30 Aug 2014

11 questions

Earlier this week the lovely Elise nominated me for the Liebster Award - thank you! - so without further ado, here's the dealio:

The rules are that I need to answer the 11 questions set by my nominator;  share 11 facts about myself; make up 11 questions to ask my nominees; tell them they're nominated.

So, first up, Elise's questions:
1. How did you get to your current job and do you love it?
I sort of fell into my current job by accident a friend suggested me for it. I'm an assistant editor for a company that puts magazines together for publishing companies. We'll sometimes be working on three projects at a time and the subject matters can vary. We've just finished doing a 3 year quilting and sewing magazine which I really loved working on but sadly there's not much going on at the moment. Although I did love my job about 4 months ago, I couldn't say the same now. Hopefully it'll pick up again in September.

2. Your most worn item of clothing?
Definitely my glasses but I'm not sure if that counts as clothing so probably my (once) white converse.

3. Favourite song from childhood?
I have a lot of great music memories from long car journeys on family holidays when I was little. Simon and Garfunkel was played a lot as well as Don McLean so either this or this most probably.

4. What's on your 'to read' pile?
'The Moth' a collection of extraordinary true stories; 'Maddaddam' by Margaret Atwood; 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy; 'Till we have faces' by C.S Lewis.

5. The best movie you've seen this year (new or old)?
That is a v.hard question. SO many good movies came out this year - Her, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Only Lovers Left Alive, X-Men Days of Future Past, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Guardians of the Galaxy... I also saw Rushmore for the first time this year which I loved a lot. Having recently been to the secret cinema screening of Back to the Future, I should also mention it here as it's one of my all time favourite films.

6. What advice would you give your teenage self?
STOP CUTTING YOUR OWN FRINGE!!! Just go to the hairdressers, most of them do it for free.

7. A talent/skill you wish you had?
I wish I was good at pool and could skateboard.

8. Show us the oldest picture on your phone.
I've not had my phone for very long so this is from last June - Mitch gazing out at Battersea Power Station - I can't remember where we were going.

9. Current food obsession?
Still pulled pork. I'm quite sure I will never tire of it.

10. Beach or countryside?
Ideally both but if I had to choose...? Beach.

11. The best cinema you've ever been to?
Considering that my husband and I are film/cinema people (it's where we met after all), we've really not been to that many. My favourite is The Ritzy in Brixton (screen 1 and 5 in particular), followed by the Soho Curzon and The Prince Charles just off Leicester Square. Those last two always do fun showings and events.

Next, 11 facts about me:
1. I was the (written) voice of Barbie for a year. One of the magazines I worked on was a weekly Barbie publication in which she travelled the world. Each issue was based in a different country and came with a new outfit for her to wear. 
2. I am incapable of doing a forward roll.
3. I can't sing at all but I think my voice sounds 10 times better when I have a cold .
4. Despite having an English and American Literature degree there are A LOT of classics that I've never read including: Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations and Jane Eyre.
5. I could quote along to 90% of the script to Jurassic Park (lose 10% because Samuel Jackson mumbles a lot in that film).
6. I prefer tea to coffee.
7. Jam before cream on my scones. And that's 'scone' as in 'gone' (not 'scone' as in 'cone'). (Ha! Those last two facts make me sound incredibly English!)
8. Whilst in primary school I won the handwriting competition 4 times. My scrawl is not so neat anymore!
9. I really really want to live by the sea one day.
10. If the world allowed it and there wasn't the issue of having a job and bills to pay, I would quite happily make stuff - knitting, sewing, crochet, drawing, printing - all day, every day (with breaks in the evening to socialise)
11. I'm 27 and still only have one wisdom tooth - it's been that way for years, I don't think the others are coming.

11 questions for my nominees!
1. If you could be any animal what would you be and why?
2. Money is no object, where's the next place you'd like to travel to?
3. What's your favourite breakfast food?
4. Best fancy dress costume you've ever made/wore?
5. What's your favourite thing about where you live/your home town?
6. A song that'll always get you on the dance floor?
7. What did you want to grow up to be when you were little?
8. Do you have a favourite quote or motto?
9. If you had to cook a three course meal ('Come Dine with Me' style-y) what would you make?
10. What are you most looking forward to right at this moment?
11. Lastly, but not least importantly, biscuit or cake?

A lot of my favourite blogs seemed to have been nominated for this recently but I couldn't see these excellent ladies with any Liebster love of late so consider yourself nominated :)

Diary of a Diva
The Misadventures of Morgan
Ever so Ethnically Confused 
SugarSkull Industries
Yellow Raindrops

Incidentally, if anyone else fancies answering the questions please do - I'm pretty nosey and enjoy finding out about people's interests. Link back to me when you're done - I'd love to see your answers!

28 Aug 2014

A Cornish Honeymoon: Part One

Or mini-moon I should say :)

In the weeks before of the wedding, whenever I found myself feeling a little stressed, I reminded myself of two things: 1. It's just a day, it doesn't need to be perfect. 2. You're going to cornwall for six glorious days when it's all over. And what a glorious six days they were!

Please excuse the picture overload.

On the Monday after the wedding Mitch and I got on a train (armed with magazines, books, pulled pork sandwiches - left overs from the wedding) headed for St Austell. 4 and a half hours later we reached our home for the next five nights: Peruppa Farmhouse in Heligan. We booked it on Airbnb and it was absolutely perfect in so many ways - the hosts were so welcoming and made fresh bread for our breakfasts, we had the run of the kitchen if we wanted to cook, the location was ace, they had a swing in their garden(!) AND the hosts had lots of animals for us to pet and play with. Perfect. 

After settling in we headed to the beach which was only about a 20 minute walk away, part of which was through a corn field :) During our stay we spent a lot of time in two places Pentewan beach being one of them, the other was the picturesque fishing village of Mevagissey which we also went to see on our first night in Cornwall. We arrived just in time to hear the Mevagissey male choir performing on the quay, it was pretty cool. 

On our first full day we headed to The Lost Gardens of Heligan, so called because although they were enjoyed and cared for from around the mid 18th century, they were neglected and abandoned at the start of World War I and stayed that way until the 1990s when they were restored to their former glory. The gardens are HUGE and seem to vary in style and design. We started in the vegetable garden which was awesome (and really made me want to have a go at growing stuff again) and then moved onto the flower gardens and the woods. We also stopped by to say hello to the Heligan chickens, sheep, pigs and emus, before taking a well earned nap on the hill.

In the early evening we headed back to Pentewan beach with a little picnic, mostly consisting of cheese, bread, champagne and beer. As well as eating, drinking and chatting, we also had a little paddle in the sea (toes in the sand and the sea - that's basically a holiday to me). When it started to get dark we headed to the pub near the beach who just so happened to be doing a bingo night which we participated in, obvs, and won 20 quid :) The winnings meant that we had enough cash to get a cab home (we ran out of cash in about 24 hours - there are literally NO cash machines in this part of cornwall which is weird considering lots of things are cash reliant). If we'd not won the bingo, we'd probably had to have walked home through the corn fields in the pitch black. I wouldn't have fancied our chances, as well as the champers on the beach, a lot of delicious Cornish ale was consumed that night :)

Part two to come featuring a day trip to Fowey & exploring the Eden Project!

26 Aug 2014

"when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible"

10 days ago, on a gloriously sunny Saturday, in a 1930s hall in the tiny Surrey village of Witley, I married the most awesome guy a gal could wish for and I can honestly say it was the best day of my life so far :) It was truly amazing to have all the people I care about the most gathered together to celebrate how much Mitch and I love each other (which is  a whole bloody lot I can tell you). I'm still kinda glowing from the fabulousness of it all.

I shan't regale you with a full blown account of the day, I'll save that for when our photographer gets back to us with our pictures - I cannot wait to see them! In the meantime, here is a little sneaky peak of what to expect :)

(in case you were wondering the title is a lesser known quote from "When Harry Met Sally")

15 Aug 2014

tomorrow, tomorrow

 I've endured years of people singing that song from 'Annie' to me but today those chorus lyrics finally feel relevant. I love you tomorrow because tomorrow I'm getting married. (Ha! That looks pretty mad in type.)

I'm one big ball of excitement and nerves. My stomach is full of butterflies and I haven't been able to sleep later than 5:30am for the last few days. Almost everything is in order and as you read this I'll probably be on my to Witley (a teeny little village in the Surrey hills) to set up our venue with my nearest and dearest.

It'll be a little quiet on here for the next week or so as after the main event Mitch and I are off to Cornwall for a few nights - a mini-moon if you will. Hopefully it won't rain for the whole of next week!

But anyway, back to tomorrow. I seriously cannot wait for tomorrow and all that it will bring. Thank god it's only a day away ;)

11 Aug 2014

DIY patchwork make-up bag

As I've opted to do my own make-up for the wedding (hopefully a decision I won't regret) I've been perusing A LOT of make-up tutorials. Aside from wearing eye-liner, I'm v.much in the dark about such matters. Upon wacthing a number of said youtube tutorials it became aparent that my eye liner and long-dried-up mascara were not going to cut it so, I went to one of the make-up ladies in House of Fraser on Oxford Street and she v.kindly did me up. Obviously she put waaaaaay too much on me and I felt incerdibly self conscious on the journey home, but she did teach me a few tricks and reccomended a couple of products that I really liked.

In possession of a lot more make-up bits and bobs than my modest, but lovely little make-up bag could hold I decided to make myself a bigger one. Behold!

I have a entire bag of fabric scraps so I raided it for this. Overall I'm pretty pleased with it but I did struggle with trying to figure out how to attach the linning. After about three attempts I got the hang of it but it has bunched up somewhat at either end of the zip. Also, I think I should've used a more jazzy linning than plain cream. Ho hum.

I thought I'd have a go at doing this as a DIY but forgot to take pictures of some steps so I doubt this'll be very useful to a complete sewing beginner. Saying that though, it's fairly straightforward to make and would've taken me about an hour and a half if I hadn't been fannying around with the linnings.

The size of your zip really dictates the width of your bag and the length is determined by how many strips of fabric you've got to play with. I used a 22cm zip (although the actual zip is 20cm long) and opted for 13 strips (no superstitions here) varying in width (anywhere between 4cm and 6cm) mostly because I prefer the uneven look but you could make yours equal. This made a 20cm (ish) square bag.

1. Stitch your strips together, right sides facing, along the long edges. Press the seams flat to reduce bulk.

2. Cut a piece of backing fabric and wadding slightly bigger than your completed patchwork.
3. Make a sandwich with the backing at the bottom, wadding in the middle and the patchwork on top. Pin the layers together starting from the centre, smoothing the fabric out as you go.
4. Quilt it! I just did a random zig-zag pattern but you could do a traditional diamond pattern or whatever you fancy! Don't quilt right to the edges as you'll need to trim them after quilting to make all the layers the same size and you don't want to cut into the stitching.

5. Pin your zip to the two long raw edges of your quilted patchwork with right sides together. Stitch in place using the zipper foot on your sewing machine. This should turn your quilted patchwork into a tube.

6. Turn your bag inside out with the back of your zip and backing fabric facing outwards. Make sure you open the zip before pinning and stitching the raw edges of each side together. Turn right side out and you've got your bag.
7. If you'd like to make the linnings cut two rectangles to the size of your bag. Stitch them along the two short edges and one long edge - remember to leave a small gap (6cm) in one corner to turn the bag through at the end.
8. Insert the patchwork bag (zip open), right side facing out, into the linning, wrong side facing out. So the right side of the patchwork and the right side of the linning should be facing.
9. Pin the raw edge of the linning all the way around the zip opening. Stitch in place having removed the bed of the machine. (This bit is tricky, even with a zipper foot, I actually had to hand stitch the linning to the bag at each ends of the zip as it was too bulky under the machine.)

10. Turn the bag through the opening you left in the linnings. Slip stitch the gap closed and ta da! you're done :)

Hope that made sense! Let me know if you have a go at making it, I'd love to see.

6 Aug 2014

Bath for a day

My lovely friend Alex is leaving the UK for good in three weeks. Although this is v.shit for me, I know that moving back to his native Michigan is the right thing for him. Whilst he's been living in London Alex has seen a fair old bit of our country but one place on his list he hadn't got around to was Bath. So, last Friday we took the national express to see the Georgian city made from sandy coloured stone that is Bath.

He'd not wanted to see anything specific and preferred to just wander about the streets, take in the views, pop into cafes as and when we fancied. I took him to the crescent and the royal circus; we stopped for a delicious coffee and cake in Colonna & Small's; we watched the birds playing in the Avon; we bought milkshakes from a v.cute cafe on Pulteney Bridge and sheltered from a rain shower in an awesome antique map shop. It was an incredibly chilled and satisfying day improved only by the company - I could easily talk to Alex for days and days without running out of things to say. Man, I'm really going to miss that guy.

4 Aug 2014

infinity scarf

On Saturday I finished knitting my infinity scarf. It's nothing fancy - five block colours in good old moss stitch - but I really can't wait to wear it once it gets colder.

It was inspired by this beautiful thing from the purl bee and took just two weeks to complete (told you it was simple!). Knitting in a 27 degree heat was a bit bizarre but not unbearable and in fact was the perfect escape from all the wedding related craft which has somewhat taken over.

This is my third scarf and I feel fairly confident with the knitting needles now. I think I'm ready to take the plunge and attempt something bigger, most probably a jumper. I have a design for one in my head, I just hope I'm not being too ambitious for a first try - I definitely have a tendacy to do this.
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