Friday, 27 February 2015

The Great British Sewing Bee // Week 4

How is it already week four & over half way through? I am absolutely loving this series & hate having to wait a whole week for the next episode to come around...but I feel like it's flying by all too quickly! I was so surprised when they announced that there would be 2 people leaving the Sewing Bee this week. I had one person in mind for who would go this week but couldn't possibly choose two! I absolutely loved the Corset Challenge. I made one for my A-Level Textiles exam so it was one task that I really understood & felt their stress / pain. Neils was, of course, my favourite one. I think it was the material more than anything. So beautiful. I felt really sorry for Ryan during the alteration challenge as I think the pressure got to him a little, but I really do think he did a fabulous job with his garment. The dress was totally different to the original skirt & jacket combo. Kilts was an interesting one I think. Have they done this before on Sewing Bee? I thought it really tested the Sewers as it isn't really something you would of made before...unless perhaps you are Scottish? Again, Neil did a brilliant job - I can see a pattern (winner) emerging?

Neils Amazing Corset: Photo Source

And then it was that horrible time where two of our beloved Sewers had to leave. I totally agree with the judges choosing Amanda to leave. She is very talented but seemed to run out of time this week by taking on a little too much. I felt like she wanted to get extra brownie points for making her own Bias Binding but there really wasn't any need - her corset material was also lush so it was a shame she didn't finish it properly! And then Ryan? Ryan? Ryan....? Ummm, what? I am so upset to see him go. I really didn't think he was particularly awful this week & he definitely wasn't one of the weakest in the competition. At one point I even thought he was winner potential. I have my eye on Neil....I think he may well be the first ever male Sewing Bee winner. What did you think about Ryans departure? Who do you think will win the Sewing Bee?


Thursday, 26 February 2015

101 Things in 1001 Days #14

 This is another one that I completed last year with my Friend & younger Sister. I have always wanted to take part in a Colour Run, they just look like so much fun, so I was really pleased when I saw one being advertised quite local to me. I'll be honest, I wasn't very well prepared / didn't do any training as it was only 5K so I thought it would be too easy. On the day, I found it quite difficult. I hadn't done any exercise since finishing University 4 months before & it was a super hot day (excuses, excuses). But it was still really good fun. It wasn't a hardcore, competitive run. Most people were slowly jogging / walking so I didn't feel too bad when we stopped for the odd walking break. And of course, we got covered in paint...

I would recommend a Colour Run to anyone to wants to get into fitness/exercise, but isn't a total gym bunny! Its such a good laugh & is so much fun to do with a group of friends. And a great way to raise money for Charity too! We didn't get to choose the charity we ran for, as the whole event was for a Childrens Charity - "Time is Precious". To me this is still a very worthy cause so it didn't change my decision to take part. You will have to wash your hair a few times when you get home though & definitely don't wear your best sporting gear either. Have you ever taken part in a Colour Run?


Thursday Thoughts #11

Happy Thursday...!

Photo Source

I love today's Thursday Thoughts, it's one of my favourites!


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Singer Brilliance 6160 Sewing Machine // Review

So last year for my birthday, Nick got me the bestest present ever - the Singer Brilliance 6160 Sewing Machine! I wanted a new Sewing Machine for a while & (luckily for Nick) I am completely in love with this one. I thought I would do a little review for you all just incase anyone was looking to get one too.

This has been described as a sewing machine that is great for both beginners and experienced sewers. I would say I fall slap bang in the middle - I'm not totally clueless when it comes to sewing but I am not a sewing it's perfect for me. It's simple to use but will be sufficient for more complex projects too. The biggest difference between this one and my old machine is obviously the LCD Screen and the electronic settings. There are 60 different stitches available at the touch of a button! I haven't used them all yet, but I am slowly working my way through them. I found it a little daunting to begin with, but it is so easy & the instructions that come with it are really simple to follow. My projects have ranged from small felt projects to sewing thicker, upholstery fabric for my upholstery project. It works great with all types of material (that I have used so far) & I haven't had any problems at all.

One feature that I love, which my old sewing machine didn't have, is the thread cutter on the left of the machine. I always remember the machines I used at School/College had this, so when I got my old sewing machine I would always try &a cut my thread using the non-existing thread cutter - it was so annoying. So it is such a dream to have one now. I no longer have to scramble around looking for my scissors under mounds of material - horrraay! Another amazing feature is the needle threader! I have never come across this before. I believe you can take this off, which I did consider doing when I first got it as I wasn't sure why I would need it. But my goodness it's so great. You dont have to keep snipping the end of your thread to be able to thread it - just use the needle threader. I feel like this machine is making me lazy. There is also a handy little storage pot that slides off the machine, perfect for storing your sewing machine accessories.

So basically, if you hadn't already guessed, I love this Sewing Machine. It's a dream to sew with & has lots of clever little features. It is great for all types of projects whether you are just starting out or are more experienced. I think it is actually a little cheaper in Hobbycraft now too. Although I would only recommend it if you are serious about sewing & will get plenty of use out of it as it is still a little pricey compared to other, more basic machines. I hope you have found this review helpful. What Sewing Machine do you have? Let me know in the comments box below.


P.S. You can now like my page on Facebook - exciting things will be coming soon!

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Great British Sewing Bee // Week 3

Anybody else have a stressful time trying to catch up with the Sewing Bee inbetween the Eastenders 30th Anniversary Episodes last night? It's just all too much good TV for me to handle in one night! Anyway, I managed to squeeeeze the Sewing Bee in & I have to say I absolutely love 50s week. If I was there, using the old Sewing Machine would of made me so stressed out but I think the Sewers dealt with it really well & they made some beautiful walkaway dresses in the first challange - I want to make one! I absolutely loved Lornas fabric, but it's just a shame she chose such clumpy buttons. Weren't 50s dresses so much more beautiful...

Photo Source

I think using curtains for the alteration challange was a brilliant idea & really tested the sewers. It may have given them a little more freedom as it was just a sheet of material, but you still need to consider what would work with the fabric & pattern. They came up with some brilliant ideas. Neil let me down in the final challenge. I really wasn't sure what he was trying to achieve, but it didn't really work. Lorna definitely deserved garment of the week. She had worked so hard this week, producing some gorgeous garments and her shirt was just amazing! Sadly it was Neela's turn to leave the competition this week. I think she really struggled this week but she is such a fab sewer & a bright, positive person! I think she will be greatly missed. Well done to all of the men for managing to remain in the competition - there are some very strong male contenders this year thats for sure. What did you think of this weeks episode?


Thursday, 19 February 2015

101 Things in 1001 Days #1

A couple of the things on my list of 101 Things I actually completed last year - with the most important one being to Graduate. Graduation was such a great day & I can honestly say to any struggling final year student that it is all totally worth it...I swear! Keep powering through & don't give up as you will get there eventually & it will be the best feeling when it's all over. My Dissertation deadline was the best day - I had worked my butt off & knew I couldn't of possibly tried any harder so was so glad to get it bound & handed in. Even more glad when I recieved confirmation that I got a first - definitely worth the blood, sweat & tears (seriously)!

Getting all robed up was so much fun, although made me wonder why I worried so much about my dress choice as you can barely see it in any of my photos. Of course I was also nervous about walking up infront of a Cathedral full of people, but that was a total breeze. I think my choice of shoe definitely helped with this though - simple black wedges never fail. And it was great to see all my favourite Uni Girls as well - we hadn't seen each other since May & Graduation was in November!

So after all of the endless hours of Dissertation Research, the late night / early morning library sessions, the ridiculous amounts of money spent on academic text books...I can proudly say I have Graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Event Management Sandwich Degree. Phhhewwwww! I think that's enough education for me now...time to tackle the real, working world!


Thursday Thoughts #10

Happy Thursday! 

Todays Thursday Thoughts is a deep one, but it very much applies to me at the moment. Be sure that you have no regrets in life. Always give something a go at least once, otherwise you'll be forever thinking... "What if"? And you never know, it may turn out to be the best thing you ever do!


Sunday, 15 February 2015

My Favourite Pancake Toppings!

So as Pancake Day is this Tuesday, I thought it was only appropriate to fill you in on all of my favourite Pancake Toppings! If you don't know how to make Pancakes then I have included my ingredients list below for you (although I once made Pancakes at Uni with an American girl who informed me that I was infact making Crepes, not proper American Style Pancakes)!

Whilst we were in Paris, we probably had Crepes with Nutella everyday - calories don't count on holiday right? So the obvious choice is Nutella, but to make it seem more healthy I add Banana! You could also exchange the Nutella for Peanut Butter. Or just have all three! I have Pancakes, Peanut Butter & Banana for Breakfast most mornings & it is just so dreamy. If you are looking for something a little less sickly & a more healthy option - well done you - then try Mango & Blueberry! I am obsessed with Mangos recently. I find them so tasty and it's nice to have something different to your standard apple / plum / orange. They go really nicely with Blueberry & you can always add a little syrup to make it even sweeter / a little naughtier! I think this year I may go really crazy & try it with Ice Cream - I have never experienced this before but I think it sounds yummy!

If you aren't too keen on getting all adventurous on Pancake Day, then you could just stick to good old Lemon & Sugar. A traditional favourite of mine and isn't too sickly so you can eat double the amount of Pancakes! What are your favourite Pancake Toppings?


Friday, 13 February 2015

The Great British Sewing Bee // Week 2

Aren't the men just pulling it out of the sewing bag this series!? Neil is still my favourite contestant, with his imaginative garments. How amazing were those boxing gloves? And an iPhone costume - who would even think of that? But this week I have been loving Ryan. He has really upped his game and he always seems so genuinely happy & surprised when Mary & Patrick give him positive feedback. My favourite of his garments this week was definitely the child's dress in the alteration challange. I love how he combined the two different fabrics & thought it looked so cute! Paul has also done an amazing job this week with his elephant costume & definitely deserved to win garment of the week. He was a quiet one last week so I never really thought of him to be the "one to beat" in the competition. Hopefully winning garment of the week will build his confidence as he really did a great job! 

I don't know what I like more, Claudia Winkleman or all of the Ribbon!

Based on last weeks post, I am sure you aren't surprised that I am pleased that Alex has left this week. It's always sad to see someone go but she always seemed to struggle to even finish a garment. Don't get me wrong, she has some great ideas & I think she is such a talented sewer, but being the perfectionist that she is she always seemed to run out of time. I was really hoping she would finish her cupcake costume in time as it sounded so amazing. Now to sit & patiently wait for next weeks episode... 


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Last Minute Valentines Ideas

So you have forgotten Valentines Day? Or you have accidentally already spent all of your wages? Fear not, as I have a handful of quick, easy & cheap Valentines Ideas for you!

Get Your Bake On!

We all know the way to every mans (or womans) heart is food, so get your bake on and make them their favourite cake. Even if you aren't the next Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry, it's the thought that counts. Use a love heart shaped mould or red / pink icing to stick with the Valentines theme. You could even go super crazy and put your cakes into individual boxes, with ribbon & hearts & glitter & romantic can see where this is going!

Photo Source

Personalised Photo Frame

Grab yourself a cheap photo frame (but one that is still kinda nice) & personalise it in any way you like. Have a go at some scrabble art or use stamps to write a little message on the frame (or get it engraved). Decorate with hearts, ribbon, buttons, glitter...I could go on. Don't forget to pop your favourite photo of you & your valentine in the frame.

Love Vouchers

These are a super easy idea & real cute. Just find a border online and copy it into paint (things are getting basic over here) then put any text you like on there. I don't want to lower the tone of my blog, so some suggested ideas for your Love Vouchers are; 1 Hug, 1 Cup of Tea or 1 Free Chocolate Bar! You can get really creative with this one. When you're done, print them on coloured card & pop them in some mini envelopes ready for your Valentine. Sigh. So cute!

Jar of Sweets
I did something similar for Nick for Christmas. I got a Kilner style jar from 99p Stores (I know!) and filled it with all of his favourite sweets. To make it more "Valentinesy" you could only include red / pink sweets, decorate the jar with ribbon, buttons & glitter. Even personalise it with your own words - "You're so sweet".

These are also great gift ideas if you are in a new relationship & are not yet ready to get all "I Love You Soooo Much" just yet. Homemade gifts are always the best ones too - do you have any creative Valentines ideas?


Thursday Thoughts #9

~ Happy Thursday ~

Photo Source

In real life, I am always afraid of getting things wrong. But in the Craft World, nothing worries me. Sometimes the best creations are the ones that happen by accident. Lets all conquer our fears of being wrong & get creative!

Do you have any crafty plans for this Valentines weekend?


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

101 Things in 1001 Days #38

So today, I reached 400 Followers on Twitter - Horraaaaaaay!

That's another one to cross off my list of 101 Things. Now to work on my blog followers...

Sunday, 8 February 2015

How to Make // Felt Love Heart

I was playing around in my sewing room a little while back with some left over material I had laying around. I ended up making this cute little hanging love heart & decided to share it with you all.


To make this Love Heart you will need:

Felt (this could be any colour you like, but I chose red)
Floral Fabric (again, any colour you like)
White ribbon
Needle & Thread (white, black & colour to match material)

  1. Draw yourself a heart shaped template and pin to your floral material. Cut out fabric.
  2. Pin the same template to your felt but this time cut about 1/2 an inch away from the template, so you can create a nice, felt border on your finished heart.
  3. Pin the two pieces of material together & sew - I chose to hand sew as the one I made was quite small, but if you have decided to make a bigger one you can machine sew.
  4. Cut a small piece of the white ribbon off and hand sew "love" onto it, keeping it as central as possible.
  5. Carefully hand sew this piece of ribbon to the heart - again keeping it central.
  6. Finish by creating a loop with a piece of the ribbon and sewing to the back of the heart.

 If you have had a go at this, I would love to see. Send me a photo of it on Twitter or put a link in the comments box below. You could do it using any word really & it could make a lovely gift for a Mum, Sister or Best Friend!


Friday, 6 February 2015

The Great British Sewing Bee//It's Back(Week 1)

I have been so eagerly awaiting the return of The Great British Sewing Bee! Anyone who knows me, knows that this programme is one of my absolute favourites - why isn't it just on all year round please? So of course I made big plans to spend my Thursday night snuggled in front of the TV watching my fav ever show (Nick doesn't mind it either...)!

If you haven't watched it yet - then stop reading now as this post may contain spoilers. I love all of the contestants, but think the men in particular have really upped their game this year. Neil is already a potential winner for me! I had really high hopes for Alex - she seems like a real perfectionist but I think she just tried to do too much and struggled under pressure. I didn't like her skirt in the alteration challange either, as I personally felt she didn't really use enough of the denium shirt. It was the biggest transformation, but she only really used 2 strips of the shirt. Hopefully next week she will feel a little more calm and impress us all as I really feel she has the potential to be amazing!

As always, someone has to leave - which I think is so unfair in the first week. I agree with May & Patrick that it was very close between the bottom two people, but I wish Annie didn't have to go. I think she would of provided a lot of entertainment during this series. I am already sew (sorry) excited for next weeks episode. It always inspires me to try new things & improve my sewing skills. I have already had all of my sewing books out planning my next project!

What are your thoughts on this first episode of Series 3?


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Thursday Thoughts #8

Treating you all today - here is post number 2 of the day - this weeks Thursday Thoughts!

Quite a self explanatory one really - let's not get too deep about it!

P.S. It's almost the weekend - Horraaaaay!

101 Things in 1001 Days #50 & #77

Go to Paris & Go up the Eiffel Tower

So I have decided to bring my 101 Things back! I love the idea of it and have really struggled to post about just crafts as I don't have enough time to make something new every week. Hopefully my 101 Things will help to keep my blog up to date & exciting.

You may or may not notice I have been a little quiet recently on the blogging front. That's because I have been on my first holiday with Nick - we had a long weekend in Paris & it was lovely! Neither of us have been before, so it was nice to explore the city for the first time together.

My highlights of the weekend were visiting Sacre Coer, The Eiffel Tower (of course) & the Arc De Triomphe. We found some great little Parisian Cafes too but weren't brave enough to try any Snails or Frogs Legs! We had Crepes pretty much every day though so that's okay...right? With it being a romantic weekend, we just had to go to Padlock Bridge and put our own Padlock on there. There are so many, we actually put our padlock on the wrong bridge. So the next day I made Nick walk with me to find our padlock so we could move it to the right one...or atleast the one we think is right. Is there even a right or wrong one?

It was such a lovely weekend & I am so excited for our next holiday together! What City Breaks would you recommend for couples?