About Me

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I currently live in Birmingham and come from Solihull. I have a love of all things crafty, developed from my mom's love of crafts as I was growing up. I currently work in marketing, but I'm a qualified Aromatherapist, and use to be self employed alongside a day job, might one day return to that. I try to fit in crafts when I can, I wish I had more time and money to spend on it! I enjoy researching my family history and finding out about the past. It can get frustrating, but is really rewarding when you have a break through! I hope to meet people with similar interests as me and swap advice/stories.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Handmade Christmas

Over the past few years, each Christmas myself and my family have been breaking away from the standard Christmas decorations in favour of more unique handmade crafts- both brought from craft fairs and items we crafted ourselves.

There are so many ways you can go with decorating your home and so many wonderful things to make and buy that really you are spoilt for choice, this year there is defiantly a more vintage and traditional feel- with a few modern touches. Take a look!

 Wreath- made with real holly, ivy, beautiful tree branches, mistletoe and even some hand-dried oranges. Simply buy a plain wreath (ours was wicker) and using gardening green wire attach the various components layering up the wreath as you go. Additional items can be added such as the dried orange slices (cut an orange into slices and roast in the oven at the lowest temperature for several hours). Complete the wreath with some optional ribbon and bows.

Paper chains – so simple, take any paper, cut into strips and loop together. We used some old vintage styled scrapbook paper that hadn’t been put to use.

Scented Christmas ‘baubles’ – these not only look vintage-like but have a wonderful aroma which you can choose to match your own tastes, we used a mixture of dried cloves, juniper berries and star aniese.  Take some fabric (we used white linen and hessian) cut into circles, place your herbs etc into the centre of the fabric pull fabric together and tie thread or ribbon around to hold it together. To attach to the tree use wire, attach to the ‘bauble’ at the back and make a loop, hook onto the tree. As an option you can decorate the ‘bauble’ or leave plain.

 Decoupage tree decorations – another quick and easy decoration. Using rectangles of card (red and green colours) add a Christmas themed image to the card (optional on both sides) add a little glitter, make a hole at the top and thread some ribbon through to make a loop- hang on the tree! 

Pom Pom ‘Snowballs and Icicles’ – use a pom pom maker, or make your own circle for creating pom poms. We made blue pom poms to represent ice and white for snowballs. Make the pom poms in various sizes and ensure they have a loop on them. You can use them in various ways; I simply attached them to some stretch magic and hung them by the window for the illusion that they are falling. 

There's still time to try some of these crafts!!

Please look out for my follow up blog on handmade Christmas gifts…it’s a little too early to be giving them away yet, but I have managed to make a few this year and possibly receive them too? (well I have been good this year!)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


CRAFTfest 2011                     

The time is fast approaching, Christmas is not far away, why not get some truly unique gifts this year.

CRAFTfest hosts a range of handmade items and supplies for sale over the 26th and 27th November: http://creative-connections.ning.com/page/craftfest-home

This event allows you to explore the crafters world and just how much talent there is out there with some really beautiful creations- available from sellers all year round.

This is the first time I am taking part in such an online event and I’m excited to see what people think of my designs and also to take a look myself for some lovingly hand crafted gifts- hopefully I’ll even be able to treat myself!

Out of the huge array of people listing their crafts, here are a few:

Hi I'm Gayle owner at Happy Hands Belcoo.

I create hand crafted Bridal Accessories and Venue decor. I believe that the most special day in you life should leave you with more than a photo album. I work hard on creating memorable keepsakes for you to treasure for the rest of your days. My bouquets define my work and the Bride and Groom. I believe that you should have your day your way. Your day should show the couple you are and the beautiful blend of two personalities joined together forever. We have developed this concept into all our bespoke products so your wedding accessories and decor become cherished keepsakes.


Perfect Patchwork is based in Devon in the Southwest of England, where we pride ourselves on the individuality of our work. All our products are made from the finest 100% cotton patchwork fabrics, and designer yarns.

We design many of the products ourselves and are proud to carry an extensive range from handicraft items, household goods and beautiful quilts, from baby sizes to king size. We are happy to design a quilt of your choice at no extra charge. 

If you require something specific that you cannot find on our website please contact us at  admin@perfectpatchwork.co.uk 

I'm Alyson and I love fabric and needlework.  I make all sorts of things and sell them on my website Creative Stitching.  I'm glad I'm in the lilac group as thats my favourite colour!

Here are some links to the other fabulous crafters that are at CRAFTfest:


Other Blogs on CRAFTfest:

And remember crafts aren’t just for Christmas – enjoy them all year round!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Vintage Appeal

One of the fashions that does not seem to die out, is the vintage style, whether it be clothes, jewellery or home styling there is always a demand for a vintage look.

I myself find looking back at old fashions fun, you get a chance to imagine left back when and to see the development of personal/home styling through the ages. I do enjoy rummaging around at antique fairs and buying things to re-style the home, and more so, bits that I can re-use to create beautiful crafts- mostly vintage jewellery, of which I continue to build on.

I have recently listed some vintage bits on folksy- including these simple, but elegant earrings:

I am also currently loving the new series of Downton Abbey- as great as the story and acting is, I can’t help looking at the wonderful costumes and accessories they wear.

The other great thing about looking back at fashion, you seem to notice more so the dodgy fashions that sneaked through into many people’s wardrobes…even I have a few faux pars -  you live and learn!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Lets get crafting

I'm sure people out there who have crafting as a full business are already in full swing making items ready for December...

I have had a few projects I have finally got around to doing and I'm making my way to getting supplies and making gifts/new shop products etc. I'm also looking forward to the NEC craft show- great for your supplies and getting ideas or even finding new crafts to try!

It's always tricky thinking of new ideas for crafting, but I feel quietly confident about some of my ideas and I hope everyone else will like them too...so I better get cracking!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Family History

I have been looking into my family history for a while now, it's great what discoveries you make, and frustrating when you get stuck, but I have been in touch with distant relatives and it's great to hear and see what information they have.

My latest connection is with family in Germany- thanks to google translate I can get the gist of what they are talking about and hopefully we'll make more discoveries soon along with closer to home Irish relatives. Here are some of the family:

Great Grandparents: Henry Edward Smith and Emma Smith (nee Schulze) if anyone on the off chance recognizes this man please reply! (I can hope) German and Birmingham England origins

Great Grandmother: Sarah Eliza Lovelock (nee Hollingsworth)
Great Grandfather: Henry Lovelock. Both London origins and Hollingsworth from Hertforshire areas.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Glass Painting

I have been doing glass painting for a while now, not quite sure how I got into it, but I quite like it.

I tend to recycle glass jars, vases etc, you can get them cheap from car boots and charity shops- even use a cooking sauce jar. Just make sure you thoroughly clean and dry the glass first. Sometimes labels are tricky to remove, try soaking the jar in hot soapy water, most of the time that will loosen the label, if not you can get products now which help remove labels, I think Lakeland Plastics has some.

You then need your glass painting equipment.

I tend to use the aqua glass range for paints and outlines. These paints are water based so any item you paint should not be washed, to clean they should be gently clean with a dry cloth and not rubbed. The bonus here is that if you make a mistake whilst painting you can correct it. I have permanent paints too and use them on occasions. The outlines can also be brought, although outline stickers used for card making work aswell, or if you have a steady hand you can use the outliners in the tube and draw directly onto the glass (you have to allow this to dry before painting).

Once you have your design and all your equipment including fine paint brushes and water, you are good to go.  Painting on any round surface does mean the paint will go where it wants, so my advice is to put the glass jar in a different position every few minutes to try and get an even spread of paint, it will never be perfect, but that all adds to its unique handmade nature!

Here are are a few of my most recent designs.

This was a drinks bottle, now decorated with red and black hearts, could be used for decoration or as a candle holder.

An old sauce jar, re-used and created into a storage jar or tea light holder.

This was once a cider bottle! Now a fairy wonderland with flowers, butterflies and dragonflies galore!

Butterfly and Daisy design which sits in my bathroom. Some bottles like this I do fill with my aromatherapy blends, it looks lovely and brightens up a room.

If anyone else glass paints and has any ideas or thoughts please comment!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Just starting out with blogging, hoping I can regularly update here, but life has a tendency to get in the way- I will try!

I have set up this blog mainly to talk about my love of crafts- I have two online shops:
 and http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheDarlingBudsOfMay?ref=pr_shop

I love making crafts when I get time and I like trying new crafts. I make jewellery, accessories, hand painted glass items, various fimo creations as well as knitting, crochet, card making etc.
I hope to learn more crafts and become better with the crafts I already enjoy- I'm thinking about doing a silver making course, it would be great to make your own designs and I have seen so many beautiful creations. Any tips or advice on silver making appreciated!

I also spend my time working as an aromatherapist. I like making oil blends and natural beauty products and I hope I will be able to make some more scented sachets from home grown plants! If you are interested in aromatherapy please see my website: