Friday, 31 October 2014

October Monthly Favourites


Happy Halloween everybody, I have a less than spooky post for you today, we are going to try something new. I have been loving October and it has made me nostalgic, I have missed my Friday Favourites that I used to post last year, so I thought I would bring it back with a twist - this is my monthly favourites. I will kick off with Reloved Magazine, I am a bit biased as we had a six page feature in this issue, but I am a long time fan of this independent magazine.


In March I gave up smoking and last month I gave up drinking full fat Coca Cola. It may seem like a silly thing but I was using it as a replacement for the cigarettes so I am so glad I have managed to quit both now. I have been drinking water as an alternative, but since my taste-buds have been recovering from quitting smoking I am a little picky about which brands of water I like. The solution for me has been the Bobble bottle. This water bottle filters tap water as you drink it and it tastes great.

I am a long time Max Factor fan and I really enjoying channelling my 16 year old self and bringing back lip liner into my daily routine. In particular the colour elixir lip liner in pink petal paired with the colour collections lipstick in rosewood. As well as lippy, my nails are getting into the season with BarryM nail polish in Vintage Violet.


My new blog planner The Monthly Times planner pad from one of my all time fave online stores Fox and Star is an epic addition to my desk. They are out of stock right now but there are tonnes of others to choose from at Fox and Star.


The last thing I have been inseparable from this month is my hot water bottle, it's so cosy and comforting. This one is from Argos and matches my favourite slippers.

What have been your favourite things this month? Let us know or link to your own posts in the comments below.

Have a Happy Halloween weekend and stay safe out there.
Sammy xxx

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Autumn Wishlist Home Edition



I love changing up my wardrobe for the Autumn but I also love making our home cosy and comfy for snugly evenings in. I have been making notes of some little bits that I have found to make our living space more autumnal. For me H&M are rocking it in the home department right now! They have some really affordable pieces that make an easy finishing touch to any room. What pieces have you bought lately to get your home ready for the colder weather?

Sammy x

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Make it: Pumpkins 3 ways


With Halloween just around the corner it's definitely Pumpkin season.  Now I am not really into Halloween and so I prefer to think of Pumpkin pie and autumn themed decoration instead.  So, I thought that making Pumpkins in three different ways would enable those who do or do not like Halloween to enjoy this week all the same in a pumpkin kind of way.


First up is my funky foam strip pumpkin.  You will need: Funky foam, Paper fasteners, felt, scissors, screwdriver (or something to make a hole with), pencil and a Ruler.


Cut up your funky foam into roughly 10 strips, I made mine about 3cm wide and 30cm long.  Put a hole in each end of the strips (this is where I used the screwdriver to make a hole), making sure they are in the same place in each strip so that you get a clean finish at the end.




Pop a paper fastener through all the strips and open out on the other end.  Start pulling out the strips in the middle so that they naturally open into a circular shape.


I decided to make some leaves for the top, so I used felt and cut a couple of leaves for the top.


I then added glue to the top of my pumpkin base and added the leaves.


Next up is Pom pom pumpkins!  You will need: 75cm x 140cm dress net, thread, scissors. You can find a full tutorial on how to make the Pom Pom's here.


Then I added some black felt to make a pumpkin face - the one at the top of this post, I added some green felt for the pumpkin top.


I kind of feel this pumpkin is channelling it's inner kiss, but I am sure you can come up with some other scary faces for the night itself.


Then, lastly it is Fabric pumpkins!  You will need: Fabric, Thread, needle, scissor, felt, a pen and stuffing.


Firstly I drew a big circle on my fabric and cut it out.  Then I did a running stitch all along the outside of the circle, pulling it together to make a pouch before filling it with stuffing and pulling it closed and stitching it together to keep it closed.





Using another piece of thread, I made segments by pulling it up and over the circle and pulling it tight to give the illusion of pumpkin segments.  Then with black felt I cut a pumpkin leaf top and strip of felt to roll up to make a stalk.  By glueing this on the top of my pumpkin I was done!


You can make these fabric pumpkins out of any fabric and colour and so you can theme them to your decoration.  Last year we made pincushions in a very similar way, you can see that tutorial here.


What do you think to all the pumpkins?  It is making me want to have Pumpkin pie now!
H

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Guest Pinning for Simple Stylish Knitting


H and I are always up for learning new crafts and brushing up our skills. We are heading off to learn a few new techniques ourselves in November. One of the crafts we both want to work on now that the colder weather and darker evenings have kicked in, is Knitting.

H and I know how to knit and crochet but we are by no means confident with either. We wanted to go back to basics so when Simple Stylish Knitting asked us to guest pin for them we were so excited! We are pinning all month on their 'Knits to Give' board.

We will let you know more about what else we have coming up with them later in November, but in the meantime head over and check out what we want to make as gifts to help us sharpen up our skills with some fancy yarns.

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Make it: Spooky Spiders and Vampire Bats


Halloween is just around the corner and although it is not as big here in the UK as it is in the US we still love to get into the spooky spirit. Steve and I normally snuggle up and have a horror movie marathon, although this year we may have an American Horror Story marathon instead (literally can't wait for the new season), anyway, in my shop at this time of year we get asked for fun Halloween activities for the little ones to have a go at in the holidays. My go-to suggestion is always pompoms and pipe-cleaners! So today I am sharing how to make some fun spooky friends to keep the little ones (and big little ones) busy this half term.

I always start by making up some pompoms with my Clover PomPom maker. You can of course go old school and use two card board rings, use this u shape technique or make giant ones like Handmade Charlotte

Cut yourself a length of shearing elastic to tie around the middle. Wrap your pom pom maker with wool, try not to make it too full. 



Cut in the groove and wrap your elastic around the middle to secure your pompom strands together. Remove your pompom maker and fluff up and trim your pompom. The pompom is the base for both our little critters. 


For the spiders you will need: four pipe-cleaners (chenille sticks) googly eyes, shearing elastic, glue (I have used my glue gun but PVA would work too, just take longer to dry) wool to make your pompom and your choice of pompom maker.

Once you have made your pompom take your pipe-cleaners and twist them together at the centre, make two bends in each pipe-cleaner one about halfway along and a small one near the end. Carry on until you have bent all the legs into position.


Take your glue and splodge a generous amount on the bottom of your pompom. Then pop the centre of the legs onto the blob of glue and wait for it to dry. Pop some glue on the back of your googly eyes and pop them on too, then wait for him to dry before bouncing him up and down on his elastic bungee.


For the bat you will need: wool or a pompom that you made earlier, a felt square, a pipe cleaner, googly eyes, glue and elastic (that should already be attached to your pompom but you can tie it on if you have made it without)


Cut yourself out a set of bat wings, I free-handed mine but you can use a template if you like. Then bend your pipe-cleaner around the top edge of your wings and glue it into place.   


Once you glue has dried add your googly eyes to you pompom and glue the wings in place. I made an upside down bat because I want him to hang from a branch but you can make them either way.


Although you can hang them by their elastic they look just as cute posing on some mini pumpkins, don't you think?


We would love to see some more low maintenance Halloween tutorials, if you find any good ones link them up in the comments and let us know how you are celebrating Halloween this year.

Sammy xxx

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Always the Guest


Someone commented to me this week that I know so much about Weddings.  Now this may be that I have been to 32 of them - yep that's right, I am seriously not kidding; it could be that I used to work as an Events Organiser which included co-ordinating weddings or that as a blogger I see alot of fun stuff like cake and decorations, alot of the time.

When I was thinking about what to post this week, I was thinking back on my September, which as a frequent wedding goer, was probably the most weddings in one month I have ever been to.  All the weddings I have been to have been amazing and to see two people so in love on their wedding day is definitely something to enjoy.  Obviously it's all about the food for me really!  Only kidding.

The first wedding I ever went to was in 2002 and so I didn't have that childhood memory of being a bridesmaid in a pretty dress.  But I have picked up a few things along the way too, including alot of dresses, which although I have never been married myself, I hope will be useful.


Venue
Pick a venue you love, I know that money is always going to be an issue, but if you love it, your guests will love it, you will love the photos in 20 years time at it and you will be glad you really thought about it and made it work for you.

Pick what's important
You might want to spend more on the dress, more on the venue, more on the food.  But whatever it is, find out what you think is more important for you, not anyone else.


The food
If you love it, have it.  Simple as that - don't worry about what others may or may not like. Also included here is the cake!  I mean you know I had to talk about cake right!  Make it special, make it you, make it tasty.

Don't sweat the small stuff
I have been around many a bride and all I know is that on the day, nothing else matters apart from you and your partner.
Photos
Get a good photographer and perhaps a Videographer as then when you start to forget what actually happened on the day (cos you will, it will go so quick) you can get that DVD on.  Nothing is worse than realising you haven't got pictures you want either.  So invest.

Weddings really are a personal thing and so by no means is this me telling you what to not do or to do, just go with what you really want and it will be the day you want.

Looking forward to the next batch of invites!
H

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