What a fab day. Literally done some of my favourite things today. On Facebook I found a page called- ‘la REcyclerie’ -http://www.larecyclerie.com/
and I thought I’d pop there as it looked quite quirky. I got to it and it was miles bigger then I expected tbh. I couldn’t believe it. The main centre bit is a lovely cafe with vintage chairs and sofas to sit on, I saw the food they were serving and it looked really lovely and fresh. On massive plates too!!
I was walking around and the outside area is so big, it has chickens, fish, a place where people were selling vintage clothes, a repair centre, a bee hive bit, lots of veg plants and all the tables were made out of reclaimed wood. I’ve not seen a place like this before and i am amazed at how busy it was and how much they had going on.
I sat there and read my book for a while then went over the road to the flea market which again… was fantastic. First you have to walk through the normal market and tbh it was a bit like a ghetto. I didn’t really feel safe with my phone etc which put me off. But I got to the inside area and people were selling vintage prints, clothes, furniture… just everything you can think of. I bought a lovely old print that I was drawn too and it was only 10 euro so I’ll put it in my flat when I get home. 🙂
It was only 2ish when I’d finished there, so quite close by was the Sacré-Cœur – (Iconic, domed white church, completed in 1914, with interior mosaics, stained-glass windows & crypt.) I was wanting to visit there anyway so i had to climb like a million steps all the way up to it.. only to figure out there’s a lift!!! Haha. I think it might just be for disabled people though I don’t know. Anyway it was beautiful and the view you get from the top is to die for. It’s a shame the sky wasn’t blue or my pictures would have looked lush! people were queueing up outside to get in the building but i didn’t feel like going in because there was quite a bit going on outside. Im going to read up about the place and see how much it is before i take a look inside(if i do). I really love Paris… in England everything is so polite, done by the rule book, frowned upon… but here it is literally like living in a playground. Everyone does what ever the hell they want and they dont care who sees it or if they get judged. Ive seen so many crazy things and its only been 5 days!!
These past two days have been so much fun!! the things i have done and been to are
Visited the Louvre again, this time getting the floor plan and actually spending time going round each bit which was definitely worth it. Saw the Mona Lisa again, but once again it was packed and i just couldn’t really get that close which was disappointing. But i did see Leonardos other paintings which were amazing.
Went on a fabulous ride in a mini fair that was happening in the Jardin des Tuileries. I had so much fun it was a large swing that went really high so i got a couple of good photos of the Eiffel Tower!
Visited Moulin Rouge building and took a lot of photos, wasn’t too impressed tbh.. I thought it would have looked better then it did.
Went to the Grand Palais (free entry) which is really beautiful
Saw the Arc de Triomphe! Gorgeous and definitely worth a look. i took some really pretty pictures as well.
Sat and read in both the Parc Monceau and Champ de Mars gardens – currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed (definitely recommend).
I have included some of the images i took throughout the day on my Phone. I dont use a SLR camera anymore as i always found it too hard to carry around with me everywhere, and phones have such good quality cameras that i just use that now. Also i like the fact it downloads straight on my laptop through Google Photos!! 🙂
Arrived in at about 5pm. The flight from Manchester was so speedy I couldn’t believe how quick it was!! Had to get the RER B train to near the centre as apparently, I’m staying in the ‘China town of paris? It’s in the 11thendorsement. I got there and a guy greeted me who had been looking after the cats for a couple of days before hand
He was lovely and from Texas, he was giving me abit of business advice about gembobs crafts… to start to focus more on my customers and not just make all the time which is something I do constantly. I find the business side quite difficult really.
Anyway, we chatted and he showed me how to inject one of the arts as she has diabetes L never done that before so it’s good to know what to do. She is gorgeous and pure white. There is another cat also who has urinary problems!! The apartment is lovely I couldn’t have asked for nicer tbh I feel very lucky. So, I just got my things sorted ECT and headed for bed awaiting the explorations to begin the next day.
So, I’ve come out into the world and I just thought I would wander tbh to see where it takes me
I’m currently in the louvre queue which is MASSIVE OMG. But if I don’t stand in it now I never will so just have got to do it I suppose. It’s quite a nice day so I don’t mind. A girl from lonelyplanets forum messaged me as I said I was in Paris and she is travelling and is here for tonight so we are randomly meeting up!! She seems lovely so hopefully it’ll be good!! (didn’t meet up in the end… it started pouring it down)
The Louvre is AMAZING obviously. It is absolouty massive and I really didn’t expect that. The mona lisa was bigger then I expected. everyone kept saying its tiny but its not that small? I couldn’t get to it though because the room was full of people. Really busy so I didn’t really like that it made me quite anxious and I felt my heart racing so I had to get out. I decided to wander to the Eifle Tower next but it just started raining so I went to a cute little café and sat outside under shelter and had a small tea. Quite nice just to chill for abit because I find it hard to sit down but haing done 20,000 steps approx (I have a fitbit…) I definetly needed to sit down!!
I got back around 6 ish which was perfect. I had a lovely day out and paris is just gorgeous and so so pretty I would love to live here and take some french lessons because the language is lush.
Im going to update on my adventures on things i’ve done in Paris but not log everyday as its very time consuming but I will show pictures etc!
Over this year I made a resolution to myself to be more flexible… to explore new things and not just live my life based on societies and my own rule book. I can’t work a mundane job… I have to be flexible and work around my own routines that I have. So, this year I’ve managed to go to Thailand (very short and abit disastrous but I won’t go into that), Las Palma which was fantastic with my sister Amy. Bergerac in South of France for two-week cat sitting where I had use of a car (which really helped). And not I am in Paris for two weeks, then flying to Madrid after that for two weeks.
So overall compared to the last few years of my life it has been brilliant. I struggle with the language difference and I feel very arrogant because I can’t speak another language. But I may take some classes in either French or Spanish. So, I know this blog is mainly crafts related but I’m think of diversifying it a little bit and adding in a few more sections.
Firstly, let’s begin with the obvious. Not every morning is perfect and if you read this and think “wow, that’s organised!” or “man I can’t even think straight before 12pm” you are not alone. I’m right there with you. This is my morning routine WHEN everything is going to plan, I’m caffeinated and on the ball!
Secondly – I don’t usually start this routine until after I’ve dropped my daughters at school. To me it’s infinitely harder to try and concentrate on admin work when I’ve got “mummy where is my homework?”, “mummy, she stole my identical white sock!” and “mummy, she’s just poured coco pops all over her pristine uniform!”
I walk the little monsters angels to school and come back ready to Etsy. When it’s half term or school holidays I tend to either creep downstairs before they’re awake or allow morning TV and brekkie to give me some…
I spent a disproportionate amount of time stressing last week about the prospect of covering a mono printing workshop at the Art Gallery.
I’d set the class up months ago for a local artist, but as the weeks rolled by, through no fault of her own, it transpired that she wouldn’t be available to teach.
I thought ah well, mono printing with acrylics…..I usually do this with printing inks…transfer method…Tracy Emin style…it shan’t be very different, I’ll cover no probs.
I went over to Sudeshnas so she could talk me through the process…some of her lovely playful prints are above. She’s a regular on the Open Studios circuit and has a very particular printing style. Undeterred, I collected the acrylic sheets that were to act as our plates, extra paint & paper from Fulford….all good.
I started printing on the Monday. Loved the process of painting on plastic with acrylic…wonderful. Sliding your brush across…
Each month around the full moon this blog will be featuring the work of doll makers/ artists around the world. The handmade dolls are very different from the mass production dolls. Behind every doll is a creative person who puts her or his energy, care and love in each doll and we would love to know more about them. Gladly, Joti Marra -creator of the amazing FOREST CREATURE DOLLS– kindly accepted to be our first doll maker featured on the instagram account dollmakers .Please read below to know more about her and her exquisite work.
– Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?
FCD: I use my hands, cloth, and thread to make dolls that I hope embody joy, imagination, and an innocent sort of magic.
– When did you start making dolls?
FCD: I’ve been making dolls most of my life! I studied fashion design in college…
I had the great pleasure of sending some of my animal pins to the lovely Stephanie who was planning a woodland animals theme party for her Son. Here is the process she went through to make the day truly brilliant!! 🙂
I love planning parties, and I knew early on that I wanted to go all-out for our son’s first birthday celebration. An outdoor party is one of the perks to being born in the summer months where we live. It was difficult to settle on a theme for Theo’s first birthday bash, but once a friend of mine helped to lead me to the Woodland Animals idea (an expansion on the ever so popular theme “Owls”), the planning really started to begin. My son’s birthday was going to fall on a Saturday this year, and we decided that we would host the party at our house. We also had received an offer on our house a few weeks prior, so this very well could have been our last big event with family and friends at our home before moving. We had a lot to celebrate!
When planning a first birthday party, (or any party!) you need to think about the food that you will serve, party decor, dessert, beverages, and of course – birthday outfits! Usually, when we have guests over, my husband will grill. Those of you who have cooked for a party know how much work that is for that person. After talking with some of my friends who have hosted birthday parties at their homes, I was told about these hot dog carts. I received a couple of recommendations, and I am almost certain we hired the best possible hot dog guy out there. Meet Hot Dog Joe:
Joe was awesome for a few reasons: 1) He is a Cubs fan, 2) He brought everything needed to serve up delicious Vienna Beef hotdogs, and 3) He was the nicest guy ever – a delight to have at our party! My sisters and I prepared five other sides for the guests to go along with the dogs. We served baked beans, bow tie pesto pasta salad with mozzarella and tomatoes, roasted corn salad with lime avocado cilantro dressing, fruit salad, and loaded baked potato salad. All of the sides were prepared in advance and were brought out as soon as the hot dogs were ready to go, which was soon after the start of the party. Hiring Joe to do the main course allowed for us to not have to worry at all about food. No mess, no clean-up – it simplified the whole food organization process!
Once I had the food planning finished, I moved on to working on the dessert and the dessert table. After poking around on Pinterest for a couple of days, I decided I wanted a fabulous cake, cupcakes, and a s’mores type dessert. I talked to my sisters about the s’mores, and they decided to take on the task of creating the chocolate dipped mallows. My mother was on board with creating the vibrant red mushroom cupcakes.
In order to make the s’mores, you take a pretzel stick and push it into the top of a marshmallow. You then dip the mallow in chocolate and then roll it into graham cracker crumbs. From what I was told – they were very easy to make. For the cupcakes, there are a few important things to know. First of all, you will need brown cupcake holders. Go with the paper variety and not the foil type. Also, in order to get a deep red color, you will need some Wilton no-taste red coloring. If you do not have this, the cupcake icing will be more pinkish in color. The white dots are upside down white chocolate chips, which made the cupcakes taste even better than they already were!
For the tree slice cupcake stand, I looked at several options available on online. They were all pricey! I told my husband I was going to purchase one, and within minutes, he was out back chopping wood. I added the moss and voila! A cupcake stand that cost $0 dollars! He also sliced several more wooden rounds for table centerpieces, which I will get to in a bit.
Next up for dessert was The Cake. I needed to call in a professional for the job. I knew of this adorable bakery in downtown Oak Park called Sugar Fixe, which I have been to several times before. How cute is their store front?! And those macarons! This is exactly the type of place that I wish I lived across the street from so that I could stop in for a daily espresso and croissant.
After discussing my vision with Bria, one of the Pastry Chefs who is also the Wedding Director, I knew that she was going to create something amazing for my son. I was BLOWN AWAY when I saw her final cake design. Sugar Fixe is my new go-to special occasion cake designer. I don’t even know how she did it, but she carved a tree bark configuration into the butter cream icing and then hand-crafted 2-D gum paste woodland animals. The cake also had an acorn bunting topper – it was officially the most adorable cake I have ever seen.
And then there was the smash cake. Technically, this cake is TCTS (too cute to smash), but we had to do it! The smash cake complimented the big cake perfectly in every single way. This cake was 100% as delicious as it was cute. The inside was my favorite – carrot cake!
Look at this little boy loving his cake! He was cautious at first, but later was going face-first into it. It was very fun to watch. Sugar Fixe specializes in customer cake designs, dessert tables (with options such as tartlets, brownies, lemon bars, mini cupcakes, meringues, dipped marshmallows, and cake pops), and all sorts of dessert favors. Theirmenu and style of work is truly amazing! Each time I’ve been into their shop (I’ve only been in their Oak Park location, but they also have a shop in Lincoln Park) it is packed. The employees are gracious and have excellent rapport with their customers. I also love that they actively participate in giving back to the community by supporting several organizations, such as Pillar’s Community Services. Sugar Fixe is a model locale business!
So, I am completely aware that centerpieces are not necessary for a backyard party. However, my mom stepped up and offered to “throw something together”. She had a basket of acorns that she thought she could build upon. My mother in law also had wild flowers in her backyard. Together, they came up with these. I was shocked at how creative they were able to be with 100% of the raw materials coming from past craft projects and things from the outdoors.
Another thing that our party needed was a wide-eye beautiful brown grizzly bear. Every woodland forest has a bear, right?! For my baby shower last June, my aunt re-purposed an old polar bear Christmas decoration and turned him into a baby blue bear. Well, I kept that bear, and I thought that he would look amazing in a brown color as well. My other aunt gave him a FULL makeover. Meet Fiona. After three cans of spray paint and some felt, what a transformation!
I planned to make some of the decor myself, including this mossy THEO sign. I picked up wooden letters from Target, and then spray glue and moss from the craft store. I was ready to craft!
This sign was very simple to make. Once you have the moss strategically placed after you apply spray glue, it dries fairly quickly. I loved the way it turned out! The E was my favorite.
In order to prevent the letters from falling over (this was going to be used on the dessert table), my husband nailed them into a strip of wood scrap. Look at this WILD ONE ready for his party!
For the rest of the party decor, I turned to the best – Etsy! In today’s day, if you can think of it, most likely, someone else has too. And with one click, you can have decor en route to your house as quickly as the shop can make that item. I am astonished by the creativity of others!
The Wooden Word designs custom handmade wooden signs for any occasion. They have several pre-made signs available for purchase, but this sign was custom made for Theo’s woodland adventure party. Never Stop Exploring – truer words have never been said. We used this sign for his party and it is now hanging in his nursery. These signs make the perfect shower or birthday gift – request your custom order here!
Banners banners banners! I melted when I saw this burlap fabric high chair banner from PhotograMomProps and this woodland animal banner from SmithStudios2129. The high chair banner is made with owl fabric, which fit our theme perfectly! PhotograMomProps makes banners in many different colors and themes. She has over 150 products on her Etsy page and also does custom orders. SmithStudios2129 creates unique paper party decor and decorations for any special event. She has many different designs available and does custom paper decor work. Both of these ladies were so easy to work with and created products that made our party extra special. I could not handle the cuteness of each of these banners!
My mother in law printed us several of my favorite photos from when our son was 0-3 months old. I intend to frame these pictures one day, but for the party, I hung them from a banner. I used these cute fox badges from Gem Bobs Crafts. I attached the above wooden badges to cloths pins for extra banner flair.
I also had the idea to have a photo backdrop at the party. I was looking around on Pinterest for DIY backdrops, but then I came across Drops And Props. This company is AWESOME! They have hundreds of different patterns, designs, and sceneries to choose from and you can also request a custom design. I loved this Woodland Creatures backdrop, and our guests had so much fun taking pictures in front of it at the party! The backdrop that we had is a 5×7 vertical print on wrinkle-free material. You can choose from three different materials (wrinkle-free fabric, poly paper, and matte vinyl) and you can choose from many sizes ranging from 2×3 up to 10×20 (different sizes offered for different back drop materials). The print was high quality and the heavy-duty material was perfect for our outdoor event. Join their mailing list to receive 10% your first order! I can’t wait to see how I can use their backdrops in the future. DropsProps all the way!
Since we were having a backdrop, we also needed props! PartyEars has the CUTEST animal ear headbands. I opted for the woodland animal headbands, which included a felt owl, deer, raccoon, squirrel, wolf, fox, rabbit, and bear. The headbands were comfortable for all-day wear. PartyEars makes a variety of different animal headbands along with custom orders. You can even send in a photo of your pet and she will replicate their ears! Too cute!
I was able to find printable woodland animal masks on Etsy as well. GoodBadgerPrints offers downloadable PDFs for a variety of mask types. It was so easy to print them off onto thick paper and then cut them out and attach them to a stick.
I searched high and low for the perfect party outfit for Theo. He had two outfits because I knew the smash cake sesh was going to be messy! Eleven 29 Designs makes personalized onesies in a variety of sizes. I was drawn to her shop initially because of a little onesie that had with a fox, raccoon, and squirrel on it. She created the custom printing on the front, which held up fantastically in the wash. This outfit was very fitting for our little boy! The shop owner was a delight to work with for our custom order – very communicative and so easy to work with!
His Wild One t-shirt was from Shop Southern Baby. This shop has so many options to choose from in many colors, designs, and sizes for both boys and girls. She also offers personalized options. Shipping was super fast and Theo’s t-shirt arrived very quickly after our order was made. I paired his tee with these adorable fern print leggingsfrom Lady And Little Bug. Lady And Little Bug specializes in organic handmade clothing and accessories and has a variety of prints to choose from. The quality of her designs is top notch!
Fetes And Fables had exactly what we needed when it came to a birthday crown. Working with Jess was a breeze. She helped to design the perfect wooden crown with a cursive felt ONE. The shop owner specializes in unique party goods such as crowns, utensils, vases, and cake toppers. Follow the Fetes And Fables on Instagram for 10% your first order! Love how she says “adds a touch of whimsy to your day” – her products sure do!
In my search for woodland clothing and décor, I came across the fabulous Mary Ink. This wild mushroom tank was just what I needed. As any parent knows, a first birthday party is not just a celebration for the baby – it is a celebration for the parents who made it through a crazy first year! My husband decided to go t-shirt neutral, but for me, the wild mushrooms were a must! Mary Ink has many designs to choose from – including llamas, tigers, andpinecones to name a few. Loved the fit of this tank top!
I saved the trail mix favor prep for last (inspiration from 100 Layer Cakelet)– this portion all came together in the 11th hour. I had to visit three stores before being able to get my hands on small paper party bags. My sister came by the day before the party to pack off bags of trail mix, which was a blend of peanut butter filled pretzels, nuts, peanut M&Ms, honey nut Cheerios, and raisins. Thank goodness there were 2 lbs of leftovers after all the bags were filled! Yum!
Did I dedicate too much time in the planning of this birthday party? Of course I did! This is my first born we are talking about here! But I had a lot of fun during the planning process. I could not have done it without all of my friends and family who helped me along the way. It was so wonderful being able to celebrate this huge milestone with friends and family.
Hi there, sorry I’ve been abit absent lately!! I’m busying doing lots of crafts and working on my degree. Just thought I’d show you what I’ve been working on in my home and hopefully inspire people to get creative themselves!
Oh and also I have a lovely old Jones sewing machine that I bought for £12.00 at my local auction in north yorkshire 🙂 I’m not going to use it, it just ties in lovely with my fabric shelves!!