3 August 2015

The most exciting news

Tim (he is no longer the boy!) and I are thrilled to announce that we are engaged! 



We couldn't be more excited and although it was no great surprise to anyone, it is utterly joyous to now call him my fiancĂ©! 
We are getting married in the Summer of 2016 and I can't wait to share our journey to the wedding with you all. 


2015. What a year it is turning out to be! 

22 July 2015

The quilt that took two years to sew

An unfinished quilt has been sitting on my bedroom floor for the best part of two years. 
Across those two years it has taken on different forms. At first it was just a pile of fabric, then it progressed to log cabin squares and recently it has been gracing my floor half quilted. 


It's been one of those projects I have wanted to finish but just have never quite got around to it. 
First, I was making a quilt for my friend, then I had a dissertation to write and finals to revise for and then I discovered the world of dress making. So with one thing and another it was left languishing. 

Last week I picked it up and decided that now was its moment.

First the final squares were sewn together. (I chose to make this quilt using a rough log cabin design and a jelly roll of fabric from Moda. I love that the colours easily work together.) 

Then, they were quilted.

Then cut to size. (Measuring is never by forte. My quilts will be forever gloriously wonky.) 

And finally the whole thing was put together with some pretty backing fabric. 
It turned out to be a gloriously colourful, cozy and quirky quilt. 

I wanted to use colours and patterns that I loved so I picked that pretty flower fabric for the back despite it not being quite the right size! It took some fiddling to add the striped fabric but I like how it turned out in the end. 

My model was particularly helpful when it came to taking photos! 

The binding is perhaps my favourite part. It's made of a fat quarter of liberty fabric I picked up in a tiny town north of Durham. With some careful cutting I squeezed out enough to make the binding and  just love how jolly it makes the whole thing. 

So, another quilt for another bed. I won't grow tired of making quilts because each turns out so differently and carry so many memories. The next one though, will not take quite so long to finish....I hope! 

9 July 2015

One Photo & Twenty words

Sorry for the delay in posting this folks! 

A tour of university (castle) college before we left Durham. Yes students actually live here. Yes, it is basically Hogwarts.
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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! 


7 July 2015

Scrapbooking for One Little Bird

A while back I tried my hand at applying for a design team. It was a real shot in the dark. The company was One Little Bird and I used and loved their products and when the team call came out I knew I would regret it if I didn't have a go.

As it turned out I wasn't offered a spot on the team, which in hindsight was definitely a blessing in disguise, owing to that thing called a degree that got in the way! The process of applying though was so much fun and it made me really consider more about my scrapping and memory keeping.

Though I wasn't offered a place on the team, I was offered a chance to guest design in July and I took it with open arms.

One of the challenges for this month was to create a page using any One Little Bird Products we wanted.


I had such fun creating this page. I stepped outside my comfort zone a little and tried my hand at a traditional scrapbook layout. While I am no master at digital scrapbooking I do like the look of this page and how easily it came together. The joy of working with one designer is that all the papers/embellishments look very cohesive.

The layout documents some creative writing I scribbled on my way back home from Durham. As I was leaving the station to start "near distance" with the boy I saw a couple saying a tough farewell just a few carriages down. It was a beautifully circular moment for me and I knew I needed to put my thoughts in a form of 'letter'.

I'm pleased with how this layout turned out. Clean and quite simple but it documents an important story for me.

So, this month, if you fancy popping by, my layouts will be gracing the gallery at The Lilypad and possibly on the One Little Bird Blog. What fun!

I have so much more to say regarding scrapbooking and PL (or the lack of it on here) and where I am at with memory keeping at the moment. That post is taking time to write though so hang in while I gather my thoughts! 

Quick heads up: One Photo and Twenty words is happening as usual this Thursday. It would be great to see you there!

29 June 2015

This is what June looked like

June 2015. It will be up there as one of my favourite times. It has been a month of celebration, of results, of beach trips and balls. It has been a time of relaxing in the garden, long walks with friends, soaking up the glorious city and packing up to head home. 
It's been an end of an era month. A time to say goodbye to people who realistically I just don't know when I will see again. It has been a finishing off month, a time to clear out and throw away. It's been a month where I have wondered how I can possibly have that much stuff in my room that needs to be put into storage! 
June has also been a month where the big camera has had a wonderful workout. The more photos I take with it the more I realise I need to get it out more often. 

So here, in no real order, is what June looked like through my camera lens....


Thank you for all your sweet comments about my graduation on the last post. I feel like I travelled my uni adventure with most of you and it is wonderful to celebrate the completion of it with you too. 

25 June 2015

Graduation

On Tuesday I graduated from Durham university. It was an incredibly special day, filled with lots of pomp and circumstance, a good deal of emotion and many many photos!
It was very surreal to be putting my gown and hood on and walking up to the Chancellor to receive my degree after three years. Where has the time gone?!


The day started with the collection of my gown and hood. One of the joys of receiving a BA from Durham is that I get a sizeable quantity of fur (or fluff as I prefer to call it!) on my hood. The hoods are different colours/amounts of fur dependant on what time of degree you are getting. It was great fun trying to spot the most outlandish costume there!


After I collected my robes we managed to capture a few family shots.




And then I headed into the castle, which just happens to be right next to the cathedral. One of the many joys of living and graduating on a world heritage site!


In the castle they lined us up in the order our names would be read out and then got us hyped up for the event. Several mexican waves later we were ready to process into the cathedral. This was one of my favourite moments because it felt so important and momentous with the sight of purple gowns ahead of us and the organ music from the cathedral itself. 


The graduation ceremony itself was long but we were kept on our toes waiting for our names and making sure not to trip up the step in our heels. 
Once we were officially graduated we all processed up the nave of the cathedral and out onto the green where I was met by all my friends, all waving cameras! 


It was quite an emotional time, especially celebrating with course mates who had been through the same work. 


It was also a lovely time to get photos with special lecturers. This lovely man was my dissertation supervisor. He is a real eccentric and such fun to be taught by. 


Before we finished for the day I had to make sure I got some photos by my college. 


And one with a very special man. 


What a day!  I am so thankful for this place, for what I have studied and the support from all sides that I have received whilst I have been here. 

It's been a good one. Now, onto the next chapter! 

15 June 2015

In praise of the public library

One of the joys of having finished my degree is that I can now read what I want when I want.
I read an awful lot in my degree, mostly academic stuff and whilst it was interesting, it wasn't exactly page turning!
Now i've finished I've amassed quite a collection of fiction books to get stuck into from the library.


Ever since I was little I have visited our local library. When we were small we were given a book limit by my mum with the rule that what you took out on your library card, you had to carry home. I've been taking books out of the library ever since, from story books, to non fiction ones to thrillers to romance.

When I first arrived in Durham I made sure I quickly signed up to the public library and still visit it about once a week.

It amazed me as a child and still amazes me now that there are hundreds of thousands of books to be read for free, all obtained just through having a library card. What a wonderful thing to have at our fingertips!


My other reason for loving the library is that it is totally guilt free. I decided a while back that I had no time to try and finish books that I wasn't enjoying. As such, they are just returned and I don't feel guilty about having wasted money buying them.

Library visiting is a habit I got into as a very young child and I hope it continues!

Some books I have been enjoying lately:
The language of Flowers: Beautifully written and such an interesting subject. I learnt so much about the victorian meanings of flowers.
Arthur and George: A fictional book about Arthur Conan Doyle and the real life cases he helped to solve. Again, very cleverly written.
Me before you: This was recommended by so many people and it didn't disappoint. Very easy reading and deeply moving.

So, do you visit the library? Have your read anything recently that you would recommend?