Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #89

Hello there my lovely readers and welcome to a rather special Wednesday Wonderfuls. Why is it special, you may ask? Well, it's special because today I'm going to share with you the first tentative pictures of my Sweetheart and I's new flat! There's still so much to do before everything is the way I want it to be, it's still far from perfect, but after the past few days of moving things are finally starting to come together. It's a very happy time!

Images, Each Row from Left to Right:
1. Some of my cookbook collection 2. Our sweet kitty kat clock! 3. Princess Buttercup
4. I love my new cake stand 5. My crochet blanket hides the dodgy sofa :) 6. It's Gladys the dress form!
7. Bedtime :) 8. My makeshift sewing space 9. More of my cookbooks!

There are a whole heap of DIY projects that I intend to start when my tour is finished (in less than 4 weeks now, eek!) including making removable covers for the sofa (the current sofa is cream leather, not my style AT all), running up a whole bunch of curtains and maybe some bunting, making a jewellery holder, and the list goes on! And hopefully I'll be sharing my projects with you all along the way, I can't wait to watch my new home develop and share it all here :) 

On a side note I used my beautiful shiny new KitchenAid mixer for the first time today and I am totally and utterly in love! I have named her Princess Buttercup, partly because of her gorgeous golden colour and partly for my love of the classic movie "The Princess Bride". I made orange and oat muffins and the whole experience was a joy! Baking in the flat definitely helps it feel more like home :)

The progression of my Orange and Oat Muffins!

So you can safely say that I'm pretty happy right now! And I feel like spreading a bit of that happiness around, so here are some web-world-Wonderfuls just to share the joy!

Have a wonderful rest of the week my lovely readers, I hope you've got lots of fabulous adventures planned :)

Bye for now

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #88

Hello there my lovely readers! A very happy Wednesday to you all, and greetings from Glasgow!

Things have been a little bit quieter for me this week, away from the madness of moving house I have been forced to take things slower whether I like it or not! The choices were stress about the new flat even though I'm miles away and can do nothing productive to help the move or focus on other things for the time being, and I chose the latter :)

Images, Each Row from Left to Right:
1. Checking out this new magazine... 2. Rainbow in Glasgow! 3. Once Upon a Tart = best bakehouse ever!
4. Chocolate cake of dreams 5. I love a new hat :) 6. Dreamy breakfast
7. I can't stop watching this 8. More of Once Upon a Tart 9. New books make me happy :)

I really can't wait to get back to the flat and start sorting everything out just the way I like it, but for now  I've been spending time reading, crocheting, watching gorgeous tv and eating equally gorgeous treats. It  has been nice to get a little bit of breathing space, I really have mellowed out which is lovely, but I really can't wait to get home this weekend! The thought of seeing my Sweetheart and my family is making me very happy indeed :)

Anyways, enough about me, let's see what gems have been flying about the blogosphere this week! Here come the Wonderfuls!

  • Looking for good vintage shops in the UK? This list of the 50 best vintage shops (put together by Homes and Antiques magazine) was released this week, and some of my personal favourites are on it! I can't wait to explore the rest :)
  • Recently I've been looking for new kinds of storage (our new flat is uber teeny so we could use all the extra storage we can get!) and I love the look of this magazine rack DIY. It's so cute!
  • I adored this truly inspirational post by Megan Nielsen this week, all about how much money you need to start out as a designer. If anything can inspire you to start your own business then it's this wonderful lady.
  • I love anything to do with Marie Antionette, so I'm more than a little bit excited about this film.
  • And finally here are some delicious treats for you to try out! How ridiculous does this  fudge brownie cookie dough cake look? Not your thing? Well how about these brownie batter cupcakes? Or maybe this chessboard cake? I'm sure that one of those would tickle your fancy :)

That's it from me for another week, but I'll be back soon with more Wonderfuls to tempt you!

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A Little Bit About Crocheting...

Hello there my lovely readers!

As you've probably noticed I've been going a little crochet crazy over the past few weeks! What started out as a few granny squares has turned into a fully-fledged obsession, although I must admit I'm really missing my knitting needles - I've got a huge variety of autumn/winter knitting projects stored up in my head just waiting to be created! Anyways, after the big reveal of my much loved first ever crochet blanket I received quite a few questions about crochet, so I thought I'd answer everything in a post, my tips for fellow crochet beginners. So here goes!

My top tips for fellow crochet beginners!

My first and biggest tip is check out the Crochet School over at Crafty Minx
This online tutorial course is completely free and brilliant and will teach you everything you need to know and more about crochet, I have been trying to learn from books etc. for years, and it's only after taking part in the school that I finally got the hang of things!

Always sew in your ends as you go. 
I cannot stress this enough! ozzyblackbeard commented on my blanket that the thought of sewing in all those ends made them want to cry, and I couldn't agree more! The only way to make the process less annoying is to sew them in as soon as possible (for example, as soon as you finish a granny square sew those ends in!). I learnt this the hard way when I had completed all my granny squares and was ready to crochet them together, but I hadn't sewn in any of the ends, which I knew I would have to do before I could complete the blanket. Let me just say, that's a good few days that I'll never be getting back. So sew in those ends people!

Find a joining method that works for you.
When making my blanket I tried various ways of joining my squares together, I started off by working them together as a went along, then tried sewing them and finally I settled on crocheting them together in rows when the squares were all completed (all of these methods can once again be found at the crochet school!). The last way worked best for me, I love the raised texture of the lines of crochet joining each square, but you might like something better yourself. Experiment, try all the options and find one that you love :)

Get inspired!
Something that I've loved about starting to crochet is the new blogs it has introduced me to, there are some incredible crocheters out there in the blogosphere! I would throughly recommend the following blogs for some fabulous crochet inspiration: Coco Rose Diaries, Attic 24, Get Smitten, and the Robyn's Nest. Just have a browse through some of their crochet projects, I guarantee you'll be itching to get a crochet hook in your hands :)

And finally, enjoy!
Crochet is a fun, relaxing craft that will make you very happy if you can master the basics. I know from experience that at the start you can feel lost, but persevere, you will get there and the more you crochet the better you will be. So enjoy the process, learning a new skill is an amazing thing!

I hope that this post has answered some of your crochet questions, if you have any more then please let me know, I'd love to help if I can! Happy, happy crocheting my lovely readers, I'm sure I'll have another completed project to share with you soon.

Bye for now,

Katie xxx

All of my pictures are of my newest crochet project: the ripple blanket! The pattern is absolutely free (hurrah!) and can be found here if you fancy giving it a go yourselves :)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #87

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

Images, Clockwise from Top Left:
1. I am so happy that I finally have this book!!! 2. Moving my collection into the new flat :) 3. Fudgey goodness
4. The lining is going in! 5. I adore mail 6. Ice Creamy goodness

You may have noticed that things have been a little in my part of the blogosphere recently. Well this is for a very good reason: my Sweetheart and I have got our flat! We have spent the last few weeks sorting everything out and last weekend moving most of his bits and bobs to our lovely new home, so there has been very little time for me to blog! But don't worry, I'm still here and planning posts even though I've been a bit absent, I cannot wait to share some of the new home DIYs that I have planned! I'm in Glasgow for the next two weeks miles away from the new flat and unable to pour my energies into unpacking, organising and decorating, so I'm sure I'll get lots of posts up very soon :) I just can't wait to get all my stuff moved in too, but that's not going to be for a while yet, so for now I'll just dream about handmade curtains and vintage furnishings!

Even in my busiest times I make sure I find time for my Wonderfuls, so here are my personal bloggy picks from this week:

I'll be back soon with some project updates (which may or may not involve boning - ooo matron!) and a review of a book that everyone seems to be talking about :)

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #86

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

Images, Each Line from Left to Right:
1. My wiggly crochet matches my outfit! 2. A trip to one of my favourite fabric shops 3. Blogging in coffee shops :)
4. My attempt at Lorraine Pascale's Crouching tiger hidden zebra cake, 5. Sweets from my Sweetheart, 6. The whole cake!
7. My bombshell dress in coming along! 8. Sewing supplies that match my outfit :) 9. Seamstress porn!

First up I wanted to thank you all for your comments on my Sewing for Serenity post, each and every one meant a lot to me! It's lovely to know that I'm not alone in the world of stresses and strains, so thank you for your support! This week has thus far been a lot more calm and serene, for which I'm incredibly grateful. I've spent a lot of time with my Sweetheart and my parents which always makes me so happy, plus I've made some serious progress on my bombshell dress, I cannot wait to share it with you in more detail! Hopefully it will be finished in time for my Birthday at the end of the month :) And I'm also happy to say that my Sweetheart and I will be signing all the necessary papers and getting the keys to our new-to-us flat this Saturday! I am so excited about this I can't even tell you, I can't wait to get in there, make everything spotless and then make it ours :) The whole moving in process is going to take a while, what with me still being on tour until late October, but we have a place and it's ours and however long it takes I know we'll make it perfect for us.

But anyway, enough rambling from me, let's check out my personal picks from the blogosphere this week!

Have a great rest of the week my lovely readers, I'll be back again soon with more crochet and a detailed look at my bombshell dress.

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Sewing for Serenity

There are many reasons why we choose to sew. It's a great, entertaining hobby, it stimulates the creative side of your brain, you are constantly learning new skills and techniques, the list goes on and on. But I think one of the reasons I love sewing so much is because of the peace and calm it can bring to a hectic couple hours/days/weeks. 

During the past two weeks I have found myself becoming progressively more and more stressed and agitated, for various reasons. Firstly, my job always tends be quite crazy as I'm constantly moving from place to place (and I really don't cope with change well! Yeah, I know, good career choice!) and things certainly haven't been helped by unemployment waiting just around the corner. The lack-of-job situation has a knock on effect which manifests itself in the horror that all actors share: auditions. I have had four fairly intense auditions in less than a week, all of which are unresolved as yet as I have no idea what the outcome of any of them will be. This does not help with my feelings of tension! Are you starting to see a pattern here? :) 

To top off the situation I'm currently in the process of moving in with my Sweetheart, a wonderful thing that I'm really excited to be doing, but it too is not devoid of it's problems! I had no idea how complicated renting a property would be just because I'm self-employed - my goodness the hoops they make you jump through! Just to rent a flat for one year I've had to provide all kinds of tax returns and other information, I was indirectly accused of fraud and I was told that I had a better change of being accepted to rent a property if I worked on a checkout at ASDA rather than being an actor. You can probably understand why I was a bit put out. Goodness knows what will happen when I want to buy a property one day!

But let's not dwell on the negatives, that's not what this post is about (contrary to what you might think after reading that previous paragraph!)... 

After my crazy fortnight of madness and stress I found myself at home alone with nothing to do before going to work that evening, so I decided to take out a bit of sewing that I have been meaning to get around to for a while: Gertie's Bombshell Dress. Without a doubt those few hours of sewing were the exact catharsis that I needed. The almost ritualistic process of laying out the fabric, marking it, cutting out interlining pieces and then hand basting them together with the fashion fabric helped my let go of all the residual stress that I had been accumulating over the past two weeks. For the first time in a while I felt peaceful and calm. It was pretty amazing, I'm not going to lie! I held onto that feeling for the rest of the day and I even took some hand basting work on the train with me which passed the time on my commute beautifully. The effect was undeniable to me: sewing = serenity.

Now of course there are times when your home sewing makes you want to tear your hair out, when something refuses to work or you just can't make head nor tail of a pattern (believe me I've been there!), but for now I'm enjoying the idea of sewing as my own little piece of calm, something that brings me back to myself and helps me remember that however crazy and stressful things get, the smallest thing can bring you back to where you want to be.

And how about you my lovely readers? Do you share my feeling about the soothing powers of sewing, or am I on my own here? :) Have a marvellous Sunday!
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