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Monday, 28 August 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 6 Update - Unicorns Don't Care



Here's my project for last week - a day late! Oops!

I've had a summer cold this past week, which means that life has been spent either at work feeling sorry for myself, or at home curled up with tea and cross stitch.

The style of this kit was a little different for me - but I loved the retro font - and the Unicorn attitude of course! It's another one from The Geeky Stitching Company. I'm finding them to be the most relaxing projects ever. I've got another three kits stored up to complete, and about another 10 designs on my wish list!

I've been doing lots of thinking whilst stitching this week - about priorities, goals, what I want to do next with life - you know - the little things.

I do love crafting for providing some decent thinking time. I find that I never worry while I craft - instead I tend to quite calmly work through things in my head.

I haven't decided what project to complete for this week. I'm working through the rooms in my house at the moment and doing little bits of DIY and tidying/ turning out as I go. I'm hoping that will give me some inspiration on what to make next.

A friend has also lent me her sewing machine - so I'm going to be brave and try to use it. For all the crafts I've tried, sewing machines still terrify me!

Whatever your week brings, I hope it's a happy one. And remember - if you feel stressed - be like a unicorn.

Bye for now.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Sunday Best - The Black Cat Edition



Thursday 17th August was Black Cat Appreciation Day. I definitely appreciate my little black cat, Bob, who loves sitting in cardboard boxes. He hasn't been very well for the past week (which involved a visit to the emergency vet last Sunday (ouch...expensive but worth every penny!). He's much better now though, and is getting lots of love and adoration.

Apparently animal rescue centres struggle to home black cats which is such a shame. Bob is my third black cat and I absolutely adore them. They all have amazing characters and life is a much better place with a little black moggy wandering around the home.

In honour of these amazing felines here are five of the best black cat items on Etsy at the moment...



Kate Broughton is always a favourite for me - and these black cat nail transfers are no exception.



This absolutely adorable pin from GlitterPunkJewellery  is on my list of pins to buy (I'm rationing myself to two per month - it's a killer).



The ilikeCATSshop is another regular favourite of mine on Etsy. I love the style of this print...and the combination of flowers and vegetables is just extra amazing.



Black cats are definitely lucky - and this hoop by CrimsonPins is a gorgeous way of celebrating that fact.



And lastly, this print by PrintsofHeart is so cute...and so right...I've had kitties of all different colours in my life...and the black cats have definitely always had the most chilled and cool little personalities.

I hope your Sunday has brought with it some loveliness. I'm full of a cold so I've used it as an excuse to hide under a blanket and craft while watching my way through the Star Wars movies in order (still not finished...I have a feeling it may carry over to next weekend!).

Bye for now

xx

24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 5 Update - The Cactus Cushion



Soooo...I'm not so sure about how I feel about my project for this week. I've felt a bit like giving up on it a few times, which probably isn't a good sign. My project for this week was an embroidered cactus cushion, which I made using a kit from Flying Tiger Copenhagen (I bought this kit a while ago so I don't think it's in store anymore...sorry!).


The kit itself was easy enough. The instruction were some super-vague pictures, but with a tiny bit of embroidery experience I could work my way through what I needed to do.

My biggest gripe was that I ran out of both of the green threads so had to raid my stash for something similar. I found an okish match, but it's always going to bug me that some of the cactus spines are a different colour to the rest!

My hand-sewing skills to sew the two sides together were also slightly lacking so it's ended up a weird shape at the top! I'm always really really critical of my own work but for this challenge I'm trying to silence my inner critic and post the projects anyway!



Still...it's not keeping my parrot cushion company in my snug. Although my dog has taken a bit of an interest in it...so it may end up being a dog toy!

Anyway...back to cross stitch this week I think...or maybe an embroidery hoop project. Decisions, decisions!

What are you making at the moment? Is it too earlier for Christmas crafts? I'm seeing them pop up everywhere and am so tempted to start because...you know...Christmas.

Bye for now!

xx





Sunday, 13 August 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 4 Update - Succulent Cross Stitch



Life is keeping me busy at the moment.

To help me relax and give my brain time to download each evening I've been keeping up with my crafting and I've loved getting back into cross stitch so much. It's definitely my go-to craft.

My project this week was another kit from Geeky Cross Stitch. It was a joy to stitch and for such a simple pattern the final effect is gorgeous. Oh, and don't even get me started on that pompom trim (which comes with the kit) ... amazing.

I know succulents are the go-to trendy plant now, but my love affair with them started at age 10 - when I realised they were the only plant I could keep alive! I loved stitching this pattern to celebrate their amazingness.

Geeky Cross Stitch have a couple of other succulent themed kits - and I've ordered both of them - they're just too lovely, and will look amazing as a set. The presentation of the kits, and ease of use was just perfect - and they come with your own personalised sticker, which is so cute.




So my goal for this week is to keep crafting...but also get back to blogging! I have a day off work and think it might involve lots of tea, some mellow tunes and some serious catching up in the blogosphere!

Whatever you are doing, I hope you have a lovely week ahead and don't forget to keep making time to do the things you love!

Bye for now.

xxx

Sunday, 6 August 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks Week 3 Update & Geeky Stitching Club Review



To say that my project for this week has been a joy to stitch would be an understatement. The weather where I live has been terrible, and so stitching this pattern was like stitching a bit of sunshine back into my week (which was a week off work - I really know how to pick them). The fact that I do love stitching a good pun also added to my enjoyment of this kit. Aloha Beaches. Brilliant.

I received this pattern as part of the Geeky Stitching Club , which is organised by the Geeky Stitching Company. I found the club through facebook and was quickly in love with the cure and quirky designs so decided to sign up. This was my first geeky stitching club box and it was really fun to receive and make.


Here's how the subscription box looks when you open it - super cute graphics and pretty colours (and a sweet) - so it definitely won my heart.


Inside the box was everything needed to complete the main pattern - a hoop, fabric, needle, threads, instructions and the pattern itself (which was super easy to follow). I've been travelling around a bit this week and being able to just pick my kit up in the box and carry it around with me was perfect.

There were also some extras in with the kit - two bonus patterns, a piece of fabric (which is so pretty - t had dots!) and a skein of thread for future use.




I'm definitely a fan of this subscription box - the presentation of everything, cuteness of the designs and how flipping easy everything was to follow (right down to having the skeins of thread pre-organised on a card in the order the colours are listed on the pattern) really did mean this kit was a joy to make. I'e ordered a couple of other kits (themed around my favourite plants!) so there will be more to come as part of my 24 projects, I'm sure!

Have you finished any projects this week? I'd love to hear about them if you have.

xxx

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Collection Crush - Wrendale Designs


So this isn't the first time Wrendale Designs has featured on my blog, and honestly - it won't be the last. I think I'd buy pretty much anything and everything if it featured the gorgeous art work of Hannah Dale.

I'm very happy that one of the latest releases has been a collection of scarves as now I can wear my love of adorable creatures with pride. My only issue is which design to buy (must...not...buy...them...all).

I've picked my four favorites above and if you'd like to see some closer images check them out at the links below (clockwise from top left)

Pink Ladies Flamingo Scarf

A Waddle and a Quack Duck Scarf

Some Bunny Scarf

A Dog's Life Scarf

I can see at least a couple of these featuring in my autumn wardrobe.

Bye for now.

xx


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

...Hello August



I'm looking forward to August. For the past few weeks I've been in a really negative headspace and I've lost touch with the things I need to do in order to be able to focus positively on situations. Positive thinking is something that doesn't always come naturally to me - I'm definitely a bit of a pessimist - so it's something I need to be aware of, practice and learn from the times when I can't see the wood for the trees.

I've got some plans for some little crafty projects for the month ahead, and to focus on family, friends, my health and home. I thought I'd share the goals I've set myself for August to try and keep myself on track.

1. Meditate every day - I feel about a thousand times calmer when I take a few minutes to meditate each day - it really helps calm the pessimist in me and to focus on what is important. I've resubscribed to Headspace so I have no excuse. I'm going to re-start with their beginners programme from today so I'm interested to see how I'm feeling in my post at the end of this month

2. Walk 70,000 steps each week. This is fairly self explanatory - my aim is to get out and about walking more often, and to take photos as I go.

3. Finish 4 crafty projects - because I'm loving the sense of calm I get when I craft - and the accomplishment of finishing a project (no matter how small!).

4. Spend less time on social media and more time with the people I care about - I think that social media - particularly facebook - is kind of bad for me. I'm going to stick to just looking at instagram for August and see if being away from Facebook helps to free up some time for far more important things.

5. Get organised at home - my home is in desperate need for some organisation, and some low-scale DIY projects at the moment. August is definitely the time to get started on them.

Have you got any goals for August? Whatever the month holds for you I hope it includes doing lots of things that bring you happiness - whatever they may be!

Bye for now

xx

Monday, 31 July 2017

Goodbye July...



I'm not sure how I feel about the past month. It definitely brought some happy times my way, and some achievements, but it has had some difficult times and I'm leaving the month feeling tired and like I need to take a step back and re-prioritise things.

So...that is what August will be for - recharging and refocusing.

I thought it would be nice to note some of the good things July has brought before I flip it the bird and skip into August.

Watching Movies...

...I have watched a lot of movies this month. More than I have in a very long time. Some have been good. Some...not so much.


This is a screenshot from my favourite film of July - Get Out. It stars Daniel Kaluuya who is just an amazing actor. He plays Chris - a man who goes to visits his girlfriends family for the first time. Look at those smiley faces. What could go wrong?

The answer is..a lot..although not necessarily for the reasons you might expect. The film is creepy, sinister, funny, horrific and tense - all at the same time. I can't say much because I don't want to spoil it - but just watch it. It's fantastic.

Crafting...



July is the month I started to get my crafty mojo back. I've finished two little craft projects so far, and am working on project three at the moment. I've loved making things again - and it's definitely something I want to keep focussing on.

Spending quality time with the people I love...



Yep - it should be a given that this is something that it is good to do. In July I've spent some quiet time with some of my most loved people and have really treasured that time. I often but myself under pressure to make everything perfect, but I've tried to shake that off - and just enjoy the moments.

The photos above are from a stay in a lovely country hotel. It was just for one night but it was so relaxing it could have been a week away. I'm definitely going to try to plan more times like that in the month ahead.

Linked to the quality time - I've also really grown to understand just how kind and amazing people can be. Sounds super fluffy I know, but my heart has been warmed by the kindness of others many times over in July, and that's kind of amazing.


...and that's about it for July. I'm going to sleep on my thoughts about July and plan some goals for August.

How was July for you?

Bye for now

xx




Sunday, 30 July 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 2 Update - Foxy Cross Stitch


Hello to all the crafty people in the house! I've achieved week 2 of my challenge to complete a crafty project each week. Hurrah! I've found cross stitch to be really helpful this week. My brain has been so tired each evening (hence the silence on here...so sorry my lovely blog readers) that following a pattern has given me something to do that doesn't involve sitting around and worrying, but hasn't overly taxed my poor confused brain!


So here's the finished item. It was from a kit that came as a free gift with the September 2017 issue of Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine. I have such a stash of free kits to work my way through, but I couldn't resist this design - so pretty.

The kit comes with a pink plastic hoop as well, but I am trying to build a collection of embroidered designs in wooden hoops for a hoopla wall I want to put together,  so I used a small wooden one instead.

Here's a close up to show the detail of the design. I was so impressed with this design coming as a free kit.


If you'd like to stitch your own little fox family the magazine should still be in the shops.

I have a sneaky suspicion next week's project is also going to be cross stitch related - but more on that next weekend!

Have you completed any projects this week? I'd love to hear about them if you have!

Bye for now

xx



Monday, 24 July 2017

Subscription Box Review - The Sugar Box



My love of subscription boxes continues this month with this little box of prettiness. This was my first 'Sugar Box' - the subscription service from one of my new favourite jewellery shops Sugar Oh Honey Honey (previous review here).

Here's a bit more detail regarding the contents of the box (spoiler time...everything is super pretty).


I loved that the contents were all wrapped - the box arrived on a very crappy day, and it was lovely to have some little treats to unwrap. Here are the contents of the box...






The strawberry is a lovely summery brooch, and the bow is a pretty hair clip. 

My favourite is this bracelet. I feel so lucky to have received this one (they all contained quotes or art from British authors) and this quote from CS Lewis is a favourite, and literally perfect at the moment.



Courage dear heart. 

So all in all I'm very happy with this subscription - I'll use/ wear everything and I can see that it would be a perfect way of building up some pretty presents for loved ones as well.

If you're interested in the subscription you can find out more here. There are a few different subscription/ payment options available - I opted for a 6-month subscription which is £12.50 per month. Really good value for the number of items.

I have a sneaky suspicion there will be more subscription box posts to come...(must...stop...addicted to...post-based suprises).

Bye for Now!

xx





Sunday, 23 July 2017

Sunday Best - The July Enamel Pins Wishlist

I've been bitten by the enamel pin bug and now there is no turning back. I used to collect badges as a kid and I think this is an extension of that...with the added bonus of the fact the enamel pin market seems to be filled with some truly amazing artists.

Here are a few from UK designers on Etsy which I'd love to buy as I think they represent little parts of my life at the moment...



This Avocado on Toast pin  by Octarine Dreams is too cute and represents my addiction to this combination for my breakfast. It symbolises Sunday morning breakfast cooked by my husband, and I'd love to buy this as a little memento of happy mornings.


This pin from Fable and Black pretty much sums up one of my major loves in life...reading...and the fact I absolutely need to do more of it.

I want this pin for no other reason than the fact it is amazing. Frida Kahlo by Prints by Pippa (the whole shop is amazing!).


My love of gin isn't diminishing and I'd like to wear my gin adoration with pride through wearing this gorgeous pin by Kate Pillenger Designs. 


I think this pin from Katie Abey Design speaks for itself. My jar really does feel quite empty at the moment.

I think I'm going to try and ration myself to two pins each month...we'll see how that goes!

I hope your weekends have been the best they could be and that your week brings good things - and if it doesn't then there's always the jar pin to comfort you!

Bye for now

xx



Saturday, 22 July 2017

24 Projects in 24 Weeks - Week 1 Update - The Crochet Cushion


Hello my lovelies. Just a quick update because I'm hoping to track my 24 projects on here. Week 1 has been a success - I've finished a project - hurrah!



A very simple little project this week - a granny square cushion which I've made as a present for my dad. My crochet skills are still at the basic level - but I don't mind as long as I can crochet a granny square any time I please. I didn't use a pattern for this - I just started with a simple granny square pattern and made it up from there.

I bought the cushion pad from a charity shop and it seemed much bigger when I got it home...so I now have a slight cramp in my hand and what shall be known as 'crochet claw'. That said - I find crochet to be the most relaxing craft I do and I really enjoyed making this. I forgot how lovely it feels to make something from scratch and suddenly have a whole finished item.

Time to decide what project two will be...

If you've made anything this week I'd love to hear about it!

Bye for now

xx

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Collection Crush - Cath Kidston Pets Party


Some new items and patterns have appeared on Cath Kidston - and some of them are absolutely gorgeous. I have a feeling they will appear in a few 'Collection Crush' posts. For today, however, I had to go straight to the new 'Pets Party' items. I have a niggling voice in my head telling me I'm too old for this range. But then another reminds me that it is a pattern featuring guinea pigs wearing glasses and hats and I realise I just don't care.

Yes, that's right - guinea pigs all dressed up and ready for a party. Amazing.

I love every item in this range - there are things for kids, and big kids and they are just so ridiculously cute. I suddenly realise my drink is worthless if it isn't served in the cup above. If you're interested in any of the above, you can find them here (clockwise from top left):

Open Carryall Bag

Notepad

Cup and Saucer

Cardigan

I have a sneaky suspicion that some items from this range will be finding their way into my life very soon - I just need to wait patiently for pay day (yeah right...patient...its freakin' guinea pigs in clothes).

Bye for now!

xx






Monday, 17 July 2017

Thoughts on...Finding my Craft Mojo Again and Project Goals



'What are your interests?'

Um..well...

'I like lots of different crafts'...

Being crafty is one of my go-to terms when I'm asked to describe myself (which I hate...seriously...is anyone actually any good at describing themselves to an audience?). The problem recently ... or for about two years...is that I've hardly made anything. That does call into question whether I can really define myself as 'crafty'.

I think that one of the problems is that being 'crafty' is another way of saying 'creative'. And creativity requires some headspace, which I'm not very good at giving myself. I've been working on my headspace recently, and that has supported me in feeling a little bit more creative...and I've started making things again. Yay!

I've decided to set myself a little challenge after realising there are 24 weeks left in 2017. Seriously - only 24 - how in the hell did that happen? I'm aiming to complete 24 crafty projects in those 24 weeks - no matter how small. Here are a few things I'm trying to help me get back into 'making' again, in case your crafty mojo is also in need of some life support!

1. Make things you enjoy - I've committed myself to projects in the past which have seemed more like a chore than a pleasure. I'm going to keep my projects for the rest of the year simple and achievable.

2. Browse blogs to find some inspiring projects -  Paper & Stitch is my absolute favourite place for this.

3. Plan out presents for upcoming birthdays/ anniversaries/ births etc - Sometimes it's really motivational to know that you're making something for someone who will love it.

4. Plan some projects that are just for you - A slight contradiction to number three - but with 24 projects I think there is room for both! I usually find I'm only making things when they are for someone else. I'm definitely going to pick some projects that will be for me/ my home.

5. Get organised - I'm about half way through organising my craft stash and I've found that by just going through what I have hidden away in drawers I've found some inspiration and ideas for what to make

So..that's me ready to get crafty. I'll share my projects and progress on here - I'm so interested to see if I make it to the full 24 projects and feel really motivated to try.

Bye for now!

xx



Sunday, 16 July 2017

Sunday Best - Doctor Who Jewellery


I'm currently sat on my sofa, feeling a little bit under the weather and watching the end of Wimbeldon while waiting for the annoncement of the new Doctor  in Doctor Who. I love Doctor Who. It's one of my many geeky fandoms. I've fallen out of love a little bit for the run of the Twelth Doctor - not because Peter Capaldi wasn't fantastic, but I found the stories lacking slightly and quite honestly just didn't enjoy Clara as a companion. Bill Potts, however, was a fabulous companion and I'm so sad to have said goodbye to her.

So I'm sat here wondering what one of my favourite TV shows is going to bring next. It's a weird set-up where the main character - the one you bond with and travel on so many adventures with - is guaranteed to say goodbye at some point. I'm intrigued by the next change - will the Doctor change gender? Or race? Or not really change at all?

So as I'm waiting, and remember some of my favourite moments, I'm also browsing Etsy for some sparkly Doctor Who items. The photo above is a collection of some of my favourites. I'm hoping that the decision on who will be the next Doctor is an exciting one - one that promises something new and different. One that can connect with a whole new generation of young people who can learn the power of companionship and the importance of adventure, through travelling with a Doctor in a blue box.

If you'd like to wear your Doctor Who fandom with pride and buy any of the above loveliness, you can find them all on Etsy at the following links:

1. The Angels Have the Phonebox Necklace by Stella My Star 

2. Gallifrey Symbol Ring by Spooky Island

3. Tardis Watch Pieces Glowing Necklace by Sugar Oh Honey Honey 

4. Eleventh Doctor Necklace by Twuly

5. Tardis Earrings by It's Laura Crow 

6. We're all stories in the end earrings by Boutiqable

Bye for now!

Friday, 14 July 2017

That Friday Feeling...Being Calm, Podcasts and Unicorn Tea


Hello beautiful Friday fans.

This week has involved needing to inject as much calm relaxation into my evenings as possible. I've renewed my efforts to try mindfulness each evening - which I'm still find really challenging when my head is full of thoughts it is trying to organise - although I think that may be the point of mindfulness!

I've found a few other calming things to do this week so thought I'd share...

What I've been reading...


I've been working my way through these lifestyle magazines and have found that reading them is a really relaxing experience. In the Moment and Project Calm are just so pretty to look at, are written in an accessible and warm way and have lots of interesting information and craft projects included - perfect! I've subscribed to 'In the Moment' so will share my thoughts in a more detailed review after a few issues.

What I've been listening to...

My husband has introduced me to the world of Podcasts recently and I've found they are great background noise while I'm doing other things or trying (and failing) to fall asleep. A few favourites so far are:

'Richard Herrings' Leicester Square Theatre Podcast' or RHLSTP as it is otherwise known - lots of Richards special brand of infantile humour and some entertaining celebrity guests - my favourite so far has been David Mitchell

Adam Buxton Podcast - this isn't published as frequently, but has some magic moments and for fans of The Adam and Joe show in the '90's it was particularly lovely to hear him reunited with Joe Cornish

Just Make the Thing - Claire Tonti is the wife of my husband's favourite podcaster Mr Sunday Movies and he suggested that I try her new podcast which focuses on her inability to finish projects which she starts (I can relate!). Some great tips so far.

I'm on the look out for new podcasts to listen to at the moment so if you have any recommendations I would love to hear them.

What I've been drinking...




This week I've been in love with Teapigs 'Jelly and IceCream' tea for a lovely sweet fix without lots of calories. Of course...the fact I'm drinking it from one of the most amazing mugs of all time is helping. This mug came from Asda and it's making every cup that little bit more magical!


Life is still a bit difficult at this end, with someone I care about very much going through something very difficult. This weekend is going to be spent with the people who mean the most to me. Whatever you are doing I hope you find some time to be calm and do a little (or a lot) of something that makes you happy.

Bye for now xx


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Collection Crush - Satellites by Rosebud Casson




The jewellery designs of Rosebud Casson are a fairly new discovery of mine, but I'm already smitten. When I saw the new 'Satellites' range I knew I had to feature it on here. I've always had a special place in my heart for all things astronomy. When I was growing up at home my dad built himself a giant telescope and could often be found in the garden looking into the sky. As a teenager I'd bring friends/ boyfriends to the house and often find that if I left them alone for a few minutes they would have been gathered up and taken out to look at various wonders in the sky (sun spots anyone?).

The moon designs in this collection are particularly reminiscent of the photos of the moon my dad would take through the telescope...and I have a feeling that at least one of the necklaces will make its way into my collection soon.

If you're interested in any of the above items you can find them here (clockwise from top left):

Moon Necklace

Galilean Moons Statement Necklace

Ganymede Moon Necklace

Saturn Earrings

Bye for now!