Thursday, 23 March 2017

Wednesday Wish List

I'm sorry that this week's Wednesday Wish List is coming to you much later than usual.

My heart has been racing uncontrollably all day again, and has been since the weekend, and it's making it pretty difficult to attach myself to a computer for any length of time. I honestly have no idea what's happening to me anymore. 

I've been determined to put this post together anyway, though, but I've had to do it in stages, and it's taken me all day to finish it. I wasn't able to include everything I wanted to feature this week, but there are still plenty of gorgeous clothes and accessories I'm sure you're going to love as much as I do.

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I'm in love with Collectif's collection of summery novelty brooches, and lemon wedge novelty bag. They'd be perfect for accessorising all of my Summer outfits.

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Collectif also have some gorgeous dresses in their latest collection. I'm particularly smitten with the amazing Mainline Jade Watermelon swing dress. Isn't it fantastic?!

These floral Collectif Vintage Jessie cropped cardigans are so pretty.

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Lady Vintage have some seriously stunning dresses at the moment, and these two flamingo print numbers from the Lady Voluptuous plus size collection, which goes up to a size 30/32, are my idea of perfection. I can never resist a flamingo print, and I doubt that'll ever change; I can't get enough of them!

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I'm quite taken with all of the new classic 1950s swing dresses from Lady V, too. The prints are all fantastic, especially the flamingos, lemons, bird city (which has flamingos, toucans, macaws, cockatoos, and cockatiels on it), and macaw prints. The dresses even have pockets and built in petticoats!

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And last but not least, these patterned A-line dresses from Modcloth are seriously cute. They look like the perfect casual day dresses, with plenty of personality. I think the green dinosaur and purple cacti designs are my favourites.

If you'd like to see more of the fashion pieces on my wish list each week, check out my style wish list boards on Pinterest

You can also find all previous Wednesday Wish List posts here.

What's on your wish list this week?

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sunday Favourites #267

It's that time of the week again...

I love this cheerful pastel office space, and tutorial for a DIY holographic clock from Studio DIY.

These cosmic blondies by Aww Sam look amazing.

I really like this painted wooden storage box DIY for organising your flairs / pins from Damask Love.

How cute is Kate's Forever 21 VHS tape novelty bag DIY? I so need a video bag in my collection.

I'm loving this office space from Oh Joy's post offering advice for the best way to position your desk; the colour scheme and desk supplies are dreamy.

This no bake mint chocolate chip pie from Sprinkles For Breakfast looks amazing.

This easy DIY pom pom collar from Aww Sam is too cute.

These DIY patterned wrapped candles by A Kailo Chic Life are lovely. It would be a great way to spruce up some store-bought plain candles, too.

I want to have a go at making a DIY embroidered patch phone case, like this one from Enthralling Gumption.

I adore these beautiful felted bears or 'Forest Spirits' by artist Jessie Cunningham. They all carry little worlds on their backs, including forests, flowers, mushrooms, houses, and other animals. You can even buy some of them from her Etsy Shop Past Your Porch Light.

I want a DIY faux stained glass sliding  barn door in my house. This one from Lovely Indeed is amazing.

I also need to make a DIY rainbow streamer curtain to hang from every window, like this one from The House That Lars Built. It's so cheerful.

This teenager was brutally bullied for having over 500 birthmarks all over her body from a rare condition called congenital melanocytic nevus, but look how amazing she looks! I hate that the world can be so narrow-minded and cruel because someone might look a little different to them.

This woman was bullied for having vitaligo all her life, and was ashamed of her body until her late teens when she began to embrace her unique looks. Now she traces the unique patterns of her skin and turns them in to beautiful works of art. Doesn't she looks awesome?!

A Japanese artist called Sawa, who also goes by the name La Fee De Fleur, combines her passions for flowers, coffee, and photography, by creating flower wreaths around her coffee cups and capturing them in pretty minimalist photos. Aren't they lovely?

This momofuku funfetti birthday cake from Liv For Cake looks so delicious.

A luxury flower company called Forever Rose creates beautiful enchanted Beauty and the Beast-like fresh roses, and they even last up to three years!

Lovely Links

For daily favourites, follow me on Pinterest and Tumblr.

You can also find all previous Sunday Favourites posts here.

Thanks for reading! Have a good one!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Wednesday Wish List

It feels like forever since I last blogged a Wednesday Wish List post, although in reality it's only been about a month. I think it's about time things got back to normal around here, so I'm here to bring you a fresh and long over-due new wish list this morning.

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I adore Skinny Dip's new peach collection, especially the novelty bag and enamel pin. The range is so summery and lovely.

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This collection of Disney-themed novelty bags from Disney by Danielle Nicole is amazing. I need that Cogsworth bag in my life! The bags are from the American brand Macy's, but they ship worldwide, and they're also advertising a 30% off code on the collection.

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These Altruism glittery heart flats from Irregular Choice are so gorgeous.

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I'm totally smitten with these new lace top chiffon dresses from Scarlett & Jo. They look absolutely perfect. My only problem is, I can't decide which colour I love best. (It also comes in black). Perhaps I just need all five?

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Erstwilder's 'I'm With The Band' collection, with jewellery featuring cats dressed like iconic musicians, is amazing. I particularly love the Prince and Michael Jackson designs.

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How incredible are these necklaces from La Vidriola?! The Wildlife Statement Necklace (#5) is especially phenomenal, and might just be the most amazing piece of jewellery I've ever seen. I wish I could afford to snap one up.

 Cath Kidston Duck Brooch

Cath Kidston's new duck brooch is adorable. I wish they would release more than one or two brooches a season, because they make some of the best novelty jewellery on the high street.

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And last but not least, I'm loving these seahorse and flamingo flats from ASOS. The seahorse pair are wide fit, which pleases me greatly. 

If you'd like to see more of the fashion pieces on my wish list, check out my style wish list boards on Pinterest. You can also find all past Wednesday Wish Lists here.

What's on your wish list this week?

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Hobbycraft Flamingo Cross Stitch Hoop Kit

Earlier in the year, I finished a flamingo cross stitch hoop sampler I've began working on in January, and I'm really pleased with the end result, so I thought I'd give you guys a peek at it.

I bought the kit in Hobbycraft in January as I loved the flamingo design, and it looked like it would be a fun, quick project I could stitch together in a week or so before moving on to something else. It was only a fiver (full price, although it's since increased to £6) so I wasn't expecting a high level of quality from it, but I wasn't really expecting any problems, either.

It turns out, there were many.

Firstly, the aida (fabric) was warped, with diagonal lines, so it was totally unusable. I had to use a spare piece I had lying around in my stash.

The embroidery hoop that was included in the kit, gave me several painful splinters when I first began using it. Although, I have to say, as embroidery hoops go,it's not bad- it's sturdy, and holds tension really well. It just needs sanding down a little.

The front of the packet claimed to have easy instructions suitable for beginners, but they definitely weren't the easiest to decipher at first, and a beginner would have difficulty with them.

My main problem with the instructions was that the pattern included quarter stitches as well as cross stitches, and in the key, they were shown in the same colours and symbols as each other because the same colour threads were needed. The lines on the chart were all different widths and heights, with no rhyme or reason, so I couldn't make sense of which were which, even after photocopying and enlarging the instruction chart to A2. (The chart included is quite small). It took me days to finally spot the tiny quarter stitches- they were all hiding on the face of the flamingo. After that, the pattern made complete sense and I was able to start sewing... but I still had the difficult task of identifying the threads.

And that was a nightmare.

The threads weren't pre-sorted and with five similar shades of pink and four orange, I had real difficulty trying to match most of them to the correct symbols. I had to just guess and hope for the best. When I first began stitching the flamingo, the main colour of the body I'd confidently matched up was this horrible dark terracotta colour, and it looked awful, and unlike any flamingo I've ever seen, so I ended up unpicking it, and from there I decided to wing it and give it my own spin. I chose most of the colours as I went along, using some from the kit, and many from my own stash, unpicking and restitching with different colours multiple times until I was satisfied with how it looked. I also did this with the back-stitching; the entire design was supposed to be out-lined in black, but I didn't like how that looked, and chose to use a darker shade of colour to compliment each area instead. I personally think it looks so much better without the harshness of the black,

While I was going rogue, I also changed the colours of the French knots on the flowers, opting for yellow and dark pink instead of black. I'd never attempted a French knot stitch before, and the instructions included weren't helpful, so I had to Google for a tutorial to make sense of it. While the stitch is pretty straight-forward, I found it tricky to get right at first, and it took a bit of practise, but after multiple failed attempts and realising keeping the thread tight is the trick, I got there in the end. They're not perfect, but they're the best I could do, and I'm satisfied with the end result. To be honest, I had to stop there before I pulled all my hair out.

Hobbycraft advertises this kit as being suitable for beginners, but I personally don't agree. I've been stitching for years and I was pulling my hair out from start to finish. The majority of beginners will have trouble understanding the instructions, and difficulty learning the different stitches from them unless they think to Google a tutorial or ask a more experienced cross-stitcher for help. I also think any beginner who starts cross stitching with this kit is going to be put off from the craft for life. Don't begin with this kit if you're new to cross stitching. I don't recommend it.

The pattern is straight forward and would have been quick and easy if the chart was clear from the start, the threads were recognisable, and the supplies were adequate, but it just ended up being one massive headache. It was far from the quick, easy project I'd expected it to be, and it just stressed me out on a daily basis.

If you've got the knowledge, skill, and supplies to give it your own spin, you can get great results from the pattern. It's a lovely design over all, and I love how mine turned out in the end, but I won't lie- it was one of the most stressful cross stitch projects I've ever worked on. It was worth all the hassle, and I'm glad I persevered, but I'm not in a hurry to pick up another design from the range any time soon. I don't have the strength.

If my review hasn't put you off and you still want to give this kit a go, you can find it on the Hobbycraft website here.
My Christmas Cross Stitch Makes 2016
My Christmas Cross Stitch Makes 2015
Operation Cross Stitch
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