Thursday, 29 December 2011

Colette Fall Palette Challenge 2011 - 1960s top and tunic

You may or may not remember that way back when in September I vowed to take part in the Colette Fall Palette Challenge. I got as far as making a mood board and selecting my colours (see the post here), but then there was a slight problem with my sharing my finished projects with you. Because there weren't any! For various reasons, including the theft of my sewing machine, I found myself unable to complete any of my planned items for my Palette Challenge, however this all changed a few weeks ago! I have finally completed two of those projects and I can finally share them with you now...

So take a look at my new 1960s style top and tunic!

Usually I'm draw to the looks of the 40s and 50s but I found the pattern for this ensemble tucked away at the back of a vintage shop near my home and brought is home for next to nothing with a whole bunch of others. It did feel very strange to wear such a short skirt after so long in never wearing anything above the knee, but as soon as I got used to it I must admit I enjoyed it! 

This outfit uses three of the colours from my Fall Palette Mood Board, grey, cream and red (although I had the red items already!) and I love how they all work together. I'm totally in love with this dress fabric, which is covered in black and white pictures which have their names underneath them in french, I bought it at Ray Stitch and I cannot get enough of it! I also made a bow belt, once again using Tilly's tutorial, and I think it really sets off the whole look.

The top is my first ever attempt at using a stretch knit fabric! It's made with a beautifully soft t-shirt fabric that I picked up in Manchester months ago and it's so snuggly and comfortable. It was surprisingly easy to work with and the finished top is something that I know I will wear again and again and again, in fact several of my friends have expressed an interest in having one for themselves, so who knows, you may be seeing more of this top in the future! The original pattern had a high necked pussy bow look which I altered to add the peter pan collar - a favourite look of mine! - and I also added some fabric covered buttons to the cuffs and collar for a nice extra detail.

And yes, the observant readers amongst you may notice that the boots I'm wearing are the very boots that I featured on my mood board for colour inspiration! I love my Miss L Fire boots, they are heavenly to prance about in :) Although this isn't my usual look I really enjoy it and I'm sure I will be taking this outfit out on the town again soon!

Top - Handmade by me
Dress - Handmade by me
Belt - Handmade by me using this tutorial
Hat - Knitted by me using this pattern
Gloves - a gift from my Sweetheart
Bag - won in a competition by the wonderful Emma of Lady Jardin
Boots - Miss L Fire

All photos taken by my Sweetheart

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Wednesday Wonderfuls #50

Hello my lovely readers and a very happy Wednesday to you all!

Dita and I sending you love!

I have always enjoyed the few days between Christmas and New Year, they have always been a time to relax and enjoy the festive feelings that still remain after Christmas before welcoming in the New Year filled with hope and promise. It's an exciting time where you can look back over how much everything has changed since last year and think about all the incredible things that could happen to you in the next. In January this blog will be celebrating it's first anniversary and I really can't believe how quickly that time has gone by! I really didn't think that anyone would be interested in what I have to write about and now I have over 160 followers and I'm so thankful for each and everyone of you! 

This is my last Wednesday Wonderfuls post of 2012 and I wanted to take this moment to thank you all for your support during 2011. The fact that you take the time to stop by my little piece of the blogosphere to read my ramblings and to leave gorgeous comments really does mean the world to me :) Writing this blog makes me very happy and hopefully I spread a bit of that happiness around for you all too!

Anyway, let's get on with the matter at hand, the Wednesday Wonderfuls!

  • If you're still in a Christmassy mood and don't feel like letting go quite yet, then try these cupcakes from Joy the Baker, guaranteed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy from the inside out!
  • If you've ever thought about making your own Photo Christmas Card then this post from Craftyminx may be a big help. She has created some amazing cards over the years and here she gives you the low down on everything you may need to think about during the creative process. Maybe keep these things in mid for next year!
  • Another Christmas-type post, and yes I know that Christmas is over now this year but this peppermint packaging tutorial over at Strawberry Moth was just too cute and pretty not to share. This is definitely how I'm going to go with packaging next year...
  • I'm getting serious house envy after seeing another post from A Beautiful Mess, this time of her stunning kitchen *swoon swoon swoon*. 
  • If you one of those old fashioned type (like myself!) who will always prefer a letter to an email of a text then why not send out written thank you cards this year? Heart Handmade UK has rounded up a great variety of free printable thank you cards, so it doesn't have to cost a fortune, so why not show the ones you love that you care in a really personal way :)
  • Lots of people have been looking back over their posts of 2011 and sharing their favourites, none so useful as this year in tutorials from the Coletterie. It's packed with useful tutorials, tips and tricks, check it out!

That's it from me for today and that's also it from the Wednesday Wonderfuls this year! But don't worry because they will be back again next year with bells on :) 

Bye for now!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Happy Boxing day to you all! I hope you've all had a wonderful festive season, opened lots of presents, ate lots of Christmassy food and spent lots of time with the ones you loved. I had a great time yesterday and also today, and saw both my family and my Sweetheart's family, it really was pretty much perfect :) 

Anyways I just wanted to drop in and show you the outfit that I was wearing, you may remember from this post that I was planning to make the perfect Christmas dress based on one of my favourite of Chuck's dresses from "Pushing Daisies", and I did! I finished it at the eleventh hour on Christmas Eve, and the perfectionist in me can see quite a few things that I'd like to tweak to make it just right, but all in all I love it and I couldn't help but feel festive in it! Also it has a horsehair braid hem, how cool is that!

I also fixed myself a fancy hairdo trying out my new Christmas snood, a gift from my fabulous mother, she's knows how to pick a brilliant present! 

Unfortunately I was unable to complete my New Year's dress (my own version of Gertie's Bombshell Dress) because I've been so busy with Christmas preparations. I guess I'll have to save it for a Valentine's outfit or something! But hey, I don't really care what I'll be wearing because my lovely Sweetheart will be welcoming in the New Year with me in Dublin so I'll be grinning from ear to ear regardless of what dress I end up wearing!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all enjoy the run up to the New Year, I can't wait! 

Bye for now!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Wednesday Wonderfuls #49

Only four more sleeps until Christmas! My goodness me I'm excited!

You may have noticed that posts have become a little sparse here recently. As I'm sure is the case with many of you, I have become completely swept away with Christmas preparations, not that I'm complaining because I love this time of year, but it has made blogging a little bit difficult! I do have a couple more blog updates to post before Christmas, but I'm going to be focusing most of my time on spending time with my beautiful family and my Sweetheart, so I wanted to take this last Wednesday Wonderfuls post before Christmas to wish you the very best of the season, I hope you have exciting plans for this festive time of year :)

Anyways, let's have some lovely Wonderfuls to get us in the mood for Christmas, I can't wait!!

  • Fancy using up your odds and ends of yarn for a last minute Christmas gift? Try making one of these knitted felted rings, a free pattern from Tiny Owl Knits. They are so sweet, I'd like to make a whole bunch of them :)
  • Here's another project for your left over yarn, I know this one's been going around the blogosphere for a while but I love it so much that I really had to share it myself :) utterly ridiculous but utterly adorable, crochet apple covers!
  • Here's something I'd love to give a go in the New Year, a stunning walk in wardrobe! It's going to be a while before I have space for one of these of my very own, but a girl can dream...! 
  • And finally here's a treat that I think everyone will enjoy (both the making and the eating!), hot chocolate spoons! What a simple and fun gift, if you have time left before Christmas you really should give these a go, I wish I could!

Right, let's all finish getting ready for Christmas so that we can enjoy this magical time without any stress! Who's with me?

That's it from me today, but I'll be back soon! :)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wednesday Wonderfuls #48

Hello there lovely readers, and a very happy Wednesday to you all!

It's been a really fabulous week so far for me as I'm on holiday, 10 blissful days at home with my gorgeous Sweetheart and my beautiful family. So far I've had a brilliant time, baking, putting up Christmas decorations, wrapping presents and making cards, vintage shopping, visiting craft fairs, going to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and seeing the amazing musical, "Matilda". It's so nice to have a big stretch of time to just enjoy myself and not think about work, plus I've got a whole load of sewing done, updates soon to follow!

Anyways, let me spread my joy around the blogging masses with some Wednesday Wonderfuls, and this week has been a particularly good one in my opinion!

What a great week of posts! I hope you've enjoyed them, I'll be back again soon with some more yummies :)

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wednesday Wonderfuls #47

Hello there lovely readers, happy Wednesday to you all!

It's fairly short one from me today as I am all tuckered out, it's sleepy time in the land of the Little Red Squirrel!

But regardless of how tired I am Wednesday Wonderfuls wait for no man, so let's get started!

Sorry about this hastily written post, I'm going home after tomorrow night's show for 10 days of loveliness and holiday-Christmassy fun, I can't wait! But I really must dash, I have a lot of packing to do!

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Edinburgh Adventures in Pictures - Part 2, My time with Harriet

One of the best things about my time in Edinburgh was that I had a visit from one of my favourite gal pals in all the world, the beautiful Harriet! 

Harriet and I met at school years ago and out of all my old school chums she is definitely the one I keep in touch with the most, but due to both of us leading such hectic lives (seriously, it's impossible to get hold of this girl, she's been in Sri Lanka, Kenya, you name it she's probably been there!) it had been quite a while since we saw each other last, so my goodness we were thrilled to be able to spend some quality time together!

We had a lovely old time in Edinburgh, we went for a gorgeous lunch at The Cellar Door, which I highly recommend if you're ever in the area, where I had my first taste of haggis and was very pleased with myself. We also made a cheeky trip to Bibi's Bakery to pick up some yummies for girlie time later (yes I know, my addiction to cupcakes may not be all that healthy!). She watched the show and afterwards we went to the pub and sipped on some large glasses of Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer before heading back to my digs and having a proper girlie sleepover, it was absolute bliss! The next day we had a divine breakfast at a little bistro down the road from where I was staying, where we both gorged ourselves on eggs, muffins, orange juice and hot chocolate or coffee (can you tell that a lot of our relationship is based on our mutual love of all food?!). And of course the only time we stopped talking during her visit was to eat or sleep, it was brilliant!

Harriet is the type of friend that when I see her I can't believe I let so much time go by between each of our visits and yet every time I see her our relationship hasn't changed. She probably knows more about me than most people in my life, the good and the bad, but she never judges me. I can talk to her about pretty much anything. She is an incredible person, she has lived half way across the world before to teach children english, she has dug wells for people who need water, she is currently kicking arse at her amazing PhD and yet she doesn't seem to think that there is anything all that special about herself. And that just makes me love her even more :)

I will always admire her for being so damn gorgeous and not realising it, and of course for our mutual obsessions with Johnny Depp, Richard Coyle and Terry Pratchett novels. She gets me, for all my quirky little habits and oddities, and I think that someone like that is worth holding on to. Plus she loves cakes and baked goods almost as much as I do!

Thanks for an amazing time in Edinburgh Harriet, you, as always, rock my socks off :)

See how big my smile is? That's how happy I was to see her!

Happy Tuesday my lovely readers! Now go and tell your best friends that you love them!

And yes, just to embarrass you, it's you eating cake! mwahaha! love you :)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Edinburgh Adventures in Pictures - Part 1

My time in Edinburgh really was perfect, it was such a beautiful place, I cannot wait to get back there (I'm already thinking about a second visit!). Anyways, I want to share some of the beauty of Edinburgh with you with some of these pictures, just looking through them makes me want to go back there right away!

Pretty, pretty places...

One of my favourite places in Edinburgh would have to be the Grassmarket, walking down these streets you cannot fail to feel cool :) It is stuffed with gorgeous shops, I could spend hours wandering around the Grassmarket, browsing and probably spending an obscene amount of money...

The Grassmarket is also the home of the amazing vintage shop, Armstrong & Son, thank you so much to Debi for introducing this shop to me, it was brilliant! (And yes, I may have spent an obscene amount of money here...)

Just take a look at some of the vintage goodness that was stuffed into this cave of wonders...

Plus, if you didn't already think that Edinburgh was amazing, it also has a castle. Oh yeah...

Basically, Edinburgh is awesome. I wish I could have stayed there for longer than two weeks, I can't wait to get back :)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Oxford Adventures in Pictures - Part 2

One of the things I am determined to get done before Christmas is to get up to date with all my pictures from Oxford and Edinburgh, so expect a couple of these picture heavy posts over the next few days! Luckily quite a few of your seemed to really enjoy my previous Oxford post so I'm hoping you'll forgive the sudden surge of pictures...!

Unlike my first set of Oxford pictures which were very architecturally heavy, these are very person heavy, don't say that I don't give you variety!

My new friend at the Natural History Museum

And of course it wouldn't be Oxford if we didn't take a trip out on the river, even though it was pretty darn cold! My Sweetheart showed off his impressive rowing skills to my parents...

And then later my mum had a go, and she was surprisingly good at it too!

Another of my favourite moments of my time in Oxford was the mini fireworks night that we had at my Sweetheart's parents' house. We were about a week early for actual Bonfire Night, but that didn't stop us having all kinds of fun with fireworks, roasted marshmallows and, of course, sparklers!

My Sweetheart and I had a great time pretending to be Harry Potter...

And that concludes my very silly picture post, next time I will bring you Edinburgh!

Bye for now!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Happy First of Decemeber!

It's the day when I finally allow myself to publicly express my love of the Christmas season! Yes, I know I've been making presents and posting about them since October, but from December 1st I really allow myself to indulge in some good old festive yumminess :)

I wanted to spread a bit of festive cheer around the blogosphere today with some music that I was introduced to yesterday in my dressing room, it's pretty much perfect for getting you into the Christmas way of thinking. If you haven't heard these songs yet you are in for a treat, and if you have you'll know just how fun they are. Allow me to introduce you to the magic of "Straight No Chaser"and their versions of The 12 Days of Christmas and The Christmas Can-Can!

Yay for Christmas! :)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wednesday Wonderfuls #46

Hello there my lovely readers and a very happy Wednesday to you all!

Firstly I want to thank you all so much for your wonder comments on my first "I'd just like to say post". This is something I've been thinking about adding to the blog for a long time but I wasn't sure how it would be taken by all of you, my fabulous readers, but you have been so supportive I couldn't have hoped for anything more! This is definitely a feature I will be continuing with great gusto so here's to the next one, hopefully it will spark up as much discussion as the first one!

Secondly I have now moved venue, the show is now gracing the Alhambra stage in Bradford, which is a big relief to me after all the nasty things that happened in Sunderland (please don't hate me if Sunderland is your hometown and you love it, I just had some very stressful and bad experiences there!). I am also staying just outside of Bradford in some beautiful cottages with other members of the cast which is so picturesque and peaceful that I couldn't be happier, hopefully I'll get lots of time for crafting and blogging :)

Anyway, enough about me, let's get on with the task at home, the Wednesday Wonderfuls!

Well I'm feeling Christmassy after all that! I'm going to go off and continue with my presents now, but never fear, I'll be back very soon with more posty goodness :)

Bye for now!

Friday, 25 November 2011

I'd Just Like To Say...

*** For quite a long time I've wanted to add some opinion pieces to this blog, I loved writing articles at school and have really missed it, so I have decided to start posting an opinion piece every other Friday. These will always be about something relating to the craft/fashion world and I hope you enjoy them, please leave feedback as to whether you like the idea! So here is my first opinion piece on this blog, the first ever "I'd Just Like To Say..."***

... why is picking on other women suddenly feminist?

Kirstie Allsopp (Source)

Recently I have read a few rather biting articles online about TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp. I know that there are others around the blogosphere who won’t share my opinion, but I am quite a big fan of Kirstie. I have always enjoyed her no nonsense, blunt turn of phrase, and I’ve enjoyed watching her even more since she started all her homemade/handmade programs. 
For my international readers and those of you who haven’t caught these programs, over the past three years Kirstie Allsopp has released a string of different crafting type shows, ranging from learning new crafts herself, to bringing crafts into the lives of others and, most recently, taking the skills she has learnt and entering her handmade offerings in various competitive events (“Kirstie’s Handmade Britain”). 
I know that there are mixed opinions out there about some of the crafts that Kirstie tackles on these shows, as to how useful or stylish they may actually be, but as far as I’m concerned she’s a woman who enjoys making something from nothing, a woman after my own heart, and for that she has my respect and admiration. She’s like all of us who choose to blog about our crafting exploits, sharing our love of creating with the world, although of course she does so on a much more public platform. I think it’s these similarities that caused me to feel a bit disgruntled after reading the recent articles of Liz Jones and Janet Street Porter. Although their comments were directed at Kirstie, I couldn’t help but sense the general negativity that was being sent towards women who craft as a whole. I hope you’ll indulge me as I felt a real urge to put my opinions on this subject forward.
Liz Jones - who declares “I want a life, not a homemade beeswax candle” - takes a very dim view on people like myself, i.e. people who enjoy crafts and baking, calling us “passive aggressive nightmares” who seek praise for our “icing-sugar-dusted self-flagellation”. And here was me thinking that I just enjoyed making and eating cakes! She makes some really quite petulant comments about private education, polka dot aprons (shock horror!) oh and also did you know that most women who indulge in home crafting have high-earning husbands who all have affairs and get drunk? I know, me neither, I must inform my Sweetheart...
Lorraine Pascale (Source)

I honestly don’t know where all this negativity comes from, other than that Liz Jones has some hidden issues that she is trying to deal with by getting at crafty folk in general, with particular venom being aimed at Kirstie Allsopp, Lorraine Pascale and Nigella Lawson (and I own cook books by both of the latter, so I suppose I’m well and truly doomed in Liz’s eyes!). She goes on to say that women like her “who care about personal grooming (say, the female cat of The Only Way is Essex) get a lot of flak from these rotund baking types with their blue striped milk jugs” (even the milk jugs are getting blamed! Poor old milk jugs...) 

Nigella Lawson (Source)

Well, firstly, rotund? How rude. But more to the point, I have watched all of the above women in their various programs and not once have I heard any of them make reference to anything other than the task at hand, which is most probably just making a cake of some kind. I have never been watching Lorraine or Nigella whip up a sponge to then hear them berating anyone who chooses to fake tan and wear hair extensions a la TOWIE, and to be honest if they did I probably wouldn’t watch them or buy their books. After all, if a woman decides that dressing in that way makes her feel happy and confident then that is entirely her own choice and nothing to do with anyone else. I personally would look ridiculous with a fake tan (I would pretty much be the same colour as my hair all over!) but that doesn’t mean that I look down on anyone who does just because I choose not to. And anyway, who says that the cast of TOWIE can’t get their crafty on once in while? The way you look or your “personal grooming” habits do not determine what you choose to do with your personal life.
I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I don’t feel that crafting or cooking shows like Kirstie’s Handmade Britain or the Great British Bake Off are designed in order to make the viewer feel some how inferior or less of a woman if they don’t take part in these types of activities too. Surely if you’re not interested in the subject matter you just wouldn’t watch the show! 
Janet Street Porter is known for her biting remarks and her strong feministic viewpoint, but I think that in her recent article she’s rather missed the point a bit. She berates Kirstie Allsopp for her “empire” which sells us weak minded members of the public the “dangerous myth” that “women will be happy and fulfilled if they spend every spare moment busily making jam, repainting furniture and sewing cushions”. Now, forgive me for saying so, but that doesn’t sound half bad to me, not really all that dangerous but actually quite fun. Of course that may be just me... She then goes on to ask, in my opinion, an unbelievable question: “If she’s (Kirstie’s) such a relationship expert, how come her chap (and the father of her two children) hasn’t popped the question?” Excuse me, but in an article in which you put someone down for being “pre-feminist” are you going to then to make an argument based on the fact that the woman in question is not married? Now who’s giving an archaic point of view to the female public. 
This is my point. Why should any of us feel that our way of living our own lives is in any way inferior or superior to another’s? I was once asked by an acquaintance if I ever felt guilty about knitting because I was playing up to a female stereotype that was anti-feminist. At the time I was quite taken aback and didn’t know how to reply, but given my chance again I would say that the most feminist weapon in my artillery is my right to choose. I choose to sew, to make my own clothes, to bake cakes, to knit because it makes me happy. Crafting and making things brings me a lot of joy which in turn, whilst trying not to sound too cliche, allows me to give more joy to others. People may look at the way I live my life and think “I would NEVER do that. Not in a million years. Not if you PAID me” and that’s an opinion that they have every right to have, but the point is I don’t feel that in doing the things that make me happy I’m pressurizing others into living the same way. Maybe I’m naive but I really do think that when Lorraine Pascale, Nigella Lawson and Kirstie Allsopp started their shows they wanted to take something that they loved, something that they had a passion for and pass it on to a wider audience. That’s it, no strings attached, no hidden agenda. And yes, they capitalize on their passions and loves, but surely that’s something to be admired, after all who wouldn’t do the thing they adored for a living if they could? 
I am a woman who believes in women’s rights, and I believe in a woman’s right to choose to live in whatever way that makes her happy and fulfilled (as long as that life doesn’t involve mass murder or something like that...). I promise you that I won’t judge you if you look like you’ve stepped off the set of TOWIE (quite a few of my good friends do and my goodness they are beautiful!) and I trust that you’ll look beyond my second hand, handmade attire and maybe we could be friends. I'll bring cake :)
Now if you’ll excuse me I have a sudden urge to run and buy myself a nice blue striped milk jug...

( For those who are interested Liz Jones' article can be found here and Janet Street Porter's can be found here)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Wednesday Wonderfuls #45

Well, what a week it's been! It's been a tough old time in Sunderland, I'm not going to lie, what with my terrible car mis-adventure together with other members of my cast paying visits to the local hospital and various others suffering physically with injuries, so goodness knows I need a bit of a lift!

I have decided to start this week off positively and hopefully if I put some happy energy into the world it will come right back to me (or something like that...!). I have a lot of things to be thankful for and happy about after all...

This week I poached my first egg ever. And it wasn't a complete disgrace. Result!

I know she wouldn't win a beauty competition but still...

I am well on my way to finishing my Christmas projects (see this post)

I have a box of Charbonnel et Walker pink champagne truffles just waiting to be nommed up

I'm greatly enjoying Kirstie's Handmade Britain, it gives me a real midweek lift :)

I am now the proud owner of a jug shaped like a cow, and the owner of a jug shaped like a cow can never truly be unhappy...


So things haven't been going badly so far! Plus I have all of you lovely readers and that of course makes me crazy happy like a kitten on speed :) So allow me to spread a bit of love and happiness across the blogosphere for you all, let's bring on the Wonderfuls!

  • It's definitely getting colder here in the UK winter is starting to properly set in, so why not try this yummy winter warmer from Joy the Baker, Beef and Sweet Potato Stew? It looks so good...
  • Joy is also releasing a cook book soon, I cannot wait! I love her recipes so I will most definitely be getting this as soon as it comes out :)
  • If you're a fan of Dita you'll love this post. No less than 4 videos of the queen of burlesque, covering everything from Beauty to Love.
  • I'm getting wanderlust again (or maybe I just want to go home!) and now I want to pay York a visit after reading this gorgeous post. I dare you not to want to pay it a visit after reading!
  • And finally I just had to include this post from Sewaholic all about how your partner feels about your sewing. I loved the post and the comments are also a great read, and this article also really made me realise how lucky I am that my Sweetheart supports me so much in my hobbies. It means such a lot when the ones you love understand you and your crazy creative needs :)

I hope you've enjoyed the Wednesday Wonderfuls of this week, let's all go out and have a fantastic time now, and get rid of any nastiness with the power of positive thinking!

Until next time, bye for now!

Monday, 21 November 2011

My readers are beautiful

Thank you all so much for your comments on my post about the theft or my sewing machine. I was really overwhelmed by the amount of people who offered advice on purchasing a replacement and others who just wanted to offer their support. You all just take my breath away with how generous you are with your time and your words, I can't begin to thank you enough. You are stunningly beautiful people and you have really made me remember that for every one idiot who breaks into a car and ruins your day there are a hundred who can brighten it up again :)

After reading each one of your comments I decided to take the advice that most of your put forward and to stick with what I know, so I went out today and bought another Janome sewing machine, the same model as the one that was stolen. I loved that machine so much that I didn't see the point in forking out more for a fancier machine just because it was computerised, so I stuck with a good old manual :) I can't wait to get some time at home so I can set her up and try her out, I'm sure it will be the start of a beautiful sewing relationship! Also the amount of people recommending their vintage machines has seen me trawling through ebay to find some treasure, so watch this space, maybe there'll be a new addition to this sewing family some time soon... :)

In other news I have written another post on the Crafty Christmas blog, so check out what I have been spending my time doing sans sewing machine. There's some finished bits up there that I'm really proud of, and really pleased that they're done in time for Christmas :)

Anyway, that's quite enough rambling from me for one day, I'll be back soon with some more blogosphere treats for you.

Bye for now!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A Really Horrible Day

Hello lovely readers, you find me this morning in a slightly subdued mood after the events that took up most of my day yesterday.

I woke up yesterday to find that one of the rear windows of my car had been smashed and whoever had done this had proceeded to empty the car of anything valuable (and even not so valuable) that they could get their nasty little hands on. And the worst thing of all is that my sewing machine was being stored in the car.

Now I know that considering the circumstances I got off lucky, the car wasn't taken and no one got physically hurt, thank goodness, but the whole thing has left me feeling a bit sick and pretty darn angry. I feel so outraged that whoever did this really wouldn't think about the effect that their actions would have on others and even more so that they will probably get away scot-free. And of course now I find myself, for the first time in about 10 years, without a sewing machine. It's funny really, because I know that my poor old machine was just that, a machine, but I find that I was much more emotionally attached to it than I thought I would be. And to be honest it's no surprise really. I learnt to sew on that machine, it gave me my independence from high street fashion and therefore helped me find my own unique style, and sewing on it, particularly during the last year, has been a source of great joy and pleasure in my life. The idea of whoever has their hands on it now treating it as anything other than the delicate piece of machinery it is breaks my heart a little. I'm sure that many of you who sew regularly on one particular machine will understand.

Now I don't what to get all woe-is-me and down on this blog, I've always tried to make it into a warm and happy space filled with things I care about, but I wanted to let you know about all this because now I am in need of your help my lovely readers.

Having owned the same machine for about 10 years I find myself hopelessly out of the loop when it comes to looking at sewing machines and what specifications I may want on a new model. Obviously I would like to replace my machine as soon as is possible, but I don't want to  commit myself to buying without knowing my options first. Basically, do any of you have any tips when it comes to buying a new machine? The model pictured above is my old machine (the Janome Excel 5024) and you can see more details about her here. Do you use a similar model that you yourself cannot live without? Maybe you think that my original was a great model so I should just replace it exactly? Or perhaps you work on something a lot more fancy and would recommend it wholeheartedly? Perhaps after all this nastiness I should treat myself to an upgrade...

If you have any help or advice to give I would be so grateful, so please get in touch and let me know your thoughts. For now I'll say goodbye and let's hope that today is a better day :)
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