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30 September 2013

Things that made me smile...

My birthday and all the efforts my mum goes to make it special « cooler weather and a chance to get the tights out « knitted dresses « boots « rescuing hedgehogs « that start of a new season, new academic year and new age for me fresh start feeling « students back on campus at work « seeing the old planes with my dad and seeing how much he enjoyed it « picking wool for new projects « spending time with baby Corey, Nikki and David « hosting reunions  « a day with my sis.
 
Obsessing over this month...
 
The return of Downton Abbey, the best TV show in years! SO happy that this returned this month and with the very start of the series on my birthday no less! It's as if ITV put it on especially for me! (Photo source: ITV)
 
Big chunky, slouchy cardigans.  When the cooler weather gets here I start obsessing about woolly things.  The amount of cardigans I already own is quite ridiculous so I certainly do not need anymore, but I can't help myself, these look too snuggly to resist. (1. Next, 2. Matalan, 3. Next, 4. Matalan)


Craft magazines! I've subscribed to Mollie Makes and Simply Crochet since the start and I love them both, but recently new ones have been popping up all over the place and this month I have purchased Craftseller and Crafty and I do really like them.  These little mags are around £5 each so it is becoming an expensive little habit.  But which ones should I pick to be regular reads if can't afford them all? Do you read any craft mags, which are your faves and why?
 
 
New TV/movie discoveries...
 
Dexter - The last ever ever episode! I've really enjoyed this programme right from the start, it is one Mark and I always watched together.  Until that is he gave up half way through this last ever series, so I had to watch the last episodes on my own, so have nobody to review it with! aaaargh!
 
The Carrie Diaries - I finally caught up on this series, been meaning to watch it for a while.  I was the BIGGEST SATC fan ever, so wasn't sure about this. It's quite annoying to pick out all the things that blatantly don't follow the original series like she er has a sister and a dad! um...? but if I think of it as a series on its own with no relation to any other it is quite enjoyable.
 
Sons of Anarchy - New series started this month (on the internet shhh!) SO good! I did however make the mistake of watching it before work one morning, bad idea! Kind of makes you jumpy all day and clouds your judgement of the world! haha.
 
Safe Haven - Slushy, romantic, over emotional Nicholas Sparks novel adaptation.  Yep these are sometimes a bit cringe, but I'm an over romantic soppy girl so I do enjoy them.  Obviously this is not as good as The Notebook, but with pretty people, pretty scenery it is an enjoyable watch for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
 
 
 

11 September 2013

Nail Varnish Organisation

I had a little re-organise of my nail varnish collection recently.  I have posted pics of my wee collection before here and I had them organised by colour (which looked super pretty) but I have found it difficult on recent visits to Superdrug to remember exactly which varnishes I have,  so I re-organised by brand, this way hopefully I can see which I have and haven't got.  Also just because I'm sad (and a little OCD) and like organising things! haha.
 
My nails are usually some mad design that I am trying out, and I do like a polka dot nail from time to time, but just lately I have not been in a nail art mood.  I would never go out with a naked nail (can you imagine the horror!) but I have just been sticking to solid block coloured nails, always in some mad bright colour, but these are plain nails for me!  So instead of documenting some nail art designs that I usually do, you can see them all here, I thought I would show you some recent purchases...
 
So above we have Sinful Colours.  I LOVE this brand, it is fairly new to me, but these bottles cost £1.99 from Boots, such a fab bargain.  They are pretty hefty sized bottles at 15ml, Barry M's are only 10ml in comparison.  The colours are great and the varnish itself dries quickly.  So from L to R I have shade 1105 Exotic Green (not as bright as other greens in my collection, more of a grass or pea green) then shade 851 Boom Boom, a shocking pink, fab colour, and then shade 940 Rise & Shine which is a turquoise and this one is a little metallic sparkly, pretty.
 
Next we have some Barry M Gelly.  Barry M is by far my fave brand, and the one I have the most of, the simple reason being that they have the biggest and best range of colours.  Their Gelly range claim to be super shiny, I am not sure that I can see that much of a difference to normal varnishes, but the colours in this range are way more interesting.  So L to R there is shade 308 Greenberry, 327 Blue Grape and 326 Passion fruit which is my very fave new colour, it is like a pinky, orangey, red.  I don't often wear a classic red nail so this just adds a little twist.  I will def be expanding my Gelly collection soon.
 
And finally more Barry M's just from their normal range and a 2True colour.  These 3 are my attempts at expanding my usual colours.  I always go for super bright primary colours so here I have ventured into a light pink 305 Pink Flamingo, then Coral! Me in Coral, after Brown (bleeeurgh who likes brown anything???) Coral is my second most detested colour.  But I went for it, and this one isn't soo bad on actually, it's quite bright, it is shade 296 Coral. Then the 2True is another bargain, I think £1 or £2 in Superdrug and this is shade 20. I don't very often wear pastels, so this one is a nice change, works well as a base colour for nail art anyway! 
 
I do love my bargain nail varnishes, but being someone who likes to change their nails every few days quality and long lasting varnish is not really a priority.  What I go for in nail varnishes is firstly bright colour, then price.  I have some more expensive brands, Nails Inc, Chanel, Ciate, Pixi etc and they are good quality, and cover really well, but I would rather buy 3 or 4 different coloured cheaper varnishes than one premium branded one anyday!  What do you think on this subject?
 
So there we have my nail varnish purchases recently.  Oooh did you see my little Nail Art Novice guest post over on Helen's blog? Was super happy she asked me to guest post while she is in California (what??? HOW unfair is that!)
 
Have you made any nail varnish purchases recently?  Would love to have a little look if you leave me links, thank you.
 

9 September 2013

Life lately...

 Spotting little signs of Autumn, sooo exciting!

 Spending quality time with my sweet Meg (cutest paws ever!).

 Dressing up as 'ShAmy' for Solfest!

 Failing to resist pretty nail polishes.

 New stationary purchases make me smile.

 Appreciating some Manchester architecture.

Being very brave and taking some outfit selfies (I LOATHE that word!)
 

6 September 2013

Give it a try...

Today is the start of a new little series on the blog, 'Give it a try...' will feature small crochet projects, from pretty and interesting patterns that catch my eye.  I really have two aims with these posts, to improve my crochet and to understand better about how patterns are made up in the hope of eventually coming up with my own little patterns to document here on the blog.
 
So for my very first 'Give it a try...' I have chosen a new discovery pattern from ATERGcrochet the exact pattern can be found here this pattern is for sale for just a couple of pounds. I am not going to re-produce it here as that is not fair to the designer.  But it's good to support small independent designers by purchasing original patterns through excellent sites like Etsy, they are not expensive.
 
The wool I have chosen is Stylecraft DK, which comes in big balls and is usually a couple of pounds a ball, you could make many many stars from one ball. 
 
 
You can see here how the pattern builds up and then edging it really finishes it off and brings the star together.
 
I love these surface crochet bits, they add that interesting extra detail, and the more colours the better of course!
 
Make two stars and sew together.  If you are going to use them as decorations and hangings it is always better to join two together because no matter how good you are at crochet the back never looks that great!  Sewing together lets you hide all those nasty ends.
 
My little old shabby chic bookcase came with added little hooks, I decided to keep them on to add interest to the bookshelf but also because I knew I could make a little crochet something to hang on them!
 
I hope this new little series has inspired you to give a little pattern a try and of course I cannot recommend ATERGcrochet patterns enough, beautiful creations and super easy to follow instructions.
 
 

4 September 2013

Things that made me smile...
 
Soooo much has made me smile this month, but biggest smile of not just the month but the year is of course Corey my new baby Nephew! « Changing my bedroom round « finishing crochet projects « Manchester « Solfest « lots of time with Marky « Mark on his motorbike « coming home « meg in her tunnel « sunshine « new haircuts « ShAmy « being asked to do a guest post « a couple of hours to myself in Primark « running « compliments on my crochet.
 
Cool things discovered this month...
 
My Sister pinned this for me on our shared Pinterest board I obviously have no idea what she is getting at with this (!) but I love the typography.  I clicked on the link and it took me to the artist's website... http://marykatemcdevitt.com/ woweee I love love love her work, could gaze at these for hours. (Image: http://marykatemcdevitt.com/)
 
How pretty are New Look's latest dresses? I purchased the one on the end already (sooo pretty and had lots of compliments) but I think I also NEED the other three. And best of all they are around £20 each! You can get them here www.newlook.com but save some for me! (Image: www.newlook.com)
 
The new Rice http://www.rice.dk/ catalogue for A/W 2013 is so pretty I want to cry! They have branched out more into home furnishings and even to bags!  I love the bright colours and miss matched patterns.  I want to fill my home with Rice. (Image: http://www.rice.dk/)
 
I discovered this amazing shop on Etsy AfterGcrochet and I am crazy about all the wonderful and colourful crochet creations.  Such pretty little designs.  not only do they sell the finished items but also the patterns so you can have a go yourself.  I have already purchased quite a few of them... (Image: http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ATERGcrochet)

New TV Shows/Movies...
 
The Worlds End This is sooooo good! I'm a big fan of Simon Pegg and his Cornetto Trilogy so was dying to see this.  I love that he is a goth, funny.  I went to the cinema to see this one with a good friend, such an enjoyable evening out and made me LOL loads!
 
Orange is the New Black How good is this series? Completely addictive.  The great thing about it was that when I discovered it the whole series was on Netflix, so I probably watched it all in a few days (sad, I have no life clearly!) I didn't think I would like it at first being set in a women's prison!, but first episode and I was hooked.  Cannot wait until season 2.
 
The Great British Bake Off Yeah! This has returned! wuhu! Such an enjoyable TV show, but makes me want to eat cake so badly! Aren't Mel and Sue funny, oh they crack me up, I love their humour, the show would just not be the same without them.
 
New Blogs this month...
 
Chalk White Arrow This lifestyle and fashion blog is super pretty and full of brilliant photography.
 
One Ten Zero Seven I am so happy I discovered this blog, it is a complete mix of fashion, lifestyle, food, craft.  Really interesting and a great read. This acorn necklace is the best thing ever! 
 
Sew Ray Me Beautiful crafty blog.  Rachel is super talented she loves crochet and makes the most amazing quilted things.
 
Well that's Summer gone then, it is now a few days into September.  I have probably mentioned before that I am not the biggest fan of Summer but I have been loving the beautiful weather we have been blessed with this year.  Mark and I went to a local music festival Solfest over the bank holiday and the weather was so perfect, was so happy!  Not wanting to wish the warmer weather away or anything, but I am just dying to get my winter coat on and dig out my woolly tights! Eek I am so excited about September, THE best month of the year! 
 

2 September 2013

A Blanket for Corey

A few weeks ago I blogged about a current work in progress, you can see the post here, a really special baby blanket project for my new Nephew Corey.  Well I have now finally completed the blanket, you can see it in all its finishedness!
 
Here is a close up of the edging I decided upon, I wanted something quite plain and simple as it is quite a simple blanket with only 3 colours.  I chose a new subtle colour for the edging, using the same Peter Pan Wendy wool in colour Pistachio.  The pattern is from Attic 24, you can see the full instructions over on Lucy's fabulous blog here.
 
Here is a close up of the rippled edge where I have made it straight, I found this quite challenging and had to un-pick a few times. I wanted this blanket to be perfect as it is for such a special little person. As I was going along I found that the blanket was developing a sort of triangular shape, it was getting wider as I went down.  The first chain edge is a bit tighter, but happily once I had finished the edging the traingularness was virtually un-detectable.
 
Here is the blanket all packaged up ready to be delivered to baby Corey.
 
I think he likes it, phew!