Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Crafty DIY : Homemade Gift Idea

Today, I confess, this is not my idea or indeed my DIY, but a friends. When Rosemary and her husband recently turned up for dinner at ours, they presented us with a lovely bag of goodies, not from Hotel Chocolat, actually more exciting as inside were a selection of homemade goodies to eat. I am sharing this with you today as the thought and presentation was so lovely that I felt the idea was well worth sharing.

To impress your friends and family at the next dinner date, wrap some homemade chocolates (use a chocolate mould or perhaps try a variation of these Rocky Chunks) in a clear cellophane bag and simply tie with a little ribbon. In addition, you could always make your favourite baked goods and wrap them in doilies and keep them airtight tucked inside a plastic tupperware container, like the sort you may save from those exciting take aways. It was so lovely to receive such a treat that I'm now thinking up what we could make as gifts for others. Perhaps some of these Chocolate Crater Cakes or some marshmallow hearts or healthy nutty truffles. So sweet, thanks Rosemary!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Crafty DIY : Creating a Cosy Space

During the conversion of the garage, I was fortunate enough to negotiate a slither of space at the back to call my own, lovingly referred to as my 'small, redundant area'. Previously, it had been loaded with boxes ready for crafting, books longing for shelves and I'm ashamed to admit, the odd grubby box of gardening stuff which had yet to find a home.

It was not exactly inviting to work out here, even though we had made a purpose built desk. If only I had remembered to take 'before' photos, but you get the picture. I'm sure everyone has a dumping ground in their home? One morning, with a spurt of energy, I decided enough was enough and I bagged up anything not being used and crammed it into the attic. Ok, I see what you're saying, now I will only have to clear that out eventually, but hey, out of sight, out of mind.

My point is, that regardless of how small a space you have, you can always cosy it up. This very small space in our garage, only accessible through a half sized doorway, has now become a pretty cosy crafting/writing den, although we're still fond of the title small redundant area. Whether you have a corner in your house, a nook under your stairs, a shed for one solitary spade or an attic going to waste, it's amazing what you can do to create another (albeit twee) living area. The best bit about this space? As usual, it cost nothing. Look around your house for bits and pieces that have been forgotten, are getting dusty or aren't used and give them a new purpose. Check out your attic for forgotten finds such as old frames, paintings, baskets, rugs and lamps.

For this cosy den, I rehomed the old Ikea chair from the spare room which was only used for putting luggage on. I found the lamps, footstool, cushions and framed photos stored in the attic from the move. The containers I collected from around the house. The mirror was salvaged from the garden. The fairy lights balls were hidden away in a corner. The baskets were unearthed from the mountains of crafting supplies and the rug dots? Well, have you stored any old carpet offcuts over the years? Now's the time to dig those bad boys out and cut out your chosen shapes. When I get a few spare minutes, I'll finish the edges with wool to tidy them up, but this is a very easy way to add a little fun to a small space.

You could always add a portable DVD player, some books, an old speaker system, a kettle and some teabags, a blanket, some plants, an old sheet for a tippee, a toy box, comfy beanbags, a deck of cards, a secret chocolate stash, cheery bunting, a mini fridge stocked with wine. Wine...


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Cut Flowers Inspiration

Blogs are awesome for inspiration, but it's still a treat to open a book and explore the contents as delight after delight is teasingly revealed after each turn of the page. Recently I have tapped up the library for a selection of flower arranging books (I know - anyone would think I'm middle aged, wait a minute, I've been crafting since I was a kid so I may have been middle aged for a good 20 years already). With the wedding looming (crikey, only 3 months to go!), these images really made me want to spend the whole budget on flowers. I thought I would share my favourites here with you - the books are beautifully laid out with fun step-by-steps, a worthy investment if you cannot find them at your local library. Images are taken from the very talented:

  • Vic Brotherson - Vintage Flowers
  • Paula Pryke - Flowers Every Day
  • Jane Packer - Flower Course