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25 November 2013

Last Christmas postal dates

I hope everyone's Christmas shopping is going better than mine! I've been so busy with Adventures and Tea Parties that I haven't even begun shopping! If, like me, you still haven't figured out what to buy Aunty Sue or Uncle George, then I still haven't plenty of goodies for sale!

Some items that have been particularly popular are my polka dot earrings and cufflinks:

They come in 4 different shades and *shush* don't tell anyone but they will be available in 4 more colours in 2014, exciting!

My personalised handkerchief design is also a popular Chrimbo gift. You choose the fabric and I create your bespoke, personalised handkerchief for you. Simply choose which personalised option you would like from the choices offered. If you have something else in mind, please don't hesitate to drop me a line.

There are lots more gifts to choose from in both my Etsy and Notonthehighstreet shops, including hand embroidered brooches, party earringsChristmas handkerchiefs and personalised rings!!!

And don't forget my last postal dates folks:

Last date for placing orders: Monday 16th December
Last first class postal date: Thursday 19th December

Last date for placing orders: Sunday 8th December
Last airmail postal date: Monday 9th December

Last date for placing orders: Sunday 1st December
Last airmail postal date: Monday 2nd December

Happy Christmas shopping everyone!

24 November 2013

The Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up

Last week I shared my two Christmas craft projects, one of which featured as part of the Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up!

The Link-Up has been organised by the lovely Laura of Bugs & Fishes and features a whole host of gorgeous, free Christmas themed craft projects. Just look at them all, aren't they scrumptious! 

As part of the Link-Up group, we are all sharing the projects on our blogs, so that as many people as possible can benefit from LOADS of free Christmas craft projects. Below the pictures you will find the links to each project, including to my DIY Christmas Ribbon. 

Have fun and happy Christmas crafting!

Felt House Gift Tag Holder – I ManuFatti

Christmas Trinket Hoop Mobile – Carina’s Craft Blog

Felt Polar Bear Ornament – La Creature and You

Christmas Hoop – Claire Payne

Embroidered Christmas Mug Rug – Button Button

Polymer Clay Star Ornaments - Saraccino

Knitted Christmas Stockings Garland – Knit Me a Cake

DIY Christmas Ribbon – Adventures & Tea Parties

Embroidered Mistletoe Ornament – Bugs and Fishes

Scented Salt Dough Ornaments – Retro Delicious

Crochet Christmas Tree Decorations – Homemade@MyPlace

Christmas Cross Stitch Raccoon Ornament – Hugs are Fun

Polymer Clay Christmas Tree – Little Creatures

Christmas Wish-List Felt Envelope - Jumbleberries

Felt Christmas Tree Toy – Pinwheels and Stories

Let it Snow Embroidery Pattern – A Little Happy Place

Festive Wanderers Embroidery Pattern – Unexpected Kitty

Festive Felt and Fabric Coasters – Betz White

Holiday Ribbon Pillow – Mrs. Saint Nick

Felt Gingerbread Man Gift Tag – Grace’s Favours

Crochet Christmas Star Jar Covers – Dinki Dots

Edible Christmas Ornaments – Hydrangea Girl

Cross Stitch Christmas Trees – Made by Mrs M

Secret Love Letter Christmas Gift Tag – Crafts of Texture

Applique Love Christmas Card – Halcyon Threads

Christmas Mini Mitts – The Crimson Rabbit

Felt Reindeer Ornament – Pickle-Lily

Christmas Carousel – Aura Verde Crafts

Embroidered Christmas Stocking Ornament - Cocojude

Stencilled Christmas Embroidery Hoop - Angharad

20 November 2013

Catch up time!

Evenin' one and all! Hope you're all having a great start to the week!  There has been so much going on at Adventures & Tea Parties recently that I thought I'd do a quick catch up in case you missed anything.

My first Christmas themed DIY projects have gone live on the blog! Have a go at making your own Christmas wrapping paper here, followed by some matching home made ribbon here!

Over the last month I've been working with the awesome Gareth of Studio Rokit on a whole new look for A&TP, which is VERY exciting! Here's a sneak peek! :-)

My hand embroidered cherry ring is featured in a great giveaway over on the lovely Dolly Dowsie blog and there's still time to enter! Go on, you're feeling lucky, right?

The fabulous Claire of Claireabellemakes gave me the opportunity to review her beautiful Macrame Bicycle Bracelet design. You can read the review here.

And finally, did you know that Adventures & Tea Parties is on not only on Facebook but also Twitter, Pinterest, Ravelry, Bloglovin', and Google +

Just follow the links and come and say hello!


18 November 2013

DIY: Christmas gift wrap ribbon

Making your own ribbon for gift wrapping is loads of fun and also slightly addictive; you have been warned! ;-)

It's a great project for all ages and also very portable.

  • Card
  • Scissors
  • 7 x 2 metres of embroidery thread and/or ribbon (this makes 1 meter of ribbon)
  • Some Christmas tunes to sing along to (optional)


  • Cut out an octagon (8 sided shape).
  • Cut 1cm slits into each side of the octagon and a hole in the middle.
  • Place your 7 threads/ribbons together and tie a knot at one end, slip this through the hole in the middle of your octagon.

  • On the opposite side to the knot, slot each thread through the 1cm slits. The eighth slit does not have a ribbon in it. This is called the working slit.

  • Take the third ribbon from the working slit (this is the red ribbon pictured below) and pull it over the ribbons (these are the pink and orange ribbons in the picture below) clockwise and slot it into the working slit.

  • Like so...

  • You now have a new working slit.
  • Take the third ribbon from the working slit (this is now the blue ribbon as pictured below) and pull it over the ribbons (these are the yellow and green ribbons in the picture below) clockwise and slot it into the new working slit.

  • Like so...

  • Repeat this pattern and your ribbon will start to grow out of the reverse side of your octagon, like so...

  • And grow, and grow....

  • ...until you approach the end of your threads/ribbons. When you do reach the end of your threads/ribbons, remove them from the slits, place them together and tie a knot. Cut the loose ends down, so that they're neat, tidy and the same size as each other. You now have homemade ribbon, perfect for wrapping up Christmas presents with!

I chose rainbow coloured embroidery threads but you could choose any range of colours or use different types of thread and ribbon; maybe some glittery thread to add a touch of sparkle!

You can make your ribbon as long or as short as you wish and if you fancy going the extra mile and making your own Christmas wrapping paper, check my DIY project out for that too.

Happy Christmas crafting!

16 November 2013

DIY: Christmas wrapping paper

Making your own Christmas wrapping paper is super easy, sooooooo much fun and a great project to do with friends and family of all ages!


  • Large sheet or roll of paper (any colour you like!)
  • Several large baking potatoes
  • Knife
  • Paint in different colours
  • Paint brush
  • Glitter and/or salt (optional)


Chop your potato in half and very carefully cut out (an adult should do this only) a Christmas shape, such as a star, Christmas tree, bauble, snowman etc. To cut out the shape, simply run the knife around your design and carefully slice into the potato from the sides to take out pieces of potato, so that your image stands out like a stamp.

Cover your hand made stamp in paint and start printing on to your paper. To add detail, such as a tree trunk, either print with another potato stamp or hand paint.

To add a bit of glitz to your paper, sprinkle glitter on top of the paint when it's wet, so that the glitter sticks. Alternatively, use salt to add a touch of snow to your Christmas trees!

And to really get you in the mood, pop some tunes on to sing along to while printing!

A few things to note when printing with potatoes. When you apply pressure, they produce excess liquid, even after drying them. They don't produce the a clear, sharp image; whereas a wooden block would. But on the flip side, they are cheap, easily available and accessible.

Next week I'll be sharing another fun, Christmas DIY project, so stay tuned and happy Christmas crafting!

13 November 2013

A birthday treat!

As it's my birthday today, I'm offering a discount treat over in my Etsy shop. Just enter the following coupon code for 10% off everything!


Offer lasts until midnight on Thursday 14th November.

Happy shopping!

11 November 2013

Would you like to win?

The lovely Fiona from Dolly Dowsie is featuring my hand embroidered, adjustable cherry ring in her series of gorgeous Christmas giveaways. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning my design, complete with pretty gift box, then head on over to Dolly Dowsie to enter. It's super easy to take part and the competition finishes on 1st December. Good luck everyone! 

6 November 2013

Review: Macramé Bicycle Bracelet by Claireabellemakes

I have a confession. I like to ride my bike wearing a stripey top, "beret" [insert cool bicycle helmet] and pretend my bike's basket is full of beautiful produce I've just picked up from the market. Oh, and it's a sunny day and the birds are singing. 

Ok, so that's not completely true but I do love the imagery of romantic, parisian style cycling. I'm part of the way there. My blue bike has a basket and I sometimes wear a stripey top but something has been missing, why a Macramé Bicycle Bracelet by Claireabellemakes of course!

Claire of Claireabellemakes recently asked if I would like to road test (boom boom!) one of her gorgeous, handmade bracelets and to say I was excited at the prospect is an understatement!

The bracelet arrived, wrapped in beautiful blue tissue paper, with matching washi tape and blue baker twine. I absolutely love the fact the packaging is colour themed. It's these little attention to details that make buying handmade 100% better than generic, high street shops. It makes you not only feel special but about the product too.

It was very hard choosing which colour bracelet to go for. I could easily have had one in every colour but I opted for hot pink because I just love that particular shade of pink and the colour is just as bright and lovely in the flesh.

I was super impressed by how beautifully made the bracelet is. It's super neat, adjusts like a dream and is of fantastic quality. I know I'll be wearing this on all my bike ride adventures for years to come.

Claire's obvious skill at hand-crafted jewellery extends to a whole range of gorgeous goodies. I'm thinking this hand-stamped Bicycle Ring would go rather nicely with my hot pink bracelet!

And, oooh, I just love these new Glittery Wooden Heart Brooch Pin designs. I'm thinking they're perfect for the Christmas party season!

Not only does Claire run a beautiful Etsy shop but a gorgeous blog too! And if you want to hear more about what one craft Claire would take to a desert island, then check out the interview I did with Claire this year.


Disclosure: I reviewed this independently and wasn't sponsored to write this post.

3 November 2013

Homemade with Love feature!

If you haven't already got your hands on the latest issue of Homemade with Love, then I urge you to go pick up a copy of issue 6 at your nearest WHSmith or purchase a digital copy. The fabulous Anna of Crafty Fingers has taken over the reigns as Editor and wowza, she has worked absolute wonders. The magazine has a completely new layout and design and is utterly heaven to read! Good work, Anna and team!

I'm also particularly giddy about it because my little studio and I are featured!

I've been trying to keep my feature hush-hush until it was published (which was very hard!). I was so excited purchasing, ahem, a second copy on Saturday (for my Mum I hasten to add!) that I nearly screamed with delight in the crafty magazine aisle...and then had to restrain myself from telling the check-out girl that I was featured. Yes, it's safe to say I was just a tad excited! ;-)

On getting home, I had to do a double take as I spied my hand embroidered Christmas Holly brooch was only featured on the Christmas themed shopping page!! This was a complete and utter surprise...and I still can't believe it!

And the surprises didn't just stop there as I saw the lovely Anna of Miss Beatrix being interview, the gorgeous Sophie of Onetenzeroseven featured with her awesome geometric cake stand DIY and the fabulous Claire of Claireabellemakes with her cute tea cup candle project. Yay, go girls!

I hope for those of you that have got your hands on the much improved Homemade with Love, adore it as much I do. There are so many projects I want to try and lots of gorgeous things I want to purhcase!

Happy crafting everyone!

1 November 2013

Blog Gem - Caught on a Whim

Woohoo, it's Blog Gem time again and this month I got to interview the lovely face behind Caught on a Whim. I discovered this fabulous blog quite recently and have been smitten ever since. It ouzes creativity and adventures; two things I love! So, without further ado, lets find out more. 

Hello there, who be the face behind the blog?

Hi! My name is Erica. I love crafting, hiking, dancing and spending time with my husband and two mischievous pups. I share all my crafty adventures over on my blog, Caught on a Whim. My projects cover everything from crochet, sewing, jewelry making, art, decorating and whatever else catches me on a whim!

What's your creative space like? 

I recently turned our spare room into my crafting space. Right now, it is a work in progress as I'm in the midst of decorating it. It's been great watching all the pieces fall into place over time. The process of decorating can be so creative and fun! Currently, I've been building some shelves to create some much needed crafty storage space. A crafty gal sure does accumulate a lot of stuff, doesn't she??!! I'm also hoping to paint my craft room soon... if only I could decide on the perfect color...  ;) 

If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why? 

Oh, goodness! That's a hard one. I'd probably go with crochet. It's the craft I've been doing the longest and is the one I always go back to. I love that it's so portable. You can carry it around just about anywhere! I almost always have a bit of yarn and a crochet hook in my bag. You never know when you'll have a few minutes to squeeze a some crochet stitches into.

How do you work and get inspired?

I tend to have a lot going on at one time in terms of working on crafty projects. I've usually got a crochet and sewing project in the works in addition to other little random projects I'm working on. It's a bit haphazard, but it works for me and definitely keeps me busy!

I keep my eyes peeled for inspiration everywhere. You never know when it will hit you. When inspiration does come to me, I keep a notebook at hand to jot my ideas down... we can't have those ideas getting lost in my forgetful mind!  

What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog? 

I think the best advice for anyone wanting to start a blog is to take the leap and go for it! Start your blog and share your vision with everyone. Don't worry about it being perfect, you'll learn and grow with every project and post. My blog is constantly changing and evolving over time. The more you blog the better you will become. You'll find your own unique voice and be able to share it with the world.  Also, be sure to reach out and connect with other bloggers. One of my favorite parts of blogging are the friends and connections I've made.

Is there a story behind the name 'Caught On A Whim'?

I think the hardest part of starting my blog was picking out the name.  I was stumped for a long time. I wanted something I would love and not get tired of. While I was brainstorming, I carried a notebook around to jot down words or phrases that popped into my head. It's funny to see all the random things that jumped into my head at the time. After a while, I kept coming back to the Caught on a Whim phrase, so I knew it was a good fit. 

If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people/fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you choose? 

Oh, so fun! I'd love the meet the gals from A Beautiful Mess, Meredith from One Sheepish Girl, Liz of Cotton & Curls, Sarai from Colette Patterns, and Lorna of Knits for Life (I mean, can you believe this yarn bomb??). This would be the party of a lifetime!  :)

And finally...book & tea or film & wine?

Ooooooo, that is a hard one... can I have both??! I'll start the day with tea and a book and finish it up with a movie and some wine. I'm the kind of girl who likes to have her cake, and eat it too!  ;)

Thank you so much Erica, it's been truly wonderful hearing all about what inspires you. That's fantastic advice for anyone wanting to start a blog - just start! And oooh, your table at the craft award dinner sounds like one I would want to sit at! Thanks again!

I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Stay tuned for December's gem!

All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Erica at Caught on a Whim.  Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.


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