Monday 29 December 2014

What I'm Loving: December 2014

Dec 2014 IG
Photos from my Instagram account

I hope you've all had a lovely week surrounded by friends and family, regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not. It's come to that time again where I share my favourites from the past month, but this one's special - it's the last one of 2014! I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions, but at this time of year I can't help but think about the year ahead. Hopefully 2015 treats you all good too!

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Knitting Pattern: Arachne Cabled Fingerless Gloves

Knitting Pattern: Cabled Fingerless Gloves

Okay, confession time - in my three to four years of knitting, I've only ever knit cables once. It was in my early days of knitting, and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed it (I still wear my finished cable beanie), at the time I didn't like the fact that I didn't really fully understand the mechanics behind it. I suppose I'm finickity like that. But I've recently had the desire to become reacquainted with cables for some reason, and I've been loving it. The chunkiness means that they work up really quickly, and once you know the pattern, you get into a rhythm.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Mid-Week Treat: Stocking Filler Special

Although it sometimes can get a little stressful, I absolutely love shopping for Christmas presents - it really gets me in the festive spirit. My favourite part of Christmas shopping has to be stocking fillers; I usually buy people one main present and add in a few mini extras. There's no rule when it comes to stocking fillers, except they have to be fun, and not too expensive. Which is where this guide to stocking fillers comes in - in true Mid-Week Treat style, everything here costs under £5! Purses at the ready, let's go Christmas shopping...

Tuesday 16 December 2014

3 Ways to Wrap and Package Handmade Gifts

If you've got any handmaking of gifts to do, hopefully you're well on your way. I've still got a couple I need to finish off, but fingers crossed, it should be all under control. One thing I always find tricky about giving handmade gifts, is knowing how to package and wrap them. Shop bought items only require wrapping paper at the most (hurrah for in store gift wrapping services!), so when faced with something you've created yourself, packaging can be puzzling to say the least. Today I'm sharing three different ways I wrap or package handmade gifts, to hopefully give you some inspiration.

Monday 8 December 2014

How to: Cut Out Jeans

Cut Out Knee Jeans Tutorial
Hello, cold knees!
At the moment, it seems that any crafting time I have is being taken up with a certain project involving crochet flowers. It was therefore very nice to become reacquainted with the sewing machine this week, as I ticked off a project I've been meaning to complete for a while now - a pair of cut out jeans. I'm glad I got around to making these now, as I don't think my knees would be able to survive any cooler temperatures!

Read on for the instructions...

Sunday 30 November 2014

What I'm Loving: November 2014

What I'm Loving: November 2014
Photos from my Instagram
November has sped by at an alarming rate, and I'm ashamed to say that I've only just started to think about Christmas! I've been using the dark evenings as an excuse to start new boxsets, drink copious amounts of nutella hot chocolate, and prepare for new craft projects. Most of these being based around the winter ahead, but any excuse for anything jumper related is good for me!

Friday 21 November 2014

5 of the Best DIY Gift Ideas

Whilst in my mind Christmas seems like a looong way off yet, it's getting close to the time where if  I want to make any presents myself, I need to start. I'm not sure yet if I'll find the time to do it, but I'm hoping to make a couple of things. If you're in the same situation as I am, then I'm hoping to inspire you with this little gift guide I've put together, gathering some of my favourite gift ideas from all over the interwebs. Oh, and all items here are perfect for birthdays too, so if you know someone with a winter birthday, here are some ideas to treat them to...

Friday 14 November 2014

Upcycled: A Shrunken Scarf to Messenger Bag

Upcycle Scarf to Bag

Okay, okay. So here I am talking about scarves again. In my defence though, it is winter, and there is nothing better than wrapping oneself up in a scarf on a cold, gloomy morning. I bought this new to me scarf recently (I love me a check pattern), a little doubtful as to how I would wear it as the previous owner had seriously shrank it in the wash. Never one to shy away from a little work, I bought it anyway and knew I would use it somehow...

Friday 7 November 2014

Caring for a Vintage Wardrobe

It's no secret that I am a big fan of second hand shopping, particularly when it comes to buying vintage. However, to put things bluntly, 'vintage' clothes are basically old clothes, and no matter how well made they are or when they date from, it's important to remember that these are clothes that have been pre-loved. They have had a life of wear before finding their way to a new owner, and this can lead to them being more fragile and worn than brand new pieces. I like to look after my vintage pieces in different ways to my brand new items, and here's how I like to do it.

Friday 31 October 2014

What I'm Loving: October 2014

Photos from my Instagram profile
Let's just take a ten minute break from carving pumpkins, applying spooky make up, watching scary movies, having a quiet evening in, or whatever else it is you're doing this Halloween night, and let me tell you about everything October.

Monday 27 October 2014

What I Have Sewn: The Mix and Match Sweatshirt

SIY Fluffy Denim Sweatshirt

It feels like quite an accomplish to finally tick something off my winter projects list. I mentioned this jumper/sweatshirt briefly in my post on projects in planning, but if you've missed that, let me bring you up to speed...

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Mid Week Treat: The Essential £1 Eyeshadow

The £1 Must Have Eyeshadow

Let me tell you a little secret - I am 21 years old, and the thought of using eyeshadow terrifies me. For good reason too: in my early teens I had quite the collection of eyeshadows, and if I remember rightly, my absolute favourite was a pastel green one. Why my mother ever let me leave the house wearing it is beyond me. Good taste somewhere intervened along the way, and now I generally stay clear of eyeshadow altogether. Recently though, I've been wanting to add more makeup looks into my arsenal, and I decided I would try to conquer my fear of eyeshadow.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Thrifty Finds - No 5

Autumn Dress and Old Records

My second hand shopping hoard this time around is a very eclectic mix, but that's the beauty (and frustration!) of second hand shopping; you never quite know exactly what you are going to come across. These are some of my best buys from the past few weeks...

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Projects in Planning #1

October Planning Projects

The weather has dramatically changed, and all thoughts of whipping up a matching top and shorts set have been firmly replaced with an urgent need for knitwear and warmth. There are a few items I'd like to make in the coming months, and so let me introduce a new feature over here on Awake + Make where I talk about ideas and plans for upcoming projects. Because sometimes it's not all about the end result.

Friday 3 October 2014

How to: Make a Fake Shirt Collar

Fake Shirt Collar DIY

When it comes to layering, I know absolutely nothing. Nothing that is, except that I like to wear a collar whenever possible (so 2012, I know). As much as I love a good shirt, there are some occasions when I don't really want to wear a whole shirt underneath a jumper/top/dress, especially when it's still a little too warm to go into full layering. Which is where this DIY comes in - the illusion of a collar without the sleeves, bulk, and extra warmth.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Mid-Week Treat: Stationary Special

Cute Stationary under £5

If there's one thing that makes me feel instantly more organised, it's buying some fresh new stationary. Even in this day and age, I much prefer physically writing notes over typing in something on my phone. As it's the time of year when a lot of people are starting a new year of education (including myself), I thought I'd compile a quick guide to some of the best supplies you can get on a budget. In true Mid Week Treat style, all products featuring here cost under £5, so even if you're not starting a new year of school, you can join in on the stationary party completely guilt free.

Monday 29 September 2014

What I'm Loving: September 2014

Instagram Collage
Pictures from my Instagram account
September always rolls around and makes me think of new beginnings - probably a remainder from my school days, even though it's been a good few years since I had to prepare myself for a new school year. That's all about to change though, as in a week's time I will be starting to work my way towards getting a degree (which I am really, really excited about). Don't worry though, I'll still be regularly posting here, and I've got some posts coming up which I am super excited for! Before I get ahead of myself though, here are my favourite things from September...

Friday 26 September 2014

How to: Make a Leather Charm Bracelet

DIY Leather Cord Charm Bracelet

If there is one piece of jewellery that has stood the test of time, and will continue to do so, it has to be the charm bracelet. A truly timeless classic, wearing charms can be dated back to the early days of mankind (see, this blog is educational too!), but the charm bracelet as we know it today emerged in the reign of Queen Victoria. Well, if it's good enough for her...

Sunday 21 September 2014

Stuck in a Creative Rut

How to get out of a Creative Rut

It happens to the best of us, regardless of what it is you do for a living, or what it is you do as a hobby. At the moment, I feel like I am well and truly stuck in a rut. For approximately the past week, I have been left feeling rather uninspired when it comes to a lot of projects - those I've got planned, and those I'm halfway through. Although it inevitably happens to all of us at one time or another, I am determined to get over this bump as soon as possible, and am going to be trying a few things to help me snap out of it...

Thursday 18 September 2014

How to: Biscuit Motif Sweatshirt

DIY Biscuit Jumper

I like biscuits and I cannot lie. Sorry if you now have that song in your head. If you're a long term reader, you'll probably know of my love of the tea break staple (you can even see my all time favourite, custard creams, in my blog background). It was only a matter of time before they made their way into my wardrobe, and now seems the perfect time to introduce a new jumper into my wardrobe, ready for the cooler weather.

Saturday 13 September 2014

Wearing: Burda Square Neck 111

WIWT Burda Square Neck 111

Let's talk about my latest project. I'm pretty sure if I was on Sewing Bee, that this top would see me immediately disqualified from the competition. The fabric is facing the wrong way up, I had a complete disregard for pattern matching, and it's rather obvious that my pattern isn't central either. Oops... But if the amount of wear I've got out of this top since making it is anything to go by, it is a anything but a failure.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Mid-Week Treat: Wisdom Tooth Necklace for £2

Ebay Wisdom Tooth Necklace

"Enchantment means to want something, and also to know, somewhere inside yourself, not an obvious place, that you aren't going to get it." Does this strike true with you? This quote from author Rachel Kushner certainly strikes true with me, for a lot of things. I am rather enchanted with the idea of moving to Paris, and opening up my own little knick knack shop. Will it ever happen? Probably not. However, for me, this quote resonates strongly with my shopping wish list - namely things which seem even more desirable because I know I will probably never own them.

Monday 8 September 2014

Dressmaking: 10 Rules I Should Be Following

dressmaking rules

Dressmaking is still one big learning curve for me. Whilst I really enjoy the process of sewing, it still feels sometimes like I'm a long way off reaching the level of confidence I have with knitting and crochet. But it's something I'm determined to crack, and the more I sew, the more my confidence grows. I'm in the middle of a project at the moment, which has had me thinking about the rules I should be following when I'm dressmaking. These are things I know I should be following, but sometimes forget or try to skip in order to save time. Yet every time I break one of these rules, I kick myself afterwards for not learning my lesson. Here are the dressmaking rules I hope to stick to in the future...

Friday 5 September 2014

Turning a Purse into a Handbag

It's been a while since I posted a good ol' DIY post here, and whilst this is hardly a full blown DIY post, I thought I'd share it here anyway, mainly because it's such a cute little project (which only takes 10 minutes!!!). Mini-bags were all over the catwalk in the past few months, and this is a great way of creating your own. All you need is a purse, and a spare belt that you no longer need...

Wednesday 3 September 2014

A Weekend in Anglesey

Church Bay Anglesey

Last weekend saw our second visit to Anglesey this year, and it's one of those places that never loses it's magic. I took about 2753734 photos, ate copious amount of bara brith, and just generally enjoyed the relaxed vibe of the beautiful island. I'm sharing some of the highlights here, and I'm already getting wanderlust for Anglesey all over again...

Sunday 31 August 2014

What I'm Loving: August 2014

Country walks

The end of August usually signifies the end of summer, even for those of us who aren't really affected by the whole "back to school" vibe in the air. This year is no different, although I have to say I'm actually really looking forward to Autumn - jumpers, layering, and exciting new ventures. Here's what I've been up to in August...

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Thrifty Finds - No 4

Brogues, Satchel, Encyclopaedia

If my recent haul of clothes/books/homeware (mostly books) is anything to go by, I've obviously spent a lot of time shopping in the past few weeks. What you're seeing here, is truly the crème de la crème of my recent buys, because there was a lot for me to choose from. Although I love all of my recent buys so much, I would quite happily post them all here!

Sunday 24 August 2014

Liebster Award Nomination

Liebster Award

So, this week, the lovely Jill from Owlish Dreams (go and check out her amazing blog) nominated me for the Liebster Award. If you haven't heard of it before (where have you been?), here's the deal: The Liebster Award is aimed at spreading the news about up and coming bloggers, and gives recognition to newer blogs. Along the way, nominees have to share a few facts about themselves, as well as answer a few questions. So, here we go!

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Mid-Week Treat: Barry M's Matte Topcoat

Barry M Matte Nails

I'm probably behind the times here, but in my opinion, nail varnish should be high-shine. Nothing says polished like a glossy nail colour. However, when matte-finish nails emerged onto the nail scene some time last year, I was intrigued to say the least. I quite liked the idea of a matte topcoat that could be used to give a matte option to my (vastly oversized) nail varnish collection. At that time, the only matte topcoats available were more pricey ones, and I wasn't sure that I wanted to invest in a product that I might not even use very often. So, I waited, and sure enough, Barry M recently delivered a Matte Topcoat. Better late than never, I decided to try out the £2.99 budget offering.

Monday 18 August 2014

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Custard Creams

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Custard Creams

I wish I could come up with a snappier name for these biscuits, but when it comes to describing them, nothing quite says it like 'lemon drizzle custard creams'. Custard Creams are my all time favourite biscuit, and here I've added a twist to the British icon. The surprise is the lemon drizzle flavoured butter cream which sandwiches two biscuits together. Perfect for a mid-afternoon snack.

Friday 15 August 2014

1st Blogiversary Giveaway

Blogiversary Giveaway

As promised earlier this week, here is a giveaway to celebrate Awake + Make turning one! I've had a lot of fun putting this selection of goodies together, and hope you guys like it as much as I do. For more details on the prizes, and the all important entry detail, read on...

Wednesday 13 August 2014

What I've Learnt from One Year of Blogging

Today marks exactly one year since I started writing here at Awake + Make. The time has just flown, and although it barely feels like I've been blogging for a year, now I cannot imagine not blogging. So, put on a party hat and help yourself to a slice of birthday cake, because today I am celebrating one year of Awake and Make!

Monday 11 August 2014

Recipe: Earl Grey Squirrel Biscuits

Recipe: Earl Grey Squirrel Biscuits

A lot of the time, when I'm cooking, I like to combine two things I love into one end result. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but it's fun experimenting all the same. That's how these Earl Grey Biscuits came about - trying to combine biscuits with the flavour of my favourite blend of tea. It actually worked a lot better than I expected, as the Earl Grey flavour was distinctive, but without being too overpowering. I bought the squirrel biscuit cutter on a whim, and used it here purely for the pun on grey squirrel. Because if there's anything I love just as much as baking, it's a pun.

Sunday 10 August 2014

My Crafting Stash

Clip On Earrings Stash

Roll up, roll up! You are cordially invited to a whistle stop tour of my crafting stash. I like clearing out my crafting stash on a regular basis, where I get rid of anything that isn't being used, or anything that I cannot see myself using. During my most recent clear out, I took some photos of some parts of my stash, just for you guys to have a nose around. Because everyone loves a nose through someone else's cupboards, amirite?

Friday 8 August 2014

Craft Books I Love: Chloe Tells You How To Sew

Being a serial bookworm, it was a tough decision to make, but I have decided that if I could live inside a book, I would like it to be Chloe Tells You How To Sew, by Chloe Owens, please. Don't pretend you've never thought about it either (we all have). Sure, it was a difficult decision to make between some of my all time favourite books, fiction and non-fiction, but quite simply, none of them are as stunningly beautiful as this book.

Monday 4 August 2014

How to: Sew a Wire Headband

DIY Sew Wire Headband

As you might have guessed, I'm still trying to find ways to use up my stash of fabric remnants. It's pretty hard to come up with ways to use oddly shaped remnants - especially those really long, thin pieces that you end up with at the end of pretty much every sewing project. Yet, when it's a fabric I love, I'll still find myself holding onto any remnant, no matter how big or small. This is a great stash buster for long, thin remnants, and is also super fun to wear!

Friday 1 August 2014

What I'm Loving: July 2014

July 2014 Favourites

Well folks, we're officially over halfway through another year, which is super scary to say the least. But also really exciting, because I'm (hopefully) starting a few new things later on in the year. Before I get ahead of myself though, let me talk you through all things July...

Wednesday 30 July 2014

New Blog Design

Awake + Make Blog Design

You may or may not have noticed my week long hiatus from blog-land (sorry!), but it's because I've been working on something very exciting - redesigning Awake + Make! It's something that I've been meaning to do for a while now, and I've only just mustered up the courage to face coding. So, let me talk you through the new design...

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Mid-Week Treat: Clinique Chubby Stick Dupe for £1!

Clinique Chubby Stick Dupe

Have you heard that you can get a free Clinique Chubby Stick with this month's edition of Glamour Magazine? Well, it appears that the whole World and his dog also knows, and I failed to find an edition that came with a Chubby Stick. Sadface. Actually, this did me a favour, as I was in need of a new mascara, and simply picked up an issue with the free mascara (which I cannot rate enough, by the way). Just me who finds mascara shopping boring? I still felt cheated out of a Clinique Chubby Stick however, but when I found these look-a-likes in Poundland, I thought I'd give them a try.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

How to: Turn an Unwanted Tapestry into a Cushion

DIY Embroidered Pom Pom Cushion

One thing I'm really loving at the moment is embroidery - especially vintage style pieces that positively scream kitsch. However, when it comes to embroidering something, I am a right lazy so and so - it takes a long period of time, is very repetitive, and is not particularly something I enjoy in large doses. Is anyone else the same? My antidote for this is buying other people's embroidery cast offs, which I can then use in my own way, even pretending that I did the embroidery myself (I am just so talented, you guys). This cushion is one way I've been using up my collection of embroidered fabric.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Fashion, Fur, and Fairtrade

Fashion, Fur, and Fairtrade

If you're a regular reader, you'll know that I don't really do 'serious' posts over here on Awake + Make. It's normally a case of gushing about a nice dress I've thrifted, or talking about my latest DIY project, having a light-hearted chat, and sharing the photographs. However, something happened this week which caused me to re-evaluate my consumer choices, whether I'm buying something new, second hand, or even purchasing supplies to create my own clothes.

Friday 18 July 2014

Tapering a Pair of Trousers

DIY Tapered Trousers

Get out the violins - I'm about to tell you a sad, tragic story that features a certain pair of Topshop trousers. I loved them - they were a light, cool, grey linen, tapered at the ankles, and had a paper-bag, pleated waist. They were simply my favourite pair of summer trousers, and I wore them bazillions of time. In fact, I wore them so often that eventually, they broke beyond repair. Insert your choice of heart-broken emoji here.

 At the time, I didn't realise how hard they would be to replace - I specifically wanted a light grey linen pair (hard to find, it seems), that were carrot shaped, and could be rolled up to ankle length (I love me some ankle grazing trousers). Fast forward a year, and I've only just got around to replacing them, however it wasn't quite so straightforward - I ended up buying a pair of straight leg trousers (which were perfect in every other way apart from the fit), and tapering them in. Here's how I did it...

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Nail It: Pressed Flower Manicure

Pressed Flower Nail Art Manicure

I might not have spoken about it lately here, but I'm still into pressing flowers in a big way. It's the laziest form of crafting ever - pick some flowers, shut them in a book, and rediscover them a few weeks later. No effort whatsoever. And the end result is always pretty spectacular. However, besides from sticking them onto a piece of paper, it's tricky to find other uses for them. So, I've started to think outside of the box, which is where this pressed flower manicure comes in...

Monday 14 July 2014

What I'm Wearing: Stripes + Bikes

Striped Jumper Bike Brooch

Stripes are such a wardrobe classic, that you can hardly ever go wrong with them. However, stripes are something I've only recently let into my wardrobe, mainly because I used to be more of a spot person. I am slowly building up a collection of stripes though, simply because they are so easy to wear, and look great for any occasion. Here's how I am wearing stripes at the moment...

Friday 11 July 2014

Thrifty Finds - No. 3

Thrifty Jumper Loafers Books

This time of the year is the time when I'm most likely to make dubious buying decisions. I like to call it 'Summer Shopping Fever' - maybe the sun gets to me, or I get caught up in the holiday spirit, but I definitely buy things that I will not use (mainly crazy clothes). It has not happened yet this year, so hopefully I've learnt from my Summer shopping mistakes. So, this is what I've been buying, instead of buying a ridiculous pair of flatforms.

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Nail It: Easy Gold French Tips

Gold Tipped French Manicure Nail Art Tutorial

Metallic French - tipped nails have been all over the catwalks recently, and it's a look that I really like. More elegant than an all over metallic, and more edgy than a traditional French manicure, it surely has to be the nail art of the moment. Of course, the main problem with this look, is that it feels out of reach for the less steady handed amongst us (including me). But never fear, I have been desperately trying to come up with an easy way to achieve steady(ish) French tips, and I may just have found the answer...

Sunday 6 July 2014

How to: Sew a Zip Up Bag

Zip Up Bag Tutorial

I am a fabric hoarder through and through, and my main problem is that I have tiny, tiny remnants of lovely fabric that I struggle to use. Whether they are pieces left over from another project, or a whole bag of remnants found in the bargain bin of my local fabric shop, I simply cannot let them go. I am trying to find ways of using some of my favourite remnants, and here is one I recently came up with - making a zip up bag.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Craft Books I Love: Material World by Perri Lewis

Material World by Perri Lewis

When it comes to crafting, I consider myself a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. I know a lot of people have one true craft that they will always go back to, which is great, but just isn't for me. I like the challenge of learning new things, and love how each craft is unique and offers different possibilities. So for me, Material World by Perri Lewis is a joy to behold. I have been eyeing this book up in Waterstones for the past few months, so when my local library finally stocked a copy, I had the chance to read it in the comfort of my own home. Although, in all seriousness, if I spend any more time in a Waterstones cafe, it might well become my second home.

Monday 30 June 2014

What I'm Loving - June 2014

June 2014

I always find June to be quite an exciting month, because to me it definitely feels like the first month of summer. This year is no different, and I'm already planning and anticipating lazy summer days ahead. I always notice that in the summer months, my crafting habits change and I tend to lay off anything involving wool. Maybe now would be the best time to start knitting, in order to finish for winter, but at the moment, my brain is just too preoccupied with florals and sandals to even think that far ahead.

Sunday 29 June 2014

Nail It: Pastel Checks

Nail Art Pastel Checks

At the moment, I am loving checks on absolutely everything, so it was only a matter of time before they appeared on my nails. Instead of using a dark base, I used a pastel base to make them more summery (and because I am just obsessed with pastels at the moment). If you want to try them out yourself (and probably do a neater job than I have!), read on for instructions.