Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Make Of The Month - Fabric Purse

Hello all,

The weather seems to have calmed down a bit (for now) and I've had a bit of a creative weekend, which reminded me I haven't done a 'Make Of The Month' post for a while so I thought I'd show off my first ever attempt at a fabric purse!

I had a purse clasp as a free gift with Crafty Magazine last year and was determined to make something with it. I missed the bit in the magazine about downloading a template, so this make is a combination of Crafty's instructions, and a template/info sourced from my Nan (who also helped source the material from my Aunt).

My instructions
I had a thick denim outer and some purple fabric all cut out to form the purse and lining, this was the easy bit. The instructions were very brief, and at times not all that clear - it didn't say for example how far up the sides to sew, and when I had to put the lining inside the outer layer, push it out the top and then sew it to the purse in the right way (so I could turn it the right way in and it would lay neatly inside the purse) I got pretty confused.

As it was was my very first go I expected to go wrong, and I did, sewing the lining in wrong - basically the wrong side of the lining sewn on to the wrong side of the purse - I could've fixed it but by then it would have mean't unpicking things again - so I cut the lining off in a fit of rage.

Sticking the remaining fabric into the purse clasp has got to be the most tricky time consuming task I have ever done - it took me ages to wiggle about the fabric and as one side was in the other side fell out, but patience paid off and I found a technique that works. I was a bit nervous as it was drying worried it wouldn't hold, but I have a finished purse, that looks great from the outside, is so far holding, and although not lined looks much neater than expected inside.
The Finished Result - copyright Lauren John

I thought after the frustration it might've put me off, but I would try and make another purse or 2, just this time I think I'd use a clasp with hole in so I could sew rather than stick the fabric to it. If you want to try something different, I would reccommend a project like this, just make sure you have good instructions and patience. Sometimes a good craft project is one you learn from though.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Beauty Must Have - Bach Rescue Cream

I have heard so many bloggers saying that one of the things they love is the chance to try out products that they otherwise wouldn't have heard of - it's true this is a great part of blogging, although in this case I have been trying out a product that I knew of, but would never have thought of buying before.

I was very kindly sent a selection of products from the Nelson's Pure and Clear and Bach Rescue range to sample, and would happily recommend them all. I might nitpick at the shape of the Rescue Lip Balm pot, or the number of wipes (which seemed to go quite quickly) in the Pure and Clear range, but overall my complexion is happier, and although I can't erase what hormones do to my face at times, the effects have been reduced.

But I'm blogging because I wanted to give some space to the Bach Rescue cream, which for me stood out among the products I was sent. Just like other products in the range it uses a combination of 5 flower essences along with other ingredients and moisturisers. The packaging suggests it's aimed at dry, rough, sensitive skin, but this product is about soothing as well as re hydrating, and that is something other skin types will welcome.

It claims to be non greasy, and is, and quickly absorbs into the skin. This is actually the second tube I've had, having reviewed it ages ago for something else, and my first tube lasted absolutely ages, so a little does go a really long way.

With all the cold and dreary weather we've been having recently it's been my go to when my skin felt a bit dry and weather beaten, and it's also helped on a few occasions when I've done something silly like catch my hair straighteners on my face, or had some skin irritation. I know that some products I've got haven't really made much difference, or are a bit too harsh for what I wanted them for, but this one does the job.

Find out more about the Nelson's brands featured in this blog at their website. Bach Rescue Cream is readily available from Boots, Holland and Barrett, and independent pharmacies.

Have you tried out any of the products? any skincare must-haves when your face or body needs soothing? share your thoughts below.

Friday, 7 February 2014

January Shopping Haul

Bit of a delay with this shopping post, but that's probably because I feel like I did more shopping this January than any other - ever! What's going on? I normally trudge round the sales and If I'm lucky come back with next year's wrapping paper and Christmas cards and nothing else. So I thought I would dedicate a blog post to my successful shopping. Here's a few things I bought:

Models Own Haul

 My Twitter feed has been buzzing with swatches and pictures of people with their goodies from the short sale Models Own ran recently. 50% off with a minimum £25 spend.

My sister and I went halves and shared a nail polish haul, I was quite restrained after that, but my sister ordered more! We opted for 2 neon colours, 2 glitters, and one from their velvet goth range. Looking forward to pretty nails, though I'm not very patient so might have to get my sister to do them for me.

I think pink neon will have to be first on my list to cheer up the dismal days. Yet to try them out properly, but great range of colours and styles to choose from on their site.

 Christmas Wrap and Cards

Christmas is my favourite time for crafting and I love making cards for friends and family, but I
normally send some shop bought ones to everyone else, and normally like to buy small packs new each year so I don't get bored. After trawling every shop and finding nothing worth buying I eventually discovered some individual sheets of good quality paper in Card Factory, and found the cards (so cute) in Clinton's. I don't have much patience with the sales but it paid off this time.

Clothes Haul

To top off my haul I was lucky enough to find some things I actually needed to top up my wardrobe. It was no easy task, but persistence paid off, and I now have a padded jacket from Asda for £20, great price and ideal as an in between winter and summer jacket. I also found two cardigans to add some different colours, and a pair of trainers. I hate shoe shopping as I have feet wide at one end and narrow at the other, and often find shoes are too big, or pinch on one side of my right foot. It is a nightmare, but now a pair of comfy Aasics trainers are now mine too, new brand to me, but so far, so
comfortable. And lastly a big contrast between these 2 buys, as I have joined the onesie club, with a fleece version from New Look for a bargain price, and had to bring home this scarf at the same time. Not normally a big fan of florals, but love this.

Did you find any bargains in the sales? are this year's presents stashed away already? come and connect and share your thoughts below, and don't forget to leave a blog link if you have one, I love to read other blogs when I can.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Introducing Wilson The Dog

One of my absolute favourite things about blogging is the chance to share and write about the things I love, so it was a no-brainer for me when I was offered the chance to write about my favourite pet as
part of the 'I Heart My Pet' campaign run by the National Office for Animal Health (NOAH).

Wilson when he was a baby
Technically I'm not a pet owner, and despite trying to sell the benefits of having a pet in your home office ( I work from home), and to your mental health, to my parents, so far Mum says no, so we are a pet-less household. I do make a very good pet sitter though, and am very lucky to have a sister that has a dog.

When my sister was looking for a dog, I was the one that found the ad that led to his door, and that is something I've always felt good about. I first met Wilson when he was just 8 weeks old, and just waking up in his basket. He was placed on my lap and sat there contentedly licking my trousers for ages.

After a while of this my sister asked, "do you like him then", I don't think I need to say what my answer to that is.

I think a love for animals is sometimes hard to explain, but for me it's something that's always been there. Wilson always makes me smile, whether he is on his hind legs wanting a cuddle, chasing his tail, or sleeping on the sofa. My favourite time is when the weather is dry and we can go over the park for a walk - I might be outdoors a fair bit anyway, but there's nothing like jogging round the
park watching Wilson running about, his ears flapping in the breeze, it really does help me switch off like nothing else.

I work from home, and suffer with anxiety and mild agoraphobia, that's a whole other story but both can be isolating and lonely, however satisfying work can be. Fluffy furry company really has kept me going, made sure I take proper computer breaks, and like any good pet he's loyal and doesn't answer back unless he's demanding treats!

My furr-nephew has also been the influence behind a new goal of mine in 2014 - I have plans to re-launch myself and my crafting, perhaps try and create a brand eventually. Inspired by Wilson I have renamed as 'Pawprints and Petals'.

Fluffy, furry, inspiring, nutty, playful, sleepy, mud attracting, and for a few glorious hours every now and then he is all mine. I heart my furr-nephew, and he makes me happy. What else can I say apart from that.