Three favourite DIYs of 2013

Before starting all the exciting DIYs I have planned for 2014 I thought I’d take a look back at my three favourite and most used makes from this year. It’s been a busy one but I plan to try even more new ideas out in the coming months.

Branch necklace holder - this is without a doubt the easiest, quickest and cheapest DIY I have ever tried but it looks SO effective. I think I need to find some more things to make out of sticks in 2014!

Heart fingerless gloves - I couldn’t not include something knitted and these have been warming my hands pretty much constantly for the last few weeks! They were fun to knit and my first try at knitting in the round – which is a great technique once you’ve got the hang of it. I still love both the colour and the heart design <3

Cameo brooch - what can I say, I watch too much Downton Abbey and fancied a cameo style brooch. The shrink plastic gives it a modern twist to the classic design.

Have you got any new crafts planned for 2014?


Christmas time

I hope you all had a great Christmas! I thought I’d share just a couple of pictures I took on the day this year; I spent the majority of the day at my parents’ house, which is where the pictures below were taken. But the boyfriend and I spent the first part of the day in our flat and managed to visit both sets of parents together before heading to our own families for Christmas dinner. Being three different places meant that the day went way too fast!

As well as seeing family we also managed to fit in time to eat lots of delicious food and open presents. I was lucky enough to get some lovely bits including a few Cath Kidston goodies, a fish eye lens for my camera, jewellery and a candle making set. I love those few days after Christmas when you have time to wear and try out all your new presents and I think I’m going to investigate the candle making set tomorrow. Eeeee.

Looking for his presents!

Trying out my fish eye lens on the Christms tree at my Mum and Dad's house


A needle felt Christmas decoration

This is our first Christmas in our new flat and first tree together so to celebrate I spent last night making a needle felt heart decoration for our Christmas tree. I’ve mentioned my newly found love of needle felting before here (as well as details of the wool and needles you’ll need) and once you’ve got the hang of the basic - stab the wool with the needle as you shape it, it’s really simple and great fun.

I made up the heart as I went along, felting in more wool here and there until I was happy with the shape, but for something more structured you could draw a template first and use this as a guide. As a simple rule, the more wool you felt and the harder you stab it the more sturdy your decoration. Watch out for your fingers though, those needles are sharp!

Once you’re happy take some ribbon, tartan is obviously the best at Christmas time, and push a pin through the middle of the ribbon and down into your decoration. Tie the ribbon together at the top and hang on your tree! The perfect thing to make with a Christmas film on in the background.



Well we're back from holiday and before Christmas well and truly takes over our lives, I thought I’d share a few pictures from our trip to Barbados. As I said in my last post it’s the first holiday we’ve had abroad in over three years and first time going anywhere like the Caribbean.... and it was truly amazing. Not even a slight exaggeration there.

We spent most of our time on the beach or by the pool, basically just enjoying the sunshine! I’d really recommend Barbados as a winter sun destination – although it was rather strange to see Christmas decorations while out in 30C heat. They also had some good reggae Christmas song remixes.

The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly swimming with sea turtles, they can be found living near several beaches and it’s so easy to get a boat trip out to see them. We took a cheap disposable underwater camera and I’m so excited to see the developed pictures!

I took around 700 photos on my canon (oops) so here's a very select few...


DIY pom pom Christmas garland

Because it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a few pom poms.

This may just be may favourite make so far and it's certainly my new favourite Christmas decoration. It’s super easy to make, just whip up a few pom poms and tie them on a piece of string; simple but effective!

I think I may need to make a non-Christmas one to put up in the New Year!

p.s. let me know if you would like a pom pom tutorial.

p.p.s. holiday pictures coming later this week :)


Winter sun

Just to let you all know that things are going to be quiet around here for the next week or so as we’re off on our holidays and to be more specific we’re off to Barbados! It’s the first time we’ve been abroad in a few years (and I’ve NEVER been anywhere like Barbados) so I’m super excited!

Work has been pretty stressful (again) recently so a break is well overdue, not to mention the added stress of going away in December... err when do we do our Christmas shopping?...and working right up until the night before we fly, the thought of relaxing is pretty much all that’s keeping me going. I’m afraid I’ve not been organised enough to schedule any posts or guest posts, but have been working on some Christmas DIY’s and a few other exciting things to share with you when I’m back.

Here’s hoping the beach looks something like this...

Image taken from Pinterest
Hope you all have a fantastic week :)


Recently I’ve been...

Laughing at these Lego mini me’s the boyfriend and I made in Brighton last week. We were supposed to be doing our Christmas shopping but popped into the Lego store for a bit of fun and found that you can make your own Lego character. We made each other (I wouldn’t have chosen that dress for myself!) and then he made one for a friend. At £1.25 each they’d make great stocking fillers!

Crafting a needle felt robin for a feature in workbox magazine. He’s currently sitting above the fire but I think he might go on our Christmas tree next month.  Look out for the feature next year.

Singing coldplay for these gorgeous yellow lilies as they bloom 'look at the flowers, look how they bloom for you, and everything you do, yeah they were all yellow'. Yep, lets move on from that. They’ve been brightening up our living room for the last week and I might have to buy another plant to fill their space once they’ve past their best – slightly more economical than flowers!


Knitted kitty

Meet my latest knitting project - a kitty! I saw the pattern for this cute knitted cat on ravelry and immediately added it to my projects list.

Here’s the pattern – it’s easy to follow and gave me a chance to practise my knitting in the round skills, tutorial here. I used a chunky wool and slightly thinner needles than mentioned, but surprisingly it still worked! I’ve since purchased the necessary 3mm round needles and found some DK to try it with too as suggested in the pattern.

My original plan was to ‘cat bomb’ my Mum and Dad’s house and hide him there for them to find, but I’ve become quite attached so I had to make another one. And here it is!

Which is your favourite?


Cinderella's pumpkin carriage!

Last Sunday, the boyfriend and I went to see the Slindon pumpkin display; made by a local farming family the yearly display has certainly become popular and after seeing lots of pieces about it in the local paper I was pretty keen to go. This year, as you can probably see, the pumpkins have been arranged into the magical pumpkin carriage and castle from Cinderella! Bippity boppity boo...

The scene is made from over 50 varieties of pumpkin and 30 varieties of squash and you can buy most of these to take home too. Pumpkin soup, anyone?  It’ll be on display at Top Road, Slindon, West Sussex until the 30th November, so if you’re not ready to let go of autumn just yet, I’d highly recommend stopping by.

After enjoying the pumpkins we decided to explore Slindon further and went on a walk through Slindon estate, it was such a beautiful day with a bright blue sky and once again I spent lots of time playing with the camera and taking photos without using auto! We found an empty barn to explore, some sort of monument structure and had a little picnic!


Mollie makes cross stitch

I love cross stitch; I think it might be the craft I find most relaxing – although that could have something to do with the candle and cup of tea I usually make sure I have next to me! This cross stitch is from a recent mollie makes issue and it’s certainly my kind of cross stitch with its floral pattern and beautiful colours. I’ve already found a home for it in our bedroom as our curtains are the same shade of pale blue/green, but first I just need to find the perfect frame, any excuse for a bit of shopping eh?!


A doe, a deer... picture postcard #9

We had the most perfect Sunday a couple of weekends ago; a very long walk, which involved hunting for conkers and watching deer, then home to cook the first roast dinner in our new flat. We walked for about two hours and my camera came in very useful when we spotted some fallow deer! It’s their rutting season so we didn’t get too close but I still took a lot of pictures. The one below is my favourite, as I’ve resolved to take my camera off auto most of them weren’t great but that’s what practise is for.


Scalloped nail art

You might have noticed that there’s been a distinct lack of nail art around here recently and this is mainly because I’ve had quite a few disasters! Chevrons are apparently not my thing, and neither it would seem are coloured French tips - both look great in my head, not so much in real life. I’ve since decided that both failures had something to do with the masking tape I used to try and get clean lines. So, it was time to find something simple but without need for masking tape...


I’m really pleased with these, although they did take practically an entire Harry Potter film to create. After painting your base coat use a different colour and do three graduated brush strokes starting the first one halfway up the nail and finishing the third one in the opposite top corner. Then repeat this with another colour starting even further up the nail. I was worried the left hand would look terrible but for once they look identical!

Collection 2000 Manice in French White - Rimmel Lycra Pro in Aqua Cool - No 7 Stay Perfect in Poolside Blue


DIY branch necklace organiser

I saw this idea on pinterest a while ago and immediately knew I wanted to recreate it. Then a few weeks ago on one of our walks, I FINALLY remembered to look out for the perfect necklace-organiser-making-branch and it was surprisingly easy to find once you start looking.

It’s so easy to make that I didn't take step by step pictures – plus I was a it too excited to get it finished and on the wall. First,  find a nice (dry) stick and snap to size, then take a length of parcel string tie and around each end on branch (I went for a double length to make it slitghly stronger) finally, hang on wall.

I love it! The boyfriend is not so convinced, his reaction was something along the lines of “Umm, it’s a stick”, but I think he appreciated that it was free at least.

I’ve also seen curtain poles made out of bigger branches and really want to try that too, but we should probably wait until we have our own place, not sure the landlord would be too impressed if I took down the nice conventional curtain poles we have now...


Needle felting pinspiration

You might remember my needle felted mouse tutorial from a weeks ago, well I’m determined to try some more and of course pinterest is FULL of inspiration. So naturally I’ve been pinning away and thought I’d share a few of my favourites on the blog – quite a few of these would make perfect autumn decorations too!

These rainbow coloured mushrooms would brighten up even the greyest day.

Source - Pinterest

 Acorns = autumn, enough said.

Source - Pinterest

Add in a few more orange and red streaks and you’ve got perfect autumn colour leaves (that won’t dry out like real ones)!

Source - Pinterest

Little hedgehogs - needle felt a few of these before they disappear into hibernation...

Source - Pinterest

And finally one for winter... a box of penguins! Too. Cute.

Source - Pinterest

Which would you try?


Filo pastry jam tarts

I am still LOVING the Great British Bake Off so when I had some leftover filo pastry (after a yummy chicken and mushroom pie) I figured a quick bake was just the thing. With limited time I thought I’d go for an oldie but goodie –jam tarts!

I didn’t bother to find a recipe and simply greased a muffin/cupcake tin with butter, cut the filo into squares just bigger than the indented circles, brushed melted butter over each sheet of filo and lightly pressed 3-4 sheets into each circle. I baked these for around five minutes then removed from the oven filled half with jam, half with nutella and replaced for another 5 minutes in oven, until the pastry turns golden brown.

The nutella ones were a bit of a last minute experiment and I’d add the nutella even later into the bake next time as it came out quite dry.  Even with the chocolaty goodness of the nutella I think the traditional jam ones were still the best.


Needle felting - a how to

I’ve always been fascinated with needle felting, but thought it was one of those crafts I would never understand – surely there’s no way you can turn loose wool into shapes simply by stabbing it with a needle... well it turns out it really is that easy. And once you’ve got your head around that, the needle felting world is your oyster!

This all began when a colleague went on a needle felting course and naturally when she came back with a gorgeous needle felted mouse we all demanded she show us how it was done.  So one night after work we all came armed with the supplies below, needle felting wool, a needle felting needle, pipe cleaners, foam block and a piece of pale pink felt.

To begin place a generous palm sized piece of felting wool on the foam and stab a few times with the needle to attach it to the foam, you’ll notice the needle has little ridges on it – it’s this that really helps felt the wool together.  Now, begin rolling the top towards the bottom creating a sausage shape.

Fold the edges in and keep stabbing until it’s a nice mouse body shape, wider at the bottom slightly thinner at the top. You can always place more wool onto the shape and stab in to add to the body.

Do the same for the head but this time, start with a smaller piece of wool and as you make the sausage shape twist the wool so that the nose appears much thinner than the back of the head.

Attach the head and body, simply place together and, again, stab with needle. This is slightly tricky and it is possible to break your needle doing this (and stab your finger- ouch!). It might help to wrap some new wool around the join and use this to attach them together.

For the arms and legs use a small amount of wool and as you make your sausage wrap the end of a pipe cleaner in the middle. Attach this as a leg or arm, make three more and one for a tail! When you’re happy cut off the excess pipe cleaners, except the tail of course.

Now you can play with the shape of your mouse, stabbing in extra bits of wool until you are happy. The finishing touches are the ears cut out of pink felt and sewn on, black beads for eyes and a tiny piece of pink wool felted into a nose.

I think the shaping comes with practise as does speed. But for a first attempt I love this little guy!


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