Monday, October 28, 2013

Learning to crochet

I follow a lot of people on instagram who enjoy crafts and one particular favourite is crochet. After seeing countless upon countless of gorgeous cushions and blankets I decided to have a go myself. I asked on instagram what the best way to start out was and most people recommended youtube tutorials and a book. I got this book from Amazon and it was only about £6 I think:

I ordered my book and crochet hooks (£3 from Amazon) and got started. The first thing I did was learn a few basic stitches. You can see above I did a row of stitches. 
I then attempted granny squares: 

These didnt come out how they were supposed to and I became frustrated and gave up. I decided I wanted to make my friend a baby blanket and started a very simple double crochet stitch blanket.

I think doing this really helped me to keep the tension right (which is the hardest thing) but I didn't count my stitches (rookie mistake) and it ended up longer on one side than the other. 
I gave up my blanket because I didn't want to give my friend something half done and I wasn't happy with the way it came out. 
I spent a few weeks doing this blanket and I lost interest when I figured out my mistakes. 

Next project was one I'd actually finish!!
I did an autumn themed swap and made some wrist warmers:
Again these were a very simple double crochet stitch which was easy to master and had the added bonus of increasing my confidence with crocheting. 

I decided to finally try a granny square again after my success of making 2 pairs of wrist warmers. I ordered some Cath Kidston inspired wool:

...and finally mastered the granny square!

Phew! I've been very busy crocheting the last few days. I love, love, LOVE how easy these are to hook up. It took me a while to find a pattern that was easy for me to follow but once I found one I was on to a winner! I find the middle parts the hardest to do because they're so intricate and almost never turn out like the picture. 

I found learning crochet difficult only because of how much perseverance it takes. I'm not a patient person at all and doing this craft requires patience with yourself and not expecting to be perfect at it straightaway. 

Crochet has quickly become my favourite craft because it's easy to do in front of the tv and I don't have to sit in my cold and breezy attic sewing room! I'd recommend it to anyone remotedly crafty but it would be easier if you had someone to teach you!

Have you tried crochet? How did you find it?

Amy x

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I've never had an interest in skincare mainly due to the fact that I have 'normal' skin. It doesn't get very dry or oily and I only ever get spots when I'm really stressed out.
I started reading beauty blogs and watched the Caroline Hirons video with Pixiwoo. 

After browsing her blog the biggest skincare advice she had was to use a cleanser. 
I started cleansing and my skin immediately looked brighter and clearer. 
It wasnt until I started using loreal skin perfection that I was really impressed with how different my skin looked. 
I actually went out without any makeup on! Will definitely be buying this moisturiser again. It claims to even out redness and reduce pores (oh sure it does I thought to myself) however that is exactly the difference I have noticed, my pores are definitely reduced and I don't have as much redness around my nose (which used to be bright red!). It's only £8 in ASDA at the moment, absolute bargain!

What skincare products do you recommend?

Amy x

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Painted furniture update

I blogged about painting furniture a couple of posts ago and thought I'd share the end results with you!
This chest of drawers was a freebie from my gran's neighbour (hurray!) and so I only paid for the paint and some new door knobs (which I'm yet to buy).
I painted the inside of the drawers duck egg blue:
I also painted this old mahogany side table and I think it looks adorable painted up!
After painting these two pieces of furniture I still have half a tin of paint left! Annie Sloan is expensive but it definitely lasts.
I wasn't too impressed with the finish on the chest of drawers, you can see brush marks when you look closely. When I painted the side table I watered it down slightly and the finish is much better. If you're going to paint furniture I would water it down first.
All in all I am very impressed with my furniture painting skills!

Would you consider painting furniture?
Amy x

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer 2013

I had an amazing week off with Gary!
We went camping just outside of York. We then spent the day in York and I visited cath kidston bought some much needed new scales and my gorgeous rug (£20!). 
We had a chilled out few days but also went to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, explored Hardcastle Crags and shopped until we dropped in meadowhall! Had an amazing time with him, was so nice to spend more than 2 days together.

Hardcastle Crags
The giraffes at the Wildlife park
Sunset over Huddersfield
Pinched the picture Gary took from his instagram
Last summer we flew to Canada to visit my parents, who emigrated there, and then we went on a road trip down to San Francisco. It was incredible! This summer has been relatively boring in comparison, but it was just what I needed. I got a lot of crafts done and even decided to learn how to crochet! Very excited for my hooks and yarn to arrive. 

What do you like to do with your time off?
Amy x

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tips for scrapbooking

Once you have an idea for the scrapbook you want to make start collecting! Keep old train tickets, receipts, leaflets, anything that will add to your collection. When we went to San Francisco last summer I knew I'd be making a scrapbook so I collected loads of extras to make it more than just photos.

I bought the pop-up card from the Golden Gate bridge and it works really well
I always try and make my scrapbook pages slightly different, so one page will be full of photos and another will just have one photo and embellishments. Be spontaneous! Don't try to make it too uniform. Wonky pictures are cute!

Collect stickers from everywhere! Hobbycraft and paperchase can work out to be really expensive so pick stickers where you can - small children, supermarkets, pound shops... I get a lot of my stickers from Canada where they're a lot cheaper. Stickers and embellishments really make a scrapbook, as do little pops of colour.

There are loads of websites that will print your pictures, if you want the polaroid vintage look check out who print 48 photos for £10, they come as you see above. The only problem is you can only print photos which have been uploaded to Instagram. This isn't a problem for me because I upload most of the things we do to keep a record, however check out other photography places like snapfish who do good deals on prints.

Me and Gary made our scrapbook in 2 hours and I cannot stop looking at it! It's such a great way of storing your photos and making something special with your partner.

Have you made a scrapbook before?

Amy x

Friday, August 2, 2013


I am always, always, always searching the internet for things I want to buy (it's such an unhealthy obsession) BUT I rarely actually buy anything straight away, I save the link or put it on my amazon wishlist and buy it when I know I still want it.
Things I am currently lusting after:
I've really been getting into skincare lately. I watched the Caroline Hiron's skincare video and read through her blog and decided I wanted to buy a cleanser. Then after picking a freebie of Balance Me cleanser in Glamour I am amazed! I've never had 'bad' skin in terms of spots or patchiness, the only problems I really have are that my nose is red and I look ill when I don't wear foundation. I've been reducing foundation down to BB creams and powder because I hate the feeling of liquid foundation on my skin. If I could get away without wearing foundation I would. Using a cleanser really helps my skin to glow and I don't need much foundation now to cover my flaws. I am going to buy the Liz Earle cleanser when my freebie runs out.

Since bleaching my hair blonde and dying it back brown the ends of my hair are dry and go frizzy, I've been using argan oil which really helped but I've now run out! Tempted to buy the moroccan oil pictured because bbloggers rave about it, however I bought pure argan oil which I used as a moisturiser too. I'm hoping the moroccan oil will be more moisturising than the argan oil because it's mixed with other ingredients. I'm also going to try the Tre Semme conditioner to try repair my hair further.

Last thing on my wishlist is a lace slip, I saw this on an instagram feed and fell in love. Desperately want something similar to this, it will be perfect to wear under dresses for work, and feels sexy but practical too. I've seen a few gorgeous ones on eBay so I'll be purchasing on of those soon.

Gary is off work next week so we're going camping, to Blackpool and then the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. We're also going to redesign my blog so that it looks a bit more professional! Also watch out for a painted furniture/Annie Sloan review coming up.

Amy x

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Painted furniture, filofaxes and wild dreams

I've had the last 2.5 weeks off work and so far I have achieved; not a great deal. I find it really hard to get motivated when I have all the time in the world! I find it much easier to get things done when I'm under pressure. Therefore my summer holiday has so far being delightfully dull. Well except for the first proper summer I've seen in the UK (extremely exciting!).
One thing I promised myself that I would do over summer is paint this chest of drawers (that I got for free!) with some Annie Sloan Chalk paint.

If you don't know what chalk paint is let me introduce you to this amazing product. Basically this paint will cover any surface and you don't need to prime the furniture first, you just slap it on! This is incredible for lazy people like me, and makes it really easy to spruce up old furniture making it look as good as new.
It took me a long time deciding which colour to choose. Annie Sloan gives some helpful hints on her website but a lot of the paint swatches are shown with another colour underneath. Therefore I took the plunge and ordered....original which is a creamy white. I really wanted to go french country but it wouldn't have fit with the other furniture in our room.
I've done one coat of paint on the chest of drawers and I can still see the pine colour underneath so I'm going to paint it again and hopefully it will start to look a little better.

Myself and Gary decided that we were going to start saving for a house and in the middle of dreaming about tiny cottages with stone floors and log burning stoves I had an epiphany. It was a sofa sent from heaven, all of a sudden I knew exactly what sofa I needed in our future home. Et voila:

I think my sister is right, I am boring. Who gets excited about the kind of sofa they want to buy!? Well me apparently...

Something else I've been getting excited about is my filofax! Having being inspired through instagram I decided to pretty up my filofax which is something I've been using for yeeeears (I never knew they had such a cult following!). I get very easily bored so I decorated my filofax and haven't touched it since, although it will be getting more use when I go back to work. I need to stop starting work in progress and then leaving them never to be used/looked at ever again!

Gary has the week off next week so we're going to the Doncaster wildlife park and to the seaside too. I'm very excited about actually doing something with my summer holiday!
I also have a job interview in 2 weeks to go from being a part time teacher to (nearly) full time, wish me luck!

Amy x

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sew good!

I got out of my sewing funk! Hurray.
Me and my boyfriend were driving back from holmfirth and spotted a sign for a fabric shop. We stopped and ohmygosh it was perfect! I've been looking for a fabric shop nearby but there's only haberdashery shops which sell sewing supplies but no fabric.
The majority of my fabric is bought on eBay which can be expensive. I bought 3 metres of fabric from this shop for less than £20! Amazing, and a bonus is that it's all the fabrics I'm looking for.
I could've spent all day in there!

I'm thinking of making a dress from the white and blue pattern

 I started my mums patchwork cushion an and I was debating over fabrics for a while. I finally took the plunge and just started it. I've nearly finished it just need to sew the back on now.
It's not perfect by any means but I love how the fabric complements each other.

Next up is dress making! Really want to get into making my own clothes.


Thursday, May 2, 2013


I've completely lost all my sewing motivation. I've got a list of thing to make that's 2 pages long and the sheer amount of things to do is off putting. Plus the next thing I need to make is my mums cushion and I don't have a clear idea what I'm going to do.
I hope this ends soon because I'm feeling a bit lost.

Loving the sunshine at the moment, it makes for pretty pictures

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Building a vintage home

We bought chairs!
Check out Oxfam furniture shops if there is one nearby, we got 5 of these chairs for £45! Bargain. I think I'm going to get some Annie Sloan chalk paint and paint them an off white colour so our kitchen is not too much pine.
Although I'm currently torn between painting them white and painting them a neutral colour, like Annie Sloan's country grey.

Next on the list is a chest of drawers which I'm also going to paint.

Been back at work this week which was a bit of a shock to the system! I was enjoying my Easter crafty holidays so much and then bam being back at work!
I never have the motivation when I'm working to be crafty so I haven't made anything in while. Got loads of ideas planned though!


Saturday, April 6, 2013


I was wondering around Hebden Bridge today looking at craft fairs and vintage shops. Eventually my absolute ultimate dream would be to open my own craft/vintage shop. Buy old furniture and upcycle it and sell my own cushions/bunting etc.
I feel like this realistic but at the same time impossible.
I have absolutely no idea where to start but I am going to at least give it a shot. I need to practise my sewing skills and create my own unique ideas and then hopefully open a proper etsy shop which might lead on to craft fairs etc.
I've really been bitten by the crafty bug and I am really enjoying it so far. If anyone has any tips for helping someone new start up I'd appreciate any help.

Here's to the future!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Moving in

It took us a while to find our house and when I say a while it was the first house we looked at.
For me it didn't have that certain sense of this is where I'm going to live however considering the other options in our price range we quickly realised this house is amazing. Now I can't imagine living anywhere else.

When we first moved in we had nothing, only furniture that other people gave us and some bits and bobs that I already had such as cutlery and plates etc. For 2 months we were living on a mattress on the floor!
We haven't been able to buy everything we wanted at once so we had to prioritise. The first thing we bought was a bed.

To start buying things for our house is amazing and I love to see it grow which is why I've started this blog. To share my ideas of what I'm doing and what I want to do with our house.

Probably my favourite thing that we have bought so far is our table. My boyfriend, Gary, persuaded me to buy it after we visited a furniture shop down the road and it was on sale! It's absolutely perfect and just what I was looking for. Unfortunately we don't have any chairs yet, but I'm on the lookout for some!

This is probably another favourite of mine, I've been looking for an old wooden blanket box, more like a trunk, but when I found this in Homesense for £30 I couldn't resist. (Please ignore the unmade bed!). The wardrobes that we have already are white and after buying 2 more white pieces of furniture I think I'm keeping the white furniture theme for upstairs.

We've been here 3 months now (nearly 4) and we're getting there, slowly but surely. I've really found the style that I love and there's so many pieces that I'm lusting after at the moment (keep an eye out for a post on what I'm wishing for at the moment) but I'm really enjoying seeing it all piece together bit by bit.
Finding shops like The Range and buying the jugs below helps too. (Check out the Emma Bridgewater style jug that cost me £5!)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Welcome to my blog. I've decided to set up a blog to keep track of my crafty makes and to show progress on our new home.

This is me:

My name is Amy and I've recently started an interest in crafts, specifically patchwork. 
Like most new crafters the lure of Cath Kidston has sucked us in. For me, my mum has always been into handmade crafts, she made her own curtains and a patchwork blanket that currently lies on our sofa. When we moved into our house, it made sense to save money and make things myself (plus it gives me a fun new hobby).

My first patchwork cushion

I'll be doing crafty tutorials later so watch out for those. I really enjoyed making this cushion, I find patchwork quite challenging trying to choose patterns that work well together and making sure all the squares are in line. However I get a great sense of achievement from making my own crafty things.

I decided to set my own blog up because keeping track of all the beautiful things I want is starting to clog up my phone's photo albums and I wanted to share my ideas with everyone.

Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for tutorials and my new ideas. In the meantime if you want to check out my crafts and new home there's lots of pictures on my instagram (search _hello_amy)