Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Making Children’s Presents

In my continued attempts to make all presents this year, I’ve been enjoying the daily inspiration provided by internet wonders… These little tutorials are currently making me very happy and will no doubt form part of my ‘to do’ list before the glut of Christmas and 2 and 3 year old birthdays that begins in November…

A little book of vintage paper crafts and paper dolls – tutorials and printables courtesy of Chez Beeper Bebe.

I’m sure I’ve posted this before, but I’m definitely going to be making one of these for the Tilster for Christmas… Fabric dollshouse/carrycase from UK Lass in the US


Dressing up wings from Small Magazine – the vintage floral instead of spangly sparkly polyester just make them so elegant and refined – not a word you usually use with reference to children’s dressing up clothes!

Monday, August 29, 2011

You have got to be kidding, House of Holland




Not for all the tulips in Holland!

One search and there are OH SO MANY TUTORIALS OUT THERE…

I’m almost inclined to have a go myself simply to NOT HAVE SPENT nearly £200 (!!!!) were my friends not likely to hang me from the nearest tree for craft/fashion blindness…

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oh so cute


Right… come on, you lot… altogether now…

Why didn’t I think of that?!

Literary confetti cut from Mills & Boon novels

£4.50 per box at The Literary Gift Company

Or you can get yourself one of these punches, and do it yourself!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Inspiration from the strangest places

There were some pretty fabulous costumes in The Hour, a 1960s BBC drama that finished this week. I’ve also had a bit of a Romala Garai love-in-fest too, and saw Glorious 39, resulting in my googling and LOVING this outfit, too…


But back to the point… Despite all of Romala’s gorgeous outfits, I was most taken by Ben Whishaw’s wardrobe of knitted waistcoats. The final waistcoat used the most interesting method of combining two colours: a base grey shade for the waistcoat fronts, and a contrast teal for the button bands, armbands and back piece. Really striking, and potentially a really great way to incorporate colour blocking into wearable pieces without scaring the horses.

Have been a-hunting and found these options for replication…

A lengthening tutorial for Tryst, a classic man’s vintage vest, and then this fitted female waistcoat too..

Waistcoat from Feature Knitting Designs, 1940s.WR1602 Knit Vested & Stylish

I’m thinking grey with mustard yellow highlights…


Monday, August 22, 2011

Black for a Winter Wedding?

There are still a few hard and fast rules that I immediately think of when people discuss ‘wedding etiquette’, though in these modern times, it’s not surprising that so many people are left in a quandary when navigating the pleasantries.

Sartorially, the two big no’s for guests are wearing white and wearing black: one being too bridal, the other being too morbid. Having said that, with the blurring of traditional dress-codes, the rise of evening receptions and black-tie invitations, the certainty of the ‘little black dress’ and the variety of colours that brides wear these days, maybe even those rules no longer apply.

I have been ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ about the outfit for a early December wedding… It will be late in the day and so even going into the church will be in darkness, as it will be deepest winter. The reception will be held in a fabulous old museum so again, glamour and elegance rather than pretty and delicate will be the watchwords…

Suddenly, it seems that black could be appropriate. Glamourous and indulgent, elegant and gorgeous, sumptuous and textural… I’ve been having some good, clean, clicking fun finding some fabulous shots, and fabulous friends have been forwarding ideas too. (Thanks Chloe!)

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Roberto Cavalli Wrap dress and gratuitously fabulous Bijoux Heart Necklace that I also love!

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Day Birger et Mikkelsen Lace Dress needs little more than some earthy earrings to undercut the lacy delicacy: Monica Vinader Labradorite Earrings

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Lela Rose shift dress with Dannijo bracelet

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Narcisco Rodriguez Silk Crepe Dress with Miu Miu patent heels

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Temperley London Silk Dress with Valentino appliqued clutch


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Even this high-necked, long sleeved black Michael Kors number can be lightened with this fabulous Lanvin hairclip

So just possibly… with the right accessories and the right amount of flesh… with the right attitude and the right amount of elegance… it is possible to be modest, gorgeous, decadent and appropriately fabulous. At a wedding. Wearing black.

Who’d’ve thunk it!?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Going up in the world!

Who knew that ASOS is the holy grail of affordable, and yet, NOT ACRYLIC knitwear…

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Cotton Aran Jumper £35

 Textured Knit Jumper in Mushroom £40


Grey & Turquoise Angora Mix Jumper £35

Dark Green Coloured Aran Jumper £35

spot the august rainshowers bringing on some extreme new season research… Having a moment of nearly reaching for coloured tights…

Sunday, August 14, 2011



Walks with friends, young and old…

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Life’s little pleasures…

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fabulous Fibre East

Such a glorious day.

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Many pennies spent…

Many skeins fondled…

Many yarnie chats had…

Many sighs emitted…

Many good wishes to those who put it together…

Many excited moments waiting and wishing and hoping and wondering what will be in store for Fibre East in the future…

And because my driving buddy and I are ridiculously silly, we just had to take a piccy of this esteemed business en route…


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Pretty Little Knitted Things

That I won’t be making or buying for myself but can lust after from afar…

It must be time to wrap up in cosy knitwear soon, isn’t it?!


Golden Gate Cardigan


Tulip Sleeve Cardigan


Diamond Weave Pullover


Eastward Dress Coat

Oh gorgeous, unusual, fabulously overpriced Anthropologie… Be still my beating heart.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

And the beat goes on

I realised that this week is pretty much a year on from when I sank to the lowest place I have ever been. If I’d hit rock bottom, I wouldn’t have minded: at least I’d know that I would inevitably rise back to the surface in time. The horror and the fear I felt was that I was continuing to freefall down a never-ending rabbit hole and would just keep going until I brought myself to a stop.

Memories of last summer are foggy and fragmented

I’m asked by a motorist if I’m ok. I realise I’m standing at a pedestrian crossing with my buggy, waiting for the Green Man, long since been and gone, and I’m crying.

I’m sitting on the sofa. Tilly is crying upstairs. I am anything but controlled.

I’m crocheting a blanket. I’m crocheting a blanket. If I keep crocheting the blanket, my life will have meaning, I will be useful and I will be a worthwhile presence.

The Boy and I smile at the bad interior design of the hotel I am taken to in the crisis time. I immediately feel guilty for laughing, as if betraying the obvious truth that I’m actually ‘fine’ and just making a fuss.

I’m in a small room with uncomfortable chairs, upholstered for no discernable reason except to be itchy, with three professionals looking at me. I’m asked questions. I know they’re only doing their job.

I’m at a table outside a pub with a good friend. Her lips are moving and I’m smiling. I drink my wine. She stops and tells me to talk. I’m crying.

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Looking at these photos, it’s almost impossible to place myself in my memory anywhere near this child, this smiling little chubster, who clearly just wanted to have fun all the time.


And then I found this picture. Taken this weekend last year, and there is nothing behind my eyes. And I know why I can’t put myself in those memories. I wasn’t there. I didn’t exist. For those few months, a shadow of a person who looked like me occupied my space in the world.

She was the worst version of me but she was all I had to offer at that time.

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And now I’m here.

I’m better.

I’m happy.

And my daughter is keeping me up at night shouting Muuuuuu-MA from her cot.

And answering the phone with a polite AaaaRrrrrrrOoooooW?

And dropping things – anything – in order to have the opportunity to look at me with a grin of regret and an Uh Oh.

And follows my morning makeup routine to the letter, offering the back of her left hand for ‘foundation’ (with the lid left on, if she’s not concentrating too hard), and then the blusher brush and an empty old blusher pot to cheek.

And I’m sad that I missed all those moments last year when my shadow came to stay.

But I’m so glad that I’m here to see all these other moments.

Even if she is emptying my sewing box while I type these words.

Thank you to everyone who made sure that I would be here.

And the beat goes on…

Monday, August 01, 2011

Swappy Fun

‘No money but the postage’ Swap…


No expense but the stamps.


Far more fun than the cost of the box.


Gorgeous handmade goodies and stash-busting projects.

Loving the internet right now.