Thursday, 1 November 2012

Free festive gift tags

Are you wrapping your presents yet? I hope not, it's the first of flipping November.

I found this post last year on Aussie Graphic-Designer-turned-Blogger Amy Moss's site Eat Drink Chic. It gives you a free cross-stitch gift tag download, so hopefully, you can use it to decorate all your prettily wrapped presents this year. Luck-y!

If you're over cross stitch, then maybe you'd like these pretty illustrated typographic tags, which Amy uploaded for Christmas 2010.

In 2009, Amy also very generously provided free downloads for a series of reindeer themed gift tags, which are just beautiful. Look at this gorgeous Reindeer gift tag. The print is so kitsch, it reminds me a little of Babycham.

Then there's this holiday jumbo gift tag using a more intricate print.

And finally there are the tags that look like beautiful Christmas envelopes. I think these are my favourites.

Aren't they lovely?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Free bees

I love bees. I find them to be such fascinating little creatures. Their little communities work seamlessly towards the same goal. I like collecting vintage images of them, to use in craft projects. I've found a couple of free images to download if you like them too...

You can download this image for free here.

And this image is available for free here. If I can find any more I'll be sure to link again. If you're interested in finding other free vintage images for download, you might like to go and have a look at Graphics Fairy. Karen regularly posts free images to download, which is ideal for crafting projects.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Love is in the air...

Well, it's not really in the air for me, but seeing as it's February and Valentine's Day is coming up, I will be indulging in adorning myself with heart-themed accessories, like this gorgeous two swallows with a blue heart necklace, which costs just under £18.

As my heart doesn't belong to anyone, I don't think blue is an inappropriate colour for hearts on Valentine's Day. This delicate light blue open heart necklace is the same price and also gets a vote from me:

If you're a die-hard fan of red and pink for the dreaded V-Day, then you might like these silver plated hoop earrings, which come in pink as pictured below and red. They cost just over £15, plus £2.30 postage.

These pretty handmade finds come all the way across the seas, from US Etsy seller Small Blue Things. You can connect on Facebook  or Twitter with this clever little crafter.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Free Valentine's Day Downloads

I recently found this blog, Eat, Drink, Chic which is owned by Australian Graphic Designer/Stylist/Blogger, Amy Moss. It's a beautiful site filled with inspiring ideas and examples of Amy's work. She's also, very generously, provided free downloads for some of her designs.

As Valentine's Day is coming up, I've linked you to a few of the beautiful romantic freebies, which she has posted in previous years on her blog. They're absolutely lovely, and if you have the time, you should make them for your loved ones this year. Even if you don't have a boyfriend, you should download them and make them and tell all of your friends about them. Friends will probably appreciate them more than boys anyway. Boys in general are severely lacking in romantic sensibility.

These amazing Origami heart invitations would make a charming love letter.

There are two Je t'aime mini card sets and envelopes which are cute and kitsch. I've shown the Valentine's Girl card below, but there's a boy cars for free download too.

These Valentine's Day Post-Its would enable you to scatter heart-felt messages for your loved one across several locations, which is utterly endearing.

And finally, there is this amazing Valentine popcorn invitation kit to download and make. I think this is brilliant! Such a clever idea.

Amy has lots of other amazing freebies, so you should visit her blog Eat, Drink, Chic and perhaps tell her how awesome you think she is on Twitter @eatdrinkchic. I think I have a tiny little girl crush on her...

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Zero One Zero Zero One One...

Are you in love with a geek? This Binary Love card, which costs £2.50 from Folksy seller Jane Cameron would be the perfect way to tell them this Valentine's Day. You'll look like, totally intelligent and witty and stuff.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Peg it

Do you remember in Reception class, when you used to have a special peg to hang your clothes on in the cloakroom? Mine was a crocodile. Those little pegs helped everyone to feel important. They let everyone know that they had a particular place that was reserved just for them. They probably also helped children under 6 remember where they were meant to hang their coat, avoiding a giant pile on the floor, but that's besides the point. More than 20 years later, I still think that where possible, if you can make something beautiful, or interesting, then you should. Thinking about those little animal themed coat pegs makes me smile.

Now I'm a grown up, I probably wouldn't want gaudy little animal-shaped coat hooks. But I would like these, from Chocolate Creative.

The orange, red and rose flower coat hooks cost £15 each. Handmade in London, they were launched last year at the 100% Design 2011 fair. If flowers aren't your thing, then they are also available in beach and landscape designs.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Favourite Film Quotes

I love 80s films. There's nothing more comforting that cosying up with a hangover and watching The Breakfast Club, or Teen Wolf, or Ferris Beuller's Day Off, or Lost Boys (*love* Lost Boys) or Heathers. Heathers is hilarious and includes one of my all time favourite film quotes. Which is why I was delighted to discover that Tim Easley is selling a printed triptych of 80s film quotes!

These only cost £5 (about £3.20) plus $1 p&p. It's so worth it. I want them. I'm going to get them and frame them and smile every time I look at them.

Monday, 16 January 2012

How to cheer yourself up

Sometimes if I'm feeling a bit blue, I write myself little pep-notes and hide them to surprise myself with at a later date, which are supposed to make me feel better. Something along the lines of:
Dear Nom, 
In case you forgot, you're totally amazing and lots of people think you're SUPER COOL.
Dear Le Nome,
You're too awesome and busy to be confined to a relationship right now and there are plenty of years to go before your ovaries turn to dust, so really it's a GOOD THING that you're single and free.
Peace out,
Nombles x

This usually works, unless I'm really down in the dumps, in which case I'll probably just end up hating on myself for being such a loser as to write myself pep-notes.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that sometimes we all need a little reminder that we're great. Just a little something that you can look at and think 'Huh, yeah, I forgot about the fact that I'm awesome. Yeah maybe I am chubbier than my best friend, but actually, people still love me so it's not the end of the world.'

That's where this necklace from Finest Imaginary off of that Etsy comes in. It states the facts. Plain, simple. Capital letters. GOLD. Under a tenner. It's ticking a lot of boxes for me right now...

Friday, 13 January 2012

Lovely lino prints

The content of this post reminds me of a Year 8 art lesson, wherein a certain Mr. Lorimer attempted to teach a rabble of rowdy 13 year olds how to make a lino print. I managed to gouge a pretty distinct impression into the palm of my hand using a lino cutting tool and get an achy arm in the process, but that was about the sum of my efforts. So I have massive respect for anyone that is prepared to dedicate the time (and arm power, it's jolly hard work on the old guns) required to create a beautiful lino print.

Michael Torrence aka Tournesol Prints, has a selection of lino lovelies inspired by nature for sale in his Etsy shop. I really love this butterfly print, which costs £17.95, plus £2.95 to ensure it arrives at your address.

It's hand printed and hand tinted, which involves rather a lot of doing things by hand, if you ask me, and is undoubtedly worth more than the selling price.

I've always liked dandelions. I know that they're the scourge of English gardeners and before the French got their mits on the language they were called piss-a-beds due to their diuretic properties, but I love the delicate, fragile beauty of their seed heads, so I really like this print:

It costs £11.50, plus £1.80 postage, and is a smaller, A4 size.

An old boss of mine was a huge fan of lady birds, so she'd love the ladybugs lino print, which only costs £11.95, plus postage.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

My imaginary cinema

I love old film posters for horror movies. The graphics are usually really bold and attention grabbing, the characters mysterious and beautiful. In my imaginary house, (which is obviously situated in a sprawling estate, each room styled to perfection and filled with wonderful objects I've lovingly collected and effortlessly thrown together to create a unique and impressive overall ambiance of Nom), I have a cinema.

My imaginary cinema is not all plush with red velvet seats and an usher who flashes a torch in your eyes and tells you where you have to sit, oh no. My imaginary cinema has a huge white back wall, which the projector shoots the chosen film, so it feels a bit like an American drive through (except without the cars, because, it's inside the house). The rest of the walls are painted black, so that all you can focus on is the cinema wall and you feel like you're in a little den. There are an assortment of mismatched chairs, sofas and Fat Boys. There's a little popcorn machine in the back and a fridge filled with beer and cokes. Finally, in case you're wondering where the hell I'm going with this, there are a bunch of cross-stitched cushions, finely worked with vintage film posters. Like these:

Les Maitresses de Dracula, which costs $6 (about £4) from Pop Soup Supplies on Etsy would be an horrific addition to the collection, particularly useful for hiding behind in blood-curdling scream inducing cinematic moments (which happen more often than you'd think, I'm a massive scaredy-cat).

This Frankenstein cross stitch pattern would also prove suitable for this purpose; it costs $5 from Robin's Design:

As would this other Dracula poster, also $5 from Robin's Design:

I'm still searching for designs for other film genres. But these three should keep me busy enough for the time being.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Butterfly Blossom

I recently spotted a lovely hand made card crafter called Butterfly Blossom, thanks to a retweet on Twitter. I haven't much time today to take you through all the pretty creations available on the site, but I do particularly enjoy this awesome mmm, cupcake card, which costs £3.50.

Butterfly Blossom is based in Whitstable, Kent and gorgeous custom cards can be made from as little as £3.50. You can follow creator, Natalie Love, on twitter too @ButterflyBlossm.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Fancy a cuppa?


Glorious, marvellous tea. Every morning I have a cup of soothing, warm, wonderful tea. Sometimes I like to start with an EG (Earl Grey, duh), sometimes a Yorkshire Tea (it's good for hard water, which means you evade the accursed 'London Scale', that revolting scum that floats on the top of your brew and makes you feel a little bit uncomfortable). I always feel better about anything after I've had a cup. It's like totally affordable and not-illegal-when-you're-taking-it-recreationally liquid Valium. When I was wee, my Nana Rose used to make us tea in those 80s brown glass mugs, really milky with a sugar in, and we used to dip buttered toast in it whilst we watched Sky (old school Sky - it was ALL about the Rugrats, Sister Sister, or maybe Alex Mack).

Did you know that over 80% of the UK population enjoy tea?*  The remaining 20% hate it and will only drink coffee. Don't get me wrong, I love coffee, but tea? Tea is like that old cuddly toy that you've loved so much that he's become real, like the Velveteen Rabbit (mine were called Snugglebunny and Brian The Lion. They're still in residence at Bullivant Towers).

Anywho, the reason I'm chatting so much about tea is because of this brilliant designer I discovered on that there Folksy site I'm so mad on. Her name's Jess Broad, aka Cuppa Tea and Cake and if you're crafty like me, I'm sure you'll be as thrilled by her designs as I am.

Take for example this wooden wool brooch, which costs £5.

Jess illustrates her designs and then uses the magic of lasers to cut the image into the beech brooch. Which sounds pretty high tech to me.

I also took a fancy to this nice tea love badge, which is made by drawing directly on to shrink plastic. It costs just £2.50.

Like what you see? Why not pay her blog a visit, or follow her on Twitter. And whilst you're at it, follow me too!

*Don't call me on that, I'm not a Statistician and I have no actual money to put where my mouth is.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A feather for each wind that blows

I used to make jewellery, but I haven't made anything in years, since I got interested in photography. I do love looking at handmade jewellery though. Some of the time I look to see what kind of designs people are creating and to see if I think I could make the item quite as prettily. Other times it's for presents. If a design is really unique or beautiful, I love to make a gift out of it. When I give a lovely handmade gift I've sourced, I get a smug feeling, as if I've discovered treasure; plus it brings me a little added happiness that I've helped to support an artist.

Dear Oh Deer's designs, available on Etsy, are just such delicate treasures. I adore her range of feathery earrings, simple chains adorned with bewitching semi-precious stones and pretty pen and ink drawings. It's like she's been on a ramble in the countryside, collecting natural treasures and carefully taking them home to create something ethereal.

These red pheasant earthy feather earrings cost £15, plus £2 p&p. The red beads lift the natural brown colours in the feathers to make them bright and interesting, they remind me of little hawthorn berries. They'd look so pretty on ears framed by tumbling locks. It almost makes me wish I hadn't cut all my hair off two years ago...

The Valley in Autumn, creamstone bead necklace is quite simply gorgeous. I love fine gold chains, and this would look so dainty; if paired with a plain coloured t-shirt it would really dress up a casual look, it only costs £10, plus £2 p&p.

Finally I'm going to show you one of those pretty little inkings I was telling you about. Dianne has three owl pen and ink prints available.  I rather like this barn owl print.

I'm thinking that she must be selling them off once and for all, because the listing states that they cost but £3, reduced from £8. These A5 prints would make a perfect present for an owl fan; I know a certain person in particular who may well enjoy one, do you?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Angel Eden textile brooches

I really enjoy looking at things that have a sort of happy-hotchpotch-jumble feel to them; as if someone got so excited about prettiness that it just exploded out of their imagination into whatever it is they've lovingly created.

These brooches from the Angel Eden textile rage feel like this to me. At just £20 they're a brilliant way to express your individuality and love of craft.
This bluebird textile brooch feels quite romantic and uses vintage lace, charms and carefully chosen small buttons.
This is the Apple and Wheelbarrow textile brooch; I love the bright, fresh colours.
What I like about this green teapot textile brooch is that the jewelled flower has been 'rescued' from a broken necklace, and is stitched lovingly into the rest of the piece, complimenting the silver teapot and teacup charms perfectly!

Each unique piece is handmade in Derbyshire using a bespoke selection of sterling silver charms, vintage components and recycled textiles. If you spot one you like, you'll have to purchase it sharpish, as they come from a bespoke, continually developing collection!

If you'd rather make your own, they stock a range of craft kits, starting from just £5.50.