Monday, 17 November 2014

Mini Leather Notebooks DIY

Mini Leather Notebook DIY

Mini Leather Notebook DIY

This year, I really want to try and make a lot of my own Christmas presents. I'm sure I say that every year, and always end up leaving it too late! So, I'm starting now, with the hope I'll have a few little bits and bobs to give come Christmas time.

I bought a bag of leather scraps for a craft project a while ago (from ebay) and had loads left. I thought I'd try using pieces for some mini notebooks.

You will need:

Pieces of leather
Ruler and sharp craft knife
Cutting mat
Sewing machine

First cut a template for the size of your finished notebooks. I made mine 12cm x 16cm as this was a size I was able to fit on most of my scraps of leather. Using a sharp cutting knife, carefully cut around the card template.

Use the same template size to make pages for the inside of your book. I used 5 pieces of thick paper, making 10 sheets inside the notebook. I think my sewing machine might have struggled if I'd used much more than this!

Fold each piece of paper in half and place inside the leather cover. Using the fold lines as a guide, carefully sew down the centre of the notebook. You could use a matching colour cotton, or a contrasting colour, as I did with the bright turquoise and neon pink thread. 

When you fold the notebook back together, you may find the paper sticks out slightly from the leather. I just trimmed along the edge of my pages using a ruler and craft knife, to make a nice flat edge. I also placed my finished notebooks under a heavy book overnight to flatten! 

You could easily make these using some pretty card or thick paper for the covers too!

I'll be sharing a few more present ideas in the run-up to Christmas.

Wishing you all a wonderful week. x

Sunday, 9 November 2014


▲ Feeding the ducks
▲ Blue skies
▲ Sunny shadows from the trees outside
▲ Sweets from a party
▲ An afternoon beach walk

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! x

Friday, 7 November 2014

Tower of London Poppies...

Tower of London Poppies

Tower of London Poppies

Tower of London Poppies

Tower of London Poppies

Tower of London Poppies

Tower of London Poppies

Tower of London Poppies

Tower of London Poppies

Last week, during half term, we went to see the 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' installation at the Tower of London. I'd wanted to visit after seeing pictures over the Summer, watching the progress as the masses of poppies were 'planted' around the Tower moat. I though it would be a good time to take the kids, before they are all removed again after Remembrance day. To actually see it in person was really quite amazing, and so moving to think that each one of the 888,246 ceramic poppies represents a British fatality during WW1.

We picked the worst day weather wise. Grey skies and rain... all day. Which meant I didn't get the best photos! Though I think perhaps the crowds weren't quite so big as a result.

We also went on an open top bus around London and a boat which took us along the River Thames. The kids loved it, despite the rain! It was great to point out things as we were going along. Elizabeth was especially excited to see Big Ben and a glimpse of Buckingham Palace. We had hoped to stop off there on the way back, but completely ran out of time. We'll just have to visit again, hopefully with some better weather next time!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Collected Treasures...

Collected Treasures

Our collected treasures from the last few weeks or so - driftwood, fishing wire and beads, feathers, seedpods, a fir cone, conkers, special stones and a spotty leaf.

There were far less beach treasures on our windowsill than previous months, opting for walks in the park to collect leaves and feed the squirrels instead. The leafs, so bright when we first collected them, had mostly faded. Not nearly as impressive as when we brought them home. A couple of you mentioned in my leaf crown post about dipping them in wax to preserve the colours, so maybe we'll try that next time.

The seed pods were closed when we had collected them, and then opened in the kitchen, sending the little seeds everywhere.

And I love the little green man Elizabeth found at the beach this week, I've no idea what its from though!

I'm going to start calling these posts 'collected treasures' rather than just 'collections' and have started using  #collected_treasures on Instagram. As always, please feel free to join in and show your collected treasures too, I love to see them!

You can see my previous posts here, and my ongoing 'collections' Inspiration board here.

Already its lovely to look back on them, each item reminding me of certain days out or adventures had. Special gifts from the kids that would otherwise be forgotten. I might have to make them in to a calendar when I've done a few more, I love the idea of looking back on each month throughout the year.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Making Monsters...

The kids are really looking forward Halloween to this year, Elizabeth especially so. She's been talking about it for ages. As soon as Autumn arrived, she got excited because she knew Halloween was around the corner - in her eyes the next celebration between her birthday and Christmas. We went to our first Halloween party last year and I'm guessing that's where the excitement's come from. In previous years they've had costumes, but have just spent it at home, eager to answer the door every time there was a knock, at the anticipation of trick or treaters.

They have both been busy making pictures and Halloween decorations this week, placing them around the house. I thought it would be fun to have a go at creating some Halloween monsters. The kids were so enthusiastic, drawing designs before we started. Elizabeth used her new Moshi Monsters from Argos, as Inspiration. They're still very much her favourite thing at the moment. She spends ages lining them all up in groups and checking which ones she still needs in her Moshi encyclopedia.

To make the monsters, I first covered some tubes and small boxes in coloured paper, ready to decorate. We cut out lots of teeth from white card, and some big eyes with button middles to use alongside the googly ones we had. We then have fun sticking on pipe cleaners, beads, pom poms and lolly sticks.

I just love how they turned out, and it was great to make something the kids could both easily do. Archie often looses interest in crafting, but this held his attention for ages. Plus they're super pleased with the models they made!

I'm not yet sure what we'll actually be doing for Halloween this year. I think I might just do a little tea party for them and a couple of friends. There's so much spooky food Inspiration around on Pinterest at the moment, I might just have to try out a few ideas!

What will you be doing for Halloween?

In association with Argos. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Painted Pebbles...

I actually picked up these pebbles from the beach over the summer, with the intention of painting them with the kids. For some reason, we never actually got around to it and they'd been sitting on our windowsill since. So, last week, I felt inspired and just painted them myself - feathers, dandelions, shapes, whatever I fancied really. I'd not done any painting for ages and it was lovely to just sit and create something, just because I felt like it!

I'll have to look out for some more nice flat ones at the beach now, so we can all paint some more!

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead! x

Monday, 20 October 2014

Pumpkin farm...

Its become a yearly tradition now to go and choose our pumpkins from the nearby pumpkin farm. I love how much choice they have there, its amazing to see so many different colours and sizes all in one place. They make the most wonderful displays too, like this Spitfire and D Day landings mural, depicted in a huge variety of pumpkins and squash.

We came home with far more than we had intended to buy, as usual. Archie chose a regular pumpkin, (which he carefully decorated with felt pens when he got home) while Elizabeth and I chose some of the scalloped flowery shapes and a few tiny ones we couldn't resist. I'm hoping I'll get away with having to carve one this year, opting for a simple display of different shapes and colours instead.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Driftwood Feather Holder DIY....

Since we've been making our collections, we've managed to gather together quite a few different feathers. We do have a little pot for them, but I also wanted to make something we could put a few of our favourite feathers in, as a way of displaying them. I used this piece of driftwood collected from the beach and drilled some holes for them to stand in. The kids really love this, choosing which feathers to position where.

You will need -

* A piece of driftwood or other wood
* Feathers
* Pen and ruler
* Drill

First choose your piece of wood. I quite liked the chunkiness of this piece and it also had nice flat edges, making it easier to drill the holes.

Mark out where you would like the holes to be, making sure there is plenty of space for each feather. I used a white chalk pen so I was able to see the markings clearly, and could also remove any mistakes easily.

Drill the holes into the piece of wood, going in about an inch or so. I used a slightly thicker drill bit for the back holes so I could put the bigger ones with a thicker quill behind, and the thinner and shorter ones at the front.

And that's it! Once the holes are drilled you can play around with the positioning of your feathers.

Let me know if you try anything similar, I'd love to see it!


Happy Friday, wishing you all a super weekend! xx

Sunday, 12 October 2014


▲ Early morning sky at the beach
▲ Everything looking very Autumnal at the park
▲ Monkey nuts for the squirrels - I love watching them bury them away at this time of year!
▲ Hello!
▲ Another Autumny walk in the sunshine
▲ Rainbow weather
▲ Playing with babies in the garden

Wishing you all a wonderful week! xx


You can still enter my giveaway to win a Mini Diana camera here! x

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