Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.

I am the first to admit I am a woeful blogger and the only time I tend to do it is school holidays so please forgive that my last post was in 2012! I also apologise if over the next few weeks of summer holidays I have more frequent blogging activity, lots to share with you.

Those who know me well, will know that I LOVE shoes. My actual feet themselves are pretty messed up, I'm forever in bare feet or flip flops when not at work, so they are normally covered in cuts, grazes and dents from my general clumsiness. So to cover up, I dress them in all sorts of little pretty feet creations. My mum is a lover of photography and has wanted to, for quite so time, to do a little photo shoot of my shoes. Last time she came to visit, I laid out all my shoes and here's the result of what happened next...

The big photoSHOEt...

Below is my first pair of 'Irregular Choice' shoes. I got them when I was 18 and almost 8 years down the line we're still going strong. I don't know how I will cope the day these have got to go to shoe heaven.

Keeping with the shoe theme, just to be slightly exciting when being sporty, my feet don't let me down in these (not recommended though for teaching PE at school - the first time I wore these to school, my class spent more time looking at my toes than practising their tennis skills)...

To finish, my husband bought me this sign as an Easter present this year and as a matter of fact he bought me the shoes also (very good choice). How very apt...

Until next time...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Almost the season to be jolly...

Well half term has come and (in one day) gone. It has been so lovely to recharge my batteries ready for the Christmas term in school (my favourite term), which sees Christmas carols, endless nativity play practices and glitter, glitter and more glitter. Over half term I thoroughly enjoyed dressing up for Halloween. Thom and I dressed up for our first Halloween Ball in Banbury as the ever so stylish Batman and Zombified Amy...

As you can see from my blog title above it is festively themed. Now that Halloween is out of the way I can get properly excited about the X-mas word. I LOVE Christmas, everyone knows, back in the days of uni I'd have the 'Studio Christmas' catalogue out in September. I love everything about it, the weather, dark nights, glitter, writing Christmas cards, wrapping presents, smells of cinnamon and the lovely warmth you feel walking round a Christmas market. 

So considering my undeniable love for the festive season you can imagine the pure joy I felt when I went to Starbucks on Friday and they had their RED cups back in. Mine was filled with Gingerbread Latte, and was just a cup of Christmas cheer. However I clearly need to work on my Irish accent here in England as when they asked my name to write on the cup they heard and wrote it as IME...

Christmas in a cup
Continuing the Gingerbread theme from above I baked these scrummy Gingerbread cookies tonight with dollops of white chocolate melted in the centres. I had to taste one (just to make sure they are edible in the staffroom on Monday). Before I bit into it I thought it would be hard and crunchy, but they are soft in the inside and the white chocolate compliments the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. A cheap list of ingredients and a super festive treat, definitely recommend having a go at baking these!

White Chocolate topped Gingerbread Cookies. Website below

To finish this blog I wanted to share with you a little Christmas d├ęcor I created for our flat (an no it's not decorated just yet, I think I can hold out until December 1st). I bought a box of baubles for £2.50 in Primark, a blue beaded garland from Paperchase and just randomly placed the baubles and garland in a vase I already had. Cheap, Simple, Pretty...

Happy Blogging

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Up Cycling Shoes

I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back and thought next time I have a little bit of time I'd have a go at it.

I started off with a pair of pink heels and ended with a 'gossip covered' pair of heels - cannot wait to wear them. Only 3 'ingredients' needed to make these: pair of shoes (patent if possible), Mod-Podge and an old magazine.

I simply covered the shoes in Mod-Podge and ripped different sections of the magazine, placing them randomly over the shoe (I left the heel as it was - liking the look of the hot pink heel). I then coated the ripped magazine in another coat of Mod-Podge to make them extra shiny!

Such a quick,simple idea with a FAB pair of shoes as the outcome.

AmyCookeDesigns xo

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Summer Projects

I did say I would post a blog or two before the school term started but clearly it was not meant to be. Just wanted to share with you a few crafting projects I have enjoyed doing lately (well one has become a slight addiction).

Below is a neck piece I made as a 'Thank You' present for one of the teachers I worked alongside during my first year of teaching. I chose a range of purple fabrics and pinned them randomly together before running it up on the sewing machine. I always get quite nervous when giving someone one of my handmade gifts, but thankfully she was chuffed with it :-)

 This is the Autumn themed neck piece I made myself a few years ago. It was originally a fabric necklace I had made (didn't quite like it) so I added a few more Suffolk puffs and turned it into a neck piece.

From this... this

 Now for my addiction (not serious enough for rehab - YET). Over the summer my eBay account took a hit buying lots (and lots) of lucky star strips from China. I am a newbie to origami so I thought lucky stars would break me into the world of paper folding gently. I have loved folding the little bits of paper to create these cute little stars.

You can see I've got a another little bit to go filling up the vase. I'll get there soon...


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

One (wo)man's Trash is another (wo)man's Treasure

My good friend Claire came to visit me in Banbury today for a 'Charity Shop Marathon'. What I have learnt from today's experience is 'you should never venture into Charity shops with Claire!' My poor bank card is on the brink on of a mental breakdown - it's very worrying!

Joking aside, I am delighted with my finds today (Thank-you C x). I've always been very supportive of charity shops. It was only yesterday I delivered bags of neglected clothes of mine into a few charity shops in Banbury (and before you say it - I was not buying them back today). After a lengthy time rummaging through the rails I found and bought a cute cherry print dress, a nice fitted t-shirt and my favourite purchase has to be this unbelievably cute polka dot cardy - for £4.99!

This I will definitely being wearing to school next week!

I am hoping to get a few more blogs up before school starts back. I have managed to squeeze in a few craft projects over the summer that I would like to share with you so watch this space.

I will leave you with this photograph (meant to upload it ages ago). Clearly I think I'm a professional photographer with the use of Istagram (I wish) - but I love this photo with the filter I used...

Lots of Love

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

No longer a single gal!

Well this is my first post since becoming Mrs Russell (still feels very odd saying that). I do hope to do a proper Blog piece on the Cooke/Russell wedding once we get all our professional photos, but thought I would do a quick blog for you on wedding veils.

For those of you who know me well, you will know one of the first things I said when Thom and I started to plan and think about the big day was that I would NEVER wear a veil. That statement stood until 4 days before the wedding. Being a huge eBay fanatic the weekend before the wedding I clicked 'BUY' on a cute, £14.99, 2 tier waist Ivory veil which I do not regret one bit - completely loved wearing it on the day.

With my eBay veil on the big day

In march I went to a wedding fair in Birmingham with my chum Miss Wright. We both already had our wedding dresses, but that didn't stop us trying dresses on. The last dress I tried on before we left was the complete opposite of my wedding dress tastes (though I loved it on). Once I had the dress on, the sales girl placed a veil on my head, and it wasn't as bad as I thought! I was still determined to make my own head piece.

My very first 'veil experience'

Months went by and I thought no more about the pretty veil I tried on at the wedding show. Instead I busied myself making the fascinator I thought I would wear on the day. I used feathers, a taffeta Suffolk puff with a beaded crystal/pearl centre and French netting. Although I didn't end up wearing it on the day I was really please the the final outcome. Here's a little look...

Glue gunning feathers (not a god combination) 

Sewing crystals & pearls onto the Suffolk Puff 

The finished piece!

You can spend a life time thinking about the exact things you will have on your wedding day. Before I got married people kept telling me you think you know what you want but once you start planning everything it will all change. Most of what happened on our day was what we had talked about before we were even engaged...

...however the unplanned, sneaky little veil managed to creep its way into our big day :-)

My dress and veil - best day of my life!

Just to finish I am still going to stay as AmyCookeDesigns for my blogger and the little craft fairs I do - don't think I can part with  my wee business name that has given me some lovely memories to look back on.

Until next time...

AmyCookeDesigns a.k.a Amy Russell :-)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee

Any big event that is celebrated, from Royal Weddings to American Independence Day I love to use it as an excuse to be creative.

My little town Banbury was covered in Red, White and Blue and it inspired me to make the following little crafty bits and bobs for the Diamond Jubilee...

I was so chuffed with my Victoria Sponge cake. Loved doing the Union Flag icing - and added some little Jubilee flags from 'My Cake Decorating' magazine (highly recommend it).

I picked up some fabric for a bargain. I turned it into yo-yo brooches and finished them off with burnt organza.

I taught my Year 2's a Jubilee song for there Class Assembly just before we broke up for half term, thought I'd leave you with part of the verse...

And still her star is shining
And like her Jubilee
Our Queen's a real diamond
So here's to you your majesty!

Roll on London 2012!