Ten minute Christmas stocking.

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Christmas is in full swing! Right now the majority of the country has fairy lights twinkling and bauble adorned trees. Its all so beautiful. One thing that always gets forgotten about is the stocking, I’ve been using the same cheap ones I picked up from a mall in Cyprus (over six years ago!) This year, I thought it was about time they got an upgrade. And knowing i’m not alone in the abandonment of stockings I’ve made up a really quick tutorial to show you just how easy it is to make one.

So here’s what you’ll need.

  • Fabric, two lots, i’ve gone with a traditional navy/green tartan for the main stocking with some left over fur from my fur collar tutorial for the trim.
  • Fabric scissors
  • Dressmakers pins
  • small piece of ribbon, lace, anything you want to use as a loop to hang your stocking.
  • An old stocking to trace round * Optional*

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And here’s what you’ll need to do.

So first up, you’ll need a template. To make this I literally just drew around an old stocking I had in. if you don’t have an old stocking, you can just wing it, its basically a massive sock, not really an awkward shape to draw. You’ll need to leave about 1/2 inch around your stocking, this is your seam allowance, if you don’t your stocking will be much smaller than you wanted it.

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So now, you have your pattern, you want to cut it out and pin it to your fabric, you’ll ned two pieces, REMEMBER you want fabric on the front sides of both, i’m okay because my fabric has a double sided pattern. If yours is only one sided, fold your fabric in half pattern side on the inside and cut away.

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Now simply place your fabrics, pattern sides together and pin.

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Sew all the way around leaving the top open.

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And turn your stocking the right way out. You’ll notice it isn’t looking that crisp, this is easily rectified by running the iron over it, use a pencil or a trustily chopstick to turn all the curved corners out and give a quick once over. It’ll look miles better.

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Now place your (trim) fabrics together (pattern side down again.) and sew down either side. My trim is 17″ wide and 8 1/2″ high. I wanted a really chunky fur trim though, so feel free to adjust to your tastes.

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Keeping your trim inside out, pop your stocking inside. Its vital at this point that they are exactly the same size. Once snug, pin the top of your trim to your stocking fabric.

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Sew the two together and  turn your trim over.

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Next its time to attach whatever you’re using as a loop, you can’t hang your stocking without it. I’ve gone for a grey polka ribbon. Simply fold over your looped ribbon.

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You’ll need to pin it on the seam of the trim, before sewing securely. Do your backstitch, sew across, then backstitch again going back to where you first started. Repeat that step a few times. This will make it extra strong.

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Thats it!  Your handmade stocking is ready to hang and fill with goodies.

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Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

My Christmas wish list.

It is officially ONE MONTH until christmas! One whole month until the day of food, family and general merriness.

This  means I can finally get excited doesn’t it?! Well I am doing anyway.

As of now I can hum christmas songs to my hearts content, add to our decorations with a couple of lovely trinkets, start planning the Christmas day feast I will be feeding my family and most importantly send Sam the link to this post daily, just to make sure he doesn’t forget what I would like for christmas.

I’m obviously not expecting them all… I’m more of a giver when it comes to christmas. But at least now he has something to reference to when buying for me (Yes Mr. S, I am talking about the fiasco of 2010 when you bought me a shake weight, there’ll be NONE of that this year.)

 

wishlist

  1. Harry Potter book box set (Paperback) – £29.99 : The book people. 
  2. Miss dior cherie perfume £44.55 : Debenhams. 
  3. Nike blazers- £37.99 : Amazon. 
  4. Floral cushions. £19.99 each : Zara home. 
  5. Extra tough wine glasses (Set of four) £24 : Selfridges.
  6. Heringbone throw £19.99 : Zara home.
  7. Lace up flats – £29.99 : Zara. 
  8.  Loveable, livable, home – Young house Love. – £15.90 : Amazon. 
  9.  Jumpsuit – £50 : Asos. 

Let the gift buying commence!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

DIY: Tassel garland.

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Pinterest, Instagram. They both have an overload of photographs featuring these pretty little things. I can’t believe i’ve dared  call myself a blogger when I haven’t once featured a tassel garland photograph! Well today that’s changed, and i’m going to show you how to make your very own.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tissue paper, Three or four colours, at least three sheets of each. I’ve gone with three colours, three sheets of each, making 18 tassels altogether.
  • String
  • Scissors (NOT fabric scissors, you’ll damage the blade cutting paper)
  • Glue gun/gluesitck/cellotape.

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Here’s what you do:

 

First, grab your sheets of tissue paper (you can do this with one piece of paper at a time, or you can do what I have done & layered all the pieces of the same colour on top of each other. It saves a ton of time cutting each sheet individually). Fold in half, and then fold in half again the other way. So I first folded from left to right in half, and then half again from top to bottom.

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Now, grabbing your scissors, you want to start cutting 1/2″ strips up the paper, stopping about 3 inches before you reach the top.

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Continue this process, snipping strips all the way to the end of the sheet.

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Next, Separate one sheet of paper from the rest, laying it flat out on your surface. Cut all the way UP (not across) the centre fold, giving two sheets to be made into tassels.

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Put one sheet to the side, turning the other sheet round so the tassels are on either side. If you are using a piece of tissue paper that isn’t double sided, flip it so the coloured side is on the bottom.

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Now, start rolling the paper, from bottom all the way up to the top. Tip: stop every now and again to untangle the tassels either side, they can get tangled, just give a quick shake, don’t pull at the tassels, they easily rip off.

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You will end up with something that looks like this.

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Now you want to work from the centre, twisting tightly across until you have something that looks like this.

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Next, its time to get the glue gun out (or pritt stick if your using that instead) odds are you won’t need any glue, once you’ve folded  your tassel in half, you’ll find the twist is strong enough to hold a hoop on its own, if however it doesn’t, you can use a dab of glue to secure it.

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Now, grab your string and thread your tassel on.

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Finally, repeat the last six steps again, until you’ve tasselled up all of the pre-cut sheets, before starting on your other colours. Once all your tassels are made up you can have a play around, decided which order you’d like your colours to be in.

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I’ve gone for these neutral yet luxurious gold, cream, copper combination. I did originally want to add a pop of colour with some mustard tassels, but the tissue paper still hasn’t arrived.. I’m more than happy with this beautiful combination though. A lovely handmade touch to my craft room. All for £6.03 (the cost of the tissue paper – with lots left over to make more).

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Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

 

My craft room wish list.

Its been a month or so since I finished the major work needed in my craft room, although the main work is done, the rest is a long way off. Already though, I love to spend as much time as I can in there. As I mentioned, all the major work has been done – the 6+ hours of hand painting the pink stripes grey, could have just bought a stripe wallpaper… but where’s the DIY in that?!

I’ve been scouring the web, searching for those special little somethings that will give my craft room that finished luxurious feel, the accessories that will take it from DIY to fabulous work room.

Heres my (rather unrealistic) wish list.

 

 

craft room

 

Chair – £279: Ebay.

Foley multicoloured bookcase – £128.99 : Argos. 

Hemnes glass fronted cabinet – £250 : Ikea.

Annie Sloan chalk paint in Burgundy – £18.95 : Annie Sloan

West elm rug – £299 : John lewis.

Bumblebee cushion – £9.60 : Marks & Spencers.  

Roberts revival radio – £199 : John lewis. 

Gold frame – £17.99 : Zara home.

Antique finish black frame – £19.99 : Zara home.

Parks London Candle (Ylang ylang & Sandalwood) – £9.99 : TKmaxx. 

Its all so calming, but still kind of dramatic. Exactly the kind of vibe I want my room to have. Now… to save the grand or so that needed to achieve this look. – Kidding- I’ll scour my local second hand shops, ebay, Facebook selling pages to achieve this look for much less. I’ll keep you all updated.

Robyn

The little woman pretends.

DIY: Autumn twig wreath.

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I first tried this project back when I lived in Germany, using the array of bushes and trees we had in our garden. Its so simple and cheap, also makes you wonder why the ones in the shops are so expensive.

Once we moved back to the UK I cherished it even more, knowing I could bring a little part of our German life back with us. That was until I came home one day to find Sam had thrown it after seeing a few of the twigs had come loose. It still bugs me that he threw it, knowing I could have just re-threaded them.

Anyway, here I am having another go, showing you just how easy it is too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Twigs, take into account length when picking them, they’re going to be bent round into a circle, so not too small. They also need to be striped of leaves.
  • Cable ties, I’ve gone with the smaller ones, they’re easiest to hide.
  • Ribbon. *This is completely optional*

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And heres what you need to do.

First, grab a few of your de-leafed twigs, join the ends, crossing them over one another and use a cable tie, secure them.

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Now, grabbing another twig, start to weave it fairly loosely throughout the twig circle.

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Continue the last step over until you have your desired size wreath. the main thing to remember here is you don’t want them pulled tightly against each other. Just weave loosely. Also, you don’t want a flimsy looking thing, so remember to work inwards when adding new twigs, rather than on the outer circle. This will give a lovely fullness.

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Now you can use your remaining cable ties to fasten back any of the stiffer twig ends. The finer more flexible twig ends can be tucked away. don’t forget to clip off the ends from the cable ties to neaten it up.

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Finally you can either hook your wreath up as it is, or fasten a nice little ribbon around it. These are ideal for Autumn/Winter decorations. You can personalise more by adding acorns and leaves for a real Autumnal feel, adding sparkly string beads for christmas or spraying black for halloween, the possibilities are endless.

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Easy as that.

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

A very DIY halloween.

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Its officially the week of halloween! We love this holiday in our house. We aren’t one of those overtop types, the ones that decorate every centimetre of their house in fake spider webs & life-size ghouls. But we do like to put a little around the front of the house for when the trick-o-treaters start coming round.

Over the years we’ve developed our little tradition of carving pumpkins & watching The nightmare before christmas on halloween-eve.  Then last year, because the girls were a little older we decided to do some crafts & make some cakes.

This year I’m stepping it up a bit, its half term so we have a few days *months* worth of spooky crafts lined up, as well as some halloween baking before we dress the kids up & let them loose on our neighbours sweetie collections.

I’ve been scouring the web, for everything you need to have your own DIY halloween, from homemade decorations the kids can help with (half term holidays, you need to keep them busy… two birds one stone) to Cheap costume ideas & easy to prepare food for a crowd.

 

Crafty decorations:

  1. Dangly bats. – I actually made these last year with Mischa, really easy, even better if you pre- cut the bats for the little ones, cover the table and give em’ some glue and glitter & googly eyes.

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2. Black bag spider webs. – As simple as Halloween decorating gets, only three things needed. Scissors, black bags & sticky tape.

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3. Jack Skellington hanging garland. – What is Halloween without The nightmare before christmas?! I love these garlands, I will be making them this week with Mischa & Izz. Little side note to the original post, If you can’t get hold of liquid starch, i’m pretty sure a mod podge/ PVA water mixture would work just as good.

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4. Puffy ghosts. –  I think these will work best for the littler ones, a glue stick, some cotton balls. and you can just let them get on with it.

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Costumes:

  1. Ewok. – There’s no tutorial for this one (it doesn’t need one really though does it?) Photograph from http://tumblr.tastefullyoffensive.com

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2. Homemade Cupcake. Again no instructions, but theres a pretty good rundown of what was used over at www.tristinandcompany.com

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3. Emoji’s! Isn’t this just the best idea?! You can find full instruction on how to make over at Buzz mills.

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4.  Wind up doll. I’ve found the simplest tutorial for this wind up key, simply pop on a pretty frock, add your key belt, some rosy cheeks and you’re done.  You could add some blood, or have one of those amazing make up sessions done to make you up a creepy doll, if you prefer the spooky look. You can find the wind up key tutorial over on ehow.

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5. Mummy. And old classic & so simple, All you need is an old bed sheet, cut up into strips. Easy on time & money. Full tutorial is over on One good thing by Jillee – Along with a few other simple DIY costumes.

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Food: 

 

  1. Poison apples. How amazing do these look?! Another one I’ll be trying this Halloween, You can find the (extremely simple) recipe over on Simply delicious food.  I’ll be trying the original recipe for toffee apples & also switching it up a bit by trying a chocolate version.

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2. Pumpkin krispie treat. Something to make with the kids, you can find the recipe over at Yummy healthy easy. It is an american recipe, but apparently asda sell tootsie rolls ( what is used for the pumpkin stem) alternatively you could use the fun size fudge bars.

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3. Jack- O – Lantern cheeseburgers.  Simple, cheap & so obviously halloween. Perfect  if you’re having people over and don’t have the time or money for anything super fussy.

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4. Severed finger hot dogs. Another easy one if you’re having a few people round. They’re actually quite revolting! But completely within keeping of a gruesome halloween celebration. Recipe can be found over at Party Tipz. 

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5. Spider web cupcakes. You don’t need to be a master baker, these cupcakes are so easy. You could even buy pre-made cupcakes just to save on time. You can find the full instructions over at Seakettle along with another simple tombstone cupcake tutorial.

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I’ll have a couple of my own DIY halloween posts up this week. A no sew tutu tutorial (perfect for costumes) will be up on Wednesday and a lovely recipe for one of my family favourite soups later on in the week – Also something quick to bulk make if you do have people over.

Happy Halloween week.

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

 

The Craft room re-dec.

I was supposed to get this post up weeks ago, but then I kept buying little bits and bats to add to the room, I was putting it off until everything was finished. Then I realised this would be an ongoing project, I don’t think it will ever be finished.  If I don’t show you now, you’ll never see it.

My craft room was originally Izzy’s nursery. But then late last year, we decided to move the girls into the bigger room together, and so we were left with a spare room. After hours of debating, Sam wanted it for his workspace – which consists of a computer on a  desk- and I wanted a half craft room, half play room.  I won (obviously) and after what seemed like an eternity cleaning out junk, I set up my little area.

old sewing room

 

It was all a little bit pink, and honestly deciding to share my sewing room with the kids toys was the most ridiculous idea i’ve ever had. I couldn’t focus on anything for longer than 20 seconds without telling them to put down the pot of pins, or get chocolate hands off my pretty fabric. It was completely counter productive. Finally after one particular day of having every scrap of fabric I owned, pulled from off the shelves and scattered across the floor. Mischa & myself sat down, went through all her old toys, got rid of anything broken, donated anything she didn’t want (which wasn’t much) and cleared that room out ready to make it mine.

I toyed with idea of just using a cupboard to store my things and giving the kids the full room, but they have a bedroom and at least three large baskets downstairs for their toys, it would just be another room for me to clean once they’ve trashed it… Also, I really wanted a craft room… Soz kids.

I stood in the empty room for ten minutes here and there, figuring out what sort of vibe I wanted my creative space to have. The rest of my house is very light & airy, a cosy family home. My room however had to reflect me and my mind, a place to inspire my creativeness. I jumped on Pinterest (As I always do) and found myself being pulled towards rooms filled with emotion, dark, moody, calming spaces that had a lot of personality, a place I could write through the night in and never be short of inspiration.

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Obviously with quite a small space & little funds, I was limited to what i could actually achieve in there. Nether the less I followed my thoughts, got out my paintbrush and gave those pink stripes a lick of paint. I repainted the machine desk, fitted in a desk for me to write. I hung some new curtains and bought a few bits from the car boot – The lamp & the side table, some frames and other bits- and started to put it all together.

It still needs a lot of work. I want to replace the fabric shelves with something thinner and taller to slip in-between the sewing desk & the wall. I want to fit a bookcase along the wall where the lamp is for all my books and other pretty bits. And I’m toying with either a small sofa bed for when guests staying over, or keeping with the ‘Its my room’ theme and just finding a beautiful Queen Anne wingback arm chair to re-upholster.

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Life has been hectic for the past five weeks, I’ve been helping a family member deal with some pretty heavy stuff, so I haven’t spent as much time in here as I would have liked. But everything is settling down a little bit now, I’m looking forward to the many days I spend in here sewing up pretty things, working on blog posts and the long nights nestled under the soft light, sipping tea and writing.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress.

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

 

Fixin’ up a car boot haul.

As i’ve mentioned before (about 9 million times) I love a good car boot. My home is made up of about 20% Ikea & 80% of other peoples junk restored to fit in with my interior vibe. About three months ago I found the most beautiful set of drawers at my local car boot sale, imagine my absolute joy at being told he only wanted a tenner for them!

 

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I know they’re a little battered, the handles don’t match and they’ve been patched up with new bits of wood. But I just loved them so much. Originally they were supposed to go up in my sewing room, but they fitted so perfectly in the living room, so thats where they settled.

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Fast forward a few months and I finally decided to give them a much needed makeover. I’m drawn to darker shades at the moment (As you’ll see in next weeks Sewing room re-dec post) and with my living room being very much a light and airy beige-fest,  I fancied mixing it up with a very dramatic piece of furniture. So I went for a dark slate grey, contrasting the dark with some light brass handles – which I didnt want to replace because I really like that they’re all different. I painted the drawers with a mixture of Johnstone’s wood paint (black) and a basic white matt wall emulsion and I used Plastikote in Brass for the handles.

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A couple of hours of spraying and painting, a couple more literally sat watching paint dry – I’m always so eager to see the finished project – And I now have a beautiful, completely unique and actually rather expensive looking corner drawer set. All in all costing less than twenty pounds. As I said before, I really do LOVE a car boot sale.

 

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Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Real home inspiration- It’s my bathroom!

Last week I was asked to take part in the real home inspiration article for wayfair.co.uk. I’m super excited to say you can now see my bathroom featured over on their website – amongst other gorgeous blogger bathrooms!!

Pop on over & have a look.

http://www.wayfair.co.uk/Inspiration/Real-Home-Inspiration-Bathroom-Edition-E9042

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Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

Personalised bunting tutorial.

I’m currently in the middle of re-locating all of my sewing stuff up to our spare room. Since my machine’s are both packed up, I’ve not been able to get a sewing tutorial up. I do however have a very talented friend who’s letting me share hers. Clare over at Maybush Studio recently Vlogged (Video blogged, for those not in the know) a very simple & completely adorable Personalised bunting tutorial over on her blog.

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These are the perfect project for some of you that I know aren’t completely confident on your machines yet, but still want to make something useable. Claire explains everything so simply, you’ll most definitely be able to pick it up in no time.

The link for her tutorial is Here.

Claire is also my top pick for the 2015 MAD awards Photography category, If you’re planning on nominating this year I urge you to pick her. Not only does she make fabulous tutorials but she is absolutely amazing with a camera. See her recent idyllic  beach picnic photographs for a perfect example!

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P.S I’ve also been nominated for the best craft blog category, I’d love a couple of other nominations if your voting!

Nomination forms are Here.

 

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.