Travel Diaries: Rome

rome_1

Hey guys, it’s Georgia here. So last week I was lucky enough to get the chance to go to Rome. My boyfriend found a cheap, last-minuite deal two weeks ago and we went ahead and booked it along with two friends from uni. When my boyfriend rang me up, I couldn’t believe it, and I’ll admit that I was pretty freaked out. I don’t react well to change or spontaneity (I say “I don’t react well” – I just mean that it makes me anxious). Then a family tragedy struck and I was even more unsure about the whole trip, but I went for it in the end, and I’m so pleased that I did.

We were there for four days and we walked our legs off around that city! Boy, was Rome hot, but it was also incredibly beautiful. I suspected that it would be pretty, but I didn’t think it would be so drop dead gorgeous as it was. About a year and a half ago, we planned a previous trip to Rome but the whole thing fell through. I had hoped that we’d go this summer, but since we both had busy schedules and little cash, we’d resigned ourselves to waiting until next summer at the nearest, then this deal came out of nowhere! And we had to take it.

This was my first experience of Italy and it’s given me an incessant craving for the rest of that country! I’m desperate to see more of Italy. Everyone was so friendly and I felt completely at ease. I’ve spent a lot of time in France in the past and although I do love it, I think I might like Italy more…

rome_3

rome_6

rome_5

rome_4

romse_2

rome_7

Definitely want to go back!

Crochet Make-Up Remover Pads

crochetmakeup1

Hi everyone!  I just had to show you these.  I saw them in a Mollie Makes magazine and I knew straight away that with my ‘thrifty Karen’ hat on I just had to give them a go.  They are re-useable make-up pads.  You can use them with cleanser or eye make-up remover and then you just throw them into your washing machine when you next do a wash, to clean them again for re-use.  How fantastic is that?

I used a recycled natural cotton to make them and decided to do two colours, one for facial make-up and the other for eye make-up remover, and therefore keep them separate.  I decided on the darker ones for my eye make-up (because of the mascara) and the paler ones for my face.

I am quite a tight crocheter and so if you are like me, you would need to do these more loosely.  They were very quick to make and it was lovely seeing them come together.  In fact I found it easy to dash off about six in an evening of television.

crochetmakeup2

…now I guess you all want to know whether they work or not.  Well, I can report that they do! Not only that but they are lovely to use with Georgia’s natural soaps too.  They give a very slight exfoliation to the skin and are just the right size for those little nooks and crannies around your nose and eyes too. They would also make a wonderful accompaniment to the crocheted wash cloth that we featured here.  What a fab holiday gift for a friend or even start making early for a truly homemade Christmas present.

Karen x

 

Homemade Tea Bags

homemade-tea-top-photo

So people thought that I was a little bit crazy when I decided to make these, but I was absolutely sure that they would be the best present for my friend, Allie. Allie and I lived together for three years at university and for her birthday I wanted to make her something symbolic and special so naturally, I decided on homemade tea bags.

Okay, so that probably doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, but it’s one of those ‘private jokes’ you have with friends. Allie and I have spent an enormous amount of time in pjs with a cup of tea in-hand, putting the world to rights and I wanted something that would reflect all those lovely memories. Enter homemade tea bags.

homemade-tea-6

Ingredients:

  • Coffee filters (I could only get brown, after scouring several supermarkets, but ideally they should be white)
  • loose leaf tea of your choice
  • sewing machine
  • thread (colour of your choice)
  • scissors
  • string
  • sellotape
  • paper & pen

homemade-tea-4

What to do:

1. Thread up your sewing machine and decide how many tea bags you would like to make (I did 20).

2. Take your first coffee filter and sew a tea bag shape onto it using your sewing machine. However, you need to leave one side open to put your loose leaf tea in (see above image).

homemade-tea-3

3. Repeat this with all of your coffee filters and then trim off the edges. Then pop the loose leaf tea inside – I put two teaspoons in each pocket.

homemade-tea-5

4. Next, take a length of string and sellotape one end to the pocket. Trim the other end to your desired length and staple a small square of paper to it. On the paper draw something personal like a heart, star or a little quote.

5. In order to seal the tea bag, you fold down the corners of the open end over the top of the sellotaped string to hide it and then staple that in place as well.

homemade-tea-2

6. Repeat this for all of your tea bags. It takes a while but it’s well worth the effort!

homemade-tea-1

And then you’re done! Just display them in a nice pot/wrap them up and give them to someone special.

Merchant and Mills

mandm-top-photo

We shared our trip to Rye recently, but we left out a big bit - Merchant & Mills! This shop was awesome and made such an impression on us that we felt it deserved its own deadicated post. If you get the opportunity, do click above and check out their website; we’re big fans of their utilitarian style.

mandm-1

Merchant & Mills is a drapery that sells beautifully designed sewing gear, fabrics and patterns. As soon as we walked in, we wanted EVERYTHING. Their styling is difficult to resist and we walked away with a dress pattern and a long list of future purchases we’d like to make (I’ll hopefully be sharing the dress pattern soon and letting you know how I got on). We fell in love with their sewing kit too.

mandm-3

To top it all off, the customer service in Merchant & Mills was brilliant. They were kind, incredibly helpful and friendly. We chatted about sewing and photography, and they even let us ‘borrow’ a bit of their wifi that we were sorely in need of. All in all, we were incredibly impressed and hope to visit again soon.

mandm-2

Make a Pen Case

pencasetopphoto

Dr D wanted a case for his pencil because the sharp lead poked through his trouser pocket and so I saw both a craft AND a present opportunity and obliged with this!

It makes a great quick make for anyone but do also consider it for Father’s Day – AND it is SO easy.

Ingredients:

  • some fab cotton
  •  paper to make a patter (I used A4 copy paper)
  • a short length of ribbon (off an old box of chocolates)
  • scissors, need and thread

How I did it:

I made a template by measuring two and three quarters the length of my pen/pencil and the width. (Make the width comfortable because you do not want it too tight. Now before cutting out the paper, add your seam allowance to the four sides of your oblong. Cut out your oblong, fold in half, and taper just one end to make a rounded point like the one shown below.

pencase3

Cut out two pieces in your fabric, turn right sides facing and before you sew around the edge, position your ribbon a little down from the blunt end (between the two layers). Sew around the edge, leaving a gap for turning through (as shown below).

pencase2

 Very carefully snip some notches into the tapered end (be careful not to snip into the seam) and also trim off the corners so that when you turn the case through, it is not too bulky.

Turn the case through and push a blunt instrument (such as a chopstick) into the corners to help you.  Lightly press.  Hand sew up the gap you left for turning.

Finally fold your case over so that the ribbon is on the top (as shown below), check that your pen/pencil sits nicely in it (adjust if necessary), and hand sew down each side.

pencase1

 Take a note Dr D – no more holey trousers!

Finished Blanket!

finishedblanket-1

Thank you for bearing with me.  It took a while… but I finally made it and I am so pleased with the results (although I must smooth my sheets more carefully to show it off to its full potential!)  You might remember that I started this after attending a Nicki Trench intermediate crochet workshop where she shared a wonderfully easy ripple pattern with me. I started the blanket in earnest, but (and this was a big BUT) I suddenly realised about a third of the way through that my initial chain row was too long.

finishedblanket-3

I had to face the fact that I would either need to unravel what I had already done or live with it.  Well, I draped what I had done over my bed and it dropped onto the floor on both sides.  Even Dr D commented, ‘That certainly is a big blanket.’ When I told him that I was going to take it all out, he told me not to, and to live with it, ‘After all, a big blanket is good.  You can always fold it in half.’

But no, I knew it had to go.  Not only was it far too big, but it was too heavy.  At that size and weight I would have had to have used a hoist to get it onto the bed – and it would have cost a lot more to complete.

No, it had to go, so one night I unravelled it.  In fact it took longer than I thought.  However, strangely, crocheting up the smaller version was quicker than I thought too and I had soon used up all the wool (mind you, the size 9 crochet hook helped).

finishedblanket-2

So here it is.  All the colours and shapes of the Carnac seaside for me to enjoy out of season.

Bonne nuit!

Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookies-topjpg

And so continues our 20 Brilliant Biscuits feature! In March we shared Brown Butter Cookies and today we’ve got Peanut Butter Cookies. These biscuits are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me because my boyfriend is allergic to nuts. I don’t get to eat them often and we all know how delicious peanut butter is so I get cravings. But these biscuits satisfy my every nut dream and they are SO easy to make.

peanut butter cookies 3

The ingredients and instructions are all here, along with a handy video that walks you through the process step-by-step, but if you’re a seasoned baker then you’ll be making these with your eyes closed. I didn’t change the recipe at all accept to swap out crunchy peanut butter for smooth (all I had in).

peanut butter cookies 2

Last year I made these as a small gift for a friend to say ‘thank you’ and they were a hit! I sometimes think that a bit of home baking for a loved one is far nicer than an extravagant present. It makes a change from gifting someone bubble bath too.

peanut butter cookies

Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on these babies when they’re out of the oven and you’re done!

 

A Trip to Rye

rye-top-photo

So before things got crazy and hectic, we went on a family expedition (pooches included) to Rye. Rye isn’t far from where we live, being just outside of Kent, but it’s renowned for its beauty that counts even celebrities as fans *cough* Bob Geldof *cough*.

rye-1

This was another caravan trip and it was a short excursion to get us limbered up for our family holiday later this summer. As per, we all ended up having an awesome time in the caravan and none of us wanted to leave at the end of the weekend. The town of Rye was so pretty and – important for us – so dog friendly! Our pooches, Boo and Delilah, were welcomed into shops, cafes and people’s homes! We were particularly psyched when the owner of Fletcher’s (a delicious restaurant and cafe) ushered us in to meet his two miniature schnauzers. He let Boo and Delilah sit under the table while we stopped for some cake, and the chef even came out to say hello to our canine babies. Anywhere that loves dogs is a winner in my book.

rye-2

There was no part of this weekend that wasn’t throughly enjoyable. The caravan park was situated in the rolling hills of Hythe with roman ruins studding the horizon and the largest dog-walking area we’ve ever seen (practically a field). We were so sad to leave, but we ended the trip with a lovely, early-morning walk along the beach, introducing Delilah to sand for the first time (she loved it).

rye-3

So if you’re looking for somewhere to take a short break this summer then we’d recommend Rye for sure!

Georgia xxx

Life Right Now

923984_645711235511605_1565392096_n

June was a bit of a crazy month for us here at Honey Rose Crafts… hence the radio silence. I finished my degree and moved back home, went on a celebratory ‘goodbye’ holiday with my friends and then completed a mission trip with OM (more to come on this at a later date). While all of this was going on, poor Karen was running around supporting everyone in the family (as mums do) and our little household was very hectic. July, hopefully, will be more peaceful.

While writing this blog post, I’m feeling excited. I’ve missed Honey Rose Crafts. I’ve missed creating content and although I am very sorry for the blip in contact, I am very excited about how refreshed and exhilarated I feel for more blogging adventures. I’m itching to crack out my sewing machine again along with a needle and thread. I’m also pretty excited to share some of what has been going on for us while we’ve been away (so to speak).

So hello again everyone out there! Expect the usual crafts, recipes and lifestyle posts very soon.

May: Lately I’m…

may-lately

May is almost over, but we thought that we’d do an early ‘life’ post this week and sneak it in.

Loving… all of my favourite craft and lifestyle blogs. We’ve got a list here of the one’s we like. 

Watching… Orange is the New Black, a Netflix series. Season 2 is set to come out soon so I need to get on with finishing season 1.

Reading… A LOT of things. Which is really good. At the moment it’s A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott, which is total comfort-food. I’ll be finishing this one very soon.

Thinking… of the exciting and scary summer plans ahead.

Eating… berries! I’m feeling summery.

Making… a notebook cover like the one we featured for a friend as a thank-you present.

Dreaming… about traveling. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to do that ‘Gap Year’ thing, but I would love to travel in the future.

Hoping… that all of my plans work out okay and simultaneously that I don’t let anyone down – I think it’s kind of an anxious period at the moment.

Using… my days off to catch up on reading and watching and quality time with friends.

Feeling… nervous and a little sad. A chapter of my life is closing (I’m leaving university) and I’m far more emotional and sentimental about it than I thought that I would be.

may-lately2jpg