T'was the night before Christmas...

The cards are all sent

The decorations are made

Presents are wrapped

The tree is ready

Time for my favourite breakfast,

before a day with the parents,
having Christmas Eve dinner at the hotel that this time next year will be my wedding reception,
a visit to my brother and sister-in-law for cheese and wine,
and a midnight service at Church.

It's the most wonderful time of year


What the mailman brought...

I love getting home from work to see there's post for me.
I've never grown out of being excited to open my mail...
Especially when I know something good is coming!

So when I saw a little parcel on my doormat with my name on from My Fabric House, I pretty much ran up the stairs so that I could open it and spread the contents everywhere!

Here's what I got...

I ordered a "Flower Power" fabric pack... consisting of 10 squares of fabric measuring 25 x 25cm. 
Perfect for the kind of mini-projects I love.

Some of the patterns are so gorgeous I don't even want to cut into them to make anything,
I'm tempted to just frame them all in hoops as they are...

The blue piece above I ordered separately as a larger piece because I thought it was just so pretty.

There's so much else on the site too that I love!
Check out the bunting ribbon... and the beautiful lace.

But as I can hear my mother saying as she reads this...
Be happy with what you've got!

Now to decide what to do with all this lovely fabric...

Any ideas?



Sunday sketches

This Sunday afternoon was for lunch with my lovely fiance, 
for so many cups of earl grey tea I lost count,
and for doodling.

I kind of want to add some text to this...
It just doesn't feel... done.
But I like it =)

On a less "cutesy drawing" note...
Back in March I took a drawing class.
The woman who led it was totally nuts but it actually really helped to get me drawing again.
She told us one week to do a Self Portrait in the mirror in just 30 minutes as "homework",
and although mine was of me with my hair all messed and my thick glasses on,
I was really pleased with it.
So today I thought I'd do an updated version.
This time with all new thick glasses on!!

I like to see self portraits as an act of self discovery...
Mainly that I have such a sad face when I draw!!

Rest assured, I am in fact perfectly content... and off for another cuppa!


What I've been making...

This month has been a busy one...

I successfully put together and held a fundraiser for Rape Crisis, 
at which I also performed, playing guitar and singing,
and we managed to raise over £700!

I've started training for a new role at my main job,
in which I'll be working with funeral directors (intense!)

and I'm finally learning to drive!! 
(which, by the way, I love!)

But in between everything, I've been very deliberate about finding time to make a couple of bits here and there...

I've started on my Christmas decoration range...
This little guy is going to form part of the Tartan set....
Which will be one of the first of my Folksy products soon!

 I've also been loving spending some time on some good old fashioned embroidery...
...especially trying to perfect my thread-handwriting.

And on a personal note... I've finally started counting down the months until I get married... 
and that can only mean making a wedding ideas folder! 
Ohh yes...
Currently it's more a wedding ideas heap of paper, but it's getting there.

So what's everyone else been making this month?


Giveaway winner and why I love November

I am so excited that November is here...

Firstly because today is the closing of the Nikki Joy giveaway...

All the names of entries went in a very literal hat 
(I'm not down with this number generating nonsense)
And the winner is...

Drop me an email and let me know where you'd like your little daisy posted to and I'll take some pennies to the post office in the morning!
Can't wait to see you wearing it.

Thank you everyone else for entering and hello to all my new followers.

Don't be too sad id you didn't win, because...

Number reason 2 I love November...
This is the month I intend to FINALLY open the Nikki Joy Folksy.
I'll be updating lots over the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled.

Thirdly, I love November because I had my first toffee apple of the year today, and it's almost time for fireworks and pumpkin soup and fingerless gloves... love it!

November is also the month I finally go to see Switchfoot live.
Mega mega excited for that one.

And... most excitingly (in my opinion) 
It is 14 months from yesterday that I shall be a Mrs.

I have my first proper day off work in weeks tomorrow, and I have SO much planned to make ready for the new shop.

How's everybody else's weeks going?


The Nikki Joy GIVEAWAY...

So this is my 50th post here on the Nikki Joy blog. 
And it's recently been a year since I first started blogging.

So I thought it would be lovely to give away a little something that people appeared to love.

But instead of picking one thing, I thought I'd let you guys pick what you'd like.
So there will be one winner, 
who will receive their choice of either...

So what do you fancy??

The giveaway is open to every Nikki Joy follower.
Just tell me what you like!

If you want an extra chance to win, simply...
Like Nikki Joy on Bloglovin
Let people know about my little giveaway on your own blog.

Please don't forget to leave some way for me to get in touch with you!

And if you're not a follower yet, say hello, grab a cuppa and have a look around.

And finally, thank you to all my followers I've gained over the last year.
Your encouragements have been amazing and it makes me happy to know you like what I do.

The winner will be announced on November 1st...
Have a lovely day =)


The best the UK wedding scene has to offer ...in my opinion.

I am returned from my London weekend.

And I am SO full of wedding fever.

There were so so many incredible exhibitors at the National Wedding Show, I didn't think it polite to keep them to myself, so here are my absolute favourites, not just for the products, but for the people too.

In no particular order...

Floral display
Images copyright Dawn Aitman

I'm not normally into chocolate and sweetie sculptures, but these guys are amazing! Firstly because the pieces are beautiful and so unique, but mostly because their story is totally inspiring. Christina created some "Sweet Trees" initially for her own daughter's wedding, because she was on a budget, and everybody loved them (understandably), so they took a big risk and a handful of months later, they're selling all over the show! (and not just the show, but in Harrods!!

Wreath centrepiece

The guy we spoke to was so great and chatty and I was TOTALLY sold on their winter collection  
for our New Years Eve wedding... especially these chocolate pine cones (also available as place name holders) Now to convince Samm that this is a necessity...

Claudette headband

With a stall full of vintage (and vintage-inspired) jewellery, garters and hair pieces, Donna Crain blew me away!

The latest range is inspired by Jane Austen, with each piece named after a woman from one of her novels.

Margaret lace cuff
I have never met such a lovely group of ladies, and after a day of being asked 1000 times "when's the big day?" and "have you got the dress?", these girls managed to get sincerely excited with me, listening to every detail of my plans so far and picking out pieces that would fit in perfectly with my look. I could easily have spent hundreds!

Blossom and Satin cake

Yes, food again! What can I say, I love sweet things.
I've never really been into traditional wedding cakes, something about 3 tiers of iced fruit cake with an everso humorous portrayal of the bride collaring the groom on top has never really done it for me, but I've become just as unexcited about cupcake towers. Cue Daisy Chain Cake Company to entice me!
Applique lace cake
I love the pure class in each and every one of these cakes.
They are quite simply pieces of art, and the best thing is, they come in various beautiful flavours including luscious lemon sponge, rich dark chocolate, and even rocky road! You can even pick the flavour of the preserve, buttercream and ganache. 

Most impressively of all though, the lady at the stall was the only person to give us a piece of cake all day! Instant favourite for that alone.

I'm sad to say that I can tell no tales of anything I spent my pennies on, 
because you never know when the Mr is snooping around.
But yes, I caved to splashing out on something beautiful, and it is just as beautiful as anything I could show you here, and I promise that after the event, I'll show my hand!


A gift for a friend.

In about half an hour I'm off to London to visit my best friend of ten years for the weekend.

While I'm there, we're taking a trip to the National Wedding Show, 
celebrating our "10 year anniversary" 
(which isn't necessarily this weekend, but we can't remember exactly when we met...) 
and having LOTS of time to catch up in a way you don't get to do 
when you live a couple hundred miles away.

So to celebrate the occasion, we're doing a little exchanging of gifts.
As well as a couple of personal bits, I decided to make her a little something.
She's the girl who's always encouraged me to be proud of what I'm good at, and over the last ten years has inspired me to know what I want from life and to achieve it.

So I've whipped her up this little lovely

 I may post a tutorial when I get back, but for now, I have a train to catch!

Have a beautiful weekend =)


Where have I been?!

I'm the first to admit that "sorry I haven't posted in so long" posts are a little tedious...
So less of the apologising and more of the excellent reasons...
While I've been missing with no apparent explanation, I've been up to all sorts.

In between working a 42 hour week (which I am totally still not used to. I think my bed is starting to miss me)... 

1. I've moved into a beautiful new house that my friend Sarah has just bought. 
I've been up all hours of the night decorating and arranging, and planning beautiful things to adorn the walls with.
I'm going for a very white decor, which I know seems cliche, but after 3 years of mismatched student belongings, it feels nice and fresh, and a little more grown up.

2. I've been arranging a fundraiser event for Rape Crisis in my area. I'm SO excited for it. 
It's something I've wanted to do for the last few months, and it's finally getting off the ground.

I don't know if I can even begin to communicate how excited I am, 
but I'm really excited! (In case anyone should like to know... It's a Martin!!)

4. I'm going to visit my most wonderful friend this weekend in London to go to the National Wedding Show and to celebrate 10 years of friendship. She's just moved to London to be a fashion writer type. She's amazing and I cannot WAIT to see her!

5. I am finally reading Pride and Prejudice.
It's always bugged me that for someone who loves to read so much, 
I do't do so well on the classics,
so one of my 21 New Year's resolutions this year was to read 3 classic novels.
So far I'm Dorian Gray down (LOVED it), Pride and Prejudice on the go 
and trying to decide on number 3...
Any ideas?

And what's everyone else been up to in the last couple of weeks?
I have SO much online reading to catch up on =)

PS I have some GREAT wintery makes coming up...


Another sketchbook sneaky peek

I've been doodling away again, with some paint and marker pen thrown in for good measure. 

Since forbidding myself from "starting again" or putting my mistakes right, I'm beginning to realise that the less I play around trying to make something look just right, the better it turns out looking.

This was just a bit of a play around but I actually like how it turned out. 

...everybody loves tiptoe kisses.

What have you been doodling lately?

I get my sewing machine back on Saturday and I have some BIG plans!! 
Watch this space...



Today was the last day of my first ever 48 hour working week.
I'm more than a little tired.

But despite currently living in a house without my craft boxes or  my guitar or my sewing machine, I find myself perfectly content.
After a long day at work, I'm loving nothing more than putting on some beautiful music and getting my paints out.

I've been intending for a while now to do a series of paintings based on music that I love.
And I've finally got around to doing it!

I've recently fallen for the incredible music of Damien Jurado, and have been listening to him non stop.
The other night I was listening to his song "Everything Trying"...

...and this little lovely flowed right out of my paintbrush...

It's only small and simple, but I quite like it =)

I did a few others too... but might have misplaced my camera since...

What music inspires you to create?


Easy chococherrynilla cupcakes

The other day was my lovely man's birthday. 

Sadly I couldn't see him for it because of my new job. 
But he's coming back tomorrow so I thought I'd whip him up a treat!

He's not allowed to open his present until I get in from work, 
so I figured these would keep him happy before I get in...

They're super straight forward to make, and taste beautiful!


I made two types of cupcakes but they start off together. You will need...

100g butter 
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g self raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
a few little drops of vanilla essence
50g dark chocolate
a splash of milk
glace cherries

Firstly, warm up your oven to 180C.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl and then mix in the eggs and flour.

Now, divide the mix into two.
Into one bowl, stir in a few drops of vanilla essence. Into the other, mix the cocoa powder and a splash of milk if the mix seems too thick.

Now dollop the mixtures into some cases in cupcake trays and bake for 8 mins. 

From this...

To this...

Now to fancy up the vanilla cupcakes (and because I can't bear to see a cake without chocolate)
melt the dark chocolate, splodge some on top and slap on a half glace cherry to each. 

If you want to fancy up the chocolate cupcakes too, you could mix up some butter icing by mixing icing sugar and butter, and top again with cherries... or more chocolate!

Finally... nick a couple before giving to the other half =) 


A peek into my sketch book...

Life is crazy and wonderful right now.

Since my graduation day (which was awesome by the way) I've landed myself a full time job
...I start on Thursday - EXCITING!
But I'm currently sofa surfing until my permanent house is ready.
The downside is that I had to send lots of stuff to my parents house, to be more mobile in my travels... and I stupidly put my craft boxes in the wrong pile and I am without them! =(

However... all is not lost!
I've been hugely hugely inspired since I started blogging by Natalie 
who blogs at Awkward and Beautiful about her art journalling. 
Her style is just incredible and some of her pages take your breath away.
Some people just have the most beautiful honesty.

So since I am without needle and thread and felt and glue...
I decided to dust of the old pencil tin, be inspired, and have a doodle.

I love the concept I've come across time and time again lately of just filling a sketchbook with doodles and scribbles and ideas, whether they look any good or not.
I am one of those horrible perfectionist types who doesn't want anything seen until it's just right.
So I challenged myself to just draw, whether it looked good or not.

So here's a sample of what's been pouring outa my pen... 
without fixing up or perfecting or grabbing my eraser once.

These two were both pencil and then ink and sharpie. 
Sharpie may just be my new favourite drawing tool.

Good old fashioned pencil and paper.

(A word of warning... don't rush off to the Folksy address listed. There's nothing in there yet...
I stupidly sent everything I'd made to my parents house too... D'oh)
Check them out...

Do you like them?

I've also been working on some mini paintings inspired by some of my favourite songs.
I just hope I have time for all this once I start my job...


A little taster of what I've been making...

So I've spent the last few days at my parents house, which has been awesome and relaxing and a GREAT excuse for my mum and I to craft shop together.

Having just finished University, 
(for those of you who should like to know... I got a FIRST!!)
I thought I'd spend some decent time getting ready to open up my Folksy shop soon, 
so I've been working on some new little creations...

A delicate daisy and lace headband 

Blue and pink daisy headband

purple flower headband 

Which one do you like best?

I've also got a full range of brooches ready that I'll show you soon...

And keep your eyes peeled for the first Nikki Joy giveaway to celebrate the opening of Nikki Joy Folksy.

Have a lovely weekend x