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Valentine’s… on a budget.

February 7, 2014

In the spirit of money saving, I decided that my husband should get a handmade present this year for Valentine’s day. I wish we could spend it together but sending something very personal through the post is the next best thing. It’s all about showing affection and that is something that doesn’t have a price, so measuring love by the money spent on the day makes as much sense as an ice sculpture in the Sahara. I found a lot of ideas on Pinterest and picked a couple I could easily make. As it’s Friday today, why not try it over the weekend?

I went shopping and got myself a few items:

  • Book covering roll £0.69
  • Hearts and stars stickers £1.09
  • Coloured paper £1.00
  • Set of 10 glue sticks £1.00
  • Deck of cards £2.00

All the other bits and bobs like the ribbon, the magazines and the lipstick I already had lying around the house.

It’s pretty straight forward – you make a little book with the playing cards as its pages. You write one thing you love about your partner on each of them – I chose to handwrite them because I don’t have a printer – and find adequate images to mach your sentiments. And it’s done. It took me a few hours but I was happy with the result. Now he knows 52 reasons I love him, although there are plenty more.

As we live apart, I had to post it, so I also took another inspiration and made him an envelope full of my kisses. Very cute and easy to make: Apply lipstick, kiss the paper and cut them out. Set them up on book covering roll and cut them all out again. Simples!

Kiss factory.

What are your plans for Valentine’s day?


Xmas Gift Guide

December 9, 2013

Since Christmas is right around the corner and I got a few neat things for myself and family, I thought I’d share them, in case anyone is struggling for ideas.

The gift of your time – I’m making this little cross stitch panel for Mr D’s Grandma. I just hope I can finish it on time to mail it to the US before Xmas!

The gift of fun – I got this festive and amusing necklace from Cheap Frills. This is a small company based in Brighton that will surely have something that catches your eye. Everything is handmade, very affordable with a lot of variety – I have trouble resisting them!

The gift of Art – Treat yourself or a friend to an item made by one of my current favourite illustrators – Ella Goodwin. I got myself this little mermaid cat wooden pin and received a bunch of really cute printed goodies with it. Make sure you have a look around her website and Etsy shop, as there are lots of different things to choose from. Isn’t she amazing?

The gift of memories – I discovered Stickygram a while ago via another blogger. I was immediately convinced as the concept is really simple but good: make your own fridge magnets or phone cases out of your Instagram photos! I decided to give a panel to my husband, with some photos of him, me, us and some shared moments. Get a $4 discount on fridge magnets or $5 on phone cases using the code FRIENDO3QD.

The personal gift – I got this pencil case* personalized with the word “Macaco” for my husband – it means monkey in Portuguese. It’s our affectionate term so only obvious that I’d use it. I got it from Special Moment, where you can find tons of items that can be personalized to your requirements (regular names and all). They have several price ranges, for £10 or under £10. Order before the 17th of December to get it in time for Christmas!

The gift of books – I brought this for my husband at TK Maxx. I love Rob Ryan’s paper cuttings illustration and the text is so beautiful. I definitely recommend getting it for that special someone. Get it at Amazon here.

I’m done with my Christmas shopping. Have you finished yours yet?

PS: items marked * are PR samples.


Tokyo Love

May 17, 2013

The last time I went to Lisbon I arranged to do a little visit to my friend Isabel, who runs a little shop called Amores de Tóquio (may be be translated as Tokyo Loves), near the flea market. She is the creative force behind it – every single object in the shop has been hand picked by Isabel, and the majority handmade by her own hands. I took some photos of the shop and some of the details (there are too many to show here, going in there is a real feast for the eyes!) as I think it’s the kind of thing my Blogland friends would like to see.

I’ve met Isabel for the first time through mutual friends and at the time she used to run stalls at craft fairs and I loved her stuff since the very beginning. I’m not surprised that the business grew as she is so very talented and the objects she produces are very pretty. She is clearly inspired by Japanese aesthetics and particularly origami, something I find myself drawn to.

Here I am with Isabel, in her shop. You can see the lovely hat I left with, handmade using Japanese fabric.

If you ever find yourselves in Lisbon, don’t forget to pay Isabel a visit and see what is new in the shop (it is one of the shops around the old fruit market, right in the centre of the flea market). You can always see what’s new online on the Facebook and blog pages.


Family jewels

April 24, 2013

I haven’t DIYed as much as I would like to recently but was very inspired by a similar project made by a friend. So I took to Ebay and found the black angora top and the jewels. Added a needle and some thread and in a couple of sittings I finally finished it! I already have the materials to do a similar one in several colours. I can’t wait to have the time to do it!


What has been your most recent DIY?