Father’s Day is coming up in the UK on Sunday June 17th and I’ve been looking around for ideas for things to make for dads. I always think something handmade is lovely to give because you’ve taken the time and effort to do it and that makes it special. I thought I would share some of the lovely make at home gifts I’ve found that would put a smile on any dad’s face.
First up is this fabulous Grill Set Holder form Lil Luna. Since we are having fabulous BBQ waether in the UK at the minute this would make a fab gift for a dad or grandad and there is a very detailed tutorial for making it on the Lil Luna blog.
Next up is a super cute tie card from Kiki & Company that would be so easy for a child of any age to make and would really make dad feel special. I really love this one and it comes in four different colourways so you should find one to suit dad.
My third pick is this cute keychain from Hellobee. My kids made their dad a keychain like this when they were small and he still has it on his keys ten years later. You could put any message yo like on this so could adapt it for other family members and other occasions too.
Fourth up are these amazing cookie/brownie/cupcake creations from Bakerella. If you haven’t discovered Bakerella yet go visit her site but I do warn you that you will be there for hours because there is just so much to drool over.
And last but not least is this Car Wash Kit from The Crafting Chicks. You could also do this as a movie bucket with DVD, some popcorn, coke and dad’s favourite snacks in it.
Well I hope that has given you a few ideas of things to make for Father’s Day and there are loads more to be found on Pinterest.
I also made this sweet printable for you to download, pop in a frame and make dad’s day.
Recently I was asked to design a custom print for a lovely customer to give to her husband on their anniversary. I came up with four slightly different designs using the words she wanted and she was delighted with the one she choose. Hopefully her hubby will be too!
I have added all four designs to the RecklessHen Etsy shop and I could hardly believe that it took me longer to do all the descriptions and edit the photos and get them into the shop than it took to design the prints! Surely there must be an easier way? Will I get quicker at it the more I upload? Is there some quicker way to add to your shop? If you are an Etsy aficionado I would love any advice you might have.
Anyway, after spending the best part of a day and a half designing, editing photos and uploading I have managed to get all four designs into the shop and thought I would give you a preview.
Today I have been designing new printables to go in the RecklessHen Etsy shop and it has been so much fun being back in the creative zone. I am happiest when I am doing anything creative, it relaxes me and creates a real feel good buzz. So after spending quite a few hours designing some prints and taking photos of them I logged on to Etsy to create the listings in the shop and my feel good mood quickly evaporated! I had completely underestimated the time it would take to get the listings done and how frustrating it would be to think I had finished only to find a mistake somewhere. After checking and rechecking a million times (Ok that’s a slight exaggeration but you get what I mean) I think I finally have them done correctly but I only managed to get 6 items uploaded. I am sure I will get quicker at it the more times I do it – boy I hope so. If anyone has any advice on using Etsy efficiently I would love to hear from you.
Anyways, the first items are now in the shop so I declare it officially open and you can find it here. All the prints will be available in both printed and digital form so you can either print yourself at home or get a ready made print that you just need to pop in a frame and hey presto – new wall art. I love to change the decor in my home by adding a few new prints and some flowers and moving a few decorative pieces from room to room. Such simple, economical little tweaks can change the whole feel of a room without spending a fortune.
Here is a little peek at the new prints in the shop.
I would love to hear any advice on using Etsy.
Have a great weekend x
It seems like ages ago that Tiny Little Lessons suggested that we go on an Instagram Retreat. I liked the sound of it but didn’t have a clue what to expect or who would be going and if I would know anyone or not. We booked our tickets anyway and I looked forward to it even if I was a little apprehensive about meeting so many new people. In the weeks leading up to it there was alot of surfing the net for something to wear and booking appointments to get nails done etc. When Sunday 24th September rolled around we loaded up the sat nav with the location and four of us set off on our road trip to the beautiful surroundings of Larchfield Estate. Even though it is only 30 minutes from home I had never been to Larchfield before and I have to say I was so impressed with how beautiful it is. From the picturesque gardens & courtyard, to the fabulous orangery & barn, to the stunning guest cottages and Myrtle the glamping truck, the attention to detail was just perfect. It was all a real feast for the eyes and many, many photos were taken. I apologise in advance as this post is going to be photo heavy since there were just so many things to look and and drool over.
We started off the afternoon with welcome drinks and nibbles in the Orangery provided by Panacea Drinks, Clearer Water and Graham’s Bakery. They are three local companies and their drinks and food were really good and I will definitely look out for them in the shops now.
From the Orangery we headed into the barn which was decorated beautifully and all set up for afternoon tea. It was lovely to be able to put faces to the Instagram names and everyone was so friendly and chatty. After an inspiring talk from Anna from Blossoming Birds we went on a photo walk in the beautiful gardens of Larchfield Estate. There were plenty of props at hand from giant balloons and letters to lovely lanterns. It was funny seeing so many Olympus Pen cameras every way we turned and boy were there so many opportunities to get some amazing photos. Here are some of my favourites.
After our walk we headed back into the barn for Afternoon Tea which was catered by French Village. The food was amazing and it looked so good no one wanted to be the first to lift something and ruin the photo ops but we forced ourselves 🙂 No words can do justice to how delicious these treats were so I will let the photos do the talking.
After lots of eating and plenty of chatting, we heard from some more inspiring local Instagrammers and bloggers. First was Kerry and Tara from Sisters and Sons, followed by Mel Wiggins and then a panel with Rachel from The Breton Bird, Laura-Ann from All That’s Pretty and Anna from Blossoming Birds. All had plenty of good advice and tips and lots of food for thought. We had a short break after this so it was off into the grounds again to have a look at the gorgeous cottages and Myrtle the glamping truck and to take lots of photos of course. First up is Myrtle. Wouldn’t you just love to spend a night here! You even have your very own sauna.
Next up is the cottages. All of them are absolutely gorgeous and I would happily stay in any one of them and be very happy indeed. The decor is flawless and the little touches and attention to detail are so perfect. It made me want to go home and redecorate the whole house.
After tearing ourselves away from the fabulous cottages it was back into the barn to hear from Andrew (@littlewoodmr) and Colin (@father_of_the_birds) with a light-hearted look at what life is like as an Insta-Partner.
All too soon it was time to depart Larchfield Estate with our goodie bags filled with treats and offers provided bygreat graet sponsors.
It was an amazing afternoon spent meeting new people in fabulous surroundings, being fed delicious treats and hearing inspiring words. Thanks to Emma from Life at the Little Wood (@littlewoodlife) for organising it all, can’t wait till next time.
I will leave you with this quote from Brene Brown that Mel Wiggins reminded us of “Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgement, sorrow, shame.”
In her book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection‘ Brene says that “I’m not very creative’ doesn’t work. There’s no such thing as creative people, and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.”
I love this reminder not to let fear stop us releasing our creativity, to go full steam ahead and live our best life on our own terms. We will make mistakes as we go and that’s OK, just learn from them and move on. I’m definitely going to print that quote out and post it somewhere I will see it everyday.
Do you have any quotes that inspire you daily?
I have read so many of those ‘things I have learned’ posts over the years and I always find at least one thing in those lists that I completely get. I was thinking about that the other day and started to make a list in my head of what lessons I had learned in my five decades, and I actually surprised myself when I realised that I had learned some big lessons in my own life. Lessons that totally reinforced what I had read and heard from so many people. It made me ponder about how we can live in different cultures, have very different lives and yet we can have similar experiences. So I decided that I was going to commit my list of things I had learned to paper (or screen to be completely accurate). This is just my list, I’m not saying it should be yours or telling you how to live your life, it is just my observations on my journey so far.
Anyway here goes my list of 5 things I have learned, in no particular order……..
My mother really was always right, or at least she was right a heck of a lot of the time. The friends she didn’t like turned out to be crappy friends. The decisions she questioned often turned out to be mistakes. The time she wanted to spend with me would be time I looked back on now and treasured. When we are young we think we know it all and I wish I had realised then what I know now. That her advice came from experience and love, that she didn’t want me to make the mistakes she had, that she was only trying to make my life easier. What I would give now to have just one more hour with her. So lesson number one is LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER.
Tea really does make everything better. Now I am not a big tea fan, I’m a latte lover, though I take it with only one shot of coffee and most people say it tastes more like warm milk but that is beside the point. The point is that I have never really got the tea makes everything better thing. I’ve always thought that’s a bit tough on us coffee drinkers and how on earth could a cup of tea make anything better. But I was thinking about it yesterday and I suddenly realised that it’s not the tea that makes everything seem better, its the fact that usually we will be sitting down and sharing that tea with a partner, a friend, a parent or someone else important to us. It is the being with the other person that makes everything seem better, like everything will be OK and no problem is too big to solve. Perhaps I am the only person who didn’t really get this and you all knew what it was about, but I am a very literal person so to me it was really saying that tea actually made things better. Now I can’t believe I didn’t see what it was all about yonks ago. So lesson number two is DRINK TEA (EVEN IF IT’S COFFEE).
Friendship is a two-way street. Now it is inevitable that in the course of our hectic lives juggling a million different things that sometimes the street will be busier one way that the other. That’s OK as long as the traffic still flows both ways. If it turns into a one-way street that is not OK. If one of our friends lets us do all the work, always being the one to call, to organise to meet up, to ring for a chat then that person is not really a friend. It can be hard to step away from a friendship but when it is not adding to your life or making you feel good then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate why you are friends with that person. So lesson number three is BE A GOOD FRIEND.
Life is too short for regrets. This has been my mantra for the last 22 years. I lost someone very close to me through illness back then and in those final days one of the things that she said that really stayed with me was that she had no regrets about her life. I knew instantly that I wanted to be able to say that too and that if I kept on the path I was on that would never be the case. So I gave up my job to become a stay-at-home mum and moved closer to my parents as my dad wasn’t well. It wasn’t easy, to be honest it was really scary stuff, we were doubling our mortgage and halving our income at the same time but it felt right and I have never regretted it for a second. For me all decisions are made using the ‘will I regret it’ measuring stick. I have found that, even when something doesn’t work out, I have no regrets now because I know I made the best decision for me. I am not saying that would work for everyone, we are all different, but for me it works. So lesson number four is REGRET NOTHING.
Don’t waste time worrying what people think of you. It really is true that the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind. It doesn’t matter if you are not wearing the latest trend, are overweight, too short, too tall, too bossy, too quiet, don’t drive the right car, don’t live in the right area, didn’t go to the right school, don’t work in the right job, don’t mix with the right crowd. All those things are just ‘things’ and the people who judge you on them have warped values and empty lives if that is all that matters to them. What matters is how you treat people and what you give back to those around you. It is better to really rock at being you imperfections and all, than striving to be something you are not to try to please people who will always find something else to judge you on. Hold your head high, dance to your own beat and let them shove their judgements. So Lesson number five is (to quote Dr Seuss) “TODAY YOU ARE YOU, THAT IS TRUER THAN TRUE. THERE IS NO ONE ALIVE THAT IS YOUER THAN YOU”
Phew, so that is my 5 lessons and if you got through all that well done.
What would your 5 lessons be?
I just love the colours of Autumn – the reds, browns, greens, golds and oranges that seem to speak of cosiness and warmth and evenings indoors wrapped up on the sofa. I love the crisp cooler air that means it’s time to put on a sweater and get out the wool to knit or crochet a new scarf and hat. I love the crunching sound of leaves under my feet and sitting in front of the fire at night with a crocheted blanket on my lap and lots of candles dancing on the walls around the room. I love how my cooking changes as the days get cooler and the salads and barbecues of summer change to soups, stews and hearty casseroles to warm and nourish. I love getting out my recipe books and planning crumbles, pies and delicious treats to make use of all the amazing fruits of the season. I have many happy memories of coming home from school to be met with the smell of freshly baked apple pies and scones just out of the oven. In Autumn more than other seasons I find that the smell and taste of food evoke childhood memories.
At this time of year, I love to decorate the house with a few bits and bobs that bring the Autumn indoors. I try to find a new piece to add to the collection each year, this year it was some silk leaves in fabulous Autumn shades. I also made an Autumn themed printable to frame and put on the table in the hallway. I was so pleased with it that I thought it would be a nice freebie to giveaway so you can download it from the link at the bottom. It is designed to be A4 size but I trimmed mine to fit an 8 x 10 frame as I found a lovely red frame hidden away in a cupboard that I had put away ‘somewhere safe’ and forgot about.
Our Autumn wordart printable is Free for Personal Use only.
You can download it HERE.
We hope you like it and can use it in your home, we’d love to see a picture if you do.
Leave a comment if you have an idea for a free printable you would like to see on our blog and don’t forget to follow us for updates.
I have been missing for a week or two as I have been planning a new venture and there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day for everything I want to get done with the result that I have neglected the blog and I am very frustrated with myself. I think I really need to plan my time better. Thank goodness for my Erin Condren Life Planner or who knows if anything would ever get done. On a positive note, I am really enjoying being part of the Makelight membership and learning and connecting with so many other amazingly creative people. Although I am way behind on the courses I get lots of inspiration from the photos and blog posts of other members and I am constantly in awe of their creativity and drive. It has definitely made me up my game when it comes to my Instagram photos which have really improved over the last three months. Here are a few of my favourites from May.
I’ve also been trying to keep up with my crocheting and I am on row 64 of my Attic24 Hydrangea blanket so I am three-quarters of the way through it and I LOVE it. I think this will definitely be my favourite blanket so far. Even though I know I shouldn’t start another project, I confess that I am doing the Vintage Sweethearts CAL in Crochet Now magazine. I am not using the wool recommended, instead I just matched the colours to my favourite Stylecraft Special DK colours and am using up some of my yarn stash. And as if two projects on the go aren’t enough I also got the beautiful Primavera blanket pattern by Debbie Bliss on Yarn Shop Day and have started that too.
Heather (the Hen from RecklessHen) has made up a pattern to use up her yarn stash and it is so gorgeous. She is calling it the Vintage Granny and once she finishes it she will write it up and we will put it on the blog. I know you will really love it. Here is a sneak peek.
And finally, as a wee treat, here is a free crochet humour printable to download. It is 6 x 4 so it goes in a standard frame. I printed mine out on glossy photo paper but inkjet paper would be just as good.
Clicker here to download.
What are you working on at the moment?
Has the countdown begun in your house? I know it has in mine. Only 14 days left until the end of the school year here in Northern Ireland and I for one can’t wait. I have always loved this time of year when I look forward to two months of no school lifts to do, no homeworks to check, no uniforms to wash and iron, no lunches to make and when unplanned days of just going with the flow lie just around the corner. I have always loved having the kids at home for long, lazy days in the summer and now that they are older and like to do their own thing I kind of miss not having any little ones to take to the park or the movies or even just to be in the house playing games and making the place feel busy and alive. Our house was always full of their friends in summer and there was always the sound of laughter and chatter as they jumped on the trampoline, swung on the swings or played in the paddling pool. Now I tend to hear music blasting out from their rooms and they only appear when they want fed lol. One of my other favourite things about this time of year has always been choosing a present for their teachers. I usually tried to get something a little different as I know that teachers are inundated with sweets and smelly stuff at the end of term. Quite often I made things myself which would mean something to the teacher. At the end of my son’s first year I made a cross stitch sampler for his teacher of things that they had done during the year and a personalised card to go with it. Another year the girls helped me make a salt dough plaque of children in their school uniform. When the head mistress was retiring I organised the whole school to make a massive quilt. Each child in the school designed a square and then fabric painted it. Myself and another mum then stitched them all together and I cross stitched all the childrens names around the edges. Although my kids are too old to do teacher presents now I thought I would like to design a printable that could be framed and sit on a desk or go on the wall. This is what I came up with – it’s printed on linen blend fabric using some fab fonts from Kimberly Geswein and framed in a 5×7 frame. I think it’s cute – what do you think? Are teacher presents an end of year tradition where you live?