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House Tour - Part One {for Lizzy}

I promised Lizzy I would keep her updated on my house progress so why not update this space too?  
And I think I'll start with my dressing-definitely-not-a-craft-room first, as, well, this is the room that I did first. 
We decided early on in my moving in process that with the massive Ikea bed the boy had and the not so massiveness of the room we were moving in to, that having a wardrobe in the bedroom wasn't an option, so we took over the box room that was being used as a spare room. 
In the interests of a speedy move the room has stayed the same white is was painted. 

So now the room houses a wardrobe, which is just about big enough for all of our 'needs hanging' clothes {I have the big side - as if there would be any question on that matter}, next to it is a little make-up/hair-straightening area for me to make myself pretty along with this {very dirty - oooops} mirror and some storage. Those boxes on the top, right now, are full of either my fabric and random craft supplies, or all that random crap that you have to keep but just don't quite know where it goes.  

Make up, hair stuff, glasto hat, cath kisdton crockery that I am too scared to get out whilst the boys housemate is still here....
I have a feeling that when the boy returns from India this corner of this room will be a godsend for us both, especially as he just rolls out of bed 10 minutes before he need to leave and it takes me, hmmmmmmmm, a good 3 weeks to get ready every day! Now I have somewhere to do it that won't disturb him!

The other side of this little room was expertly put together by my dad. On the day he came to Leeds with the van to move me we went to IKEA for the shelves {an experience I imagine he wont be repeating again soon, not after all the 'is it not the end of the shop YET?'s I heard - and we took the short cuts!}. I've had these Lack shelves before and like the way they looked in my old old house, so I went with them. I had planned to have a desk in the room, but after a bit of measuring {the room really isn't very wide}  I abandoned the idea of a desk, bought some £3 desk legs and, well, daddy drilled them in to the bottom of the shelf and it's now a narrow desk. Just wide enough for a laptop, my sewing machine and my most importantly - my crafting stuff. 

sewing machine, magazine stacks, crafting supplies and pretty much everything else that I brought to the house and I think is beautiful.

At the moment the shelves house more nic-nacs than I would like, as there aren't the places around the house for them yet, but I hope that over time the pretty things will disappear from these shelves to the rest of the house and be replaced by stacks of fabric, essential crafting supplies and books! I could also do with a proper chair, but my little stool will do for now, so I can't complain. And, yes I will need some new curtains, but since these work for now, they can stay. Oh, and I am thinking - just thinking - of painting the wall behind the shelves a bright turquoise. But that is just a thought right now..... So what do you think?

And this is just so you can see how boxy the box room is. Not a lot of space at all!

His perfect pup from Evan Agee on Twitter
The boy keeps pining about getting a dog. He used to have one a few years back, and really really wants another. Now he is obsessed with the idea of us getting a Pug after seeing a friends the other week. 

The house isn't massive so we'd need a little pup {the other dog he wants is a Rottweiller but thankfully {as they look super scary} they are massive so he's put that plan on ice!} and I'd I would love a little dog, but a Pug? I am just not sure - I think they are kind of ugly, cute but pretty buggly and aren't they riddle with illness? There is one in the hairdressers near my brothers bar and the owner has spent £5,000+ getting illnesses fixed! Yes it was tiny and cute but she has to watch it all the time in case it tried to jump off the sofa as it might break its legs! That can't be fun can it?

I just wonder if I should indulge his wants or steer him towards something else? 
Any ideas of small but cute dogs?


I dont know if you know this but my brother and his lovely girlfriend own a bar in the village/area {?} that they live in. They took it over in late February and it seems to be going really well. 
This weekend I was tasked with photographing some of their food for the website {a website I am creating - but being no technical wizz it's going to be super simple - I am using Moonfruit at the moment, but does anyone know of anything else I should use?}. 

It was a tough job. Not least because most of the food was whipped away so the staff could eat it. I did manage to get a fork and eat the amazing coconut and lemon cake before it was taken away from me - my mum makes it for the bar so I think I was entitled to a slice!

Here is a sneak peak of what I'll be putting on the site; 

The pictures still need a little work yet - these are the SOOC ones - as I dont have Photoshop at the moment, I am using Picnic through Flickr to edit them, which isn't the quickest process. But I don't think they turned out that badly did they? 

You can see the full set here if you're at all interested. 

Out of my comfort zone.

You know when you arrange something with someone and you almost have a feeling they'll bail on you, mostly because they have done before for your last few outings, so you aren't surprised when they text to let you down. Well that happened last night.
I'd planned to go to a Seven Hills WI meeting with a friend of mine {one of my 30 things was to go to a Buns & Roses meeting but not being in Leeds anymore, Seven Hills is taking over} but as you can tell, she text to let me know she had to work late and couldn't make it {which is fair enough - but it was just because I had that feeling}.

In hindsight, maybe this was a good thing. It put me in a uncomfortable place where I went to something on my own. As me. Not as part of 2 friends, who can sit together and just chat with one another rather than everyone else. Going alone made me chat with people. It made me walk up to an almost full table and ask if I could sit with them. They turned out to be lovely women who I probably wouldn't have spoken to had I not been on my own. 

But I did still have that horrible moment of walking into a room alone, when everyone seems to know each other, and you don't know a person. And in my head I think I had made it worse as I kept thinking - 'what if they just want to chat about knitting - I don't know the first thing about knitting'.

This ‘going alone to an event’ thing came at an coincidental time. I read this post by Elizabeth on her fear of networking, just yesterday morning and I wondered which one of me would turn up if I was in that situation. I could see myself one second being the person who walks into the room of people she doesn’t know and chats to everyone, and the next time I’m that person who sits back and doesn’t speak to anyone because, well, they all know each other and you hate being the new girl.

But I've done it now. I went. I chatted. I ate a delicious scone. I gave my email address to be invited next time too. And next time is wine tasting so I am not likely to pass that one up am I?

{oh, and just in case you wondered, no-one mentioned knitting to me - but a lady at the back did sit their click-click-clicking her needles}

Holga Love

At some point last summer my trusty Holga started to die. It might have had something with the fact I decided to Plastikote it bright blue, it might have been years of being thrown in to handbags/rattling round cars/festivals or trips sailing. What ever it was, first off the flash died {which considering it was the CFN, the one with the colour flash, was annoying} and then after an incident with some beer it stopped winding on very well and that really hindered it's performance - although i did get some decent double and triple exposures! But all of this told me it was time for a new one. 

And isn't he beautiful. 

I went with the 120CFN again, because I love the coloured flash on a night shot, and I sampled a 35mm one, but I just LOVE the big, square negs and prints {although I do still have my 35mm adaptor, somewhere!} If you can't tell I got it from Holgarama {I thought they might appreciate my little bit of branding I did with the sticker they sent me}. Seriously - if you want a Holga, they're the place to go. The new site has a buyers guide which is something I wish I'd had when I first bought, and they're based in the UK so you're supporting a local business, and there is no hefty VAT charge when your camera finally arrives from China {yes, I did get stung, but it was 2007, so I'm over it now. Promise.} 

Now, I just have to resist the urge to get the spray paint out on this one again!

IronCupcake:Leeds - Fizzy Drinks

This weekend was the IronCupcake:Leeds with the theme Fizzy Drinks. 
In an attempt to stray away from things like Coke, I consulted twitter and a shortlist of Cherryade, Ginger Beer or Cherry Coke was formed. After a little bit more deliberating with friends, we decided on a Ginger Beer flavoured cake. I thought it might not be obvious enough so that there would be a few of them. 

Some searching on the internet pointed me to this recipe by raspberri cupcakes, who used not only Ginger Beer in her recipe, but also a Ginger beer cordial. Having never heard of or seen it, I thought I might have to use even more ginger beer instead of it as Raspberri Cupcakes is based in Australia, but since I now live near a Waitrose it seemed like, and turned out to be, the perfect place to buy such a thing. {Now I love ginger beer, really, I do. Especially with some rum in it, but this cordial is AWFUL. Truly awful. Its just SO spicy. But it did it's job and flavoured the cupcakes perfectly so I'll let it off, and maybe if we get desperate and have run out of normal ginger beer we'll turn to it, but I can see the bottle sitting in the fridge for a while.}  
And after a little bit more consultation with my friends, we decided on a lime frosting, as everyone knows that lime is the best accompaniment to ginger beer. 

I wont post the recipe as you can find it on Raspberri Cupcakes blog with photos to boot, and the frosting was a basic buttercream with a the zest and juice of two limes in the place of the milk, and then topped up with milk when needed. 

I was pretty pleased though as I placed 3rd this month - although it might have something to do with the fact there were way less entries than there have been before {which I think was down to the sunshine}

Here is a sneaky peak at the entries, 

But you'll be able to see details of them all at the IronCupcake:Leeds page, or on my flickr page here

Roll on next months 'Perfect Pairs' theme. 

Birthday Crafting

Last week was one of my bestest friends 30th birthdays. It happens to the best of us this getting old thing. As she lives in London I don't see her much, but we had a lovely, wine filled, night together at my brothers bar with her fiancĂ©e and the Boy over the bank holidays period where she seemed elated at being the last of us in our 20's and then she brought her beautiful baby boy round to see my mum, which gave me a chance to give her her gifts to take home. 

I have known for a LONG time what I was making her for her birthday. In fact I had a number of ideas, but after mulling them over, one is much better as a wedding gift {its not for a long while, so maybe it'll get given to her earlier} and the others might not have worked very well yet - my sewing skills aren't quite where they need to be........

But for starters, I made her a 'Party in a box' – the idea came from this guest post by You Are My Fav.
The box included;

  • A mini bottle of champers and a glass.
  • Cake mix with icing frosting rather then buttercream {lizzie isn’t a frosting fan} and a recipe card and cake cases. 
  • Candles.
  • Balloons.
  • Some birthday confetti – erm, sorry about that – I bet its not easy to clean up.
  • A garland made from cut out paint chips.
  • And the must have 30 badge!

Then I turned to my sewing machine, printed out the very easy to follow pattern from U-handbag and made this 'For Pleats Sake' handbag. 

Actually that makes it sound like I whipped it up in an hour. Unfortunately it took a little longer than that and involved a bit of swearing, a lot of needles being stuck in my fingers and some confusion - but the tutorial has some easy to follow pictures that accompany pretty much every stage of the bag making and in the end I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. 
What do you think? 

{I bought the Cath Kidston fabric in a particular moment when i was misguidedly feeling flush with cash, and being the sewing novice I am, I bought WAY too much of it, but I am excited that there is enough to make at least another bag out of it. If not something else fun. The lining is a solid pink that co-ordinates with the pink in the flowers and the handles aren't the ones the tutorial as they had sold out, but they were easy enough to find on Ebay. }


Will be back with news on the new house, new job and the 'holiday' in between when painting and decorating and getting everything moved in my our bedroom have been accomplished. Later!