Thursday, 25 August 2011

Hands up if you love long weekends...

ME ME! I Do!

Hands up if you like how long your last day at work is before the long weekend.

Nope, it sucks.

But not to worry- my little brain cells are hard at work planning some crafty projects for my bank holiday stay in Knighton. I was given some amazing West African fabric by Mark & Kaylene for my birthday so I plan to make something from that. So today I am going to be searching for a suitable pattern.

I am thinking either a maxi skirt like this
The romantic in me can't resist a
floor length skirt
which I love but not sure if it will be the right fabric to get this effect or something like this
I do love a good pocket...
The fabric has a lovely lace detail around the bottom so this skirt might be a better way to show it off. And might be more work friendly.

Or there is this pattern that I found a while back.
I like the pleats in this one
but again the fabric might not hang right. hmmmm. I have to admit that I never thought matching patterns to fabric would be so difficult. I think this has been the most difficult sewing lesson to learn. As I still haven't mastered zips or buttons (sewing wise- for the record I am perfectly capable of using them) I am a little limited in my design choices. I guess I will just have to have a play around!

I am also planning to finally finish my camping cushions. They never made it on to my folksy/etsy stores for summer but I am determined to at least finish the prototypes I started back in June.

Stay tuned for a phototastic blog coming soon...

So for now I will leave you with this piece of  photoshopping that occupied me yesterday afternoon.

Happy bank holiday everyone x

P.S. Just to let you know days one and two of the drawing challenge have been completed and so far I am pretty pleased with the results. I hadn't been prepared for just how challenging it would be but that, I guess, is the whole point...Today it is my favourite food- a torturous thing to think about after work. If you're on my train tonight it's just my stomach rumbling!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Drawing Challenge...

Whilst messing 'bout on tinternet at lunch (it is a wet play day- thanks British Summer)
I came across this lovely post by Allison Lehman

And I thought that it would be the perfect way to get crafty on my commute. Now I only have 19 - yes that's 19- working days left of my Brighton to London commute so I have decided to customise the challenge to the "19 Day Drawing Challenge" (I think you'll agree I did something rather special and clever with the title there...)

So here is my drawing challenge list

And I have the perfect notebook to use for such a project: The Library Bear!

I am not a natural drawer so this will indeed be a challenge- and I think today's will be the hardest of all!

I was going to upload them day by day but you will just have to wait for the big reveal on the 22nd September.

Wish me luck! x

Monday, 22 August 2011

Etsy titbits III: Seaside

Check out these treasures in my seaside themed etsy titbits...
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Cheap Date Brooch, Mermade Jewellry
Best Name Ever! Hand painted plate by BrightonCrock
Mermaid Leggings, Carouselink
Night Swimming by Mae Chevrette
Boat throw Pillow, Mengseldesign
Shell Collage, PRRINT

You can sea (sic) more of my etsy titbits here!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Crafty Birds Spotted on Folksy

Morning peeps!

Exciting news- Crafty Bird Collective have been Found on Folksy and featured in their blog!

Here is their description: "There are many things I like about this blue retro cushion by Crafty Bird Collective. The fabric is stunning, of course, but the maker has also used vintage buttons inherited from her Grandma's collection. A little story behind an already special item makes it even more endearing."

I feel very flattered. Thank you Lucy from Found on Folksy for featuring us! Make sure you visit to check out the other wonderful granny chic items selected for the blog.


Friday, 12 August 2011

Etsy titbits II: Adorn yourself

There are so many fashion blogs out there where people put together incredible outfits but for some reason they just don't tickle my fancy. This however is an inspired way to get dressed: 
"I cannot stop staring at this exquisite Blue Owl Painting by artist Michelle Morin of Unitedthread(This Original Painting is mind-boggling too - actually all of her work is) so I decided the next best thing to owning it (which I might still need to do) would be to use it to inspire a Wares To Wear post. Woohoo!"

So here is my "from wares to wear" inspired by Creature Comforts:

Take Shelter, Ashleyg

Electrical Storm Dress, RubyChicBoutique

Red Sun, CallieHelen

Studded hand printed fabric bracelet, ThiefandBandit
Letterpress Print, Happydeliveries

Adjustable ribbon sandals,  Mohop
I highly recommend checking out the Creature Comforts Blog- it is a ray of sunshine on your computer screen! 

Have fun adorning yourselves x

Thursday, 11 August 2011

There's no such thing as too many books...

...Or confessions of a bibliophile

And I have the mug to prove it!

I don't know where I would be without books. I certainly wouldn't have a degree in English Literature. Then there's the 5 years where I would have been unemployed instead of working in Waterstone's. And now if it wasn't for the wonderful properties of fiction I would be bored out of my tiny mind during my 4 hours of commuting everyday. That's a lot of reading. But what could be better than having Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields or Alice Munro as your travelling companions?

Near my house in Brighton there is a little second hand bookshop which I find impossible to walk past.

The phrase 'like a child in a sweetshop' springs to mind. It is in here that I have found my papery friends for the last 2 months. I am nearly through my last batch and was planning a little visit when an internet present arrived. I couldn't remember what I had ordered but it was the most wonderful surprise:

Two books written by dear friends of mine! I was pleased as punch and proud as a peacock and other things beginning with 'p'... I started Luke and Jon this morning and, biased or not, was disgruntled to arrive at Victoria before finishing my chapter.

You can read more about Gemma's work on the Speak to Strangers blog and her latest project Look Up at the Sky London, and about Robert's writing at Luke and Jon and his music at The Library Trust.

I feel very lucky to know such talented people.


"I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most."
— Margaret Atwood

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Etsy titbits I: Menagerie

Welcome to my first post of Etsy Titbits.

Etsy is such a tease. Everyday it tempts me with emails full of glorious things talented people have made. So I have been making my own collections of pieces and people that have caught my eye... the theme today is Menagerie.

This first theme celebrates the new cards now on sale in the etsy & folksy shops! Come and grab your own little piece of woodland whimsy!

Wall Candy

 One Can Never Have Too Many Friends Print, BlackBaroque
Super Manatee, lino print by Vicky Day
April Bear, Corelladesign

Will perform for cakes plate, Jimbobart

Joey the Bear plate, BeatUpCreations

Little bits of Whimsy

Platypus Flash Drive, Hemingwayfun
Narwhal Ring, Papersparrow

Finnish animals tote, Andyeatsonlycandy

Stay tuned for more etsy titbits in the future!


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Home Sweet Home

I didn't want to leave London but it turns out I was a fool to feel that way. I do, of course, miss my friends a great deal but they have gained a seaside retreat so it feels like I'm seeing more of them! 

Brighton has allowed myself and Slim to live the lifestyle we tried so hard to achieve in Brixton- that is to say full on Barbara & Tom. But with less goats.

Slim's fingers have been itching to start a new project since work on the van was completed so when we took over an unfurnished flat he decided that he would make our bed. I think he may have misunderstood when I said 'I love chippies' but it turns out I quite partial to both.

If like me you think that going to hardware shops is not the most exciting thing you could do with your day then you will understand my reluctance to go wood shopping. But we weren't going for a jolly to B&Q- we went to this most tremendous place in Brighton Town Centre.

Slim has found his fantasy store
"The Woodstore sells recycled wood from old reclaimed floorboards, antique pine joists, driftwood to all kinds of beautiful pieces that have a unique history and charm." Beautiful, Unique, Charm. Yep, ticks all the right boxes! What an inspirational place. After much deliberating and help from the friendly staff we came away with some beautiful pine posts for the frame and a solid piece of oak to use as the headboard. We also got some old drawer fronts to turn into shelves -  NOT A SPICE RACK - for the kitchen and no doubt we will be back soon to stock up for our future makes.

Because Slim did most of his work when I wasn't around I don't have any 'in the making' photos but his mortise and tenon joints are a thing to behold. Saturday was the first night we slept in it and it was A. MAZING. And it wasn't just because we had spent 2 months sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

Slim is adamant that I let you know it isn't finished yet. It still needs staining and waxing, but I think you'll agree that it looks incredible. It certainly makes all our other furniture look like it was salvaged from a skip (oh wait, that's cos it was...) I am so proud of the work he has done and I can't wait to see what he makes next.

Not to be outdone by the bed, the garden is certainly vying for our attention. As we moved late May  we were a bit behind getting our seeds in but everything has thrived in our little sun trap. 

It is such a joy to spend time sitting and pottering around the garden, especially after my long commute.

One of my favourite pieces of wedding booty.
This one is from the White Wedding

I seem to have only taken pictures of flowers but our tomatoes, courgettes, salad and beans are all looking tasty too! And there are some Elder tree branches leaning over our wall so I have been harvesting the berries ready for some Elderberry Wine. On the hunt for a good recipe if anyone knows one...

While I am showing you our outside space I would like to introduce you to the newest addition of our family: Everyone this is Archie.

He was rescued by Papa S from some youths who were mocking this poor, neglected puppy as he lay on the pavement waiting for rubbish day. How could we refuse a home to such a creature! He now sits guarding our front door. Just look at his obstinate and simple face.

He is in much need of some love and paint but I'm not which colours to go for- any suggestions? I look forward to being able to show you Archie in all his glory soon.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The best things in life aren't things. They're people.

Fact. Sometimes you just don't realize how much you need a weekend of silliness with a great friend. 

Founding members of the made-up but none-the-less brilliant punk band Jumper Kittens!
Although its Monday and I could do with more sleep I had a lovely time thinking about my weekend with Mazz on my journey to work. I love showing friends around the new city I live in and it's also the perfect excuse for a spot of afternoon drinking & fish and chips on the beach.

We had a mooch around the shops and soaked up the great atmosphere in the North Laines where Mazz found my birthday jumper. It is outstanding. And  as luck would have it, it was windy enough to wear it that afternoon!

Just look at his little funny legs!
I took Mazz to the shop that is like the inside of my head where she squealed in delight at the number of pretty things. I am going to have a lot of fun finding her birthday goodies there!

Thanks Mazz for an awesome weekend and for being an awesome friend xxx