28.2.13

GET IN MY WARDROBE

Wow, this week has been all kinds of good! On Monday I got offered a new job which I wanted sooooo badly and then I sold my first ever craft makes (the cards I blogged about here) to some nice folk at my work. Top tip: tell people you're leaving and then send round an email flogging some cards, works a treat!
I feel like starting a new job requires a whole new set of work clothes, you know, just those key pieces that will make me look awesome every day...yeahhh....unfortunately I can't really afford any new clothes so here are few things that I would buy if I had a massive budget (although I do feel strangely satisfied from online window shopping, maybe this is the answer to my low bank balance!?) Also, I've only just discovered Polyvore, I know I'm about 3 years late to the party, but isn't it just the best thing in the world?! I have spent most of my week making different outfits up and then realising they come to over a thousand pounds and get depressed but press clear and do it alllll again, this must be the best kind of time wasting!?

26.2.13

MOTHER'S DAY CARD

Mothers day card
I'm heading up North this weekend for my mums birthday, so I thought I would get making her Mothers day card whilst I'm at it, organised! I was pleasantly surprised how nice and spring like the card turned out, I reaallllyy love white pen on brown/kraft card, I think its an instant success and then add some embroidery in to the mix then I must be on to a winner! Right?
I'm slowly getting closer to my Etsy shop being open, things have been stitched and embroidered for it, oh yes, I had my doubts but every week I'm getting that little bit closer! Do you think these cards are something that you would possibly buy, perhaps for a thank you card or something similar? I'm just wondering if they are something worth putting out in to the public or do I have that craft blindness (where you think everything you made is amazing but actually it all looks like a 5 year old could have made it...in the dark...with one hand...)? Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated! 
Mothers day card

24.2.13

WEEKEND ROUND UP

fabric
We decided to take it easy this weekend, I feel like things have been mounting up recently so its nice to just stop and spend some time at home getting things in perspective.
I started Saturday buying new brogues from Kate Kanzier, I've been eyeing them up for ages and for £35 they are too good a price to pass up. I've also got my eye on some of the loafers there, perfect for when the weather gets a bit nicer.
I then headed over to Goldhawk Road to buy some fabric for some bits I'm working on at the minute. Does any body else feel a bit intimidated when buying fabric, or is it just me? I don't really know what kinds of fabric I should be buying most of the time and because they're never labelled with the material type/price/any info that is helpful, I just gravitate towards the pretty patterns. I could do with a fabric helper in these situations! Despite my fabric freak out, I managed to pick the two pictured above and have already got them stitched into my makes and they're looking pretty good, so a successful shopping trip in the end!
Today has been spent sewing, eating and not getting changed out of my pyjamas, the best kind of Sunday in my opinion. I feel like I've had chance to re-charge my batteries, ready for a new week to begin. What have you been up to?

21.2.13

PIZZA AND CAMERAS

ICCO pizza
One of my favourite things to do with Steven after work is to go to our favourite pizza place for one of their specialities. We go to ICCO on Charlotte Street, near Goodge Street station, it's a no-frills independent place that serves massive pizzas - all for fairly cheap too! They don't serve any sides but the quality of the pizza is more then enough on its own, it gets pretty busy during the evenings but its well worth waiting for.
ICCO pizza
Do you have a go-to pizza place? I'm always on the look out for new places to try!
Aperture
The other day we gobbled up our pizzas and went for a stroll down Charlotte Street, (which is definitely worth visiting if you are looking for a place to eat away from the tourists whilst in Central) and we came upon Aperture, a quaint looking camera shop with a tea room at the back. I couldn't resist going in, they sell many cameras and lenses and I spent plenty of time swooning over the Leica's on display (one day!), so we treated ourselves to a bottle of rose lemonade and enjoyed the surroundings of the shop.
Aperture
The tea is quite pricey but the novelty of gazing at cameras, leafing through magazines and sipping tea is something that I won't be getting over in a hurry!
Aperture
I love stumbling upon cute places like this, please do tell me if you know somewhere worth visiting!

19.2.13

CURRENTLY READING

 Poster by Adrienne Adamas, 1963, source

This year I seemed to have really got back in to reading (like actual books, not just blogs and the paper in the morning) I don't know what happened last year…maybe crafting took over and I was being all silly not making time for both but I started this year by reading Call the Midwife and Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth which are the books to my current favourite TV series Call the Midwife (there is a third one too but I'm waiting till my mum has finished it before I can borrow it off her!) and I would highly recommend them, they give such a great insight in to life in East London back in the 50's and go in to soooooooo much more detail then the programme does!

The third book of the year that I am reading is Hons and Rebels by the communist Mitford sister, Jessica or Decca as they affectionately call her, which has been on my reading pile for quite a while. I first became completely fascinated by the Mitfords after reading Nancy Mitford by Harold Acton and then moving on to The Mitford Girls: The Biography of and Extraordinary Family by Mary S.Lovell which is a complete doorstop of a book but I read it so fast I felt like Johnny Five. 

I think its hard not to pick a favourite sister and the whole time Nancy's wit and involvement in the Bright Young Things sold me. That and no one really wants to like Diana and Unity because they liked Hitler, a lot….and Pam seemed to be the quietest of them all and not particularly that interesting. I don't really know too much about Debo to make an informed decision and Tom is the brother so he doesn't technically count so that leaves Nancy and Jessica and having read a book solely on Nancy she was immediately put on the pedestal.
In the previous Mitford books I had read, Jessica was kind of brushed over after she and her husband moved to America to live but after reading Hons and Rebels my eyes have been opened to another Mitford sister.
I really love Decca's writing style, there are some great quotes in the book that made me want to read them over and over;

"The Bible asserts glibly, 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish thing' - as though it were so simple, with never a word about the uneasy transition, the restless search for one's own personality, the longing, not only for independence, but for that particular kind of independence which one feels dimly will come with self-knowledge"

Jessica also wrote 'The American Way of Death' which analyses the American funeral practises and I really can't wait to read it. I'd also like to read Diana's autobiography and the Letters between Six Sisters written by Charlotte Mosley, Diana's daughter in-law.
And so my love the Mitford sisters carries on...

How about you, do you have a favourite Mitford sister?

I'm always on the look out for reading new books, if you have any reccomendations I'd love to hear them!

17.2.13

FLOWER CROWNS BY THE SEA

Bloggers in Leigh on Sea
This weekend has been packed full of FUN, I love it when you have only plans for one day but then the whole weekend turns out to be just perfect.
On Friday we went to the Prince of Wales pub in Clapham for a friends birthday. The pub has seriously cool decor, there's so much stuff hanging from the ceilings and on the walls I couldn't stop looking around. They have a good selection of beers and really friendly staff, definitely one to visit if you're in the area. Also, I don't think there is really any better way to end a night out then having a cheese and bean toastie in your pyjamas!
Saturday involved the Juergen Teller exhibition at the ICA, (I'm still not really sure how I feel about it...) followed by pizza (more on that later in the week) and a wander round central before spending the evening sewing in front of the TV.
Bloggers in Leigh on Sea
The main event of the weekend was that today I took part in my first blogger meet up, yikes! Myself, Katie and Hannah, Charlotte, Michelle, Natalie, Jo and Elena all went to the lovely Anna's house in Leigh on Sea and spent the afternoon making flower crowns, eating yummy food and taking plenty of pictures. Its the first time I've met up with a group of bloggers, so I was feeling a bit apprehensive, who would have thought they all turned out to be perfectly nice and normal people?!
Charlotte from Lotts and Lots patiently gave us a quick tutorial on how to attach flowers to the wire and then there was no stopping us, I had serious crown envy. Bloggers in Leigh on Sea
Bloggers in Leigh on Sea
I had a really lovely day and now I just want to wear a flower crown everyday, its the perfect accessory, wouldn't you agree? The flowers we used were absolutely beautiful and supplied by The Great British Florist (who sells only British grown flowers) and because the sun was shining it certainly felt like we were in the midst of spring...if only.
Bloggers in Leigh on Sea
I can't wait to take part in another meet up, its so nice to talk about blogging and pictures and crafts with people who actually want to talk about them too, win!

Oh and I can't resist a 'behind the scenes' pic, too funny!
Bloggers in Leigh on Sea

Hope you had a lovely weekend too!

14.2.13

NIGHT OUT IN EUSTON

photo(1)
Happy Valentines Day! Hope you're all having a love-filled day in whatever form takes your fancy.
We celebrated ours last night with pizza, chocolate and Pukka love tea, very tasty!  This post isn't really anything to do with Valentines at all though…sorry!

We seem to be on a bit of a beer hunt at the minute, we've frequented a fair few bars in the past month, which has made quite a nice change from watching Corrie and eating my weight in biscuits (not really, I love Corrie!)
Last week we ventured to Euston for a night out having only ever really been there to catch a train. We met in the Euston Tap which is housed in an old gate lodge, I've seen it a few times and never really thought to go in, actually, I don't even think I thought it was a pub! It is pretty small inside, understandably, but there was a good atmosphere and if you manage to grab a seat its a nice place to spend most of your evening. They have soooo many beers, in bottles and on draft and the staff seemed friendly enough to help with any choices. Opposite the road in the other gate lodge is the Cider Tap, we didn't go in but I'm guessing its kind of the same but focusing on cider, maybe? I love this idea and think its such a great use of an old building which potentially could have been demolished or left empty.

Whilst we were in the area we went to the Wellcome Collection, just across the road to see 'Death, A self-portrait' exhibition. I've never been to the Wellcome Collection before but its such a lovely building and its FREE to get in. The exhibition is definitely worth a visit, which ends on the 24th so hurry!

Who knew going out in Euston could be so much fun?!

12.2.13

SNOWDROP HEART

snowdrop bag
As part of a fun blogger Valentines day thing, I have taken part in #HeartSwap organised by Anna over at Skin and Blister. Since my #ShareAdvent participation (which Anna also organised, what a lady!) I have gotten the 'joining in' bug and more importantly who wouldn't want a sweet little present sent over in time for valentines day?!
I was in two minds whether I should post this now but then realised the receiver of my gift either hasn't opened it yet so therefore it won't ruin the surprise as they won't know its from me, or has opened it and therefore knows it is from me, so it really doesn't matter!
The receiver of my gift said that she loved botanical illustrations, anything to do with nature and snowdrops are her favourite plant/flower. I didn't just want to buy her gifts so instead I made her the bag above and also bought her some cute botanical illustrations which I hope she likes! The snowdrops were designed around the heart theme and this was the first time I've properly filled in sections with colour, using the faithful split stitch I managed to cover larger areas in less time (even though it still took a fair while!) and it is definitely something I want to try out in other designs. I think it looks rather sweet, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, I just hope the receiver likes it!

10.2.13

WEEKEND PICS

Camden Town Brewery
We started the weekend with a drink at Camden Town Brewery on Friday night. I've worked in Camden for just over 2 years and love that there are always places to be discovered, even the places that I really should have known about before now!
Camden Town Brewery
Camden Town Brewery is located underneath the rail arches at Kentish Town West, they brew their own beer here and then sell it from the bar, which is relatively small but has plenty of seating. The beers are fairly pricey (£4 a pint) to say that they shouldn't really have any distribution costs but you are able to buy bottles of beer (for £2) to take away- given in a brown bag so you can really feel like you're part of the Camden scene. Steven really liked the stout that they sell and I really liked that they give you as much free popcorn as you want, winner! I also have to mention that they have different street food stalls selling in the courtyard, whilst we were there Peppa Pot and Deeney's were selling and we ended up trying something from each. I got a jerk chicken roll with bbq sauce and coleslaw from Peppa Pot, which was simply the best thing I could have eaten on a Friday night after a few beers and we got a vegetarian haggis toastie from Deeney's which was nice but I think the amount of mustard completely over powered the haggis. We were more then happy for it to accompany us on the train home though!
Greasy spoon
Saturday started with a fry up at the greasy spoon round the corner, a fiver for the full works and a cuppa. I love that most places now have some kind of hot sauce condiment, I certainly feel like we have moved on from the 'brown or red' sauce days!
The rest of the day was spent finishing off some sewing (which I shall share with you in the week) and watching TV.
Rainy London
Today I decided to head into central because I needed new a new bra, I actually really recommend going on a Sunday just as the shops open and also when it is pouring it down with rain- not many people will be so stupid as to go shopping then, score! I got measured up and found I was TWO cup sizes bigger then I thought (sorry for being over sharey) but I always thought I was wearing the right size and I really wasn't so go to your local M&S and get measured, such nice ladies that work there, sorted me right out. And I got some swish new pyjama bottoms, I LOVE this print, I wanted the shorts and the nightie thing but restrained myself. All in all, a productive weekend with plenty of fun and exploring, what more could I ask for?
Simple things 
Hope you had a good one too! 

7.2.13

THE DRAFT HOUSE

The Draft House
Lordship Lane in East Dulwich is a lovely place to hang around on a Saturday afternoon (although you might get mowed down by a buggy) there are loads of cafes and pubs and North Cross Road just off it has a great market selling some amazing food (which I briefly wrote about here). We've been meaning to try out The Draft House for a while now so when a rainy Saturday came our way, we couldn't get our coats on quick enough.
I'm not a big beer drinker (I find that it often tastes like I'm sucking 2p's) but I am quite partial to a half every now and again and I'm really into the craft beer surge that seems to be consistently growing. Loads of nice little pubs have popped up and I have to say its making us visit areas of London we probably wouldn't have done before.

The Draft House
The drinks menu has loads of choice (a good menu to ponder over whilst having your first drink) plenty of draft and bottled beers with some that Steven had been wanting to try for a while. I liked that each beer came in the correct glass (shape, size and logo), which after working in a bar whilst at uni is no easy task! The food menu (although a little on the pricey side in my opinion) had the recommended perfect beer pairings for each dish - including the nibbles! How fancy.

The Draft House It turns out that there is a small group of them scattered over London, including one on Charlotte Street - good when you're out and about in Central and in need of escaping the tourists. It's not particularly cheap but we enjoyed our Saturday afternoon there, worth a visit for a good pint anyway. We're always on the look out for nice pubs like this to visit, are there any that you would recommend? 

We're heading to Euston this evening to try out a bar there, will let you know how it goes!

5.2.13

TRAVEL DOODLES

Berlin doodle book

Ok, this is the last post about our trip to Berlin, I promise! I just wanted to share this little notebook that I made and illustrated of our time there. Obviously I always carry my camera with me so I can look back over the pics at any time but a camera doesn't always capture every little detail (even though I try!), like the nicest biscuits we had for breakfast and especially the 40 minute walk to the Holocaust Memorial where I was too cold to get my camera out! I also love a good reason to practise handwriting and a few little drawings. I found it to be a useful place to keep all the business cards/leaflets/stickers I seem to collect on every trip, beats just throwing them away after 6 months of living under my bed.

3.2.13

BLOG UPDATE

Well I guess it's official, the weekend is pretty much over. The last two days involved crafting, tidying, sorting, eating (lots), drinking, tidying some more and changing a few things around on this here blog of mine.
I've put new tabs at the top; Things I've Made, Adventures and My London all of which have an ever updating list of thumbnails linking back to the original blog post. I've spent most of today getting my head around the html coding malarky and now I'm feeling pretty frazzled so catching up on Mr Selfridge and then bed it is!
I would love to hear what you think of the changes I've made...

1.2.13

EXHIBITION ROUND UP


Living in London I always feel completely spoiled by the amount of good quality exhibitions that are on/coming up, and in January you can't beat having a wander round a gallery even if it is to take shelter from the sideways rain!
I'm mainly drawn towards photography exhibitions but this year I've decided to branch out a bit and try different ones that I wouldn't normally visit. After doing a bit of digging around I've come up with a list of all the ones which have caught my eye.
As of the 30th January, the Design Museum opened Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things which looks at 'key designs that have shaped the modern world'. The pictures on their website look great (OLD STUFF!) and on the 17th February they are holding a Drawing Tour led by a design expert. I love finding out the history and effect of everyday objects. The exhibition is £11.85 (probs a pay day exhibition!) and will be on permanent display until 2015.

I've been meaning to visit the London Transport Museum for ages now, its just every time I go near it there are soooo many tourists there but when the Poster Art 150 - London Underground's Greatest Designs opens on 15th February I will make sure I pay it a visit. I'm really looking forward to seeing the designs that were used over the 150 years and the website says that there is a rare chance to look at nineteenth century letter-press posters, swoon! It costs £15 admission into the museum which is pretty steep BUT this entitles you to unlimited admission for a whole year which is a good bargaining tool I would say, well done TFL.

Naturally, I have to put a photography exhibition in the mix and what an exhibition it is! The National Maritime Museum are showing the work of Ansel Adams until 28th April. As soon as I started learning about photography I was taught about Adams, his landscapes are so beautiful that I can't do him any justice. I really want to go and just sit, and look, and look some more and just take it all in.

When we went to New York just over a year ago we went to MOMA and I think they have a couple of Litchenstein's prints which I remember being completely fascinated by. Sometimes when you see things in real life (as opposed to a computer screen) your opinions change or you like things that you never really thought you had much of an opinion on before. So that's why I want to go and see his retrospective at the Tate Modern, it doesn't start until 21st February so plenty of time to save up the £14 entrance fee (is it just me or has the price of exhibitions suddenly just gone up?! I swear they used to be about £10 and now it seems £14 is the norm!).

The Light Show at the Hayward Gallery is probably not something I would usually be overly bothered about but seen as though I'm trying to push myself into giving things ago I thought this would be a good one to start with. The exhibition presents sculptures and installations using light in different ways, it certainly sounds fun! This one is on until 28th April and costs £11.

Aaaand finally, the National Army Museum have what I assume must be quite a small exhibition on (its held in the corridor) about National Service, the exhibition details the lives for these poor young men and just what they were expected to do. I'm currently reading the Call the Midwife series of books by Jennifer Worth and I have been totally consumed about all the social history in that period of our history, it seems to long ago but it wasn't really, quite frightening. You will be pleased to know entrance to the National Army Museum is free!! I think I'm going to have to do some saving before I can visit all the exhibitions I've mentioned!

I'd love to hear if you think there are any more exhibitions worth visiting...
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