Sunday, 30 June 2013

Sunday DIY: Jewellery Ladder

sunday diy jewellery storage ladder

Today's DIY was inspired by this post on jewellery storage over at the wonderful A Pair & A Spare. Having my little shop Sawyer & Scout means that I have a lot of jewellery stock which needs to be stored safely and has to be easy to find when the orders come in. Not only does this ladder keep things tidy but it also helps me to easily monitor stock levels of the most popular products at a glance. Although most of you probably don't have quite as much jewellery to store as I do I still think this is a really nice idea for both display & storage, plus a mini version would look great too!

The ladder is made from basic DIY store supplies - dowels, thin strips of wood, wood glue, paint - and is attached to the wall with large hooks.

How do you store your jewellery? 
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Friday, 28 June 2013

June Reads

june reads
Cover images via Goodreads / Click the book titles below to find them on Amazon!

First up this month I read The Prince (Kiera Cass), an accompanying novella to the Bachelor-esque  Selection series. Although it was interesting to hear part of the story via Prince Maxon's point of view rather than America's I didn't feel that it gave much of an extra insight into his character and overally I wasn't impressed by this short.

 Next up I read and reviewed new YA mystery/thriller release Insomnia* (J. R. Johansson) and upcoming art release Big Appetites* (Christopher Boffoli). Insomnia had a promising start with a unique premise but became a little predictable later on and overall I felt that something was missing. Having said that the idea still holds a lot of potetntial for the next book in the series (but I still really hate that cover!). Big Appetites is one of many art books including work based around images made using miniature figurines and everyday objects, in this case food. I think these types of books are great coffee table reads but I wouldn't necessarily rush out to buy this one.

Cassandra Clare's popular series beginner City Of Bones was the book I was most looking forward to this month but sadly I was disappointed by the whole thing and was left wondering what the hype is all about. I am still interested to see how the story will come to life on the big screen in August and despite not enjoying it very much I'm still planning to read at least the next two books in the series as I already own them!

My final ebook read for June was Shallow Pond (Alissa Grosso), another new YA release with an interesting twist. Although its difficult to say much without giving away the whole idea of the book I will be attempting to post a full review at Blogger's Bookshelf very soon!

At the end of the month I did manage to revisit and finish Pretty Girl Thirteen and I'm almost done with Lord Of The Flies too. Although it had an intriguing premise I didn't get on with Pretty Girl Thirteen at all. What was eventually revealed to have happened to main character Angie over the three years she had been missing, although awful, was very predictable and the way the story unfolded slowly was frustrating. Lord Of The Flies is definitely fairing better even though it has taken me a long time to get through!

I didn't quite find time to make a start on Letters From Skye (Jessica Brockmole) for the Blogger's Bookshelf collaborative review so that will be making a reappearance in July's TBR!

What did you read in June?

*eARC c/o Netgalley 
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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Midweek DIY: 5 Hama/Perler Bead Bracelets


Today I thought I would share a few ideas for bracelet designs made using hama/perler beads. These beads are pretty versatile since they come in every colour and can be melted to create a different shaped bead. Plus, they tend to be reasonably priced and easy to get hold of so they're perfect for DIY-ing with.

If you would like to see a step-by-step photo tutorial on any of these bracelet designs let me know in the comments!

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For the two bracelet designs shown above I attached the hama/perler beads together into a chain using jump rings.

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For the other bracelet designs I melted the beads first in the oven to flatten them out into little circles (as shown below) - pop them into the oven on a lined baking tray at 200 degrees for around 5 minutes!

Thread them onto twine/elastic or attach them together using jump rings to create bracelets

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As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives. 
 If you have any DIY requests or challenges for me please leave them in the comments below.

If you enjoy my DIYs please subscribe to my blog via Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss any posts - Happy DIY-ing!
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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Five Favourite TV Friendships

tv friendships
Images via imdb.com

Today I'm taking a little break from the DIY themed posts to talk TV, more specifically TV friendships. Back in January I wrote a post titled 'Five TV Characters I'd Love To Be Friends With' which turned out to be quite popular so this time I've compiled a top 5 list of TV friendships that I love. I was certain about the first three but choosing the final two was a little more tricky.
Here's what I came up with in the end...

1. Ryan Atwood & Seth Cohen - The O.C.
These two were so unlikely to become friends but it just worked out perfectly. Not only did Ryan moving to Orange County save Seth from his high school nightmare of being friend-less and bullied but Seth and his family also saved Ryan from his own nightmare - time behind bars for the trouble his brother got him into. In the end Seth and Ryan became brothers but they were best friends too.

2. Meredith Grey & Christina Yang - Grey's Anatomy
The 'twisted sisters' have a more unconventional friendship than most but they understand each other perfectly. Right from the beginning of their time at Seattle Grace (then Seattle Grace mercy West, and now Grey Sloan Memorial...) they have been inseperable no matter what.

3. Zoe Hart & Lavon Hayes - Hart Of Dixie
My favourite Hart Of Dixie friendship has to be Zoe & Lavon, from the day she moved from New York to Alabama Lavon looked out for her and has been defending her city ways to the unimpressed people of Bluebell ever since. I also love that he calls her 'Z' (Zee)...

4. 'The Gang' - Friends
I thought about choosing a favourite pair from the Friends gang but then I realised I don't actually have one! As a group they have a little bit of everything and I think thats what makes the show work so well.

5.  Miranda Bailey & Richard Webber - Grey's Anatomy
Not your typical choice from Grey's but I've always loved both of these characters and their strong friendship over the 9 seasons. Characters come and go so often on Grey's that its nice to see these two survive so much and still, for the most part (because I'm trying to keep this season 9 spoiler free!) manage to remain friends.

Don't forget to leave a comment telling me who would make your top 5!
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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sunday DIY: Chalkboard Notebooks (with homemade chalkboard paint!)

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A while back I found out that it was possible to make your own chalkboard paint in any colour you like and decided that this was something worth investigating. The 'recipe' is ridiculously simple - just 1 tbsp unsanded grout & 1/2 cup acrylic paint in any colour... naturally I had to try it and find out if it could really be that easy!

All you need to do is mix the grout and paint together thoroughly and then apply onto your chosen surface using a brush (I chose to paint notebooks because I think they're a great little gift idea!). Once the paint is dry you will need to prepare the surface before going ahead and getting creative with your chalks. Just as you would do with any new chalkboard, rub chalk all over the surface (as shown above) and then dust off with a tissue. After that your new chalkboard is ready to use - and as it turns out it really is as simple as that!

Tip! Although its probably not something you have lying around you can pick up the grout easily from your local DIY store

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I'm currently hunting for a new little bedside cabinet to DIY & after this project I'm now thinking about painting one up as a chalkboard...

What would you decorate with your custom chalkboard paint? 

Happy DIY-ing!
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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Midweek DIY : Jewellery Ideas For Waxed Cord Scraps

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I don't know about you guys but sometimes I get a little fed up of throwing away scraps when I've finished a project, I mean there must be some use for them, right?! Last Sunday I showed you a tutorial for making Hex Bracelets using waxed cord, a DIY supply I use frequently for bracelet projects. On either side of the middle portion of the bracelet was a section of plain braided cord that wasn't needed so, instead of throwing these away I decided to turn them into pieces of jewellery too!

Here's a couple of project ideas for using up all those scraps...

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Just by adding a little glue and cord ends you can create a braided section for another bracelet or even to use as a pendant. I used jump rings to attach these braided sections to both a necklace and a bracelet

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With any other shorter scraps that can't be braided you can create a pedant or pair of earrings like these, again by adding a little glue and cord ends

If you get creative there are lots of projects to use up those scraps - good little ideas to remember if you often use waxed cord in your projects.

If you enjoy my DIYs please subscribe to my blog via Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss any posts!

Happy DIY-ing! 
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Monday, 17 June 2013

Ways To Follow e-elise etc!

bloglovin

Yep, another post about switching to Bloglovin! 

I'm sure you guys all know what's going on with Google Reader by now and like a lot of other bloggers I would suggest moving over to Bloglovin'. You've only got a couple of weeks left before Google Reader is no more but don't worry, the layout of Bloglovin' is simple to use and if you currently use Google Reader its super easy to import all of the blogs you already follow with this handy little page. You can also now download the Bloglovin' app for iOS or Android to keep up with your reading on the go!

If you would like to continue reading my blog you can find me on Bloglovin' here. 

I'm also trying to be good and keep up with regularly tweeting about new posts and sharing my DIYs on both Tumblr and Instagram.

However you choose to follow and read blogs in the future I hope to see you there!
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Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sunday DIY: Braided Hex Bracelets

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Since both my Washer Necklace & Ring tutorials seemed to go down well I thought I would share another hardware jewellery project with you this week. These tiny little hex nuts are great for using as an alternative to beads for a more unusual bracelet and look great against brightly coloured cords.

To make your own version you'll need - small hex nuts, 1.5mm waxed cord, strong glue, cord ends, assorted jump rings (2 small, 1 large), a lobster clasp, scissors, jewellery pliers, sticky tape

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Cut three lengths of waxed cord each one approximately twice the length you want the finished bracelet to be

Knot the cords together at one end and secure to a surface using sticky tape (or attach onto a clipboard if you have one!) and start braiding. Your initial section of plain braiding should be around 1/1.5 inches

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Then its time to start adding on the hex nuts as shown above and continue braiding them into the design

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For my bracelet I used 44 hex nuts in total, 22 on each side.

Once you have braided them all in and are happy with the design add on another 1/1.5 inch section of plain braiding

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Check the length of the bracelet is correct by wrapping it around your wrist or measuring it against another bracelet that fits then add a small amount of glue where you want the bracelet ends to be

Once that is dry snip off the ends so that the bracelet is the correct length and glue on your cord ends to secure everything in place

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Once the glue on the cord ends has dried you can attach a clasp.

I added a small jump ring onto each cord end followed by a lobster clasp on one side and a larger jump ring on the other

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If you want to make sure your bracelet is extra secure take your pliers and clamp down slightly on the cord ends so they are tight around the end of the braid where you applied the glue earlier and your bracelet is finished!

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If you enjoy my DIYs please subscribe to my blog via Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss any posts!

Happy DIY-ing!
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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Fast Food Baking! (Father's Day Inspiration)

fast food baking

When I saw this post over at Bakerella I just knew that I had to give the idea a try myself and make something similar for my dad this Father's day!

I kept the original ideas of a brownie 'burger', sponge cake 'buns' and sugar cookie 'french fries' and even though I thought her little burger cupcakes were very cute I changed things up a bit and made mine more burger-sized as well as adding in some marzipan elements too. Here's how I did it:

The Buns - for the burger buns I used a sponge cake packet mix in a deep bun tin and added on sesame seeds with a little dab of water to make them stick as suggested in the Bakerella tutorial

The Burgers - these are again a packet mix, this time brownies rather than sponge to get that dark colouring and texture. I baked the brownie mix in a square tin and used a cookie cutter to get the burger shape

The Fillings - the first layer of filling was the cheese which is made from thinly rolled marzipan made brighter with a touch of yellow food colouring and cut into a square. Next I mixed up red and yellow icings to act as ketchup and mustard. I piped these on just using plastic bags, for the red I made the piping quite thick drew a circle around the edge of the burger shape and then gently spread the excess into the centre. With the yellow icing I decided to cut the piping bag differently to make just a small line so that I could swirl it across the top of the red icing. Finally I added more thinly rolled marzipan, this time tinted green and cut more roughly, as lettuce leaves.

The Fries - I used a really basic cookie recipe for the fries, just butter sugar and flour, but added on extra sugar just before and after baking to look like salt, again as suggested in Bakerella's post

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Here you can see a little better how I layered on the marzipan 'cheese', and the icing 'condements' for the filling before I added the top buns...

What do you think of this Fake Fast Food?
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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Midweek DIY: Washi Wires

washi wires diy

As shown in another recent DIY post, washi tape is one of the most versatile craft supplies in any collection. Wrapping it around wires prevents tangles, helps to distinguish between them & even makes them look pretty too - Happy DIY-ing!
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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The June TBR Pile

june tbr pile

After spending the last couple of months catching up on my Netgalley reads I decided it would be a good idea to try and stick to a planned out TBR pile in June.

First up on the list are two library books that I actually started reading back in April (major fail...) but set aside to catchup on my May eARCs. I waited a really long time to get Lord Of The Flies from the library so I'm determined to get that finished this month. I also made a start with YA psychological thriller Pretty Girl Thirteen and although the first few chapters didn't really capture my attention I've decided to give it another chance before returning it to the library.

City Of Bones has been in my (mental) TBR list pretty much every month since November so I thought it was about time I actually read it, especially since the August film is release date is quickly creeping up on me.

For Kindle reads this month I have eARCs of YA novel Shallow Pond and Letters From Skye (both c/o Netgalley) which several of our Blogger's Bookshelf team have been kindly gifted to use as the subject of a group review, something that we have never done before on the blog.

Since we're 11 days into the month I have actually already crossed off one novel and one novella from this month's TBR list. After reading both The Selection and sequel The Elite in May this month I read accompanying novella The Prince which I briefly reviewed on Goodreads. Tomorrow I will be posting a full review of new release Insomnia by J R Johansson over on Blogger's Bookshelf, so keep any eye out for that!

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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sunday DIY: Simple Washer Rings

diy washer rings 1

This week's DIY is an easy hardware jewellery project that will only take 5 mintes to make and costs next to nothing - perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon!

The simple rings shown above are created using just washers and jewellery wire for a real raw finished piece but can also be made more colourful with a coat of nail polish or spray paint!

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To make your own you'll need - a small washer, some jewellery wire (or a paperclip!), jewellery pliers, wire cutters, and something circular (such as a nail polish bottle, pen or lipbalm)

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First measure around your finger and cut a length of wire approximately three times the length

Wrap the piece of wire around one side of the washer (shown above left) and clamp down with your pliers to secure it in place

The next step is to create the rounded shape, to do this wrap the wire around your nail polish bottle lid or other circluar object (shown above right)

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Thread the other end of the wire through the middle of the washer and then wrap the remaining length around it, just like you did at the beginning (shown above left), and again clamp down with your pliers to secure it in place

With your basic ring complete all thats left to do is a little tweaking (if necessary), use your pliers to reshape the ring a little until its perfect - and you're done!

diy washer rings 5

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives.
Happy DIY-ing!
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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Midweek DIY: Marble Printing Using Shaving Foam!

shaving foam print 1

Today's DIY is easy, fun and very messy! Marbled papers always look effective for cards, giftwrap and scrapbooking so when I found out that you could create this effect using shaving foam I was very intrigued. I first saw the idea on Pinterest which led me to having a little search around to see how it was done. There are lots of tutorials out there ranging from classroom art activity suggestions to table numbers for a fancy dinner party, but I thought I would share my own step-by-step photo guide with you too. 

Here's what you'll need:
- a can of shaving foam: I used Tesco Everyday Value which costs just 26p!
- paints: as far as I know any paints will work, I used poster paint as it is the cheapest
- a wooden skewer: alternatively use cocktail sticks
- a plastic tub: make sure the surface area is big enough for your card/tags etc
- kitchen roll & a bin liner: since this craft can get messy quickly I'd recommend having these to hand
- a piece of plastic or sturdy card: I used an expired storecard
- something to print onto: cards, gift tags etc

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Spray enough shaving foam into the tub so that it will cover the whole surface area and leave you with a layer of foam about an inch thick.

Use your piece of plastic/cardboard to smooth out the foam and create a fairly even layer, then add on drops of the paints.

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Next use your skewer/cocktail stick to swirl the paint around on the surface of the foam to create the marble effect.

Tip! Make sure you don't mix it in too much and let it stay sitting on the top layer.

shaving foam print 4
 
When you are happy with your design you're ready to start printing. Take the card that you want to print onto and carefully place it on top of the foam.

Lightly press it down until you think that the whole surface has been covered.

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Remove the card from the foam and place it onto some kitchen roll or scrap paper. It will look smudged like the one in the photo above but don't worry your marble print is hiding under there!

Then take your piece of plastic/strong card and drag it across the surface of the card that has been covered, wiping away the foam as you do so.

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You should be left with something that looks a little bit like this!

Set your print aside to dry, take your skewer and re-swirl the paint/foam and repeat the steps to create more prints.

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I made a few little notelets, gift tags and marbled some pieces of card to use for future projects as well as a couple of more unusual ideas - let me know if you'd be interested in seeing them! 

As Father's Day is coming up soon this could be a great project for children to create a homemade card!
 Happy DIY-ing! 
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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Style Inspiration #90

style insp 90
Find it...
Chiffon Blouse £14.99, H&M
Embroidered Leather Bracelet £155 , Maria Rudman via Net-A-Porter
Daisy Print Shorts £32, Miss Selfridge 
Leather Phone Sleeve £140, Alexander McQueen via Net-A-Porter
Sandals (no longer available online), Topshop
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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sunday DIY: Embellished Sunglasses (Part 1)

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Since the sun has actually decided to make an appearance this weekend I thought it was about time I posted the first of two sunglasses DIYs I've been working on! Embellished sunglasses have been popping up all over the high street this season but with a few supplies its very simple to create your own version for just a couple of pounds!

Read on to find out how to make a pair yourself...

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Supplies used - sunglasses £1 (Primark), around £1 worth of 8mm resin flowers (eBay), E6000 glue £3 for a tube (eBay)
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Starting at the centre of the glasses take your first resin flower, add a blob of E6000 (or any other strong glue) to the back and carefully place it onto the glasses. You may have to hold the flower in place for a few seconds to stop the flower sliding out of place before you move on to the next one.

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Repeat this process until you are happy with the design and your updated sunglasses are ready to go!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives.

Happy DIY-ing!
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Saturday, 1 June 2013

May Blogging Roundup

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blogging roundup

 The monthly 'Blogging Roundup' is a re-cap post with links to all of my DIYs and entertainment reviews of the last four weeks plus any other blog-related favourites.

DIY & Crafts
 Five 1-Minute Washi Projects - from prettified candles and pencils to cute cake toppers, washi tape is the most versatile supply in your DIY collection
Ombre Tube Bracelets - these beautiful bracelets made from plastic tubing are inspired by designer brand Naked Label
Floral Headbands - under £3 to make and perfect for festival season!
Dip-Dyed Tassel Earrings -a stylish pair of earrings inspired by both high street and designer pieces
Ribbon Bracelets - turn any pretty ribbon into a piece of jewellery with this simple tutorial
Ideas Jar - inspired by Heather (aka Bookables on YouTube) this little jar is a great idea for reviewers
American Eagle Inspired Earrings - a pair of mixed metal statement earrings using only supplies found in your basic DIY jewellery kit
Great Gatsby Nail Art - create a lavish 20's inspired design using matte sticky tape or sharpies!

Entertainment Reviews
The Following (Season 1) - my favourite new show of the 2012/13 season, a serial killer drama starring Kevin Bacon & James Purefoy
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (2012) - a quirky and geeky read about a curious bookstore frequented by members of a secret society
The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by J. K. Rowling (2008) - a collection of short stories from the wizarding world with annotations from Dumbledore
Icons by Magaret Stohl (2013) - a new YA release featuring aliens from one of the authors of the Beautiful Creatures series
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (2013) - another alien-based YA release, an interesting start to a new series
Talisman Of El by Alecia Stone (2013) - a debut middle grade fantasy/adventure story about a journey to a world within the centre of the Earth

Blogging Favourites Of The Month
Blogger Friends - my first blogging favourite of the month would have to be the little meetup I went to where I spent the day in Brighton with five lovely bloggers Michelle, Ria, Skye, Lauren and Katie.

DIY Feature - another highlight of the month was when my Washi Tape post was featured on the Tumblr DIY tag. I've gained lots of new readers because of it, so if any of you are reading this hello and thank you for stopping by! 

What did you blog about in May?


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