Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Road Trip

Hello Lovelies! 
I hope you're having a fantabulous week and that your Easter weekends were full and fun packed?!
It's been a little while since I last posted! 
I started back at work after having a couple of weeks off. I had a few bits and bobs to catch up on, so my blog was temporarily put on hold. 
I'm back now, coffee at hand and munching on some yummy marmite on toast as I write to you guys. I thought I'd come and share some of those holiday snaps that Dennis I took the week before last, when we went on a little road trip.

We had such a lovely time!! This vacation was very last minute as we had to wait and see how Dennis was feeling after he had surgery to remove some nasty kidney stones. 
Once he was in the all clear, we hired a car, packed our bags and drove south. 
It was amazing to leave Stuttgart and explore some of the areas a little further afield from the city. 
Our first stop was Lake Constance (Bodensee). What a treat this was!! 
Considering we had only driven for a couple of hours, it felt like I was in a totally different country! 


 The sun was shining and the water was crystal clear


It was postcard picturesque and very energising being close to water.


It was lovely spending the day here, walking along the harbour and stopping for some delicious tapas by the waterfront.


Dennis and I spent a long day enjoying Constance before waking up early the next morning and continuing our journey... towards The Alps!
We drove along paths of winding roads, singing along to the radio and taking in the glorious scenery. 
Quite suddenly we could see mountains!! I found this very exciting!  Massive snow capped peaks, towering high above the roads!! How jolly exciting!!


The views were like being in the movie "The Sound of Music". Not so strange considering that were were driving so close to the Austrian border. 

We drove to our next hotel which was in a small town of Grainau, close to the highest mountain in Germany. It was so beautiful. We got to work exploring the surrounding landscapes over the next couple of days. 







It was heavenly being out of the city! Walking for hours and enjoying the fresh air! The perfect place for a little get away.

After spending time in Grainau we started to make out journey back home to Stuttgart.
We drove towards home making a slight detour to visit Neuschwanstein, the home to the castles of King Ludwig.


It was stunning!! I couldn't imagine a more beautiful landscape and the castle were like something straight out of a fairytale.


It was amazing to take the tour inside of the castle and learn all about the life of King Ludwig! He sounded pretty extravagant! 

After the visit to the castle we continued on home feeling energised from our road trip. I really didn't realise how beautiful a landscape Germany had. So many amazing places to visit and so close to Stuttgart. We will definitely be hiring a car more often, to make more of these trips. Next time maybe we will drive to Switzerland or France? That would be nice!!

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Transformation!

Hello Lovelies! I hope you're enjoying the lovely Spring weekend? I'm sat outside lapping up the last of the late afternoon sun as I write this, BLISS!

I have a little something to share with you all!
Last week whilst walking home with our food shopping, Dennis and I passed a large pile of rubbish that was sitting outside of the local pub. Amongst the bags and bric a brac, I spotted this old and dirty wooden chair.


It was just crying out to be rescued! So with the big heart that I have, I decided to adopt it and give it a second chance at life.
I knew that underneath the dust


And old paint flecks (but maybe bird poop?!?!?!) there was a chair that was bursting with clean crisp energy.


Showing that I'm not just frilly ribbons, flowers and rainbows, I made a trip to the hardware store to pick up some sand paper and a little can of paint. 



I got to work cleaning the dirt off and sanding down the chair to make it nice and smooth. I got rid of any splinters and totally removed the old thinning varnish. 



Once all of the heavy duty work was done (It was harder work than I thought!!) I gave it a fresh coat of paint.


I chose a lovely bright turquoise called Pacific Turquoise.

It really set the chair off and made it look very fresh!


Once the first coat of paint had dried I gave it a second to make sure that it was nice and evenly painted. It was all finished!!
TA-DAH!!!


Quite a transformation!!! 
I'm so pleased with it!! I've wanted a bright wooden chair like this for a while now, but they are soooo expensive to buy in the shops. 
This one cost me under 5 euros!!!
It looks perfectly at home in our apartment and loves to snuggle up with my granny square blanket.



A real treat of a project that brought me instant satisfaction and a real transformation for this old chair! I can't get enough of that turquoise!!!


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Friday, 11 April 2014

Blog Evolution


Hello Lovelies! This week I've been on a rather rather lovely adventure with Dennis! We hired a car and went on a road trip through The Alps. I have lots of beautiful pictures to share with you all over the next few days, we saw some pretty magical sights!

For now though I wanted to come by and explain the blog... You may have noticed that over the past few weeks things have been appearing a little different from normal. I've been having a bit of a blog makeover and have been working closely with Dennis to tidy up my blog. To make it more user friendly and (hopefully) more pleasing to the eye.

Spending time working on my blog has given me a chance to not only go through many of my past posts but also notice the change my blog has made over the years. Who remembers when this was my title banner and the whole background was a wave of blue striping that I drew by hand:


The good old days!!! However it does give me a bit of a headache looking back at it, a little on the garish side for the background of my blog!! 

I then moved to a cleaner and very minimal look:


then to my previous title:

and as of this week....my brand new layout!:

I'm really excited about the new layout of my blog, not only because it adds a fresh feel to my little corner of blogland, but because with the new layout comes some exciting new features.
Over the next months I'm hoping to add some new tutorials! I am also developing a "How-to" section, which will be full of helpful hints and tips. Finally the venture I'm most excited about is "The Shop!" After many requests I'm finally taking the plunge and adding a shop to my blog (we will see how that works out...eeeeeek!) and can't wait to see if this goes anywhere.

As for the individual features....
The title bar holds most of the features:
HOME
Click on the home button to return to the most recent blogpost, the Homepage of the blog.
ABOUT ME
A small section I added to the blog to share a little more about myself, so you can get to know me better and delve a little deeper into a world according to me.....Matt.

TUTORIALS
The tutorials button is a flip down list of the current tutorials that I have available on my blog. 

Click on the individual tutorials to be transported to the page of the particular tutorial:






SHOP
The shop is coming very soon! A selection of my handmade crafty products that I hope will make for some pretty unique and one of a kind gifts for yourself, family and friends.



PREVIOUS POSTS
Previous posts can be found by clicking on this button, where you will be taken to a page full of my previous blog posts, listed in date order. 


CONTACT
Clicking on the contact page takes you to a fill in contact sheet that gets mailed directly to me. A quick way to get in contact and receive a fast response to your questions or feedback.



That's the title bar explained! As for the rest of the blog....
On the top left hand side you have....me! 
Underneath my little picture you have collection of blog buttons that link to all of the other social media sides you can find me on. Pinterest, Ravelry, Twitter, Instagram, Feedburner, Facebook and the follow me button. 

At the bottom of each post you have a suggestion to other previous blog posts that you may enjoy browsing over.



At the very bottom of the page you have three mini sections:



The first being another link to my Instagram profile, showing you my latest photo uploads and some extra project pictures that are not always included on my blog. 
To the right of that, we have the google translate button:

Click on this to choose which language you want to read my blog in:


Underneath the translate button you have another opportunity to explore my previous posts, click on the dates to explore the drop down box of previous titles.


Finally we have another opportunity to subscribe to my blog. It's full of lots of lovely little pictures of....you guys!!!
WOW!!!! That was a lot of information! I hope I didn't overwhelm you all? I just wanted to clear everything up so nobody gets lost!
I'll be back very soon with some lovely snaps from my recent road trip, also a quick little project I was working on earlier in the week!
Unitll then!!!

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Wedding Bouquet

It's me again!!! Blogging two days in a row, almost unheard of!!
I have a lovely little treat to share with you this evening and I am so super excited about it! 
A project that has brought me a huge amount of joy to make. Not only because its full of crafty goodness, but because it turned out simply perfect! 

This project started off a few months ago when Dennis' best friend Bianca asked us if we would do the honour of making her bridal bouquet for her Springtime wedding. Bianca wanted something extra special for her big day and something handmade and heartfelt definitely seemed to tick all boxes.

Dennis and I put our heads together to brainstorm ideas.  We wanted to create something elegant, sophisticated and above all, gorgeous. 
We looked at traditional wedding bouquets, made of real flowers. 
We considered using  felt, fabric or already made silk flowers, but of course settled upon the craft we know best.....crochet!

Bianca had given us an idea of her wedding dress colours, so we tried our best to incorporate these into her bouquet. 
Soft vintage pinks and traditional cream were the foundation to this project. With the colours at hand Dennis and I got going in working to gather to make our ideas become  a reality.

With a variety of colour appropriate embroidery floss, Dennis and I got to work making some cute crocheted flowers



We added some pure woollen flowers to the mix and we were on track to wedding bouquet bliss!


We bought a selection of pins that would be used to secure our crocheted flowers when the time came to form the bouquet.



We bought a selection of polystyrene shapes that we had decided to use as the foundation of the bouquet.


With our basics in place, we got to work creating crafty havoc!!


We crocheted flowers by the dozen!




Adding pearled pins to the smaller flowers added a nice touch.



We covered cardboard with crocheted chains and ribbon making a smooth seam to the construction of the bouquet.


A round of crochet picot trimming not only covered the join between the cardboard base and the polystyrene body, but also added a beautiful and delicate contrast to the ribbon.


We also covered the polystyrene body with crocheted chains. This was a fast but effective way of covering the polystyrene. We chose to cover the polystyrene just in case any of it could be spotted through the arrangement of flowers. 


Now to the fun part.....
Adding the flowers!
We pinned each flower to the polystyrene to check the arrangement before properly securing them.



With the flowers added, we had a rather splendid looking arrangement. The base was looking all neat and pretty...


and the join from the base to the arrangement was clean and flawless.


Now onto the finishing touches.
We weaved some ribbon, which was rather fiddly but had pleasing results.


We attached it to the stick that was to be the handle of the bouquet. We then wound the stick with ribbon and secured it with fabric glue to create a rather elegant baton.


Finally we added the baton to the arrangement and our creation was finished!





I don't mean to blow my own trumpet, but I'm so pleased with it and know that Bianca will love it!!
It is detailed and pristine in it's assembly.



It's pretty and frilly. Above all it's personal! We added a little silver anchor as a symbol of Bianca's future husband who is a marine.




Of course we had to have a little photo shoot to celebrate out creation, before we pass it onto Bianca so she can celebrate her special day!


 

I hope that it's everything that Bianca was hoping for. A memento of the love that Dennis and I put into making it, but also a lasting memory of the love that her marriage will be built opon. 
I'm feeling a little soppy!!!
OOOOOOH I love a good wedding!!


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