Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ink to canvas revisited...

Today I am revisiting an old craft post which has been one of the most popular tutorials on the blog - how to transfer ink to canvas. I mentioned in the original tutorial that I had considered painting over the font but decided against it at the time. I was well aware that I haven't picked up a paint brush since 6th form! Well the canvas went off to the hubby's office and I didn't see it again for a long time. However, since moving, it now resides in our study and I kept noticing how faded the words had become. So the time came where I finally decided to face the paintbrush and the fiddly work of attempting to paint the font. It's not perfectly true to the font but I'm just glad I didn't completely ruin the canvas and the lines are actually pretty even (overall)!

Here's the work in progress:


I was amazed at the contrast...there was definitely no going back once I had started.


And here's the whole canvas...


This has reminded me just how easy transferring ink to canvas is and I'm coming up with all sorts of quotes to fill our home with - I think I'll just go with a bigger font size to make it easier on my beginner painting skills!

You can see the original post here


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flowers and lace and all sorts of 'pretties'...

I have four gorgeous nephews and a beautiful niece. We got to spend Christmas with them this year which was so much fun as they were all old enough to get excited about it - albeit with varying degrees of understanding as to why they were excited! I love shopping around for toys for the boys but Seren is probably always going to get beautiful dresses and all things girly from us...little girls clothes are just too cute! She loves to dress up in necklaces and pretty hair grips - she calls them her 'pretties'. So for Christmas I made her a collection of 'pretties' - I think they were a success as she insisted on wearing them all at once :)


I trawled Pinterest looking for inspiration and stumbled across this pretty flower grip on dot coms for mums. I didn't actually use the tutorial but it inspired me to make the trio of flowers hair clip that I'm going to share with you today. I'm sorry for the poor quality of a lot of the photos, I completed and wrapped all of these in one wintry day and there wasn't much natural light going! But enough with the chat, let's get down and crafty...


To get started...


You only need embroidery thread for this, I just got a little over excited and put some additional thread in the  photo - although you may decide you want to sew everything together instead of using glue - I just trust glue's longevity over my sewing ability :)

1) First up take the felt that you are using for the flowers and cut out 6 small circles. Then snip into each circle to create a rough flower shape.


2) Next take two of these shapes and lay one on top of the other. Hold securely and thread the embroidery thread through in a cross shape, tying a knot at the back to secure. Repeat to make the other two flowers.


3) Next cut out 2 leaves from the green felt and a small square from the felt used for the flowers. First glue the two leaves to the square and then glue each flower onto the square, layering on top of the leaves. Trim the excess felt.


4) Cut out a small piece of felt in the shape of the hair clip and glue to the clip. Finally glue the base of the flowers to the felt on the clip. Leave to dry.


And then all you have to do is restrain yourself from making one in every colour :)


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spiced Chilli Popcorn...

This time last year we had no idea where we would be living or what we would be doing...it's amazing how much has changed in the space of 12 months. We now live in a really pretty town and feel so blessed by the wonderful friendships we have already made. I haven't been working since we moved back in September and my husband is officially a full time student again...so life has been pretty different to the usual routine of the last couple of years.

It's been amazing to have had the last few months to settle in but I'm looking forward to working again soon. I've been waiting to hear about a job for a while now and today I finally got a start date....and it's only a couple of weeks away! I'm actually really excited about starting back at work, I love what I do (I'm an occupational therapist) and I think it's going to help me use my time so much more productively. I don't know about you guys but I seem to get more productive when I have less time to do things!

One thing I have loved though is the extra time in my kitchen. Really, I just love being around food! I hate cooking and shopping when it's squeezed into a tight schedule and for ages I have been wanting to plan our weekly meals but it would always end up being a 1 minute think while checking the cupboards. But now I have the time to have a cuppa while browsing my cookbooks and the internet for inspiration. Then I trot off down to the supermarket (at a time when most people are working, thank you) and actually enjoy mooching around the aisles!

One of the down sides of having so much time in the kitchen has been my close proximity to food throughout the day. I'll graze on anything that's in the cupboards so I've been trying to find some healthy snacks to keep me going. I thought I'd share this delicious savoury popcorn I tried and loved and am in fact eating as I type!


I've never been convinced by savoury popcorn, mainly because I love sweet popcorn. but making up a load of sweet popcorn would kind of defeat my aim of a healthy snack (but melting golden syrup over a bowl of popcorn is seriously amazing). But this recipe has converted me....so here it is:

Spiced Chilli Popcorn
Source: Good Food

Ingredients:
100g popcorn kernels
1tsp chilli flakes
1tsp cracked black pepper
2tsp mixed spice
A pinch of salt

(For snacks just for 1 person I'd suggest quartering the amount of each ingredient!)

1) To make the popcorn, simply heat up 1tbsp of oil over a medium heat. once the oil is hot, add the kernels and the pan's lid. Shake well to cover the kernels in the oil. Continue to occasionally shake once the popping begins and remove from heat once the popping stops.

2) Mix together the chilli flakes, mixed spice, pepper and salt. Add to the popcorn and mix well.

3) Tip the popcorn onto a large baking tray and pop into the oven for 5 mins until the popcorn is crisp.


I would love to try some more savoury ideas...what are your favourite popcorn flavours?

Monday, January 7, 2013

I need colour!

If I was to sum up our living room I could easily do it one word - neutral. And in two words? really neutral. We live in rented accommodation so we can't paint the walls and, since we know we're only going to be living here for a couple of years, we want things that will easily transfer to a new home. It was okay in our old house because we had a beautiful dark wood floor but now our cream sofa and rug are sitting upon a lovely light beige carpet. So the hunt was on for a pair of statement curtains that would bring colour and life to our living room. Guess what we ended up with - yes, you guessed it, cream! We searched and searched but it was really hard to find a nice pair of curtains that we both liked and didn't both faint from the price - turns out we both have expensive taste when it comes to curtains. So we decided on some classic cream curtains, and they look lovely, but it's just upped our desperation to get.some.colour! So I scoured the internet for inspiration and stumbled upon these beauties:
1., 2., 3., 4., 5., 6., 7.

I think there are going to be some colour filled craft posts coming in the next few months!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Makeover complete - welcome to The Bumbling Bee...

It took slightly longer than intended but it's finally complete - Blackberry Grove has become The Bumbling Bee...so welcome! Have a look around and let me know what you think :)

I have been planning this redesign for about 3 months now and am really happy to see it up and running. everything has been redone and there are lots of new features. My tutorials and recipes are now archived along the navigation bar in pretty picture format:


This caused me so many headaches but I'm really glad I stuck at it, although me and html are no further along in our attempts to be friends.

Along the left sidebar you can see a selection of the most read posts as well as a new 'search the blog' option. And there is now more information about the blog in the 'about' section, as well as a section for new readers. Plus a new page for information on advertising your blog or business through The Bumbling Bee.

And I finally found out how to create shareable buttons (I used my cool realm code generator), which you can find towards the bottom of the right sidebar!

The only thing I'm still working on is changing the domain name, there have been some glitches so it won't be changing for a little while.

This has been a really healthy time for me- taking the time to step back from the blog and think about what I want this space to be has helped me to refocus. I'm looking forward to what 2013 brings for this little blog of mine!

p.s. I've also stepped out into the world of twitter...@bumblinghannah

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013...


Happy New Year!!

There are some exciting changes coming to the blog - in fact, a complete overhaul...including name - eek!!
I'll be taking the blog out of sight while I wrestle with html so please bare with me! But the start of 2013 seems a pretty perfect time to give this little space a makeover :)
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