Looking ahead to 2017

I’m not really sure where the end of the year has gone. There’s been a whirlwind of some social events, lots of musical stuff and work has been pretty heavy. I haven’t managed to get much sewing done at all. I did make a couple of things as presents but mostly this year I’ve only had time to buy, so I’ve tried as much as possible to buy at local markets, independent shops and on Etsy and Not on the High Street.

I finished the back piece of the cardigan I’ve been slowly knitting since about March, but put that aside to try the first of two Christmas stockings from a kit I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show. Now that I’ve got the hang of it, that’s fun, but I don’t think I’ll finish one let alone both for Christmas – even if there were going to be any stocking presents to fill them with! They can be ready for next year, it’s just nice to be crafting something festive at Christmas 🙂

Instead I’ve been contenting myself with planning next year’s sewing adventure. I bought the Colette Sewing planner (from UK stockist SewBox) and sat down last weekend to fill out the front pages (favourite styles of neckline, sleeves, favourite garments, preferred fabrics, inspirations, measurements) and some of the spring to-do list. One of the things I really loved was that there is a space for a fabric swatch, so for the fabrics in my stash I’m not quite sure what to do with yet, I could stick a swatch down as a reminder and I can fill in the project it ends up destined for later.

I have also decided to sign up for the Project #sewmystyle sew-along/challenge to sew one garment a month next year. They’ve teamed up with a selection of pattern companies offering 20% or more discount on the patterns selected for the challenge. I’ve gone ahead and bought January’s; Sew House 7 “Toaster Sweater”, but to be honest most of the patterns picked are not really in my style, so I’ll probably substitute for patterns I already have or prefer. Part of the idea is to end up with a capsule wardrobe though, so I’ll probably aim to at least sew the same type of garment even if it isn’t the same pattern.

So that’s probably it for 2016, have a good Christmas and see you with the next project in the New Year!

A few little treasures…

It’s been over a week since Christmas but it already seems much longer! How is it that something can have so much buildup and then be all over in a flash, with everything suddenly back to normal?

Well, it’s not quite back to normal for me as I’m not back at work until the 7th, but I’ve been busy getting back up to speed with my dissertation and learning Chinese, and also working on an exciting new craft project (more on that soon!)

Anyway I realised that some of the things I got for Christmas really are too pretty not to photograph, and also I wanted to try out Snapseed, which I recently decided to switch to from Instagram for cool photo editing. I take most of my blog photos on my phone because I’m not up to getting an SLR or anything at this stage and my phone is always to hand – but it does mean that some clever post-editing comes in handy to make them look a bit more, well, blog worthy! So here’s the lineup:

owl beadThis one I actually got before Christmas, as I went to ‘help’ my dad pick a present for me…. I hadn’t had a new Trollbead for a while so I picked this cute silver owl. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot in the last year or two and I’m 25 this month, so it represents getting older and wiser!

Owl potLittle did I know, this continued an owl theme that his partner Gail had already started with my presents from them – this even cuter ceramic pot now holds my jewellery bits and bobs for future reworking projects. I love the idea that you could put his head (the lid) on slightly wonky or even backwards, like a proper owl!

heart boxThis wooden box with carved hearts on the top was from mum, probably from one of the many independent interior / homeware shops we have in town. I don’t know what I’ll end up using it for, but for the moment it’s got all the vouchers and tickets I also got for Christmas in it.

fox earringsAlso from mum, these adorable gold fox earrings from Accessorize. The stylized cat/fox motif seems to be getting as popular as owls at the moment, and I love the glitzy art deco style of these.

maru bookFinally, in my humble opinion no blog worth its salt should go without featuring Maru at some point! This book tells Maru’s story from both his and his owner’s perspectives, and features a lot of photos and stills from his famous Youtube videos. It was from my friend Sophie who is probably as mad about cats (and Maru) as I am!

 

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post today, in that lull after the Christmas lunch…

No doubt I’ll be posting more in the next week or two about presents I’ve got and crafting that’s been stored up, but in the meantime, here’s a question.

Every family has their own traditions for Christmas – we always have a lazy morning on Christmas Day, go for a walk on the beach on Boxing day and mum and I always dress up for the occasion on Christmas Day – even though we rarely leave the house due to the volume of alcohol consumed!

This was my outfit today – gold sparkly nails, St Justin Bronze triskele necklace and earrings, patterned tights from TK Maxx, dress from Betty Jackson at Debenhams (about £20 in the sale!), Ruby Shoo O’Hara courts.

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So do you dress for the day in your house, or mooch about in jeans and a cosy Christmas jumper?

Crafty Weekend

I have spent quite a bit of time on crafts this weekend, but I can’t post about a lot of it for fear of people getting a sneak peek at their Christmas presents!

However, I can most definitely write about the markets I went to! On Saturday, it was The Duchy’s Vintage Party craft fair in St Mawgan village hall – a small but buzzing event with about ten or so crafters and a wonderful tea party. I loved the sign outside as well, that was cute. I didn’t buy anything here but there were lots of things I would have liked if I had a flat to accessorise, or if I wasn’t in present-buying mode for everyone else. Favourites were vintage inspired ceramic tiles and upcycled china from Humble Cottage; embroidered bits and reworked jewellery from Kits’ n’ Bits; and fabric things from Bella and Me.

craft weekend
Clockwise from top left: Town Quay sign; St Mawgan fair sign; singing Pirates; purchases from Sarah Drew; Sarah Drew’s stall; Christmas window in Emma’s Home

Sunday was a rather bigger affair; Fowey Christmas Market, which is spread out across three venues; the school hall, town hall and a tardis-like marquee on Town Quay. I used to live in Fowey but somehow I’ve never been, but it was fantastic with tons of crafts, gifts and local food produce, live music and singing (from Pirates of course, what else would you expect?). I recognised a lot of my favourite stalls both food and craft, but I had a new discovery which I have instantly fallen in love with, much like Reworkd Workshop of Edinburgh – and that’s Sarah Drew. Her stall was covered in unique pieces of jewellery made of sea glass, lace, beads, buttons and all sorts of objets trouvés. I came away with a pocketwatch necklace, and two pairs of flower earrings, one in lace and another of buttons.

I only wish I could justify buying more at these fairs – when I do get my own place I dread to think how cluttered it’s going to end up with reworked, crafted and vintage items!