Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas Photos

Just wanted to share a few photos that sum up my Christmas 2012. It's been a busy December so was so happy to have some days off to spend with friends and family. Hope everyone had a great Christmas!
This was my Christmas nail art - was so sad that my top coat made everything bubbly :( but it looked good if you weren't scrutinizing up close. The pink and mint polishes are from Rimmel. The sparkly ones are Indian Ocean and Blizzard, both from Model's Own. Obsessed with Blizzard!! And the nail art is from Npw and Claire's.
Christmas silliness in Liberty of London!
 South Bank Christmas market = magic. Best caramel hot chocolate.
Christmas tree brownie (extra chocolatey) and peanut butter / choc chip cookies. All gluten free goodies!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas nail art haul

Christmas time, nail polish and wine! I am so full of festive cheer this weekend, having my lone day off in the midst of lots of days helping people finish their Christmas shopping. Working on a high street again, I just can't help myself from popping to the shops in my lunch break. Last week I picked up a few nail related items that I love. 
  1. Hello Kitty Nail Polish Trio £3.66 Sainsbury's Local This comes in the shades of Pinkalicious, Glitter Ball and Ballet Dancer. I love Hello Kitty, and I love Nail polish, so couldn't resist this bargain!
  2. Barry M polish £2.99 / £3.99 Superdrug in 354 Amethyst Glitter and SLE 2012 (think this is a special edition for Christmas!)
  3. Christmas nail art wheel £3.00 Claire's I love this to pieces! Going to share a mani I did with this wheel. It's so festive and cute :)

Here is a close up of all the nail art pieces from the Claire's. How cute is Santa!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

CRAFT DIY - Robin Applique Scarf

This year I wanted to make something special for my Nana. She is a great lover of birds, nature and the countryside. She also loves to garden. I wanted to get her something she would really appreciate, but it also had a be budget friendly as I just don't have the funds for big gifts this year. I decided to hand decorate a scarf with a seasonal bird - a cute robin!!

I started off with a scarf from the pound shop (I know - I am cheap-o this year!), which is basically black fleece material that has been hemmed. I chose this because I knew the fleece would be super easy to stitch on.

I grabbed some felt and embroidery thread from my stash in appropriate robin colours - red, brown and white. I also had a sheet of black for stitching the robin on - and to hide my stitches on the final product!

Supplies needed:

  • 1 scarf
  • Paper pattern
  • Coloured felt
  • Coloured embroidery thread + needle
  • Scissors

Step 1: Make some paper patterns

Step 2: Draw round patterns onto felt in appropriate colours x2
Step 3: Lay out your cute felt pieces to check you are happy before you start sewing

Step 4: Stitch each piece onto a piece of black felt, make sure there is space to cut around the robin (about 1/2 cm). Use co-ordinating thread for each coloured felt piece. Don't forget to add a beak!

Step 5: Carefully trim around the black felt (you will need enough space to stitch this onto the scarf!)

Step 6: Stitch your robins onto the scarf! If you have time you could add leaves / berries - it would look so cute! Modeled by my lovely mum before I wrapped it up :)
p.s. she has already opened it and was very pleased! yay!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Paper party

I have been a super busy Christmas Elf lately. Here are a few things I have been working on - animal Christmas cards, and an engagement card.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Keep calm...

This describes exactly how I feel today! I feel slightly manic today, with such a busy day at work and so much to do I just kept getting the giggles and finding everything hysterical! I think the customers must have thought I'd gone mad!

Since I've been home I've been in non-stop Christmas organisation mode. I have some parcels of presents to send out to friends in other parts of the UK / Ireland, and I have decided I must get them in the post tomorrow just to make sure they get to them in time for Christmas. But the problem was I hadn't wrapped the presents / written the cards / organised how to package them. So now I have run out of jiffy bags and also run out of handmade Christmas cards!

Here's hoping I get these babies into the post and off to their destinations first thing in the morning! Busy busy day tomorrow of meeting people tomorrow for Christmas catch ups, so had to make sure I have their cards and presents ready to go too. My bag is huge at the moment with all these parcels, and I will have to be that annoying person in the post office who has to buy jiffy bags and be in the way... and then hold up other people while I weigh all my parcels going to different places.... I hope they understand I hate holding them up too!!!!

I thought I was so organised, but the Christmas stress is slightly getting to me!!!!

(Sorry for extreme overuse of exclamation marks....)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

In Print

Do you find that Christmas shopping leads you to lusting after so many items for yourself? I think it's all the new products that spring up, and their exciting packaging and newness screams at you to look, when you are supposed to be finding tokens of appreciation for other people.

Here are a few things I have picked up this week, getting distracted when I was supposed to be buying for others!

In Print

  1. Charley Harper An Illustrated Life by Todd Oldham I got this as a late (over a month late!!) birthday gift from my brother. I love Charley Harper's art. We saw this in Waterstones and I was absorbed, this book is beautiful being almost exclusively prints of Charley's work, but also has an interview with him as well as information about his life. I found this really interesting as I knew very little about him. So pleased with this :)
  2. Poems of the Sea Something about this book drew me in. I have always loved the sea, and the edition was gorgeous and decided it needed to come home with me. I also got the Haiku book in the same range as a gift for a poetry loving friend. You can get this for £6.99 at amazon, but I got mine for the R.R.P. of £9.99 at a local, independent book shop. Support independent businesses!
  3. Disney A Year of Animation 2013 This was too perfect to pass up on. It is a page a day calendar with pictures from animated Disney films both old and new. £10.20 on Amazon but I got mine for £10.99 in store at Waterstones.

I think it's the cold weather that's drawing me into books and cozy bookshops. Now to flick through my Charley Harper book and finish my hot chocolate. Addicted to these marshmallows right now!

NPW wishlist

NPW wishlist

I love NPW! I have some of their nail pens and gems already, but I am lusting over these new releases. Particularly the stud wheel! I hav so much love for NPW as they have lots of innovative products, and the prices are crazy reasonable. Everything here is priced between £2.50 and £5.95, and they are going to last you a long time, even a nail art maniac like me!

They are becoming more widely available at high street stores such as Paperchase and River Island, but ladies they are much cheaper on their website! You do have to pay postage, but if you get a couple of items the cheaper prices will make up for this. They also sell a lot of funky presents that are good for secret santa parties or joke presents.

Have you used any of the NPW range???

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

CRAFT DIY - Cabochon Hairslides

I love things that sparkle, and things that are unusual. When I am shopping I immediately go for the things that are new and exciting, and generally revolve around animals. When thinking about Christmas gifts I knew I wanted to hand make some, and looking through my craft stash I found some snowflake and star cabochons (flat backed sparkly things!) and thought they would look cute on hairslides. I also had some wooden cow and strawberry embellishments that I thought would look good too. Again this is a really simple craft - if you can glue and stick then you can definitely master this!
 Supplies needed:

  • Selection of hairslides
  • Selection of flat back gems / embellishments
  • Extra strong glue!

Step 1: Gather your supplies!!

Step 2: Glue your embellishment to your slide. Make sure you know which way you want your embellishment to be facing if it can only be one way up (the cow!) but it doesn't matter for the star etc.! Follow your glue's instructions for the strongest fixture. I added a small amount of glue to the hairslide, then loosely attached to the embellishment. After about 5 minutes the glue went tacky, so I firmly pressed the slide and embellishment together to ensure a secure bond!

Step 3: Let your hairslides dry without being disturbed

Step 4: If like me, you are making these for gifts, you can jazz them up by putting them on festive card which makes them feel a bit more professional than having to wrap them up loose. I just cute some pieces of card, and trimmed them after placing the slides on. Yay for candy canes!
Hope you enjoy this little tutorial! I think my favourites have to be the snowflakes - going to have to whip some up for myself!

Snowflake 300

This week I have been super sick. Some kind of flu situation, where I have been at home feeling rotten and having to miss a lot of work, even my family Christmas party which made me really sad! A lot of sick time meant lots of time to paint my nails, so here is what I currently am sporting. An old lady complimented me on them at work today so they must be good!! (Sorry for the shocking quality of this photo!)

I am wearing two coats of Kiko Milano 300 (an extremely shimmery blue polish with hues ranging from dark to bright lagoon type blue) with a topcoat of Model's Own Snowflakes (clear polish with ripped metallic glitter, in some lights it looks white, then silver or gold! So pretty!)

Friday, 30 November 2012

Polish Swap - The Reveal!

I am so excited to post photos from my very first swap! I was lucky enough to join in this swap hosted by four lovely ladies: Katyln, Jessica, Kristen and Melissa. After reading about it on Cindii's blog I knew I needed to get involved - I am turning into a bit of a nail polish addict!
I got paired with the sweetie that is Helen, and I have been following her blog at Eat.Enjoy.Live since we got linked up for this swap. She packaged my polish in a pretty gift box, and I have to say I am addicted to the ice cream nail file! Been using this non-stop since I got my package :) It is so cute! As is the butterfly buffer. I was also really excited that Helen included a card, as I love giving / receiving post!
I LOVE this card! So pretty - it suits me down to a T! And the polishes are lovely, I got a red O.P.I. number, and a shimmery pink (not sure the brand, but I am wearing it right now and it applied really nicely and dried super quick!).
A close up of the polishes. How shimmery is the pink! Lovely :)

It was so exciting to be part of this swap, keeping my eye out for more to join in on. I think it's a great way to open my eyes to blogs I might not have otherwise come across.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

ohemgee Stocking Stuffer Swap

Do you love swaps?! I really do! Having been following Cindii's blog for a while, I'm so pleased she has been posting links to swaps she is participating in. When she posted about the stocking stuffer swap, I just knew I had to get involved. It looks so fun, and in my family having a stocking has never been a tradition. I love getting presents for people so it will be great fun to see who my partner is.

If you are interested, head over to Nat's blog ohemgee and sign up!

DIY Love - Christmas Party Ideas

I have the DIY bug at the moment! And thankfully so do a lot of other bloggers, providing me with endless ideas and inspiration! Today I am going to show you a few links of what I am loving, and will hopefully get around to doing.

Funkytime Holiday Magazine
I have a lot of respect for Funkytime. The amount of work and effort that goes into these magazines is amazing, so I was beyond pleased to see the new holiday edition went live today. There are so many ideas in here, am most likely going to have a go at the glitter cups and glitter place settings for my upcoming secret santa party with my friends. Go take a look, you won't regret it.

Honesty WTF DIY Surprise Balls
Honestly WTF is another site that constantly provides amazing quality tutorials, and inspirational photographs. In the summer I was addicted to Erica's bracelet tutorials, spending hours in coffee shops with my friend whilst making bracelets. These surprise balls are amazing, I can't wait to make these for my upcoming Christmas dinner with my friends! Just need to get my hands on some crepe paper and let loose at the supermarket / toy shops. I love how brightly coloured these are, they are going to look fantastic at the table, maybe even as place settings.

I hope you enjoy these links, please share any Christmas craft links you find, I love looking at things other people have made!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

CRAFT DIY - Festive stocking garland

I am already in the full blown festive mood. I've started my Christmas shopping, wrapped the bits and pieces I have already made, and I am starting to get my Christmas craft on! I've been working on a lot of things lately which I will be sharing in the run up to Christmas. 

First off we have a very simple garland to add a bit of festive cheer to the walls, which costs next to nothing!
My owl cushions were desperate to get in on the picture too.

Supplies needed:

  • Christmas patterned paper
  • Stocking template (I used a foot cutout from some lace socks!)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Needle and thread

Step 1: Gather your supplies
Step 2: Draw around your stocking template and cut out as many as you need!

Step 3: Stick your stockings to the ribbon then sew with some co-ordinating thread to fasten securely. If tight on time, you could just use staples / sticky tape instead. I left a 10cm gap between each, and 20cm length at either end for hanging up.
That's it! Glitter if you wish, I may do on the next one. Hang up and enjoy the start of the festive season!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

No Spend November: Update 2

This week my spending has been easier in some ways, but harder in others. I have been working a lot more, so at least am making some more money than last week. The majority of my spending on this week has been on food - two meals out and just general groceries for home. Having money in my purse means I am more likely to part with it, so trying my best to get it straight into the bank!

Week 2 empties
Finished Products

  • Hello Kitty face wipes - these were from the pound shop and I loved them! So sad they don't have any left in stock.
  • Vanilla nail polish remover pads - These are fantastic at removing non-glitter polishes, and really nourish my nails while they are at it. These are from NPW, I got a small pot as a gift last year, and had to run out and buy a big one too! They smell so yummy!
  • Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea hand gel - Love this stuff. Picked this up in America, I have a bunch of these in all my handbags, never want to be without one! Sweet pea is a nice fragrance, bath and body works really do the hand gel better than any other company I know.

Week 2 spend: £75.97, which feels like A LOT when I write it down... but really the majority went on food and travel. I think the only thing I got for myself was £1 face wipes - not exactly a luxury! It is scary how easy money gets away from you, even when you are keeping an eye on things!!

Friday, 23 November 2012

NOTD - Purple glitter

My latest manicure is a mix of beautiful purples, and lots of glitter! Sorry for the bad quality of this pic! Took it on my phone once the sun had gone down.

1. A layer of Save the Nail's Toughen Up Basecoat - I love this basecoat. It is quite pricey at £7.50, but really is worth it. My nails feel so much happier with this on than cheaper basecoats I have used in the past. And luckily I had enough Boots points to snap this up :)

2. A layer of Ciate Wait Until Dark - I got this for free with a magazine. I like it, but when I put it on I always forget how dark it is, much darker than I would normally wear. So this is why I rarely use this polish alone, but it is great for dimension under more sheer polishes!

3. A layer of O.P.I. It's My Year from the Miss Universe Collection - This polish is gorgeous. Part of the reason I layered this over the Ciate polish is because I love this so much, and have the tendancy to put on so many layers because it is so pretty! But it cost me quite a lot, more than I would normally allow myself to spend on polish, so I want to make it last a long time!

4. A layer of Bourjois 1 second gel polish in purple glitter - the holographic glitter in different sizes makes this a showstopper of a polish. The gel texture really does dry quick and it helped my polish from chipping, lasting around 5 days, and it only chipped on one nail as I was opening a lot of deliveries at work. I love this polish!!

5. A final topcoat of Model's Own to seal the deal.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


This morning I was reading Ally's post about joining Instagram, and thought it would be fun to share my own profile. I have been using Instagram for quite a while now, I think it's a great way of capturing everyday moments when I don't have my proper camera with me. And it's nice to have pictures all in the same format / size for crafts. I have seen a lot of Instagram based crafts like magnets and prints.

My username is @miniflakes, feel free to add me or leave your own username so I can have a peek at your photos!