Friday 1 December 2017

Top present ideas for a sewing fan


The great thing about having a hobby is that it’s easy for friends and family to choose presents for you on special occasions: the bad thing is that often they aren’t sure the right thing to get! As a keen crafter and sewing fan, here are a few ideas of what I think make great gifts for sewing fans.

Funky fabrics! This might seem obvious but the world of fabric can be massively overwhelming if you’ve never bought any before. Try to see what makes and style of fabric your sewing fan likes and see if there’s anything brand new out that they’re unlikely to already have. I love Frumble and Abakhan for new supplies. Next, try to guesstimate how much to buy – if they like patchwork or quilting they might prefer several fat quarters in different styles, but if they like dressmaking they might prefer a couple of whole metres.
Don’t forget the matching thread! If you’re buying fabric, try to get a thread in the same colour too. As with fabric there are different types, but most machines and fabrics will be ok with a ‘general purpose’ thread, and ensure you buy a big enough spool. Remember, if your sewing fan has an overlocker you might need to buy several spools rather than just one. I would suggest not attempting to buy a bobbin as machines do differ and most sewing fans have spare empty bobbins anyway.
Scissors, tailors' chalk and pattern fabric. Good quality scissors are fantastic and if your sewing fan is struggling with ordinary kitchen scissors upgrade them to some brilliant fabric scissors for mega brownie points. Marking pens, pencils and chalks are always handy, and proper dot dash pattern paper is ideal for copying patterns from shop bought designs or making your own patterns.


All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Not your normal comfort food


I am a habitual snacker. I can’t help it. I must have descended from antelope as I could happily graze all day. Here are a few of my, slightly more indulgent, comfort foods.

Far-far snacks. I used to love these as a child. Growing up in a rural village I’m not sure where my parents managed to source them in the days before internet shopping, but they did! They’re crispy in that way only freshly fried empty calories can be. They barely have any flavour, but it doesn’t stop them being magically moreish.
Fried plantain and eggs. I had a Colombian housemate at university who introduced me to this meal, and I’m so pleased she did. I cook my plantain and eggs in butter so everything becomes caramelised but still strangely savoury, as a tiny bit of my brain thinks I’m eating bananas and egg.

Churros. I’m lucky in that my better half has perfected these and will quite happily whip up a batch sometimes for a super indulgent weekend breakfast. The secret is the chocolate sauce – a cruddy watery sauce will ruin the churros, use a high cocoa chocolate and blend with cream, mmm.



All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Sunday 1 October 2017

7 things all pet owners know


1. Your food is not your own.



2. Your pet loves to wear human clothes, even if it looks like they are crying inside.



3. You are just a breathing mattress now.



4. Pets are gross.



5. Pets are adorable.



6. Privacy no longer exists.



7. Your pets love you and each other, because you’re family, despite your differences.
All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Friday 1 September 2017

Late summer break ideas

I love holidays in September, the weather is still warm but it’s not as busy as July and August. Here are a few of the brilliant places I recommend for a late summer break.


Scotland! Before the days get too short, enjoy the fantastic scenery, brilliant food and diversity of attractions on offer. This picture was taken from the top of Stirling Castle on a blisteringly hot day, we spent all day looking around as there was so much to see.
Staycation(ish)! Always an option worth considering, this picture was taken at Alton Towers where a special offer on an overnight break made it a mini holiday, despite only being a short drive from our own home.

Ibiza! Don’t be fooled by the dubious reputation. Ibiza is family friendly, full of culture and obviously you can go partying if you so wish! We loved the unforgettable sunsets, this picture doesn’t do it justice, the whole sky turns pink and orange every single evening.

All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Tuesday 1 August 2017

August bank holiday bonanza

The August bank holiday is the last one before the Christmas break, so there’s a pressure to make the most of it. I love long weekends, they always feel so indulgent. Here are a few of the ways I may be spending that extra free day this month.

At the pub – obviously. It wouldn’t be a British summer holiday without a spike in sales of beer, and although I’m not a big drinker I do like a lazy afternoon with a white wine spritzer, sun cream and a beer garden complete with sticky tables and bar snacks.

The Dog and Gun in Earl Shilton, Leicestershire
Trudging and queuing and waiting for a big special event! This photo was taken last summer at the homecoming of Gold Medallist Joe Clarke after his Olympic success at Rio. The atmosphere was amazing and it was a great day, I do love a street party.
Walking the dog. There are few things more relaxing than an early evening stroll as the sun sets in a hazy August twilight. There’s always something new to see, such a great way to relax and do a bit of exercise.
Yeah, for real, this is actually a dog
All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Saturday 1 July 2017

Some of my favourite summer holiday treats

The halcyon summer holidays of our childhood seem a bit more stressful as adults with small people to amuse, and even without the small people in the equation there’s such a pressure not to ‘waste’ time off work such that there’s a risk of actually wasting time worrying about wasting time. Here are a few of my favourite ways to spend/waste time, depending on your definition.



Going for a walk in a park or National Trust property estate. The photo above was taken at Trentham Gardens, which has just the right ratio of beautiful scenery to coffee shops for my liking. They also have an outside bar in the summer conveniently situated next to the children’s play area – genius.


As always I like to do some crafts, something without instructions and usually begun on a whim. These stamped quotes came about after finding the hanging frames in a sale after Christmas for 59p each.



I love visiting art galleries and museums but don’t often get a chance these days. This why summer is the best time to go, the long days and (generally) warmer weather mean we can travel a bit further afield and make a day of it.

This exhibition was in Scotland last summer


All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Thursday 1 June 2017

Father's Day gifts that aren't socks

New socks are pretty great but they aren’t up there with a PS4 on the thrill scale. Here are a few ideas of alternative gifts for Father’s Day.

Homemade sweet treats – it seems like every Dad I know is a secret sugar addict, find an old timey sweet shop and they’ll struggle to leave without pockets full of treats that would make your average dentist grimace. Homemade macaroons look super impressive and I can confirm from experience aren’t actually that hard to make, you just need to follow the recipe well!

These may look dull but they taste amazing!
A day at the beach – don’t make this a weather dependent trip either, just check in advance that there’s beachside fish and chips and a pub or Café nearby (depending on if you need a warming coffee or a cooling beer) and dress for the weather. There’s nothing like a sea breeze to blow the cobwebs away.


The famous, and beautiful, Whistling Sands in North Wales
A new boardgame – and I’m not talking a crusty old game of Monopoly where your dog ate the thimble 30 years ago and you’ve been using your Nan's sewing thimble ever since. There are some pretty amazing boardgames around that you can play with the whole family. We’ve been enjoying Bananagrams recently, with Pears in Pairs for little ones. Also, the Mensa approved Forbidden Island is fantastic for families as it’s a collaborative game whereby you work as a team for a common goal: perfect to play while eating those macaroons.


All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Monday 1 May 2017

May bank holiday craft ideas

We’re a bit spoilt in the UK during May, we get two bank holiday weekends to spend wandering around Ikea fighting over limp hotdogs and ‘meat’balls. If following big arrows around show rooms that look infinitely better than the home you actually live in isn’t your idea of fun, why not try a few new craft projects.

Jewellery making isn’t as hard as it might appear. I found the chains, pendants and clear flat backed cabochons on eBay along with some pressed flowers from a seller in Devon. Using copper foil and glue I made these necklaces. Simple, effective and great gifts.

 

Simple weaving! This loom was a gift and makes adorable flower shapes, although I’m sure if I set it up differently I could make squares or something more intricate.

 

Shoe decorating. This is a bit more ‘out there’ perhaps, but if you search the wonderful Etsy there are many crafters selling one-off shoes. I found new white satin wedding shoes for sale in a local charity shop, and used fabric paint and stick on flat back jewels to make this Wizard of Oz themed pair for a friend who loves going to see Wicked.




All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Monday 3 April 2017

Easter is approaching!

There’s lots to love about Easter – bite size chocolate bunnies are definitely one of the advantages! It’s also only one of very few days of the year when it’s perfectly acceptable to start eating chocolate for breakfast, and then just keep going until you can barely breathe.



However, for seasonal crafters like myself it’s also another fun chance to do some sewing. I have plenty of this cute chick print brushed cotton fabric left from last year’s project, but I’m not sure what to make.


Any suggestions well and truly welcome, so far I’m thinking of toddler shift dresses or bunny ear headbands. I’ve not experimented with making headbands and accessories before, so that could be a good place to start.



All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Thursday 2 March 2017

Mother's Day gifts...that aren't flowers

I should start this by saying I’m a big fan of flowers and will always welcome a bunch of posies, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only option for Mother’s Day, so here are a few other ideas!


Something crafty – these stamps (pictured below) from Hazel Nicholls are perfect for anyone who’s wasted several hours (and shiny pound coins) browsing in Hobbycraft.
I gave these away at Christmas...wanted to keep them so much!

 Caffeine addict – most of the parents I know function at about 90% caffeine capacity just to get through the day. Machines like this one are often in the sale (we got ours half price for example) and make an amazing brew that will see you through the longest night of teething.

Yeah, that's two espressos going into my Chatty Nora mug

Long overdue day out – try seeking out local, small attractions and find out if there are any special events on. Don’t forget to check if there’s a nice café or, if you’ve been a particularly errant offspring, cocktail bar.

A famous bottle kiln at Gladstone Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent

All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Science fiction – the ultimate retro


I don’t consider myself a massive science fiction fan, but the evidence speaks for itself: I have a TARDIS for a shed, my favourite place to holiday was the filming location of The Prisoner in the 1960s, and the last few books I’ve read have all been science fiction themed, or at least magical realism.

As a big fan of children’s fiction, it seems odd that this classic trio of books had escaped my attention, so I tracked down preloved copies of A Wrinkle in Time, The Phantom Tollbooth and The Box of Delights.


 


I’m currently part way through The Phantom Tollbooth, and so far it’s my favourite of the three, closely followed by A Wrinkle in Time, with The Box of Delights trailing in third place. However, I have it on good authority that the BBC’s 1980s version of John Masefield’s classic is well worth a watch, and as the narrative provides some strong imagery I think I might prefer a TV adaptation. I was also unaware it was a sequel when I bought it, so perhaps I should read The Midnight Folk before passing final judgement.

There’s always something fun about reading futuristic books that are tinged with nostalgia, if anyone can recommend any good reads in a similar vein to these, please let me know!



All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter www.charisse-sayers.com I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

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