Art Display 

At our last house I had a “clothes line” art display where I could peg my sons art work.

Cheap & simple

In the “new” house I’ve been holding off on any kitchen displays as I wanted to wait till the wood-veneer panelled walls were painted.

Well… They’re painted white(ish) and the kitchen has black and red accents so I felt it was time to work on the display

Make a mess…

I found a large, cheap, poster frame; wooden craft letters to spell ART and paint in black, white & red (thanks Walmart) I handed all of the above to my 6 yr old and told him to make a mess…. This is the result

The finished display

Usually he brings home larger drawings from school so the frame is massive for this little one, but I like it 🙂 (He drew “Anger” from the Pixar Movie “Inside Out”)

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Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

TastyKakeMinis: The Mini ‘Kakes’ that are….

…Awesome! (and Tasty of course)

A while ago I signed up to Influenster.com to receive their VoxBox -which is basically a box they send you (every now and then) of a new item or product to test and review.

The main point of it is to get people to test it and to also have them share their opinions on social media and basically spread the word about a new product. The more opinions they share and tasks they complete… The more points, potential prizes and a bigger chance they have of receiving a vox box in the future.

The contents of my VoxBox

The contents of my VoxBox

Sometimes a requirement is to blog about the product that you’re testing and as I do have a blog I will do that from time to time. At this point I must state that I was sent this product (for free) for the sake of testing and reviewing; these are my own opinions. (Oh and if I don’t like the product I will be brutally honest about it)

So…in this VoxBox I received Tastykake minis to test (yum!) Apparently you can get one of three flavours, those being coffee, chocolate or Reese’s peanut butter. I had a peanut butter flavour (yay!) which, honestly, would be my first choice of the three anyway

The theme of the VoxBox was celebrating so the VoxBox came with a whole box of TastyKake Minis, a drink cosi, party hat and some money off vouchers to share with friends (I shared with my husband and son because that way I know I’ll be getting at least one ‘kake’ in return and I’ll really have a reason to celebrate * insert evil laugh mwahahahah * ).

Celebrating Solo

Celebrating Solo

Tasks involved sharing how we celebrated with TastyKate Minis, using the hashtag #tastykakeminiwins on social media platforms of course. Luckily for me, that week I had just started my new job so I had a genuine reason to celebrate … not only having a job but also celebrating the coffee breaks and the chance to put my feet up after a day at work 🙂

So now the product itself- TastyKake Minis are small sponge cakes – in this case chocolate, with peanut butter flavoured icing and peanut butter flavoured crème filling. They come in wrapped packets of 3 – which has a little cardboard tray at the bottom to help avoid squishing 😉 The cakes are very sweet but small enough to not feel guilty about it. They have the perfect amount of crème and icing to balance out the chocolate sponge – which is moist and springy. I feel 3 cakes per pack is just the right amount, 4 would be too many and 2 wouldn’t be as devilishly satisfying. Overall they were a hit – a big thumbs up from me, my husband and my son (seriously I had to hide them to make sure they weren’t all inhaled in one go)

I can see this being a regular thing...(need more wine though)

I can see this being a regular thing…(need more wine though)

Each Box has 24 mini cupcakes (so 8 packets per box) which is a good amount … but odd enough to make you have to buy more than one box every fortnight if you’re using them for lunch-boxes and snacks (sneaky but it works). The box itself is bright, secure and opens in such a way that you can store it in your pantry and still access the TastyKakes without having to take the whole box out each time, which, as a mum and maker of lunches, is a definite plus.

I had never heard of or noticed the brand TastyKake before this VoxBox (maybe if I had grown up in the States it would be a different story) but honestly since testing them I have seen their brand everywhere so this VoxBox thing works as far as spreading the word and sending out those subliminal messages 😉

There are MORE of them!

There are MORE of them!

I would definitely recommend TastyKakes, they have been added to our shopping list and I’m sure they will be a regular purchase from now on. I enjoyed this VoxBox and look forward to the next one 🙂 Have you tried these yet? Are you a TastyKake fan?

https://www.facebook.com/Tastykake

https://www.instagram.com/Tastykake

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I know, I know, here I go again *rolls eyes*

IMG_2009It’s been so long since I’ve been able to sit down and get my ancient laptop to actually DO SOMETHING I ask it to do (Maybe I should have been TELLING it what to do all this time instead)

All I can do is hold my hands up (again) and apologise for my absence…and maybe blame a MASSIVE percentage on rubbish technology and joint pain but I digress…

I HAVE been busy with all sorts though. From ALMOST finishing painting the kitchen (photos soon eventually I promise) to starting a new job (yay me) – or a pretty intense health scare (thankfully all clear now) to a handful of new fur-babies coming to stay with us. It’s been a roller-coaster indeed but I’m still here and I’m still smiling 🙂

For now I just wanted to say Hi and also direct your attention to the “snapshots” on the right hand side —> That WAS linked to my personal instagram – click here if you’re an Instagram(mer??) & want to follow that account – but it has now been updated to share snapshots from my BritishChick account instead so hopefully that will let all you crafty people see the relevant things I’ve been up to…. rather than selfies of me and my dog…. *rolls eyes*

I shall return! (famous last words I’m sure but this blog is always on my to-do list so the intention is still there)

I hope you are all well and happy 🙂

Categories: Desperate Housewife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Hippie Pics (#2)

As promised (here) These are some more tie-dye pics from the Hippie Party we went to  – it was so much fun and check out that cake! Since the party, little man and I have got a good amount of wear out of our tie-dyed items 🙂

 

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Every little helps

I was holding off posting until I could update you on finished house projects. You know the whole “before” and “after” big reveal type things? Well there still aren’t any 100% finished ‘reveal-worthy’ projects at this point (booo.) To be fair we have had a lot going on but I’ve almost finished the bathrooms – right now they are both “fine” but I still want to tweak some bits. The kitchen is half painted – its ALL wood veneer so the prep work has been the most time consuming and did I mention I now have a vegetable patch? *takes a bow*

ANYWAY, for now I will share something I HAVE managed to start and finish in the last few weeks…..*yay*

l_me-fine-logoMonths ago I donated a gift certificate to a local(ish) charity event (<–click to see details of the event itself) for the Me Fine Foundation  (<– click to learn about the foundation.)

The certificate was for one 12×12 custom canvas made by me and awarded to the highest bidder. The event itself was a huge success and after receiving a thank you card from the foundation and hearing nothing more on the matter I genuinely assumed someone had done some ‘pity-bidding’ with no intention of actually cashing in their prize (sad face)

BUT….a few weeks ago I was contacted by the winner *yay again*- she makes soap and wanted a custom canvas with her brand name to display at craft fayres etc. She sent me the font type and these 2 images to go from… (please make sure you visit her page(s) and show her some love – if you click the pics it will take you straight there)

IMG_2332

IMG_2331

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And from those came THIS…..

TaaDaaaa

TaaDaaaa

IMG_2634

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lighting isn’t great in these but I love it 🙂 And apparently Jenny does too which is what matters 🙂

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Hippie Chic

We have a fancy dress/costume party coming up and the theme is “Hippy/Hippie” (I think it’s spelled IE but the host thinks Y so whatever)

Of course the obvious place to start was TIE DYE! (Yay!) 

We grabbed a $6 fabric dye kit which contained 3 different colours in easy to pour bottles and went to town. 

I wet each item first (not sure if I was meant to but it worked) and experimented with different techniques suggested in the “how to” pamphlet that came with it. 

   
 

  
8 hours of “setting” later, I washed and dried them…. Here are the results 

  
         

My costume consists of a long floaty dip-dyed skirt in a grey-navy tone so I made a less vibrant vest-top to wear with it BUT I may wear the pink and blue vest-top instead depending on how I feel on the day. Here is the less vibrant one…   

All in all im happy with the results, it was a fun activity and good excuse to get messy with my little man 🙂 

 
(He wasn’t happy because I had just asked him to help me weed the garden ha ha!)

Here is the link for the dyes I used http://tiedyeyoursummer.com/get-inspired.html

And this is the “pin” on Pinterest which helped with my ombre vest-top http://www.mybeautifulmessblog.com/2012/10/10/successful-ombre-dyeing/

Apologies if this post doesn’t work well, I’m writing it from my phone *eeeek* I’ll post pics once the costumes are complete 🙂 

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Forbidden Fruit 

It’s been hectic to say the least, I’ll fill you in eventually… or not depending on how much I feel like sharing by the time I make it to the laptop again 🙂

For now, just to wet your whistle I thought I’d share my latest canvas, a gift for my friends little girl. Another “forbidden fruit” in my book (to see what I’m talking about click HERE) so it won’t be published in my Etsy Store but wanted to share with you rather than hiding it away like some kind of dirty secret 🙂

Forbidden Fruit


I like how simple it is compared to what I usually do 🙂 

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Cloudy with a chance of spray paint 

I promise this blog isn’t going to be ALL about my house BUT while that’s what I’m working on I’ll share as I go-otherwise you’ll never hear from me. This time is all about my kitchen table transformation

Ignore the mess....focus on the wood :)

Ignore the mess….focus on the wood 🙂

My kitchen is very… Wooden. The walls will eventually be painted cream or “off-White” (is there a difference??)  The one thing I want to keep is the black metal handles on the cabinets so with that in mind black will be the accent colour.

My husband is fed up with the dining set we have, mainly because it’s a cheap Tesco table that has been with me for years but also because I’ve used it for painting on, one chair is broken and again it’s very… Wooden.

After hunting for dining sets and hearing my bank balance scream I decided to update our set and give it a new lease of life.

*Enter my two enemies, the sander and the spray paint*

First I sanded all pieces (with the right type of paper)

Then I set to work fixing the broken chair. This bad boy has been held together with a mixture of wood glue, duct tape and sticky labels ever since my then-toddler had a tantrum and knocked it over.

This is my new favourite thing

This is my new favourite thing

I found this stuff which claims to be harder than steel… A quick dip, squeeze and wrap later and it’s stronger than it’s ever been. It can also be sanded and painted over.

I took to the garden and got going. Remembering previous mistakes I took my time, opting for a few light sprays from a distance.  Then the thunderstorms happened so I moved to the carport *note to self- check weather before starting a project*

This particular spray paint claims “no drips” but it lied!! A light (hand) rub down with ultra fine sandpaper removed any splodges and I simply sprayed over it lightly to cover.

Also it turns out the weather really does matter! Humidity+ water+ spray paint = cloudy results and/or cracking in parts, especially if rain droplets find their way onto whatever you’re spraying

After a good day letting it dry, googling cloudy-removing solutions, spending a good 30 minutes of hair-dryer action and fearing that the clear coat spray may give the same results I resorted to my backup plan – THIS stuff. A brush on paint AND sealant in one.

Moving into the house, armed with rollers, sponge brushes and plastic sheeting I lightly sanded the pieces and painted over them. I found that light coatings with drying time and light sanding in between works best. Any thick/drippy bits were easily sanded and re-coated

I'm in love :)

I’m in love 🙂

4 coats later and I’m in love. With the addition of some beige/cream chair cushions and a random place-mat with jug combo I’m really pleased with the outcome. It definitely kept me busy AND saved some money (even more so when I returned the left over spray paints)

Cushions $20

(Wasted) spray paint $14

Rollers, brushes & tray $10

Polyshades $11

Jug (gift)

Place mat $2

$57 for a new dining set

As always here are more pics to show the stress process

 

 

 

Categories: Desperate Housewife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rules are made to be curved slightly

When it comes to custom canvases I have one rule: NO EXISTING CHARACTERS/LOGOS

Mainly because there are copyright issues when recreating (and selling) character items – in fact if you’re selling things you also have to be careful of which ‘tag words’ you use…. (did you know “Onesie” is a copyrighted word??) There have been many Etsy sellers ‘shut down’ due to recreating Frozen items or using the wrong tags in their listings.

Random cat...I'm fine with that

Random cat…I’m fine with that

Of course there are loopholes, some can be put under the fan art category or tagged as ‘mermaid’ rather than ‘The Little Mermaid‘ but I don’t really understand that or feel the need to learn more about it. It seems to be luck-of-the-draw as one quick search on Etsy will usually bring up plenty of other stores selling the same copyrighted things …and they don’t get caught BUT I choose not to roll the dice and keep anything like that off of my Etsy site.

The other reason I don’t like to do it is because I’m not that confident drawing. If I’m drawing a random cartoon cat then that’s fine, I can make it up as I go along but if asked to COPY one…. who knows what it will look like in the end.

There is ONE exception to my rule and that is friends and family. If I’m making it for someone I care about I will break my own rule and go for it without listing it on my Etsy page as something anyone can order. The frustrating thing about that is that some of my favourite items have to be kept under the radar so I thought today I would share them on here 🙂

The first one I did was a ‘Trash Pack’ themed canvas for my little man. ‘Trashies’ are grim little critters or creatures you would find in the bin or associated with rubbish i.e. “stink bug” or “putrid pretzel” There are hundreds of these little rubber things to collect and my son was crazy about them so I made this for his bedroom and it followed us across the pond. He’s now into his spider man themed room so I’ve started painting over this to transform it into his newest obsession (I’ll show you when I’m done)

Trash Pack

Trash Pack

Second was a present for little mans best friend who has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed bedroom – he loves it 🙂

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I did another for an Xbox Gamer….

Gamers Dream

Gamers Dream

Most recently my sister asked me to do a ‘Superhero” themed canvas for her boyfriend and insisted I use real images instead of just hints of his favourite heroes so this is the first time I have EVER traced an image (or 4) for one of my canvases. I’m happy with it and so is her boyfriend.

These canvases make me feel like I’ve dipped my toe into some sort of dark, criminal world BUT I love them and I’m proud of them. I think as long as I’m not mass producing or blatantly selling them I’m ok with bending my own rules slightly from time to time 🙂

Categories: Crafty Chick | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Who knew stripping was so hard

The bathroom – part 1 (don’t judge me)

I made a mess of my bathroom (paint) and I’m upset with myself. I make no secret of the fact that I am NOT good at DIY – or making good choices OR being patient for that matter

Pink and brown...mmmmm

Pink and brown…mmmmm

The Problem: First off- this is what I had to work with…. typical pink (or nude) and brown (or skid mark) tiles and matching unit that was popular when it was built and decorated in the 70s (and kept that way ever since) It has lovely green carpet too(in pics below)… Luckily for us it’s just laid over original tile and easily lifted -or it will be when the time comes, it’s just a shame the tiles aren’t more appealing.

 The plan: I wanted colours which could tie in with the tile -meaning less work in the long run- but I also wanted something warm and inviting. For the main wall I chose a warm caramel it has “warm” in the name so the choice wasn’t that difficult, the tiles will be eventually cream and the accent colours for example the nice pink unit will eventually be a chocolate brown…. Easy enough right?

*my dad calls this colour “baby poo”, it looks very different on camera than real life and the reflection from the remaining pink tile isn’t helping either but trust me it WILL look nice in the end*

"Baby Poo Brown' with primed tile

“Baby Poo Brown’ with primed tile

The lessons I learned the hard way: 

  • Work from the top down: I decided to prime the pink tile as that’s that main thing that irks me (aside from the carpet) but after priming one wall I realised I should probably start at the top and work my way down. A little time wasted but no biggie
  • If the advice at Walmart is “Maybe your should go to Lowes” … Go to Lowes
  • Buying paint at Walmart purely because it’s closer and I’m lazy I happened to be there when the urge to impulse-buy paint struck wasn’t the best idea.
  • Don’t trust the “paint-finish-key”: I’m used to buying paints marked “bathroom” etc but Walmart just has flat, satin, glossy and semi-gloss The key told me semi-gloss was the way to go… It wasn’t

 What I learned about semi-gloss (this deserves its own section:

  • Unless you’re going for a very light colour or painting a large room with natural light… Stay away from semi-gloss
  • It’s going to end up darker than the picture on the tin
  • You’ll feel like you’re in a wet, dark, cave
  • Gloss paint shows up every imperfection in the wall! So either sand the wall or go for satin. Otherwise shelling out for paint “pads” which are “smoother than a roller and quicker than a brush” is completely pointless.
  • If you hate the look of the first wall… Painting the others will not make it look any better.
The sander is NOT my friend

The sander is NOT my friend

The outcome: I backed away and went to bed- when you lose sleep over something you know it’s got to change. This morning I woke up determined to repaint it with a satin finish and googled whether that was a possibility or not….it is.  A friend suggested sanding it first to remove the obvious brush strokes showing through from the previous owners so I bought a hand power-sander to help speed things up. *yes I can see you cringing*

Lessons about sanding: 

  • Using the wrong type of paper when sanding over gloss paint can remove 3 layers of paint in patches all over the place leaving the option of attempting to paint over the patches OR removing all paint from that wall with a tiny paint trowel I found in my craft drawer….

3 days (and some wine) later the wall was stripped, patched, primed and ready for round 2

I’m so much happier now it’s not as shiny, I painted over the other walls (without sanding) and it acted like a second coat, filling in any patches and calming down the cave-feel. I’ve since started on the tile – with the RIGHT kind of paint (thanks Lowes) so I’ll update you once I’ve come down from the fumes 🙂

 

Categories: Desperate Housewife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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