Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Posh Totty Designs

Last Thursday I headed down to Posh Totty Designs with some of my favourite Brighton bloggers to celebrate with them at their #poshbloggersparty.
The shop itself is a treasure trove, and had been given a party makeover with lots of drinks, party straws and colourful nibbles. We were greeted by the super lovely team and instantly got chatting and I basically played 20 questions with everyone because I wanted to know all about the shop!
Everything at PTD is hand made and crafted in Brighton which is such a huge selling point for me. I loved talking to the team and hearing them talk about not just the jewellery but the homeware products too - they definitely all love what they do and it shows!

When I was younger I resented my name quite a lot; remember all those key chains, necklaces and velvet headbands with your name on? Well, I couldn't get any of those! So as childish as it may sound, I still get so excited at the idea of having things with my name on and PTD is perfect for that.
I especially loved the infinity necklaces and rings - I think they'd make an awesome anniversary present. J and I have been talking about getting something engraved on the inside of our wedding rings too so it was great to see some examples of what they offer.

We also got to try our hand at leather stamping which I was super excited about. The crafty ladies showed us the ropes, and then we got to choose a bracelet or keychain to customise. I was cheeky and had a few goes - it was so much fun! I chose to stamp personal messages on mine for family members, but lots of people were stamping favourite quotes, blog names etc.
I was also lucky enough to receive a notebook in my goody bag with my name stamped on the front, which as you can imagine I was chuffed with, and a necklace with my initial stamped on; such thoughtful presents and they really really made me smile!

All in all, this was one amazing evening and it was so nice to meet everyone involved at PTD and get to know them. They also gave me a discount code for you lovely readers to use which is valid until the 22nd September - simply enter "ARTICHOKE15" to receive 15% off your order - and enjoy the thrill of getting something hand made, crafted and personalised :)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Crafting: A First Birthday Book

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen a few sneaky photos over the last few weeks of this book in the making. My amazing little niece turned one on Sunday and I wanted to make her something special - a book seemed like a pretty good place to start!
I spent a few evenings on Pinterest looking at felt activity books (I think they're called Quiet books in America) and started to sketch out some pages that I thought would be fun. I wanted the whole book to be colourful, fun and interactive and to hopefully be something that my niece can grow up with over the next few years.

I originally intended to share this as a DIY post, but to be honest I ended up free styling most of it; I got very caught up in the whole thing and loved every minute of it! ...Apart from the last part which originally involved using eyelets to join the pages together. Alas, the layers proved to be too thick and I ended up hand sewing the eyelets instead. Considering this was a bump in the road I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, and I think that they really tie the whole thing together (no pun intended!)
Also as a sidenote, velcro dots were my best friend for this project!

FYI - be prepared for a lot of photos!

On the first page I made an envelope with a little note in it addressed to my niece - she loved taking this out and putting it back again!

I wanted to include some learning pages and had seen versions of these on Pinterest - learn how to tie laces and matching shapes.

This spread is just for fun - make your own pizza and solve the puzzle to find a cute cat.

In my head this spread was the centrepiece and one of my favourites to work on. The orchard has a big picnic basket to fill with apples from the tree and carrots and parsnips from the soil. This was also another very well received spread from the birthday girl!

More learning pages; I loved the idea of a page for learning colours, and decided to create a little ode to Up with these rainbow balloons. The cupcakes are for learning to count to five - if learning to count with chocolate buttons on cupcakes isn't a good idea then I don't know what is :)

And finally on the last page I added a big pocket for any loose shapes, pieces of fruit etc. (I didn't think this page was essential, but the pocket came in handy almost immediately). I also embroidered the year on the back page.

Thankfully, the book went down really well with the birthday girl and it was actually quite emotional watching her with it. She got stuck in straight away with every page and my brother and his girlfriend loved it too - definitely a successful DIY :)

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Super+Super: Crochet & Paper Cutting Book Reviews

Crochet & Paper Cutting by Claire Culley and Amy Phipps, published by GMC (£12.99 each, available HERE). Copies c/o GMC

Remember back in November when I reviewed Super+Super's first craft books? Well somehow the girls are already back with two new titles for the craft fiends of the world - this time on Crochet and Paper Cutting. Despite my life being pretty hectic right now, when GMC contacted me again to see if I'd like to review these books I knew I had to make time for them!

Unlike the first two books, these two crafts are a little more alien to me, so I've been reading them like Hermione Granger studying for exams. The books follow the same formula as before, with projects divided up into Lazy Crafter, Weeknight Winners, Perpetual Creative and Committed Crafter. I know I said this before but I think that works really well - in this case my skill set is definitely at the lazy crafter stage right now :)
Crochet is a skill that I have just about gotten the hang of - I've made a blanket and a cat toy, but have never felt as comfortable with crochet as knitting.
That said, I'm determined to up my crochet game now, and have already picked out yarn for the Squishy Wrist Rest - it's such a fab idea! I also love the necklaces which I've admired on Claire and Amy dozens of times, so I can't wait to try those.
Then, when I'm feeling a little more confident and feeling ready to tackle the Commited Crafter section, I'd love to try the Comfy Pouffe; that's my ultimate crochet target!

The Paper Cutting book leaves me in awe - you paper cutters have some serious skill and patience!
Again this book is another one to add dozens of post it notes to; currently on my to make list are the Crown Party Hats and the Watermelon Stationery Set which are both fricking adorable.
I actually found the how to section of this book especially helpful as I've always made it up as I go along with paper cutting. There are some great tips and tricks about working with curves and fixing mistakes which I'm looking forward to putting into practice.
I love the idea of working on an intricate piece like the Bicycle Paper Cut to have framed, but I'll definitely have to commit to a project like that further down the line! For smaller projects there are a few others that I love the look of including cute plant based phone cases, baby mobiles and wall hangings.
Also, the templates for the projects in this book are all placed at the back ready for you to scan in and print to your hearts content - maybe a small detail for some but I love it when books offer this - thanks girls!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Crafting: Marbled Dishes

Check out the DIY from A Beautiful Mess HERE

Hello blog world! Somehow it's been a few weeks since I last posted - man time is going quickly right now! It turns out people weren't lying when they said how time consuming wedding planning could be ;)

A few weekends ago I decided to take a break from dress making and treat myself to a quick and easy DIY. These marbled dishes have been on my 'to make' list ever since they were posted over on A Beautiful Mess and proved to be the perfect crafty fix I needed.

I had some black and white Fimo ready to go and love how they have turned out; as much as I love all the colourful examples, these monochrome ones tick all the boxes for me.
I didn't have any gold or silver paint to finish the edges, but compromised by using my favourite holographic nail varnish - I think it works pretty well!
I already can't wait to make more of these and can think of a few lovely ladies in my life who would love them :)