Saturday, 24 September 2011


I have now officially moved into my house in Brighton - my first ever own (shared with 4 others) house! It's all very exciting here getting everything sorted and having time to relax before uni, and I am still in the process of unpacking and beautifying my room - pictures will be up soon. Yesterday I was in town with Faron and dragged him into Snooper's Paradise - one of my favourite shops in Brighton. It's antiques/second hand/vintage treasures/junk.. I could spend hours in there. I did nearly buy a lot of things - some old maps, a gorgeous vintage mirror, a whitewashed desk (bit pricey), but I did actually decide to part with my money on one thing - a typewriter. It has a lid (first pic) that doubles up as the other half of a carrying case!! Also at £18, I think a bargain. I researched online and could only find them for about £40.

As well as always thinking they were awesome, I thought it could be useful for some craft things like labels for things I make, and even cards. I am also a huge lover of snail-mail and still regularly write to a lot of friends overseas so I will be making use of it a lot for letter-writing. I am sure baileyb will be even more excited now to receive a letter from me.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


It is my last day at work today (sigh of relief!). I am back to the UK tomorrow soon to start my second year of university. To say thank you to my boss and my coworkers I made these amaretti cookies last night. They didn't go quite as hoped but they do taste nice so I guess that's all I was really needing.

The recipe required me to grind the almonds in a food processor - this was the first problem. My food processor is quite small so I don't think the almonds were quite ground enough. I am not sure why the recipe didn't just call for ground almonds.. I was a little worried about the consistency of the mixture but mum reassured me these cookies were meant to be hard so the mixture should be too..

I also did not pipe the mixture from a piper onto the baking sheets, I just spooned it on. This is probably why they turned out super lumpy and weird shapes. Didn't affect the taste though!

Disaster struck when they had been in the oven for 10 mins.. I realised I had forgotten to stir in almond extract (ie, the most important ingredient). I sort of sprinkled it on top halfway through cooking and hoped for the best.

They tasted pretty good in the end. I put some in a ziplock bag and tied a ribbon around - my boss seemed happy with them (they are her fave!).

Monday, 19 September 2011

Wedding Gift

My friend Christine is getting married next weekend. Unfortunately I can't go as I am back in the UK (which sucks because I love weddings) but I wanted to be creative with her gift. I got the idea from my friend Eva who once gave another friend three gifts for her birthday, something about before moving, during moving, after moving (can't remember exactly) so I adapted that. I decided on one gift for before the wedding, one for during the wedding, and one for after the wedding.

For before the wedding:
Christine is quite stressed at the moment (obviously as she is planning a wedding) so I thought that a tissue holder would be quite handy (probably during the wedding too). I used this tutorial. Unfortunately I had to undo some of the stiches as the tissues didn't fit - not quite sure if that was my fault or if tissues in the US are smaller.


I also put a mini bottle of vodka in the package for before the wedding - to calm the nerves!

For during the wedding:
I found this awesome printable so printed it and stuck it onto card with a silver ribbon. On the back it has a checklist of things the bride may need ie, water, chocolate.. Hopefully it's helpful this weekend!

For after the wedding:
I have wanted to do this for someone for a while. I love the idea of layering the dry ingredients of cookie mix in a jar. It looks awesome and it especially good for people that don't have very much time or don't like to cook. Christine has been dieting and doing bikram yoga (in 40 degree heat) so I think she deserves this after her wedding. I had to gu/estimate the amounts as the jar in the tutorial is bigger but hopefully it turns out fine..

I think she liked them :)


This weekend I did a flea market with my friend Christine who has done them before. It was so nice to get rid of useless stuff that has been hanging around for too long. Even though I was mostly selling everything for 1-3chf, I made over 100chf! It was a lot of fun.
Our stall from behind: 

From the front:

Christine with her flee market purchase (the glasses, the dress is hers..):

My first purchase (6 chf). I originally bought it to do something with as it is a bit shabby but I think I like it like that now.

Saving the best until last.. I saw this bag hanging and I fell in love. The price tag was 125chf (which isn't wholly unreasonable for a real longchamp leather handbag in a flee market) but I didn't have that much money. Christine was checking it out and asked if the woman would take 50. She heard 30, and accepted! Consequently this is the new love of my life and what's better is that the lady guessed it was 30-50 years old. Vintage!!!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Lined Zippered Pouches

I know this is my second post of the day but I've been meaning to post this one for a while and I've been very crafty this evening! The posts will slow down once I am back at uni and actually have work to do! Uh oh.. These were the first proper things I made with the sewing machine that baileyb lent me, apart from the cushion I did using the awesome fabric I bought in Spain.

I ordered some small pieces of fabric off Etsy from the heydey shop which I would reccommend - even though the fabric was cut a little smaller than I had anticipated it is very nice and was quite cheap. As it was quite small I had to think of something to make use of them and it had to be simple as I was pretty much trying out my sewing machine skills. I found this very informative tutorial on which took me - total amateur - through the steps very clearly and I came up with these little coin purses!

The pink one was the first one I made - so not technically brilliant but I was proud all the same! I've made three now - and I think I will stop unless I find someone to give them to.

My favourite is the black and white hippo one as I like the fabric, and it was made last so is consequently the most well made. Now I just have to think of recipients!

New Fabric!

Faron visited last weekend and his mum was kind enough to give me some fabric and wool she didn't want anymore (large bunch of fabric in pic). I love the wool and especially the top flowery fabric! She also gave me the magazines that I've already been through and folded down the corners of the things I want to make.

I also ordered some small Cath Kidston squared fabric from ebay as I love the Cath Kidston designs, even though they are super expensive.. The squares are really quite small so I won't be able to do much with them but I am thinking some kind of patchwork project with white squares between them?

I realised that when I go to the UK next week I will no longer have a sewing machine! I am going to have to find other crafts to do while I am there to keep this blog updated. Or, maybe my nan will lend me her sewing machine..hmm..

Monday, 12 September 2011

Patchwork Cushion

I found this tutorial on Pinterest (which I am now slightly addicted to) for a patchwork bolster pillow which seemed perfect to do with my small scraps of pretty fabric I ordered from Etsy (heydeyshop).

Unfortunately the tutorial isn't the best for beginners like me (I am sure it is perfectly understandable if you are a competent sewer/sewing machine user).. for instance "sew the squares together".. I need more info!!!!... so I had to adapt it a bit. Instead of doing the squares diagonally I did them vertically to make it easier sewing.. and I actually liked it this way.. plus this was I wasted less of the little fabric I have.

 I cut my squares more or less to shape but they were by no means exact - so I decided/was forced to decide that instead of being perfectly in line my cushion would be more 'shabby chic' (a term I see used a lot on craft blogs/craft forums), so basically a bit skew-whiff...

I managed to sew them together competently but a bit wobbly.. The next problem was cutting the circular end pieces. Because I hadn't followed the directions exactly the size of the fabric in the tutorial wouldn't have worked so it took me a while to figure it out and a few too-small circles before I got it. Sewing the thing on was a mission in itself but I managed it in the end.. and here is the result!

As you can see, very shabby chic/skew whiff but I love it!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Negatives Lamp

This was one of the first crafts I saw that really got me wanting to make things start crafting. My mum's birthday was coming up so I gathered the small amount of negatives I have left stashed under my bed and picked the best ones - nearly all my mum's family are in them. I got the idea from Poopscape Projects if you also still have negatives lying around your house somewhere. Again I used mod podge which I am beginning to think I will need more of.. here are some pics of the final product!

It was pretty easy although if I were to do it again (unfortunately I don't have quite enough decent negatives) I would paste them vertically as they didn't stick perfectly around the edges but you can hardly tell. Mum was pleased with it so that's excellent!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Drawers makeover

I found this white chest of drawers in my garage a few weeks ago just after my dad let me have all his old vintage maps for my crafts...! I got the idea from an antique store in Brighton that has the most beautiful pieces of furniture covered in old maps, so instead of paying the 150 pounds to buy one, I tried to make one instead!

  My friend Christine kindly brought me back some mod podge from the US when she went last weekend which was perfect for this. I decided to use all french maps (what turned out to be all the same map) as I live in France so it's a nice theme :)

I wanted to change the handles to rope to give it a nautical feel, but then I saw the pile of corks lying in my room waiting to be used in some other craft and tried them out.. (they are all from FRENCH bottles of wine!)

I stuck some nice paper in the base of the drawers as even after giving it a good clean it was still a bit grotty - fine now though!

I'm really happy with how it turned out and it's my new craft chest of drawers.. finally no more overflowing boxes on my floor!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Blessing Bags

I just stumbled across this idea online and I think it is so wonderful.

I will definately be doing this at Christmas down in Brighton.

Just thought I'd share..

Thursday, 1 September 2011


The last two weeks I have spent with my boyfriend Faron in Luxembourg and the UK at Reading Festival which was great. Faron's mum is South African and his Dad used to travel a lot in Africa so their house is full of African styled ornaments, it's lovely. Faron's dad often makes biltong - a South African version of beef jerkey - so Faron and I decided to make some of our own. I've had biltong in South Africa when I was there and loved it and have had some of Faron's dad's since. It turned out great. Here are some pics of the process!

Best thing to chew on when you feel like something to eat but you are not hungry.. a regular occurance with me.