Sunday, 29 April 2012

My House

Wickes - My project 2012


Wickes - My project 2012


Wickes - My project 2012


Wickes - My project 2012


As some of you may know, we bought our house a few years back and it was in a right state: from the ugly exterior to the old, decrepit kitchen and nondescript garden! So when the lovely peeps at Wickes asked me to join their new Wickes 'My Project' campaign I leapt at the chance! They gave me £200 in vouchers to spend at Wickes and asked me to share before, during and after photos of my project.

We chose to replace the floor in our lounge/dining room, the very last thing we needed to do to complete the re-decoration in that room. So I have finally joined Facebook and uploaded all the ugly pics of my lounge/dining room in the 'before' state. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing the during and after photos. Until then I have included at the back of the 'my project' book some of the makeovers we have done on our exterior to whet your appetites.

To see 'my project' go here and click the blue links under the photos above to see the original posts on my front yard, exterior and garden.

Have a sweet day!
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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Pretty box frames


My living room walls are pretty bare so I have been looking around for inspiration and deciding what to hang on them. I will be sharing with you my choices very soon as we are finally finishing re-decorating our lounge / dining room with some new flooring as part of the "Wickes, my project".

What I love about the pretty box frames is the ease with which you can slide the glass up so you can change the contents as often as you like. I can't wait to hang them on the wall and play with the contents. I just need to remember to space the pretty box frames far enough apart so that I can slide the glass up!

Pretty box frames
Tools and materials

Pretty box frames, How-to step by step
Decorating my display box

Start by carefully sliding the glass panel out and put to one side. Then paint the entire box frame with a couple of coats of white paint and leave to dry. After measuring the inside back of the box frame, cut a piece of pretty paper to size. Carefully coat the inside of the back of the shelves with a thin coat of PVA glue. Immediately stick the cut piece of paper to the PVA glue and smooth down with your fingers to remove any air bubbles and leave to dry. Finish by coating the stuck piece of paper with a thin coat of PVA glue to give it a protective finish. Once completely dry, fill with your chosen objects and slide glass back into frame.


Display box
Filling display box


Perching bird


Deer in display box

Have a sweet day!
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Monday, 23 April 2012

Calm work space

Calming work space

Source 1, 2, & 3 - VT Wonen magazine, 4 - Lonny Mag

I spent the past weekend painting and decorating my mini shelves and box frames and my craft room looks a mess! So I am loving these tidy, calm work spaces in powder pastels. I am so in love with the stack of suitcases painted white with beautiful labels hung from them; what a great way to clear all the clutter, huh? I could so do with these...

For more inspirational work space pins check out my Pinterest board, Craft room ideas.

Have a sweet day!
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Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Balcony Gardener by Isabelle Palmer

The Balcony Gardener by Isabelle Palmer

This week I'm reviewing The Balcony Gardener by Isabelle Palmer, from illustrated lifestyle publishers Ryland Peters & Small and CICO Books. Isabelle Palmer has created a successful business from her ability to enliven any balcony, roof terrace or window sill with her inventive gardening ideas and is the founder of The Balcony Gardener, an innovative online boutique that I featured here on 'shops i love'. I chose to review this book as I love her gardening boutique.

The Balcony Gardener is a book about being creative with the outdoor space you have, be that a window sill, balcony or roof terrace. However confined, Isabelle shows you how to make the most of what you have in the open air of the country or the hub of a city.

The book is split into five main chapters, starting with "The Basics". In this chapter Isabelle outlines the basic techniques you need to start balcony gardening, starting with the essential kit you need, and moving on to choosing and preparing pots and planting containers for your outdoor space. There are also guides and tips on choosing colours, plus seasonal and aftercare of your plants.

The second chapter "Urban Spaces" is a well presented selection of Isabelle's interesting themes and decorative ideas you can draw on to create your own outdoor escape to sit back and relax in. One of the included ideas is the Country Garden, inspired by lush meadows and wild flowers, a pretty butterfly, bee window box and a rippling splashing water garden.

The third chapter "Creative Recycling" is, as the title suggests, about getting creative with a variety of different recycled containers from old cans to metal crates. Isabelle shows you how to plant and create a salad box in a vintage wooden crate, how to turn a birdcage into a planter, and an old pallet into a wall planter.

The fourth chapter "All Things Edible" is about growing your own vegetables, fruits and herbs in a well thought out way. So for those that like delicious fruity drinks in the summer there is the stylish cocktail window box full of mint and strawberries. For the foodie there is the herb window box for fish, planted with curly-leaf parsley, lemon thyme and dill. Each window box idea also includes a helpful recipe.

The last chapter "Enjoying Your Balcony" is about doing exactly that! After mastering your outdoor planting it's time to add fun finishing touches like mood lighting and accessories, choose your garden furniture and make hanging votive candles. All of which Isabelle explains how to do.

The Balcony Gardener by Isabelle Palmer is a great hardback book full of great tips, ideas and inspiration to get you gardening. At a recommended price of £14.99, I think this hardback book is a good buy as it is has so many great tips for the first-time gardener and lots of inspiration for those who already have green fingers.

Some of my favourite shots:

Country garden


Salad box


Herbs


Party garden

Please note that my opinions are my own and I am not paid for these reviews (apart from receiving a free book, of course!).

Have a sweet day!
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Friday, 20 April 2012

Cox & Cox

Cox & Cox Spring 2012

Today on Friday Finds I wanted to share with you some of my favourite finds in the new Cox and Cox Spring 2012 catalogue. Keeping with this week's theme of wall art, I am loving the beautifully unique, hand-carved wooden shadow box, lined in a floral fabric. Because of the hinged front, you can attach memorabilia to the lining as often as you like.

To add character to your book storage there is the delightfully sweet embroidered bird shelf that can nest amongst your books or be wall mounted. To display your favourite necklaces there is the beautifully distressed jewellery frame and to keep clutter at bay I am loving the retro-looking zinc and wire basket. For a fresh injection of some new pretty patterns I am fawning over the enchanting glass pretty print tea lights. Then, last but not least, the delightful hand-painted decorative bird clip made with real feathers because you know how much I love birds!

Have a sweet day!
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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Etsy Art in mint, jade, peach & coral

Etsy art

This week on "Wonderful World of Etsy" I bring you some of the gorgeous artwork I found on Etsy, all in my favourite colour palette of the moment: mint, jade, peach and coral.


Have a sweet day!
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Monday, 16 April 2012

Inspirational wall

Inspirational wall

Source 1,3,2,4

Today I am sharing with you some of my inspirational pins from my Pinterest boards. I just love all these inspirational walls from the cluster of bright picture frames to the pin and clip boards. All of which inspired me to get on with finishing my inspirational wall in my craft room. Coming soon...

Have a sweet day!
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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Bunny Art

My bunny print

A while back the lovely peeps at Hello Canvas offered to print a 24x32 inch canvas for free for me to review; all I needed to do was send them my favourite picture. It took me ages to decide what picture to send, but I eventually decided to design a print for my canvas that I could hang on the wall at Easter and give to my younger sister afterwards to hang in her new nursery as we both share a love of aqua! The nursery is not quite finished but as soon as it is I will be sure to share a photo of it with you.

Hello Canvas are specialist canvas printers and they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, lowest price guarantee and delver for free within one week! What's not to love?

I can't tell you how impressed and excited I got when it arrived. It was so perfect that I had to ring my sister right away and tell her. She immediately popped round and got really excited too. It was printed on high quality canvas using UV-protected inks and then hand stretched onto a 1.2" thick wooden frame, wrapped in environmentally friendly plastic and sent via UPS in a custom-made box. They were such a pleasant company to deal with and helpfully advised me that the light aqua color I had in the background of my print would look nicer if they carried this color to the edge of the canvas. They were right. Oh, and once I had sent my artwork the turn around was super fast! Both my sister and I are delighted! Thank you Hello Canvas.


Bunny art close up

Have a sweet day!

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Saturday, 14 April 2012

3D easter egg and bunny

Hand-made 3D easter egg and bunny

Just before Easter the lovely peeps at Lékué sent me the 3D easter egg and bunny mould and a decopen. I filled my bunny and egg mould with white chocolate and then, using the decopen filled with white chocolate coloured blue, I drew a graffiti squiggle over the top; a great gift for my cute nephew Samuel who loves bunnies and puzzles!

3D easter egg and bunny
What you will need:

Lékué 3D easter egg and bunny mould


Instructions
  1. Temper (melt) white chocolate
  2. Spoon chocolate into icing bottle or bag fitted with a small nozzle
  3. Squeeze chocolate into moulds
  4. Lightly tap moulds so chocolate lays flat and air bubbles are removed
  5. Stir blue chocolate food colouring a little at a time into the remaining white chocolate until you have desired colour. Stir well so colour is even
  6. Fill decopen with blue melted chocolate and carefully draw design onto filled moulds
  7. Lightly tap moulds so chocolate lays flat and air bubbles are removed
  8. Leave to set. Refrigerating speeds up this process and can make it easier to turn out
  9. Carefully release the eggs and bunny from the moulds
  10. Assemble egg and bunny

Lékué decopen

The decopen comes with two, four or six nozzles and can be used to decorate cakes and biscuits with messages, create ball, flower, rope and shell shapes; make toppings for your cupcakes and exquisite macaroons or profiteroles. I can't wait to use it again on my sweet treats!

Have a sweet day!
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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter

Easter table


Bunny jar


Easter cupcakes


My Easter Table


Easter cupcakes

Wishing you all a Happy Easter!


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Friday, 6 April 2012

Hand-made chocolate carrots

Hand-made chocolate carrots by Torie Jayne

Last year I made pink chocolate carrots with green chocolate tops, but I found that a lot of the tops fell off! So this year I made peach carrots and painted the tops with edible green dusting powder. No breakages so far!

Chocolate carrots
What you will need:

Making chocolate carrots

Instructions
  1. Temper (melt) white chocolate
  2. Stir in peach powdered food colouring a little at a time until you have desired colour. Stir well so colour is even
  3. Spoon chocolate into icing bottle or bag fitted with a small nozzle
  4. Squeeze chocolate into moulds
  5. Lightly tap moulds so chocolate lays flat and air bubbles are removed, and leave to set
  6. Turn out chocolate carrots
  7. With a damp brush, lightly paint the carrot tops with the green dusting powder

After posting about my bunny jars for Easter the other day, Bonnie Leigh from the blog Three o'clock on Tuesday suggested making mini ones using baby food jars. What a great idea! So I made some more bunny jars, this time using baby food jars and some very small bunnies I've had knocking about since last year which I bought from Acorn & Will.

Mini bunny jars
Mini bunny jars filled
Hand made chocolate carrots in mini bunny jar

Have a sweet day!
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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Glitter eggs

Glitter eggs by Torie Jayne

For this year's Easter tree, that I am in the process of making, I need some new eggs to hang on it. I have recycled my previously painted eggs from my Easter 2010 table by covering them in glitter to match this year's Easter colour scheme of mint, peach and gold.

Glitter eggs
Tools and Materials

Glitter eggs, How-to step by step
Glittering eggs

Start by carefully removing the plastic stopper from the plastic eggs. Then brush PVA glue on to top of eggs. Sprinkle coloured glitter onto glued area of eggs. Tap gently to remove any excess glitter, and leave to dry. Push egg hangers into hole at top of eggs and thread gold embroidery thread through loop in egg hanger, and knot to secure. Brush PVA glue onto rest of eggs and spoon glitter onto eggs, covering entire surface. Tap gently to remove any excess glitter, hang and leave to dry.


Glittered hanging eggs
Glittered Easter eggs
Glittered Easter eggs

Have a sweet day!
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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Pretty painted egg cups

Pretty painted egg cups by Torie Jayne

I have had my wooden egg cups since 2010 when I painted them in pastel colours. To refresh them for this year I have given them a new lick of paint and filled them with gold foil eggs from Hotel Chocolat.

Pretty painted egg cups
Tools and Materials

Pretty painted egg cups, How-to step by step
Hand painted wooden egg cups

Following the instructions on the spray paint, carefully spray the wooden egg cup until you have an even coat of paint and the original colour of the egg cup is no longer visible. Leave to dry. Carefully paint the inside with gold paint and leave to dry.


Painted egg cups
Easter egg cup

Have a sweet day!
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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Bunny jars for Easter

I have moved to Torie Jayne.com

You can find me in craft tutorials...Bunny jars

Have a sweet day!


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Oodles of eggs giveaway winner

Torie Jayne Giveaway
My contest ended yesterday and I just picked a winner using random.org and I am delighted to announce the winner of the Oodles of eggs Giveaway is...

Drumroll please? Without further ado, the lucky winner is...

Nataliemay30. Please e-mail me your details.

Congratulations Natalie, you will receive a box of Oodles of eggs from Hotel Chocolat

Thank you to all of you sweets that entered, to my loyal followers and new friends.


Have a sweet day!
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Monday, 2 April 2012

My Easter decorations part 3

My Easter decorations part 3

Continuing my Easter colour scheme of mint, peach and gold, this past weekend I have been spray painting egg cups and making bunny jars to fill with Easter treats! I have also been doing a fair amount of glittering and paper punching more flowers for my Easter tree, leaving me time this week to make Easter sweet treats to my heart's content!

Also don't forget today is the last day to enter my Oodles of Eggs giveaway.

Have a sweet day!
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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Chocolate Nests

Molly's chocolate nest
On Friday I had the day off from work and my little niece Molly, who turns three in August, came over to make chocolate nests. I, of course, melted the chocolate for her but the rest she did pretty much by herself: an easy no-bake cake to make!


Inside my baking cupboard
We had so much fun and she loved making the nests, especially adding the sprinkles which she got to choose from Auntie Torie's baking cupboard!

Chocolate Easter nests (makes 12 nests)
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 75g cornflakes
  • 250g Mini Eggs
  • Sprinkles

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave on low power for about 1-2 minutes (the exact amount of time needed will depend on the type of chocolate being used so remove and stir the chocolate every so often to ensure it heats evenly).
  2. Once the chocolate is melted, remove from microwave and gradually pour into bowl of cornflakes.
  3. Stir chocolate and cornflakes until the cornflakes are completely covered in chocolate.
  4. Spoon mixture into cases and make a hole in the center.
  5. Add sprinkles.
  6. Fill hole with mini eggs and leave to set.

Molly stirring the cornflakes and chocolate
Molly making chocolate nests
Adding sprinkles
Molly adding the Mini Eggs to the chocolate nests

Have a sweet day!
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