A new Hobby Craft shop has opened up just 10 minutes from where I live.
It's like craft supply heaven to me and very handy as until now I have to get my supplies from lots of different places and now I can most things here.
Last month I came across some really pretty craft papers. I don't do any paper craft at all. I don't scrapbook or make my own cards etc so never look at craft paper but these patterns were just gorgeous. They are reversible with a different pattern on each side. I bought one sheet of each of three different patterns and a 2 inch circle punch then cut up the entire cards. I lay two discs together with the patterns facing (ie. spots facing spots and the other design facing out) and then stitched down the middle followed by more discs. I then opened up the discs and folded them out. I didn't really have a plan - I was just seeing what I could do with such pretty card.
I ended up with this really pretty garland which I love but which doesn't fit in with any room at all in my house so for now sits across a mirror in my craft room.
I've since bought more of these patterned cards and have made a load of butterflies for a bare wall in my niece, Kitty's bedroom. It looks so pretty and is a really cheap way of brightening up a bare white wall. I'll post some photos of Kitty's 'hippy bohemian' bedroom soon.
I got the bug then and made a garland from vintage sheet music which we used as a garland for our Christmas tree and which I haven't had the heart to put away yet so it's currently wrapped around the bottle drying rack which I've put in the dining room for now.
This is such an easy thing to make and I'm thinking of making loads to use on the ceiling for Lily's birthday next month.
At the beginning of December we, plus my sister and her kids went off to Majorca (Spain) where my brother lives to meet this little lady - my brother's new baby daughter.
Beautiful little Manu
(Manuelle Ffion - her mother is Argentinian but grew up in Paris so the Manuelle bit is French and Ffion is a popular Welsh name so they've incorporated both cultures/countries in her pretty name).
While we were there there was an international rugby game between Wales and Australia and a pub in Palma was showing the game so naturally my husband and brother had to go and watch it! I think it's the law or something! I drove them in and naturally my sister and I took the opportunity to dump leave the kids with Eugenia (my sis-in-law) and do a bit of shopping. Palma is really beautiful and the weather was lovely so we really enjoyed having a couple of hours roaming the cobbled streets and alleys looking at all the beautiful shops.
My brother is a useless shopper so gave us money to get our presents and ones for the kids so off we went.
We found a stunning shop which was full of vintage pieces and lots of new pieces with vintage feel so we both bought wooden letters for ourselves from him. There were large letters in grey and smaller ones in white. My sister bought HOME but had to have H M and E in grey and O in white which looks really great. I bought EAT all in grey as I have a skinny wall in the kitchen where they would perfect.
The letters started off as dark grey paint with distressed edges but I wanted them to have more of a zinc/metallic look so simply rubbed 'Rub'nBuff' in Pewter over them.
You can see here how the look metallic in the light
Here they are on the 'skinny wall'
Looking from the kitchen through the dining room and into the lounge.
We plan on removing the door by the skinny wall and taking half the wall away (behind the jug) so you will look straight over the cooker (with a half height wall behind it) into the dining room. I think it will make the downstairs flow better as we have a lot of doors as you can see. One of our projects planned for this year.
My generous husband told me I could pick a yacht for Christmas when we were in Palma but I struggled between these two so had a pair of Hunter wellies instead!
Palma at night with the palm trees decorated for Christmas.
The beautiful Cathedral lit up at night.
Palma is a stunning place - we are going to have to visit there more often now so Manu doesn't forget her aunties. What a chore!!
I didn't make any New Year Resolutions this year as I know I won't stick to them - the main one should be to eat less chocolate but I'll end up getting carried away and make more resolutions than I can handle. This will lead me to get stressed which will make me eat more chocolate. To make New Year Resolutions is just counter-productive for me.
Instead my goal for this year is just one word - BALANCE
I work full time, have two kids whose swimming lessons alone take up 5 evenings a week without their other activities, have an extremely messy house and run my little business from home. I constantly feel like I am juggling way too many things at once.
This year I want to:
balance my family life and my small business
clock off by a reasonable hour on weekends so that we can have movie nights or games nights
balance my 'parent' life and 'couple' life
make sure my husband and I make time for date nights (something we've let slide)
balance my home life
I rarely have time for decorating any more - I no longer work Fridays but tend to use that day for my business so still have very little spare time. On the other hand my business is making money so this year I'm going to hire people to do some work around the house for me. Our house is in desperate need of redecorating and whilst I could do the work myself I never have the time plus a professional will do a better job in half the time. I've taken some convincing to do this but it does make sense.
balance my bank account
I love making things myself and will make as much for the home as I can which means I can then splash out on something I really want. I'm getting much better at watching the pennies but want to improve this year - by December I want to be a real tight ass! Which leads me on to ...
balance my weight
I used to be super skinny (many years ago) and am now super top heavy! I hate it but never enough to do anything about it. I'm not going to diet or take on an exercise programme which will surely kill me but do plan on watching what I eat more and becoming more active.
balance my 'me-time'
I love reading (crime novels in particular - no wonder I'm scared of the dark). I have very little time for reading these days. Over Christmas I had loads of time off work and rediscovered the simple pleasure of just sitting down with a book. I find it difficult to switch off and relax so reading is good for me. I plan on making for time for me to enjoy some good books. I also had some spa vouchers for my birthday last November which I haven't used yet so plan on using those soon. I'm also making the time to get my hair done every month - I normally have it cut twice a year and colour the greys myself but they are coming thick and fast now so for the last three months I've been having them done professionally. Initially I was anxious about spending this kind of money but it goes back to the fact that I'm working hard and making a little extra from Etsy which is probably contributing to the abundance of grey so it's only fair that Etsy takes me back to my 'natural brown with floodlights'! I'm hoping I'll keep up with my monthly hair pampering session.
balance my blog more
I've become an 'all or nothing' person. I'm missing loads of posts from my favourite blogs as I don't have the time to just sit and enjoy reading them. I'm posting very little and I've become the world's worst at replying to comments (this is partly down to time differences - most of my comments are left when I'm in work or in bed and I mean to reply when I get home from work but get caught up in other things). I do appreciate and read all comments and sorry if I don't reply.
Hope 2012 has started off great for everyone.
The sun is shining in Wales today (for once) and my spirits feel lifted - it does really feel like the start of a New Year here so I'm looking forward to seeing what it will bring.