Friday, 28 February 2014

This Week #15

this week 15

1. DIY Pokeball Brooch - this week's DIY was a geek chic brooch with a Pokeball design made from hama beads

2. The Blogger's Bookshelf Literary Awards, Vote Now! - on Wednesday I shared a quick post about a BB's March group collaboration where your votes choose the winners!

3. February Reads & Reviews - yesterday's post featured some book recommendations & reviews

Elsewhere...
- Buzzfeed.com kindly featured my Tris Charm Necklace alongside a variety of other pieces in a post dedicated to Divergent-inspired jewellery

Coming up next week... some more library books, the introduction to a new sewing project and a fun DIY video!
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Thursday, 27 February 2014

February Reads & Reviews

feb reads 59

Genesis, Bernard Beckett (2005)
This short dystopian tale is set out in an interview style format as main character Anax undertakes a four hour test in front of a panel of examiners. Anax has been studying for several years in order to take the test which will allow her to become a member of the Academy, meaning that the reader is introduced to the rich history of the world she lives in via her thorough answers. The book explores interesting topics including a focus on artificial intelligence and poses questions such as 'what makes a human human?'. Full of intriguing, thought-provoking ideas Genesis is a refreshingly different read with an ending that will have you thinking long after you've read the last page. 4/5

The Name Of The Star, Maureen Johnson (2011)
Ria knows my taste in books pretty well by this point so when she recommended I pick up the Shades Of London series I had high hopes, and luckily I wasn't disappointed by the first instalment. The Name Of The Star follows Rory, an American teen who moves to a London boarding school around the same time that a mysterious series of murders based on those committed by Jack the Ripper begin. Rory soon learns that she has the ability to see ghosts and the story takes a bit of a paranormal turn.
At first it wasn't exactly what I had been expecting and to be honest I'm not usually a fan of stories with a paranormal element however I really enjoyed this book! It was nice for me to read something a little different and just as I found when reading Let It Snow, author Maureen Johnson's writing style was easy to fall into. I'm looking forward to finding time for sequel The Madness Underneath soon. 4/5

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Matthew Quick (2013)
On his eighteenth birthday Leonard Peacock takes a gun to school, planning to kill classmate Asher and then himself. First though, Leonard must say goodbye to the four most important people in his life. Over the course of the book we learn more about Leonard's background, family life and of course his motives with several 'letters 'from the future' also included within the story. The one thing about the book that I really disliked was the addition of footnotes which I personally found distracted me from the flow of the story, however overall I thought Leonard's story was a very interesting read. 4/5

The Powerpuff Girls*, Troy Little (2013)
Last up is the first in a new series of graphic novels based on popular cartoon characters The Powerpuff Girls. At the end of last year I read one of the older graphic novels based on the crime-fighting trio published back in 2005 and am pleased to say this new book is just as good! Beginning with the girls once again facing off against Mojo Jojo this is a great little action-packed graphic novel filled with familiar faces from the original series. 4/5


This month I also read...
  • The War For Banks Island by John Green (2012) ✯✯✯✯
  • A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby (2005) ✯✯✯
  • Mind Games, Kiersten White (2013) ✯✯
  • The Secret by Mike Richardson (2007) ✯ - full review to follow later in the year
  • Panic* by Lauren Oliver (2014) ✯✯✯ - full review to follow on Blogger's Bookshelf next month

Reviews posted in February...

Books marked with a * c/o Netgalley
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Blogger's Bookshelf Literary Awards - Vote Now!

Today I wanted to share a quick post to let you know that over at Blogger's Bookshelf we're hosting the 'Literary Oscars' in honour of this year's Academy Awards ceremony!

The nominees have been selected by our team of seven regular reviewers and now we want to hear your opinions too! If you're a fellow bibliophile you can cast your vote in all of the categories from best characters to best authors and novels using the form below.

Don't forget to visit Blogger's Bookshelf on March 15th to find out if your favourites won!
To make sure you don't miss out on this and future posts you can also following BB on Bloglovin' here.




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Sunday, 23 February 2014

DIY Pokeball Brooch

diy pokeball brooch 1

Another Sunday, another hama bead project... As much as I've tried I'm personally pretty terrible at Pokemon however I'm not so terrible at crafting so today's DIY is a cute Pokeball brooch, a really simple design to create using the beads. Here's the step by step...

You will need - hama/perler beads in black, red & white, a small circular pegboard, felt, a brooch back, strong glue, an iron, parchment/ironing paper, scissors and a pen

diy pokeball brooch 2

1. Create your design using the hama beads and small circular pegboard - if you follow the pictured design your finished brooch will measure approx. 4.5cm across

Iron as per the instructions provided with your beads/pegboard. Don't forget to cover the beads with parchment or ironing paper before applying the heat!

2. Once your Pokeball has cooled cut out a circle of felt that will fit nicely onto the back and cover up the brooch back, helping to secure it in place. Its best to make the felt circle a little smaller than the Pokeball so that it won't show around the edges of the finished brooch

diy pokeball brooch 3

3. Attach your brooch back onto the Pokeball

4. Take your felt circle and fold it in half. Measure it against the brooch back and mark where the fixings are

diy pokeball brooch 4

5. Cut a small vertical slit at each of the dots and join them up with a horizontal cut

6. Glue the felt circle onto the brooch, allowing the fixings to show through

diy pokeball brooch 5

7. Your brooch should now look a little something like this, with the pin visible but the rest of the brooch back hidden and secured in place

8. Once the glue has dried your new geeky brooch is finished - wear it with pride!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Friday, 21 February 2014

This Week #14

this week 14
Behind the scenes this week it was my birthday! I didn't do too much other than start my new project (which I'll be talking about soon) but on Friday I did pop to The Creative Crafts Show where I picked up a few more craft supplies - expect more DIYs! As I've had my crafting hat on this week I've also well and truly rediscovered my love of Friends after squirelling away the box set away in the back of my DVD cupboard for the last few years - it is of course, just as funny as ever! Here's what happened on e-elise etc this week...

1. DIY Monogram Earrings - on Sunday I posted a very simple idea that would make a great gift!

2. Brazilian Bracelets - Monday's post was another crafty book review this time focused on friendship bracelets

3. DIY Pretty Drawing Pins - I shared a second DIY on Wednesday in the form of a simple upcycle project using nail polish

4. Sawyer & Scout Now Available On Etsy! - yesterday's quick post was about my new Etsy store

Elsewhere...
1. I shared my top 5 Netgalley reads of the last year over at Blogger's Bookshelf & talked a little bit more about this awesome website

Coming up next week... a slightly geeky DIY & more book talk in my February reads & reviews 
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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sawyer & Scout - Now Available On Etsy!

etsy

Today I wanted to share a quick post to let you know that Sawyer & Scout is now on Etsy!

I had been thinking about setting up an Etsy store for quite a while but finally decided to give it a go back at the beginning of the month. So far I've had a lovely response to the new shop and am planning to build up a wider variety of stock there over the next few months. Selling on Etsy means that as well as some of the most popular Sawyer & Scout jewellery designs I'll also have more freedom to share one-offs, custom made pieces and perhaps most excitingly for me; non-jewellery items.

sawyerandscout.com is still running as normal but just on a slightly smaller scale, with lots of customer favourite products such as the Harry Potter inspired Mini Potions Necklaces & Divergent inspired Faction Necklaces.

If you have an Etsy account you can follow me here!
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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

DIY Colourful Drawing Pins

diy drawing pins 7

Although not exactly a traditional craft supply I often find nail polish comes in handy for DIY projects as its a great alternative to expensive paints designed for use on metal. I usually use this tip for jewellery making however today's idea is one that will help brighten up your office!

Whilst preparing to create some pretty corkboards (tutorial post hopefully coming up soon) it occured to me that there was another way to make them more interesting... by decorating the pins! As it turns out I'm not the only one who thought this would be a good idea - just take a look over on Pinterest and you'll be able to find a few other examples.

These cute and colourful drawing pins are a great addition to any memo or noticeboard and help to make organisation prettier and more appealing. This project is quick, easy and cheap to recreate, especially since you may already have all of the supplies lying around at home. To create your own you'll need some drawing pins, nail polishes, a sponge and either a clear nail polish or a craft glaze.

The best way I've found to paint the pins is to first push them into something like a sponge which will keep them upright and steady whilst you apply the colour. In this case I used a variety of my favourite shades alongside a nail dotting tool to create some different patterns. Finish up with a layer of clear nail polish or a craft glaze such as Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to protect the design against general wear.

If you're not a nail polish collector like myself you can always use acrylic paints instead!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Monday, 17 February 2014

Brazilian Bracelets

Review copy c/o Netgalley | Cover image via goodreads.com

brazilian bracelets review

Florence Bellot (2014) | Find it on The Book Depository

Brazilian Bracelets is a friendship bracelet and hair wrap tutorial book aimed at the children’s market. Within this 64-page book you will find instructions to guide you through creating over 15 different designs.

For each one you will find an illustrated step-by-step, and although I usually find video tutorials much easier to follow these are simple enough to make yourself a new bracelet in no time. Each design also comes with guidance measurements for approximate lengths of thread needed, shown in both centimetres and inches.

Alongside the illustrated guides the book also features large colourful photographs of the final piece, often showcasing several different colour combinations to inspire readers. At the end of the book you will find blank pages for adding notes and listing favourite colour combinations – a great little interactive element for kids.

Personally, as someone who has made friendship bracelets before, I would have loved to have seen a few more unusual designs included but I still enjoyed using these tutorials (see examples of finished bracelets above). Brazilian Bracelets is a great little craft book for kids, as well as adults who are complete beginners to the craft.
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Sunday, 16 February 2014

DIY Monogram Earrings

diy monogram earrings 1

Often the best DIYs are those that haven't been planned in advance and today's project is a great example of this. Whilst in the garage gathering up some supplies for my DIY Wire Ring post I saw these alphabet buttons which I had previously used to make bracelets and realised that they would be equally awesome as earrings. It also seemed an appropriate project to share on this particular Sunday as it happens to be my birthday today! Here's the step-by-step...

You will need: alphabet beads, wire (I would recommend sterling silver wire for any earring projects), rubber earring backs, jewellery pliers & wire cutters

diy monogram earrings 2

1. Cut a strip of wire approx. 20cm and thread on one of the beads so it sits in the centre

2. To create the circle shape around the outside of the bead you will need to wrap the wire closely along the edge. Wrap both ends of wire around the bead in the same direction (as shown above), making sure the wire is as close to the bead as possible

diy monogram earrings 3

3. Continue wrapping the wire in this way a few more times so it creates a sort of nest at the back of the bead

diy monogram earrings 4

4. One end of the wire will now become your earring post so you will need to bend it out from the bead at a 90 degree angle

5. Take the remaining end of wire and tightly wrap it around the earring post wire several times to secure it in place then use wire cutters to remove any excess from both ends of wire

6. Lightly sand the end of the wire that is now your earring post so there's no sharp edges

diy monogram earrings 5

6. Repeat the steps to create your second earring, add on rubber backs and you're Monogram Earrings are ready to wear!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hash tag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Friday, 14 February 2014

This Week #13

this week 13
1. DIY Heart-Themed Cards & Gift Tags - Sunday's post featured a sneak peek at some pieces I made and donated to Farleigh Hospice earlier this year

2. Paper Wonderland - on Monday I shared a quick review of a cute papercraft book that recently caught my eye

3. DIY Washi Macbook - up next was another simple DIY project using the oh-so-versatile craft supply that is washi tape

4. Netflix Recommendations #1 - the midweek post saw the first instalment of a potential new series where I share some TV & film favourites

Coming up next week... another crafty book review, a personalised jewellery DIY and a post about my new Etsy store!
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Netflix Recommendations


netflix1

Today I thought I would start a new series sharing some film & TV recommendations that are available to stream on Netflix UK. Of course, there are many more than four great watches on Netflix but I'll be saving the rest for possible future posts. Today's four are all TV titles I love...

1. Dexter (8 seasons, 2006-2013)
The first show I watched when I joined Netflix was Dexter and I was hooked right from episode one. The series follows Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall); a serial killer who follows a code that only allows him to kill other criminals. Dexter has become one of my all time favourites, so much so that I even celebrated the final episode with a week of Dexter-themed posts here last September!

Favourite characters: Deb, Dexter & Batista | Favourite seasons: 1 & 4

2. Modern Family (2 seasons, 2009-2010)
Another thanks-to-Netflix discovery, and now a firm favourite sitcom, Modern Family has been my go-to watch recently. The show has an ensemble cast focusing on one family, headed by Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), across three different households. Sadly the later seasons aren't currently available to stream, although I have watched them all and would recommend picking up the DVDs!

Favourite characters: Phil & Gloria | Favourite episode: S2E6 Halloween is a good one!

3. Drop Dead Diva (4 seasons, 2009-2012)
Before Netflix I had never heard of legal drama and body-swap comedy Drop Dead Diva which stars Broadway's Brooke Elliott. This fun watch revolves around lawyer Jane, who after being shot whilst protecting her boss dies on the operating table. Due to a bit of a mix up in Heaven, Jane ends up coming back to life when deceased fashion model Deb presses a button that sends her back down to Earth and into Jane's body.

Favourite characters: Jane & Fred | Favourite season: 1

4. Episodes (1 season, 2011)
Currently in its 3rd season, comedy Episodes first season was recently made available to stream on Netflix. Although I had seen and liked the series when it originally aired on the BBC, a Netflix re-watch made me love it even more. The series follows British TV writing couple Sean and Beverly Lincoln (Stephen Mangan & Tamsin Greig) who move to L.A. to create and American version of their award-winning show Lyman's Boys. Of course, things don't go to plan when the network decides to cast Matt Le Blanc in the main role, changing the boys boarding school headmaster to a hockey coach version of Joey.

Favourite characters: almost all of them! | Favourite episode: there are only seven on Netflix... it's too difficult to choose

Leave me your top Netflix recommendations in the comments below! :)
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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

DIY Washi Tape Macbook

diy washi tape macbook

Today's super-quick project will both personalise and brighten up your Macbook! All you'll need is some pretty washi tape, clear plastic (such as acetate), scissors and a Sharpie. As well as being very simple to recreate this idea is also completely reversible as the washi tape can be peeled off if you want to change up the design at a later date. Here's the step-by-step...

1. Take a piece of acetate or a clear plastic wallet and trace around he apple shape on your laptop

2. Place strips of washi tape diagonally onto your clear plastic sheet, making sure that you cover the whole design. If possible overlap the strips slightly as this will mean that you can peel off the design in one piece later on rather than having to remove one strip of tape at a time

3. Flip over the sheet so that you can see the traced outline of the apple and carefully cut around it

4. Your tape should now fit the shape of the apple on the laptop - place it on top to check before moving onto the final step

5. Peel off the washi tape, stick it onto the apple and your prettified Macbook is done!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Monday, 10 February 2014

Paper Wonderland

paper wonderland michelle romo
paper wonderland michelle romo
paper wonderland michelle romo

Michelle Romo (2010) | Find it on The Book Depository

Paper Wonderland is a craft book filled with thirty-two adorable toys to cut out and build, all you'll need is some scissors, tape and glue! Alongside the toy step-by-steps are plenty of beautiful illustrations and pretty patterned papers to inspire readers to get creative.

The idea here is that you can use the papers included in the book's pages to create your paper toys however as I read a library copy of the book I was obviously unable to cut up the pages. Luckily there's a way around this as you can also download free PDFs of the templates so that you can make the designs as many times as you like!

One of the best things about picking up this crafty title was that I discovered the other work of author Michelle Romo by browsing her website. Crowded Teeth - www.crowdedteeth.com - includes her impressive portfolio of designs, including collaborations with brands such as Disney and Sanrio. There's even an online shop where you can find her cute illustrations printed on everything from clothing to stationery.

I'll be sharing a DIY video inspired by this book in a few weeks time so keep an eye out if you're interested in these cute projects!
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Sunday, 9 February 2014

DIY Heart-Themed Cards & Gift Tags

diy valentines tags
diy valentines cards

A couple of months ago I decided to sign up for some volunteering and joined my local Farleigh Hospice craft group. With Valentine's Day just around the corner they were looking for heart-themed crafts and cards to sell on their stall so today I thought I would share a couple of the simple items I made and donated.

Those of you who saw my Upcycled Jars post may recognise the paper hearts used in today's projects as they were leftover from that DIY. To create them I used a 1" craft punch and recycled old Christmas catalogues from LUSH & Cath Kidston. The pages of these were perfect for this project as they were filled with everything from fabrics and beauty products to landscapes which meant that I managed to get some great colours, patterns and textures into my designs. The other thing I loved about using these particular catalogues was the matte texture of the paper which I thought made a nice change from your glossy magazine pages - but of course these would work just as well!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hash tag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Friday, 7 February 2014

This Week #12

thisweek12
Before I get into the roundup I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a quick thank you to everyone that read, commented on or tweeted me about my post on eczema earlier this week. After spending the last few years searching for a product that would help I finally found one just over two months ago. I'd been working on the post itself for a month or so but was unsure if anyone would actually be that interested, however the response I've received was really lovely and again, I hope it is of help to someone out there who also suffers with persistent eczema. I've also been rather excitedly gathering up supplies for a new craft project, but more on that in a future post! Here's what else happened on e-elise etc this week...

1. DIY Wire Ring - for Sunday's post I revisited a slightly unsuccessful DIY project from 2011 and created a wire ring

2. February TBR - next up was a short post about the selection of books I'm hoping to read this month

3. DIY Mosaic Kits - on Tuesday I talked DIY once again with these cute coaster kits from Hobbycraft

4. Eczema - by far the most popular post of the week was my midweek offering where I shared my experience with eczema

5. DIY Inspiration Slogan Sweaters - Thursday's post shares a designer idea from Banjo & Matilda

Elsewhere...
- I reviewed fellow blogger Natasha Ngan's debut novel The Elites over at Blogger's Bookshelf

Coming up next week... a craft book review, some Netflix recommendations and a few more quick DIYs!
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Thursday, 6 February 2014

DIY Inspiration - Banjo & Matilda 'Fun Loving' Sweater

diy insp sweater

*Images via Net-A-Porter

Lots of us have used fabric paints and iron on transfers to jazz up plain t-shirts but what about putting your own designs onto knitwear? This cute embellished sweater is a great little piece of inspiration for creating your own slogan knitwear. As a bit of a beginner knitter myself I haven't tried out anything as ambitious as this but maybe its one to pop on the 'crafts to try in the future' list!
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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Eczema

body shop hemp hand cream for eczema

Although today's post was primarily meant to be a product review I realised that to fully explain why I’m writing about the product I’d need to get a little more personal and share more about my experience with eczema. The product I wanted to talk about – The Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector – has made a huge difference to my eczema so I’m hoping that by sharing a bit more of my story this post may be able to help someone else out there with a similar issue.

I’ve always had small patches of eczema on and off but for several years now I’ve had an issue with particularly persistent eczema on my hands. In my case this wasn’t always just normal eczema and often became infected leaving me with bleeding and scabs that just wouldn’t clear up. Of course I’d tried out lots of different treatments from hand creams for dry skin to eczema specific off-the-shelf tubes at Boots and even prescription creams recommended by doctors. Unfortunately none of these options worked out for me that well and although some products did help a little, the results weren’t as good as I had hoped for and were never that long-lasting. For example, when I first used Salcura Zeo-Derm Skin Repair Moisturiser I saw a huge improvement very quickly, however after a few applications the effects would come to a halt leaving me with some improvement but not enough to provide long-lasting results.

Before discovering The Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector I was using the Zeo-Derm cream during the day and my prescription product overnight. Again, the prescription did help somewhat but didn’t provide lasting results and to be honest was a bit of a pain to use (it was an oily texture that required wearing cotton gloves overnight and the smell was very strong!). It also left the skin very flaky for the first few days of use (as shown in the left photo below) which was almost as uncomfortable to live with as the infected eczema itself!

Its obviously unpleasant and uncomfortable to have eczema anywhere and the hands are no exception but unfortunately it is an area thats difficult to hide. Over time I became very self-conscious of my hands even though it wasn’t something I could help, and at times I honestly thought it could be there forever. Although I was doing everything I could in the way of trying out products to improve it, I was still embarrassed when people would notice it and comment (sometimes very rudely - strangers can be mean).

So, here’s where the actual review part comes in… I picked up a tube of the Hemp Hand Protector whilst I was at a gift fair back in December. The lady with the stall next to mine was a Body Shop representative, selling mainly the Christmas range. I really loved the smell of the gingerbread products but knew it wouldn’t be wise to buy anything heavily scented that may irritate my eczema. After mentioning this to her she told me about the Hemp range’s hand cream that has proven popular with eczema sufferers. After testing out so many other products I wasn’t fully convinced that a high street hand cream with an RRP of £10 could really be the cure however with a half price offer I really had nothing to lose and thought it would be worth a try. The nice part of this story is that luckily, for me the Hemp Hand Protector has worked as well as the online reviews would suggest. I started using it in December, and although at the time my hands didn't look as bad as the July photo below, saw results straight away - this thick textured cream has cleared up most of the eczema within a short space of time, even getting rid of infected patches.

eczema
Yes, I really do wear that nail polish a lot!

I know it isn’t exactly pleasant to look at, but I wanted to share the photo above as it shows an example of how the eczema looked during one flare-up last year where I was using a prescription product. You can also see from the photos how I used to have a distinct line across the back of my hand where the soft skin stopped and the eczema began, which thankfully now has completely disappeared (on both hands) along with all of the infected patches that had appeared on my fingers.

For me it feels great to finally have my hands almost back to their normal selves, especially at this cold time of year where usually they would be at their worst and I’m amazed that I’ve achieved this with a high street product that was under my nose the whole time! I guess it’s really too soon to say whether this will be a long-term solution for me however I’m optimistic thanks to the results I’ve already seen. Yes, I do still have a couple of milder patches of eczema on my hands but now every time they start to itch I reach for the tube of hand cream and it seems to be doing the trick!

Obviously I can't guarantee that this product will work as well for anyone else as it has for me however I would 100% recommend giving it a try if you suffer with eczema or even very dry skin - plus, the website's reviews show that a lot of others have been just as pleased as I am. From experience I’d say that if you suffer from eczema quite badly and use this product on a regular basis (multiple times a day) then the large sized tube - 100ml - should last a couple of months. I’m now on my second tube, and have 3 backups (extreme, I know!) but so far haven’t picked up one at full price as there seem to often be promotions on - but even at the full price I’d say its definitely worth it!

I'm now looking to find an equally amazing product to combat the recurring patches of eczema that appear around my eyes. Since both my eyelids and the skin close to the waterline/tearduct are affected I can't safely use creams like this one to help - if you have any recommendations for clearing up eczema around the eyes please let me know in the comments!

If you made it to the end of that essay of a post, well done - I really hope it helps someone out there!
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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

DIY Mosaic Kits (Crystaline Mosaics)

diy mosaic

Today I wanted to share a quick DIY project with you featuring these mosaic coaster kits by Crystaline Mosaics. I recently picked up a few of these from Hobbycraft as they were half price in the sale - at £1.49 each I couldn't resist!

This wasn't my first experience with creating mosaics as I had dabbled in this particular craft back when I was at school (quite a while ago now *feels old*) however these are a great beginner project. Each kit comes with a base square (either acrylic or MDF), a selection of coloured resin tiles, grout and a basic set of instructions.
It is also worth keeping in mind that for most designs you will need to cut some tiles to fit the pattern. You can buy specific cutters for this but I ended up placing the tiles inside a plastic bag (to catch any flying pieces!) and used nail clippers to snip them down to size.

mosaics step by step 2

The overall process itself is very simple - peel off the paper from your tile to reveal a sticky surface, place on the tiles according to the pattern, mix up and apply the grout, leave to dry and gently wipe clean.

Personally I think these kits are great fun for a lazy Sunday activity and I really enjoyed making my two mosaics. I'm now working on some other project ideas to use up all of my spare tiles!

Have you tried any mosaic kits?

diy mosaic

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Monday, 3 February 2014

February TBR

feb tbr

After photographing the above four books for my February TBR I'm sitting here now (on January 31st) re-typing this post to fit the changes I've made to the list since.

Although I am still planning to read the Shades Of London series as well as popular non-ficiton title Yes Man (about time too!), I actually ended up reading Bernard Beckett's unique dystopian tale Genesis before January was out! After finishing Genesis, a book I will talk more about in February's roundup, I didn't feel like anything else on the list felt right for my next read and instead opted to pick up a title I've been meaning to for a while - A Long Way Down (Nick Hornby).

Other changes to my TBR were down to library reservations showing up unexpectedly and several Netgalley requests being approved so I'll also be attempting to take on Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock (Matthew Quick), Panic (Lauren Oliver) and hopefully The Eye Of Minds (James Dashner).

I'm not sure whether I'm going to continue with these TBR posts as I don't seem to be sticking to the lists half the time anyway... oops. I will definitely still be posting reading roundups at the end of each month but let me know in the comments if you'd still like to see TBRs as well!

What will you be reading in February?
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Sunday, 2 February 2014

DIY Wire Ring

diy wire ring 1

For today's DIY I'm revisiting an old project idea I first tried out and shared here back in 2011; wire rings. The blog post about those particular not-so-successful creations, complete with a terrible quality photograph, is now sitting safely in my draft posts folder but I wanted to give the idea another shot and this time around I'm much more pleased with the results!

Although this is a fairly simple wire jewellery project it was a little difficult to explain the process in writing, but hopefully the following photos and step-by-step will be enough of a guide to inspire you to try it out. Here's the DIY...

diy wire ring 2

To create your own wire rings you will need: wire (approx. 18 gauge), beads, a ring mandrel, jewellery pliers and wire cutters

If you don't have a mandrel try using anything round - thin candles and lip balm tubes both work well

diy wire ring 4

1. Cut a piece of wire approx. 12-15" and thread on your bead of choice

2. Place this on the front of your mandrel at your ring size and wrap the ends of wire around the mandrel (as shown in top photo above)

3. Start by wrapping the left hand wire around the bottom edge of the bead and the right hand wire around the top edge. You will need to keep both ends of your wire wrapping in the same direction throughout the project

diy wire ring 5

4. Continue wrapping the wires to create a sort of nest effect around the central bead, until you have approx. 1.5-2" of wire left on each end and remove from the mandrel

5. To finish off the design and tidy up the ends wrap them around the ring a few times (as shown above) and re-shape slightly if necessary

diy wire ring 6

6. Cut off any excess wires, gently file any sharp ends and your ring is complete!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hash tag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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