Saturday, 26 November 2011

Christmas Clay Ornaments Tutorial

How would you like to make your own decorations this year? They're fairly easy to make and you can personalise them.

What you need: 

DAS air dry clay

Cute cookie cutters and something
 to make holes with....

Rubber letter stamps for personalising

Mine were 99p from The Range

You will also need a rolling pin to roll out the clay with and some ribbon to thread through the tops of your ornaments. You can decorate them in loads of different ways so buy a variety of glitter paints etc.

Step one: Kneed a lump of clay and roll it out on a chopping board until it is about half a centimetre thick.
Use your fingers to smooth out the clay on the top. Cut out your chosen shape using a cookie cutter.

My cookie cutters were from Ikea last year.

Pull it carefully off of the board and smooth down all the edges and the back. You want it to look as perfect as possible as flaws show up a little more when they are dry. You will get little fibres that stick out around the edges, this is what you are smoothing down.

Step two: Using some sort of tool (mine is from a screwdriver set) make a whole near the top of your ornament.

Step three: Decorate! I personalised mine using a mini rubber stamp alphabet set. You simply need to press them into the surface.
You could also experiment with different textures by pressing anything you can find into the clay. Have fun with it!

Step four: Put them on a flat surface to air harden. This takes a little longer than 24 hours. I put mine on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

To make the wave pattern at the bottom right, I used the edge of a round biscuit cutter.

You don't really need to use baking parchment but my
tray was a bit dirty!
 Step five: When they have fully dried and hardened, you can decorate them further. I have so far experimented with silver paint and white paint. On the personalised decorations, I plan to find something that will pick out the letter detail.

The ones above are still drying out, then I will paint them and add the ribbon. I'm planning to give them to my family for Christmas in some gift boxes that I bought.

This has been one of my favourite Christmas crafts! I hope you enjoy trying it out!

Celebrating 30th Stylee

So, you may have noticed that it was my 30th birthday recently! I thought about going away somewhere but decided it was all too much hassle so me and the boyfriend went to London for the day.

Christmas windows
First stop was Selfridges to check out their Xmas windows. Bit disappointing this year compared to last years colourful displays. All the shops in London seem to have gone for an all white, winter wonderland theme which just looks a bit dull if you ask me!

Selfridges' Xmas windows

See? Not the most fascinating of designs......It's hard to find a focal point when it's all white!

Then we had a yummy lunch in Bella Italia (I had the spaghetti and meatballs, as usual...)
From there we got the tube to Harrods. Their windows were slightly more interesting - I think there was a promotion going on with Swarovski so it was all very glittery.

Xmas windows at Harrods using Swarovski crystals.

Afternoon Tea At Harvey Nichols:

Picnic afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols.

After a good look around at Harrods, we went to Harvey Nichols for afternoon tea. For £18 you get 3 rounds of finger sandwiches, 2 scones with cream and jam, 2 petit four cakes, a pot of tea and a Bellini cocktail.
Which is pretty reasonable I think! We shared one and ordered another pot of tea.

Overall, I was disappointed with Harvey Nichols this year as they have changed their gifts and lifestyle floor into another women's fashion floor. Which means it's pretty much five floors of women's fashion.....

Birthday Presents!
I got some great presents for my birthday: An Archos 7 Internet tablet, An Olympus vr310 camera, some Laurent Perrier champagne, a Swarovski crystal necklace and some other little bits.

My new Archos tablet.

Purse from River Island

The case I made for my tablet.

I was also lucky enough to get another birthday cake! This one is chocolate and raspberry and was made by my stepmum. By the time you read this, we will have eaten it all...

Well, that's all for now. Let me know if you want a tutorial on how to make a 7" tablet case. The one above is a little bit big so I'm just finishing a slightly smaller one.

Have you put up your Christmas tree yet? I'm doing mine this weekend....

Monday, 21 November 2011

If you go down to the woods today...

If you visit Marwell Zoo at the moment, not only is it off peak pricing but you can get an extra 10% off on one of the voucher saving websites. (Google it! I can't remember which one!) That means the ticket price is only about £11.45!!
So off we went and had a fun day in the slightly damp weather!

This is a snow cat. He's like a regular cat but more vicious!

This may look fake but I promise he is a real penguin! I tried to sharpen the picture as much as possible which is why it looks weird!

Parka - Primark, jeans- River Island, boots - Ugg.

This little penguin seemed to really like my silver nail polish....he kept trying to bite my fingers through the glass!
 So there you have it. A fab day out at the zoo. I would advise you to take your own sandwiches though as it was extremely expensive in the cafe!

Coming up this week: photos of whatever I get for my birthday and a post of my trip to London!

Vegan Mulberry Handbag Cake!

Well, it's finally the week of my birthday and celebrating has already started!!

My lovely friend Hannah made me the MOST amazing birthday cake. I requested a Mulberry handbag flavoured with chocolate and peanut butter and boy, did she deliver!

Hannah Banana Bakery Vegan Mulberry Handbag cake.

Mulberry Barnaby Leather Holdall Handbag Tan
Here's the picture she copied!
  How epic is that??

Stitching detail

From the side
There are a few marks on the side there where I took it out of the box..

It has some yummy tasting icing and chocolate cake inside:

Super tasty. Luckily, the boys don't like peanut butter so I have to try and eat the whole cake myself. What a shame....
Hannah even iced the board:

This is actually the second birthday cake I've had as my lovely friend Natalie (nickname Geoffrey) from work made me a strawberry and cream filled sponge cake.
Unfortunately, the vultures at work ate it before I could take a picture!

It looked a bit like this:

Classic strawberry sponge cake

Again, super tasty! Thank you lovely ladies!!!

P.s You can find the Hannah Banana Bakery online here

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A week in pictures...

Evening!  I've bought a few things recently and even had some adventurous days out so I thought I'd share them with you!

The first things I bought were from Primark - I got a pink onesie from the kids section for a bargain £7 but I ended up taking it back as it made me look fat!! Fail. The boyfriend was mucho glad that I took it back...

The second thing I bought was also Primarni.....this beautiful parka for just £26...

It doesn't look great in the photo but it's better in real life and so cosy!

I also got a Diplodocus! Random, I know. He is microwaveable!

Diplodocus £10 from Sainsburys
I just love him.

The rest of my photos are from my trip to Brighton on Saturday with the boyfriend. I had an awesome day, enjoying Starbucks Christmas coffees and Wagamama's Cha Han for lunch. My favourite! There were so many good shops that we spent most of the day wondering why Southampton is so lame in comparison.
  We would probably move there if the houses weren't so expensive. There is so much to see and do and a much more creative vibe to the place.

The Xmas coffees at Starbucks were on 2 for 1 for a couple of days last week so I had the Toffee Nut Latte (my all time favourite) and tried the new Praline Mocha which was too bitter for my tastes.

Starbucks toffee nut latte and praline mocha.

That was actually our second trip to Starbucks that day as we started our day of shopping with tea and luxury fruit bread. The fruit bread is AMAZING so if you haven't tried it....don't because then there will be less left for me.

Starbucks luxury fruit bread.

From the window of Wagamama's you can see some of the graffiti near the North Lane. Inspiring stuff.

If only all graffiti was so inspiring.

Up the road from here is a cool bike shop with some lovely Pashley cycles in the window and outside. If I ever get on a bike again (it's been years) then it will have to be a Pashley.

Pashley bike £625
Another beautiful bike.

Eventually we ended up at the seafront for the obligatory tourist shots of the pier....

Me and the boyfriend..

And my final purchase was a pair of shoes from Barrats for £27. They aren't the best quality but they are exactly what I was looking for and they are actually reasonably comfortable. I plan to wear them with my new playsuit for my birthday in a few weeks.

Mary Janes £27 from Barrats.
And there you go. My week in photos!