Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A record player corner

When we move into our house five years ago, I placed my big dolls house on top of this little cupboard alcove in the dining room whilst i decided where to put it. As the days grew, i kind of liked the dolls house there. Elle loved standing on a chair and playing with the furniture and people inside and everytime i looked over, there was my lovely dolls house.

Father Christmas was extra lovely last year and left me this lovely old fashioned style record player under the tree. I knew i wanted to display it and make a little bit of a feature with the player and all my collected records and the only place i could think of was this alcove. I took the dolls house down and placed the player there. For weeks and weeks, i had just the player as i wasn't quite sure how to decorate this space. I am normally quite good at creating a feature space but i really struggled here. I had my heart set on having my woodland creature pictures up on the back wall but we have some lights half way down the wall and my husband didn't want me to take the lights down, so i was very limited in what i could do. Because i had my heart set on having those pictures up, i left the walls blank until i had found the perfect pieces to put up.

The first thing i purchased was the most beautiful print by Becky Filip (from the band the honeytrees). I actually ordered it for Elle's wall but when it arrived, i knew i had to put it on the back wall here. I then found a lovely basket that i filled with all my "Mollie Makes" magazines with the country living "Modern rustic" magazine at the front. The records needed a place to be. I would love to find an old wire basket to put them in but, for now, i have just left them loose. For my birthday this year, my best friend Hannah bought me the most perfect little compartment shelf. I knew it needed to be with the record player and i filled it with birds eggs the girls had found and other little trinkets i had. The gold glitter bunting was also made my Hannah and she had wrapped my christmas presents up with using it. The final piece was the key. Hannah and her husband, Lee, got married last month and our favour on the table was this old key with our names on it. I have it pride of place on the wall and it has finished the wall off perfectly (for now).

I love this area and we have the player on a lot when we are crafting or the girls are doing some school work or learning at the table. I will always be changing little things around but, for now, i love how this corner has worked out. It has taken 10 months to finish and for me to be happy with and i love that is it the first thing that you see when you walk from our hallway into the open living room/dining room.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Living arrows V

Everyone Monday, myself and 11 other bloggers share a photograph of our children taken that week. It is a link up over on Iheartsnapping.com and i wanted to share some recent photographs i have taken for the project. It is such a wonderful collaboration, sharing our snaps with everyone and seeing what your dear blogging friends have taken that week also. I always look forward to Monday morning and it always seems like we are all in sync as each week goes by, there are always familiarities to all our photographs.  

These are just the tiny moments in my girls amazingly big world right now. The moments that i never want to forget. The moments that they wouldn't remember when they are bigger and that now they can remember because of this wonderful project. The moments were they are just being kids, being themselves. Exploring, changing, growing and being my living arrows.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday, i'm in love

A wonderful lady, Miranda, on instagram makes and sells the most beautiful pressed flower pendants on Etsy. I would love to own every single pendant in her shop! What a wonderful idea.

I love these chelsea boots for girls in peacocks. I have bought some wonderful dresses from peacocks for the girls over the years and i love their quality and prices.

I recently found this amazing online store, Beauty and baby, via their twitter and have falled in love with these draw string bags. Perfect alternative to the school p.e bags or just for going on a little adventure in the forest.

I am a bird is one of my very very favourite shops on etsy. This spring rabbit necklace is very much on my wish list.

This lampshade from John Lewis! There are no words. I would love it on a floor lamp stand in the corner of my living room for evening reading and blog work.

I am off to a blog camp tomorrow. I am very excited to finally meet some of the lovely bloggers i have been speaking to online and getting to take part in some inspiring classes. I went two years ago and loved it but i didn't speak to anyone really as i was just so so nervous. I am hoping i find my confidence tomorrow and get to say hello and maybe give out some hugs.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Envelope crafting

I love crafting and envelopes are something that i use regularly when doing projects. I even made my own for my buisness card promo's for a blog event i was attending. There are so many things you can do using just a envelope and i wanted to share a few of my favourite ideas with you all.

I love this idea of using a floral lining to make a normal envelope look pretty. There are lots of different variations you could do here. You could use a beautiful floral lining for a wedding invitation, baby shower invitations etc or something more personal such as a map cut out of a special place you have been for an anniversary card to make your partner smile just that little bit more!

Every year, i put out an activity advent calender for the girls where they get a little letter inside saying what fun thing they will do that day. I love this idea from Martha Stewart for using different size (and coloured if you wanted) envelopes to make a tree shape on the wall as an extra little bit of decoration. You could really let your imagination run wild here with the different size envelopes and colours and decorating them. You could even let your little ones decorate the envelopes before you put them up on the wall! If you didn't have children yet or they are grown up, then how about little days out/dates that you and your partner could have. You could each write down a few ideas and pop them in the envelopes.

                                                                   (Via flamingo toes)

How about a little love not bunting? I love telling my husband all the things i love about him. When we first started dating, i made him a jar and wrote everything i loved about him on little pieces of paper that i folded up and put in the jar. He still has the jar next to his bed. I love the idea of writing things you love about your partner and hiding them in envelopes and you could string them up above your bed. Very romantic!

                                                                     (Via Babble)

I love the idea of using envelopes as a base for an activity with children. Making faces and animals is a great idea to get their imagination going. They could do anything they wanted. Using different coloured envelopes for different animal skin and cutting some out to add ears also. 

I hope this little round up has given some of you some ideas of craft activities you can do now the colder days are drawing in. It is such a horrid day today with wind and rain and Mia and i are going to make ourselves some crazy envelope animals! 

For all of your envelope needs, you can visit All colour envelopes

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Collecting conkers

Today, we went to the woods to collect conkers. I love seeing the woods through the seasons. There were so many patches of gold on the ground. The girls ran around with their basksets to collect conkers to bring home. They were both trying to find the biggest conker and there was a little bit of a competition between them. That is until Mia saw lots of squirrels and decided she didn't want to collect conkers anymore, she wanted to go looking for squirrels. She squealed everytime she saw one. We go through woods most days on the school run and see hundreds of squirrels yet she still gets so excited about them.

It was so nice to get out in the woods today. I have had a really anxious day, for no reason at all, but felt that anxious flutter in my stomach since i woke up. The woods always allows me to clear my head and just following the girls around and watching them on their adventure just brushed those feelings away slightly. Now all we need to do is decide on what to do with our conkers. We are hoping to do some crafts during the week and i cannot wait to see what the girls decide to do with theirs!

(Elle is wearing a dress by Lilwen and Mia is wearing a dress from Leopold and Livia)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Toffee Apples

I have always loved toffee apples. My very first blog on Livejournal was called toffeeappledays! I wanted to make some toffee apples with the girls this year so, this morning, i went over to the supermarket and picked up the ingredients we needed.

I actually thought it would be an activity that the girls could join in on, but they could only really do a little bit as the actual process of making them is very quick and you have to handle very hot mixture. They didn't really mind though and loved eating them afterwards and putting the apples in the toffee mixture to cover them. I used this recipe from BBC goodfood but added a little red food colouring in to give the toffee and deeper red colour as, to me, that is the traditional look for them.

It was really fun to do and the girls pretended they were ice creams afterwards and it very much kept them quiet for a while whilst they ate them. Elle wants to take one in for her teacher, so i am going to bag one up so she can take one in on Monday for her.

I have linked to the recipe in the post but here is the process on how i made them:

-I washed the apples and waited for them to be completely dry
-I used sticks and pushed them half way through the apple via the top
-I wrapped a chopping board in baking/greaseproof paper ready for the apples to put on once they have been covered in the toffee
-I made up the toffee sauce, adding red food colouring. It mentions about the hard crack stage in the recipe. All i did here was have a jug of cold water next to the stove and every few mins, i spooned a little mixture into the water. It would float to the bottom and harden instantly. I would scoop it out and bend it. If the toffee was soft and would not crack, then keep boiling until the toffee bit snaps after placing in the water. It only took about 6/7 mins of boiling for my mixture to reach this stage.
-Once the mixture was ready, i took the sauce pan to the dining room table where the girls were waiting with apples in their hands. I waited for the bubbles to stop and gave it a quick stir. The girls then place their apples in the sauce pan and i tipped the pan onto it's side so the girls could twirl their apples around in the toffee. Once the apples were covered, i took them from the girls and held them for about 20 seconds over the pan until it has stopped dripping and placed them on the chopping board. The apples were hard and ready to eat nearly instantly!

Happy making!!!