Monday, 21 April 2014

Ugly Bug Ball

Hey Peeps!

We have wallpaper in the bedroom!!! Well about four of the fifty million surfaces that need wallpapering have been done but still.....we have WALLPAPER!

In other news I have been doing some sewing and this is my latest make and also my first (I'm hopeful of making a second dress inside the deadline) entry for Sew Dolly Clackett challenge.....
.....I've christened it the Ugly Bug Ball dress.....simply because of the Ladybugs in the print, there are also strawberries, cherries and polka dots! When I saw this fabric on Etsy I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it and I'm so pleased it turned out how I imagined. I used the By Hand London Anna bodice again with the same FBA adjustment. In my last two Anna hybrids I had added an inch to the bodice length but with the addition of a waistband it was a little too long so I reduced it this time to a half inch adjustment which I think has worked really well.

As usual Chi was ever so helpful during the whole process.....
.....which involved marking out and pinning box pleats (the first time I've done this) I think they've turned out quite well even if I do say so myself and it's definitely a skirt shape that I will make again.
This time around I only lined the bodice and then used bias binding to finish off the skirt seams. Again I think I will use the technique for future dresses as I tried making an Anna with facings and so far it's still hanging in my sewing room waiting to be hemmed....I'm not loving it.....to the extent that I think I'm going to pull it apart and try and start over! We shall see.

There are so many gorgeous entires for this sew-a-long it's brilliant and I'm discovering many new sewing blogs to which is fab. I can't wait to see Roisins wedding dress in all it's glory next month.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Chocolate Salty Weirdness

Hey Peeps!

I miss my shoes!!! They are currently still languishing in the packing boxes they were lovingly (I'm assuming they were lovingly placed as I was lucky enough to have a removal company pack up my life for me so I didn't do it personally) placed in. Their new home is still being made although we are out of the construction phase and into decorating now which is exciting!

I'm heading to a lovely thatched cottage in the country for the Easter weekend which belongs to some fabulous family friends who have kindly offered to take Chi and myself in (that makes it sound like we are some random strays.....but we aren't...honest). There will be some yummy food, lots (LOTS) of wine and many many games of Crazy 8's which I am very much looking forward to.

Being the perfect guest that I am (yup that's right I'm perfect) I have made some of my favourite treats to bring with me along with the wine and Prosecco. Small Girl Type Creature (who is turning 18 in a few weeks time....how did that happen???) first introduced me to this Nigella recipe and it's been a firm favourite ever since.
You'll need.....

200g/7oz Dark Chocolate
100g/3.5oz Milk Chocolate
125g/4.4oz Butter
3 tbsp Honey (Nigella recommends Golden Syrup)
250g/8.8oz Salted Peanuts
6 x 40g Crunchie Bars
Petit Fours cases or a lined baking tray or a foil tray

Break up the chocolate in to small pieces then add the butter and honey to a bain-marie over a low heat and keep stirring till it's glossy and smooth.

Tip the peanuts into a large bowl and crush the Crunchie bars over the top.

Take the melted chocolate mixture off the heat and pour over the peanuts and crushed Crunchie bars and mix together.

Now you can either pour the mixture into the lined baking tray/foil tray or spoon the mixture into the petit fours cases. I like the petit fours cases because as you can imagine it's very rich so I like the small bites. If you are using a tray make sure to smooth the mixture into the all corners.

Place it in the fridge for at least two hours or until it's set.

EAT! (But not all at once or you'll be sick.)

As I say these are one of my favourite treats, they are so easy to make and taste amazing, the salty peanuts balances out the serious sweetness for a yummy mouthful of chocolate salty weirdness. Chocolate is ubiquitous with the Zombie Jesus weekend so what better to bring with me? I might even get invited back again.

Friday, 4 April 2014

One Year And Counting

Hey Peeps!

My name is Siân and I am no longer a shopaholic!

So on the 9th March 2013 I decided to go cold turkey and quit shopping for one whole year and I am so pleased to report that I did it! It's actually been 388 days since I purchased anything new clothes, shoes, jewellery and accessories wise! At first it was really hard, I kept window shopping and started my "This Is What I Would Have Bought" posts but as time went on that all stopped. I was still looking at online stores and fashion magazines but as gorgeous as all the new things were I wasn't tempted.....it was a very odd feeling! I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something if I set my mind to it and you know......save some money.

I gave myself a very small exception to the rule list;
  1. Black Flat Boots 
  2. Black High Heeled Court Shoes
  3. Black Ballet Pumps
  4. High Waisted Blue Jeans/Jeggings
....I ended up only getting myself the ballet pumps and I think thats because I started being much more discerning about the items I was considering. I knew exactly what I wanted and if something wasn't quite right, rather than bring it home (I still say that shoes call to you in shops and long to be adopted and taken home with you) and make do with it whilst continuing to look for the perfect version I walked away. Very unlike me.

Now this may all sound a little weird from someone that owns an online boutique and actively encourages you to shop but it's not at all! Shopping and new things are wonderful whether you treat it as your cardio a là Carrie Bradshaw or a social event for catching up with your friends ... go ... shop ... enjoy! I used to think that I had gotten my magpie/hoarder tendencies under control but my bulging wardrobe begged to differ and this clearly wasn't the case. If this past year has taught me anything it's shop smart....only buy things that are 100% right for you and quality over quantity every time.