29 March 2012

Operation Speak Out


The other day I was trying to explain blogging to my father. By and large he gets it. What he doesn't really get is the comments. "Why doesn't everyone comment" he asked and then to me "do you comment on every blog?" The honest answer was no.

So, he said "How about you have a day when everyone is encouraged to comment on everyones blogs."
Father is a genius!

Commenting is something I think everyone appreciates but I believe there are a few reasons why we don't do it...

1. We haven't got enough time.
2. We think that that blogger has so many comments she won't possibly need/ recognise/read mine.
3. We don't have anything to say.

I think these are all VALID and GOOD reasons. But hand on heart there are blogs that I check most days yet comment on less than once a month.

I know it isn't always possible to comment but I think it is important that we encourage one another for each post is full of heart and has taken time.

So.. this is my propasal...

On Thursday 5th April I am going to make it my mission to comment on EVERY BLOG I VISIT. Just for this one day I am going to speak out on these blogs. Blogs big and small. I will write a comment.

I would love love love it, if some of you joined me in this. Feel free to use the button at the top of the post. Pass it onto others, so we can have one day when the internet is awash with people sending words of encouragment and praise.

 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
  1 Thessalonians 5:11

This is something that is really on my heart and I am so excited for, thank you for reading!


27 March 2012

Tutorial Tuesday- how to change a dress into a skirt.


Another tuesday and another tutorial. This is probably the most simple tutorial I have posted and has such fab results.

A few years ago I bought this dress. A few years later the dress no longer fits me. But.. it is the most gorgeous material and there is a lot of it. So... in about half an hour I made it into a skirt.

1. Cut the top off your dress. Aim to cut it fairly high so there is plenty of material left to play with.

2. You should now have a circle of fabric with a seam and hemmed. That is two jobs you won't have to do. All you need to do is make a waistband.

3. To neaten up the raw edge you have just cut, very quickly go along it with a zig-zag stitch. It stops it from fraying.

4. Turn the skirt inside out and grab your elastic. You will need to fold the top of the skirt over to make a tunnel for the elastic. Very easy, measure it up and pin, making sure your tunnel is the same width all the way around the skirt.

5. With a straight stitch sew up along the bottom of the tunnel. MAKING SURE YOU LEAVE AN OPENING FOR THE ELASTIC.

6. Grab your elastic and attach a nappy pin to one end. Start feeding your elastic through the tunnel, letting the fabric gather.

7. Making sure you are holding the end of the elastic tightly, try your skirt on and pull the elastic to the required size. Cut and sew the ends of the elastic together.

8. Turn the right way around and put on your new skirt making sure the gathers are even.

If the dress has been made up initially in a circle, making the tunnel could be tricky. Don't worry if the material gathers under the sewing machine foot as it will be gathered anyway when the elastic goes through!

If you want to change the length, cut it off the hem.

Thanks for stopping by

25 March 2012

Tutorial- Kite Mobile


This tutorial is something I have been dreaming about for several weeks after seeing this photo below.

Kites are just so beautiful and with the arrival of balmy spring weather, they seemed like the perfect thing to make. They are also super easy!

Cocktail sticks
Patterned paper or fabric
Sewing machine
Bakers twine/ string/ ribbon
cotton thread
thin branch

1. The basic framework for the kite is two cocktail sticks in the shape of a cross. Lay these out on an old piece of card and draw your kite template from this. It needs to be as wide as the horizontal stick and as long as the vertical stick.

2. Start cutting out your kites. I used pretty paper and fabric to make the mobile interesting. You need two shapes per kite.

3. Sandwich your pieces together and sew around the edge. This is a very important step. When you get to the points ie, where you will be pushing the cocktail sticks through, lift the needle out of the paper, lift the foot and then turn the paper to sew down the next edge. This means that point is not sewn closed and therefore you can push the stick inside.

4. Push the horizontal cocktail stick between the two pieces of the kite

5. before you push the vertical cocktail stick through you will need to add the tail of the kite and the white cotton to hang it. The best way I found to do this is to use sellotape. One one end of the stick sellotape a length of bakers twine for the tail and at the other end sellotape a chosen length of white cotton.

6. Push this stick carefully through the kite so that the end with the cotton is at the top and the tail of the kite is at the bottom. (you shouldn't be able to see the sellotape.)

 7. Voila! One little kite. Keep making these until you get bored! Add sweet detail like little bows!

8. Find a light, interesting branch and attach your kites onto this.  I then balanced mine on two nails on my wall. The white cotton becomes invisible and the kites flutter in the breeze and typically get their strings muddled! So pretty.

Thanks for stopping by

24 March 2012

Life as I know it.


The blog break really wasn't intentional. It was a combination of the end of term and lack of sleep. But.. I am back with a vengeance and this is life as I currently know it...


I am not a runner. I do not run, but, I have two friends who do. So naturally I was encouraged pushed into going with them. And, believe it or not, I enjoyed it (not so much after a day of being unable to bend my knees!). So, the long and short of it is, in these beautiful sunny spring afternoons, I have been running. The most so far is four miles, which I think for a novice is pretty good.

Incidentally I was chatting to the boy about the benefits of running and why he chooses to run. He says it is the only time he can actually think about nothing and clear his head. I run because it gives me time to think and I can fill my head with music. What do you know...chalk and cheese.


The end of term brings sweet gifts to teachers and none more so in the spring than flowers. I have no problem with this except my finger, rather than being green, is black. Yep, dead flowers. But, I kept them alive for a week and enjoyed the colour it brought to my room. You can never have too many daffodils.

The end of a term.

Five words. This is our washing pile.


After three years of seeing my littlest brother not revise whilst I slogged away over the easter break, it gives me great satisfaction to see a reversal. I will not be smug, I will not be smug, I will not be smug (because it will all change next year.. uni.)

Nail varnish.

Nothing is nicer than a new nail varnish, no? especially in a shocking colour. This was met with dissaproval by the parents. I look at my hands and feel happy. This is surely a good thing.

Home baking.

Scratch the last bit about nail varnish. There is nothing nicer than coming home to cake cooling on the side.

Sun, sun sun.

What is up with our springs in this country? They are just glorious! I am astounded by the good weather. Loving wearing a t-shirt without a cardigan, rejoycing in the back door being left open all day and smiling every time I hear the sound of a cricket ball making contact with the bat. Amazing.

Bleaching T shirts.

I found this tutorial on A beautiful Mess. It is so easy and so effective. I have spent most of my day in the sun messing around with bleach. For fifty pence, this is genius.

This is life as I know it nearing the end of March. What has your month brought you?

Thanks for stopping by


14 March 2012


Each week. One picture. One captured moment. No words

I took and edited this picture so whilst I don't mind it being repinnd please link with love! Merci!

13 March 2012

Tutorial Tuesday- for the love of geometric pattern

Ok, I am going to put it out there, this is not a tutorial! But... this is an inspiration wall for all things geometric ( many of which are tutorials). I am finding them all over the place at the moment and gosh are they making me happy.

I feel a sewing project will be coming along soon. Don't you just love, niceley formed pattern!?

Beautiuful handpainted chevron rug from House of Smiths

Stunning embroidery from aesthetic outburst

Oh, how I want to recreate this quilt!

How beautiful are these pillows huh? Source  what stunning colours.

A pretty graphic from here

I want to draw this. Design Sponge

Thanks for stopping by.

11 March 2012


I have been playing with clay. It was something I did when I was small and always enjoyed. There is something hugely satisfying about turning a lump of- for want of a better word- mud, into something that has a life of its own.

I am no expert and my initial attempts at creating a human being were, to say the least, interesting! What do you mean, one leg? But after much perseverance I created something that I was happy with.

I had in my head a very definite idea of what I wanted to create which I think made it harder. The woman was easier to create in that I was able to get the proportions correct, where as the man was much harder to build up.

From a constant process of adding and taking away and sculpting the clay, I worked out that it was easier to create a torso first and then deal with the arms and legs.

I am so happy with this first attempt. I think a few pinterest clay projects may be coming up soon!

What have you been up to this weekend?

Thanks for stopping by

6 March 2012

Tutorial Tuesday- how to use a facebook cover photo


Tutorial Tuesday again. My! How the time flys!

So, I thought I would share a little tutorial about facebook cover photos. (It is maybe foolish to say, but if you don't have facebook, this will be like me talking double dutch. I'm sorry!)

Well, for those of you in the know, there is a new setting on facebook, that of the "Timeline" I ummed and ahhed about this for quite a while it has to be said but eventually conceded at the thought of the possibility of a cover photo!

(The timeline is a new setting, that tracks your post year by year month by month, more like a blog really. It's great advanatge is that you have a profile picture and a cover photo)

The cover photo is lovely- it is a really large picture at the top of the profile- but it is a really awkward shape, I mean, who has a photo that can fit in that, without cutting off a head? So this is what I did..

You can tell I am a blogger right?!
To make a collage photo like this is a whole lot easier than it looks!

First, start with a selection of pictures. I tried to choose ones that reflected different aspects of me; sister, girlfriend, gap student etc.

Next, edit your pictures. I used Pixlr-o-matic to make the polaroid frame like so..

Then I used Rollip to add a vintage filter

Save all your images. Next open Picasa. This is a free google program. Select the pictures you want and then click "make collage" ( You could easily do this on photoshop too)

You will need to change your canvas size. A facebook cover photo is 850 x 315

The next step is the most fun: arrange your edited pictures so that they fill the canvas. They can be on the slant, straight on etc etc.

Save the collage or flatten the photoshop image and save this. Then load up facebook, switch to the daunting prospect of time line and upload your collage as the cover photo. Voila!

I hope this is pretty clear or at least gives you some ideas of the possibility the facebook cover photo has beyond just being one odd shaped picture!

Thanks for stopping by

4 March 2012

Storytelling Sunday- The bears who came to stay


Today is Sunday. It is also the first Sunday of the month, which means it is the lovely Sian's storytelling Sunday again! I do love this chance to share a story and love connecting with so many of you through it.

My family has a thing about bears. Not, I hasten to add, the growling, snarling sort. No, the soft filled with stuffing cuddly sort.

When I was very little we had lots of bears but one was very special. He arrived in our house before I was born. He was called Barty.

Yep, he was pretty big and yep, he was very loved. Right till the day that his stuffing fell out.

Our next acquisition was Horace. When we went to Bath we used to walk past a shop that sold large bears and there Horace would stand, in the window, paws up.
One day a strange shaped package was in the back of the car.. We had a new addition to the family.

Horace stands halfway up the stairs, occassionaly dressed up (depending on the season!) and often giving people a fright. I mean a 4ft bear isn't what you normally see in a happy family home!
It is normal for our family when walking past him, to give him a pat or a cuddle, because despite first impressions, he really is very friendly.

He is a very loved 6th member of the Beach household.

With such a love of bears it was only natural that when world book day came around and the task of dressing up for school came up, my mother ordered....

A Bear costume.
That's right.
A Bear costume.

But oh my, have we had fun!

This is the story of the bears who came to stay.
Thanks for stopping by

Loves xx

2 March 2012


Each week. One picture. One captured moment. No words

The story behind this will be shared on Sunday. For now, just laugh!