Friday, 17 August 2012

Some Thank Yous

I realised the other day that I have been blogging for nearly four years, over this time my favourites have changed many times and the types of blogs I read have changed over time, depending on what is happening and changing in my life. 

I started blogging to document a lot of the crafty things I was making and the lovely swaps I had received, but over time I stopped my crafting pretty much all together, and now only do bits and bobs for myself or family members. Despite this, I still love reading crafty blogs as they inspire me hugely and are always very pretty too!

So despite the fact that my blog and me have changed and developed, my lovely bloggy friends and readers are still just as lovely as ever and are still kind and generous beyond belief.
For example, a few weeks ago I got a lovely surprise email from a reader called Jude (hi Jude if your reading!) who said she wanted to send me something - just out of the blue and out of the kindness of her heart she sent me this beautifully wrapped parcel...

So many pretty details - the tiny tag with little Cath Kidston heart on it, and a lovely matching card too.
Inside was this gorgeous Parisian notebook, and a little parcel wrapped in pink.
The notebook is gorgeous, and has already come in handy as I have decided to use it to write notes and ideas for the wedding, as I think it is very fitting, as well as pretty!

Inside the pink parcel was this adorable little necklace with a suitcase with a tiny Eiffel tower on it, I literaly squealed when I saw this! Its soooo small and so sweet, and incredibly thoughtful of Jude, and I am so so grateful. Thank you once again Jude and please do set up a blog of your own! I would love to read it, and see your china collection!

That very same week the lovely Lexie from 'Pieces of Wonderful' blog offered to send me a little china surprise in the post. Again, absolutely out of the blue, Lexie sent me a gorgeous little box and pretty card, and something else very sweet enclosed in a tiny envelope...

Look at that! A tiny Eiffel Tower on a button! Its soooo sweet, I can only imagine using this for something very special, hopefully incorporated into the wedding in a special way as its so thoughtful.
I've never seen one like this before either, so its lovely of Lexie to have sent it to me :)

The box was beautifully wrapped up with pretty Cath Kidston tape and ribbon...

And inside was this gorgeous china! A beautiful matching cup and saucer and two pretty little tea plates too! I absolutely love them and am so touched by your generosity Lexie, thank you so much they will be very much used in the wedding and loved for years after :)

So thank you, thank you to Jude, and Lexie and thank you to all my lovely blog readers and bloggy internet friends, you guys are the best!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


I though this was quite a fitting picture to start with on this post as I have some news that I have been holding off talking about - I handed in my notice at Emporium a few weeks back and worked my last day on Friday. Surprisingly, I didn't feel sad or worried - I knew it was time to move on, and that I had done all I could do there in terms of progress and the amount of effort I found myself putting in compared to how little I was getting in return. I love the girls I work with, but the job itself had lost its charm for me, although I thought on my last day I should go out with a bang - so I made this Union Jack Battenburg from the new Great British Bake Off book (eeeek! it starts tonight...the new series)
We called it Team GB cake! It went down well with the customers!

I was so lucky to receive the most BEAUTIFUL china tea set as my leaving present on Friday:

Its soooo stunning, a gorgeous pastel lilac lilly of the valley print, and I love it so much and it was the most thoughtful gift :) and one I am sure I shall absolutely cherish forever.

Oh, by the way Albert these are coming to live with you haha!

Anyway my news.... I have an incredibly exciting new job opportunity, starting Monday I will be working at Quadrille Publishing House (Quadrille design and publish all of Cath Kidston's books, as well as tonnes of cookery/crafty/home books) I am beyond excited and am so happy that they felt I was good enough to work for them. 
I first got in contact with Quadrille about a craft based job vacancy, which I ended up doing, which is just so so amazing, seriously, I almost couldn't believe it...

This book...
This new Cath Kidston Christmas Decorations book...

I made the decorations for that book!!!

I didn't design them, no... that came from Cath's craft/design department, but I made the actual decorations that were photographed in the book :) and I get a little mention in the back of the book. I am so excited to see it in print, on the shelves in bookshops and I can say "I made that"!

Its already available for pre-oder on Amazon, here, and is going to be a really lovely book I am sure.

Phew! I have been holding that in for weeks, but I am chuffed to be able to get it all out now!
Anyway. Moving on. So yes, I have a new job and I will be working in central London, which means I am moving out of my parents home and moving in with Albert, it makes a lot of sense geographically, as well as the fact that we are now engaged we should probably be living together too! Its about time!

So I have been doing some packing this week...packing up all my goodies and getting things ready to move in. (He wont know whats hit him! Haha I have shedloads of stuff to sort!) I have already donated a hefty five bags of stuff to my local charity shops, and I have yet to sort my craft cupboard, all my painting materials from Uni, oh God the painting materials!!

 I am feeling good, I am feeling like it was about time I had a proper sort out and let go of some things I have been hoarding for far too long, or things that I have just become too lazy to deal with (car paperwork, old birthday cards, bank stuff)

So I have a couple more days to get myself and my stuff in order, then comes the task of finding new homes for it in a very tiny (already full up) flat :(

All of this sorting has led me to pull out some of my old handmade quilts, I'd kind of like to bring them with me, although they are terribly girlie aren't they? Its also made me think about getting cosie for winter, and these will certainly help.

 Strangely, as soon as my June birthday is over I start thinking about winter, dark nights, and Christmas, I know, I'm strange! This years birthday I woke up in the morning and thought it was Christmas morning...very strange indeed!

I also dug out the half finished hexagon quilt I had shoved away in a cupboard, it pains me to get this out as I really wish it was finished, but it really needs a last good go at it to complete it, hopefully in time for Christmas (don't quote me on that, its been a loooong process this one! I started it in July 2010 - yikes two years!! Two years!! I really should hurry up haha!)

I posted this photo on instagram, and got some lovely comments, but it really is a love/hate relationship I have with this quilt. Love how it looks. Hate how long it takes. Any motivational tips for speeding this up are more than welcome :)

As well as sorting out, I have also been bring more things home :) I have also brought this sweet little blue jug to come and live with me :) I already had the mint green jug and the pink cup and saucer, I keep things like this on display in my room, I know silly isn't it? 

I keep jewellery or brooches in the teacup and on the saucer and I put things like make up brushes in the jugs, it allows me to see them and use them without adding to the kitchen cupboards!

My mum and I are big fans of vintage china, we are not the fussiest of people, but I have my own rules when it comes to buying, and I will only allow myself to buy plain coloured pastels, or block coloured pastels mixed with floral/patterns, this is to try and keep everything co-ordinating together and not too many patterns.

These personal rules went out the window when we went out one day shopping for wedding china. 

The rule that day was "Anything Goes, And If Its Cheap We'll Have It!"

We started off in Berkhempstead - a lovely little area with some really good charity shops, you know the kind where its all a bit messy and there are piles of china to rummage through. There is also a great little antiques shop hidden down a side road which was brilliant - full of treasures!

When we had finished in Berkhempstead we went to Fleetville Vintage Emporium in St Albans (oh how I love this place) it yielded some rather lovely bargains and I was very pleased with my "wedding china" has all been safely tucked away in a cupboard, but the gorgeous blue utility jug is living in my room now :)

Isn't it lovely? It was £4, which is over budget for wedding related china, but I would have bought it myself as it is 1) gorgeous and 2) utility china!

Oooh I love it! I think the pattern is hand painted on, and there is no makers mark on the bottom. If you have anything similar please let me know...I love learning about china! (As well as buying it haha!)

Weeks later I am still searching for cheap china for the wedding, and I picked up this sugar bowl for £1.49 a few weeks back, I love the rose print pattern and the cheapness of it! Its not particularly easy to find cheap china in London, but I'm on the hunt! 

Hmmm this post has been a bit all over the place hasn't it? I guess I am just excited and nervous and got lots to catch up with! I shall be back once I have tackled the rest of my bedroom and packed it safely away....

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Bloggers Pottery Painting Day!

As you may have read on a few other lovely blogs lately, myself, Gemma, Gemma and Julie had a lovely crafty meet up the other week were we did some pottery painting in Barnet.
We met nice and early to allow lots of time for painting, and a little bit of shopping too!
We had met once before (you can read all about that here) were we all got on brilliantly, and were well overdue another meeting to catch up and have a lovely little chat!

I wasn't sure what to pick to paint at first, and spent absolutely ages choosing this teapot in the end, as I wanted something that would be used regularly and not just put away in a cupboard. I had been pottery painting once before where I painted a little bowl, so I wanted to paint something that would go with that, and co-ordinate nicely!

Gemma picked a lovely ruffled edge dish, Julie picked a pretty heart shaped plate, and the other Gem picked a teapot too! We all went for similar pastel colours and spent a long time planning what to paint! I was almost scared to start incase I messed it up, so we all started slowly before we got going with it.

I started with pastel coloured bunting flags around the edge of my teapot, I was inspired by Emma Bridgewater, but wanted a more girlie look with pretty colours too!

Step two was to add some little blue flowers, all around the sides of the teapot, it took a very steady hand to paint these! But I was really pleased with it so far...

We took a little break to have a cup of tea, and then I decided to add some little polka dots all over the teapot, and carefully added the date to the inside too. Then I remembered the lid of the teapot - so did a little flower there too and more polka dots!

It was so lovely to meet up again, and we had lots and lots to talk about, crafting, blogging, weddings, engagements and all sorts! 

Here are the other lovely pieces - just adding the finishing touches!

Gemma's Dish...

Gemma's Teapot...

Julie's Plate...

My Teapot...

Sadly we all had to leave our pottery behind to be fired and collect it the next week...
I was so excited to collect mine, and I am so pleased with the way its has turned out.

Here it is being used for the first time, and next to the little bowl I painted before.

I think they ended up matching quite well, and am thinking the next time I do pottery painting I'll do a little milk jug, so I can have a nice matching set!

The date written inside the teapot...

The detail on the lid, I'm really pleased with the colours too, they have come out lovely, not too pale and not too bright either, just the kind of pastel tones I wanted.

Next to the little bowl...I'm so chuffed with it!
I did something crafty and had a lovely day too, and I'd very much recommend pottery painting if you'd like a personalised one off piece of pottery of your very own :)