DIY cameo brooch

I’ve been looking for a cameo style brooch for a while now; the inspiration came when watching a recent TV programme recreating a pride and prejudice ball and after being unable to find 'the one' in local charity shops I figured it was time for a DIY. Making it myself also meant I got to choose the silhouette used and this one is (according to google) Jane Austen herself. I considered making the brooch from felt by decided shrink plastic would give a nicer effect and think the modern plastic compliments the silhouette style.

I used the same method as my shrink plastic butterfly necklace, which can be found here. The picture above gives and idea of the size you need before shrinking. After shrinking I simply glued a brooch pin back onto the back of the plastic and left it to dry. You can make the entire thing in about half an hour!

It’s so quick and simple, the perfect way to jazz up a plain jacket. Plus it was a nice excuse for a bit of black and white photography.


A new favourite nail colour

I had a quiet night in on Saturday; home alone with nothing but hot chocolate and the Bourne Identity, so figured it was a good time to try out a new nail varnish and I think I might have found my new favourite! The bottle says only one coat needed as it’s a gel varnish but it looked too likely to chip so I still did two – the best thing about it though, is how quickly it dried so absolutely no smudges! I adore that colour, the pictures don’t do it justice.

No 7 Gel-Look Shine in Deep Wine


Afternoon tea @ the Baliffscourt Hotel and Spa

A few weeks ago my Mum and I treated ourselves to afternoon tea at the Baliffscourt Hotel and Spa – don’t let the name put you off, it’s a beautiful historic building right on the sea and surrounded by countryside. Oh and they do a pretty delicious afternoon tea too.

It’s certainly not the cheapest place in the world, special occasions only, but their scones are amazing and the building is beautiful. The rooms inside all look very medieval with low ceilings, lots of beams, dark wood furniture but with the addition of some very comfy chairs and sofas. After enjoying our sandwiches, assortment of cakes, scones and of course tea, we wandered around the grounds and found even more medieval looking buildings and outbuildings and even a (sadly, camera shy) peacock!

No posh afternoon tea for me this weekend though, just some shopping and hopefully lots of crafting.


Squirrel shortbread

On Saturday afternoon I finally had the chance to use my new squirrel biscuit cutter, and decided to make some squirrel shaped shortbread (love a bit of alliteration!). They’re super easy to make and have a nice lemon twist too.

Preparation 15 mins + 30 mins chill time
Cooking time 20-30 mins

225g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
275g plain flour
Pinch of salt
75g fine semolina
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Caster sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 160/gas 4/140 fan. Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the flour, salt, semolina and lemon zest. Mix together and use your hands to gather into a soft dough.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
Dust worktop with flour and roll dough out to just under 1cm thick. Cut out your squirrels and place on a baking tray.
Bake for around 20-30 minutes or until they turn lightly golden. As soon as they come out of the oven sprinkle with some caster sugar.

They're almost to cute too eat... almost.


Picture postcard #6

This week’s picture postcard was taken on Bank Holiday Monday during a wander round Sheffield Park and Garden in East Sussex. The weather was gorgeous (and I have slightly pink shoulders as a result) and it was too hot to take lots of pictures, but the ponds were so pretty I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos. This is my favourite, I love the reflection of the trees in the pond and look at that blue sky! 


A book review – DIY Fashionista

While the majority of my DIYs involve accessories or homeware, recently I’ve been keen to start customising some clothes. I think this is down to a combination of the Great British Sewing Bee (I know, I know, it finished ages ago but I’m still obsessed) and the fact I can’t seem to find anything I like/ that fits on the high street. So I was pretty pleased to receive DIY Fashionista by Geneva Vanderzeil as a birthday present recently.

It’s full of great ideas for refashioning both old and new clothes, from turning skirts into dresses, adding collars to shirts and embellishing all manner of shoes and accessories. 

Here are three reasons why I love it...
1. Geneva writes the instructions AND models her creations
2. There are step by step pictures; this always makes instructions easier to follow and helps when attempting ones out of my comfort zone, which most things to do with customising clothes are.
3. It’s full of before and after shots and I’m a sucker for a before and after.

The book has 40 projects, plenty to get started on, and I can’t quite decide which to try first. I’d also recommend taking a look at Geneva’s blog a pair and a spare for even more amazing DIYs.

Right, I’m off to hit the charity shops!


The Harry Potter Studio Tour a.k.a the best day!

As you can probably guess from the title I had the best day at the Harry Potter Studio Tour last week, I had been slightly worried that it might ruin the magic (sorry) of the films however it did the complete opposite and made me want to re-watch them immediately. It’s a fair drive from home but it really was a great birthday present from the boyfriend, who also admitted to enjoying it far more than he was expecting too! We saw costumes and props, whole sets and lots of behind the scenes footage of the films being made, which was fascinating. Here are just a few of my pictures...



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