30.12.12

INSTA-VERSARY

This week marks one year since I bought my beloved iPhone and downloaded my most used app, Instagram.
My love affair with Instagram has been going strong and doesn't seem to be disappearing any time soon. I love that it makes me want to take more pictures of my everyday life and share these things with my friends and strangers who want to follow me... umm...hmm....
I love that it makes me document the little moments that otherwise would have been forgotten, the food I have eaten (farrr too much), the days out we have taken and the special moments that if I didn't have my iphone on me, would be a memory that would be soon forgotten as I have a memory like a sieve.
Looking back through my pictures it seems we have done quite a lot this year, we brought in the new year in our pajamas, we moved flats and fell in love with our beloved Peckham, bought our first real (non Ikea) piece of furniture. Celebrated the jubilee, my birthday and Steven turning 30 in the most special way.


Some of our special friends got married, we went to the Olympics and Paralympics, and visited our family plenty of times. We spent lots of time together and I guess I must give work a mention...ermm...I went to work a lot?
I embraced the English seasons, we did our first bit of DIY (only putting up curtains but we are renting!) and took my first ever photo booth picture. We made a designated area for my sewing machine, had lots of cosy nights in and I came home to the sweetest message on the bed. 

Now onto the food! I ate sooooo much good (bad) food this year, we tried lots of new places in London, I seemed to eat a lot of burgers and cake. I hope 2013 is exactly the same!

We have had lots of lovely day outs visiting museums, exhibitions, seasides and tourist spots.

We cheered on Whitehawk football team, hung out with lots of friends and we went to Cornwall for a few days for our summer holiday, singing our favourite in the car.
Steven and I certainly spent a lot of time together, having lunch dates and pizza fridays and making use of Londons free parks in summer. I went to a talk at the Tower of London, dressed up for my works Christmas party and took Steven to Meantime Brewery for his Christmas present. 

Finally, how could I not mention all the bits I've made this year!? I started the year with a sewing lesson in Brixton where I made my first bag, I then went onto make my own bags with my own embroidery designs on which I am hoping to expand in 2013. I overcame my fear of sewing in public and I made pieces for our house and dipped my toes into clothes making - making a couple of skirts and a top. I even did a handmade Christmas, which luckily went down very well, phew!


I hope 2013 is just as good and fun filled as 2012 was, or dare I say... maybe even... better?


If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is @jocrawford

29.12.12

CHRISTMAS, DONE!



We are back in London now after spending a few days up North for Christmas. We had lots of fun visiting our family and friends who we haven't seen for ages. I feel like my feet haven't touched the ground all week, so I'm taking these next few days until I have to go back to work to sort my shit out (sorry, I know mentioning the W word over the Christmas holiday is forbidden!) Loads of boring stuff like sorting out my clothes and tidying the flat but lots of fun stuff too like planning blog things and eating loads of chocolates eating healthy food.
Isn't it just the most satisfying thing when you find a home for all your new presents? I've found little nooks in our TINY flat that I never knew existed!
I'm also spending the next few days figuring out the things I want to improve/make happen/learn in 2013 so I will be back with an update on that. Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

22.12.12

HANDMADE CHRISTMAS

This year I set myself a task of making the majority of Christmas presents intended for friends and family- I have a relatively small family so it was certainly much easier then it sounds!

We will start with presents for the dads - of which I have two (step and real). I found this quite tough because they don't want some homemade crap that is actually a bit naff and all my relatively half decent skills (sewing and embroidery) don't really translate well into dad gifts. After spending a looooong time searching around on the internet for ideas I came across this amazing mug idea by Wit & Whistle, and what dad doesn't love drinking out of a mug?! I maaay have been clutching at straws a little bit, but I went with it. Both mugs come with a double chocolate cookie (only one each because I ate the rest...) and a piece of chalk to write messages about how amazing I am.
Next up is the auntie. Aunties like homemade stuff and the time and effort you (I) put into making gifts so I went with my classic default gift of the veggie shopper bag. For all her vegetable shopping needs!

My mum works in an infant school so I made her two tote bags for her many files she lugs around - one for numeracy stuff and one for literacy. The literacy one has the letters that the kids learn first or something 'SATP'. This small detail will win me some serious brownie points, or at least an extra pig in a blanket at Christmas dinner.

Finally I made a small gesture for our friends, we don't normally give gifts but this year I was feeling extra giving. I bought a clear bauble and glittered it up with their initials. Simple but effective, and messy. Very very messy. Oh and its probably not wise to spend all week being really careful with the baubles and then to go drop and smash one just as you're about to put it in bubble wrap. Not wise at all.

I've made a couple of other bits too which I will leave till after the big day, but now I'm off to eat as many mince pies as I can. Merry Christmas!


18.12.12

CHRISTMAS CARDS

This year I decided to make my own collection of Christmas cards to give to friends and family. I've always wanted to make my own but have never found the time or thought of the right design that doesn't look too home made but this year, I had a brain wave! I incorporated sewing with traditional Christmas designs and I am really pleased with how they turned out...as in..they are not completely crap and passable as a Christmas card kind of pleased.

I created three designs; baubles, snowflakes and snowmen to keep things simple and I stamped the inside (pretty roughly) with a jolly 'Merry Christmas' message.
 

I totalled them up to cost about 17p per card which is not a bad price at all! I have now caught the 'homemade card bug' and will be making cards for all occasions for the rest of my life.


Apologies to my family. 

16.12.12

WEEKEND PICS

Blimey, I don't know where this week has gone! It seems to have disappeared in a haze of food, booze and dancing.
We had our works Christmas party on Thursday with the theme being 'Back to School' and I went as an art teacher, I wish I could dress like that all the time so very comfy and I spilt so much drink down me no one even knew!

On Saturday two of my lovely friends from Brighton came to visit for a Christmas filled day. Obviously we went to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park first but actually we were pretty disappointed - it's not very Christmassy at all, it seems they have just put XMAS in front of everything 'XMAS grill, XMAS pub, XMAS noodles' I didn't take any photos as we left pretty quickly. Three twenty somethings might not be the intended target market though...
We then headed to the Southbank for food and nothing says Christmas more then Mexican food! We went to the Wahaca Southbank Experiment - 8 recycled shipping containers made into a restaurant.
There was a small wait but after we visited the bar, ordered some amazing mocktails with chips and dip and looked over the Christmas market on the Southbank, we were soon called to our table.
I know Wahaca is a small chain, but it's a good chain. The food is good and they are very attentive and my two friends are vegan which they catered to very well - including an almond milk hot chocolate. 
I ate the pulled pork burrito which was amazing and I had every intention of ordering a dessert but I was too full, which surprised me quite a lot! It's only there for 18 months so make sure you visit before it goes.

Our (turning-out-to-be-not-so) Christmas filled day ended with seeing the lights on Oxford Street and a trip to Liberty's Christmas department, perfect!

11.12.12

#SHARE ADVENT DAY 11

Subscribe to something that will enhance 2013.


Anna has featured loads of great ideas over on her blog for things to do for todays #ShareAdvent but I've been umming and arring for a while over what I want to subscribe to, there's just too much choice! I love magazines but I have a very short attention span, my interests flit between food, sewing, crafts, photography to name a few so I feel committing to one particular subscription would only be beneficial for a couple of months  - I'm also trying to tighten the ol' purse strings so best to avoid this one!
I've decided that I want 2013 to have more of a focus on my blog and developing my crafty skills and ONE DAY opening up an Etsy shop (IT WILL BE DONE!). Anna gave me the idea of simply signing up to Hellocotton which for me is a step in keeping on top of blogs I follow (I currently use Google Reader but I love the layout and features on Hellocotton, it has much more to offer) and keeping inspired with other peoples amazing skillz.
Does anyone else use Hellocotton? If you want to follow me my page is here

10.12.12

WEEKEND PICS

I spent this weekend catching up on my very long 'to do' list, I got a fair bit done and even fitted in lots of TV watching!
Here's just a few pics I snapped along the way

Did you have a nice weekend?

8.12.12

#SHAREADVENT DAY 8

Todays #ShareAdvent was to go to a craft fair, which annoyingly I didn't get chance to do. I'm hoping to make it along to the The Crafty Fox Market in Brixton tomorrow but in case I don't I thought I would put together a small list of bits from Etsy (I kinda stole the idea from Anna at Skin and Blister...shhh). I gave myself a budget of £50 which is dreaming a bit high on the run up to Christmas but you know, dream big.
So, from my virtual craft fair I bought...


This BEAUTIFUL calendar print by Little Canoe. I love the font and the colours so much and I love any kind of print/stationary with vegetables on so I was completely won over when I saw this.

I love this Orion constellation embroidery kit, such a good idea. I never would have thought of this and would make a great present...if I could part with it.


Look at these cute illustrations! I saw this tea towel and thought of Steven straight away for having my tea ready on the table when I get home from work (sometimes...) ha!


I've been wanting some recipe cards for a while and these ones are perfect, simple but well designed. I'm a sucker for Kraft paper crafts!


And finally this handmade wrapping paper is so beautiful I think I would rather frame it then give it away, or just wrap my own presents up in it. Read the process of how its made on their Etsy page, this is very special wrapping paper!

Hope you liked my virtual craft fair picks...I just wish I could actually afford to buy them all!

LIFE THROUGH MY IPHONE

The last two weeks in pictures taken on my iPhone...

1. Steven being a sweetheart. 2. First Christmas sandwich of the year from Pret (which I think is miles better then the m&s one!) for my journey back up to visit my parents


3. Fortune cookie after a meal with my dad, I recieved a Christmas card, do you think that was it!? 4. Only in the North do they serve egg, chips and beans on a plate the size of a platter - can't beat it.

5. Craft shopping for Christmas supplies! SO exciting! 6. Preparing for Christmas crafting...

7. Bags packed ready for a weekend of visiting friends in Manchester. 8. Packed lunch for the supposedly 5 hour journey that turned in SIX hours, urgh.

9. Far too much wine and FREE pizza in Manchester on a Friday night. 10. Hangover breakfast as a result of the wine from the night before. Hash browns are the best!

11. Lots of pretty and too tempting fabric, I was very restrained! 12. Amazing paper art at The First Cut at Manchester Art Gallery

13. An old issue of Frankie for my train entertainment back to London. 14. Article on my beloved Peckham in the Evening Standard, it is no longer a well kept secret which makes me quite sad!


15. My very first handmade wreath (blogged here) 16. Beautiful handmade Christmas card from a talented friend.



If you want to follow me on Instagram my user name is @jocrawford

6.12.12

THE FIRST CUT

Whilst I was in Manchester over the weekend, I went to see The First Cut exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, it had completely slipped under my radar but I'm so glad I found out about it.
The exhibition includes 31 artists who work with paper in various different ways and my god are these people talented and amazing. Some of it you couldn't even believe it was made from paper, I've honestly never seen anything like it before.

 This was made from a BURGER KING WRAPPER! Jeeeeeeez

When I walked in my breath was taken away it was that ridiculously good. I don't want to spoil it for those of you who are planning to go but I have included a few pics of my favourite pieces - they actually let you take pictures!


After the exhibition I wandered around the rest of the gallery, such a beautiful building - and well worth a visit to the cafe for a chocolate brownie!
The First Cut is on until 27 January 2013 and it is unbelievably FREE!

3.12.12

#SHAREADVENT DAY 3


Today's #ShareAdvent is to reread your favourite book. I don't really have a favourite book, or when I think I do it changes very quickly, far too indecisive. However, I do seem to have a selection of books/authors I turn to depending on what mood I am in. 
For #ShareAdvent I have decided to reread Just Kids by Patti Smith, the first time I picked this book up I read it so quickly I felt like Johnny 5. Every time I have read it since I get a completely different feel from it and pick out certain points which passed me by the previous times. I like to read this book when I'm feeling impatiently creative, like I want to do everything right now, right this second. I like to read it when I feel like I haven't got enough skills to do certain things because this book reminds me (however cheesy it sounds) that hard work and constant practise pays off. Everyone has to start somewhere, just like Patti did. Soppy I know but if you haven't read this book, I cannot recommend it enough.

WEEKEND PICS

This weekend I went up to Manchester to visit my lovely friend Clare, we ate loads, drank enough wine for about 10 people and chatted till my throat was sore. I love Clare's flat, every room she has she manages to decorate it perfectly with all the trinkets, tins, frames and art she has collected over the years. Every time I visit I come away wanting to add new bits to my own flat, very bad for the bank balance!
Here's some pics from my weekend with a few of her beautiful flat

Sooooo much wine
Naughty fabric shopping
Veggies for the best veggie bake ever (to counteract the wine!)











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