With unicorns being my signature these days (and yes, my spirit animal is almost definitely a unicorn or a blackbird. Probably a unicorn), I figured it was high time I made a themed treasury on Etsy from my new shop.
Which was lovely – and really dangerous, I want to buy All The Things.
Without further ado, here are some of the gorgeous unicornified things in the world today (and don’t forget their underwater cousins)…
Unicorn goodness 🙂
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The lovely people at Country Baskets sent me a box of craft ingredients and a challenge – make a Christmas decoration using at least four of them. I’m up against other bloggers and they will judge the competition this week. Eeek!
My box contained florist’s wire, satin ribbon, a frosted (faux) mistletoe spray, a wonderful garland of fluffy white pom poms, silver (faux) poinsettia with wired stems, silver bells on a chain, a pack of cream coloured wire balls and a pack of heart shaped baubles.
I had a wonderful time unpacking them and the cats had a wonderful time exploring the box and the packaging. (Thank you for the unexpected bonus gift of a cat-sized box, Country Baskets!)
But what to make?
Due to the EU VAT fiasco that is still raging, I haven’t had a lot of time for crafting, and I wasn’t sure what would best fit the challenge in the tiny pockets of time I had available. Then I remembered that a few years back I used some similar wire, plus tinsel and baubles to make an evergreen wreath. Those pom poms were crying out to be hung on my front door, so I set to work.
It is nearly impossible to craft when you have inquisitive cats who are firmly convinced they’re helping…
But eventually I had a finished wreath – and I’m chuffed with the mistletoe in the middle, as real mistletoe is poisonous to cats so I won’t have it in the house. Here it is:
And here it is adorning my front door, just in time for Christmas brunches and drinks!
*Courtesy of Country Baskets – I wasn’t paid for this post but I did receive a free box of products to use in my decoration.
January 6th saw the very first of our annual craft swaps (though I’m not sure we can wait a whole year for the next one) – organised by Mimi, the idea was that all nine of us would make enough of whatever we chose for each participant to go home with one. It ended up in January by accident, but we think we’ll keep it there as it’s so lovely to have something to look forward to after Christmas!
The edible things were long gone before I had a chance to photograph them, teehee – wonderful alcohol-infused vegan chocs from Annastasia at Midorigreen, and yummy chocolate fridge cake from Helen. The button magnets (genius!!) from Mimi also escaped my photo shoot as they’re adorning my filing cabinet/noticeboard in the studio!
My contribution? Kilner jars decoupaged with pin up ladies (Elvgren paintings, as he’s my favourite pin up artist) and filled with cutters, a tiny pot of ginger, my favourite gingerbread recipe and glitter. Of course 🙂
It was a wonderful afternoon, full of tea and giggles and happiness, and we all went home sparkling with the joy of friendship and sharing things we’d made… a rare achievement for a grey day in January, I don’t usually sparkle much straight after Christmas!
I loved seeing how everyone interpreted “make something” differently – we had no duplicates, and I was amazed all over again at the talent within this group of women I’m so proud to be part of!
I can’t for the life of me find the PDF of the gingerbread recipe – will put it up if I locate it!
Places & Spaces is a new feature here on Ducking Fabulous, for me to share all my favourite places in the world with you. And to keep track of them for when I want to revisit, if they’re not local. To kick off, here is the (wonderfully local) gorgeous Tea & Sympathy shop in Crouch Street, Colchester.
Walking through the door is like stepping into another world. Jo and Melissa who own and run it have curated all manner of beautiful stock (and Ducking Fabulous jewellery is stocked here too – I’m honoured!) including handmade and vintage clothing, accessories and homeware. They also have beauty therapists on the first floor, and run all manner of workshops from Christmas wreaths to blending your own body lotions to nipple tassel making, and recently turned the whole shop into a speakeasy for the night.
My photographs don’t do the atmosphere justice, but here they are anyway…
Shelves of gorgeousness as you walk through the door:
The view from the counter on one side of the shop, and along the front of the shop:
Tea, coffee and workshop area in the front of the shop, surrounded with gorgeous things to buy:
Fabulous Jo, mistress of all she surveys: (and to the right of this picture, there is a rail of vintage clothing for sale that runs the entire length of the shop – it’s both exciting and lethal!
The first selection of Ducking Fabulous jewellery in situ – most of which has now been sold and replaced 🙂
I love going there to shop, to chat and sometimes just to chill out with a cup of tea. It’s a gorgeously inspiring space and the workshops I’ve done have been among my favourite ever evenings – there’s nothing like being creative with likeminded local people! I’d class it as Creative Space and Head Space as well as the Inspiration tag it has in the post title – it’s very quickly become a focal point for me in my quest to get to know the area and more people here better… and I bloody love it!
If you’re in Colchester, pop in and see Melissa & Jo, they’re at 113-115 Crouch Street (which is the fab independent part of Colchester). They can be found on Facebook (search for Tea Sympathy and friend them, much more info than the page!) and also on Twitter – @alittlesympathy.
With stock in the ever-fabulous Tea & Sympathy in Colchester, soon to be in the gorgeous Make, Do and Mend in Chelmsford, supplying goodies for a friend’s daughter’s pop up college shop and four fairs starting Wednesday evening, it has been a little manic here at Ducking Fabulous HQ for the last couple of weeks.
Some of my printed domino necklaces in progress – I’m very excited about this batch!
I’ve also been working hard on Ink Drops Boxes with Annastasia from Midorigreen, which has been lovely, and punctuated by hilarious Skype chats involving unintentional Lucozade highs. If you love all things handwritten, pop over and see the site and our blog, and if you’re struggling for presents, why not have a look at the shop – a surprise box of beautiful stationery might be the answer!
Christmas preparations are also starting – this weekend I will be at the Betty Blue Eyes vintage and handmade fair in Leigh-on-Sea (and visiting two lovely friends who live in the area at the same time) on Saturday, and at Mum & Dad’s sorting out Christmas trees and decorations on Sunday… they have bought a new tree for their new, higher-ceilinged abode, and I get the old one, which will fit beautifully into my flat… somewhere. I’m excited for sorting through decorations, most of ours have stories – will try and post about some of them nearer the time.
Right now I am mostly revelling in the incredible feeling of being surrounded by likeminded people and full of inspiration… it’s a feeling like no other!
Other things that have made me happy this week…
A rainbow on my way to work | Househunting | Tentative plans to borrow a greyhound | Dinner and Christmas decoration making at Mimi’s | A fabulous night with family for my aunt’s 40th birthday | puppy cuddles | the Free Range Festival | a festive Saturday in London with some of my uni girls | chocolate muffins | stories of my parents’ lives and travels before I arrived | starting on the overhaul of this site | getting my boudoir shoot photographs back | tassel making workshop and learning to twirl – the best Thursday evening I’ve had for ages! | Contrariety Rose’s mini-boutique in Creative Crafts in Reading | roof-down driving on a Tuesday evening | impromptu dinner and giggles with my parents | fairy lights | stocking up on Lush’s amazing seasonal soap | treating myself to a couple of books I’ve wanted for a while | MAC’s lip primer
So an all round fabulous couple of weeks! I am trying very hard to resume regular, twice a week posting – watch this space 🙂
I have been ridiculously busy for the last few weeks, and each of the events deserves a proper post. However, as I’ve just arrived home from CAE 2012 (camping with the car club in Yorkshire) and I have washing and other such glamorous things to do, I thought I’d do a bit of a sneak peek with some photos, and link to the posts when I write them over the next couple of weeks 🙂
The first weekend in July, I did a stall at the Maldon Motor Show with the fab Annastasia Midorigreen and her other half Dan – we sold handmade, vintage and Star Wars figures. It definitely gave me the bug and I came home all inspired. The classic cars that showed up (all 700 of them) were amazing too.
Then on Wednesday I flew out to Jersey for my best friend’s wedding. I was one of four bridesmaids and it was a fraught lead up but absolutely gorgeous day, despite the pouring rain. Julia is now a Wilson and it’s still not quite sunk in!
And this weekend I have been to Yorkshire camping with my car club. This is always a highlight of my year – you couldn’t hope to find a lovelier bunch of people, and I always look forward to the meets we have throughout the year. This one is the biggest by far, with usually around 40 cars. Much eating, drinking, talking and laughing goes on…
Friday morning: How many MR2s can you fit outside one house?! (black is Rob’s, blue is Russ’s, red is mine, silver is spare) Anna and I when she arrived, catching up and looking cute:Laughing despite the rain with Ally and Luke: Dan, Brad, Nige, Karine & Jim demonstrating that rain will not stop us having fun…
More on all three later – now I’m off to find food and catch up on sleep!
I know, I know, it’s only November, but I have SO much going on in December, I have to start my Christmas decorations early or I won’t get any up! I also spend the actual Christmas period at my parents’, so I like to enjoy as much of the Christmas spirit at home as possible before I go 🙂
I spent quite a lot of time last weekend, in between searching for presents and party dresses, trying to find a wreath. This, from BHS, was about the closest I found to what I was looking for, but I very much wanted some pink and purple in mine, to match the colour scheme (pffft – the attempted colour scheme, that should be) in my flat!
There were also a few of this type around:
None of them took my fancy, so when Anna and I were out on Thursday, I bought a pack of baubles from Asda and some contrasting snowflake tinsel from the 99p shop (oh yes, super high end, that’s me!). Got home, dug out the florist’s wire I bought two years ago (I knew it’d come in handy one day!) and over a few dvds and lots of chatting, I made this (please excuse the cheesy pic of me):
I’m really quite proud! :D
Being, as I’m sure you guys have grasped by now, a fairly crafty type, I had intended for AGES to join one of the many glorious swaps going on. They happen over on Crafteroo forum sometimes, but I’m a rubbish member and don’t pop in nearly as often as I’d like to. (They have however just launched the awesome Crafteroo magazine… proper post on that coming soon, but go buy it for the bargainous price of £1.50 – it’s fab!)
So when I tripped over the Curiosity Project, quite by chance, I signed up. The timescale was two months from receipt of your swap address, and it was totally anonymous until after boxes had been both sent and received. Clearly, anyone signing up would probably be relatively similar to me, and the brief? To fill a box with curiosities and post it to your anonymous recipient.
I was muchly excited when, just a couple of weeks after we’d got our addresses, a box addressed to me, but without my name, arrived. You can see me holding it in the ridiculously cheesy pic above. Here’s what was in it…
A beautiful handmade floral notebook, handmade notecards and the most beautiful brooch. I was so excited I squeaked… my old housemates from uni were up and I think they were a bit mystified (but also used to my bizarre ways!). I LOVED everything, and it really was as if my sender knew me! Here it is on the Curiosity Project’s blog.
I’d been busy collecting things to put in my own box to send, but really wanted to include something handmade and hadn’t made anything in aaaaages. Spurred on by the handmade gorgeousness, I made some button hairslides and this was the eventual package that left my house…
It was blogged on the Curiosity Project’s blog a couple of days later, and looks like my lovely recipient Nicola (who was also my sender, eee!) loved it as much as I loved mine! Even the appallingly hand-typed note, hehe! We’re now following each other on Twitter, and I shall absolutely definitely be taking part again, it was amazing 😀