Month: March 2015

Great gift idea – birthday box

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It was my 21st birthday on the 15th March and unlike most 21 year old girls, I chose to go to the zoo and have a nice quiet meal at my favourite restaurant with my family! I received so many amazing presents and I’m grateful for every single one. Zak even booked us a trip to Greece in May – woohoo bring on the sun!

My mum had a great idea to do 21 different presents. In a lovely little box, she decorated and wrote 20 cards with 1 big card at the end. Each card had different things to do inside e.g. go to the zoo again, go to the beach, picnic at the forest, theatre trip to see Mamma Mia etc…all brilliant things that I’d love to do! And the last card at the end was a joint present for my 21st and my sister’s 16th so we can go to Disney! All exciting stuff that makes me want to be 21 every year haha.

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How to turn a ripped canvas into a light up photo montage

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I bought a huge canvas from Hobbycraft a while ago for an art project and was left heartbroken when I found a rip in it after storing it, maybe a little too carelessly, in my garage. I didn’t want to just throw it away though and it remained in my garage for a couple of years before I finally sorted everything out and found it again. We had a great idea to upcycle it with a string of battery powered fairy lights we found alongside the mess!

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A bit risky but totally worth it in the end, I cut some extra holes into the canvas and poked fairy lights through the holes. It looks awesome all lit up although it was hard to capture that in the photo (Excuse the background…it’s so big I had to take a picture of it on my drawing table with my gift wrap rack in the back!).

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Fimo fingerprint jewellery

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20150311_155710I’ve seen salt dough creations several times across the internet and I thought I’d give it a go! I originally thought they were just for decorations that kids make at Christmas but I actually really enjoyed it and I think you could probably create some really cool things with it.

One cool thing I’ve seen is fingerprint jewellery made with salt dough. It’s supposed to be like a cheaper version of the silver clay fingerprint jewellery and I thought it’d be a great gift for Mother’s Day especially as children can easily make it themselves so it’s super special.

However, I tried to make fingerprint jewellery with salt dough and it completely failed. Maybe the recipe should be slightly different to bring the print out a bit more or maybe I baked it wrong (it went all puffy because the heat was too high). Either way, the dough puffed up and you could barely see the print. The other salt dough creations looked great – See how to make salt dough here.

I experimented with air dry clay and polymer clay (Fimo) with differing results. The air dry clay cracked a bit but should be fine with a bit of water to soften it. It also took the paint better than the Fimo, however the Fimo was my favourite out of the three as you could clearly see the print!

Super simple to do! Roll out the Fimo, press your finger down firmly on to the rolled out Fimo so it picks up your fingerprint, then use a cookie cutter to stamp out the shape. Pierce a hole at the top so that you can hang the pendant then bake as per the instructions. Once baked, paint the pendant with silver acrylic paint. You might want to do a couple of coats and perhaps brush the fingerprint lightly with a dry brush and darker colour to bring it out a bit more. Attach a jump ring and then hang on a chain or suede necklace.

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From left to right – salt dough, air dry clay, polymer clay

Instead of a necklace, you could make this into a hanging decoration. Or you could skip piercing the hole and stick a magnet on the back. You could even use letter stamps to include a message! Oh, the endless possibilities of Fimo!

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How to make easy peasy salt dough decorations

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I’ve always wanted to try salt dough and I have no idea why I never did. Probably the easiest craft ever! All you need is 1 part salt, 1 part water, and 2 parts flour.

Mix the salt and flour together in a bowl and gradually add the water. You might find you don’t need all of the water or you might find you need a little more.

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Keep mixing until it all starts to stick together and then comes the fun part…Knead with your hands and then turn out on to a floured surface.

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New City Girls WI and Benefit Cosmetics

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So here’s what I got up to last night…I went to a WI meeting in Chelmsford! I got a couple of funny looks when I said where I was going and that I’m hoping to join, but it’s not just any stereotypical Women’s Institute.

First things first, if you don’t know what a WI is, here’s a definition from my good friend Wikipedia:

Women’s Institutes (WI) are British community-based organisations for women. The WI movement was formed in 1915 inLlanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey Wales.[1] It had two clear aims: to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation’s aims have broadened and it is now the largest women’s voluntary organisation in the UK…The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

New City Girls WI only formed last year but has gone from strength to strength. As well as the main monthly meetings, they have over 40 subgroups doing everything from crafting to burlesque. Sounds like great fun to me! AND it sounds like there’s always a good supply of cake.

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The Spring Quilt Festival at Duxford

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The Spring Quilt Festival was held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford from 6th to 8th March 2015, right next to where a load of planes are kept. Quite a weird contrast when you go in – massive planes on your left and quilts and endless fabric on your right! It’s brilliant to have a fabric show that’s so close to where I live, as usually they’re all in London.

I don’t know if I’m just being picky but it was a bit confusing to find where you had to go in, I think we must have gone in the wrong entrance perhaps as it wasn’t very clear where to get the tickets. Once we were in, I loved it! Endless stalls of fabric are my idea of heaven! Unfortunately, not so much for Zak who I dragged along with me…bless him 🙂

I kind of assumed that taking photos of an event with lots of quilts on display for people to admire would be absolutely fine…But now I’ve learnt that maybe it’s best to ask beforehand as there were a few notices saying “no photography” on stalls although often they were tiny and I only noticed after I’d taken some photos. There’s one stall in particular with a huge wall of fabric that I thought would make a great picture but the stall holder was quite rude about me taking a photo so in the end I didn’t even bother. For every photo I took, I recorded every stallholder and artists’ name and logo if I could find it so that I could promote their work on my blog, but in future, I’ll definitely ask before taking photos. Maybe they think that people are taking photos to copy their work? I don’t know… I wouldn’t mind people taking photos of my stall but I’d probably want to know why, just ‘cos I’m nosey!

Enough ranting…if you like fabric, then they hold a show twice a year. Autumn and Spring. I wasn’t sure about going at first as I’m not really a quilter but if you have any interest in sewing and fabric then definitely go. There’s also workshops and lots of different sewing and embroidery machines to try out.

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#FMSphotoaday 23rd February to 1st March 2015

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It’s horrible to admit defeat but honestly the photo prompts keep building up and up and right now I’ve missed a whole week! Hardly photo a day is it?! Below are my photos for most of last week but for now I’m going to have to put #FMSphotoaday on pause. I think I’ll still take regular photos and share them on here, maybe like a weekly Instagram update but for now they’ll be my own prompts. It’s not even that the prompts are hard, it’s just taking up too much time at the moment when this is probably the busiest time ever for me! Hopefully I’ll give it a go again later in the year.

Find out more about the Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day Challenge here. Why not have a go yourself?

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The Bucket List

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The-Bucket-ListI bought The Bucket List DVD on Amazon a couple of weeks ago for just a few pounds. It’s such a brilliant, uplifting film and I’d definitely recommend it, especially if you’re one of those goal setting wannabe traveler types like me! Number 4 on my New Year Goal’s list – tick!

4. Watch the film the Bucket List for inspiration!

The film features two men (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) who meet while sharing a hospital room for their cancer treatment. With not much in common to start with, they soon get to know each other and discover their mutual goal of living life to the full while they still can. Together, they decide to create a bucket list and travel the world experiencing wild and wonderful adventures. Sounds good, huh?

In case you’re wondering what a bucket list is, it’s a list of things you’d like to accomplish in your life before you “kick the bucket”. It might feature skydiving, getting married, travelling the world or even just something like “laugh until you cry”, like one of the goals in the film.

It had mixed reviews but I think it really is a lovely film, albeit a tad depressing. However, I came away feeling inspired. It’s definitely thought provoking. The things they do and the strength they show while suffering from their illness is inspiring. Everything that they did in the film, I’d love to do in real life from skydiving to an African safari. *rolls out bucket list scroll to scribble additions at the bottom*

Cancer could affect all of us at any point in our lives…that’s one of the scary things in this film. People from completely separate lives are brought together by one common disease. Another thing explored in this film, regardless of the illness, is that one of the men put his life on hold to provide for his children and he says the years just flew past and now it was too late. I believe it’s never “too late” to try to do something that you want to do, but why not start now? Moral of the story – enjoy life, do what you truly want to do sooner rather than later and bring joy to others.

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