Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Make your own typography quote wall art

It's no secret that I'm on a tight budget these days - weddings don't come cheap you know!
I've been wanting to do this tutorial for a little while now but I couldn't justify the new photo frames needed. Luckily though, I found some old frames that I hadn't put up yet so I set to work making myself some new art!

I would say this was moderately easy to do.....I made it all in Microsoft Word.

Firstly, I downloaded a whole load of different fonts from a free, online website. Just google "free fonts" to find some and then you just download them, save them to a folder, open the folder and click the save font box. Easy!  (If that doesn't make sense, the websites usually tell you how to do it....)

I then went on Pinterest for some quote inspiration. When I was feeling suitably inspired, I opened up Word and inserted a text box (insert tab at the top, choose a simple text box and drag it to the shape you require.)
I found this to be the easiest way to write each word and adjust the size. This way, you can place words at different heights and angles.

When you are happy with the design, print it out! Mine are A4.

DIY quote art for simpletons.

I like the first one better than the second one, but by then my fiancé was rushing me about making the dinner (I offered) so I didn't get the proportions quite right!

I'm planning to make a load more, of different sizes and then I'll create a little feature wall of them in my hallway.

What do you think?!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Craft fail: Bicarbonate of soda and cornflour dough ornaments

Bicarbonate of soda and cornflour dough ornaments:

You can blame Pinterest for this one again! I was going to make salt dough ornaments as my wedding favours but then I read a few blogs which lead me to trying this purer, whiter dough instead. Big mistake.

You can find recipes for bicarbonate of soda dough all over the internet. Here are the dry ingredients:

It took me 3 tubs of the bicarbonate to make up 2 cups (it's all in American measurements!) and about half a pack of the cornflour.

Measure out the dry ingredients and bung them in a saucepan.

Add the water and stir it all up. There are little, black bits in my mixture which are the coating of my "non-stick" saucepan. Luckily, they didn't really show in the final dough but I should probably have taken this as a warning to give up!

Heat it on a medium heat until it starts to thicken. Keep heating until it starts to come together as a dough.

Leave it cool (takes quite a while) before tipping it out and making a ball. Knead it until it's smooth.

At this stage, it looks gorgeous! This might work! It could be fantastic! No. It's all lies.

I rolled it out and cut out some shapes.....it was too soft to hold a shape. So I threw a strop and put the ball of dough in the fridge for a couple of hours.

This helped a bit and I re-rolled the dough and re-cut out the shapes and laid them out on a baking tray to dry.

A few days later, they started to crack. You can dry them out in the oven on a low heat but I would think this would make the cracking even worse!

Ok, so they are lovely and white in colour, but the texture is crap. Cracked and quite brittle.
Most of these went in the bin and I still have a large ball of dough in the fridge. What a waste of five quid and my time!

I then went back to the shops and spent more money on some Das air dry clay, which I know works because I used it to make my Xmas ornaments.

Don't even bother trying this craft as it is a waste of money!!!

Unless..... you can send me some pictures of how it's worked for you....and tell me where I went wrong!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

How to make a crochet baby shower blanket

On Saturday, I went to my best friends' baby shower! It was so much fun. We played games and ate lots of yummy vegan food, and she got lots of amazing gifts (like a baby grow that said "I'm glad to be out of there, I was running out of womb!)

I decided to make my gift for her after seeing a post on Pinterest for a crochet baby blanket. Here's the original link for a triple yarn baby blanket.

You use three strands of yarn (no wool for my vegan buddy!) for each stitch so it grows quite quickly and feels nice and chunky. I took a trip to Hobbycraft and bought some purple yarns in the sale. This turned out to be a bad idea as one ran out half way through and I couldn't get another ball! This blanket takes maybe 6 big balls of yarn?

 Make your starting chain about 35" / 90cm long so you have a nice wide blanket. I also used a 10mm crochet hook which is quite big.

The easiest way to learn how to crochet the single stitch is to watch a Youtube video. I know this because I spent AGES learning to crochet via a book ("Stitch and Bitch Crochet" by The Happy Hooker) and it was really tough. Crochet is easier to learn if you can see someone doing it!

I wish I had made mine a little bit wider but it didn't really matter. Then you just keep stitching until it grows to the length you want!

I did some of the crochet on my lunch hour at work!
Close up of the single crochet stitch.
At some point, you might need to weave in a new ball of yarn - I just tied a knot between the two pieces but this isn't a very aesthetically pleasing way of doing things! Youtube has some good videos of how to weave in the new colour or strand.

Half way through, I needed to weave in a different colour as I ran out of the thick, purple yarn - so I found a contrasting colour. The yarn was of a lighter weight though, so it did make the tension different. I had to do a border around the edge to make it stay square.....bit of a fail but it worked in the end!

Mixing in the new colour
The finished blanket!

I also bought a cute hat with ears, and a fluffy lion! The blanket did take hours to make but I was really pleased with it and it's inspired me to try and make some crochet cubes as a baby toy.

Can you crochet? Aren't handmade gifts just better?!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Steal her style - how to dress like the Made In Chelsea stars

I have a guilty pleasure - Made In Chelsea! For those of you who don't reside in the U.K, it's a reality tv show based in Chelsea, London.

The girls of MIC are super rich and super glamorous! They are always dressed in the latest styles so I thought I would give you some style tips you can try for yourselves.

1) Buy a hat
These girls really know how to rock a hat. Floppy hats, riding caps, bowler hats.....you name it, they've tried it.

binky, louise, sophie, millie
Trilby, floppy, bowler...try them all!

Buy them from Topshop Asos and River Island

2) Invest in country casuals

country style fashion

Get your country goods from Joules Hunter Wellies and Barbour

3) Get furry in faux fur

fur coats
Binky, Cheska, Caggie, Jamie and Millie rock the furs.
Try www.faux.uk.com and Asos

So, are you going to revamp your wardrobe Made In Chelsea style? I'm certainly going to be on the look out for a floppy, felt hat a la Millie Macintosh!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Everybody loves a kitten!

It's no secret that I love cats....if I could have a whole house full of them, I would. I don't know why we don't have those Japanese "cat cafes" where you can go buy a cuppa and stroke a cat at the same time. That would be heaven, wouldn't it?!

Unfortunately, I already have two and I don't think it's fair to them if I brought any more home. Thomas is very playful and photogenic where as Lily is a little bit more "controlled." She has perfected the disdainful look....

Thomas is just over a year old now - here's a visual of how he's grown:

A curled up cat is a cute sight!

I barely need to ask, but is anyone else obsessed with cats?! How many do you have?

Monday, 6 May 2013

My life - instagrammed!

Well hello sunshine!! Nice to see you at last.

I've had a gorgeous bank holiday weekend.....I've seen family and friends and even have a little bit of a tan. I'll let my snapshots tell the story:


This is my favourite picture from the weekend. That's my half sister on the left and my Nanna on the right - both enjoying their ice creams!
I enjoyed one too....

My other half pulled a grumpy face but don't be fooled! He had a good day too.

This lot escaped from the zoo!
We went to Portsmouth on Sunday where there were a lot of different events taking place. We took a walk along the seafront and the kids played at the fun fair.
Then, today, I met up with friends in town and sat in the park and mostly just enjoyed the sun! You never know how long it's going to last in this country!
I've got a busy week coming up - 4 days at work (including a late night to talk to some Scouts,) Chessington World of Adventures on Friday and my besties' baby shower on Saturday. I'll endeavour to blog but I'm not promising anything!