Monday, 16 October 2017

The Knitting and Stitching Show 2017..

On Friday, Sarah and I put on our brave faces and headed to London for the day. We were a bit of a sorry pair, fighting off the after effects of a stomach bug and a migraine between us. But, armed with a lovely train breakfast we found our way up the biggest hill ever to Ally Pally and admired the view for a brief moment before heading in to the Knitting and Stitching Show.
Because I'm never going to be, nor would I ever profess to be a sewing expert, I've added a selection of the photos of the things which interested me, an enthusiastic amateur home sewer a the show.
One of the things which we were most excited about was that Stoff & Stil were going to have a stand; their first in the UK. Although I've not yet ordered from them, Sarah has used them for a while and is a big fan. They have some lovely fabrics, so were on our To Visit list, for sure.
I was super tempted by this cotton tube yarn, and really liked the fact that they offered free patterns for lots of projects, as well as having it set out so that you could pick up everything you needed for an entire project. I wimped out because I wasn't sure my crochet skills were up to this. Also, "stoffstiluk" will get you 15% off your purchases until November 30th 2017 if you're interested in ordering anything.

We visited our usual favourites (Fabrics Galore and Sew Me Something) and went for some trouble-shooting advice at Janome for Sarah's machine. I don't currently own a Janome machine and think I'd have to be doing a lot more sewing to make it worth me upgrading any of my machines...!
These mini fox print dungarees were one of the cutest things I saw, and I really want to make my own version. The fabric is available here from Eternal Maker, where I bought some other amazing ones (although had to order this online as they'd sold out in just a day!)
Absolutely love all of these little Toft figures, although (again) I'm not sure I could manage to tackle one. I'm not very good at crochet yet; only mastered the very basics last week..!
I have to admit, I really enjoyed my trip to the Knitting and Stitching show and Alexandra Palace was a lovely venue. They do run a shuttle bus service between Wood Green tube station and the Palace, which is a good idea if you don't fancy a 20min trek up a fairly sizeable hill.
I'm super excited to share what I came home with, and my plans for it all. But I think that will have to wait for another post.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Great big blobs of blood all around..

Cactus Bag: Zaful*
Another outfit from the novelty outfit challenge, although I'd been looking for an opportunity to wear this dress for a while. I usually team it with reds to pick out the little red details in the print of the fabric, but can't seem to find my red cardigan, so plum and berry shades it was, which led to the tights and the boots as well. It's nice to have a change.

Dress: Handmade // Cardigan: F+F
I don't think I'd worn this bag before, either. Actually a lot more useful than it may look; the zip goes all the way around and there's a lot of depth to it so you can fit in all of the essentials. I don't think I've worn these boots much, either, but I've no idea why as I adore them.

Boots: Irregular Choice

Saturday, 14 October 2017

A day at the seaside..


I don't know what it is about being by the sea, but it makes me calm. Last week, I headed up to North Wales to visit my sisters in a setting which used to be one of my favourite places to spend my weekends. It's funny how something can go from being a weekly routine, to something you barely remember, isn't it?

We stopped for ice cream, as is tradition, although this wasn't our usual place and it was a little disappointing, so I should have opted for coffee instead. Mint chocolate chip flavour can't be beaten, in my opinion, but this was a little grainy and I didn't really enjoy it.
A wander along the seafront in Beaumaris saw the weather take a turn for the much more sunny than I'd expected, and it was nice to wander with no real purpose. We pootled in and out of some of the shops around and snapped some photos and I think it's safe to say that I prefer seaside towns in the off-season.
Buck Brogues: Irregular Choice // Tights: ASOS // Skirt: Primark
I'm pretty lucky that I don't live that many hours away from the coast - an easy day trip for me. And I've no doubt I'll be there again before the year is out: nothing like a walk by the sea to clear the cobwebs from my brain.

Friday, 13 October 2017

What should we do next: Something good, something bad? Bit of both?

Dress: Lindy Bop // Tights: Gipsy*
I've been absolutely loving taking part in the #noveltyoutfitclub challenge which Lucy from Smile and Make is running this month over on Instagram. She's been giving us a weekly theme prompt from which we can base our outfits, accessories etc and there's absolutely no pressure on how much or how little you join in (which works for me!). Sometimes I start these challenges with the best intentions and then fail a little to keep up.

Groot brooch: Femme de Bloom
Last week's theme was *movies* and one of my favourite outfits from the week was this one. I went for a full-on Guiardians of the Galazy theme with my Baby Groot brooch, a space print Lindy Bop dress and rockets on my shoes. Green tights for Gamora and my cassette clutch bag to finish it off and I was kind of pleased with how it all came together.

Shoes: Irregular Choice
I absolultely love these shoes but I always forget that I have them. I have been trying to use my Dressed app more to remind me of the things I forget I own. Whilst some of my shoe collection is displayed on the shelves in my Wardrobe Room, it kind of means I forget about any other pairs which I have squirrelled away! But this challenge is definitely helping, too.

Clutch: F+F

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Life lately..

It feels like forever since I caught up with my thoughts here. As ever, I feel as though I'm treading water with a lot of things. I've spent most of this week feeling under the weather with some kind of stomach bug, so a lot of my week has looked like the photo above - curled up in bed with a bowl of soup, a box-set of Charmed and a temperature.
Before being ill, I think I managed to pick up the basics of adding to these Granny Squares. I've never before got the hang of crochet, so this is good. I've been making 6inch knitted squares for a worthy cause which a friend is supporting, so it's nice to have some more wool squares to add to the pile!
I've been baking - an Oreo birthday cake for my sister. I don't get the appeal of Oreos and when I whizzed some up in the blender to mix up some Oreo butter icing, I couldn't help thinking it looked a little more like cement than anything else, but I'm told she liked it.
Also, although I've only made this twice, it might be one of my favourite cakes to make - raspberry meringue brownie cake. I used this recipe from BBC food as a base, but I often tend to go a little rogue when baking.
I went to the haberdashery last weekend armed with a list of the things I needed purely for the coats I'm making this season. I bought two coat fabrics at my recent trip to the GBSB Show and I think it's kick-started my sewing inspiration as I'd been in a bit of a crafting lull. I also stuck to the list, which is unusual (in that particular shop, anyway!)
Things I came home with which were not on the list (and were a pain to carry home in the pouring rain) were these plants, which I wanted for the planters on my bedroom windowsill, and this vintage sewing box footstool. I have big plans to paint the wood and recover the lid, so based on my previous furniture project progress, that might be completed in, say...2027?
I think this sign from my best friend's house has a very good point. I concur. Although I'm feeling a lot better, I'm still soooooo tired all of the time. It's no fun.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

#bloggersecretsanta 2017


So, as usual, I'm running my annual #bloggersecretsanta parcel swap again this year. It's so weird because I'm such a non-fan of Christmas and yet the organising side of my brain really enjoys this little spreadsheeting and snail mailing task. 

So, if you'd like to take part this year, here's what you need to email or message me with. (Email address is in the sidebar):

  • Your name
  • Your blog / Twitter / Instragram (any or all)
  • Your postal address for a parcel
  • Any likes/ dislikes or things your sender should know about you (allergies etc)

That's all I need, really. Please sign up by 6th November, and I'll pair everyone up using the info you've sent. You won't be sending to the same person you receive a gift from (this works more like a chain) so it's up to you whether you want to reveal your identity to your recipient or not...

I'll send out your partner's details and you'll have a few weeks to take a look at their blogs / social media and put together a parcel. The spend limit for that is £10, not including postage. Then, post your parcel by 5th December, and let me know when you've posted and when you've received a parcel. Couldn't be simpler! 

Get in touch if you have any questions. Open to international senders, as always!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Tuesday Titles 143..

download (3)
The Roanoke Girls: Amy Engel

I've been longing to read this book for a while now, having heard so much hype about it. Frankly I'm always intrigued when I hear a lot about a book from lots of different sources, so I was keen to track a copy down and when I downloaded it onto my Kindle last week I couldn't wait to start it.
I'll start with a trigger warning: I think it's fairly obvious, but whilst it doesn't go into any graphic detail, this book is centred on sexual abuse.
Lane is our central character. Finding herself at Roanoke to live with her grandparents after her mother's suicide, she spends a summer with her grandparents and her cousin, Allegra. Allegra fills her in on the family history when she arrives: "Roanoke girls either run or die". And we discover that this family seems to have had more than it's fair share of tragedy.
The summer is hot and the girls bond over local boys and their time helping out their grandparents on the farm. There is a creepy undertone to everything and the central theme is alluded to but never explicitly uncovered.
We follow Lane's story as she is called back to Roanoke eleven years after that summer by her grandfather when her Allegra goes missing in strange circumstances.
The narrative splits between THEN and NOW and is peppered with accounts from some of the other past Roanoke Girls, too. Whilst I know this is a fairly standard method of eking out critical information, it all seems to work nicely and flows together to keep the reader interested.
When it came to the big "reveal", I have to say I was a little disappointed. There's no real twist, and as I say, the book had really been alluding to the truth all the way through. My suspicions were confirmed about the hideousness of the grandmother character, but not of the truth came as a surprise, so things felt a little...flat in the last couple of chapters. That said, I was fairly hooked and read the book in just a couple of hours, so it was well-written in that respect and I don't know how else it really could have ended, so there you are.