Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Belated birthday treats

Today I feel spoilt. The postman left a parcel for me and this was inside!

A few belated birthday treats. Thank you Jane they're lovely!

And I do just have to show you Caoimhe.... she's getting really big but she's a lovely softie!


Sunday, 29 January 2012

14 hearts in 14 days

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I was going to give myself a challenge. This year I really want to celebrate Valentines and so have decided to come up with lots of different ways to display that lovely image of the heart. I've been busy this weekend getting my thoughts in order and thought I would post some pics I've found to get in the mood.

This one reminds me of a cushion that I made for Niamh a couple of years ago. Originally it was to go on her bed as a scatter cushion but she's adopted it as her pillow so it's quite an important cushion now!

And isn't this just a wonderfully simple idea. I do love it when you spot a great idea for an old book. (I've a particular interest in reusing old books as I think I've got a couple of boxes of them in our shed. We were storing them when we were moving betweens houses and somehow the boxes got really damp in the garage of the rental place. Would hate to just throw them away).

This is so cute too. Hearts, bunting and cakes. Three of my favourite things!

I've not worked out if this is made from paper or some map fabric but I like the finished look whichever.

And finally some heart garlands. I've found so many images of these and these are three are my favourites.

It's old books again!


Thursday, 26 January 2012

What do you do with yours?

When the postman arrives and drops the latest catalogue through the door that's my cue to put the kettle on and have a cuppa. But what do you do with the catalogue after? Well the conscientious amongst us should ensure that it gets to our recycling bin but for me there's a little job to do first!

You have to cut it up of course!

It's one of those quick jobs you can do whilst the tea's cooking and this time round I made some beautiful bunting! Now I can't quite show the what the bunting will become yet but feel free to tell me what you do with yours!


Saturday, 21 January 2012

Big Bead Boutique

If you are local to Brighton hopefully you may have discovered the Big Bead Boutique. Unless of course you are like me and I've missed it despite it having been open over a year now, and I call myself a crafter!

I first stopped by on New Years Eve when Mr B and myself were out for lunch but had only moments to take it all in. I stopped by again this week when I had a little more time to browse. 

It's a delightful shop and compliments the other bead shops wonderfully. It has a beautiful shop front (it use to be Mr B's barbers!) and once inside there is a real vintage feel with lots of display cabinets and cupboards. There are lots of pieces made up to prompt a moment of inspiration and they also run classes if you need a top tip too.

Run by a very helpful lady called Jo Tomlin it's a real inspiration not only for a jewellery maker but also anyone in retail who wants to offer a different experience to their customer. So many shops are so bland these days but this one had loads of character and leaves a lasting memory.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Looking forward....

For many of us it is the taking down of the Christmas decorations that makes the house look sad. For me it's when my birthday has been and gone. I love cards. I love looking at the designs and can spend many an idle moment in Paperchase. My favourite cards are always the handmade ones from the girls and this year was no exception.

Cait used a mixture of paper-craft and sewing and lined the inside with some spotty paper. I loved it. I do do spots!

This was one of my other favourites. Really simple, spotty (again) and spring colours.

The cards may be down but the mini bunting on the 'twigs' is staying put a little linger. I know bunting is everywhere these days but I always think it looks so cheery. 

And here are my inspirations for the next event I can focus on. I love hearts and have a wonderful idea as to how this year I may take the opportunity to set myself a little challenge. 14 hearts in 14 days! Stay tuned to find out more.

But I have had time to do a little something over the last week. It was a cheats job really because I used a transfer paper to put one of my favourite Nimah drawings onto a bag. It's not quite finished though because I think I should do a little embellishment - maybe a sequin or two and a bit of trim. I'll have a ponder I think.

Happy smiley people. What we all should be.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Birthday in Bath

There are some days when you take a moment and can't help but count your blessings. Last weekend was one of those times. We all had the most wonderful weekend away together in Bath and it will go down as one of my top 5 birthdays ever!

We started with a stroll through some of the more historic parts of the city as we ambled over to the Saturday Flea Market. Despite the market being a bit on the lean side straight after Christmas we were happy enough having a good nose around all the interesting shops in the Walcot area. We even got to stand and watch some people learning to blow glass at Bath Aqua Glass which was really quite fascinating and could have taken up much more of our day - but we had things to do!

After a  quick mooch around some of the city centre main line shops we stopped for a cuppa at a little cafe opposite the Makery Emporium. This had been on my list of places to visit. A charming shop that Cait and I enjoyed browsing in no end. A little while later with a couple of small purchases in our bags my tea was thankfully still warm. 

From there we popped over the Guildhall Market and another fabulous sewing shop, this time Sew N Sew. They had everything you could dream of including a fanstatic selection of ribbons, trims and patterned bias binding. A few more purchases were made whilst Mr B and Niamh found a sweet shop nearby!

The afternoon filled with meanders, a look around the Abbey and a purposeful stroll to Bijoux Beads.

I am sometimes wary of bead shops fearing that you'll see all the same things over and over and but Bijoux Beads had a wonderful supply and lots of things that I had never seen before. I was very pleased to discover that they sell online too.

I'd done a little research in the week before about what was on and I discovered something called the Field of Light at the Holborne Museum of Art. A a short stroll once dusk had fallen and it was well worth it. Very hard to describe but there were thousands of tiny fibre optic lights spread out across the grounds around the museum and it was a really magical sight. Cait had fun with the arty shots.

It was then back to the city centre and a Moroccan restaurant Cafe Du Globe where, thanks to a rather large cake around late afternoon, we all found ourselves struggling to do a fabulous meal justice. If you enjoy Moroccan cuisine I'd thoroughly recommend a visit, but do book. It was the busiest I've ever seen a restaurant around the time of my birthday.

It was a great day and the wonderful present of some gorgeous earrings from Mr B and the girls was the icing on the cake really. It was the whole day that made it for me.


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Weekend Away

Ever since I saw a recent magazine article about Bath I've been reminded what a lovely place it is and how long it has been since I properly visited. So I decided that we should visit and I booked up for us all to go for this weekend. A little indulgent straight after Christmas but it's my Birthday this weekend and that seemed excuse enough.

I'm looking forward to browsing their fab flea market ......

and snooping around some craft shops........

 before taking in some of the sights and the wonderful architecture.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Saying goodbye to Christmas

Happy New Year!

It's a dreadful day outside but thanks to an insett day Niamh and I don't have to venture out. Today is about tidying up and packing away the festive things so that 2012 can begin with vengeance tomorrow.

So, as I begin to take down the decorations I thought I would share one last piece of Christmas..... family handmade cards. 

Cait is a real crafter in all sorts of ways and Niamh is becoming more so every day. Here is this years selection......

The cards that Cait makes are always so meticulous, lots of detail and beautifully finished.

Niamh is very keen on anything Hello Kitty right now so Cait used that as a theme for her card to Niamh.

The cards that Niamh cards are slightly more varied in style. I helped her make the pink one for Cait but is was all her idea - she wanted it to be patchwork and to have hearts on it. The one with the cow on she made for Mr B and myself in secret with Caits help. There is a whole story that goes with the picture (as it quite common with anything Niamh draws at the moment).

In packing these treasures away in my special place I saw last years and thought I'd share those too.

This one Niamh did with her childminder. It's such a simple idea but really charming, an idea stored for another time. 

Time for lunch I think!