Maggie Bob Makes: Timeless Textures Cards

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating National Stationery Week. You can read all of my NSW16 posts. There’s also a fabulous giveaway of some stationary goodies running through the whole week – you’ll find the rafflecopter at the bottom of each post.

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Yes – handmade day! A day made for Maggie if ever there was one. As soon as National Stationery Week announced their daily themes, I squeed at handmade day, and knew I wanted to get down to some serious card-making. Then Bekka from Stampin Up got in touch and offered to let me play with some of the goodies from her shop – how could I say no to that?

timeless-textures

This was such an exciting and pretty package to receive. The whole thing was themed around the Timeless Textures stamp set. These are so intricate and detailed, but because the stamps are deep cut, the impressions are nice and crisp. These lend themselves well to layering and I had lots of fun experimenting with that, getting the creative juices flowing.

stampin-up-goodies

The rest of my package of awesome complimented the stamps well. I had three shades of Classic Stampin’ Up inks, which are rich colours, perfect for stamping but also good for inking and accenting card stock. The Birthday Bouquet paper pack is all double-sided, so opens up a wealth of choices. And the Clear Wink of Stella Glitter pen is my new favourite sparkly toy.

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I haven’t made a card in quite a while, and as I said I had a lot of fun layering up these stamps to create effects. This is the first one I settled on for a completed card. There’s 4 different stamps layered in to that motif, and I think it’s very eye-catching. Sorry the picture of this one is so dark – I took it the evening I finished the card as a quicky for my Instagram and then promptly knocked it over in to the open (pink) ink pad – disaster! So I couldn’t get any better lit pictures.

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After that card was ruined, I decided to recreate the layered motif but as a pop-out feature. I also wanted to try stamping directly on to some of the patterned paper, and I love the effect here, don’t you?

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What’s great about this stamp set is you can create loads of textures and layers without actually having to have multiple layers of heavy paper or cardstock. So for this one I created my own patterned paper using one just one piece of coloured card and two different shades of pink ink. A wee ribbon to separate things, a sentiment, and I made and inked a flower as a nice feature – you may be able to see in the photo that I really went to town on the flower with the glitter brush. Isn’t it divine? *swoon*

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This forth card goes back to the idea of the layering, but really builds it all together. I originally designed this square card to open at the side, but decided once it was assembled that I liked the way it looked in tent fold instead. I’m particularly proud of this one, and I hope you all like it too. Any of these cards would be ideal for sending a thank-you note as per Thursday’s post, or for starting a handwritten letter, which we’ll be discussing tomorrow.

Now, I also asked Bekka if she would like to make a card or two using the same stash as me, and I must say, she rose to this challenge much better than I did.

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How gorgeous are all of those cards? And the wee storage boxes to go with them! Bekka has written more about this make on her blog which you should definitely go and check out – http://feeling-crafty.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/celebrating-national-stationery-week.html. Bekka has also kindly offered a treat for all of my readers today. If you buy anything from her shop between now and the end of May and quote Hostess Code MMHKTUHR when checking out (and check the button allowing her to contact you with progress details on your order) Bekka will send you the instructions on how to make those boxes and some free goodies.

Today is your last chance to enter my special giveaway for National Stationery Week, as I’ll be announcing the winner in tomorrow’s post. I took a trip to some of my favourite stationery shops, and had a root around in my own stash too to come up with a list of goodies just for one lucky winner. The prize, pictured above, includes: a metallic pocket notebook, an owl writing set, a Julie Dodsworth little book of Birthdays & Anniversaries, 2 rolls of nature themed washi tape, a selection of flocked patterned paper, a pack of owl stickers, and a custom mini stamp set. Phew! Plus, if this competition gets over 100 entries I’ll add some more goodies, including a nice pen.

To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, and be sure to come back every day this week for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today in the comments – what’s your favourite crafting technique? Or is there one you’d like to learn?

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Maggie Bob Loves: Perfect Calligraphy GIFS

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating National Stationery Week. You can read all of my NSW16 posts. There’s also a fabulous giveaway of some stationary goodies running through the whole week – you’ll find the rafflecopter at the bottom of each post.

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I’ve got a secret to confess, and it’s a little bit embarrassing for a stationery addict like me – I don’t like fountain pens. Although what I should really say is, they don’t like me. Although I love keeping the tradition of handwritten letters alive, my handwriting is too inelegant and my approach far to messy for fountain pens. Everything usually just ends up in a big inky mess and I get sad or grumpy at having smudged all over my nice writing paper (and usually my hands, face, and clothing too!).

I’ve sometimes thought about signing up to a calligraphy course to see if it could improve my penmanship, and maybe one day I will. In the meantime, I am mesmerised by these calligraphy GIFs, and I thought I would share them with you all in lieu of being any good with a fountain pen myself!

smile-calligraphyvia Calligraphy by Sam

time-is-money-calligraphyvia sambravers on reddit

sanguine-gif via Pizzzzzza on imgur

sonder-calligraphyvia calligify on tumblr

long-ago-calligraphyvia giphy.com

eye-music-calligraphyvia j0be on reddit

magi-pencilOkay, this one is just my little personal joke, but bonus points to anyone who recognises this!

nsw16-prize

I’m sure you’ve not forgotten that I am running a special giveaway for National Stationery Week. I took a trip to some of my favourite stationery shops, and had a root around in my own stash too to come up with a list of goodies just for one lucky winner. The prize, pictured above, includes: a metallic pocket notebook, an owl writing set, a Julie Dodsworth little book of Birthdays & Anniversaries, 2 rolls of nature themed washi tape, a selection of flocked patterned paper, a pack of owl stickers, and a custom mini stamp set. Phew! Plus, if this competition gets over 100 entries I’ll add some more goodies, including a nice pen.

To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, and be sure to come back every day this week for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today in the comments – who would you invite to your World Stationery Day party?

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Maggie Bob Writes: With Thanks

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating National Stationery Week. You can read all of my NSW16 posts. There’s also a fabulous giveaway of some stationary goodies running through the whole week – you’ll find the rafflecopter at the bottom of each post.

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I think a lot of us forget to say “thanks” as often as we should. I know I do, and I’m going to try harder. Obviously the best thing is to say thanks in person, and some times it’s appropriate to say thank you with a gift or gesture in return. But of course, this is National Stationery Week and the aim is to get us all writing, and that means thank you letters. I was never forced as a child to sit down and write thank you letters to distant relatives, so I don’t have the same burdensome memories associated with them that many people seem to.

I’ve been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some lovely thank you letters, even for things I have considered the littlest of gestures or favours. I don’t know about you guys, but it gives me a little glow getting a genuine thanks from something. To be honest, I get a similar glow giving out thanks. So what does a good thank you note entail?

Obviously stationery is paramount, but then I would say that. You can use more or less anything you want to send your thank you – you might have some gorgeous letter paper to use, a handmade card, or have found a funky postcard in a sale or on a freebie stand (am I the only one with a box full of ’emergency’ postcards?). Alternatively you can start with some plain paper and customise it with whatever crafty goodies you have to hand – try washi tape, stamps, doodling with coloured pens or pencils or just decorating with stickers, anything you know the recipient will love.

Next is what to write. This is honestly much easier than it seems. Be sincere. Open with the appropriate greeting and get straight down to the thanks. Explain why the gift is useful or wanted. So for example “Dear Auntie Em, thank you for the gift card. I’m going to use it for some ruby slippers I’ve had my eye on”; or “Dear Mr Todd, thank you for the meat pie you sent over. We very much enjoyed it for our dinner, so much that there was no leftovers”. If you’ve seen the person recently say how nice that was, or mention that you hope to see them soon.

Sign off with a final thanks, and your name. Thank you notes should always be handwritten, because it is just shows you’ve spent a bit of time and effort thinking about the person you want to thank. If you want to write a longer letter to the person then by all means do, but it might be nice to keep the thanks to a separate card within your missive anyway. If this is someone you know very well you don’t have to be overly formal, but it’s still nice to say thanks. When you spend a lot of time with someone it can be easy to take even the more special things they do for granted, so don’t forget to occasionally thank partners, parents, children, siblings in this more personable way too.

nsw16-prize

Thankfully, the special giveaway for National Stationery Week is still running. I took a trip to some of my favourite stationery shops, and had a root around in my own stash too to come up with a list of goodies just for one lucky winner. The prize, pictured above, includes: a metallic pocket notebook, an owl writing set, a Julie Dodsworth little book of Birthdays & Anniversaries, 2 rolls of nature themed washi tape, a selection of flocked patterned paper, a pack of owl stickers, and a custom mini stamp set. Phew! Plus, if this competition gets over 100 entries I’ll add some more goodies, including a nice pen.

To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, and be sure to come back every day this week for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today in the comments – who do you need to give a note of thanks to today?

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Maggie Bob Celebrates: World Stationery Day

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating National Stationery Week. You can read all of my NSW16 posts. There’s also a fabulous giveaway of some stationary goodies running through the whole week – you’ll find the rafflecopter at the bottom of each post.

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It’s World Stationery Day – we stationery lovers of the world should unite and throw a party to celebrate! And you know what a party means, right? Time to go fantasy shopping for party supplies.

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Girls, Time To Party Invites | Scribbler | £2.49

Gotta invite all of the wonderful stationery lovers to this party, right? These should do the trick.

love_script_balloon

Love Script Balloon | Paperchase | £5.50

Because we love stationery and we want everyone to know it!

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Urban Animal Bunting | The Works | £1

Bunting is an absolute must and I love the colours of this one. Plus at only £1 per pack we can go nuts and hang it everywhere.

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Disposable Tableware | Hema | From £1

Hema have a gorgeous range of of party plates and bowls that will look just gorgeous on our table. Don’t you agree?

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Alice In Wonderland Cake Stand | Postbox Party via notonthehighstreet | £19

This is turning in to the (tea) party of my dreams. Now I just need to dream up some stationery themed party food…

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As I’ve mentioned, I am running a special giveaway for National Stationery Week. I took a trip to some of my favourite stationery shops, and had a root around in my own stash too to come up with a list of goodies just for one lucky winner. The prize, pictured above, includes: a metallic pocket notebook, an owl writing set, a Julie Dodsworth little book of Birthdays & Anniversaries, 2 rolls of nature themed washi tape, a selection of flocked patterned paper, a pack of owl stickers, and a custom mini stamp set. Phew! Plus, if this competition gets over 100 entries I’ll add some more goodies, including a nice pen.

To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, and be sure to come back every day this week for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today in the comments – who would you invite to your World Stationery Day party?

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Maggie Bob Wants: To Plan Ahead

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating National Stationery Week. You can read all of my NSW16 posts. There’s also a fabulous giveaway of some stationary goodies running through the whole week – you’ll find the rafflecopter at the bottom of each post.

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I’ve talked before about apps that I use to keep organised, and how I’m hoping one day to find the notebook that fixes my life for me, and I’ve even fawned over things organised neatly, so although I’m naturally untidy, you can see I want to be neat and organised really.

My currently method of keeping on top of things, at least at work, includes having a day book. Just a normal notebook (okay, this is me, it’s a super cute notebook of course) where I jot down anything relevant for that day (telephone messages, to-do items, things I’m asked in passing). Every day I start a new page, put that day’s date at the top, and carry over anything needed from the day before. It seems to be working, and I’m thinking of having a travelling day book for all my non-work stuff too that just goes wherever I go and keeps my jumbled thoughts out of my brain and on to a page where I can handle them coherently. So maybe one of these would do the trick…?

passion-planner
Paradise Blue Undated Planner Compact | Passion Planner | $29.99

Ever since I read about these Passion Planners on Maxine’s Little Miss Delicious blog, I have had a serious case of the wants. I don’t know if I’m dedicated enough to plan my day out as detailed as Maxine does, but it would be so good to have an at-a-glance view of what I had on each week, and setting aside time each Sunday to fill in next week’s planner seems like such a good idea.

month_planner_-_stand_-_propped
Monthly Desktop Planner | busyb | £8.99

We had a busyb couples calendar last year and it was great – it even had stickers for marking up birthdays, dentist appointments, trips etc. This looks to be a great desktop version of that, with the added bonus of being able to fill in the dates yourself, so you can start at any point in any year. The pocket is dead useful for keeping things relevant to that month, such as booked tickets, prescription slips or even cards and stamps ready to go for any upcoming birthdays.

caroline-gardner-pina-colada-notebook-organiser
Caroline Gardner Pina Colada Notebook Organiser | The Pen Shop | £12.50

From the ‘keep it simple, stupid’ school this is just a plain, albiet super pretty, notebook, so I would be working on the same one page per day principle as with my work day book. This does have a couple of tricks up its sleeve though – there’s a wee pocket in the back ideal for keeping loose notes temporarily organised, and the notebook comes with 9 stick-on dividers so I could mark up the months at least for easier navigation

That lot should keep me organised, right? Anyway, if you were here yesterday you’ll know I am running a special giveaway for National Stationery Week!

nsw16-prize

I took a trip to some of my favourite stationery shops, and had a root around in my own stash too to come up with a list of goodies just for one lucky winner. The prize, pictured above, includes: a metallic pocket notebook, an owl writing set, a Julie Dodsworth little book of Birthdays & Anniversaries, 2 rolls of nature themed washi tape, a selection of flocked patterned paper, a pack of owl stickers, and a custom mini stamp set. Phew! Plus, if this competition gets over 100 entries I’ll add some more goodies, including a nice pen.
To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, and be sure to come back every day this week for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today in the comments – what stationery do you use to keep yourself organised?

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Maggie Bob Loves: Colouring Books & Pencils

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating National Stationery Week. You can read all of my NSW16 posts. There’s also a fabulous giveaway of some stationary goodies running through the whole week – you’ll find the rafflecopter at the bottom of each post.

nsw16-mon

When I was a kid, some things were a certainty in our stockings every Christmas – a chocolate Santa, a satsuma, one of those tiny coke cans, and a colouring book. My Mum was a very clever woman and knew that a crafty activity could keep us occupied, and more importantly quiet, for hours. Mum was obviously a keen colourist herself as she would often doodle shapes, divide them in to segments and pass a quiet evening colouring them in all sorts of intricate patterns.

Even as an adult I would occasionally buy myself or one of my siblings a colouring book in a fit of nostalgia. So I can’t say I’ve been surprised by the surge in adult colouring over the last year or two – in fact I have welcomed it with open arms and indulged in more colouring books than is sensible. I don’t know if I buy in to the whole ‘art therapy’ thing, but it’s definitely a good way to unwind, and if you’re able to get in to it the distraction can be almost meditative for sure.

Of course, having bought all these colouring books, I need something to colour in with. I like felt pens and markers but they’re too bold for colouring, and I’m too imprecise for crayons.You have to admit, there’s no better tool than the humble colouring pencil for this job. Did you here this latest craze for colouring has caused a shortage of colouring pencils? I guess I’d better buy these beauties soon then!

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Derwent 36 Colour Set | Cass Art | £39.95

I know – I’m wincing at the price, and I’ll probably continue to make do with a packet of 12 colours from Poundland for now, but these really are gorgeous. Derwent are known for a quality pencil, and these boast a waxy texture for smooth application and a nice true colour *swoon*.

nsw16-prize

Now, as promised, I am running a special giveaway for National Stationery Week! I took a trip to some of my favourite stationery shops, and had a root around in my own stash too to come up with a list of goodies just for one lucky winner. The prize, pictured above, includes: a metallic pocket notebook, an owl writing set, a Julie Dodsworth little book of Birthdays & Anniversaries, 2 rolls of nature themed washi tape, a selection of flocked patterned paper, a pack of owl stickers, and a custom mini stamp set. Phew! Plus, if this competition gets over 100 entries I’ll add some more goodies, including a nice pen.

To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, and be sure to come back every day this week for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today in the comments – do you like colouring books? And what’s your favourite colour pencil?

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Friday High Five #9

Some weeks just fly past, but this one has felt twice as long as normal. I woke up early this morning, absolutely convinced it was Saturday and I could snuggle down for a few more hours snoozing, and it took a while before I realised that nope, it was Friday and I would have to haul ass out of my toasty bed and get on with my day.

Never mind – here’s five things that have helped me get through!

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  • We recently went dairy-free at home for a variety of health reasons – I try not to go on about it but find myself having to explain it a lot at the moment. I never really drank much milk, and surprisingly don’t miss cheese as much as I thought I would, but snacking is hard. These new Go On pots from Alpro are pretty damned good. They’re designed to fill the desire for those thick yoghurts that are all the rage just now (like skyr) and which I am fond of. Nice and unctuous and creamy and perfect for a Friday lunchbox treat

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  • My new hair – I’m loving my mermaid locks this week. I dyed it last weekend and it’s been getting positive responses all week. I still desperately want my pixie crop cut back in, but the new colour is change enough to tide me over for now. This colour is Turquoise from Directions, and came out so perfectly, even over my faded pink.

lululemon

  • Sunday morning yoga – local sportswear store Lululemon run a free yoga class every Sunday morning (in a stroke of genius it is called Hair of the Downward Dog!) and I’m really getting in to it. It’s a different instructor each week so there’s different style. The classes are always packed but I don’t feel like I’m being watched and judged for how good or bad I am. Now that I have more confidence from my weekly yoga classes at work I’m able to keep up with the faster vinyasa flow yogas – just about.

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  • Beltane – the fire festival is held every year up Calton Hill in Edinburgh to celebrate the birth of summer, and I’ve got tickets to go along for the first time this year. This year’s Beltane is on Saturday April 30th, and there’s still tickets available. The ‘Family Beltane’ is on this weekend and is free!

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  • This dress in New Look is giving me a serious case of the wants – not just for the dress but for a nice holiday location to wear it in. Luckily we’ve already booked our trip for this year (a special treat to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary!), so now all I need is the dress. It’s currently £19.99 and available in up to a size 18, but don’t you dare wear it to Copenhagen the same time I do, okay?

Maggie Bob Makes: Chicken Satay Skewers

This is one of my current favourite rubber chicken recipes – that is one of my many clever ways of using leftover meat from the Sunday roast. I don’t know about you but I feel ridiculously smug when I can make one bird feed us both for 4 dinners in a row.

Now as a rule I don’t like peanut butter, although my aversion isn’t as bad as it used to be. Luckily the husband loves it so we always have a jar in. Chicken satay is one of my favourite things to order from the takeaway, so making this always feels like a treat. Now that we’re supposedly heading in to summer you could even cook these skewers on a barbeque instead of in the oven, and as you’re using chicken that’s already cooked you don’t have to worry so much about poisoning someone – although do make sure it’s heated right through again, however you’re cooking it.

satay_ingredients

Feeds 2

For the satay
2tbsp smooth peanut butter
1tbsp light soy sauce
1tbsp white wine vinegar
2tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, grated
Pinch chilli powder
1 cooked chicken breast
8 button mushrooms

For the accompaniment
1 tin coconut rice
1/2 tin long grain rice
Green beans
Soy sauce

satay_mix

Method

  1. Put all the satay sauce ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together in to a smooth paste.
  2. Dice up chicken breast in to chunky cubes and put this in the sauce along with the mushrooms. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1hr.
  3. While your chicken is marinating, soak 4 wooden skewers in water. This stops them burning during the cooking process.
  4. Once your satay mix has had enough time in the fridge, preheat oven to 180c
  5. Skewer the chicken and mushrooms. Lay the skewers over a shallow baking dish so that none of the food touches the bottom. Reserve any leftover sauce from the bowl – you can use this for a dipping sauce after cooking.
  6. Put your skewers (on their baking dish) in the oven and bake for 20 mins
  7. In the meantime, empty the tin of coconut milk in to a pan and add your rice. Bring to boil then simmer until liquid is absorbed & the rice is cooked and sticky.
  8. At the last minute, stir-fry some green beans with a little soy sauce to serve on the side.

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I hope that sounds as delicious to you as it tastes to me! Do let me know if you try this, or if you have another trusty recipe for leftover chicken.

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Maggie Bob Makes: Rocky Horror Cross-Stitch

This is a wee project combining two of my great loves – cross-stitch and Rocky Horror. I started this as something to keep me busy at the last Yelp Edinburgh craft night, and I’ve recently finished it so wanted to show it off.

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This was a really fun and simple design to make. I think I’ll mount it on to some (red?) felt with a blanket stitch and then work out what to do with it. It could be a large bookmark, or framed, or mounted on a cushion/shopping bag. Lots of possibilities for little cross-stitch projects.

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In fact, I enjoyed this one so much I’ve drawn it up as my first ever pattern, and I’m offering it for free to all of you. It’s just a simple pdf, and I’m not constrictive about the colours you use. This doesn’t take too much thread or aida, so it’s ideal to make with scraps you have leftover from bigger projects. Just click the link below to access the pattern.

— Rocky Horror Lips Cross Stitch Pattern —

I used StitchPoint’s Cross-Stitch Writing Tool to help me set up the font. It’s a great tool and I use it often. As always, let me know if you give this a go, or just share your latest WIP in the comments below.

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Maggie Bob Loves: My Eyebrow Piercing

As you’ll have noticed if you follow my vain wee face on social media (clicky-click in the sidebar if you don’t, because you definitely should), I got my eyebrow pierced. It was a completely spur of the moment thing… after about 16 years of dithering that is.

See, when I was 14 my Mum, in a renaissance of youthful rebellion got her first tattoo and a belly-button piercing. She offered to take me to get a new piercing (I’d had my ears done at 10) and I wasn’t going to turn that down! I decided I was too chubby for a belly-button piercing which is laughable when I look back at pictures of my teenage self now. It was around then I developed a fascination with eyebrow piercings and eyebrows in general. If someone’s brow game was strong I would probably compliment them on it, which was sometimes a bit weird coming out of nowhere. I really wanted an eyebrow piercing but knew that would result in an immediate order from my school to remove the offending metal.

Spur of the moment eyebrow piercing… after about 15 years of wanting it! #piercing #eyebrowpiercing #selfie

A photo posted by Maggie Woodward (@maggiebob84) on

So I decided to get my nose done as my treat from Mum, as I could get away with a teeny tiny very subtle stud in there, and remove it easily enough for PE lessons. I decided that I would then get my eyebrow pierced when I left school. Thing is, as someone with recurring sinus infections, a nasal piercing was a terrible decision. I think I lasted the summer holidays before giving up on the constant gunk and clogging before I removed the stud for good. This, combined with a variety of allergies to jewellery (I couldn’t even wear watches or simple gold studs in my ears at some points) put my off getting the much longed for eyebrow piercing, and the idea faded from my mind. Except it didn’t really.

A photo posted by Maggie Woodward (@maggiebob84) on

Every so often I’d think about getting my eyebrow pierced, but the moment wasn’t right, for any number of reasons: I’d just started a new job and didn’t want to rock the boat; I was swimming regularly and the chlorine on a new piercing seemed a bad idea; I’d recently had a bad reaction to some earrings and was off the idea of jewellery; what if it made me look too ‘tough’, and so on. Then last month the stars aligned – it was pay day weekend and I wanted to treat myself, my allergies are under control, I was in good health and I was in town. I must have spent a good hour walking around town and furiously Yelping trying to find a reputable piercer, which was harder than I thought it would be. There are plenty of good tattoo studios, but most of them don’t have a piercer in residence. Luckily I was pointed towards Studio XIII on Jeffrey Street.

Even while I was sitting filling out the consent forms and picking out my bar size, I couldn’t quite believe I was going through with this. But it was something I wanted to do, just for me. With a spoonie husband and a whole bunch of other commitments I feel like I spend a lot of my time doing what I need to or should do, but this was something just for me, nothing to do with anyone else (well, except the woman sticking a needle through my face I guess). One deep breath and a few seconds of pressure lately, and I finally had the piercing I had wanted since I was 14. I couldn’t be happier. I’m healing up nicely and the swelling went down super quick. I can’t wait until I can swap the starter bar out for something more dainty, but I’m so taken with how it looks. I can’t stop examining it in mirrors and taking selfies to look at it. And talking to people about it – sorry folks!

So – do any of you have piercing or tattoos that are extra special to you? Or something like that which you’ve done just for you? Please do share your stories in the comments.

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