Wednesday, 23 December 2009

anthropologie loves

by now, most of you probably know i have a small addiction for anthropologie, and it's beautiful quirky designs. so i thought i'd share some of my favorites with you just in case you haven't yet realised the full extent of the anthropologie greatness.
i do hope some of this is in the sale!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

vintage vogue

this christmas i've bought my sister in law the most awesome present, even if i do say so myself. this is actually one of the few people that isn't receiving a homemade gift. given she's been doing an amazing dressmaking course, i thought that a sewing pattern would be a great and very useful gift. but it's no ordinary pattern, it's vintage vogue!

i bought the pattern at the weekend in a craft store, when my mum and i went to chichester again, this time we saw The Snow Queen at the Festival Theatre, which was awesome! there was loads of fake snow, and the costumes were so so so amazing! Amy Jackson, the costume designer for the show created almost 140 individual costumes...all tailor made for each actor.

it made me want to:
  • buy a vintage dress coat pattern and make it up with cream wool fabric, and a bright coloured lining
  • find some incredibly sparkly flat oxfords
  • invest in a pair of incredibly quirky glasses
  • experiment with backcombing my hair
  • buy white tights
  • wear red leather lace up boots
  • paint my face blue
  • buy tulle underskirts.....
if you live in the south of the UK, it's definitely worth booking in to see the youth theatre christmas productions, it's such a fun day out! and you can get totally carried away in the craft shop too...

Thursday, 17 December 2009

making homemade christmas gifts

so here's a little update on the gifts i'm making this holiday season, and just how far they've come...

i've made a whole 3 batches of crabapple jelly, which is pretty delicious, and all but 3 jars are gone (one even over to morocco with my brother!). it was extremely easy to make, even though there are a million steps...and it was totally worth it, as it is really really good!

homemade granola - this is still to be made, but i'm going to use this recipe from the Kitchen Sink Recipes blog, which looks yummy.

instead of the promised pancake mix, i decided to do some homemade biscotti, which i've made today, and which taste absolutely amazing, thanks to King Arthur. i made the first batch plain vanilla biscotti, and the second i added cocoa powder, chocolate chips and chopped pecans too, mmm.

the chocolate truffles will be in full motion on sunday, when i will be making and rolling a good load of chocolate. how terrified am i of attempting to temper the chocolate on my own? aah! i'm sure they'll be totally fine though, as long as i remain vaguely calm.

i've made all the cushions now, bar two tiny ones which hopefully i'll get onto tomorrow.

i've even embroidered names and initials on them to make them more personal (and the fabric is from ikea by the way), these really don't take long to make, apart from the embroidery which is fairly time consuming.
i made an apron for one of my best friends too, who will hopefully ♥ love it (for some reason the photo rotated on upload...):

and get how cute this is, it's reversible and it has her name embroidered into the corner! again, not too difficult a project as it's all straight lines!

and yes, i did make all my own christmas cards, which unfortunately left in the post before i actually photographed them. silly i know, but i could tell you that there was a lot of cutting and pasting involved in the process, and lots of wrapping paper and corrugated card, and you'll have more of an idea!

please let me know if you're pledging handmade, or making any of your own gifts this year, i'd love to hear about your ideas!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

snow in england!

i don't know what you're thoughts on snow are but i love it! that's probably because we never have enough in England to get annoyed with it and wish it away. and when we do have snow, it's a fantastic excuse not to work!

well it did snow here today for about 5 minutes, which was awesome. it was actually pretty magical, because I was listening to Cliff Richard singing Let It Snow on my Christmas tunes... more of that in a minute...and I looked up from my computer and it was snowing!

there's no way it'll settle today, as the ground is too wet, but there's snow expected in the south of the uk tomorrow!

mum was talking the other day about how much she'd like to go on a sledding holiday, where she can just sled for a couple of hours a day on real proper thick snow, and then have to drink at least 10 hot chocolates in a day also, of course! i thought new england or somewhere like that would be perfect?

anyway, here are my current favorite christmas tunes to cheer you up on a cold wintry night (unless you live in the southern hemisphere, where then I'd hope these tunes will cool you down):
  • maybe this christmas - the o.c. mix 3
  • orchard house - little women album
  • have yourself a merry little christmas - judy garland
  • sleigh ride - ella fitzgerald
  • it's beginning to look a lot like christmas - dean martin
  • soul cake - sting
  • i believe in father christmas - greg lake
  • mistletoe and wine - cliff richard
  • auld land syne - mairi campbell & dave francis
  • merry christmas mr lawrence - ryuichi sakamoto
  • rockin around the christmas tree - brenda lee
  • walking in the air - peter auty

these christmas tunes are especially good served with hot healthy mince pies snuggled up by the fire chatting with your favorite people.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

flowers make me happy

one of my new year's resolutions last year was to try to have fresh flowers in the house all the time, and i think we've done pretty well. and it's made me so happy this year, i can't even say! i thoroughly recommend it as a resolution for 2010...

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

christmas decorations ♥

garden-store christmas decorations... aren't they pretty? we always go for red and gold decorations. and mum has this thing for little ornaments too, we have loads.a very cute miniature christmas village in Haskins...this is our tree this year... we seemed to have run out of tinsel and lights this year, so my imagination was definitely necessary.

Monday, 7 December 2009

when i was young

i know i promised you, my lovely readers, to some old pictures of me (on account of my scanning them in for a christmas surprise!) and so here they are...

Friday, 4 December 2009

i went to london, oh yes

so here's our journey in pictures...

we started on the train, of course, to London, which takes well over an hour, but we chatted all the way so it flew past. mum tried on my hat, and decided it was definitely time for a new one (but more of that later!)

then off to find Wholefoods - i went to the one in NYC and when i found out that there was one in London, i had to go! And its amazing, rows and rows of delicious things to eat, including Booja Booja ♥

and i got to try my first lot of raw chocolate, and wowee did it taste good. it was expensive though, but definitely worth it for the experience. it was really creamy and the perfect bitter/sweet combination.

the most exciting part of the shopping was Anthropologie, which I have been loving looking at online, and the new-ish store in London was phenomenal. they write your name on the cubicles and everything. i bought a dress and a jacket, in the sale! one of which is my christmas dress (photos to come soon)

the store is beautiful. with a living wall, and a skirt made out of blue and white china (above) the homewares are just amazing, and the clothes are so unique! mum bought her hat in the store, it's a navy blue version of my hat, only chunkier and much nicer.

we went to beyond retro too. a very cool vintage store, but given that i am rubbish at shopping in vintage stores i didn't last long. the quantity of clothes is overwhelming, i only wish i had more time and a hardcore vintage shopper by my side, guiding me through...

we went into Harrods too ♥ we saw the international designer lounge and i inspected up close an oscar de la renta outfit, which was simply stunning. it made me want to try to make a chanel style jacket (anyone know any good jacket sewing tutorials?). we went to the food hall and bought a cookie and an almond mince pie. i saw a row of these payphones right next to the restrooms, and i thought they were brilliant!

off to winter wonderland in hyde park, where there's tons of gorgeous rides and the scent of hotdogs in the well as an ice rink of course

then we went to see Wicked, which was amazing, i highly recommend it to everyone and anyone that wants to have fun and be inspired!

we got home really late, and the train was super busy all the way back.

all in all a wonderful day! we're going again twice in january, which will be the most i've ever been to London in such a short space of time. mum's buying me the tickets instead of my christmas stocking this year, how great is that?!

anyway, over and out, have a great day!

Monday, 30 November 2009

a ridiculously gorgeous photo shoot by robynne

one of my favorite bloggers of all time, Fashion on Edge, recently posted an Autumn / Fall photoshoot she took, and i just had to show you guys. it's absolutely amazing, and I wish this was how I looked all the time...

she's done some other amazing shoots too, time goes by was extremely fabulous, english heart made me want to wear hats every day and the chameleon post was just amazing too. robynne nows how to style a look together, and how to work vintage...i am in awe.

ballyhoo, bally who?

i've been researching vintage dresses for an article i've been writing, and i stumbled across Ballyhoo Vintage whilst searching for vintage 60s dresses. ok, so it may not be the most beautiful website, but the clothes are absolutely stunning! here's a sneak peek at some of the things i'm longing for...

and if that wasn't enough, they've got some very cute vintage aprons, pretty 50s swimsuits and amazing gloves...oh my word! plus some of the items on there have NEVER been worn, ever.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

a handmade christmas

it's official, i'm making a whole bunch of gifts this year, each with a really unique twist, hopefully. i've done some homemade gifts in the past, but i'm really stepping up a notch this year...

i can't tell you exactly what they are, just in case my family and friends are reading this, because then the gifts won't be a surprise, and we don't want that now do we? but, i can tell you the general areas of things i'm making, and no-one will know who they're for...

  • jams and jellies - delicious first and foremost, but also excellent because they don't have to eat it right away
  • homemade muesli and granola - as part of a breakfast special!
  • pancake mix - a bit of buckwheat flour, a bit of gluten free, some cinnamon and a special sprinkles section, delicious
  • chocolate truffles - i went on a course a while back, on how to make perfect truffles, with a delicious ganache centre. so, i'll definitely be making some of these in the week before christmas
  • cushion covers - i went to Ikea to buy some thick fabric for making cushions, and the prints in there are so much fun, i'm sure everyone will love the cushions. i'm adding some personalisation to it as well, with some peoples initials handstitched on in felt, and some with an individual design
  • aprons - these are really easy to make and accessorise, i've made one for myself in the past, and i love it loads. i especially love that the ties are really long so you can wrap it round and tie a bow at the front!
  • christmas cards - i haven't actually decided on a design yet, although i'm sure i will soon... perhaps i will make them tomorrow!

i've got a couple of other ideas too, but these are the definite ones so far. have you got any good ideas? i've been searching craft blogs for ideas, and actually i find most of my inspiration comes from blogs that don't actually relate to crafts necessarily, like A Field Journal, Design Sponge and Oh Hello Friend.

this last Thursday, I went to the switching on of the Christmas lights in my home town, do you remember? Anyways, it was amazing, super festive with carols and fireworks, and the lights in the town centre are gorgeous. and even though some people were complaining that it felt too early to start getting all christmassy, i disagree, i think it was the perfect way to begin the festive season. (we went for a milkshake afterwards too, i had a raspberry one, yum.)

and to continue with this festive spirit, tomorrow we will be going to the advent procession at our local cathedral, something we have never done, but everyone has said that its the most magical thing ever. and then the weekend afterwards, i'll be making mince pies and christmas decorations, which we'll put up with the tree on sunday! oh, how i love Christmas!!

ps. if you would like me to do tutorials on any of these projects just let me know?

Friday, 27 November 2009

it doesn't matter, it's b + w

i realise it's been a while since my last outfit post, so here's one of my latest black and white to honour the colour of the clouds :)

the hat says 'la vie est belle', which is 'life is beautiful' in french, cute eh? oh, and that's the skirt i made a few weeks back, which from today i've decided never to wear with high heels and tights, it's a little bit too figure hugging to not make me feel a bit too vampy...
i bet you all have some amazing hats..? i think perhaps one day i'll start a vintage hat collection, wouldn't that be amazing!
i've been trawling through, and scanning in old photos of me and my family from when i was little, perhaps i'll show some to you in my next post?

Thursday, 26 November 2009

i'm learning to knit...again

me and my mum went to chichester festival theatre the other day to go see an adaptation of pride and prejudice. and before we went in to the theatre we went to do a little bit of shopping... and it was the craft shop that really took our eye; upstairs they had everything you could ever want to craft with, oh my word!

i've been thinking about knitting again for a while, but just haven't got round to actually buying any wool. so, when i saw a huge load of very cheap wool by Robin, i couldn't resist, especially when i saw this beautiful color...

i learnt to knit once before when i was much younger, i had to be an old french woman for a play so there was a bunch of us on the side knitting. i could even do it without looking at it. that's how good i was. i'm picking it up again now, and it really isn't complicated at all, and it didn't take too long to remember which way to loop it and stuff.

perhaps before long i'll learn how to purl..!

this is how far i've actually got...i'll keep you updated on my progress. somedays i do just one row, others i'll manage about ten. maybe i'll be finished before christmas. but i think i'll run out of wool quite quickly as it's a pretty wide scarf!

thanks to Sadie's Wardrobe for the awesome inspiration to actually pick up the needles again!

giving thanks and my obsession with toast

I wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of my blog readers! it means such a great deal to me :) at this most appropriate time of year (even though we don't have thanksgiving in the uk) i hope you are all feeling super thankful for awesome things that have happened in your life this past year...

my thanks list is fairly endless, but here are a few of the things i am thankful for:
  • my awesome family. who keep me strong and level headed
  • my fantastic friends. who make it ok for me to be me
  • my health. which although its been dodgy, is ok now and is always improving
  • my life. there are so many people i know who have lost relatives and friends this past year, and i am so thankful that i am still alive and my closest people are too
  • the weather. this may seem a bit odd, but i love the english weather in all its beautiful changes! today we've got a beautifully sunny day after many weeks of rain, and i can really appreciate how magical such a clear day is
  • good food. oh this year has been filled with amazing and delicious food experiences, i am thankful that i have been able to enjoy new food and enough food to keep me well and happy
  • animals, especially cute little cocker spaniels, actually this year i finally realised i quite liked cats...which was a definite step in the right direction i think
  • money. this year i've whined a lot about money, but when i think about how much i've had access to, in order to do all the amazing things i've done, i am massively grateful!
  • opportunities. i live in a country where i am able to choose to do what i like as a job, i am not restricted to doing one thing, and actually have difficulty choosing what career paths to take
  • fantastic music. this year i've started appreciating classic fm, loved Snow Patrol no matter how samey their songs are, and enjoyed playing with Shazzam on my iPhone

that's just a sample of the things i am thankful for. but there are so many!

and now, i want to share with you a company that definitely requires more attention than i think it gets. i first found out about this company when i was about 15 when a brochure fell out of my new copy of vogue, and then a few weeks later when i complimented my art teacher on her awesome outfit, to which she said it's toast.

Toast is absolutely stunning, it's got this simple, classic design with quality fabrics. it's snuggly and warm, and perfect for winter, and i just want to wear everything in every catalogue. oh and did i mention they have a home section too (divine!) they deliver to loads of different countries, so its definitely worth taking a look at their full range. but here's a delectable sample:

well i hope you all love toast! i'll hopefully be posting soon with some outfit pictures! today i'll be going for a swim at the gym and scanning in thousands of old photographs to use as christmas presents...and finishing by going to see the turning on of the christmas lights in my home town and drinking a milkshake. i hope your days are equally lovely!