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.

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Throw Back Thursday: Newcastle!

I am from Newcastle Upon Tyne. I think that its a really pretty city and it has been a focal point for my photography since I got my first camera when I was 13. I was recently looking through some of my old files from when I first started studying photography in 2012 and came across some of my photographs that I took around the city and thought I would share them!

They are actually nice to look back on because I can see how much my photography improved over the years and how much the city has changed in a short period of time. A lot of the stores in these images are no longer there. Above is Greys Monument, which is still there of course, but behind that, the building with the glass dome above it has completely changed, it used to be called ‘Monument Mall’ it had a lot of small stores inside and a few cafes. It also had the entrance to the metro station here. Now it has all be refurbished into a really cool rooftop bar on top called the Botanist and the lower level has a Jamie’s Italian and more high end stores with lovely new glass fronts.

This photo above is Grey Street, at the time of taking this photo I was just passing through to get to the Quay Side, I never really spent much time here in my teens but now I come here on night out or for meals out quite a lot, its a big part of my social life now and its nice to look back and see how different it used to be.

This is the Tyne Bridge, the main thing Newcastle is known for, I’m not quite sure why I chose this angle or why I decided to cut the ends of the bridge off completely but nothing in this area has really changed since then.

This is the main reason I love to keep old photos, I love to look back and see how everything has changed, and its only been 4 years since I took these photos so goodness knows how different things will be next time I look through these!

Dr Strange!

I’m not the best at reviewing films but I love recording the films that I’ve been to watch and my general thoughts on them. I have the worst memory when it comes to films and a year or so down the line I’ll have no memory of what the film was about! I keep a diary and whenever I see a film; at home or in the cinema; I like to write it down to keep a nice record.

Image From: https://www.comicbookmovie.com

My boyfriend and I went to see Dr Strange last week at the cinema. We both like to keep up to date with the Marvel movies, especially as they are all pretty much connected and I don’t like to miss out on all the inside jokes (if I remember enough to get them haha).

We went to a late showing thinking that it would be quieter in the cinema but it was still really busy. We went to the Empire Cinema in the Gate, Newcastle. We did go on a Tuesday when the tickets are cheaper so that is probably why it so busy at that time.

I really enjoyed the film, I had read that it had great reviews so I already had high hopes. I think Benedict Cumberbatch is great as the lead character Dr Strange, I wasn’t sure when I first heard he was playing this character but I think he was really well suited to the role. I think they did a great job with his character development throughout the movie. In a lot of films where you need the character to change this drastically it can seem very rushed in the small amount of time a movie is allotted, but they managed to squeeze this all in without leaving you feeling like you’d missed anything.

Image From: http://www.deviantart.com/tag/drstrange

I was excited to see Mads Mikkelsen as the main ‘bad guy’ Kaecilius as I really like him from other programmes that I’ve seen him – mostly Hannibal. The only thing I would critique is that I would have liked to see more about his character then was given – but I also understand that the main purpose of the movie was to introduce the Dr Strange character to the ever growing Marvel movie web!

Image From: http://lrmonline.com/news

Overall I really enjoyed the movie and the little teaser at the end 😉 You can spot the Marvel movie fans in the cinema when half the viewers don’t move a muscle when the credits start to role!

Let me know your thoughts on the movie, I would to hear them!

Lunch Date at Bierrex!

My boyfriend and I took a half day from work and decided to go for lunch at Bierrex in Newcastle. We have both been here before for drinks but never had the food and it is always being recommended to us, so I was excited to try it out. Because we went on a week day it wasn’t too busy and we got a good pick of the booths.

Here’s the lunch time menu:

This is the evening menu in case you go a little later on:

Both menu images are taken from the Bierrex website.

I ordered a cappuccino before my meal, it was really good quality coffee!

We both decided to go for the Hot Link Hogey, I also got a side of Collard Greens with mine.

 

I love the interior of Bierrex, it has two tones of green painted on the wood panelling. They have gold paintings across all of the walls, of pigs, greenery and such. I really love the colour scheme.

I would really recommend going to Bierrex, we always have a nice time here when we go for drinks and the food was really good too!

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 Halloween Costume!

So yesterday was Halloween and I had finally decided on my costume. I was going to a family party at my Nana’s house, she tries to have one every year for her grandchildren. A lot of my cousins are still really young so its mostly for them but I decided to dress up too!

I decided to go dressed as a scarecrow, I wore a checked shirt, dungarees and a burnt orange hat with my brown boots.

The make up was really simple. I did my makeup as normal and then added some circles to my cheek bones. I added a teardrop shape to the tip of my nose and drew stitches around this in a brown eye liner and then I used the same colour for my lips with the brown liner to add stitches to the corner of my mouth.

Because it was for a child’s Halloween party I decided to go for something more cute then scary. I also already had all of these items in my wardrobe so that’s always a plus when deciding on a costume!

I hope you liked my costume!

A Stressful Day!

I don’t really talk about my job on here, mainly because it’s something I’m not very happy with at the moment, which is something I’m trying hard to change. I try to keep my blog positive- a safe space for me to come to just share my interests and focus on the good parts of my life, which is why I never bring it up. But with this being such a busy week at work; my blog (and my sanity) has been suffering because of it and I hate it.

I’ve really enjoyed getting regular posts out there, it’s just really nice to have somewhere to group the good things about your life and you can really feel proud of it.

But today has been extra stressful and with an already bad morning behind me I had some bad news about tomorrow’s shift added on. So I decided to use my small break to pop to Starbucks and buy a drink and a cookie and just relaxed in the car to try and perk myself up!

It’s really easy to focus on the negatives in life, especially during work, but I think it’s important to find something that you can focus on to make you feel better. Even if it’s just looking at nice photos on your break, like your pet or loved one, I know I do that a lot haha!

I don’t usually do this but because it’s pay day week I feel like I can. It’s funny how something so small can make a nice difference to your day!

I don’t know if it was all the sugar and caffeine (probably was) but I did feel a lot better and it give a bit of a boost to get back to work. I do shift work, I start at 7am and finish between 8:30 to 9pm so anything that helps me keep some energy is great!

Anyway sorry about this ramble, hopefully I’ll get myself back on track very soon!