Valentine’s Day Treats!

Now that Valentine’s Day has been, I can finally share with you the project that I was working on for James! Throughout January I stitched away at this cute ‘Elements of Love’ design by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I thought it was ideal for James with his interests in science, but the cute kawaii design definitely represented an element of me too! I also loved the pretty pastel colours. James was also thrilled with the design. He knew that he was getting a handmade gift, but he said that he wasn’t expecting a cross stitch so it was a surprise for him!
Edit 2

To add another element of fun to the present, I painted the frame in chalkboard paint and drew some designs on it. I wanted to make it look like a school chalkboard, so I added some equations and some ‘love graffiti’. It was quite hard to draw on with the chalk though…I possibly could have done to sand it some more before I drew on it! Here is the finished frame. Continue reading


Feeding the Penguins!

James loves penguins. To be fair, I can see why…they are incredibly cute! When I was searching for the idea Christmas present to get him, my Mum discovered that Sewerby Hall were offering an animal encounter for two to go and feed the penguins. Obviously, this was the ideal gift, and seeing him open it on Skpye on Christmas Day was great! On 31st January, we had James’ acceptance of a graduate job to celebrate, and a day to ourselves before starting university again the following week. It was an early start to give the penguins their breakfast, but it was worth it!

Edit 11

Sewerby Hall has nine Humboldt penguins, which are natively found in South America, so it’s a bit chilly for them in the UK! We were met by the Zoo Keeper, John, who introduced us to them and answered our questions. But first was the task that we were dreading…preparing the fish. Continue reading

Craft Bargains in the January Sales

Ok, so, I may have fallen into the trap of being lured in by the promise of dramatic reductions in the January sales…aren’t we all? However, I did only mostly pick up essentials or things that are going to help me ‘craft with my stash’ as I aspire to do as part of my 23 before 23. I have managed to pick up some faantastic bargains, so lets start with my Hobbycraft haul!

Shortly after Christmas, it came to my attention that the Hobbycraft website had a great offer on Tattered Lace dies. Since I had just received a die cutter for Christmas, and I love the Tattered Lace range, I felt obliged to check it out! The deal was, if you spent over £20 on Tattered Lace Dies, you got a pack of mini dies for free. After scouring the range, I found some that I had had my eyes on for a while; a pair of owls and a reindeer snowglobe. Since it was after Christmas, the Christmas die was reduced to £10, so both of the dies came to £25, meaning that I was entitled to the free pack. However, they also had an offer, where you received a 15% off voucher if you signed up to their ‘Hobbycraft Club.’ I did this and immediately received the coupon code to my email address, saving me even more money! Here is what I spent in the end:

Tattered Lace


I also did some shopping in my local Hobbycraft store, as I had received another voucher in their Christmas catalogue, for 15% off in January. So on New Year’s Day I was working my way through the aisles to pick up some more bargains! Again, I was drawn to the die cutting section. Since my machine is new, I only have a limited range of dies to use with is, and because they are so expensive, I wanted to make the most of the while I have the discount coupon. As you all know, I am an owl lover, so I had had my eye on this other owl one, since I saw a demo of it being used for some appliqué cushions. The Brenda Walton medallions caught my eye and eventually won me over. I’m so glad that they did, because I think they will look great for wrapping handmade presents! I will do a demo in another post 🙂 These are the two that I bought: Continue reading

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 29,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas Goodies! And a Christmas Miracle…

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a great couple of days off work where I spent time with my family and ate far too much food! Since then I’ve been back at work so this is the first chance I have had to share my presents with you! Here is just a quick look at some of the goodies that I got! Please excuse the poor quality photos, they were taken rather hastily on my phone on Christmas morning!



First of all, James got me a Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutter! I have had a quick play with it already but I am looking forward to experimenting with it some more yet! I also ordered some dies in the Hobbycraft January sale which are due to arrive any time now!

WP_20131225_006 Continue reading

Advent Calendar: Final Quarter

Here it is! The last instalment of advent calendar goodies! I can’t believe December has passed so quickly!!! I would like to say a huge thank you to James though for all of amazing presents that he has put in the calendar for me this year! I hope I can do as good a job for him next year!

Day 19: Penguin Pin


James was really surprised that I couldn’t work out what this present was when it was wrapped and now I know why…I was with him when I bought this!!! It was a long time ago though…i think it was the first advent calendar present that he bought! It was from a shop called Blot and I fell in love with this cute face! I will be able to add him to my pin collection…just as soon as have bought a bigger lanyard…

Day 20: Omnom Continue reading

English Society Haworth Trip

Last week I had the pleasure of taking a group of students to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth with the English Society. Along with the president, Charlotte, and assistant secretary Rob, we successfully herded 13 students around the village and museum (without loss or injury!) A pretty impressive achievement if you ask me! We had a wonderful day and pretty much missed the bad weather. Charlotte gave a tour of the village, which hasn’t changed very much since the Bronte sisters lived there. We then had dinner at the Apothecary Tea Room, where we were treated to traditional English Sunday Lunch in a Yorkshire pudding, followed by Bakewell tart, apple pie or Christmas pudding. There was a little bit of time for shopping before a talk from a volunteer at the museum (a Hull University alumni!), who told us about the lives of the Brontes. There was then time to walk around the museum or to return to the shops before the coach trip home. We had a great day and I thought I would share my souvenirs with you! I didn’t have chance to take many photos while I was there as I was the first aider, and it was tricky to take pictures while toting around the first aid box!

The majority of my shopping took place in the beautiful Rose Apothecary, which really hasn’t changed in appearance for hundreds of years! My first round of shopping was from the Paul & Joe Make-up range. I got a beautiful carousel eyeshadow in an adorable cat box, a pretty mint nail varnish and some blotting papers.


All the of Paul & Joe make-up is packaged so beautifully! It is almost too pretty to use! I already have some more items on my wishlist for my next visit that I am hoping to make in January!

I also got some Rose Apothecary items while I was there: Continue reading

The Overwhelming Generosity of Bloggers

Through the blogging community I have made some amazing friends. I never expected a global virtual community to feel so close-knit, and yet this is how I have made some of the closest friends that I have! I think it is fascinating to talk to people from around the world and to experience their lives through their eyes, and it is one of the reasons why I love reading (not just writing) blogs.

While being part of the blogging community, I have been very lucky and won some very generous giveaways, but this week I was lucky enough to receive two prizes in the post, not from giveaways but from bloggers who wanted to thank the supporters of their blogs. I am an avid believer that you can’t get without giving, and I dedicate a lot of my time reading and commenting on other blogs, not out of the expectation that they will return the comment (although many do) but out of the belief that blogging is a community. I often strive to find new bloggers who have the same interests as me, and take the time to follow their blog and comment on their posts, because I know how much those first few statistics meant to me and how they motivated me to keep going. I also believe that I still have a lot to learn about blogging, and by reading other blogs, I can pick up a lot of tips and techniques that have helped me shape my blog. Half of the pleasure of blogging is being introduced to new blogs, new people and new ideas, and the advantage of blogging means that you have the opportunity to discuss these ideas with the writers…it’s not an opportunity to be wasted!

So I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported my blog, whether it has been right from the beginning or if you are a more recent reader. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Angela and Azura Chan who sent me the following gifts:

Cute crafty goodies from Angela

Cute crafty goodies from Angela

An adorable bundle of goodies from Azura Chan

An adorable bundle of goodies from Azura Chan

Continue reading

Hull is the City of Culture 2017!

As many of you know, I was born in Hull, and I now live in a village just outside it. I go to the University of Hull and work in Waterstones in the city centre. This morning the news was announced that Hull has won the City of Culture bid 2017. The bid has played a predominant part in the city for the past few months, with a huge backing from local people. What has really come out of the bid is a sense of pride to be from Hull; and I am very proud to be from Hull right now.

To give you a sense of Hull’s culture, I recommend you watch this video which was part of the bid. I was incredibly touched by this video and the sense of pride in the city that I was in tears by the end!

Continue reading