Happy New Year!!!

It’s been far too long since my last post but on top of all of the usual Christmas and New Year celebrations the last month has also included both my boyfriend’s and my birthdays, and (watching my boyfriend) building an eight person dining table from scratch.

So I just thought I’d do a quick post to show you some lovely presents I received and also to share some very exciting news…!

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I love these vintage Chinese scissors and plan to hang them as part of that ‘gallery wall’ we still haven’t gotten round to creating…

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My boyfriend responded very well to my constant unsubtle hints and got me this beautiful glass cloche!

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And also this lovely Brass and Glass picture frame. I still haven’t found the perfect thing to put inside but just popped an old table reservation in for the time being – didn’t he do well?!

Now that all the festivities are over January is normally my least favourite time of the year – I’m really not a fan of the cold and without all the pretty lighting that Christmas provides it’s just so daarrrk. This year, however, I’ve actually been willing the time to go faster as tomorrow….

I start a 4 week work experience placement at Elle Decoration!!!!!!

I genuinely can’t explain how excited (and nervous) I am to have been offered this as it’s just such a good opportunity.

Wish me luck and I’m sure it’ll give me lots of good blog material for the future!

Thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great start to 2015!

Tali x

 

 

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Super Quick Salt Dough Christmas Decorations

After decorating our Christmas tree on Monday (bit keen I know…) it was still looking fairly dull so I started trying to find crafty ideas to add to it. I kept coming across blogs with Salt Dough decorations so thought I’d give it a go – however most of the instructions suggested cooking them for 4 – 6 hours or leaving them out to dry for a couple of days! I definitely lack the patience for either of those so set about finding a quicker method of setting the dough – a bit of trial and error later and a few slightly exploded decorations and I found a much easier way where you can set the dough in about 5 minutes!

To make the dough mix 2 cups plain flour (I used a mug instead of the official ‘cup’ measurement as it’s just important to keep the proportions the same) with 1 cup regular table salt and gradually mix in 1 cup warm water – you might not need all the water, I had a teeny bit left over. Stir all the ingredients in a bowl and then knead until…. doughy? I’d say between 5-10 minutes depending on how buff you are (ha…)

It should look like this:

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Next, roll the dough out onto a very well floured surface. I found it best to roll it really quite thin – maybe 5mm – as this stopped the dough puffing up when cooked. Then cut out your decorations using cookie cutters. I started off making round ones but they looked a bit boring so I ended up doing stars instead.

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To make the decorations more interesting I then jazzed them up using an ink pad and some individual letter stamps which I bought from Amazon.

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Don’t forget to pierce a small hole in the decorations if you’re planning to hang them – I used a cocktail stick – and now they are ready to ‘bake’.

This is where my incredible cooking skills really came in handy as I stuck the decorations in the microwave!

Initially the dough kept puffing up as it was heating too fast and the moisture was trying to escape too quickly so I turned the microwave to a lower setting and tried again. After a few attempts at this and lots more turning the microwave down I found the perfect setting was the lowest one – you know the one that’s even lower than defrost and you’ve never used before? We shall call it the Salt Dough setting.

I’d suggest cooking for about 1.5 mins then flipping over – continue this until they are completely hard and dry – should take about 5 minutes ish… And there you go!

This amount of dough makes about 35 decorations so filled all the tree gaps nicely and I had enough left over to make a garland for over the mirror.

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Hope you like them!

Thanks for reading,

Tali x

 

DIY Advent Calendar!

This year I decided to do something a little different for my boyfriend’s Advent Calendar as sadly I couldn’t quite afford this £140 Rum filled Drinks By The Dram one from Selfridges….

Advent calendar, christmas, selfridges, rum, luxury, 2014, festive, gift, inspiration

So I took the next best option and went on eBay – I bought 25 paper sweet bags, 20m red and white bakers twine and some numbered vintage looking stickers. I sourced a large twig and some ivy from the park and bought a selection of his favourite chocolate – plus a little extra something for his birthday day which is in December.

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After filling the bags, I sealed them and tied them to on to the twig.

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When all the bags were attached (3 hours later…) I finished it off with the sprig of ivy.

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And voila!

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Let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading,

Tali x