Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Down the Rabbit hole we go... A Christmas Peter Rabbit Adventure



It's the most wonderful time of year! CHRISTMAS! I find myself reaching for the christmas decorations earlier and earlier each year, trying to make the festive fun last more than the usual 12  days that those carol'ers harp on about! 


So, with George in full santa excitement mode now that he's almost 4, I think this will be the first christmas that he fully understands and appreciates December for all its magic!
I love embracing all things festive and love even more the opportunity to experience something through my sons eyes. All that wonder and joy! So, with that in mind, we simply had to visit Peter Rabbit's grotto at The Trafford Centre, promising festive family fun with the added sprinkle of Beatrix Potter magic.

Upon arriving, we were greeted by one of santas helpers, who ushered all us eager families through a door, straight into Peter's wonderful world. We found ourselves standing in a very cosy burrow, where Peter welcomed all the children into his home. It's important to note here, that this isn't a Peter Rabbit you'd expect. 'Peter Rabbit' the character isn't part of the attraction, though the costumes are all very much inspired by Beatrix Potter's characters and personally, I think it's actually all the more enchanting for it. It was almost like we had been transported into The Chronicles of Narnia - I loved that programme when I was little! But all the same, some children who may be expecting a giant Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny or Lily Bobtail to bounce out of the burrow, may need forewarning.


 

There's a lot of detail in the styling of the space. Kids can crawl through a huge log to access the main area, which is a great piece of interactivity for them. You are invited into (a rather cheeky) Mr Todd's Den, adorned with berries and twigs, to sing a christmas carol all gathered around his cooking pot - before decorating christmas gingerbread with Jemima Puddleduck, in her colourful christmas kitchen. (If your child has any dietary needs, then they can decorate a wooden christmas tree ornament as an alternative.)


Then you make your way through the snowy woods, past murals of beloved Potter characters and a huge talking tree to finally meet the big man himself...Father Christmas!  This is where George stood completetly star struck for a good two minutes...so cute!


I found the grotto to be a thoroughly charming experience that mixes the traditional Beatrix Potter fantasy and whimsy, with modern humour and christmas fun. The staff are attentive, the group isn't so big that you miss out on anything and even the gift at the end is a lovely and thoughtful memento of the experience itself. It's also not overly expensive, for those with bigger families. There's also the option at the end to purchase your christmas photo with santa - lots of options here, but I really liked the photo snowglobe for something a little different. We really enjoyed this as a family and I would definitely recommend that you hop to it and book this Christmas!


Bookings / Further info:

https://intu.co.uk/traffordcentre/events/peter-rabbit-s-christmas-grotto 

tickets@eskimojoevents.co.uk 






















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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Craft Tutorial: Easy (ish!) Easter Bunting.



Happy Easter weekend! I've decided to share a craft project with you that I've attempted this week. It is relatively easy - more so if you can sew! I love crafting and trying new things to make, but this was my first attempt at this bunting and FULL DISCLOSURE ALERT... I can't sew for toffee (or easter eggs).

Never the less, the results are super cute and you can replace the bunnies, for literally anything else to make gorgeous bunting for bedrooms /playrooms, even gifts - I'm going to *try* and make some felt dinosaur bunting for George's new room, which I'm in the middle of planning at the minute - more on that later!



Ok, so here's what you need;

Scissors
Plain paper (for templates)
Felt Sheets 
Felt balls
Embroidery floss
Needle
Thread / cotton
Soft Toy Filling


I started by drawing my bunnies onto A4 paper, to use as a template. You may not need to do this if you're a great at freehand and just want to go for it direct on the felt sheets, but if you're anything like me, you'll benefit from a template - and it's also a good way to ensure each bunny is the same size. If you're not confident with free hand drawing, there are plenty of great bunny outlines and templates online - you could even trace it straight off your computer screen!




Once you've made your templates, cut two bunnies from your felt sheets - I went for light grey and white felt, but you could choose any colour you fancy. I got all my essentials at Hobbycraft and they had a great selection of colours.

Put your two felt bunnies together and sew around them. This is the part that I really wished I owned a sewing machine, as you'll have this step sorted in minutes! Or if you're a first time sewer like me and hand sew each bunny, this can take a while! Leave a corner open and stuff with toy filling. I used the blade of my scissors to push the stuffing into every corner. Sew shut.



I then sewed a white felt ball on each rabbit, so they had cute little cotton tails. Once you've made as many bunnies as you like, then you can start to make the garland! I think an odd number of rabbits look great, but it's really up to you how many you add - obviously you'd need more if you were planning on a long length.



Now you can make felt balls yourself, but after watching a few tutorials on you tube, it just seemed far too time consuming, so I ordered online! I went for a mix of 1cm and 3cm balls from Amazon. I decided to go for spring green colours, but again, you can opt for any colour - I think that what makes this so lovely, as you can craft these to any specification you want.

Then, using a large sewing needle, I threaded the bunnies and balls onto some embroidery floss and voila! Your fab little fancy felt bunting is finished!







Wishing you all a wonderful Easter Weekend!


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Saturday, 4 February 2017

50 Shades of Pink!







This month many of us will be celebrating Valentine's Day - ooh la la! So in the spirit of all things sweet and romantic, I thought I'd show you how you can shower some love on your home and embrace the colour pink.
Yes, I know pink isn't everyone's love potion when it comes to interiors and for some it conjures up the thought of saccharine sweet flowery prints, chintz and 80's decor - but there are ways to showcase pink without making your home too girly.
Blush was a major colour trend in 2016 and it's a great starting shade for those who are too shy to experiment with the more powerful pinks out there, but delicate enough as an introduction to this cute hue.

Whether it's pretty pastel, fluorescent fuchsia - or anything in-between, here's the low down on how to make this sweetheart shade work for you.



photo via pinterest


Start simple. Add a pop of pink to your room with something as simple as pink roses, tulips or lillies. This is the easiest way to trial a colour in a space, without committing to anything too costly or permanent.
Pink accents in a neutral room can add warmth and character, depending on which shades you use. Personally, I love blush, nude and pastel pinks, to add a soft sophistication to my lounge area, though if you wanted to make more of a statement, why not opt for bolder shades such as flamingo, magenta and cerise. Accessorise with cushions (I love the pink mongolian wool cushions available at TK Maxx) candles, or a gorgeous cable knit throw. Another simple addition is swapping out your old bathroom towels for classic white or grey and adding a hint of pink in the pile.



photo via pinterest

photo via TK MAXX


Fancy a DIY project? How about upscaling an unloved piece of furniture and painting it pink! Breathe life into an old dresser with a pink paint job and adding gold hardware? Or how about creating a feature wall by framing samples of pink wallpaper and hanging them in a row to make a makeshift gallery wall? I love the idea of transforming something old and giving it a modern makeover  - plus how adorable would powder pink drawers look in a nursery or playroom?




photo via pinterest




Although pink has an amazing array of shades to offer, it's understandable that some of you may need more convincing to use this colour in your home. If you don't want to commit to something big, something less prominent you can do is incorporate pink in more subtle design decisions - like using rose gold metallics for lighting options and ornaments. Pink is one of the few colours that can cater for every taste, so why not consider introducing a little sweetness into your colour scheme and start to think pink!

I'm excited to announce that Home Sweet Babe is now offering Interior Styling consultations, so please get in touch via the website, or contact me at home.sweet.babe@gmail.com for more information and pricing if you're thinking of a redesign or interior overhaul in your home.



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Monday, 5 December 2016

Tutorial: D.I.Y Christmas Garland




I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I am firmly in the christmas spirit!  I love any excuse to be creative, so I've made a festive winter garland and thought I'd share a tutorial with you, as these are super simple to make and the results are just gorgeous!

I originally had this idea as I have two potted bay trees on either side of my front door and they were in desperate need of a haircut! So two short back and sides later, I had enough bay leaves to make a start. Here's what you'll need;

Bay leaves
Florist wire
Dried Fruit
Cinnamon Sticks
Ribbon
Scissors






 I used well over 100 bay leaves to make this garland, but if you don't have this many you can pack your garland out with pine cones and even fresh sage. I love how green this garland is, but it really is up to you what you put on there, there's no right or wrong - just add what you love.

I bought fresh cinnamon sticks, as the warm spicy fragrance really complimented the fruit and gave it that distinctive Christmas smell - but you can use dried and always spray your finished garland with festive room spray or refresher oil to give it that added oomph. I wound copper wire around two or three sticks of cinnamon and made little secure bundles that I could add to the garland as I went along. (This just made it easier to place them, without them pinging off!)



If you want to dry your fruit yourself, slice a few citrus fruits into about 2cm slices and place on a baking tray in a preheated oven of between 80-100 degrees celsius for around 2 hours. Just keep checking them, and when they are hard, take them out and leave them overnight.
I bought pre dried fruit and spices for ease - oranges, lemon, lime, hot peppers and apple. 
I used a whole dried orange and lime to bookend the garland, just wind your florist wire around the whole fruit and secure.
Then the fun starts! Just start threading your leaves and fruit slices onto the wire, occasionally adding your cinnamon bundles. Work your way up the wire until you've filled it and then secure your wire, so nothing slides off.



I then made two wire hoops, from doubled over florist wire and added these to each end so you can hang it up. Your garland can be any length you fancy, you can always tie ribbon around each wire hoop to make it even longer. Over time, the bay leaves will dry so you can get this garland out every year to enjoy.
String up across your fireplace, over a door, or up your bannister rail and add some festive fun to your home!  




Happy crafting and wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!

Love C x


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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Thrifty Christmas Ideas




Tis the season to be thrifty! Christmas traditionally is the time to indulge, but you can add some festive magic to your home, without adding to that christmas (credit card) bulge! 
I love Christmas - dusting off the decorations and giving my house that extra special festive feeling, driving through streets adorned with fairy lights, counting christmas trees with my toddler as we pass by peoples windows - and if we're lucky that magical dusting of snow on Christmas morning.
If you're like me and like to stage your home for each season, Christmas is the ultimate occasion to put your creativity to good use. Whether you're a traditionalist, or favour a more alternative aesthetic, decorations can be pricey, so I've put together a few ideas that won't break the bank, but will hopefully will inspire a cool yule.


Pomanders

Pomanders evoke the essence of Christmas, with their warm and spicy scents. When my sister and I were little, we'd spend hours pushing cloves into oranges and once they'd dried out in the airing cupboard, we'd tie ribbon around them and hang them on the tree. These make a lovely inexpensive decoration and a really nice craft activity to do with the kids. You can also make your own spice mix by mixing cinnamon sticks, dried orange and cloves with pine cones and a drop of festive fragrance oil. Fill a vase, or a mesh bauble and your home will smell delicious.



Update old baubles.

I have box upon box of baubles, as I'm forever changing my christmas colour scheme (much to the dismay of the Mr!) and as a result, have WAY more decorations than I really need. If you have old baubles hiding away in the loft, then instead of putting up with them, why not update them?! A really simple way to do this is by popping some craft glue on them and wrapping yarn, coloured wool or festive ribbon tightly around them. You can paint them classic white, or even spray them with glitter. Tie some thin ribbon at the top of some natural pine cones and hang these on your tree with your up-cycled baubles to create a new look. 

Photo Via Pinterest


Bare necessities.

Don't under estimate the power of a branch! Bare branches, bunched together in a vase and adorned with baubles make a frugal, but festive centrepiece and the same can be said for hanging a christmas tree branch (a fir branch) or off-cut above a doorway - left bare or scantily dressed with a few hanging decorations can offer a scandi-chic vibe to your home. (I'll be making a homemade garland this month and will post the results on my blog, if you're interested in giving this one a go.)
Garland is such a simple addition, but has a great styling impact. The ultimate christmas swag, keep it natural or dress it up with baubles, fabrics and pine cones. I love this gorgeous garland with non traditional coloured ribbon - it doesn't scream christmas, but it does scream class - love! 

Photo Via Pinterest


What frugal festive ideas have you created in your home? Let me know in the comments below!


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