Friday, 19 May 2017

The Bullet Journal - My First Month

Hey, it's E and today and I'm going to be talking about a recent thing I've started - my bullet journal.
So, previously I've had a Filofax and I just started to decide it didn't really work very well for me. I'm very creative and so it was just too structured and I didn't have that freedom that I wanted. I couldn't just doodle in the margin or really easily add in a sleep tracker. I'd heard about the bullet journal system before and I started to look into it in a little more depth that I already had. The more I discovered about it the more I realised I really like the system. It was coming up to then start of May so I thought it would be a great time to start. I found a notebook with plain pages that I already had (I bought it from The Range) and got started with the first few pages.

The First Pages
I started off with a very important spread - the future log for the year. I started it at May and just drew out little calendars. I put this in so I could quickly coordinate dates with days and have a log of all the birthdays I needed to remember.

Next I have my reading pages. I am an avid reader so it's really important to me to be able keep a track of all the books I want to read and have read. It's very simple but extremely functional and easy to use.

The final one of these pages is a levels record. In England we get levelled on subjects and we are always doing little assessments and it helps me to just keep a record so I can see if I'm progressing.

The First Month

To start May off I just did a little title page with some washi tape to tab it so I could easily refer back to it.

Then I stuck some nice paper onto the pages to create a noticeboard type thing so I could just easily use post it notes to put quick notes and events that are going to happen. For example, I have a post it note with the two tests I have in May.
After this I have my monthly calendar so I have space to write events that are coming up. This also gives me a easy way to view my month. I also have the goals page after this for my monthly goals. This includes things like 'use my bullet journal every day' and 'finish No Stars at the Circus'.
The final two pages before my weekly spreads are my habit tracker and my blog ideas page. The habit is really helpful for trying to instil new habits in my daily routing and the blog ideas page is great to brainstorm blog posts and design ideas.

Now we move on to my weekly spreads. So far I have three and I've already learnt a lot about what I like in the spread. So my first spread was very simple but it didn't really work me because the sections were horizontal and there wasn't much space to write tasks downwards. There was also a big gap at the bottom and I wasn't really sure how to fill this so I just wrote a quote. I feel like it wasn't a very good use of the space and was not helpful for me.

In the next spread I changed it a lot. I'd found lots of inspiration and I decided to do the days vertically. This gave me space to write more tasks which I often have a lot of. I also had more space generally so I was able to put a sleep tracker into it. I also got some great inspiration for the decoration and I was really happy with how it turned out.

My spread for this week didn't change much. All I did was change the headings slightly and moved the sleep tracker simply for a bit of a change because I don't want all the spreads to be exactly the same.

That's all I've got so far but I know I'm going to be using my bullet journal a lot since I love it already. I can be so creative and can change anything I want. If something doesn't work I don't have to include the next month and you don't get this flexibility with other planning systems. I will definitely update you with my progress and I have some good ideas for other bullet journal posts. If you want a bit more inspiration, please check out my Pinterest board (profile is TangleOfThread) for bullet journals.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Recycled Paper Beads

Sometimes, you want to make some jewellery but you have no beads whatsoever. I often come up with this problem but there is a solution: homemade paper beads! Grab some paper and lets get going.

You will need:
  • Paper
  • A gluestick
  • PVA glue
  • Water
  • A skewer/bead making tool
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Small piece of polystyrene
  • Coloured pens
To actually make the beads, the best and easiest way to do it to use a bead making tool (I recommend the Recycled Paper Beads kit from green creativity. You can get it easily off Amazon). But if you don't have one, you can roll them on a skewer.


1. Firstly, you need to cut the strips of paper. There are different shapes of beads you can make but I will start with the most common. Start by marking inches across the top of the paper (you can change this to suit how wide you want the beads).

2. Mark half an inch on the bottom of the paper. Continue making full inch mark along the bottom.

3. Now join all these marks up so you get triangle shapes.

4. Cut them out.
5. At this point, you will need to decorate the strips of paper. But if you have cut them out of some magazine paper or decorated paper then this won't apply. If you are decorating them, remember that you will keep rolling over the top of the design, so anything running down the middle won't be seen.

6. After decorating, you now need to roll the beads. If you are using a specialised tool, follow the instructions that come with it. If not, start by putting a line of glue on the wide section of bead. Make sure you do this on the back.
7. Now fold it the top over the skewer and glue it down. This will hold the bead in place as you roll it.

8. It is now time to create the actual bead shape! Slowly and carefully roll the piece of paper around the skewer until there is a small tail left. Use a glue stick to secure this down.

9. Slide the bead off the skewer and put it onto a cocktail stick. Stick the cocktail stick in a piece of polystyrene. This will keep the bead from the ground as it dries and make it easier to seal.

10. Once the bead as dried, you will need to make the watered down glue to seal the bead. If you have some Mod Podge, feel free to use this. But if you don't, put some PVA glue into a bowl and add water until it is a thick but runny consistency.
11. Paint this all around the bead. You may find it easier if you pick up the cocktail stick.

12. Wait for them to fully dry and then take them off the cocktail sticks. Your bead are now finished! 13. Thread them through some elastic and tie to create a wonderful bracelet or necklace.

We hope you have found this tutorial useful and comment down below if you have made some. We would love to see a picture if you have!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

January's Best Bits 2017

The first year of the month is finally over! Now we can get on track once more and complete our goals and really feel like it is now 2017. So we've rounded up everything we loved from January,

1. New year... new me!
Well this one is old and a bit cliche but it has to be included. It can mean anything for anyone and for all us crafters it means better organisation and better ideas. I am definitely trying to get better ideas and one of my goals is to post on this blog a bit more - hopefully at least once a week.

2. Warm Stews
Ok so it's not really related to craft but in the winter a hot stew is absolutely amazing! It warms you up on the inside and the outside and can be a life saver when it's frosty outside.

3. Bath Bombs
I adore bath bombs and they are even more incredible when you have one in a steaming bath when it's icy outside the window. They're still great in warmer weather but it can feel a bit stuffy it it's too warm so I always cherish baths I have in the winter.

A beautiful bath bomb from Bomb Cosmetics
4. Body Scrubs and Moisturisers
So over Christmas I got a lot (and I mean a lot) of moisturisers and body scrubs so I decided that I may as well use them and see what they can do. My favourite one have the Soap&Glory body butter and it has transformed my extremely dry knees and elbows. It has worked wonders! I highly recommend it.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Gift Wrapping Ideas

Many people get to Christmas and birthdays and immediately loath what comes with it: gift wrapping. But, it can be fun. When you make something beautiful for someone, the first impression is important. And that first impression is how its wrapped. Here we will give some great ideas (and cheats too ;) for wrapping gifts the best way possible. All those aesthetic people out there, this for you.

1. Wrapping Paper

Although the little additions at the end make your gift look super cute, the paper you use can really make or break the final outcome. First, you need something that fits what you're wrapping for. Don't use Christmas wrapping paper for birthdays and don't use paper with firetrucks on it for a fully grown adult. Quality of paper doesn't matter as much as you may think it does. If you find 50p roll, but you love it, go for it! As long as the paper holds together, quality isn't your biggest worry. The more fun designs can often be found in cheaper like Primark and H&M. Also, always have a good range on hand. You won't always have time to go and buy some.

2. Washi Tape

Washi tape, or any other coloured/patterned tape, is a great way to give your gift that little edge that it needs. It draws a little more attention and makes it look like you've put a little more care and thought into to it. Plus, washi tape is just amazing! Pick one that matches your wrapping paper and decide whether you want it to pop out or be slightly subtle. For instance, you probably shouldn't use a patterned tape if the wrapping paper is covered in pattern already. But, if it contrasts nicely and you love that eclectic effect, it can look really good. If you're a little more elegant and plain, add some sparkly tape to give that sophisticated look.
Tip: Use a bit of clear tape first and then put the washi tape on as it often isn't actually very sticky.

3. Bows, Frills and Decoration

Sometimes, the perfect finish to your gift can be a perfectly placed hand-tied bow. Stuck on or wrapped around, it finished it off beautifully. Take a bit of raffia, string, cord or whatever floats your boat and tie a bow around the gift. Add decoration as well. Stick on some cute little gems or beads and embellish, embellish, embellish. You do have to be careful though, and try not to go over the top. This can make the wrapping look cluttered and a bit over done. Have fun. But restrain yourself when necessary!
Cheat: If you don't have enough string to go around the gift or don't how to tie it correctly, tie a bow and leave the strands. Then stick these around the gift and nobody will notice.

4. Be consistent

Even if you do everything in this list to perfection, it can be ruined if you're not consistent. By this I mean that you should keep the same colour pallet and using the same wrapping paper if you're wrapping more than one gift. Find paper, tape and decorations that all go to together and fit together. In different gifts you can still decorate them in different ways, but use the same paper and the similar colours for a nice coordinated look.

Please try some of these ideas and see what works for you. Plus, if you have any other ideas, we would love it if you could comment them down below. Maybe we'll include them in a future post.

Party planning: The basics

Hi, it's M today and I would like to share with you one of my favourite things to do: plan parties. I though it would be nice to give you an idea of the basics of party planning for children. I've given ideas for younger and older children but it's up to you to customise it and make it your own.

When planning a party, having a theme can really help to pull the party together. It's not essential but can be very helpful.

When thinking about age you want something appropriate. If its a toddler's party don't get them doing craft or cake making because they won't be able to do it properly and it won't work. Also you don't want teenagers doing what they did when they were 5. Just bare it in mind when planning.

For a party to be fun and engaging, you really need to think about the hobbies of the child and their friends. For example, if the child really loves ice-skating then it might be a could idea to take everybody ice-skating and have a cake that is themed on ice-skating. Or, if you don't want to go anywhere, if the child loves dancing, throw a dance battle between different teams.

Although it may seem slightly annoying budget is one the most important factors to consider. If your budget is large, you may be able to go somewhere or hire a hall and a bouncy castle. But if you have a smaller budget then this may not be possible. You can still keep the party fun though and have a really nice setup at home. Instead of buying food, consider making it yourself and maybe even have a barbecue if the weather is nice.

Now you have an idea of what sort of things you could do, you need to actually make it happen. I would suggest planning a few weeks in advance and sending invitations at least 2 weeks in advance so people have time to get back to you.

The first thing you need to actually do is create or buy invitations. For this you can go and buy them, paperchase and hobbycraft have some really nice ones, or you can make them. If your making them, a really easy way to do it is to get some small card stock and simply write invention on them. There's so many ways to do this so be creative. If you are making them, it's really easy to tie them into your theme. For my birthday, I went for a rustic autumnal theme. So I used light pinks and blues which I used in my thank you cards. Thank you cards are another thing to think about. I would advise sorting them out at the same time as inventions because they are very similar. If you really want to save money, you could text invitations or thank yous.

Next you need to sort out some kind of structure to what your doing; this is the bit where you decide exactly what you are doing. If you have younger kids you will probably want a more structured plan but if the kids are older you may be able to be a bit more relaxed. Also, if you have something booked like a restaurant or cinema tickets you will need to have a more structured plan. So, first of all, where are you meeting. If you are going somewhere are meeting there first or are you doing something else. If you are going to a specific venue then meeting there is probably a bit easier considering you may have to be there a bit early to get things ready. So, you are at the venue. What next? Well, if you have younger kids, you'll what to get them doing something straight away so I would suggest as a structure, doing activites then having food and then doing some more relaxed activity. For example, playing outside if you're​ at home and have a garden. If you have older this structure still works. For example, doing an activity like watching a film then having some food then just letting the kids relax and chat. 

Now you have got everyone doing something, you need to feed everyone. Of course you have the classic party food of samwhiches and crisps which a great if you have lots of people who have lots of different preferences. However if you have a smaller group of people, you could buy plain pizzas had toppings and people can put what they want on their own pizzas. Or if there's not many people you can ask them what they want and buy certain food. Now, the most important food at a party is sugary food. Of course, there's birthday cake but there's more than just cake. If you like baking you could​ bake something however, popcorn and other sweets are great for older kids, especially at sleepovers. For interactive desserts, you could create make your own knicker-boker-glories or add your own icecream topping. These are great for younger kids but a change to get a bit messy for younger children. Remember, food is a great chance to include your theme a bit more. For example  the birthday cake could tie into a theme or plates and table wear if you are using table wear.

Since you have your party all planned out, all you need to do is add extra details like decoration and party bags.

Decoration is where you can really pull your theme in. Things like birthday banners with your chosen colour of theme. Ballons in certain colours. Be creative. I think if you have time making your own decorations makes it much easier to pull in your design. Go to your local craft shop and inspired.

Party bags
Party bags aren't necessary but if you have a layer budget then they are a good option. If you have younger kids then all you need is a plastic bag and some cheap little toys to keep them entertained. However older kids still don't mind silly things. Boncey balls, blow and realise ballons and lots of chocolate and sweets make a fun party bags for most children. If you want something more sepfisticated, then you can really get creative. I made custom flower crowns to match my theme. There's no limit to what you can make.

Well that is the basics of having a functining party. If you want to see more things like this then leave a comment. I would love to do some more detailed and sepcific party's. As summer is approaching, I was thinking about doing a summer party planning post. Well I will speech to you another time, bye for now and have a good party!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Salt Dough Decorations

So Christmas is coming, and decorations are expensive. Plus I need something to do.

Well these are perfect.

Salt dough is cheap and easy to make and you can decorate it however you like.

You Will Need:
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 1/4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of salt
All you need to do is mix together the flour and the salt and then slowly mix in the water until it becomes a dough. Kneed it, roll it, cut it, and pop it on a baking tray.  Use the blunt end of a square to pock some holes so they can be hung up. Bake in an oven at about 170 degrees c for about 30 mins. Take them out and allow them to cool.

Now is the fun part, decorating.
You can paint them, use permanent makers and draw on them, you could glue on glitter.... The possibilities are endless. Really use your imaginations and create something amazing!

I hope you have fun making these. Thank you for reading!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Summer best bits

So as we haven't done a favourites post for a while i thought id just round it up into one big post...

1. Delouse summer smoothies
These are great for summer get togethers. There is a great recipe on  our cooking blog Monday Mixing

2. Beach bags
If your heading to the beach, grab yourself a beach bag, you could even make your own. A large tea towel might make a great piece of fabric.

3. Picnics
Go to the park or just in the back garden picnics are great for summer days. Perhaps bring along a homemade picnic blanket.

4. Projects
They are a great way to keep yourself entertained in the long summer days. Why not go to your local library and pick up some crafting books or get some inspiration. Or have a browse on pintrest.

I hope you all had a great summer!