Floral Friday - MSGM

Friday, 31 August 2012

Why is that four day weeks always seem longer than five day ones? This week I have been distracting myself with wishlist shopping on My Wardrobe, their email always appears in my inbox just as my porridge has warn off and I'm getting fidgety for lunch, when this happens I like to take a few minutes dream shop. My most recent discovery/obsession is an Italian label called MSGM, how nice are these prints and that yellow coat is just what I want to wear this coming winter. I like to wear bright colours all year round but always struggle in winter to find anything appropriate these are all the right shades of winter brights, I recommend you take a look and get inspired all their pieces are so scrummy. Have a great weekend. xx

Images - MyWardrobe 

DIY - Easy stud earrings

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Here is the worlds easiest DIY earring tutorial, you really can make these in the time it takes to boil a kettle and all you need is some earring backs, strong glue and some flat backed gem stones. If you are new to DIY or a bit intimidated then these are a great place to start and don't require any additional tools. If you mount them onto pretty card or put them into a nice box they would make a great gift and are easy on the purse. 
There are only two steps
1) Apply a dot of glue to the back of your gem, and leave to dry for a minute
2) Apply your earring back to the glue and leave to dry completely 
Here are some more examples of what you can use for your earrings; to start you will need some earring backs this site does a great selection in both gold and silver. I don't like to go too big with my studs so stick to shapes which are around 1.5cm in width. I have made earrings using these porcelain flowers, but you can use anything as long as it has a flat back like these gemstones or cabochons, I like the look of these ones but search places like Ebay and Etsy for cute vintage alternatives. A word of warning, I would avoid using buttons or anything too old-lady-craft-fair as my idea of hand-made should be stylish not stuffy but thats just my opinion so as long as you are making it doesn't really matter. 

August - some recent purchases

Monday, 27 August 2012

A few things have been confirmed to me recently; I need at least four days at the weekend to get all that I want to done, I'm not cool (a trip to the Experimental Cocktail Club, amazing drinks, stressed out service made me realise this) and I spend all of my spare cash on things that sparkle, which isn't such a bad thing. After last months recent purchases I thought I'd do a follow up as I forget what I buy and keeping a list and shaming myself is the only way to keep myself on track to getting these beauts

This month I have two new resolutions to add: 
1) To not go into Zara without a responsible adult; I went in to buy a belt and came out with two Chanel-esque jackets and two sequin dresses. Not in the plan but they were on sale and the total cost of all four purchases was the same as an original jacket (Zara not Chanel) and they're in classic colours and they're simply great - so its kind of like saving. 

2) Plan ahead, they good thing with friends being so busy is that we have to book a month in advance to see each other, I have been setting aside money for dinners and birthday presents this has been helping my budget no end. 

I still have a little way to go but I feel like I have made some progress as I said before its small steps...

This months buys are: 
Jackets and Dresses  - Zara
Initial Necklace - Topshop (because I really needed another piece of jewellery)
Stud and Gems - New Trimmings (this shop is a real treasure trove and I was unable to walk away empty handed) 
Mollie Makes subscription & secondhand books  

Floral Friday - Herb Garden

Friday, 24 August 2012

I have a day's leave today, and I couldn't be happier. For the last few weeks I feel like I have rarely been at home I can't remember the last time I did nothing, so today my plan is to not go anywhere and just potter around. Well I say potter its my friends (erm, 30th) birthday tomorrow so I have lots of things to make and get ready but thats all fun and just having a day not being in London is blissful. 

Anyway, here's today's Floral Friday; These little flowers are from Mint and Basil plants, if like me, you let your herbs get out of control here's what you end up with. I love them, the flowers are so tiny and leaves make them smell incredible. Talking of getting out of control I feel like I have so many ideas for making and doing  at the moment I am not getting anything done fast, hopefully this weekend will give me a chance to catch my breath a bit, I have a few DIY's that I want to put together and some other fun projects to get working on. If you need a quick DIY this weekend my Liberty Flower Garland has been popular or try upcycling and old favourite like this jacket , I'm sure my blogging friends Michelle at MY Creative Photography and Katie at Shoestring Splendor will be having a go (make sure you have a look at their blogs, both are full of great things). 

Have a super (3 day) weekend. xx

DIY - Liberty Flower Garland

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

I have been pretty busy recently so DIY's have been a bit lacking around these parts, I promise to get back to sharing some jewellery posts soon until then here is a really simple DIY. Inspired by the Liberty Scrap Challenge  that I saw on Nova's blog  I thought I would use these pretty scraps to make summery garland. It only takes about 20mins to put together and it doesn't even require sewing or gluing, I think that it would look great made from a shimmery fabric and mixed in with fairy lights to make it twinkle. All the steps are below.
Liberty Scraps - I brought mine here (but you can use anything you have to hand) Cut into 5 inch Squares
5mm ribbon - VV Rouleux has a fantastic selection of colourful velvet
Beading Wire - I used a mix of colours but you don't have to cut into 20cm lengths
Step 1) Cut your net squares approximately the same size as your Liberty pieces

Step 2) Take your first square and then a square of net, fold as in "half" like the picture.

Step 3) Fold in "half' again and pinch the top to form a bud shape.

Step 4) Fold your wire in half and wrap around a pencil and twist a few times to make a loop (its easier if you get these prepped before you start)

Step 5) Take your bud and tightly wrap your wire around the top until it is secure.

Step 6) Repeat until all your buds are done. I did 6 but you could do more it depends on how long you want your garland to be.

Step 7) Take your length of ribbon, mine was just under 2 meters and fold the ends over to make a loop  and knot into place the loops should be about 10cm long. 

Step 8) Fold the ribbon in half and place your buds along the length to work out the spacing, if you want you can mark with a pencil where they buds will go 

Step 9) Knot all your buds into place

Step 10) Hang and enjoy
These are so simple to make, they would be ideal to make slightly bigger for a wedding or party and w make a refreshing change from bunting especially if you tied on some extra ribbons or sparkley bits.

Pintrest - Peach & Gold

Monday, 20 August 2012

Pinning has been my favourite past time recently, I think I could spend hours gorging on all the beautiful images out there. I seem to go through phases of being drawn to certain colours, most recently I have been pinning warm peaches and soft golden tones like these above. I guess they are fitting with the current weather (which I am always effected by), these past two weekends have been so glorious; I have been at the beach and spending as much time outside as I  can. I'm making the most of such warm days because in the back of my mind I know that autumn is waiting in the wings, which always makes me feel a little melancholy. You can follow me at lottsandlots

Floral Friday - Flower Face

Thursday, 16 August 2012

I saw these images on Jak & Jil first thing Monday morning and have been thinking about them all week. I realise these photos are not my usual girly style but up close these flowers are so dainty they remind me of porcelain. I feel like I should say something about the designer or the styling but for once I have let my imagination run away with me and I am planning all sorts of new makes, sometimes it just feels right not to know too much about what you're looking at and just enjoy the creative process.

I hope you have a great weekend.  xx 

Image - Jak & Jil

Made - A dozen white roses

There’s no DIY this week as I have been busy making these beauties, I was asked a few weeks ago if I could make a dozen white roses for some bridesmaids dresses.  And of course any opportunity to make something and I’m there! I did a few tests and for shape, size and technique before I started overall I’m so pleased with how they turned out. My default setting is always an abundance  colour but I have to say I enjoyed working with in just one colour they looked so sumptuous when they were all together. Making twelve was quite time consuming  however one or two wouldn't take long at all, I will put a DIY together in the next few weeks so you can create your own.

Travel - The Philippines, Boracay

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

This is the final set of photo’s from our Honeymoon (you can see my other posts here and here). For the final leg of the trip we stayed on the beautiful Island of Boracay. We heard that Boracay was the party island so we made sure that we stayed a little out of the main centre at this really lovely hotel, as you can see the view was amazing (although we didn’t have access to that beach).  The main hub of Boracay activity is centered around White beach, it would have been so beautiful  before the tourists came, now it is full of shops and bars but in its own way it was quite endearing. Western tourists are still in a minority so I did loads of people watching,  there were some seriously stylish folks walking around and the glow of a tourist shop always keeps me happy. 

We managed to squeeze in two boats trips; the first snorkelling just off the coast, its mesmerising seeing all the fish going about their business but swimming in the open water freaks me out so I was happy to stick near the boat for most of it. The second trip we did was my favourite, our boat man from the first trip took us over to the island where he lives (I have no idea of its name) we swam and ate lunch with his family. Oh my! I have never in my life been in sea so warm and so idyllic as at this place, when you looked out onto the horizon all you could see was the beautiful ocean stretching in front of you – it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I’m not sure how long we spent there but I would have liked to have stayed for longer/forever! 

Another beach we went to was Puka beach, this again was pretty idyllic; white sand, rolling waves, very few tourists and some impressive stalls, as you can see I went a little crazy photographing them but they were in the perfect setting.  I love to see people making and selling so I got a bit excited and was trying to ask them questions which was interesting! It wasn’t all one-way I started making these on the beach and taught a few locals my techniques, I wonder if any new stalls have opened up?!

Looking back we packed in quite a lot during our trip (we were only away for 12 days in total) so we had to make the most of our opportunities to so the islands as possible. We had done most of our bus journey’s at night; on our final drive back to Kalibo airport we drove through lush fields , tiny villages (all with some great bunting going on) and kitsch but busy towns, it was all so perfect and unspoilt , I had to drink it all in before we got on our first of three planes home.  If you have done a bit of traveling   then I would definitely recommend The Philippines, it’s still a bit rough round the edges and at times it felt so far from home which once in a while is just what you need. 

You can see some more of my honeymoon inspired posts here and here.

Floral Friday - A bit of everything

Friday, 10 August 2012

Thanks for all your lovely comments on last weeks Floral Friday, I was a bit scared to post something personal but I'm so glad I did. Not only has an exciting project or two come out of it but its good to feel you are not alone - this year more than ever has taught me to do things that scare me and put myself out there a bit and its certainly starting to pay off. 

This week's Floral Friday is brought to you via Pintrest, I know this photo has been Photoshopped to within an inch of its life but I love the colours. I am planning to get outside as much as possible  this weekend and put my laptop away but before I go here are some of my favourite blogs I have been reading this week. 

Oh The Lovely Things - Is as the name suggests, full of lovely things and cute DIY's  

Lawn Party - A fab fashion blog (no personal photos) just a great selection of products (I wanted everything featured

VMac + Cheese - I will always have a soft spot  for this blog after Victoria included one of my DIY's in her weekly round up. Aside from that its always an interesting read and Victoria has been posting some excellent blogging tips recently (that an IT idiot like me can even do). 

Have a great weekend xx
Image - via Pintrest

DIY - Fake Tan

Thursday, 9 August 2012

This is a bit of a different DIY from me today, I am in no a way a beauty queen and my day to day routine is pretty lax/straight forward but there's one thing I consider myself an expert in and that is fake tanning (and by fake tanning in mean a healthy glow and not TOWIE orange). I have honed my skills through much trial and error over the years and here are my fool proof tips for getting a nice bit of colour. 
Before you start ask yourself, if you naturally get a tan. If not, you probably don't need to go any further and enjoy your gorgeous fair skin, for the rest of you read on. I always tan at night mainly because of the smell and also it gives me less opportunity to pour water on myself and go blotchy and if I'm going to a wedding then I always tan two days before.

Step 1) I think a good home tan is all about the prep work and I take this very seriously, the day before I need to tan I give myself a good de-fuzz, scrub and polish (I have been known to cancel plans based on my tanning schedule). Soap and Glory scrubs and moisturisers are my favourite, whatever you use make its a nice thick moisturiser and you don't want any dry bits as this is what causes streaks.

The morning before you want to tan give yourself another coat of moisturiser, you should now be silky soft. 

Step 2) Have a quick shower and thoroughly dry off, now you are ready to go (I always use a spray as I think it gives a more even coverage.) I start with my the top of my legs the the bottom spraying in even lines about 20cm from my skin, once done I then give my ankles, knees and feet a good rub to blend in any residue. I then do my torso, arms, back and face (you can use a face spray but you don't have too) making sure I give my joints a rub as I go (see arrows on the above illustration for danger zones). I then give my hands a little wash, to stop orange palms and then give them a very light spray. 

Leave to dry, put on some loose pajamas and go to sleep.

Step 3) When you wake up you should be a naturally bronzed goddess. You can stop here but I like to use a bit of this to give me a bit of a sheen and it reminds me of holidays or sometimes if I want to keep my tan going for a few days without turning into an Oompa Loompa I like to use a bit of summer body, only at night as does still have that funny metallic biscuit smell. 

The outlay of products might seem a bit steep but you will be able to use them again and again which in the long run is quite cost effective considering a spray tan is about £25.

UK Handmade competition

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Why am I doing a sneaky post on a Wednesday night?  I just saw this competition on the UK Handmade website and thought I'd enter one of my necklaces. I made this waaaaaay back in February and wear at least once a week, for me handmade is all about loving what you do and making something extra special -  wish me luck!

If you want to enter something you have made here is the link, entries close on the 10th August so you need to be quick.

I have amended the original post as the entry had to include a photo of me (complete cringe but rules are rules!) 

Travel - Palawan, The Philippines

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I realised last week that I had never posted the rest of my honeymoon photos (see the Singapore photos here) so here you go! After Singapore we travelled onto two islands in The Philippines, the first being the island of Palawan. I always think of an island as being small easy to travel around, but not here, it took us two hours in a bumpy bus to reach our hotel from the airport and this was after two plane journeys, so by the time we got to out hotel I really felt like I was in the middle of nowhere (which we where really). We stayed at this hotel in an area called Sabang, which was very very quiet with just a handful of hotels along the beach and about two restaurants. After the excitement of the wedding and covering so much ground in Singapore we were ready for a rest; we mainly slept, swam, read and tootled around in various rock pools at low tide. 

As you can see from the photo's the weather changed pretty quickly, there was glorious sun in the morning making all the boats and tourist shops look really picturesque but by the afternoon's the clouds had rolled in creating some amazing skies and rain showers (why is tropical rain so much better than our UK version??). We were only there for three days which was enough for us, I think the peace did us good but we were ready to move on to the next island (post coming soon). 

Apart from walking along the beach there really isn't much to do, we tried to go to the famous underground river but all the tourist permits had gone so we couldn't go which was a shame (if you are planning a trip make sure you book a permit before you travel). There is also a place called El Nido that was about a 3 hour drive away from Sabang, that is meant to be stunning, if we had had more time we definitely would have made the trip. Essentially Sabang is a tiny fishing village, so if you are looking for somewhere that is authentic, peaceful and tourist free then I think you will like. 

A quick note on how to get there - We flew into Manilla from Singapore and then caught an internal flight from Manilla to Puerto Princessa. If you are switching terminals at Manilla allow at least 45mins to get between them as the traffic is a nightmare. 

Floral Friday - Blogging thoughts

Friday, 3 August 2012

I'm always interested in reading about people's reason's for blogging and I have been reading a few articles on why people blog this week (I can't remember where now) . I would love my blog to be a successful but its hard to define what success would look like, is it thousands of readers every month? Companies clambering to offer free stuff? Hundreds of comments after every post? I'm not sure. When I read comments on some blogs its seems like the readers are only commenting to drive traffic to their own site, it always makes me cringe especially when I see links to a competition or some sort. If I comment its because I genuinely like what the person has written, brought, made or photographed. When I read tips on getting visitors to your blog commenting on others is always at the top of the list but I feel like such a phony in doing so, but then I'm guilty of beating myself up if my number of page views drops but to me one honest comment will always mean more to me than a 100 ever would - does anyone have any good advice to get around this?

I started my blog when I was at a bit of a cross-roads, I had the option to stay on at my old company after nearly a year of empty promises and work on their social media or take a job in a company that didn't make my heart sing but gave me the balance to do my own thing. I chose the latter and I'm so glad I did, I never knew how much I loved writing until I started this blog, I have always been pretty crafty so making myself post regular DIY's has given me the focus to do more and get better, (I still can't believe that some of my ideas usually dreamt up on the train have been so popular) and slowly slowly I'm getting to meet other bloggers who all have dreams outside the 9-5 too. I don't blog because its the right thing to do, I do it because I absolutely love it. I look forward to coming home from work to put a post together and have a place where I can capture my thoughts or something I have seen. I hope that I can inspire who ever reads my blog to be a little more creative, make their own something or just be transported from the day to day for a few minutes because to me thats what its about having a space to be yourself and a few moments to day dream dream and conjure up new ideas.

There are definitely areas I would to improve on (a new site would be nice for a start), I would love to write, collaborate, make and photograph more and I'm sure these things will all come in time. For now I'm just enjoying the ride, its quite fun one and I have a whole heap of necklaces to show for it!

Thanks for reading, I just needed to get that off my chest. Have a great weekend. xx

Shopping - Red-y

Thursday, 2 August 2012

I have great fun pulling these shopping posts together, its a bit like playing at shopping and you don't have to spend any actual money. Todays have been inspired by this snazzy outfit that I saw on Atlantic Pacific a few weeks ago, I love how polished and pulled together all the red looks. I have never been a real fan of matchy-matchy, I usually try and wear as many colours as possible stopping one shade short of a migraine but there's something fresh about this two shade look. After being bombarded with bloggers showing us all how to clash prints for so long its simplicity is quite refreshing, I've been pulling out all my red stuff in the hope of emulating some of this American polish - Happy shopping!  

DIY - Precious Stone Necklace

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

This week I'm on an "inspired by the internet roll", and today's make is no exception. I pinned this onto my craft ideas board and knew it'd be the perfect summer necklace to keep all my shopping urges at bay. I saw it on the fab Chetah is the new Black and went straight out and brought some new supplies to DIY myself. All details are below, happy making! 
 You'll need
Chunky Chain - I brought mine on ebay 
Semi precious stones - Try here for a selection (I brought mine locally as I like to see the colours and patterns) 
11 x 7mm Jump rings
Spring clasp opening and ring
Gold 5mm wire - Try here for all findings

1) Cut 3 x 15cm lengths of wire and then wrap the wire at the end to make links
2) Thread your central bead onto a wire and make another loop at the end
3) Make the start of a loop and then hook onto your first stone and complete the loop, repeat on the other side. You should now have your central piece complete. 
4) Decide on the length you would like your necklace to be (mine was 45cm in total). My central piece was 15cm long so I needed my chain to be 15cm either side. Measure the required length of your chain and then double it to make two  rows of chain. 
5) Add a jump ring to either end of the chain and then add a jump ring linking the the two ends of chain and the central piece (sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step), repeat on the other side.
6) On one side, add your spring clasp to the middle of your double chain and then a jump ring to other.  Your necklace is now complete, you can now wear as much as you can!   
The final piece, I love the pink and blue combination. 

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