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Thai Recipe Cards Gift

20 Jun

This post comes courtesy of my friend and flatmate Badger.

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Her brother’s wife is Thai and the most amazing cook, Badger says going to visit them in Thailand for family holidays is no hardship at all! Last holiday the family were all going to take a Thai cooking course but the price was just too expensive for all of them. Instead, her sister-in-law asked them all what dishes they wanted to learn to cook and took them to the market to buy ingredients.

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Back at the house they took turns in the kitchen learning how to cook our chosen dish. Badger wrote down all the recipes and instructions so she could make them later.

When her mother’s birthday came round later that year she wanted to make her something a little more thoughtful and with more effort than the normal present she would buy. She came up with the idea of creating recipe cards using the notes she’d made in Thailand. Using free fonts and images that she found on the internet Badger designed them then printed them out in colour. She covered them all in sticky back plastic to keep clean in the kitchen, punched a hole in the top corner and tied them all together with ribbon.

Hannah: This was the gift that kept giving! Badger’s sister-in-law made a gift of her knowledge and skills and Badger used her creativity to make something out of that experience for her mother. Hopefully Mrs Badger will make us all a gift of dinner using the cards!

Scrabble Picture Bride’s Gift

18 Jun

Here’s another idea from my friend ‘Badger’.

Inspired by something she’d seen on Not on the High Street she created a picture from pictures of scrabble tiles for her friend’s hen party gift. She wanted to create a scrabble board using words that related to things to do with the hen party so she’d have something to remember it by.

She found tiles on this website Fuzzimo and used Paint and Microsoft Excel to create it. It was very simple but took some time to make everything fit in and look like an attractive patten. Finally she bought a frame from ebay and put it all together.

Wooden Cigar Box

16 Jun

I bought this box from a house clearance shop for about £10. It was a bit shabby and so I had the intention of using it to practice decoupage on.

                    

I gave it a good sand, and painted it white inside (I still need to replace the hinges). But then, before I painted it I had a rethink. It had actually scrubbed up quite well and so instead of painting it I varnished with a dark stain.

Now the dilemma is do I leave it as it is or do I still stick on the butterflies I found and cut out of a piece of wrapping paper?

Perhaps just on the side?

What do you think?

Neon DIY projects

14 Jun

Being a child of the 80s, I have always had a not-so-secret love for all things neon. I think it stems from the the first outfit I owned which I loved with a fiery passion – it was a hot pink top with flouro yellow stars on it and a matching skirt with lots of frills and layers which was flouro yellow with hot pink stars on it. Amazing. It made my 7 year old self very happy.

So I’m really happy to see so many neon related DIY projects on my favourite blogs and popping up on Pinterest. If you fancy getting stuck in to a very bright crafty project, here are a few of my favourites:

DIY Colourblock Bag from Say Yes to Hoboken

Wood and Neon Lanyard Necklaces from Martha

Neon and gold notebooks from Eat Sleep Cuddle

DIY neon toe shoes from Green Wedding Shoes

Have you seen or worked on any good neon projects lately? Share them in the comments!

Book Review: The Wah Nails Book of Nail Art

4 Jun

Nail art is huge at the moment, even royalty are doing it (Princess Eugenie had Union Jacks on her fingernails at the Epsom Derby on Saturday!) but who better to bring out a book on the subject but Sharmadean Ried, the founder of WAH Nails.

Sharmadean opened her first WAH Nails salon in Dalston in London in 2009 and the brand’s popularity soon caught the eye of national retailers, leading to a pop up shop in Selfridges and a permanent space in the Oxford Street branch of Top Shop.

The book takes the WAH style and shows you how to do it yourself. There are 25 projects, starting with their original leopard print design, each with a step by step illustration.

This comic book style is one of my favourites.

The cover gives the impression that the book is aimed at teens but the design inside is a funky scrapbook style which I think has wider appeal. I’m dying to give some of the projects a go but need to invest in some nail-art pens to do the more intricate parts of design. I’ll share the results when I do.

The WAH Nails Book of Nail Art is a very cool book which teaches you the WAH techniques and designs and gives you the inspiration to start doing your own nail art.

Thank you to the publisher @hardiegrantuk for sending us a copy.

Upcycling a Footstool

1 Jun

Ages ago Katie kindly gave me this lovely footstool that once belonged to her grandmother. I’d been looking for one to do up for a while and this was exactly what I’d been looking for. It’s already been well used in my house but I finally got round to doing it up.

I started by stripping off all the old fabric and padding and giving the whole thing a good clean. I found fabric I liked in Fabrics Galore (Wandsworth Road, London) and wadding in The Crafty Sewer in Tooting.

I cut the wadding to size and lightly secured it on the footstool top with glue. Then I wrapped the fabric around it and got out the trusty staple gun. Halfway through it was obvious that the wadding wasn’t up to the job so I cut a second piece and layered them together. I’m still not completely happy though so any tips from furniture restorers on where to find proper wadding would be much appreciated. It does the job well enough for now though so I finished stapling the fabric securely round the top with a firm even stretch across the top.

I wanted to keep it dark wood but freshen it up, so the next step was to give the wooden base a good sand and a new coat of varnish. This was more difficult than I thought because some of the vanish came off easily and other parts were more difficult so it too a lot of elbow grease to get an even tone. You can still see the grain but I like that.

Two coats of varnish and the footstool is finished. Thank you Katie!

Designing invitations

21 May

I have written before about how difficult I found it to design our invitations. I’m not a graphic designer and know next to nothing about fonts, but I really wanted to make these myself and I’m so glad I did!

For the front of the invitation, I kept it pretty simple and similar to the Save the Date cards we sent out last year. I had to change the font from the Save the Date because numbers didn’t read out that well, but I think the replacement worked out fairly well. I’m still not that happy with the scripty font but at there are only so many times you can look at the calligraphy section of dafont without your eyes crossing (or maybe that’s just me).

After looking at LOADS of invitations on Pinterest and changing my mind every week or so about what I wanted to do, I ended up focusing in on the two venues, which are both beautiful buildings.

I looked up some nice pictures of the venues on the Internet and then sketched them roughly and painted them in. I wanted them to look colourful and friendly, which I hope is how they came out.

I don’t have a scanner, so I just took really close up photographs of the buildings on our camera and manipulated them using GIMP (free photo editing software).

I had to swap them around on the invitation as I accidentally drew them in the wrong order, but it meant that they had a natural place to overlap – the trees!

We also created a similar, but slightly different invitation for the evening guests, using just the blue building.

The invites have (almost) all gone out now (there are a few that we haven’t yet posted for one reason or another) and the RSVPs have started coming in. Hurrah! There are still months to go until the wedding, but it is starting to feel very real now!

What do you think? Do you have a favourite calligraphy font? Please give me your recommendations! Have you designed your own invite? I would love to see your photographs…

Cheerful carnations

18 May

Carnations get a bad rep. They are mostly known for being the flowers that people buy when they are desperate – wilting flowers from the petrol garage bought in a fit of “SHIT I HAVEN’T GOT THEM ANYTHING”.

But is that association really fair? Traditionally they represent love and fascination, and although they are generally cheaper and a bit smaller than roses, they are still beautiful and come in a huge variety of colours and even patterns. For me the lower price just means they are more affordable and the fact that they are available everywhere means you have no excuse for not having fresh flowers at home!

P and I have been thinking about how we want to arrange our wedding flowers and carnations proved a great flower to test with. We aren’t likely to be using them on the day, as we are looking at wilder flora like heather and ferns, but we wanted to test how our cordial/passata/olive bottles/vases would look with some kind of flower arrangement in them. I hope you agree, they really do look lovely!

2 bunches for £5 from Marks and Spencer

Arranging flowers in the kitchen

Two bunches provides more than enough flowers to fill four bottles/vases – I could probably have filled five for just £5!

How do you think the vases look? I am thinking of dipping them in creamy paint so that just the water level is painted. But I’m worried about how much it will drip! Have you done this before? Any tips, let me know in the comments…

And what do you think of carnations generally? Take the poll over on our Facebook page.

(PS! That’s passata, cordial, olives, passata up there – they make great vases and cost nothing as we ate the previous occupiers…)

Bank holiday crafts

5 May

If you are looking for a few ideas for the bank holiday, why not try making one of these projects?

Upcycle a plain bottle or vase with a photo transfer (via Babble)

Create a cake (or donut!) stand using old records – I love this idea! Via Bubby and Bean.

Experiment with Papier Mache! I haven’t done this since I was a kid, but My Little Fabric has a very grown up project on their site…

Create a really cool looking heart shopping bag (via hrrrthrr) OR…

A cool look ombred heart bag! Via Four Flights of Fancy.

Are you making anything this weekend? Send us your photos or links in the comments!

Decoupage Inspiration

16 Mar

Ever since I saw Nova & Lorsten’s cool Mills & Boon decoupage products at The New Vintage Event in Brixton I’ve been looking for a way to use it in a project. We have two very boring Ikea coffee tables at home which are starting to look a bit tatty so my flatmate and I are going to give it a try. Meanwhile here are the ideas that have been inspiring me on Pinterest.

Source: cadlowmuralworld.blogspot.com via Hannah on Pinterest

I love the patchwork effect on this chair.

Source: trendpulse.net via Julie on Pinterest

Maps are a popular idea for decoupage.

Source: pnwcottage.blogspot.com via Hannah on Pinterest

This table has been decoupaged with fabric rather than paper.

Source: rockettstgeorge.co.uk via Hannah on Pinteres

I’m mildly obsessed with butterflies so using this wrapping paper would be right up my street.

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