat. This week, I focussed my attention on the clothing items offered to children on Misi. There aren't as many clothing sellers as I expected, but all of them offer simply stunning quality items. Here, once again, are a few of my favourites.

First up, blowing me away right at the start, is Wee Miss Granny Mush.

Wee Miss Granny Mush offers a range of lovely, simple dresses for girls, all finished with sweet edges in lace, ribbon or ric-rac, and made to a stunning standard. I've never personally been mad about pink, but the cow-print dress shown above was just too cute not to include this week!

Another contender this week for the spotlight was Downwiththekids for their... well, just take one look at this t-shirt and tell me how I could have not included it!

Isn't that the coolest thing you've seen? All handpainted, and you can guarantee you won't see many kids wearing it on the high street.

Finally this week, and one of my personal favourites, is Raggtagg, whose items were so cute I couldn't choose just one to feature!

I love the handmade hoodies and hooded dresses Raggtagg offers. Bright, fun and cute while also being quirky and practical. I must to admit to something of a personal obsession with mushroom prints, which certainly influenced my love of the hooded dress features, and the purple hoodie is just gorgeous.

So, there you have it! Three fantastic Misi crafters offering a range of gorgeous, unique and high quality kids clothes.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Exclusive Facebook Discount!

Bunny's First Ever Sale!

Exclusive Facebook 10% discount on ALL ITEMS
Discount valid for purchases from now until 01/05/11

Like our Facebook page for details regarding how to make use of this discount.

Tuesday Tutorials! (On a Thursday oops!) - Candied Peel

As part of my regular blogging, I've decided to include a weekly tutorial on some crafty home activity or other. Tuesday Tutorials. Except as Tuesday was this week dedicated to my giveaway, this week it falls on a Thursday.

And without further ado, this weeks Tuesday Tute - Candied Peel.

Candied peel is a tasty, bright, cheerful and versatile treat to make. It can be chopped into fruitcakes, muffins and chocolates, dipped in melted chocolate, stored in honey to add to icecream or other desserts, and makes a great gift.

You can actually make candied peel with lemons, limes and oranges. I haven't yet tried it with grapefruit, but I see no reason that wouldn't work. The peel retains the bright colour of the fruit through the process and can brighten any sweet dish.

So! Let us get started.

First of course, we need peel. If you're like me, you don't eat oranges often enough to have a decent supply of fresh peel on hand. So, make some juice. Add vodka. Share it with your Nan.

Tada! Great piles of peel. After juicing the fruit, the peel will be quite messy with fruit pulp on the inside. First, take each citrus halfshell of peel and cut into three or four segments. Taking a sharp knife, remove the fruit pulp. Do not remove the layer of bitter pith - we want that for the candy.

If you wish, you can slice the segments into fine slivers, or keep them the size they are. It all depends on your intended use for the peel.

If you plan to chop it up for baking or use it to top sweet treats, slivers are probably better as they can quickly be chopped down to the same size as shop-bought peel. They also dry faster. Thicker segments are better for dipping in chocolate and, I find, store better in honey as they are less likely to leave air bubbles.

In a large pan, larger than the one I used because I was a fool, combine water and granulated sugar in equal quantities and heat until the sugar dissolves. Toss the peel in a handful at a time and cook on a rolling boil for about eight minutes, or until the peel turns translucent.

When this happens, change out the liquid for another 50/50 sugar water solution and continue to cook on a rolling boil until the sugar syrup reduces.

A word of caution. The syrup will bubble up and this can make it difficult to see how far it has reduced. Deal with this by periodically taking off the heat and checking when the froth settles.

When doing this, take care not to spill the solution on yourself. It is HOT.

REALLY HOT. Here I am demonstrating the benefits of having an aloe vera plant in the house. This is another reason to use a decent sized cooking pot in the first place.

Next, lay out a sheet of greaseproof paper or foil and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. Add more than you think you need.

Remove the peel from the sugar solution with a slotted spoon and allow to drip dry on a cooling rack over something disposable, like a sheet of clean greaseproof paper, or something easy to clean. Once the peel is tacky and no longer drips, toss in the sugar on the side and ensure all edges are generously coated.

The easiest way to dry the peel at this stage is to thread it onto a length of cotton or clean fishing wire with a sewing needle, then hang it where all sides can get air, in a warm, dry location.

Once dried completely, which can tae 48 hours, the peel can be chopped and added to handmade candies, dipped in chocolate or left plain, and bagged up as gifts for loved ones.

Alternately, the peel can be immediatelt crammed into a jar and covered with runny honey. If storing in this manner, be sure to bang the jar base firmly - but not violently - against a table top to force any air bubbles out.

The peel itself will stay relatively soft, ideal for dropping spoonfuls of the mix onto icecream or desserts, and the honey will take on a lovely citrus flavour, adding an extra hint of luxury when spread on toast or crumpets.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

New Items in Store!

Just a couple of nice little treats on offer today!

Light, refreshing cucumber or ylang ylang scented runestone soaps, presented in a muslin bag!

Or how about a fun, colourful striped soap in a subtle lavender aroma?
Add to Wists

Bunny's Soaps Giveaway!

How would you like the chance to win a unique Bunny's Soaps gift set?

I have one gift set to give away consisting of;

One mixed soap stack comprising 1 citrus and herb bar
1 spring florals bar
1 green tea bar
1 pure olive oil castille bar
Three bath bombs in spring florals aroma
One pot citrus and herb moisturiser

All displayed in a rustic, brown box with twine and recycled newspaper packing.

To enter, simple like my facebook page and comment in the most recent status post what soap shapes you would like to see in-store, next, using molds from either or

Winner will be selected using the Random Number Generator to ensure fairness. Only comments left on the linked facebook status will be counted, one entry per person. Winning comment will be drawn on 1st May 2011 at 17:00 GMT, and winner will be contacted on Facebook to notify them that they have won.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

New Soaps Added Today!

Feeling Summery? Want something refreshing and a little different for your daily ablutions?

Why not try a rich, exfoliating oats, honey and mandarin bar?

Or a light and airy, citrus and herbs bar?

For men, a subtly scented seaweed and juniper shaving bar!

Add to Wists

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Weekend Treats

The seller's website I belong to, Misi, is a really great little place. It is basically a UK-based, smaller version of Etsy. Because Misi is smaller, it doesn't have the same issues with resellers or people claiming handmade while selling factory-made, which is fantastic for buyers. Unfortunately, it isn't as well known as Etsy so doesn't get the same traffic.

With that in mind, to support Misi and the other crafters working there, I've decided that each weekend I will dedicate a post to highlighting the items on sale by other Misi crafters. Picking just 2-3 each week is really difficult, so each week will focus on a specific category.

This week, we'll be taking a look at Home Items. To view the shops for each seller, just click on the photos below.

First up today we have VelvetPaws, whose shop stock currently includes a range of lovely appliqued pillows and bags.

Velvetpaws' shop really stood out to me for the quality of the work. I sew, quilt and applique myself so I know how hard it is to get a crisp, clean finish on sewn work. These cushion designs are so simple, but so very charming!

Next is Freda and Sam, a shop specialising in handknit household soft furnishings.

This knitted throw just blew me away when I saw it. Each of those tiny squares have been knitted and then stitched together so precisely, it must have taken days of dedicated work to produce.

Our third featured Misi crafter this week is Design2Creation, whose gorgeous wooden household items are simple and very beautiful.

I just love this yew cheeseboard! The rustic shape, the pattern of woodgrain, it is simply lovely and very stylish. I dream of building my own eco-home one day, and I can see this sitting on my reclaimed kitchen sideboard.

Last but certainly not least this weak is Caractuspots, offering beautiful, quirky and unique stoneware.

Look at that pitcher! Just look at the little buttons running up the side, and that gorgbeous blue colour. What I really love about Caractuspots' shop is that the item photos include images of the artist at work. Seeing the artist lovingly making the item you buy by hand really fascinates me.

So there you have it! Four truly talented British crafters offering their unique and attractive goods for sale online. Go and take a look! You know you want to.

Friday, 22 April 2011

A blog for a soapmaker

I love soap-making. I go through the supplies far too quickly for my own good, but I can't help it! As soon as one batch is curing in the mold I start thinking up half a dozen new batches I want to try out, and I simply don't have the patience to wait until I've sold items before grabbing in new supplies. Unfortunately I am going to have to force myself to be patient for a few days as I managed to use up the last of my lye! I do have some lovely, soft MP soap bases I can play with in the meantime, so I'm going to try making some cute novelty soaps over my usual rustic items.

Yesterday's hard work and soap experiments almost ended in disaster! The first batch of soap set oddly with unpleasant, crumbly bits in and the second formed a strange, crystalline mass of soap floating in a vat of unconverted oil. Not pretty! Fortunately I was able to rebatch both lots and convert them into lovely items after all.

I'll be adding in a batch of oats, honey and mandarin exfoliating rustic soap, some rustic men's shaving soap blocks and hopefully a nice, clean and simple pale cream soap in herbal scents. The soaps all lather up really nicely, and the aromas are subtle. I don't like heavy fragrances at the best of times, and with the hot weather we've been having I cannot imagine wanting to smell of anything too strongly.

Speaking of which, my newest batch of moisturisers came out really nice. I've tried making whipped moisturisers and thicker, creamier ones like you can buy on the highstreet, but I wanted to make something lighter and cleaner feeling for the hot weather. I cannot stand mositurisers that sit on the skin and leave you feeling sticky.

With that in mind, these are somewhere between a set cream and an liquid oil. The fluid set means the moisturiser soaks in really quickly, and because they are almost entirely pure shea butter and almond oil, with just a tiny bit of beeswax and fragrance, they are a lot richer than most store-bought options. I've made options in cucumber, ylang ylang and jasmin so far. Might make some other ones soon, but first I need more shea butter!

One for the menfolk, here. My other half cannot stand the sort of over the top, sickly aromas in commercial men's toiletries. He's 28; he doesn't want to smell like a locker room full of teenage boys! In that vein, I've been making some men's shaving soaps in masculine, mature aromas. Nag Champa and Woodland Spice are the only options up so far, but I'm planning on more soon.