A new favourite

Saturday, 31 December 2011

I had been meaning to buy some of this Elderflower liqueur ever since Grace alerted me to it. I had planned to buy some for Christmas but as usual I ran out of time. However, to my great delight whilst doing some last minute bits in good ol' M&S I spotted their own version. I snapped up a bottle that was about £7 plus two bottles of Cava and made this fabulous but strong "champagne" cocktail.  
To make you'll  need a bottle of elderflower liqueur,  something fizzy (Champagne, Cava or Prosecco will all work) some ice ( I froze some pomegranate pieces in ice cubes). Pour in about a shot of liqueur in a champagne glass add some ice and top with fizz give it a little stir - that's it (it is quite strong so drink responsibly!)  
It looks so pretty and tastes amazing so will be my signature drink from now on. 
Happy New Year!

A Cracking Christmas

Friday, 30 December 2011

I've had such a good Christmas and I hope everyone else has too. I've mainly been eating, drinking and sleeping which is a perfect way to spend a week in my opinion. I got a super duper new camera from Santa (Dan) so I have been snapping away, here are some of my favourite's from over the festive period. 
My tree, still looking good three weeks on
Gifts - I made my tags from extra large sequins
Christmas drinks
Trifle - the easiest pudding to make in the world and ideal for breakfast on Boxing Day
Ralph - the house rabbit
Ahh - it's me! (in a new Christmas jumper)

Christmas chain earrings

Thursday, 22 December 2011

I completely forgot about these (a sure sign of having too much stuff). I made them last year for a work christmas party, as I've moved jobs since then, I thought I'd give them their yearly outing. I can't remember the exact making process but it went something like this; I made circles out of wire and then wrapped the chain around. I cut a length of wire,  threaded over the circle and through a central bead then looped the chain and beaded as desired. As usual I made up as I went along but they do make me want to make some more earrings, good job I have a few ideas brewing away...

Christmas Flowers

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Ok so these aren't really Christmasy but they smell amazing and I love a tropical colour way in mid winter. They've turned bright pink now they've bloomed and are just beautiful, I was gushing in the florist when I brought these - you might have noticed I love flowers. 
Ready to bloom
These weren't for me, these were a gift,
To me florists are much like bead shops I just can't leave empty handed. 

Drink up!

Friday, 16 December 2011

I saw the first print in a magazine and it made laugh as it summed up the last week perfectly. I've certainly had my fill of "Christmas Spirt"and I'm ready for a quietish weekend. I wish I'd seen these prints from Rockett St George earlier they'd have been great to add to my Christmas list or to have brought for other people, they're still taking Christmas orders so its not too late to snap some up. 

Here are the links for print 1 and print 2

Tinsel Trading Company

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

This is a pretty apt shop to talk about at Christmas time, the Tinsel Trading Company was the first shop on my list when I was in New York. I heard about it via this book and swore (not literally) that the next time I was there it'd be the first place I'd visit. True to my word I skipped up 5th Avenue, I would have run but was feeling a little delicate, to my idea of bead heaven. I could definitely hear an "ah haa" when I walked through the door. Floor to ceiling walls of ribbons and flowers, some old some new, it was sensory overload - I didn't know where to start. I did a few laps until I found the jackpot table, hundreds of packets of vintage beads all in their original paper packets, I think I spent nearly an hour rooting through and discovering hidden treasures. Here are just a few of my finds, I cannot wait to start making pieces up using these little beauties.
Vintage cigar tubes filled with tiny gems
I love how these mirrored pieces pick up different colours
These were the most expensive - but by far my favourite
A pretty mix of flowers and leaves
There's something magical about the old style packaging

Great intentions

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas is fast approaching and there are still quite a few things left on my to-do list. Two of which are commissions from people (I really need to shake a leg and get them started) and another is to make something for my mum. Sometimes my "personal admin" gets a bit much, I have a freak out and re-look at the list, one such thing was having a stall at a Christmas fair. I had great intentions to make loads and use up some surplus beads but it wasn't to be; in between having an actual job, a bit of travel, wedding planning and Christmas gift buying I had to be realistic and give something up, the fair was first to go. I took a few snaps this morning of what I started, whilst I'm disappointed I couldn't make it to the fair I do have a few pieces ready for the next one or maybe my Etsy shop will materialise in 2012..?

Tulle, sequin and vintage button necklace and wire sweethearts - all made by myself

Make your own super stars

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Before I start this post, I'd like to apologise for the change in photo's I started making these in the light by the time they were ready it was dark (stupid winter). Anyway, I love Christmas for me its the only time of year that its ok to cover your house in as much glitter as possible and make stuff without people at work thinking your a total weirdo. I decided to have a go at making these star shapes for my fireplace after seeing these  in Martha Stewart's Living magazine. They take a good afternoon as you have to wait for the glue to dry but are pretty easy. I've put a little tutorial below: 
You'll need 20 wooden sticks (I picked mine up in various Costa's) some glue (strong and PVA), gold spray paint and glitter. 
First take two pairs of sticks, mark the central point on each and add on a dab of glue. Let it dry for about 30 seconds and then stick together, making a cross shape. Do this with the other pair and leave to dry. 
Once dry dab another spot of glue on the centre of each of the crosses and stick together making a star shape. Have a cuppa (or mulled wine) whilst it dries. 
To make the points; dab a glue on the end of two sticks and stick together in a point shape (but don't let them dry).
When your centre sticks are joined you will notice one stick lies flat and one is raised, on the flat stick add a dab of glue to the top and on the raised side add a dab to the underside. Add your points and adjust so they are even. I did every other point and once dry added the remaining but glueing the points so they all lay on top. Leave to dry (again). 
Now you can do the fun bit; Spray all your stars with the spray paint.
Apply a generous layer of PVA and then glitter away, I did a mix of gold and silver which look pretty good when I have the tree lights on. Once completely dry tap off the excess glitter and get decorating. 
The finished stars  - I'll do another post on the small stars soon. 

In Bruges

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Last weekend I traveled en masse with my family to Bruges to celebrate my cousin's 30th birthday. I have been before but I didn't remember it being so pretty. The Christmas markets were open so there was plenty of gluhwein (good) and ice skating (bad) to be had. The main reason she decided to go was the amazing flower show that is held every year (my cousin's a florist). There were some incredible displays, I never realised how much you could do with flowers. It all felt so magical and made me want to put my Christmas Tree up and start decorating the flat ready for the 25th. Here are some of my favourite ideas...

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