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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Trip to Kyoto, Japan 2017

I'm not big on travel and neither are my family but after my Mum expressed her wish to go to Kyoto and with my Dad not being keen having 'been there and done that' on business trips in the past I jumped at the chance of a mother-daughter week away. We booked the trip last year to co-inside with the famous Cherry Blossom season and all too soon it was time to take the cultural plunge into the unknown! (Although we did bring PG tips and prayed to the tea gods that they'd be a kettle in our room).

We took the 9:30am flight to Frankfurt, the 13:30 to Kansai Airport, Osaka and 11 hours of film binging, lack of leg room, several different time zones, a 2 hour taxi ride with a 'crouch on the floor into a hole in the ground' loo-stop to Kyoto ride later we arrived at Hotel Mystays, Shijo-Dori. We went for a Western style hotel rather than the more traditional Ryokan (futons on the floor, kimono dressed waiting staff) which was a good move and made the trip that little more comfortable! 

So close!!!

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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Thrifty Home

I was definitely born in the wrong decade. I am a prolific hoarder, I love spending hours making something for my home and although I love buying new things I equally like using all that I've hoarded to make something new and unique. I hope to update this post with more things I make for my home and share my ideas and creations with you!

I have made simple tab top curtains to cover 2 door frames to give me more privacy: a clear door adjoining my parent's part of the house and the door to my front room thats directly opposite my shower- the neighbours have been seeing a little too much of me recently! (oops). I used THIS easy peasy tutorial on youtube from to make the tab curtains. It only takes a few hours to make and is a great project to use up a large amount of fabric. You could even patchwork a design together if you have lots of fat quarters/scraps to use up. 

I used an old broom handle to make a curtain pole and used the old fixtures already on the door frame.

For my second curtain I didn't have any fixings so made my own! I used a bamboo pole for the curtain rail which I hack sawed down to size. I attached the pole ends to fixings that I made from old wooden cotton reels. I love the look- it's so vintage. The cotton reels are from the 40s as they are from my granny's old sewing kit! The fabric is from SewOverIt.

I used a large drill-bit to boar a shallow hole into the side of each cotton reel. I used a whittling tool to gauge the hole for a better fit. I drilled a small hole into the door frame, threaded a screw through the hole of the reel and screwed it into the frame. I screwed one end in loosely to allow me to put the pole in place and to allow me to take the curtain down or change it if I so wish. 


I've been making seasonal wreaths for my door and now that spring has sprung I've made a new one!

I'm off to Japan in 2 weeks so I've become a little obsessed with cherry blossom. I had some faux blossom bunches left over from a recent project but using real flowers is another option. I got these ones from Wilkos

I didn't have a wreath base so made one using wire. A trick I picked up at uni to strengthen flimsy wire is to wind a fold piece of wire in half, attach the loop to a drill, attach the other end to a vice (this is vital or the wire will flail around dangerously) and turn the drill on. It coils it tightly and works a charm! I simply made a ring out of the wire. I would have covered the wire in floristry tape but with none in my stash I used paper tape in a spring green colour. 

Using pliars I cut off individual stems, wrapped thin wire round them and attached it to the wreath base. To start off it will look pants but keep going, filling out the gaps and it will start to look much better.


Take obligatory flower crown selfie before hanging (or stapling) it to your door.  

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Sunday, 5 March 2017


~UPDATED 5th March~

I regularly post videos and pics of Leon and Poppy on my Instagram. So for more regular updates of their antics please follow me HERE

It's a very rainy day today (-0per=fr Oh Poppy's just walked across my keyboard reiterating what I'm about to write) and Poppy is not happy. She got a shock through the catflap on her morning routine: she always goes out to check the garden's still there before coming back for breakfast. She is now going through the cat flap coming back in all wet and muddy and miowing at me to turn the weather off. This cycle has been repeating for the last half hour.

Leon's got the right idea.

I have had sick days recently and he sticks by my side throughout the day. It's very sweet!

Poppy prefers to keep her 'naughty tortie' title and goes about her day her way.

Poppy- 'this is my bed for the night, do you have a problem with that?'

'the piece of buttered toast i nicked from her plate and i hid in my bed has vanished, if i sit on my food tray...she might take the hint...'

'Just casually chillaxing on the loo'
She comes up to me for a snuggle at night and has adopted a fleecy blanket which she drools over and kneads...will have to buy a new one!

Remember to check out and follow my Instagram for more of these two bundles of fluff.

~UPDATED 6th February~

Leon and Poppy have both podged out (Leon is huge!) and continue to get up to lots of mischief since I last wrote. Their curtain climbing antics are long gone now that they are scaling the neighbour's fences, garage roofs and even the trees. I am out at work during the day so my parent's look after them during these hours- I hear about the things they get up to when they think no one's watching! 
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Monday, 27 February 2017

An Evening with the London Community Gospel Choir

I was very lucky last night to be able to attend an unforgettable evening of song, dance and praise led by the London Community Gospel Choir. 

The choir were founded in 1982 by Rev. Bazil Meade. "We were formed from those who were passionate about their faith and were willing to take gospel music into venues that many churches at that time dared not enter"- Meade. They tour internationally and have sung at the UK's major arena's as well as collaborating with big names such as Madonna, Sir Elton John (the list goes on). 

"'Out of Many One Voice' We are committed to encourage unity, love and respect among all people through the arts and our faith in God"

Vivacious conductor, Lawrence Rowe supplied the boundless energy and pace throughout the evening as well as his own stunning vocal performance. This evening marked his last performance with the choir before he joins 'MoTown the Musical' in the West End next week. 


Each individual in the choir had their own identity and stand alone talent but seamlessly came together in perfect harmony: their sound and conviction was just so inspiring! When the live band started up the members of the choir really came alive- the dancing and encouragement/ ad-libbing from each other made the evening even more enjoyable- there was a relaxed 'good time vibe' so audience participation came easily! It was impossible not to move to the music so when we were encouraged to join in, all singing (in 3-part harmony), all dancing- I was in my element! There was a great mix of well-known songs: this little light of mine, one love, oh happy day to name a few and other less-known songs that are in LCGC's repertoire: Fill my Cup, Faith, I've found the answer, Praise Worthy. 

The members are from different backgrounds, cultures, ages but all have one thing in common: out-standing talent. I would highly recommend you book tickets early (the night was a sell-out) and check out their website for their upcoming performances at:

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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Makerly Subscription Box

Makerly is a monthly subscription box for crafters. 
Check out the website for more info HERE

There are 3 different boxes to choose from: 'Stitch-Up'- a sewing themed box, 'Paper-Cuts'- a box full of paper craft and 'Mish-Mash'- each box having a different craft theme eg: paper craft, sculpting, sewing etc. Each month you receive a large letter-box flat box packed with goodies: 
  • Instruction Booklet for project
  • Project tools and materials (and more) 
  • Check out the website for more goodies: ie: project ideas and Makerly blog
If your wanting to start a collection of craft materials then these boxes are great to get you going as they come with more materials than you need for your main project.

The single boxes cost £13.50 per month 
6 Month Subscription costs £70.00 (you save £11)
12 Month Subscription costs £140.00 (you save £22)

This pricing is similar to other monthly subscription boxes however for the materials included and the quality of the instruction booklets the pricing does seem a bit steep.
It would be nice to have a 3 month option.

Personally I have been crafting all my life. I studied Prop Making at uni and my skill set is at an experienced competent level of sewing, sculpting and painting. Saying this, I am super clumsy!
 This might give you an understanding of my skill level in relation to how accessible these boxes are for the average crafter.

I feel they are suitable for anyone with any amount of experience- you can do as little or make it as complex as you like: it's your box, you are given plenty of resources to get stuck in, it's up to you what you make of it! 

Makerly~October 16~PiƱata

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