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First of all, then is the Hen Do. Held in Drink Shop Do, it was a lovely sedate couple of hours of embroidering pants, drinking cocktails and having afternoon tea.
My best buddies Becky, Lisa and Serife had also added lots of special touches without me knowing – Lisa made name rosettes, Serife made a ‘bride to be’ sash and Becky made a scrapbook that included some unflattering pictures of me as a child, and some of me looking slightly more glamorous when I got a bit older.
As for the wedding, I shan’t go on about it other than to say it was an excellent day. It was great to have everyone we love in the same room, to catch up with old friends and make new ones. And I was sober! I have no idea how that happened, but I was just so nervous it barely crossed my mind.
My dress was not made by me – I just couldn’t deal with that level of stress! – but I bought it from an EXCELLENT Etsy seller called Lace Mary. She is amazing and the service was incredible.
The photos below are courtesy of Alex Abott Wedding Photography. I honestly cannot recommend Alex highly enough – for two people who hate having their photo taken, we really were put at ease and all the shots he took are brilliant.
Last but not least, a wonderful cake-topper made by TailorMadeToppers. It’s basically the best thing I’ve ever seen…
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read. For me, reading was not only enjoyable but an escape from everyone else. I’ve never been particularly sociable, and neither is my family, so reading has always featured in life for me – I think we read to avoid each other! It makes me sound dull, but I found the games my school mates played futile and silly, and I could never really work out the rules and social nuances that to most are quite literally “child’s play”. So I used to sit on benches reading Nancy Drew books. At seven, all I wanted was to be Nancy Drew: I wanted a Ford Mustang, to be eighteen, to have people think I was clever enough to solve these ridiculous mysteries. I soon discovered Point Romance (my sister read Point Horror) and I still love the cheesy “boy-meets-girl, happily-ever-after” trope in films and books.
As the youngest, I desperately wanted to be taken seriously so I spent my pocket money on those £1 Penguin Classics you used to get: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights. I tried Moby Dick but, as the lovely Mr put it years later, “it’s just not a very good book”.
My love of reading grew from not wanting anything to do with anyone, and I still use a book as a means to hide and an excuse to ignore everyone. I’m never without one – I went to a gig alone and sat in the bar reading Skagheads waiting for it to start, sat in traffic on the M25 reading Madame Bovary, whiled away hours on the train with The Goldfinch. I used to drive on nights out with my friends. Nightclubs are awful when you’re sober so, when I got bored of the music and the drunk revellers, I’d go to the loo and sit in a stall and read until it was time to go home. By the way, a book is a great way of making a clutch bag easier to carry.
But now, I also see the social side of books. I’ve been in book clubs and met top girl Liz when she started one in Greenhithe. I studied literature with the Open University. A chance sighting by the Lovely Mr’s friend of a book in my bag the first time I met him gave inspiration for conversation rather than awkward silence while the Mr got the drinks in.
And, it may sound twee, but with a book you are never truly alone. I’ve been on adventures with Huckleberry Finn, fallen in love with Greg from The Chocolate Run a thousand times, and cried so hard I hurt my neck at Black Beauty. Some books stay with you for life, which is more than can be said for people in real life.
Like Alice in Wonderland, I really do go down the rabbit hole with books and can’t stop myself reading. In my first job, I just had to finish a novel before I could do any work so sat in the loos to finish that final chapter before I could log on. The other week, I tripped up the steps reading my kindle on the way in to work because I just couldn’t put my book down.
This World Book Day, I will be rereading Pride and Prejudice. What will you be reading?
I’ve never done a book review for my blog before, and it might seem a bit odd as it’s nothing to do with sewing either, but it is a very, very good book. I don’t imagine it’s something I’ll do often as I am voracious reader and get through at least two a week so reviewing might become tiresome for all! I often recommend books to people when they ask, but reviewing isn’t something I’ve thought I’ve doing but, it’s been a week and a half and two whole books since and I still can’t stop thinking about this story.
To be honest, I read this entire book thinking that it actually happened, that it was a non-fiction account of Billie’s adventures through taste, history and, for want of a better term, “finding herself”. I won’t give too much away about the plot, but it really is a riot for the senses, I cried on the bus and I was so disappointed to find the last page. Especially when I found out it was a novel. Oh how I wished that Billie and Mr Complainer and Sal were real, that there really was a Timber Mansion with secret rooms and mischievous librarians leaving a treasure trail, that I could eat Teresa’s homemade mozzarella, taste the salamis that adorn Sal’s deli.
There’s a gingerbread that features heavily in the novel, and there’s even a recipe for it at the end. I’ve not tried it yet, but anything that involves bashing your own spices in a pestle and mortar gets my vote.
It is the brilliant writing of this novel that brings it to life, that makes you think that you really are friends with Billie, that she’s taking you on her journey. And made me think she was real. Personally, I find taste difficult to describe, and I can’t imagine being able to isolate flavours like she does; so writing about it must be quite tricky. Like if you feel music, or trying to describe what a ‘gut feeling’ feels like.
I gave this book five stars. I never do that. I hope that, if you choose to read this, you’ll agree.
And for sewing fans, the sewing posts will resume shortly. It’s just that my sewing is currently top secret. And there’ll be some craft and goodie related posts coming soon, too, so set yourself up with a good book (see above) and check back soon for pretty crafts and homemade frocks. I’m off to Google Candelabras. Don’t ask…
Ooh, I’m excited! I spent quite a bit of time last night enthusiastically and madly pinning all manner of wonderful ideas to my latest Pinterest board – The Granny Square Blanket. I’ve been toying with the idea of a Granny Square blanket for a long time but was inspired by a pattern I saw in issue 48of Mollie Makes magazine and I’ve been musing ever since.
But what even is a Granny Square I hear you cry? And, moreover, why, in the name of all that is holy, is it called a Granny Square? Well, my dear friends, I have some answers. A Granny Square is a square (duh) made of crocheted yarn that starts in the middle and works out and can, as you will see if you patiently read this post, into all MANNER of wonderful motifs, from very simple to the downright wacky. Why is it called a Granny Square? Damned if I know. Probably because who else has the time to sit around crocheting squares? Seriously though, if you know, please let me know in the comments below. Every day is, after all, a school day.
So, the learning bit out of the way, let’s look at some pictures. As I mentioned, I got a bit excited when I was doing my pinning yesterday. Some of my pictures were of beautiful, grown-up, muted palettes, like this:
|Picture from Ravelry|
Some were more complex variations of this grown up style using different sized squares:
Then, things got out of hand. Sunflower Granny Square? Er, yes please!
How about an owl? An owl?! In frigging crotchet?! To go on a blanket?! Of-bloody-course!
Then, there’s this rather tasteful Cath Kitson-esque one, which after seeing the wonderful owls might be a bit of let down.
I urge you to look at the rest of the board, and I’m sure you won’t be able to resist making an owl granny square. Even if it’s only the one to put in a lovely grown-up blanket… There’s also an absolutely magic Tetris one. Absolute genius.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and I’m looking forward to sharing my progress, just as soon as I’ve decided on my theme.
There is such a wealth of excellent fabric shops online now, and they cater for all budgets. I’ve been hunting for a crepe de chine for a pretty party dress for a while now and, having discovered that you can get some very beautiful Liberty crepe de chine for an eye-watering £49.99 per metre, I decided to look elsewhere, just so that I didn’t have to remortgage the house to wear a pretty frock.
After googling “crepe de chine” I stumbled across Fabric Land. After my eyes became accustomed to what is possibly one of the worst bits of web design ever, it’s an absolute treasure chest of excellent and cheap fabrics.
After some perusal, I settled on ‘Morning Glory’ at a much more affordable £3.99 per metre.
They also have a really good range of linings and interfacings, which I also made use of!
You can’t order online, but you can order by phone or by email. I wrote down what I wanted because they were closed by the time I’d finally made my choice and took the post-it with me when I left for work the following day. I had to travel down to the London office so, having arrived much too early for the train, I decided to give them a call. After reeling off my order, we then had the nightmare of address and payment details while the train announcement lady went mad with her announcements, and then the train announcement man kept telling people not to skateboard in the station. So I was not surprised when the parcel arrived incorrectly addressed (thank heavens we got the house number and postcode right!)
I was really pleased with how quickly my fabric arrived – I ordered on Thursday morning and our friendly post lady knocked first thing on Saturday morning. So I’ve been spending the weekend making a party dress, but you’ll have to wait a while for that post.
What shops do you like to use for your online fabric shopping?
|mini picture cards, ‘don’t forget’ stickies with a little fox, pen and pencil, pretty greetings card, tree document markers, squirrel notebook|
I have moved house! Twice, actually, since my last post August. I now, very much permanently, live in Leeds. And I love it.
Although I’ve been a number of times before (obviously) I’m really enjoying exploring the city, our new village and the surrounding area. Today has been no exception and we went to Judy’s Vintage Fair at the Corn Exchange. I’ve been to these fairs before in Spitalfields in London, and to be fair, it’s much the same – vintage clothes and accessories and vintage style clothes and accessories. I bought some vintage-style sunglasses for £5, even though the Lovely Mister said they were too big for my head (he thinks everything is too big for my head, mostly because I have a small head).
The Fair was also a perfect excuse to use my new bag! I made this!
Not the tote bag, actually; I bought that and all the ingredients to make this and some other projects from this month’s Mollie Makes magazine from Cloud Crafts. I’ve only just discovered this supplier and I shall definitely be using them again – my parcel arrived super quickly, and it is an absolute treasure trove of goodies for all kinds of crafts.
Lunch was courtesy of Crowd of Favours, my favourite place to eat in the centre (we’ve been there twice already and we’ve been here six weeks) and had burns night food (game pie for me!) and a shot of Laphroaig (which I obviously pointed to on the menu). Usually, I like a bourbon but this was super tasty – smokey AND peaty. I even had it without a mixer, which pleased the Mister no end (I once poured Co-Op own brand coke at 79p for 2 litres into a thirty year old Jura. I thought he was about to have a stroke).
Things are still pretty busy for me, but it’s so good to be out doing things and making stuff again. I really missed it!