Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Well the festivities have got the better of me! What with buying and wrapping presents, working ridiculous hours in the run up to Christmas and frantically packing to come back home for a few days I have really neglected the old blog :(

Hopefully however from next week things should be back on track!

So all I would like to say is Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and and great New Year!

I will leave you with a lovely little video - I know puppies aren't just for Christmas but aaaaaawwwww!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feel Unique Beauty Box December 2011

I received my second Feel Unique Beauty Box today and thought I would do a review post on it as I am really happy with the box! I was hoping the box would be great as it is the Christmas box and all in all I am really pleased. It is such great value for money and I think I will get use out of all the products included.

Firstly like always it comes in the cute little drawer box which I can't wait to stack up to store all my beauty bits. This box was focusing on finishing touches and although I was hoping for a bit of glitter and sparkle it is definitely full to the brim of great products.

1. Clarisonic Gentle Hydro Cleanser - 30ml - approx £3.50
Strangely I was looking at the Clarisonic Cleansing Brushes this morning before the box came through I was really intrigued. I don't normally suffer with bad skin but since working in London every day I have found that I have more break outs and uneven skin tone. I am hoping that even without the brush this cleanser will still help rid my skin of impurities. Luckily it is suitable for sensitive skin too which is great for me as this time of year I get really dry and sore patches on my cheeks and nose :(

2. Figs & Rouge Sweet Geranium Balm - 8ml Full Size - £3.49
I love a good lip balm and at the moment I have 4 different ones in my handbag! This one is 100% organic and has a lovely delicate fragrance of geranium which isn't too floral. The texture is very soft and soothing and was absorbed quickly without feeling sticky. The balm can also be used on face and body so I will definitely be trying it out on any dry patches.

3. Nails Inc. Polish Oxford Circus - 4ml - approx £4.40
I love anything diddy and this polish is no exception. I like Nails Inc. polishes and I think the pastel candy pink colour would look great in a cupcake nail art design or with a matte topcoat. It is a nice little addition to the box.

4. Tigi Bed Head Sugar Dust - 1g Full Size - £9.35
I was a little disappointed at first as there was a very similar Schwarzkopf product in the November box but since I am constantly battling with lack of texture and lift in my hair I am quite pleased to get another product to try. Once again it is a full size product which is great!

5. Annick Goutal Mandragore Eau de Toilette - 25ml - £21.67
I am always a little wary with perfume samples as I don't really wear it. I love that this one by Annick Goutal is 25ml - which is half the size of the full size bottle. The bottle itself is a simple rectangular design in deep pink with a gold lid and gold decoration. It feels expensive and luxurious. The scent itself is really interesting. The card describes it as 'a magical potion' and it definitely has a mysterious edge. It smells spicy and warming and I actually really like it. It is quite potent to when first applied but it mellows down nicely.

6. Living Nature Cleasner, Toning Gel and Day Cream - Samples
As I mentioned before, at this time of year, when the weather is changing on a daily basis I suffer from very dry and sensitive skin. I am constantly on the look out for new products to try and these samples from Living Nature full of Manuka Honey look great.

Approximate Total Cost - £42.41!!!

What are your thoughts on Beauty Boxes? Do you subscribe to any?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekly Round Up 1

weekly round up 1

1. I have finally started making Christmas presents. We have decided that for most of our family we are going to make little food and drink hampers. My first task was to make so Asian Chilli Jam a la Lorraine Pascale. It was so easy and looks really tasty!

2. I have started making all sorts of bits for Polka Dot Dreams including boxes, tags and stationery. I also ordered some die cut stickers from America which are amazing!

3. Yay! My first sale! I am perhaps a bit over excited but I was half expecting never to sell anything. However a girl in Kent will soon be the proud owner of my first ever fox double ring!

4. This week Bramble has been very odd. One minute she is calm and soppy, the next she is crazy and running around all over the place. One thing I can guarantee though, is that after a long walk she will sleep for ages!

5. Although we have put the tree up, decorated it with all manner of lights, tinsel and home-made decorations and put tinsel and baubles all over the flat, I still cannot walk past a Christmas shop without going in. More often than not I end up buying a little something, which is how I came to own this little fella!

6. On Saturday I met my Mum in London with a view to visiting Winter Wonderland but we decided against it because it was crazy busy. Instead we spent the afternoon wandering up and down Kensington High Street, which was lovely. I was mainly browsing as I don't really have any money to spend on myself but I fell in love with this sausage dog dress by Yumi - and it was half price!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Polka Dot Dreams is Open for Business

So after my little sneak peak a week or so ago I have finally opened my Polka Dot Dreams Jewellery Folksy shop!! I have always wanted my own business and although I am only at the beginning of what I am sure is going to be a very long and hard journey but I am so excited!!

At the moment I only have a few pieces in the shop but I will be slowly putting more bits and pieces up over the next couple of weeks. So please do pop over and have a look and let me know what you think!!

Black Cat Double Finger Ring

Cupcake Brooch

Fox Double Finger Ring

Panda Double Finger Ring

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holidays are Coming Part 3

So here is the next instalment in my Christmas craft tutorials. One of my favourite Christmas activities is putting up the tree. I love a tree that is full to the brim of baubles, tinsel, lights and decorations! I love collecting different ornaments and I could spend hours looking around Christmas shops!

As money is a bit tight at the moment I decided to make some salt dough decorations after being inspired by these gorgeous stamped ones and these beautifully intricate snowflakes. They are really easy to make and and all the ingredients and supplies are ridiculously cheap! So here we go!!

Holidays are Coming Part 3 - Salt Dough Christmas Decorations

All you need to begin with is salt, flour and water! I used 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of water and 2 cups of flour. We had run out of plain flour so I used bread flour which worked really well. I just popped all the ingredients in a food processor and mixed it up until a ball formed. I then turned it out on to the work surface and kneaded it for a few minutes until the dough was soft and pliable. You are then ready to make your decorations!

I collected all my cookie cutters together and then just started rolling and cutting.

I experimented with stamping and different shapes cutters.


My favourite decorations were simple shapes that I then imprinted with a wooden stick like the one above. Just make sure you pierce a hole in the top for the thread to go through so you can hang them up!

Although I do love my Santa! I used a garlic crusher for the beard!

I then baked them for about 4 hours in an oven on the lowest temperature which was about 80oC as you are drying them out more than cooking them. I them coloured some of them in with felt tip pens and used some sparkly nail varnish to make some glittery. Then just threaded some red wool so I could hang them up.

Close up of crazy Santa!

I also pressed some glass beads into some of them before I baked them

I am really pleased with them and they were really addictive to make (I ended up making 3 lots of dough!)

What do you think? Have you made any tree decorations this year?

Friday, November 25, 2011

a little update


Sorry again about the little hiatus! I am once again been very busy with working and life in general.

I turned 25 at the beginning of the week and its made me really think about my life, what I have achieved and what I still want to achieve. I know that ideally I want to have my own business - I want to work for myself and be creative all the time. At the moment that isn't really viable financially so in the mean time I am going to have to try to compromise by trying to start my Polka Dot Dreams shop. here is a sneaky peak of a couple of pieces that will be up for sale soon :-)

I have also decided to start a day zero list. It involves listing 101 things that you aim to complete in 1001 days. At the moment I am only up to 71 things and struggling to think of other things I want to achieve. If you have any ideas please let me know!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holidays are Coming Part 2


Here is the second instalment of my Christmas Craft series. I have been thinking of Christmas tree decorations I can make as I am a little worried about leaving a tree covered in plastic or glass baubles with the pup as this is what I come home to when she has got into the recycling..

Holidays are Coming Part 2 - Pom Pom Robin

So I have a few homemade Christmas decorations in the pipe line but the first is a Pom Pom Robin! Its a really quick and easy project - from start to finish it took me about an hour so is great to do whilst watching an episode of Made in Chelsea. Here is what you will need: -

I decided to do a very classical coloured robin but you can change it up depending on what colour wool you have laying around and the colour scheme of you tree. I think some purple and gold robins would look gorgeous! I recycled my old Graze box to get the pom pom circles by drawing around a glass and then a glue stick lid.

First cut a long strand of red wool and wrap it around over and over again until a quarter of the circle is covered.

Repeat with the white thread

Fill the rest of the circle with brown wool. At this point you want to check that the circle is really full as otherwise the pom pom will be quite small and thready.

Cut around the edge of the pom pom

Tie a thread securely around the middle and use the ends to create a loop to hang on the tree

Take off the cardboard rings and you will have the pom pom. At this stage he will look a bit scraggly! So you will need to take some sharp scissors and give him a haircut so he is round and looks full and fluffy.

Here he is looking a bit more presentable!

Next take a small around of orange felt and cut a diamond shape and a small amount of black felt and cut 2 circles

Glue them on the robin to give him a cute little face

And there we have it!!

What do you think? Are you making any decorations for Christmas this year?

Let me know if you make a little robin - he would love some friends!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

excuses excuses


I could give plenty of excuses as to why I haven't blogged or why this is a very short post but the truth is I'm lazy!! I have been working a ridiculous amount and have managed to get a week off work so today I have been lazy and just watching the new series of Vampire Diaries - which is epic!!

So here is one of my favourite songs at the moment and hopefully in the next couple of days I will be able to show you all the crafty things I have been doing recently!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Making travelling a little more bearable!


At least 5 time a week I have to travel for around 4 hours a day on the joy that is the London Underground. So the cost of this doesn't literally eat up my entire wages I have an oyster card. When I first got one I used the free plastic holder that came with it which was fine until I started using it every day and it split in half!

So the resourceful and crafty girl that I am decided to make a new one - and the best thing was I had all the supplies already :)

I have recently set up a Folksy account and thinking of selling some as I think they would make lovely little stocking fillers. What do you think?

Also I have had a little re-design of the blog and my twitter page so it feels a bit more me. I have decided that I cannot just sit around and wait for good things to happen. I really want to set up my own hand made craft business so this is the first step. I would love to hear your thoughts and any advice you have with this sort of thing!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Holidays are Coming Part 1


Recently I have really wanted to get crafty. When I was at Uni I was always making, drawing, designing and sewing but since graduating I have found it really hard to get back into that mindset. I decided to start a little series of Christmas craft tutorials as I love the festive season and think that home-made gifts and decorations are much better than  shop bought ones! So here we go

Holidays are Coming Part 1 - Homemade Gift Tags

In my family I am the queen of gift wrapping! I love finding pretty paper, ribbons and tags and making the presents look beautiful. This year I am trying something a little different but still hoping I will keep my title! We always tend to recycle old Christmas cards into tags by cutting them up and hole-punching a little hole in the top but this time I decided to make my own. Here is what you will need: -

(great excuse to eat some Quality Streets....)

After gathering all your supplies you need to decide on what design you want on you tags. I chose  traditional Christmassy things of a present, a Christmas Tree, a cracker, some baubles and some stars. draw the designs on you tags, I put my in the corner so I would have had enough room to write my festive message. Make sure you choose designs that work well as a silhouette as you will be cutting out the shapes. 

Next take your safety ruler and craft knife and carefully cut out the designs. You will need 2 luggage tags per  Christmas tag so you will need to cut out the same design twice.

Next decide on the colour you want you design to be. Pick you sweetie label and cut a small square that just covers the edges of the cut out.

Carefully apply a little PVA around the edges of the cut out (as the wrapper is so thin it only needs a small amount of glue) and lay the wrapper over the hole. Gently press it into place and leave to dry for a couple of minutes.

Lastly cover the label with more PVA (being careful not to get any on the cut out) and sandwich the labels together. I then placed the tags between 2 heavy books and left them over night to fully dry. Pop some string or ribbon through the hole on the top and you are ready to use the tags!

They have a lovely stained glass effect and are a great excuse to eat some yummy chocolate :) I would love to see if anyone else tries this idea - I think it would also work really well with Christmas cards or decorations!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A-Z of Me!

Oh hello! What is this? Another post with a week in between! Amazing!

I have been inspired by the recent A-Z style posts from Ella and Lisa so thought I would give it a little go! 

A. Age: I am nearly 25 (horror!) but still get ID'd so at least I don't look it!

B. Bed size: King Size - its a good thing too because I like to steal the duvet from the boy :)

C. Chore that you hate: I normally don't mind chores when I am in the mood but the one I dislike most is washing up - it always ruins my nails!

D. Dogs: I love dogs. We have a puppy called Bramble and if we didn't live in a flat I would definitely want another one!

E. Essential start to your day: I tend to do things differently depending on if I'm going to work or not. If working its an orange juice and croissant on the move. If I'm at home its a long breakfast of homemade american pancakes and endless cups of coffee!

F. Favorite color: At the moment its burgundy and dark green but it changes with the seasons

G. Gold or Silver: I used to hate gold with a passion but now I can't get enough - especially in rings

H. Height: 5'3.5" ( that half an inch counts!!)

I. Instruments you play: I don't play any but would love to learn to play the banjo or ukulele and start a folk band

J. Job title: Currently Customer Service Leader but hopefully in the next few months it will be Menswear Designer!

K. Kids: Nope, none in the foreseeable future either!

L. Live: Uxbridge, London, UK

M. Mother’s name: Ann

N. Nicknames: Woodsy and Spam. If someone calls my Sammy then I stop talking to them!

O. Overnight hospital stays: I had a weeks stay in hospital when I had my appendix out

P. Pet peeves: Dawdlers - walk with purpose dammit! and patronising people - in my current job I was advised that if I needed to find out what a jumper was made off I should look at the label in the side... I mean I have a degree in fashion and wear clothes on a daily basis but I had no idea about that.....

Q. Quote from a movie: 'Ring, ring! Who's there? Destiny? I've been expecting your call.' As said by Rhino the hamster in Bolt

R. Right or left handed: Right handed

S. Siblings: 1 sister and 1 step-sister and 1 step-brother

U. Underwear: Not sure how to answer this one but I do like a pretty matching underwear set!

V. Vegetable you hate: I am a lover of most vegetables but I do hate aubergine. Also I know it isn't a vegetable but I hate Coriander - it is the herb of the devil!!

W. What makes you run late: My boyfriend, I hate being late with a passion and he seems to relish in my stress levels

X. X-Rays you’ve had: I had one when I was 3 and broke my leg when jumping down the stairs and another when I fell into my Grandad's greenhouse when I had been told not to walk on the wall - oops
Y. Yummy food that you make: I am a pretty keen baker, I love making any kind of cupcake, macaroon or cookie

Z. Zoo animal: Tigers! My favourite animal by far. I really want a tiger tattoo but haven't found the perfect design yet

If you decide to give this a go please let me know and leave me a link :)
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