Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Midweek DIY: Kate Spade Inspired Bangle

diy kate spade bracelet 8

Today I have another designer inspired DIY tutorial for you, this time based on some colourful charm bracelets by Kate Spade. These are the perfect accessory for the summer months and can be customised with different colours and charms. Here's how to make your own version on a budget...

Original bracelets by Kate Spade

diy kate spade inspired bracelet 2

You will need - a plain bangle, a glue gun, coloured waxed cords (or alternative thread/string), jump rings, pliers, a small charm (key shown above available at Sawyer & Scout)

diy kate spade inspired bracelet 3

1. Cut long lengths of your waxed cord, one in each colour and secure onto your bangle

You can either use a glue gun to stick the cords onto the bangle, or you can clamp a jump ring around them to keep them in place as shown above - this method is much less messy!

diy kate spade inspired bracelet 5

2. Wrap the cords around the bangle until around half is covered

diy kate spade inspired bracelet 6

3. Open up your jump ring using pliers, add on a charm and then close

4. Thread the jump ring onto the cords and adjust into place, then continue wrapping the cords around the bangle as before 

diy kate spade inspired bracelet 7

5. Once you have wrapped the whole bangle finish off by sticking down the loose ends with your glue gun

Alternatively, to cover the join, find a piece of fabric in a complimentary colour and glue this over the loose ends instead

Happy DIY-ing!

Monday, 29 July 2013

July Reads

july books
Click the book titles below to find them on Amazon

Welcome to another month in books, I can't quite believe its time again already! I've been speeding through my TBR list recently meaning that I'm rapidly approaching the finish line with my goal of 52 books in 2013. Here's what I read in July...

First up this month I read and reviewed The Monsters In Your Neighborhood (Jesse Petersen), sequel to April's fantastic Club Monstrosity. Although I didn't quite enjoy this book as much as the first it was still a great, fun read and the perfect pick-me-up after finishing Pretty Girl Thirteen at the end of June. [You can find my Monsters review here]

Next I was extremely disappointed by popular YA/sci-fi tale Across The Universe (Beth Revis). I found the first chapter, detailing main character Amy and her parents being frozen, a really unique and promising start however things soon went downhill. The chapters in this book alternate between two characters' POVs, something I'm not a huge fan of in general, particularly in this case where I didn't really like either of the characters. Overall I unfortunately found it to be quite a boring read, although it seems to be a favourite with a lot of book maybe it's just me!

I also managed to finally finish the Delirium series (Lauren Oliver), albeit on a slightly disappointing note, with third and final book Requiem. Ever since the book was released earlier this year I have heard mixed reviews including a lot of disappointment surrounding the underwhelming open ending. As I said in my brief Goodreads review, I do understand that this story was never meant to be tied up in a neat bow with absolutely every question answered, however I was still a little annoyed about the sheer amount of questions I was left with. Reading Requiem felt like reading the middle of a trilogy rather than the final book but I did still enjoy it more than previous book Pandemonium.

Data Runner, a YA technology based tale, was also crossed off my TBR list this month. Although Data Runner had a really interesting premise I felt like it didn't quite reach its' potential as the beginning chapters were a bit of a technology 'info dump' and the action didn't really kick in until halfway through. A full review will be over on BB next week!

Thanks to my ideas jar the real wild card read of July was Lauren Conrad's L.A. Candy, a YA novel in which Lauren follows the golden rule of 'write what you know'. She cleverly incorporates some of her own experiences of life as a reality TV star into her debut novel, targeting fans of shows like The Hills as her audience, however if you're looking to gain an insight into how these shows actually work you won't find much information here. As expected the book is full of Hollywood cliches and stereotypical characters and overall I felt like the storyline lacked imagination but if you want to hear more on that I'll have a full review of L.A. Candy over at Blogger's Bookshelf soon!

As planned I made a little bit of progress with Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway, reading only a couple of chapters so far, but I plan to continue with it every now and again.

A few extra books which weren't on my TBR list also somehow managed to make their way into my July reads. Although I haven't quite finished it yet, I made some progress with City Of Ashes (Cassandra Clare) despite the previous book being a huge disappointment. I also sped through Anxiety 101 (Dr. Eudene Harry), a non-ficiton book which I received for review via Netgalley. Although the book is packed with science I did find it interesting to learn more about that side of anxiety as well as some ideas for dealing with it.

What did you read in July?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sunday DIY: Polka Dot Shorts

printed denim diy

If you're looking to update last year's denim a polka dot pattern is really fun and perfect for Summer. Grab yourself some fabric paint, a sponge and a stencil and get creative!

printed denim diy

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.

Happy DIY-ing!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bunny Snapshots #2

sawyer and scout

Originally I had this scheduled to go up last Thursday as a photo only post, but since at the time my little Squidge bunny was spending her second night at the vets and I was sitting at home worrying about her I thought it was best to postpone it.
Last Wednesday we had to rush her over to the vets as she wasn't eating or drinking (she's usually a greedy little thing!) and she ended up spending a couple of nights there being force fed, re-hydrated, and more pleasantly hopping around the garden with a tortoise friend! 
We happily picked her up on Friday afternoon, and brought her home along with four different types of medicines. Fortunately she improved loads thanks to her cocktail of medicines and all of the lovely staff at the vets who took very good care of her. 

A week later she's back living outside again with her partner in crime - team trouble have been reunited...



Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Midweek DIY: Paper Straw Frames

diy paper straw frame 1

Today's DIY is based on this post over at The Tomkat Studio, a party inspiration website. If you'd like to create pretty frames to hold photos, postcards, letters etc in just a few minutes read on to find out how...

diy paper straw frame 2

To make these frames you will need - pretty paper straws, scissors, thread/twine, a large needle & a spare five minutes!

diy paper straw frame 3

1. The first step is to get the straws the right size. Measure them against the piece of card that you want to frame and simply cut using scissors

diy paper straw frame 4

2. To be able to slide the straw onto the edge of the card you'll need to cut a slit the whole way along using your scissors. Although it can be tricky as the straws are round, try to get this line as straight as possible & repeat for the other straw

diy paper straw frame 6

3. Next its time to add a string for hanging. Thread your twine onto a large needle and tie a knot at the end - this will make sure it stays in place later.

4. Pierce the straw with the needle, feed through the twine & tie another knot on the top

diy paper straw frame 7

5. Leave a length of twine that is long enough to hang the frame and tie another knot before piercing the straw again. Similarly for this side, remove the needle and tie another knot which will sit inside the straw to make sure the twine doesn't fall out

diy paper straw frame 8

6. Slide the hanging straw onto the top of your card and the second straw onto the bottom and you're frame is done!

Don't forget to checkout the original post over at The Tomkat Studio.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bars

tonymoly bunny
tony moly bunny gloss bar swatches

As you'll probably know by now I have two cute little bundles of fluff, Sawyer & Squidge, who naturally I think are the best things ever. So, back in January when I saw these tinted lip balms with little bunny faces and could I resist?! Faster than you could even say the word 'bunny' these adorable balms by Tony Moly were in my basket and I was at the checkout page ready to order.

There are nine different shades available including six originals - grape, strawberry, cherry, peach, orange & apple - and three in the 'neon' collection. The packaging of the balms is adorable with little ears on the lid and each one features a different facial expression.

I picked up two shades just to try them out - 05 Juicy Peach & 02 Juicy Grape. The balm texture and concept of these reminds me a lot of the infamous Revlon Lip Butter range but in this case the scents as well as the colours correspond to the names. As you can see from the swatches above Grape is fairly sheer and glittery whereas Peach has more of a cream finish and solid colour. This isn't really made clear when ordering so make sure you look up swatches first!

Does cute packaging win you over?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Sunday DIY: Embellished Sunglasses (Part 2)

Back in early June I showed you a cute way to embellish your sunglasses for summer using tiny resin flowers and also promised there would be a second sunglasses DIY idea to follow. Since it seems to be weather appropriate right now (in the UK at least!), today I'm back to share another really simple ways to update an old pair of sunglasses with a great idea inspired by I Spy DIY.

The idea is really simple, grab some pretty coloured threads and wrap them around the arm/temple of your sunglasses to add a pop of colour and texture.
For the example shown below I created an ombre effect starting off with a coral followed by a peach and finally a bright orange. The pictures show pretty clearly how this simple DIY is done and although they don't look anywhere near as pretty as the pair over at I Spy DIY (try & use sunglasses that don't have weirdly shaped arms like mine did!) hopefully they might still inspire some of you to create your own version.

diy wrapped sunglasses 1 diy wrapped sunglasses 2
diy wrapped sunglasses 3 

Happy DIY-ing!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Midweek DIY: Simple Washer Bracelet

basic diy hardware bracelet 1

Today's DIY is yet another really simple hardware jewellery project, however the bonus with this one is that it requires no jewellery making tools or findings!

basic diy hardware bracelet 2

To make your own washer bracelet all you will need is - a washer, cord (waxed cotton or similar) and scissors

basic diy hardware bracelet 3

First up you will need to make two cords that look like the one above.

Cut a longer length of cord (that will wrap approx two times around your wrist) and tie a knot as shown above.

Do the same with a second length of cord.

basic diy hardware bracelet 4

Then tie these onto the washer - thread the loop end of the cord (not the end with the knot) up through the centre of your washer, thread the knotted end through the loop and pull tight.

Repeat this for the other side of the washer with your second string and you're done!

basic diy hardware bracelet 5

If you enjoyed this project you may also like my other hardware jewellery DIYs;

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Monsters In Your Neighborhood

*Review of an eARC c/o Netgalley
Image via Goodreads

The Monsters In Your Neighborhood is the sequel to the fantastic Club Monstrosity which was published back in April (read my review here). The book picks up six months after the events of Club Monstrosity where the Van Helsing’s have finally declared war on the group. 

This time around we have two new additions, Dr. Frankenstein’s old assistant Igor and Patrick a Cthulhu who’s’ extensive knowledge of New York’s sewers ends up being very handy! Both new characters played an important part in the plot of this sequel and were entertaining additions to the group. One of my favourite things about Club Monstrosity was the interaction between all of the different monsters, their personalities clash so dramatically but still they are able to pull together due to their shared secret, and in terms of character interaction and development book two didn’t let me down. 

Social media also played a big part in the plot of the book which fitted in perfectly with the pop culture references that scatter the pages of this series. Seeing such iconic characters from classic literature as Dracula take on the technology was a great touch and definitely added to the humour. I also felt that word of the monsters existence spreading via Twitter and YouTube was an accurate representation of how things would play out if something like this really happened in today’s technology driven world. 

As is often the case with sequels unsurprisingly I didn’t quite enjoy this instalment as much as the first. Even though it was still a great read, the fact that this unique concept wasn’t new to me this time around did take away slightly from my excitement. Luckily, like the previous book, The Monsters In Your Neighborhood was well-written and had the same tongue-in-cheek humour that made Club Monstrosity such a fun read. 

Overall I would highly recommend this quick-read series and hopefully this won’t be the last we hear from the monsters of New York!


The Monsters In Your Neighborhood is due for release on July 29th - find it here

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sunday DIY : Spiral Midi Rings

diy above knuckle rings 1

Midi or 'above knuckle' rings are a trend that has been going strong for a while now and shows no sign of fading out over the summer months. Usually delicate and dainty they somehow often still manage to fall into the 'statement jewellery' category and are perfect for festival season. 
Here's how you can make your own spiral midi rings...

diy above knuckle rings 2

Supplies - jewellery wire, flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters, a pen
Tip! - If you don't have any jewellery wire try using a large paperclip

diy above knuckle rings 3

First up you'll need to cut a piece of wire the right length - measure around your finger, triple this measurement to allow enough wire to create the spirals, and cut

diy above knuckle rings 4

Take your round nose pliers and wrap one end of the wire around them to create a loop

Use your pliers to grip the wire and start bending it around that first loop into a spiral (as shown above)

diy above knuckle rings 5

Take your pen and wrap the wire around it to create the rounded shape - you may have to work with it a little bit until it is the right size, just keep tweaking the wire with your pliers if you need to

diy above knuckle rings 6

Once you're happy with the size its time to finish off with a second spiral, created in the same way as the first

Again, start with a small loop at the end of the wire, clamp it down between your pliers and bend the length of wire around it to create the spiral

Re-shape the ring again if necessary, and you're done! Happy DIY-ing! 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Sawyer & Scout Update!


Its been far too long since I shared a Sawyer & Scout update with you although I have been busy working away on new stock ranges and improving the look of the website. I now have a new logo, colour scheme and homepage with a slideshow which will take you to various featured products and ranges. I still have some more content work to do but I'm pleased to say that the website is finally looking a little more how I had always planned!

As far as new products go I have been working on several ranges including jewellery findings for your own small DIY projects as well as a range of upcycled notebooks and journals thanks to my new binding machine.

I have wanted to stock some basic jewellery findings and tools on the shop for some time now - as you know I post a lot of DIY jewellery projects here on e-elise etc and I've always thought it would be great to be able to supply some of the findings and tools needed for those projects via my shop. Having a shop means that I buy my findings in bulk (and wait weeks for them to arrive!) however most people who read my tutorials and want to try a DIY are only looking to purchase small quantities for one-off projects and want somewhere within the UK that offers this. With that in mind I now have a small range of findings available, including basics such as eyepins/headpins, jump rings, crimps and even a few charms - perfect for the ocassional crafter.

There are currently three different variations of the mini notebooks available - Cluedo, Lord Of The Rings & traditonal playing cards - and they will soon be joined by a selection of one-off journals created from books!

I also have a third new idea which unfortunately is still a work in progress so I won't say anymore about that today, but I will be sure to update you here when its up and running (fingers crossed all goes to plan!)

 You can find the new ranges at now!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Midweek DIY: Comic Book Decoupage

comic book decoupage

comic book decoupage

Today I thought I would share something I made years ago but still really love; this little box. Decoupage is a super simple way to give anything a makeover - from small storage boxes like this one to large pieces of furniture its easy to customise with paper of your choice.

For this cardboard box I used ripped up comic book pages applied with PVA glue for a colourful and bold design.

Book and magazine pages, patterned tissue paper and stickers all work well for this versatile craft too.

What would you decoupage?

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

'Cinema City' Collection by Kate Spade


Popcorn Bag £235, Coin Purse £64, Resin Bangle £51, Clapper Pendant £51, iPad Sleeve £34, Hinged Bangle £51

Although I haven't felt inspired to post much in the way of fashion/style here lately I recently came across a collection that appealed to the film fan in me. The 'Cinema City' collection from Kate Spade features a wide range of accessories, jewellery and clothing all inspired by film and the cinema. From 3D glasses to clapper boards and even cinema snacks this collection is eye-catching, fun and unique.

My personal favourite pieces would have to be the resin filmstrip bangle (which is definitely calling out to be a DIY project!) and of course the cute and quirky 3D glasses coin purse. The standout product amongst the fashion community however seems to be the Popcorn Bag which, like the coin purse, features 14-karat gold hardware as well as a beautiful gold spades lining.

Find the full collection here

What do you think of the Cinema City collection?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sunday DIY: Two Ways To Make Jump Ring Necklaces

jump ring necklace 49

This weekend's DIY is inspired by high street jewellery pieces created using basic jewellery findings in place of beads to create a striking effect that fits in well with the hardware trend. Here are two ways to make your own version...

Design 1 (my personal favourite!) is a really simplified version of the high street designs as it features just one strand rather than multiple layers. I took colour inspiration from an Accessorize piece and used turquoise cord for a pop of colour that's great for summertime.

To make this necklace you will need - 1.5mm waxed cord, a toggle clasp, pliers and lots of 5mm jump rings (approx 400)

jump ring necklace 3

Cut a length of waxed cord depending on the length of necklace you would like to make - remember to allow a little extra for the knots and attaching the clasp.

Tie a knot in the cord where you would like the jump rings to start and thread on as many as you want then finish with another knot to hold them in place.

jump ring necklace 4

Open up a jump ring using your pliers then fold over one end of your cord to form a loop (as shown above) and wrap the jump ring around it and press down to secure in place. Repeat this for the other end of the cord.

Finally attach your toggle clasp and your necklace is finished!

layered jump ring necklace

Design 2 has the popular layered collar look but also has a softer edge with the satin cord.

To make this necklace you will need - satin cord, 2 folding crimp ends, lots of 5mm jump rings (approx 150), short lengths of chain & a springring clasp

layered jump ting necklace 2

This time you will need to cut three pieces of cord, each a slightly different length to create the collar look.

Take one end of each cord and secure together inside a crimp using pliers. Thread on your jump rings then secure the other end of the cords with another crimp.

Use pliers and jump rings to attach your clasp to the chain and then the chain to the crimps, and you're done!

high st necklaces inspiration

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The July TBR Pile


 First up for July I have three ebooks (c/o Netgalley); two recent releases and one due out at the end of the month. As I failed to get around to reading Letters From Skye (Jessica Brockmole) in June its making another appearance in this month's TBR. Data Runner (Sam A. Patel), the first in a new YA science fiction series is next up and finally I have The Monsters In Your Neighborhood (Jesse Petersen), sequel to April release Club Monstrosity which I really enjoyed. Sadly it doesn't seem like this fun ebook series is available to buy in the UK at the moment but if you live in the US I'd recommend them!

For 'off the shelf' reads this month I have Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway (Susan Jeffers) which has been sitting on my bookshelf for years (no, really YEARS) so I thought it was about time I at least started reading it. Since it's non-fiction and those tend to be slower reads I'm not expecting to get through the whole book this month but I'm going to make a start anyway.

I have one library read for July as its finally my turn to borrow Requiem (Lauren Oliver), the final book in the Delirium trilogy. I read the first 20% or so a few months back as it was made available to view online and have been waiting on the library since the release date so it will be nice to finally be able to finish the series.

For the final books on this month's list I used my DIY Ideas Jar and managed to pick out two more Kindle reads - Across The Universe (Beth Revis) and L.A Candy (Lauren Conrad).

Over at Blogger's Bookshelf we'll be talking ideal holiday destinations inspired by books in this month's group post 'Wish You Were Where?' which goes live this Saturday.

What are you reading in July?

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Midweek DIY: Woven Bangles (Marc Jacobs Inspired)

Today's DIY is a designer-inspired accessory that's perfect for the summer months. These bangles from Marc by Marc Jacobs caught my eye recently with their bold colours and pretty woven designs but with the original bracelets (shown below) being priced at £75 for one bracelet and £120 for a set of two a DIY version seemed like a much better idea.

marc jacobs bracelets 3

So, what's the cost of DIY version? 
Purchased supplies: A set of five plastic bangles = £1, pack of (30) scooby strings = £1.40
From the cupboard: glue gun, scissors, iron, greaseproof paper
You only need 4-5 scooby strings per bracelet which makes the total price of one bracelet under 45p!

Here's how to make your own...

If you're using round scooby string instead of flat plastic lacing cord then the first step is to prepare the strings by ironing them flat. Place the string between sheets of greaseproof paper and iron on a high heat without steam

diy marc jacobs inspired woven bangle 2

Cut three lengths of string slightly longer than needed to wrap all of the way around your bangle and use a glue gun to attach them in a row at one end

diy marc jacobs inspired woven bangle 3

Take a second colour string and weave it through the others

diy marc jacobs inspired woven bangle 4

Take your glue gun and stick the end of this string inside the bangle so it will stay in place whilst you weave but will also be hidden when wearing the bracelet

diy marc jacobs inspired woven bangle 5

Continue weaving and wrapping around the bracelet until you have used up your length of string and make sure to secure the end of it down with glue, again inside the bangle so it will be hidden

diy marc jacobs inspired woven bangle 6

Start a new string in the same way as before, you can switch up the colour at this point if you want to!

diy marc jacobs inspired woven bangle 7

Repeat this process until you have wrapped all the way around the bangle, or have finished up a string but only have a small space left to fill (as shown above). If this is the case glue the ends of the original strings (blue) down onto the bangle

diy marc jacobs inspired woven bangle 8

You can fill a small space like this by just wrapping a string around the bangle and securing with glue - this will also cover up where you have applied glue to the outside of the bangle before, giving a neater finish

diy marc jacobs inspired woven bangle 9

If you don't want a plain woven bracelet try splitting the bracelet up into quarters by adding wrapped sections in between the woven ones (shown above left) - you can really get creative with your colours and designs for this project and make each bracelet one of a kind to suit your own personal style!

Happy DIY-ing!
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