Monday, 30 March 2015

Chiana vs The Bernina

Hey Peeps!

Why is it that whenever I decide to get my act together and start exercising my bodies first reaction is "oh no you don't! Here let me give you a cold so I can stop you in your tracks!" grrrr! Yup I'm feeling all poorly and sorry for myself....again! On a positive note spring has most definitely sprung here on the island.....
......the magnolia tree is in bloom......in the background you can see the hail storm that hit us about twenty minutes after taking that picture! Ahhhhh the joys of living in the English countryside.

Despite feeling like death slightly warmed over there has been plenty of activity here, mainly of the crafting variety. I has the lovely Miss L come to stay for a long weekend which was mostly spent making yummy foods.....
Chocolate Orange Truffles 
Chocolate Mousse
 ........embroidering leather.....
......and generally messing about with paper.....
.....oh and we also fed the badgers, it's the only sane thing to do with your left over roast chicken.....
........as they will eat the entire thing! All in all it was a lovely few days and Miss L has even agreed to come back in the not too distant future.

So I've been sorting out my photos and I found a whole bunch of Chiana over the last year and half, she used to be so teeny. It gave me an idea to do a Chiana vs..... series as she does seem to obsess over some of my inanimate objects. First up.....my Bernina, more specifically the embroidery unit of my Bernina....
.......when I brought her home she pretty much made a beeline straight for it. You can't really blame her, there is a perfect kitten sized hole ready made for napping in. The only problem is that is really was a kitten sized hole....
....totally acceptable when you are only fourteen weeks old, but......
.....unfortunately fourteen week isn't fully grown! Chi was convinced she still fit a few weeks later.....(she totally wanted that leg poking out at that awkward angel....honest)......
....but by six months there was no fooling anyone, the kitten sized hole had been totally outgrown. Chi will occasionally try and fit her butt back in it these days but never looks comfortable and never stays in it for long......she's been trying out other pieces of equipment though....
.......also not so comfy and also not napped on for long!

All in all March has been pretty awesome (despite the stupid cold) and there have been lots of things made.....
.....just none finished! I really have to be in the mood for hand sewing it seems.....Chiana judges me....

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Two Years Old And Counting...

Hey Peeps!

The Kittenish Behaviour Boutique is two years old! Fancy that. Today I thought I would go through some of the questions that I get asked on a regular basis......

Q. Kittenish Behaviour??? Where did that come from?
A. My very bestest friend nicknamed me Kitten many many MANY moons ago (we are talking like eighteen years ago, so thats a lot of moons!). The reasons were......on one of our first meetings I ended up curling up and falling asleep with my head in her lap and the other reason was our shared love of Georgette Heyer regency romance novels the lead heroine in one of our favourites is called Kitten. When I started this little blog back in 2010 Kittenish Behaviour seemed like the logical choice as I was going to be writing about my life and the crazy things I got up to. Two years ago when I decided to open up the boutique it seemed totally natural to keep on using the name. The rest is (recent) history.

Q. Why did you open the Kittenish Behaviour Boutique?
A. About twelve years ago I got myself my first computer and about eleven years, eleven months and twenty nines days ago I got myself my very first eBay account.......I have always loved vintage clothing and the USA seems to have the best selection. I spent hours trawling through the vintage listings and got myself many many lovely dresses. One day someone had listed something incorrectly and I stumbled upon Trashy Diva.....that was it. I was hooked! I think one of my first orders was for at least ten items (mostly sale items) and boy was that a shock when I got the import fee demand! I opened up the boutique because I love these American designers but was fed up of paying nearly £30-£40 extra per dress to have them in the UK, postage costs were high and the Import Fee Powers That Be were always cruel to me. I thought that if I wanted these dresses there had to be other UK Ladies that wanted them too. I worked out that if I imported the pretties and sold them myself then I could reduce that extra £30-£40 each individual dress was costing quite significantly.

Q. Is it just you?
A. Yes it's just me! Well unless you count Chiana my parcel inspector....
(she only inspects the parcels once they have been completely sealed, she gets no where near the contents!) and the hamster in the attic that keeps my dial-up modem running (ahhhh the joys of living in the land of no/little interwebs!).

And now some more of the serious questions I get asked.....

Q. Why are your UK postage charges so high?
A. The UK postage charges are high in general. If I'm posting to somewhere in the UK I charge £8.50 for tracked and insured service, the actual cost of postage is £8.45 (for one dress). I charge a flat rate of £8.50 (packaging is free!) regardless of how many dresses you order.....not that I'm trying to encourage you to buy more dresses!

Q. Why are your international postage charges so high?
A. Again the UK's postal charges are generally just high! Posting to the US for example costs from £19 upwards. I charge a flat rate of £22 (packaging is free!) , if your postage is significantly lower than this I will issue a refund for the difference but if your postage comes to more than £22 I won't ask you for the extra!

Q. I'd rather pay for a cheaper postal service with no insurance!
A. Really???? Think about it.....you'd rather save between £5-£10 on postage costs on your £100 plus dress. What if it gets lost in the post (this happens, it's happened to me)? Your dress has gone and your down £100, I can't send you another one.....was saving that £5-£10 worth it? I'm sorry but I won't send anything without insurance.

Q. Why do I have to pay import fees? Are import fee's covered in the postage costs?
A. I have no control over the import fees of other countries (wouldn't it be cool if I did though?!) I have to fill out a customs form for any parcel I send abroad and then it's in the hands of the Import Fee Powers That Be (bow down and worship them.....they might spare you!). Import fees are NOT covered in my postage costs and I can't be held responsible for them if the Import Fee Powers That Be are not kind to you.

Q. Why do you offer free worldwide postage and then wait so long to post my item?
A. I offer free worldwide postage only when I'm lucky enough to be going away on my holibobs (holidays to those of you that don't speak fluent Siân) which means that I am physically parted from all my lovely stock (believe me it's a wrench leaving all the pretties alone) and can't send your items out until I return from whatever distant land (usually Saudi Arabia or Nuneaton) I've been visiting! This is my way of saying thank you for your order but sorry I can't post it immediately, I know waiting for the pretties is tough!

Q. I'd like to buy one of your smaller items why have I got to pay the standard postage cost???
A. You don't! Contact me and I'll get you an accurate quote for the item you have your eye on.

Q. Your prices are higher than the designers prices for Trashy Diva and Bernie Dexter dresses, whats going on?
A. Yes my prices are slightly higher than you would find buying direct from the designers and that's because I've had to pay shipping to the UK and the import fees for the pretties (the Import Fee Powers That Be are never kind to me). I've tried to keep the prices as low as I can though.

Q. You have items on your boutique that are out of stock......why!!! Why you tease us?
A. I keep items showing that are out of stock because in most cases I can order you another one. I do take down items that are no longer available from the designers.

Q. I would like to buy a certain dress but you either a. don't stock it or b. you stock it but not in my size?
A. Get in touch I'm happy to order in specific dresses for you, you just need to let me know!

Q. Woop! Woop! You'll order me a specific dress? I love you! (Steady on there!)
A. Yes I certainly will. If you are after a specific dress I am happy to order that for you. For me to place an order with either Trashy Diva or Bernie Dexter I have to reach a minimum spend amount. What I do is put you on the Custom Order Wishlist. As soon as I have enough orders (usually 3) to meet the minimum spend I will contact you to check if you still want your dress. If you do still want your dress then you buy Kittenish Behaviour gift vouchers, I place the order.....happiness ensues! (If you for some reason don't like your dress I will issues you a cash refund so you aren't stuck with gift vouchers that you might not be able to use for a while but I only offer this refund on gift vouchers if they are directly connected to the Custom Order Wishlist service)

Q. Can I exchange my gift vouchers for cash?
A. Only if they were bought as part of the Custom Order Wishlist service otherwise I'm afraid not, but if there is something you really want that I don't currently stock just ask.....you never know I might be able to order it in for you!

Q. I love the dress but in real life it just doesn't work for me.....*super sad face*
A. Online shopping is both awesome and sucky in equal measure. No crowds, ability to eat chocolate whilst shopping from your comfy sofa but no ability to try on your pretties before you spend your hard earned cash. If for some reason your item isn't exactly what you'd hoped it would be I will of course refund you. You just need to return the item to me within a week of your receiving it and you must use an insured postal service!!

Q. Sizing!!! Argh...... unclear, are they UK sizes are they US sizes?
A. There is a lovely sizing chart linked to the measurements of each item on the item page but as a rule of thumb, if you are drooling over a Trashy Diva lovely then the sizes listed are Trashy Diva (USA) sizes. Same goes for Bernie Dexter beauties!

Q. You don't reply to my emails?
A. This is odd as I love to chat! If I'm not replying to your emails it's because I'm not getting them (my Tech Guy is willing to back me up on this) there have apparently been a few problems with the service which we (HA! We! Read that as though I'm asking and my Tech Guy is doing) are working on fixing. In the meantime there are lots of ways to contact me...... email me at sian@kittenishbehaviour.com if that doesn't work message me on the Facebook Page or you could even call me on 01983 857144 I promise I don't bite (unless you ring me at like 7am....then I probably will bite....you have been warned!)

If you have any other questions please feel free to get in contact with me, like I mentioned I love to chat! These last couple of years have been quite an experience but I wouldn't change them for the world!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday I'm In Love

Hey Peeps!

Twice in one week! Don't faint, stranger things have happened......can't think of them right now but I'm pretty sure they have. I thought I'd get back in to posting my "Friday I'm In Love's", I really like looking for new fabric and even though I'm not buying any new fabric at the moment.....honestly (except for linings that is) I still like looking. Just looking.....there isn't 3 yards of stripy goodness on it's way too me as I type.....but as soon as that's arrived then that's it......promise. Well of course there is three weeks in Riyadh coming up but after that no more fabric until I've used everything I already have......because of course that's going to happen!

Anyway shall we have a look at this weeks addiction fuel......
Iris and Orchid / Gold Arrows
Baby Avengers / Lilies 
.......first up is this gorgeous digital print. As it is the scale would be too small for my tastes but the great thing about Spoonflower is that you can contact the designer and usually they are willing to work with you so you get exactly what you want. Unfortunately they seem to have stopped offering the cotton silk blend I love but they do have cotton sateen which is the same price so I shall try that out next time I place an order......which won't be until I've turned all the fabric I already own into clothes, quilts etc..........*cough* moving swiftly on. Next up is the gold arrows which I think is so beautiful and I already have plans for interestingly pieced bodices *le sigh*. Then there is this cute Baby Avengers fabric which would make an awesome pair of PJ's and lastly another digital floral print which again I would ask for on a slightly different scale to the current one.

I also thought I'd share what I'm loving dancing to and singing along badly with listening to at the moment.....
......I don't watch TV very often and when I do I tend to get up and do something during the adverts because I'm an advertisers dream....must have all the things! Well the new Cadburys advert has "Yes Sir, I can boogie" playing which I love and led to the purchase of this album, it's awesome. Now if you'll excuse me I'll be over in the corner practising my hustle!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Coming Up Roses

Hey Peeps!

How is everyone? I'm aching all over as I have (yet again) decided to take up exercise as a daily thing .....why???? Well I know exactly why.....I've put on well over a stone and a half since moving down to the island last year and my clothes have started feeling a little.....restrictive shall we say, not good. My diet really wasn't helping (pancetta, cheese and sour cream baguettes taste soooooo good) so I've started eating much healthier food which has gotten me a stone towards my goal weight but I've realised that as blessed as I have been in the genetics department diet alone will no longer cut it.....ahhhh they joys of getting older. So I'm making friends with Jillian Michaels.....again.

When I started this blog back in 2010 (ohhhh mmmmm geeeee how long ago?) I was well in to a fitness regime involving Ms Michaels and it was really working. I kept a daily log of how I was feeling and coping with her videos which I found recently......it made for interesting reading (well for me it did). When I started back then I was at what I would now consider my goal weight (ha!) and trying to get down to a weight I had been at my very skinniest purely so I could wear a lovely (and very expensive) pair of jeans that had been tailored to fit me perfectly. Now while I wouldn't mind getting in said expensive jeans I would be very happy if I could just get to what my starting weight was back then! This time around I have taken some "Before" photos so I can see how far I get but until I'm totally (mostly) happy with the "After" pictures there is no way I'm putting them out there for the whole interwebs to see. I still can't believe it's been five years since I started this! How on earth does that happen???

So I do have something new to share with you today....it's this.....
 .......I'm so in love with this coat. I made it ages ago but totally chickened out of finishing it when it came to putting the buttonhole in. I was terrified my machine would chew it up and spit it out and I would cry. I had no grounds for these fears my machine has behaved beautifully anytime I have ever asked it to do buttonholes but for some reason I got the fear! Looking back I think I would try a bound buttonhole next time (and there will be a next time) but for this version I finally settled on a giant press stud as the closure which works perfectly but left the front of the coat looking a little plain. Enter Big Bird......she took me shopping in Stratford which has so many lovely little shops and in one of them I found this awesome 1930's (apparently) brooch which the magpie in me was very happy about.
The coat pattern itself is something I copied from an All Saints coat that I have and have nearly loved to death (sooooo many rips in the lining...sad face) the original is actually a tail coat but it really doesn't work over the huge 50's style dresses I love to wear so I played around with the back pieces until I came up with this.....
......I found the fabric years ago on eBay and snapped it up. It's a heavy weight barkcloth type fabric and as soon I saw the huge green roses I knew I wanted it to be a coat but put off doing anything about it for so long....I'm very glad I finally pulled my finger out! I worn this out a few times since I finished it and it always gets comments....so far they have all been complimentary!
Facebook / Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

P.S. Yes Papa I took these photos back in February.....that is still my old hair do!