My Uni room tour!

 

Hey guys! First things first, I have to apologise if I don’t seem like my usual cheery self in this post. It’s been one of those days and I’m just starting to come down with a cold, but I didn’t want to leave you with no post today! 🙂 Today was also my first day back at University- I know, I know, we start sooooo late here!– so it’s safe to say I’m feeling pretty frazzled.

But now to what this post is about! Today’s post is my uni room tour (‘Wow, really Maddie? We’d never have guessed- it’s not like you called it that!’). This is my second year living in student halls, and I have had a room like this for both years. Seeing as I’m incredibly nosey curious and LOVE looking at people’s accommodation and housing, I figured some of you may be interested in seeing what kind of accommodation I live in while at University, and also how I choose to decorate my room while I’m here.

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You can see pretty much all of my room on this photo. I am stood near the entrance, and to my right is a small wet room consisting of a toilet, sink and shower. I also have to apologise for the terrible quality of these photos! The lighting made it really difficult to get a good shot- sorry! This photo also gives you a good idea of the amount of storage I have in my room. I’m very lucky to have a lot of shelving over my desk-something that is very much necessary for a crafter! I also keep all my folders and textbooks up here. You can also see three drawers: one for hair products and styling equipment, one for makeup and one for underwear. Then there’s also my wardrobe; it’s a double wardrobe with plenty of space for my clothes and shoes; it also has a large shelf at the top where I keep all my cleaning equipment and an over night suitcase for when I go home for the weekend.

As you can see, I have a single bed against the wall featuring a quilt that I made last summer. I am incredibly proud of this quilt! It took me months to complete it but I love how it looks; on a side note it also washes really well! You have probably also noticed the abundance of blankets on the end of my bed- I get super chilly during winter, and seeing as the heating is turned off over night I find it best to wrap up!

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The paintings behind the bed are my own work, acrylic on canvas. I haven’t really mentioned it much on my blog before, but I love to paint. You’ll probably spot a few more of my paintings dotted about as you look through the other photos. I love having my paintings up at uni, as it makes my room feel like home!

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I always have a vase on my windowsill, although sadly it is not always filled with flowers! I keep it here for the occasions when Jason brings me flowers, and I also sometimes buy my own to brighten up my room a bit.

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My record player is probably one of my favourite things in my room, it’s a bright orangey-red Crosley make. I love vintage style and music, and it’s so relaxing to be able to have my records playing while I work at my desk. My vinyl collection is stored just above it on the built in shelving.

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Behind my desk is a really large notice board that I can pin things to. I covered this with two posters as soon as I got here; a world map and a doctor who poster (I’m such a nerd). I pin my fairy lights up here too, just under my shelving.

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The wall next to my bed also has some of my paintings stuck up on it. I hate the colour of the walls at uni, it’s a really ugly off white, so it’s nice to add a bit of colour and personality to them.

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I would not be able to get by without my TV while I’m away at uni. I wouldn’t say that I’m a tele-addict, but having a spare hour to just relax and watch a tv show at the end of the day keeps my stress levels low. I study a very full on and (at least for me) challenging subject, and I think I’d really struggle without that downtime.

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Here’s the view from the other end of my room (left) and my ensuite (right): not quite as pretty as the window end, but it does give you an idea of how much space I have here, which I thought some of you would like to see. You also get a little sneak peak at some of my other paintings that I have tacked up on my ensuite door.

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So there you have it guys! What did you think? I actually really like my accommodation here at uni. I’m very lucky to have an ensuite, and I love making my room feel like home by adding all my little finishing touches. My paintings and my posters are probably the most important things for me here, as they make my room feel much more personal.

Would you guys like to see more like this post? Let me know! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will be back on Wednesday with a new travel post- so keep your eyes peeled!

Best wishes to you all,

Maddie x

 

Teeny Tiny Stationary Haul

Stationary Haul!

Hello friends! So the other day Jason and I went on a bit of a shopping spree in Manchester. I had the BEST time- I haven’t had the chance to visit Manchester in a few months and I always enjoy myself when I spend time there. If you’ve never been to Manchester, I strongly recommend that you make time to visit this magnificent city. For me, Manchester is the hub of the North West, and offers some of the best shopping in the entire North of England. I could easily blow my entire savings by spending a day eating, drinking and shopping in the city centre.

While we were there I purchased some much needed new clothes (blog post coming soon- don’t worry!), and some stationary from Paperchase. Sidenote: I’m not sure if Paperchase is an international brand, so some of you guys may not have heard of it. It’s basically just a stationary shop, but it has some of the most gorgeous diaries and pens and scrapbooks I’ve ever seen! You should check it out.

Something you probably didn’t know about me is that I am a stationary fanatic. I LOVE the stuff. When that time of year comes around again when I need to purchase some new school supplies, I practically leap with excitement. For me, very few things are as satisfying as a new notebook with fresh, empty pages just waiting to be filled.

But enough about my love affair with stationary items. While we were in Manchester I purchased this gorgeous llama notepad, shown below. (I couldn’t find this on the Paperchase website anymore sadly! I’m not sure if it’s sold out. I did however find this beautiful notepad, which is pretty similar and equally as gorgeous).P1230221

I’ve been wanting a nice notepad since starting this blog, as I thought it’d be a good idea to have somewhere where I can write down all my ideas for blog posts and recipes in one place! After much deliberation- they have soooo many beautiful notepads- I finally settled on this one. I love the embossed feel to the front cover, and it feels so sturdy! I’ll be able to throw this little guy in my satchel and go, without worrying about it getting bent or ripped.P1230220

Plus, it’s just adorable isn’t it? Everybody loves a llama.

As well as my notepad, I purchased this super cute writing set. While I’m away at university I love to write to my grandparents; they don’t have the internet so it’s really nice to be able to keep in touch through our letters. I also love the whole thing of letter writing; sitting down and taking the time to write about my week is a much more thoughtful method of communication compared to just sending a text. Even now when I receive a new letter in the post from my grandparents, I get little twinges of excitement in my stomach.P1230223

This writing set came with 30 beautifully printed sheets of paper and 15 matching envelopes, along with some labels. I love how it’s a little drawer! It’s so lovely.

I also got a great birthday card, but I can’t share that with you incase the person reads this blog! I’ll be sure to show you after the birthday though, because it is so adorable!

Anyway, that’s all folks, at least on the stationary front. I told you it was a teeny tiny haul! But I hope you enjoyed it.

Have you been buying any stationary recently? Do you share my weird obsession? Let me know!

Hugs to you all,

Maddie x

One month of blogging!

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Wow, that went fast! A Little Mad Smith is one month old today (can we get a hip hip hooray?) and I just wanted to share a little post to say thank you so much to all my lovely followers and readers of this blog. Your support over this past month has meant the world to me- I am over the moon to see that my blog has been received with so much love all over the world! I never would’ve thought that people in hometown would have been at all interested in my craft projects and recipes, let alone people on the other side of the globe! So thank you to all who have shared, liked and commented on my posts, and thank you, yes you, for taking the time to read this.

I hope I can continue to produce content that you find interesting, entertaining and inspiring. I already have a thousand crafty ideas and tasty recipes that I am dying to get stuck into and share with you all in the near future, so I do hope you stick around!

As a little celebration of our one month birthday, I’ve put together some of my favourite posts from over the past four weeks. I hope you can find something that inspires you to get crafty and try something new!

Fabric Flowers DIY– This is one of my favourite mini sewing projects of all time. I love the vintage look of these and they’re a great method of using up excess fabric. I also think that they make a beautiful addition to any handbag.

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DIY Photo Holders- This DIY was a super simple project that produced great results! And all you need is a pebble, some paint and a bit of wire. What could be better?

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Peanut butter and Chocolate Cupcakes- I cannot describe to you how good these tasted, but believe me when I say, they were goooood. Like, seriously, you need to try these.

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DIY Patchwork cushion cover– This beautiful DIY is a great project for those wanting to try out patch working, and its a great way of using up scraps of fabric. I love how this turned out.

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Domino’s style cookiesThe inspiration behind this bake was my favourite fast food cookies. Served warm, these soft squishy cookies are truly divine. Why not give them a try?

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DIY painted glass lanterns– This DIY is a great project for the kids to get involved with. A great way of using up excess jars, my DIY glass lanterns are the perfect addition to any evening garden party.

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Drawstring bag DIY– Drawstring bags are so useful and so versatile! My drawstring bag DIY gives a simples method for making your own drawstring bag that can easily be adapted into a child’s PE kit bag ready for back to school.

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Well there you have it guys, just a selection of some of my favourite blog posts from over this past month. I hope you enjoy them if you didn’t see them first time round, and please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see up on the blog over this next month! In the meantime, remember that there’s plenty of other projects to keep you busy in the craft and food sections of my blog- why not have a look?

I’m always looking for new ideas and crafty inspiration.

Hugs and best wishes to you all,

Maddie x

 

DIY tassels

 

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Happy Friday! How are we all today? Looking forward to the weekend I expect. If you’re looking for some crafty inspiration for over your days off, look no further than my DIY tassels! I got this idea from a recent post over on KelleysDIY, where Linda had put together a post all about craft ideas for teens. If you haven’t visited her blog before, I strongly recommend that you go and check it out! There’s some fantastic craft ideas that are sure to inspire and entertain people of all ages.

But anyway, in the post there were a good few ideas involving tassels. And that got me thinking about making my own. I’ve never made tassels but I thought- how hard can it be? Well, the answer to that would be not very hard at all. It’s actually pretty easy in fact. I will say however that my first attempt at my tassel was not exactly the prettiest tassel in all the world, but I soon got into the swing after that.

It turns out that tassel-making is oddly addictive; it required quite a lot of self discipline to stop myself from churning out tassels all afternoon. But aren’t they just so damn cute?! I only had a small selection of yarn to hand, but I think these would’ve worked great with embroidery thread for a finer, more delicate tassel. They’d also look great with some beads added on, or maybe a contrasting colour yarn to make the head.

Interested in making your own? Find my step by step instructions below!

You will need:

  • Yarn, thread, string or similar
  • Scissors
  • A piece of cardboard or similar (this is to wrap your tassel around)

So what do you do?

  1. Your cardboard should be double the length you wish your finished tassel to be. Wrap your yarn tightly around the cardboard as shown. The thickness of this will be half the thickness of your finished tassel. I wrapped mine until it was about three quarters of an inch wide.
  2. Slide your yarn off the cardboard so you have a loop. Place about a 5″ piece of yarn around the centre of this loop and tie it in a knot.  1.-2.png
  3. Bring the two loose ends of the centre yarn up and the two ends of the loop down. Now you need to make a head for your tassel. Using an approximately 10″ piece of yarn, create a loop in one end. Place the loop on the tassel and hold in place with your thumb.
  4. Wrap the end of the yarn without the loop around the top of the tassel tightly. This will create the head that you can see on my tassels. When you are happy that this has been wrapped around enough, thread the loose end of the yarn through the loop and pull to secure.3.-2.png
  5. Cut through the loops at the bottom of the tassel to create the skirt. You can now tie your tassel to your creations using the two loose threads at the top!

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There you have it! From experience, it might seem a little bit tricky on your first attempt, but once your get into the swing of it it’s really easy! I feel I’m going to be churning out a lot more tassels in the near future.

Have you got anything crafty planned for the weekend? Let me know!

Best wishes to you all,

Maddie.

 

Packing for university

Packing for University

Leaving home and going to university is probably one of the biggest life changes you’ll face in your teenage years. It’s now fast approaching that time of year again; I’m sure some of my readers will know someone who’s starting uni (or college) this Autumn- or maybe it’s you! If so, congratulations!

For those who aren’t aware, I’m a second year student at Lancaster University, England. I study Theoretical Physics with Mathematics, and live in student halls.

Soooo, I was thinking that some of you might be interested in hearing about my experiences from over the past year and what I’ve learnt. I plan on doing a series of posts all about student advice, what I wish I’d known and insights into other areas of student life- is that something you guys would be interested in?  Today’s blog post is the first of the lot- my tips on Packing for University.

 

  1. Pack your creature comforts! – This is probably the most important piece of advice I could give. Moving away from home for the first time can be quite a daunting experience, at least it was for me. I’m very much a home bird- I love my bed, my blankets, my candles, my tv. Basically, I love everything that makes home home. Now, I know packing space may be limited, but I cannot stress how important making room for your homely trinkets is. Whether it be ornaments, posters, a colourful throw- bring things that will make your dorm feel like your space. It’s so important to have a homely space where you can relax and be yourself.
  2. You’re not Gordon Ramsey – Let’s be real guys, how many of you are really going to use an electric whisk? Or one of those massive kitchen knives that look like they’ve come out of a horror film? Or a garlic crusher? Leave it at home. It’s so easy to get carried away when purchasing your kitchen supplies for uni and accumulate enough to kit out a small kitchen. Don’t do it! Realistically, you’re not going to be cooking full, restaurant standard meals. I found that two saucepans, a frying pan, one good quality knife, a chopping board and a baking tray are enough to provide you with some good home cooked food without overdoing it. Your kitchen space is limited, and do you really have the cash to spare on a steel bread bin when you’re shopping on a student budget?
  3.  Don’t go hungry – A mistake most people make when moving into university is not taking any food with them for when they arrive. You’re probably not going to have chance to get to a supermarket on your first couple of days living in halls, so I always advise taking your bare basics with you to move in. I’m talking tea, coffee, biscuits, cereal. Get some snack food in so you don’t have to rush out to the nearest food store as soon as your stomach starts to rumble. I’m lucky enough to only live forty minutes away from Lancaster, so I also take chilled goods like milk and butter.
  4. Pack for the climate – Wardrobe space is limited in student halls. If you’re going to University in England or a similar climate, don’t pack summer dresses and shorts for your first term! Winter is coming (lol), so pack for it. Save space by only bringing clothes that are appropriate for the weather that you’ll be having that term. There’s no need to bring your whole wardrobe with you! You can rotate your clothes every time you go home to stay seasonal and sensible.

Well there you are guys, that’s my top four tips for packing for university. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please ask! I’m happy to help. Are you going to university this time? Let me know!

Hugs to you all,

Maddie.

 

 

 

DIY Hair Bow Tutorial

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Hey guys! I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Sunday and this post finds you well rested and ready for the working week ahead. I’m so tired today! I haven’t really done much at all, but sometimes I think that makes me even more tired- am I just weird or are you guys like that too? I’m much more of an active person, I love to be doing something all of the time- hence today’s blog post!

These are my DIY hair bows; a really quick and easy project for those of you who, like me, just have to be kept busy. Those who went to high school with me will probably remember a stage where I never would be seen without one of these perched on top of my head. I love this DIY, it requires no sewing machine and minimal sewing skills, uses up excess fabric and has a really cute, vintage vibe to it- don’t you think?

If you’re interested in making your own, find my step by step instructions below!

You will need:

  • Two rectangles of fabric, I used a 9″x4″ and a 4″x1.5″ piece
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Thread
  • A bobby pin

So what do you do?

  1. Fold over the two longer sides of your larger rectangle by half an inch and press into place with an iron as show. Do the same with your smaller rectangle. 1..png
  2. Do a loose hand stitch along the two shorter edges of your large rectangle and down the centre. This should be like a tacking stitch (basting to my American readers), so that when you pull the loose end of your thread the fabric gathers, as shown. Gather all three of these rows of stitches. Tip: if you are completely new to sewing, a good way of tying a knot in the end of your thread before stitching is wrapping the end of the thread around your thumb three times, then passing your threaded needle through the loop of thread on your thumb. Slide the thread off your thumb and pull tightly to create a knot.
  3. Fold one side of your large rectangle over into the centre and secure this down with a few hand stitches. When you are happy that this is secure enough, tie a knot by sewing through your last stitch. Snip the thread and then do the same to the other side of the rectangle. You can see the bow shape taking form now. 3.
  4. Wrap your smaller rectangle around the centre of your bow to cover up all the messy stitching in the centre. Do a few stitches in the back to secure this rectangle, before snipping the ends of the fabric off.
  5. Pass a bobby pin through the loop created by the small rectangle at the back of your bow. It can now be worn as a hair accessory! P1230141.jpg

I hope you all enjoyed this quick and easy tutorial! if you have a go at making your own hair bow, please be sure to show me! I’d love to see.

Also, don’t hesitate to ask if you’ve got any questions about this tutorial or any of my other DIYs, I’m happy to help 🙂

Best wishes,

Maddie x