I’ve Got A Love For Shopping

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Ok, in all honesty Valentines day hasn’t been that dreamy! I’ve spent it washing, tidying and painting. Where’s my Valentine you ask? His snoring on the sofa! Looks like a date with Eastenders for me!

Well, at least I have my dreams and a Groupon competition I’ve discovered on the net has given me the perfect excuse to showcase them.

So… What was the challenge? All I had to do was pull together a blog post that describes my perfect Valentines day, with particular attention on the gifts I’d like to receive.

Now I know that this wish list of mine is likely to seem a tad far fetched, especially given its already gone 8pm and the one I call my valentine is snoring like Daddy pig from Peppa pig on the sofa! But hay… whats a girl without her hopes and dreams?

First check out the little trailer I created below then I’ll give a little more detail on just how well I’ve dreamt this all up!

So as you can see, being woken to a gift of stunning earrings & breakfast in bed would be much appreciated, as would the delivery of 12 beautiful red roses.

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There would be no time to sit around. starring longingly into one another’s eyes! First I’d be whisked off up town to London for a no limits shopping spree. I’d be able to engage my love for shoe shopping without protesting form the ‘other half’!

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We’d eat lunch at a smart little restaurant then I’d be taken to have a tattoo of any wild thing I wanted, before settling down and relaxing with a full body message.

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Suddenly, just when I think my already blissful day has reached its climax, I discover we are not heading home but instead to the airport.

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Totally speechless (and that’s a first for me) I discover my loved one, has packed my bags and arranged for them to be delivered to the airport. I then find myself boarding a plane that takes me to a magical place of peace and tranquillity.

The hotel is devine and the beach has wonderful fine white sand.

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The king size bed is a wash with gifts including that of beautiful delicious belgium chocolates. Having filled my tummy, I slip into a little black number and as it approaches the early hours of the following day I find myself partying to the sounds of old Skool garage and a little drum&base just like I used too.

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Filling a tad tired but extremely happy, myself and my valentine stroll along the peaceful beach as the sun begins to rise. Here I’m lavished in diamonds by way of a big fat diamond sparkler! For me? Oh, yes… it so is?

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And then…..

I wake up!

Yer… Ok, Maybe next year!

This is my entry into the Groupon ‘A love for shopping competition’

Love for shopping

Alice wins £750 with her post card from Santa

Christmas Eve, we awoke to some wonderful news. Opening my inbox I couldn’t believe it. Alice had won first prize in the Travel Supermarkets Post Card From Santa Christmas competition. The prize… A very lovely cash sum of £750. Christmas had certainly came a day early in our house.

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I’ve always been proud of my daughters creativity. She has this wonderful imagination when it comes to thinking up ideas and is superb at making her ideas come to life.

I blogged Alice’s entry just before Christmas. The post showcased her prize winning art and we also shared a video of Alice creating her master piece.

If being crowned the winner wasn’t enough, Alice was also sent a card featuring her entry by the guys at travel supermarket. Her grandmother is currently proudly doing the rounds with her card, showing everyone just how talented her granddaughter is. When its returned I will be adding it to our scrapbook of family memories.

So, how did Alice react when she discovered she had won? Well, once she had finally closed her mouth and blinked removing the stunned expression from her face, she danced around the room like a crazy person before phoning and telling everybody & anybody who would listen.

Alice plans to buy herself a tablet (she’s currently deciding on which model) she also wants to buy some more art supplies (though I’ve tried convincing her she already has more than enough already). Lastly she hopes to grab a few monster high dolls in the sales to add to her growing collection and the rest she’s saving as spending money for an upcoming holiday.

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So we would just like to say a big thank you to Travel Supermarket for running such a fabulous competition. Its certainly made my little girls New Year.

Homemade Vintage Gifts For Christmas

Here’s a post that I posted on my signature blog “A boy with Aspergers” a few days back. Its a great little tutorial to make a vintage Jewellery stand out of Pieces from a Queen Ann tea set. Its similar to a tutorial I shared here last month, only this time I’ve created a much taller stand and added a pretty little tea cup to the top. It was also my entry into the Tots100 crafts competition…. What do you think?

Christmas is a really expensive time. There are so many gifts to buy which adds up to a considerable amount of money.

However, Not everything has to cost the earth. We Can actually give really special gifts In a cost-effective way.

It’s all about being creative and using your resources. Plus homemade gifts can be much more special. Its shows that you put thought into your gift and that means more than the price tag.

Here we have a simple upcycle gift that’s perfect for the lady who loves everything vintage and shabby chic.

Vintage inspired Jewellery stand made with vintage Queen Ann Tea set

Tea set brought from Auction as part of a huge box full of china for £3

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First choose a selection of vintage style saucers and side plates these must descend in size (around 3 is good) you will also need a tea cup and 2 Miniature Glasses for example… Sherry glasses.

Other items you will need is a glue brush and some good strong Adhesive (I’m using Mosaic adhesive).

Make sure all your saucers, glasses and tea cup are clean. Also be sure to check your chosen china isn’t some vintage Antique find that’s worth a small fortune.

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Right now to assemble your jewellery stand.

Step one… Start with the largest of your 3 plates and chose a glass. Stand your glass upside down and glue around the the bottom of your glass. Now carefully place your saucer/plate decorated side down, on top of the base of the glass being sure to place the base in the centre.

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Be patient and hold firmly for a few minutes.

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Wipe of any excess glue that may have come out from the sides of your glass onto your saucer.

Step two… Once you feel the plate is now strong enough stand up the right way so it looks as though the glass is just stood in the centre of your side plate. Now very carefully glue around the glasses rim and place your second plate that is smaller than your first on top of the glass. This time you are gluing the glass to the centre base of the plate. Again hold firmly and wipe of any excess glue.

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Step 3… Once your plate is strong enough take your second glass and add the glue to the rim of the glass. Now place onto the centre of your plate. This can only be stuck to the decorated side of your plate. Hold and wipe of excess glue.

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Step 4… Now glue the rim of the same glass and place the base of your smallest saucer on top.

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Step 5… Lastly glue the base of your chosen tea cup and place it on top of your plates decorated side.

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To finish add a pretty vintage gift tag tired with twine and dangle from the teacups handle.

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Finished!

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Over on my original post you will find the link to the tots100 competition Linky where you can then check out some other fabulous entries and gain some Christmas inspiration.

#homemadehalloween – Crafty Creations

Being a bit savvy and liking a challenge meant this Halloween was full of crafty fun..

Hearing about the MoneySupermarket homemade halloween competition I knew instantly that I wanted to have a whirl at.

Halloween costumes can be expensive, especially when your dressing more than the one child. Is there a solution? Yes… DIY job!

Creating costumes is a great way to unleash your creativity while letting the imagination run wild. Halloween costumes are one of the best.You can really pull together some wacky inventions that are unique, a true one of a kind.

Having a homemade Halloween is not only cost efficient but great enjoyable too. If you do have children along with some crafty bones in your body creating homemade costumes is a great family activity that can be enjoyed together.

So, on to my creation that falls into the category of kids costumes. Note… The competition consists of 3 categories, which are kids, adults and groups. My creation was for my daughter, ‘Alice-Sara’ and was one of two costumes I pulled together for her. She informs me that 2 parties = 2 costumes, so wasn’t I pleased that I’d be making her costumes rather than buying them this year!

Now, like me you may assume that by creating your own costumes, you’ll be required to do things such as having to sew! I hate sewing… If truth be known, I’ve never really learnt such skills and have therefore remained pretty poor at such a task. For this reason I have to think outside the box when it comes to costumes and with my daughter demanding that my creation is spooky but glam the pressure was on.

We didn’t want to go with your everyday wicked witch or blood thirsty vampire… So, taking inspiration from her beloved interest in Monsters High Dolls, here’s what I came up with.

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I think it looks pretty Spook-Tastic and was therefore left feeling pretty pleased with spooky creation and of course myself… especially given how little money I spent on materials!

Here’s a run through of how I did it and how much it costs to me to create.

Materials Needed To Make A No Sew Cobweb Tutu Dress…

1x Halloween cobweb design scarf (£1 PoundLand)

Medium size piece of hot pink Tulle (50p Charity Shop – Barnardos)

Roll of basic elastic (20p Barnardos)

Hot pink & purple mixed ribbon ( 40p Barnardos)

Reused old dolls hair cut & tied together (Free upcycled from home)

Large tube blue acrylic paint (for dying hair) £1 ‘The Works’

1 x Comb hair grip (50p per 3 Pack Bootfair)

2 x Black Sacks (taken from a value roll of 30) 50p Bootfair

Face paint sticks (£1.99 Lidl)

Packet of sticky crystals 50p (Reduced Tesco)

Total Cost £6.60 (The above materials would be enough to make 3 of these costumes) therefore making it even better value.

How I Did It…

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1. With the elastic I measured around my daughters waist, then to secure the fit I tied the elastic into a double knot.

2. I cut both the tulle and scarf which was made of very similar material, into long strips. I did this by cutting down the length of each piece of material as opposed to the width.

3. For the pieces of cobweb scarf I placed each piece over the elastic so that it covered both sides. I then stapled to the elastic. With each stable I used a staple flattening tool to ensure there was no sharp edges. For added effect with every one piece of cobweb material added, I would then add a piece of pink tulle rotating between the two. Now note, I did not staple the tulle. Instead I added to the elastic in the same way only in replacement of staples I securely tied each piece of tulle in place.

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IF YOU MAKE ONE OF THESE TUTU’S BE SURE TO LEAVE NO GAPS BETWEEN MATERIAL, INSTEAD OVERLAP SLIGHTLY AS YOU GO.

4. Once I had completely covered the entire piece of elastic, I took my sticky crystals and added randomly over the tutu (not to close to one another).

5. I then tied some long light pink and dark purple ribbon where the knock is found on the elastic.

To make the top part of the dress…

6. Alice put the tutu on so that I was better able to design the top section to complement that of the completed bottom. I took 2 black sacks cutting each along its sides so that both bags would open out and reveal two large sheets of black plastic.

7. I then cut length ways down the bags to make long strips of plastic. Note… If you decide make one of these dresses you may only need one black back depending on how thick it is (the thicker the better as this way it isn’t see through). Note…. The thicker black sacks do tend to cost a lot more than the thiner type I’m currently using.

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8. I then took strips of plastic bag and wrapped them around Alice tying each into a bow at the back. I did this till I had reached the top of the tutu as if I had just created a Basque. As my black sacks were rather thin I had to be careful not to spilt them during the process of wrapping and tying. I also needed to double some of the layers as to ensure it wasn’t see through.

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9. I then took another strip of black sack and cut it in half. I then folded the strip and secured the fold by tucking it in and sticking it to the top of the dress, taking it around the neck as to create a halter neck.

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10. Lastly, I wrapped another long strip of black sack around my daughters middle, this time tying into a bow at the front of the dress as to give detail.

So… That’s the spooky cobweb tutu complete.

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How I Made The Blue Hair Piece.

1. I remove the hair from a styling head (doll) that Alice had outgrown.

2. I tied all loose hair tightly together with a rubber band.

3. I then half filled a washing up bowl with cold water and added half of the blue paint followed by the hair piece.

4. I left the hairpiece for a few hours, in till the hair had absorbed all the water and its contents.

5. I then shook of the excess water and repeated the process again adding the last of the blue paint.

6. Once complete (a few hours later) I removed from the bowl and left over night to dry without brushing.

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7. The next day I grabbed the hair tying it loosely in a band, as to create a very messy updo.

8. With the use of strong adhesive, I glued the now blue messy hairpiece onto a comb hair glip ready for use.

Then all that was left for me to do was, paint her face, arms and hands. Which I would normally do with the use if Snazaroo but with the low cost element I decided to grab a pack of Face paint sticks from Lidl for the bargain price of £1.99 and actually turned out to be really good.

I then took a moment to think, asking myself what I could paint that reflected her wishes to be spooky yet glam. The monsters high look we were aiming for was brilliant, however, we needed a little extra something for the paintwork in-order to give it that final touch of edginess.

So with this we did our take on the sugar skull… Pretty glam but deadly freakish. A full face paint and twirly spirals of webs and spiders crawling up her arms.

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So… What do you think? Its pretty cool for a homemade creation isn’t it?

Did you have a homemade Halloween? Maybe you make costumes for all different occasions and holidays ? If so please leave a comment and share your thoughts and stories, I’d love to hear from you.

This is my entry into the Moneysupermarket #homemadehalloween competition. Hurry and enter, you still have time.

Messy Babes – my entry to the messiest kids competition

So, this is me trying to bag myself a £75 amazon voucher as part of the Appliances Online messiest kids competition, hosted over on the fantastic blog Me, The Man & The Baby (please check out her blog to see some other fabulous entries). So, the task was to upload a picture of our children at their messiest! Of course I chose one of my youngest “Harley” this is one that I love, he was having a right old chocolate feast here.

Not a great picture given it was taken from the iPhone, but It still shows his chubby chocolate cheeks, that I love. Oh and before anyone asks… This is not a little girl, lol! He has much shorter hair now, which was down to daddy not me 😦