Make A House A Home

Thursday 17 September 2015

I love a craft challenge and was thrilled to be invited to take part in the Make A House A Home competition.

Make A House A Home
As the Summer days are fading and I am crafting for Autumn and Christmas (yes the C word in September!) it was great to get my craft on with bright Summer inspired colours.

I was sent the pretty wooden bird nest with the brief to get crafty and to 'make a house a home'. With the inspiring craft materials at Buddly Crafts  to choose from, I put together a colour palette of homely happy colours; greens, pastels and reds. I then chose the a basket of pretty materials to reflects this.

I saw the Fimo Effect polymer clay with a great shimmer to the classic Fimo I have used before. Fimo polymer clay is great for modelling so I bought a pastel palette of  six pretty colours Aqua, Light Pink, Lilac, Mint, Peach and Vanilla.

I had to include the Tilda fabric in the project as I have used them to make cotton dolls, cushions and bunting and the prints looks really homely. I chose the green to look like the trees.

To start the project, I broke off a strip of each of the colours and rolled it out with a old wine bottle a 3 mm thickness. This was for my flags for around the bird house roof. I played around with the flag shapes until I got one I was happy with. I then cut out the flags six times in each clay and wetted them to bend them into a shape so that the bunting flags looked like they were blowing in the breeze.

They were then baked as per the packet instructions and left to cool down whilst I decorated the bird house.

I used the Tilda fabric for the roof and the side panels of the bird house leaving the inner panels ready for a white acrylic paint wash later in the project. I used a hot glue gun and a heat proof mat (the red dotty mat just seen) to protect my craft table.

I bought a pastel pink, pastel blue and white ric rac trim to add to the bird house around the sides and over the Tilda fabric as a contrast.

Over the Tilda fabric - so pretty!

Then the white wash was added.

I crocheted a bunting flag in red using devil red #666 .

The flags were then fixed into place and with the remaining thread and fabric I embroidered a 'Home' banner and decorated the bird perk ready for my reveal.

Our little Home sign

The bunting fimo flags were glued in place on a crocheted string with a ric rac trim. I used a staple gun to attach the thread to the house and strong craft glue to attach the flags to the string.

And a hanging loop on the back.

And our new bird home is finished.

I am over the moon with my finished bird box and it's going up in the house tomorrow. I want to thank Ocean Finance for inviting me to take part.

How would you decorate a bird box?


* This is a sponsored post

This Summer...Make Your Own Strawberry Ice Cream

Monday 20 July 2015

For the last six months I've been slowly getting obsessed with making ice cream. It started as an idea for Christmas day dessert, I made a simple vanilla no-churn recipe and it was delicious.

 By total chance I was given the MELT ice cream recipe book for Christmas too, so from that day on I've been late night experimenting  with chocolate-y, fruity and booze-y combos when the kitchen is family free.

It's been a great journey and I have been completely amazed how creative you can be. So as I sit here dreaming up some new non-churn recipes, here is one of our current favourite...strawberry ice cream with pick your own strawberries to involve your family and friends in the process too!

You Will Need -

200ml double cream
200ml of strawberries, hulled and chopped up. The riper the better
2 drops of vanilla essence
65grams of caster sugar
Seasonal fruit to decorate (we used raspberries)


1. Take the strawberries and put them in a non-slip bowl with the sugar and vanilla essence and mash away until the bowl is a red fruit thick liquid in it.
2. Whip the cream until if forms soft peaks on the beaters and looks thick and glossy but be careful not to over whip it (yes you can do this too!).
3. Fold the cream and strawberry mixture together until it looks a pink creamy colour.
4. Place the ice cream in a freezable tub and pop in the freezer for at least four hours.

To serve take out the freezer and leave for ten minutes on the side to scoop it or use a scoop that's been standing in boiling water but be careful to use an over mit as it may be hot, hot, hot.

Decorate with sprinkles and fruit. To make a booze-y version add a tablespoon of your favourite tipple when mixing the cream and fruity mixture together. The ice cream will come out softer as the alcohol won't freeze. We like a homemade blackcurrant vodka in ours!

Bye for now,


How We Planned Our Fabulous Places Stand

Friday 17 July 2015

So as a start up business, it great to get your application for an amazing Summer Market accepted. It's that email that pops into your inbox and makes you totally full of pride. That's how I felt when I got the big OK to have a stand at the Fabulous Places Summer Market in Derby on the 5th July.

I decided to go for a circular table option and build my stand with the vintage props I use at the parties to give people the feel they were actually at a Crafternoon tea ...lots of tea, cake and crafting materials and inspiration.

I used my old time mannequin (she's from a Laura Ashley window display!) and a vintage box I got for a fiver from a fete to make the height in the middle of the stand. All stands need a sight line and height does catch the eye. Think of a triangle in the middle and put your stall props around it.

We had plenty of spaces between the tables, this is the view from mine. This was great so we weren't too close to our neighbours and people could walk around the stand.

I put out samples of our treats and bakes for visitors to sample and our certificates to say we were the real thing. As a start up, I think it's important to show you have the right experience.

I had as many samples out on display and leaflets to let customers know what we did. I also did a special offer on the day. And as a result we have had a record response to our offer and lots of enquiries into next Easter.

Thank-you to everyone who came along. We celebrate our second birthday in a few weeks so this was hard work  was the icing on the cake, I am over the moon!

I still want to stay small and bespoke so more of the same is coming!


My June Round Up

Wednesday 1 July 2015

June was a month full of vintage events, sunny days and lots of making. It was also a year on from me starting out on my catering journey serving afternoon tea and my blog anniversary too.

My favourite festival Eroica Britannia came back to Derbyshire full of retro fun and so much nostalgia is was crazy to fit it all in one showground. I loved it!

I also hosted a Father's day memory chalk board Crafternoon with a vintage tea.

And finally the Creative And Crafty Blogger Meet was here after six months of prep. I hope everyone who attended loved the day and goodie bags.

I have to say the best bit of the day was meeting all the lovely #ccbloggers again.

I printed this tote shopping bag as a birthday pressie.

And made Father's day cakes for Mr.S just how he likes them. A treat for the fella!

Today's been super hot and hooray for the summer sun...

How was your June?

Samantha x

The First National Upcycling Day

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Do you that today is the very first National Upcycling Day? It's great to see that people around the world are sharing their makes over on social media. So follow along with your DIY makes at #nationalupcyclingday. Don't be shy!

Here are a few of my makes using vintage fabrics. I love the thrill of finding an old button or fabric and giving it a new lease of lift.

These are my favourites -

a crocheted covered button I used on a corsage

Bunny bunting with vintage ribbons from a charity shop find habby box
buttons sewn onto keepsake hearts and little messages typed with a retro typewriter

old fabrics created into fascinators

Nottingham lace applique on little hearts

What is your best DIY upcycling project? Let me know,

Happy Crafting,


You're Invited To A Charity Crafternoon Of Stitching!

Friday 19 June 2015

Are you free next Saturday afternoon, love sewing and live near Derby?  You are...then read on....

You are invited to our second crafternoon of stitching as part of the Inspiring Derby 2015 programme. And it's a free event though booking is essential.

All the materials are supplied and you will be able to stitch a pretty little corsage with the art gallery as our inspiration in the taster session. Also you will hear about the Autumn Crafternoon programme at the Museums ..first! ... .exciting....

We have pretty silks and vintage fabrics to choose from and also a chance to learn about Derby's rich textile past. Places are limited and we have goodie bags for everyone! Hooray! Call 07881 163955 to email me to book a place.

We are raising money for the Colin Bloomfield Melanoma Appeal a skin cancer charity in memory of a local BBC radio presenter, so bring your pennies to donate.

Here are a few of last years makes, excuse the flash

last years theme was Georgian corsages
stitching our Georgian corsages
Happy Stitching!

Fathers Day Man Cupcakes

Monday 15 June 2015


I hope you have had a great start to the week? Yesterday I made man style cupcakes with Little L for Daddy's Father's Day on Sunday. They were so much fun for both of us, she's only three and starting to understand what it all about! I've secretly hid these cakes in the freezer so he doesn't find them and so far Little L hasn't told him too!

 So why a man cupcake? I've been with Mr. S for eight years this Wednesday and I now know pretty much what he doesn't like about cake. 'Minimum or no icing on a cake, crunchy toppings or even better crunchy cake centres, cherries and a little tipple'. Does this sound familiar? It's fair to say that swirly icing with sparkles isn't his thing, it's just too sickly and calorific.  So this is my solution...

Chocolate & Cherry Cupcakes With A Brandy Swirl

Firstly follow the recipe for perfect sponge cakes using three eggs and then add 20 glace cherries halved.

Then three dessert spoons of nutella or chocolate spread, one tablespoon of brandy and stir until it looks like a swirl.

Spoon a dessert spoonful in each case and put into a oven at 180C or similar to your own oven's manual.

After 15 -20 minutes or until a knife comes out from the centre of the cake clean the cakes are ready. Bring them out the oven and place on a cooling rack.

We made 24 cupcakes, 12 muffin size and 12 cupcake size. The photo only has 22 as we tried one of each (well you have to!)

Once cooled, we decorated with honeycomb crunch and little chocolate pieces.

I hope you enjoy making these for the Dad's in your lives as much as we did and they freeze well for a few weeks so if you want to save some for later. I will comment below on his reaction on Sunday.

Thank-you for stopping by! This blog post is linked up on Fizzy Peaches #lifestylelinkup. Why not link one of your posts from this week here to?