Category Archives: Create

Bullet Journals – Starting Out

bullet-journals

If you are a Pinterest addict like me you will undoubtedly come across lots of pins about Bullet Journals. I was intrigued about the beautiful  pages people were sharing and pinning of their notebooks so decided to try and find out a bit more.

What exactly is a Bullet Journal?

A Bullet Journal is a really flexible and customisable planner that you can adapt to meet your needs better than most diaries. If you want to be organised and get more done the Bullet Journal is your secret weapon. The best description for the total beginner can be found here from Kendra over at The Lazy Genius Collective blog.  It is definitely the clearest description I have found and how to get started.

A Bullet Journal can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. They say it will teach you to do more with less. (I so need this!)

I have been busy pinning away lots of things on Bullet journals over on my Pinterest page

Rather than start in a whole new journal I have bought a six hole punch for my Filofax and I am adding pages into my diary within my Filofax organiser. I also bought squared paper to do this with as it seems much easier to work with squares (it seems that this is the favourite in the Bullet Journal world) and it has definitely been much easier to make tables and create grids.

I found the site Pretty Prints & Paper <https://prettyprintsandpaper.com/bullet-journal/> a really useful place to start and Jessica has a really comprehensive list of links and ideas on how to make the bullet journal work best for you.

Do any of you use a Bullet Journal? I would love to know if it is mainly a US thing or if it is catching on here in the UK too. I will try and keep you updated to my progress too!

 

 

 

 


Kidizoom Action Cam from VTech

 

Kidizoom Action cam From VTech Review1Last month we were lucky enough to get a Kidizoom Action Cam from VTech to have a play around with and post a review.

I am not sure who was more excited at the prospect of the Kidizoom Action Cam arriving as G and I waited patiently for the courier to deliver the parcel. The advert for the Kidizoom Action Cam seems to be everywhere and G was very keen on telling me all the things it could do before the camera had even got here.

I love taking photographs and recently G has developed an interest in taking photos on our phones or wanting to having a go with my Nikon (which fills me with dread, but I try not to be too precious) so having his very own camera was a big deal for him.

Regular readers will know I posted on here a while back on How VTech can make family travelling easier and the Kidizoom Action Cam was on the list.

Kidizoom Action Cam – Encourage children to take pictures of their holiday from start to finish with this action camera which captures photos, video and offers games. Giving kids their own (robust) camera encourages them to observe their surroundings and focus on what interests them. You might be surprised at the results from their knee-high view. With a waterproof case for underwater pictures at the beach or in the pool, and a mount allowing you to attach to a bike, children can capture action shots during any part of their holiday.

Handling the camera took G a while to master as it is quite small for his chunky fingers. However he soon began to understand that his fingers had to be away from the lens in order to take a picture. As you can see he was less than impressed with his first few efforts!! The Kidizoom Action Cam is aimed at 5-12 year olds so we guessed it would be a little tricky for him to begin with.

Kidizoom Action Cam

Or holding the camera still when taking the photo……

Kidizoom Photo 3

However by the time we got on holiday (You can read more about our camping in Cornwall adventure here) he had really mastered the camera and started taking some great pictures.

The camera retails at £49.99 so would probably be the type of thing you would purchase for a birthday or Christmas present. It can take videos, go underwater (this really does work as you can see in the video), there are graphics you can add to your pictures and a few simple games to plays, so you do get a lot for your money. It also comes with a handy mount that means you can attach it to your bike or helmet for some real action shots and video too.

You can see a much shorter version of the video the kids made in the pool (rather than the 5 minute version they loved making!) But it does prove it really takes great underwater footage!

 

4 star (358 of 406)

4 star (359 of 406)

When we were on the foreshore in Budock we had a ‘photo off’ and I have to say G’s were pretty good!

100_0031G with the Kidizoom

4 star (347 of 406)

One with the Nikon DSLR

Budock Vean Foreshore

G’s attempt with the Kidizoom

Budock Vean Foreshore Nikon

My attempt with my Nikon DSLR

I have to say we were really impressed and hope this new found interest in photography and videos really takes off. I have to say thank you VTech for making technology so easily accessible to our little people. I really can not recommend the Kidizoom Action Cam enough. We had so much fun with it and it is till being used lots now we are home too. I might start posting a Sunday Photo from G too. Watch this space!!

 

 

 

 

 


Silent Sunday 28.06.15

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Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

raspberry fairy cake

Today I am sharing my super simple recipe for Raspberry Cream Cupcakes. We had some of my Mum’s cousin’s over for afternoon tea whilst Mum was staying with us and when I say I made these in under 30 minutes, I am not exaggerating. Also they were very yummy too so win, win as far as my baking is concerned!

Ingredients

for the cakes you will need:

200g unsalted butter, softened

200g caster sugar

200g self-raising flour

3 eggs

a splash of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

12 large muffin cases (the prettier the better)

for the Raspberry Cream topping you will need:

a small pot of cream

icing sugar

a punnet of fresh raspberries

Method

I was always taught to cream the butter and sugar together first when making cakes but I read once in Nigella Lawson’s How to Be A Domestic Goddess  that you can just mix all the ingredients for the cupcakes together in your mixer and when it is all nicely fluffy you can slowly add the milk until it is the consistency you feel happy with. Not too runny but not too claggy either.

pop your muffin cases into a muffin tin and fill them with the mixture, leaving enough space for them to rise up nicely.

Pop into a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C/ gas mark 6 and keep an eye on them after about 12 minutes. No matter what a recipe says I have found each of the cookers I have had over the years have all varied slightly so the best thing to do is keep checking towards the end.

Take out the oven and leave to cool on a rack.

Whilst the cakes are cooling, gather together your ingredients for the Raspberry Cream. I haven’t given exact measurements for this as I did it by taste and sight until I was happy.

Whip up some of the double cream with half the punnet of raspberries (keep back at least 12 raspberries for the topping) and as much icing sugar as your taste buds like. I personally don’t like too much so added about 2 tablespoons into the mix. Whip away until you have a mixture that is thick enough to dollop onto your cupcakes without it being too runny.  Finish off with a raspberry on top and you have a very glamorous looking cupcake to wow your guests with!

This was the first time I have used 00 Italian flour in my baking and wow, did it make a difference. These cakes came out so fluffy and light we were practically scrapping them off the ceiling. (Okay that is an exaggeration but you get where I am coming from.)

 


Instagram tips with Emily Quinton

flowers in a window

Last Friday I was lucky enough to go to a workshop on Instagram tips with the amazing Emily Quinton. The workshop was a double whammy as not only is Emily one of the most talented and inspirational photographers about but the event was held at The Hambledon, a gorgeous shop located within the grounds of one of my favourite places in Gloucestershire, Cowley Manor.

The Hambledon is one of those shops where you feel as though you could move in and be quite happy to live there. They have a great range of quirky home ware, coffee table books to die for and the most gorgeous selection of clothes. I really had to restrain myself and only bought a couple of items and my copy of Maker Spaces.

Maker Spaces by Emily Quinton

Emily has just published her first book called ‘Maker Spaces’. The book showcases the homes and studios of some of the worlds finest ‘makers’, highlighting their style, inspirations and what drives them in their creativity.

(If you click on the image it will take you to Amazon)

Emily Quinton Maker Spaces

The Hambledon, Cowley

The workshop group was very small so we had an amazing opportunity to ask Emily tons of questions and find out how she works. The one thing that amazed me the most was that all her pictures on Instagram are taken with her iPhone and not some super expensive camera.

Emily is very much known for her images of flowers and all things floral, posting a flower based image to Instagram each morning. She talked through how to get inspiration from props and colours and to not be afraid to experiment. The workshop has really made me think about

  1. how I use my phone to take pictures
  2. how I think about the light and texture in my pictures
  3. what I take my pictures of

If you have a look on my Instagram account I think you will see a definite shift in my style (which I hope you think is for the better 😉 ) Emily really stressed about listening to what you like and what inspires you rather than trying to follow a certain tribe or style. I think being real to yourself is brilliant advice in any area of your life and not just blogging/photography.

 

Do you use Instagram? I am hooked and really love looking through peoples images, in fact since last week I have been far more on Instagram than twitter. I would love to know how and why you use Instagram.

 


Pregnancy Photo shoot in the Cotswolds

Last week I was lucky enough to get the chance to photograph my beautiful friend Nadia who is 7 months pregnant. I met Nadia and her now husband Glenn a few years ago when we ran the village pub and we hit it off straight away. Glenn is from Australia and Nadia is Canadian so when they got together they decided to live in a ‘neutral’ spot and ended up in our corner of the Cotswolds.

Without sounding all gushy and fake, meeting them and having them as friends in our lives has been incredibly special. They are the kindest people and their wedding last year was one of the most beautiful I have ever been too. When Nadia asked me to take some shots of her pregnant I was so flattered! I also felt very anxious to create some beautiful pictures as I really wanted her Mum on the other side of the Atlantic to see how gorgeous her daughter is looking whilst pregnant. Her Mum loved them so I feel as though I achieved my brief!!

It was really hard to choose my favourite pictures to share here but I managed to keep it down to just a few! I hope you like them and would love to know what you think? Did you have a pregnancy photo shoot?

pregnancy outdoor pose bump in the woods heart pregnancy pose woodland pregnancy pose natural light pregnancy pose natural light black & white pregnancy pregnancy glow black and white pregnancy picture black and white natural light relaxed pregnancy pose


Easter Crafts Pinterest Round-Up

 

easter2

With a week of school holidays before Easter I have been having a think about what we can get up to at home in preparation for the weekend. As Ed will be working all weekend, it will just be Garth and I but I really want to celebrate Easter even though we won’t be having a big sit down family get together.

I have been scouring my beloved Pinterest for inspiration and my favourite 10 Easter crafts are listed here with links to the websites (if Pinterest provides the link) if you fancy giving any of them a go yourself! I think most of them are pretty adult and child friendly so we can all have a go at making them.

1. Simple Easter Baskets

Baskets

2. Cute & Simple Easter Card

finger print bunny chick

I was thinking of making these cards and baskets as small gifts for family and friends, super simple, super easy and fun all at the same time. Easter crafts with a purpose!

3. Pompom Bunny

pompombunny

Since buying a pompom maker at Christmas I have become strangely addicted to making them but am always stuck for ideas as to what I can actually make out of all the pompoms I have made. Am definitely going to give this super cute Easter craft idea a go. This is one for me I think!

4. Paper Plate Baby Chick

chickplate

I love crafts that require minimum adult input and this one is super simple. Great for scissor skills too if you aren’t too worried about creating a perfect example.

5. Watercolour Chicks

waterchicks

I particularly love how this idea can make an artist out of anyone. We will be cracking open the watercolours next week.

6. Salt Dough Easter Ornaments

saltdougheggs

Salt dough or clay stars were a big hit at Christmas so an Easter version is a great idea. Poundland had some Easter cutters which would work really well with this project. I loved the picture below as a great idea on how to display all your fab creations.

7. Easter Display for your creations

Easter Egg Tree

8. Easter Masks

Bunny mask

Super simple and would make a great prop for some Easter family photographs.

9. Clay Bunnies – Lots of uses

clay bunnies

I am totally in love with these!!

10. Bunny Silhouette with a 101 uses

Paper bunny

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my suggestions and if you have any of your own I would love to see them, please do share. Happy crafting!

A Cornish Mum

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


Family Command Centres for the Drop Zone

I am totally addicted to Pintrest and use it to get tons of ideas for crafts, interiors and children’s activities. Families in the USA seem to have some great ideas for keeping organised which if you are on here regularly know that this is something I am always trying to be better at. One of the things I have come across are ‘Family Command Centres’ which always seem to look stylish and practical (and oh so ever organised). We are fortunate to have quite a big entrance hall but the downside of this is that it can become a real dumping ground. This is called the ‘drop zone’ or ‘landing strip’ in super organised circles (I believe) and I have been coming across some gorgeous  ‘Drop Zone Command Centre’ pins.

Hallway ideas from www.realsimple.com

Hallway ideas from www.realsimple.com

Hallway organisation found on www.thebudgetdecorator.com

Hallway organisation found on www.thebudgetdecorator.com

Upcycled lovliness found at http://blissfulblooms.blogspot.co.uk

Upcycled lovliness found at http://blissfulblooms.blogspot.co.uk

Super neat hallway found on Pintrest

Super neat hallway found on Pintrest

One of my best friend’s has just moved house and her husband had made the most amazing shelf unit out of some simple wood and then it had been painted – guess what? – in my beloved chalk paint. I just fell in love with it. I was a very lucky girl and was made my own as a birthday present, to the dimensions I wanted for the exact spot I plan to create our ‘drop zone’ or ‘landing strip’ organisation centre. I am afraid that this will be a bit of a project that will be on the back burner with Christmas coming up but as soon as it is all set up I will be sharing my before and after pictures.

Would love to hear if you have anything similar or great ideas for hallway organisation. If you want to have a look at all the great ideas I have pinned you can check out my Pintrest board here

Follow Dominique’s board Family Command Centres on Pinterest.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


Christmas arrives at our cottage

I love Christmas, or rather I love Christmas decorations and getting the house feeling all ‘Christmassy’. This is our first Christmas in this cottage and not living above the pub, so I am really excited as now have the room to do all the ideas I have been pinning away on Pintrest!  Our Christmas celebrations were kicked off this year by a Celebration of Christmas Festival held in our village with lots of craft stalls, carol singers, mulled wine and Father Christmas (aka my husband) arriving on the back of a game cart!!! One of my friends and I had a stall selling wreaths she had made and I had been busy making candles and soap. We were bowled over by how popular our crafts were and it was definitely something I plan to do again soon.

Crafts in Lower Swell

Since then I have become a little obsessed with wreaths and have made a few for the house since the obsession started. I bought a Pom Pom maker and have been frantically wrapping wool after seeing some great Pom Pom ideas on Pintrest.

DSC_0057

  Pom Poms on a wreath    stars on wooden wreath    DSC_0020

I also made the stars to go on the wooden wreath from air hardening clay in white. There were a few trials at this but I was really pleased with my final effort.

I also found these bargain folksy style decorations in Wilkinson’s last week which I hung on the mantelpiece in our dining room and combined them with the red paper star lights we already had. They really reminded me of Hungarian Folk Art that was in my

great-grandmother’s house when we were growing up.

red stars

Finally our tree! I was really strict about all our decorations being red/white based on there this year, but luckily most of our existing decorations were already red or white so it wasn’t too hard. I also put a lot of the clay stars I made onto raffia string in red and hung them all over the tree. Also if you look closely you may just see my star garland that I posted about a few weeks ago.

Me add three

Easy & Simple Christmas Garland

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It’s been a busy week here with Christmas preparations. I have spent far too much time on Pintrest creating a board full of lovely Christmas décor ideas.

http://uk.pinterest.com/das100/christmas/

I have been getting G’s nativity costume together which I will post about later but in the meantime I thought I would share this really easy idea for a Christmas garland. Personally I am not a fan of tinsel on trees and have been trying to think of an alternative. After seeing this great little gadget on Amazon I came up with the following idea.


Using an old paperback (I am a sucker for buying second hand books from charity shops that I flick through then sit on a shelf for ages – so had plenty lying around!) rip out the pages and for ease I cut them in half. Simply grab your star punch/cutter and start punching away. Create yourself a healthy looking pile of paper stars.

PicMonkey Collage1

Now the therapeutic part begins. I like this bit best as you can sit and do this whilst watching tv. (I sat and did one whilst G was having his supper one evening and we had a great chat about Christmas) Grab some cotton thread, I used red as I had lots and felt it was a festive shade that looked nice with the paper. DON’T cut the thread, keep it on the reel but thread your needle and start threading the stars onto the thread. I found that by not cutting the thread you can decide how long or short you want your garland once you are in the swing of threading the stars on.

PicMonkey Collage2

How you group your stars is up to you. I played around a bit with them, you could have them really packed tight, although this looks effective I decided life was too short to go for this look! I have opted for spreading out the stars a bit so you can see the shape and outline of the star to full effect.

PicMonkey Collage3

To finish off I pushed the stars together and then wound the thread around a piece of card to avoid knots and tangles and when I am ready to use the garland I will just spread the stars back out along the thread and the idea is to use them instead of tinsel on our tree. There are lots of ways you could use these and although a little time consuming a really cheap way to personalise your decorations this year.

Me add three

I have added this post onto The Christmas Countdown from Me Add Three, pop over to see some other great Christmas ideas!