Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Hygge Activities for Springtime

Spring is almost upon us, look to nature for the clues...

The Spring Equinox Definition: 

'20th March 2021.' 

'Spring Equinox celebrates the renewed life of the Earth 
that comes with the Spring. It is a solar festival, celebrated 
when the length of the day and the night are equal 
(this happens twice a year, at Spring and Autumn Equinox).'

Hygge isn’t just for winter it can be practiced all year through... 

Hygge Definition:
'A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that 
engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being 
(regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)'

Tips & Ideas for Things to Do:

1.) Create a spring baking/cooking bucket list on Pinterest. You don’t necessarily
   have to include unhealthy recipes as there’s all sorts of themed ideas.

Photos above found on Pinterest.

2.) Plant some seeds in your garden. March/April is a good time to plant 
poppy, sunflower or cosmos seeds.

3.) Photograph the daffodils whether in your garden or while out on a walk.

4.) Have a springtime afternoon tea; you could make your own using 
triangle sandwiches and homemade cake.

5.) Cut some flowers from outside and put them in a vase, 
somewhere you will see them every day.

6.) Have a hygge spring clean. Put on some lovely music, and dust, organize, etc.

7.) Collect easter cards from previous years, you can cut them up and make recycled 
designs. Other crafts you could try include sewing or painting.

8.) Jigsaws can be very hygge, do a little work on one every day. Look 
out for seasonal designs like cottage gardens or easter chicks.

Which of these tips do you think you might try?
Does the ‘hygge’ lifestyle appeal to you? :-) Xx

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Jigsaw Log #5


It’s lovely to be back with this series. Recently I’ve been thinking about getting back into the hobby, although at the moment my jigsaw table is being used for something else. My Mum gifted this jigsaw to my Nan a while back, and my Nan, Mum and myself completed it March 2020, just before the pandemic hit. 

I really recommend this design because of the intricate picture, making finding the appropriate pieces a little bit easier. It had 500 pieces, so it was fairly doable as well. The image is of a busy park with lots of people, so we found it a nice conversation topic as we were doing it.

I found an interesting article on jigsaws: How did the Jigsaw Puzzle Become a Popular Pastime? 

If you want to read it for yourself, it covers the early history of jigsaw puzzles, 
the boom in popularity and how they're made today.

Here are a few quick quotes from the article:

‘Although puzzles are often regarded as a leisure activity,
 its beginnings are rooted in education and the teaching of geography.’

‘The name “jigsaw” refers to the specialized saws used to produce them;
 however, it would not become commonplace until decades later.’

‘Jigsaw puzzles have seen a resurgence in popularity in 2020 due to the coronavirus.’

I completed two other jigsaws in 2020:
The tropical sea life design in February (blog post here)
The supermarket design in July (blog post here)

Has this inspired you to do a jigsaw?
Or do you already do many, if so what types? :-) Xx

Friday, 26 February 2021

Tips for buying secondhand clothes on eBay


1.) Have a good browse to see what styles and prices suit you.
2.) Have a tape measure at hand to measure yourself, the items you want to buy and to compare them                  to similar things already in your wardrobe that fit well.
3.) Save your favourite sellers to come back to at a later point.
4.) Shop with sellers that have positive feedback and ideally no negative feedback.
5.) Trust your instincts about items, sellers, etc.
6.) Start with something easy for example accessories (or even other items such as books)
7.) Look out for sharp photographs and well written descriptions.

There are lots of benefits from buying secondhand, the environment, and affordability being the main ones. Remember eBay sells brand new products too, for example if you are struggling to buy a specific kind of item pre-loved. There are many smaller businesses on eBay you can support too. Also don’t worry if you get it wrong sometimes, and give it time to gain experience.

Did you find any of these tips helpful?
Do you like buying secondhand too? :-) Xx

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

These are a few of my favourite things #3



Snow Drops

I spotted a cluster of snow drops popping up on a walk 
recently so I decided to do some research into them.

‘According to legend, the snowdrop became the symbol of hope when Adam and
 Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. When Eve was about to give up hope
 that the cold winters would never end, an angel appeared.’

‘They flower January to April.’

Pukka ‘love’ Tea

I haven’t treated myself to some herbal tea for a while.
 I’ve tried this variety before, but I’ve been enjoying the
 unusual taste of rose, chamomile and lavender.

The Works Christmas Cookie Cutters

I bought these cookie cutters in The Works sale for £1.00
 to add to my collection. Cookie cutters can be quite
 expensive so these were a bargain!


Book Art by Clare Youngs

Here we learn creative ways to transform pages of old books into works of art,
 whether that’s decorations, cards, stationery, etc. I borrow lots of craft books from
 the library, but Book Art really stood out to me for many reasons. I like the
 idea of using recycled materials in craft, the range of difficulty levels included,
 and I also came away with some valuable ideas for my card making.

The Way We Live with Colour by Stafford Cliff

This is a book about how colour can be used in an interior and exterior setting
 as well as its place in culture. We get a glimpse of some extraordinary interior
 design from all over the world; The photography combined with text
 makes this a beautiful coffee table book.

Country Treasures by Louis Beetschen

A family friend lent me a couple of books after we had a discussion
 on what I like to read. Country Treasures is a fascinating look into crafting
 using natural materials. It’s a beautifully illustrated book that I found a joy to read.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

This is the first book I’ve read by Bennett, but afterwards I read online, this is
 one of his most accessible novels. This is a fictional story of her majesty the queen, and
 how her visit to the local library van results in a complete love for books. I enjoyed the
 writing, and I was hooked from the beginning.


Bohemian Rhapsody

‘Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their
 extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered
 convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet.’

I didn’t know a lot about Queen previously, so this was very enlightening on their history
 as a band. I appreciated the biographical element to the film, Rami Malek played Freddie
 well. The music was great and it made me add some of their songs on Spotify.

Do we have any similar favourites?
Have I given you any new ideas? :-) Xx

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Clothing Items Inspired by the Mean Girls Film

I really enjoyed creating some fashion looks for The Selection by Kiera Cass book cover (here) so thought I would continue with this style of post but for the film Mean Girls. The fashion in this film is all pink, and girly and it didn’t take me too long to find some more style inspiration on Pinterest.

For those not familiar with the Mean Girls film, here is the blurb:

'Cady Heron is a cultural blank slate when she first sets foot on the grounds of North Shore High School in a small town outside of Chicago, Illinois. After living in Africa, Cady has no idea how "wild" things can be in civilization until she crosses paths with one of the meanest species of all, the "Queen Bee," who at this school is the cool and calculating Regina George. 

But Cady doesn't just cross paths with this Queen Bee--she really stings her when she falls for Regina's ex-boyfriend Aaron Samuels. Now Regina is set to sting back by pretending to still like Aaron so he won't go out with Cady, all the while pretending to be her friend. With no choice but to use the same M.O. to stay in the game, the "Girl World" one-upmanship escalates until the entire school gets dragged into a first-class mean-fest.'

If you want to look up some style from this film on Pinterest here are some key words: 
Pink, girly, Mean Girls fashion, pink dress, pink polo neck, pink plaid, pink skirt, etc.

^ Here is some fashion snippets from the film. ^

Below is some of my own interpretation of the clothing style:

Have you watched this film before?
Which of these clothing items is your favourite? :-) Xx

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Graphic Novels: Where to Start

Which graphic novels I’ve read:

The Boy Who Cried Vampire by Benjamin Harper

A fable tale, with a twist on the boy who cried wolf teaching the reader a 
lesson about life. A very accessible read, for children as well as adults.

The Beano annual 1988 by D.C. Thomson

I got this book from a coffee morning book stall very cheaply. Includes all the usual 
favourites - Minnie the Minx, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids etc.

The Beano annual 2000 by D.C. Thomson

I’ve learned I prefer the older editions. 
This was my least favourite of the two Beano’s I’ve read.

The Paper Girls series 1-6 by Brian K. Vaughan

We follow a group of time-traveling paper girls in a wonderfully, weird dystopian world. 
The illustrations and colour choices are beautifully done throughout.

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō

Marie Kondo presents the fictional story of Chiaki, a young woman in Tokyo who 
struggles with a cluttered apartment. Great if you enjoyed her first non-fiction book.

Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell

Deja and Josiah work together at their local pumpkin patch, and are seasonal best friends. 
Finally, seniors, this will be their last autumn together, so they want to make the most of it. 
Beautiful illustrations and heartfelt story.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

A gentle fantasy story of a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she 
becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. Really lovely.

Bob’s Burgers by Dynamite Comics

Join the Belcher family from the hit American TV show featuring all your favourite 
characters; Bob, Linda, Tina, Gene & Louise. I thoroughly enjoyed the humour in this.

Circuit Breaker by Kevin McCarthy

A futuristic, high fantasy comic, set in a Japan. 
This was a really different read for me that I would recommend to others.

Titles I hope to read in the future:

More vintage cartoon comics such as The Beano
The Tea Dragon Festival (The Tea Dragon Society #2)
Circuit Breaker #2 by Kevin McCarthy
The Simpsons comics


For your first graphic novel: The Beano
Perfect for gifting: Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell
On a budget: Free Comic Book Day comics are £1-3 on eBay.
For humour: Bob’s Burgers by Dynamite Comics


TIP ONE // Try specialist comic/graphic novel shops on eBay, particularly 
comics made for free comic book day.

TIP TWO // Use your local library and get to know what comics they offer.

TIP THREE // Read comic/graphic novels reviews of people you have things 
in common with. Goodreads, Amazon reviews, YouTube etc. is a good starting point.

TIP FOUR // Try main-stream comics to begin with if you are unsure of the specialist variety.

TIP FIVE // The first few comics I read were children’s such as The Beano. 
Retro comics have a simple story therefore making a great place to start.

Places to shop:

piranha_comics_co eBay seller
Blackwelloxford eBay seller
Your local library
Charity shops

Have you read a comic or graphic novel before?
Which of these ones looks most interesting to you? :-) Xx

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Vintage Inspiration for Cards & Scrapbooking

One day I was browsing some journaling layouts on Pinterest and I stumbled across a term called ephemera vintage which in the back of my mind I’d come across before but didn’t know a lot about.

I looked up the definition in a search engine:

‘In a nutshell, to collectors “ephemera” are vintage printed or written items which originally served some specific purpose and were not expected to be retained or preserved, but which are now cherished.’

‘Vintage ephemera is similar to modern ephemera in that it consists of paper items that were designed to be short-lived. In past eras, people often saved everything from scraps of wrapping paper, greeting cards, matchbooks, paper coasters and other items that could be reused or that held personal significance.’

My personal definition: Ephemera vintage seems to be a popular, aesthetically pleasing style used for card making, and scrapbooking. Examples include worn paper, old-fashioned images such as adverts, nature related, general scraps, etc.

I was looking through my own handmade cards 
and I was pleased to find some with that vintage kind of style:

Here are some more images I stumbled across on pinterest for you to get an overall idea:

Search term suggestions:
ephemera vintage
ephemera vintage paper
ephemera vintage postcards
ephemera vintage garden
ephemera vintage shabby chic
ephemera vintage printables

The beauty of this vintage style is materials can be found organically. But if you are stuck for finding things for your scrapbooking/card making eBay is literally a treasure trove.

Have you come across this style of art before?
Are you interested in scrapbooking/card making? :-) Xx