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Friday, 18 May 2018

Friday Favourites 277..

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A few colourful things which have caught my eye this week, as I've been asked for birthday ideas etc lately. Here are some of the things I'd be most thrilled to receive. 

001: This Collectif cardigan is beautiful and yet so simple with it's pointelle finish. I love wrap-around cardigans; they're so flattering, and I think it would be the perfect summer wardrobe staple.

002: This Seasalt print is everywhere lately and rightly so. Tiny village fete shenanigans. Could this be any more summery? 

003: Topping my endless IC wishlist of late is this pair. The floral background, the cockatiel on the front, the ankle strap; they're pretty much perfect, in my opinion. 

004: I noticed this lovely embellished clutch bag on Instagram lately and could barely believe it was from M+S. What a gem!

What's on your wishlist this week?

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Blog Tour: Curse of the Nomed



Curse of the Nomed
Curse of the Nomed: B.B Taylor


Something a little different today. As part of Mental Health Awareness week, what could be better than taking part in a blog tour about a book aimed at children, written using the ideas of a group of year eight students, and which supports a charity which works for children's mental health..?

Here's a brief summary: 

Ancient Gods, a cursed Librarian and a battle to save their souls. How hard could the first day of school really be? Welcome to Nomed Academy! An epic adventure for three unsuspecting year seven students as they embark on their first day of school. One they will never forget. But can they really defeat an ancient Egyptian God with nothing but revenge on his mind? All net profits from the sale of this book go to Partnership for Children, a mental health charity supporting the positive mental health of children.

Although this is a fairly short read, this certainly doesn't stand in the way of it being an engaging read. Drawn into the adventure right away, the reader will follow Nora, Stefan and Jacob as they get to know one another whilst attempting to save their new school from a perilous end. As the three students, with the help of their school librarian, navigate their way through challenging situations, they begin to forma bond which will no doubt stay strong for years to come. 

I feel as though this would be the perfect book to read as a group in a classroom setting, perhaps as part of an Ancient Egypt theme topic, even though under the surface it's so much more than that. 

Keep up with the rest of the tour here: 

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Blog Tour: Granite Grit

Granite Grit
Granite Grit: Lee Cooper



Every now and again I love to get stuck into reading something a little different for me. I can't say that I've read a lot of novels centred around the underground boxing scene, but nevertheless when I heard about Granite Grit, I was rather intrigued and wanted to read it. I'm really glad I did. 

Young family man Joe is haunted by demons from a childhood blighted by his father, a notorious criminal and brutal street fighter. When he beat up Joe's mother, she killed herself, then the bully abandoned him. When Joe loses his job and spirals into debt, he turns to what he knows: Boxing. He's forced into the clutches of criminal Mr Dean, and the brutal world of unlicensed bare knuckle fighting, relishing his bloody victories...until he realises he's becoming like his father he despises. Joe is desperate to confront his father...and kill him. The only way is to defeat The Reaper, a psychopathic fighter and killer, to gain the notoriety to enter his father's murky world. Bur first, Joe must overcome his demons. Will he Win?

Right from the first page, I was hooked by the gritty writing of this book. Sympathising with Joe, who is going through his own emotional fight with himself alongside the boxing matches he takes part in, I found his story very believable and did not want to put it down until I reached the end. Which, after a dramatic twist, which I didn't see coming at all, left me reeling. 

Honestly, I'd recommend this one even if you're not particularly into boxing. It will appeal to anyone who has ever felt that they need to do something to prove themselves to their family.


Saturday, 12 May 2018

I do like to be beside the seaside..

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Why are the weeks whizzing by so quickly, of late? Already a week ago, here are some photos from my recent trip to the mid-Wales coast. A weekend in Cardigan with nothing planned seemed like just what we needed after a few stressful weeks, so we took to the road on Friday evening and kept our fingers crossed for some sunshine...

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I believe there *was* some sunshine, but when we got to the beach at Mwnt, there seemed to be a big cloud of mist between us and it. That said, it was still warm enough to sunbathe, so armed with ice creams we scaled the cliff and found somewhere to nap for a few hours in the warmth.

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A little exploring during the course of the weekend lead us to discover the bird hides and boardwalks around the marshland at the Welsh Wildlife Centre, which was lovely to explore in the sunny early evening, as well as a wander around the back streets of the town to spy gems such as these super doors (which I assume is a furniture store). 

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Dress: Lady Skater made with Katia Fabrics jersey 

We ate at Pizza Tipi both evenings, mostly because it was a stone's throw from where we were staying, and also because it's amazing and they serve my current favourite tipple...seaweed gin

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Being by the seaside has always brought me calm and I feel as though something has been reset. There's something so relaxing about watching the waves and combing the beach for washed up treasures than I didn't even mind jumping back into the reality of another hellish-busy week. 

Friday, 11 May 2018

Friday Favourites 276..

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001 // 002 // 003 // 004

Blogging lately for me has felt a little bit like treading water. I've been struggling to find the time to get some of the ideas in my brain down onto the screen and I've been falling behind with plans and deadlines. But, since my blog is predominantly for me, I guess this shouldn't matter and it definitely shouldn't be a source or stress or guilt. This is something I've touched on so many times since I began to write this, but I tend to put pressure on myself in every aspect of life. I probably shouldn't do that. 

Anyhow, I feel as though I'm finally back on track with a little space to breathe and catch up so here are a few of the things which have caught my eye this week: I seem to be all about the stripes..

001: This dress has struck the perfect balance of retro styling, with the belt and the pretty Peter Pan collar, but also everyday chic with it's relaxed fit. It's got a nostalgic school-uniform vibe, which I think just adds to it's charm.

002: This robot t-shirt has been in my bookmarks collection for a while now - I keep thinking that I could take the red stripe tee which I already own and add a patch to it. Maybe I should give that a go.

003: Not exactly stripes, but these IC brogues just make me think of picnics. 

004: This Collectif skirt is summer and stripes and fruit and I love it. I also don't have a lot of orange in my wardrobe, so it would certainly be well-received. 

Anyhow, what's caught your eye this week?

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Turia Dungarees..

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I mentioned that the crab jersey was just the first of the fabrics I'd chosen. This sunbather print canvas (also by Katia Fabrics) was the other and I immediately had visions of turning it into a new pair of Turia dungarees. 

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It's a pattern I've used before and have become fairly familiar with - I made these floral ones in advance of my trek to America, and these denim ones for France last year, although I must admit they're covered in paint these days so I tend to keep them for camping. 

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I was neater and more careful than usual, making more effort to keep my contrast top-stitching neat and also making sure that all edges were enclosed, as this fabric frays like nobody's business. But I'm pretty pleased with how they've turned out. 

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Friday, 4 May 2018

Friday Favourites 275..

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If the weather forecast is to be believed, we could be due some more snow this weekend, but frankly my thoughts have turned to the spring sunshine and the move toward sunny summer sandal weather. 

Browsing the Spartoo site, which I seem to do at least once daily, I've been picking out some of my favourite sandals, which would be perfect for the summer weather we're hoping for.. 

001: I have the feeling I've mentioned these sandals before but I'm still drawn to their quirky ice cream design. I love that the main colour of the shoe is a waffle cone. Mmm, ice cream...

002: More Miss L'Fire goodness with these rainbow raffia wedges - they'd go with pretty much anything!

003: One of the latest Irregular Choice concept heels, this hula girl heel reminds me of Moana and gives off serious summer-time vibes. 

004: So simple, yet so effective with the mix of bright yellow and blue on this pair of sandals

005: I'm still really enjoying embroidered embellishments on just about everything, lately, and really like the way these Betty London sandals mix florals and stars.

006: I think I've mentioned these before, too, but the combination of the heart shaped heel, the pearls around the ankle strap and the hearts and polka dots on the front have these Irregular Choice sandals topping my list. 

What have you been shopping for lately? 

Thursday, 3 May 2018

You're not a stone, bro..

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Whilst I've closed my commission book lately when it comes to dressmaking, there are certain people who still get to request a little selfless sewing and I'm happy to oblige. Particularly when I get to request payment in the form of fabric. I've very recently discovered that yarn brand Katia have released some of their own fabrics as well.

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I picked two - the first one being 1.5m of this super stripey crab print jersey, destined to become a Lady Skater dress. I cut it out as soon as it had dried after pre-washing, as I couldn't wait and wanted to make sure it was done in time for this weekend's trip to the seaside. (I'm ignoring the fact that the weather is due to be horrendous.)



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Somewhat fortuitously, I found this little crab patch in one of the sewing boxes. I often forget what I've collected over the years so it can often come as a surprise. I decided that there would probably never be a more perfect use for him, and stitched him in place, top left.
In case that wasn't enough crabs, I also dug out this cute little bag, which I'll definitely be using this weekend. 


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Messing about in boats..

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In fact, the house we stayed in had boats, but the riverbank had collapsed a little, so we were not able to do any messing about in boats, after all. Not that we'd planned to. But nonetheless, the title seems apt as Oxford is after all, the home of the Wind in the Willows.



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So, what felt like yeeears after actually booking it, last weekend I finally headed to Oxford to meet up with three of my favourite unicorns. We don't get to see each other that often but try to make sure we meet up at least once per year. 

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As all of us have visited Oxford in the past, we shunned the usual touristy ideas of walking tours around the colleges (which was a good thing as the weather wasn't really up to much walking - cold and showery!) and booked a tour of the Oxford Artisan Distillery on Saturday afternoon, which was great. Since all four of us enjoy the odd gin and tonic, we were intrigued to see how it's made. 

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The tour itself was great - we were collected in a mini bus from the tourist information centre, and shown around the distillery whilst our tour guide explained the process of making their gin from grain to glass. Their stills were made by a steam engine expert, although they were custom-made and the one in the photo above can hold up to 2000 litres. Of gin. The mind boggles. 

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So after the tour, and some tasting, we spent the rest of Saturday afternoon exploring shops and side streets in the city centre, before heading back to our pretty little Air BnB for dinner and - you've guessed it - gin and tonic!

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On Sunday we packed up our belongings and pottered into town once again in search of brunch and more pretty buildings to photograph.

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Our walk into town was only about ten minutes and rather scenic; lots of pretty riverbank goings on and easy to see how this would work as inspiration to anyone wishing to write about messing about in boats.

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