Saturday, 31 August 2013

August: a month of two halves

As you might be able to see from the picture, this month was v.much split in two - the first being packed full of social happenings and the second was super chilled.

4 things challenge update:

De-clutter: Apart from a few ebay sales I've not been doing so well on the de-cluttering BUT on the plus side I've totally curbed my spending (at least on clothes anyway)!
Health: I drank waaaay too much booze in August so a bit of a detox is on the cards for september - I'm not cutting it out altogether just reducing the intake. Also, I've got a free trial at the rather sexy brockwell lido gym next week which will hopefully lead to a membership!
Money: Saving is in full swing and I've created a helpful spreadsheet to keep track of all the wedding costs that we've paid and need to pay - who knew that creating spreadsheets could be so satisfying?
Do more new: We took our first day trip ever using national express and journeyed south to bournemouth - such a lovely day - AND we also went for a swim for the first time in brockwell lido (and enjoyed lunch in the lido cafe). Yup, I finally braved the unheated waters of the pretty 1930s pool and, man, I'm glad I did.

September's shaping-up to be just as busy as the beginning of August what with several drinks and dinners planned, not to mention my sister's birthday, a family reunion and a live comedy show - the start of autumn is looking good :)

Thursday, 29 August 2013


★ Reading: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. It's an interesting and rather wordy read. I've not read anything by a Swede before  but I'm liking it muchly. 

★ Watching: Copious amounts of Star Trek Voyager. Mitch wanted to re-watch the entire series and I catch most episodes too - it's really not that bad and in fact, some of the episodes are pretty good as stand alone story concepts. Also, rather surprisingly, I've completely warmed to Captain Janeway. She is one cool spaceship captain. In between episodes of Voyager we've been getting our Breaking Bad fix (can't believe there's only 5 left!) and tuning into the new series of the Great British Bake Off, naturally.

★ Making: The baby quilt. The top is complete so now all I've got to do is make the backing, sandwich the layers, quilt it and bind the edges all before sunday. It's doable but I might not get much sleep! Also, excitingly, I've been making our 'save the dates' :) We're printing them through and they should arrive next week!

★ Baking: I've been baking brownies and Mitch made a pie. Normally we just take it in turns to do the cooking but it was fun working in the kitchen side by side, we should do it more often especially since Mitch gave the kitchen the most EPIC clean/clear out and now it looks amazing.

★ Drinking: Twinings green tea with jasmine pearls. I know it sounds poncey but they are the bomb.

★ Looking forward to: Another long weekend. I've got the day off tomorrow so Mitch and I are heading for the coast. There's also the baby's christening on sunday which should be fun.

★ Feeling: A little blue. I worry too much.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

pay day!

It's pay day! Huzzah! 
Now, although I'm trying extra hard to cut my spending on frivolous things - I've got a gym membership to purchase after all - there are a few things which I most definitely have my eye on...

1. This fabric from the Liberty Lifestyle collection
2. Out tomorrow, it's the last book in the trilogy of Margaret Atwood's dystopian future. The lady herself was actually in the UK for a talk yesterday at the southbank, pretty gutted I missed it.
3. Underwear. If I only get to buy one thing from this list this month it's got to be some new underwear - comfy everyday ones (like these ones from uniqloand some fancy ones too.
4 & 6. I need an autumnal-ish pair of shoes that aren't my converse. This t-bar pair from Topshop are cute as are these loafers from ASOS.
5. Having experimented with dressmaking from a pattern, I'd like to give Colette's Laurel dress a try. I do love a shift dress and this one comes with a free download of some extra embellishments you can add to it.
7. The weather is definitely getting cooler so that must mean I can justifiably start on my next knitting project hopefully using flecked wool...

Thursday, 22 August 2013


Despite a much quieter week I still feel like I need to find my bearings with august. How is it the 22nd already?! 

We reached a very exciting milestone last friday :D

A trip to Norfolk at the weekend to see my grandparents also involved a stop off at a windmill and the opportunity for Mitch to pose with a rather beautiful car.

Mitch and I popped into the Great British Beer Festival on Friday with the view of staying for a couple of hours. A lot of half pints later and we were being kicked out after enjoying a thoroughly good evening  which not only included beer but also a few games of thumb wars, meeting lots of new people and eating spaghetti carbonara (made by two sicilians) at 1am. Spontaneous evenings - you just can't beat them.

Another beautiful house for a location shoot last week. It had a willow tree in the garden. I do love willow trees.

New books! Birthday book token has finally been used up. I think I spent it wisely.

As a treat to myself, I bought some new pens. Is there anything better than a new set of pens? I very much doubt it.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Tuesday's Tees - 36t5

Something a bit different for your Tuesday's Tee instalment today...

I just came across this guy - Andi Best - who's set himself a challenge called Three Hundred and SixTee Five. The aim? To wear a different t-shirt everyday for a whole year. This is his website where you can check his progress (he started in January so he's over half way) and, should you fancy it, donate an old tee for the cause! He states that although he has a lot of tees, he doesn't have enough to not wear the same one twice in a year. A lot of the donations have come from his family and friends but I was happy to see that a few of my favourite tee based sites have jumped on band wagon and sent him stuff! All 365 of the tees are being donated to a clothing charity at the end of the year. Pretty fun eh?

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

the festival of quilts '13

Last Thursday was the opening day of the Festival of Quilts - not only was this my third time in attendance at the show but it was also rather special v.own quilt was on display!

Childish excitement abound, it was the first thing I looked for upon arrival. Back in May I'd entered the 'My First Quilt' competition category (mostly on account of my 'Do More New' approach to life) and so there it was (and would be for the next 3 days) hanging up amongst all the other hundreds of other competitors. I quickly realised that my first attempts at a quilt were nowhere near as good as most of the people in the category but it was pretty cool to see it up on display all the same - especially when I saw one woman take a picture of it :)

Anyway enough about me, the rest of the show was too! Highlights for me:

  Lynne Edwards mini exhibition, in particular her feedsack fabric quilts.
  Mandy Pattullo's beautiful fabric and paper collages
  Listening in on Kaffe Fassett's interview
  Godharis from rural India
  The beautiful geometric patterns (and products) by Heleddmai.

Close-up of the butterfly quilt by Lynne Edwards
Lynne Edwards' feedsack fabric quilts

Mandy Pattullo work taken from 'Thread and Thrift' exhibition

Mandy Pattullo. This and the one above were my favourites.

Mandy Pattullo - skirt

One of the godharis (that's quilts to you and me) from rural India. These pictures really don't do the colours justice - they were amazing.

Godharis close-up


Left: Alicia Merrett -  Map quilt.
Right: 'Box' entered into the 'Quilt Masters' category, sadly no name was displayed next to it. 

Kaffe Fassett chatting away. He was very charming with an interesting turn of phrase - he actually described paisley as sexy!

'Crossroads' - Hayfa Al Mughni


And now for some of the competition pieces which really stood out for me...

Left: 'Princess and the Pea' - Sue Trevor
Right: 'Just to make you Smile' - Gillian Travis.
Both from the Quilt Creations category

Left: 'Scarlett's Crimson' - Philippa Naylor (Quilt Creations)
Right: 'Little Stars' - Jean Ball (Traditional Quilts)

Left: Peckham community quilt (I think this was in the group category)
Right: 'Flower Pecker' - Stephanie Redfern (ContemporaryQuilts)

'Every text he ever sent' - Lara Hailey (Art Quilts). I thought this idea was v.clever and pretty insane if you think about the amount of hours needed to stitch all that text!

'In the style of Frank Lloyd Wright' - Mary Morrison (Miniature Quilts)

Lastly, as always, I couldn't leave the NEC empty handed so bought a couple of fat quarters for the stash from The Running Chicken.
Nice eh?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tuesday's Tees - UrbanOutfitters

Some excellent guys and girls tees currently gracing the web pages (and hanging rails presumably) at UrbanOutfitters. Notable favourites: The TMNT - big fan of the original TV show (films less so) and the Gemma Correll one. I particularly love the model's facial expression in that pic, it seems to say "why am I wearing a tee with wine AND a cat on it? Wouldn't this appeal more to girls?" The answers being: because it's AMAZING and yes, it probably would but thankfully girls can easily get away with wearing guys tees! 

Rather fabulously U.O have got quite a few Gemma Correll tees at the moment - bonus!

Monday, 12 August 2013


There's been a lot going over the last two weeks which explains the rather quiet time on here. Birthdays, cocktails, dinners, interviews, catch-ups, people to stay, festivals - you name, it happened more than once since the beginning of august! Now, although I had a bloody good time, I'm committing myself to a kind of detox - my liver and bank balance will certainly thank me. Anyhoo, here's a few pics from the last two jam-packed weeks.

Coppa - a v.cute little pop-up v.close to London Fields. You can't see it in the picture but they have, deckchairs and benches to sit on, or you can book a hut! (They're basically garden sheds but each is decorated completely differently - they're pretty cosy.) I highly recommend this lovely little roof-top joint. Delish food but a little pricey (best to order a bunch of things and share between a group). The zucchini frites and lamb skewers were particularly tasty. The drinks were also lush. A good cocktail list, my favourite being the bitter lemon.

Two sunday's ago Brixton celebrated the Splash Festival - kinda like a street party only waaaay bigger. We only stayed long enough to eat some goat curry and have a bit of a wander round as I was a little worse for wear thanks to a weekend of almost solid boozing :/

Cracking on with the baby quilt. We received and invitation to the baby's christening which means I now have a deadline and it's not far off!

And what about you - anyone else having a super busy summer?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Project Linus Block

At the spring edition of the Knitting & Stitching show I came across Project Linus. It's a volunteer organisation which aims to give comfort and support to sick or disadvantaged children, teenagers and babies by providing them with new home-made quilts, knitted and crochet blankets all made and donated by members of the local community.
Back in March I met the president of the UK branch who told me that they were organising a project to make as many quilts as possible by asking people to contribute a patchwork block in one of four different colourways (one for each season). Participants had until August to send them in or drop them off at the Project Linus stand at The Festival of Quilts. Above is the block I contributed - I went for the Spring colours - which I handed in at the festival yesterday. It really is a great little organisation and although it can't cure any illnesses or magically solve serious troubles, the blankets are a help in smaller ways - as reassurance, a sign that someone cares or even just as something warm and soft to snuggle under.

 The project always needs more stuff and you can contribute by donating fabric or wool, sending in completed blankets or volunteering to help distribute the finished ones. As this is a country wide effort you'll want to contact your local representative should you like to get involved. All the area contacts are on the Project Linus website. My company made a large fabric donation so I met with the west london/hounslow lady - she was lovely. I think they'll probably do one of these patchwork block things again so, if you're handy with the sewing machine you can always make one or two!

A little fun fact before I go - Project Linus is actually named after the blanket-toting character from the Charlie Brown comics. Cute.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Cow&Co wish list

I stumbled across Cow & Co last week and, man, they have some pretty nice things on there. From geometric stationary and ceramic tiles to excellent light fittings, bags and jewellery! Here are some of my favourites.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11

Anywhere that sells cointreau marmalade and a space rocket scarf (!) is always good in my book.

This is not a sponsored post - I just really like their stuff.

Monday, 5 August 2013

DIY ipod case

I haven't done a DIY for quite some time... so here's something super simple, and rather handy, to make. I actually made this for a friend's birthday and snapped some pics along the way!
1. Cut out some fabrics strips - this is a pretty good way to use up your scraps if you have any lying about. I used 7 strips to make this ipod touch case, around 16cm in length.

2.Stitch them together along the long edge with right sides facing.

3. Once you've stitched all the strips together cut out a piece of wadding and backing fabric. They need to be a little bit bigger than your strippy patchwork piece.

4. Make a sandwich - patchwork on top, wadding in the middle and backing fabric at the bottom. Pin the layers together and then quilt! I just did a random zig-zag pattern but you can do whatever you fancy.

5. Trim away the excess wadding and backing fabric so that all the edges of the sandwich are even.

6. To make the loop, cut a strip of fabric 2 x 12 cm and fold length ways into thirds and stitch down the middle.

7. Make the stitched strip form a loop by pinning it to the top edge of the quilted sandwich. To make the linning, cut another piece of fabric to the size of the sandwich and pin right side down ontop of the patchwork layer. Make sure that the loop is in between the right sides of the lining and patchwork layers.

8. Stitch around the outer edge of the sandwich but leave a gap on the bottom edge to turn the case the right way out.

9. Turn the case the right side out and slip stitch the gap closed.

10. Use a pin to mark where to sew on the button. (It's best do to this bit with the case folded around the ipod so you get a better idea of how far the button needs to be from the top edge. The tighter it is the more secure your ipod is.)
11. Once the button is sewn on, fold the case around the ipod again, pin in place and hand stitch the bottom edges and side edges together. (Again, keeping the ipod in place just means you can make sure that the case is nice and snug!)

And you're done!

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