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?



A Mid Century Hair Do And Crafternoon in Nottingham

Saturday 13 June 2015

Love Mid Century retro coolness, the 1950's beauty school look (think Grease kitsch) and lots of tea, cake and crafty fun? Oh yeah! This post is about my time hosting a Crafternoon tea party and having a vintage 'do in Nottingham's The Little Vintage Beauty Parlour. 

This is me with a bee-hive half up do that the lovely Miss Whittley-Belle styled for me whilst I drank tea out of a china cup and soaked up the ambiance of the parlour. By the way the 'do was amazing, I had it done at 3pm and by bedtime I had to take it down myself. Incredible! even  my Wedding day hair fell down in less time than this so a big hooray to Mis WB!

the dresses, pink walls and pretty petticoats

From the moment you walk in, it's like walking onto a movie set, a retro reception desk, old fashioned fifties hair dryers and a record player with real records. You kinda leave 2015 at the door and whizz back to 1955.
afternoon tea on a hostess trolley with Babycham glasses

When I was asked  by Lulu B to start Crafternoon Tea Parties in this fabulous space I said yes! This is a snap shot of an afternoon of vintage crafty fun. You can also recreate for your own Crafternoon for a hen party or birthday or baby shower in this light airy space.

A 1950s fascinator made with old fashioned materials
Whether you want a 50's fascinator (pictured above) or a boho flower crown, with the vintage fabrics and haberdashery plus professional crafting advice we can make this happen for you!

the craft table ready to go

We provide the templateS, step by step instructions and craftiness so you can create a bespoke piece.

I bring pretty suitcases of old fabrics and vintage beads, pearls and buttons to choose from. And after three hours of crafting and scrummy afternoon tea the girls made two hand pieces each. The girls told me they hadn't made much crafty before and were so so happy to have made unique pieces. I was really happy too!

And what's more, The Little Vintage Beauty Parlour is based in Hopkinson's Vintage Department Store (yes a department store of vintage!).

And you can shop for old fabrics and sewing collectables in the cool Iris store on the first floor. If you are luck you might find an old sewing machine or a rummage through the baskets of vintage fabric to find a gem. Really worth a trip.

We are really lucky to have a space like this in Nottingham, do you have one in your part of the world? Leave me a comment as it's great to find little gems like this to visit on my next trip away.

Bye for now,


Our Blog Meet Charity Crafternoon At Breadsall Priory

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Last Sunday Creative Bloggers Got Crafty In The Most Enchanting Of Settings...

I hope you are having a lovely sunny week so far. I wanted to drop by to share all my pictures and more after a fab-u-lous Crafternoon Blog Meet on Sunday in the beautiful setting of Breadsall Priory near Derby raising money for the Mollie Makes Crafternoon For Comic Relief.

From the recent edition a boho inspired textile hoop
 This is our third Creative And Crafty Blog Meet (#ccbloggers) I've co-hosted with Kat. Here is my post capturing an incredible day spent eating cake, being pampered, crafting for a good cause and enjoying the ambiance of the oldest Marriott hotel in the world.

On arrival we had drinks served (the ginger beer was my favourite!) with views looking out onto the patio and grounds of the estate. It was a really lovely relaxed setting for everyone to get to know each other in real life.
My view on Sunday morning at the #ccbloggers welcome drinks
Breadsall Priory treated everyone to an afternoon tea of dainty sandwiches, a selection of scones, mini lemon tartlets, delightful little puddings and sweet treats. All baked on the premises so they are as fresh as possible, I loved the attention to detail and variety. Served on Denbyware and traditional afternoon tea stands, the afternoon tea was perfect to set the bloggers up for an afternoon of crafts!

We started the afternoon with local Derbyshire company Weleda  pampering our crafty hands with their organic alternative therapies, natural products and remedies.

Ellie from The Mummy Diaries samples the hand treatments
 Crafty hands get a lot of use and need to be soft so not to snag on fabrics, yarns or papers. Firstly, advisor Annette showed how to dry brush, then bathe your hands in Weleda’s beautiful natural body washes. After rubbing refreshing body oils in citrus and almond into nails and cuticles, the group were ready to craft!

Charlotte from English Girl At Home sampling Weleda's hand treatments
Taking inspiration from the Etsy global party brief of colour, kaleidoscope and paper and using projects from Mollie Makes. The bloggers enjoyed a Crafternoon of making, chatting, swapping blogging tips and listening to fellow creative’s businesses and creative projects.
Crafting in the Morely suite at Breadsall Priory

We crafted with pretty papers from the  Readicut range and learnt how to paper weave! I hadn't even thought about this before the meet and love the effect for cards, scrapbooks and hangings.
paper weaving Readicut's pretty papers
And hoop embroidery art with Korbond's sewing supplies. It was great to see everyone made something different and for some of us it was our first time using hoops to stitch with.

Readicut also provided a goody bag of knitting goodies from the Lily Sugar’n’Cream range and Bernat baby soft yarns. I am really looking forward to working with these to create something for my little Miss Crafternoon. I had a lovely lilac yarn in my bag so I am going to get my knitting pins out this Summer.

Home DIY company Polyvine ( got the group into scumble glazing and paint effect with a demo. I am saving this product to get a retro effect on some wooden letters I've had made for the living room.
We also heard about local creative projects Lunar21 and Inspiring Derby as well as from Alice from Bless You Arts.

The event raised over £100 for charity and I really enjoyed working with all the brands and the venue to make the Crafternoon!  Thank-you to everyone for coming, crafting, eating cake and sharing your passion in craft and creativeness.

Looking forward to the next.

Here is the blog roll from the day ,

Alice Bless You Arts Boutique

If you want to get involved (and we love meeting creative bloggers), follow the group on #ccbloggers over on twitter. Or if you are a Midlands creative and love sewing join Charlotte for her #sewbrum meet on Saturday 31st October.

I'm off to get crafty!

Samantha x

Styling The Seasons May, May May!

Monday 1 June 2015

Well hello June and goodbye to May.

I couldn't leave May without a 'Styling The Season's'  post featuring new vintage china treasure I bought last week.  I took these pictures last Wednesday morning with the sun shining through the window's and I couldn't help thinking Summer might just be around the corner. And today's it's raining, the first day of Summer, so I am praying for sunny days now!

pretty china
I was lucky to find these pretty cups in a charity shop. I was walking past and spotted them through the window. It does happen from time to time and it's a lovely surprise. As my tea party side of my business is growing, I am now getting the odd chip and crack in my collection, so I need to update and replace from time to time.

 Each tea cup has seasonal flowers beautifully painting inside and outside of the cup and the month inscribed inside in pretty. I also found some beautiful matching tea cups with 'Mother' inscribed on them too.

One for Mothers at my tea parties
I picked these white daisies and beautiful cornflowers from my garden. These are the first bunch of garden flowers for 2015 and I love them. As I write tonight, the flowers are still in the vase on the kitchen table.
The first  2015 blooms

 I love the freshly picked garden flowers, the old fashioned cross stitch picture and the floral colour of the old fashioned china.
Plates and teacups in the May sun

Hopefully Summer days will be here soon, but in the meantime we can drink tea and brighten up our home with floral china cups.

Take Care,

Samantha x