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Monday, May 28, 2012

How to transfer ink to canvas...

A while ago my husband challenged me to come up with something sufficiently manly enough to put in his office. I'll be the first to admit I lean towards the hearts and flowers when it comes to craft. So I put my thinking cap on and decided on making him a print.

I was inspired by Elsie over at A Beautiful Mess with her tutorial on making your own canvas portrait. As you can see from the photo (although it looks fainter on here than in real life), the method I used gave a 'distressed' look. I did consider going over it with a bit of paint but I (and more importantly hubby) liked the canvas in it's natural state.

This is such a simple d.i.y. - just remember to print your quote backwards, otherwise you'll need a mirror on standby :)

What you need:

Blank canvas
Standard paper

1) Print out your quote backwards. It will vary on each computer but I have Windows 2010. On that, click onto 'print', then 'printer properties' and then 'print layout' and select the mirror option.

2) Position your paper over the canvas. soak your sponge and press onto the paper. Make sure you press down rather than wipe as this will tear the paper. Don't be afraid to really soak the paper and apply pressure. Gradually work your way down over all the text.

The paper might crease up slightly when wet. This is okay, I didn't notice any real detriment to the final outcome. You can gently try to pull out the creases if you wish, it's far more important to not rip the paper though.

3) Leave for 15-30 minutes to allow the ink to transfer onto the canvas. Gently peel the paper away and leave the canvas to dry...or be impatient like me and use a hairdryer.

I really like the statement of black ink on white canvas...I think I might be filling our new home with favourite quotes using this method :)

Update: I decided to paint over the text as it had faded after the sun got it's bright shining rays on it...I posted about the process here if you wanted to see the updated version!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer is an attitude...

and this weather is sure helping my attitude :) It has been gorgeous in Kent - I hope it's been just as amazing wherever you all are!

A while ago I read a fascinating article on a tiny town high in the mountains of Italy. I wish I could remember it's name but it escapes me. The people there live completely in tune with nature, embracing the rhythm of the seasons. In the summer they're busy and in the winter they rest. They have a completely natural (and yummy Mediterranean) diet, pretty much from all that they grow themselves, and they socialise with one another. And guess what? They have a longer average lifespan than other Italian towns/villages and the lowest illness rates.

Amazing huh? Maybe we should take note :) Or maybe we should all just move to the Med. I've definitely felt the effect of a few days of gorgeous weather, I love how everybody becomes so much more friendly and how I actually feel motivated to get my house into some reasonable order.

I think my time could only be made more complete if I could escape to one of these sweet spaces...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate chip cookies to brighten up your Monday...

We had friends over for the weekend so I decided to use this as a valid reason as to why I should ignore the mountain that is our laundry pile and instead bake some sweet treats.

I have a little notepad which is my treasure trove of recipes. It all started with me copying out my mum's recipes - no one can beat her flapjack (just so's you knows) - and it's gradually been added to along the years. I have a cookie recipe in there...I can't remember where it came from but it's delicious - crisp on the edges and oh so gooey in the middle. I personally think you should get out your little notebook and copy it down right now.

Another plus is that it makes lots of cookies...well, that's depending on how strong you are in resisting the urge to just eat the cookie dough (not very) and how good your aim is when accidentally flipping a load of cookie dough up into the air and into the black hole that is the 2 inch gap between the counter and the fridge/freezer (very good). But let's go with 16 - 20.

Double chocolate chip cookie

240g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
150g soft brown sugar
110g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1/4tsp salt
150g butter
1 egg, beaten
250g chocolate, roughly chopped

1) Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined.

2) Add the vanilla essence and egg, mixing well.

3) Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together and sift into the bowl. Mix well to form a dough.

4) Stir in the chocolate pieces.

5) Leave to rest for 12 - 24 hours (optional)

6) Roll into golf sized balls and place onto a lined baking tray. Slightly flatten each ball with your hand.

7) Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celcius for 9 - 12 minutes. Remove from oven as soon as the edges start to turn a light golden brown. The cookies will look unready but they will turn into the most gooiest and delicious cookies as they cool. Leave to cool for 2 minutes and then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Paper flower D.I.Y...

I'm going to be honest, I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to upload a d.i.y. for you today. Mainly because my camera ran out of battery and I couldn't find the charger. I eventually found in our store cupboard next to the drill and the iron. obviously.

Apart from doing ridiculous things (the charger is only one of a long list of things I've lost lately) my weekend was pretty good. We're moving to a new city in the Summer and were house hunting this weekend...and we've hopefully found our future home! We need to sign on the dotted line but I'm already thinking about all the pretty things I could make to fill our new space :)

As well as dreaming up new craft ideas for the home I've been busy building up a stock of pretty gift wrap. I love adding bows and using pretty paper. I've seen lots of paper flower inspiration on pinterest and decided I wanted a stockpile of flowers I could use for adding the lovely finishing touch.

Paper flower wrap

What you need:
Card or paper of your choice
Beads for decoration

1) Cut out a rough circle of card. Next cut a spiral into the card.

2) Starting from the centre roll the card up tightly.

until you get this:

3) Loosen and tease the card until you get the shape you like and then glue the end to the outside.

4) To stabilise the flower and give a base for sticking to the wrapping paper, cut a circle of card that is slightly bigger than the base of the flower. Glue and stick.

5) Next simply add a small amount of glue to your bead and adhere to the centre of the flower.

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I want to eat healthily...

but these looks so good.

Creme Brulee by Delicious shots

Baked french toast by London Bakes

Mudslide pudding shots by Bakers Royale's a hopeless quest.

Happy bank holiday!
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