10 December 2016

Christmas stocking fillers for grand-parents!


*This post was written with the collaboration of Snapfish*

It has been a long time since I last posted...
If you are following me either on Instagram or Pinterest you could see that I have been fascinated by Christmas felt decorations... since like October! I absolutely love all about Christmas and since this Christmas will be quite hectic, I have been preparing in advance. I just didn’t quite manage to find the time to post about it here.

I love to gift handmade things, personally crafted and  lovingly wrapped in handmade gift boxes... This time around it has been a bit more difficult to achieve this as time is quite short, but I still managed to ‘make’ a few personal gifts this time around with Snapfish help.
For both my parents and in-laws my little one will be gifting photo gifts to memorialise fun times with grandparents! Snapfish has a large variety of photo gifts such as mugs, cushions or phone cases which  are quite easy to personalize for your chosen recipient...

For both grandmothers I decided to personalize a red-mug, and there are great vouchers available at the Snapfish website that you  an take advantage of, as the 2 for 1 Mugs promotion. So, do explore the deals and see which ones are the best ones to apply on your purchase...

This Christmas season I found myself drawn to the colours white, blue and red. I chose to personalise the red mug (red always feels Christmassy!) with my selected colours of blue and white:




With snappish you have a multitude of options for the mugs background, from colours to your selected photos... But I always have such fun playing around with the embellishments...! You can go full Christmas on the mug if you prefer to, but I wanted a mug that although felt Christmassy, could be used all year around, so I toned down the Christmas feel a bit.

I also love to get a homogeneous look for my Christmas gifts wrapping, and as I mentioned I am going for the blue-white tones this time around. I also like to save as much as possible so I am always raiding my craft box to see what is available to use....  I had assorted white ribbons and some silver and red crepe paper which I used to  wrap the mugs. I used the original box that they were delivered with, but before closing it I wrapped them in the red crepe paper:



Red on red... the inside of the gift could not be more Christmassy as it is!
And then it was a matter of having fun with the ribbons and the silver crepe paper! With some limited  ribbons and crepe paper you can have a variety of different gift wrappings.



And here are the mugs final look:


I cut a white and blue gift tag to add the grandparents name.... which will be written by my little one later on... that will be fun to do later on!
And how are your Christmas preparations going?

11 August 2016

Around here!



It has been a while since my last post...I have been incredibly per usually, but I have exciting news that I wish to share....:

Our little family is growing! 

Yes, we are expecting!
I am pregnant... The new baby is due by the end of December, which makes me 20 weeks pregnant already.  We are halfway through my pregnancy which seems crazy... ! So much has been happening in my life that I couldn’t share the news in my blog. I also wanted to share the news with some lovely pictures, but I could only manage the following which are a bit disappointing to be honest, but I will be sharing them anyway... I think that when sharing lovely wonderful news, visuals are needed!






I am so excited about my new pregnancy, but so anxious as well...! I am also worried about how our little one will be dealing with a new sibling. We dote him and he is so used to our undivided attention. We have been  letting him know gently about the new baby, pointing at my little bump and explaining that a baby is growing there. So we hope that he knows that a new baby is coming... He points at my bump and says ‘Baby’! And then he points at his tummy and says baby! We laugh and explain that the baby is inside my bump. So we are not sure that he actually understands that a new baby will be arriving...




I have more  news to share.... This will be such an hectic year. Besides having to finish my PhD this year (I have to submit my thesis by October) which means that I am working non stop on my thesis,  also the reason why my blog has been so quiet.....
I am also starting a part-time job...! This will not take much time from my PhD and will give me an opportunity to work on a different research project than my own. I am really excited about this!

And with all this happening, my creative life was affected. It is not that I am not thinking about any new projects, I do and lots! Its just managing to actually start and conclude some.... Still, I will try to share once they’re done...!
And I hope to share those soon here....

27 June 2016

My Monday Making: My first rag doll



It has been such a long time since I had some relative free time for some creative ventures.... Making a rag-doll it was on my to try list, and finally I made it.

Making this rag-doll was an excellent way to recycle some old t-shirts and fabric leftovers... and have lots of fun at it...!

Firstly I began by searching my fabric stash for cute fabrics for the dress.
I also draw  and cut the doll template from old newspapers:





I began by making the doll’s head:


For the doll’s head I used an old t-shirt fabric  for the face and felt for the hair. I created a pattern for the hair, and cut the felt for both front and back of the doll’s hair. I stitch the 'back hair 'together so it would look as side pigtails. I basted the front and back hair on the previous cut t-shirt following the pattern I made for the head.  I embroidered the front hair and then I saw both back and front together. Once stitched, I  then stuffed the head  and embroidered the doll’s eyes, nose and mouth.

Then I made the doll’s body...


Afterwards it was time to make a dress:


O also made some bows as hair pins.

I had so much fun creating and making this doll. As a little kid I always wanted a rag doll but never had one... I guess I am fulfilling  this as a grownup,  but better since I made it from scratch. I will later share the doll’s pattern for you to download.
Here’s another picture of the doll, although without having embroidered the mouth. I was undecided about how to make the little mouth, or even it should have one altogether...


In the end I eventually embroidered one...




I linked up with:

25 June 2016

Today’s Thoughts: We need to keep the European dream alive

European Union woke up to a new world on the 24th of June. The UK’s referendum results were out, and no doubts were left, UK decided to abandon the EU. Exit negotiations will soon begin.
After the referendum results,  new calls to leave the European Union started, from France and the Netherlands, both coming from far-right parties.

I will not say how disappointed I am about this decision, and how wrong I believe this decision to be. It was a decision that divided the UK, half wishing to remain and half urging to leave and regain sovereignity. However it is clear now that most British people believe that the best for the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union.


I am fearful for the future of the European Union. Nevertheless I still believe in the European Union and its Constitution, which promotes peace, combat social exclusion and discrimination, promotes social justice and protection, equality between men and women, solidarity between generations and protection for children’s rights.


These are the fundamental objectives to uphold within  the EU.


EU was created first and foremost as a project of peace in Europe, after two WW having started in this continent. And lets not be mistaken, the EU has undoubtedly contributed for the stability of Europe.  This was recognised in 2012, when EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize  “for over six decades having contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”.





Alongside this project of peace, EU promotes tolerance amongst its different cultures. It praises its own cultural diversity, which is valued. It drives on the freedom of movement of people and goods within its countries. Immigration is not feared, its valued.  When in school and throughout uni, I  lived in a climate where being an “European” was a reason for joy and proudness, more than to be part of a nation, one was European, a global citizen. I never felt that I was loosing my own nationality or traditions, I indeed felt that I could share them, as other Europeans would do the same. We were building a common ground of tolerance and multiculturalism. Where and when did we loose  this idea?






Nowadays Europe is living a xenophobia climate, an anti-immigration feeling which goes against the pillars which build this grand EU project. This anti-immigration feeling was plain to see the Referendum campaign which culminated with Brexit. I will not dwell on how wrong the Brexit campaign was in this matter. However I need to highlight how important is to regain the sentiment of tolerance. Precisely now is time to recover the notion of the European citizen, that values fraternity, tolerance and multiculturalism. The citizen that recognises the importance of  a networked Europe, and moreover fosters this notion.

Alongside tolerance, it is important to remember the EU achievements in fostering equality between women and men, which is one of its founding values.  It is interesting that the women’s rights were rarely  mentioned in either campaign, apart from Scottish campaign. EU legislation covers a multitude of areas to promote gender equality and women’s rights, from employment to private and family life.  Although recognising that inequalities still exist, the EU made significant progress and aims to continue to improve in areas such as women’s participation in labour market, economic independence and equality in leadership positions. Let’s not be mistaken, the EU has been a champion for women’s rights, and to be part of the EU ensures all women that a champion will still fight for their equality whilst maintaining those already achieved.  Honestly, I would not be surprised if Emmeline Pankhurst would support UK remaining in EU rather than leave, against what Priti Patel claims, since the EU is such a strong advocate of women’s rights. I am not the alone in believing this.

Sadly EU is not perfect, and surely theres more than room for improvement in such a large project. Criticism over an undemocratic EU were pouring in during this campaign. Nevertheless it is possible to find flaws in one of the oldest democratic system as the UK. This just proves that improving democracy, in any given society is still possible how could it not be in the EU? And lets recall that the EU has been reforming its structure and constitutional basis since its origin, 1948. I believe this one of the most weakest arguments to leave as it is clearly possible to improve  any of the EU fails when one is whiling to contribute. Nobody believes that an unifying Europe would be easy to accomplish, far less when it comprises a disparity of countries. But we must recognise the importance of debating  any difficult issue, and doing it so in the EU is the better way to do it, as once a consensus is reached it will definitely benefit all the countries that are part of this project.

Lets not forget Europe’s history.  Its wisdom. Not even its fails. Building upon our mistakes and learning from them its our strength.  I am hopeful that the outcome of such a shockwave like the UK’s referendum result will strength the Europe Union.  The aftermath of the referendum left many Brits regretting their vote.   There’s much to learn from this Europe. Learn from the disillusion of your citizens, from their desires. Let’s use what we’ve learned  to build a better and stronger European Union.
Together. Let’s keep the European Dream of a tolerant and cohere Europe alive.


05 June 2016

Especially for toddler’s little buds: chunky veggie chicken soup



If it is difficult for a grown up person to keep a well balanced diet, for a toddler it can be extra-difficult. Despite diversifying meals, preparing diverse salads and what else I remember to keep veggies on his meal... These same veggies are left behind.

But there’s a favourite entry of his, and that is soup, surprisingly enough. And soup is my easy way to keep these important  veggies and their nutrients on his meals. And if I can have protein, carbohydrates and veggies all in one dish, great... ! I will be sharing today a recipe that my little one loved, and so did I: chunky veggie chicken soup!
Nutritious and delicious all in one...:





Ingredients:

Half head cauliflower
2 large carrots
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
100 mg shell pasta
1/2 chicken
1 chicken stock cube
2 soup spoon olive oil 

Season chunky bits of  chicken with pepper and salt to taste. In a saucepan fry the ground onion and garlic until golden.  Add the chicken and both carrots and cauliflower previously  cut in chunky bits, and fry for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock cube and water (around 1l) and bring the soup to the boil. Let it simmer until the veggies are tender. 
prepare the shell pasta, following the packet instructions. Once the shell pasta is cooked, add it to the soup and let it simmer together for a few minutes (around 5min or less).

Serve ...
...And if you wish to have an extra creamy soup, you can add either sour cream or double cream when serving. 
enjoy!



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