Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas Gifts

I got some lovely gifts this Christmas, and was so delighted by the thought that had gone into them all, these are my very favourites...

(It’s no secret books are always the way to my heart)

I finally have The Carrie Diaries, one I’ve been lusting after all year, and I also got Jacqueline Wilson’s latest The Longest Whale Song. Because I am forever enchanted by her storytelling.

I also recieved a beautiful children’s classic in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

A favourite of mine, Kirstie’s Homemade Home book to go alongside the series, filled with every craft a girl could want for.
From fiction to cookery, I have three new cookbooks, which is always going to make me a happy girl, lets be honest.

I am probably the last girly to jump on the Hummingbird bandwagon, I also was given a Sweet Treats book of delights.
My little infatuation with Sophie Dahl has been filled with her novel and cookbook...

Gifts from my Mum always have a tale behind them...

The thing I love about my Mum is that she knows my style exactly. She knows what I like and what I don’t. And the above is a perfect example of it.
It’s a lovely hand/arm warmer, complete with inside pockets for money, phone etc. This screams out for use at 2011 car boots and antique fairs.

She also sneakily managed to get me this Royal Doulton Christmas plate, from 1977. I say sneakily because I was with her the day we first saw it in the Charity Shop window. I was amazed by its pristine condition and thrilled with its original packaging but I had no money on me. My Mum went back the very next, and got it for me.

The Mr got me one of these...a Harajuku perfume from the Wicked Style range, and I said I wasn’t going to collect these ones! She is so cute...


Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Merry Little Christmas

I must admit I have a little bit of a soft spot for Christmas (well doesn’t everyone). It’s the one time of year where everything stops and you have time to appreciate the ones around you the most. And of course eat lots of ridiculous amounts of food.

This will be my last post until after Christmas, and I thought I would share a few things that have enchanted me over the past few days...

Some Disney crackers that were found in the garage back in the summer; I have been saving them for Christmas and can’t wait to find out what’s inside.

One of my favourite ‘things to bring out at Christmas’. Of course my Eskimo cookie jar.

A certain stocking for a certain cat

& I want to say a special thank-you to a few lovely bloggers, who were kind enough to surprise me this Christmas...

Firstly thank-you Alex, I was lucky enough to win a book from her 12 days of Christmas Giveaway, and the card inside was so very fitting. I am actually ashamed to say I can’t recall the 12 days of Christmas off the top of my head, so this is so very useful for me.

The lovely Jazmine sent me a wonderful card and pack of Cath Kidston tissues, what a completely lovely thought.

And finally Ellie for organising the Christmas Card Swap. It was so lovely to be able to be part of it, and in turn receive my card. And I am sure many people will agree with me how wonderful this was.

& finally I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, each and everyone of you xxx

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Miss Allsopp I salute you

I must admit I had a little crush on this program the first time around, however this year I have whole heartedly fallen head over heels.

You know you are a ‘tad’ obsessed, when you’re dreaming about meeting Kirstie Allsopp in your sleep.

Be it the very opening title sequence that screams out to any budding crafter or the flamboyant wardrobe of Miss Allsopp herself. That woman has a style all of her own. Mostly consisting of vintage I imagine. I am particularly admiring the giant aquamarine (engagement) ring the most...

My favourite craft of the series has to be the cross-stitch cushions master class with Emily Peacock. The embroidery equally thrilled me, as it’s always been a craft close to my heart.

I have religiously admired week after week, and become enthralled in all the tips and tricks along the way. Equally I was smitten with Kirstie and Phil’s Perfect Christmas, it was festive and fun and all the crafty ideas and beautiful aesthetics easily charmed me.

Thank-you Kirstie for a wonderful series and more so a wonderful way of life♥

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A pound well spent

The Thrift Book Live well and spend less

You may know of my knack of finding bargain books in Poundland, well this one pretty much sums the whole thing up perfectly.

I simply nipped in for a nosy at the Christmas decorations and came out with another wonderful book. Yes. Another one.

I knew instantly I was going to buy this book, in fact I didn’t even read the blurb on the back nor did I flick through any of the pages. This book was at the till before I knew it.

The title was all I needed, and the adorable cover was an instant hit too.

I am by far impressed, many of tips I may have already come across, but there are plenty I haven’t. I do love hearing other people’s perspectives on the matter too, so this is rather great. Sewing, baking, thrifting, just a few of my favourite things.

The layout and illustrations are also very pretty too.
The rrp on this book is £14.99.
I don’t think I could have found a more suitable way to spend my modest pound coin.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Home is where the heart is

As much as I spend my life tracking down second-hand treasures, I am not a girl who completely is devoted to nostalgia.
I have somewhat a guilty pleasure in the name of Ikea. Yes you heard me right, Ikea.
The shop and catalogue get me so excited, it’s probably because we don’t have one locally, so when we do go it’s always a bit of a treat.

In my mind I hate the idea of a flat pack home, but like many things it’s not all as it seems. Behind the big bold yellow brand name, there are believe me hidden treasures.

For example, these cushions that have lasted me for nearly 5years. And I still love them as much as I did when I first bought them. I got them both for less than £10 and they never fail to brighten up a room. I know the embroidery is completely after my own heart.

Just browsing through these catalogues gives me enough inspiration, particularly the way they cleverly store things. I am obsessed with storage; I like things being neat but also like them being nice to look at.

Please can I have a bookshelf like this one?

Or a sink like this pretty please?

These star shaped fairy lights were £2, and are battery powered; they’ve sneakily snuck themselves into the living room for over the Christmas period, but will probably find a more permanent home in my craft room.

I also love the bargain corner. Well the name says it all. We picked up some *mystery* items recently and I am spilling with excitement. More will be disclosed on a later date.

So apart from wanting to dive into the catalogue literally, I must say I am smitten with Ikea.

Friday, 10 December 2010

The Queen of Hearts Cookbook

I found this unusual treasure on eBay a few weeks ago. In one of those hopeless searches where you don’t really know what you are looking for, until you have found it.

The cover swayed me almost instantly, I was completely intrigued. It was first published in 1955 and it seems to have belonged to a few people along the way, I noticed inside it has different prices written in pencil.

As soon as it arrived, I was smitten, the cover is stunning and the book has a beautiful layout. I particularly love the quirky illustrations and notes, referring to the Queen of Hearts.

There are a few unusual recipes, and a few I think I’m going to give a go. I must admit this is as much a nostalgia item for me to enjoy, as it is a practical item for me to use.

The thing you never know with eBay is whether you are actually going to win the said item, it was listed at 25p to start, but I knew it would realistically sell for more. In the end I managed to get it for £2.20 (plus £1 for the postage)
Not bad considering it is not your everyday cookbook.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

I want to tell you a secret.

I write a lot of thoughts, but often keep them to myself, but this was on my mind today...

[From my beloved scrapbook]

I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 19. If I could go back now and tell myself: It’s okay, you don’t need a boyfriend to be cool, and he will come when the time is ready. Then believe me I would scream it from the rooftops.

I fell into such a confused place when I was a teenager, a place that will always probably be the unhappiest in my life. Yet I can admit to myself now, if I had thought about things in a different light, maybe it could have been different for me.

At school it was apparent that the ‘popular’ girls had boyfriends, usually older than them. I never really saw those girls as the same person as me, they were pretty, clever and had ‘in my eyes’ everything. So I guess I was used to being the one who didn’t have a boyfriend.

The time it hurt me most was right at the end of Year 11, when Prom was announced. Not one boy suggested or asked me to be their date. (Do I blame them? No because they probably already had dates with their then girlfriends)
Needless to say I never got a Prom night.

At college, things changed. It wasn’t a petty playground anymore; it was a lot more of a grown up environment.
I admittedly was dressed to kill (in the worst sort of way) for the first three weeks of college I wore nothing but black and swung around my artificially coloured red and black hair. It wasn’t the best first impression; I can look back and say that now. I might as well have turned up with a ‘keep away’ sign around my neck.

Appearance can be one thing. But peer pressure is another.
I wasn’t bullied for not having a boyfriend, but what I found to be much worse, I was left out.

I saw it all around me constantly boy and girl hand in hand, it got to the point where I once counted the amount of people in my Sociology class (instead of learning about erm...Social relationships) who ‘had’ a boyfriend and would always put myself at the bottom of the pile when it came to attractiveness. Now for a 17 year old girl, this was a huge strain on my shoulders.

Things declined dramatically when I then went onto my second college. Now it was an environment of ‘typical girly girls’ who constantly wanted to talk about their boyfriends. From an outside point of view you could say I was jealous. Of course I was.
They would arrive on Monday morning with all these tales of romance and candle-lit dinners. When all I had to show for my weekend was the X-Factor and a trip to Tesco with my Mum.

I hated every single minute of being in that class, purely because I let it get to me.

Friendships tend to be a difficult path to go down too. When you are so close to someone so much so you think that they will always be in your life, it can give you a shock when they meet a boy and you don’t see them again for the rest of the summer. I have lost friendships because of this. Lets face it it’s always going to get a little ‘bitchy’ when it comes to two girls chasing the same boy. Its funny how one boy can ruin a whole friendship that you thought was built on trust and loyalty. But again you live and learn.

If I had known I would meet the love of my life in the February after leaving college, then all this could have been a little more bearable. Unfortunately no one has a crystal ball, and all those fears and anxiety I had about turning into Bridget Jones, as daft as it sounds were real. And I lived through it.

If this post has any significance at all, I hope it just reassures you. The one thing I wanted for so many years I couldn’t have, yet when I wasn’t looking for it, it arrived.

Monday, 6 December 2010

A Piece Of Cake

Almost as charming and enticing as a cake, here we have (part of) my ridiculous collection of junk taking over a recently acquired vintage glass cake stand. When I say junk, I mean broken bits and lost pieces. Nothing remotely is in order, and a lot of it has almost morphed together, I am one those people who regretfully lets chains get tangled up and take a lifetime to unravel.

I have always clung onto anything remotely nostalgic, purely because I can’t find it in my heart to part with it.
I think there’s something quite alluring about a box full of charms. I have always wondered what I could do with all of these bits and pieces.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Shelf Life

I have too many books. When I said 'the bookshelf is full… no more'. I didn’t really stick to that. So you might be wondering where I keep all my books…the bookshelf downstairs in our living room is the home of all my grown up books (well technically speaking).

As for my children’s books that’s a whole other story, which starts right here...

I have had this bookshelf in my life for as long as I can remember, it has homed many of my endless collections from my childhood to my teenage years.

Here it is seen with a cringe worthy me (and Barbie) at six-years old.

So realising I now have too many children’s books to be able to stack up and look elegant, I decided to invest in a bookshelf for my craft room.
Invest obviously for me means re-use. So once again this bookshelf is back in my life. Which is kind of reminiscent, as it’s something that has always been in my family.

Despite the arctic conditions, I have given it a little make-over in my favourite duck egg blue to match my pound chair. I was in two minds about it, because of it being such a loved item, but I honestly think it’s given it a whole new life.




Here it is filled with all my delights; I've added a few of my second hand treasures, and keepsakes along with all my favourite children's books.

I now have a place to home my ever growing Beatrix Potter collection, and wonderfully old Ladybird books. I didn’t want to clutter it up with too much stuff, so I have kept it fairly simple, leaving plenty of room for new treasures.

This is a Celia Birtwell photo wallet with all my favourite childhood snaps in.

You might be able to spot some of my favourite Disney classics on here.

You might think I’m a little too old for Peter Rabbit & co, but this is me, I love illustrations and I love delving into another world. Hopefully one day I will be able to pass this collection on to someone else ♥
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