Friday, 13 April 2012

TFI Friday

Is it seriously Friday again? Really? I can tell I've been on holiday this week because I'm a) feeling super relaxed and b) in complete disbelief that the week has finished already!

I've had an absolutely gorgeous week, and spent most of it staying with my dad and his girlfriend in sunny Cornwall (the sun was actually shining almost the entire time...woo!).

Some of my favourite parts of the week have been...

Going to the beautiful Glendurgan Gardens in Cornwall. They were so stunning, and it was such a relaxing place to be. See the maze in the distance in this photo?

I totally conquered it. It may be meant for children but as someone with literally no sense of direction I take pride in my achievement. At the end of the gardens was this little beach...where we skimmed stones and ate ice cream...bliss

Other pieces of happiness this week have been...

Watching the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris. I literally fell in love with this film. Beautiful. As soon as I'd finished watching it, I wanted to watch it again. Oh, and then go to Paris for a long weekend.

I got my sticky mits on the complete 'Ice Cream Sundae' nail polish collection from Models Own. Lovely summer colours, can't wait to try them out. Would it be bad if I painted each finger a different colour just so I could try them all out at once?

Oooh...and I've finally finished the stitching project I've been working on for about 10 years (ok, I exaggerate ... 8 months), but more on that tomorrow.

How was your week? Hope it brought good things your on to the weekend!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Vintage Finds - Piggy Bank

I thought I'd occasionally share any vintage buys I make. If I'm honest I don't make them that often - not because I'm not always looking (I am!) but because the second-hand/ charity shops near where I live seem to be completely clued-up on how fashionable thrifting is at the moment and some of their prices are totally crazy!

One of my favourite purchases is this little cutie, a vintage piggy bank (and it came complete with some vintage 1/2 pennies rattling around inside...cute!).

And the pretty back view...

It was love at first site...and I was so happy to have a real-life version of the tiny re-ment piggy bank which is my all-time favourite piece of re-ment ever!

Tiny sweetness!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Toy Shelf - Miss Sally Rice

I've been playing around with different backing colours in my photo tent (because white is so, like, yesterday). Luckily my Blythe Miss Sally Rice stepped in to help me test them out, and here are the results...

With a red background...

With a blue background...

And with a pink background (which doesn't look a whole lot different to the red...due to my poor lighting maybe)

It was my first attempt at taking pics of any of my Blythes in the photo tent and I think my lighting might have been an epic fail - more practice needed I think! I'm kind of loving the last pic though...and I don't normally like her yellow eyes!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Motif Monday - Mr Distinguished

Have you been looking at your walls recently and thinking they just need to be a bit more...distinguished? Well never fear, today's free cross stitch design is here to add that extra class to your stitching.

You can download the chart via google docs using this link (or just print the pic below). It's a nice simple design, with only four split stitches for the eyes. The moustache part of the design can be used for other projects as well. I'm planning some moustache magnets using plastic canvas, as the moustache is just whole stitches.

The design was, of course, inspired by this little chap...

                                                                                Source: via Kat on Pinterest

Have fun stitching and I'd love to see your finished projects!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sunday Best - Happy Easter & Chenille Chick Overload

Happy Easter everyone...may your day be filled with chocolate and all things cute. Speaking of which - does anyone else have a compulsion to buy chenille chicks each and every year? I have enough now for my very own tiny chenille chick army. I was musing on a mini photo shoot with some of this year's additions later today (seems like a totally normal Easter Sunday activity, right?).

In the meantime, my Sunday Best for today is a selection of some of my fav pics featuring the little fuzzy dudes on Flickr (click on the pics to be taken to their original source):

Pullip Tiphona & chicks

tea for two

chicks rock

Chicks, man

"Quit biting me mate!!"

"Mimi knew the odds where agains her...."

Cuteness overload! Ok, time for me to curl up with a book and a hot cross bun...yum!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Stitching Saturday - Get stitching for beginners

Image from

Instead of showing a stitching project I've either made or received I thought I'd use today to give a few pointers to useful guides and support for anyone interested in starting to learn embroidery.

Although I've been cross stitching since a young age I didn't try any other embroidery until a couple of years ago, and now I'm totally hooked, so I want to spread the love!

To get started you'll need:

  • An embroidery hoop
  • An embroidery needle
  • Some floss (I tend to use DMC stranded cotton)
  • Some material to embroider onto (the wonderful thing is that this can be pretty much any material - a leftover scrap, a pillowcase, a tea towel - so many possibilities)
  • Some embroidery scissors
And importantly - a pattern to embroider! This is where the awesome Sublime Stitching stepped in for me. Jenny Hart, creator of Sublime Stitching sells a truly amazing set of iron-on embroidery designs (pin-up girls, beefcakes, woodland animals, kitties - you name it!). You literally choose the design you want to stitch and then iron it onto your material - it leaves a really clear outline and is perfect for the beginner stitcher. 

Example of a pattern transfer set from Sublime Stitching

When I first started embroidering I stuck to three stitches - backstitch, running stitch and split stitch. You can see lots of different stitches and how to do them on the Embroiderer's Guild website here. Find a stitch you're comfortable with and practice. My first ever project was just a scrap of material with me practising all kinds of stitches in no particular pattern. Doing this totally took the pressure off learning. I progressed onto Sublime Stitching patterns, and then started drawing my own designs. 

To anyone thinking about learning to stitch - I'd honestly say just go for it! Of all the crafts I've tried it has brought me the most happiness.

Helpful embroidery links:

Craftster - a totally supportive and lovely crafty community. It's a great place for inspiration, and if you have any problems with your stitching you will probably find the answer is already there - and if not, you can ask! 

Wild Olive - a blog by Mollie - an incredibly skilled stitcher who has lots of free patterns, and stitching tips - I've learnt a lot from her. Mollie's 'embroidery basics' guide can be found here - it tells you everything you need to know to get started

Sublime Stitching - as I said above - gorgeous, easy to follow sewing patterns, great starter kits and just all-round stitching awesomeness

Sew and So - for stitchers in the UK, one of the best sites I've found for reasonable embroidery hoops, thread and material is Sew and So - although there are lots of great shops around

Hope this overview has get stitching, and have fun!

Friday, 6 April 2012

TFI Friday

It's Friday again already! I've had a lovely and relaxing week because I've been on holiday since Tuesday and haven't done much apart from do some serious chilling out (and feeling a lot better for it!).

Some pieces of happiness from this week have been...

My first She Said Beauty box arriving. I've really enjoyed pampering myself with all of the much fun. When it arrived I didn't think I'd be bothered by the face/ beauty products, but I totally take that back - they've all been gorgeous and my skin is feeling waaay happier. I'm going to keep up my subscription for now...nothing beats a little box of treats arriving every month!

Made in Chelsea is back on TV...I'm ashamed by how much I love this programme...the rational part of my brain knows it should hate it, but the larger and totally irrational part is soooo happy to be able to catch up with what Caggie, Spencer and Ollie have been up to!

Today we went exploring the woods near our house. I'm horrified that its taken so long, but as it turns out there are miles of beautiful forests in a valley about a 10 minute walk from our house. Here's a couple of pics from the day (and with the power of instagram colour washes!)...

New King Charles video...beautiful! Love him and still waiting impatiently for his album to be released...

And I took a massive step and actually booked myself in for a hair cut tomorrow...only 7 months too late. It's going to be such a relief to get my mane cut a bit...I'm not sure why I've been putting it off for so long :/

What has your week brought you? Happy things I hope

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

She Said Beauty - April Box

Well I've officially jumped on the beauty box band-wagon. After a bit of research 'She Said Beauty' seemed like the one for me. I confess the colour of the box was one of the deciding factors (so shallow)!

So pretty! If I keep up my subscription I can imagine myself using these to stash craft supplies away. So here's what was inside the box:

  • Filthy Gorgeous Nail Polish in 'Valentine'
  • Comfort Zone Body Expert Kit - including 6 sample sachets including a body exfoliator, shower gel and different body creams
  • Mischa Barton Luscious Lips in 'Pink Pop' (wait...Mischa does make-up now?!)
  • Bellapierre Shimmer Powder in 'Champagne'
  • Bharti Vyas The Ultimate Therapy Face and Neck Polisher
  • Erno Laszlo The Hollywood Collection - 5 samples of the new range
  • A Lindt Easter Egg of yuminess
I'm not going to write a review about all of the products (because what I don't know about beauty products would fill a library), but I'm totally impressed with this box. The skin products I'm not so bothered by - mostly because I adore Lush skincare so much I don't feel a massive need to try anything else, but it's always nice to feel pampered and the Erno Laszlo products are well out of my price range so I wouldn't get to try them otherwise (between £85 - £175 - ouch!).

The shimmer powder is stunning, and my favourite item of all was the Filthy Gorgeous Nail Polish...

I can never have too many reds! I'm going to keep my subscription up for now. There's something quite lovely about receiving a little box filled with nothing but little treats. Maybe if I get more confident with beauty projects I'll start the odd review.

You can find out more about the beauty boxes here

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Chocolate Bunny Cross Stitch Decoration

I finished stitching yesterday's free motif today, and here's how it looks 'in the thread'. I decided to give him a Lindt Chocolate Bunny feel with a red ribbon and a tiny bell (Lindt bunnies are my second favourite Easter treat - coming a close second to Kinder Eggs!).

I was going to make a brooch, but decided it would make a cuter Easter decoration, so after mounting onto a piece of felt, and a few stitches later, it's now giving the flowers on my table an Easter vibe...

Follow this link to get a copy of the free chart.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Motif Monday - It's Chocolate Bunny Time!

Inspired by my bunny themed Sunday Best yesterday - here's a chocolate bunny for you to stitch.

I'm half way through stitching mine (with a plan to turn him into a brooch), so I'll hopefully be able to post some pics of the completed bunny tomorrow. I'd estimate that this motif takes 2 evenings to stitch so there's still some time before Easter! No particular colours needed - just choose two yummy chocolate shades (oh how I miss chocolate!).

You can download the chart from Google docs by following this link. Have fun stitching, bunny fans!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Sunday Best - The Bunny Edition

So did any of you get pranked today for April Fools? I'm a wee bit gullible at time so have to avoid all news sites today, or the next thing I know I running around telling everyone that you can get strawberry flavoured milk by feeding cows strawberries...duh!

Anyway, Easter is around the corner and the smell of yummy treats is in the air. So the theme of today's Sunday Best is in honour of the animal who works hardest at this time of year...the Easter Bunny!

Cute chocolate bunny earrings. I've banned chocolate from my diet from today (before I mad?!), so these would be a cute gift instead of an egg.

                                                                          Source: via Kat on Pinterest

I think I might treat myself to these designs...they'd be perfect for stitching over the Easter hols, and so cute!

                                                                                      Source: via Kat on Pinterest

My love of origami designs isn't getting any this bunny brooch, especially the flower on his bum!

                                                                                 Source: via Kat on Pinterest

Adorable bunny print - wearing glasses not that dissimilar to mine
                                                                                      Source: via Kat on Pinterest

And lastly a cute bunny...wait...that's no bunny. Those pugs get everywhere!

                                                                                     Source: via Kat on Pinterest