Saturday, 30 March 2013

A gift to a very close friend - keep it personal.

I feel really blessed that when I look back on my childhood it is full of wonderful memories.  And I shared a lot of those good times with my best friend at school. Like all friendships we've had our ups and downs (I picked on her at playground because her hair was longer and blonder than mine - a terrible crime, obviously) but I'm proud that after more than two decades we're still so close. As an only child she's the closest thing to a sister that I've ever had.

So when I got the news on Tuesday that she'd  given birth to a beautiful baby daughter I couldn't help but swell with pride. I know that if that little girl ever needs something I'll be there for her.

As I am venturing deeper into the realm of crafting I'd already knitted a blanket for her, but I wanted to post sonething to the new family to know that I was thinking of them all whilst giving them space to do that new family thing.  I hunted around online but I couldn't find anything that hit the right spot. I loved the idea of sending a hamper of bits but I just couldn't find the right combination of thoughtful, useful and celebratory. Either it was all new baby clothes,  or champagne and chocolate.  So I decided to make my own...

I went to my local super market and purchased everything I needed, a beautiful bag, some useful new-parent essentials, some choccies, a baby book that the new Mum and I loved growing up, a range of things! I came home laiden with shopping bags and set to work individually wrapping each gift and writing the reason I had bought it especially for them on the labels.  When you've been close for so long you have a lot of memories and thoughts to draw on, and it made each present special.

I've just come back from the post office and realised that I never took a photo of the finished collection to share, but as they say, it's the thought that counts so I'm  sure you'll appreciate the level of thought that I put into it.  And what makes it better is even with the added cost if postsge my personalised gift was at least £5 cheaper than all the cookie-cutter hampers I found online.

I just hope it arrives safely.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

How to: Fun and funky nails for Easter

So the weather is completely miserable.  The sky is grey, it's bitterly cold and, for heaven's sake it is snowing.
To make myself feel better for the fact that it is snowing in March I decided that some bright, fun nails would make me feel better. And yeh, they have certainly made me feel cheery.
After applying a base coat to protect the nails I selected four easter-egg colours. I raided my nail varnish for colours that most closely resembled mini eggs and I settled on a pink, yellow, blue and orange combo.  Paint one nail each colour leaving your ring finger on each hand. Your ring finger will be your feature nail. Paint this one black.
In Primark I found nail art pens for the handsome sum of £2 which are great for fine work. They come a sets of two colours, and I can really recommend the set that comes with the black and white pens as they are useful for contrast.
On each coloured nail use a nail art pen, start in the middle of the nail and do four dots down the centre. Then in repeat the dots to fill the nail.
Once your dots have dried move to your feature nail.  Using white carefully draw a circle on the edge of your nail. The circle should fill roughly a quarter of your nail, and this will be your bunny's head. Whilst the polish is still tacky I added a pink gem in the centre for the rabbits nose. Finally I drew in some  ears and gave the rabbit some eyes with a quick dot from the nail art pens.
Seal the whole lot with a layer of top coat and you're good to go!
How cute are they?!