DIY Destination Art

You might remember a little while ago Anna from Angel in The North shared her fab modern china DIY with you all. Today she is back with a brilliant tutorial on how to create your own DIY destination print. It’s a thoughtful idea for a first anniversary or as a gift for friends who have moved house or are getting married, plus it’s budget friendly.

Over to you Anna!

I made this ‘destination print’ for my brother and his wife when they bought their first house recently.

Their travels together, whether for work or holidays, are a big part of their history. For example, they spent an incredible couple of months working together on a project in New Zealand, my brother proposed in Sardinia and they were married at Trinity Chapel, Dublin.

They’d also moved around a lot in London, all the time saving up to buy a place of their own. When they finally achieved that milestone, I wanted to give them a gift that was a fitting reminder of their journey, and to make it even more personal I decided I would make it myself.

And I was pretty pleased with the outcome – as were they, thankfully. In fact my sister-in-law said she’d been admiring similar things online and, before I told her otherwise, she thought I’d bought it. Result!

I used Microsoft Publisher but you can use any programme that allows you to create text of different sizes. Start with a blank document and set up your page as A3 size.

The background should be set as black and your text white. The font I used – the most like London transport typography I could find – was Gill Sans.

As you can see the font is of different sizes – the most important thing is that each line is full from left to right. Your text will vary in height, and you can make some lines bold, but you should try and keep the space between the lines even.

As you can see, my print has 11 lines of text.

I found the easiest and neatest way of adding the text was to create a text box going from one side of the page to the other, before writing your text inside. You can either play around, increasing and decreasing the size of your text and text box, or highlight the text and use ‘autofit’, which can be found in the format menu.

I chose to list special places and events between my brother and his wife, but I also added in the title of their first dance at their wedding, ‘Here Comes The Sun.’ It fitted in quite nicely just above their sun-soaked honeymoon destinations.

But the text can be anything at all that you want it to be.

When you’re happy with the design, print it off and then fit it in a black Ikea Ribba frame.

And there you have a handmade, personalised print which is a great gift to give for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. And the best thing, especially in these austere times, is that it only cost you a few quid and a bit of your time.

Thank you so much Anna! I love the strong typographical look to this print in black and white but you could also customise it with different fonts and a coloured background. Do let us know if you’ll be trying this DIY!


PS! Find Anna on her blog Angel in The North and on Twitter @Angel_In_North

Florence’s Florals: A DIY Terrarium

This month I’m moving away from the flowers and focusing on plants. Succulents and air plants have become very popular in the shop of recent, having been featured heavily on numerous blogs and in the interior magazines over the last year or so. I’ve even been asked to incorporate them in a wedding bouquet. The great thing about them is that they need very little care.

I know that Rebecca has shared her glass display dome with you on Twitter, and I thought I’d show you all how easy it is to create a long lasting and stylish display using a display dome, or even a kilner jar, to create your very own terrarium.

The closed nature of a terrarium creates an environment which is easy to control, and allows you to simulate anything from a desert to a rainforest environment for your chosen plants. The defining feature is that it is an enclosed replica of a natural environment which is in contact with the earth, so some sort of soil, sand, or rock must be present. Typically, the container is clear, allowing an unobstructed view of the contents. If you opt for a closed top terrarium, it tends to be warmer and more humid, while open-topped terrariums are cooler so choose your plants accordingly.

What you’ll need:

  • A clear glass container eg. a fishbowl, a storage jar (with or without the lid), or even a regular vase will work.
  • A selection of plants – I used an Echeveria and two types of Sedum. Plants that don’t need much water are good choices eg. Orchids, Aloes, Echeveria, Sedum. Ferns work well but require more watering and misting to create more of a rainforest environment.
  • Gravel
  • Moss – I used Spanish moss (Tillandsia) which is a dry moss. Don’t use a damp carpet moss around the base of succulent plants as the moisture will rot the leaves.

What to do:

  1. Place the gravel at the bottom of your container to ensure if you do over water, there’s plenty of good drainage to keep the roots from getting waterlogged.
  2. Create a well in the centre of the gravel where you will place your plants so that most of the compost is hidden from view at the edges of the container.
  3. Knock off some of the compost from around the base of each plant and plant them into the well you’ve created, using some of the excess compost and more gravel to fill in any holes.
  4. Dress the top of the soil and gravel with moss.
  5. Admire!

To keep your display alive, drizzle or spray with water very sparingly. You never want to see a layer of water sat at the bottom of the container.

Please do let me know if you’re going to give this a try and of course just shout if you have any questions.

Becky xx

DIY Make up – Flick Chic

This morning we have a real treat for you. Remember the DIY make up tutorials I shared a while back? Well, this is the final look that Catherine and I put together on the day Zoe also shot Mahj doing the vampy dark lip, me wearing a Disco eye and Laura also rocking a seventies Farrah-esque look. Today’s chic homage to the sixties but with a decidedly modern take, happens to be not only trend led but infinitely classic, whether paired with sixties style fashion or just because you love it.

I happen to think Laura looks gorgeous and after all my full-on lip-love this week, I’m seriously fancying a sixties look for #PenDo this weekend now. Bring it on girls! But for now I’ll hand you over to Catherine (from Ivy Clara make up) to tell you how it’s done…

Autumn’ 11 saw the sixties vibe swinging down every catwalk, and as we enter Spring’12 it shows no signs of stopping. Mary Quant, Jane Birkin and Twiggy were amongst the women iconic for fashion and beauty during the 60’s and along with them came thick black eyeliner, fake lashes and backcombed hair. This look makes reference to the sixties but in a more wearable fashion. Less matte, more natural but still as striking.

For me, Spring means ‘fresh’ so begin by using a base that provides good coverage but lets your skin be seen. A particular favourite of mine is Invisible Radiance Foundation by Daniel Sandler. Inside the lid is a concealer which can be mixed with the foundation to provide extra coverage only where needed. Blend using a foundation brush starting at the centre of your face and working outwards. Go back in with the concealer under the eye, gently patting with your finger. This will brighten up the whole eye area. Next tidy up the eyebrows by using a brow gel for a natural effect. I used Anastasia brow gel in Brunette which comes in 5 shades.

  • To ensure the eye makeup stays put, use your fingers to apply a base coat of cream eyeshadow in a light colour. The mac paint pots are ideal for this and a particular favourite of mine is the shade ‘Painterly’. Use a finger to blend it all over your lid up to the crease.
  • Next, take a light shade of powder eyeshadow and use a brush to press the powder into the cream base. In the sixties, the finish of the eyeshadow was very matte but for a modern take I have used a satin eye shadow with some subtle sheen. Here I used ‘Naked Lunch’ by Mac.

  • To create the ‘Twiggy’ vibe just build up colour through the socket keeping the eye lid bare. Use a small brush to do this for precision and flick the colour out slightly at the outer corner of the socket.
  • To soften the line, take a small fluffy brush and gently blend upwards to soften the line. Be careful not to over buff as this look relies on the line remaining quite strong but with a diffused finish
  • To create the trade mark top line, take a gel eyeliner and a slanted brush. Use your non dominant hand to pull the skin on your eyelid taut and then your dominant hand to hold the brush. It is best to draw the line in segments instead of attempting one continuous line. Begin where your eyebrow arch starts and sweep along the lash line until you reach the outer corner of the eye. Then take the brush further towards the corner of the eye and again sweep along the lash line until you reach the beginning of the previous segment. You can then go over the line and taper it out so it is thicker towards the outer corner and add the all important flick to the outer corner. A fantastic eyeliner is Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner.

  • Curl the lashes and add a couple of generous coats of mascara. I decided to keep the lower lashes bare to keep the focus on the lid and top line. After applying mascara add some fluttery eyelashes to complete the eyes. For the sixties feel I used Eyelure Naturalites Volume Plus Lashes ( 101 ).
  • To add a gorgeous natural sheen of colour to the apples of the cheeks I used a cream blusher to provide a healthy flush without adding powder to the skin keeping the look sheer. Here I used Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Creme Rouge blusher in ‘Soft Peach’. This is best applied to the apples of the cheeks while smiling! Pat onto the skin, in a circular pattern building up the colour gradually.
  • Lastly finish the makeup look by adding a lightly coloured gloss to the lips. The look for the lips is bare to ensure the eyes take centre stage. I used Lancome Colour Fever Gloss in Tangerine Petal.

  • To complete the overall look, a high messy bun is perfect. Spray the hair with dry shampoo to thicken and backcomb your hair at the roots. Use a natural bristled brush to smooth into a high pony tail and secure with a hair band.
  • Backcomb the pony tail further until extremely ‘full’ then smooth out the top section with a natural bristled brush. Next wrap the hair around the base of the pony tail to create a ‘messy’ bun and secure with hair pins.

Foundation: Daniel Sandler Invisible radiance foundation and concealer
Brow gel: Anastasia
Mac paint pot: Painterly
Light powder eyeshadow: MAC Naked Lunch
Gel eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Gel Liner
False Lashes: Eylure
Blusher: Daniel Sandler Watercolour Creme Rouge

With thanks to:
Laura for being a willing real-girl model 🙂
Catherine of Ivy Clara make up for her immense make-up talent (check her out planning brides!)
and Zoe Hodson for spending the day taking pictures of us all.

So then guys, lets hear you, what do you think. Is this a look you love and will you be trying it?

Big Fluttering Retro love,

The Bulb Diary

Ok, so, first things first, this mornings post isn’t going to be everybody reading’s cup of tea. If I’m honest, (and a few people will attest to this after I bent their ears!) my biggest fear with Florence Finds was that it’s diversity would be it’s downfall. I worried that fashionable types might not be interested in (or indeed lucky enough to have) a garden, or that DIY queens and interiors fanatics may not want to hear about make-up.

Actually I should be ashamed of myself for stereotyping women… I am this diverse, why shouldn’t the rest of you be?

So before we get started, this is a plea, if ever you don’t really fancy something I’ve posted, it’s only a few hours away from being something new and I will always try to vary the content, so please come back!

This post was inspired by 2 things. Firstly, my friend Jess bought some spring bulbs recently to plant in her new garden and amongst them were some tulips, which she planned to plant immediately. This was the end of September and it occurred to me that perhaps not everybody knew that Tulips are in fact planted in November. Secondly, the lovely Eliza Claire specifically requested some gardening tips, as have a few others of you and this is seasonal, so lets get started.

The first thing you need to know is that (although I’m about to tell you something to the contrary,) gardening is not science and should just be about enjoying your efforts. So if you buy various bulbs and just bung them in whenever, they will grow, do not fear! You might get a few popping up at unexpected times but come the next spring they will have reset themselves and be just fine.

However, if you’re going to go to all that trouble, this post is to help you get the best out of them. Planting things when they should be planted and the proper way, gives them the best start possible and you the prettiest flowers announcing the arrival of spring. Like I said, there are no rules, so just consider these ‘tips’. 🙂

Tip Number 1.
Most bulbs you buy will have instructions but when you get around to planting your bulbs, the way you do it is quite important… possibly the most important thing. As a rough rule of thumb, each bulb should be planted at double to three times their own depth. So small bulbs like crocuses or snowdrops don’t need to go in so deep, and bigger ones like daffodils and tulips need quite a bit more depth.

If you plant them too shallowly they will come up early and won’t get their roots in to stop them blowing over in spring gales and too deep and they won’t be reach out of the soil, but there’s less danger of that.

Tip Number 2.
Plant them the right way up! Most bulbs are quite obvious in their shape… look at the bulb and you’ll see they have a ‘pointier’ end (you might even be able to see remnants of the dried up leaves or new shoots poking through) and a flatter end (again where you will possibly see dried roots.) It’s easy, plant them nose up or they will have great difficulty reaching the surface. If you’re really not sure which is up and down, go sideways and they should still come up!

Tip Number 3.
Plant them at the right time… here’s a rough guide, think about the time of year they flower and count backwards. Early flowering bulbs like snowdrops and crocus need to go in earlier and tulips later, which can flower right into may and June.
September-October = Snowdrops, Crocus, Hyacinths
November-December = Tulips
Daffodils can go in as early as August/September (I know, I’m a little late writing this, but bung them in anyway!)

Lastly… Dig the right hole. Dig a wide hole and plant several bulbs at once to create ‘drifts’ of colour. To get them looking really natural plant in groups of odd numbers and plant them where they fall when you drop a handful rather than spacing them equally. Make sure the bottom of the bulb is in contact with the soil rather than wedged down a hole with an air bubble beneath, and water them in after putting the soil back, taking care not to knock them over.

So that’s it. An idiots guide to planting bulbs and growing your own beautiful spring display. And if you don’t have a garden, try it in pots, you can even grown them indoors 🙂

Are you working on your green fingers?


Image Credits R-L from top: (All found via Pinterest)
Snowdrops in Vase and Hyacinths in tin cans;
Grape Hyacinth mood board and Hyacinth bulbs;
Crocus Bulbs;
Crocus teacup and Rustic Table setting;
White Tulips

25 Ways to Tie a Scarf…

I know – really – how many ways do you need to tie a scarf, right?

Well, even if you’re not a scarf addict (I was been slowly becoming obsessed with these through last winter and am looking forward to adding to and wearing my collection as the days get colder…) you have to watch this video, just to marvel at the amazing post production and editing.

And if you ever wondered how those stylish types manage to drape their scarves soooo artfully, then wonder no more. Here’s how:

What’s your favourite?


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