A Little Bit Of Weleda Mindfulness At Christmas *

Wednesday 14 December 2016
Today is the 14th December, so ten whole days before Santa (the big man) arrives. I have the most excited five year to put to sleep every night and like most families things are crazy!
So, I was delighted when Weleda asked me to sample their new Mindfulness Colouring Book and Bath Set. I was over the moon to be invited me along to their Derbyshire offices to meet Lizzie Hobbs the artist and have a moment out of everyday life to colour in, drink herbal tea and relax.
time out at Weleda
meeting Lizzie
After feeling totally energised by my morning colouring in, I realised that this would be something we could do at home as a Mummy and Daughter activity before bedtime. Colour in, chat about our day and then have bath time with the pack's body washes. Now Little L is at school, I'm looking for activities to do together that she is not tired out to do.
oooh pencils
So for the last month, we have been working through the colouring book then matching bathtime with the body wash relating to the picture. I have to say this pack is a perfect dual present for a little girl and her Mummy. It's time out together to make, create, chat and learn about flowers.
Here is our Turkish Rose page, we coloured in together and enjoyed a little bit of mindfulness in the run up to Christmas.  I would also take this pack away on holiday, so if you know someone travelling over Christmas and New Year, this is a perfect little £17.95 gift.
Mummy time as well...
After school colouring in
And we are still using the pencils

I want to thank the lovely people at Weleda who gifted me the pack and invited me the launch morning. We have loved the pack so much.
The gift pack includes a beautiful designed colouring book by a talented local artist Lizzie Hobbs and four treat sized body washes including my favourite Wild Rose.
If you can't wait until Christmas you can always buy your own here .
Happy Crafting,
* This is a sponsored post

Apple Spiced Meringue Pie

Friday 4 November 2016

One of things I love to do is create my own recipes. I love lemon meringue pie but with a load of apples in the garden, I tried something new and it works and I'm really happy to share. It was very good and very easy. Every apple is different so if you need to play around with the cornflower/starch in the recipe please do so and it needs be thick so it will set.

Apples and spice are beautiful together and I've put these over a ginger biscuit base. Oh and I've cheated and ginger nuts are shop bought.

Serves 4

You will need-
Half a pack of ginger biscuits
4 oz butter
2 apples stewed in 1 tsp of mixed spice and 1 tsp of cinnamon
2 egg whites
1 cup of sugar for the topping
1/2 cup of sugar for the apples
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of cornflower /starch


  1. Smash up the biscuits in a freezer bag with a rolling pin. if it's been a bad day you will feel better after this!
  2. Melt the butter and add to the smashed up biscuits to it and press the contents into a 6" flan dish. Pop in the freezer whilst you prep the filling
  3. For the filling, heat the stewed apple and combine the water and cornflower to make a paste. When the apple juices have reach bubbling temperature / boiled up, then add the cornflower and stir like crazy until it make a thick paste. Spoon over the ginger nut base. Don't worry if you are new to this, if it goes lump, pop it through a sieve. 
  4. Whip the egg white until they form soft peeks, add the sugar and spoon on top of the apple spice mixture. A sprinkle of cinnamon looks good on the top.

Bake for 20 minutes at 180C or similar.


Enjoy this November with a warm tea,

Happy Crafting,

Samantha x

Party Dress! Butterick 3493 #vintagepledge

Thursday 13 October 2016

I want to share with you a #vintagepledge shift dress I made for my birthday party two weeks ago. The dress was a last minute make as I picked up the fabric the week before my birthday and thought I should make a new party dress as the fabric was so gorgeous!
 The fabric was from My Fabric Place who have a great selection of fabrics online and in their Nottingham shop. I popped in as the shop is now opposite the new tram stop and within ten minutes I walked out with a bag of fabric for £6. My dress which is made of a double layer of crepe with a gold knitted top layer actually cost me £3. I cannot honestly believe it that in 2016 I can make a dress for £3! True vintage prices!
The pattern is a very faithful Butterick 3493 which is sadly out of print buy available on Etsy and Ebay. Both the shift (no bust darts and no zip) plus the strappy dress (with bust darts and zip) have been sewn time and time again by me since the 90s!

I cut the dress out first with a layer of pink crepe but it needed two to make it less sheer and more floatly. I stitched up both layers of crepe first and then the knitted layer as a separate garment and securing at the back seam and shoulders. Once I'd made it, I shared this photo over on Instagram .

Here are a few photos of my party dress with a 60s/90s vibe.


shoulder detail with the three layers attached together

nearly matching the gold circles at the seams

I love the way it whooshes with the three fine layers

I finished the dress just above the knee with the crepe as one hem (hand hemmed) and the knitted hem as a machined hem to get a tidy non-frayed finished.

You can explore more #vintagepledge sews over on Pinterest

Happy Crafting,

Samantha x

Embracing New - Life Update

Monday 19 September 2016


Well after a Summer of crazy and happy times, last week my little one started school. It's been five years to the week since I went on maternity leave and five years of being there for my little girl. No regrets, it's been the best time and looking back I won't have changed it for anything. I can't have those days back so we've embraced the moments. Then suddenly she's off onto new adventures.

Over the last week, I have been starting to sort through and work on some much needed home projects whilst we adapt to our new routine. It's taken my mind of the change. My unloved looking house is slowly becoming a loved tidy family home but it's empty of childhood laughter in the days. I think taking on this next challenge in Motherhood, the transition to school is huge, but needs to be embraced. Therefore, each day I'm taking on a little mini challenge to move forward with our home; paint a door, clean out a cupboard, new pictures of the wall....

I've also got so used to working unsocial hours, it will take some time for me to get used to being sat at my desk at 1.38pm on a Monday. But this time will give us more family time back and I now have more time in the day to spend on creativity; my (unloved) blog and Crafternoon Tea workshops which I love hosting. I'm currently downloading a Summer's worth of pictures of projects and Crafternoon Teas ready to share.

I recently read this blog post from Emily Quinton which echoes my thoughts about change. I have a list of projects so long and lots of exciting crafts to share both here and at my workshops. I hope that this is a new exciting chapter in our lives and although it's going to take a while to adjust; the work and life balance we will get right for us all.


Samantha x


Simplicity Sewing Challenge - Reviewing Toddler Dress 1206

Tuesday 30 August 2016


Today has been a very sunny, beautiful August day. The perfect day for my little lady to wear her new Simplicity dress I stitched up for her in this strawberry printed fabric. Now four, she loves that 'Mummy made me a dress', and has been my creative director through the project. In this post I'm talking about how myself and Little L (my daughter) made this oh so pretty dress.

Back in July I was sent this pattern to make as part of the Simplicity Blogging Challenge. I entered under Children's Wear as I loved the little girl's dress on the right and had a stash of cotton fabrics awaiting the perfect pattern. I've been sewing Simplicity patterns since I was a teenager (about 20 years) and love the easy to follow patterns and they go together like a dream.

Sewing for a slim four year old isn't easy, so I thought that the swing dress would be easier to fit and sit well on the yoke and on her shoulders.

We decided on view A, the sleeveless version so we could put a t-shirt under it on cooler days and decided to cut the skirt frill half the size so the dress wasn't too long.  I wanted to make it smaller under the arms than the pattern but she liked it's swing coolness which was great for today. I made the bow but Little L didn't want to add it to the design. We may make it into a hair slide for the dresses next outing!

I also added poppers down the back and created a false placket out of bias instead of a back zip fastening. The zip isn't too comfortable again her spine in a car seat. I try to avoid zips on the back of dresses for her.

The dress fitted really well on her shoulders with the yoke. It was really straight forward to stitch and no unpicking! I was worried about pulling the threads on the print if I had to. I hand finished the dress with a slip stitched hem. I love the finish you get from a good hem.

The instructions for the yoke were really clear, I've added a photo below. I liked the idea of biasing around the arm hole instead of faffing with a facing. It gave a really clean finish.

We loved the neckline as it's really delicate with a neat arm seam finish.

Here are a few snaps of Little L having fun in her new dress...

Thank-you to Simplicity, I really love the pattern and we will be making it again.

Happy Crafting,

Samantha x

The pattern for this project was gifted but all views are my own.

Sew A Wooden Handle Bag

Sunday 24 July 2016


After a super hot July week, I'm popping by to share my tutorial on how to sew a wooden handled bag. Perfect for lazy days out this Summer.

The tutorial featured on Made By Mrs M's blog last week. You can read more here . Thank-you Kate for inviting me to share my love of vintage inspired accessories!

I love all the beautiful fabric's Kate has created using mid-century as a design source and including iconic modern London buildings. As an ex-Londoner, I love her prints, they remind me of the fabulous architecture London as to offer.

I designed this bag to be sewn up in any of Kate's lovely retro fabrics. The pattern is one you can self draft yourself using the step by step photo's on Kate's blog

Read more about how Kate and her passion for creating fabric.

I've said to Kate, once I get my mid-century house, I'm going to fill it with her prints! Kate - hold me to that! Thanks again.

Have a great week,

Samantha xoxo

Craft The Wedding You Want..Going Back To Our Wedding Venue Six Years On...

Friday 8 July 2016


..because beautiful, unique venues do exist. 

We created our perfect Wedding day

Today, I'm writing about our Wedding day and how I visited our Wedding venue, Masa At The Old Chapel, Derby to revisit one of the happiest days of our lives. I want to show that you can be a DIY bride and your Wedding venue will be happy to help as little or as much as you want.  

When we walked through the doors of The Old Chapel back in 2009, we felt that we had found the place to hold our Wedding reception. That was it, after six months of looking. It was unique and different from the other Weddings venues we'd seen and this one let you do it your way. 

It was a total breath of fresh air for a bride-to-be with visions of a creative DIY Wedding. I was amazed when we saw the packages that we could just book the venue to host the Wedding breakfast, we could style it ourselves and create what we wanted.

Masa At The Old Chapel is very light and airy, with space for up to 80 guests in the old gallery on the first floor with a reception area/dance floor and bar area downstairs. The venue is licensed for ceremonies too but we wanted to host our party here and bused in our guests on 1960s buses to add to the old fashioned feel.

We went for a colour scheme of duck egg blue, gold and cream and used pretty voiles to wrap around the posts in the reception/dance floor area. Our amazing photographer took this fish bowl lense photo just before our guest arrived!

We filled the windows with vintage glass jars and bottles filled with fresh flowers and the venue were happy to let us in the morning to style as we wanted. I had about six friends helping me put decorations on the tables, wind fabric around posts and fill the windows with prettiness.

Fast forward six years and here I am again and this time it's for their Wedding Fair. The lovely team showed me that again you can do as little or as much as you want for your celebration. Here is my tour and the inspiration I took away from the day (and the memories!) Maybe we can throw a big party here for our tenth anniversary?

The beautiful pillars wrapped in silk fabrics

Pretty little details by Dylandco

Hydrangea Blooms at the front door from River Bank Floristry

Cream roses giving a rustic feel on the front ceremony table

And ivy draped over the linens.

I loved this huge bouquet bloom. I used mine to double up as centre pieces and bouquets.

The large windows are just waiting to be dressed!

The view from the top table.

The guests dinner view.

Cute lit up letters from Spirit High.

Cosy styling from Dylandco again.

My tips for DIY Brides -
Do expect to be at the venue on the morning of your big day
Ask your friends to help on the day
Get some high quality hand cream, you will be using your hands a lot
Don't go to too many Wedding fairs, know your own mind and style
Set up a Pinterest board and show to all your suppliers
Be prepared to have boxes of props to sort out after your honeymoon!

Thank-you to Masa At The Old Chapel for having back to babble on about how much I loved our Wedding day!

I'll be back to sample the Taste Of Masa Night in the near future.



All views my own. Our Wedding photos courtesy of www.ezekieltaylor.co.uk