Monday, 30 October 2017

The animals went in two by two..

Rainy Day Dress: Amy Laws
Sometimes you need a little something to kick-start your creativity, I've found. Lately, with my sewing and various other projects, I think I've found myself in a bit of a slump. I'm not really sure what to blame that on, but something which has definitely helped me when it's come to being more creative with my outfit planning, has been Smile and Make's #noveltyoutfitchallenge. I've taken part in this for the past month and have posted most days. which is not bad going for me. Perpetually disorganised, I tend to find that I fall out of the habit of most monthly Instagram challenges. This one, however, was right up my street.

Shirley Bass heels: Irregular Choice // Bag: Pylones
I've shared a few of my favourite outfits from it on here so far, although more can be found on my IG profile. This outfit was part of animal theme week, and it all started with these tights, which I'd tried hard to track down last year when I saw someone else wearing them on IG. I love a pretty pair of tights and these animal print ones are perfect for my #wardrobezoo aesthetic. I managed to find out from Topshop HQ that the final remaining pairs were in their flagship London store and one of my lovely #teamunicorn friends swung by to pick a pair up for me. Since then, they'd sat in my box of tights, waiting for the right moment for inspiration to strike.
Fox Collar Clips: Ashlea Bechaz
I decided that they'd go quite well with this dress, with it's colourful raindrops and decided on these Shirley Bass rainbow heels, too. Figuring we had something of an impromptu Noah's Ark theme forming, and that it was raining, this umbrella print raincoat seemed the natural coat to opt for.
These fox collar clips remind me so much of the foxes in Farthing Wood. A TV show I adored as a child, I was thrilled to be surprised with the DVD box-set last Christmas but haven't yet got around to a re-watch. I don't know if I can cope with the heart-breaking fate of so many of the animals..

Rain Mac: H+M
My bag, shaped like a watering can, seemed like a good addition to the theme and somehow I felt more put-together than usual, if a little bit weird. I guess I'm pretty used to weird, though.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tuesday Titles 144..

Although I *do* have a book review for you (I read speedily on the stair-master at the gym last night as I realised that it's quite a while since I actually finished a book - the perils of having about ten books on the go at any one time....), first up I wanted to share a little book-related item with you which I think might be the perfect (*whispers*) Xmas gift for any bookworms on your present list...

Mock up Cotton Tote Bag on Brick wall Background

This tote is the first product from Daydreaming Designs, which will be releasing book themed products every month. The tote bags, which cost £10 including UK postage, can be pre-ordered here until 29th October. After that date, provided 50 pre-orders have been placed, they'll be produced and shipped and the next product will be released soon. I love this slogan; perfect for the perpetual to-read pile which so many of us face...

In book review news, I have a cheerful one for you today:

The Pets at Primrose Cottage: Sheila Norton
The Pets at Primrose Cottage is to be released next year, but at the moment you can read the first part of the book, just to whet your appetite. The story follows Emma, who has moved to a remote village in Devon to get away from her past and needs to start a new life. Trying hard to keep a low profile, she makes up a few little white lies to cover her tracks, but before long things begin to spiral out of control. Telling her new landlady's neighbour she is a pet-sitter lands her with an unexpected new career path and the village gossip seems to spread like wild-fire.

Charming and easy-going writing makes this the perfect book to cosy up with, although you'll have to wait until March for the whole thing.

Read anything great lately? Please share in the comments..

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sunday Shoes 147: Irregular Choice Maya

Every time I think that perhaps Irregular Choice have peaked and couldn't come up with anything more amazing than their previous styles, they pull something incredible out of the bag and my bank balance quivers.

These incredible, petrol blue floral print boots are called Maya. The most recent concept heel release, they have a birdcage shaped heel which is hollow and contains a tiny bird, decorated with real feathers.
The surrounding heel and platform are covered in thick layers of amazing, sparkly glitter and the sides and front of the boots are embellished with the most amazing rose embroidery. So much texture here, with a beautiful blue velvet ribbon lace-up detail. Fear not, though: the boots actually fasten with a hidden inner zip. I found that when these arrived, I had to re-lace them a little less tightly up the fronts to be able to fit my legs properly, but I do have fairly large calves, sooo...
The little kitty design on the sole and box is still up there with my favourite season branding, I think. My favourite detail on these I think might be the multi-coloured eyelets up the front. I just love the whole effect, despite the fact that they're super impractical on so many levels. But, when has that ever bothered me before...!?

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Cupcake pie..

Dress: Modcloth // Earrings: Dorothy Perkins
 I often wish I was better at taking pretty outfit photos. You see all of these magazine editorial standard photo shoots about now and it's almost what's become expected of "bloggers" these days. And I don't think that will ever be me. Telling my OH that he has to stop and take a bundle of photos of me when we go out would go down, I suspect, like a lead balloon and I am not really brave enough (nor do I have the spare time) to tote a tripod and my DSLR around with me in the hope of getting some snaps of my shoes. So, for now, iPhone living room photos it will be. I rather liked this outfit the other day.
Kitten Brooch: Kitschy Kittens // Enamel Pins: Happy Jackets via Hobbycraft 
I'm still going with my #noveltyoutfitclub photos and the theme for this week has been Sweet Treats. Sooo, this pie print dress, which always makes me think that I need to re-watch my Pushing Daisies box-set, seemed perfect. I don't think I've worn this cardigan much, if at all. I know that I've considered popping it in the "next blog sale" box on several occasions, but I'm not entirely sure why.
Bag: ASOS // Cardigan: F+F
This bag always makes me smile. Probably the very first of my "novelty bags" collection, my sister and I spied this on ASOS about ten years ago and thought it was the coolest thing we'd ever seen. Probably. We ordered it right away and it became the first of so many.
Shoes: Irregular Choice // Tights: Lindy Bop
I still seem to be considered polka dot tights completely neutrals, which might be slightly weird. And I think that these ICs might be one of my favourite pairs. I wear them so often, lately.

Friday, 20 October 2017

K+S Show Haul..


So, I mentioned when I wrote about the Knitting and Stitching Show that I'd share my purchases very soon. Finally remembered to take some photos of the things I bought, and thought it would be nice to share my plans for them, too. I don't know whether this will make me feel more "accountable" for these projects and less likely to put them off, but it's got to be worth a try, right...?!
The press passes we were sent made us eligible for a little gift bag full of goodies from the show, which was useful for me as I'd of course forgotten to take a shopping bag with me.
The only thing I purchased from Stoff & Stil was this pretty, sparkly swan patch. I think it irons on, but I'd probably stitch around it too. I have visions of it being on a skirt, inspired by this Boden one, but something which would flatter my shape a little better.
This Liberty fabric is just a lovely print, of mountains and clouds and rainbows. It's called Weather Wonderland and was from Fabrics Galore. I think it's destined to become a Sew Over It Betty Dress...if I have enough for the skirt..

I do love Eternal Maker - they always have a lovely stall with some impossible-to-find-anywhere-else Japanese imports. Sarah spied these shifty creatures before I did, but as soon as I'd seen them I had to grab a couple of metres. I'm thinking an Emery dress with short sleeves. The umbrellas are a kind of canvas - perhaps I'll be brave enough to try a Cleo pinafore, but I suspect it's more likely it will become a pair of Turia dunagree shorts.

I knew I wanted to find something vaguely sewing related to use to cover the top of the sewing box stool I bought recently. This canvas weight fabric was super reasonable so I really have no excuses to put off transforming this...over to Google to figure out where to start.
Oh, these zombies are so awesome and I want them to be a 2444, probably. Maybe with a grey Peter Pan collar. I'm loving the idea of collars lately- this cactus print, too, might end up being another 2444 (I'll be all set for #OWOP with all these 2444s!) with the shawl collar addition.
I did buy some other things, too, but they're for Xmas presents and therefore can't really be shared. But this is plenty to keep me going. Eep.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Silent in the trees..

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On Saturday, we headed out from our little base for the weekend (a cottage in the middle of the woods, near Badminton), to explore Westonbirt Aboretum. I have to admit, I'd never been to an arboretum before and wasn't really sure what to expect. Well, obviously a lot of trees. Managed by The Forestry Commission, there are over fifteen thousand species of trees across 600 acres of land. Yes, we queued for a while to park and to buy our tickets to get in, but we did get there at prime Saturday lunchtime (along with everyone else, it seemed!)..
Despite the queues and crowds, it wasn't long before we'd explored our way past the rather awesome treetop walkway (I really liked the crow's nest style platform which gave great views over the forest) and into the woods themselves. Once we got there, we were pleased to see that there were plenty of signs about encouraging you to explore away. Which we did. For me, I took the invitation to explore to include tree-climbing, which I did in as many trees as I could. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the beautiful changing colours of the forest, as well as being hugely underwhelmed by the 2000 year old tree (stumps). That said, I'd definitely recommend it as a place to visit, should you be in the area.
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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