Wednesday, 11 September 2013

30 Days of Lists Day 11 - Things my family taught me

Oh wow...where are the days going? September is my busiest month at work and time is definitely running away from me! I've still been listing in my little book though, and really love the quiet 'me time' it gives me even amidst chaos! The part I'm struggling with is actually photographing my lists because I'm not at home in the daylight at the moment and the lighting in my house is terrible!

So to get me back on track with sharing my lists I thought I'd replicate them on my ipad...partly because I love playing around with picture apps!

So here is today's list. I really loved thinking about what to write from this list as it wasn't a question I'd asked myself before. 


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Collection Crush - Paperchase Woodland Collection

Paperchase have won my heart again with their new collection 'Woodland'!

These are four of my favourite items (clockwise from top left): Woodland Framed Print, Square Self Adhesive Album, Zip Purse and Fox Frame.

You can view the collection in all its beauty here: Paperchase.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

What's in my Hoop? - Freestyle French Knot Kit

I had a truly lovely day out at Buckland Abbey last week. It's a beautiful National Trust property with stunning gardens and a really interesting history - if you're ever in Devon, UK, I highly recommend it!

Here are a couple of photos from the day:

I found an unexpected little treasure in an art gallery based at the Abbey, in the form of this embroidery kit...

The kit contains a piece of hand-painted calico which has a pretty floral design, and the idea is that you freestyle french knots onto the painting to form the flowers. I haven't tried anything like this before so I'm really looking forward to the freedom of the design.

There are some really pretty examples of how this works on the artist Anne Woodgate's website here, and here is one beautiful example of a much larger design...

I'm going to treat myself to some relaxation time with this kit - I think a cup of tea and some biscuits would compliment it well! I'll update on my progress (with the kit...not the tea and biscuits).

What's in your hoop right now?


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Sunday is Pinday - Bee Happy!

Did you know that bees are the new owls? Well actually - that's not even slightly true, but my love for things with Bees on them is equalling my love for owl-related items , and that really is saying something (I say as I sit in a lounge surrounded by approximately 14 owl related home furnishings!).

My favourite items so far have been these two items:

That print would look lovely in my bedroom, and the embroidered necklace is just gorgeous!

Check out the rest of the board here:

Saturday, 31 August 2013

30 Days of Lists - My Handmade Notebook

Tomorrow marks the start of September (wait...what?!), but that also means it's 30 Days of Lists time...woo!

This year I've decided to go quite simple with the style of my lists and focus on the listing more than the crafting. I decided to have a go at making my very own notebook to store all of my lists in (and so it's easily transportable!). This little project actually took much longer than I'd expected (mostly due to the time needed to cut all of the pieces of paper to the correct size, get the holes in the right place on each sheet etc) as I lacked some of the tools that would have made it easier.

When I say tools - I'm talking about something as simple as a ruler, which the stationary gremlins in my house had apparently stolen.

I'm still really happy with the results though. I just got lots of sheets of (mostly) plain paper in a range of colours and cut them to the same size. I then hole punched each sheet 7 times, scored about 1/2 inch from the edge and then bound them together with embroidery thread.

I used this video to help me with the binding, but it was really simple. I finished mine slightly different as I wanted a loose bow of thread to one side of the notebook:

This is a fun little project if you have some paper lying around which you aren't sure what to do with and is somehow more special than going out and buying a notebook (I say that as someone who loves pretty notebooks, especially those from Paperchase).

I just added some pretty paper to the front with double sided tape and labelled it for 30 Days of Lists! Now it's all ready for the listing fun to begin tomorrow....

Friday, 30 August 2013

TFI Friday

It's Friday lovely people!

I've had a really lovely week as I've been on leave from work and have used it to recharge and re-organise (my house was a mess!). I still have one room left to tackle. Sadly it's the worst room - the spare room aka the 'I don't know where this random object should live and I'll therefore put it there' room.

It's also the home of my craft supplies *cue dramatic music*.

Anyway - that one tiny job aside, I feel like I've achieved a lot and feel rested. Here are a few of my favourite things from this week...

Mumford & Sons new video for 'Hopeless Wanderer' which I think I've watched on a daily basis for about 2 weeks! When you take my favourite band and then add some of my favourite comedic actors (Jason Sudekis <3) you get a video which brings the biggest smile to my face each and every time.

Bumblebees! They seem to everywhere at the moment and I love watching them fly from flower to flower with their adorable fuzziness. The only problem is that my phone seems to be getting filled with photos of them on flowers as I can't resist a quick snap when I see one (like this one...)!

I've finished watching my way through 'Orange is the New Black' - a Netflix original series, and really enjoyed (almost) every minute - great characters and acting, and I'm really interested to read the memoirs of the woman the show is based on (although appreciate the show has been dramatised!)

And last (but by no means least) I've loved spending some quiet time with these two...after observing their daily routines of sleeping, eating and playing I think that the life of a cat would suit be just fine (apart from the washing...ugh)...

Oh..and I've been loving playing around with the Beautiful Mess photo app - the little doodles are too cute.

Hope you had a good week and a lovely weekend ahead.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Tutorial Tried and Tested - Crochet Bath Puff

I'm still in love with the craft of crochet and trying out new ideas and tutorials all of the time. When I saw this tutorial for a bath puff on Bianchi's Barn here :
I knew I had to have a go at making one (I never like the feel of the shops bought plastic ones). 

The tutorial is really easy to follow with just a basic knowledge of crochet. I used Sugar n Cream yarn, which has the perfect thickness for this kind of project, and I'm so happy with the result...

 I've made a couple more of these as presents - team them up with some lovely handmade soap and you have a thoughtful but cost effective (and fairly speedy gift). It only took me an evening to make one bath puff and its a lovely relaxing project which isn't too taxing on tired brains. I can really highly recommend this tutorial, so if you need more crochet in your bathtub check it out!

I'm on the look put for more simple crochet gift ideas so if you have any I'd love to know (how is it possible that Christmas is fast approaching...eep!).


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Getting Focused

It's a bit of an understatement to say that I've needed to improve my focus in recent months. In general I'm trying to do too much at any given time, without managing to do anything very well.

I'm happy to say that this is starting to improve. I'm tackling projects around the home one at a time, balancing my home and working life and prioritising what's important.

I still need a bit of help getting my creative side a bit more focused though. I have about 1000 ideas floating around my head - but I'm achieving nothing (does this ever happen to anyone else?). To help with this I've signed up to 2 projects starting in September which I'm really looking forward to. 

The first is 30 Days of Lists.

I love this project so much (for I am, indeed, a list-o-holic). The organisers give you a daily prompt of a list to write, and the lists are based around all different kinds of themes. I love taking part in this because as well as meaning I get my list-fix, it also gets me writing - however short that writing may be. From past experience, the community surrounding this is very lovely and it's a lot of fun reading other people's lists (which you can post in their Flickr group or on a private forum). If you'd like a few more lists in your life you can find out more about signing up here: (there is a fee of $10 to sign up and access the resources).

The other project is the Wild Olive Autumn Stitch Club, organised by Mollie Johanson. 

This is an incredibly cute project and involves weekly miniature embroidery designs in Mollie's adorable style, which you stitch on fabric which you then turn into little hexagons. You then make some hexagons of some favourite materials and stitch it together to make a mini quilt of prettiness. I love autumn, I really want to get back to doing some embroidery and I need to get over my fear of the sewing machine - so this project is just about perfect for me! 

I can't wait to get started -  I've already received some helpful instructions (I've never attempted quilting before so this is a mini challenge for me!) and I'm planning to make some hexagons this weekend. The club runs from September to the end of November. If you sign up before September 2nd the fee is just $5, and you can find out more here:

I'll share my progress with these projects on here to keep me on track. If you sign up for these, or know of anything similar I'd love to hear about it!


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Apologies and Anemones

Hello my long lost bloggy friends! How have things been? Full of happiness I hope!

Things round these parts have been somewhat busy, to put it mildly, although that's no excuse for the neglect of my little space in the blog-verse! 

Amidst all the busyness I've missed quite a few things - writing, crafting and maybe most of all - taking the time to reflect on some of the lovely little things in life that are so easy to neglect. 

So that's the my readers for being neglectful, my blog for leaving it empty and myself for not allowing myself time in my happy space online. 

And now for the anemones! I spent the day at the National Marine Equarium in Plymouth today and found it to be a lovely and chilled out space. I love all forms of wildlife, but none seem so totally fascinating and alien as the aquatic world. They honestly look like something out of a sci-fi film to me. 

These were taken on my phone, so aren't going to set the photographic world alight, but hopefully capture the beauty...


And creepy cuteness...

...of the things I saw today. 

Ok, I'm off to find a new craft project to sink my teeth into...any suggestions happily received.




Monday, 22 April 2013

Otters and Butterflies and Owls...Oh My!

During my recent time off work I had the cutest day trip on the South Devon Railway. A very sweet and traditional steam railway on the south coast of the UK. At one end of the railway line these adorable guys were waiting:

at the Otter and Butterfly Sanctuary. cute? The one on his back there spent a good five minutes rolling around in his enclosure right below where we were stood. I was smitten.

They also had the beauty of being able to watch butterflies and moths hatching from their chrysalis:

There were so many climbing their way out while we were there and it was so incredibly cool to watch. I've never seen anything like it up close...beautiful!

At the other end of the line was the Totnes Rare Breed Farm which was a lovely little farm with lots of opportunity to interact with the animals. I loved feeding sheep and goats...but most importantly I had the chance to stroke this little guy....

 His name is Flitwick ( there a better name for this owl) and there was a sign up which said that if he was sat on the fence in front of his enclosure it meant he was ok to be stroked. Luckily he was sat there and it meant I had my first ever hands-on owl experience!

This rather magnificent lady was also there, surveying everyone with a look of absolute superiority:

I can't recommend this day out enough to people of all ages, especially animal and bird lovers! If you ever happen to be in South Devon check it out.

For those very far away, I hope you've still enjoyed the photos!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday Best - Doctor Who Edition

I'm so happy Doctor Who is back on TV which, coupled with the news that David Tennant is returning for the 50th Anniversary, means that I'm in a Doctor Who obsessed place right now.

There is a lot of Doctor Who loveliness on Etsy, and here are a few of my favourites:

Handmade journal by Berna on Etsy

Silver glass necklace by Caleb Smith on Etsy

The Silence Cuff Bracelet by Sarah McGee on Etsy

Adipose Skirt by NerdAlertCreations on Etsy

Amigurumi Patterns of all 11 Doctors by Crafty is Cool Crochet on Etsy

I need that Adipose skirt a crazy amount. Seriously.

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend. I'm off to snuggle up with some green tea and blog reading.



Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tutorial Tried and Tested - The Nail Edition

Does nail art count as a crafty project? I kind of think it does. I certainly get the same rush of happiness when they're painted a pretty colour as I do when I finish a little craft project.

One of the first things I pinned on Pinterest was a nail art tutorial, and I've been pinning them ever since. This tutorial by Chloe's Nails is one of the first tutorials I came across for using tape to create patterns and I decided it was finally time to give it a go. I especially loved this project because it didn't require any complex tools - all it needs is nail polish and scotch tape.

Now this is the first tutorial I've tried that I really struggled with. However, I should explain that this is due only to my clumsiness with nail painting, and nothing to do with the tutorial which is actually very clear!

Here is my attempt (the tutorial uses 3 colours but I decided 2 should be my limit..nail art virgin and all that):

Through doing this I learnt 2 things. The first is that I hate how scrappy my nails look in photos (there is no danger of me ever becoming a nail blogger, trust me).

The second is that I'm painfully slow at doing this kind of thing. It took me longer to paint these nails than it did to crochet my doily brooch last week! Placing the tape and peeling it off again was a nerve racking process, although I think I'll get better with practice.

Now that said, I'm writing this a couple of days after painting my nails, and I'm loving how my nails look with this pattern. So was it worth the time it took? Totally.

The colours I used were:

Lemon Meringue NP030 by Models Own and...


Pink Quartz 5141 by Barielle.

My nails now remind me of an ice-cream sundae...yum! Don't forget to check out the tutorial here if you fancy trying your own scotch tape nail art!



Friday, 12 April 2013

TFI Friday!

Happy Weekend!
Another relaxing week has been had here...I think I'd forgotten what chill out time feels like...bliss! I'm feeling fully charged and ready to get back to the daily grind on Monday :)

This week has brought one all-consuming addiction with it...The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. This is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, which still remains one of my all time favourite books. I stumbled upon the first episode of this adaptation by accident on YouTube, and 100 episodes later I was smitten with the characters (don't get me started on Bing Lee) and gutted to have reached the end of the story.
It's primarily told through Lizzie's Vlogs, although a few other characters also get in on the act, and there are some cute interactions via Twitter. I genuinely enjoyed some of the changes they made to the story, but don want to spoil anything.
You can watch your way through everything in order using the links here.
Please be warned that it might be detrimental to your sleep however.
In other news I've been continuing my stash busting exercises and now have the most organised collection of earrings I've ever possessed, thanks to the joys of embroidery hoops, a vintage doily and some hessian...hurrah!
Is it sad how happy I am to be able to see my earring collection looking so organised?
My next mission is to organise my button stash...wish me luck!
Have a gorgeous weekend, time for me to start reading Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time x

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tutorial Tried and Tested - Doily Brooch

Today's tried and tested tutorial is for a cute Doily Brooch from Goodknits. I'm still learning how to crochet (and loving every minute) but this tutorial was nice and simple to follow, providing you have an understanding of the basic crochet stitches/ abbreviations. Here's my finished product...

It didn't come out perfect (none of my crochet does!) but I'm really happy with it, will definitely wear it, and learnt a new stitch as it involves the popcorn stitch. I used DMC stranded embroidery thread to crochet with - my first attempt at using a material like this instead of wool, and found it super easy to use. A whole host of new tiny crochet projects using my stash of thread has popped into my head....hurrah!

If you fancy making your own piece of prettiness then head over to the blog here for the tutorial (where you can also see some far neater examples!). I'm planning to make a few more to attach to ribbons and use to decorate parcels.

And here is my new brooch in action today...So fancy!

It requires a 1.75 crochet hook, and the smallest I had to add was a 2mm so it came out a bit bigger than it should be, but pretty none-the-less.

Do you have any favourite crochet tutorials? I'd love to get the links if you do!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Collection Crush - The Chase by Alex Monroe

My collection crush this week will have to remain in the 'window shopping' category due to budgetary constraints but this new jewellery collection titled 'The Chase' by designer Alex Monroe is seriously gorgeous. You can check out the full collection here.

The pigeon sat on a gate has to be my favourite cute and peaceful.


Friday, 5 April 2013


Oh Bloglovin'...where have you been all my life?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I sense a late night of adding blogs to my reading list coming on...anyone got any suggestions?

TFI Friday!

It's Friday, lovely people! That means it's time to look forward to the weekend ahead. I have a weekend of spring cleaning ahead, and I'm trying very hard to convince myself it's going to be fun...right?

This week has been truly lovely. I've had a week off work and have done a lot of battery recharging. I had the cutest day out yesterday, involving some otters, some butterflies, a steam train and owls (pics to follow at some point soon!), and have made some amazing new discoveries in the form of a new favourite TV Show and a food-stuff!

The TV show is Portlandia, which has totally captured my heart. I love these guys and the characters they've created, and totally want to make a trip to Portland my next holiday.

And yes, I do want to put a bird on it (actually, I pretty much do that anyway).

The food-stuff (if you can call it that) is Fluff. This isn't something you can easily buy in the UK but a shop near where I live has started stocking it, and hot chocolate topped with Fluff is now one of my most favourite of treats!


Yum! And fat free (yes, I'm ignoring the whole calorie content factor).

I hope your week brought something happy your way. Here's to the weekend!


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Tutorial Tried and Tested - Dino Ring Holder

I have a confession to make.


I compulsively bookmark/ pin online tutorials and then, without fail, successfully manage to never get around to trying them...ever.

I've decided this is a habit I want to break and so have set myself a goal of trying out one tutorial every week. I promise to share the results, however bad they might be!

My first attempt came from a blog which is packed with cute tutorials called Small Good Things. The blogger behind the tutorials is Emi, and a while back she posted a fun tutorial making ring holders using plastic animals and some old nail polish.

I'm terrible at loosing my jewellery, and I hoard nail polish like nobody's business, so this was a perfect tutorial for me to try. One trip to a supermarket later and I was armed with a bucket of plastic dinosaurs and some old nail polish. The end result was this little guy, who now sits proudly on a shelf by my bed...


Ironically I couldn't find any of my favourite rings to pose him with for a picture! However, when they do turn up I'm pretty sure my dinosaur is going to keep them safe.

This was a super easy and cheap tutorial to try, and apart from the nail polish fumes (do this project in a well ventilated room!) it all went well. It only took two coats of nail polish before he was no longer green and was sporting a pretty purple hue. I didnt take the extra step of adding push pins because he's kinda big and heavy. Love the idea though. You can find the tutorial to make your own plastic animal ring holder here.

Ok, I'm off to hunt for my rings, and then decide on a project for the remainder of my dino-bucket...any tutorial suggestions very welcome :)





Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Collection Crush - Fauna at Magpie


This new collection titled 'Fauna' by Nicholas John Frith for Magpie is a perfect combination of pretty muted pastel tones and gorgeous artwork of wild animals. The pieces above are my absolute favourite ( and my home is suddenly naked without them) but check out the full range here.