Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January - The Best Bits

Sources, Clockwise from Top Left
1. Instagram Calendar Tutorial from A Beautiful Mess, 2. 1880s Bustle Dress from Wearing History,
3. Chocolate and Beetroot Cake from Joy the Baker, 4. Pirate Dress from Cassie Stephens

This has been a great month in the world of The Little Red Squirrel, I feel like I've started 2012 with a bang!

*The blog got a make over*

And now for an update on the progress of my two big projects:

24 Things Before 25 - Update

I started the great purge of 2012 and visited the Pottery Painting cafe in Brighton (more on these very soon!)
I started an amazing e-course at A Beautiful Mess, seriously, it's incredible!

UFO/Stash Busting Project - Update

I completed my 1950s knitted shrug, both a UFO and a Stash Buster (thank you for all your lovely comments by the way! I'm so thrilled you like it!)
I have started work again on one of my oldest UFOs, let's just say it may have thought that it defeated me, but I'm back with a sewing vengeance!

I hope that your Januarys were filled with adventures, I can't wait to see what February has in store!

Katie xxx

Monday, 30 January 2012

Sweet as Sugar Shrug

Project: Knitted 1950s Shrug
Pattern: Vintage knit Bolero 1953, from this lovely shop
Stash Buster? oh yes!
Items From Stash: Beach Filo yarn from Linz, Austria
Date Started: July 2011
Date Finished: January 2012
New Techniques Used: crochet edging
Wear Again? Yes, yes, yes!

My first completed project of 2011 and also the first project for my Stash Busting/UFO Project! Whoop whoop! I bought the yarn for this shrug (or bolero, whatever you want to call it!) when I was touring Europe last year. I had lost my favourite old cream shrug, bought years ago from Monsoon, between venues and in my pining stage I desperately wanted a replacement. I had already earmarked the knitting pattern online, so when I past a yarn shop with a sale in Linz it felt like fate! Of course I then found the original shrug , screwed up at the bottom of a pocket in my suitcase and the project fell by the wayside. Over all it has taken me nearly 7 months to complete, crazy for a knitting project this small and simple!

Front View

I restarted this shrug at the end of last year with the Stash Busting Project still forming in my mind, but it really started to come together properly in the last couple of weeks. Despite the amount of time it appeared to take it is a relatively simple pattern and I would recommend it. The highlight of this project is definitely the crochet edging, it was so much fun! Crochet it weirdly addictive, I cannot wait to learn to do it properly. Soon my friends, soon :)

Back View

I have already worn this shrug out on multiple occasions and have received some lovely comments, it's clearly a hit, particularly the shape of the back. The one slight flaw is that I didn't check the colour lots of all my wool (silly, silly mistake!) and you can see the slight difference of shades of yarn in the above picture. However this won't deter me from wearing the shrug, I like it too much :)

The Complete Outfit!

Outfit Details:

Shrug: Made and Stash Busted by me!
Top: Topshop (an ancient buy!)
Skirt: Vintage Exchange, altered by me
Tights: shop in Edinburgh
Boots: Miss L Fire

Happy Stash Busting!

Katie xx

Friday, 27 January 2012

The UFO/Stash Busting Project! Why not join me?

Hello there lovely readers! I am so excited about this post it's not even true, this is something I've been planning for a while and I cannot wait to get started!

One of the typical problems that most home sewers face (myself in particular!) is the ever growing stash. When you love making clothes it's so easy to get over excited by fabric stores and buy things that you don't really need or fabrics that you don't have a project in mind for. And there's nothing wrong with this of course, we all deserve a little treat now and then, but I've started to look at my stash and feel a bit guilty. 

I have piles of beautiful fabric, heaps of unused vintage sewing patterns, and, being a knitter, I also have an obscene amount of left over wool, all of which are just crying out to be turned into something beautiful. I also have a selection of UFO projects, both sewing and knitting, that for some reason or other have fallen by the wayside over the past year. I could have almost doubled the amount of clothes I created last year if I had finished some of these UFOs! My sewing space has become overrun, so much so that something has to be done and pronto, or pretty soon I'll have no space to do any actual sewing! 

And so the UFO/Stash Busting Project was born!

This year I have decided to tackle my stash head on and also finish all the UFOs that I've been meaning to work on for months. The main idea of this project is to take note of all the fabric, patterns, wool etc. that I have stored up simply make use of them. I will also gather together all my UFOs and either complete them or turn them into something new and exciting. 

Now I'm the type of person was needs to set myself some guidelines when it comes to big projects, so here they are for your viewing pleasure!

UFO/Stash Busting Project Guidelines:
  1. Projects must use at least one item from the stash, for example one pattern or one piece of fabric. A combination of items can of course be used too!
  2. New elements may be bought but they must be used with an item from the stash. For example I can buy fabric and notions for a particular pattern in the stash, but I can't just buy fabric all willy nilly!
  3. For every new project I start a UFO project must be completed. I added this because I know that personally I get carried away with new projects rather than finishing older ones. This way I'm giving myself a bit of structure and discipline!
  4. I will find and/or create projects that use leftovers from the stash. I find very often that I have pieces of material and balls of wool leftover when I have finished a project, that aren't enough to make an item of clothing on their own. I want to find ways of using these leftovers to make useful and beautiful things.

Excited? I sure am! If you are, perhaps you fancy joining me? As always this kind of a project is so much more fun if you're not going it alone! If you feel like taking part then add this badge to your blog and add the following url to link back here: 


Don't forget to let me know if you do want to take part, I'd love to see how your stash busting goes! If enough people want to get involved I'd love to start a group where we could all share our projects and ideas, think of the stash busting we could achieve together!

I really am so excited to get started, I've already lined up some projects to finish and I can't wait to try out some of my leftovers project ideas. And don't worry, I will of course be sharing everything that I do right here on my blog!

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #54

Hello there and a very happy Wednesday to you all! If you're having anything the like weather I've been having for the past few days you will definitely be needing some Wonderfuls to cheer you up, I know I do!

One thing that I have been loving this week (let's be honest, I love it any week!) is Pinterest. I'm a fully fledged Pinterest addict. Nothing makes me happier than collecting images and seeing them all beautifully grouped together on their little boards, it's the crack cocaine of the blogging world! For your viewing pleasure I have collected a few of my current favourite pins (together with links to wonderful people who pinned them and also their original sources), sp please enjoy the visual spectacle!

Sources, Clockwise from Top Left
1. Claire Donovan from here, 2. Elsie Larson from here, 3. Casey from here,
4. Cassie Stephens from here, 5. Vanessa from here  

Now isn't that almost too much gorgeousness to handle?! I really am loving Pinterest, if you have an account do leave me a link to your page, I love browsing through what other people collect! And if you don't currently have one then join up, you'll love it! And why not follow me while you're at it? Click the button in my right side bar to do just that :)

And now for the Wonderfuls I have been collecting from around the blogosphere this week...

I hope that these Wonderfuls will tide you over for another week! Enjoy yourselves and if you are in the UK don't let the weather get you down too much!

Bye for now!

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Perfect Girlie London Day

On one of my recent visits home I had a practically perfect day out in London with my wonderful mother. It has been a while since we've had some real quality time, just the two of us, so this day out was the perfect fix, just what the doctor ordered!

We started our day with a visit to What Katie Did where I was treated to a sort-of-belated Christmas present (I did in fact receive my present in Christmas day but the items didn't fit properly!) of a stunningly beautiful set of retro inspired lingerie. The whole experience was amazing, the ladies of WKD were so helpful and friendly and I was treated like a film star during my fitting. I will definitely be visiting there again, I'm a convert to vintage style lingerie!

Next up I treated my mum to afternoon tea at Bea's of Bloomsbury at St. Pauls. The venue itself was really special, our table had a view of the cathedral which looked beautiful in the wintery sunshine, but the food itself was what really stole the show. We each had a selection of sandwiches on beautiful crusty bread, a cupcake (we had chocolate peanut butter and a red velvet), scones with clotted cream and jam, homemade vanilla marshmallows, lemon and pistachio biscotti, a brownie, a blondie, a coconut meringue and an individually wrapped salted caramel. Heaven on a platter! And I also had a pot of some of the most delicious peppermint tea I have ever tasted. It was d divine. I was a bit horrified at the amount of food I was able to put away, particularly as I had intended to eat much healthier this new year, but to be honest I don't regret it. I know for a fact that my mother and I would have been happy to eat it all again, although perhaps with a bit of rest time in between to aid digestion! It was a wonderful experience, brilliant conversation over fabulous food, I couldn't have been happier. I can't recommend Bea's of Bloomsbury highly enough (beautiful food, great service and very reasonably priced!), I know that I will be back there very soon and I intend to bring lots of friends too!

We ended our girlie day of fun with a trip to Haymarket cinema (one of the most beautiful cinemas I know!) for a showing of The Artist, something that I have wanted to see for quite some time. It was a beautiful film, I won't write too much about it in case you haven't seen it, but let me just say that the dog is a scene stealer and they couldn't have asked for better faces for silent film from both their leading performers! Seriously, they were both so gorgeous it almost made my eyes hurt :)

We returned home exhausted but happy, filled with food and carrying lovely purchases (plus extra cupcakes for my Dad and my Sweetheart, how nice we are!), it was a perfect day and I was in perfect company. I have always been close to my Mum, she has been my constant friend and my rock over the years, she is always there for me and asks for nothing in return. It makes me incredibly happy to be able to show her, even in a smallish way, how much she means to me. It has been difficult for me to spend quality time with my family recently because of my hectic touring schedule, but being away from them has made me realise just how much I need and love them. This is why I added "Orgainse some special family days" to my list of 24 things before I'm 25. This has been my first of these days, spent with the most wonderful woman I know, and I intend to have many more with my whole beautiful family. 2012 is the year for the ones I love :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #53

Happy Wednesday everyone!

First of all I want to say a big hello and welcome to my new readers, it's great to have you here! Also thank you all for your comments on my latest "I'd Just Like To Say" article, it has clearly struck a chord with a great many of you and I have loved reading your thoughts on the subject! This week has been particularly great in my little part of the world, so many lovely things have been happening, some quite small and others rather bigger, and I'm just loving my life right now! 2012 has started well :)

Allow me to spread some love over to you as well my lovely readers with some fabulous Wednesday Wonderfuls!

I hope that the rest of your weeks are filled with adventures, fun and baked alaska hot chocolates!

Bye for now!

Friday, 13 January 2012

I'd Just Like To Say...

... we are all under pressure and I think I've found a culprit.  

It’s a situation that I’m sure every woman has been in at some point in her life, and if you work with a large group of women (as I do!), particularly those with quite a lot of a time on their hands (yes, that’s me again), then it tends to happen with an alarming frequency. I am talking about the group activity of sharing your most recent clothes purchases. 
Performing in a tour, although you are working almost everyday of the week, means that quite frequently you are only needed in the theatre during the evenings, which in turn means that very often you have three or fours days a week to fill with activities before you are needed at work later. Combine this with the fact that you are often in a new city that you want to explore together with a large group of female colleagues and the result is very often shopping. A lot of shopping. So every couple of days, when we arrive at work, we have the almost ritualistic process of the group share. Although I don’t ever have anything to share in these sessions, what with always making my own clothes rather than shopping on the high street, I do enjoy how close it brings us as a group and it’s always fun to have a good chat and a giggle. However, every so often a type of conversations crops up and I find myself biting my tongue. Take last week for instance.
The clothes sharing session was particularly intense and exciting because there was a night out planned after the show that evening and so everyone was piecing together their prospective outfits. However, in amongst the flurry of new dresses and plastic shopping bags a voice piped up: 

“Is it really wrong to wear this dress tonight? I wore it before on a night out and I just think that wearing it again would be wrong.” 

This particular girl’s logic was that she had worn the dress in question in front of our group before and she was worried that if she wore it again she would be judged. Basically she was worried that we, her friends, would view her as cheap or trashy just for wearing the same outfit more than once. 
Now I know that my opinions with regards to disposable fashion are a little bit biased, as since taking the decision to make all of my own clothes and buy only second hand I have really started to appreciate the amount that a person can consume and the detrimental effects that this constant need for MORE has on the environment. In our society we are now brought up thinking that we can have whatever we want whenever we want it, regardless of the effect that our wants may have on the world around us and the people in it. This has bred a generation of people whose need to be on-trend (or perhaps rather on-fad) without wanting to pay designer prices causes them to constantly refill their wardrobes with cut priced items from shops like Primark, the hardly worn cast offs of which will most probably end up as landfill. I see the effects of this kind of shopping all the time amongst my friends. For example, over a period of just two weeks I witnessed a friend of mine purchase a pair of moccasin boots and wear them intermittently before they started looking a little worse for wear and finally ended up unwearable as they had holes in the toes and one of the soles actually fell off. The only epitaph that was offered as they were thrown into the bin was “Well, they were only £20 from Primark”. But regardless of my feelings towards disposable fashion in general, last week’s conversation with the girl about her dress seemed to bring something else that I find just as worrying to light: 

Is the availability and popularity of fast fashion causing people to feel pressurised into keeping up and creating a feeling of failure if they can’t?
It’s seems to me that high street fashion has created a vicious cycle that one can be very easily sucked into. We are tempted in by seemingly brilliant money saving offers - “It’s only £20!” or “2 for the price of 1!” - so we stock up on everything from jeggings to dresses which of course gives us that happy post-shopping glow. However within just a few weeks a new style may start to emerge, suddenly it’s studs instead of feathers or skinny jeans rather than flared so we head back to the shops to fill our wardrobes once more, convincing ourselves that it’s ok because the prices are “so cheap”. However, when you add up the total of all these purchases long term, you suddenly find yourself not really looking at bargains at all. Bargain after bargain after bargain and you can’t call it a bargain anymore. And what have you got to show for the hard earned cash spent? A wardrobe full to bursting with panic purchases and items that will probably fall apart after a good wash, of which you probably only ever wear about 20% regularly. With such a negative and terrifying relationship with shopping and our wardrobes no wonder people are feeling so under pressure when it come to what they wear.
The thing is, I know just how the girl with the dress feels, because just over a year ago I was in a very similar situation with own my clothes purchases. I was a serial shopper, my wardrobe was filled with things that I never wore and the guilt of seeing those clothes there used to drive me crazy. I’d look at them thinking, “why did I buy you? You could be petrol in my car or a new book but instead you hang there taunting me with the fact that you don’t suit me or fit me and I’ll probably never wear you again!” I really had no sense of style other than the one that was dictated to me by whatever was trendy at the time and, in spite of owning enough outfits to clothe a small country, I constantly felt that I had nothing to wear. These things are probably why I found letting go of high street fashion so refreshing and freeing, I was no longer trapped in the cycle of fast fashion and I could finally discover my own style and really start discovering myself again. I think this is why we have such an intense relationship with our clothes, they are the outwards expression of what you have inside, they are the personality that you choose to show the world, like a form of protective armor. Every time I get dressed I feel as though my clothes, like my hair style or my make up, can hide any insecurities I may have and I’m ready to face the world. Can you imagine how hard life becomes when your clothes are one of things adding to that list of insecurities? So much so that you don’t even want to wear the same outfit twice?
What do we do in these situations? Clearly something has to change just for the sake of personal sanity! Now, I’m not saying that everyone should make the choice that I made in giving up new clothes because I know that my way of going about things isn’t for everyone, nor am I trying to sell it as the “perfect lifestyle” (believe me, it’s not!), but if you are finding yourself in a similar situation to me a year ago and want to do something about it then I want to let you know that you have options. 

Firstly, look at the way you buy new clothes

I don’t want to come across as someone who despises shopping, nothing could be further from the truth! I know how it feels when you make the perfect purchase, how much that can change a person’s confidence for the better and how much happiness it can bring, but not all purchases are like that. But what if they could be? Next time you go shopping on the high street make a pact that you won’t just buy something you like, buy something that you LOVE. Don’t be afraid to take your time, you don’t have to buy something as soon as you see it, try walking away and waiting for a few days to make sure that the bond is strong and true before you part with your money. If you buy something you love you will love to wear it, therefore it won’t hang around your wardrobe looking lost when you quickly lose interest.
Support small businesses and up and coming designers

I think that this is the best alternative to the high street if you really want to buy new rather than second hand. I love showing support to small businesses who invest a lot of time and effort into the clothes they make, because you know that you are going to be paying for quality and longevity in a garment. This is not a cheap alternative, you are paying for what you get, but I would rather pay more for one beautiful dress that I cannot live without than a wardrobe full of things I’ll never wear. Plus with a lot of smaller businesses the garments that they make are often produced in limited amounts, so there’s much less chance of someone showing up in the same outfit as you!
Buy second hand. 

I love collecting vintage pieces from fairs and I love to browse ebay and etsy, but quite often this comes with a high price tag so I tend to save these purchases for one or two every few months. Again I’m talking about quality, not quantity, because it’s in these special vintage outfits that you can really see the quality of how clothes used to be made (cue my old lady voice, “they just don’t make them like this anymore!”). Some of my vintage clothes are over 60 years old and are still in practically mint condition, I wonder whether a Primark jumper would be able to say the same in 2070? Buy quality vintage and strive to keep it that way. The garment will last longer for you and then the chances are that you will be able to pass it on to someone else later in the big circle of life of fashion! But there are also more inexpensive options to second hand clothes. If you want a cheaper fix a la Primark without having to actually go there (because let’s be honest, who in their right mind would want to?!) then you cannot go wrong with a charity shop or car boot sale. And the best thing about these kinds of garments is that if they’re not perfect then you can make them so! Some of my favourite and most worn garments started their lives as huge charity shop dresses or horrendous blouses before I got my hands on them and revamped them. I find breathing new life into an outfit that others may have thought was unwearable is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done, plus I know I’m being environmentally friendly at the same time. 
Why not try your hand at making something? 

It’s really not as hard as it may seem and the best thing is that if you do make mistakes you will just get better with practice, it’s all about the learning curve. Believe me there are few things more pleasing than walking down the street in something you have made yourself, knowing that it fits you well and that no one else will ever own a garment like it. Plus, after all the time you invest in the clothes during the creation process you are certain to take care of them therefore guaranteeing that they will last. Go on, try it, I dare you!
These solution may not seem easy and that’s because, well, they’re not really. Changing the way you live your life isn’t always easy, that’s almost the point. It’s hard work to begin with, but I think you’d be surprised at how quickly these ideas take root and then everything wardrobe wise starts to fall into place. This kind of a wardrobe may take time and it doesn’t always work out as the cheapest option (which I know is a controversial thing to say in a recession) but I would always rather invest in something that lasts than just buy clothes for the sake of it. It’s time for us to reclaim our own sense of style and the whole shopping experience. Let’s start the wardrobe revolution!
And as for the girl with the worn-once-before dress, I gave her my honest opinion on the subject: she looked stunning in it, which would not change regardless of how many times she wore it, and anyone who thought otherwise was probably a bit of an idiot. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #52

A very happy Wednesday to you all!

Today is quite a special day because I have been writing these Wednesday Wonderfuls posts for a whole year, how time flies! I hope that you are all still enjoying them because I do love writing them :)

Speaking of things that I love, this week I have developed a new love for the TV programme New Girl (I know it's old news to my American readers but it has just started airing here in the UK). I find it both very silly and very amusing, and also, as I'm a very visual person, I love the way it has been shot and the colour palette that has been used. Just look at this shot from the Christmas episode...

Aesthetically pleasing, no? :)

But without further ado let's get down to some Wednesday Wonderfuls goodness, a particularly good haul for my anniversary post, if I do say so myself...
And that's it for this week's Wonderfuls! To see all of the last year's worth of Wednesday Wonderfuls look here, believe me there are some treasure to be found :)

Bye for now, but never fear, there will be yet more Wonderfuls next week!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Your help needed! What is the best way to reply to comments?

Image from mybeautybunny.com

One thing that I really want to get right on my blog this year is how to go about answering the comments that you lovely people post here.

I adore reading your comments, every time I get a new one I still get a little thrill just as I did when my first ever comment was posted, and I really want to answer them in the way that you lovely people deserve. When I first started blogging I would reply to each and every comment that was posted in the comments section of the blog post that it was written on. This seemed like a good idea in theory until I realised that the only way that the author of the comment would be able to see my reply would be for them to constantly revisit that same post, which is a bit of a fuss to be honest. Plus who can remember exactly which comments they have left on which blog post?!

I then started to reply to comments via e-mail as this seemed like the best way to make sure that the author of the original comment received my message, but this again was not a perfect solution to the comment-answering problem. I find that many people who comment on my blog are simply offering support or lovely comments of admiration (which is so sweet of you, you can't even understand!) but very rarely am I asked specific questions. Because of this I feel a little odd sending e-mails in reply to these comments as I'm basically just writing variations of "Thank you so much!" which although is meant honestly and truly from my heart I worry that it may look a little hollow in an e-mail. Plus do you think that messages such as this would be irritating to receive?

This is a problem I would really like to solve as keeping in touch with my readers and commenters is very important to me, you guys brighten up my day! I just want to do right by you :) 

So, as always when I face a tricky problem, I turn to you, my fabulous readers! 

How would you prefer to get a reply to a comment? 

Would you love an e-mail just expressing thanks, or do you not expect a reply unless you have asked a direct question? Perhaps you know of a better solution to this problem than the other methods I have tried, if so then please share your knowledge! I'd love to know what you think, so come on, get in touch! And I'll do my best to reply in the best possible way :)

(P.S. This was my 200th blog post! eeeeeeeeeeee!)

Friday, 6 January 2012

The Little Red Squirrel - 1st Blogiversary!

I cannot quite believe it but I have been blogging for one year today! Also today marks the end of one year in which I have bought no new clothes, a whole year of either making my own clothes or just buying things second hand. Can you believe it?!

I want to take a moment to take a look at all the sewing I have done this year, so please indulge me. I just love how all of these projects look when they're all grouped together, it makes me crazy happy :) 

1. The "Party Dress Book" Dress, 2. The Crepe Sew Along Dress, 3. My Birthday Dress
4. The 1960s style tunic, 5. My Christmas Dress

1. The Briar Rose Sweater, 2. Fair Isle Sweater, 3. Green and Lacy, 4. Enchanting in Black and White

1. The Pin Up Embroidery Skirt, 2. The Red Pencil Skirt, 3. The Wonderland Circular Skirt,
4. The Pendrell Blouse, 5. The 1960s top with Peter Pan collar,

1. Shirt to Skirt Revamp, 2. 1950s style dress Revamp, 3. Red Blouse Revamp,
4. Floral Skirt Revamp, 5. Cream Floral Dress Revamp

Towards the end of last year I started getting a bit down about the amount of sewing/knitting projects I had completed in my first year of this challenge, I wished I had been able to achieve more. However, when I look at the photos above I feel incredibly proud of the outfits I have created, and I realise that for me it's about quality not quantity. I may not have completed hundreds of projects, but those that I have are now staples in my wardrobe and I love wearing them.

I started this blog a year ago as a serial shopper who spent a ridiculous amount of money on clothes that just sat in my wardrobe which was bursting at the seams and yet I still felt as if I had nothing to wear. Now, I have developed my own sense of style which I know is completely unique - no one else will ever been seen walking down the street in the same outfit as me! - and the thought of choosing what to wear each day excites me. Choosing to make all my own clothes started as a challenge but it's so much more than that to me now, it's a way of life. 

So what happens now? Well, basically I intend to carry on the way I have started! For me this is just the beginning. A year of living the make-not-buy lifestyle has not only shown me that I CAN do this, but it also shown me how rewarding living in this way can be. This year I am going to take the foundation that I have created last year and add to it a little more structure. Hopefully this will improve my sewing productivity so that this time next year I will be proudly looking back over about twice as many projects, all still top quality of course :) 

All that remains for me to say is a huge thank you to all of you, my wonderful, beautiful readers, who have stopped by my blog and shown your support for the past year. I never thought I would have more than one regular reader and now here I am with 163 followers, it blows me away! Thank you so much for dropping by and hopefully I'll continue to give you something worth reading this year too!

This is going to be a good year for sewing, I can't wait to get started, but right now I think that my blogiversary deserves some blogiversary cake... :)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #51

It's the first Wednesday Wonderfuls of 2012!! Woo hoo!!

One thing that I am loving this week - and yes I know I'm a little late to the party, but better late than never! - is Pan Am. I watched most of the first season this week with my Sweetheart and I have to say I'm addicted. I will be very sad if the show does get cancelled, I mean the costumes are just swoon-worthy! I literally want every single outfit, even their stewardess uniforms and their fabulous underwear.

All images taken from imdb

What an amazing Halloween costume a Pan Am girl would be.... :)

But it's not just my television programmes that have been spectacular this week, the blogosphere has been filled with wonderfuls, so here are my picks of the week for your viewing pleasure!
What a great selection of goodies to start the New Year! I hope you're having a fab 2012 so far, I certainly am :)

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

My Crafty Christmas - concluded

So here I am on the other side of my Crafty Christmas adventure, and I survived! And actually I think that choosing to make my Christmas presents although difficult and demanding was amazing and I will definitely be doing something similar in the future. I felt so proud when my loved ones unwrapped gifts that I had make myself and spent so much time on, and judging from their reactions they really appreciated the gesture :)

I finished all of the projects that I had planned to in the time that I gave myself plus I had time to do lots of festive home cooking with my mum which just added that special extra something to the day, it was brilliant.

Let's face it, I'm definitely a homemade convert, I'm already thinking of ideas for next year...!

Monday, 2 January 2012

24 Things Before I'm 25

This year instead of my regular New Year's resolutions I have put together a rather fabulous list of 24 things to do before I'm 25. I cannot wait to get started as I love that feeling of pride and satisfaction when you check a item off a list because it's been completed. Sad but true :) I intend to share each one of these experiences with you here on this blog, so let's get to the fun bit, the list!

1. Learn to Crochet - this is something I've wanted to learn to do all this year but things (for example making Christmas gifts!) kept getting in the way, so it's first on the list :) I will learn to crochet!

2. Learn to use my camera properly - I am the proud owner of a very beautiful and very fancy DSLR camera, but I haven't really got a clue as to how to use it. This will change.

3. Design a new blog header - you may have noticed the changes to my blog layout, this year I want to give the whole look of this blog an overhaul, and I thought I might as well start with making my own header (although as I'm not too good with computers it may take a while...!)

4. Take one of the e-course at A Beautiful Mess - these are amazing, I want to take most of them, but I think I'll start with the blog love e-course for bloggers

5. Go and see Florence and the Machine live - tickets booked, cannot wait!

6. Cook my first roast - Roast dinners have always been my favourite so I thought it was about time that I learnt to cook one of my own!

7. Start my UFO/Stash busting project - I am very excited about this! More details will follow at a later date... :)

8. Make a thread holder - I've always wanted one, so why not make one?

9. Paint a picture - I drew quite a lot when I was younger, I took art at GCSE level, and I'd really like to get back into that side of my creativity. Plus I'd love to be able to hang my own artwork in my home :)

10. Cook Eggs Benedict from scratch - my favourite breakfast/brunch meal, and as yet I can't even poach an egg!

11. Go for tea at the Dorcester - a little dream of mine :)

12. Make a dress from an Eva Dress Pattern - these may be the most beautiful dress patterns in the world, plus they're quite ridiculously fancy, both things that work in their favour as far as I'm concerned!

13. Go to the pottery painting cafe in Brighton - I just want to go and paint some pottery, is that wrong?

14. Make Gertie's Bombshell dress - I joined the online course for this dress months ago and still haven't really gotten started so this year I'm going to change that.

15. Have the great purge of 2012 - something I do every year, sort through everything I own to see what I'm going to keep and what I'm giving away, it's a great start to the year, I can't wait!

16. Create and post my own tutorial - as soon as I come up with something worth posting about!

17. Cook at least one recipe from each of my cook books - I have a rather huge selection of cook books and yet most of them I haven't used at all, so this year I want to help them do what they were born to do and hopefully get a bit better at cooking along the way!

18. Make a quilt - I have always loved quilts so I thought it was about time to give this craft a go.

19. Have a blog photo shoot - I cannot explain how exciting/scary the thought of this is to me...

20. Read all my coffee table books - much like my cook book obsession I also own a large number of glossy coffee table books, mostly about fashion and designers and I'm going to read each one from cover to cover.

21. Make a jewellery holder - self explanatory really!

22. Write an "I'd just like to say" article every two weeks - I wrote one of these at the end of last year and loved it, but once again Christmas preparations prevented me from having the time to write more. This is definitely something I want to rectify this year!

23. Complete the list of different sewing techniques - I'm going to take the basic list from Curves, Patterns and Pins and add a few fancy things from some of my sewing books, I can't wait to start learning some new sewing tricks :)

24. Organise some special family days - a very special one for me, being away from home has made me really treasure my time with my family, so I want to make the most of it and organise some really fun and exciting things to do

And that's it! Follow my progress through this list on this blog, I have a feeling it's going to be a great year :) Hurrah for 2012!
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