Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Happy Cute Surprise Bag review and giveaway

Have you heard about Happy Cute It is a website that sells the sweetest products, from stationery to plushies, squishies, homeware and accessories plus so many things in between so if you like cute and kawaii things you should definitely go and take a peek at what they have to offer!  One of their products is a Surprise Bag which I have been sent to review for you today and if you would like to win one for yourself then fill out the widget at the bottom of this post to enter!

Happy Cute Surprise Bag

The Surprise Bags contain at least 15 items which are selected at random from the HC warehouse and cost approx £14.50 each including free shipping or if you want your parcel to arrive a bit quicker you could pay extra for a faster service.


Reverse side of the bag

The products come in a nice little drawstring bag which is chock-a-block full with goodies so let me show you what was in there!

Sweet box, purse, plushie & bead making kit

There was just so many things inside this bag that I loved!  The mix of products was good too, there were practical things like purses, socks and pocket mirrors as well as fun things like hair accessories, keychains and plushies.  The bead jewellery making kit provided an afternoon of crafting fun for my girls and they also nabbed the hair bow, clips and hair ties from me too!  

There were 15 items in my bag which means they all cost less than £1 each which is a real bargain!

Mirrors, hair accessories, keyrings, socks, bracelet & plushies

My absolutely favourite product is the rainbow alpaca, I have wanted one of these for such a long time so when I found this at the bottom of the bag I might have let out a little squeal!  It is all of my favourite things, pretty, plush, pastel and practical because it is a purse as well as a cute toy!  There is also a slot on the back to hold a bank card or travel pass and the key ring on the top is attached to an extendable cord making it super handy.

Okay, so if this bag is right up your street then pop your details below to enter the giveaway!  The more actions you complete the more entries you will receive!

She's Eclectic Happy Cute Shop Giveaway

If you have any questions about the bag let me know and I will try and help, oh and good luck!


Monday, 17 September 2018

Artline Monday - World Gratitude Day

World Gratitude Day is celebrated on the 21st September every year and it is a day to reflect on the things you are grateful for and appreciate about your life.  Focusing on what is good is a great way to stay positive and improve your mood so I thought for today’s post I would show you how to make a little gratitude journal to carry around with you so you can record what makes you happy and grateful.

Supplies and Artline pens

The basic idea behind this is a junk journal, we are going to make one out of scraps of paper, envelopes, paper bags and any little bits and pieces you have laying around.  You will also need some nice pens like my Artline brush markers and fineliners.

First of all you need to find something to make the cover of your journal.  I am using a card a friend sent me but you can use some pretty card or thick paper, just fold it in half to create your book shape and then look for things to fill it with to make the pages.  I have some sheets of patterned paper, old postcards, envelopes and a couple of paper bags I have kept in my craft supplies box that I am going to use in mine.  If you have an old book that is falling a part and heading for the recycling bin then you could take some pages from that to use in yours too.

Postcard, papers and envelopes

Put all your pages in the cover and fold them inside as if you were closing your book, then trim any overhanging pieces so the papers fit inside the journal.  It doesn’t matter if any pages are smaller than others, a junk journal doesn’t have to be perfect.  If you do use any paper bags or envelopes make sure they fit inside the cover without having to cut the sides and that you have the opening end facing the top of your journal so anything you pop in them won’t fall out.  I have also cut the folded tops off my envelopes so it’s not fiddly to put things in them.  I think I will use these pockets to store things that make me happy and remind me of good times like tickets to a trip we have been on or receipts for a nice meal we shared etc.  You can also write on the outside of the bags and envelopes as if they were pages inside the book too.

Arranging my pages

There are a few different ways you can bind your book, just do whichever is easiest for you.  You can staple them into place along the middle of the centre page or sew a couple of stitches with a large needle and thick thread.  I used a piece of elastic to secure mine placed along the centre fold and tied tightly around the outside of the cover. I cut two small slots at the top and bottom of the spine of my journal to hold the elastic into place and then trimmed off the excess elastic from the knot.

Securing the pages with elastic

Here is the view from inside my journal...

The elastic holds everything in place

To make the journal look a little neater I hid the knot on the spine using a kraft coloured sticker and it will also hold the elastic in place.  You wont need to do this if you stapled or sewed your pages. 

Hiding the knot

Now you have made your journal you can add some extra decoration to it!  I used a brush marker to write on my front cover. 

Writing on the cover

Then it's time to fill your journal with things to make you smile, pictures, doodles, quotes, memories and the things you are grateful for!

My first page

Happy memories

List of things I am grateful for

There is still plenty of space left inside my journal so I am going to carry it in my bag and jot down any things that make me happy and if I am having a bad day I can take it out and look at all of the things I am grateful for and hopefully improve how I am feeling.

I hope you like my idea and please let me know if you are going to make your own gratitude journal!


Monday, 10 September 2018

Artline Monday - Roald Dahl Day 2018

Ever since I was a child I have absolutely loved Roald Dahl's books so I couldn't let Roald Dahl Day go by without doing something special to mark the occasion!  It falls on his birthday, the 13th September and it is a day to celebrate the wonderful characters and worlds he created and the love of reading he inspired and is still inspiring in generation after generation of children.     

There are so many great Roald Dahl books that is hard for me to choose a favourite but I have always loved this quote from The Twits so I thought it would be nice to write it in my notebook using my fineliners and Artline Supreme brush markers as a little reminder to be kind and have good thoughts.

Roald Dahl quote with Artline Supreme brush markers

Mixing different styles of lettering, pens and colours creates an interesting look and adding extra outlines, swirls and spots shakes things up a little too! 

Okay, now let's move on to the craft project I have for you today, we are making dream jars from the BFG!  If you remember the BFG is a big, friendly giant who makes nice dreams for children by mixing good things together, capturing them in a jar and then blowing them into the ears of sleeping children using his special dream blower.  These jars will also make a sweet nightlight for little ones who are afraid of the dark as well as being fun to make! 

You will need:
  • a glass jar - storage, mason or an empty jam/pickle jar
  • Artline poster and/or paint markers
  • stickers for decoration
  • LED tealights
  • Glitter glue or glitter paint (optional)


Supplies

In the book the dreams look like little colourful clouds and when they are caught in the jars they shimmer and shine which is why I added the LED tealights to mine to make them look extra magical but before we get to that part we have to decorate the outside of our jars.

Adding colour with my poster marker

You can decide with your children what kind of colours and design they would like on their jar, I started by painting the bottom of mine with one of the poster markers and then added some big, glittery flower stickers.  

Embellishing around the stickers

The base dried very quickly and then I used more poster and paint markers to create a whimsical pattern around the jar.  Both sets of pens work really well on glass and will stay in place once they are dry.

Drawing flowers

When my pattern was finished I wanted my jar to look more cloudy and less see through so I painted the inside of the glass with gold glitter paint (but you can use glitter glue if you like) and then left it dry.  
Pink and flowery dream

The last step was to turn on the LED tealight, pop it inside the jar and put the lid on.  Because the tealight is so small and battery operated the jar will not get hot whilst the light is on so it is safe to use overnight.

For my second jar I decided to deviate from the description in the book and I drew a woodland scene instead.  Again I used the poster markers to decorate the jar and this time I added some cute animal stickers too.

Creating a scene 

I think it looks like a perfectly nice dream to have!  

Woodland dream

Here are my finished dream jars, I can't wait to see how they look tonight in a darkened room with the lights flickering inside them!

My dream jars

I shot this short video of the jars with the lights on so you can see how they look when they are finished and lit up.

 

Please let me know if you have a go at making your own dream jars, I'd love to hear how you got on!  Also if you are on Facebook or Twitter tell us how you will be celebrating Roald Dahl day, you can find Artline here and here and I'm @Shes_Eclectic.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 3 September 2018

Artline Monday - Great British Bake Off fun and photo props

The Great British Bake Off started again last week and I am so excited to get to know all the new contestants.  My girls and I gather together on the sofa every Tuesday to watch the show and it has become a really big thing in our house (just for us girls though, the boys aren't interested)!

When we first started watching it the food always made us hungry so I started making sure we all had a drink and snack ready before each episode began but over the years this had evolved to something a little, well, you might say.... crazy!    

Menu for our Bake Off evening

You know those cafes with the fancy chalkboards that someone lovingly writes the menu or specials on?  Well I brought a little A4 size one for our GBBO evenings!  I use an Artline chalk marker to create the menu and then I stand the board up on the coffee table for when my girls get home from school so they can see what I have brought or made for us to eat while we watch the show!  It just adds an extra element of fun to the day and makes us look forward to Tuesdays a little more!  

I don't just use the board and markers for Bake Off though, they are great for photo props too!  Milestones, birthdays and events can all be written on the board and then held or added somewhere to the photo you are about to take.  I have been designing one for when the children go back to school in a couple of days and because the markers wipe off easily with a damp cloth if I don't like how something looks I can just wipe it away and start again! 

Vibrant chalk markers

The chalk markers are so much more vibrant than regular chalk so they really stand out against the black background and look great in photographs.

Back to school photo prop

I think I am going to do something like this for Wednesday's back to school photos, it just depends on whether I take a pic of my kids all together in their new uniforms or individual shots.  If I do get individual ones I can wipe out the year number and change it for each photo (or set of photos, I like to take a lot of pics!).

So do you like the sound of my GBBO evenings?  

Friday, 31 August 2018

Planner Friday - August

Hands up, who is over summer already?!  I'm getting ready for autumn and the start of a new school year over on the Trendy Twine blog today!

I'm sorry, I know it is still August and officially summer for a few more weeks yet but we are one day away from September and I can't wait for the season to change!  I've had a lovely summer but autumn is my favourite time of year and I'm ready for it to begin so my theme for this month's Planner Friday is very autumnal and inspired by APB's Hello Fall stamp set!   I wanted to create a monthly overview for September as my children go back to school next week and it's time to get organised again after a rather relaxed August so I opened up my TN and got to work with washi tapestamps , pens and stickers!


Used but not pictured: Coffee paper clip

My colour theme for September is full of oranges, browns, yellows and reds with a bit of green mixed in there too based around the colours of autumn leaves.  I used the image stamps from my Hello Fall set to add some fun decoration to my pages and matched them with a leaf print washi tape to pull it all together.   I coloured in the fall images and then added a big coffee cup sticker because all I ever hear about in autumn is pumpkin spiced lattes!  I have never tried one because they really don't appeal to me but so many people seem obsessed with them maybe I should give one a go this year!


Hello Fall image stamps in action

You can read the rest of my post here.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Mustard's T-errifyingly T-rrific T-Rex stationery collection

Are you looking for the perfect back to school stationery or just wanting to add a splash of colour to your personal collection?  Well then, let me introduce you to Mustard!  I came across this brand during National Stationery Week a couple of years ago and if you are a long time reader of this blog you will definitely have seen some of their products in my posts before like rainbow sticky notes and pug page markers.  Their style is so iconic once you are familiar with the brand it is easy to spot their designs!

One of their newest collections is T-rex and it is full of bold, clashing colours, pop art style elements and features the coolest dino in town.  He appears on a range of products from notebooks to dinosaur shaped highlighters and Mustard sent me a few different things to show you!

The T-Rex collection

The magenta T-Rex notebook is perfect for bullet journalling, drawing and notes as the paper has a light dotted grid pattern on it which is enough to give you a guideline to work with but wont intrude on anything you write or draw over it. 

Size wise it fits nicely in all of my bags and it doesn't weigh very much either so it's perfect for toting too and from work or school.  It doesn't take up a lot of room on my desk either which is definitely another plus point for it!

Stained edges

The edges of the paper are stained pink to match the dinosaur illustration, elastic enclosure and pen loop, adding an extra pop of colour to the book and if you don't like pink (I hear you, but I disagree!) then it also comes in blue too.

Peeking dinos

You can pair your notebook with some matching page markers, I think they look so cute peeking out over the top of the cover!  The sticky ends are alternated so you can also have little pairs of feet sticking out the bottom of your notebook and they are repositionable if you need to move them from page to page.

Dino-mite highlighters

The pink and lime highlighters are super fun, I received one in my National Stationery Week box a few months back and thought it was brilliant!  T-Rex is carrying all his essentials in his backpack and looks all set for his new adventure wherever it may take him.

The round barrel makes them comfortable to hold

The highlighters are a great way to brighten up your desk and you can play with them like toys if you feel inclined (hands up, I totally do that with full on roaring sounds too!) but they are also easy to use and comfortable to hold once you open them up.

Mini pencil case

The last thing I want to show you is this handy mini pencil case.  It has an elasticated loop attached to the top and bottom ends so you can place it over the notebook to keep your pens safe and readily available.  It holds around five or six pens or pencils easily and along with the pen loop on the notebook you should have enough space for your supplies for when you are struck by inspiration!  The case should fit most standard size notebooks too if you are eyeing it up and think it's a great idea!

I took a few of my T-Rex products with me when I went to celebrate World Calligraphy Day a couple of weeks ago and what did I spot?  A dinosaur trail around the city centre and the stop I found was the T-Rex!  So I dug my notebook and highlighters out of my bag and snapped a couple of pics with it because it felt so serendipitous!  Or should that be seren-dippy-tous?  Sorry, is that one too many dinosaur puns?

Snap!

A terror of T-Rex

If you have taken a look at the Mustard website and spotted something you love or fallen for the charming Mr T-Rex then you are in luck as I have been given a discount code for you to use!  Enter this code at the checkout for 30% off an order of £35 or more.

Amanda30

The code is case sensitive and expires on the 7th September 2018.

Happy shopping!


Artline Tuesday - Getting back to school ready

So there is just over a week to go until the new school year starts, are you ready?  If not, don't worry!  I have some tips today to help you be prepared for the first day of term and make the most of the last few days of the holiday!

My back to school checklist

I always write myself a back to school checklist to make sure I get everything done and so I don't forget anything.  Grab a pen and write your own now, there is still enough time left to get organised!  

My first section is usually for the things I need to buy like uniforms and school supplies, I use a highlighter to make little check boxes and then list the items I need.  Once I have brought them I can add a tic or cross to the box so I know that it has been completed.

If you still need to buy your school stationery check out my Back to school essentials post for some ideas!

To buy & To do

The To do section is for things that need to be done at some point over the break, these aren't time sensitive they just need to be finished before school starts again.  I only have a couple of things on this list, the first is to label the uniforms with my Artline laundry marker.  I used this pen last year to write my kids names on their clothes and it withstood repeated washing over the school year and I didn't have to rewrite anything, it was fantastic!

The second is to check everyone's diaries for term dates and inset days so I can add them all to my calendar. 

Week before, Day before & 1st day of school

On the second page I have a timetable for getting back to school ready.  It is split into three sections:

Week before

  • Hair cuts
  • Check shopping lists (have I brought everything?)
  • Get back into a routine (bedtimes and early mornings again)

Day before

  • Leave out uniforms the night before
  • Pack bags
  • Pack PE kits
  • Book Bag
  • Set alarm
  • Top up mobiles
  • Charge phones

1st Day of school

  • Wake up early
  • Have breakfast
  • Take photos (I love those back to school pics!)

If you follow these tips the first day of school should run smoothly and hopefully be less stressful than just trying to wing it.

If you are looking for things to keep your kids entertained over the last few days of summer then there are a couple of Artline competitions running at the moment.  They can join the Artline Heroes and design their own superhero mask, you can find the info here, and there are also some printable activities to keep them busy too.  This comp closes on the 31st August so make sure you enter before then!

The second competition is to design a pair of glasses with Scrivens and this is running until the 1st September, you can find all the details about it here.

I have really enjoyed spending the summer with my children, we've had so much fun and tried lots of new crafts and activities but I will admit I am kind of looking forward to being home alone again and enjoying some peace and quiet!  How about you?


Monday, 20 August 2018

Artline Monday - Win a Kids Art Kit with Artline and Scrivens

This week Artline have teamed up with Scrivens to bring you a fab competition for children!  Pop into your local branch of Scrivens (you can find the nearest one here) to get an entry form, let your kids design their own pair of glasses and the winner will receive an awesome art kit filled with lots of Artline goodies!


Entry forms available from Scrivens

I collected a few forms for my girls and they had a lot of fun colouring in and getting creative!  They used some Artline Supreme metallic markers for an added touch of sparkle and Artline 325T water colour markers which are very vibrant and perfect for drawing and colouring with their duo nibs in different sizes.

Bunnies and roses

Colourful creation

Harry Potter specs

Entries cost £1 each and all of the money raised will be going to the Alzheimer’s Society so as well as keeping your children entertained for a little while you will also be helping a good cause!

The finished designs

The competition is open to children aged under 16 and all entries must be received by Saturday 1st September 2018.  The full terms and conditions are listed on the Scrivens website.

Good luck!