Getting crafty. A sparkly word cushion

Greetings friends and how are you on this happy day? I’ve popped on to the blog today to share a recent crafty project that I’ve finally got round to doing. I’ve been crazy lazy over the last few months and it took me three, yes three months to finally get going on this project – oops! So here it is, the lovely pillow I made (don’t look too closely, it’s most definitely not perfect!).

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So anyway down to the project! A while back I made the somewhat  impulsive decision to make the little sisterling something for her birthday. I had no clue what this thing would be but I knew that was what I wanted to do – no idea why as I’m truthfully not the most crafty of people. I mean I can knit but that’s about it for crafting skills and really my knitting speed is so far from quick that the time frame I had once I started (two weeks) would mean she’d end up with a scarf four inches long. Less than ideal. Thankfully I then remembered about the post I saw an age ago on Sugar and Cloth and have since hidden in the recess of my mind as something to make one day when I had the need and (perhaps more importantly) owned a sewing machine. Now I still don’t own a sewing machine but a while back I borrowed my Mum’s and I still haven’t used it, so it seemed the perfect opportunity! So as the planets seemed to be perfectly aligned it was time to get down to making a gorgeous sparkly word pillow.

I knew the little love bug that is Beccabear would love such a pillow as she’s now in her first rented house and has enjoyed accumulating bits and bobs to personalise it with. Plus as a student I know she will be spending a lot of her time over the next few years sitting on her bed reading and typing away – so comfy pillows are essential, well they were for me anyway! After a lot of deliberation over the word for the pillow I settled on ‘dream’ as I like how its equal parts fluffy and motivational. Does that make sense, or is that just a peek into my really weird mind?!

I really enjoyed making this cushion and it’s made me determined to give some other projects ago. I just need to decide on a new project to start, hm decisions, decisions.

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Crafty Christmas projects

Morning my little porcupines, how are you this lovely Saturday morning? I’m excited for the weekend and really plan on getting loads of things done, including finally making a crafty birthday present for the little sister – I’ll let you know how that goes?!

So I know that talking about the c word this early is practically blasphemous in some people’s world, but most definitely NOT in mine. In fact I can’t believe I’ve not started nattering about it already as let’s be honest it’s less than three months to go and that’s certainly not long enough to get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of the most amazing time of the year. I have actually been considering Christmas for a while and so far I’ve decided on the cards I’m making and I’ve even started picking up bits and bobs for my god-daughter’s advent calendar and stocking presents for the family. The other thing I’ve decided is that I want to make all of my immediate family presents, I like the idea of giving them something unique and that’s taken me time and energy to create. I’m not saying they’ll be masterpieces I just want to make sure they receive something personal that they’ll like.

So as is my usual practice when I decide I want to get all crafty, I head to the wondrous site of Pinterest and get pinning! Today I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve collected on my ‘Projects to do one day‘ board as that is where I am stockpiling all the inspiration for Christmas gifts. I think I’ve finally narrowed down what I’m going to make everyone but obviously I can’t share them yet – but you can expect lots of crafty updates post-Christmas!

Penny Letters / Dinosaur Serving Dish / Spray Painted Ornaments / Personalised Mugs / Push Pin Art

So the five projects above are my current favourites, not just because they look quite simple and easy but also because I think the end product looks absolutely brilliant and I can think of people in my immediate family who would appreciate each item. What about you, have you got any great suggestions for DIY gifts? I’ve not 100% decided on what I’m going to make so do send suggestions and links through!

Pinterest Corner #31 – Wool Letters

Hi lovely blog readers, how are you this fine Wednesday? I hope you’re as excited as me that it’s that time again; it’s Pinterest Corner day, hooray!  This month’s Pinterest Corner is one that I’m so super excited to share with you. I’m just so pleased with how it’s turned out and it makes me smile to look at the finished items. Also it’s a project that I’ve been meaning to get around to for almost a year, which makes it even more brilliant that I’ve now done it! [Yes I am a bit of  a star when it comes to procrastination].

Anyway back to what I’ve actually crafted! Ages ago I saw this image on Pinterest and I absolutely fell in love with the idea of wool wrapped letters. Not only do the woolly letters look really beautiful – see the original pinners version below – I thought they also looked really easy to do. I also loved that you could choose any words or wool colour you wanted and it would still look really cool.

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Once I’d pinned the image, I promptly forgot about this crafty project until I just happened to be in the world’s most amazing shop AKA Hobbycraft last September. As I was ambling around with nothing specific to buy I happened upon a number of cardboard letters and I knew they’d be perfect for this project – so much better than making the letters from scratch, especially for a lazy bones like me. Can you imagine when I’d be writing this post if I hadn’t found these letters? Probably sometime in 2015! I also found the lilac and purple wool in the sale on the same day for just 99p a ball, which is my sort of craft item: colourful and cheap! Here are the six items before I got started on the project:

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So now we need to fast forward about eight or nine months to May time when I started the wrapping of the wool. I decided to start with the ‘H’ as I thought that would be the easiest letter, and I think it was. I think if I’d started with the ‘M’ I’d have never finished this project – it was that bad! It was a very simple technique, after using masking tape to secure the end of the wool I got wrapping and wrapping and wrapping. I was really surprised about how long it took to finish just one letter. It felt like I was wool wrapping for about a year on just the ‘H’, talk about repetitive! To be fair I don’t think I had the best technique at the start and I probably should have checked out the tutorial on the original pin as I only noticed that they’d put smaller bits of wool on each end after the ‘H’ – that would most certainly have helped! Anyway I like how the ‘H’ turned out even if it does have about three different layers of wool going on!

Last month I finally picked up the rest of the wool and the other letters and made a start on them. This time I focused on the ends of the ‘M’ and ‘E’ first, before going up and along both letters. I feel like I finally reached a rhythm after the second letter and started to find it all rather therapeutic. It is also a great craft project for sitting in front of the TV as you don’t have to look at the wool or letters all the time. The’O’ was actually the easiest letter of all as there are no ends, all you had to deal with was the small hole in the middle. But that was fixed by working with smaller balls of wool, simple. So after about five hours of wrapping I’m now left with these four lovely letters – what do you think? Do you like them?

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Yes they might not be absolutely perfect, but I quite like that as it shows that they are handmade and lovingly so.  I’m still toying with where they should now live, but I quite like the idea of propping them on my headboard – I think they look rather nice. What do you think?

20130826-155115.jpgSo what do you think about wool letters? Are you inclined to give them a try yourself and if so, what word would you go for?

Pinterest Corner #30 – a shiny glittery dish

So here we are, at the beginning of the first of my new-look Pinterest Corner posts. Anyone else excited, or is that just me…!

For my first improved crafty Pinterest Corner post I’ve chosen something I’ve been meaning to make for ages, ever since I saw the original blog post about it on A Beautiful Mess back in February! I saw it, pinned it to Pinterest and then promptly forgot about it! However, when I was perusing my Pinterest boards a few weeks ago I saw the original pin and it made me smile thanks to all it’s lovely glittery goldness and I knew that would be the first thing I made. I didn’t just choose it because it looked nice, but also because I really need a place to keep my jewelrey every night. At the moment it sits on my chest of drawers and I’m always losing bits when I knock them on the floor. So this sparkly dish would be awesome.

I obviously didn’t create this idea from scratch, I totally followed the method from the original blog post here, so  I can’t take any of the credit for this genius idea. But I’m so glad that they came up with this idea, as it’s such a simple and easy way of updating something that’s really plain. And I’m glad I’ve given it a go, it looks so so pretty! So look below for my pictorial (is that a word?!?!) step-by-step guide to creating this crafty gold dish.

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1 – I found this awesome pink plastic soap dish in the B&Q sale

2 - I got some PVA glue and gold glitter, courtesy of Hobbycraft

2 – I got some PVA glue and gold glitter, courtesy of Hobbycraft

3 - Spread the dish with PVA glue and sprinkle on the gold glitter. Leave to dry.

3 – Spread the dish with PVA glue and sprinkle on the gold glitter. Leave to dry.

4 - Repeat the glue/glitter combo until the pink is fully covered.

4 – Repeat the glue/glitter combo until the pink is fully covered.

5 - Spray with hairspray and get using it!

5 – Spray with hairspray and get using it!

A tale of DIY, Wembley and food!!

This week has been all about the food! It started off with me being very conscientious and taking in a fleet of snacks to last me all day. As Monday is always a very heavy snack day for me as after the weekend I find it hard to get back into my normal food routine, plus when I get bored I tend to reach for the sugar based snacks – is that the case for anyone else? Then on Monday night I went out to dinner with work peeps to The Yard in Shoreditch, which is an old converted fire station. Man is that place amazing or what!? We ended up sharing a yard of pizza with four different toppings, each topping seemed to be better than the first. I honestly can’t recommend this place enough for food goodness! Wednesday was another night of good food as I was at Wembley for the England match and we had burgers beforehand in the stadium. I opted for the halloumi and mushroom one which was delicious – the addition of a smidge of pesto to the burger made such a difference and was a lovely change to sweet chilli.

Saturday saw me back at the parentals so of course we had to go out for dinner, duh! We went to The Seahorse, which I’ve mentioned before, see here. The food is lovely and the atmosphere is always so relaxed too. Plus I love the decor – please can I have the table below next time? I’d love to eat in my own little wooden area whilst sat on a sofa – so cute!  As for the food it was scrumptious, of course! Lau and I shared camembert and focaccia to start with, then I had the cheese burger and mushroom with brilliantly skinny chips followed by the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream – ah-maze-ing. I honestly can’t recommend that place enough. I love it and I think it might become our go=to restaurant when we’re back at home.

As for other things I’ve been up to, well I decided to start the week with a two-mile run at 6am on Monday morning, the logic being I wouldn’t feel guilty about the pizza – it totally worked! Although I’m not sure I’ll be doing the same every week (this week definitely not). I then was rubbish with exercise until Sunday when I went for a 4.3 mile run in the countryside. Painful and hard but rewarding! There was also a trip to Primark, where I was meant to return stuff and actually ended up buying more…oops! Then there was the trip to Wembley where thankfully England beat Scotland, let’s be honest it was seeming like we wouldn’t for a while there. Whilst the England team weren’t the most convincing it was an amazing atmosphere, possibly the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at Wembley.

Friday was a bit of a write off as I felt really ill – I had the headache of all headaches from about 5pm on Thursday until mid Friday – painful and knackering. I hate how rubbish I am when I get no sleep or have a headache – I just can’t handle anything. As for the weekend Lau and I had such a productive time, we did lots of crafty stuff (frosting jars and vases as well as something involving glitter and glue) – I’ll share that with you for Pinterest Corner on Wednesday and finally decided on a colour scheme and some DIY projects for our new look living room. I’m so excited about it I can barely wait to get started! I also managed to find lots of bits and bobs to pop in my Christmas gift  box (there’s nothing wrong with being prepared) AND super excitingly I managed to find my new blog planner which I’ve been needing/wanting/searching for for ages – hooray to me. This blog planner has already worked wonders, not only am I super organised I’ve also been having loads of ideas, hooray!

A Pinterest Promise from me to you.

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog (hopefully there’s one or two of you out there listening to my incessant waffle) you’re probably familiar with my Pinterest Corner posts, which are in theory a weekly occurrence. When I originally started these posts around Christmas the logic behind them was to make me be more creative and to complete some of the crafty projects that I’d seen and coveted on Pinterest. By sharing one such project/recipe/item with you each week the idea was that I’d get some of them done as there’d be some sort of accountability. Sadly that hasn’t worked out quite to plan. The last few posts have been more about my thoughts on life, fitness and good quotes, rather than actually using my deeply hidden craft abilities. For some reason I’ve just not had the motivation (or much-needed time) to actually get on and create anything.

I want this to change, so I’ve decided to fiddle around a little with the Pinterest Corner concept and make it a monthly occurrence. So going forward I’ll post my crafty goodness on the blog on the third Wednesday of each month. This will be far more achievable for me as I’ll have a whole month to do something – therefore being away for one weekend won’t prove a problem! And it’ll hopefully mean I’ll start to make the things I want to rather than just sharing the things that are easy. So watch out for the 21st August as you’ll spot a brand new Pinterest Corner post showcasing something super lovely. To be honest I’m not sure what yet, but possibly something inspired by one of the below ideas as I want them all in my London flat! But what about you? What lovely things do you want to create and make, it can’t be just me who wants to be more crafty!

Glitter Jewerly Tray

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Buy alphabet magnets and spray paint them

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Jellybeans, honeycomb and whimsy

Another month and another list of things that are intriguing me, bothering me and making me laugh – check them out!

This month I’m dreaming about making this honeycomb recipe as there’s really nothing like the crunch of honeycomb. I also cannot wait to make this chocolate pudding – it’s made from avocados. Um hello, genius or what now – I wonder if Lau would notice the taste of avocados if I made her this… I’m tempted to give it a whirl. What clever people there are out there in the world!

The YouTube video The Time you have (in Jellybeans) has got me thinking, A LOT. It’s fascinating to see how the average person spends their life, I’m amazed that looking after others doesn’t take up more of our ‘jellybeans; and I’m 99% my watching TV amount is way higher than this video shows. But it’s asking an interesting question isn’t it? What would you do differently if you had half as much time and what would you do if you just had one day – most definitely the important and simple things I’m sure.

I’m also pondering why I didn’t take two weeks off of work, rather than just the one. As getting back into the swing of this work malarkey has not been my favourite thing ever. Setting the alarm on Sunday night for the ungodly hour or 7am was literally the most taxing and depressing thing I’ve done all year – sad times indeed.

I’m not a massive fan of the Royal Baby hype and some of the activity I found really rather distasteful but I did smile when I saw the below video of Kermit and Miss Piggy’s reaction to the Royal Baby, so hilarious! My favourite bit: ‘tadpoles don’t have feet!’ Bless Miss Piggy.

My obsession with How I Met Your Mother is well documented on this here blog, so it won’t surprise you that this video made my day when I stumbled upon it thanks to Hypable. At ComicCon this video was realised and it shows Ted’s kids finally snapping thanks to the fact that he’s still telling them the same story, and it’s eight years later. I won’t spoil any of the video for you, but needless to say it’s absolutely hilarious!

I’ve just discovered Whimsy and I’m now wondering how I existed before I discovered its existence – it’s like a little bit of heaven in my life. Not only is it mighty appealing to look at – all that white space and cute colours, but it’s also packed with loads of brilliant articles and ideas. I mean how have I managed not knowing how to distress picture frames or make my own wall prints – life officially made. Plus lets just take a moment to appreciate the lovely word whimsy it’s definitely one of those words we should use on a very regular basis. Another thing I want to make is the pillow below and thanks to the tutorial at Sugar & Cloth I can now do so – hooray for that!

DIY sequined hello pillow from sugar and cloth

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What about you, what’s running around in your head or making you giggle on YouTube, share below peeps!

April’s smiley list

It was my birthday yesterday – Happy Birthday to me!! – and as a result I have lots of fun weekend plans, which I’m fairly certain will not give me time for much blogging. So being the organised bee that I am (I’m really not organised, I’m not sure what’s come over me, perhaps it’s a sign of growing older and maturing) I’ve scheduled a post, ooh get me! So without further ado, whilst I’m (hopefully) off eating cake and unwrapping lovely presents from my nearest and dearest, here are the things that are making me smile at the moment – apart from the aforementioned cake and presents obviously!

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This picture – My two favourite Stark brothers in one glorious image – yes I did consider making this my desktop background, and yes there’s a small possibility that I’ve been flicking to this all week when I’ve needed to be reminded that life isn’t that bad. I mean honestly, just witness the fitness (classic Uni phrase), I can’t really be blamed can I? Thanks to Buzzfeed for bringing this picture into my life and brightening up my week a whole lot.

Pringles – yes those lovely crunchy crisps in the tubes just big enough for your hands. For some absurd reason I’ve become a little obsessed with them recently – I appear to be craving them all the time. Is this something else that happens as you age, I’m guessing no probably not, but in all seriousness I can’t understand where this sudden desire for them has come from. I think know that if you presented me with a tub of ready salted Pringles right now I’d scoff the whole lot in one sitting with copious amounts of Nando’s Perinaise. What has come over me?

Crunchy Nuts – I’ve rediscovered this cereal as my go-to breakfast and I’m reminded of how perfect a bowl (or mug) of this is when drenched in ice-cold milk – heavenly. How can I go back to any other breakfast item after this reawakening.

The Great British Sewing Bee – I’m totally loving this new show – it’s just pure brilliance. The contestants are wonderful and absolutely hilarious at times, plus I’m learning loads: never work with silk, don’t add tulips to a skirt (I mean it looked agood, but really who would wear that!) and if you’re going to make something that’s simple make it bloody brilliant – something that Tillie couldn’t seem to learn! Also how wonderful is Ann, I 100% love her. I love this show so much that I’m not even annoyed by Claudia ‘I’m so ditzy’ Winkleman. Further proof, if you needed it, that it must be brilliant!

Pinterest Corner #16 – Crochet Central

This weekend I finally did it!  For the record ‘it’ was most definitely not, leaving the house without a jacket on, or going 24 hours without chocolate – are you mad?! ‘It’ was starting something crafty! I finally stopped waffling on about getting crafty and actually did something vaguely craft like – miracle of miracles! A mere six weeks after posting about how I wanted to get back on the crafting horse (see this wonderfully scribed post) and I’ve finally gotten around to it. It appears a Game of Thrones marathon is all I need to get crocheting for the first time EVER, who’d have thought it would be such a perfect match – weird, but true!

 

What I’d love to be showing you is a replica of one of the above pins, however I am not that proficient yet. A straight line (a foundation chain don’t you know?!) is more my ability, so instead I’ve got this beautiful blue rectangle to show you – isn’t it just the best blue rectangle you ever did see? Yes I know it’s not a proper creation yet, I’d be hard pressed to find a child crochet_5snuggling up to this in bed or a doting mother adding it to their child’s bedroom but it’s not that bad, considering I’m still learning the basics. Once I’ve mastered these basics, I’m sure I’ll be knocking out crochet animals left, right and centre!!

In all seriousness I’m aiming to have completed a cute animal or two for June when my friend’s baby is due, hopefully that shouldn’t be too tricky or ambitious, but we shall see! I’ll keep you posted with the progress, in a future Pinterest Corner post no doubt. Until then, happy crocheting!

Childhood flashbacks, Les Mis and film trailer love

There have been a few things on my mind this week, which I thought I’d share as some of them are life changing and you need to know about it – trust me you’ll thank me!!

First things first, random but still something I’ve been pondering this week: Is anyone else still experiencing a love affair with Les Mis? I seem to be listening to it all day, every day at work and have developed a massive crush on this awesome Olly Moss poster – I need it in my life. I’m actually fairly concerned by how obsessed I am with this film and the soundtrack. Maybe I need an intervention….

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I had a serious childhood flashback earlier this week when I received an Easter card from my god-daughter. The card was of a super-cute sheep made of Fimo. Was anyone else obsessed with Fimo as a child, or was that just me? I used to make all sorts of random crap with this stuff – everything from neon coloured jewellery to tiny animals like rabbits. Honestly, it’s amazing how happy I was with a new set of Fimo colours, and do you remember all the amazing colours they used to do? And look they now do glittery Fimo – amazing!

I appreciate I’m going to sound like a total geek with the following sentence, but I honestly don’t care – I’m embracing my geekyness! I am so super excited about the fact that Doctor Who returns to our TVs on Saturday, I mean OMG it’s been forever since it was on, if you’re not excited then you HAVE to watch the teaser trailer. I defy you not to be over excited too. I mean Matt Smith is just brilliant in it, so forlorn and sad and what does this mean for the upcoming episode?!?! Argh I can’t wait!!

On the subject of geekery and trailers, the Star Trek into Darkness trailer is freaking brilliant, I’m literally counting down the days until I can watch this film. Plus just when I thought I couldn’t love Benedict Cumberbatch anymore – I see the trailer. I mean could he be any cooler?! Something else that’s cool, is that this week the director of Wolverine shared the first mini trailer for the film on Vine – LOVE IT!

Having had a very succesful cottage weekend in Oxford recently we’re now onto planning our next adventure, this time in Leicestershire/Rutland and during my cottage research I happened across the most amazingly named holiday cottages and B&B. I really really want to stay there just because of the names, with names like brocoli Bottom (the B&B), Fennel Folly, Parsnip Place, Beetroot Barn and Lettuce Lodge how could I not – can you imagine anywhere more idyllic?

On a totally separate note I appear to have fallen a little bit in love with these napkins, now I do appreciate that’s a little bit odd as they are napkins and I’m definitely not a napkin fan. My usual thinking is that they are a massive waste of money as kitchen roll works just as well and is far cheaper. However, I seem to have forgotten this fact when I look at these tagged ones – how brilliant are they. I’d love to have a set, not that I ever do dinner parties or anything, so really it would probably just be my name on them!! Oh well! On the subject of napkins and other such paraphernalia, check out these amazing alphabet cups – yet another thing I want but would barely ever use! Although maybe they could go on display somewhere if I spell out cool words?

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