Life Lately

Scarborough sea front - Beak Up Crafts

Things have been pretty busy lately so I thought I would share a bit of an update about what’s been going on and what we’ve been up to in the last few weeks.

At the start of the month Wayne and I went to a wedding at Grays Court in York, which despite the heavy storms the night before, took place in blistering hot sunshine. My shade-hopping tactics paid off, though, and I somehow managed not to get burnt! The garden at the venue was lovely. We went to a wedding of two friends there last year too which you can read about here (and check out just how lovely the garden is!). Here’s a picture of me, Wayne and bump from the day.

Wayne and I at the wedding - Beak Up Crafts

We also finished off building our nursery furniture and all we need to do is put a couple of shelves up and add in a few decorative bits and pieces. I’m hoping to share a post on our finished nursery soon so watch this space.

Wayne and I also had a trip to Scarborough for the first of the summer’s cricket festivals in the seaside town. We watched the opening two days of Yorkshire’s County Championship match against Worcestershire and generally relaxed and filled our faces. It was really nice to get away for a couple of days.

Scarborough - Beak Up Crafts Scarborough Cricket ground - Beak Up Crafts Feet on a bench - Beak Up Crafts The harbour in Scarborough - Beak Up Crafts

In good news, Wayne got a well-deserved promotion at work and treated himself to a new car. Well, I say himself but I’m sure I’ll be driving it a bit when baby comes! I also sold my house in Leeds which is a real weight off my mind and not only allows us to consolidate and do some home improvements but it will make things much easier when I’m on maternity leave. It’s been a bit stressful but all worth it now!

Oh and if you missed it I finished my new baby blanket too. You can read more about that, get the pattern and the colour chart here.

Blanket-in-the-cotbed---Beak-Up-Crafts

All in all it’s been a bit of a busy month! I hope you’ve had a good one too. Here’s to a hopefully sunny and productive August!

Lots of summer love,

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A Change in Focus

Planning - a Beautiful Mess planner and stationery

One of the things I love about blogging is that you can write about anything and everything you want, whenever you want.

One of the things I don’t love about blogging is that sometimes having a schedule of three posts a week on a few key themes can feel a bit restrictive. Like you have to treat blogging as a second job to make sure you get your content created and up to scratch. Which can be a bit of a pain.

If you read my blog regularly (hello and thank you!) or stop by to see my snaps on Instagram then you’ll know already that I’m expecting my first baby which is due in October. It’s a really exciting (if a bit nerve-wracking) time and I’m not so unrealistic as to think that I’m going to be able to continue my blogging seamlessly at times during my pregnancy and when bubs finally arrives.

I started this blog as I wanted a creative outlet and I wanted to share both my ideas and things I had made to try and help and inspire other people. Crafting and making things in my adult years has reignited the creative side that I used to love when I was little and has had a really positive impact on my life and helped me through some tough times.

What I don’t want to happen over the next few months is the slow and then sudden realisation that I’ve started to hate this blog as I feel too restricted by thinking up, creating, writing, photographing and editing a DIY post each week and sticking to a three posts a week schedule. Plus I might want to write about some different things too which I’ve never written about before, like becoming a mum and the new stage of my life.

How-to-make-a-lined-woven-pouch---Beak-Up-Crafts

So what I’m saying is things might slowly start to change around here a bit and I hope you, my lovely readers, will understand. There might not be as many DIY posts (although I will still be making things and sharing them when I’m feeling A-OK) and I might sometimes talk about just how massive my belly is and my frustrations at not being able to see my feet anymore.

It’s still really important to me to help to promote indie businesses and small companies that make handmade goods so there will still be plenty of that.

But as things are changing I’ve decided not to put as much pressure on myself. My blogging schedule might slow down to one or two posts a week. I’ve had a think and decided I’m not going to Blogtacular this year, which I was really looking forward to, but now I don’t think I will be able to do any justice to all of the amazing advice and ideas I know I will get there due to things that are coming up. That does make me a bit sad as I’m not going to be able to meet lots of lovely bloggers I’ve talked to over email and social media but, well, money’s going to be a bit tighter and we will be able to buy things we really need for the baby with the cost of the ticket.

If there’s anything you would love to see me writing about please though, do let me know, or if there’s any DIYs you would like me to try/share. I guess while things are changing it’s as good a time as any to see if there’s anything you would like to see on these pink and grey pages! So don’t be shy, either drop me a comment below, tweet me @beakupcrafts, say hi on Instagram or you can send me an email at [email protected].

Anyway, I think I’ve blathered on for long enough now so I’ll let you get back to your cup of tea and biscuits.

Thanks for reading and lots of new adventures love,

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Birthday Week

Scarborough---Beak-Up-Crafts

Last week both Wayne and I celebrated our birthdays. Wayne turned 30 and I became a little bit older than that (boo), and we celebrated by taking a trip to the Yorkshire coast.

We stayed in Filey but had a day trip to Scarborough, which is where I took these snaps.

Ice-Cream---Beak-Up-Crafts Harbour-Bar-Ice-Creams---Scarborough---Beak-Up-Crafts

We were so lucky with the weather for early April, as the showers did one and gave way to beautiful sunshine (although it was still a bit chilly on some days). That didn’t stop ice cream from happening, but annoyingly I couldn’t have any of Harbour Bar’s finest whipped cones due to my baby-on-board status.

Signpost-at-cricket-club---Beak-Up-Crafts Scarborough-North-Bay---Beak-Up-Crafts Fishing-nets---Scarborough---Beak-Up-Crafts

The day we came home coincided with my birthday but we stopped in York on our way back and had afternoon tea at Betty’s followed by a lovely walk by the river. Then we went home and I had a snooze.

Afternoon tea at Betty's Cakes at Betty's Tea at Betty's York Minster

I hope you like my holiday photos. Have you been to Scarborough before? I would love to hear your favourite bits as we’re going back in July for the cricket festival.

Lots of birthday week love,

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Two Ways to Make a Shellac Manicure Last Longer

Shellac geometric nails cover up - Beak Up Crafts

Getting my nails done is still quite a recent thing for me as I’ve only been doing it for a year or so. I love how neat, well-manicured nails with a fab polish can just make your look so much more pulled together, even if like me you sometimes forget to brush your hair before leaving the house.

For years I painted my nails and got *so* frustrated when they chipped after about a day. That was until I discovered Shellac – now my lovely nail polish can last for up to three weeks with no chips. It’s like a miracle or something.

This all sounds great, but three weeks means regrowth, and something I discovered after a few Shellac treatments is that my nails apparently grow QUICKLY.

So how can you keep your manicure looking good while you wait for your next appointment? Fear not, as I’ve got two ways to hide the regrowth and give your manicure a new lease of life.

1. Geometric Cover Up

DIY Geometric Shellac Nails - Beak Up Crafts

This takes a steady hand but you can cheat with washi tape!

What You Need:

  • Nail varnish in a contrasting colour
  • Washi tape
  • Nail varnish remover
  • Cotton wool buds

How to Work it:

  1. If you’ve not got a steady hand then stick a strip of washi tape on each finger from one edge, just where the regrowth is starting to show. Stick it in a diagonal line.
    How to make geometric nails - Beak Up Crafts
  2. With your nail varnish, paint the area that’s still showing.
  3. Clean up any areas where you go onto your fingers with a cotton wool bud dipped into nail varnish remover.
  4. Carefully pull back off the tape and let your new nail varnish dry.

Now you’re set to work your new angular nails. They’re pretty cool I think.

2. Glitter Ombre

Glitter Ombre nails - Beak Up Crafts

This is so easy to do and instantly hides your nails’ regrowth while mixing up your manicure with a bit of sparkle.

What You Need:

  • Clear nail varnish/top coat
  • A small brush
  • Glitter in one or two shades

How to Work it:

  1. Paint the bottom half of your nail with the clear nail varnish/top coat and let it dry for a minute or so.
  2. Dip your brush in the glitter and dab it onto your nails. Mix it up by using two shades of glitter for an even more ombre look.
  3. Let the nail varnish dry then add another layer over the top to seal in the glitter.

That’s it – sparkle and shine with your new ombre glitter look.


So what do you think? Are you a fan of Shellac or gel manicures? Have you got any other ideas or tips for making your manicure last for longer? I would love to hear them!

Lots of pretty nail love,

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{Keeping it Real} Sunshine Wednesday

Poolside---Beak-Up-Crafts

Wayne and I went to Tenerife last month for a bit of much-needed winter sun. (You might have seen a few photos over on my Instagram feed).

I thought it would be good to share a few snaps of somewhere sunny – but with a cautionary tale.

Palm-leaf---Beak-Up-Crafts Blue-mosaic-pool-tiles---Beak-Up-Crafts

You see, even though these photos show a sunny and tropical destination, with bright blue skies, a dazzling pool and the obligatory palm trees, the reality wasn’t quite like that.

Yes, we did get a morning like this, and the sun also came out for an afternoon later in the week.

But what these pictures don’t show is the six other days of grey sky, quite chilly temperatures and the worst weather Tenerife has seen in February for 16 years. Oh, and I had Norovirus for three days at the end of the holiday and had a far from lovely time being sick and, er, well you can imagine the rest.

Blue-sky-and-palm-trees---Beak-Up-Crafts

So why am I telling you all this? Well I think it serves as a good reminder that not everything everyone shares online is the full story. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all fun in their own way but from time to time I reckon it’s wise to remember that everyone only ever shares the best bits.

No-one wants to see a photo of me hunched over a toilet or dreary snaps of a deserted pool – and I can totally understand why – but I sometimes end up comparing myself with others online (which as we know is the thief of joy for the digital age) and it’s good to remember that sometimes things aren’t actually like that in real life.

So there you go. We won’t be going back to Tenerife any time soon and I can confirm that being sick on holiday really is no fun.

Lots of keeping it real love,

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What the first Year of Marriage has taught me

Just married! - Beak Up Crafts

It’s not often that I write a really personal blog post as I’m not sure who will be interested and generally don’t know where to start. But here goes.

One year ago today, Wayne and I said our “I dos” and I can’t believe that it’s been a year since we got married.

Wedding-day-first-look---Kate-and-Wayne---Beak-Up-Crafts Wedding-ceremony---Rudding-Park---Beak-Up-Crafts Just-married---Beak-Up-Crafts

Our first anniversary got me thinking about what being married means to me and the things I’ve learned in my first year as a married woman.

  • The word ‘wife’ is weird and takes some getting used to. My husband Wayne hates the word but I secretly love it!
  • Calling your fella your ‘husband’ for the first time makes you feel like a bit of an imposter. I mean, how old does that sound?
    Wedding-ceremony-laughs---Beak-Up-Crafts
  • One of the best things about being married is that you have a team mate who will stick up for you (but equally tell you when you’re in the wrong) and vice-versa. It’s nice to have someone who has got your back all of the time.
  • And on that note, things definitely feel different as a married couple. More solid and secure.
    Kate-and-Wayne-wedding-outside---Beak-Up-Crafts
  • Saying that, mostly things are the same. Same but different.
  • You get a new name too (if you want to). I love my married surname so much and some people have even said it makes me sound posh! Not so sure about that, but it’s nice to start your own little family unit.
  • Hugs are always on tap, which is brilliant.
    Wedding-ceremony-laughs---Beak-Up-Crafts Wedding-hair---Beak-Up-Crafts Just-married-excitement---Beak-Up-Crafts
  • You can play to each other’s strengths and take the pressure off. For example, Wayne is brilliant in the kitchen while I’m better at sorting finances, so we work with that.
  • It’s not all great, though. Sometimes you’ve just got to accept that shoes need a little bit of help to find the shoe rack.
  • Things are just easy and relaxed. I guess that comes from security and getting on so well with each other.

Wedding-breakfast-kiss---Beak-Up-CraftsWe’re heading back to Rudding Park Hotel where we got married for an anniversary meal tonight and I can’t wait!

Lots of first anniversary love,

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{Keeping It Real} What’s Inside My Handbag?

bag

I’m a proper nosey so-and-so and I LOVE those features you sometimes see when you get a peek inside someone’s handbag.

Well, today in the second part of my {Keeping It Real} series I’m going to share what’s inside my leopard print bag (above). Instead of showing you only the ‘cool’ things I carry in my handbag (or introducing the odd thing that’s not really in there to make myself more hip) I’m going to show you real the contents of my bag, warts and all.

So here we go. On an average day, my bag contains:

Inside my bag

  • My gold glittery bird-covered diary (very professional, obviously)
  • Car keys (including a two-year old and pretty fuzzy Wimbledon tennis ball keyring)
  • A cola Chupa Chups lolly
  • A media pass for the 2014 cricket season
  • Two hair bands
  • Throat pastilles
  • Some pink sunglasses (fake Ray Bans from Tenerife)
  • One ear plug
  • Some old letters
  • A payslip
  • Beak Up Crafts business cards
  • Business cards from people who went to The Blogcademy with me (yep, they are still in my bag!)
  • A bag of neon loom bands
  • My purse (bought while on honeymoon in Malaysia)
  • A mini tub of Vaseline
  • Two Aloe Vera tins of Vaseline (because obviously you can never have enough!)
  • Earphones
  • An incomplete McDonald’s coffee loyalty card
  • A tube timetable
  • A Cath Kidston mini umbrella
  • A pack of tissues
  • My work pass
  • A blue biro
  • An IKEA pencil
  • iPhone charging cable
  • Extra Sugar Free mints
  • A teaspoon (no idea)
  • A box of plasters

So there you go! No wonder I can never find anything in there and now I know why it weighs so much!

Have you ever dared to share the real contents or your handbag or is it very much a private no-go zone?

Lots of handbag love,

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{Keeping It Real} Life Outside of the Instagram Square

Is Life becoming one big highlights reel?

Social media can be brilliant but it can also be such a drain. I love it but hate it at the same time and I’m sure I can’t be alone in feeling like that. It lets you share amazing stuff but can also fall into the territory of one-upmanship, attention seeking and showing off.

This got me thinking and I decided it would be good idea to show a more ‘real’ side of me, away from the styled pictures and my attempts at witty Twitter updates and Facebook statuses. With that in mind, this post is going to be part of a new monthly featured called {Keeping it Real} where I take a step back from the quest for online perfection that we all seem to be on these days (whether we admit it or not!) and tell you how things really are with me. I’m a bit nervous about it, but hey, blogging is all about putting yourself out there and pushing the boundaries so here we go.

I’ll be upfront and say I’m not a huge fan of Facebook and only went back on there recently so I could have a page for this blog. I could write you a big long list of the reasons why I don’t like it (maybe another day) but suffice to say I wouldn’t lose any sleep if it didn’t exist when I woke up tomorrow. I love Instagram, though. It’s my favourite of all the social networks and I love scrolling through the hundreds of pretty pictures that pop up in my feed, even if it is now too owned by Facebook! *shakes fist*

However it occurred to me the other day that maybe I was falling into the trap of liking the likes too much. While Instagram is brilliant and helps to bring out people’s creativity and bring them together (I absolutely love #craftyaugust so much for this reason), it can become dangerously close to being a big highlights reel of your highly-curated life. Not that there’s anything wrong with that as such, as it’s nice to post beautiful pictures. But then again, comparison is the thief of joy and all that, and sometimes if you’re feeling low it’s easy to look at someone else’s Instagram feed and wish your house was as stylish, your holidays as exotic or your everyday life just as, well, cool.

I’m as guilty as anyone as only showing off the best bits, but I thought it would be interesting to show what exactly happens outside of the Instagram square when it’s not shown in a flattering filter.

Here’s what the real story is when I step outside of that 640 x 640 pixel range, along with the picture I actually posted. Here goes.

The Still Life shots

I really need a pedicure. And to tidy up those books.

Yeah, my desk is a mess…

Taking snaps for a review:

Meanwhile, at work (taken for a What I’m Doing Now post). I my defence, we hot desk at work, so the stuff in the background isn’t mine!

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The DIY Posts

Ok, so my desk is really messy. Although those books were there for the purpose of pressing flowers for paper lanterns I was making. Ahem.

A close-up leaves a lot out of the frame:

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The Holiday Snaps:

I ramped up this sunset:

And gave this pink palace some oomph:

While I played around with the filters to make this sunset a bit prettier:

The Sporty Pic:

A bit of cropping and twiddling in Afterlight made this picture of Louis Smith at the Commonwealth Games have a bit more pow.

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So does playing around with pictures make you a fraud or is it what everyone does now? Should we be showcasing our lives like this? I’m of the opinion that it’s great to share lovely photos, but maybe if you’re feeling a bit down or fragile then a stream of highly-edited and aspirational snaps on Instagram might not be the place for you until you’re feeling a bit perkier.

And to be honest, since taking these pictures the dining room table is a lot tidier now so that’s got to be a good thing, right?

Do you find yourself getting sucked into liking the likes too much? Do we all try to live the life of a constant highlights reel? Would you like to share the real story behind your Instagram pictures? Do you think social media has its downsides? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Lots of snap happy love,

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