Monday, 25 April 2016

Twinkle, twinkle...

...little star light.

I love candles but don't always have the time to burn a large candle jar effectively so wax melts are a perfect alternative.

During my weekly trip to Barleylands I popped into the new candle shop "Naked Flame" and saw this... is an electric wax warmer but it can also be used as a table lamp...and yes, it came home with me.

It is lovely to have something that can be used for more than one purpose - something we craft folk can relate to.

I took my Sister to have a look at the candles because she is even more of a candle nut than I am and she came away with a Kringle candle jar "Jingle All the Way" and a Classic candle wax melt "Chocolate Brownie" - she loves chocolate and Christmas (who would'a thunk).

I had a call from my Sister yesterday evening to say that her Kringle candle was burning merrily and she was all snug & cosy away from the grotty weather outside.

It doesn't look as if the weather is going to be any better today so I can see an evening of candle-light and comfy smells when I get home from work..............................................................

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Happy St George's Day... one & all.

St George is the patron saint of England but unlike the Irish who celebrate St Patrick's Day with a passion, we English tend to be far more restrained and our national saint often gets barely a mention.

The George Cross is flying in my office, as it does every year but there seems to be even less acknowledgement of this event this year - perhaps because it is also the celebration period of Queen Elizabeth II reaching 90 years of age.

If you are celebrating St George's Day today, I hope you have a wonderful time.............................

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Happy Birthday... Queen Elizabeth II.
Today is her actual birthday and she is 90 years young.
Image result for union flag

There certainly seems to be a lot of celebrating planned from now until her 'official' birthday in June.

We just got the flags out at work...
...and we have a mixture of George crosses and Union flags as this Saturday is also St George's Day.

I have to say, it has brightened up the office quite a bit seeing the flags and bunting (I think our wing of the building has been the only area to decorate but who cares - it cheers the place up). The red/white/blue is the first bit of decoration that we have had up since Christmas.

I'm wondering what other events are coming up that I could decorate for as it does make the workplace look more cheerful.

In the meantime...Happy Birthday your Majesty...................................................................

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

I found a lovely new...

...candle shop.

Naked Flame Shop - see their website here.

They have just opened a unit at Barleylands Craft Village (The Fragrance Parlour - Studio 27). It is one of the smaller units but there are certainly plenty of candles/melts/oils/accessories to see...and of course be tempted by. Be warned though, you will not find any cheapo candles there. They stock brands such as Kringle, Wax Lyrical, Colonial, Prices & Woodwick - so if you prefer to buy 100 tea-lights for 99p, this is probably not the place for you but if you like good quality candles...go and 'sniff' to your hearts content.

I was certainly tempted by the range of wax melts that they stock and this one, "Classic Coffee", just had to come home with me...
 ...the pack contains a block rather like a chocolate bar consisting of six smaller blocks...
 ...and all you need to do is break off one of the blocks and place it in a warmer. I have a couple of electric warmers that I picked up in the sales (they were reduced because they came with Winter/Christmas fragrances) - this one is a cream glazed warmer from Glade...
...and as you can see, one small block creates a nice pool across the warmer.

I have been heating this for two evenings and the smell is lovely - subtle, not overpowering. A lot of 'food/drink' fragranced candles/melts can be very heavy and quite sickly but this certainly isn't.

When you break the large block you get a strong smell of coffee but the fragrance as it melts is much softer. This warmer is in my kitchen that opens out onto the hallway. The fragrance in the kitchen is barely noticeable but you know that it is there when you are in the hallway and can even smell it in the lounge. As I said, very pleasant and not overpowering.

I did wonder if I would notice the smell at all as I love coffee and we are often oblivious to smells that we encounter on a regular basis - no problem with this, it has been lovely just having that background hint of fresh coffee.

(Please note: this is my opinion and I have not been paid to make these comments).

There are lots of lovely fragrances to choose from at Naked Flame and one of the fabulous things is that they don't keep seasonal fragrances just for the season that it relates to. I don't know about you, but I love lots of the warm spicy scents that are normally only around in the shops at Christmas and it can be frustrating to find something that you like only to be told that they won't be getting any more because Christmas is over. I'll be taking my Sister with me this weekend so that she can indulge is some "Crimbo sniffing" LOL

Well, I now have another reason for visiting Barleylands on a regular basis - as if I needed one................................................................

(This review was not solicited, I just wanted to share my find).

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Spring cups... Starbucks.

For those of you who pop by from time to time, I think you will have gathered that I'm a bit of a coffee addict. My day doesn't start until I've had my first mug and the day continues with regular "refueling" throughout.

I do love my Starbucks coffees and look forward to the various seasonal blends and flavours.

The sight of the first "Red cups" in the stores always heralds the arrival of one of my favourites - Gingerbread latte - Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Last year we also had a run-up to the red cups with some pretty Autumn designs - perfect for the likes of the Pumpkin Spiced latte.

Last week, whilst up in the centre of London, I noticed some pretty new designs. There are three designs - one for the Tall, Grande and the Vente. This is the 'Grande'...

...isn't it pretty. The design was created by "Olya" a shift supervisor in Russia.

I'm normally very good and use a re-usable cup for my coffees but on this occasion I so wanted one of these pretty cups (sad isn't it LOL) and I'll have to have a think about how I can recycle it so that I can keep this pretty design.

For anyone who visits Starbucks, they have a promotion on at the moment to encourage folk to use their own mugs/cups. Instead of the usual 25p discount for using your own cup, they are offering 50p discount for a period of two months (started 1 April 2016). They will accept any travel/re-usable mug that you doesn't have to be one bought at Starbucks.

I'm off to grab another coffee before getting dressed.....................................................

Monday, 11 April 2016

What a lovely Sunday... nice to see blue skies and sunshine.

Isn't it amazing how a bit of good weather can raise one's mood.

The grass soooooooooooo needs cutting but the ground is still a bit squishy from the rain we have been getting. However, I don't mind because at the moment I have bluebells dotted all over the place and I really wouldn't want them to be 'cut off in their prime', so to speak.

I was beginning to wonder if they would ever bloom as there has been a wealth of greenery for a while but as you can see...
 ...they are now producing a lovely display of bells...
...which look so pretty and the blue is a complete change to the splashes of yellow that the daffs created.

When I was growing up, we lived near woodland that separated the housing estate from farmland and every year there was a lovely blanket of bluebells as you entered the woods. Sadly the woodland is no longer there and there are no woods near to my house (One Tree Hill is a short drive away) so it is lovely to see this reminder of my childhood in my very own garden.

The sun is shining so fingers crossed for a better week this week........................................................

Friday, 8 April 2016


...who's got time for crafting!

Yes, it has been one of those weeks.

It is the end of the performance year at work which is always stressful for everyone but this week has involved a number of very long days both travel-wise and meeting-wise in order to finalise end-of year markings.

I have to admit, that after days like that the last thing I really want to think about is crafting...or to be quite honest...anything at all.

The weather hasn't helped my mood very much either as just when we thought things were starting to improve, along come the thunderstorms and the dull drizzly days again - the sun is shining at the moment but the forecast isn't promising for later...ho-hum!!!

At least it is Friday and fingers crossed there will be some decent weather over the weekend. The only problem is that two days just don't last long enough (**grumpy face**).

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend..............................................

Saturday, 2 April 2016

What a bargain...

...reduced from £14.99 to £2.00.

If you are a knitter you will probably have come across the name 'Debbie Bliss'. She is a lady who has her own range of knitting yarns, patterns etc. - and obviously as you can see, books.

The Works stores seem to have been having quite a promotion on their Arts & Crafts products recently and this includes lots of craft books. When I saw this one...
...I just had to grab a copy and it didn't take me long to make a start LOL.

I do not have a dog but my Sister has a rescue dog - Lexi.

Lexi is now four years old and has been with my Sister for two years - she is a little sweetie but she does feel the cold so she has a variety of coats and jumpers to keep away the chill when the weather is damp or windy.

I think one of the reasons that this book caught my eye was because the dog on the front reminded me of Lexi. I'm not sure how many will actually get made but even if it is just the one that will be fine - knitting patterns alone are so expensive these days and it is not uncommon to end up paying more than I did for this book for just a single pattern.

I'm keeping this one fairly plain just so I can check the size. Let's hope Lexi lets me take some photos when it is done...she does tend to be a little camera shy......................................................