Monday, November 18, 2013

November Craft Challenge: A Doxie Christmas Ornament

When I first saw the title of Anja's project, I felt a bit thick....maybe because I am not a dog owner, I've missed out on the doxie (doggy) trend, so I actually had to Google it in order to see what was going down. When I did, I ended up finding some of the most hideous decorations known to man....and I own a glittery squirrel. I had no idea what to expect. Although I DID suspect that whatever she had made was bound to be heaps cuter than what I had already seen.  Then I realised I was spelling it incorrectly (doxxy) and was more pleasantly surprised to find a breed of dog. I (It is so worth googling 'doxxy ornament' to see what this COULD have been). Thankfully, for all of us, Anja's doxIE ornament is EXACTLY what you all need this Christmas. Here she is now to talk you through it:

My mind has been all over the place lately - and definitely nowhere near Christmas mode. Anyway, this month's Craft Challenge is for Christmas. So I had to come up with something, right?

Christmas in our home is a mix between traditional and whimsical. For example, I have all the classic Christmas ornaments from my grandma, but they share the tree with all kinds of adorable not-so-traditional ones: the Eiffel tower, turquoise toadstools, a silver pick-up truck... in a blue, white and silver extravaganza. That's why I decided to create some doxie Christmas ornaments this year.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November Craft Challenge: Seeing Christmas Stars with PJ

 I am not 'technically' late with this post, folks. It is still Monday, right? Even if it is past 10pm here in dark, cold, wintery England. My stomach did little flips over the starry offering from PJ for this month's craft challenge. So much so that I had to go back and check to see what I made for my go last week. I made wine charms it turns can check them out here. Everything that happened two weeks ago feels like a dream, such has my life spun back to the joys of teaching during a report and mock examination period (if you didn't read the last part with dry sarcasm...try doing it again...!) Did I really get married? My new passport application and wedding certificate would suggest so...we'll see how much better it all feels in 5 weeks when I move to Germany. Watch out husband...I'll be there soon! Anyhoo, enough about's PJ with some more festive fun.
How is it November?  This month snuck up on me, for real!  Luckily I have had this project percolating in my brain since August! Before I went back to work my mother in law, sister in law and I spent an awesome weekend thrifting and antiquing in Virginia, and while we were there we had dinner at a certain country style restaurant that let's you shop before or after your meal. They had all their Christmas stuff out already (yuk) and for the low price of 5.99 I could have bought one of these.
For a lot less than that, I'm making my own!

Monday, November 4, 2013

November Craft Challenge - Tis the commence Christmas crafting and create some Wine Charms.

It really nearly is the season to start thinking about Christmas. It is unusual for me not to have all of my gifts planned and a schedule of home-made gifts on the go. Having lost my craft stash to Germany in the house move, I am having to take advantage of my week in Germany to make my contribution to this month's challenge. It is so nice to think about Christmas a bit, although it has made me feel somewhat behind.
Before I share with you my idea for this month, it is time to announce the winners of the vote from October's Upcycle Craft. It was massively close with only one vote between each place.
Results of the Upcycle Craft Challenge 2013
1st - Anja's Greyhound Pillow
2nd - Rosie's Tribal Chalk Board
3rd - PJs Plate Rack Makeover
 This month my craft is designed to help with your Christmas entertaining. A few years ago, I bought my mum some wine charms, so that people did not get confused over whose drink belonged to whom. Now that I am so close to setting up my own home, I think it is vital that we make some for us. The champagne after the registry office last week was certainly a little bit of a Russian Roulette for whose you were actually sipping on. I figured even when not entertaining some festive wine charms would help to create a bit of Crimbo sparkle. I dug into my Christmas craft stash and came up with these beauties:

Saturday, November 2, 2013


  I know this is a bit topsy-turvy, writing about a hen-do after the marriage, but you can imagine that I have been a bit short of time of late. If you missed my post about the registry office part of my wedding then you can read it here, but be prepared for two very smiley people. Just like Friday's wedding, this hen-do was one of two I intend to have. Every girl with two weddings needs two parties, right?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Crafty Details from My first BIG Day!

Last Friday, Andi and I tied the knot in the Rathaus (town hall) in Mannheim, surrounded by our immediate family. In Germany you need to have a 'official' wedding conducted by the Standesamt (registry office) before you are allowed to go on and marry in a church. Although this small celebration, in our minds, is not the BIG celebration we plan to have next May with the bridal gown, church, reception and honeymoon, it was an absolutely wonderful day. My favourite parts, beyond saying 'Ja, Ich Will' were absolutely seeing the little handmade touches in place that I'd started working on in the middle of trying to move house. It was almost worth the crazy rush it helped cause.
Want a sneaky peak at some 'marriage' pictures and my crafty touches? Read on, my friends, read on!

Monday, October 28, 2013

October Craft Challenge Round Up and Vote - Link Your Upcycling Projects Here!

October has been one of my favourite months of the year and this October quickly became the best October of my life as I got married on Friday! Stay tuned for some updates from the day and photos really soon. Until then, you will need to content yourselves with our Upcycle round-up, where you can link-up your own projects right after voting for which one of ours your love the best.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Craft Challenge - A Dog-Lover's Upcycling Dream

I always really look forward to receiving Anja and PJs craft projects pinging in my inbox the day before we share them with you. They never cease to inspire me and they give me lots of ideas for my own wedding crafts. Today I am sharing with you another one of Anja's stylish ideas. When this girl says she 'knocked' something up quickly - I just know it is going to be super cute. She can't help it. I'll let you see what I mean for yourself.

For the October Craft challenge I decided to upcycle something that I already had lying around: a boring white pillowcase.

You see, back in the days I thought that an all white home would be a good idea. White couch, white pillows, cream coloured carpet... I have since realized that having a dog and a life prevents you from fully appreciating white. Anyhow, back to the pillowcase. That's what it looks like now:

The October challenge had been looming over my head for quite a while, and all the things that I had wanted to do didn't pan out for one reason or the other. So when I was sorting my ribbons, I found this beautiful navy colored velvet ribbon. I just had to make something with it!

So, I took apart a simple white pillowcase that I had in my closet by removing the side seams. If you don't have one, here's a quick how to make your own pillowcase (you have to sew along the pink lines):

After disassembling the pillowcase, I added the velvet ribbon stripes. Just measure from the crease where the top and the bottom of the pillow were (...if you're clever. If you're stupid like me, you iron the fabric after disassembling it and then have to measure in a very complicated way). The distance on my pillowcase is about 1 1/2 inch.

Then I sewed the sides back together.

For the dog silhouette, I used a picture of a greyhound because my precious Coca is mostly greyhound (the other 5% are dirt). Adapt the picture so that it fits between the velvet ribbons, but is not too small. Put an old magazine inside the pillowcase and place the picture on it. Move it to where you want to have it - mine is smack dab in the middle.

I had bought fabric markers a while ago and wanted to use the navy one. I tried it out on a strip of fabric - it looked a bit light, but I decided to give it a try.

Too light, right? So I took the black fabric marker and just drew along the lines again. That was better.

Project finished!
Someone who's more dedicated to their blog would have place the dog and the pillow on the couch together, but as Coca isn't allowed on the furniture, this is all you get:

Okay, okay. One more. (She tried really hard to recreate the picture in the dining room, but that wasn't all easy...)
See what I mean? Even her dog is perfect (I might be biased there...just a bit!). My version would have a wombat on? What would you sew on your pillow? Or more to the point -what have you been upcycling this month? Our monthly link-up and vote will be online from next Monday. We very much hope to see you there.
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Friday, October 18, 2013

One Week Today....

...I will be a married woman. I cannot believe how the time has both flown and dragged at the same time. Life has been so busy and the time when I can finally stand in Mannheim Rathaus and say 'Ich will' to the best bloke I have ever had the fortune to know is nearly here. There is really only one word to describe how I am feeling:


Yes, I'm squeaking in happy excitement like a small child at Christmas (who am I kidding - clearly like ME at Christmas).
The big day will be happening in this building; it is attached to a church so looks gorgeous!
For anyone who caught my engagement post, you will be forgiven for thinking that our wedding is next May. You'd be right. That's going to be the church and party date, but we are crossing the 'I's and dotting the 'T's in 7 wonderful days time.

Before you ask, I'm not even in the slightest bit nervous. Deciding to quit my stable job, sell my flat and emigrate to Germany made me nervous and still gives me the odd wobble, until I realise that I will be going back to stay with my husband in our home in Germany. What a big adventure that will be! Not to mention all of the crafting I will be able to do with Anja of Cocalores when we are just a car journey away.

On top of all of this excitement, I collect my May wedding gown on Monday, have 10 days off work from Wednesday, a big Greek meal and drinks with new friends to look forward too...oh yes, and I will officially become an Auntie to a beautiful 5 week old baby, inherit a whole other family and with any luck the secret cake recipes!

Oh and of course.....

....the best bloke in the whole wide world.
Thank you for reading my self-indulgent catch-up post. I hope you are all well and that you will pop back and visit soon.
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Craft Challenge October: PJ's Poppin' Plate Rack Upcycle

Hey my blogging lovelies - your eyes do not deceive you, I have managed to post the project on the correct day this week. Thank you for the lovely emails and messages you gave me last week - the end of tail-chasing should be seen by next week. Time has flown so quickly that I am going to be a legally married woman in 11 days! It only seems like a couple of weeks ago I was announcing the engagement. Thank goodness the church blessing is not until May; there is still a lot of craft to do. I cannot wait to start when I finally move to Germany forever on the 17th December! Yup, that's close too - 2 months and 3 days away....not that I am counting! Enough about me. Today is all about PJ's upcycling project, which you may have guessed, I love! Check it out:

I absolutely love my project for this months challenge.
Upcycled Plate Rack
 Long time readers might call me out on the fact that this is the second craft that is very similar.  Remember this lovely project?
Record Cart Turned Coffee Cart
 I still love and use this piece daily.
I found this piece for 4.99 at the local Salvation Army.
It's rusty.
Real rusty!
Nothing that some primer and paint can't help me with though.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the cupboard I scored off craigslist last week.  I love enamel topped cupboards!
I'm seriously obsessed with the patterns on the sides of this thing.
There is room for all of my colorful plates and my larger serving platters.
I cannot wait to have a garden or space where I am allowed to spray-paint. Then the big man (my one, not THE 'Big' man) would keep coming home from work to find lots of brightly-coloured projects scattering the house where once mere metal objects graced our presence. As he reads my blog, I think I may have just given him an incentive to stay in our apartment a bit longer. Ah well...a girl can dream.
Remember you can upload your Upcycle projects on the last Monday in October which is the 28th. Mrs B (or as I will be) shall look forward to seeing them.  
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