Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Highlights

2015 was a year of really big changes for me, and if you had told me at the end of 2014 that so much would be so different by now, I probably wouldn't have believed you. A lot of these changes have been very positive, but even good change brings massive upheaval. Parts of this year have been extremely tough. Some plans have had to fall by the wayside, and blogging had to take a backseat sometimes. Rather than going through and examining each month like I have in the past, I thought I'd just share the amazing things about this year, the moments which really stood out.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Handmade Yuletide Cards

I didn't make any present this year, but I did make a few cards to send to online friends. The first was a nature themed card for Erica, with yew, mistletoe, and ivy. The style is similar to the foliage drawing I did for Inktober. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

My Midwinter Decorations

My midwinter decorating didn't go as I'd planned this year, but I was still pleased with the end result! It all ended up being a bit last minute, but I got a wreath and three mini pine trees up, and looking at them makes me very happy.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Khokhloma Collection

My khokhloma collection started because I bought a few pieces I saw in a charity shop, which were very cheap. I think I originally bought them thinking that they'd be good photo props. As time went on, I kept noticing similarly decorated pieces in different charity shops, and I started collecting them when I spotted them. eventually I discovered that this painting style is called khokhloma, and that all these pieces came from Russia. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Yuletide Wishes

I hope that whatever you celebrate, you have a happy and magical festive season!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What I Bought In Brighton | Mermaid

By coincidence, almost everything I bought in Brighton fit into two themes-mushrooms and mermaids! To kick off the mermaid theme, my very first purchase in Brighton was this AMAZING holographic scale print fabric and shimmery, pastel oil slick effect fabric. I have lots of plans for these and I am slightly in love with the oil slick fabric. I want to cover everything in it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What I Bought In Brighton | Mushrooms

Almost everything I bought in Brighton fit into two themes-mushrooms and mermaids. To start with the mushroom theme, I bought these glass mushroom tree ornaments from Tiger. I have wanted some of these for years, but this was the first time I found some I could afford.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Winter Wishlist

In the winter I fixate on snow, snowflakes and Scandinavian influences. I want to hibernate under blankets, wear festive colours and enjoy the soft glow of lamplight. Here is a wishlist inspired by all those things.

This amazing snowflake design crochet blanket by FERNandSAL would be perfect to snuggle up on the sofa under. I like the soft blue colour, and the snowflakes are beautifully intricate.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

How To Make Mermaid Seashell Tree Decorations

I've seen a lot of mermaid decorations online this year, and when I was watching this Violet Le Beaux vlog I could see loads of beautiful shell decorations in the background! When I was commiserating with Emily Cuttlefishlove about how I couldn't seem to find any mermaid decorations in places I could actually buy them, she suggested I make my own with real seashells. Great idea! So I set to work.

For my decorations I used acrylic paints, PVA glue, iridescent white glitter, and a selection of seashells. The seashells need to be clean and dry, and I found that quite wide, flat shells like cockle shells or scallop shells worked best. I also used some ribbon and some hot glue to make the hanging loops, although any strong multipurpose glue would do. This would be a perfect project to use metallic acrylic paints too, or you can make your own by mixing silver metallic paint with colours of your choice.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

My Trip To Brighton | Day 3

I awoke with mixed feelings, looking forward to going home but also sad that I would be leaving all the lovely places I had experienced and people I had met behind. I decided that the best remedy for this was a good breakfast and sea air. So I went looking for coffee and pastries, taking pictures of things which caught my eye on the way.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Snow Queen Snowflake Crystal Necklace

Every winter I get very into Snow Queen themes, with lots of icicles, sparkling crystals, shimmering snow and white lace and furs-I even made a Pinterest board. In anticipation of this, I made this necklace a while ago, and it had it's first outing last week. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

My Trip To Brighton | Day 2

I woke up very excited on day 2 of my trip, because this was the day that I was meeting Emily Cuttlefishlove for the first time in person! We went to a swimming pool for mermaiding, and it was fabulous. Emily was a great teacher and she is such a lovely person! I'm so glad we finally got to meet after talking online for so long.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Fantasy Forest Lantern Procession

A few weeks ago I went to the Holburne lantern procession, which this year was fantasy forest themed. It was like a dream come true!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

My Trip To Brighton | Day 1

Last weekend I hopped on a train and set off to Brighton. This was my first trip further away than the next city in quite some time. It was also the first time I had stayed away overnight, on my own, somewhere that wasn't a friend's house. So for me it was a big step, and I was very excited!

I arrived at lunch time, and after dropping my bags at my hotel I went straight down to the beach. The tide was coming in, bringing a storm with it. The waves were lashing at the beach and anything else in their path, and the wind was whipping sea spray into the air. It seemed like it was raining, but the rain was falling sea water. I licked my lips and they tasted like salt. Witnessing the sea's immense power was strangely invigorating.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Farewell To Autumn

At the end of November I took some time to revel in the last fragments of autumn, crunching through leaves...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Georgian Garden In Autumn

The Georgian Garden is a sweet little walled garden, open to the public, and planted to re-create the formal gardens of the Georgian period. It's a lovely place to spend a few quiet moments, as it is quite tucked away. I like to pop in between museum visits or shopping, if I'm in the area. As it is completely enclosed, and I have never seen anyone else in there, it feels a bit like stepping into another world, or the pages of a storybook.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Deer Embroidery

So here it is! My finished deer embroidery. I've been wanting to stitch an embroidery in a hoop frame for ages now, and when I saw the alpine deer design by Kirsty Neale in Mollie Makes Issue 56, I knew I had to make it! I really liked the original design and I mostly stuck to it, but I did end up making a few changes to make it more "me". I'm happy with the result, although I think most creative people will empathise with the need to put it away and not look at it too much for a while! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Alpine House Box Collection

I've always been a bit of a collector, possibly influenced by my interest in museums. As a result, I've ended up with lots of small collections of unusual things. They are all fairly invaluable, I just collect them because I like them and I find them interesting. I thought I'd start sharing my little collections on the blog, and I'm starting with my alpine house box collection.

I have three alpine house boxes, which all came from charity shops. They were all very cheap, between £1 and £2. They are extremely kitsch and old fashioned, and not to everyone's taste, but I think that's part of their charm. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Autumn Walk

Unfortunately this year I haven't managed to find time to get to the woods for a walk among the autumn leaves, which makes me sad. I have however managed to squeeze in a few walks in parks, which are also filled with beautiful autumn colours.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mini Art Haul

I love having interesting, beautiful images on my walls, and now that I'm past the phase of papering my walls with magazine pages, I've been keeping an eye out for lovely artwork.

I was really happy to find MyFairPixel's shop, as her art style is exactly my cup of tea, and her prints are very affordable. I love the intense yet dreamy colours she uses, the hints of fantasy and the cosmic influences. I bought two of her nebula prints, and I'm amazed by the quality of them. The colours are really strong and they look like originals! The blue one is currently up on my bedroom wall, and the purple one is just waiting for a suitable frame. MyFairPixel also has a gorgeous blog.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Crafting365 | Days 29-35

I've struggled with motivation for days 29-35 of #Crafting365, and I think not having the structure of doing my Inktober drawing and then my crafting has thrown me a bit. I think one of the problems is that I don't always plan my projects first and tend to jump straight in. I'll be spending more time planning and sketching ideas in future, hopefully it will help!

On day 29 I worked on my Den Tree doll. I'm starting with the face, and experimented with different eye colours. I still wasn't happy with how it was turning out though.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Autumnal Haul

To be honest, I tend to buy pretty autumnal looking things all year round, as I like colourful things and leaf motifs. But I seem to have bought especially seasonal items recently, so I thought I'd share.

First up are these gorgeous maple leaf earrings. I don't have my ears pierced so these are clip ons. I was surprised to find these because they're quite simple, and clip on earrings always seem to be a little OTT. I really like the colours of these and I love their backstory-they had a price sticker on the back which said "Niagara Falls", so they were obviously bought as a souvenir on someone's holiday. You can see me wearing these in this post.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Black and Orange

This is what I wore on October 31st, when I felt it was necessary to go a little witchy. I wore a long black skirt and a black long sleeved top, with black boots.

Monday, November 02, 2015

#Crafting365 | Days 22-28

On day 22 I finished the first layer of shells on my shell picture frame. I also stuck some more rhinestones onto this very sparkly treasure chest.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

#Inktober | Days 22-31

Inktober is over! I'm not sure how to feel about this. One the one hand it is a relief, but I think I'm going to miss the discipline of knowing I need to draw every day. For the final ten days of Inktober I was feeling like I wasn't producing anything remotely good, so maybe it is time for a break...but looking back at these now I'm pleasantly surprised!

Day 22 was a deer silhouette, because I'm still very much in love with the paper cut silhouette work of Jan Pienkowski, and I think we have all realised my obsession with deer by now. I like how dark and fairytale-esque it turned out.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Crafting365 | Days 15-21

It has been 3 weeks of #Crafting365 already! I made a goal of focusing on finishing projects rather than flitting between lots of unfinished projects, and I've really stuck to that this week. The only project I've focused on is the deer embroidery I started in my last #Crafting365 post, and it has paid off. I'm so close to finishing it!

Day 15: I finished the mountains, stitched little trees at the feet of the mountains, and stitched a lovely red and white toadstool. The toadstools were one of the reasons I picked this project, I love them! I also picked out colours for all the flowers which will be stitched around the edges, and started on a couple of flowers.

Friday, October 23, 2015

#Inktober 2015 | Days 15-21

So week 3 of #Inktober has already been and gone. I am really surprised at how quickly this has gone, and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it! I have less than two weeks left now, and I'm almost a little bit sad that it will be over so soon. Here's what I drew on days 15-21.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Crafting 365 | Days 8-14

So, week 2 of #Crafting365 already! Where is the time going? This was another week of snatched moments of creative time, but I seem to have turned a corner over this weekend and am finding it much easier to fit in more time on projects. It could be famous last words, or who knows, perhaps by next week I might even have actually finished some things. Anyway, here's what I got up to this week.

Day 8 : I tacked the deer's facial expressions on for my deer embroidery. I'm working from a pattern from Mollie Makes Issue 56, but I changed the shape of the deer slightly.

Friday, October 16, 2015

OOTD: Red and Black

It has reached the point in the year where all I want to wear is floor sweeping, flowing, jersey dresses.

Hang on, wait. That's all year round.

These shorter days and darker nights do make me crave darker colours though, so I've made the switch from bright colours to witchy black.

It's also the perfect time of year to adorn my hair with toadstools.

As usual, all my clothes and boots are from charity shops. The dress is originally Laura Ashley, the cardigan is originally Mango and the boots are originally Board Angels. The necklace is from Ebay.

Just because I love them, here's another picture of the toadstool hairpins. I think these may be appearing rather often in future.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Inktober 2015 | Days 8-14

It's time for week two of #Inktober already! The week has just flown by. I've been mostly using my Pentel brush pen this week, as I'm pretty confident with it now. When drawing at the end of busy and stressful days I just want to use something I can rely on, which I'm familiar with.

I am however trying to experiment with different styles and techniques, such as the cross hatching on this teapot drawing from day 8. I drew this from observation, it's my gorgeous Yixing teapot.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Night Sky Fox Paper Doll

Quite a while ago I took part in a paper doll swap on facebook, which brought my attention to this fox paper doll printable created by Mister Finch for Anthropologie. Sadly it's no longer available, but I had printed more copies than I needed for the swap and still had some laying around. I decided to decorate another of them, using a different theme than the one I made for the swap, which was mori themed.

Monday, October 12, 2015

#Crafting365 | Days 1-7

This year has had some big changes for me and been pretty busy, and as a result I had a few months of not being creative at all. I'd already chatted to Laura from Bugs and Fishes about this, and how it can be hard to find time to be creative just for yourself. When I saw she'd started a #Crafting365 challenge, I thought it would be the perfect way to get myself back into being creative regularly, even if it's only for a few minutes a day.

So I decided to get stuck in! On day 1 I started painting a night sky themed paper doll. Even though I've done some painting with ink for #Inktober, I have to admit that it was nice to be able to just paint inside the lines for this!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Inktober 2015 | Days 1-7

Last year, I saw loads of pictures on Tumblr tagged "Inktober". Intrigued, I looked up what it was, and found that it was a drawing challenge for the month of October-produce a piece of artwork, using ink, every day for the 31 days of the month. I really wanted to take part this year, so I bought a brush pen in preparation, and braced myself for a lot of drawing. So far I've found it a really good creative boost, and stating on social media that I was taking part has made me ensure I do a piece each day and don't slack off. It's actually pretty good for me to have that discipline, knowing that each evening I need to sit down, put on my headphones, and create.

Anyway, on to the drawings! 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

OOTD: Warm and Wooly

Continuing in my series of outfit pictures with awkward photos. here's another. This was the first time I got my boyfriend to take the pictures, and I am VERY AWKWARD with people taking posed photos of me. I'm also recovering from a really nasty cold, so I'm still seeking out clothing that feels as much like pyjamas as possible.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

101 Adventures in 1001 Days

I saw this idea on tiny adventures and I thought it was lovely! So I'm going to do it too. 101 adventures in 1001 days. Here goes!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How I Started Needlefelting

I've had a lot of questions recently about how I started needlefelting, so I decided to put it all down in a blog post. This isn't really a tutorial or a guide, as I'm still learning myself, it's just how I personally got started. Hopefully it will help you out with where to start!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Little Lamb Wool

A while ago I was asked if I'd like to review some products from Little Lamb Wool. Of course, I jumped at the chance! I love yarn, and Little Lamb Wool is exactly the kind of small, independent business I like to support. 

I was sent the West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran Fusions in Autumn Mix, and the Adriafil Mistero Chunky in Fiesta Mix. The Aire Valley Aran is a lovely, fuzzy yarn with a high wool content, and the Mistero is a soft and chunky wool mix. Both are multi tonal yarns, and I love me a good multi tonal yarn. I think they are both the perfect Autumn colours, and I'm really looking forward to working with these! I'll be sharing my projects using these over the coming weeks.

The Little Lamb Wool website has a really good range of yarns, knitting patterns and books, and accessories. I found it easy to navigate and I like that you can add search filters for colours, weights and fibre types. It makes it so much easier if you're searching for something specific! The yarn was packaged in a sturdy plastic mailing bag and came with a delivery note, so I was happy with the service. Overall, I'd be very happy to use Little Lamb Wool again-I actually have my eye on a few more yarns already...

Disclosure: I was sent the yarn in this post for free by Little Lamb Wool, in return for a review. I was not paid to produce this post.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tiny Totoro

I finally got around to watching My Neighbour Totoro recently (yes, yes, I know), and it reminded me that I'd never blogged about this little guy. He was one of the first things I ever needlefelted, and he was originally intended to be a gift. But once he was finished I just couldn't bear to give him away...can you blame me?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2015

A few weekends ago I went to Bristol Balloon Fiesta, an annual free event that takes place at the beautiful Ashton Court. The Balloon Fiesta has been steadily gathering more publicity and more visitors over the last few years, and this year it was even trending on Facebook! So it was very, very busy, and the traffic getting into Bristol was AWFUL. After an age sat in traffic jams, we finally parked and were greeted by the beautiful sight of balloons drifting over the rooftops.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mermaid Treasures

Recently I have felt the need to express my true mermaid nature by surrounding myself with suitably aquatic treasures. First came the seashell tea set I have been eyeing for years. A few weeks later I finally caved and bought this print from Sibylline, after falling in love with the image on her Instagram. I can't resist a red haired mermaid, I can't think why...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Waterfall Woods

It had been too long, and it was all too brief.

The water was the lowest I have ever seen it. But everything around was so vibrantly green, encased in moss and ferns. The air was humid. There is something about this place, I never tire of it. It makes my heart swell. I can't wait to go back.

You can see my previous posts on these woods here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

OOTD: Blue Grey

As much as I try, I'm still struggling to get outfit shots where I look vaguely normal. It's partly the choice of locations available to me-cramped attic bedroom with sloped ceilings, or garden where the neighbours stare at me-and partly my complete inability to look at a camera at the right moment or hold my arms in a relaxed pose. But still, I like doing outfit posts, and I'm determined to keep doing them, despite the fact that in every photo in this post I seem to be looking at the (dirty) floor.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Field Walk

Recently I've had this really strong feeling of needing to be around nature, but I haven't had the time or the energy to go for my usual longer walks.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Cute Koalas

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, I will get a sudden obsession with something from nowhere. Right now that thing seems to be koalas.