Thursday, 18 December 2008

Soap, Trons and a work in progress

Crafting has been plodding along recently, exams and studying have got in the way sadly. Still, I got my oral and spot exam out of the way yesterday (oral = good, spot = bad) and have my last written paper tomorrow so hopefully things will pick up again over christmas.

In the meantime though, here's some handmade lavendar soap Andrew and I made a while back. It came out really nicely and soaps up with lots of creamy rich bubbles. It goes a bit gooey if you leave it in water though, but then what soap doesn't? The flatmates are suitably impressed, more than for the last piece of soap which was my failed chocolate and oatmeal attempt from the summer. I don't know what happened but it flakes into bits when you use it and looks like someone threw up in the sink.

How do you like the teacup as well? I bought a box of blue and white china from a car boot sale for 50p over the summer and I'm in love with it all. I'm currently using 3 teacups as soap dishes (2 at Andrew's, 1 at mine) and 2 teacups as plant pots (holding my mint plants). I plan to make some teacup pin cushions out of them at some point as well but I guess I should really drink out of them in the meantime!


Pictures to follow of the other teacups...

The work in progress, another t-shirt bath mat. I'll post photos of the first (rather wonky) bath mat once I've finished this one, it's coming out much more square which is nice. Although the photo is really dark, apologies for that.


Last but not least, the Trons in their respective carry cases. At £10 each from Pets at Home these things aren't cheap, but they are sturdy and make me feel safe carrying the tiny creatures around. They sit in them whilst they're being cleaned out and having their bedding washed, the pink frisbee thing is Viola's heat pad (which doesn't fit prooperly in the carry case sadly).


Oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree...

We finally put up our christmas 'tree'! There's been a bit of a saga to this so I'll start at the beginning.

Andrew's flatmates Michelle and Chris announced a few weeks back that they were going to Asda to get a real tree in a pot, the kind you can use year after year. I'd been planning on buying one like that for ages but hadn't got round to it, so I was fully supportive of this idea and we all decided to split the cost 4 ways (including Andrew of course). Michelle and Chris returned with the cutest little tree imaginable and set about trying to find somewhere in the flat to put it up. Here lies the problems. The flat has a long but narrow hallway, meaning the tree wouldn't fit in the hallway. It would fit in the alcove where we keep the Trons but obviously they're in there so that doesn't work. There's no space in the kitchen/lounge area and so the only place left was Michelle's bedroom. Michelle is the unofficial flat matriarch, it's her name on the lease and she's the one who sorts all the bills. She also has the largest room, so it makes sense that the tree goes in there, it's just gutting because Andrew and I can't really enjoy it. You can see it as you pass the door, but that's about it. I was quite upset about this, I'd been really looking forward to getting a tree and had got mum to post up all my christmas decorations but it was all in vain.

So, I moped about this for a while, then went over to my grandparents' for dinner on Monday and to help them dress their tree. They'd had to cut some branches off the bottom to make it fit in the stand and so I pounced on these in delight and proudly bore them home to Andrew. But, problem upon problem, we couldn't find anything to stand them in. Cue: CHARITY SHOPS! A quick trip to Hope of Romania (and my first foray into there, I found a vintage Jaeger wool suit for £20! Sadly I looked a frump in it, but huzzah all the same) and I returned triumphant with the glass vase seen in the photos, all for the princely sum of £1.50. Next year we'll have a proper tree when we're living together, but for the moment this one will do nicely.



Tuesday, 16 December 2008


For a while now I've been looking for the perfect teapot. Everytime I go into a charity shop I have a search but to no avail. So, since I've got no time to take photos of my own crafts at the moment (plus I'm embarressed to take photos in front of Andrew's flatmates, I don't think they understand the concept of a craft blog) I had a quick search on Etsy to see what I could see-see-see.

I really like the blue and white design on this one from Ric Rac and Buttons, it seems to shout 'Sweden!' at me.


I love the colours of this teapot from Jolly Polly Pickins.


I love how antiquainted this teapot looks from Vintage Foster Care, an old copper teapot just conjures up Dickensian times!


I'll have to keep searching, my perfect teapot is out there somewhere...

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Nordic Craft

So, the studying continues, I feel like my head might explode and I'm walking around with a giant rubber band round my chest, squeezing my breath out of me. Still, first 2 on Wednesday and last 1 on Friday, then it's off to St Andrews with the boy for a weekend of relaxation. I can't wait!

In the meantime though, here's my latest craft blog find, Nordic Craft, from the very talented Karin. I especially love this quilted collage she's done, definately taking inspiration from that when I move in with Andrew next year.


Along the lines of little quilted things (I love quilting and little = awesome, if I can finish it in a night then I'm automatically in love), I found this rather adorable quilted post card from Merry Mayhem on Etsy. Holy cow man, it's super awesome!


Saturday, 13 December 2008

The world's most famous hedgehog

I finally got round to scanning in the article about Viola, so without further ado, here it is! They spelled Hobbes' name wrong (Hogs, psh) but I'm the Edinburgh based vet student, I'm famous!


Also, another old one, Patchy, the world's largest patchwork quilt. I've started a new log cabin quilt because there's so much wrong with Patchy, the stitching is wonky, I don't like the backing (I backed it in sweatshirt material with the fleece side out because I bought a huge bag of it for £5 from a car boot sale), it's HUGE and so really hard to handle and it's generally a bit rubbish. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like it just because it's my first ever patchwork blanket, but I know I can do so much better now. I'm going to do the log cabin quilt properly, with batting and proper quilt stitching. It's good to look at Patchy and see how far my skills have come in the past 2 years though.


I can hear them turning on the christmas tree lights across the road but I'm alone in Andrew's flat and I don't have a key, so I can't go outside and watch because I'll get locked out. This makes me sad, they have a bagpiper and everything.

Thursday, 11 December 2008


This is another golden oldie, so apolgies to those of you who've seen it before. I'm currently working on 2 new versions of it though, one in brown for Elisa for christmas and one in navy for a friend of Vicky's. Elisa's is going to be a late christmas present as I'm never going to get it done before christmas, so she's getting cushion covers instead.

This one is mine though and I love it, I wear it pretty much every day. It's such a simple pattern as well, it's from a girl on Craftster.


Sorry for the change in size, it looks so messy but I can't work out how to make photos larger in photobucket! I fail at the internets.


In other exciting news, my latest thriftstore find arrived and it is just as lovely as I thought it would be. Amy is happy.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Crafty clothing

One thing I really want to start doing in the New Year is buying more handmade clothes. I'd never really thought of Etsy for clothing before, I don't know why not because it's pretty much my first port of call for everything else.
Cruising around though, I came across several things I'd love to get next year. This handmade pleated tube dress is lovely, as is this shawl sweatshirt from the same seller.


I love this funky teal sweater, though blatently I wouldn't look half as cute in it as the model. This high waisted pencil skirt is awesome, I would definately put that on my wishlist and it would look marvelous with my winter boots.

I think for pure whimsicalness (is that even a word?), this Late For Tea Dress has to win hands down. I would look quite ridiculous in it but still, how lovely would it be to run for a steam train in this dress, carrying a small battered leather hold-all and clutching your hat to your head, all Railway Children-esque?


Crochet blankets - the best kind of blankets

Apologies to those who've been with me since my geekzoidtastic days, you might have seen this already. I've actually been really busy crafting recently, but everything is either unfinished or packaged up because I'm rubbish at remembering to take photos. So, to keep the blog-ball rolling (and also because we've got a slightly irritating house guest at the moment so I can't get any studying done), here's an old one from the summer.

I crocheted this for my friends Claire and Mikael, who got married in sweden over the summer. I love crocheting blankets, they're so easy and so good to do whilst watching TV, you don't really have to be paying much attention. They look quite impressive when you're done and people seem to really appreciate them so everyone's a winner. Also, I just saw this in a photo of their new flat that Claire posted on facebook (I know, I'm a facebook nerd, it's the saddest thing) and it makes me happy to know that it's taking pride of place on their new sofa.



We had a minor hedgehog emergency yesterday. This is the second time it's happened, Viola tries to go into hibernation. She gets really cold and sluggish and doesn't respond to you at all, especially suprising considering normally she's super huffy and trying to spike everything in sight. Hibernation is dangerous for African pygmies, 90% of the time they don't survive so you have to keep them warm enough so it's not an issue, cold triggers hibernation for them. After 10-15 minutes of being wrapped in a towel and held next to a heated wheatabottle she generally perks up, but it's a worry, what if it happens when we're not there to check on her? We're away to St Andrews in 10 days for the weekend and Andrew's flatmates will be feeding The Trons (the new nickname for the hedgehogs. When we first got him Hobbes quickly became Hobbetron then The Tron, now he's barely called by his real name.)

So, I went to Edinburgh Fabrics and bought some fleece (£1.50 for a quarter metre, bargain) to replace the strange bedding material she came with and we went to Pets At Home tonight to stock up on warming things. The best buy was definately this, how adorable is the name SnuggleSafe?! Her hogpod is now perched on top of that, so hopefully that'll stave off the cold overnight. We also had to buy an extortionately over-priced bag of her old food since she's refusing to eat Hobbes' food. Bloody woman, she's so high maintenance.

Monday, 8 December 2008

New hedgehog addition

As you may or may not know, Andrew and I have an African pygmy hedgehog called Hobbes. He's just turned a year old and is possibly the most adorable and the most grumpy creature alive.

But, last weekend, we acquired a second one! She's called Viola and we bought her from a family in Aberdeen who didn't have the time to exercise her enough. She's taking a while to settle in, she's not taking well to the food we feed Hobbes, but she's so lively and active and *really* pretty.

She was advertised in several papers and the family really wanted her to go to a house who already had a hedgehog so we were perfect candidates! It all happened really quickly, within 24 hours of seeing the advert we'd agreed to buy her and drive to Aberdeen the next day to collect her. We're really hoping we can breed from her in the new year but I'm nervous, we've never done anything like that before and there's not a lot of information available about breeding them.

She was on North Tonight though, check out the video here, skip forward to 14.05 minutes. I'm mentioned as well, I'm the Edinburgh vet student she's been sold to!

She was also in the paper as an actual new article (rather than just an advert) so I'll scan that in and upload it as well. We've yet to take any photos of her but when we do I'll be sure to upload them.

In the meantime, here's some photos of Hobbes




Saturday, 6 December 2008

Frances' Christmas present

How organised am I? *pats back* This was posted off last week so should hopefully have arrived already. I've also finished Vicky's present but stupidly I parcelled it up and posted it before taking any photos. Still, Vicky's much better at photos than I am so I'll try and persuade her to take some for me.

Once again, these pictures are really dark. I don't lie when I say the sun never shines here, we're all suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. Frances and Mark have just got engaged though so I thought I'd make them something for their flat. Last Christmas I made Vicky some knitted cupcakes and Frances loved them so I've made some for her as well, presented in a charity shop biscuit jar. They look lovely in real life, promise, the photos are just plain rubbish *sigh*






Friday, 5 December 2008

Latest thriftstore find

I bought this off a lovely girl over on ThriftstoreUK, I've been wanting it for ages but either didn't have the money or she wouldn't trade. Well, yesterday was a bit of a rubbish day so I decided to cheer myself up with a bit of a splurge.

It's a vintage school jumper, I love the old-fashioned, almost boarding school look about it. I also made the mistake of going into Oxfam yesterday and I came out with yet another vintage suitcase (it was only £4, I couldn't resist). Photos of that to follow...


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Etsy feature: Tiilly Bloom

Since revision has stalled but the boy is playing computer games so I can't be a nerd and be in bed before 10pm, I thought I'd pick up where I left off in May with the featured etsy store corner.

Today's featured store is the lovely Tilly Bloom, a fellow Scot (if I'm allowed to call myself that, being born here and lived here for the past 5 years, I'm still not sure I qualify!) but now inhabiting Brooklyn in the good old US of A. I bought some earrings and hair slides off her over a year ago now for Frances' birthday (check them out here) and they are so unique, she does all her own illustrations then transfers them to shrinkle or acrylic to make them into jewellery. She does a lot of anatomical pictures, which I especially like, or illustrations inspired by Victorian Era literature, making a lot of it quite marvelously surreal.

When I have money, which will be no time soon the way my student debt is developing *sigh*, I plan to buy myself this rib cage pendant or the gorgeous broken heart pendant below it. I might ask if she can make them into brooches though...



She also keeps a blog over at Tilly Types. I wish I knew more about HTML, I love her layout. I'm still struggling to work out the best dimensions of my pictures to line them up in this blog *sigh*

Drawer scenters - not the old lady kind, promise!

I made these a while back on a whim, they're such a good way to use up little scraps of pretty fabric that are too nice to just throw away. They're also a good way to use up bath bombs, I'm given quite a lot of these as presents because I'm unashamedly in love with Lush ♥ but I can't really use them as they irritate my skin. They smell so lovely though, I can't bear to give them away (how selfish is that!) so I crumbled them up and put them inside these little pouches to make my clothes smell nice. They work really well, my socks smell like cinnamon now! They're also pretty good for soap boxes as presents, I've given them away to a few folk now and they're always well received.






Yes, I know it's a lot of unnecessary photos but they're so pretty, I can't help myself!

In other non-craft related news, the Taylor-Dyce household gained a new addition today, another African pygmy hedgehog called Viola. She is adorable, though rather hyperactive but we're hoping she'll calm down once she's settled in. She was introduced to Hobbes and he instantly took to her, making these really sweet little squeaking sounds. She was less impressed however, especially since he kept trying to sniff her bottom and push his nose underneath her. I swear, you bring them up to the best of your ability...*rolls eyes*...

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


Just a quick post in between past paper exam questions (2 and a half weeks till exam time, eeep).

I made a knitted basket of cupcakes and non-edible delights for Vicky last christmas, I should get some photos of the finished items, I thought I'd taken one already...*searches*...

Anyways, here's 2 that I did manage to take photos of. The cupcakes are super-cute, I just made a jar of them as part of Frances' christmas present so I'll have to take a photo of them to show you before I parcel them off to Devonia.


I'm especially proud of the oreo. Such a good stash-bust as well!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Pin cushions

Since I've got another ten minutes to spare before my next lecture, I thought I'd write a wee something about my new pin cushions. So far I've just made 2 for my own personal use, but eventually these will be an etsy store item I think. I'm going to make the next batch a bit bigger and mount them inside some vintage teacups I've got in storage, teacup pin cushions, how lovely would that be?

Anyway, here's my new addition to my sewing box. Cath Kidson eat your heart out!


Thrifting at the Bethany Shop

Well, studying continues as normal, plodding away in the library every day. I've got my favourite seat downstairs by the hot radiator for when I want to study alone and my second favourite seat upstairs by the tepid radiator and the window for when I want to study with other people around. Fun times eh?

Anyway, in between becoming a social hermit, I ventured into the Bethany Shop, conveniently and dangerously located right next door to Summerhall, where I go to uni. Well, what a treasure trove!

So far I have bought far too many things to list, it would just be too embarrassing, but I had to share this one with you. It's so sunny and yellow, I can't help but be cheered a little when I spread my butter on my toast in the morning. Also, made in England!! How often does that happen these days? Unfortunately winter-spread has occurred in the thigh region and so butter is being restricted these days, but still, it's such a lovely little thing to have in the kitchen.



Sunflower is definitely the right word.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Wow, it's been a while!

So it would seem I took a bit of a break from the blogging world. Apologies dear readers, I am now officially back!

In the last 6 months I've moved house, moved city, graduated, started uni again, broken up with my boyfriend, got back with my boyfriend, been to Sweden, cried at a wedding, seen the festival, lived with internationals and studied. It's been a rock 'n' roll 6 months!

I am now deep in revision mode for up-coming exams (4 weeks and counting!) so photo posts may be scanty as I'm pretty much living in the library.

I'm busy crafting away for christmas though and have the following projects on the go:
♥ quilted placemats for mum
♥ crocheted blankets for Frances (who just got engaged!) and Vicky
♥ a quilt for Andrew
♥ fingerless gloves for Alethia
♥ a cabled scarf for Elisa
♥ a collage and christmas decoration for Andrew's stocking
♥ 3 cushion covers and a crocheted blanket for Danny

Don't fret if you don't know who I'm talking about, it'll all become clear I'm sure and if it doesn't, you can imagine they're all my glamorous celebrity friends or something...

Saturday, 24 May 2008


3 down, only 1 more exam to go! I'm taking today off to chill a bit and then it's back to studying tomorrow *sigh* Though on the plus side, I managed to finish the second of the 3 bathmats I've been working on recently.

This idea was stolen from Montessori By Hand. I've got *so* many 4" patches left from making Patchy (the giant patchwork quilt, see my personal crat blog Geekzoidtastic over on Livejournal) that I thought it would be a good way to use some up!

I'm really pleased with how this one turned out, even if some of the squares don't line up *cough* I emailed the lady from Montessori to ask if she would mind me using the pattern for my etsy store and she said she didn't mind at all, so I'm planning on making 5 more of these to sell on Second Fiddle! Obviously I'm going to have to practice sewing in a straight line before these are unleashed to the world.

Without more ado, here's the bathmat! It's going to be a house warming present for my friend Frances. It's honestly not as wonky in real life (though the squares are, the shame of not being able to sew in a straight line), my photography skills leave a lot to be desired...



I'm thinking of pricing these at £15, because they take about 3-4 hours to make so I thought that sounds about fair. I'm not too bothered by pricing things to cover my time as I'd be crafting anyway and I don't plan on making a living off etsy, I just want to make a bit of extra money to cover my craft addiction really. A lot of the things I'll be making to begin with will be from stash I already own, so I won't be buying in anything specific and therefore won't have costs to cover from that point of view.

I think if my etsy store takes off, then I might start being more methodical about calculating my costs and time, but to begin with I just want to price things at what I would view to be a fair price. I don't want to make things really cheap because I know from personal experience shopping on etsy that a cheap price will make me think 'badly made', rightly or wrongly. It gives the impression that the craftster doesn't value their skills, materials or time and so I'd rather pay more for something that's obviously been well made. I figure I would pay between £5-10 for a bathmat from a standard high street shop and so £15 for something unique and handmade isn't extortionately expensive.

Ooo, in other exciting news, I finally have a credit card! Egg accepted me so hopefully this time next week I'll have an official (but empty) etsy store!

Saturday, 17 May 2008


Since work on the etsy store has somewhat stalled due to uni finals (first one on Monday *panic*), I've decided to use my etsy blog in the meantime to feature other etsy sellers. This'll be a mix of etsy sellers I've had positive experiences with or just people making awesome things I feel the need to share!

First up is NaturallyHip. I recently decided to change to reuseable sanitary towels for environmental reasons (though they are just SO much prettier than normal ones!) and this dear lady was brilliant. She answered all my annoying stupid questions and made me up a custom set of towels varying in size and materials. Sadly I can't start using them until I move house since I don't want to inflict my odd habits on my poor long suffering flatmate but I'm sure when I do they'll be awesome!


She's got a second website at freewebs, where you can choose different styles and patterns of fabric. I chose...



...and 'wild'


All in all ladies, if you're thinking of going green and pretty with your sanitary items then be sure to check out NaturallyHip!

Saturday, 3 May 2008


I'm trying to make sure that everything about Second Fiddle is as professional as possible, right down to the packaging. Unfortunately my photography skills aren't that great, I'm working on it before I list anything on etsy but in the meantime, I wanted to share my envelopes with you!

The idea is that when someone purchases something from my shop, along with their item in the packet will be a little envelope containing a printed invoice, a business card and a little hand-written note thanking them for their business. I got the tutorial for the envelopes off Craftster, you can check it out here.

I also plan to use the vinyl cover idea as packaging, as well as recycled jiffy bags. I want everything to fit in with the idea that recycling doesn't have to mean ugly or tatty, that by recycling you can actually create something prettier than the original.

Here are my little envelopes, I especially like the Where's Wally ones and the one from old sailing books!




Thursday, 1 May 2008

The beginnings of a logo...

Check out the first draft of my logo! It's based on the late, great Jools who sadly had to be put to sleep just before christmas last year.

I'm going to go for the top left dog face, with the first title in the list of 3, with the name placed under the dog's head like in the top right picture. Confused?! I am too...


Sadly HSBC are being pains in the proverbial about my credit card, even though they've issued me one in the past and it just expired. Apparently my credit limit isn't high enough for them to issue me a new one and without a credit card I can't set up an etsy store. My mum has offered to let me use hers but it's just such a hassle, I can't believe HSBC are being so hard to deal with! Never mind, we will overcome...hopefully!

Monday, 28 April 2008

First post ever!

My very first post in my etsy craft blog!

If you've joined me from livejournal then welcome! This blog will be exactly the same as geekzoidtastic but I'll only be talking about my upcoming etsy store, sharing item ideas, giving you sneak previews of the layout etc, it's all so exciting!

In the meantime I'd love to introduce you to two people helping me along the way, Kim of the lovely Lost in a Deep Sea Forest site (check out her *amazing* illustrations!) who's designing my logo and Vicky of who's designing my banner.

Keep checking back chidlets, I've got so much to share with you all! ♥