15 September 2014

Blogger's weekend

I had the utter joy this Saturday to meet up with some dear blog friends.
Some of these ladies I had followed for a few months. Others have known me since I was 17.
I spent the day catching up with project life, completing a paper scrapbook challenge which was a challenge in itself seeing as I am not au fait with paper anymore! I also drank copious amounts of tea and chatted and chatted.

There is something magical about meeting up with people you feel you know so well online.
They were just as I imagined in real life. In the middle of photo shoot madness I managed to capture a few indiviudal shots with some of the other bloggers there.

The dear Alexa. We sat next to each other all day and had the most wonderful talks about digital scrapbooking, about creating a clean style and about the pros and cons of photo books. She is an inspiration.

Jo and I have been meaning to meet up for many years. We finally got the chance this weekend. What a fun and bubbly personality she is- even if she did have to duck for a photo owing to the height difference!

Lizzie felt like my second mum whilst I was there for the day! What a caring soul she is. Seeing her book binding in person was amazing. She is talented for sure!

Finally the sweet Jackie. I so enjoyed seeing her photos and layouts in person and again someone I feel I have known for years and who it was so wonderful to finally hug!

We got a few fun group shots and tried to emulate the style of Miss Smith and get a 'from the ground' shot. I may need a bit more practice!

The internet can sometimes be scary but in my experience it is more often than not magical.
As Deb often says, "blog friends are the best".

Thank you Jemma for all you did to organise the weekend. I so enjoyed my day with you all.

12 September 2014

On sorting out my wardrobe

I like clothes. I don't like trying to decide what to wear.
Maybe it's the crafter in me but I think I hoard clothes. Even clothes I haven't worn in months. The result is a confused mess in my drawers and the thought of, "I haven't got anything to wear", when that blatantly isn't the case!

I have seen a few posts floating around recently about closet clear outs and creating a capsule wardrobe. I love the idea of a paired down closet but know in my heart that isn't going to happen!
Nevertheless this week I set myself the task of ruthlessly clearing out my drawers to try and get my wardrobe down to just the clothes I love.
I used a simple process and thought it would be fun to share it with you.

First up I wrote a brief "style" sheet. I am not a fashion blogger in the slightest so this wasn't anything extraordinary.
I gave myself two minutes without looking at any of my clothes and wrote down what sort of things I tend to wear or gravitate towards in a shop.

The next step was to open the drawers. I started with my tops and split them into three piles.
a. Clothes I wear weekly
b. Clothes I wear monthly
c. Clothes I wear rarely.

The clothes I wear weekly went straight back in the drawer.
I then set out to write myself three questions. I guess your three questions could be anything but these were mine.

Each piece of clothing in the 'monthly' and 'rarely' piles was subjected to the three questions. If it didn't fit the categories it was 'out'. It was ruthless but I was fed up with clothes that weren't quite right filling my drawers.

This top is a good example. It was in good condition but I wore it rarely. It didn't really meet any of my 'style' points on my sheet- I don't really gravitate towards plaid- and it never fitted properly. I was keeping it for sentimental reasons beyond anything else.

Sorting out was quite the process but a few days in I am so pleased I did it. I know that everything in my drawers I wear at least once month, it all fits and it is all in good condition.
Sometimes less really does feel like more!

Have you ever done a big clothes clear out or even tried a capsule wardrobe?

9 September 2014

One photo & twenty words

A weekend visit to Norfolk. Spending time with a dear friend. She took me crabbing. Somehow we caught four!

My challenge for you today. Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here. The link will stay open for a week so you have plenty of time to join in! 

8 September 2014

Me on Monday and a reminder

Linking up with Sian for her sweet Me on monday meme. 

This was me on Monday. Or rather him on Monday.
Spending a day in Oxford with the boy who is now the 'sort of teacher'. So fun to see him on his day off and hear all about the start of his new job.

My weekend was a new dress making (I have certainly caught the bug), uni friend greeting, 21st celebrating, countryside walking and much cake eating sort of a weekend. It was also a weekend for warm weather rejoicing and new season rugby watching.
It was busy but oh so fun. September has started off with a bang and I am excited for a slightly calmer week ahead.

What has your weekend brought?

P.S Tomorrow I am setting the one photo, twenty word challenge again. I'd love it if you would join me for perhaps the simplest, quickest meme. 

4 September 2014

Sewing a top. Sorbetto pattern

I have done quite a bit of sewing in my life, from skirts to quilts to bags.
Never though have I attempted to sew from a pattern.
My mum is an incredible seamstress and kept telling me how easy it was. It was only when we were in the states that I stumbled across the pattern for a dress I really wanted to sew. Time to test the water, I thought!

Rather than dive straight in with a dress I looked online for some simple patterns and came across the Sorbetto top by Colette . It looked easy enough and it was free. win win.

The patterned is printed at home and then cut and stuck together again. Simple enough, if a bit fiddly.
Once I had measured myself to find my size, cutting out was super simple and with only two pattern pieces I couldn't really go wrong!

I love how this top has turned out. It was a quick make, it didn't use too much material and it was perfect for a beginner. It eased me gently into following a sewing pattern and I didn't have any major calamities.

If I was to make it again I would certainly add a few more inches to the hem. I am a short person and it was on the shorter side for me so if you are tall, I would always add a bit more.
I would also lower the bust darts a touch and maybe cut slighter lower armholes. It is a tad too snug!

I'm excited by a new type of craft, there is something lovely about wearing a handmade garment. I have my next make lined up, pattern and material sitting on my desk. It is a bit more of a challenge so I intend to take it slowly, with plenty of cups of tea.

Sewing clothes, what a fun new experience!

Have you ever sewn anything from a pattern? Have you attempted the Sorbetto top?

2 September 2014

Harvest time

Last weekend I headed to the boys family farm. 
It is a magical place to start with but at harvest it comes alive. 
Silence is replaced by the hum of the distant Combine and the rumble of the tractor up the lanes. 

Normally we skirt around the edges of the fields, avoiding the growing crop, but once the field has been harvested, we walked right across the stubble, getting an entirely different view. 

We headed out to follow the Combine right after supper one evening. The light was dimming and it truly was the most beautiful and peaceful sight to stand there in the midst of it all. 

I always love coming back to the farm. It holds a piece of the boys heart and it is easy to see why. 
We were walking across the fields one day and I looked over to the woodland. 
"Imagine growing up here" I said, "what a childhood!" 
"Yes, it was rather nice" he replied. 

His happy place is slowly becoming mine too. 
"Harvest time" he said, "what a sight!" 

27 August 2014

Let's sit and have a cup of tea

Hello, come on in, can you feel that nip in the air? It has dropped a few degrees around here and we are definitely starting to think of Autumn.

I would lead you through our lounge, waving at my little brother and into the kitchen where the AGA is toasty, the pot of tea is already on the table and fresh brownies are cooling on the side.

Sitting back I would pour you your first cup and tell you that it has been a bit of a whirlwind month.
We got back from holiday last week and had the most magical time. The weather was lovely, Boston was beautiful and it was great to have family time. Smiling I would tell you stories of walking through the 'dodgy' end of town just to reach a fabric shop. Of the time we were so tired from walking that we decided to head back to our house and straight to the ice cream parlour down the road. Or that time when we ran to get the train on the subway only to find, once on it, that it was going in the wrong direction!
Smiling you would laugh and probably tell me that these are the stories that make a holiday and become a piece of family history and retellings.

As I offered you a slice of brownie I would ask you about your holiday. Did you get anywhere exciting?

As I say though, it has been a whirlwind few days. No sooner did we get back from holiday than I hurried off to the farm to see my very favourite person. The farm at this time of year is magical.
It's harvest so it is very busy, but man, it is something else to see that huge combine harvester, collect in all the wheat and leave behind a trail of stubble and dust. It's noisy yes, but exciting.
As I cradled my mug in my hands I would tell you how good it was to walk across those golden fields with the boy. Despite the noise of harvest, it's peaceful and remote and oh so good for my soul.

Listen to me whitter on! Your tea is gone and the pot needs a topping up.
Whilst I do that, fill me in on your crafty plans. What have you created, what are you planning?
Me? Well I don't mind telling you that I am in a rut with project life. A lot of photos to scrap and a bit of project life block if you catch my drift. It will come. I'm not going to force it.
My current project is a bit of sewing. Clothes sewing. Exciting I know. I have very nearly finished a sweet little top and have big plans for a tunic dress. This was my first time following a dress pattern and was far simpler than I first imagined. I envision a whole new world of craft opening up for me!

We would continue chatting, pausing over this and that, laughing hard and munching through the cake. Time would probably fly and all too soon, the clock in the hall would chime and we would smile at how quickly it goes with friends.

I would walk you to the hall and we would embrace.
"come again soon" I say, "I promise." you reply.

If you were sitting down for tea with me today, what would you say?

I am looking forward to seeing some of you at the bloggers retreat soon and sharing in an actual cup of tea! What a treat is in store! 

If you would like to write a "tea" post please add it to the linky at the bottom so we can all sit and share with you! The linky will be open for a week so you have plenty of time!