Mollie Makes Pink Ombre Macrame T-shirt

Friday, 22 July 2016

If you're looking for a craft project this weekend then I really recommend this pink ombre t-shirt. It's my latest tutorial for Mollie Makes and I absolutely love it. There really is nothing more enjoyable than spending an afternoon watching t-shirts, tablecloths, pillowcases change colour. For the full tutorial make sure you pick up a copy of Mollie Makes issue 69, it has the prettiest cover and is full of really great summer projects. Have a super weekend my friends. x 
If you want more pink projects then you might like this tie-dye pink tablecloth tutorial. 

Travel - Alcudia, Mallorca with a baby

Friday, 15 July 2016

Last month we took Stanley on his first holiday aboard - we had 9 days in Alcudia, Mallorca and it was fantastic. Dan and I have been lucky enough to travel to brilliant places in the ten years we've been together - India, Brazil, Costa Rica, The Philippines, Morocco to name a few. But it was Mallorca where we first came a few years ago that we were most excited to return.

I was a little anxious about how travelling would be but it all worked out ok. Some tips I would suggest are.

Travel from your closest airport, we flew EasyJet from Southend which is only a 10 minute drive away, cut down on pre airport travelling as much as possible. 

Try and get flights around nap times. We had morning flights both ways so did breakfast and milk as soon as we got on the plane which meant (after a bit of coaxing) he fell asleep for most of the journey. 

Don't try and fly too far if you don't need to. The flights were just over two hours and that was enough.

We stayed in Alcudia Old Town which was a really pretty place - all castle walls and winding cobbled streets. We hired this Finca just outside the walls of the town which was ideal. The pool was a great size for Stanley to splash about in and we had separate rooms so we didn't disturb each other. The best part was the amount of private outside space, the garden was lined in olive trees and there were so many lovely plants scattered about, there was also plenty of space under shade for Stanley to roll around whilst we had breakfast and lunch. He grew so much during the 9 nine days - having a little bit of freedom was so good for him. 

It's fairly English in Alcudia Old but not as bad as Port D'Alcudia which we stayed away from. There is a great market on Sunday and Tuesday which sells the most amazing produce plus so many cafes and restaurants to pick from. We found eating dinner at lunchtime worked best for us, it was much easier to keep Stanley entertained before he got too tired and wriggly. Instead we popped out for a drink and ice cream in the evening which was enough time to wear him out before bed. 

Before I move onto beaches, we found this great shop which sold everything from craft supplies to bbq coals, beach umbrellas to tin mugs, head for Placa Porta de Mallorca and you will find it! 
We were told about two beaches north of Alcudia  - Playa de St. Joan and the one next to it (who's name I've forgotten). We only ever went to the latter as it was easy to access (via a slope) with the pram. It was perfect for a few hours, the sea was shallow and calm and there was a bar and a loo which is all you need really! 

A second place in the similar area and definitely worth going to is 5 Oceanos Chillout. Its an Ibiza style bar which serves delicious food and has loads of day beds so you can lounge around for as long as you want. 
About a 20 minute drive from Alcudia is Pollenca. We went there once in the day for coffee and lunch and then again in the evening for a drink and look around a gallery we'd seen the day before. This was definitely my favourite place, it had all the classics - weathered shutters and open squares but also some lovely shops with well merchandised windows! I'd recommend popping into Galeries Bennassar to see which artist is on display - I loved the paintings by local artist, Amara Dacer
The final place near Alcudia that is definitely baby friendly is Pine Walk, Port D'Pollenca. We met friends and their children for lunch, then went back for an evening stroll and then again for a morning coffee which turned into lunch as we were having such a good day. The beach is perfect for little ones   - so calm and shallow it's like a bath and and the trees provide plenty of shade so if you end up having an impromptu beach day there is no need to worry about forgetting the sun umbrella, there are also lots of shops selling baby food too! Our favourite place was Cappuccino Grand Cafe, not only did they serve the prettiest lattes and each time we had a drink there we managed to get at the front over looking the sea which was perfect. 

Going on holiday is with a little one is of course very different to when it was just the two of us. Instead of cramming as much into each day as possible we selected one activity and made the most of it. Watching the sheer enjoyment Stanley got from going to the beach for the first time, splashing in the sea was the absolute best and made this holiday so special. 

If you want to see more Baleric posts then I've written these travel posts too - Soller, Es Trenc and Ibiza. I love these islands so much the light is just magic and the way of life definitely suits me!  

DIY - silk tassel bracelet

Friday, 8 July 2016

Happy Friday everyone! You might have noticed that my beloved jewellery making posts have been a bit thin on the ground lately, its definitely not through lack of ideas, I'm just a bit short on time these days. When I do get a spare minute to make I want a quick project with plenty of impact like the silk cord and tassel bracelets. When it comes to a simple project like these its always best to focus on quality materials like this silk cord or these beautiful silk tassels - there's something about using silk that gives even the simplest project a little magic. Here's how to make...
You'll need - 4mm silk cord, silk or cotton tassels, E6000 glue, 5mm cord ends, bolt rings, 4mm & 7mm jump rings 
First cut the cord to your exact wrist measurement. Add drop E6000 glue to inside of each cord end and insert the cord, leave to dry. If any glue oozes out clean off with a cloth, I love this glue as its so easy to clean any spillages.

Using a 4mm jump ring attach the bolt ring to one end of the bracelet and a 7mm jump ring to the other. To open a jump ring take a pair of pliers in each hand and really tightly clamp the jump ring in one hand (I'm right handed so do this in my left hand) With the opening facing up take the second pair of pliers in your other hand (right) and put them at a 45 degree angle to the opening. Gently open the jump ring by pushing the opening in opposite directions. Thread on your findings to each jump ring before you close. To close push the sides of the jump rings back together in the opposite direction to how you opened it.
Open a 7mm jump (as previous step) and thread on a tassel, close the jump ring. Do this with all your tassels. I used two tassels per bracelet but there are no limits! Now thread all your tassels onto one 7mm jump ring and keep open...
Now add the tassels to the bracelet and close the jump ring. 
Tah-dah - make as many of these bracelets as you can and watch your bracelet stack grow! I have to mention the little print in the background, its by the wonderfully talented textile designer Sarah Fennell, I follow her on Instagram and she has the BEST colour palettes around. You can read more about her here and see some of her gorgeous designs here (I'm totally getting one of those pillows). Have a great weekend and happy making. xx

Styling The Seasons - July

Monday, 4 July 2016

For July's Styling The Seasons I had to take a little time to reflect what the month means to me. It's easy to fall into a trap of routine when the days are whizzing by, knowing what comes next can be a comfort to me. For this post I thought one of our new rooms would be ready and I could do some nice pictures in a new space. Of course that hasn't happened the building work is dragging on and neither room is ready.  Nevermind, I panicked a little then realised this months Styling The Seasons had actually arranged itself. I made this salvaged shelf during nap time, it took about 10 minutes and I've been changing bits around ever since I put it up in my bedroom. I love how the different textures look against the soft green walls and it gives me a place (well out of Stanley's grasp) to display my treasures. 

Initially I didn't think July meant much to me but the more I thought about it to me July is all about freedom. During school years, it was the count down to the summer holidays. Whilst at work it was the freedom of 5pm, leaving stifled air-conditioned offices for the baked pavements of London and buzz of people laughing and drinking outside. I attended Blogtacular a few weeks ago and ever since I have been feeling a sense of lightness. Blog things that used to worry me, no longer do and instead of having a sense of not knowing where to start I've been quietly working through my to do list getting new workshops organised and making changes to my blog itself. Its been renewing to let go of old thoughts that hung over me - I feel like I'm starting afresh. 
Whilst I was pondering July this post from Emily popped into my feed, I really like the idea of making six month resolutions. In January my main goal was to enjoy being a mama which I've been doing. Where I used to dread each day, I now look forward to what each day brings and have got used to having loose plans and making the most of the day and Stanley's mood. For the next 6 months I feel ready to get back into blogging, teaching jewellery making workshops again and finding a balance between being a mum and doing a little of what I love. 

Slightly off the subject I like to use these posts as a record of what has been growing in my garden. Now that summer is in full swing new blooms are popping up all over the place, some more successful than others. This months pickings are surprise blooms, the roses are from a bush that looked like it was on its last legs - it's found its perfect spot and now can't stop producing these sweet white roses. A second surprise are these coriander flowers, I shoved a supermarket pot into a flower bed and the plant couldn't be happier - these whimsical flowers are just gorgeous. If I was better with words and analogies there is definitely something to be said about finally finding your right place and blooming. 

I hope that you all have a fantastic July and take the time to join Katy and myself with Styling The Seasons, I can't wait to see all your posts. Make sure you tag us both(@lottsandlots @aptapothercary) so we can see them. Have a great month. xx 

Styling The Seasons Review - June

Thursday, 30 June 2016

June has felt like a long month but thankfully not in a bad way. It started with a family holiday to Mallorca, followed by fun at Blogtacular and even more fun at my best friends hen do. It's felt good to change out of normal routines and go to different places and see different things. 

This month Katy and I have been running a competition with Holly's House, there have been some beautiful entries all celebrating the best of the season. Our favourite and winner of the gorgeous copper side table is Janice Armstrong from Gathered Threads. We LOVED her beautiful peonies and as peonies have been ruling this month she is a very worthy winner. Thanks to everyone who has joined in this month, all the posts are below. 

I'll see you on Monday with July's (can you believe it?!) new post.  xx 

Three stylish houseplant holders with Red Online and The Joy of Plants

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

I'm so excited to share this recent project I worked on. I was contacted last month by Red Online to come up with three stylish houseplant holders for a project collaboration they were working on with The Joy of Plants. It was a real pleasure to be asked and personally it was great to have a project to get stuck into. The process from idea submission to filming took a week, so was a real whirlwind of activity behind the scenes here a Lotts and Lots HQ (aka my dining room!) but I loved it!

I came up with three different ideas - a pom pom basket, wire lampshade pot stand and wooden box planter. Like with all my tutorials I wanted to keep these simple and use minimal tools to create three completely different ideas. You can see the full videos here along with all the links for materials. 

It was such a fun day - I've included a few behind the scenes shots so you can see a little of what we got up to. I really love how these videos have turned out and they make me want to get filming more of my tutorials.

As you can see there were quite a few of us including Stanley and my Dad!

Summer To Do List

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Ahh you can tell summer has arrived here in the UK, every morning starts with a hopeful glance from behind the curtain to see if the day will be sunny and not grey and rainy as it currently is. Rain aside I truly love summer and as this is my first in ten years not to be office bound or pregnant I really want to enjoy every minute. I wrote a Spring to do list and found it so helpful to staying focused and getting jobs done - here is my summer version. 

Make the most of the beach - the beach is at the end of the our road so there are no excuses for not taking Stanley for a paddle. 

Get my craft room up and running - the plasterer has just left so all I need to do is wait for the room to dry and I can get started with the white paint. I'm missing having a space to create so much.

Post every Friday - I'm struggling to keep up with being a mama, having commissions, sorting building work and other general stuff that I'm going to be posting once a week on a Friday afternoon, starting this week (I think). 

Take a few day trips - I'd love to go and see the pretty beach huts on Mersey Island, don't these look so cute and visit Beth Chatto's garden for some local garden inspiration. 

Perfect a Sangria recipe - Dan doesn't like cocktails but I do. Sangria is the happy medium so I want to find a great recipe that we can have when the sun shines. 

Make more puddings - A random one for summer but I never make dessert and would like to make more of an effort. Currently on my list something with fig (as I have a really pretty can of figs in the cupboard), tiramisu and something with cherries. 

Get a pedicure - I'm pretty good at doing my own toes but you can't beat an hour off to have some one else make them look pretty and read trashy magazines. 

Of course there are many other house things to do but that list is seemingly endless and for another time. 

Have a great summer everyone. xx
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