Art

inspirationpinkSAM_6077I’ve never been a huge fan of Halloween especially where little children are concerned. But with school age children there is no avoiding it! When it comes to Halloween at home, we embrace the fun dressing up and creative pumpkin carving but rather than all the sinister, gruesome spookiness, I try to focus on the magical, enchanting and fairytale! Last year we decided to make a Disney inspired ‘Tangled’ pumpkin after one of Littlelish’s favourite movies. She knew exactly the scene she wanted to recreate, the lantern scene, but could I manage to transfer it onto a pumpkin with a 5 year old little helper? Errrrrm….

I’m not the world’s best pumpkin carver but I can draw and paint pretty well so I decided that was probably the easiest route to go down! Taking the lead from images of the lantern scene I found on the web I sketched out the scene as best as I could leaving the detail pretty simplistic so it was easy for Littlelish to paint. At this point I also carved out simple rectangles where the light would shine through from the candle as the lanterns.

painting-our-pumpkinmaking-fairytale-pumpkin

I mixed up the right colours using acrylic paint and my assistant got to work painting the main blocks of colour on her own, I thought it looked pretty good as an ombre style effect and this was easy for her to create. The paint dried very quickly on the skin of the pumpkin so there was no smudging. Mummy stepped in when it was time to add the detail to the castle and the boat and then our pumpkin was finished! Super simple but really effective!! Of course more so in the daytime and early evening before it gets really dark and you can only see the light from the rectangles! I’d love to see someone actually carve this scene into a pumpkin, that was a bit beyond my skill set!

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I’m not sure what enchanted pumpkin we will be creating this year come Halloween time, I’ve found some cool inspiration for fairytale pumpkins – I love the cinderella carriage!

fairytale-pumpkins

 

creative-cricut

A what? What is this Cricut mini I speak of (I must admit I had never heard of one either)? Well it is only something really, super, duper cool for all those who love crafting like I do!

Ok how to explain, a cricut mini looks like a printer only it doesn’t print, it cuts… paper, card, vinyl and iron on transfer material into pretty much anything you could imagine. It comes with computer software which you upload onto your PC or MAC.

You create a design in the online craftroom by using all kind of fonts and images, select ‘cut’ and the Cricut gets to work cutting out your intricate design / font / pattern with it’s tiny blade. I’ve often wondered how on earth to the make such intricate paper cut art / perfect iron on transfers / beautiful cut out cards that I would so love to make but did not have a clue how. The Cricut is the answer!

designing-cricut

So when the team at Cricut asked if I would be interested in reviewing a Cricut, I have to admit I might have squealed a little bit! The thought of being able to make such beautiful things at the push of a button (well using a bit of creativity and handy work of course) was very exciting. I couldn’t decide what to make first, I had so many ideas buzzing round my head.

I decided to give the iron on transfer a go and customise the new curtain I had just sewn for Littlelish’s high sleeper. Installing the software was very easy, it was just a case of following the instructions and then I set to work designing. The Cricut mini works with cartridges which you can also upload to your online workroom. These cartridges hold all the images and fonts you need to create a design. I wanted to create the word ‘imagine’ so I fond a suitable font and began laying out the letters.

letters-on-cricut

I soon realised it wasn’t possible to lay the word out in order, I wanted to maximise the amount of letters I could get onto my A4 piece so I arranged them cleverly to all fit on one page as you can see in my photo. It was time to turn the Cricut mini on. I had to stick the vinyl I wanted cutting out onto the Cricut mini mat which is like a sticky mat that keeps whatever it is you are cutting in place. Super straightforward. Then I loaded the mat and pressed cut and watched the machine work it’s magic. It was literally done in less than a minute.

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Peeling the letters back off the sticky mat took a little longer and was a little bit fiddly, but with a bit of patience and some wiggling, I had my iron on letters. I believe you can buy a special cricut tool to make this job easier, nevertheless it was possible without it. I laid the letters onto my fabric and followed the iron on instructions. Within 5 – 10 mins, the curtain was complete!

letters-imagine

letters-on-fabric

iron-on-letters

And here is the finished article, what do you think? I love it and so did Littlelish. She went straight into her ‘den’ after school yesterday and only came out at dinner time!

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The possibilities for creativity are literally endless with the cricut. I have a very long list of ‘things to make’ with my new machine; wall stickers, cards, upcycled plant pots etc etc. For some more Cricut inspiration check out their Pinterest boards.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Cricut mini to review but all opinions are honest and very much my own.

zinio-digital-magazines

Morning all, well it’s been quite a while since I’ve run a competition but here I am with an awesome one this morning. Zinio have provided me with 10 digital magazine subscriptions to giveaway and with over 5500 titles you may have a hard time choosing!

Zinio offers the chance to buy subscriptions or single editions of all the magazines we know and love here in the UK, but what’s more they also have magazines from all over the world. So you can read whatever publication you’d like on whatever device you like, iPad, iPhone, Android phone, tablets, laptop or desktop wherever you are (as long as you have access to the internet of course!). It is like the worlds biggest newsagents right at your finger tips, no wonder they have won so many awards!

digital-magazine-choice

I LOVE magazines, I find them a great source of inspiration, especially as a creative / blogger it is so important to know what is going on out there! Whatever kind of magazines you are into there is something for you, health, fashion, parenting, garde, the list goes on! I particularly love reading magazines about trends, which comes from my obsession with magazines when I did my styling education, I spent a small fortune on magazines like Frame and Wallpaper. I love photography, trend spotting and all things home and interior and as I was allowed to keep one of the prizes for myself I decided to try out a subscription to Architectural Digest which is one of the ones I used to love so I know I will be able to use it as a great source of inspiration over the next coming months.

All you need to do is enter your details into the rafflecopter below to be in with a chance to win. There are 9 subscriptions available now that I pinched one ;) Please note: All subscription lengths vary, you will need to check out the publication on Zinio to see how many magazines are in the subscription bundle.

Happy reading everyone!

Ps: Did you know that Zinio run lots of deals, daily and monthly so keep your eye on their website for a great one to suit you. Sometimes they offer free subscriptions, right now they are offering the chance to get a 2 year subscription for the price of 1 on over 50 magazine titles.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

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