Bernie Butts Update

My little guinea pig Bernie has really come out of his shell since we first got him. He’s gone through a lot with us already, we’ve moved into our first home and although Bernie HATED the car ride he loves his new home and has settled in really fast.

 

He loves to ‘popcorn’ jump allover the new rug and likes to play tag around the new flat.

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He’s grown a lot and his hair is out of control! I give him weekly trims to keep it manageable otherwise it gets too long and with summer approaching I don’t want him to over heat.

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His favourite things to eat are Spinach and Parsley. But he’ll eat anything green, especially if its leafy. As a treat once I week I give him fruit, his favourite so far is strawberries.

 

As you can tell by the title of the post his nickname is Bernie ‘Butts’ because he does a cute butt wiggle when he runs.

 

If there’s anything else you would like to know about little Bernie or questions or stories about owning a guinea pig in general please get in touch, I could talk about him all day!

Meet My Guinea Pig!

So over the Christmas period I decided to buy a guinea pig. I have been wanting to buy a pet for a long time, unfortunately the flat we have been renting doesn’t not allow pets so that was buying a cat out of the question.

I have always loved guinea pig, mostly for the cute noises they make, and because they are small pets, kept mostly in cages/ hutches I thought that this would be a great pet for us.

I had been looking online for about six months and visiting any pet shop I could just to see them and decide if they were for me. Then one day, a few days after Christmas, I saw this little guy on ‘gumtree’. He had been purchased as a gift for a young girl and she had no interest in him so the parents put him up for sale. I fell in love the moment I saw his fluffy little face and had to have him.

So I messaged the family and picked him up that night! He was originally called Bailey but I didn’t care for the name, it took about 2 days for me to settle on Bernard, but we call him Bernie. SO CUTE.

At first he was very timid, he would rarely leave his bed and ran away as soon as he saw us come in the room, but after a few days of chatting to him (yes I sat and talked to him on my own) and feeding him fresh vegetables by hand he started to come around.

Now he is the most excitable, chatty little guy. He has really come around to us and I couldn’t be happier. I also love how fury he is! He loves being brushed so that has really helped us to bond.

How To: Cute Christmas Bows

This year I have been making a some of my own decorations for Christmas. I think that not only is it more fun its makes your decorations a lot more unique.

The first thing I did after deciding on the tree was to make a huge bow for the top. I decided against the usual angel or star for the top because I have never been a fan of the angels on top and because my tree is so tall it actually touches the ceiling of my apartment so there would have been no room to add anything like that up there.

This year I am using a lot of silvers and golds to decorate my home, usually I prefer gold but I have a Christmas tree that is white and silver so I am incorporating all three into my theme. This is the finished bow:

If you saw my pom pom fairy lights tutorial you will notice that I use grey, white and silver wool to make those and now they fit in with my other decorations perfectly!
For my bow I used this amazing glittery ribbon. I actually bought this ribbon a few months back from a craft shop in Washington for £1.65, it was originally for a different project but the ribbon was too thick to use so it had gone to waste until now. The ribbon is covered in silver glitter and is wired around the edges. If you are recreating this I would really recommend purchasing ribbon that is wired as it holds its shape a lot better and is much easier to fold.

The way I did this ribbon was to cheat slightly, I didn’t just get the ribbon and tie a bow like you would with a shoe lace. I decided to go down a different route.

I started by roughly deciding how big the ribbon should be, I did this by making the general size while the ribbon was still on the roll and then cut it to that length.

After cutting I then did the same again to make sure that was right before I started.

I then folded the ribbon directly in half and pressed down so the wire in the ribbon would mark where the middle was.

I then squished this down at that same middle point so I knew where to fold my ribbon to.

I then folded one side over, meeting at the point I marked out before, once I was happy with the size of the loop I scrunched that into place too.

I then did the same with the other side, making sure to make the loops the same size. Because the wire is in the ribbon if you press the pieces together they should stay in place.

I then cut out another piece of ribbon that was big enough to tie around the centre.

I wrapped this around and then flipped over the ribbon, the wire will hold in place but as you can see it doesn’t hold it flat against the back and I didn’t want the ribbon to fall apart so I decided to glue the back down.

I used this Bostik All Purpose glue, this one dries clear but you wont be able to see it so any strong glue will do.

I then glued down that back piece, I would recommend using something heavy to keep that in place so that the glue can dry. I used my candle as its quite heavy and was the closest thing to me.

Leave that to dry and then use the wires in the ribbon to shape it until your happy.

I added a cable tie to the back to attach the bow to my tree.

I hoped you liked this tutorial, I am really happy with the outcome of this bow. I am also really impressed with this ribbon, I was worried that when I was making this bow most of the glitter would come off and even though I was covered in glitter the bow still looks amazing and you wouldn’t even know so much had come off!

This tutorial would also be great scaled up or down, you could make smaller bows to decorate the tree or even larger ones to hang on your door or walls.

How to: Chocolate Orange Cupcakes!

I love making cupcakes, I like to experiment with different types so decided to try something new.

I decided on chocolate orange cupcakes!

The first thing to do is preheat the oven to 170 for fan oven or 180 if non-fan.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 20g Cocoa Powder
  • 140g Caster Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 40g Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)
  • 120ml Whole Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
I started by mixing all the dry ingredients together and then I added the milk, eggs and vanilla on top.
I then whisked that all together to combine all those ingredients. Making sure it is smooth.
Once I was happy with the consistency of the mix I took my lined cupcake tray and poured the mix evenly between the 12.
I have a fan oven so baked these on 170 for 15 minutes. For non-fan ovens the same cooking time applied but on 180. 
I used a butter knife to test that the cupcake was thoroughly cooked all the way through, if not pop back in the oven for another few minutes.
I took them from the tray and put them in this cupcake storage box to let them cool before decorating.
Next is the Orange Icing!
Ingredients:
1 Tsp Orange Extract
110g Powdered Icing Sugar
2 Drops Orange Food Colouring
1 Tbsp Water
I basically just combined all of these ingredients together, making sure to keep adding the icing sugar gradually until it was thick enough to pipe in my piping bag. If this combination isn’t thick enough keep adding icing until it is your desired thickness.
Making sure the cupcakes had cooled I then piped that onto my cupcakes! I start on the outside and swirl towards the centre to create this icing look. 
These cupcakes were a big hit with my boyfriend and I took some of these to family who loved them too! 
I love making cupcakes, if there are any you would like to see me make please let me know!

My Little Balcony Garden

This past year I’ve been living on the Newcastle Quayside with my boyfriend. We live in an apartment so we don’t have a garden but I have been adding potted plants around the place to add some greenery.

I have this plant on my kitchen windowsill in an orange pot.

The other two I have moved to my Juliet balcony to get more light as the darker days are setting in and they weren’t getting enough natural light.

Its really nice sitting here in the morning with my little plants looking at the view. 
To the left you can see the river and some of the buildings across the river, this side is a lot more rural then you’ll see to the right.

To the right you can see all the other apartments and buildings on my side of the river. Its a lot more built upon on the right side.

I think adding plants to a house makes it a lot more homely, especially as we don’t have a garden to go out into. 

World Map Watercolour

I recently tried this watercolour of a world map. I’m really happy with the way that it turned out. This painting is on an A5 piece of paper in my art journal.

I started by googling an outline of a world map and did my best to draw out the outline on the page.

I then decided on the colours that I wanted to use and started to apply them to the left side of the map and worked my way over.

I then carried on picking colours to merge over the map, making sure to blend them out into each other as I go. I tried to stick with the same patterns of colours, so making sure that the purple lead to the red and the red to the orange etc…

And that’s the finished painting! I’m really happy with how this turned out, I never thought that I would be able to draw the map out as well as I did but I’m pleased I gave it a try.

I think this would look really good bigger and framed on my wall. If I’m feeling adventurous I might give it ago but I’m usually better at painting when I keep it small, if I try to paint on larger surfaces I normally get the proportions wrong for some reason.

Simple Cat Halloween Makeup Tutorial

I have been playing around with different Halloween makeup looks and thought I would share some with you. I decided to start with one of the easiest looks, this simple cat makeup and hair. Pair with a black outfit and you’ll be ready for Halloween in no time!

I started with with my usual concealer, foundation and also did my eyebrows.

I then added some black winged eyeliner. 
I then added contour to under my cheek bones. This is a good time to add any highlight and blush to your look too.
The last part of the makeup is to add the nose and connect it to your top lip, I used a lipstick that matched my skin colour on the bottom lip. I also added some small dots to the cheeks for the whiskers.
The last part to this look is to put your hair up in two buns at the top of your head to act as cute cat ears. If you like to wear your hair down you can curl the hair and then make to smaller buns the same as this with half the hair to get the same effect.
This look is great for if you have only decided to dress up last minute as you only need makeup that would usually have anyway and there is no need to buy cat ears if you do you hair like this. 
I will be trying more makeup looks on the lead up to Halloween, if there is anything you would like to see me try please let me know!