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Lavender Bunnies

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Last Christmas (all the way back in 2012!) James bought me this book on vintage inspired handmade gifts. It’s so beautiful, it sits on my windowsill next to my Rookie yearbook, and my Tea Party book. Books with big pictures are my favourite. Anyway, I spent last christmas writing essays and I promised my mum that when I graduated we would make the lavender bunnies in my book as gifts. And we did! I know some of my friends and family read my blog, so I didn’t want to write about these before Christmas – I wanted the bunnies to be a surprise. I’m so pleased with how they turned out. They’re not symmetrical but I think they’re cute. The fabric I chose frayed like crazy but once we figured out how to work with it they were super fun to make 🙂

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You will need: Fabric (I used 3/4s of a meter of vintage plaid fabric from ebay), greaseproof paper, pencil, fabric scissors, lavender (you can buy dried lavender online), polyester stuffing, needle and thread, embroidery floss, embroidery needle, ribbon, small pom poms, sewing machine (optional)

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We traced the bunny shape onto greaseproof paper (remembering to leave an inch for the seam) cut it out, pinned it onto the fabric, and cut out 24 bunny shapes • I pinned two sides of the bunny together and sewed around the edges, leaving one side of the head unstitched • We snipped into the corners of the bunny and pushed the fabric through the hole so that the bunny was the right way around • I stuffed the bunnies, alternating between polyester stuffing and lavender

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I hand sewed the stuffing hole closed • We hand sewed on the pom poms as tails, tied the ribbon around their necks and embroidered eyes noses and mouths using the embroidery floss.

I rarely craft with others, so it was really fun to make bunnies with my mum – especially since they were completed twice as fast! They’re one of my favourite things I’ve ever made, I hope they enjoy their new homes.

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7

Christmas Day

Things have been a little quiet on Jessthetics recently. I’ve been working full-time as a Christmas temp, trying to finish off homemade presents and getting ready to move back to York in January – I forgot how much hassle it is to find somewhere to live! I’ve not had much time to sit down with my computer and blog. My Christmas day was lovely and relaxed –  exactly what I needed (especially since it was my first day off work for a while!) Here is how I spent the day 🙂

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My Grandpa stayed with us for Christmas, and he brought my Aunt’s dog Bella! She’s very good – she knows she’s not allowed to chase Archie, although Archie is still very nervous around her, understandably. After a lie in, me and my brother opened our presents from Santa before enjoying a leisurely breakfast. We then exchanged family presents, accompanied by champagne and appetisers!

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We spent Christmas day afternoon walking in the countryside around my village – we’ve never done this before, but it was lovely to be outside in the cold sunshine after too much time on the sofa.

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After our walk we came home for Christmas dinner (including a mirror selfie in my new Christmas jumper!) followed by the Blackadder Christmas special in front of the fire. Christmas has been and gone so quickly, I can’t believe that it was four days ago now! If you’ve written a Christmas day post, do send me the link. I love to read them!

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What I Wore: Disco In The Daytime

I know disco pants are a little dated, but I love mine so I’m going to wear them anyway. These trousers were my go-to trousers to wear to Willow (a grimy, cheesy club in York) but since I rarely go out now, I’ve incorporated them into my day-time wardrobe! This is what I wore Christmas shopping with James last week. I ended up only buying beer and a jumper for myself, whoops.

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Whenever James comes to stay we watch Buffy together. This time we watched the first season of Angel. My makeup is inspired by Cordelia this time – she wears some amazing dark lipsticks! I have layered up because it is freezing and windy. I don’t know how other bloggers can wear cut out boots / crop tops at this time of year unless they’re carrying a radiator around with them.

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Outfit details: Disco Pants, American Apparel / Shirt, Vintage (inherited) / Jacket, Vintage (inherited) / Coat, Vintage (inherited) / Scarf, Vintage (inherited) / Shoes, Topshop (Old) / Necklace, Vintage (inherited) / Earrings, H&M / Lipstick, Lush Confidence

I hope you’re having a lovely Saturday! I’m working a lot in the run up to christmas, but I’m enjoying being busy. I think if I had a lot of time on my hands I would be missing James and my friends too much. How are your preperations going?

6

DIY Snowman Jumper

You guys, I love themed clothes. I have so many glittery dresses and sequined trousers that I bring out at christmas time, but I realised the other day that I don’t own any christmas jumpers. From Saturday I’m expected to go to work in fancy dress (yay!) so I thought I’d whip up a snowman jumper. Initially I planned to embroider the whole jumper with wool but when I realised how long that would take me I stitched the main design in felt like these bloggers.

snowman jumper 1snowman jumper 2snowman jumper 3You will need: A jumper(!) mine is from H&M, wool, a wool needle, white fabric and fabric for the hat and scarf, needle and thread, pom pom rings or cardboard.

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Cut your snowman shape from the white fabric and stitch it to the jumper. Make sure you don’t stretch the jumper as you’re stitching otherwise the design will be crumpled when you wear it! • Cut your hat and scarf from your coloured fabric and stitch it to the jumper • Use your wool and a wool needle to embroider buttons, a nose, eyes and a mouth. Make a pom pom using pom pom rings or cardboard (like this) and stitch to the top of the snowman’s hat.

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Ta da! You have a snowman jumper! I hope this is helping you feel festive. I’m looking forward to going to work in my jumper and lots of glittery make up. Do you have any christmas jumpers?

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8 Homemade Gift Ideas

I know a lot of people like to have their christmas shopping done by now, but if like me you’re less organised than that, here are some homemade christmas gift ideas from my archives. Handmade presents are often cheaper, you don’t have to wait for weeks for them to be posted to you, and it’s so special to gift something that you’ve spent time making! Plus, homemade presents are usually better quality than shop bought ones, and you can personalise them to suit the person you’re gifting it to.

1.  Fur lined mittens. I made these for a friend last year. They’re a nice beginner sewing project and mittens make excellent christmas presents, since they’re so cosy!

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2. Pattern rug. This would be great for someone who’s moved into a new place, or someone who loves a good pattern!

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3. Scented candles. I recently made these for myself, but they’d make the cutest presents!

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4. Paisley Man’s Shirt. This project is time-consuming, but if you started now you’d be finished before christmas. Nothing says “I love you” like homemade clothes.

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5. Embroidered picture. This is a really simple way of creating a personalised artwork for someone.

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6. Massage oil. This is super easy and inexpensive to make, and you could even gift it with an “i owe you a  massage” voucher.

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7. Log vase. If you have a friend that likes earthy decor, this would be the perfect present.

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8. Hand printed shirt. This is a fun and easy project,  and who wouldn’t appreciate a handmade shirt?

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Are you guys hand making any presents this year?

6

DIY Glitter Garland

There are many wonderful things about Christmas. One of my favourite is that it’s a good excuse to cover everything in glitter. I love glitter! This week I made a glittery gold garland to hang up in my room, and here’s how I did it 🙂glitter garland 1glitter garland 2

You will need: String or a bead chain to hang your decorations onto, PVA glue, gold glitter, paint brushes, gold spray paint and decorations to hang on your garland. I got all of mine from Wilkinsons. You can use pom poms, baubles, mistletoe, twigs from the garden, pine cones, bows, ribbon, whatever you like!

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If any of your decorations aren’t already gold, you need to spray paint them. Do this outside so you don’t gas yourself / ruin the carpet, and then leave your decs to dry • Once your decs are dry, paint shapes onto them using PVA glue and dunk them in the gold glitter • Once the PVA is dry, shake off the excess glitter • Tie your decorations onto the string! My baubles and bows came with ties, and I tied everything else on using gold ribbon

glitter garland 4This is a really fun craft to do with someone else. James doesn’t usually enjoy crafting, but he loved spray painting things and covering them in glitter!

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Now you’ve finished, you can hang up your garland and admire it. Have you ever hand-made christmas decorations? I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday 🙂

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DIY Scented Candles

I love things that smell good, especially during winter when I’m spending a lot of time indoors. I burn a lot of joss sticks but I also love scented candles, and this is my third tutorial featuring essential oils! (DIY one, DIY two.) I find Yankee Candles super expensive though, especially when it’s so easy to make your own! I think it would be hard to replicate the smell of a Yankee Candle using this DIY, but these candles are still really cute.

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You will need: Glass containers for your candles (you can find so much cute cheap glassware in charity shops, that’s where mine come from!) candle wicks, candle wax (I recommend using either an unwanted candle that’s broken or dirty or soy wax, which is eco-friendly), spray paint, tape, kebab skewers, essential oil, and a doily.

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Obviously you can use any essential oil, but I am totally addicted to lavender! I think it’s the most relaxing scent.

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Cut your doily in half and cut each half into a semi-circle • Tape your doilies onto your glassware so that they overlap. Make sure they sit flat otherwise your pattern will smudge, and make sure you don’t put tape on the part you want to paint! • Turn your glass upside down and spray paint the bottom • Whilst your glass is drying, move on to the next step

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If you are recycling a candle like me, scrape any of the damaged parts from the wax with a knife • Melt the candle in a double burner (this is a pan on top of a pan full of water – you don’t want your wax to cook!) and remove the wick. You can recycle the wick too if you like! If you’re using soy wax just melt this in the pan • Tape two kebab sticks to the top of the glass, and wedge the wick in between them. This will hold the wick in place • Add a couple of drops of essential oil to your wax and pour it into your container. Wax sinks as it cools, so you will need to add more wax after a couple of hours.

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I did a second candle, but instead of using doilies I just taped the top of my glass before spray painting it. This is so simple but I think it’s really effective.

What do you think of my DIY? I think these would make great christmas presents, and you can be as creative as you like with both the scent and the way you decorate your glass! I’m keeping these for myself, they make my room so cosy 🙂

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Have you ever made candles before? Happy Wednesday friends!

0

Santa and his rabbit.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to watch less telly, eat less chocolate, and write some essays. I’d much rather be eating nut roast and not writing essays!  I was lucky enough to get lots of lovely presents for Christmas, but my favourite has to be my new camera. I have been taking lots of pictures, and here’s a few Christmas pictures of decorations and my bunny.

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I can’t wait to keep practising taking pictures, and hopefully I’ll improve! I hope you all are in a relaxing post-christmas haze.

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Christmas Cheer

Happy christmas eve everyone! I am SO excited about tomorrow. I’ve just finished watching the Tailor of Gloucester with my mum, which is one of my favourite christmas traditions, and I’ve wrapped all my presents and put them under the tree. Over the holidays, I’ve had lots of time with my family, and we made pancakes! This is a recipe that I’ve been using for a while. It’s vegan, but I swear I can’t tell the difference between these pancakes and pancakes made with dairy.

Vegan pancakes

You will need: 1 cup of flour and one cup of soya milk per pancake (I use sweetend soya milk, which makes the pancakes sweet) and a little bit of vegetable oil. Also, add whatever topping you choose! I chopped up one apple, and drizzled on some golden syrup.

Step 1: Whisk together your flour and soya milk. Heat up the vegetable oil in a frying pan, and add a dollop of the pancake mixture.

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Step 2: Once the bottom is browned, use a spatula to flip it over and cook the other side. Then add your topping.

And enjoy! One of the things I love about using such a simple pancake recipe is that’s it’s really easy to adjust. Like you pancakes doughy? Add a little more flour. Like your pancakes really thin? Add more milk.

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Happy christmas for tomorrow everyone 🙂

3

Hang a stocking on the wall

This week, I’ve been volunteering to help decorate for a charity christmas event “Winter Wonderland.” It’s been hard work, but really fun! My main task has been to make some christmassy stockings to hang on the wall. I’ve definitely been getting into the christmas spirit 🙂

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Christmas stockings are super simple to make, and here’s how to do it! Cheesy background christmas music is necessary.

You will need: Fabric for the main bit of the stocking (the ones I made are quite large, I used 1/4 of a metre per stocking), fabric for the trim of the stocking (you only need a teeny bit), scissors, needle and thread, and a sewing machine (optional.)

Step 1: Cut out your stocking shape twice. The shape I used is below. Sew them together, remembering to leave the top open!

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Step 2: Turn your stocking inside out (so the seams are on the inside.) Cut a strip of trim 3 inches wide, and sew it onto the top of the stocking. I only sewed it along the top line, and not the bottom, since it hangs better this way.

Yay, your stocking is finished. Now, go out and make everything look like Christmas!

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