Wednesday, 23 March 2011

101 in 1001 update

I've had this post sat in my drafts for ages in the hope that I'd manage to complete a few more before I updated you. Well, I managed a couple so it's not all bad I guess. You may remember that I'm focussing on completing a smaller version of the list before my 32nd birthday so here's that list:

12. Read a book in a day
14. Take a book (maybe the one in no.12) to a coffee shop and spend the afternoon there on my own 15. Record a craft video tutorial
16. Eat 5 things I've never tried before (4/5) - I only need to eat one more new thing
17. Cook 5 things I've never cooked before (4/5) - again, I only need to cook one more
39. Go to an auction
47. Complete Edinburgh MoonWalk in less than 8 hours - it's in June (please sponsor me if you can spare a few pounds)
52. Make my own duvet cover and matching pillow cases
55. Visit an art gallery
59. Have a pedicure - yes! Had one yesterday at a spa in San Jose
60. Cook a ten-course meal - I'm thinking maybe for my birthday
66. Go to a classical music concert
69. Buy a vintage dress
71. Make sourdough bread
95. Have a spa day - yes! had a lovely time at Burke Williams spa.
100. Start an art journal

It's just as well I waited huh as the two I crossed off, I only completed yesterday. I'm really going to have to focus on the rest of them in the next few months.

I also completed no 40 from the main list - find the perfect trousers. It turns out the style that suits me is tapered leg (like these) - I must buy more I feel. I also have three new habits with no.56, no.57 and no.90 all ticked off - pilates, packed lunches and fruit. I do pilates at least once a week now, take a packed lunch to work most days and have at least some fruit every day. As an aside, I read a great article you might like on zenhabits about how to ingrain behaviour.

 Instead of clogging up this post with the full list, I've created it a little page all of its very own here

I am at my most beautiful (apparently)

According to a study, women are at their most beautiful at age 31. So I guess I'd better enjoy it for the few months I have left at this beautiful age! (via woo!)

Monday, 21 March 2011

{monday muse} colour

I love colour and I was surrounded by it in the Monterey aquarium yesterday...

I think these photos will be inspiring me this week! Happy Monday x

Saturday, 19 March 2011

This week I loved...

I've been struggling to know what to say about Japan - it's hard to comprehend. But this week I loved (not the right word at all but I hope you know what I mean)...

:: seeing and reading about all the things people are doing to raise money for Japan and the ways in which they're attempting to process the events of a week ago and the aftermath.
:: Laura from Bugs and Fishes is donating money from sales of Cherry Blossoms to the appeal (until 19 March)
:: Joejobi is organising an auction
:: paper and string has a raffle
:: Holly is so much more eloquent than I could hope to be on the subject.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I love the word wow and I probably use it too much but when I saw this artist's work (via papernstitch) I said: wow.

Michelle Moode is a mixed-media artist (and book maker) from California and she challenged herself last year to start a drawing a day. As you know I'm all about challenges but I'm full of admiration for someone who is committing to do something every day. I think I may have to make a purchase from her lovely shop soon.

PS you can read more about setting your own creativity challenge in my column on Indie Fixx.

Do you need a card quickly? Make these 5 easy cards today

Card making was my first crafty-love when I started making again five or so years ago. Since then I must have made hundreds so I have quite a few ideas for you to make your own quick and simple cards to wow your lucky recipients.

1) Flowers for any occasion
I made these for Mother's Day but you could customise them for birthdays, thank yous or any occasion that warrants a pretty card. You just need gorgeous papers, glue (or a Xyron sticker makerwhich is my tool of choice), sticky foam squares (optional) and an alphabet stamp (I have this one). It's as simple as cutting petal shapes out of the paper and sticking them down in a flower shape. I stamped Happy Mother's Day on scrap white card, cut out the words and then used foam squares to stick them on - you could just use normal glue. Easy peasy.

Handmade Mother's day cards

2) Punch it out
I used a heart punch, white card and foam squares for this simple Valentine's card but you could use any shape - flowers or butterflies would be cute - and add some colour too.
Valentine's day card

3) Fabricate
I use fabric a lot with my cards - I always have lots of scraps laying around so it's no bad thing to use a few up.
This one was another Valentine's card but you could do flowers, bunting or anything else that takes your fancy.
Love card

BONUS: for extra wow-ness you could use your sewing machine to add some fun freehand stitching like I did with these flowers:

4) Roll with it
(brief interlude to sing along to Oasis.)
I love quilling - it's so therapeutic rolling little strips of paper and sticking them down to make a fabulous card. It was my first craft for 52 crafts in 52 weeks and it's great for both men and women - I've made Mum in pinks (below) and Dad in blues.
It requires very few tools – just paper, glue and a quilling tool - so it's a good low-cost craft to get started with. There's a great tutorial on CRAFT to get you going.

Happy Birthday Mum

5) Turn over a new leaf
Next time you go on a walk, gather up some interesting leaves and use them to make easy cards. Full instructions are over on 52 crafts. I think these are nice to use as notelets to send Spring letters to friends and relatives.

Fun with nature

I hope you found this little card round-up useful - let me know in the comments if you try any of them or if you have any other easy card-making ideas.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

This week I loved...

Okay, putting horribly ill aside, this week I loved...

:: having a fun girlie day in Suffolk encompassing ceramic painting, eating delicious mezze, wandering around looking at beautiful buildings, buying art in a crooked gallery, taking afternoon tea and drinking champagne.

Gorgeous house in Lavenham

The print I bought - I love hares

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Sorry I've been absent...

Horrible food poisoning has struck the household. Hope to be on better form soon. In the meanwhile, here's an inspiring quote from pinterest:

Sunday, 6 March 2011

This week I loved...

:: making wedding favours for my best friend's big day
:: buying gorgeous gastronomic treats from Suffolk Food Hall (my new favourite foodie haunt)
:: giving away free books for World Book Night. When giving them to strangers I loved the conversations it kicked off about people's favourite books. Made me very happy
::  writing my latest crafty help installment (about recycling, do you have any ideas to add?)
:: walking five miles in the bracing Felixstowe sea winds
:: and finally, we had some sun this week which always makes me happy.
Coffee and cake as a treat after five mile power-stomp

What did you love this week?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Want a free book? Happy World Book Night!

Happy Saturday everyone, and happy World Book Night. 1,000,000 books are being given away today to celebrate and I have 5 copies of my favourite book to give to 5 of you: One Day by David Nicholls.

If you'd like a copy, leave a comment telling me about the book you love the most. The one that makes you laugh, cry and that you just can't put down. The first five will get a literary present in the post so make sure there's a way for me to contact you.

So that I'm not sent bankrupt by postage costs I can only give them to UK-based peeps, sorry!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

{crafty help} I can’t afford materials

The latest in my twitter-inspired crafty help series is all about crafting on a budget. See part 1 here.

@knikitta raised two issues, and I'll address space later (one of the most tweeted problems), but I want to look at crafting on a budget first.

As I'm attempting a new craft every week for a year I have to be a bit creative with materials. One of my favourite ways is to reuse and recycle stuff from around the house.

Finished papier-mâché bowl

Papier-mâché is a classic way of recycling - in this project I used paper from our shredder and PVA glue but you could also use the traditional flour and water paste. It costs just pennies.

If you've got an old wool jumper hanging around you can use it to make a corsage or a toy rabbit. This is particularly good if you managed to shrink a previous favourite grey sweater in the wash like I did. Ahem.

Handmade cards

And you can reuse wrapping paper, greetings cards and magazines to make enough cards to last you for all the birthdays you can handle. I made the ones above with craft punches but you can also just cut out simple shapes freehand.

I have lots more ideas to save money when crafting so I think I'll cover this over several posts. Look out for more soon. But in the meantime, over to you. How do you craft on a budget?

{from the archives} poor Toby

As I've been writing this little blog of mine for so long I thought it would be fun to go back in the archives and find some old projects, thoughts and plans.

This week the time machine is taking us to...

I know I'm a mean mummy but this is one of my favourite photos of Toby. There's something about his poor little dozy not-quite-awake-from-anaesthetic face that makes my heart melt.

You can read the original post here.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Share your best ever craft project

I'd love to see the bestest thing you've ever made. And I'll publish them all over the coming weeks so everyone else can see your bestest makes too.

I'll start with mine...

Bunny does baking

I love the bunny I made as part of my 52 crafts project - he's definitely my favourite ever make.

So over to you - what is your favourite make?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

What would you take to a desert island?

What craft supplies would you take to a desert island?
Well let's assume you've got all the essentials covered. You know: food, water, satellite phone, ipod, books (essential to me) etc. If you were going to be stuck on a desert island for an undetermined length of time what craft supplies would you take with you?

Island and boat in Madang Province
via flickr


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