My Christmas Decorations

My style can be described as being bright, fun, non-traditionalist, hippy and boho, and my Christmas decorations really embrace my style.  I’m not a huge fan of tinsel or traditional Christmas decorations, though I do add elements of the traditional into my decor.

I have Christmas trees, fairy lights and stags,but not in traditional colourways, I prefer white or black trees, my stag decorations are bright pink and glittery, instead of tinsel I choose bead ropes, marabou feathers and pom-pom trim.  I have really bright baubles on my black tree and have chosen little dinosaurs to hang from my other, scroll down to see the photos that I have taken of my non-traditionalist, seasonal decor!

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I didn’t want to hang my wreath on the front door because, well, its Wales and it rains!  Not just that but I really didn’t want to get him all dirty either.  I hung  my wreath on the next available door – the door to my downstairs living room.

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Joy lights which I have placed on the shelving unit opposite the door to my living room.  This is the first thing people see when coming into my home.

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My small tree that I have decorated with multi-colour fairy lights, pom-pom trim, marabou feather trim and tiny plastic dinosaurs!

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Here’s a close up of the dinosaurs!

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My second tree which is decorated with beaded ropes and baubles.

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A close up of one of the decorations on my black Christmas tree – my initial!

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Pink stars, green stars and purple stars also adorn the tree.

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Skull and Crossbone upcycled tree which I’m thinking of having as my table piece for Christmas dinner.

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My pink glitter stags, my mini Christmas Tree and its pom-pom decorations (which are also lights!) on my back windowsill.

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Here’s a close up of one of the stags!  I’m really liking the effect the rain on the window has!

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And lastly, my santa card peg fairy light garland.

How have you decorated your house for christmas?  Do you have a theme or colour palette that you use?

Mind Crafternoon

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On Saturday I held a Crafternoon –  a crafting afternoon, in aid of Mind, the mental health charity.  I chose to host the crafting event because Mind, while I have not used all of their services, have found their on-line resources to be really helpful and informative.  1 in 4 of us, in our lifetime will experience some kind of mental health problem and its charities such as Mind that can help when these problems arise.  I believe that Mind do a really good job offering support, advice and campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health issues and wanted to support them to continue to carry out the work that they do.

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My Mind Crafternoon started with signing up for the event via the Mind website which was a really simple process of form filling with your name, address, email and the date of your Crafternoon (if it is to be held on another day aside from 1st December – the official Crafternoon date).  Once you have submitted your information Mind will then send out a kit that includes ideas of things to make including instructions, ways to raise money, bunting to cut out and make along with balloons and a money-box to keep the donations in.  They also supply the paying in forms for you to use when banking the money raised.  When I received my pack I was really amazed by how informative and helpful the pack was, there were so many tips and ideas so even the least crafty person would be able to hold an event like this!

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I first set up a Facebook event and invited some friends and then bought some notecards and invites, wrote a bit about Mind and my Crafternoon in the cards and wrote out the details of the party onto the invites then sent them out to the attendees the week before the event.

I then put my Christmas decorations up, dug out all my craft things and set them up on the table.  Sam and I baked a Vegan Devil’s Food chocolate cake and my friend Jez made some cakes and things for my event too.  My lovely neighbour, Heather, made earrings and wine glass charms to sell and I had some sets of nails that I’d decorated to sell as well so we could raise extra money for Mind.

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I decided to have a raffle, originally I was going to buy a tub of chocolates to raffle but decided to make a Christmas Mulled Wine scented soy candle to raffle instead.

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The Activities

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Jez showed us how to decorate compact mirrors and I decorated a phone case.  We used Mod Podge, glitter and 3d elements such as bows, flowers and pearl flat back beads to decorate them.  I’d never done this before and it was really fun!  Everyone got stuck in and it was really lovely to see how each persons style and taste came out when we all used similar elements in our work.

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Everyone’s work looked really fab and I think everyone was really pleased with the outcome!  I know I’m super happy with how my phone case turned out!  Jez was a really good teacher to have!

 

 

 

I led a Snowflake Making Masterclass using white paper, double-sided sticky and scissors to make 3d snowflakes.  It was fun to be able to share what I’d learned with my friends and see how happy they were to have been able to make something so lovely from simple sheets of paper.

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I then showed my friends how to make paper Christmas flowers from folded paper, scissors, a stapler and cotton thread.  They all agreed that it would be something fun that they could do with their children as a Christmas activity.

 

 

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And finally I did a brief demonstration showing everyone how to make Christmas Snowflakes and trees from toilet roll tubes.

 

 

 

It was a really fun day, there was a lot of chat and getting to know each other, laughter and fun, cake eating and wine drinking!  I think I will definitely be hosting another one in the future!  In fact I’ve already started thinking of different Crafternoons I could hold and the sort of themes that I could base them on!

What Is Maximalism?

Maximalism is a reaction to minimalism and is pretty much the opposite of what we have visions of when we think about minimalism.

Maximalism is an abundance of colour, of ornaments and a way of styling our homes to show off our belongings all at once.

Maximalism is about embracing colour and texture, clashing patterns, colours and textures to create a visually interesting home.

Maximalism is about focusing on the big items and the small, adding detail that is rich in tone, never boring.

Maximalism is a host of cushions placed on the sofa along with throws to create a cozy sitting area.

Maximalism is about creating warmth with lamps and candles placed strategically around the room.

Maximalism is embracing the unique, quirky, and unexpected and adding them in unexpected places.

Maximalism is upcycling furniture and other objects to create something fun.

Maximalism is stand out, strong, independent and fun.

Maximalism is everything that I love.

I am a maximalist.

Why I Started This Blog

In the past I ran a few different blogs, I had one for my art and uni projects, one for my planners and diaries and one for beauty products but keeping them all going at the same time, remembering to write posts, schedule them, take photos, link back to products I used or other relevant sources, update social media platforms became a bit overwhelming.  I struggled to think of content to write, write posts and get them published.  It began to feel like I was writing each day and chasing my tail, not really getting anywhere.  Eventually, I just gave up as it was all becoming a bit too much to keep up with.

Recently I had been thinking about things that I used to do for fun and realised I really enjoyed writing and sharing ideas and thoughts, and that I really, really missed blogging.  In the beginning, when I started blogging I found the whole process of writing, taking photo and updating my blog to be fun and a way to relax, it was almost therapeutic up to a point.  And I wanted that feeling back, I wanted the space to share art things, decorating tips and ideas, food, beauty, whatever I wanted to, or could think of writing about.  I wanted to get back to blogging, maybe not with the intensity I had before but I still felt like it was something I really wanted to do.

I think the reason I failed blogging before was that I had several blogs all specialising in niche subjects and because of the nature of the blogs and their blog names I felt like I couldn’t add other subjects into the blog, that I had to stick with the given theme I had chosen.  It took me a while to really think about what I wanted to write about and share on a blog and whether I wanted to really start a new blog.  I wrote down subjects I wanted to write about and really thought hard about the type of blog these subjects would fit into, one that would give me the freedom to add any subject matter I wanted without having my readers wondering why I had added something that was “off theme”.  I decided a lifestyle blog was the best style to go with, it would give me the freedom to write posts about art and decorating, alongside posts about what I was reading or thinking about.

So I started this blog as a space for me to share my life, experiences, ideas, thoughts and life with you.  I started this blog as I enjoy writing and taking photos and because I find writing is a kind of therapy, it is something to help me mentally and somewhere I can log my life and look back on things I have done and ideas I have had.  I started this blog to give people ideas and inspiration.  That is why I created this blog.

If you are interested in the Story Behind My Blog Name you can find that post here.

If you blog, why did you start yours?  What is your blog about?  Do you write about a niche subject or something in broader terms?

Upcycle Project – Dining Chairs(Part 4)

I’m finally on the last part of the posts about my dining chair upcyle project (Part 1, 2 and 3 can be found in the following links – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 ) and today I will be sharing the finishing touches that I have added, lessons I have learned and how much the project cost per chair.

Firstly though, the finished chairs…

I finally finished the chairs, it took several weekends to complete but I’ve done it and am really pleased with the outcome!  The final finishing touch that I have added is some pompom trim that I used for the alcoves when I decorated the downstairs which I purchased from Amazon (if you missed that post you can find it here) .  I decided to add the trim to add a further element of co-ordination into the colour scheme and design of the room and I feel that it pulls all the elements together really well.  I like the idea that people will notice all the little touches and will allow their eye to investigate the room in greater detail.

This chairs project was really my first major foray into the world of upcycling and upholstery.  I have not worked on a project quite like this before and along the way have learned a few lessons…

  1. However long you think it will take, double it and add an hour.  Sanding the chairs was probably the longest part and I couldn’t believe how much time I spent clearing the old varnish from the frames of the chairs.
  2. Clearing all the varnish and stripping the frames back to bare wood is the best thing to do for the paint to adhere properly.  Failing to clear all the varnish, like on my yellow chair, has resulted in patchy paint and the colour of the varnish bleeding through all the coats of paint I applied.  It still looks patchy now and seems to be more noticeable at the bottom of the legs.
  3. Sometimes it pays to sit back and think a bit…I tried to create a fancy curved corner and edge on the first seat that I tried to upholster which didn’t really work and frustrated me when it didnt go to plan.  I should have sat and thought about what I was doing and ways to cover the seat before starting.
  4. Have fun with your project.  Think about what is fun and makes you smile and go with what you think will work.  The worst that can happen with a project like this is that you have to sand the chair down and start again.

And here are the costing calculations on the attached document…

Costings for chairs

So, in all the chairs cost £17.63 to upcycle which doesn’t seem too bad when you consider that I have bespoke, one of a kind, unique chairs that fit my home and style perfectly and I have had the experience of learning new skills along the way.  And I’m proud to show them off and say “I created these”.  I would recommend to anyone that can’t seem to find furniture that they completely like or keep finding thing that are not quite right to go out and see what is available for sale second-hand and try your hand at creating something that you love!

 

Pulling the Room Together

As promised, this is the second post about decorating my downstairs room and the extra decoration I have added.

After painting and leaving the walls to dry for a time I decided to add some fun touches and textural interest to the arches and alcoves in the form of multi-colour pompoms.  I measured the alcoves and archway and searched the internet for what I had in mind…. I eventually found what I wanted from Amazon .  I was able to purchase this in long lengths which was what I was looking for, each length had to be more than a meter so I could run a continuous length rather than fixing lengths together to fit into the alcoves.

I bought some Command Hooks from B&Q that are meant for hanging decorations such as Christmas Lights, to hang the trim up.  Command Hooks are able to be used and removed without harming the wall underneath and, having used several of their other products in the past, decided that these would be the best thing to use.  The hooks were a bit fiddly as they come in a pack – the hooks all connected to one another and the sticky part separate.  You need to break off the hooks and attach the correct side of the sticky to the hook before peeling the other side from the sticky and attaching to the wall.  I found it easier to break off all the hooks and then attach the sticky to them all before using.

I placed the hooks up the alcoves at equal distances but alternating the facing of the hook, so one faced towards the wall, the next at 180 degrees and facing away from the wall before weaving the trim up and through each hook.

I was really worried that upon the trim being delivered it wouldn’t be as bright as I’d wanted or, not even the correct thing at all (going by past experiences…) and worried that the overall effect would not be like I imagined.  I’m really pleased with how it turned out though, and it always makes me smile.  Visitors to my home have commented on how nice it looks so I’m guessing that it’s not just a hit with me!

Here’s some pictures of the room with the trim up!  (please note that some of these photos are really recent ones…)