Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spanish Fiesta Part Two

Well, I'm back in Germany, which means I have been able to take pictures of some more of decorations that I made for my boyfriend's birthday. The gift and back story can be found here.


I found ideas for decorations on Pinterest (of course) - you can check out some of my inspiration on my board here as well as the recipes I used to cook a Spanish dinner.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday's Letters - A Link up with Adventures of Newlyweds {2}

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I loved doing this last week! It's fun reflecting sometimes.

Dear aeroplane thank you for taking me to Germany safely and delivering me to my ill, but gorgeous boyfriend. Dear ill but gorgeous boyfriend you are the most positive person I know. Even when you have the worst news possible, you just keep on living.  You help me put my problems (hello broken windscreen and £100 bill) into perspective and let me be grumpy about it despite it being a comparatively pathetic problem.  Dear Prime Minister and other politicians please stop the awfulness that is the pie tax and get back to finding the rich tax avoiders (ya know, your friends and business partners) who could make a massive contribution to the economy by just paying SOME tax. Also, stop embarrassing yourselves by eating pies in support of the bakers. It's rhetoric gone toooo far.  Dear A, H and L thank you for a lovely bacon sandwich lunch, baby cuddles and a night of board games.  I LOVE seeing you all and will miss you over Easter.  Dear new followers and Tweeps, thanks for joining in with my new blog, letting me guest post for you and offering to share some love here.  I can't wait....which is why I'm off to make a start now.

Have a great weekend folks.

R xx

I'm taking part in Our Reflections weekly photo challenge

Our Reflection Photo Challenge

When I saw Laura's theme this week was 'Spring', I became a bit over excited as I have already been out and snapping away.  To celebrate the first day of Spring last week, I went out into my school grounds (they are really fancy) and captured some of the first hours of the new season.  England, for once complied with absolutely gorgeous sunshine.  So, I pick this picture to my entry into Laura's competition:


We are lucky enough to have a bee-keeping club at school, so this will be one of our bees making the most of the carpet of daffodils to produce some yummy school honey.  Thanks bees!

Keep on reading to see some of my other highlights of Spring!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Running Before I Can Walk: A Kindle Case


Well, having now sewn four WHOLE items from other people's tutorials, I thought that I might be able to fly solo with a Kindle cover.  I have made:

A cushion cover (courtesy of Cherry Men Love)
Ipod Case (free instructions from a newspaper)
Pencil Case (from Sweet Verbena)
A pouch (from That's my Letter)
A clutch bag (more about this here - and the link to the amazing blogger who designed it!)

Now, in all of these projects, the seams are pretty wonky, the zips have been hit and miss and generally, if I could have made many more mistakes, I would be surprised.

So, with this in mind, I thought....how hard could it be to make a lined pouch for my Kindle? I started photographing it, like it might become a tutorial.  Let me speak plainly: this is NOT a tutorial. I am sure that there are 1 million better ways you could make this.  I made some really weird mistakes and it's quite wonky. 

However, it is only for me...and I am still quite proud of what I achieved.  If there is ANYONE out there with sewing knowledge, who would be prepared to read over the steps below and see if I could have made it easier on myself, your advice would be amazing!

There are plenty of great Kindle covers out there in blog land. Sadly, none of them seem to be aimed at the novice sewer.  Therefore, as soon as I work out an easier way to do this, then I will and  post a proper tutorial. Until then....here's a non-tutorial of how I made mine.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sewing for Me - Sewing to Learn

Look at what I made!

If you haven't seen this from Elm Street Life  all over Pinterest, then where have you been? 

O.K, well I hadn't seen it either until I saw a version by Sunny Vanilla  at my Launch Party Link Party.

A Craftbotic Egg!



If you visited Aimee's Easter Egg hunt at It's Overflowing, you will have seen an amazing group of people posting their Easter Egg designs. I was really excited to be invited to join in.  This is the mini tutorial I posted last week, just in case you missed it!

My egg:
You need: a polystyryne egg, some tissue paper, dress makers pins, sequins, a scrap of felt and some coloured ball pins.

The idea for my egg came from an old sequined boob tube I wore at University 9 years ago (I would share a picture of the outfit, but trust me, NO-ONE wants to see it!) My initial plan was to recycle the sequins and cover my polystyrne egg in them using the dressmaker pins.


After 3 rows, with slightly sore fingers, I turned to plan B, which was to glue layers of tissue paper to the top and bottom of the egg, with the aim of having a sparkly belt around the middle. 


After adding some more sequins, I ended up with this:



While I liked it, I wanted to make something a little different. So I grabbed a small amount of felt and some yellow ball pins to make a daisy.


I chopped the felt into a circle and then pinned it to my egg.  It's a little quirky, but I really like it!



 I hope you like it. I launched Craftbotic in March 2012 after starting with a Christmas blog last September.  I hope to make lots of new bloggy friends. So remember tohell say hello - Happy Egg Hunting!

Rosie x


Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday's Letters - A link up with Adventures of Newlyweds

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I am new to this, so here it goes:

Dear boyfriend thank you for visiting me over the weekend and helping me to relax on Sunday even though I was mega tired and grumpy the rest of the time. Thank you for oiling my sewing machine and putting up with all my new blog excitement. Dear Spring thank you for arriving and bringing gorgeous weather and a chance to get outside and take some awesome photos. Dear boss thank you for giving me the beautiful flowers and recognising the work that went into helping the kids have a day of journalism.  Dear Lindt Chocolate bunny thank you for being there all week when I needed that hug that only a rabbit shaped chocolate can bring. I am a little sad that I finished you while writing this... And finally, but just as importantly, dear new blog friends, thank you for welcoming me onto the blogosphere, following along and giving me so much encouragement.  I am so excited about it all!

It's a really cool way to round off the week actually.  If you fancy a moment of reflection: join in at Adventures of Newlyweds and remember to take their button!

R xx

Butterfly Board and Appreciation

It's been a fantastic first 13 days in blog land. I am really pleased to have met you, if you have followed along, or been in contact in any way. Thank you for your encouraging emails and kindness!  I have made myself a funky new wipe-away ideas board (no tutorial required, you know the ones!). Here it is with some of the other awesome things that happened to me this week. 


1. On Monday, I received these gorgeous flowers and chocolate bunny from some of the kids (via my lovely head of department) for helping them take part in BBC School News Report last week. They smell delicious as they are now opening.  I love Spring (more on that to follow...)
2. I made myself this board to help me organise what I want to make or write. At the moment, I approach most projects in quite a scatty, 'random' way. This is not overly helpful!
3. My egg was featured in Aimee's Easter Egg hunt. I was so excited about my first ever guest post, I literally danced! Check it out here and while you are there, check out Aimee's awesome decorating tips too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Have you visited the Easter Egg Hunt yet?



...If you haven't then you should, as Aimee has put together some fantastic bloggers and given me a chance at my first EVER guest post. Check it out at It's Overflowing HERE! 

Is dancing around the room too uncool to admit to?  Best Wednesday EVER!

Thank you Aimee ;)

R xx

Launch Party Link Ups!

Welcome to the launch of the Craftbotic: my new adventure into all things creative!  To celebrate the launch of my blog, I would like to invite you to take part in my 'It's Party Time' Link Party - the first of many monthly themed link-ups.  Don't forget you can bring as many friends as you want!

So how does it work?
Link up your party project below and remember to take a button to share on your blog.


Please follow along to find out what fabulous theme will be coming up in April! Click on 'Read More' below to link up.

Crazy Adventure Part 1!

If any of you hadn't realised, my boyfriend and I do not live in the same country!  He lives in Germany and I live in the U.K.  We see each other every 2 or so weeks, so it isn't too bad and I take advantage of my teacher holidays.  We met in Australia, so the distance doesn't seem as bad as it once did!




Anyhow, I have mega difficulties communicating with his friends and family, so I am teaching myself German, or trying to.  This is the big challenge of 2012.  I want to be able to have a normal conversation with other adults without having to act anything out again.



So, I found this website, via an English newspaper which helps you to learn vocabulary; it's called 'Memrise'.  I am in no way endorsing the pedagogy of the learning method, or claiming it will teach you another language....but it seems to be working for me: the person with the worst memory EVER.

Basically you learn words by planting seeds of them in your memory. You practise them to help them grow more and embed themselves better. The APP then reminds you to go and water them...or the cry...and then die away. It's like a Tamogotchi but with words...the guilt forces you to check in everyday.

I am 530/977 words through the Introductory German Course. I still forget the words I have learnt, but I know a lot more than when I started 4 weeks ago.

There is even a league table for the competitive out there of you. (cough cough)

So my 2012 challenge is massive. I want to try and learn 4000 words by the end of the year so that I can compliment my learning of grammar.  This is a completely 'realistic' aspiration, considering I am also trying to get fit and launch this new blog.

Do you speak other languages? Do you have any top tips?  Anyone fancy being a (free) German conversation buddy? 

I would love to know your ideas.

Rosie xx

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spanish Fiesta Part 1 and a half!


Welcome to post 1.5!  If you didn't catch Part One....then check out the personal party I planned for my boyfriend. This is the birthday cake I made him as part of his birthday celebrations.  It isn't Spanish themed, but it is wonky!  I'm not sure if this is a craft fail....I called it his 'train wreck' cake: he thought it was great. I love bias sometimes.

You can probably tell the icing didn't work.  My logic disappeared and I thought it was a really good idea to ice a cake that had loose crumb sides, with frosting. Yup...I ended up with cake crumbs in the icing, it started to melt..and all of the sweets went droopy.  The solution? I should have covered the cake in melted chocolate before I started.  I live and learn!

Anyway, this recipe (found somewhere on the interweb...but at speed) actually makes delicious cake. It's delicious because it contains your whole week's worth of calories.

Here's the recipe:
175g of dark chocolate, broken into squares
200g butter, unsalted
100ml of water

200g of self-raising flour
300g of light muscovado sugar
30g of cocoa powder
1tsp of baking powder
4 eggs, beaten

1. Melt the chocolate and butter with 100ml of water, in a water bath, keep warm
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar and baking powder into a bowl. Mix in the eggs with an electric mixer.
3.Fold in the melted chocolate mixture, trying to retain as much air as possible.
4. Pour the mixture into 2 standard, round cake tins (pre-prepared with grease-proof paper)
5. Bake in an oven at 180C (170 fan oven, gas mark 4) for approxiamately 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked.  Leave to cool before icing.

So, if you fancy treating someone special, this cake is perfect. If you want your kids to sleep this week, maybe not so much! 

I would LOVE to see your better attempts at cake/cupcake/food creation at my party/celebration themed link party.  It's the first one ever, so I would appreciate your support! 

Happy Baking!

R xx

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt - With It's Overflowing



All of this week, there is an Easter Egg-stravaganza at It's Overflowing.  Over the next few days a range of bloggers, including me, will be sharing their Easter Egg designs and tutorials.  Aimee has put together a fantastic series of bloggers and you can join in the fun too. So head over to her blog this week and make some new friends.

If you are visiting from Aimee's site - welcome to Craftbotic! Don't forget to follow along and check out my month long linky party.

Rosie x

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spanish Fiesta Part 1

For my boyfriend's birthday in January, I had a massive themed party night planned, based on his gift of a homemade tapas kit. There was Sangria, Spanish Chicken, Patatas Bravas and stuffed peppers on the menu; table decorations of red/yellow placemats, a tapas birthday plate, red confetti, Spanish napkins, mustache straws, candles, and some paper carnival flowers; ruffled red and yellow party streamers, balloons, a 'pin the tale' on the bull game and some other party plans. (A selection of which is below!)


I was soooooo busy writing my masters essay, and making all of this stuff, that there wasn't time to make tutorials.

Ever since we first ate Tapas in England, on his first visit over, he has been in love with Chorizo sausage. I bought him a Tapas book, making sure it had his favourite dishes in and then put together a kit of all of the spices and vinegars needed to make the dishes; in Germany spices are much more expensive. I found some cute jars and designed labels for them, decanting the spices. I also found some tapas sized baking dishes and used a paint pen to make them more Spanish.

Voila!



Unfortunately, the day before he arrived in the UK, he had some horrible news and couldn't come! My work was really pleased: they got to eat a load of cake. So, when the man couldn't come to his party, the party was packed and taken to Germany on my next visit. All 17 kilos of it! I hadn't taken any pictures of any of it...so these are his. I just hope he learns to make the recipes soon...they look delicious.

Part 2 will tell you more about the decorations and the cake. I have no photos of the paper flowers, but as I found them on Pinterest, I might just have to look them back up there! Organised chaos as usual!

What was your favourite themed party?

R xx

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Party!

As well as crafting, you can also find me reading, avidly. I take part in a  book club with my colleagues at school and have been introduced to some excellent novels (and some, equally that I just couldn't stand).

Reading for me has always been a real 'treat'. When things were rough at school, I would escape with my head in a book and today I make time to read, to retreat and to expand my enjoyment of literature.

Recent books have included:

The Fingersmith - by Sarah Walters


and The Poisonwood Bible - by Barbara Kingsolver



I love both of these novels for similar reasons: they both absorbed me in untravelled worlds. Kingsolver enveloped me in the Congo with her varied narration and perceptive understanding of the conflicts.  If you have read 'The Lacuna', you will understand her ability to absorb you into unfamiliar contexts and educate, whilst avoiding lecturing on the moral pointers of the story. Walters evokes a vivid, almost Dickensian world, developing a strong female narrative.  Known for her ability to portray strong, passionate lesbian relationships, it moves beyond these labels and is as much about love as any classic novel. While the subject matter may make some feel uncomfortable, I couldn't put my Kindle down (yup new Christmas present, and something which makes me buy more books).

I would love to know if you have read these and what you thought!

The next book I really want to read is fairly short. It is called 'The Sense of an Ending' by Julian Barnes - I saw it in a book shop last weekend. So that is what I am going to propose for my first book party.  Let me know if you want to join in.  I will fix a date in April where we can all have a chat about it.



Don't forget to tell your friends, blogging or otherwise!

R xx

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some Beginner Birthday Gifts - For Your Besties

At the moment, I am definitely in the 'amateur' crafter catagory. So inevitably I spend a lot of time browsing the rest of blogland in envy of all of the things I wish I could make.

Shortly after Christmas I bought a basic sewing machine and used two fantastic blogs to guide me through the following projects to make some birthday gifts for my lovely friends.

The first Sweet Verbena, is one of the funkiest sewing sites out there. There are so many gorgeous projects to try. I started small, making this pencil case for my friend who lives in Australia.


I filled it with fineliners (every teacher's dream!)


The second project I used was from That's My Letter. I love typography so this site ticks all of my boxes. I bet that it will tick yours too.  I made a fabric pouch for a good friend and filled it with nail goodies.



Both of these projects are clearly explained: perfect for a beginner.  So thanks for great tutorials guys. Please go and check them out and follow along.

Rosie xx

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Third Party Guest: Brittney from Third Time's a Charm

Brittney like me, is a fairly new blogger, but unlike me has some serious sewing talent! Mine is 'emerging'. She was one of the first people to offer to guest post for me and I am so pleased she did. Her quilts are amazing! She is being picked out as a party star across the crafting circuit, so if you haven't already been and checked out her site, go! It's a heart-warming, inspirational read.



Hi there!  I’m Brittney from Third Time’s a Charm.  I’m a wife and mom, and love being both.  My hubby is in the U.S. Military, and my little one is 20 months old and the sweetest thing ever.


My blog received its name because it usually takes me multiple tries to get something to work out.  Whether it’s quilting, crocheting or my newest adventure, knitting, I tend to have MANY learning experiences.  (And by learning experiences I mean mistakes.)  I know I’m not alone in this and the purpose of my blog is not only to share my projects, but to make everyone feel better about their “learning experiences.”  I also hope my blog will make you laugh a little.  Need a laugh now? Check out my first post.  It has a little something to do with exploding eggs… 

I’ve only been blogging for about three months now, so I’m a definite newbie.  And this is my FIRST ever guest post!  I hope you like it!  Thanks to Rosie for letting me share with you all of you great people today.

 To go along with Rosie’s Party Theme I’m going to share an idea with you for an easy homemade gift idea.  Rag Quilts!  Even if you don’t consider yourself a master sewer, rag quilts are a very easy and forgiving project.  The cuts can be less than precise, and the seams not exact and it will turn out just fine!



Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Second Party Guest: Jamie from C.R.A.F.T

I am really pleased to introduce Jamie from C.R.A.F.T - I am quite sure that you have probably already come across her awesome blog, so I am sure you can understand how excited I am to have her here with us today, sharing one of her favourite party projects.  I think it's an awesome idea that you can have something in the cupboard that you can whip out and use whenever you need it, rather than having that awful party panic where you realise you have 20 new items to make or buy in a short time frame.

So without further ado,  take it away Jamie!

[creating really awesome free things]



Handmade letter banners add instant spunk to and party, event, or gathering... and the best thing is all you need is card stock, scissors, a hole punch and tape!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Guest Number One: Bethany from Pitter and Glink

I am very excited to have Bethany from Pitter and Glink doing my first ever guest post today.  She was one of the first bloggers I came across last year and have followed along ever since. I am eternally jealous that she has the opportunity to craft most Saturdays, but very grateful that I have the opportunity to read what she has been up to.  So take a look at the post below, and don't forget to follow along!


 
 
Hello, Ladies!  I'm Bethany from Pitter and Glink.
 


I'm so excited to be part of this awesome Craftbotic party extravaganza!  Today, I'm going to share with you how to make a dollar store cupcake stand.



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Apologies and A New Plan

Hi folks,

The launch of Craftbotic is going to be delayed until 10th March, due to personal circumstances.  If you have sent me a guest blog thank you; please check your email as I have sent a more detailed explanation of the delay.  Needless to say, crafting has been the least of my priorities, until now when I more than anything want to get started with Craftbotic and resume crafting ASAP.  Sorryfor being missing since mid-February! Please forgive me.

Check back on the 10th for a super guest post by Bethany at Pitter and Glink!

If you still want to join in and have a party themed  guest post you want to share, there is plenty of space left.  Just email me! I am back to checking them every day.  A link party will launch on the 10th for you to add in any of your party related posts.

Big hugs,

R xx

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