Silk Flower Garland

Christmas is expensive. And unnecessarily stressful.

Make presents.

Save money, tailor them to your friends and family and do something productive in front of terrible christmas films.

I made my lovely friend a silk flower garland for her secret santa present. I tried and tested various techniques which the internet gave me:

DIY Fabric Flower Garland

http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/226604/silk-flower-ring-pillow?czone=f&center=352451&gallery=231155&slide=226604

http://rhonnadesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/one-more-diy-fabric-flower-tutorial.html

and eventually came up with this. Its very easy to do (I made one on a train) and all you need is some scraps of fabric and a needle and thread.

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1. Cut the fabricinto squares

2. Fold the fabric into thirds

3. Sew the bottom with a tacking stitch

4. Sew petals together to make flower

silk flower

This is the one I made for my friend for secret santa, she’s not a fan of pink so I went for dark blue and black gauze and sewed the flowers onto black lace. The flower garland can be strung across the back of a bed or wrapped around fairy lights or worn to a festival woven around your hair.

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Sloe Apothecary

Damson Vodka

As a child I made complicated potions in the bath with tooth paste and soap and a precise combination of hot and cold water which if correctly stirred and shaken promised all manner of exciting results. I am happy to say that my potion making days are not behind me and on drinking my new potions, the results promise to be equally thrilling.

This Autumn, as I ventured out into the hedgerows of sussex I encountered sloes, crab apples and blackberries. My local veg man was selling lovely damsons and Sainsburys was flogging off the last of their home reared strawberries. And so the apothecary within set about making various infusions of these fruits with vodka’s and gins. The general recipe is as follows

– One large necked jar or bottle

– A quantity of fruit

– Sugar (granulated or caster)

– Alchohol

Clean and sterilise the container of choice. Slice or prick the fruit  so that the skin is broken (popular methods include freezing or jabbing with a fork)  and pour into jar or bottle until it is about half filled. Pour the sugar over the fruit until it fills all the gaps and is about level with the line of fruit and then pour over chosen alcohol. Seal jar or bottle, shake and place in a dark place, shaking it regularly for the first couple of weeks and sporadically following until all the sugar has been dissolved.

Leave to infuse in dry dark place for 3 – 6 months after which time you may strain out the fruit and decant into suitable bottles.

Damson Vodka

People have various theories surrounding pretty much every stage of this method which apparently make or break the brew but I find that this basic method makes a lovely potion and a lovely gift.

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Serve the final concoction over ice, in a hot toddy in winter or on warm summers day with lemonade and a squeeze of lime. Strawberry Vodka

You’ve made your bed, now lie in it. Or on it. Made.

Reasons you should make your bed every morning.

As a member of pinterest, tumblr and facebook I see more than a normal amount of motivational quotes and photos and for a while I am motivated; but starting is not my problem. Its continuing and normally I am more than happy to carry on sitting in bed being motivated to do something really great later.

However this one piece of advise is different. I know perhaps I sound like a nagging niggley old lady but here are the reasons you should make your bed every morning.

1. If you have gone to the trouble of making your bed you are that much more likely not to get back into it.

2. a tidy room is a tidy mind. I do so much more when I have fewer things I could be otherwise doing. If your bed is made and your room tidy you don’thave to tidy it.

3. When I am running late and frantically grabbing handbag things – keys, purse, phone, more often than not one of them is enveloped in my duvet, is under one of my many pillows or is under the covers hiding itself and I spend ages looking for them. I have found if you make your bedthis doesn’t happen so much.

4. Its not fun getting into bed after a long day, finding a laptop cable and lying on the plug.

5. Its just a great start to the day! I put it on my to do list everytime and its always something I can tick off nice and quickly

6. Its not tricky to do and it makes the room so much tidier and organised.

7. this way you can tell if someone has snuck into your bed and snuck out again

8. If you are productively sitting doing work on top of your duvet rather than under it than you won’t freeze to death every time you emerge from that dreamy cloud of warmth and comfort.

9. It is quicker to run out the door in an emergency such as flash flood, fallen meteor or king kong style attack.

10. You have the prospect of getting back in to bed to look forward to. just me?

If you would rather make a duvet den or spend the whole day lying in bed watching tv on the internet I understand but if you want a groundbreakingly productive day then start it off by making your bed. 

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Christmas greenery

 

When your a student living in lovely artistic Brighton it is difficult not to spend thousands of pounds in the spirit of christmas. While a trip to pound land normally provides a quick fix to your deflated christmas cheer it is by no means a long term alternative to the open fire and mountain of mince pies. Instead I find the best remedy to fulfilling your christmassy fix is a walk followed by wreathing session.

 

Wreath

 

Holly and Ivy and other christmassy foliage are not only free but they smell lovely and fresh and make timeless christmas decor to don your slightly less than christmassy door.

Foliage