Thursday, 20 December 2012

2012 - in review

I know we've still got a couple of weeks left in 2012 but they're shaping up to be rather busy - finishing off xmas presents, squeezing in a few more cheeky festive drinks with friends, sorting out the final few bits and bobs for New York and packing for the Christmas break in the New Forest. So I thought now was a good time to think about the list I wrote for 2012...

Back in January I set myself 3 very simple goals for the year:
1. SAVE!
2. Exercise
3. Be creative

So, how did they turn out....
1. Obviously I didn't want to save in order to sit on a lovely nest egg, to occasionally check my savings account and feel smug about the large figure displayed on the screen. This simple goal was actually the grown-up facade of a much more frivolous intention: to spend said saved money. This, I can happily say, was most certainly achieved. Although Mitch and I are yet to buy that new sofa, we did buy a desk for the living room and more importantly we booked a holiday. So, in theory I did save, I saved enough to buy two of the things I really wanted :)

2. This did not go quite to plan. As with most of my attempts to stick to a regular exercise routine, I was super motivated in the first couple of months and took up running. This petered out but then a new burst of enthusiasm took place around May and more convincingly throughout July, August and September. But there at the end of September it stopped completely. I can't say why I stopped (it probably rained too many nights in a row) or why I can't seem to stick to it (the longer the gap between runs the harder it was to go...), I even downloaded the nike+ app to chart my progress which was great, but obviously not great enough. I think next year I might join the gym and get Mitch to come with me. We went for a couple of runs together and I loved it. I think company whilst exercising might be the key...

3. The important part of this goal was that I not only needed to make but also finish one craft project every month. I am appalling at starting things and never finishing them (don't get me started on my writing) and this is definitely something I wanted to address, in a creative way, throughout 2012. And I did pretty well. I may be crap at exercising but by god I like to make stuff.

April and October appear to be absent in terms of projects completed but I think the extra creativity in the other months (most notably March - god know what I was on, some sort of crafter's cocaine*) more than makes up for this. I also got to try out a couple of new things - screen printing, dressmaking and knitting - as well as returning to one of my favourite creative outlets from childhood - plasticine. 

*not a real drug (as far as I know)

In conclusion, a fairly good effort was made throughout 2012 - better in some areas than others. I'd like to keep these three goals for 2013 – I clearly need to push a lot harder with the exercising and improve on this year's feeble attempts, and the sewing and saving just seem to me like good things to keep up – but I do have some other resolutions for the fast approaching new year...I'll share them soon!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

christmassy place cards

Today I wrote a post over at ivy and neat with a super simple tutorial about how to make your own place cards. My sister and I used to make them when we were little and I thought that it'd be a great way to get little ones involved with the Christmas table setting, alternatively it's just as nice a thing to do as an adult too! To see how to make your own click here.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tuesday's Tees - the digital age with YEL

My most recent tee crush is courtesy of the excellent clothing brand Your Eyes Lie. They've got lots of great graphic prints on their website but today I'm swooning over their digital prints.

See what I mean? The first two are my favourites. The one on the left is called 'thanks iceland' and (i think) depicts the icelandic volcano eruption in 2010. Even if it's not, the tee is pretty rad.

Monday, 17 December 2012

a golden half wedding

Back in September one of my v.good friends who I've known since secondary school got married on one of the hottest days of the year. Not only was the weather perfect, but the ceremony went smoothly, the bride looked beautiful, the food was amazing (much curry was consumed) and the party afterwards was so much fun, the music was especially awesome, a mixture of bhangra and well known chart stuff - I danced continuously for hours. Best of all, aside from the fact that my friend got to marry her lovely boyfriend of 7 years (I think it's 7...), the wedding brought (almost) all of my bestest buds from secondary school together. I still see them fairly regularly but rarely as one big group. It really was one of the best days ever - I couldn't stop smiling all day.

Mitch and I didn't bring a digital camera to the wedding, so we were completely relying on my little golden half and until last week I still didn't know whether they'd come out alright... Thankfully most of them did :) 

Friday, 14 December 2012

experiments in dressmaking #take 3

A couple of weeks ago an excellent tweet appeared in my news feed - How to make an easy elastic-waist skirt - with a link to this tutorial. And I thought, why not! Ina from Sky Turtle posts up quite a lot of tutorials to make both clothes and other bits and bobs but I'd never had a go at one until now... here's the result.

I'm pretty happy with it, although next time I might try and use a thicker bit of elastic. Ina's instructions are easy to follow and there are diagrams to help.

I got the fabric in the summer when the V&A were having a sale (they have some amazing reproductions in their shop) and I hadn't got around to using a leftover half metre piece. Turned out it was perfect for this skirt! Here's yours truly modelling it :) I do apologise for the mirror shot. Look at the concentration on my face, ha!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

scans of summer...

It's hard on days like today, when I'm wearing four layers of clothing, tights under my leggings and two pairs of socks, to remember that actually it was pretty warm only a few months ago. I finally got my golden half film developed and what it had to offer was a trip back in time... lots of sunny pics from August and September. As much as I love my chunky knits, jumpers and scarves, I am already looking forward to not having to cart my massive coat around - it doesn't help that most of pictures that came back were taken on two of the hottest days of the year :)

August - Hegistbury Head, Dorset

I have no clue as to what happened to these last two but I quite like them in some light leaking sort of way...the sky was so blue and the sun so bright that day.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tuesday's Tees - TWIN

Bold graphic prints, uncomplicated colours. Yes. Twin apparel is here and their tees are unisex. Sweet.

Monday, 10 December 2012

the crafty fox at brixton's dogstar: xmas edition

It was a pretty knackering weekend for all the right reasons - most notably an excellent house party and the return of the Crafty Fox market. Like the Spring instalment and last year's christmas market, the Crafty Fox did not disappoint! There were so many talented sellers - some of which I recognised and some which I didn't - it would have been incredibly difficult to leave without buying something... 

Thankfully I did have a little bit to spend and came away with these gems: necklace from Tri & Gull - brilliant name and v.affordable jewellery which certainly appealed to my triangle and geometric shape obsession. Owl card (soooo cute!) by Lil3birdy which I think I'm going to keep for myself (don't judge me).

Had I had a little more money I would probably also have left with one of Lucie Ellen's wooden brooches and something by Laurie Hastings, her illustrations are beautiful. As I was incapacitated (thanks to a party on saturday night) I didn't make it back to the Dogstar on sunday for the second round of crafty goodness, and so I was sad to have missed Amy Hutchings and her flying ducks and designosaur with their dinosaur (and narwhal) related accessories. However I certainly did make the most out of the saturday trying my hand at origami and  screen printing.
Rather pretty origami heart and the printed tote bags. The weather one on the left is my sister's and mine's the whale on the right. Not bad eh?

The market also served to remind me that Christmas is only two weeks away and as yet I've not finished anyone's presents!!! So as well as swanning about the market and drinking waaay too much beer I also got some sewing done this weekend. Mitch's pj bottoms are almost there and I've starting sewing together the blocks for my parents' quilt! How's everyone's present shopping/making going?

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

skandium wish list

Over the weekend Mitch and I wandered into Knightsbridge and saw, along with what seemed like thousands of other people, Harrods all lit up in it's festive get up. This year it's window displays feature (most of) Disney's Princesses. As Knightsbridge was a bit of a nightmare (knightmarebridge?) we decided to keep walking and head for South Ken station. On the way we happened upon Skandium and after gawping through their shop window for a while we decided to go inside. 

Oh my good god, it housed so many beautifully designed things! Perhaps it's wrong to say but Skandium is kinda like the rich man's ikea. Don't get me wrong, I love ikea, but this shop has the prettiest, and most expensive, furniture and home accessories I've ever seen! Annoyingly our favourite things in the Brompton shop aren't on the website but I've found a few other bits and pieces which I'm now also coveting. 
Danish design sofa (love), this beautifully bright mari bowl seems to crying out to be filled with icecream... I v.much want a duvet cover in this ginko fabric print.

What with the scandinavian connection there's plenty of moomin stuff in stock (always a good thing). They have a massive selection of v.pretty decorative glass birds, this little guy is an Ibis. I do have a thing about chairs particularly wonderfully designed scandinavian seating, this one is lush. Colourful, retro design, cushion - what's not to like?
There are some excellent lamps at Skandium and this one is probably the most affordable AND it comes in different colours! This is actually a fabric print, birdy curtains anyone? Practical and fun storage? Check! This hot-air balloon mobile is indeed.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


So this post is a little late but between work, visiting family, braving oxford street and knightsbridge I've not had to time to blog much. I didn't want this december to pass me by without mentioning advent calendars. We've not got one this year but whilst doing some research for work I came across some absolute crackers (excuse the festive pun).

This equally colourful and cute little advent town is available as a print out, whilst this little calendar uses customised matchboxes to house the daily december treats.

These two shop stocked calendars caught my eye for very different reasons. First off - the pattern on the packaging for the Ciate one is beau-ti-ful and the surprises behind each door are just as spectacular - a pretty new nail polish every day throughout, yes please. (I know this it doesn't have anything to do with Christmas whatsoever but the colours look great...)

Second - the lego star wars calendar. All those words suggest that it should be one awesome calendar but the packaging was enough to put me off - Is that Darth Maul dressed as Santa (weird)? Can I see a jar jar binks figure? No thanks.

Here's a link to four more rather excellent calendars including a completely edible one. Now that's what I'm talking about.
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