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Friday, January 27, 2012

New stock! new stock!

I think I'm as confused as my fuschia plant today (which is still flowering despite all the wind and frost). Last night it felt like Friday night, this morning I woke up convinced it was Saturday and then, in a work meeting before lunch, I momentarily thought it was the end of the day! So I am very very happy to say that it is - finally - THE WEEKEND!!!

And to make things even better, there's brand new stock in the shop - and it's gorgeous! Here is a taster below:

1. Rough finished wooden heart hooks £3.99
2. Grey lime country wash clock £11.99
3. Summer garden washbag £8.99
4. 6 heart cluster £3.99
5. Antiqued insect resined coasters (set of 4) £9.99
6. Wooden chalkboard tags £2.49 per pair
7. Lime wash wooden compartment box with glass heart peephole lid £12.99
8. Set of 4 wooden coasters in a pretty wire holder £5.99

I don't know about you but 2012 seems to be the year of weddings...and these gorgeous labels are the perfect finishing touch to any present: 

wooden luggage gift tags £1.49 

For full details of these featured products simply click on either the link to the right or above to go to the shop. There you'll see the full range of new products too :)

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The mini bow tutorial...

I've decided to call these two bows the 'minnie' and the 'mini' reminds me of Minnie Mouse's very stylish attire and the other is...well, just smaller!...I never was any good at coming with names for things.

I don't have any amusing anecdotes relating to bows so I think I might just crack on with showing you how to make a belt and hair clip with the mini bow :)

Two ways with a mini bow

This is what we're making :

This is what we need:

Strong fabric glue
2 snap fasteners
Tape measure
3 lengths of 1" wide ribbon (1x 2.5", 1x 6" and 1x waist width + 5")
matching thread and needle
Hair grip

1) First make the bow, this will allow the glue to dry while making the belt. Take the 6" length of ribbon and add a thin layer of glue to one end. Glue the two ends together to form a loop.

 2) Next take the 2.5" length of ribbon and add a thin layer of glue to one end. Pinch the previously made loop of ribbon together with the seam in the middle and wrap the 2.5" length of ribbon round and glue together. To make it as neat as possible make sure both of the glued seams are on the same side.

and...abracadabra let red become blue!!! ok ok so I don't have magic hands, and yes I made a mistake in only purchasing 1m of red ribbon. My middle section was just under 2" long so I simply glued both ends of the ribbon to the back of the bow. This is fine as long as you're making the belt.

3) For the hair bow. Simply choose the grip of your choice, I have tons of slides lying around so I used one of these. You can either glue it to the bow or simply slide the grip through the back of the middle section and attach to one's head :) I chose the latter because I'm lazy it means I can reuse the slide for different accessories.

4) For the belt. Measure the width of your waist. If the belt is for a particular dress/top then it's worth wearing that when measuring so you can see where the waistline is.

Cut the ribbon to the length of this measurement + 5". Next measure in 1.5" from each end of the ribbon and mark it with a dressmakers pencil or the like. Next sew each part of a snap fastener on either end of the ribbon ***on opposite sides of the ribbon***. I highlight this because I drifted in to a little dream world whilst sewing and did not do so!! If you want to make this a completely no-sew project then you could use velcro.

5) I like tidy ends, especially as ribbon has a tendency to fray (and the fact it hides my messy sewing technique is a bonus). So add a thin layer of glue to each end of the ribbon and fold 1" over so that the reverse side of your sewing is hidden and the fastening is approximately 1/2" from the edge.

Press the edges and add a further thin layer of glue to the new ends of the belt and fold over again so that the raw edge of the ribbon is hidden. Press the edges again with an iron. The belt should now be the length of your waist width + 1" for overlap to fasten it - always helpful :)

6) Okay so now come the fun bit...adding the bow! Add glue to the reverse of the bow and glue to one end of the belt so that the middle section of the bow is at the edge of the belt. Leave to dry.

And there you have two ways to wear a mini bow :) I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.

'Two ways with a Minnie bow' coming next week...I really need to think of a different name!

p.s. I'm trying my first link party...I'm linking up to:

Monday, January 23, 2012

A new look {again} and...

Tutorials are back!!! Well I'm excited because I've had lots of ideas that I can finally make now I have a camera again :)

Also, if you visited end of last week, you may have noticed that the blog design has changed - again. Thanks to Brassy Apple for the wonderful link to The blog guidebook which then led me to 'the cutest blog on the block' (free background designs) and picnik (free online photo editing)...I feel I've learnt a lot over the weekend. If anyone is new to blogging or is as technically challenged as me, then the advice and tutorials are amazing!

Here's a taster of the first set of tutorials for 2012:

I know there's 3 bows in the picture but "Two bows (I know there's 3 but I mean two styles)...Two ways (not three)" just didn't have the same ring :) I'll show you how to make both bows into either a belt or hair accessory...I really enjoyed this project and hope you will too!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

like the changes...

Or is it a little boring?

I'd really like your opinions as I can't decide whether I like the simplicity or whether it's a little blah?!! I'll probably add some more images along the side bar but I'm really not skilled in the area of making things pretty on the computer so opinions...and tips...are appreciated!!

So long friends...I'm off on yet another adventure to try to become more aquainted with blogger and it's technical wonders (I've yet to find them but other people's lovely blog layouts spur me on!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A little note...

Dear Creators of Kitchenaid,

I would just like to say how much I love your work. I would like to help you out by offering you the amazing opportunity to showcase your wonderful and beautiful mixer in my small {but perfectly formed} kitchen. I promise it will be well loved and I will make sure it's every need is met. I think the mixer in 'pistachio' would really love it here.

But the empire red mixer would also feel right at could be friends with my red toaster...some things are just meant to be.

You know, I could even take both...I'm kind like that.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Some projects in mind...

Well folks, we are this (a pinch of the fingers) close to ordering our new camera...we would actually have it by now if it wasn't for my indecisiveness.  But this can only be great news for you as you won't have to hear me go on and on about this topic again... but not so good for me because I'll no longer have a broken camera to blame for my poor photography skills :) but I'm looking forward to getting back to making some tutorials.

I've got a couple of new projects on the go at the moment...mostly sewing related.

We only currently have 1 table cloth...which, when you're as clumsy as me, really isn't enough! So I'm working on making a pretty basic one but also a pretty embroidery cloth I got for christmas. I really love this but I haven't been able to track down any lace doilies in our local stores (oh Dunelm, what has happened to you? I remember the days when you were all about the lace)

So that will have to wait a while longer. But I've finally picked up some lovely material for that quilt I've been dreaming of for oh. so . long. Trust me, this book would get you dreaming too...the photos are so gorgeous!

I've yet to decide what pattern to go for but I love the clean cut simplicity of this:

I've also got a little hooked on the idea of a chevron quilt but let's see how the first one goes :)

If you made it this far through my rambling then I found a great blog which has collected together over 100 ideas from 2011 for your crafting needs...some inspiration if you're after some projects.

Just click here to go to the long thread
Happy Monday!        

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cherry tomato soup...

If you're like me then you might be feeling the need for something light and healthy after all the christmas sweetness. Again if you're like me then this feeling is also likely to be momentary while you're on a sugar high. Make the most of this moment and fill your body with something delicious and good...say hello to tasty tomato soup!

There are few foods I find more comforting than a big bowl of soup (always with a hunk of white bread)...especially tomato soup. So while I was full of that stinking cold before christmas I decided to use up some cherry tomatoes that were sitting in the fridge and make myself some warming tomato soup. Feeling the need to escape the clutches of daytime telly I decided to look up each of the ingredient's health benefits and, well, almost felt cured of the cold just from thinking about it...I now love tomato soup even more than I did before :) It definately spurs me on when I find out how much good I'm doing to my body just by preparing and eating simple but super delicious food.

I've linked each ingredient to a page explaining their health benefits. So, if you're interested, take a look and enjoy the soup even more for it. If you're thinking the cold clearly sent me mad then just skip the links and enjoy the soup for it's deeelicious taste!

Cherry tomato soup (courtesy of Gary Rhodes) - serves 4-6 (definately 4 if you love soup as much as me)

Olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2tbsp red wine vinegar
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
300ml passata (I used chopped tomatoes in abence of passata)
450ml vegetable stock (I used chicken stock in absence of vegetable stock...see a pattern?!!)
And I added a handful of fresh basil leaves

How to make it:

1) Heat some olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Fry until softened and slightly coloured.

2) Add the red wine vinegar and boil until only a very little liquid is left

3) Add the cherry tomatoes and fry for ten minutes

4) Pour in the stock and passata. Simmer for a further ten minutes.

5) Add some torn basil leaves and a twist of pepper. The recipe finishes there but I prefer smooth soup so I blitzed it up.

Enjoy!...and don't feel too guilty about the chocolate and wine :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012!!!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I'm really excited about 2012 and I think this is going to be a great year for Blackberry Grove. We're hoping to have an online shop set up pretty soon so watch this space! There's also a sale on over on our facebook page so take a look here. Sale prices and availability are listed in the comments of each item.

I've never been one for making new year resolutions, mainly because I know that once I decide to do something I'm most likely not to do it (meet the queen of procrastination). I tend to fall into doing things rather than plan. But I saw something over at colemans in love which I decided would suit me down to the ground...although I decided to do one a month because there's no way I'll manage the number of things that match my age! Take a look, this was one of the first blogs I started reading and it is a lovely read.

I have basically decided to write up a 'to do' list for 2012, with a mixture of fun and more boring productive things that I have been wanting to do for a while. Crossing things off a list helps me to pretend that I'm organised and makes me much more likely to get round to doing them...I'm not sure why. Let's see how I get on with this. it is, my 12 things for 2012

So what are your hopes for 2012? what would your list look like or have you made any new year resolutions? I'd love to hear from you so just comment below :)
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