Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Crafting: Pippa Doll

I can't seem to start this post without a little explanation as to where I've been for the last month - especially as this will be my last post of 2015!
So, I have a new job! I started it in October as a part time position on my day off, and was then offered a full time position starting in December. Working two jobs, renovating our flat and the run up to Christmas meant that I barely had time to turn my laptop on let alone blog, but it feels damn nice to be sat here typing away again. I'm super excited to be heading into the new year at my new job; after a frantic Christmas there I'm looking forward to settling in with all of the wonderful team and getting to know the company properly. Yay!

And now, onto the cutie pie in the photos above - meet Pippa!
Around halfway through December I realised that I hadn't started a Christmas present for my niece, and having previously gifted her with a quilt when she was born, a bunch of goodies for her first Christmas and a felt activity book for her first birthday, handmade was my only option.

I knew that my Mum was giving my niece a little wooden pram for Christmas so I decided to make Pippa to accompany it. She was a total freestyle project, based on the amounts of fabrics I had and trying to create something cute enough for an 18 month old to get excited by.
Pippa fits perfectly in the pram and my niece seemed pretty happy with her - spending the last few days watching her fill the pram up with Pippa and her other toys, rocking them to sleep and then waking them up to rearrange them was adorable.

Anyway, I hope that you've all had a wonderful festive time with your loved ones over the last week, mine has been lovely but a little subdued. I've been thinking of trying a recap post of 2015 but haven't quite decided yet, and I also have a few plans for next year that I need to get down on paper (screen?!).

For now, Happy New Year to all of you wonderful people, and I'll see you on the other side <3

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Saying Thank You

• To Hayley, for inspiring this post and for reminding me why I love blogging...
• To my family, especially over the last month when things have been so tough, for reminding me how to live and for being such a strong support network.
• To Bing and A for always being at the other end of the phone. Soon enough we'll find a date that we can all do!
• To my phone for breaking and giving me a much needed detox for a few days. I hate how much I depend on it and needed to be reminded about life away from a screen.
• To Katie, for helping me to have fun again and teaching me how to live our twenties right.
• To yoga for giving me time to just be and helping me to be kind to my body.
• To S, for sharing all of your good stickers with me and for filling me with so much love. You are the most awesome niece an auntie could ask for, and don't worry, I've bought you tons more stickers for Christmas.
• To the world for everything you have to offer, and to all the people in it trying to prove that love will always win.
• To Pixel, for your funny five minutes that make me laugh every single day.
• To new friendships made in pubs whilst drunkenly chatting about Game of Thrones and maths.
• To old friendships kept alive in pubs whilst drunkenly posing for photobooth pictures.
• To JK Rowling for Harry Potter...
• ...and to all the other books that allow me to lose myself in another world.
• To my doctor all those years ago that never gave up on me; you told me that one day I'd lead a normal life and even work full time and now I do (albeit cautiously).
• To the plants in the flat for helping me to improve my green thumb and filling the flat with life.
• To Netflix. Sad but true.
• To Feel Free for making gluten free doughnuts - because five years without a doughnut really is too long.
• To J, for that iTunes list.
• To new starts, new opportunities and endless hope.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Yawn: Phone Off, Kettle On, Pyjama Time

Pyjamas c/o Yawn

About a week before J and I got married, I got chatting to the lovely ladies at Yawn and we ended up planning a little collaboration. They sent me these beautiful Safe Harbour pyjamas to take away on our honeymoon, and I whipped up an eye mask to go with them. You can check out my DIY to make the eye mask here.

Choosing the pyjamas was tricky. I've loved Yawn ever since Katie blogged about them yonks ago, and I particularly love the cat print set (of course!). In the end I went with the Safe Harbour full length set, and boy did I make the right choice.

J thought I was mad to make space for the pyjamas amongst bikinis and shorts, but I knew that they'd be a perfect holiday accompaniment. And why's that? One word: Aircon. Oh how I loathe it! I mean, I get it - Hong Kong was easily the most humid place I've ever been and Port Douglas stayed balmy late into the night, but when I go to sleep I need to be cosy.

The main perk with these pyjamas for me is the fit - I have no time for fitted pyjamas, or for anything where comfort isn't the top priority. These pyjamas are the ultimate in cosy - I actually ended up wearing them as soon as we got home from exploring most days as they are also the perfect thing to wear if you're sunburnt!

As for the design... is it wrong to love pyjamas? All of the prints are designed in house at Yawn which is another detail of the company that is awesome. The anchor print is so sweet and I love the single life ring on the pyjama trousers - for me it really is the tiny details, and that is one cute detail.
The cut and fit are also spot on for me, and another nod to the tiny details are the pockets. I used to constantly steal J's pyjama bottoms because they always had good pockets (what is it with women's clothing and crappy pockets?!) so the fact that this set features pockets on the top as well as the bottoms gets a huge thumbs up from me.

If you hadn't guessed from me mentioning stealing J's pyjamas, I've never had a 'proper' set of pyjamas, but thanks to this set I'm pretty sold. I've already added the Port In A Storm nightshirt to my Christmas wish list, as it seems only right to start building myself a collection now doesn't it? :)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Crafting: Trail Tote

After a photoshoot at work the other day in which we chased some fleeting winter sun, it seemed like a good time to get some snaps of my latest make at the same time. My lovely friend Mary took these snaps for me to show off my version of the Trail Tote by Noodlehead.

I've been dying to sew something over the last few weeks, so over the course of a few evenings I whipped this freebie pattern up with some stash fabric.
I adore Noodlehead designs (and the fabric choices are always spot on!) and this bag is no exception. If I'm using a bag that is too small for me to throw tons into, I will inevitably end up lugging a tote bag around with me too, and I figured that in the larger size this bag could solve that problem without being too bulky.

I made a few changes to the pattern including adding a contrast bottom to match the strap, omitting the piping to the exterior and using an extra chunky zip at the front for a bit of detail.
I'm a monochrome girl at heart but couldn't resist adding an emerald green lining as a nice little pop of colour - I really love these fabric combos!

Having worn the bag for a week now I have to say I'm pretty smitten. Somehow this is the first bag I've made with an adjustable strap and I love it - I can comfortably wear this as a cross body bag, or shorten the strap right up to wear as a shoulder bag.
If you're looking for a relatively quick and super satisfying make, I would totally recommend this pattern - and this isn't meant to be a review, I just love a good bag ;)

Friday, 6 November 2015

We Got Married - The Guestbook

Technically we have two guestbooks from the wedding day, but only one of them is actually a book. The photobooth company we used put together a guestbook for us of all the photos taken in the booth and it is possibly my favourite book of all time! I love how different people can be behind a formal camera and then in a photobooth, and looking through that book will forever make me laugh.

Of course I couldn't turn down the chance to get another DIY out of the day so I decided that I'd make a guestbook quilt too. I cut a huge pile of calico strips, bought a multipack of Sharpie fabric pens, and set them up together on the drinks table to let people leave their messages.
I decided this way back when the wedding plans first started and J thought that no one would get involved but luckily they did (+1 to me!). I just wish I'd thought to mark up the seam allowance I'd need, but ahwell, who doesn't love to sew with a 1mm allowance?!

Now the big question is, what shall I do for the rest of the quilt?! I'd like to use calico for the back of the quilt too, but I still have a bunch of things to decide...

• Do I add any other fabric pieces to the front or just have the messages?
• If the front is solely made up of the messages, should I align them or brick tile them?
• Should I dye the back piece of calico black (possibly using Shibori techniques?) or make a stamp and print straight onto it with black ink?
• ...same question for the binding...
• How should I quilt it? Stitch in the ditch, or random quilting?

Ahhh, so many questions! But honestly, I cannot tell you how awesome it feels to have a nice and slow project on the go :)