Awesome customized Tees

Another post like the Sock Snowmen that requires little crafting talent, but yields great results.

You will need:

A t-shirt – Try Fruit of the Loom value weight. I got one or £2.49 from ebay and they have all sizes and tons of colours to chose from.
Bleach. 
Chalk.
A paintbrush.
A plastic bag or binliner.
A copy/picture of a design.
photo 1

Use the plastic bag inside the shirt to separate the fabric so that only the front is affected by the bleach. Make sure the bag is laid out flat and that your tee is laid out on a flat surface. Outside would be good, but if not possible, choose an area that isn’t carpeted!

photo 2

Next, use the chalk to roughly sketch your design. Don’t worry about being too accurate or arty….the look we are aiming for is distressed and a bit splattery so neatness isn’t an issue. My Avengers A looks a bit squished up, but it’s close enough!

photo 3 (2)
Next, use the paintbrush to start painting bleach over your design. Follow the chalk marks and focus on this part first. You will start to see results almost immediately. The splodges and marks can be added as you paint (dripping brush!) and then on purpose afterwards 😉

photo 4

Next, put your shirt in cold water for a couple of minutes to wash away any excess bleach. I ran mine under a cold water tap for 2 minutes, making sure to cover the whole of the bleached design. You could also pop your tee under the shower if that’s easier.

The next step is to wring the tee out and pop it into the wash. I washed mine with a tiny amount of washing liquid on a 40 degree quick wash. I left it to dry overnight and this is the final result (which my husband, the recipient of the tee) absolutely loved!

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There you have it! A totally customized, one off tee!
You can try this method with other colour tees to see how different they turn out….or try different fabrics and t-shirt brands to see how the bleach reacts. We are planning an olive tee with a Captain America logo, a burgundy tee with an Iron Man Arc reactor and a brown tee with a Firefly logo.

Original inspiration for this project came from this post at Eight & Sixteen.

 

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Why we drink water…..

Can drinking water take years off your face?

After reading this article over at the Mail Online, I was inspired to try my own experiment. After all, a picture like this is certainly enough to spur anyone on:

Capture

After thinking about how much water I drank each day and admitting the answer was none (I drank tea, coffee and coke!), I decided that the article might be onto something. I suffer from frequent headaches, often crippling ones which in turn become migraines and incapacitate me for a couple of days at a time. I have noticed that my skin is less firm and there are dark circles and bags under my eyes.  I put it down to having a 16 month old who wakes at 6am no matter what, and turning 40 years of age. But what if I am depriving my own body of the very thing it needs most in order to function correctly?

Top 10 reasons why we should drink water (thank you Abby Phon at Mindbodygreen.com)

Top 10 Benefits of Drinking Water: Don’t Medicate, Hydrate!

1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue – Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted.

2. Promotes Weight Loss 
– Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant), raises your metabolism and has zero calories.

3. Flushes Out Toxins 
– Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).

4. Improves Skin Complexion 
– Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around.

5. Maintains Regularity
 – Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.

6. Boosts Immune System
 – A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.

7. Natural Headache Remedy
 – Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration.

8. Prevents Cramps & Sprains
 – Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.

9. Puts You in a Good Mood
 – When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy.

10. Save Money!
 – Water is FREE. Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s STILL cheaper than that high sugar and fat-filled latte.
glass-of-water
I started drinking a huge jug of water a day 2 days ago.  This is day 3, and I have already noticed some slight changes. Because I sit at a desk all day and am very busy, I often forget to get up and move around and when I do, I’m stiff and achy – particularly my right ankle which I have sprained very badly on 3 separate occasions over the years. Yesterday I got up to go for a bathroom break and noticed I had a spring in my step and no aches or stiffness. I thought I was just having a good day and didn’t put it down to water intake until I read the article above, point. 8.

My urine is no longer dark yellow. Now it’s a light yellow….hopefully soon to become clear!
I’m still waiting for the skin miracle, but it’s early days yet. My selfie is below. I’ll keep you posted and post pictures and updates as I go along. It can’t hurt, right?
photo 4

 

3 minute short

This short movie recently won awards when entered into the “Who’s there?” Horror movie competition.  I recommend watching in broad daylight, hours away from bedtime, in a room with plenty of people and maybe even with the sound off. That’s how I did it and I still can’t get it out of my mind!

Ladies & gentlemen, I give you…Lights Out.

Proceed with caution.

Benefit – Boxes o’ powder

boxes o powder

Benefit started out their Box o’ powder collection with the now legendary Hoola (subtle bronzing powder with a cult following). It then expanded the collection to include Dallas and Dandelion and I thought they had every complexion covered and every need catered for, but they keep on releasing powders – and I want them all! I already own Hoola, which when used correctly offers my pale skin a non-obvious, non-fake looking sunkissed glow.  Dallas works just as well but with a little more use on the apple of the cheeks, works great as a blush too.  Dandelion is my all time favourite – this ballerina pink powder can be swept over the entire face to brighten, balance and enhance.  But I’ve been looking at the other powders and can’t make my mind up what the try next, I just know I need another one!

Should it be the UKs No. 1 bestselling blush? Sugarbomb
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“Swirl the 4 complimenting, shimmering shades of peach, soft plum, pink and rose powders together and sweep on cheeks for a natural radiance. It’s a sweet rush of gorgeous!”

Or perhaps the newest offering? Rockateur
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“Pick up the beat with a rush of heat! This rockin’ rose gold cheek powder gives a famously provocative flush that turns heads on-stage and off. The crowd will go wild for its sexy faceted design, accented in luxe gold. For an encore, the custom angled, dimensional brush gives rich, show-stopping payoff every time.”

Coral isn’t really my colour, but somehow I still want this one…. Coralista
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“Our warm coral-pink cheek powder is your “coral blush for a tropical flush”! This shade cheers up every skin tone in seconds.Complete with soft, natural-bristle blush brush.”

Or maybe I need this gorgeous rose & Berry powder? Hervava
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“Seeking a flush of enlightenment? Swirl on hervana… Our goodkarma face powder! Four complementary shades, lucky shell, divine peach, heavenly rose & berry delight – blend together perfectly for an orchid blossom blush. What goes around,,,comes around!”

In the end, I think a great way to try the powders before spending £23.50 on a box of powder is to try one of Benefit’s Mini Kits. They may be a little more expensive (£25.50), but you get 3 other mini products that you may use all the time anyway such as lip gloss, Benetint, High beam etc.  But you get the powder too, and if it works for you, then you have a mini kit that can go in your handbag and if you like the powder, you can buy the full size for your vanity or make up bag/drawer at home.

I think I need to go with Sugarbomb, and once I do, I’ll review it here.
Click the photo below to check out all of Benefits amazing powders.

suagr

More sock snowmen

Further to this post, I have now made a grand total of 6 sock snowmen!  I think I’ve got it down now and can create one in less than 10 minutes. I’ve also started to get a little more creative with fabrics and crafty bits. Next year I am going to go bigger and better. Below are 2 pictures……batch one contains the first ever rather sad looking snowman and then you can see in batch 2 how I’ve practiced a little more and gotten a little better.

I still highly recommend this as a quick and easy Christmas craft that you can do with your kids.  These snowmen make wonderful little stocking filler gifts. I made mine for my mum, 2 sisters and 3 best friends and they love them! Follow the link above for instructions and give it a go! You don’t need many supplies and the result is surprisingly good, while the process is unbelievably easy.

Merry Christmas! 🙂

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Batch #1 – There’s my first ever snowman on the left!

3
Latest batch – sparkles and pretty hats!

 

Christmas crafting for the artistically challenged

You know how people make jokes about not being able to sew a button on? Well, I can do that. I can just about repair a seam that’s come apart as well.  After that, I’m rubbish. I am a writer, not an artist and I can’t make cards or create my own art for the house or knit, sew or craft cushions etc.  But I have stumbled upon the easiest Christmas crafting ever. If I can do this, anyone – seriously, anyone – can do this!

sm2

You will need:

  • White crew sock (buy several pairs if you want to make gifts)
  • Elastic bands
  • Mixed bag of buttons (I chose green & red smaller ones)
  • Some Christmas ribbon or fabric
  • Craft glue
  • Map pins
  • Long grain rice
  • Scissors
  • Needle & thread

Start by cutting the sock at the heel and tying off the main part with an elastic band.  Keep the rest of the sock, you’ll need it.

S1

Next, stuff the sock with rice.  Keep pushing it down and using the stretch of the sock to plump it out and make a fat, round base.

S2

Next, tie off a section and then fill up the smaller top section with more rice. Tie off with another elastic band.  Your sock should now have a basic snowman shape.

S3 S4

You now need your map pins. I bought a pack of black and a multi coloured pack, which had orange inside. This was good, as I was all out of miniature carrots…

S5

 

He’s starting to look like a real snowman now! Next, add your ribbon and fashion it like a scarf.  Also, roll the top of the edge of the sock remnant up and place it on the snowman’s head like a hat.

S6

 

Okay, now you just need to embellish him a little.  Sew or glue some buttons on to the main body section and maybe jazz up his hat with some ribbon or fabric offcuts.

S7

 

You are all done! And here he is – my finished prototype Snowman 🙂

S8

 

Directions were taken from HERE. Their snowmen are considerably better than mine!!! Here are some other sock snowmen.  Using different materials, embellishments and crafty bits you can create your own individual designs.

sm1 sm3

sm4 Sock_Snowmen_5055fd4b4a2a6

 

Faebles

It’s no secret that I love the ABC TV show Once Upon a Time. One UK convention organiser has tried without success to run a convention around this show – nobody was more gutted than me when it fell through! But now another company are running a convention called Faebles, a convention focusing on Lost Girl, Once Upon a Time & Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

In my opinion, Starfury Conventions are the best convention organisers for weekend events.

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So far, 2 Lost Girl guests have been announced – I am waiting with baited breath to see which Once Upon a Time guests are announced. Tickets are £90 for regular attendees and £16o for Gold tickets. For your money you get an autograph from each guest, access to all the guest talks, entrance to 3 parties and a 3 day event.  Photos with the guests are extra but Starfury are still charging the lowest prices out there.

Watch this space!

Author of the day – Neil Gaiman

I won’t be making Author of the day posts every day….just naming my favourite author on any day that I can be bothered to blog 🙂

Neil Gaiman

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Is there anyone with a wilder imagination that Neil Gaiman? Probably.  Maybe people like Stephen King (legend), Clive Barker (a world woven into a rug? Obviously) and JK Rowling (I’ll forget the Casual Vacancy if you will).  But Neil Gaiman has just captured my imagination lately like no other writer.  I’ve read in very quick succession : Stardust, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Anasi Boys and my next book all lined up on my Kindle ready to go is American Gods.

Anyone who has a section header on their website entitled Cool stuff & other things gets my vote. I know Neil writes for younger readers but I don’t really care – I am reading everything and anything I can get my grubby mitts on, and it all feels like it’s been written just for me. So far, The Graveyard Book has stuck with me the most and I am really hoping to see a movie of this….the potential for it to be good is really out there. I didn’t think they did too badly with the movies of Coraline and Stardust. Speaking of, I really need one (or all) of these:

coraline_1 coraline_dolls

I would also love the Stardust Gift Edition, but at £163.99 I will need to win the lottery first.

StardustTheGiftEdition-DeluxeSignedLimited_US-Hardback_1345417433

Anyway, after being thoroughly dragged into the world of Neil Gaiman, I have resolved to read all of his books, somehow manage to get ahold of the book above, meet him and get  him to sign it.  After American Gods, I wonder what I should read next…?

Pretty!

For some reason, this find makes me incredibly happy! Created by the very talented Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde (check out their etsy shop HERE), it answers so many questions I had about Carrie’s apartment in SatC. I mean, I just couldn’t figure out the layout properly, despite watching every single episode, many many times.  I would LOVE to own an original copy of this fab plan….but might have to wait until I am rich 😉  But in any case, this is fantastic!
carrie_bradshaw_apartment_as_a_poster_by_nikneuk-d5ejqbr

(Click to see larger, more detailed image)