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29 May 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

This week has been full of songs giving me that creative urge and buzz. Two songs that have really been giving me the creative kick are these newly released tracks: Johnny Delusional by FFS and Sometimes I feel so deserted by The Chemical Brothers. FFS is a collaboration of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks. I remember my folks introducing me to this track and this one too by Sparks. I love the pianist in it. Just watch his expressions. What a character.

27 May 2015

*Shop closed until Sunday 31st May*

Hey folks, my online shops are now closed until Sunday 31st May, while I go away for the weekend. Thank you to everyone who has been placing orders recently. Every order that comes in means the world to me, thank you!

26 May 2015

Review: Sew Crafty Sewing Centre, pt 1

When Sammy from one of my favourite blogs, Live it. Love it. Make it., got in touch to ask if I'd like to try out some goodies from her shop, Sew Crafty Sewing Centre in Maidenhead, I thought Christmas had come early!

A few days later a huge bundle of  pure gorgeousness arrived in the post with a lovely note from Sammy, which was such a nice touch :-)

I have so many ideas of what to do with all the goodies, so I'll be sharing them with you all over the next few weeks.

One of the items I was instantly drawn to was this little wooden cup cake. Cute alert!!! When I turned it over I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover it's a magnetic needle holder! I've honestly never come across one before. What a flippin' good idea! 

As I do a tonne of embroidery for my personalised handkerchief designs, I usually have numerous needles threaded with different coloured floss, so that I don't have to keep rethreading them. Keeping a hold on all those needles regularly results in me dropping them on the floor but this little device is absolutely perfect to keep them in place!

Also included in the bundle was a set of embroidery needles in various sizes. Embroidery needles have a longer hole, making it easier to thread embroidery floss through and allowing for a different thickness of floss. I would be lost without them. If you're new to embroidery, I would wholeheartedly recommend getting some.

I'll be back with more Sew Crafty Sewing Centre goodies, so stay tuned, especially if you're a sewing fan!


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

25 May 2015

Review: Cheeky Charlie by The Kettle Shed

This week, as part of my Kettle Shed tea review series, I'm tasting a rather cheeky tea called Cheeky Charlie.

Sadly, the box got a little squashed in the post, hence the creases but it didn't effect the tea in anyway. In fact, on opening up the box, the smell was absolutely, incredible! I could pick out the apple and lime instantly and an amazing sweet, fresh citrus smell. Stunning!

Fifteen  biodegradable fuso bags came packed with Chinese green tea, lemon verbena, lime leaves, apple pieces, calendula, sunflower petals and flavour. The flavour isn't specified and I would prefer to know as I'm definitely the kind of person who likes to know exactly what's included in food and drinks (yes, I'm that woman at the supermarket reading the contents of tins and packets!).

I brewed the tea for three minutes as suggested and the aromas and taste of apple and lime were gorgeous and really refreshing. 

On the back of the packet it also suggests trying the tea iced. It would be nice to have a tip on how best to make iced tea for those less familiar.

I was really surprised that it also contains Chinese green tea as I'm not usually a fan but the mixture of flavours were perfectly balanced. This has to be my favourite tea so far and I'm going back for a second cuppa!

Stay tuned for next week's tea tasting session and happy tea drinking!



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

22 May 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

This song. Stunning. Beautiful. Heart breaking.

21 May 2015

Stationery Corner - Stamps

Head over to Simple Stylish Makes to check out my latest blog post on stamps!

And don't forget to join in on Twitter too, with the hashtag #simplestylishmakers

20 May 2015

Thrifty Tips: Breadcrumbs

This week's thrifty tip includes one of my favourite things, bread, yum!

Do you find when you get towards the end of a loaf of bread, the last slice or two has usually curled up and gone a little stale? It's not exactly appetizing is it but it can still be used. Simply whizz that slice up in a food blender and ta-da, you've just made yourself some breadcrumbs! 

You can either use them straight away to cook with or freeze them to use at a later date. Sometimes when I'm in a particular hurry, I will just pop the end of the bread in a freezer bag and straight into the freezer for making breadcrumbs when I need them. This works just as well. It's quick, easy and means you're throwing less away, which has got to be good thing!

I hope you like this week's thrifty tip. Catch up on my other tips here and happy thrifting!

19 May 2015

Review: Sleepy Head by the Kettle Shed

This week as part of my Kettle Shed tea review series, I'm tasting Sleepy Head, a loose leaf tea.

On opening up the packet, the smell was incredible and just look how unbelievably pretty it is!

It contains buds of chamomile, elderflower and lavender, which are great to sooth, relax and help with insomnia too. 

On the side of the box it suggests how long to infuse the tea for, which I like as I'm a firm believer in letting tea brew properly. It would be nice to see a suggestion of how much to infuse though. I went for one teaspoon, which did the job.

The taste and smell was very soothing. 

As I'm a fan of a cup of chamomile to help me relax and nod of to sleep every evening, I tend to have it with a drop of honey. So, I thought I'd try some in the Sleepy Head tea. It was nice but worked just as well without.

All in all it's a good evening tea and the mixture of ingredients work well.

Next week I'll be tasting a tea, which has a complete POW factor, so stay tuned!


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

17 May 2015

Blog gem - Rose Tinted Crafting

It's Blog Gem time, folks! This month I got to find out about the rather crafty, talented lady behind Rose Tinted Crafting. This gorgeous blog is jam packed with craft and DIY projects, so I was eager to find out more!

Hello there, who be the face behind the blog?

Hello, my name is Hannah and I am a stay at home mum and craft blogger. I enjoy a variety of crafts including; drawing, paper crafts, sewing and upcycling.
I've had a passion for making things since I was a young girl. Nothing made me happier than making a huge mess on my bedroom floor with some paper, glitter and glue (I really haven't changed at all!). My late teens and early twenties were incredibly busy due to work, studying and having 2 children, so crafting got put on hold. It wasn't until I reached my late twenties that I rediscovered my love of crafts again and came to the realisation that making things is what makes me really happy. I decided that I wanted to do more of what I love and prioritize crafting so I started my blog, Rose Tinted Crafting, as a sort of online craft journal to keep track of what I made and motivate myself to continually improve and try new things. On my blog I share my crafts, my inspirations and things I like, which often includes my love of snail mail.
What is your creative space like?
I would love to have my own craft room or studio one day but for now my creative space mainly consists of my desk and a mountain of craft supplies in the corner of my bedroom. My craft supplies include pens and pencils, papers, fabrics, washi tape and my lovely collection of ribbons and trims.
If you had to take only one craft tool to a desert island, what would you choose and why?
I would take a pencil, if I could rustle up some paper too! I love to draw, it really helps me to relax. I sketch down all of my ideas before I make/do them. I find if I don't do that they will not happen at all. For me it's like a visual to-do list. So, I draw everything first, including blog post ideas, how I want my photos to be styled and things I want to make, you name it! 
How do you work and get inspired? 
I am quite a loner when it comes to crafting. I feel much more comfortable and relaxed making things and taking photos when I am by myself, with no distractions. My process usually starts with an idea, which I will then sketch down. I then play around and have a practice at putting the idea together using whatever materials are needed. Finally, I will take some photos, edit them and then write up the blog post.
I get inspired by lots of different things. I have a ridiculous amount of craft magazines that I like to go back and read over and over again. I also follow some lovely craft blogs and Instagram accounts to.
Most of my inspiration however, actually comes from getting out of the house and looking at things up close (instead of on a laptop or phone screen). Going to craft workshops/events, museums and my local shopping centre can all be a great source of inspiration for me. I will often see someone wearing something or see an item displayed or on sale and say to myself "I could make that!" or at least my own interpretation of it.
What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog?
Oh my, I need tips myself! I feel like I have SO much to learn. My tips are probably quite obvious.
1. Blog about things that interest you (instead of what you think will get you page views). You will lose motivation quickly if you are blogging about subjects you are not passionate about.
2. Don't worry about how many posts you're putting out every week/month, especially in the beginning. You won't have many followers in the early days so concentrate on creating the best content you can. Even if that means just posting once a month until you get into the habit of putting blog posts together. Those early posts will become the archives your future blog followers will look through, so prioritize quality over quantity.
3. Try not to compare yourself to others. I really struggle with this, it's very hard not to. I try to remember that everyone has their own style. Even if you think your style is a bit quirky or unconventional, there are bound to be others like you out there who will enjoying reading your blog. There is a tribe out there for everyone!
4. Finally, don't wait until you're 'ready' to start. That saying "Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible" by Doris Lessing is true. I put off starting a blog for ages because I thought I couldn't take good enough photos or write well enough. I couldn't get better at those things though without first starting and making lots of mistakes. If you look back through the archives of blogs you admire you will often find there is a huge difference (unless the author has gone back and reworked stuff) in the blogs style, content and quality of photos when they started out compared to their most recent posts. Blogging is a huge learning curve and can also be a journey of self discovery too. You might not know what your style is right now or think you're good enough but starting is the only way (I found) that you can get better and figure it all out.
Is there a story behind the name 'Rose Tinted Crafting'?
I always liked the saying 'to look at things with rose tinted glasses'. It can be interpreted as seeing the positive in a situation, person or object. As someone who likes upcycling I am always looking at the potential or alternative use an item can have. I always wanted to feature upcycling projects on my blog so Rose Tinted Crafting seemed to fit when I was trying to think up a name.

If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people and/or fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you choose? 
Hmm, this is tricky. There are lots of people from history I would like to meet, especially inspirational women like Emmeline and Silvia Pankhurst.
If we are talking about creative types though I would start off by inviting Craftivist Sarah Corbett. I would like to get into Craftivism a bit more and really enjoyed her company the one time we met before. I would also invite Holly Becker of the blog Decor8 and try and persuade her to become my blog mentor. I am a fan of her blog and think I could learn quite a bit from her on how to improve my own blog. Next I would invite Michelle Mackintosh, the author of the book 'Snail Mail: Celebrating the Art of Handwritten Correspondence' to talk about all things mail related. I would love for someone to come who knows how to crochet as well as I am keen to learn, any suggestions? Finally, my last guest would be my grandma. My Nan was talented at drawing and inspired me to get into it at at an early age. She also loved crafts, so we often spoke to each other about what we were making. She passed away a few years ago and I miss her terribly so would take the opportunity to catch up with her.
And finally...if you had to choose one song to represent Rose Tinted Crafting, what would it be and why? 
So many songs come to mind, maybe Dolly Partons 'Coat of Many Colours', it's all about a coat her Mother made for her. It reminds me of how special it is to give and receive something that is handmade. I made a bag for my son a few years back, if I am honest it is nothing special, he has much nicer bags. For some reason though he prefers the one I made him and takes it everywhere. Perhaps it feels special to him because I made it for him and put a lot of love into it. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, Hannah! It's been wonderful hearing all about your creative world. I think that's such a good point about sketching all your crafty ideas down first in order to make sure you do them. I love the Doris Lessing quote, that's fabulous and very true!

I hope you've all enjoyed this Blog Gem!

All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Hannah at Rose Tinted Crafting. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.

15 May 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

Finally got my record player up and running this week, hurrah! It's been way too long but all I needed was a crucial wire.Why did I put it off for so long?! I've really missed it. For me vinyl is a whole different listening experience. I love the slight crackle of the needle, the whole process of slipping the record out of it's sleeve and popping it on and also the fact that the album cover is bigger means the art work can be appreciated more.

The first record I put on? Well, it had to be 'Let It Bleed', although I did promise myself 'Rumours' by Fleetwood Mac but the stones called out to me, ha ha!

As a record player isn't exactly portable, it means I can't take it up to my studio, so instead my trusty DAB radio accompanies me when I'm working on shop orders. One tune I've particularly liked listening to on Radio 6 this week is Go by Public Service Broadcasting. It's utterly gorgeous and makes my heart tremble. 

14 May 2015

Adventures in the garden: Beans

In a matter of weeks, my beans have gone from this...

...to this!  Kaboom!

I love seeing how they develop and grow from those stunning looking seeds I planted.

They are really rather beautiful. 

I'm not sure what happened to the little guy on the right. Has he been demolished by an insect? Certainly doesn't look like he wants to join the party :-(

The above pics are of my French Beans. The Broad Beans (who got sandwiched in the middle of my seed tray) are taking their time...maybe they need a little more light?

I've started acclimatising them all to the great outdoors by taking them out the little greenhouse each day, before tucking them up at night. They seem to look rather happy having some air. I'm planning to plant them outside at the weekend. Fingers crossed the last frost will have passed by then!

What are you growing this year? Any new plants?

12 May 2015

New Design: Bow Ties

Finally, after lots of teasing I can now reveal my new accessory, BOW TIES!

They are available in four colours at the moment but I am considering offering more patterns and fabrics...if you all like them of course!

They have a metal clip at the back (see picture below), making them easy to pop on and suitable for all neck sizes. And to top it all off, each bow tie comes individually gift wrapped in my branded boxes, so they're all ready to give as a present!

Currently I am selling them in my NOTHS shop and don't forget, us girls can wear bow ties too!

I'd love to know what you all think, so please do let me know in the comments field below. 

Thanks tonnes!


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