Sunday, 10 May 2015

'Gine the aubergine: crochet pattern

aubergine eggplant crochet pattern
my first try at crochet amigurumi blog

'Gine is my first ever attempt at crochet. So what did I decide to make for my first project? An aubergine... oh yeah I did.

Josh and I decided not to get each other birthday presents this year, because we had only just returned from travelling on my birthday and we were a little short of both money and time. To make it fair, we said we'd do the same for Josh's birthday this year too. As happy as we both were with cards, friends, family and fun evenings - I still wanted to give something to Josh on his birthday. Instead of buying a present, I decided to make him something. So the obvious choice was his favourite vegetable (and emoji) - the aubergine!

I've wanted to learn how to crochet for ages, so this was the perfect starter project. I found the free aubergine crochet pattern here (via the wonderful platform that is Pinterest). I really enjoyed learning something new and creating this little cutie, so I've already started working on a few more crochet projects. The pattern was easy to follow and quick to create - it's so cool to see something developing right before your eyes.

Have you ever tried crochet? What was your first project? I'd love to find any amazing crochet/craft blogs or patterns, so please leave me your favourites in the comments!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Barry M - Daylight Curing Nail Paints

Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Varnish review
Barry M Sunset Daylight curing nail polish swatches

I recently won these Barry M Sunset Nail Paints in a competition on Twitter, it was such a lovely surprise to hear I'd won in the middle of a normal working day. I've had Shellac manicures before, so hearing that these polishes should look and last the same as salon polishes cured with a UV light intrigued me. Seeing as I'd been lucky enough to receive the full set, I thought I'd put them to the test and see if they're any replacement for expensive gel manicures.

Barry M recommend applying two thin layers of colour followed by a layer of the daylight curing topcoat. I followed instructions, but found that the two thin layers did not leave my nails as opaque as I would like, so added a third layer to create a more solid shade. I found that the layers dried really quickly, which is great for me, as I'm pretty impatient when painting my nails.

I love the vibrant colours in the range. For my first mani I chose Peach for the Stars, the bright coral pink shade, second from left in the top photo. It's a beautiful shade and leaves a really high shine, much like a Gelish or Shellac salon manicure, as well as a super smooth finish.

I've heard a couple of comments about chipping with these polishes. I found that they lasted well for a couple of days - even doing the washing up - but then started to chip around the edges following that. So they're not quite as long lasting as they may claim, or as long as a salon manicure, but for a five pound polish - they're not too bad. I love the super smooth, shiny finish they give - and if that chips after a couple of days, then that's okay with me.