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.


Monday, 1 April 2013

Motif Monday...the 11th Doctor

I'm back! Phew!

And even better...I'm back with a free cross stitch pattern for the Whovians amongst you. Our beloved Doctor was back on Saturday...complete with his new assistant Clara and a rather spiffy new outfit. To celebrate his return you can now stitch him on pretty much anything you desire (a Doctor Who tea towel?...yes please).

The important question is...which outfit do you prefer?

Follow the link here for the downloadable pattern and as always, I'd love to see your finished pieces. I'm stitching these little chaps at the moment and will post as soon as they're finished.