Really bad Christmas shopping on Black Friday

I went shopping today for Christmas gifts.  My friend Leah from Australia is staying with me and we hit Bristol for the day.   I had a long list, and was all ready  to get 99% of things ticked off it.  All of the shops had started Black Friday even though it was Thursday, so this was the day to get it done before the chaos starts on the day itself.  Or so I thought…

So I come home and look in my bags, and apart from a grill cleaning gadget for the mother-in-law, (which is really quite a dull but still a very useful implement and also slight retaliation for the year she gave me a dustpan and brush for Christmas), I now have a lovely dress, Perfume, Tweezermans, a fingerprinting fairy art set… and all for ME!


OK, this may not be how the dress looks on me but I am allowed to pretend….


There is no reason an adult cannot have this kit….

I also had a lovely lunch with my partner-in-crime Leah, many coffees in smart cafes, and browsed many beautiful shops including Harvey Nichols, where I nearly convinced myself that £300 for a scarf was a reasonable price.  I also daydreamed and drooled outside many interiors shops including Chalon and basically got NOTHING DONE AT ALL.


 One day…..

So as I sit here chastised with guilt and looking at MY MY MY shopping, I will have to face the shoppers again tomorrow.  I am feeling that Anthropologie is a good starting point, even though most of the gifts I have to get on the list are for men and small children….

Am I the only person who does this?



This little piggy went to market….(again)

BAM Undercover Christmas Gift Fairs Advert

This weekend we are off to the Bath Artisan Market (22nd November) for the Christmas Gift Fair.  It is a really lovely fair set in a very grand old Victorian railway station in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and too often I end up doing a LOT of gift shopping there so I must behave this weekend.  It is a covered area, so weather is not an issue and there is a very nice Brasseries for lunch as well as lots of local hot food stalls selling delicious morsels.  There are beautiful handmade items for sale ranging from yummy foods to Art to Clothing to unique items that I cannot even catagorise, but all are made with love and skill.

We will be selling our paper wreaths which come into their own at this time of year, paper cut art, gifts and cards.  And if I say so myself, my wreaths look pretty spectacular in a house in this beautiful city!  There is live music too , and it is the first time that I have started to feel very ‘Christmassy’ this year…

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Wonderful Tattoos that come off!

This is a bit of shameless reblog, but it is so cool I had to share….  I am not even sure if I can get this paper in the UK but I will endeavour.  The post comes from the fantastic Apartment Therapy and the lovely photos are by Ashley Poskin.

Homemade Holiday Gift Idea: Make Custom Temporary Tattoos

Personalized temporary tattoos make the best little stocking stuffers or secret snowflake gifts. Create your own artwork, or find clip art online, and simply print them out on specialized temporary tattoo paper. It’s a fun way to spice up the holidays and pull a fast one on grandma.

What You Need


  • Temporary tattoo paper (we used this brand)
  • Digital art
  • Design software (Photoshop or software provided by paper company)


  • Color printer
  • Water
  • Washcloth
  • Scissors
  • Burnishing tool ( a spoon works great!)


1. This first step is the most time consuming, as it requires quite a bit of surfing around the web for art and/or creating your very own one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Once you’ve collected the art you’d like to use, you can create your template in a few different ways. I made a new document in photoshop by choosing “US Letter” which comes out to be 8.5″x 11″ at 300 pixels/inch. I then created multiple layers by dragging all the images I wanted to print onto the sheet, arranging them until they all fit perfectly.

If you don’t want to mess around with Photoshop, most temporary tattoo paper companies will provide free downloadable templates to use, just check the back of the package for download instructions and you’re on your way.

2. My packet came with two sheets of thick, white temporary tattoo paper, and two adhesive sheets stuck to green film. The white glossy paper is what you’ll send through the printer, face up. Wait until the ink has dried completely before moving on to the next step.

3. Remove the adhesive sheet from the green film and press it firmly over the printed designs, starting from the top and working your way to the bottom. Work carefully as the adhesive will cling to anything it touches.

4. Transfer the adhesive from from the top sheet to the white paper using a burnishing tool such as a wooden spoon, popsicle stick, or scraper tool. It’s only necessary to burnish over the designs, don’t worry about the negative space.

5. Cut each design from the sheet, then go back and cut around each design in detail, leaving as little negative space as possible. The area with a design does a great job of masking the film that transfers to your skin, but any space that doesn’t have a printed design (significant space around your tattoo) will show up and look kind of filmy. Definitely not rock ‘n roll.

6. Apply the tattoo to your skin by pressing it face down (paper side up) and holding it in place with a wet cloth for 20-25 seconds. Once set, the paper backing will slide off easily.