Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April brought the sun!

Spring has sprung for sure - thanks April.

Aside from a very welcome rise in temperature and the appearance of the sun, April has brought a bunch a other great things too such as blossom, plenty of socialising (lunch and dinner dates with famille and friends, as well the rather successful piss-up that was mine & mitch's engagement drinks), a much needed haircut and some new clothes :) In terms of my 4 things challenge, here's how the month shaped-up for me:

De-clutter: April was the first time in a looong time that I actually had a little bit of money (thanks to the promotion) to buy a few new clothes. To stick to my 'one in one out' wardrobe policy I've already selected some stuff to sell on ebay to make room for three new dresses :) ! One thing I still really need to sort out is all my paper baggage (unopened post, bank statements etc) so I hope to tackle it in May. I'm not going to lie, I've been putting it off because the paper pile is humungous.
Health: The home cook vegetarian (and fish) experiment continues and I'm still really loving it. I did go out for dinner and lunch a few times this month and although I mostly ordered veggie dishes I also got to satisfy my burger craving.
Money: saving has begun! Also, said clothes I bought were all in the sale *smug*
Do More New: This month my friend invited me along to a yoga class. It was pretty intense, I nearly  sweated as much as I do at Zumba, only I didn't move more than 2 metres! It's kinda crazy how much of a work-out you get from holding your body in certain positions (saying that though, I am probably the least supple person in the world). After an hour and a half of yoga I left feeling elated, the next day however, I ached something rotten. It's a fairly expensive class so I don't think it'll be a weekly occurrence but I do intend to return. In April I also had a go at making a dress (or two) from a pattern. The results weren't bad so I'm keen to try others.

What's to come in May: apparently the worst hay fever season in decades :( but on the bright side I've got some fun wedding shiz occurring, tickets to see The Postal Service and there's not one, but TWO bank holidays next month - bonus!

Tuesday's Tees - Liberty

Ahh Liberty, not only do have the most beautiful fabrics ever but you also sell v.pretty tees (all ludicrously expensive of course but pretty nonetheless).

House of Hackney
Stella McCartney
Sea NY
House of Hackney
Rag and Bone
Lulu & Co

Thursday, 25 April 2013

experiments in dressmaking - Hazel

Over the last couple of weekends I made the Colette Hazel Dress. Twice!

The one made of plains was really just a test before I made the dress using the Liberty fabric I bought six months ago (yup, I finally did something with it). I'd never made a dress from a pattern before but the instructions were fairly easy to follow (apart from when I cut out the triangle which was actually the guideline for the darts, oops). Saying that though, I found it a really hard slog, particularly towards the end when I had to attach the straps and the facing.

It was at the "adding the straps" part on the first dress that I realised it was waaaaaay too big for me. I'd measured myself twice before cutting out the pattern size best suited to fit me but for some reason I was left with a good 4 or 5 inches of extra material at the back. So what did I do? I improvised - by hacking off quite a lot of fabric (damned if I was going to let the dress win and remain unfinished, an albatross of my shoddy skills in dressmaking). After much pinning, trying on dress, re-pinning, trying on dress - I managed to cobble something together. The back is nowhere near as neat as the front but whatcha gonna do eh? It's got a zip (albeit visible) that works.

For the second dress I made some adjustments to deal with the extra fabric problem but it's still a little too roomy around the bust area. However, the floral one does have an invisible zip! You win some you loose some. My thought is that hopefully by my third attempt I'll actually get all the elements right - practice makes perfect and all that jazz.

So yeah, they're nowhere near perfect but I can wear them and as soon as it gets a little warmer I intend to :)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Tuesday's Tees - robin tabari

Whilst flicking through the rather lovely online magazine, Pebble, I came across Robin Tabari. It says quite plainly that his tees are only for boys but that's not stopped me before - my boobs could definitely fit into the XL size. 
I like the understated designs. They seem kinda dreamy, like I should be wearing one whilst on a pacific coast beach...

Friday, 19 April 2013

four films

The Place Beyond the Pines
Although it was heartbreaking, I really liked Blue Valentine and so I was v.much looking forward to the director's, Derek Cianfrance, newest movie offering. Add him to a tantalising trailer, killer cast, sweet-ass tag-line and I was ready to love it. I was not disappointed. The story takes place over three distinct acts - all v.much connected but which, at the same time, feel almost like three short little films. At first glance you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's a quiet film, set in a quiet nondescript town, about people who are just living their day-to-day lives. But, it seems there's a lot more depth to it, namely its message: the importance of a father/son bond and how our decisions and actions have a consequence. I really don't want to give any of the plot away because that'll ruin the surprises but I will describe the feeling I got whilst watching it: tingly, the hair on my arms stood on end. Drifting seems like the perfect word for The Place Beyond the Pines - from the characters to the overall mood. The film itself drifts along at a thoughtful pace, easily switching between the different character perspectives across the three acts. The ending is fairly inconclusive, the viewer leaves the set of the story in much the same way as they entered it, on a motorcycle driven by a drifter. It's emotional and rather haunting, the cast is excellent, there are some truly beautiful shots (the winding empty road as Gosling and then later his son, are riding along made me wish I had a bike) and the soundtrack needs to be released soon so I can buy it. Need I say more?

Danny Boyle's first film since directing the epic opening ceremony at the Olympic Games last summer. The premise starts simply enough. It all revolves around a painting which is first the subject of the robbery and then goes missing as the thief, James McAvoy, fails to remember where he stashed it. Enter Vincent Cassel as the leader of the heist group who's pretty pissed off and so suggests McAvoy sees a hypnotherapist (the beautiful Rosario Dawson) who'll hopefully unlock the vault of McAvoy's memory and reveal the painting's location. There's a lot of 'is that real or is he dreaming' but the confusion just adds to the suspense. The lighting and soundtrack are awesome and the conclusion is very satisfying. Nice one Danny.

You'd think this was some sort of psychological experiment exploring the idea of authority but no. No, this is based on real life events. Set in a fast food chain restaurant in the US, the manageress gets a complaint call about one of her members of staff stealing from them. The member of staff flatly denies it. The person on the phone says that he's a police officer and that the member of staff (a young teenage girl) needs to be contained and watched until he can collect her. And so ensues the fastest escalating complete insanity you could possibly imagine. It's tough viewing and will certainly leave a bad taste in your mouth. However, I do recommend it, much in the same way I'd recommend Dogtooth (to be watched once and only once) but do have something light or funny lined-up to watch afterwards.

Robot and Frank
Set in the near(ish) future, retired jewellery thief Frank is given a robot by his son to help him out around the house and garden. Frank takes an immediate dislike to the robot but gradually finds within it the perfect accompliace and, to an extent, friend. It's a beautifully paced film with a very small (but fantastic) cast lead by Frank Langella. Uncomplicated and delightful viewing. Go see!


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

good distractions #3

This online zine 
Issue 4 of Pebble Magazine - I especially liked the article about urban exploration and their vegan lemon and blueberry tray bake looks pretty good.

This short film
Some of my friends from uni made a film set in the not too distant future about the very last bookshop... You can see more of their stuff here.

This place
We're not going to Perugia for a good two and half months but I am already super pumped for it. Although the holiday has been sold to me as a week of eating, drinking and lounging by the pool (we're staying with my friend at her parent's villa in the countryside) I hope that I'll be able to venture into the town at least once - looks pretty no?

These dresses
From Kate Spade Saturday

The event
Yes I'm talking about the wedding, no I'm not going to bore yout with details. But, what I will say is: there's SO much stuff to plan, thank god for my pinterest board!

These satchels
Such pretty designs from Melin Tregwynt made with wool woven in wales.

These guys
Hanging out with these two, how can I possibly get anything done? :)

Monday, 15 April 2013

karen o

To coinside with the release of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fourth album I'm having a swoon over the band's front woman, the totally rad Karen O.
I can still remember the first time I heard the yeah yeah yeahs. I was 17, my friend had made me a cd of songs and on it were a few tracks from their EP and Fever to Tell. Instant affinity. Hungry to have more stuff by the YYYs I bought their album and went to see them live at the Astoria. It was, obviously, amazing and Karen O was like nothing I'd ever seen before - her singing, her stage presence, her insane (in a good way) outfits. I've been pretty much in awe of her ever since.

What's also supremely cool about Karen O are the collaborations she gets involved with. The theme song - Strange Love - for Tim Burton's Frankenweenie and most notably the entire soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are. Here she is looking well cute in a Max type costume. 

 Whilst looking for images of Karen O I discovered that a lot of her stage costumes are designed by Christian Joy. Colours and bold patterns abound! According to Joy the next big thing for the new album are suits and if the Sacrilege suit is anything to go by it can't be a bad thing.
And here's the whole gang as they were when I first clapped my eyes on them back in 2004 plus a little bit of what kicked it all off for me - Maps.

Thursday, 11 April 2013


 reading: Caitlin Moran's How To Be a Woman - I'm only 90 pages in and I have laughed out loud several times. On public transport. And I don't care. It's that funny.

 watching: MadMenMadMenMadMenMadMenMadMen, Game of Thrones, The Mimic, The Great British Sewing Bee.

 eating: Avocado and haloumi sandwiches, lots of veggie based dinners and in particular broccoli - it's my go to vegetable at the moment. Oh and dairy milk (obvs).

★ drinking: After waaaaaay too much wine at the weekend I thought I should go on a bit of detox (until this weekend) so I've been drinking lots of water.

★ wearing: jumpers (including the above old gem from your eyes lie) over dresses, tights, DMs (it's not quite converse weather - made that mistake yesterday). Tbh that's been me for the last few months! I've given up the big coat and opted for my light weight one. Not quite ready to surrender the scarf though.

 making: a dress! Although, I'm not counting my chickens just yet, working from a pattern is hard.

 looking forward to: the weekend (duh)!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tuesday's Tees - Pinned!

There are so many lovely things to be found on Pinterest including, you guessed it, tees! But, like with all things on pinterest sometimes the images click through to nothing (does this make anyone else sad?). Most of this lot have an origin of sorts. If they've sold out I at least know which shop they came from but my favourite (the glacier photograph one) is lost in the maze of the interweb :( However, it must belong to someone (it looks like it's hanging behind a door) so maybe one day it'll be tracked down...


Friday, 5 April 2013

"spring" wish list

Compiling a spring wish list was hard. Hard because it's freezing (and occasionally snowing). April showers - maybe. April snow storms - no thanks. It's just not on Mr Jetstream. I have been wearing my coat (and scarf) almost solidly for the last 5 months and I'm bored of it. Another boring thing is moaning about the weather and that's not what you came here to read is it? No, I didn't think so. Instead, behold the wish list. It's a rather mixed bag of stuff due to the shitty absurd weather.

batik print leggings : I fancy some print leggings and these are pretty jazzy - perfect for warmer weather but would also work with a pair of tights underneath for the current climate.
kopenhagen high vamp loafers : I'm not sure where my current yearning for a pair of loafers has stemmed from but I do really want some...this pair is in fact the sister of the stunning blue patent ones from my birthday list... 
till we have faces : I'm yet to spend my birthday book vouchers so I think it's time for a book splurge. This one comes recommended plus I've not read anything by C S Lewis apart from the Chronicles of Narnia which I loved (duh). Should be good.
colour-block sunnies : a little optimistic perhaps but it's GOT to brighten up by May.
the age of miracles : the premise of this book sounds amazing.
bobble jumper : I am seriously considering purchasing one last piece of knitwear before 'summer'. I know Mitch would appreciate it - I practically live in two of his very nice jumpers.
notepad yellow+pink : because there is ALWAYS a need for a new notebook.
pattern recognition : I didn't get on so well will neuromancer but I want to give Gibson another go.
loaf tin : there are many tasty loaf recipes flying around at the moment and I can't start baking till I've got one of these - practical but also the gateway to this.
extravaganza loafers in olive : loafer love continues.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

quilt number two

Over the easter weekend, after 11 months of making (and 3 months later than planned), I finally finished my parents' quilt! 

*please excuse me while I toot my own horn for a second*
I am super pleased with how it turned out and couldn't wait to give it to them. It's been a long project but it feels unbelievably good to have finished it and to know that although it's not perfect by any means, it looks pretty bloody good and should last for years and years to come. To top it all off my parents loved it :)

Having worked on a quilting magazine for over a year and a half I'm well aware that quilts are buggers to photograph and this was no exception. Here it is anyway, from odd angles.
That last one is of the little (crappily) embroidered label on the back to commemorate the date it was finished (I think embroidery might be next on my list to try).

Quilt two maybe over but I've got another one (or two) to plan. It is so addictive.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

easter bits + pieces

I'd been really looking forward to the long easter weekend but where did it go?! Over waaaay too quickly for my liking.

On friday Mitch and I enjoyed a v.leisurely day - late brunch and a freezing but lovely walk along the south bank before heading to Queen Elizabeth Hall to see a v.special screening of Dead Man's Shoes wherein all the music featured in the film was played live by a band! I like how people are always challenging the idea of 'cinema' with things like sing-a-longs, secret cinema and the like. I guess this particular experience was almost a throwback to how films used to be enjoyed back in the days of the silent cinema, with a bloke playing a piano to accompany the action. The updated version (guitars, double bass, keyboards, drums) was pretty cool and the film itself, written by Shane Meadows and Paddy Considine, was excellent - gritty, well scripted and beautifully played out - I highly recommend it, especially if you liked This is England.
Treated myself to some nail varnish. The minty green reminded me of spring PLUS it's the same colour as this awesome geometric necklace I wear all the time.

Almost the whole of saturday was spent helping my friend move house which was knackering but also rewarding as it means he's now living round the corner from me!
Spotted at  my auntie and uncle's house: One of the best wedding invites I've ever seen.

On sunday ma famille and I travelled down to the New Forest to see my auntie and uncle for Easter lunch - and v.nice it was too!

Decorative eggs at Mitch's mum's house.

Lastly, on Monday Mitch and I went to Essex to see his family and partake in his mum's annual easter egg hunt (it's really for his nephews...). This year his uncle and auntie were visiting from Germany so we were also treated to some seriously tasty german food called kloesse (involving meat and dumplings) - so good.

So yeah, easter was fun and now it's april. Crazy.

Tuesday's Tees - Many Tees

Many Tees is new to me (a recent email saved from my junk mail box lead me to them)! It's home to an odd mix of tees, some of which are fabulous. Loving the Barbarella one A LOT.

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