Wednesday, 30 May 2012

{ A Snapshot } Red, White & Blue

This weekend sees the celebration of our Queen's diamond jubilee and I must admit, I'm really loving all of the fun things that are around at the moment in preparation! For the past couple of days I've been wearing my red, white and blue hair clips as a mark of the jubilee festivities. 


On Sunday we held our jubilee airshow at the museum and it was a real hoot - the sun was shining (if not a little too excitedly) and the planes were displaying their agility in the air and our family came over to enjoy the day with us....although, I did have to work, but did manage to share a couple of hours with them.

Will you be indulging in a little tea and cake whilst watching the BBCs jubilee broadcasts? Or planning a street party / BBQ party to celebrate?

Love and lacery,

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

{ Craft Corner } Glass Jars

Mason jars have been a big hit for a long time now but they're not something I've ever seen around in English car-boots and vintage shops. However, there are plenty of other jars that could be used as a substitute and so I've still been making notes of inspiring DIYs and images. There really are so many things that can be done with empty glass jars!

Terraruims:



The prospect of furthering my floral gaze into succulents is truly enthralling. Glass bubbles are fantastic accessories for weddings or birthday parties but could also create a beautiful display in a nook in the garden or an unused room corner.

Fairy Lights:


Alike the glass bubbles, I really fancy using a few jam jars to add a little light to an unusual corner in our living room. I especially like the colour tint to this mason jar. This would make a great christening or birthday gift to a little'un.

Luminaries:

  


There are so many possibilities for candles in jars - be they floating or tall candles or tea lights. I especially like the idea of using silver wire to create makeshift handles for jars and hanging them in the garden along the flowers beds. 

These are just a few things that have been done using mason jars, the list truly is endless (as shown on this page). Using jars as vases is another idea which will probably be employed within our household - it's maybe an excuse to try out glass etching or staining!

I'll leave you with one final image of jarry utilisation...


I'll be sure to share my jam jar adventures once I've finally decided what to do with them!

Have you done anything with your empty glass jars? Or going to use one of these ideas to venture into the craft?

Love and lacery,


P.S: All images link back to their sources.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

{ Scrapbook } A Trip to London

There are lots of "2 for 1" offers going about at the moment to a range of UK tourist attractions and so Dave and I decided to utilise the chance and make a trip to the Sea Life Centre. We decided to go to the one in London as it's only an hour away on the train and it's supposed to be one of the most spectacular. It was also a great opportunity to get a few photos of Big Ben and the houses of parliament (somewhere I've never actually seen before) and have a day off work to enjoy our own company. We also made a snappy visit to the science museum after dinner to fill in some time before heading home.


   







The Sea Turtle was absolutely breath taking - he was so big yet serene and his shell was beautiful. It was also nice to see the Easter Island heads taking centre stage in one of the tanks. Doesn't that crocodile / alligator look so peaceful?! And the piranha is nice and shiny... not things you'd expect in either case! Seahorses are one of my favourites so their photo had to be included in this scrapbook reel.

We had a very fun day, although the Sea Life Centre wasn't as big as I'd have guessed. We'll definitely be using some more of the vouchers on some of the other London attractions, such as a river cruise. Keep an eye out for them on certain Tesco products and in the national newspapers.

Love and lacery,


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

{ A Snapshot } Flowers

With the sun finally making an appearance here, in the UK, the flowers have been rearing their dreary heads and celebrating with bright petals. This week has also seen the start of the Royal Horticultural Sociery's Chelsea Flower Show which is shared daily by the BBC in specific programmes presented by a whole host of famous florist faces. 

Gardening and flower arranging are favourite past-times of mine and thus this week has been all about the pretty flowers in the garden and in the flower show. This piccy above shows a great spread of Violas in one of the terracotta pots that share our patio.

Love and lacery,


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

{ Birthday }

I've always been someone who gets excited about birthdays, even if they're not "milestone" ages - just like this one! There's something about presents and cards that is so magical and heart felt; when both receiving and giving. I was very lucky this year, below are a selection of photos showing how.

- Balloons! I really do enjoy helium balloons. I'm not sure why, I mean they do only float around the place, but they bring a smile to my face.
- Beautiful cards. Cupcakes and tea seemed to be the theme this year. 
- Strawberry related items. Mumma and daddy bought me the white ceramic strawberry planter with the plants in and Dave's parents got me the wild strawberry seeds. I also got some strawberry conserve which will be very nice with warm toast in the mornings.
- Jewellery. I really love the white rabbit necklace (a present from Dave via Etsy). The little cuckoo clock and apple pendant were from my parents. My Auntie Susan gave me vouchers for a wonderful jewellery shop that has just opened up in a nearby town - I can't wait to go in and pick something out!
- Dresses. The one pictured is absolutely wonderful. It's a terracotta skater dress with 3/4 sleeves and pretty lace collar - all things I love! (another present from the parents).
- Accessories. This clutch bag is by Ted Baker, from their most recent range and was another pressie from Dave. I also got a pretty Cath Kidston shopper bag which will be very handy when transporting things between houses.
- Ceramics. Dave bought me a milk jug and sugar bowl in a pretty pattern called "street party". They can be found here. I seem to have a thing for milk jugs, they're a really cute shape and usually have wonderful patterns upon them.
- Eatables. Chocolate selection boxes, Galaxy caramel and chocolate orange were on the list this year (all my favourites!) along with fun flavoured teas by Clippers (raspberry leaf and white tea).
- Books. My godmother (who we call Auntie as she's a really close friend of Mumma) always buys me books. This year was no exception! She gifted 'Why Willows Weep' which is a selection of short stories, based upon old wive's tales and folk stories, by a long list of varying authors, and 'Charles Dickens' which tells the main theme and characters of his most famous novels. 'The Austerity Book' was another of Dave's gifts, as was the wooden owl model. 
- Miscellaneous. My brother got me some perfume and the pretty blue butterfly clip was a little something extra from Dave's parents. 


I also got these pretty flowers from Dave. They're beautiful and such a pretty colour combination.

All in all, it was a wonderful day, even with the cold hampering energy levels. I wish you all a happy birthday for whenever your special day is!

Love and lacery,


Monday, 21 May 2012

{ Over the Weekend }

This weekend was a real mixed bag - On Friday we went to the Sea Life Centre in London (I'll share a few photos of this later on in the week) and then Saturday was my birthday. However, I've had a cold coming on since Wednesday last week and on Saturday night it really began to set in so unfortunately there weren't many activities going on. Aaaanyway, here's a selection of photos from the weekend.


Saturday was spent with family, sharing presents and catching up. I received so many fantastic gifts and cards (which I'll be speaking more about tomorrow) and had a great time just relaxing with a cup of tea and a slice of birthday cake. I've been wearing my denim shorts quite a lot recently as they help to expand my wardrobe from just dresses to tunics too. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! And that you haven't been struck down by this cold!

Love and lacery,


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

{ Craft Corner } Embroidery Hoop Art II

Since my first experience with embroidery, I've been itching to have another go with a second embroidery hoop. We've all been keeping our eyes peeled in charity shops and car boot sales in the hope of finding unwanted and forgotten hoops which can be transformed into a selection of new scenes and loved pieces. For my most recent endeavour, I chose the smallest hoop we've discovered so far - it's 4 inches in diameter.


I wanted to add a little texture to the fields and so went for the backstitch to gives ridges. The forest canopy has been done using bulleon stitch to give the rounded and uneven appearance required. I'm still a little unsure as to how to finish the sky section - torn between adding cloud wisps in a blue colour or maybe 'v' shapes to simulate flying birds. Could even be a couple of each! Which do you prefer?


I'll be sure to add some more photos when it's completely finished and been given a place upon the wall. I suspect this may be gifted to my Mumma as she took a real fancy to it over the weekend. 

Please do let me know if you have an idea as to how to finish the sky off! Or if you're working on any crafty projects at the moment.

Love and lacery,





{ Over the Weekend }

We finally have our internet connection back! It's been playing around for the past few days which explains my bloggy absence, but now that it's back, I thought I'd catch back up with the posts I've missed.

This weekend was a good'un - the sun was shining and we had a few family plans to indulge in back in Northants. It was also filled with crafty past-times and some new experiences:


- Visiting one of our local garden centres with Dave's parents and grandfather. We enjoyed a cream tea (mmmm!) and then had a wander around the gift and garden sections. I don't know what it is, but garden centres always have the sweetest gift selection to tempt my purse. In the end, we all came away with some flowers - Dave and I got a couple of pretty poppies and a columbine. Can't wait to see their blooms!
- Venturing into the realm of fruity teas. I've always been intrigued by them but never really hit it off with any but when my parents returned from Oxford with a selection of fancy teabags, I just had to give some a go. The one pictured is "raspberry and vanilla" by Taylor's of Harrogate. The verdict: it was very sweet and had a strong raspberry flavour. All in all, I'd probably have another!
- Wearing scallop collars. Collars in general are fantastic but there's something about scallop edges which always gets my attention.
- Indulging in a little more embroidery. This tiny hoop is so cute and hot air balloons have been a fascination of mine for quite some time. In this week's Craft Corner there'll be a few more photos of the almost finished article.
- Reading "The Book of General Ignorance". It's based upon the BBC television programme QI and is full of information that is so interesting! It's split up into little paragraphs and so is an ideal book to have on the coffee table to fill in a few spare minutes.
- Examining the ferns. The way their stems curl and the little sucker type things on their leaves always draws me over when I'm enjoying the grass beneath my feet.

The next coming weekend will be full of birthday celebrations and the Sea Life Centre, so I'll be sure to share a few scrapbook posts.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends!

Love and lacery,


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

{ A Snapshot } Quintessentially British

With the London olympics and the Queen's diamond jubilee coming up within the next couple of months, the UK has gone extremely patriotic. There have been so many fabulous products hitting the supermarket shelves with a quintessentially British theme.


I'm loving it! I mean look at this simple Kleenex box - it's been made so much better with a few British themed images! I can't wait to hold a little jubilee themed shindig with Mumma next month.

Love and lacery,


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

{ Craft Corner } Crochet Clutch

Clutch bags are a fantastic accessory to hold your belongings but not ware down on your shoulder. When flicking through a crochet project book, I found a pattern for a purse and decided to modify the instructions to create a clutch bag.


It's a very basic pattern, using treble stitch to build up the rows with a decrease to the front to create the flap. I went for a deep burgundy colour in a double knit wool so as to make a bag that is truly versatile. 


After a bit of deliberation, I decided to add a large button with a ribbon for a secure fastening. I was torn between a popper, button or nothing at all, but buttons are just too much of a draw and so one had to be used! 

For the lining I reused the material from an old jersey dress which had been torn. I simply sewed the material to the inside of the crocheted 'shell' - we'll have to see how well this holds out though.


Lastly, I added a selection of crocheted flowers and buttons to give it a little extra detail. I can post up patterns for these if anyone is interested! 

If you fancied giving this clutch bag a go yourself, here is a rudimentary set of instructions for you to follow.

1 - Using double knit wool and a 5mm crochet hook, crochet a foundation chain of however many stitches you fancy - it might be best to stitch to an even number. As an example, my bag is 50 stitches wide. This number will decide the width of your bag so it might be best to have a play around with this foundation chain until you find a size which suits you best. Turn the work.
2 - Work a treble stitch into the second chain from hook. Carry on stitching treble stitches into each chain until you reach the end. Chain 3. Turn the work.
3 - Work a treble stitch into first treble of row before. Repeat until last treble. Chain 3. Turn the work.
4 - Repeat step 3 until you reach your designated height. You need to remember that this height needs to be twice the height of your chosen finished bag as you fold this rectangle in half to create the bag compartment. As an example, mine is 46 rows high, thus my bag is 23 rows in height.
5 - Work a treble stitch into the first treble of the row before. Repeat this until the penultimate stitch. Work a treble into this stitch. Miss the last stitch. Chain 3. Turn the work. (This step begins the decrease your work, meaning that you create the slanted edge of your bag flap.)
6 - Repeat step 5 until you have a shape that looks appealing. For your last row, you won't need to chain 3. I left mine with a flat edge, but you could always continue with these steps until you have a complete triangle.
7 - Fasten off your work.
8 - To line the bag, select your fabric and use your finished crocheted piece as a template to cut out your required amount of fabric. Using pins, pin the fabric to the crocheted piece. Take some cotton thread and a needle and use a simple running stitch to unite the fabric to your crocheting. You could either trim the excess fabric now, or wait until you've crocheted the bag together and then sew the fabric lining together to make a complete piece. 
9 - Place the piece upon a flat surface in front of you, with the slanting flap furthest away from you and fabric lining on top (alike the picture below). Take the two corners closest to you and fold them upwards to create your bag shape. Using a darning needle and your wool, sew together with a running stitch. Repeat on the opposite side also. This should result in a main bag compartment with your bag flap still free on the top.
10 - Darn all of your wool strands in so as to create a finished look.
11 - Finish off with a button or ribbon for a fastening and any embellishments you fancy!
12 - Voila! You have your very own clutch bag / purse. Below is a schematic to help visualise the above pattern.

Please do ask questions if you find my instructions hard to follow!! I hope you have fun with your crocheting!

Love and lacery,

{ Over the Weekend }

Dave and I stayed within Cambs and were able to make the most of a 'plan-free' weekend. We...


- Tried out our new BBQ! It was really good to be able to partake in a little chargrilling with the petite bucket-style BBQ we bought for ourselves. Our adventures were deemed a success too!
- Baked. Well, I baked. We had some bananas turning very brown and so banana bread was a must! I experimented a little by making cupcakes with the batter, instead of a loaf cake, but it worked out just as good. Also added some peanut butter to the top of some of them and topped them all with vanilla buttercream.
- Made an impromptu visit to Cambridge for some shopping and snacking. I bought a summery dress and a couple of old style stamps for the printers block. We ate at the West Cornwall Pasty cafe for a taste of the west country (I tried a chicken and chorizo pasty which was fantastic, and Dave stuck to the traditional recipe). We also brought back a selection of handmade fudge - mmmmmmmm. The best flavour was treacle, surprisingly enough.
- Tidied some of our storage space. It's been collecting old papers and board games for far too long and so desperately needed a revamp. Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a hoarder so it's still looking rather packed! Maybe next time.....
- Finished up a crochet project which has been idling for far too long. I'll share more about this tomorrow.
- Planned for our London trip later on in the month. Sea Life Centre: here we come! I cannot wait!
- Generally made the most of some time alone. It's nice to be able to laze around in the comfort of your own space and not feel obliged to do anything in particular.

I hope you all had a fun-filled weekend. Did you plan anything special for the bank holiday?

Love and lacery,


Thursday, 3 May 2012

{ Treasures } Book Locket

Lockets are fantastic - they're personal and pretty and they allow you to express yourself. So, when I found this locket upon eBay, I just had to get bidding! It's sterling silver and has a very pretty filigree pattern upon both sides with a safe fastening to keep the 'pages' together. I  have it upon a long length chain so that it can hang freely and be more easily seen.


When you open the lock, and pull open the first page, a concertina folded length of silver is revealed with each side holding an oval opening. All together, it holds 6 photographs of about a centimetre in height. 


I think the reason this piece of jewellery means so much to me is because it shows a part of my personality and the pictures inside made it extremely personal. The quirky shape and design speak to me as it's nice to have an item which is a bit different to the norm. A couple of years ago, my granddad gave me a book shaped locket which he'd bought for his mother whilst he was stationed in Italy at the end of WWII. This has added a whole other dimension to this little locket, as it's something that might have appealed to my great grandmother. It's became my go-to necklace when packing for trips or deciding upon an outfit for the following day.

Do you have any lockets or pendants that mean a lot to you?

Love and lacery,