Wednesday, 26 March 2014

My Creative Space: Mr Darcy Charm Necklaces

image mr darcy charm necklace jane austen pride and prejudice skeleton key pearls two cheeky monkeys

I have been a fan of charm jewellery since I was very young, so you can imagine how pleased I am to have finally thought of a way to combine my love for charm jewellery, my literature jewellery range, vintage keys and floral cabochons!

image mr darcy charm necklace jane austen pride and prejudice skeleton key leaf brass two cheeky monkeys

I am only at the early stages of designing this exciting new range, but I am over the moon with the results I have achieved so far.  Each necklace will carry five charms consisting of a floral cabochon, a vintage skeleton or luggage key, a metal charm, a pretty beaded dangle and, the piece de resistance, a small cameo setting inset with the name of a famous (or drool-worthy) literary character.


image jane austen charm necklace anne elliot persuasion skeleton key vintage white fleur de lys two cheeky monkeys

Not only am I having tonnes of fun making these new necklaces for my Two Cheeky Monkeys stores, but I put aside some time to make one for myself!  I chose to go with my favourite Austen novel, Persuasion, what do you think?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Things I Love - Cupcakes

Some of you will know that I have been on a five year long quest to lose all the baby weight I put on having the Two Cheeky Monkeys.  My attempts have gotten more serious in the last six or so months, so this blog post is purely about vicarious enjoyment of one of my favourite treats, cupcakes!  There are all sorts of amazing recipes to be found in blogland; here are some of my current favourites.

image recipe diy cactus cupcakes plants
This recipe combines two of my favourite things, cacti AND cupcakes!

image recipe easter egg cupcakes cadbury
If you can stop eating Easter eggs long enough to bake with them, these Easter egg cupcakes would be fun to bake.

image diy recipe macaron cupcake tutorial
Simple but oh so sweet, macaron "flower" cupcakes!

Friday, 21 March 2014

DIY Flower Headband

image diy tutorial boho floral headpiece headband two cheeky monkeys

I think this will be the last blog post this year where I mention the Two Cheeky Monkeys' annual school fete, I promise!  Every year the fete committee decide on a theme for the fete and everyone is invited to dress up for the day.  This year, our fete theme is "Carnivale", so the Cheeky Monkeys have decided to go decked out in their brightest, most colourful clothes, topped off with a floral headpiece a la Frida Kahlo.  Of course, I was asked to create said floral headpieces, so I decided to write up a tutorial as well!

Supplies
  • fabric faux flowers (I used polyester ones, but you may want to go for the more luscious silk flowers)
  • fabric-covered headband (or cover a plastic or metal one yourself)
  • hot glue and hot glue gun

Method
 image diy tutorial boho floral headband flower headpiece

1. Remove the fabric flowers from the stems, vines or whatever base to which they're attached.  Snip off as much of the stem of the flower as possible to flatten out the flower base without resulting in your flower falling apart into separate petals.

image diy tutorial floral headband headpiece attach flowers to the headband with hot glue

2. Decide on the arrangement you want for your flowers and start attaching them to the headband with hot glue.

image tutorial diy floral headpiece boho headband flowers spring

3. Tidy up any stray bits of hot glue and make sure all your flowers and petals are firmly attached to the headband.  Add more hot glue as needed to ensure your floral headpiece stay intact.  Once done, you or your little one can wear the headband with pride, all ready for your festival, fete, or day out in the sunshine. 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Saying farewell to an era

image dictionary print greeting card wreath christmas two cheeky monkeys

Can you believe that I started selling dictionary page art prints all the way back in 2010?  The last four years have brought amazing and exciting twists and turns to this range of creations, with custom orders ranging from musical instruments to animals and ordinary household items, and an offshoot range of dictionary page greeting cards.

image dictionary page art print vintage shoe womens two cheeky monkeys

I have enjoyed working on the dictionary art range, and have enjoyed even more hearing my customers' stories and seeing their photos of the art prints in action.  But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

image dictionary page greeting card eiffel tower paris france two cheeky monkeys

After four fun years, I have decided to phase out the dictionary page range to focus on the burgeoning literature and cabochon jewellery ranges.  This means that you will have the opportunity to purchase all remaining stock at heavily discounted prices.  All items have been discounted by 25%-35% and no further discounts apply.  Items are already discounted in both my Madeit and Etsy stores. so get in quickly before they're all sold out.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Things I Love - Flowers

image orchids singapore purple fuchsia

Nothing can make me smile quite like having a beautiful bunch of flowers cheering up my dining table!  I'm not really too fussed what flowers we have at any given time, just so long as I have a little spot of colour and beauty to brighten up the room.  Do you have a favourite flower you love to have around your home?

Friday, 14 March 2014

Tutorial Roundup - Felt Creations

Here at the home of Two Cheeky Monkeys, we are big fans of creating with felt.  I'm not sure when my love of felt began, but I think the little Cheeky Monkeys got their love of felt when I started making felt food toys for them when they were toddlers.  Now that they are older, they can create simple felt projects on their own.  The tutorials I've collated here will suit a range of skills, though some are more suited for children and others for adults.  Enjoy!

image tutorial diy felt cactus bugs and fishes
I love all the felty tutorials over at Bugs and Fishes!

image tutorial diy felt pear brooch i manufatti
i Manufatti also has lots of sweet tutorials.

How Joyful has the cutest hot air balloon mobile tutorial.

Make an iPhone cozy out of felt.

Felt creations don't just have to be cutesy, as these sophisticated coasters demonstrate.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

DIY Clusters Lariat Necklace

I have been sorting and organising my bead stash the last few weeks, and looking at all the beautiful beads got me thinking that I really wanted to make a lariat necklace for myself.  Why?  Because, would you believe it, I make and sell lariat necklaces to other women but don't own one myself!  While there are a multitude of lariat styles, my favourites are those with clusters of beads at each end of the necklace.  So today I am sharing with you a little tutorial so that you can make your own clusters lariat necklace.  Can't make your own or would like a DIY kit?  Then send me an email to discuss a custom order.  :)

image diy tutorial lariat necklace clusters pearl beads rainbow fluorite purple charoite silver

Supplies
  • one length of delicate chain (I used 60cm of chain, but go with whatever length you prefer)
  • 4mm jump rings
  • headpins
  • two large beads, at least 10mm (I used a rainbow fluorite flower bead and a charoite bead)
  • 9 x 6-8mm beads to complement the larger beads
  • small charms
  • jewellery pliers
image tutorial diy lariat necklace purple beads silver chain

Instructions
image diy tutorial lariat necklace dangles clusters amethyst purple

1. Gather the beads and charms and work out bead and charm order for your lariat dangles.  Don't get too worried about your bead layout at this stage, as you can always change things around once the lariat is complete.

image tutorial diy lariat necklace flower thread beads onto headpins and create loops at the top

2. Thread each bead onto a separate headpin and create an open loop at the top in preparation for attaching to the chain.

image tutorial diy lariat necklace attach beads to the end of the chain rainbow fluorite charoite amethyst

3. Attach your two largest beads to the very last link on either end of the chain.  These beads are the foundation of the dangly cluster for each end of the lariat.

image tutorial diy lariat necklace keep attaching beads to successive links on the chain

4. Keep attaching beads and charms in your designated order, attaching them to successive links up the chain.  You might find that attaching two beads per chain link works well for smaller beads.

image tutorial diy lariat necklace lay out lariat ends to check for a good balance of beads

5. Once you have attached all of your beads and charms, lay out the two ends of your lariat to see if they are nicely balanced and complement each other.  This is the stage where you may want to move around your beaded dangles or even add or remove beads altogether.  Just remember that you should have a cluster of beads in a shape you like and which is heavy enough to keep your lariat securely dangling around your neck.

image tutorial diy lariat necklace two cheeky monkeys jewellery jewelry

6. Now for the important, must do, part: put on your beautiful new lariat and wear it around your home while you do chores, wrangle kids or pets, entertain friends, etc.  You can consider this your testing phase to determine if your bead dangles are heavy enough to keep the lariat on.  You don't want to lose your new necklace while you're out, do you?  Once this is done, wear your new necklace with pride everywhere you go!

Monday, 10 March 2014

My Creative Space

image rainbow doily mobile baby nursery room decor vintage red yellow green blue orange pastel purple domum vindemia

At the end of last year I introduced a range of vintage doily mobiles to Domum Vindemia.  I had been thinking about this new range of creations and finally made the plunge after a little market research showed me that there was a niche I could fill!  My latest mobile in this range celebrates one of the Two Cheeky Monkeys' favourite things, rainbows.  And I have to say that I am very pleased with how this mobile has turned out; looking at it makes me smile far more than I imagined it would!  The doily mobiles are available in both my Madeit and Etsy stores and I am also taking orders from those who want more or fewer doilies or different colours.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Cinnamon Scrolls, Healthy Style

image recipe cinnamon scrolls roll low fat wholemeal whole wheat no yeast

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this on the blog before, but since having the Two Cheeky Monkeys, I have been struggling to lose all the baby weight I put on (which is more than the weight I worked so hard to lose before having kids).  I know it's good for women to have a certain amount of fat, but it's frustrating when your beautiful pre-baby clothes don't fit any more and you struggle just to make it up a flight of stairs!
So anyway, due to my conscious effort to take better care of myself through exercise and eating well, I am always happy to find healthier versions of favourite recipes.  This cinnamon scroll recipe over at girl who bakes is one such recipe.  It's not as delightfully scrumptious as the usual scroll you would purchase from the bakery, and I still wouldn't bake them every week, but I am still loving this recipe for its simplicity and use of more healthy ingredients.  Does anyone else have low fat or "healthy" versions of decadent recipes?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Jane Austen Fans Rejoice

image mr darcy locket necklace two cheeky monkeys jane austen pride and prejudice silver plated swallow bird blue and white cameo inspire quote

It's been a while since I last added locket necklaces to the literature jewellery range, so I thought it was high time I created more of these very popular necklaces.  This time round I have chosen to focus on silver necklaces adorned with a range of charms and beads.

image mr darcy locket necklace two cheeky monkeys jane austen pride and prejudice silver plated love quote ivory glass pearl vintage rose cabochon porcelain

All of the beads and charms used for these newest necklaces are either made with an antiqued look or are of vintage nature.  I am really loving my decision to turn some of my teeny vintage cabochons into charms - I think they give a lovely olde worlde feel to the necklaces!  These necklaces will be available in-store in the next few days, and I will also be working on a few additional designs.  What do you think?

image mr darcy locket necklace two cheeky monkeys jane austen pride and prejudice silver plated hope quote skeleton key vintage glass bead jade green

Monday, 3 March 2014

Things I Love - Gel Pens

image gel pens kmart pastel glitter metallic

This is no secret to some of you, but I have a mild obsession with all things stationery.  I love coloured pens, I love pencils, I love staplers that come with coloured staples, I love funny-shaped erasers...you get the point!  One of my favourite items of stationery is the gel pen.  I love the way they glide while I write and the fact that they come in so many different colours.  I don't even mind using cheapie gel pens from KMart (I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my most recent packs were SCENTED).  Are you a stationery fan???  And what is your favourite stationery item and favourite stationery supplier?
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