I am moving….

This week I am going to be going through the process of moving my blog over from WordPress to a self hosted site.

If you want to get in touch with me in the meantime, please do using – 

Twitter – @LacunaRaven

Facebook – Eclectic Enchantments

or by email at eclecticenchantments-erika@yahoo.co.uk 

 

I will keep everyone updated on Twitter and Facebook and let you know when I have completed the move! 

I really hope that you will all come with me, your comments and time, as always are appreciated and inspiring! 

Thank you and have a fabulous week! 

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The Make Over – My First Outing!

The time finally came where I had to plunge straight into the unknown and brave the world around me with my new look.  No practising indoors and trying to perfect the techniques and know how, no shying away from the courage needed to put one foot in front of the other and actually leave the house as the new me.  There was no escaping it, the time had come!

Honestly, I was terrified and nervous.  I’m not the most experienced when it comes to beauty and fashion, but hopefully I make up for that with eagerness and enthusiasm.

First my hair and make up.  I attempted a long locked Dita von Teese inspired down do.  Big waves and a little pin back, with lots of bounce.  I was pleased with how it came out.  For my make up I used my faithful Benefit Cosmetics and was still astonished, as I am every time I use them, at how lovely and effective they are.  My lipstick is by Guerlain and an absolute delight to wear.   My eye liner was a total surprise to me.  I will talk more about it when I post regarding my Beauty Box subscriptions this month, as it was in one of those.  I loved it!! Be a Bombshell in Onyx.  It has to be the best eye liner I have ever used.  All will be revealed later this week!

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I have to confess that I attempted to use my false eyelashes, but after spending half an hour trying to just get one to stick on straight, I admitted defeat and thought I would leave them for another day when I was less stressed.

I was really quite pleased with the hair style and my make up, but feel maybe I would have felt better about the look if my nerves were not anywhere near as on edge as they were.  As I said, the hair was inspired, not a copy.

The little brooch that you can see in the shape of a strawberry is very close to my heart, (I don’t mean in location).  It belonged to my dear Aunty Barbara who passed away when I was eighteen, she left it too me and I thought it would be just right with this dress!

First up is my lovely coat from Marks & Spencer.  The Notch Lapel Tipped Belted Mac in black is very comfortable and fits nicely. It suits the vintage look and compliments the dress style.

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I am just not very good at taking a serious picture, so apologies for this one!  I always feel like a bit of a plank posing for pictures.

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My shoes are by Viva La Diva and unfortunately I can’t tell you much more about them as they were a gift.  They have a small heel and are leather.  Very comfortable and looked lovely paired with my dress!

The dress!  By Hell Bunny and called Evie, this black and red polka dot, 1950’s inspired Rockabilly fit and flare dress, is beautiful!!  I ordered it from Sirens and Starlets online who were fabulous!  Fast delivery and everything I ordered was stunning! They cater for all sizes and have some of the most beautiful vintage inspired dresses I have come across.

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The dress is just beautiful! The fabric is of an extremely high quality and sits perfect with my figure.  I love the detailing on the collar and sleeves, it really finishes the dress off.  Every time I look at it I see Minnie Mouse!  I love it and who wouldn’t at only £44.99?

My tights were also from M&S, but I can’t remember how much they were and sadly they are now out of stock on their site.  They were Limited Collection Spot Sheer Tights and just the ticket to go with Evie!

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For my nails I used a bright letterbox red from my nail box and Shatter by OPI over the top!  I was really pleased with the result and will definitely be getting more OPI colours in the future!

Then we come to my bag! Oh the bag! I really feel I ought to dedicate an entire post to Martini, from Jump From Paper.  So I will just say that the bag is fabulous and truly amazing!

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I was wearing a set of ivory pearls that were handed down to me by my mum and are strung with gold findings.  They are really delicate and exquisite.  I adore pearls as they are so classic and sophisticated, I felt they finished the whole outfit off nicely.

Thank you again for reading my latest post, I hope that you have enjoyed it!

Have a great day!

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A Boost with Kaiser Chiefs

A short while ago I noticed a competition on Twitter being run by the lovely people at Boost Energy Drinks!  The competition was for two tickets to see Kaiser Chiefs at the Leeds First Direct Arena on the 13th September.  To enter the contest all I had to do was change the name of a Kaiser Chief’s song by swapping out one of the words for the word Boost!  Being a huge Kaiser Chiefs fan, I decided it was worth a go.  At first I thought of ‘I Boost a Riot’ (I predict a Riot) but wasn’t happy that it would give me a good enough chance.  In the end I changed ‘Addicted to Drugs’ to ‘Addicted to Boost’.    After entering I actually forgot about the competition and went about my business.

On the 10th September I noticed a mention pop up on Twitter.  I was a little shocked and had to read it a number of times:

Boost Drinks ‏@Boost_Drinks

Congrats to @mcweasel01 and @LacunaRaven!

You’ve both won ticket to see the

@KaiserChiefs @LeedsArena this Friday – nice one!

To say I was excited is an understatement.  My husband and I have been Kaiser Chief fans since the first time we heard them.  Unfortunately, due to my health and other factors, we had never had the opportunity to see them in concert before.  We have their albums and even had some of their songs played at our weeding reception!

I received a direct message asking for my email address and phone number, which I gladly handed over and then I waited.

I received a phone call from the lovely Jess at Boost asking who I would be taking with me, so the name could go on the ticket.  I said Mick, of course and asked if we would need to pick the tickets up from the arena on the night.  Jess replied, ‘Oh no, I will be meeting you at the VIP entrance with your tickets.’ I was a touch shocked as I honestly thought I had just won standard tickets. VIP!!  I wondered what that meant but tried to act all cool, I don’t think I achieved this by the way.

I later received an email from Jess detailing the night and included the terms & conditions.  This is where I started to lose my marbles.  The email stated that we would gain VIP entrance and be served food and champaign on arrival.  I’m thinking, this is amazing!!  What a prize, I am so lucky!! Jess even asked if we had any dietary requirements, awkwardly I replied about having Coeliac’s and was assured not to worry it would be taken care of!  I opened up the T&C’s and found that not only had I been lucky enough to win this fantastic experience, but that we would be watching the gig from a private suite!!!

OH MY WORD!!!

I am going to post separately about my outfit, shoes and bag as I am already aware of how much I am rambling.

I was so excited and on the day of the gig spent ages getting ready.  To be fair, I was very nervous.  Going out is a big deal for me with my health, I panic and worry that I will ruin everyone’s night by falling or being unwell, not to mention my confidence.  I was wearing a new dress, shoes, taking my new bag on it’s first outing and had a lovely new coat.  My make over was in full swing and taking it’s first real footsteps into the world.

My parents agreed to look after the poorly pooch and Dad offered to drop us at the venue, so we didn’t have to worry about parking and so on.  On arrival at the Arena we were impressed.  Please have a look at the First Direct Arena website at some of the images, the architecture is interesting and at night the whole building is lit up.  I forgot to photograph it in my excitement!

Not sure of the right entrance, we attempted to go into the wrong one and was told, ‘Oh no you need the nice posh door’.  Mick and I looked at each other, still in disbelief we were here and wanting to laugh out at the luck we seemed to be having.  We were escorted around the side and entered a foyer that was a kin to a posh hotel!  Sleek, black marble, elegant and very luxurious.  Here, we were presented our tickets and the whole thing suddenly became real!!

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We were led into an elevator and arrived at a long balcony, directed along to Suite 19.  We felt like idiots, it is safe to safe, do we just go in? Do we knock? Unsure so we asked – can you tell we had never experienced anything like this before?

We were met on the other side of the door by the lovely Jess and Rachel from Boost!  So nice and friendly, we both immediately felt at ease.  I must have seemed like a gormless child, I was so excited by the whole experience and anyone who knows me, knows I can talk for England!

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Rachel is on the left and Jess on the right.

We were served Champaign on arrival, acquainted with the suite and told to just enjoy!  The gorgeous Boost ladies were so kind, I had a great time chatting with them and having a drink! I could not thank them enough and the rest of Boost Drinks for such an amazing night!

The suite it self was beyond sweet! (See what I did there?)

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It honestly felt like being at home, comfortable and relaxing.  Plenty of seating and room for people to move around.  We shared the suite with two other couples who had also won.  They were also delightful to meet and made the evening that much more special!

Champaign and nibbles, well I say nibbles, the staff at the arena actually brought me up a large plate of ‘gluten free’ food, just to make sure I had enough to eat.

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Both were delicious!

We also had a really good view of the stage, with absolutely no chance of the tall fellow with the top hat, standing or sitting in front of you.  this always happens to me!

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The first band up were Teleman.  I really enjoyed their laid back, vintage vibe that had a modern twist.  everyone in our Suite were commenting on how easy to listen to they were and how much they enjoyed their music.  I was disappointed to hear they haven’t yet got an album, but hopefully this wont be too long to wait for!

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Second on the bill were Pulled Apart By Horses.  Again really enjoyable and good to watch, however a completely different sound to Teleman.  Much heavier and more of a cross between Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.  It was brilliant to find a second decent band supporting the main act!  They engaged the crowd and you could tell they had a few die hard fans in the mosh pit below us!

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Then it was time.  The excitement was literally flickering through the air as the atmosphere built up and everyone awaited Kaiser Chiefs.

The arena went dark, the crowd became like a single living organism, cheering and shouting, clapping and bouncing and then the stage came to life.

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Shadows behind a brightly lit curtain, draped over the stage with Kaiser Chiefs emblazoned across the top.  It signalled the arrival of the band we had all come to see, the band I had been lucky enough to win tickets for!

It was immense.  no words can truly describe the atmosphere.  Fans from all walks of life were there, young and old, each and everyone of them singing along to the songs we know and love.  Ecstatic at hearing the new numbers and just generally having the most amazing time!

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From Ruby, to I predict a Riot, there was nothing to disappoint!

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The band sound as good, if not better live as they do on their CDs.

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They spoke to the crowd and got us all involved in every aspect of the gig, making it that much more special! Kaiser Chief’s energy knew no bounds and the crowd were happy to match it!

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Even from our box we could feel the electricity in the air when the first few bars of our favourite songs started.  I couldn’t have been more pleased when they came back on for an encore and performed for another twenty minutes.

All in all we had a fantastic time!  We heard some fabulous new songs by the band and can’t wait for the next instalment of their journey!  We heard two new bands that excited us and to top it all we were treated like royalty!

I honestly can not thank Boost Energy Drinks, Jess or Rachel enough for this incredible experience.  It really was a once in a lifetime chance to experience how the other half live when they go to gigs!  I was also thrilled to be able to try Boost Citrus and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Seriously, i sent hubby out the next day to hunt down some for me.  Unfortunately, we have only been able to get Boost Cola, which is delicious, but have requested the shop stock Citrus as I loved the flavour!

I am still bubbling with excitement and finding it hard to believe that I was truly lucky enough to have this experience.  It is quite a feeling and I hope that every time I think about this unbelievable night, I feel like this!

Thank you so much to Boost and thank you to all of your for reading my post, I appreciate your time and hope that you enjoyed it!

Have a great day everyone!

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Duck Egg Designs

A little while ago I came across a website and fell in love with it.  duckeggdesigns.com is so unique and refreshing, it is hard not to like the products they have on offer.  I haven’t had the pleasure of purchasing from them yet, but really wanted to share their style and flare as I think it echoes a little of what I like!

My favourite part of the site is the fabrics.  I love to attempt my own sewing projects and fabric is obviously a necessity.  I find it hard to find fabric that really appeals to me, as I have a unique taste.  The designs on Duck Egg though are right up my street and just fill me with inspiration, making me want to whip out the sewing machine and make something fantastic.

I really do adore the Dove Grey Spots Fabric it looks so delicate and soft, but has an impact at the same time.  Being the polka dot crazy girl that I am, it was always going to be number one on my list.

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I also found the Pig Fabric Print really impressive.

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The designs come in various colours and there are a variety of patterns to choose from.  

 

Another section of the site that I found appealing is the Prints section.  Again, available in various sizes and colours, you can easily order a print to match your fabric and then you are well on your way to a stylish and unique interior!

The best of the bunch for me is the Winston Churchill Print.  The simplistic design again gives more impact than you would expect and I think it would be a great addition to any home.

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Being a huge vintage fan, the next section has a lot to offer.  Found under the furniture tab, I feel in love with this Vintage Steamer Trunk and honestly wish I had the money to buy one for myself!  I can see it sat in my bedroom, just finishing off the vintage décor that I have been steadily creating.  It is high on my wishlist and one day, just one day I might be lucky enough to get one.  Everything about this piece just fills me with warm, happy feelings and evokes images of years gone by!

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I don’t imagine my next pick and addition to my wish list would surprise you either.  

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Yes another Vintage Steamer Trunk, I just need one of these in my life!  along with the other pieces of furniture available, I am sure you would find something to peak your interest.

I could write an epic on the amount of items I like at Duck Egg Designs, but I don’t want to take away the excitement of you discovering for yourself, just what wonders lay behind each tab.   Needless to say I have the site bookmarked and follow them on Twitter to keep up to date.  Hopefully one day in the not too distant future I will be able to cross off a few of my wishlist wants and will be able to share a lot more about the quality and service!

 

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a fabulous day!

 

All of the photos used in this post are the copyright of duckeggdesigns.com, I got permission to use images and link to the site prior to posting.

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Zoe Jewel

Since becoming more active on Twitter and starting my blog, I have met some fantastic people.  One of these is Zoe and I feel already like we have become fast friends.  General chit chat ended up being almost a daily occurrence on various ramblings, but our common ground is definitely jewellery and our love of it.

As some of you know I make my own jewellery when I feel up to it and can spend weeks making one piece.  However, making jewellery at home is no the fastest or easiest method of getting that perfect piece you just can’t wait to wear.  There are also certain end results that I just can’t achieve as I don’t have the tools, the space or the money to invest in learning the more expensive techniques.  So, I was over the moon to find Zoe!

Zoe Jewel, found at zoejewel.com  is simply a hub for some of the most fantastic pieces of statement, delicate and unique jewellery.  The boutique online shop caters for so many variations in taste and pocket, that you can spend literally hours browsing!  Featuring UK designers Unordinary People, Joseph Lamsin and Sam Ubhi.   Also you can find designers such as  Yuki Mitsuyasu, Tales of the Earth and Pomegranate.

Zoe started in the business 21 years ago after living and working in Australia and South East Asia.  Her story is really interesting and you can read about it on her website and find out how she gained her experience and ended up where she is!

I decided last week that I could not resist treating myself to one or two little beauties from zoejewel.com.  I spent ages admiring the different pieces on offer and decided to go for a couple of things that had just been added to the site!

My delivery was extremely fast and affordable.  I chose Recorded Delivery at £5.50, which included both items.  There is more information on delivery in Zoe’s Customer Service section.  I was kept up to date with how my order was going and at no time felt I was not a valued customer.  This is a very important point for me, as I come from a customer service background and my number one priority with any company is excellent customer service.

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My jewellery arrived in these lovely white satin gift bags emblazoned with the company logo.  They feel very luxurious and add a brilliant touch to the goodies they conceal!

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My first purchase was a stunning necklace and pendant from the Estella Bartlett range. Although, it was so difficult to choose which piece I wanted, I opted for this gorgeous Silver Butterfly Necklace.

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Presented on an exquisite embossed mount, I was bowled over by the delicate beauty of this incredible pendant.  Brushed with silver, it catches the light and feels almost weightless when on.

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It sits perfectly at the base of the neck and just adds a touch of femininity and air of simplistic sophistication to any outfit.

Estella Bartlett’s range on Zoe Jewel is stunning.  All of the pieces are truly beautiful and amazingly affordable! At £14, I do not know who would not want to snap up this graceful piece.

My second buy was not for myself but as a gift for my mum.  I chose from the Majique range, which has firmly become a favourite for me.  Striking statement pieces at more than affordable prices!  Colourful and elegant, they are mostly all on my wishlist!

I decided on this brilliant set of Three Colour Bangles, the three colours being silver, pewter and gold.

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My mum was delighted with her gift and set about trying them on in various ways.  The six bangles stack splendidly alongside each other and compliment their neighbours superbly, There is a gorgeous sparkle that emanates from each bangle, that appears to glitter and the light sweeps over it.

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With varying options on how they can be worn, these bangles provide a number of opportunities to expand and change the look.  Whether chose to wear as a set of six,

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a set of three, two or even

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as a single bangle, plenty of combination choices are available.  Not to mention mixing the three colours into the equation, something for every outfit.

My mum said ‘I’m really pleased with how beautiful they are.  Really comfortable and I think you could wear them with anything.’

At only £15, again I find it difficult to think anyone would disappointed.  My mum still had them on when I left to come home.

I now have a huge wishlist of items I would like to get in the future from Zoe and thought I would share a few of them with you, this will also give the chance to share a little more of the diverse jewellery available!

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I adore everything in the Majique range but top of the list is this Black and White Half Moon Necklace at £20

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Majique Pointed Diamante Earrings at £15

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and this Majique Arrow Stretch Bracelet, which is my absolute favourite!! So Art Deco!

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Across the rest of the site there is a whole host of pieces I like.  Here are a few:

Double Cup Pearl Necklace by Joseph Lamsin – Classic pearls are beautiful and I love this unusual design!

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Chrysoprase Silver Drop Earrings by Sam Ubhi – I love Chrysoprase, such a beautiful gemstone!

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Aqua Blue Chalcedony Gold Ring – The blue in this gemstone is exquisite and so soft!

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I hope that you enjoyed this post, I really had fun writing it and of course I am extremely pleased with my purchases.  If you would like to find out more about Zoe and her business you can contact her via the website or on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading and I would love to hear your thoughts! Have a great day!

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Metallics, Pastels & Denim

I have some more nail polish finds to share with you today.

After trying the fabulously bold and striking Neon Set from B&M Stores, my husband took me to have a look and I found two more gorgeous sets of polishes.

Then whilst doing the shopping in Asda, I spotted a tiny little stand on the end of an aisle.  On closer inspection I discovered a two dozen bottles of Limited Edition Denim nail polish!  There was no question I had to try it.

Metallics

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In the same packaging as the Neon set and for the same price £2.99 , these Metal Nails, were definitely worth a go.

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The six colours are both traditional, with the gold and silver polishes and also trendy with the blues, pink and green.  I decided to go ahead and have multicoloured fingernails to see how they came out.

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The colours were representative of what you see in the bottle.  Needing only a couple of coats, I got a bold and definite metallic effect.  I really liked the pink and blue shades.  I think they are a good option to have in my nail box and will be having a go using them in some nail art.  If you want an extreme shine and a touch of sparkle, these are well worth £2.99.  The only thing I would say is be prepared for some hard graft when removing these and the neons.

Pastels

I like to experiment when painting my nails and have still not come to a conclusion on whether I like how these turned out or not.  Whilst the nail varnish itself is beautiful and again worthy of putting your hand in your pocket and shelling out the enormous sum of £2.99 for six bottles, my design left me feeling like I should be wearing leg warmers and taking part in a 1980’s get fit video.

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Pretty Pastels are just that.  Extremely pretty!  They are packaged in a lovely pink box, decorated with lace and although you would not be fooled into thinking these were a fortune to buy, they certainly do not look £2.99.

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Out of the box, the little square bottles are smaller than the Neon and Metal sets, but just as impressive in my opinion.

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Again, I was impressed that the colour you see in the bottle was actually the resulting shade on your finger nail.  Opting for the grey as my base, I went a bit loopy and painted the tips in each of the remaining five shades in the set.

Glossy and perfectly pastel are the words that come to mind.  A few coasts are needed but the varnish spreads nicely and evenly for a gorgeous finish.

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See leg warmers ahoy!!  Where is Mr Motivator?

Denim

The final polishes I want to mention today are the George at Asda, Limited Edition Denim.  They appear to be only available in store, I found them on the end of one of the beauty aisles.  It was hard to resist trying them at only £3 per bottle.

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I love the little bottles and the labels on them, it really does evoke the images of old jeans.

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The instructions are to apply 2 -3 coats, which is what I did.

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The black did not remind me of denim, however it is a very nice black with little sparkles that catch the light and also has a good matt finish.  I really like it, but am disappointed that I never got denim!  I will use it again though.

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The blue denim was more of a success.  It is very difficult to show in pictures how the finished nail actually looks, but, I can tell you that is does have an effect much like denim.  The shade of blue is perfect for that favourite pair of jeans and the sparkles seem to lend themselves to demonstrating the denim weave.  Again it has a matt finish and look really effective.

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That is it for this post.  I hope you liked the varnishes, I think they are a great find.  Obviously they are designer, high end products, which I love, but if you’re on a budget or trying to conserve cash, these are great little numbers to have in your stash.  They wear well and look fabulous!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day!

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Makes & Cakes

I am not feeling particularly well today so wont be able to cook as I had wanted to.  Instead I thought I would post some of my favourite makes in the spirit of sharing more about myself.

Everything here is made by me for someone special, family, friends and neighbours.

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For my Dad and Mick’s (hubby) Christmas crackers last year I made them both cuff links.  Dad is a huge fan of Only Fools and Horses, so I did my best to make TIT Vans and Mick plays a lot of Call of Duty, hence the grenades.

They are made from Fimo clay and mounted on silver plated cuff link bases.

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My husband and I are huge Big Bang Theory fans and this is a card I made for him, again last year.  Hand drawn and using Pro Markers.

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This was a card I made for my friend and neighbour, who just graduated from University.

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A couple of cards to friends.

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I decided to have some fun one day and create a Lego version of my husband.  We both love Lego.  I used Fimo again to create his manly figure and hand painted it.

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I really liked making these pendants.  Very simple to do.  I used old dominoes and painted them with acrylics.  Once dry I used a rubber stamp and then painted using Sakura pens!  To secure the pendant to a necklace/string/cord I used a wooden bead and glued it to the top.

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My mum was really pleased with these stud earrings.  She is a keen knitter, so thought it would be fitting to make her a pair of wool balls and needles.

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For my mum again, I made this amethyst and Swarovski rosary, with 925, Stirling silver wire.  I made all of the links, think it took me such a long time, but the finished result was worth it.

When I have friends and family over, I like to try and cook something special for them.  It is all gluten free.

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Strawberries, filled with hand whipped cream, infused with vanilla and served with pomegranate seeds.

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My first attempt at a strawberry mouse.  Served with fresh strawberries, dipped in chocolate.  This was for valentines day.

 

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I am lemon obsessed, quite literally, I will eat them raw.  Here I made some lemon flavoured cupcakes, topped with lemon butter icing and little lemon flowers.  Also, I made chocolate cupcakes, which I covered with a clear mint flavoured glaze and topped with fresh mint leaves from my garden.

 

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I love making Lemon Curd!  It always makes the kitchen smell so delicious!  I try to make jars for people at Christmas.

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Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes.  The cupcake is a very soft, fluffy lightly flavoured lemon bun, a small hollow contains some of my lemon curd and then is topped with meringue.  These came about while I was trying to create a decent gluten free pastry, but really wanted a Lemon Meringue Pie.

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Miniature versions of the LMP cupcakes used as toppers on top of simple lemon iced cakes.

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My pie, when I worked out the best way to make Gluten Free Pastry.

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Marzipan sweets.  They are coated and dipped in various chocolates and powder.  Again present for people at that time of the year.

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Home made Turkish Delight.

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Gluten Free mince pies.  I made the mince meat the year before and left it to brew.  The pastry was too thin and crispy though.

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This is a table decoration I made for my mum.  It is a tree made from walnut and sherry cookies (gluten free and my own recipe).  They were a tad strong, I don’t drink sherry so had no idea what amount to use.

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This took me ages to make!  Even though it is a bit messy, this was something I wanted to make for my mum.  Mum is a Coeliac as well and it was our first ‘Gluten Free’ Christmas, everything at my parents house for Christmas day was to be suitable for us.  I wanted to help as much as I could, since the fuss was being made for me, as I had just been diagnosed.

This is my Profiterole Bauble.  The profiteroles are filled with hand whipped vanilla infused cream and stuck together with chocolate.  The centre is hollow.  This was so hard to do, a little too advanced for me, but I was proud of the result.

Those are some of my favourite makes and cakes.  I hope the post was interesting and with a bit of luck normal service can resume tomorrow!

Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day!

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