Thursday, 29 August 2013

Mini Adventure in the Caravan

You remember our caravan revamp? Well, she is still doing us proud and continues to be our preferred method of holidaying. What's not to love? A mini home in a box that you can tow and park up anywhere. Caravanning is not just for the old fogies, rest assured. Although we are usually the youngest on site letting the side down with our pimped out caravan painted in gun metal grey. Occasionally we get a disapproving look, but not often enough to put us off. Those who give the disapproving looks generally have a TV and cable rigged up. What's the point? You might as well stay at home and watch TV.

This particular adventure had us trekking to the New Forest and parking up in the middle of remote woodland. Our view from our door was forest. In fact, the views all around were forest. On our first night, with a glass of wine in hand, we witnessed a herd of deer just walk right past our camp! It was sunny the whole week and we took a few creature comforts to make our little woodland spot feel like home, bunting hardly compares to a TV right? We had bbqs galore and ate outside every single day. It was bliss!


If you recall, we bought this aluminium box for a couple of hundred pounds and promptly redecorated, moving away from the brown interior and exterior. And now the old gal is positively part of the family. Ready for a new adventure looming... this time not only with the rabbit but the kitten in tow. Its going to be mental.






Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Crafty DIY : Cosy Garden Firepit Nook

When getting things for the wedding, we only bought or made things that we knew we would use afterwards, so the weekend after our honeymoon we made ourselves a cosy area in our garden for a firepit along with items from our big day. We had a couple of benches which were put to good use each side of our old metal firepit. We added a screen of potted plants for a little privacy from the front gate. Obviously I added some fairy lights at the back, I couldn't help myself.

We used the topiary trees and homemade crate tables from the wedding along with all the many lanterns leftover. We used the shepherd crooks which originally lined the aisle and put a couple of the cemented bunting posts to good use along with the legendary bunting itself - made from old curtains. The two beautiful Salix trees were wedding gifts from a neighbour and the old keg was salvaged by my folks in France - perfect for a bar table. And within half an hour, a boring patch of the garden was transformed into a cosy spot for entertaining or just chilling out in front of a lovely log fire.




Thursday, 22 August 2013

Crafty DIY : Simple Party Decorations

For the hen party recently, I only found out only a few days beforehand that I could decorate our dinner venue. The venue was stunning anyway, but of course I wanted to decorate! Crikey. What could I do in just a few days with a couple of hours spare? I came up with a cunning plan. I rummaged in my craft boxes and found some tissue paper left over from the wedding prep, a bunch of glass bottles and some spare luggage labels.

First things first. I made some simple tissue paper flowers. You will need 6 squares of tissue paper per flower, roughly 10-15cm squared. Concertina your squares and secure in the middle with string or wool. Next, fan your layers out on each side until it resembles a flower. My good friend Lou helped me attach them to tight rows of thread with sandwich bag ties, the finer the thread, the more they look like they are floating.


Next up was the glass bottles...too easy. I raided the garden for some tall flowers and added these in a little water. There had been a wedding the night before so we were lucky enough to have their flower hand-me-downs on the tables too. To do these yourself, always keep a little oasis on hand and you can use any dish or bowl and then raid your garden again.

I then wrapped little gifts for each guest and hand printed their name onto the luggage labels and tied them around each package. In total, it didn't take very long, but it made such an impact. And I know that the other half will groan when he reads this little bit of advice, but never throw anything away as it will always come in handy. Just don't let it get out of control. The night you have to swim through recycling in order to get to your bed, you've gone too far. Rein it in you hobo.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Crafty DIY : Tissue Paper Flower Garland

I have learnt to always keep a box of tissue paper in the house. Emergency party? No worries. You can roll up a bottle of wine to make it look fancy, you can stuff tissue paper into a plain old paper bag to jazz up the contents. And most importantly, you can make quick decorations too.

These tissue paper flowers were made by folding up tissue paper into squares, cutting out a whole bunch of starry flower shapes all at once and then stacking a few on top of one another (moving the petals a fraction each time) and then stitching through the middle onto some string. Scrunch them up a little to make them look more flower like and you have yourself an instant party. Just add friends.


Friday, 16 August 2013

Fireworks over the Sea

Recently we were lucky enough to catch a firework display out at sea. The reflections made it even more magical and added to the oooohs and aaaahs. Plus, I managed to get a few shots, so please indulge me as I am the shakiest person anyway, let alone when I have the camera set to a super long exposure. I was expecting the worst, but it turned out not too bad. Oh, alright, just a little shaky.



Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Crafty DIY : Laminated Cheers Banner

Here's one for all you bottoms-up folks out there. Thanks to the girls over at ABeautifulMess, they inspired me to make a CHEERS banner for our hen and stag parties whilst we enjoyed a tipple outside. This was super easy and I have since made a Happy Birthday banner and a Thank You banner in the same style.

Simply print big A4 letters in your choice of colours, laminate each page to make it splash proof, cut the letters out and then stick to ribbon or string with sticky tape. We've used ours loads since and even had it up outside for our entire honeymoon - love it!


Friday, 9 August 2013

Treehouse Wedding Adventure

What. A. Day. Our wedding day truly was perfect. We both knew exactly what we wanted from our first trip to the pub to discuss our dream wedding - an outdoor adventure. Ok, a bit risky with the British climate, but it turned out to be the hottest day of the year so every photo is caked in glorious sunshine. Thank you weather gods. We had another catch though, it had to be on a very tight budget, but we still wanted it to be special. So we decided on a set budget to cover the necessities and to make pretty much everything else ourselves. Why hire chairs when you can make beanbags? We may have been crazy to embark on such a mission, but it was totally worth it.


To keep costs low, we had two different venues. Our wedding ceremony took place up a treehouse at Sole Street House in Kent (I’m pretty certain there’s nothing quite like getting married barefoot to your best mate up a tree amongst the sun dappled leaves). Getting married outdoors was very important to us, however there’s not much opportunity in the UK, so when we found this stunning treehouse in an old horse chestnut, we were over the moon. After a giggly walk down the woodland floor aisle complete with stumbling through the fallen branches with my old man, meeting my handsome fella at the top of the rickety steps up the tree, a romantic ceremony filled with goofy smiles, a bellini or two, a game of croquet on the lawn and a welcome ice cream in the sun, we headed to a medieval village hall in Chilham to celebrate long into the evening with pimms, real ale, fete games and a raffle. Our first dance was courtesy of AC/DC kicking off the 'get your groove on' session.



Our one lavish expense was the wonderful red Routemaster bus ferrying guests between the two venues, which meant everybody could have a drink with us and hang out together on our day long mini adventure. Luckily my folks live in France so they single handedly kept the party going at both venues with their contribution of wine! The sit down meal of bangers and mash was enjoyed by all thanks to Orchids after our homemade starter of tapas was rapidly consumed.


We chose not to spend a fortune on outfits (or anything else really!). The boys outfits were from Matalan and my dress was £50 from ebay which I customised with a sharp pair of scissors. What a relief though as the end of the evening proved that I am the messiest, clumsiest person, with the dress well and truly covered in battle scars, especially after the spacehopper race, but it makes it seem so much more loved and I’ll be darned if I’m getting it dry cleaned and losing all those lovely memories.

The whole day was filled with love and laughter and obviously was the best day ever for us with al our favourite people. As a notorious couple of goofs, little things kept us giggling (ramming the ring onto the wrong finger anyone?! Hilarious), teamed with the high octane excitement of the day and the funny, funny speeches from both sets of best men (one via video link up from Australia), our faces ached for the entire day from laughing. A big thanks to all of our loved ones for making it so special whether it was through hours of crafting, baking or simply turning up. THANK YOU.

All photos courtesy of the very talented and super fun Tim Stubbings. Thanks so much for leaving us with all these lovely images which captured all of the lovely details and moments perfectly.


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Treetop Wedding Sneak Peek

Ok, alright, its been pretty dull on these here pages recently, but hey, we’re back! A happily married couple! I say happy, we had a minor glitch when the other half decided to test our wedding vows on day 6 of wedded bliss by losing his wedding ring on honeymoon. After a few polite words and a gentle clip round the ear, we think we did pretty well and despite initial reservations, we are still happily married. We did manage to purchase emergency back-up rings to make us feel better, however they made our fingers an unusual shade of green, so we’ll just wait for the reordered ones to turn up.

Apologies though as this little corner of blogland is about to go a bit wedding, but wait, the good news is our homemade wedding (and yes, I mean pretty much EVERYTHING was homemade) just gave us an excuse to make some beautiful stuff that we can keep for years to come (and dish out as Christmas presents too – olive oil and balsamic vinegar anyone? Fourteen tables is a lot of olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottles. Starting up a fish and chip shop? Email me). So we will hopefully inspire a few of you to either make your own wedding day perfectly personalised with a little elbow grease or simply create something for your lovely homes such as some comfy beanbag squares or unusual signage.

So here is a sneak pee of our big day, hands down the most awesome day ever. It’s so cliché but why wouldn’t it be? Being surrounded by all your favourite people, with love and laughter reaching ridiculous highs everywhere you look. Plus your best friend in the world standing by your side, looking as sexy as anything, clumsily fumbling with the ring on the wrong finger to giggles all around. Awesome. Simply awesome. I will be posting more pictures soon, as well as a few wedding DIYs. And for anybody out there wondering whether to embark on a homemade wedding – just do it, all the little details made the day so much more special. The hard graft is definitely worth it in the end. And surprisingly, all our many crafting helpers agreed! Although they were all plied with an alcoholic beverage or two. Or three. Hey, it’s a wedding!

Photos courtesy of Tim Stubbings Photography - a legend in his own lifetime.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Not Long Now...!!!

Not long now until our biggest party EVER - the wedding! Cor, it's really coming round quickly, I'll be an old ball and chain before you know it. Being a homemade wedding (of course) we've been spending every spare minute sawing, painting, concreting, drilling and sewing. We've been lucky enough to have lots of friends and family wanting to get involved too and so we've had many a craft night at our place. And for the unlucky, more dedicated few, there have been craft days/weekends (sneak preview below). Thanks to everyone who has baked, folded, glued and cut and we CANNOT wait to see all the folks we love and adore in one place on one day. Exciting :)