Happy St Georges Day ..! Should it be a holiday? Well we are always up for another bank holiday, and seeing as our Scottish, Welsh and Irish fellow Brits get the day off for their patron saint .. why don’t we?
As we wave our mini straw flags in celebration – why dont you do the same and download our St George Printable pack - for FREE for today only – using code STGEORGE at checkout. x
23rd April is St Georges Day – the patron saint of England. Unlike our Irish, Welsh and Scottish kinfolk we don’t have a national holiday, although there was a time (around 15th Century) when it was bigger than Christmas! However if you are feeling patriotic, here’s our salute to the red and white colours of St George the dragon slayer… which you can shop here
We have created an alternative Red Cross Paper Printable (A4 size to craft with at will) and Straw Flag to celebrate – but it is actually just a cool cross pattern. Download here.
Despite the incredibly cold weather, we are still ever hopeful that Spring is on its way! Easter is next weekend and yesterday was the Spring Equinox.. so we are dusting out our clutter and having an indoor makeover in the hope of some sunshine sometime soon!
Meanwhile our EASTER DEPARTMENT is open for business and our Rainbow Rabbit Garland is hopping off the shelves… along with our Daisys and Eggs, it seems you are all feeling the Spring Love. We have also produced another PDF printable – Easter Straw Flags for your downloading pleasure.. and are working on some new shapes and styles for future events.Oh and if you fancy some calorie free chocolate – we have some DIY Chocolate Pom Pom kits based on our Video Tutorial launched this week.
Fingers crossed for a little sunshine x
Our Pearl and Earl Paper Pom Poms are a real hit for weddings, parties, Christmas and celebrations.. and for those who dont like to make things we sell them ready to ‘frou’ as well as making bespoke sizes and variations for clients.
The DIY fans amongst you may already know how to make these on your own… but for those who don’t, today sees the launch of the first of our new DIY videos. Featuring homemade video (bit shaky) a soundtrack from Feeder and easy to follow subtitles.. we think it does the job! I chose to make giant chocolate Pom Poms for Easter… but you can choose whichever colour you like!
Enjoy, and let me know how you get on! x
PS Update: Due to limitations on the license of the Feeder track, we had to substitute it on some of the formats with ‘In the Dark’ by Joi Veer…
Today is RED NOSE DAY.. a day dedicated to fun and frivolity in the name of a good cause AKA Comic Relief. The charity was set up by Richard Curtis (Notting Hill writer) 25 years ago (makes me feel old!) … and since then has raised over £600,000,000 for good causes by entertaining people.
We got involved last week with the kids, by dressing up and selling cakes.. and I have also designed (along with the children) a set of notelets for the schools Red Nose fund raiser…. We were also thrilled to be asked by the production team to set dress Peter Kay’s piece which was filmed for airing tonight. All hush hush so we cant say any more until after the event.
Our front door today is wearing one of our red paper balls as a big red nose, and I have also created a free DIY paper printable Straw Flag and Cake Topper for you to use at your money raising event..
Have fun.. and please post us your pictures of your event or use of our printables.
St Patricks Day is this weekend on March 17th… and to add to our collection of Straw Flags and DIY Paper Printable projects, I have created these shamrock paper straws and shamrock patterned paper for PDF download. Available for immediate download from our site, we have also created a collection of green paper decorations for your decorating pleasure!
The straw flags are free for a limited time using code SHAMROCK with any straw purchase online.
>>SHOP ST PATRICKS
My baby girl turned 8 last week… and we hosted a DIY Crafternoon Party to celebrate! The invitation list was whittled to 10 girls and 1 boy, and after consulting with my daughter she decided she would like a “Pink and Red theme with Strawberries, Moshi Monsters, Flowers and Rainbows”… a complete 8 year old mash up! So this is what I did…
Cake – Pink ombre layered cake with freeze dried strawberries and ditsy floral straw name bunting
Food – simple sandwiches with pink and red cakes and biscuits, fresh strawberries and pink cupcakes.
Decorations – Pink and Red Paper Decorations, with pink gingham fabric as a tablecloth and Pink and Red paper straws and party tabletop cups and plates
Activities – Paper Flower Headbands, Giant Rainbow Paper Flowers, Moshi Monster design your own tee shirt (using neon fabric pens)
Goody Bag – Taking home all the bits they made, plus a slice of cake and a bespoke initial cross stitch shoe bag project I made.
All in all, I think we made it work and all had crafty fun (interspersed with the obligatory quick dance to One Direction) for a snip!
Hope you had fun this weekend too x
PS – please forgive lack of professional photography – and quick snapped ‘on my phone’ pics, as I was busy making paper flowers, drawing moshi monsters and eating cake!
This weekend is Mothers Day.. and our MUM Poem seems to have been a popular present by the amount our little team have shipped over the last couple of weeks…
This month has also seen the expansion of our collection of DIY paper printables – to complement our Celebration range and Craft heritage. It will include lots of new delicious things – but first up we are offering this DIY Printable Mothers Day Mini Flags (for straws or little gifting touches) free on our site for this weekend only.
Perfect with some pink or red striped straws for a little Sunday cocktail – or we used them to add a little tag into a pot plant.
Time to crochet…? how about these super cute Christmas hats by JojosBootique.
We have been busy little elves at Pearl and Earl over the last few weeks – breaking all our previous sales records, week after week… so thank you to all of you who have chosen to shop with us this Christmas. One of the most popular products of ours has been our Bakers Twine. Available in a rainbow of colours, it is 100% cotton and has been made EXCLUSIVELY for us since last year. Our spools of 100m are by far the best value in the UK yet deliciously decadent all at the same time. It’s the little details we love…
Our best selling WRAPPING COLLECTION has some new additions landing over the next couple of weeks… first up? Our NO PEEKING TAPE in WHITE… makes simple wrapping look divine!
In Easy Livings Christmas issue – they chose to use some of our Block Bottom Candy Stripe Party Bags to create an alternative DIY advent calendar. Which we think looks rather chic!
As promised, here is the recipe for my Grandma Dora’s famous bonfire toffee… this is a recipe I was hesitant to share when I first published it in 2009! After 3 years it deserves a reblog – which I may well do every year, as that and my TOFFEE APPLES are brilliant for Halloween, Bonfire Night, or indeed anytime at all!
My wonderful, colourful Grandma Dora has been a huge inspiration for me and she sadly passed away over 15 years ago. But her legacy of colour, pattern and hit family recipes live on and her influence on Pearl and Earl’s style is obvious to anyone who knew her… infact my book Supersize Stitches is dedicated to her memory.
If you count calories, or don’t like things stuck to your teeth – this is not the recipe for you! But every year we made this without fail and it was without a doubt the best thing about firework night… I believe the best recipes are those with memories attached, as they somehow envoke an extra taste sensation! There are tons of variations of treacle toffee – which if you manage to keep your mitts off, makes a great home made gift at Christmas… ours is cloudy and can be a little chewy (attempt to chew at your own risk!)
Approach with caution; toffee gets very, very hot (up to 140 °C/ 270°) as it is boils. Treacle Toffee keeps very well stored in an airtight tin so make enough for Bonfire night and extra toffee for Christmas.
So here it is:
Grandma Dora’s Bonfire Toffee
300g / 12oz Demerara sugar
100g / 4oz butter
2 level tablespoons of golden syrup
1 level tablespoon black treacle
4 tablespoons of water
7 inch square tin (or 12×4 inch) – lightly greased with ground nut oil (as it does not affect the flavour)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Combine ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan
- Heat slowly, stirring until the butter melts and sugar dissolves
- Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes
- Do a first Test by dropping mixture in a cup of cold water, it should set (or at least be a rounded ball)
- If not set
- Uncover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occassionally to avoid sticking, and checking for a set every couple of minutes
- Pour into the tin and leave to set / cool * Tip – use a spatula to ensure you have every last drop to avoid extra pan scrubbing!
- Turn out and break up with the end of a rolling pin!
Makes 1lb/500g cloudy treacle toffee
EAT, WATCH FIREWORKS, THEN BRUSH TEETH VIGOROUSLY!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN folks! Well the day is finally upon us and the kids are geared up for tricking and treating tonight with their home decorated bags… judging by the sales of our Halloween Decorations, it seems likes lots of you are celebrating in style! We had our own kids party at the weekend – and I made this giant (40cm) 5 layer pumpkin head cake – complete with coloured sugar and glitter and sugar paste features.
The children had hours (literally) of fun making Halloween Cake Toppers out of sugar paste, which to them was simply play dough you could eat!
Our Halloween Bat, Bling Cat and BOO decorations were perfect additions to our dessert bar which included Chocolate Orange Cake Pops which I made from the left over ‘cut off’ bits of the big cake and buttercream, covered with melted chocolate orange flavoured drops. You can see my old cake pop DIY here.
Goodie bags featured an orange cotton bag which the kids decorated themselves with fabric crayons and pens… which they then filled with goodies from the treats table.
However you decide to celebrate – we hope you “Have A Good Do”
Following on from my Halloween Bat post and Part 1 of the DIY yesterday, you will now be ready to Decoupage your Bat or Cat. To do this I created and used my own Halloween paper covered in bats, but you can use any old or new papers that you like (they dont have to be specialist decoupage)
There are plenty of decoupage methods – but I am a fan of the quick wonders of Mod Podge. An all in one glue and glaze it takes the stress out of decoupage and you can apply and finish your crafty project super quickly – as drying time is only 15 minutes.
For the Bat you will need:
- Mod Podge Glossy
- 2 A4 sheets of decoupage paper
- First cut up your decoupage paper into mini strips – approx 1x2cm long.
- You will probably not need both full sheets – but it is better to have more than less
- Using your brush and modpodge – working from the top of the bats ears – glue your strips into place
- Coat each with a layer of mod podge and then overlap the next piece, working down the bat until covered
Let it dry for 15-20 minutes and you may want to apply another thin coat as a final varnish.
To finish the bat you will need:
- 2 black pipe cleaners
- 2 sheets of grey tissue paper
- hole punch
Method (see pic slideshow below):
- For each wing, you will need to fold the tissue in half (short to short side) and then in half again
- Starting from one end fold over approx 2cm and continue along (accordian style) until you have fold the whole sheet
- On the top folded end – hole punch in the center of each fold so you can easily thread through the pipe cleaner.
- Fold one end of the pipe cleaner over and then over again to form a kind of ‘claw’
- At the other end of the folded paper – cut a diagonal edge
- Then open out the wing and using scissors cut a bat shape along the bottom edge
- Using the sharp end of the scissors push in a hole into your bat – so that you can attach the other end of the pipe cleaner
- You can then fluff up the wing so that it opens out
- Repeat for other wing
- Using a stapler attach the 2 halves of the wings together on the bat at the back
- You can use this method to attach a piece of ribbon folded in half to hang your bat too.
Then hang and have a happy 4 year old … well that’s what I did anyway!
Tomorrow .. its the turn of the BLING CAT finale
Design copyright – J Pearce and sons! 2012 All rights reserved
Following my blog post last week about our Paper Mache and Decoupage Cats and Bats - here is the promised DIY Part 1 – the paper mache / modelling bit.
You will need:
- Old newspaper or recycling paper
- Masking Tape
- Kitchen Roll
The Papier Mache stage involves creating a stabling, contoured model with a smooth layer to decoupage or paint in the final step. This is my ‘quick and clean (ish)’ paper mache technique which does not involve as much paper, the mess of newspaper ink or the need for wire. I usually put a piece of oil cloth on our kitchen table to work on – as it is easy to wipe clean afterwards (even when the glue sets).
- For the bat – screw up 2 balls – 1x10cm diameter and the other a longer version about 15cm.
- Using Masking tape stick them together and wrap the masking tape round your structure in pieces until you have a shape you are happy with
- Pull up 2 tiny bits of paper as ears and wrap a small amount of masking tape round them until you are happy with the basic pointy ear shape.
- The cat uses the same technique but the balls are a bit bigger (15 and 20cm diameter) and I also taped a circular piece of cardboard on the bottom to create a flat surface. The tail was a twisted piece of paper secured in place with tape too.
- Next you have to make your own glue, I have tried and tested a few, and my preferred concoction is a mix of 3 parts water to 1 part flour – mixed in a milk pan and placed on the heat until it resembles thick soup. Allow to cool and it is ready to use.
- I have used both newspaper and kitchen roll to model with and I have found that the kitchen roll is easier to prepare, use and model. Plus you dont end up with newspaper print fingers!
- Prepare your kitchen towel by taking several sheets tearing it along the grain into 2cm width strips. Get a good pile ready so that you dont have to do this with gloopy fingers!
- When ready – dip your strip into the glue, then lay it onto your model, crossing over the strips in different directions as you go – which will create a stronger finish.
- Work the head first, then the body.
- Make sure the layers are not too thick or it will take forever to dry!
Leave to dry for 24 hours.
- I use a cake rack to make sure it does not stick to the surface, and the flour glue will easily wash off afterwards.
Thats the end of Stage 1 .. let it dry and Stage 2 is tomorrow
Design copyright – J Pearce and kids! 2012 All rights reserved
Halloween has arrived at Pearl and Earl HQ and we have a LOT of paper decorations!.. a sneaky peek of some I posted here. But no Halloween is complete without a little bit of DIY – especially if it is child friendly – as then it gives you something to entertain the troops in half term.
A couple of weeks ago, I was working on a big papier mache project for editorial and the kids were desperate to get involved; so I asked them which 2 animals they would like to do for Halloween? Fin (4) wanted a flying bat and Libby (7) a cool cat and so together we have created a bat and cat DIY to share.
The projects were completed in 2 stages over 2 weekends and involve 2 paper crafts that I love – Modelling (with Papier Mache) and Decoupage (my latest obsession). But you can just as readily complete it over 2 days – allowing 24 hours for the papier mache to dry out. You could also opt to paint your model instead of decoupaging to cut another corner.
So over the next couple of days I will be breaking down the projects into bite size chunks for you to complete.
Part 1 to follow …
HALLOWEEN has arrived in full effect at HQ this week.. and we have a super chic selection of paper decorations to add a little paper bling chic to your celebrations.
Our Paper Honeycomb Balls come in our own dyed shades of retro orange and midnight black.. then we have matching garlands, fringe festooning, paper striped straws and crepe streamers.. and best of all the cutest paper pumpkins. Last year I launched a SPOOKY FACES PDF (including a moustached pumpkin) which you can still download here.
More DIY ideas and invites to follow…