The next project in my quest to add colour to everything in my room is this cute marbled picture frame DIY! I actually bought these frames thinking that I would decorate them with a tiled mosaic, but that proved to be too difficult. I’m glad I marbled them instead though because this project is easier, cheaper, quicker and filled with just as much colour!
You will need: A container to dunk your frames into, a frame, nail polish in several colours, tape, and a wooden stick.
I decided that I just wanted the front of my frames to be marbled, so I began by removing the glass and backing from my frames and taping the sides to protect them!
Fill your container with a couple of inches of water, and add your nail polish. Be aware that it dries quickly (especially fast drying nail polish!) so you’re going to need to work fairly fast. I found it easiest to pour nail polish out of the bottle with the bottle close to the water, and swirl the polish around slowly. If I poured too quickly, the polish dissolved into the water rather than sitting on top.
Dunk your frame into the water! Since my frame was bigger than my container, I dipped in one section at a time. It didn’t matter if I dipped a part of the frame that had already been dipped, since the overlap had a pretty effect.
I did four or five different nail polish patterns before both frames were covered with the marble effect. The nail varnish left a skin on the top of the water (kind of like the skin on milk when you heat it in the mocrowave.) I removed this with a wooden stick in-between patterns so that it didn’t stick to my frames!
Ta da! All finished. Now you just need to hang your frames! I feel like I say this every time I post a project, but this really is a simple DIY. You could whip these up in under an hour, and the fun thing is that you can marble almost anything with this technique! I think my Van Gough print looks super cute in this marbled frame, and now I just need to buy a print to display in the second one!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I love A: jumpsuits B: anything with a pattern, and C: clothes that feel like pyjamas. Luckily for me, this jumpsuit meets all three of these requirements! I’ve been wearing it non-stop this week (is that wrong?) for sewing, lounging, running errands and everything in-between. It’s super comfy and the cute print means that it looks like I made an effort. It’s from Great Plains who, I have to admit, I hadn’t previously heard of, but they do some great basics as well as having some really cute prints! When the sun comes out, my hair gradually starts to turn a cooper colour. It’s fun that you can see that in these pictures! I think the golden-hour sunlight is also lending a hand.
I took these photos in the countryside which is a 5 minute walk from my house. It really is beautiful up there in the evening light. I’ve mentioned it before (in this post!) but these fields are soon to be turned into housing estates. I’ll be sad when that happens, but until then I’d better make sure I take more walks and soak up the sunlight. My mum told me that one of the most beautiful places in the world is the English countryside on a perfect summers evening. You know, I think she might be right!
Even though it’s summer now, on cloudy days I still feel like curling up under a blanket and eating lots of donuts, so I made some! Well, sort of. I don’t have a donut baking tray (although it’s definitely on my wishlist now) so I improvised and baked my mixture in a muffin tray. These treats are like a cross between a cake and a donut, hence “cakenut”! They’re light and fluffy, tart and sweet at the same time and it did not take me and my family long to munch through these (a day and a half, tops!) I’ve adapted my recipe from this incredible vegan donut recipe. The cakenuts are vegan too!
You will need: 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed, 1 cup of plain flour, 1/3 cup of maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of rice milk, 1 tablespoon of warm water, 1/4 cup of vegan margarine, 1 lemon, 1 1/3 cup of icing sugar, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of blueberry jam, a muffin tray and a piping bag.
First, mix the flaxseed and the warm water together and leave this to stand for a couple of minutes.
Next, slightly melt the margarine and mix this with the zest of your lemon, the maple syrup, milk and the flax seed mixture. Add to this the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix together.
Spoon your mixture into the muffin trays so that each circle is half filled. Bake these at 180 C for fifteen minutes.
Once the cakenuts have cooled, you can remove them from the pan and begin the fun bit – the piping! If you have a piping bag, fill it with blueberry jam, push the nozzle into the middle of the cakenut and squeeze. If, like me, you don’t have a piping bag, you could make a diy one from greaseproof paper and sellotape, and use a chopstick to make a hole in the middle of your cakenut. This is definitely the messy way of getting the jam in the middle! For variety, half of my cakenuts have jam inside, and the other half have jam spread on top like a scone.
Mix the lemon juice and icing sugar together and spread it on the top of your cakenuts! (Don’t forget to lick the bowl, this stuff is tasty.)
And they’re ready to eat! Because they take so little time in the oven and the mixture’s pretty simple, this is actually a really quick bake. And when you’re hungry for cakenuts, that can only be a good thing!
After using Thermomorph to make a plant pot last week, I had loads of pellets left so I decided to have a go at making some plastic jewellery. I used a cookie cutter again, this time in the cutest little daisy shape! I’ve attached the plastic flowers to a choker I bought from eBay. Who knew 90s “tattoo” chokers would be cool again? Oh well, I’m not complaining!
Fill a bowl with boiling water, and add a handful of thermomorph pellets. After a minute they’ll become transparent and be ready to use! / Scoop out some thermomorph, roll it flat and cut out a shape with your cookie cutter. / My cookie cutter didn’t go right through the plastic, so I turned it upside down and peeled the plastic away. / To neaten up the edges, dunk your flowers back into the hot water for a minute and use your hands to push the edges back into shape.
Once they’ve cooled, paint your flowers and once they’re dry, coat them with a layer of PVA glue. / Draw around your flowers on the felt and cut the shapes out. / Use the glue gun to glue the flowers to the choker, with the felt backing the other side of the choker.
And that’s it! The choker I bought was a little wide for my neck, so I’d love to have a go with one that sits further up. I’ve never used sculpey clay but I imagine clay might also work for the flowers. You could totally make a range of daisy accessories with this method – daisy hair slides would be the cutest!
I’m over the moon to be interviewing JoJo from Miss JoJangles this month! She’s a seriously cute crafty blogger who’s the sassiest knitter I know. This interview is one of my all time faves, you won’t be disappointed!
Jess: It’s so much fun to come across fellow crafty bloggers! Have you always enjoyed making things, or is it a skill you’ve developed as you got older?
JoJo: I have forever been one of those people who can’t sit still. I was the classic fidget-bum little girl you didn’t want to sit next to at nursery and it’s a trait that I have yet to grow out of – and I for one, am glad of that. I have to always be making something, it gives me such satisfaction like nothing else does. I can’t comprehend people who don’t constantly make things! As I grow older and make more and more I find that my projects have matured as well – I’m no longer trying to make Pokemon out of A4 printer paper and sellotape. However, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia, recently I’ve made my own play dough too! Some girls never change.
Jess: You always impress me with how many different crafts you’ve managed to tackle! What is your favourite way to make things?
JoJo: When people ask me my favourite craft, my knee jerk reaction is to shout ‘knitting’ at an inappropriate volume. However, in all honesty, it’s been a while since I’ve knitted. I’ve currently got a very dull jumper on the go and I’m constantly getting distracted. Right now, I’ve started to learn the basics of using a sewing machine and I have fallen in love with how instant the projects I make on it can be. I am forever getting excited that, when I sew with a machine, my finished articles look like ‘real things’ as opposed to something I created with my hands. I’m on an embroidery kick at the moment too. Forever a needle junkie.
Jess: What is your favourite thing about blogging? Do you have a favourite post?
JoJo: My favourite thing about blogging is the people I have met through it. Like everyone who’s a bit “different”, I have struggled to meet like-minded people throughout my life. The blogging community is such a friendly one to be a part of and I have met friends through blogging who I can talk to hours with because we have so much in common. It’s also helped me with my own confidence and taught me to embrace my quirks.
Although I blog mostly about crafts, my favourite posts have been the ones where I have been honest with my friends and readers, about turning 20 and about my University experiences.
Jess: Since graduating from uni, this year has been a bit up and down for me – I haven’t been able to make up my mind about what I want to do, and I’ve been moving around and doing temp work. Reading your blog has helped me realise that lots of other lovely people like you are still figuring it out, too! What is your daily life like at the moment, and do you know where you’d like to be in five years time?
JoJo: Oh goodness, I’ve been there. My advice is hang in there. Most people don’t have the foggiest clue what they’re doing with their lives, they just don’t have guts to put up both hands and admit to it. I’ve spent the last two years after my A-Level trying to figure out everything, testing out a string of different courses and options available to me. This year, I have taken time out of education to work as a shop girl. While all my friends have moved away to different cities and do different things, I’ve stayed in the little town where I grew up. I don’t regret it at all. It’s been so beneficial. It takes a certain type of strength to kick against what all your peers are doing. I have learnt so much and grown up a great deal. It’s meant I’ve worked hard on my blog and pushed myself to try new things and meet new people. It’s also through trying things that you learn what you do and don’t want to do, also. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, you don’t need to explain your journey to anyone because it’s yours.
At the moment, I like to wake up early and greet my family in the morning before they go out for the day. Then I get ready for work, it can be a bit painful if it’s a weekend and everyone else is still in bed! I love my walk to work. I put my headphones in, take a cheeky SnapChat ‘off to work selfie’ my friends have grown to love/despise and head on my way. Working in town means I now know a lot of people so I get to wave at the window cleaners, shop owners and the Big Issue guy. After work, I like to walk through the market and treat myself to some fresh fruit or flowers. Some evenings I’ll go to my favourite local craft café for a class and learn a new skill, meet up with friends or I’ll go for a run. I like to make the most of my days off by having as much fun as I can, going on adventures or working on my blog.
As much as I love this little town, I’m hoping that very soon I’ll be elsewhere too. I’m hoping to go to University in September. In five years time, I don’t know where I will be but the hope is London and the daydream is to work in the marketing department at Etsy, Pinterest or Instagram and I won’t stop tweeting them until it happens.
Jess: Is there anything you wish you’d have known when you started crafting or blogging? What would your advice be to people who feel they don’t have the time or the talent to make things?
JoJo: My advice to people is just to get stuck in. You don’t know how to blog until you actually blog, same with knitting. You could read a thousand books on how to cast on, but you’ll never have a scarf unless you actually grab your needles and wool. After months of planning and reading big blogger’s advice posts, my blog began as an almost Tumblr scrapbook of music, art and photographs I was loving. Sometimes I miss those days! But it wasn’t until I got going with my blog that I found my feet and learnt way more than I ever did when I was simply researching.
In order to make more time for crafting and blogging, I have cut out certain things out of my life to make space for more productive pass times. I don’t watch TV anymore and I have to tell you, I really don’t miss it. As for people who don’t think they can’t craft, I shake my head. Everyone can craft, that’s the joy of it. Even if what you create looks like it’ll fall apart if you tug at the lose thread towards the bottom left, you made it and that’s awesome. Anyone can go out and buy something but a handmade creation has so much more personality. No one wants to be ordinary, after all.
Thanks for the interview JoJo, I had so much fun finding out more about you! Don’t forget to check out JoJo’s blog and all her wonderful crafty creations.
You know, a year ago I would have told you that I didn’t have a signature style. I’m inspired by so many different aesthetics, and I’ve always subscribed to the school of “wear whatever you want, just because you feel like it.” I’ve recently made an effort to buy things that fit in with the rest of the clothes in my wardrobe, and if anything I’ve gone too far in the other direction. I just want to dress like I’m from the 70s all the time! Jumpsuits + round sunglasses = a perfect outfit in my books. It might be a little predictable, but at least I know what I like. This might just be the perfect jumpsuit. It’s super 70s, and it’s so soft and flowy. The nipped-in waist makes it dressy, and you could just as easily wear it to a classy event as a day of napping in the garden.
Outfit Details: Jumpsuit, Warehouse (& see more dresses and jumpsuits from Warehouse here !) / Denim Jacket, Vintage (Ebay) / Shoes, everything5pounds.com / Hat, New Look / Sunglasses, Vintage (The Beatnik Emporium, Southampton)
I bought my vintage jacket from eBay years ago and took it in at the sides. A while ago I decided not to buy any leather, even second-hand but to keep the leather items I already owned. I just love the leather detailing on the back of this jacket, I think the horse riding through the desert is such a summery scene! These photos were taken this weekend in London, where I spent a glorious few days with my friends. I drank whisky, ate too much junk food, talked into the night and hung out in the park in the beautiful sunshine. I wish all weekends were like that!
*This jumpsuit was given to me by Warehouse, but all opionions are my own!
When Thermomorph first contacted me, I thought the product sounded a little like a character from a superhero movie. It’s not actually a type of transformer, but a box of moldable plastic! Think play dough for grownups, you pour the little plastic balls into a bowl of boiling water and you get a lump of plastic that you can mold into whatever you like. Because this stuff sets very quickly (I’m talking a minute, maybe two tops) I wouldn’t recommend using it for anything intricate. I cut shapes out of the thermomorph with this miniature elephant cookie cutter, which I used for this cute elephant plant pot! I painted the elephants yellow, obviously, because yellow is my favourite colour and I’m very predictable. Here’s how!
You will need: A pot of thermomorph (which you can buy from amazon here)! A cookie cutter, a plantpot, some PVA glue, a knife, a chopping board, a rolling pin, paint and paintbrushes.
Fill a bowl with boiling water and add a handful of thermomorph plastic balls. / Once the plastic is transparent, use a spoon (or tongs) to remove a chunk of plastic. Use your rolling pin to roll it flat, with a depth of a cm or two. Cut the thermomorph with the cookie cutter, and wiggle around! / This stuff is pretty sticky so flip the cutter over to pull away most of the excess plastic. / To remove the thermomorph from the cutter, submerge it in a bowl of cold water. Because the plastic sets quickly, go through this process one elephant at a time! Add more hot water if the bowl cools down before you’re finished.
My elephants were still a little imperfect around the edges, so I dunked them back into the hot water for 5 seconds to soften them, before cutting away the extra plastic and shaping them around the curve of the pot. / Use PVA to glue your elephants down! / Paint your pot. I did several coats of white acrylic first, and then used yellow acrylic to pick out the elephants.
I’m not sure whether this plant pot is sophisticated or if it looks like a pre-school project, but either way it’s cheerful and it has elephants on it so you can’t go wrong! I’ve been pinning lots of plant-filled rooms onto my home inspiration board and longing for a jungley home, it’s just a shame I’m not very good at keeping plants alive. You can’t kill cacti though, right?
*Thermomorph was sent to me for free, but all opinions (and my addiction to the colour yellow) are my own.
I’m starting my masters in Edinburgh this September, and so I spent this weekend hunting for somewhere to live! I’m so excited to live in a city that I love, and looking at flats (and decorating them in my mind) is one of my favourite activities. Luckily the weather was pretty warm whilst we were there, so I got to break out my bare legs and a very summery crop top! This top actually belonged to me when I was around eleven. A lot of my clothes from year 6 and 7 still fit me, not because I’m small now but because I did all my growing at a very young age. I was a tall eleven year old! I cut the bottom half off this top, and ta-da, it became a new crop top! Who says hoarding clothes doesn’t have it’s benefits? I bought this kimono from Rokit in Brick Lane a while back. I think it used to be a bed coat, but it’s more fun as an outside coat. When wearing this at uni, one of my friends asked me with genuine puzzlement “why are you dressed up as a witch today?” because wearing a cape that billows in the wind is fun, that’s why!
Outfit Details: Kimono, Vintage (Rokit) / Crop Top, Upcycled / Skirt, DIY / Chelsea Boots, New Look / Sunglasses, Rock N Rose via Lavish Alice
I’m wearing one of the skirts that I made a couple of months ago. Although one of the easiest to make, it’s among my favourite things that I’ve made because it’s so easy to wear, but the pu leather is unusual at the same time. I can’t wait to go back up to Scotland, I’m hoping to be there for the Fringe festival. I went briefly in 2010 and it was a lot of fun!
I’ve been doing a lot of sewing recently, and as a result I’ve collected a lot of thread! I could no longer close the lid on my sewing box so I knew I needed a better storage solution. This yellow thread holder stores a lot (181 spools to be exact) and it’s beautifully colourful 🙂 Now I just need to fill up all that empty space! I decided to use nails as bobbin holders on the bottom half only because I usually have much more thread than bobbins. And here’s how I did it…
You will need: A large rectangular piece of MDF (mine’s 1220 by 606mm and it’s 6mm thick) 10 metres of 6mm dowel sticks, a drill and a 6mm drill bit, a saw, a pack of thin nails, wood glue, 2 picture mounts and screws, 2 picture hooks and some paint (I used spray paint, but in retrospect regular paint would have been better.)
To begin with, saw your piece of MDF exactly in half. / Decide where you want your spools to go. I drew lines 2.5 inches apart both horizontally and vertically along one half of the MDF. / Drill holes through the MDF at each point where the lines you drew intersect. If you haven’t used a drill before, get someone to help you! / Saw your pieces of dowel into 5.5cm long strips.
Squeeze a little wood glue onto the end of each strip of dowel and insert them firmly into the holes you drilled. / Once the glue is dry, cover the back of the MDF with wood glue and adhere this to your second piece of MDF (not pictured.) Whilst drying, I placed jam jars over the strips of dowel and balanced heavy books on top of the jam jars. That way, the MDF will be sandwiched firmly together when dry and you won’t snap any of the dowel strips! Once this is dry, paint the entire thing. / When the paint is dry, hammer nails in between the dowel strips. These will hold bobbins! I only hammered nails onto the bottom half, since I usually have more spools of thread than bobbins. / Screw picture mounts onto both top back corners.
Hammer your picture hooks into the wall and hang up your thread holder!
This project ended up taking me a long time because the wood needed so many layers of spray paint. Note to self, use paint brush paint in future! I feel like I’ve done a lot of DIY posts featuring this corner of my room lately, so hopefully that means it’s nearly finished. I’ll hopefully move into my flat in Edinburgh next month, and I’ve been doing lot of furniture browsing and decorating planning. I’m so excited!