Monday, 30 July 2012

Nursery Series - 4. Crochet heart garland

As part of my nursery series I have already shown how I make the hearts. This garland is really simple and yet super sweet.

I chose to use 2 colours of hearts.


Then I added a darker brown crochet chain to pull the garland together. I started with 40 single crochets and then added the heart, in between each peak create 3 single crochets. Once the heart is on I used a space of 12 single crochets between each piece.

The finished project looks so good, I am so pleased with it. This one isn't for my nursery but a friends. For our nursery I used grey, yellow and green with a brown chain. 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Scrap book ideas

Scrap booking was my first creative outlet, I got into scrap booking when I was about 16 - maybe a bit younger. I have so many good books that I made between the ages of 16 and 18. I love looking through them and I love that I will have them to show my children.

I have wanted to record our wedding photos in this way for the longest time and never kicked my butt into gear. I have one page done. In the almost 3 years we have been married. Useless.

Never mind, to try and get me a little more enthused with it all again I thought I would find some layouts I liked and see where I ended up.....

The above are from a variety of creatives from the UK Scrappers forum, I love this site for sharing layouts, templates and general creative projects. 

I could definitely loose hours there.

Friday, 27 July 2012

My latest interests #2

So for this weeks interests I have the best round up of innovative tutorials and craft tips. With a little of baby thrown in!
  • I love love love this idea, I am actually going to hopefully purchase the bits soon! 
  • It has always been a goal of mine to teach our children baby sign language to enable them to communicate with us as early as possible, studies have proven that children who learn baby sign are much more content because they can communicate their needs. Personally I believe that the time spent teaching your child helps you to understand that child as well as the signing. 
  • I really wish I had found this brilliant tutorial for a roman blind before we just brought the one for the baby room. I would have loved to have made ours rather than just adding to it - coming up in the nursery series. 
  • This is a really basic tutorial but I love the effect. I did look into how much the paper mache letters were and at £2 I am determined I can make this craft for less... so then I found this tutorial! and now I am collecting cereal boxes to be able to do this craft!! Now just to decide whether I do 'Baby', wait until we know the name of our child, or just for around the home. 
  • Looking around this site I think this lady has some really good ideas. 
  • Christmas is going to be so exciting this year! I am just really looking forward to having new touches around our home that we will pull out for years to come :)
I really enjoy sharing my findings from my internet searches, I think having the ideas all in one place will also help me in the future when I need to find a project!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Making family traditions

I have always really wanted to have silly little traditions Andy and I create for our family that are special to us and hopefully encourage the kids to spend time with us even when they grow up. I have been worrying a lot lately about not being enough for my baby and I actually realised I need to use that worry to make efforts, after that I think things are going to be as good as they can be. I mean, children grow up and then it will just be Andy and I again and then we can continue the little traditions to reminisce and love the life we have lived.  Some of the traditions I have found I want to include as many family and friends as possible, others will be kept just for us but I am sure that all will be treasured.

So I thought I would share my collection of ideas of things we might like to do as our life with our children grows.
  • New Year Fondue's, I would like to include our families on this one because I think that New Years is for big groups of fun. It is also a good environment to discuss new years resolutions and hopes for the coming year. I am tempted to start this one this year even though baby will be only 3 months old. 
  • Family Olympics! I think this sounds great, like a good weather days activity with friend and family :)
  • Games night, one evening a week the (one day 4) family play games instead of having the telly/electronic devices on. Hopefully we will have an evening a week free outside of clubs and commitments etc, I would like to say a Friday so that the kids can go to bed a bit later as a treat!
  • Christmas ornaments, this is something my mum has already done for me and I would like to pass this on to my children. I have already made the first one and I am going to set aside a special tin for our child to keep their ornaments in. 
  • Sunday biscuits in bed, I really love the idea of having everyone in our bed on a Sunday morning and just lounging around having fun with each other. I'd like to think we can make a biscuit recipe our 'sunday biscuits' that the children always get excited to hear about. 
  • Birthday scrap book, I want to take a picture of my child every year in the same place in the house and I want to write down what we do for their birthday, who was there and their favourite present. 
I think that this will be enough for now and definitely gets me thinking about the years to come with our children, I am really keen to spend quality time and make memories with our children and I think that making these conscious decisions only encourages me to think outside the box and stay positive.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Nursery Series - 3.Baby print

Andy and I first saw this idea back on a random day trip to Fowey, its such a quaint little Cornish village that its nice to take a drive and just end up somewhere different for lunch. The main change I have made to the ones we saw is added some colour. Andy has yet to see this so I might be redoing it in the black and white, however I think for the baby room the point of this artwork for me has been to make things interesting and stimulating to look at.

I couldn't decide on a colour to start with so I had to lay them out on the pallet of colours we have agreed for our baby.

I quite like how it looks over the selection of colours and was tempted to even use it as above. However, I wanted to give what I had in mind a go first.

So I stuck the letters - printed on photo paper - on a yellow background with about 1cm border for that little hint of colour!

Next I marked the size of the piece of paper from the frame on the backing paper I wanted. 

This is me placing the the finished pieces together.

I am once again really happy with how the frame turned out, sorry about the background - its part of my wedding scrap book I have spent the last almost 3 years working on!!!!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

So this is what having time feels like.....

I am experiencing a strange feeling today.

I received the news on Friday that I will definitely be graduating in November, I am so pleased with my result and excited that I get to graduate with my friends..... and a new born?! It is going to be interesting that's for sure! Baby is due in September and graduation is November so I am sure (hope) I will have some sort of rhythm by then so I think it will go ok, plus my parents will be there and Andy should they be needed whilst I am on stage :)

So thats my schooling done, I have a few professional things I would like to do once I go back to work but at this moment in time I don't have any desires to be starting anything else... Which is strange for me, I have always been about the next thing. Maybe I am accepting that having a baby is going to be enough for me for the moment!!

In terms of our home I have a few projects I am working on which I will no doubt share on here soon.

I have been finding time to sit and read which is another unheard of for me - when I was studying I wouldn't read because if I get into a book I just wouldn't be able to put it down.

The hypno-birthing reading is coming along and I will be practicing that every day once I finish work in 3 weeks (wahhhoooooo)

Our lovingly designed nursery is coming along lovely and I think I will be putting the arty bits on the wall soon. Which is going to be exciting! Even though baby wont leave our room for at least 6 months I am keen for the baby's room to be ready to move into whenever that time does come. I think its because I like my space that it seems important for that baby to have space, like psychologically seeing the room we have made that space in our life. 

Therefore, today. I find myself with time. Time for me to do what I feel like. Quite honestly, its sleep or shower!! But I had 2 day time naps yesterday so I am trying not to get into that habit just until I finish work. Which means I think I will do some internet/blog reading. I will shower after we are done for the day because surprisingly its quite warm today and I don't want to waste my energy showering when I will only be hot again afterwards

Friday, 20 July 2012

My latest interests #1

I am regularly searching the internet and coming up with random places for inspiration, I have so many draft blog posts full of links to things I have found interesting. So I have decided to share them under the title of 'my latest interests' hopefully you will find things you like from my searches, if not I have one place to go when I think ...oh I saw a tutorial for that.... where's my link :)
  • I cannot explain why I suddenly have this green vibe around me, we shall blame my hormones, but Citric Acid as a household cleaner seems like a cheaper and safer alternative for household cleaning with a baby around it has so many uses - it can be used to clean surfaces, keep cats from areas you don't want them to go, in the shower to get rid of mineral or hard water deposits - on the doors and shower head, toilet cleaner, floor shiner. The list is endless really, plus I assume the whole house will have a citrus scent!
  • Granola! I love natural yoghurt at the moment, but I just cannot have it plain so I figured I will try to make my own healthy addition to the yoghurt, again to save money but as a healthier tastier alternative to just raisins all the time!
  • Baby shower presents gets me all excited for making things for our baby and as gifts for my friends who are having babies. I especially want to make one of these.
  • Ok, I know I shouldn't be thinking about christmas already but I just know its going to be such a different one this year with the baby that I am genuinely excited to make it special for the 3 of us. A beautiful photo turned into an ornament is just what grandparents want - isn't it?!
  • Christmas, baby and green living is apparently all I have on my mind at the moment. So a beautifully girly tutorial that I would definitely love to use - if I knew what I was having I would probably have already made this - don't know if it would look the same in neutral fabrics........
I hope you have enjoyed my interests this week and would appreciate any feedback or suggestions along the lines above. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bringing up a baby through attachment parenting ...Some ideas

I guess I have hit that part of my pregnancy where I am trying to create an environment and attitude that really suits our baby and who we are as a couple as well as parents. I want prints around our home that encourage independence, choices, problem solving, knowing and staying true to yourself. I want happy pictures around that remind us why we do things.

I want to raise our children to be secure in themselves and the attachments they have with us. This is what made me think about discipline and when I read this article on Natalie's blog I began to think even more about our baby as a child and how we were going to fulfill all of our ambitions for our child.

I want Andy as involved as possible, at some point the plan is he will be the only one working and I will be at home with our children. How do I keep him involved and developing strong attachments with them? So I started to research how best to start the attachment process and how important certain things are. This website has  a range of information on attachment but not how to develop it. A good starting point. has some good information for birth plans and how to develop your own ideas into how the after care could be. also has a lot of good information on breastfeeding and the most natural way of starting out.

I think the main concept I have discovered and will have to raise with Andy soon is how much I want to be lead by our baby. I want to rely on our instincts - the closeness after birth and letting the baby tell us when he needs attention. But balancing that with our needs to hold and get to know our new little person, by using eye contact and voices, touch and singing.

I have also come to the conclusion that we need to start talking and singing with the baby a lot more in order for the baby to recognise our voices outside of the womb. I am quite confident that when Andy has his hands on the baby to feel the movements the movements stop because I relax and the baby relaxes, I am hoping that once the baby is born this is proven to me by the baby being content with Andy because he remembers the feelings I had.

Also its my sister's 21st birthday today, it would be really lovely if you could pop over and wish her a happy birthday!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Nursery Series - 2. Crochet heart art

I have to be honest here, my pregnancy has been full of crochet hearts, I have been a little obsessed with making them!

Due to my obsession, I have many uses for these crochet hearts, my design is based around Little Birdie Secrets crochet heart pattern. I have adapted this to suit my design needs but this is where I learnt the original skills. 

This is just another way for me to add some colour and texture to the room. I know that I am also posting about filling our house with love and positive words but I really like this idea. 

Another really simple tutorial, arrange the hearts to where you want them to be. I removed the glass from the frame and have kept it in my craft room just in case I need it for something else! I measured the paper that came from the frame to make sure my background would fit.

Then play around with the positioning of the hearts until you are happy.. 

I decided to leave my frame black because I really wanted the colour of the hearts to come through. Then I stuck the hearts to the backing using my hot glue gun. 

Again, I am waiting until I have all my pieces together before I put them on the wall. I am really happy with how it turned out though :)

Friday, 13 July 2012

Pre-Baby Bucket List - An idea from WinterLove

I saw Natalie's list the other week and I thought that it was quite a cute idea to do. So this is my equivalent....

As this is our first we have no idea what is in store for us yet so this list might sound as though I have given up on life after a baby (we just don't know what its like yet!)

Eat out
We used to eat out quite often, then we got a hold of our budget and decided we would be better for now to wean ourselves off of eating out so often and saving the money for maternity leave. I would like to have at least one lovely evening with Andy somewhere we love without worrying about baby stuff.

Visit the cinema
A lot of people have said that they visited the cinema quite often before their baby's were born and this seems like a good idea to me because I doubt we will get to go much once the baby is here. Similarly I would like to watch whatever DVD's we fancy before having to tend to a baby ppart way through.

Sort the Garden
Andy has been working hard at the garden all of this year so far and the sleeper wall is nearly there. Once the wall has been built we will be turning over the grassy bank and planting some creeper plants to give it some stability. Really I want it to be as self maintaining a possible for the first year or so.

Decorate/Personalise the baby room
Which is very difficult to do because we don't know what we are having!! But I want to make sure the baby room looks as though the room belongs to someone special who is loved :)

Build the blog plans
By having some features I am hoping I can keep the blog going whilst I take some time for the baby whilst still managing to grow things here.

Hold a baby shower
A small gathering of men and women - not just girls I am afraid, I think I am quite obvious in how much I want Andy included in every part of my life. I am hoping it will be a barbeque and be quite informal without too much focus on me. 

Wedding cards
I volunteered to make Andy's cousins wedding stationery and I really need to get them made before the baby arrives just to make sure I give them the proper attention. 

Whether I manage all of these plans who knows! But its nice to state my intentions and try to make some plans come to fruition. Some of these things have to get done so I am sure I will be back with pictures!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Top tips for Car booting (UK)

So Andy and I managed to finally get our butts into gear to sort the cupboards of stuff we have kept since moving in and really have no use for. I think the baby coming and needing to have our spare room as a child's room also gave us the push we needed to get ourselves sorted.

Which leads me to my top tips for fruitful selling - we really did make a nice chunk of money!

Be prepared
Know your stuff - giving a little extra information might just convince someone who is unsure, it also shows the buyer that the goods are quality even for being second hand.

Be comfortable with haggling
I wasn't to start with and I am so grateful Andy was just up for giving it a go. This gave me more confidence to try it. At the end of the day, if they walk away then it just wasn't meant to be. It is really important not to take this personally.

Display your goods in sections
We found that when our goods were semi organised by say glassware, make up bags, tools or DIY, that people would often buy extra items as opposed to just one.

Stay positive!
We were fortunate that the car boot was busy with buyers that our time went quickly and profitably. I think it could be quite disheartening standing around doing nothing when you hoped to do so well.

We will definitely be doing another one soon, the space in the house makes the money even better!!!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Nursery Series - 1.Introduction and Print tutorial

I am really excited to share with you the first in a series (not sure how many tutorials I will have yet) of posts where I will be sharing the crafts and collections I have been making for our arrival. Any new mam will probably know that when you don't know the gender of your baby this can be quite interesting and a little testing at times. Therefore, after each tutorial I will be suggesting a boy/girl adaptation to include those that do know their child's gender but to also help me store ideas in case I want to change things around!

When I first started thinking about documenting this series I knew that the first one I wanted to share would be quite personal. I currently call Andy my Sunshine and it felt only fitting to us that our child have some of the nursery rhyme wording on the wall. I really don't want to do anything permanent to the walls because I know how indecisive I am at the moment!

So I hope you will enjoy seeing our nursery evolve as we countdown the final 9 weeks to our due date.....

You are my sunshine print

Firstly I started with a plain canvas and painted the entire background with acrylic paint in yellow. I noticed that its worth trying to hold this into the light as you are painting to make sure you have an even coverage. This won't matter too much when its hanging on the wall but it just makes sure you have a good foundation to work with. 

I used my mum's cuttle bug to cut out the letters, I used a variety of fonts and sizes just to keep things interesting. 

I played around with positioning for a little while before I decided on something I liked. I used PVA to stick the letters in place and then left it to dry so they didn't slide down the canvas. 


Once I have made all of the bits I am planning on making I will arrange them on the floor before putting any holes in the walls!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Mental kick in the butt

I had a look at my blog this evening and I feel like I have been in a quite a negative place recently, this isn't really like me at all. And I don't like it...

So I am focusing myself into improving how I want to spend the final stages of my first pregnancy.

Is something I am having to adjust to the most, I am not able to sleep through the night at the moment and I think this is really getting me down. I have decided I need to make a new routine and give myself time to switch off, think about how I am feeling/inspired by/wants/new interests/things I need to remember before I attempt to sleep. This way I have written reminders, no rehearsing during my sleep of the things I don't want to forget and most importantly I have a plan for the blog!

Cold/Sinus issues
For whatever reason at the moment (Heyfever/flu) I have this insanely blocked nose that just doesn't let up! For someone who's sleep is being interrupted to also suffer through the day with her breathing is just cruel in my current condition!!!

Hip/Back pain
This is stopping me from doing a lot of my normal household duties as quickly as I want to. I am struggling to adapt to this way of life because I like things done my own way and in my own time. I have been getting very frustrated with not being 100% able. I need to slow down and accept this so that I can do the things I can do.

Being positive
Therefore, whilst progressing through these things I am deciding from now to be more positive and try harder to accept my current limitations. I think that for now this will help my attitude and general demeanor during the day. I might even get more sleep!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Coupon pouch

I have always admired American's who can clip coupons and effectively get their shopping for free, however in the UK we don't have anything that comes close to this.

So I do keep coupons from leaflets that we do get in a little pouch that stays in my bag. I currently have coupons for Tesco, Sainsbury's, Farm foods and boots. 

My aim with these coupons is always to try and save a little on the stuff we actually use. I am up for trying new things and certain brand downshifts however I would not buy something we didn't like or use because it was a 'bargain' - that's not a bargain its a waste!!

Then before I go shopping I try to make a list of what I am getting from where and estimated cost depending on weather the item is monthly or fresh weekly. I know this may sound complicated but we have managed to save a lot of time and quite a lot of impulse buying.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Stolen from my sister's blog

I couldn't help but share this first picture of Andy and I will our little bump (that's not so little at the moment!)

Stacey took the sneaky picture when we visited the Armed Forces Day on Plymouth Hoe Saturday 30th June. BTW where has this year gone?!

The baby didn't feel too happy with the loud planes flying around but it was nice to have some time with Andy and Stacey.

Monday, 2 July 2012

When was the last time you paid a penny for something?

I am going to be one of those old ladies in a rocking chair, with my crochet shawl wrapped over my legs for a second and ask when was the last time you got something for such an absolute bargain you felt you were almost stealing it?!!

My mum and I went to this amazing craft shop a little while ago and this was my treasure:

(This paper was kind of yuckky but the words were so lovely - I am sure I will be using them in something soon!)

All £1.78 of it....... I honestly don't know when the last time I spent so little and came away so happy!!