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my little sister’s hen party

10 Jun

Last night my older sister, Michelle, and I got to send our little sister Alice off to married-dom in style by throwing her a fabulous hen party.  We’ve been planning this for months but i’ve not wanted to mention it on the blog as i think she may read it from time to time (probably not often enough though Ali!!!).  Now i’m not going to share any pictures of the hens or divulge too much of the juicy details as that goes against the sacred hen/bachelorette rules – what goes on tour stays on tour, right?  But i will give you a flavour of what we did…

The most fun part of the whole planning was torturing Alice as she did not have a clue what she was going to be doing.  She got sent this email:

Good evening Alice

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to turn up at Michelle’s house at 13.00 hours on Saturday 9th June.  In order to complete your mission, wearing something comfortable, you must bring with you:

An outfit to change into for the evening (think glam)
Scuba gear
A length of twine 
Welder’s helmet
Make-up, accessories etc
A whisk
Four steel oil drums (must be steel – no cheap aluminium)
A 3/16th socket wrench

(only two of these items are correct.  I will leave it up to you to decide)

Ensure you leave your dignity and your husband to be at home, make sure your life insurance is up to date, and get ready to enjoy(ish) the party.

See you Saturday,
Your bridesmaids x

I followed this up with lots of texts and emails asking her if she’d had her vaccinations, that i was just checking the bungee cord etc…man i’m a mean sister.  The reality of the day was that it was quite lovely.  We had an Alice in Wonderland theme (natch) so we had to dress her up first.  She made a surprisingly convincing Alice.  Then we went to a local Art Gallery and made headbands based on birdcage veils.

We had afternoon tea/champagne while we crafted away.  Michelle and i made all the goodies, Michelle even made the little dormouse to go in the teapot.  It really was sooo much fun and i’d love to go back.  They do all sorts of classes from stitch n’ bitch to nude sketching.  Hmmm what to choose…

After we finished our class we let Alice change out of her costume and we all got glammed up and went out to drink lots of cocktails and eat a scrummy meal.  I ate this…

It was ok tasting but very greasy.  We then tortured Alice some more with some Mr & Mrs type games and a bit more drinking.  It really was an amazing day – Alice was possibly not half as drunk as she should have been by the end of the evening, given it was her hen do, but she went home very happy.  As we are all old and a bit lame we were all home by 12.30!! Gone are the days of walking home with the sunrise.

Now i just need to think about what i’m going to do to burn all that greasy fried food and cupcakes off.  If only it weren’t raining and i wasn’t crippled!!

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back from hols

4 Mar

You know you’re in Wales when the train station signs look like this…

and the fields look like this…

John and I just spent a well earned restful week in Anglesey, Wales (with a couple of sneaky shopping days in Liverpool).  It was wonderful and very relaxing.  I’ve come back totally refreshed and raring to go (plus a couple of lbs heavier!) on my creative projects and my fitness regime.

We visited a place called Abakhan – it’s a great little village of craft shops in North Wales.  I’ve got some new patterns for a couple of dresses, lots of material, some knitting books and a lot of wool.  Ok i went a bit nuts in there but hey, i was on holiday and let me tell you, it could have been a whole lot worse.  The staff in there were super friendly and helpful.  I’d recommend a visit.

So far, i’ve started knitting a pair of legwarmers – although by the time they are done it will probably be summer!  This is where i’m at so far…

Now don’t judge … it’s been a while since I’ve knitted more than a baby hat so there are definitely a few wrong stitches there but i figure once they are wrapped around my ankles no-one will know!  I’ll keep you updated on progress of these, if there is any.  I’m sure the lure of making frocks will be very distracting!

Finally, the fitness regime…I’m back to Bodyrocking.  I’ve just completed the 420 rep challenge from 1 Mar and to say it nearly killed me is an understatement!  Sean completed it in 26 minutes – you can at least double that for my time but at least i did (although there was a lot of cussing!).  I’d blog a pic of my face after the workout but i don’t think the internet is ready for that kind of horror!  Hehe!  Just about everyone i know is into the Bootcamp trend.  They are getting some amazing results but i’m just not ready to part with my hard earned cash to get someone to shout at me when guys like the Bodyrock team are dishing it out for free.  I need that money for cashmere wool don’t you know?!

Anyway, i’m off to unpack.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend & hope the sun is shining where you are x

i found treasure!

29 Jan

Yesterday hubby and i went furniture shopping – being thrifty folk we popped into our local charity furniture shop.  You can get some amazing bargains here – a lot of the furniture needs a bit of love and some imagination but totally worth it.  I found a very old sewing machine desk with integrated sewing machine.  I’m guessing it originated from the ’60’s or 70’s (i’m not an expert!).  The machine wasn’t in great order and the desk was also a bit shabby but when i opened the drawers i found treasure!!!  Very exciting.

I asked the very nice gent manning the shop if i could pay just for the contents of the desk and he offered it for £5!  Eeep!  For the record as it was a charity shop i did offer him more but i think he thought i was crazy that i was willing to even pay that much for all this old junk.  Here is only some of what i found:

Treasure!!!!

The find include buttons (lots of buttons), cotton reels, binding, needles, lace, belt buckles, genuine old singer accessories and so much more all packed up in these beautiful old biscuit tins and boxes.  I’m so happy and i’m already thinking of so many projects to make use of these items.  I love the idea that someone lovingly collected and kept these items and i’m ecstatic to give them a loving home.

I’m a lucky girl.

ps we didn’t find any furniture!!

I did it…plus a pic

27 Jan

I completed the project I started this blog with – a slouchy blazer.  It was a very simple sew project as there was no lining.  Bear in mind that this was my first ever item of clothing i’ve ever sewed myself.

Check out the results:

slouchy blazer

It’s not perfect – i still need to get to grips with lining up the grain of the material and making ultra neat seams so all elements lie straight.  I also need to CONCENTRATE – having to unstitch a whole arm because i sewed it on inside out was not the most fun i’ve ever had!

The staff in my local haberdashery helped out too.  I did not realise you weren’t supposed to match the thread to the material – you have to go a shade darker.  Thanks guys!

So on to next project … I’m going to be knitting a cowl neck but so far its not going great.  First time with circular needles – it would be comical if it wasn’t so annoying.

I’m also determined to get properly back into my photography (other than just capturing my many meals and my cats) so i’m going to start posting pics regularly.  I’m not a big “pretty landscape” or “sunset” photographer – not because i don’t like those kind of pics but more because there are a gazillion people out there who do it better than me.  I like the quirky, the grimy and the fun.  Here is a pic i took with a £2 film SLR i found in a charity shop.  Such a lovely camera i can’t understand why anyone would want to give it away:

Take care and see you soon x

First project and keeping those NY resolutions

14 Jan

Today's brekkie

So…first project of the year cannot be started on an empty stomach so I made these pancakes.  It being January these were protein pancakes with cottage cheese rather than bacon and syrup but they were scrummy.  Since I bought my new toy last week (my Nikon J1) I’ve been obsessed with photographing my meals so I’m afraid there will be more of these to come!

Following with the healthy theme i also hit it up with some HIIT (high intensity interval training).  Not only thrifty in terms of wallet but thrifty in terms of time.  All done in 20mins, no special equipment required and absolute torture.  Bargain.

My first project of 2012 is going to be a navy cropped blazer I’m going to make from scratch.  The pattern says it is for beginners so here goes…

my chosen material

my chosen machine - a mini sewing machine

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this.

Questions – what crafty projects are you working on?

Anyone else still sticking to their NY resolutions?