Home & decor

A tropical theme for summer 2017

Flamingo party 1

Flamingo party 2


Flamingo party 4

Flamingo party 5

Flamingo party 6

Flamingo party 7

Flamingo party 8

Flamingo party 9

Oh I do love a summer BBQ and I do love to decorate for a summer BBQ. And this year there are SO many great Flamingo themed accessories to really make your party fun!

In March we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and decided to have a BBQ, we're South African so there is no BBQ season in our house! Thankfully we were blessed with a sunny and warm weekend just like our wedding day 10 years ago.

eBay is bursting with Festival Party Supplies and Pinterest is full of great décor ideas.

The best bit about this party theme is the mix of colour, textures and styles. I used a lot of coloured glass, vases, tealight holders and some tall coloured glass shot glasses for displaying straws and cocktail stirrers. I mixed linen napkins with paper napkins because I try hard to reduce my waste but I couldn't resist these flamingo ones!!

There are a few bits that you can't reuse, like the paper napkins or straws, but I do wash and reuse cocktail stirrers and I save photo booth props from landing up on the floor or in the bin. But I'm certainly not precious about little bits that go home in someone's handbag. After all if they want a memento of the day, it's been a SUCCESSFUL day!

Top Tip:
If you are lucky enough to have a glue gun then use it to adhere the sticks of your photo booth props. They last much longer that way!

I'm so looking forward to many more Tropical themed parties in 2017 and I'll be sharing some fun BBQ food ideas as we move through spring!

C xx

Mini Christmas wreaths

Christmas wreath 1

Christmas wreath 2

Christmas wreath 3

Christmas wreath 4

I have spent way too much time out of my craft room over the past few years, but this autumn I felt a pull back into it. Maybe it's the reshuffle of the room reminding me about the really cool crafting supplies I own, or the many hours I've spent on Pinterest pinning really cool stuff that I wanted to make. The creative juices have been bubbling over and I've loved every minute.

In an attempt to use up some of my odd half yarn balls I thought yarn wrapped polystyrene rings was a great idea. Embellishing options are endless and I was torn between pom poms, needle felting, crochet snow flakes and knitted robins. Actually I'm really keen to make seasonal and occasional wreaths so I can just change them up every few months!!

So here is some detail:
The polystyrene rings are from Hobbycraft.
Yarn is Rowan cocoon (grey and green) and Rowan creative focus worsted (red) left overs.
The bells came from eBay and the ribbon from my stash.
The santa is needle felted using wool roving from Art Van Go in Knebworth
The little tree is from Tim Holtz Christmas collection adorned with tiny beads individually stuck on (!!!)

Christmas wreath 5

Thank you Pinterest for the inspiration! And thanks for visiting.

C xx

Craft/Office/Gym room *progress*

Craft room 1

Craft room 2

Craft room 3

Craft room 4

Craft room 5

I wanted to do an inspirational post about the reorganisation of our craft/office/gym room, with before, during and after photos, but in truth I'm not sure if this room will ever be totally done. Things go out, things come in, projects are started and there is always some activity going on. So I thought I would just share the room as it is now, and please note that this is after a big change up to fit the new gym equipment in.

Pinterest has literally changed my life when it comes to getting organised. There are so many great ideas out there and I love to gather lots of information to work out the best plan for organising. I did this for our coat cupboard (small/tiny room off the entrance hall) refit that we did earlier this year. We lived with a very UNfunctional space for our coats and shoes, for over ten years!! It was only when I had gathered ideas and planned what I needed to buy and how much work was involved did we start work. That cupboard is now SO functional and has stayed neat and tidy since it's refit.

Now, the coat cupboard refit was easy in respect of the stuff that needed to be organised. My craft room is not easy AT ALL because my stash changes (and grows) all the time. In the autumn I can't resist buying yarn to add a couple of new shawls and jumpers/cardigans to my woolly wardrobe. I also buy scrapbooking supplies that will convert into a Journal Your Christmas album. So stash needs to be stored before being converted and some will move out the room (knitted items) and some will stay but in a new 'form' (album).

One of the organisation products I love, especially for yarn, are the Drona boxes that fit in my expedit unit. Both are from IKEA and although they don't make the expedit any longer they do have an alternative, Kallax. At £2.50, the Drona box is so affordable and surprisingly strong. We have one that is packed with CDs, and although we do carry and move it carefully, the bottom hasn't fallen out of it! I would also like to get some Flarra mini chests to separate out supplies for needle felting and embroidery. And I would like a slightly larger desk!

As I work on optimising the space and functionality of my scrapping corner, especially as I will spend time here making over the festive season, I'll be sure to share more detail and ideas.

Until then, happy creating!
C xx

A Floral Brooch Bouquet

Brooch bouquet 5

Brooch bouquet 8

Brooch bouquet 4

Brooch bouquet 6

Brooch bouquet 7

Brooch bouquet 3

Last year I made a Brooch Bouquet. I love the idea of having an everlasting reminder of a wedding day that can be displayed in the home and become a family heirloom.

There are two types of Brooch bouquets. one made entirely of brooches (usually collected over time from family members and friends - this is a great idea if you start collecting after the engagement), and one with brooches added to a faux floral display. I love both ideas and as I love to actually wear brooches I opted to buy diamante embellishments from The Handmade Card Company.

Choosing flowers and brooches can be a bit horse and cart as you need the brooches to try against the flowers but before you buy the brooches you'll want to know how many and what size you need. I was very lucky to have won a lovely selection of brooches from the THCC so I had a starting point. Some of the brooches don't have hols to thread wire through so make sure you can borrow (if you don't own) a glue gun.

The first step is to wire your brooches, I used some florist wire that I bought off eBay. I chose a good weight (thickness) wire on my first try. Your local florist or Hobbycraft will have.

Brooch bouquet 9

I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to buy faux flowers online and am lucky enough to have a lovely shop that stocks an excellent range. Be warned, good quality faux flowers (ie ones that don't actually look fake!) are quite pricey. I took my wired brooches with me when I chose the flowers.

This bit was very trial and error and as I have NO floral arranging experience it was very daunting. But you just need to trust your eye and look at ready made bouquets for ideas. A hair band is a very effective tool for this job as you can quickly tie a bouquet together to look at it from all angles and swop hands without it falling to bits. Also don't forget to take photos of each arrangment because you'll kick yourself when you think that the third one you tried was perfect and you're now on 349 and can't really remember what it looked like!!

Once you're happy with your arrangment (and again don't rush this bit, live with it tied in a hair band and keep coming back to it in different lights and times of day), wrap the stems together with florist tape (another eBay buy) and secure tightly so the centre blooms don't slip.

Top Tip: Wind the brooch wires around the flower stems to keep them secure.

Then wind ribbon over the tape and tie off. I chose a simply gingham ribbon with a bow.

Just a note: I looked a countless brooch bouquets online and thought I could make it for less. My supplies did cost less than a ready made one but I spent a LOT of time on it. If you're not crafty or don't have the time to make your own then consider buying it. Etsy has some really beautiful ones!

The internet has lots of ideas and video tutorials (so I didn't bother making another one!), which are a great help if you choose to make your oen bouquet.

Happy crafting!

C xx

Seasonal cloche

Cloche from the French for bell. I first discovered the glass cloche dome in the Country Living magazine when they were used to cover and protect plants from the frost in early spring. I loved the idea of placing these glass 'bells' over my tomato seedlings on the allotment, so I went on the hunt for a selection of styles and sizes.

Now I don't want to begrudge my seedings the protection they require but I decided that they were better off on the window sill in the kitchen and my cloche was better used as decor!

I am amassing a collection of seasonal treasures that will fill my cloche all year round as I aim to have it on display 365 and a quarter days a year.

Cloche easter

Easter: I found this gorgeous bunny at Etcetera in Hitchin and just loved his little fluffy yellow tail. The eggs came from a John Lewis silly sale (I have hundreds!!) and the tissue grass was an eBay find. I bought lots of different colours. The bunting was made with skewer sticks, cotton and patterned paper off cuts. This is why I keep all my scraps! The bunting stands thanks to glue gun blobs on the glass base.

Cloche halloween

Halloween: My little haunted house came from  John Lewis silly sale, and it did light up but the battery is flat (must replace it this year!). I cut the bats from cardstock, suspended by glue gun dots with cotton.

Cloche christmas

Christmas: I think this could be my favourite! The trees were an eBay find and they came as a pack of various sizes. The snow was also from eBay and has silver snowflake punch shapes in it that sparkle in the candle light. The deer were from Kenmore Interiors in Hitchin, and are/were Christmas tree decorations.

Pinterest have so many great ideas! I could almost change my cloche every week, but imagine the storage I would need to keep the decorating treasures. I plan to also use natural items like pinecones and willow branches and moss and holly. Oh the possibilities are just endless!

Do you have cloche ideas to share? Please do :)

Ciao C xx

Big reveal and funny posts

I've finished the shelves! I am so very happy with how they look. Besides the wires ;) Dear husband is going to drill a hole at the back of the tech tower which is what the video, DVD and sky box is now affectionally called, so we don't see them.

The room is more finished. Its liveable. The only thing to do now is a thick piece of wood on the top of the fire place which will hide the wires from tv to tech tower.

So happy!

Still no job news and I am off now till Tuesday, feeling a little frustrated to be honest.

Now the funny posts part of my title refers to yesterdays post. It was a bit bullet pointish and nothing flowed together. Lol, I guess that's just me typing what I think, in the order that I think it, and without much thought to how I change track.
I won't apologise for these funny posts because that's just me :)

Mentioned above is me having a long weekend! Tomorrow I'm expecting the boiler man so I'll be home and will possibly have a visit from Sarah and Stanley, for a spot of tea, maybe some knitting and baby cuddles.

Tonight I'm knitting at home. Must share a progress photo of the alpaca shawl, can't wait to wear it!

Okay I'm off to get dinner on, bye. xxx

Big reveal and funny posts

Painted shelves

Well last night I painted the shelves and thought I might need two coats of paint. I haven't though and the shelves are ready to pack! Yes it's the final stretch.

My assessment day went well. I was not nervous at all which was good. The plan to use the day as a learning curve worked and I did learn alot. Not sure I would have done much different but listening to and watching others behaviour was interesting and I got loads of ideas!

The journey was poop though. It's a long way to commute.

Tonight I'm feeling full of cold. Don't think it's a cold, think maybe it's just the effect of the rooms aircon. It was drying and we all felt dehydrated when we came out. 3 cups of coffee left me with a massive headache too.

Grey's tonight, yahoo!!

Till tomorrow.

Painted shelves

A progress report

Alas the shelves are not quite finished but I thought I would post a progress report.

So they're up and base coated x2. This is what caused the delay! The base coat needs to be left at least 4 hours between coats.
Dear husband wanted floating shelves where you couldn't see what's holding them up! Me, I was just happy with shelves and had no problem with most basic. However as I wasn't the one doing the building I went with what he wanted.

Here they are with 2 base coats ready for a final light sand and paint to blend into the wall.

Tomorrow is the big assessement day! I am a little nervous but following the saga of last week I have convinced myself that this is a learning curve for me and to take as much experience away as I can.
I am in two minds right now, at a fork in my life path. One half of me is desperate for this job, the other is content in our house and village and why do I want to move across country?!
Funny how two opinions (both from yourself) can be so jolly different!
I guess either way I will be happy as I'm not relying in either to fulfill me.

Anyway I must go paint!
Cheerio for now.

A progress report

A long overdue update!


Okay so i've been slacking again. The truth is I am really battling to get motivated and getting up in the morning is a nightmare. Maybe because it's dark and my bed is just too warm and cosy. But from Monday I am on operation, get your arse outta bed!! I have started having porridge in the mornings before work, to get back into some sort of healthier eating regime. 3 meals a day, well spaced, and plenty water in between. Getting up late and having to rush is no good, even though i do manage to get my breakfast before I leave home.

Whether i manage a blog every morning again will be left to be seen.

So without anymore waffle, here is a little photo update.

28 09 08 (7) 

The two new units, sorry it's such a poop photo! Thanks mum!!

Kitchen 16 oct (22) 

The notice board mum bought me last month, thanks again! My beautiful Laura Ashley tea towels, and i hope you can see the colour of the walls okay in this photo.

Kitchen 16 oct (16) 

I have taken to having flowers in the kitchen.

Kitchen 16 oct (17) 

And my bird feeders beyond the flowers. I love to watch the birds from the kitchen. Actually it makes being in the kitchen a little more enjoyable.


And the flower bed next to the deck. Check out what it looked like in July, second photo down!

27 09 08 (4) 

One Saturday night when we had one of those glorious weekends last month, Stu and I had a BBQ. I left the lantern on the table over night and woke up to this.

haPPy saTUrday!!