Saturday, 26 September 2015

Etsy Shop Review: Up In A Bow

Up In A Bow opened last year due to the owner's love for crafting and upcycling. The shop specialises in small unique pieces such as photo frames and hanging decorations. It has such a vintage feel to it, with lots of florals and lace on there.

I was intrigued by the hanging bows on offer. There's lots of hanging hearts about but bows seem like a such a cute idea so I had to have me a couple! My colour scheme is grey and pink so I went for a grey polka dot bow and a pastel pink polka dot bow. I had mine made on lace ribbon but you can have ric rac, satin, gingham etc. So they're very customisable. Lace gives the bows such a vintage feel which I absolutely love.

The bows came packaged beautifully in this gorgeous wrapping, tied with natural twine. The back of the bows are painted in the matching colour of your choice but without the dots, and the sides are left exposed and then varnished. I think it looks cool like that as the grain of the wood is visible.

There was lots of cute confetti packaged up with my bows. Some heart shaped music sheet confetti and some gorgeous little pearls. This was such a nice surprise - I love when sellers put effort into their packaging. It really does make a difference. 

The bows are very precisely painted as you can see, I guess a dotting tool is used as the polka dots are flawlessly done. There's no brush strokes to be seen at all on the piece actually.

At just £5.25 for two, these are a steal and they're absolutely gorgeous. Hanging bows are such a unique idea and I can't wait to display them in my home. Check out Up In A Bow on Etsy and Facebook.

Etsy Shop Feature: Two Fat Doves

I have been lucky enough to receive a couple of products to show you from Two Fat Doves on Etsy. As you can probably tell from the content on this blog, I'm fairly selective when it comes to the type of shops that I feature - they need to fit my theme - I.E be something that I'd actually buy myself. I'd definitely purchase from Two Fat Doves - I'm very impressed with the two items that I have.

It's worth noting that you are able to pick and choose in regards to trims, fabrics and shapes when it comes to the actual lampshades. I received a lovely 20cm drum lampshade in a grey and white blossom design. The outside is fabric with rolled edges, and the lampshade has a white pvc inner. Low energy bulbs are recommended for use with this shade and I'd agree with that.

I love how this looks, it's very Laura Ashley-esque and it will match the grey décor in my living room perfectly. I'm in love with my pretty lampshade, I can't wait to find a lovely vintage look lamp to use it on.

I also received this cute little lantern to show you guys. Please note that this is designed for use with electronic tealights - not actual candles! The inside is also pvc lined like the lampshade which is a cool feature. This looks absolutely gorgeous when the lights are off. I love the stars design - it reminds me of Cath Kidston. This can also be used as a makeup brush holder, pen pot etc as it has a base to it. So it's multi-use which is always a good thing.

Check out Two Fat Doves on Etsy and Facebook. They have some amazing lampshades on offer at such affordable prices, it's definitely work a look.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Review: Lime Elephant Project @ Etsy

As I'm on the brink of moving house, I've been looking for some lovely tableware. Me and my boyfriend eat a lot of bread and olive oil so I wanted a nice dipping bowl for us to use. I discovered Lime Elephant Project on Etsy who sell amazing wheel-thrown stoneware bowls.

I love the glaze on my dipping bowl, it's really modern-looking I think. I don't usually go for modern styles, except from geometric designs which I love... but I really love how this looks. It's nice and weighty which I like in my tableware and ceramics - I like things to be substantial!

As well as using this as a dipping bowl, it could be used as a dish to hold jewellery or nick nacks, or just as a general ornament. This bowl is food safe though and it's recommended that it should be hand washed. The bowl itself is 12cm in diameter and 4cm deep.

Check out Lime Elephant Project here.

Review: Melissa Nettleship @ Etsy

Melissa Nettleship is a cute little Etsy shop filled with gorgeously designed products with unicorns, kitties, dragons etc. I'm a sucker for anything cute as you know so this shop definitely caught my eye.

I have 3 items to show you guys. The first is an A6 notepad. It has plain paper inside and on the front is an illustrated dragon which is inspired by Haiku from Spirited Away. I love Studio Ghibli so I instantly recognised this design as being inspired by Haiku. I love the illustration, it's quite calming to look as because of the clouds and the dragon is beautiful. I'm really pleased with this item, it's very pretty.

The second thing is a mirror with a unicorn design on the back of it. The unicorn is adorable, it's a little chubby one! I always need mirrors as I keep a different one in every handbag for some reason. The mirrors are available in a few colours as well like the badges which is fab. The colours are actually really vivid on all these items.

And finally I got some badges which I just mentioned. They feature the same unicorn print and they are packaged in a little unicorn packet too! They're very pretty, I cannot wait to use them.

Definitely check out Melissa Nettleship as she sells the cutest items. All the items are illustrated by the shop owner and everything that I received was amazing quality!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Review: MKK Wooden Stuff

MKK Wooden Stuff has its own standalone shop as well as an Etsy shop. It specialises in home decor items such as coasters, candle holders, shelves etc. I have kindly been sent a couple of items for review purposes, and I'm excited to show them to you!

The first is this set of 3 floating mahogany tealight holders. They have been finished with paint along the sides which is difficult to see on my photo but you can definitely check them out on their shop here. They have been finished with waterproof varnish so as well as holding up when in the water, they look lovely and shiny! These would create such a soothing atmosphere, I cannot wait to use them when winding down on a Friday night. What an amazing idea! These tealight holders are very Scandinavian in style.

I then received this pretty candle presented in a wooden bowl with a hand painted orange rim! It's in the scent 'strawberries in chocolate' which is such a lovely scent. I love soy wax candles and this one smells so yummy. If you get one of these, remember to trim the wicks to about a cm. This candle is really gorgeous and as I started to burn it, the scent definitely travelled around my house as I could smell it in the kitchen! I also love that I can re-use this bowl when the candle is all burned out. The bowl is very pretty and neatly hand painted. 

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Review: Body Jewellery Shop

You guys have seen my Body Jewellery Shop posts before and you know that I love getting all my earpiercing jewellery from there! 

This time I went for another pair of glitter earrings - they're heart shaped and gold. My other ones are pink and I wear them all the time, the glitter really catches the light and looks so cute.

I also went for something a bit different - a fake/illusion ear plug. I used to have slightly stretched ears years ago, but nowadays I want to be able to wear regular earrings as well as plugs so I was intrigued by the illusion ear plugs. It's very pretty and has a rose on the front which you screw off when inserting the earring.

I was a little concerned when I opened the package as the actual earring looks too thick for my lobe piercing. It took a couple of minutes of wiggling but I did get it in. It was a little painful to insert and my ear lobe went red for a while but it soon settled down and it looks really cute! I really like how this one looks.

Etsy Shop of the Month: Goodwood Originals

As you guys know, I'm in the process of purchasing my own home and have been collecting furniture and accessories! I love vintage-look, shabby chic shelves and found a shop on Etsy which sells the most lovely pine shelves. The shelves from Goodwood Originals are hand painted and made from solid pine which means they have a very nice weight to them and they're made to last. They're made in Britain too which is fab, you guys know how much I love supporting British businesses.

The shelf that I ordered was advertised as a bookcase/display unit. I will be using it as a display unit for cute little things in my home. You're able to choose from a variety of cute pastel colours or neutrals, depending on your taste. I chose a dove grey colour which is called 'lamp room'. There's a really lovely pink colour as well but I went with the grey one as it will match more things. 

The shelf comes pre-assembled with fixings already attached so all that needs to be done is fixing it up on the wall! I'm hopeless at assembling things so this was very handy for me. Also, the paint has been lightly distressed to achieve the shabby chic look and it's been varnished. So it's suitable for use in the kitchen or bathroom if you'd like it there - mine will be for the living room though!

I haven't actually moved in yet and I can't put this up in my parents house so I've taken a few snaps of it (upside down) with a couple of ideas of how it could look with some things on there. I will probably be sticking some floral paper behind it on the wall as I think that would look really cute. So please excuse my upside down photos, I didn't wanna ruin it by trying to suspend it somehow- it's too beautiful!

Obviously the part that I put things on won't actually be a shelf when I put it up as that's the underneath but you get the general idea. It will look very cute when I get round to putting it up. Expect another post when I move in about this beauty! I will be spamming lots of home pictures I think.

Definitely have a look at Goodwood Originals. Their prices are incredibly reasonable, with this 18 inch handmade display unit coming in at under £60. That's so amazing!

Etsy Shop Review: Paper Tree UK

Paper Tree UK sells cute paper craft/stationery supplies. I needed some new planner supplies and their items were too cute to pass up. There's some really pretty products on their shop and I picked up a few items to show you!

This cute blue and white candy striped cotton twine will come in useful for making my own bunting or garlands. It's so adorable and there's plenty of twine on the roll. There's lots of different coloured twine on the shop so you'll definitely find some that you like.

I also got these cute heart pegs. These are actually what first attracted me to Paper Tree UK. They're fab for using in my planner or to peg notices on to my memo board. They're just adorable really and I'm really glad that I got them.

I picked up these tags as well. They give off such a vintage vibe, they would look cute attached to Christmas presents with some red twine wrapped around!

I got three rolls of washi tape as nobody can have too much washi tape. I use it all the time! In my planner, to package up gifts, to stick bunting up... it's so handy! I got a blue polka dot one, a blue chevron one and a red polka dot one.

I'm pleased with my order from Paper Tree UK, everything was packaged up beautifully and my items are amazing quality as well as being pretty! 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Etsy Shop Feature: Why did I make that?

I was instantly attracted to "Why did I make that?" because of their amazing cookie bunting made from felt! What a unique and cute item. I'm a sucker for cute things and anything food themed so I definitely had to have that. I also noticed an adorable little toast ornament which is made from felt too.
Here are my items! I think they're absolutely adorable, I love how the little toast is blushing and the cookie bunting is gorgeous too. These will look lovely in my kitchen, I'm super pleased with them. They're very precisely sewn and so so lovely.

Review: Thayres A Difference @ Etsy

I like to display lots of different styled hanging hearts in my home as I feel that it gives such a rustic, unique vibe. This is one of the reasons why I like to display handmade stuff as everything is unique and made with love. Thayres A Difference is an Etsy shop run by Paul Thayre which sells lots of shabby chic home décor. Lots of his work is decoupaged, and you guys know how much I adore decoupage! I ordered a gorgeous decoupaged hanging heart and 2 decoupaged door handles.

The hanging heart is very nicely sized, it's larger than I thought it was and there's plenty of ribbon so I think that it would look nice hanging from the fireplace perhaps. Or somewhere else in the home where there's plenty of room for it to hang and look lush. The decoupage looks professional, there's no folding or visible boundaries between the decoupaged areas and the painted areas.
Moving on to the knobs, they are decoupaged really nicely also. Again, there is no creasing or visible lines where the decoupaging ends. Also, Paul has included screws on the back of each knob which is enormously important - some Etsy sellers do not do this and I think that it lets them down a little. So Paul's door handles are cute and ready to be installed - no faffing about at all! Which is what we want. They have been varnished as well so they will last ages without getting damaged, they're lovely and shiny.

Definitely check out Thayres A Difference for cute hand crafted homeware at decent prices.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Review: Pallets N Pearls @ Etsy

When you're buying a house, essential items to purchase are surely cute signs?! Pallets N Pearls stood out to me on Etsy due to the rustic look of their work. 

Here's my two signs. The wood looks so cool, it's so different than anything you could pick up on the high street. They really are handcrafted, unique pieces. I love everything about them: the knots in the wood, the irregularities around the edges. It's all just cool looking!

The designs are painted on well and are generally just cute. I'm in love with stags so the 'Home' sign is perfect for me. And the second sign is such a cute little quote - perfect for our bedroom! On the back of the signs there are provisions for hanging made from metal so you don't need to worry about that.

And as for the size of these signs.. they're big! You definitely get value for money. I don't know why but I expected them to be small but, nope, they're definitely of substantial size.

Definitely check out Pallets N Pearls, their work is so impressive and unique. I think it's so important to have a personalised home and little shops like this one certainly make this achievable. 

Review: Pink Planner Girl @ Etsy

As you guys know, I love my planner. My Kikki K comes everywhere with me and I like to use cute supplies - I find that it really cheers my day up when I'm planning fairly boring things. Pink Planner Girl is a gorgeous Etsy shop which sells lots of cute supplies including washi, stickers and pens.

I got 2 rolls of cute washi - one with little hearts and one with arrows. I use washi tape a lot, be it in my planner or to stick up bunting or prints on my wall. This is such a cute way to use washi tape! The tape itself is of fab quality and the prints are precious.

I also picked up 3 sheets of Nicola's rainbow heart planner stickers which are adorable. And of course, I had to get a Kate Spade bow paperclip. I've wanted one of these for ages and they are so reasonably priced on Pink Planner Girl!

Finally, I got this Japanese pen with little panda bears on it. The nib is very fine and it writes in black ink. It's so adorable, I love the Japanese writing on there and it writes really well. It feels nice in my hand as well, which is always good!

Check out Pink Planner Girl, her planner supplies are gorgeous and everything is fab quality.

Review: Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

I am excited to be able to work with Urban Decay to review the new Naked Smoky Palette. Those of you who are regulars on my blog will know that makeup is my guilty pleasure. I will happily spend £20+ on foundation if it's worth the hype. Urban Decay has always been a favourite of mine ever since I bought my first single eyeshadow from them about 10 years ago. Their products are always superb - I'm yet to be disappointed by Urban Decay!

I regularly use the original Naked Palette and Naked Basics. They are definitely all that they are cracked up to be. Neutral shadows are my thing, I wear eyeshadow every day to work and I like them to last all day. I usually apply Urban Decay's Primer Potion and then sweep a champagne colour on to my lid. On some days I pop a darker brown into the crease. 

In the evenings I like a darker neutral look and this is what excites me about the Naked Smoky Palette. It's suitable for day or night as it has some lighter neutrals as well as some darker ones. The colours are stunning, I'm so excited to show them to you!

Before we start, let's look at the packaging. Now, it's obvious that it's pretty stunning. It comes boxed with a guide on how to achieve different types of smoky look. I think that this is amazing as it proves the fact that high end makeup isn't just for those who are experienced with makeup. With the guide provided by Urban Decay, you could literally be a total beginner and achieve amazing makeup looks with this palette. There's a few different looks on the guide and some information about other products which would compliment the eyeshadows well.

The palette itself is weighty. From holding it and running your hands over it, it is quite apparent that the palette is a luxury product. The marbling on the case is stunning and the lettering is so pretty.

I love how Urban Decay breaks the convention of including sub-standard applicators with eyeshadow palettes. The brushes that Urban Decay include are always impressive and this one is no exception. The bristles are densely packed and soft, it's easy to pack colour on to the lids without much fallout from the brush. The middle of the brush is also marbled with Urban Decay branding printed on there. It has a good weight to it and it's clear that this is also a luxury product.

On this swatch, I lightly swiped my finger over each colour once and then transferred it on to my arm. I did this to achieve a fair picture of the pigmentation of the colours and to show you just how amazing they are! I literally barely touched the shadow and my fingertip was fully covered in eyeshadow.

Eyeshadow shades from right to left:

- High (champagne shimmer with micro-glitter)
- Dirtysweet (medium bronze)
- Radar (metallic taupe with iridescent micro-glitter)
- Armor (metallic silver-taupe with tonal sparkle)
- Slanted (light metallic grey)
- Dagger (medium charcoal with micro-shimmer)
- Black Market (jet-black satin)
- Smolder (deep plum-taupe)
- Password (cool taupe matte)
- Whiskey (rich brown matte)
- Combust (soft pink-taupe)
- Thirteen (light beige satin)

The names of the actual eyeshadows are pretty cool as per usual with Urban Decay. There's not one shade that I dislike! My favourites are High, Password and Combust. For night time I will particularly love using Smolder and Dagger too. They're all really pretty shades though and they will all definitely get their use. The formulation of the shadows means that they are soft, pigmented and will stay put all day (even longer when using Urban Decay's Primer Potion!)

Check out Urban Decay on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information on the Naked Smoky Palette, click here.

£££: £38

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Etsy Shop Review: Sammie's Craft Supplies

I needed some craft supplies as I wanted to try out making my own magnets, necklaces etc just as a little project for myself. Sammie's Craft Supplies sells lots of My Little Pony and Disney ones so it caught my eye and her prices are amazing.

Here are my little embellishments. I think that I will turn most of them into little magnets. I got four bottle-cap style ones which are very cute. The one on the top left is very close to my heart as I work with Autistic young people in my full-time job. I don't talk much about my job on here but, yes, this is a nice little embellishment. The doggy one is also cute, we actually have cats in my house but almost all of them are from rescue homes. I feel quite strongly about rehoming animals as do lots of people so I can see how this magnet could appeal to lots of people!

As for the others, their cuteness is self-explanatory. I love ponies, they are amazing and gorgeous and Daisy Duck is super precious. Definitely check out Sammie's Craft Supplies for lots of cute, reasonably priced embellishments. She sells a large variety of different ones so it's worth having a look.

Etsy Shop Feature: House of Vicness

House of Vicness is an Etsy shop which really speaks to my heart in a number of ways. There's everything that I love on there: custom My Little Ponys, Disney Princesses, Zelda, Studio Ghibli.. the list goes on! I could literally kit out my house with decorations from this shop, it's absolutely gorgeous. There are some Christmas decorations that have been added recently which are beautiful and some origami star decorations which I definitely need one of.

Speaking of which, look what was included in my package as a little extra..

With my cute magnets there was this little bag of origami stars which are absolutely precious. I shall definitely be displaying these somewhere, perhaps inside a cute jar. And of course, the magnets are beautifully made! They resemble Ariel and Link perfectly and they're very nicely sized. On the back, there is plenty of magnet attached so they attach to my fridge securely.

And here's one of the new Christmas decorations! This will look awesome on my tree, I'm a huge Zelda fan so having a heart gauge on my tree is pretty cool. There's also a triforce one, a sword one and a rupee one which are equally cute.

I'm so obsessed with this shop, I want literally everything on there.. especially her needlefelted mushroom and her origami stars decoration! Definitely check out House of Vicness, the owner is so lovely and will keep you informed about your order every step of the way!

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Review: Betsy Rose Creations @ Etsy

I am partial to sweeties on the odd occasion (let's face it, daily) so when I came across Betsy Rose Creations which sells cute vintage jars filled with sweets I had to have one. It's the best of both worlds, a cute jar topped with Cath Kidston fabric.. filled with sweets!

They're perfect gifts too as they come with a wooden heart attached so you can write your own message - what a fab idea! I know plenty of people who would love one of these as a present.

It's pretty neat because once you've eaten the sweets, you can reuse the jar to put cute things in and display! I chose bubblegum flavour sweeties because they are virtually my life, mmm! 

I'm in love with my amazingly cute vintage jar! I think that they are perfect gift ideas - they're simply adorable.

Etsy Shop Feature: itylish

itylish is an Etsy shop which intrigued me due to the interesting use of the papier-mâché technique which I honestly have not used or seen in years! I'm in love with pineapple homeware items at the moment and itylish has some lovely pineapple themed goodies! There's also lots of cute lampshades on offer which are made from repurposed frames. My lovely pineapple coin tray has been made from old newspaper as well which is pretty awesome really as it's such an eco-friendly way of crafting!

Here's my gorgeous tray! It is painted in Annie Sloane paint and the pineapple is done in gold leaf paint mixed with a little sand for texture. The tray is so much bigger than I imagined so it's really good value. It's really gorgeous, I'm in love with how pretty the papier-mâché looks.

As for the packaging, it was super professinal! It was secured with these clear itylish stickers and it literally could have been from a large established homeware company! I was taken aback by just how professionally my order was packaged.

Definitely check out itylish for cute lampshades and papier-mâché cuteness.

Review: Zen and Cute @ Etsy

I was in need of some cute vintage jars for my new home and came across Zen and Cute on Etsy. Sterenn's jars are ridiculously adorable and I needed one!! Sterenn also makes very cute signs for the home - there's an especially sweet Twitter themed one which I might have to purchase.

Here's my jar. I love how precise and neat the bow is, I could never be as neat as that! There's a choice between a grey polka dot bow and this English Rose one. I love the vintage-feel of this jar, it will look beautiful in my country kitchen! It's just lovely and everything I expected when ordering.

Check out Zen and Cute on Etsy here!

Review: Big Skies Food Co

My foodie posts are actually among my post popular, I should to them more often! Anyways, Big Skies Food Co have kindly sent me some of their brittle to review on here. Their brittle is handmade in small batches in their Norfolk kitchen which sounds very quaint. I love supporting British food companies by buying British-made food where possible (especially honey, mmm!). All this brittle is gluten free which is worth noting.

So I was sent four varieties to try. The first one that I tried was their Toffee Apple flavour. I love how the ingredients lists on these products are ridiculously small, literally sugar and dried apple. Their sugar is sourced locally too which is amazing.

Anyways, on to the taste. It is very true to taste, it tastes exactly like eating a toffee apple which isn't hard to believe since the ingredients are literally toffee and apple I suppose! It's very nice, I love toffee apple so this one I loooveed.

I then tried the Traditional Peanut one which is the flavour that I was most familiar with prior to trying any of them. It tastes lovely, as you'd imagine! You get the salty hit of the peanuts and then the sweetness of the hard caramel. Mmm, this stuff is seriously addictive. I got through the best part of a packet during an episode of loose women - be warned!

So here's the final two that I tried! The first one - Roasted Cashew and Sea Salt tastes similar to the peanut one but it has that distinctive cashew taste and its a little saltier. Mmm, I love this one. Cashews are just gorgeous and they retain their nice texture within the brittle so that just adds to my enjoyment.

The final one I tried was the one I was a little scared of - Salted Peanut and Chilli. There's lots of visible slices of chilli encased in the brittle so I imagined it to be very hot! I love how they've used actual sliced fresh chillis rather than just powder or something. 

The taste of this one is so interesting. I actually really like it, it's kind of hot but not overpowering - warming is probably the word. Then you get the sweetness of the caramel and saltiness of the nuts. It's a fairly complex flavour but one that I really like. I wouldn't eat the whole pack at once of this one, it's more the kind that you'd eat a piece of slowly and savour all the different tastes.

Definitely check out Big Skies Food Co on Etsy, Twitter and their standalone website!