Saturday, January 23, 2010

Card Luck

More lovin for random objects, this time it's cards. There were a few years recently when I decided not to give cards with every gift I gave. I love sweet cards, so any time a birthday came along I'd spend hours wandering the walls of newsagents, department stores, and little boutiques searching for that perfect card. I'm anal when it comes to gifting (and most other things too) so not only did the card have to say something special, it had to match the theme of the gift and the wrapping I was using. I'd go to immense pains and spend any amount needed to get exactly what I wanted. Sadly I've discovered most others don't share my supreme love of all things paper, so I decided to save card-giving for extra-special birthdays only.
That's all changed, and every gift is now accompanied by a card, large or small, sitting just so. I tried resisiting, but it's ever so hard when people like Yellow Beetle Bug are making things like this:

The sweetness of the drawing and the cheeky wit made me fall in love at first sight. And there's even one that fits my current situation perfectly:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Riding along

I can't ride a bike. When I was a kid my parents just never got around to taking my training wheels off, and then my bike broke. As you get older the fear of falling sets in, and the idea of balancing precariously on a rail-thin device with two large wheels and no real safety element gets put in the "risks I'm not ready for yet" basket. I've tried once or twice but, as with all things, riding takes many hours of practice to master, so I've just never got there.
Because I've never learnt to ride, bikes have taken on the fantastical, almost dream-like quality in my mind and the idea of biking through the country-side sits alongside a hot-air balloon ride, or sailing around the world in an itty-bity boat. So when I see a picture of a bike as sweet as this one, I have to share it with you:

I'd love to share a bunch of other work from Clare Owen, but you should go check them out yourself and find one that make your heart flutter as much as this does mine.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I've fallen slightly in love with Steampunk. "Ah...What?" I hear you say. Steampunk, according to the internet's most *cough* reputable source, Wikipedia, is a style derived from science fiction and speculative fiction. It incorporates elements of the steam-power eras, mixing them with fantasy and giving them a mechanical yet whimsical look.
Maybe it's my yearning for all things old, or a homage to my father's mechanical tinkering, but I'm a wee bit obsessed with it. And why not with pretty headpieces like this, snatched from a wedding shoot on Green Wedding Shoes:

There's also a huge collection of handmade steampunk pretties on Look at this from Antige's shop:

And this from buildersstudio's shop:

Spare parts have never looked so sweet!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dreaming of you...

Having very little money this year, I've neglected updating my wardrobe as regularly as I'd like. Sadly, all my favourite dresses and skirts are slowly falling apart. So I've been trolling the internet looking for sewing inspiration for when I pull the sewing machine I got for Christmas out of its box. I have a few favourite sites that I return to regularly, dreaming of the day when I can maybe wait excitedly for a box from across the seas.
I'm in love with the sweet-but-sexy, girliness of everything on Posh Girl Vintage. I think if I had been a Varga Girl, this is the kinda thing I would have worn:

And even if I can't be a Varga Girl, I think I'd feel mighty Hollywood in almost anything from Mod Cloth, especially these:

I'm completely in love with that bow skirt, and the pink and brown dress from Posh Girl is being coppied in chocolate with a pale green floral skirt/trim ery soon. And if only I could make my own shoes...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sorry, I'm not myself today

Twenty-six. Broke. Living with my parents. Jobless. Single. Lonely. Completely discontent and broken. The last two days I've been on the verge of tears every minute, skulking around the house trying desperately to avoid anyone, to no avail. And when they ask what's wrong, my automated response: "Sorry, I'm just not myself today". Because how do you tell your family that living with them means you've failed?
My life feels a bit like this at the moment:

But small pleasures, right? That was my resolution...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Birthday wishes and cute creations

It was my dad's 70th birthday yesterday and (due to lack of funds) I decided to create a feast for dinner instead of buy him something. Being adventurous, I decided to let him choose the menu and was met with the least likely dinner choice for a balmy January eve: Slow-cooked lamb shanks. Luckily we woke to an abnormally cool morning, and I headed to town feeling a little bit better about my mission. For dessert he decided on cheesecake which, for my first ever attempt, I think turned out pretty good:

I'm not a fan of cheesecake but the plates were all but licked clean, so I'm guessing it tasted ok. I took the crust recipe from Canelle et Vanille's bakewell tarts and baked it for half an hour. It turned beautifully sweet tasted like basic shortbread. The filling I made up as I went along, so the measurements are guessed to the closest degree.
Mixed Berry Cheesecake
250g cream cheese
250g mascapone
1/2-3/4cup icing sugar
3tbsp lemon curd
5tbsp Berry compote
mixed berries to decorate
Beat cream cheese and mascapone until soft and light. While mixing slowly add icing sugar and lemon curd alternately. Fold in bery compote to form swirls through mix. Spoon into cooled pastry base and top with berries.
I served mine with extra compote, icecream and chocolate shavings.

I've been doing quite a bit of crocheting lately too. Procrastination while packing last week led to these two, both of which I gave to my friend K as part of a belated Christmas pressie:

My first ever doily, randomly selected from here. Still need to do a bit of work on my tension I think.

A cute little bowtie. Another pattern found on Creative Yarn.
I'm working on my very first amigurumi at the moment. Cross fingers it works.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Same but different

I've been naughty, not posting anything for a while. In my defense I've been busy unpacking my life and finding myself again at home. Isn't it funny how when you leave a place for long enough, even your home, it somehow becomes less comfortable? Somehow, even having come home regularly over the past few years, I still find this place less familiar, less known, less mine. Everything is lived in in a different way to what it was when I was here. The glasses are somewhere new, the lounges are different, I even find myself fumbling for the light switch in the dark - I never had that problem when I used to live here. Everything's so similar yet completely unfamiliar.
While I've been learning my surroundings again I've noticed they've been learning me as well. If I glance at my father while I'm crocheting, I find him gazing back with a slightly bemused grin and a quip about my granny ways. My mother wanders from room to room while I cook dinner, desperately trying to figure out what to do now she's got an hour free each night. Even my poor old dog seems somewhat shaken by my return, desperate for attention every second. I think maybe she's getting as much as she can now in case I desert her again.
As we all start to piece together an existance around each other again, the household seems to slowly be gaining some belonging again. My new room (once my brother's because the eldest gets the biggest one) is starting to exist as a 'mine' rather than a 'his', I can reach for a glass without having to search the whole kitchen, and I'm starting to sleep through the local dog-howl chorus at 3am. But even with all this there's something telling me I'll always be missing that familiarity I had when I was here before, you can never really go back can you? I guess that's good though, it stops me from getting too comfortable. Although I think the matress I'm sleeping on might just be doing that.
Tomorrow's goals: update blog, finish unpacking, put my bed together, find somewhere to dump the 30 year-old (yes really) mattress I'm currently sleeping on.