Monday, 10 December 2018

Christmas Fashion and Homeware Haul

Christmas is my favourite time of year, and as a bit of a Christmas addict I'm powerless to resist anything pretty and festive. 

Over the last year and particularly the past few months, I've acquired lots of new festive things, from homeware and craft supplies to brooches and books, so I thought it was about time I compiled them all together and gave you a peek at everything I've bought with a brand new Christmas haul. 

Every Autumn, I always do a big Hobbycraft shop, and pick up all the things I need for Christmas crafting and gift wrapping, and this year has been no different. This is just the first batch of festive supplies I bought this year; since taking the photo above, I've been back to Hobbycraft two or three times for more supplies- mostly for coloured felt, wool, mini pom poms, and more embroidery hoops. I have no restraint when it comes to craft supplies; I could happily buy the whole shop! Luckily for me, I won a £20 Hobbycraft gift voucher in September for my felt floral wreaths (I entered one in to Hobbycraft's Make It Share It competition and came in as a runner up!), so at least I did a little less damage to my bank balance than previous Christmases!

This year, I bought a Nutcracker cracker kit and a cute needle felting decoration kit to make this Christmas, aida and embroidery threads for some Christmas cross stitch projects, embroidery hoops for wreath making, bottle brush trees for decorating my bedroom, ribbons, jingle bells, and present toppers for gift wrapping, and a paint brush for transforming a wooden house-shaped shelf unit in to nail polish storage. I'll be showing you all the things I've made with them really soon.

Earlier in the year, I managed to collect some beautiful Christmas homeware, stationery, and gift wrapping supplies on sale from Cath Kidston, with many of them down to half price. I was thrilled to get my hands on the Robins tray, tea towel set, and roll wrap pack, as I wasn't able to afford them  when they were first available two or three Christmases ago, and the Robins print is one of my favourite Cath K prints ever! I also picked up a couple of packs of polar bear Christmas cards and an adorable snowman mug, which were both from last year's Christmas collection. Unfortunately, none of these products are available now, but they do have some beautiful things in this year's Christmas collection. 

I also treated myself to the Robins Christmas organiser after finding it on Amazon this Autumn, because  these organisers are brilliant for planning for Christmas, and my other CK Christmas organiser is almost filled up from years of use. They're perfect for keeping track of presents, to do lists, shopping lists, recipes, festive menus, and everything else you need to plan for at Christmas time. They bring a new design out of year (this year's is a townhouse), but I just couldn't resist the older, prettier kitschy robin design. 

I love mid-century style Christmas decor, and I've been admiring the Jolie Noel homeware collection from Rex London (formerly Dot Com Gift Shop) for a couple of years. I recently popped back to their website for another look and discovered some of the range was on sale, so I took the opportunity to treat myself to a few pieces I'd had my eye on for ages. I bought the cake bunting kit and cupcake kit to encourage myself to do some Christmas baking, a pack of paper napkins to use over Christmas, a little navy wooden bauble decoration for my tree, and a pack of paper bunting to add to the retro look I'm going for this year. They're all so cute!

A couple of weeks ago, I finally bought this adorable retro Christmas deer duvet set from ASDA. I didn't exactly need a new Christmas duvet set (I bought a different retro deer set from them last year), but I just couldn't resist it. At just £12 (for a double), it would have been stupid not to buy it, right? On one side it's covered in fifties-style deer, Christmas trees, candy canes, holly, robins, squirrels, bunnies, and more, and on the other, it has a complimenting candy cane, holly leaf, and polka dot print. It's so lovely. It seems to be sold out online now, but I'd definitely recommend checking your local ASDA because it's great quality for the price. ASDA always makes the best Christmas bedding. 

Speaking of retro deer, I've also adopted a few of Paperchase's glittery fifties-style Bambi deer ornaments since last Christmas, and they look amazing next to my Christmas tree. I bought a brown Bambi deer and sit down Bambi deer while they were on promo on Black Friday (photo coming soon), and a pink deer in the sales last Christmas. Sadly, there isn't a pastel pink one available this year, but there is a bright pink version here.

A couple of months ago, I picked up the OPI The Nutcracker and the Four Realms nail polish Advent calendar, which I blogged a review of here back in October. I'm really enjoying counting down the days 'til Christmas with it, and have been revealing what polish I've been getting every day along with the contents of the Selfridges Glam Sparkle calendar I recently won, over on my Instagram. The nail polish shades inside are gorgeous!

I discovered this beautiful Christmas anthology called A Literary Christmas on Amazon last month, and just had to buy it to read over the festive season. It's filled with Christmas short stories, passages, poems, and illustrations from the greats like Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, and Rudyard Kipling, and it looks wonderful. I've only read a handful of them so far as I'm trying to savour it and save most of it for nearer Christmas, but it's perfect if you love good old-fashioned classics. The best part is, the cover is absolutely stunning! I especially love the little woodland animals- very Animals of Farthing Wood! Would anyone like me to blog a full review of this book?

I've been admiring The Make Arcade's cross stitch kits for the longest time, and recently decided it was time I gave some a try. I finally bought the Reindeer and Christmas Tree bauble cross stitch kits over the Black Friday weekend while they were 15% off, and I've really been enjoying making them this December. I've already finished the Christmas Tree and I'm currently working on the reindeer, which I'll give you a peek at once they're both finished, along with my other recent Christmas cross stitch makes. I've enjoyed them so much, I've just gone back for the gingerbread house kit, and still have my eye on several others. They're little 3 inch hoops to hang on the Christmas tree, and they're great for cross stitch beginners and pros alike.

Way back in March, I snagged this beautiful embroidered red Noelle cardigan from Hell Bunny in the sale, after admiring it from afar for ages. I just fell in love with the amazing embroidered satin deer motif on the back, and the embroidered white snowflakes on the front. I adore it. The sizing is tiny, though, and even though I returned my usual size for the size up, it's still quite snug, so I can only wear it open. (Which is fine, as I rarely wear cardigans buttoned up, anyway). It's still available in red and baby blue (but only in blue in plus sizes) and is currently on sale for just £14.99. Just make sure you size up at least once if you decide to buy one.

Of course, I also collected several festive Erstwilder brooches from last year's Kitschy Christmas collection in the spring, which I blogged about just last week. You'll find links to each piece in the post.

And last month, I also treated myself to two new Erstwilder Christmas brooches from this year's Festive Splendour collection, which you can read more about here.

I've also acquired some products from The Body Shop's new Peppermint Candy Cane range, but I haven't been able to get photos of them yet because it's barely stopped raining in weeks. I'll hopefully be dedicating a post to them before Christmas, though- providing I can get some half decent photos in time. In the mean time, you guys need to check the range out; the scent is amazing!

And, those are all of the festive things I've purchased since last Christmas.

I may have gone a little over board with the festive spending, but I love everything I bought, and most of it was brought on sale, so I got some fantastic bargains. Money well spent, I think!

Have you bought any new Christmas things this year?

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Sunday, 9 December 2018

Sunday Favourites Christmas Special #356

It's time for my second festive-themed Sunday Favourites post of the month, and this week I've mostly gone with a classic red and green theme. I personally think these colours are the most festive of all, and they've always been my favourite colours to surround myself with at Christmas time. You just can't go wrong traditional reds and greens.

On my quest for inspiration, I've found so many great red and green Christmas crafts, recipes, and decor ideas lately, and I've compiled all the best ones for you today to give you guys lots of festive inspiration. I hope you like them.

I want to make some of these amazing Grinch-inspired swirl cupcakes from The Sprinkle Factory.

If Christmas cookies are more your jam, The Sprinkle Factory's bottle brush Christmas tree cookies also look delicious.

Letter boards are still as popular as ever, and A Kailo Chic Life can show you how to make your own felt ball letter board flair to add a festive touch to your messages (and Instagram photos!) this Christmas.

This ornament surprise ball Advent calendar, also from A Kailo Chic Life, is an adorable way to count down to Christmas.

Oh Happy Day's rumball snowmen are so darn cute, and would be the perfect boozy treats for adults this Christmas.

I'd love to make some of these sweet 3-D holly napkins rings, also by Oh Happy Day. They'd look so lovely on the Christmas dinner table.

Persia Lou's DIY winter floral ornaments are so pretty, and a great way to transform a plain bauble in to something beautiful.

These DIY reindeer drink stirrers from Lovely Indeed are the perfect finishing touch for all of those Christmas cocktails and mocktails alike.

A Kailo Chic Life's DIY reindeer surprise balls look like a fun alternative to the traditional Christmas cracker, or a fun way to wrap little stocking fillers.

I love this adorable DIY Christmas stocking garland from Little White Socks, and really want to make one.

These evergreen tree cupcake toppers from Oh Happy Day would spruce up even the plainest of Christmas cakes, and look so festive on the buffet table.

These chocolate chip Christmas cookies from The Sprinkle Factory look so good I'm tempted to give the recipe a try this Christmas.

And I'm also considering making some of The Sprinkle Factory's super Christmassy holly berry Christmas cupcakes. Or doing this with red velvet cakes. 

Tell Love and Party will show you how to resize a shirt box to keep your loved ones guessing 'til Christmas morning.

If you prefer to wrap with paper, Tell Love and Party have also created an amazing Christmas movie quote wrapping paper DIY, which would be perfect for any Christmas movie fan.

Have you written your Christmas cards yet? If you haven't, and own a cutting machine or a craft knife, why not download Persia Lou's free hand lettered paper cut Christmas card template and give out something beautiful this year?

Handmade Charlotte's caramel reindeer candies are sure to go down well with kids and adults alike.

Little White Socks' festive gingerbread truffles look delicious, and would make a great foodie gift for friends and family, too.

I'd love to craft this pretty DIY felt ball holly leaf garland from A Kailo Chic Life.

And I'm contemplating making this awesome DIY pom pom Christmas tree from Aww Sam's tutorial.

Isn't this Christmas greenhouse papercut by Be Color And amazing?!

Another garland for you to make from A Kailo Chic Life, this time an irresistibly cute reindeer felt ball garland.

These DIY Santa sneakers from Damask Love are adorable, and look so easy to make, too.

Damask Love's no-sew holiday aprons are an ideal project for any of you planning to spend a lot of time in the kitchen this Christmas.

Everyone needs a giant candy cane pillow in their lives during the holidays, like this one from Lovely Indeed.

And Best Friends For Frosting's Christmas balloon ornament banner would make a fun decoration for any Christmas gathering this December.

If you'd like more festive inspiration, be sure to check out my Christmas boards on Pinterest. You can also find all of my previous Sunday Favourites Christmas Specials here, which are all packed full of inspiring Christmas images and holiday ideas.

I'll be back next Sunday with another batch of festive Sunday Favourites, so if you've enjoyed this, be sure to pop back!

What did you enjoy most this week?

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Erstwilder Kitschy Christmas Brooches

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you the fun new brooches I bought from Erstwilder's new Festive Splendour Christmas collection, and today I thought I'd give you a peek at the pieces I collected from last year's Kitschy Christmas range.

These four brooches are actually the very first Erstwilder brooches I ever treated myself to. I've been a big fan of Erstwilder for years, but I could never justify the International postage costs, and didn't discover a UK stockist for the Australian brand until March this year. So, when I finally found a UK stockist, and stumbled up on these beautiful Christmas designs on sale, I just couldn't help myself, and snapped a couple up straight away. I was so pleased with them, I ended up going back for two more, and I've been waiting impatiently to wear them all year! Now Christmas is finally here, you'd better believe that I've been wearing them to death since the 1st of December! Well, I had to make up for lost time, right?

First up is To Be Jolly, a kitsch green and white snow-draped Christmas tree brooch, and one of my favourites of the four. Decorating the Christmas tree with my family, and relaxing in the glow of fairy lights have always been two of my favourite parts of the festive season, so I just had to have this brooch in my collection to take a little of that joy with me wherever I go. This wonderfully kitsch tree is so gorgeous with branches in shades of mint, aquamarine, and forest green, each capped with a layer of glittery white snow, with a little brown trunk just visible beneath the lowest boughs. It's finished with a freckling of multi-coloured baubles (or are they supposed to be lights?), as every good tree should be, and it's the perfect statement piece for completing all those festive ensembles. It wouldn't be Christmas without a Christmas tree, after all. My Mum liked this one so much, I had to go back and buy one for her, too, or she would've stolen mine! (Currently available from: ErstwilderGlitterally, Kitty Kat, and The Midget Gem).

Next we have The Christmas Cardinal brooch, which features a red northern cardinal, nesting on a bed of holly. The cardinal isn't a creature I've ever associated with Christmas, and I've never seen it referenced in Christmas films or other media, but boy, does this glittery red bird look festive! It has a glittery scarlet body with a pearlescent ruby red wing, and a little diamond-shaped black face, and it's lying on a nest of mint and forest green leaves topped with red berries. It's so beautiful! I think they captured the unique little bird perfectly. I especially love the generous use of red and green; it's so festive and with those colours, it's perfect for almost every Christmas outfit, so he's already getting plenty of wear. If you're looking for a brooch that's a little different to your usual Christmas designs, I'd definitely recommend this one. (Currently available from: Glitterally, and The Midget Gem).

Up next is Mary's bells; a stunning pair of white and cream pearlescent bells, decorated with sparkly red, pink, and yellow flowers, dots, and squiggles, and topped with a big glittery aquarmarine bow. I love the choice of colours and resins used in this brooch, and how the glitter glistens like a diamond mind when the light hits it! It's such a pretty festive piece, but, at the same time, it doesn't look too Christmassy with non-festive outfits due to Erstwilder's choice of colours, and with the right outfit, it could definitely be worn for other occasions, such as weddings and christenings. You've gotta love a good versatile piece that allows you more wear for your money, instead of limiting you to wearing it one month of the year. (Currently available from: Carnation Collectibles, ErstwilderGlitterally, Kitty Kat, and The Midget Gem).

Last but not least, we have Kiss Me Kindly, another of my favourites from the Kitschy Christmas collection, and a Christmas brooch I loved so much, I went out of my way to hunt it down, and paid full price for it- in March. Kiss Me Kindly is a big sprig of holly, with mint and forest green leaves and glittery red berries wrapped in a glittery white bow. This brooch screams Christmas to me, and it's another one that will go with just about every holiday ensemble. It's less 'out there' than most Erstwilder designs, too, so even if you aren't usually a fan of their jewellery, you may like this one if you love Christmas. It's quickly becoming one of my favourite Erstwilder brooches of all time! (Currently available from: Clovis By Meiken, and Kinks and Quirks).

If you're outside the UK and want to hunt the brooches down in your country, you can find a list of Erstwilder stockists around the world here.

There are many more designs still available from the collection, so if you like these, you can also check out the rest of the Kitschy Christmas range here.

Do you have any pieces from last year's Erstwilder Christmas collection? Which are your favourites?

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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Wednesday Wish List: Christmas Special

As it's almost Christmas, I've got another festive-fashion-filled Wednesday Wish List post for you this week, and it's packed full of Christmas clothes, jewellery, pins, and novelty bags.

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I'm loving these kitsch Christmas pins from Punky Pins, especially the gingerbread caravan, and baby deer. They have so many other cute designs to choose from this Christmas, too.

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Sugar and Vice have a beautiful selection of affordable acrylic Christmas jewellery that would look amazing with any festive outfit. I think the robin necklace is my favourite, but I really love the marbling to the holly pieces, as well.

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I've already featured some of these amazing novelty bags from Betsey Johnson in other Wednesday Wish List posts this Autumn, but I couldn't put a festive wish list together without including them all. They're all fantastic, especially the new gingerbread house design.

This embroidered star print cardigan, and snowflake print tulle skirt from the Collectif x Modcloth collection are both so beautiful. They'd both be perfect for Christmas Day, and the skirt would make a gorgeous piece to wow everyone at all those Christmas parties. I only wish I could afford it because I need it!

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Hell Bunny have some stunning festive rockabilly dresses, skirts, and knitwear this year, and these are just a handful of my current favourites. I've linked to the plus sizes above, but you'll find separate listings for each piece in straight-sizes on their website.

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I'd love to get my hands on both of these casual Lindy Bop dresses for every day wear this Christmas. I also need those gorgeous green heels!

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I love Luxulite's kitsch, mid-century-style jewellery, and their new Winter collection is one of their best collections yet. They have so many fun, festive brooches, necklaces, earrings, and bangles to choose from this year. My favourites have to be the Merry Kitschmas reindeer pieces- they're so damn cute!

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And finally, it's been a while since I last treated myself to a new necklace, but I'm loving these fantastic statement designs from Sugar and Vice's new Christmas collection. Aren't they gorgeous?! The only problem is, I can't decide which one I like best.

If you'd like to see more of the festive fashion pieces that have been catching my eye lately, check out my Christmas Fashion board on Pinterest. You can also find lots of other festive fashion inspiration from my previous Wednesday Wish List posts here.

Any favourites this week?

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