All that glitters – NYE nails

Seeing as Christmas and New Year’s are pretty much the only excuses I ever have to wear glittery nail polish, I figured I had to try out the gold Barry M glitter I was lucky enough to find in my Christmas stocking before I lost my chance for another year. I love how the large flecks of glitter catch the light and the sparkle has definitely put me in the party mood, even if our plans only involve spending the evening round a friend’s house with lots of food, drink and games. I hope you all have a fantastic evening!

No 7 in Sunbeam / Barry M Gold Glitter


A merry little Christmas

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas filled with family, festivities and food! Our day included all of the above, but went far too quickly as usual. After breakfast and presents it was soon time to serve Christmas dinner and then we just had time for a film before Downton Abbey (although I’m not ready to talk about that yet, poor Matthew!). It was so lovely to spend the day with family and I was lucky enough to get some lovely presents, including a new camera, which was a complete surprise from the boyfriend. This means that one of my new year's resolutions will have to be to learn how to take it off auto, I’ve posted a few snaps of our decorations taken with it below and so far I’m in love!

Boxing Day was just as festive and included even more family and of course more food!  I’m not one to go shopping on Boxing Day or even look at the sales online, so I ventured into Brighton yesterday to see if there was anything left in the sales. I managed to get a few bargain bits with my Christmas money - a half price blazer in Debenhams and a Zara blouse with owls on it, so cute.

I’ll be spending the last few days of 2012 going for long walks (if it stops raining), crafting, eating chocolate and planning for 2013!


Last minute Christmas DIY

I REALLY can’t believe it is Christmas Eve, how did it come round so quickly?! I have at last finished wrapping presents and making cards and I also found a little time yesterday to complete a DIY I’ve been planning for ages. It’s a Christmas stocking for my Granddad who is coming to stay with us this year. I’d already brought a cheap stocking from tesco knowing I wouldn’t have time to make the whole thing, but a couple of snowflakes and some red thread really brightens it up!

All I did was find a snowflake template on google, cut out of some white felt and then glued onto the stocking. Once that was dry, I stitched over with red thread and popped a bead in the middle.

I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!


Picture postcard #4

I’ve had a very Christmassy few days: a Christmas party, Christmas card making, writing cards, wrapping (some) presents, making mince pies, visiting a historic house dressed for Christmas, drinking mulled wine and decorating the Christmas tree. That’s quite a lot isn’t it? And I’ve still got loads more to do before the big day, including a few more Christmas craft blog posts and my Christmas day outfit (all I can say is it will involve a few sequins!). So seeing as it’s about to get even more festive around here I thought this week’s picture postcard should be a bit of an escape. It’s the sunset over the seafront in my local town. I took this picture a few weekends ago, I love the colours and to me it definitely symbolises a relaxing break from the Christmas rush.


You star! - DIY Christmas wrapping decorations

This year I’ve been trying to come up with pretty yet thrifty ways to decorate my wrapped Christmas presents and these beaded stars are just the thing. They’re basically free if you have spare wire and beads at home and can be easily adapted to any shape or colour to match your wrapping paper - Christmas trees, snowflakes or baubles would also work well. I haven’t actually brought my paper yet (!) but I know I’m going for a red and white theme so the red stars will match perfectly and hopefully twinkle in the light form our Christmas tree.

They were very simple to make, simply thread the beads onto the wire, bend into the required shape and twist ends together to secure. I’ll be using these with Christmas tags made from last year’s Christmas cards - love a bit of recycling and I might make some wool pom poms to go on a few presents too.

Of course you don’t have to use these on presents they’d also make great Christmas tree decorations!


Disney love

Look what I found in the bottom of my craft box, a half completed 101 Dalmatians half cross stitch! I started this so long ago I don’t even remember it and I’m amazed it's been hidden in my craft stuff for so long. A few days after coming across it and after a fairly stressful day I thought I’d have another go. It feels slightly silly to be doing something meant for a child, but who doesn’t love a bit of Disney and this is perfect for doing in front of the tv after a long day. I’ve got no idea what to do with it once I’m finished, however if I get the chance soon I’ll be digging out a Disney film or two while I sew.


Knitted baby (or bunny) socks

My lovely cousin has just had her second baby and after knitting her first one a hat I thought I’d try a pair of socks this time. They did go a bit wrong, but as long as you can’t see a picture of how they were supposed to look you’d never know! To see them in their full glory I thought I’d model them on a bunny that sits on my shelves and they look fairly good, I might even try a pair of adult socks next! I’ve been lucky enough to have a day off work today, although after working for 10 hours on Sunday I think I deserve it, so after I've posted these off to Ireland, I’ll be spending the rest of the afternoon watching Home Alone and doing a bit of Christmas crafting.


Wardrobe essentials - the cream top

This is the first item of clothing I’ve brought in what feels like ages, not because I’ve stopped myself spending, but because I’d not seen anything I liked (well, for a reasonable price)! I blogged a few weeks ago about a few basic style rules fashion blogs have reminded me of recently and the necessity for ‘wardrobe essentials’ should definitely be added to the list. This cream top from Next is stylish and will go with pretty much everything in my wardrobe; it can be dressed up or down and was only £16!

The embroidery is beautiful and the pleat detail on the back is also a really nice touch, making it look far more expensive than it is. In reality the top isn’t as fitted as it appears in the image, but this is a good thing as the fabric doesn’t have much stretch. It also comes up quite big – I tried mine on in store and ended up with a size 6 and am usually an 8 or 10, so be warned if you’re buying online. For its first outing I think I’ll be paring it with jeans and a blue Zara blazer for work this week.

What are your wardrobe essentials?

                                                               Image from Next

 Close up of detail on front, love the paisely design.

Pleat detail on back.


Picture postcard #3

This week’s picture postcard was taken this afternoon in the Cuckmere valley, we stopped by the river for a quick walk after a pub lunch (is there any better way to spend a Sunday?) and the light was just beautiful. I love water when it’s this still too. The sunshine had obviously brought everyone out and it seemed half of Eastbourne had the same idea as us - there were people everywhere. It was a lovely moment of peace before what’s going to be another busy week at work, and a six day one at that. But for now I better get back to my online Christmas shopping, everyone seems much more organised than me this year!


Finished project - knitted blanket

This was another of those projects that I started years ago then gave up/forgot about, and I’m so happy to have finally finished it. Even though the design is a heart (you can tell better in the last picture) the combination of red and white feel quite Christmassy and being wool it’s perfect for colder winter evenings. Despite taking a long time to make, it’s really simple – just knit lots and LOTS of squares arrange into your desired pattern and sew together with wool. Don’t you just love that feeling when you finish a project that has been on the go for ages? I’ve also got some red and white wool left so am in need of inspiration for a Christmas themed knit.


Picture postcard #2

This week’s picture postcard is one I took last weekend at Pulbrough Brooks RSPB reserve; the boyfriend and I were lucky enough to get within a few feet of several deer whilst we wandered around! Ever since then I’ve had the ‘doe, a deer, a female deer, ray a drop of golden sun, me, a name I call myself, far a long long way to run...’ song from the sound of music in my head, somehow I know most of the words without ever having watched the film. Sadly the sun had stopped shining by the time we’d spotted these deer and it was just starting to turn to dusk, I hate these darker evenings. I don’t think they’ll be any time for exploring the outdoors this weekend, I’m planning to start sorting Christmas – so it’s a weekend of writing lists, present shopping and Christmas crafting.


Three things I’ve learned from fashion bloggers

You might not guess it from the blog recently but I love fashion and style; although at the start of this year I had completely fallen out of love with it. I was a typical ‘loads of clothes but nothing to wear’ kind of girl and was never happy with what I had on. But one thing in particular helped me out of my style rut – fashion bloggers.

An early floral and feather attempt at an outfit post

And here’s three style rules I've learned...
#1 My wardrobe is full of clothes not outfits – mix them up. I’d stopped trying to create new outfits and was wearing the same tops with jeans and the same cardigans with skirts.
#2 People really do wear cardigans, skirts, tops and dresses backwards and it looks good.
#3 You should want to look like you, not anyone else. So dress for yourself.
They all seem really obvious when I look at them again! But these three things were exactly what I needed to start looking at my wardrobe in a new light. And of course, I couldn’t write this post without listing a few of my favourite fashion bloggers.
Maria from Frills and Spills
Tanya from Fashion knows no limits  


My weekend - autumn and nutella

I had one of those great weekends where you do lots and yet still feel like it was lovely and relaxing at the same time. On Saturday I popped into town, then went out for the autumn walk I’d been dreaming about whilst in the office all week. It was freezing, but the leaves and sunshine more than made up for it; autumn really is my favourite season. This was followed by an evening in the pub with friends, two bottles of rekorderlig later and I woke up with a bit of a hangover – what a lightweight! Sunday was also pretty perfect (after some not so perfect cleaning) I settled down with my favourite film, some knitting and my new favourite snack bananas and nutella. It’s sort of one of my five a day, right? And then headed over to the boyfriend’s for a roast dinner. It’s not often I accomplish all that in a weekend. The only thing missing was a trip to see James Bond which has been rescheduled to tomorrow evening after we couldn't book seats for any showing, anywhere!

What did you get up to at the weekend?


Picture postcard #1

It’s been grey, misty and miserable here for several days now and I’m longing for some sunshine to appear. I’ve got all my fingers crossed that it turns up in time for the weekend so I can head out and take some pictures. I feel I’ve neglected this hobby slightly as crafting has been taking up a lot of my time, so to encourage a few more trips out with my camera I thought I’d start a new feature – picture postcard. A weekly snap of somewhere I’ve been, something inspiring, or as in this case, something I want to be doing - enjoying the autumn sunshine, wrapped up in warm clothes and walking through crunchy leaves! This picture, taken on a walk last year, perfectly illustrates where I want to be this weekend and will hopefully help get me through the rest of the week... is it really only Wednesday?!


Lavender bags – a how to

This afternoon I’ve been making these cute lavender bags. They’re such an easy thing to make and are so small they could be quickly hand stitched if you’re not a fan of sewing machines. They also make great presents, yes I’m already thinking about Christmas, ordered first present for the boyfriend this morning! Anyway, all you need to do is cut some squares out of fabric, pin together and sew around three edges, then turn the right way out, fill with dried lavender and sew closed. You can make different shapes, or embellish them with ribbons or more fabric, but as these were just a practise run I kept things simple.

The lavender was picked from our garden a few weeks ago and left to dry out in the garage, but you can also buy pre-dried stuff online. They smell lovely and apparently also keep clothes moths away, all for less than an hours work!   

How have you been spending your Sunday?
Also, the lack of step by step photos is because my camera is otherwise engaged as I’m attempting some time-lapse photography (more on that soon). But this is such an easy make, pictures aren't really needed!


A deer little necklace

Whilst battling my cold this week I thought I’d keep busy with a simple craft project. Shrink plastic is such an easy way to make jewellery; I experimented with it earlier this year and made a butterfly necklace, click here for the how to. So I thought that now would be the perfect time of year to make a deer necklace (I love anything with deer/stag on).

Unfortunately, the design I chose didn’t quite work – it was really difficult to get the thin legs to lie flat and not twist as the plastic shrank. Deer number one lost his hind legs as I tried to force them back into the right shape. As you can see the second one turned out much better but had an interesting dent in him, no idea where that came from! It took a while for me to decide the best thing to do was fill it with a bead.
After much deliberation I went for an amber coloured bead, it is autumn after all, glued it into place and attached a jump ring and necklace chain. Easy! He’s a lovely little addition to my autumn/winter wardrobe.

Have you ever made anything with shrink plastic?


Etsy autumn wishlist

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that etsy is one of my favourite sites and as autumn is also one of my favourite seasons, I thought I’d show you a few great etsy finds perfect for the coming season.  

Obviously, I had to start with a chunky knit and despite being told previously that I can’t pull off mustard yellow with my blonde hair and pale skin, I shall lust after this gorgeous scarf from The SimpleBoxCar all the same.
A cute CuteAbility acorn and oak leaf necklace, would it be too much to wear it with my squirrel print shirt?

Bluebirdchic - turning your camera into a fashion accessory, love the idea AND the autumn colours.

Finally not exactly autumnal, but how amazing are these lace doily envelopes from Mango And Passionfruit?!  

All images taken from etsy.


Triple chocolate and pecan cookies - a recipe

Good news – it’s nearly national chocolate week! I don’t usually go in for ‘national weeks’ seeing as we have them for pretty much everything nowadays, but if you’re going to buy into any of them it may as well be the chocolate one, eh? So I’ve decided it’s the perfect excuse (not that really I need one) to eat a bit more chocolate, it’s also the perfect excuse to try out a new recipe... gooey triple chocolate and pecan cookies. Now, I’m sure you’ve already got a recipe for triple chocolate cookies, but I’ve had so many compliments on this one that they’re really worth a go. As there’s not much flour and no butter/margarine in the recipe they almost end up a bit meringue like, totally delicious!

30g plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
100g milk chocolate chopped into small chunks
100g white chocolate also chopped
100g pecans (or any other nut you prefer)
200g dark chocolate
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
110g granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 180C

In a large bowl combine the first five ingredients and set aside.

Melt the dark chocolate in a separate bowl and set aside to cool down.

Combine the eggs, yolk and sugar until light and fluffy (easiest to use an electric whisk).

Mix everything together into the large bowl.

Spoon onto baking sheets in heaped tablespoons, you should get around 14-16 cookies. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool.

Best served with a cup of tea and a good magazine!


Love for the Lake District

Both the boyfriend and I had this week off work and we spent the first few days having a well earned break in the Lake District,  which is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Even with the torrential rain we had for two days, the beautiful scenery did not disappoint and nor did our lovely b&b or several days of pub food!

Aside from plenty of time outdoors (luckily we’d packed waterproof coats and trousers, not a great look but better than being damp and cold), top of my to do list was also a visit to Hill Top House, the home of Beatrix Potter. Complete with Mr Mcgregor style garden and the dolls houses and rooms that feature in her gorgeous illustrations; I could quite happily have moved in. We were also lucky enough to visit the local country club (thanks to an agreement they had with our b&b) and spent a few hours in their very posh pool with a sauna and hot tub looking out over the lake district scenery. I’ve never been to a country club before, but could definitely get used to it! 

I’d love to go to the area again, shame it’s SUCH a long drive from home.

Hill Top House and Mr Mcgregors garden (in the rain) 

Beatrix with Benjamin Bunny! 

Apparently someone forgot their picture frame... 

Rainbow <3 

Trying to avoid the puddles, but there were so many that I soon gave up - boots are supposed to get muddy anyway!

Blue skies!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...