Friday, 30 December 2011

Baby's bedroom

We went to Mamas and Papas a few days ago and I fell in love with their Jamboree range.  It is cute and fun and seeing as we don't know the sex of our baby yet it is fairly unisex.  I like the jungle animals theme and love the colours.  Here is some from their range:

Sadly we can't afford to buy all these delicious things so we are planning on buying a few key pieces like the wallpaper and then choosing fabric in co-ordinating colours and making a few matching items like curtains and a blanket.  I put together this colour way to make it easier:

I will take some pics of what I make...if I manage to make anything!  Stupidly I didn't photograph ANY of the Christmas presents I made but I might make some more things that are similar and put them in the shop.  Here are the things I made for my family:

Dad - bought three packs of nice and unusual coffee from Whittards, a cardboard (shoe box sized) box from Hobby Craft which I decorated with pretty vintage papers and some small jars which I filled with maple syrup, some nice hot chocolate and some demerara sugar that I infused with vanilla and made pretty tags for them.  I put verything in the box with some raffia to fill in the spaces.

Mum - Made some moisturiser by melting shea butter, jojoba oil and wheatgerm oil together and pouring it into a tin and letting it et, I then made a label for the tin with a piece of pretty scrapbooking paper.  Also bought a kilner jar which I filled with melted wax and a wick.  To make it more interesting I added some lavender oil for a nice scent and some shells and driftwood.  I tied the top of the jar with raffia, a shell and a piece of driftwood.

Brother - Felted a jumper and made a pair of mittens (much harder than I thought, lots of swearing involved), and I made him tie from some tweed that had some sparkly bits in which i thought was quite festive. (Again much harder than I thought, again, lots of swearing!)

Sister - Covered a small note book with pretty fabrics, lace and buttons, bought a hot water bottle and made a patchwork cover with pretty co-ordinating fabrics, some vintage.

Sister - Made some bunting with flowery fabric and bought some cheap towels which I embellished with some lovely Cath Kidston fabric along each end.

Everyone seemed quite pleased with their presents, although my brother less so because his mittens were about 3 inches too long for his fingers!!

Did you make any presents this year?  What did you make?  Did they go down well?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmastime in my house

I have been busy busy busy making Christmas presents for friends and family and trying to get the house nice and tidy before the big day. Also lots of Church things going on at this time like our Youth group Christmas party and youth drop in sessions, so not a lot of time for blogging.  However thought I would share with you a few pics I managed to snatch of our Crimbo decs that we have going on this year.  I went for a red and white theme with a sort of New England/Shaker feel (I think) with gingham and hand-made-looking (bought them in Wilkinsons for £1.00 each) decorations. Last year we had red and gold so I just kept the red and ditched the gold so everything matched.  Also wrapping the presents with brown parcel paper and raffia this year and sewing little name tags to tie on.
School holiday has begun so hopefully will have a little more time for blogging, it only occurred to me the other day that I could have been documenting the making of my Christmas presents and producing tutorials for everything, but by then it was too late, everything was already wrapped up.  I still have a few presents to make so will photograph them and see what I can do tutorial wise.  Having said that I wouldn't want my family finding out what they had got if they took a sneek peek at pics on my blog.
Anyhoo, here are some photos from around the house, the tree is one we bring in every year, it is looking slightly sad this year, for some reason it has started to grow in a curve!:

And then there is me, getting bigger by the day!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Making Christmas cards

Every year I like to make my own Christmas cards, I think they are more personal than the ones in the shops.  This year I went for a Robin Lino cut.  Here is a peek at the making process:

Friday, 9 December 2011

Monday, 21 November 2011


Found this delightful shop yesterday called Bohemia.  Most things are out of my price range, but there are some really lovely designs, lots of mori style too, take a look:

Harris Tweed Bag, Munro Centenary Hunting Macleod

Love love love!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

100 thing challenge

I am reading a book at the moment called "100 Thing Challenge"  haven't quite finished it yet, but so far it is very interesting.  It is about a bloke who decides to strip his life of personal possessions till he has just 100 personal items. It is not something I would personally be interested in doing, might actually be impossible for me actually because I probably have more than 100 things in my craft room alone!  However I do agree with the principals of having less stuff.  I quite often feel like all my belongings are a bit of a burden, plus having a small house means that we very quickly look cluttered if we don't keep a tight reign on our buying
I do feel that the society we live in places a great deal of value on having a lot of stuff.  People seem to feel that it adds value their person if they have expensive/lots of things.  Usually whenever I think about buying something new I try to ask myself a few questions:
Do I need it?
Is it beautiful?
Is it useful?
Could I make it myself?
Depending on my answers to these questions will decide whether or not I will buy the thing I am looking at.   Of course I am not always that virtuous and often give in to impulse purchasing!
As I have said before I am currently trying to have a bit of a clear out and make some space, but it can often be very difficult.  I have noticed that there are several things that stop me from getting rid of stuff I don't need. First being that I think I might be able to sell it, therefore I keep hold of it a wait to sell it online, often I don;t end up selling the item and at this point should probably get rid of it, of course I don;t manage to do this.
The second reason I find for keeping hold of things is if it was given to me.  We all receive gifts that are not always the thing we really want, they take up space we already have one, it's not quite the right thing, I know this has often happened to me, but it is very difficult to get rid of things you have been given, there is guilt attached.
And finally I am always thinking that "it might come in handy one day".  This is probably the worst of the three for me, it completely disables my ability to get rid of things, and as a result I have a house and loft half full of piles of worn out of too small clothes, broken bits of things and all sorts of scraps that just might come in handy for something.  I swear I have things in my possession that I have had for perhaps 15 years thinking they would be useful for something.
But at some point you have to decide that enough is enough and be ruthless, this is what I am going to have to be over the next couple of months to make space.
What are your thoughts and feelings on having lots of stuff?  What do you do with things you no longer need? Could you live with just 100 personal possessions?

Hope you have all had a positive weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead with energy and excitement.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Selling my solar viewer

I am having a massive clear out at the moment, so expect more posts like this!  Today I have decided to list my beloved Solar viewer on Ebay.  It has been in my Etsy shop for over a year and although I have had a few views  haven't had a buyer or that much interest, now I just want to get rid of it because, at lovely as it is on my shelf, I need the space.  So if you like it you really could get a bargain.  Head over to Ebay and take a look:

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

New item in the shop - Mini book!!

I have seen a few mini books floating around on the Etsy market and with my stash of vintage paper building up in my spare room to quite ridiculous proportions I thought I would give one a go to try to reduce my stash, and expand my little online business in the process. I loved making it and am definitely going to make more, I have loads of ideas for making a travel version with all my vintage maps, and a Christmas version.  I have put this one in the shop but have also made another for myself so I will be posting my own finished version in a few days (check back soon!) complete with photos and journalling.  I called it the "English Country" mini book because I included little things like doilies, pages from an old Enid Blyton book and floral Cath Kidston style paper which I felt gave it a feeling of eating cream teas in a pretty rose garden.  Let me know what you think:


All the pages:

Especially pretty pages:

Hope you are all having a great day x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Alex Duncan - Surge

The weekend before last I visited a lovely art gallery in Swansea called The Mission Gallery, the gallery alone is beautiful because it is an old church that has been converted into a small gallery space.  It has a really calm, peaceful feel inside, a really beautiful, small space.  The exhibition that we saw was called Surge by an artist called Alex Duncan, it consisted of a series of large format photographs which were reflections of urban environments in the surface of puddles, a series of small photographs of water - the ocean, rivers, lakes- which had been left in water till the image had begun to fall away from the paper creating a fascinating rippling effect on the surface of the photograph, and finally, an installation which, from afar, appeared to be hundreds of ocean tumbled stones but on closer examination was in fact different sized pieces of polystyrene which had been collected from beaches across the UK.  The installation was really beautiful and thought provoking and we spent a long time looking at it,  I would really recommend the exhibition if you are ever in Swansea.
I find it really encouraging and inspiring to visit contemporary fine art exhibitions like this one as it is such a contrast from the very traditional paintings that I spend a lot of time looking at online.  Unfortunately I couldn't take any photos inside but I did manage to find on online that someone must have sneaked;  I have also included some images from the publicity material:




Have you seen any inspiring contemporary art exhibitions recently?