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, 18 December 2013

Handmade Christmas Decorations

Just a few decorations around the house, handmade by me and other crafters...
Edible Biscuits with sweet 'stained glass' centres

Handmade Christmas Clown

Candy Cane Mouse

Sparkly Candy Cane Mouse!

Pine Cone Mary & Joseph - waiting for Baby Jesus

Mini Button Wreath

Hand Stamped Candle

Clay Robin - with glittery red breast

Hand Painted Candle Holder - brought last year at the German Market

Holly & Greenery Decoration

Greenery & Holly Decorating a Willow Heart Shape, with a shell angel in the centre

Hanging cards - simply held together by mini pegs with felt Christmas shapes clipped to some string

The Wreath

Button Tree - Red & Green

Button Tree

Shell Angels - dotted around 
Crochet Robins

Felted Robin

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Felted Robin Craft

Saw this ages ago in Kirstie Allsops first Christmas Craft show and now only just got round to making one!! A felted robin...

You'll need to cut x2 robin shapes, plus wings & a beak

Layering the woollen fleece gives the robin texture

You can always trim down edges to tidy the robins up

You layer on top the red breast before adding on a wing

The final robin, with added feather for tail!

For the pattern see Kirstie's felted robin pattern here.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

1940s cafe

So after seeing a 1940s café some time ago in Stratford, I finally got to try out their food.

I have never been to a themed café before and it was really well set up, nicely decorated for Christmas, lots of posters and vintage plates and of course 1940s dressed staff.

Tea in tea pot - unusual to have this nowadays, plus a timer so we brew our tea perfectly!

The cakes!

Menu un the style of a ration book

Monday, 9 December 2013

Angel Cards

I learnt to use Angel Cards after a friend recommended them and after a short while I felt I wanted to know more and also be able to offer card readings as a therapist, so I enrolled on a course.


I found the course very helpful in improving my understanding of card reading, both when used for myself and when reading for others. It also gives you more background to card reading and encourages you to learn more about the history of card reading as well as how to use them for a professional reading.

Not everyone will take to angel cards, whether through it not being 'accurate enough' or some just don't have any interest in trying them. similar to tarot cards, although tarot cards have sometimes a negative image, so Angel Cards are much more positive and break away from the negativism or suspicious and cautious feelings people may have.

 I find I go through phases of doing a lot of card readings and then having a break, it can be hard to get a routine going but once you break a routine it seems even harder to get back on track, so one of my plans is to ensure I do weekly readings for myself (if not more often) and just get back into it. I do watch Doreen Virtue's weekly readings on you tube, she does inspire you to get your cards out and give it a go yourself. I find her cards and books very useful and informative. I have several packs of cards, using which ever one I feel drawn to, and sometimes mixing the packs too.

I enjoy giving readings as well, obviously those who are open to alternative therapies are generally interested in what the cards can say and how you as a reader interpret them. A lot of people dismiss card readings, but I feel if they can help you in any positive way to find your way or help you feel better about your situation I think they can't be bad.

If you are ever interested in a card reading you can contact me for a reading through my blog, website or facebook page Beautiful Serenity.


Friday, 6 December 2013

Winter Recipe

A nice warming, wintery and Christmassy recipe, there are many ways to make this drink and you can experiment with various berry based juices if making a non-alcoholic drink.                                        
                                                            Mulled Wine                                                         
x1 bottle of red wine (or a berry juice if non-alcoholic, such as cranberry)
1/2 large carton of orange juice
x1 tablespoon of honey or brown sugar
x1 sliced orange, lemon or lime(optional)
8-10 cloves
x2 cinnamon sticks
x1 teaspoon allspice or ginger
x2 star anise
NB: you can also instead or as well as having slices of orange, use a whole orange and push the cloves into the orange (dependant on taste - 20-30 cloves) then leave the orange in the pan with the rest of the ingredients
 Place all ingredients into a pan. Heat gently until just about boiling, turn heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring now and then until all flavours are infused and fruit has softened. You can either strain the drink to remove spices or just watch as you pour out the drinks.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Downton Quilted Cushion Cover

My first attempt at quilting, I've been meaning to try it for a while, but finding the time has been hard and whilst I have plans to make a blanket (or two) that was too big a project to start!

So with some of my lovely Downton fabrics I decided to go for a cushion cover. This was ideal for a first attempt at quilting and it's something practical that can sit in the living room for people to see (and hopefully comment how nice it is!)

So I started with this:

I went for colour theme of blues and greens

I sewed by hand all the squares together, the best way to start is to decide on a layout, move the squares around until you are happy, then sew together each row, then attach the rows together

So this is the finished item (minus a cushion!) typically I brought a cushion, but it's too big. Luckily I have other covers that fit, but I just have to wait (and measure accurately) till I get my cushion - or I could stuff it with toy stuffing, but that would use a lot of stuffing!

The back is just plain with the Downton Logo, but would look good if left like that - so I guess it's a two sided cover!
My next lot of colours - all from The Dowager Collection

I love purple, so this will be a nice cushion cover to have
I feel for my first attempt at quilting and making a quilted cushion cover I have done well, although there are a few lessons - I'm not overly happy with the closing, I don't think it'll show when I have a cushion inside, but the quilted front isn't too neat at the edges, so I would work on that and ensure that you have enough fabric round the edge to cover the wadding. I would also try and measure/leave extra space for seams as I think whilst I will be able to get a cushion to fit, it's a little smaller than the standard size so I would need to think about that.

Also on the closure of the cover, I think I could have made it neater with perhaps a different closure. I have used poppers (snap fasteners), this is the first time attempting a cushion like this, previously I have used buttons, it would be nice to have buttons but I would need to see if I could make it in this style or might have to try a flap type back so I would cut x2 pieces for the back piece, I guess it's all experimenting!!

My next cushion I will try sometime, I think might be just be a patchwork cushion cover - perhaps without the quilting if I can get the basics right then on another one I'll try the quilting again (I might end up with lots of cushions!) Mind you, there are lots of Downton Fabrics for me to play with!!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Christmas Literature & Film

So, it's coming to that time of the year. I always find myself reaching for certain books and films that fit this time of year.

So far I have read 'The Box of Delights'...better get reading then!!!

My reading list includes: 'The Hogfather' Terry Pratchett
                                         'A Christmas Carol' Charles Dickens
                                         'The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe' CS Lewis
                                         'Just William: Christmas'
                                         'Hercule Poirot's Christmas'

Films: The Nightmare Before Christmas
            A Christmas Carol - various including A Muppet Christmas Carol
            It's a Wonderful Life

TV:  The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
         Only Fools & Horses
         The Vicar of Dibley
         Father Ted
         The Hogfather
         The Box of Delights

The Hogfather

There's always more Christmas films you forget that pop over the next month (although I saw some being shown in November...little too early I feel!)

So what literature/film & tv traditions do you have this time of year? Any recommendations?