Thursday, 28 February 2013

Snowdon - Handprinted Paper and Textile Goods by Alexandra Snowdon

It's that time of year again where your funds have recovered from Christmas, the spring clean and redecoration is in full swing, Mother's day is just around the corner and it feels like every day is someone's birthday. This will be the first in a series of many product reviews. I have scoured the internet for great products, that are quirky, handmade and affordable that would make the perfect gift for your loved ones, or more than likely, yourself!
 
 
 
Alexandra Snowdon from the countryside surrounding Manchester is a designer, illustrator and print maker with a range of beautiful prints, cards, bags and accessories for your home all for sale across her two Etsy shops Snowdon (for the bags, cards and accessories) and Snowdon Prints for the fine art prints that she does by hand.
 
 
 
When I contacted Alex to tak about being featured here she kindly offered to send me the print of my choice and I knew straightaway that I desperately wanted the New Experiences Hot Air Balloon Print. She popped it in the post to me and within 24 hours it's now hanging on my wall!
 
 
As soon as I saw this when I walked in the door I knew I was in for a treat!
 
 
 
(Now I want that Washi tape too Alex!)
 
 
The print arrived in a hard backed strong board envelope which was ideal for two reasons - absolutely no marks or creases, and also, no having to fiddle with a poster tube and ripping or marking the edge of the print. Poster tubes are a pet hate of mine! Then once out of the envelope the print was safely covered in a polylope type plastic envelope as well.
 
As soon as it was unwrapped I laid it out and just admired it for a good few seconds! The detail is absolutely fantastic, and so sharp. It's the perfect size for the image, not too big that you can't hang it anywhere and not so small that you can't read the text from across a room. The paper quality is fantastic and the finish superb.
 
 
I already had the perfect frame for it, a white plain wooden frame from IKEA - I'm so pleased, because I couldn't wait to put in up!
 
 
Apologies, my photography skills aren't the best and it's hanging right opposite my window. Please be assured, I am very picky when it comes to art - and I love this print.
 
These are a few of my favourite's from Alex's shop:
 
 

 
 
There are many more prints in a whole range of designs on Fine art prints by Snowdon, and as a special offer just for you lovely lot, Alex has kindly offered a 15% discount on any print purchase, just by entering the code 'MINDPURGE' at the checkout.
 
Thank you so much for my beautiful new print Alex and I hope many more of you pick one up too!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Weekend

Weekend so far has consisted of:
 
 
 
Obsessing over my latest 100drine boxes. I now have 7
 
 
and shoo-ing Charlie cat away from my newly tied craft cupboard and brand new footstool
(£30 from TK Maxx, god I love it!)
 
You?
 
 

Crafty Creatives Box 8

I'm a day later than promised, I'm sorry!
So Crafty Creatives Box 8 has arrived. Damn my job for making me miss the delivery every month.
I don't think I really need to rave about these guys any more than I alredy have, if you haven't signed up, frankly I think you're a bit of an idiot. For the price of two starbucks a month you get a wonderful suprise box of crafty goodness, items of supreme quality and a whole network of like minded wonderful people. Who wouldn't pay a tenner for that!?
Here's my look through Box 8..
 
 
 
Spots and Stripes is the theme this month.
 
 
 
 
The Kit is fimo jewellery. I'm not entirely sure I will actually make the kit this month which is the first time ever, the items are great (bonus points for the excellent pliers!) but I'm just not generally a fan of home made jewellery, and I'm certain I haven't got the skills to make anything I would wear. So I will be looking for inspiration on what else I can do - perhaps a Glue Gun Girl esque Macaroon keyring?
 
 
 
 
I also got, red stripey cotton, navy tissue paper and green spotty oil cloth. I already know I'm going to make an oil cloth mat with this for my bedside table, so I can wipe away the drinks I always spill in the night!
 
 
 
Washi tape and foam sticker pads will always come in handy, and I've already covered a little wooden box in the Washi Tape.
 



 
Bakers Twine, Beads and GORGEOUS paper straws really put the smile on my face. The straws are amazing and I've alredy got them displayed proudly in a litle milk bottle on my dressing table!
 
 
Cupcake cases were swiftly donated to my pastry chef brother in law, but I've since seen a tutorial for making flowers out of them on the crafty creatives blog and I could kick myself!
 
 
Fab art card - I have a sneaky suspicion I will be be cutting this up shortly to use on a card!
 
So thank you ladies for another brilliant box, and I can't wait to see what Box 9 will bring.
Have you made anything with your box yet?
 
 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Crafty Creatives

I promise to post my Crafty Creatives round up tomorrow!

It's so good. I swear they're getting better every month. How do they know my current obsessions are Washi Tape, Paper Straws and Oilcloth?

Well played Crafty girls, well played.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Oh Deer!

Oh the dangers of seeing something cute, pug related and pricey on the day your new credit card arrives!



I recently picked up this Oh Deer Pug and Poodle Cushion from Urban Outfitters (you can see more here) I've admired this cushion for ages and chanced upon it the other day, I couldn't resist!

It arrived yesterday and I am so chuffed with it, it's a lovely soft suede type fabric, tan coloured on the back and with the gorgeous print on the front. It's very good quality and a really good size.

I managed to get the last one - it's fate! but they have other designs from the same brand Oh Deer! and I'm sure it'll be back in stock soon. Pricey at £40 but worth it in my eyes!

Monday, 18 February 2013

I Give It A Year


A bit different to what I would normally write about here but it's not often I enjoy a rom com this much!



I recently went to see the new movie from Dan Mazer the writer behind Borat and Bruno; I Give It A Year starring Rafe Spall, Stephen Merchant, Rose Byrne, Anna Faris and Simon Baker.
I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised, it's a rom com, but an anti rom com! The film starts with the Wedding of Nat and Josh, the main couple played by Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall. It's clear to everyone from the outset that they're totally wrong for each other. The film progresses with the story of how they come to realise that, along with meeting the people they should be with!

Stephen Merchant is fantastic as a hilarious best man and hap-hazard best friend to Rafe Spall's loveable Josh. It was for me, one of the few films recently that made me genuinely laugh out loud the whole way through (along with everyone else in the audience) and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone, male or female!
 
As an aside, I went to see the film using my new Cineworld Unlimited Card. Is anyone else a member? It costs me £14.99 a month and you can see as many films as you like without paying a penny! I've worked out that if I see two films a month it's a saving, and you also get 15% off food and drink too which actually makes a big difference. My friend has had hers for 7 years and has worked out that she has saved over £10,000! You can find out more here

Have you seen any good films lately?
 
 
Just a P.S - I was in no way incentivised to write this about I Give It A Year or Cineworld!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Chicken and Tarragon Pies

Everyone has a go to dish that you know can be relied upon to impress. For me it is absolutely my Chicken and Tarragon Pies they are amazing!
 
Recipe makes 4 pies
 
I started by softening 6 baby leeks and 1 large onion in a saucepan. When really soft add 4 skinless and bonesless chicken thighs chopped into quarters, add 175ml of white wine (nothing fancy) and leave until reduced by 1/3, add 200ml of hot (really important!) chicken stock and leave until reduced by 1/2, this should take about 10 minutes on a low heat……
 
…pour 150ml double cream into a jug, add a handful of roughly chopped tarragon and season, add to the pan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 6 minutes.
 
Transfer the mixture into ramekins and leave to completely cool, add your pastry lids (remebering to snip a hole in each one to let the steam escape) glaze with milk and bake at 220 for 25 minutes. ENJOY!
 
 
 







 

 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi?

If you're anything like me, your bed is your world. I own more bedding than clothes and I'm so easily tempted for more, even though I have literally nowhere to store anymore! Maybe I need a second bed...

This is what's tempting me at the moment;


Pansy Print - H&M (H&M bedding in my experience is really reasonably priced, and a nice quality)
with matching curtains.. bliss!



Tree print by Ben de Lisi at Debenhams (gender neutral to appease the other half!)



Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams - The dull grey is so pretty. You could pick out one colour of the butterflies to match to a pillowcase/sheet/curtains/rug - anything!



Grey and Black Pinstripe (reversible) by Next at Home - Another gender neutral one, I think this would love amazing in a Scandinavian style room, with bare wood and lots of natural light. Nautical, without being novelty.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Love is in the Air

It's that time of year again, dreaded by men and singleton's all over the globe (I love my job because single or not there's always a supplier to bring me flowers or cake!)

These days I think it's cool to be cynical and 'oh it's so commercial' and yes your love should be good to you all year round, but it's nice for the day to be marked.
Here's whats on my wish list this Valentine's Day;

 
1) Come on Baby Light My Fire - Boxed mixed media display by Brigitte Herrod. £59.00 - Here
 

 
2) Heart measuring spoons. £3.95 - Here
 
 
3) Bunny Ring Holder. £10.00 - Here
 
 
4) Penhaligons Elixir Candle. £32.00 - Here
 
 
5) Lazy Oaf Card. £3.50 - Here

Monday, 11 February 2013

Marc B - ASOS - E-tailPR Blog - Competition Entry!

I will openly admit that I hadn't heard of Marc B before I saw this competition on E-tailPR's blog.
Having recently signed up to EtailPR (and now an approved blogger for them, eek!) I thought this competition looked amazing and I couldn't not give it a go.
 
I had to put together a dream outfit from ASOS based around a Marc B bag, and once I'd taken a look at the bags, oh my, it wasn't hard! I can't believe I've never heard of them before, competiton or not I will definitely be making a purchase!
 
Here's my dream outfit;
 

I based this around the amazing Lottie Camel Ostrich bag, which is a gorgeous nude colour, that would go with pretty much anything! To go with the bag it had to be, black skinnies (everyone needs some right?) and what better brand than Religion. Up top I went for this beige lace effect blouse (perfect for work or pleasure!) For the shoes I had to go for something sky high to make the skinnies look even better, so I went for these Black parade platforms. No outfit is complete in my eyes without a timepiece, and I've been eying this one up for quite some time..the most amazing Vivienne Westwood leather watch, elegant, understated, ah I want it now!
 
 
What do you think of my outfit choice, and more importantly, what's yours?
Enter the competition yourself by finding out more here
 
 

Friday, 8 February 2013

Pinterest Inspired Baking


Another pinterest idea stolen!
I kept seeing 'crescent roll' ideas and thought they looked really easy so would have a go myself, I wasn't sure if I would be able to find the pre-rolled croissant pastry in England but apparently it's very common and available in all supermarkets.

I picked up a tin of Jus Rol chilled crossaint pastry from my local sainsburys, and separated out each indivial crossiant - they're perforated so you just run a knife along the line.



I did two types: Peanut Butter M&Ms (all the way from New York!) in one and slices of apple with cinammon sugar on the other.



You just place your filling on the pastry, and roll them up. Stick them in the oven for 10 minutes


and enjoy!

 
The apple and cinammon ones were lovely for dessert with custard, or as a breakfast pastry on their own!

So easy and if you take a bit of time to make them neat they look fab.