Friday, 30 April 2010

Just a little poll reminder ....

A BIG thank you to all of you who have voted in my little poll from Tuesday [which you can scroll down to see below or by clicking here] to decide weather I crochet the booties or the jacket for my friends baby as a little pressie. If you haven't already voted then please just drop a little note to which you adore the most - either on a cute or pratical level. I know there's a bit of a clear leader but I love to hear all your thoughts. 

Also any ideas on yarn colours would be grand. Be traditional and stick with blue to be the typical blue for a boy? Or be fancy and use something else? Basically i'm rubbish at making up my mind!

For a quickie reminder here's the two projects you can vote for;

Hope all of you have a lovely weekend - especially for you UK readers with the bank holiday, sadly my bank holiday will be spent at work - sadly. Barr a planned BBQ on Sunday most probably spent in the rain however!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

This blogger needs you - baby clothing poll

I'm torn between making two seperate gifts. Basically one of my old school friends is due to become a dad in August with his first born, although we had a bit of an up and down friendship since leaving school [him calling me selfish because I wasn't thinking of having kids yet or moaning because I don't drag or shout about my relationship to name two "issues"] but I thought this could just be the time to make a little something special - mainly because this baby will the first of my school social group to have one. 

As most of you are aware of my recent expoilts into crochetting I thought this would be the perfect excuse to expand and use my new found talent into producing something special. I know it's probably easier to buy something from a shop, but I guess it's more sentiment and thoughtful to make something myself in a world of commerical baby clothes. But either way, i'm stuck as to what I should make, so here I could do with your assistance; Please, please help me deicide into making the booties or the jacket.
Project one; Bowtie Booties
Project two; Springy Jacket
Regardless of the time and materials required which would you pick to either make or receive? On either a cute or practical level? Or do neither and give a voucher? The baby is expected to be a boy and due in August.

Basically please leave your thoughts in the comments and i'll let you all know the outcome, because I really can't make up my mind. There's pluses and minus to both!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Around and round

Have we all had a good weekend? I hope you've all managed to enjoy the sunshine somewhat, no matter how little you managed to get, currently we're experiencing a thunderstorm not unlike the ones we normally don't get until August time.

I know i've blogged about my new love for crocheting, and its a weird new love to have. It's one of the lesser credited or even acknowledged craft forms and therefore makes the ability to buy not only the yarns [there's me being corrupted into sounding American these days] yet alone contemporary patterns a tad on the hard side. But i've always enjoyed a challenge.

The way I'm teaching myself how to really understand and use crocheting patterns to make things is through making what were originally termed "dollies", I guess you could call them stands? Covers? Protectors these days. Like I've mentioned before I use them to display my vintage wears on. Mainly because they come with diagrams and basically encompass and use not only the basic but more experiences stitches in order to move onto the bigger and better projects like the scarf and a shawl but I'll mention that one later.
This one turned out rather smaller then expected, but keeps itself looking pretty beside my shells at least with it's starfish shaped design.
Currently still a work in progress, this kinda cobweb appearing design is one of my favorites so far - i've normally had tension issues, my stress probably makes my work too tight [lol] but this one is working out just right!
The edging wasn't finished when this picture was taken, but it's all completed now, I love the simple love heart shaped designs going into the circle. Takes a keen eye to notice it at first!

There is one reason why i'm driving and determined to learn everything I can about crocheting. When the day comes of me actually getting engaged, the one thing I want to be able to make myself is a crocheted shawl for my big day. In a dreamy setting I want my wedding to be as vintage-thrifty as possible in a 1930s kinda style, and after seeing this keepsake lace shawl in the latest edition of Crochet Today my hearts melted into being able to make it! And I will, no matter how hard or long it takes to get my head around it!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

I heart spring

I hearing the birds singing on an early morning while I wander to catch the bus
I watching the Cherry trees blossom, its petals falling like confetti to the garden floor
I seeing the flowers slowly opening, crowning in their glory, their beds bowing to the sun
I being able to get outside and bathe in the spring sunshine
I seeing bouncing little lambs in the fields
... and daydreaming of summer

What are your favourite parts of spring?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Cats, technology and being that little old lady who knits

I've always been a cat girlie, dogs tend to absolutely scare me, its a mixture of their yelping and barking, licking and jumping which gets me all into a flutter. I'm sure some dogs are lovely, but cat's have always had a place in my heart. Their independence, their curiosity and their ability to entertainment themselves reminds me a little of myself - perhaps that is why I've always felt so drawn to them.

Plus moments when you mix a cat and modern technology always ends in laughter; take this clip for example;

It's this just utterly adorable?!

But let me introduce you to Ed, or as I call her Edders, I guess she's our cat, well more JJ's cat then mine but still, she's the start of our mini family - so I guess that makes me her step mum? foster mum? Whichever! Soon she'll have a better passport on her then I do.
I've always seen myself as that old women with a million cats knitting. Mind you probably be more like three cats, mine and JJ's zimmer frames and sewing playing jazz music and still watching Fred Astaire speaking of the "good 'old days" and refusing to move into a home.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

A Per Una powder compact - a vintage idea meets contemporary beauty

I surprised myself when I was designing my new header and I added that this was a blog about alongside other things - compacts. They were one of the main things I use to blog lots about, I guess my daydreams have taken over somewhat and they went on the back burner - they seem a hard thing to collect when your meant to be money saving.

Previously I use to always just wear liquid foundation it just seemed the thing to do. Then I linked everything together and I thought I'd start an investigation into the availability and the difference of using the powdered variety just to compare. And to be honest, it's a move I wish I'd made a long while ago. I must state that I know some people say you should only use powdered foundation as a kind of finishing layer to cover and hold your make up - but because I tend to just want a minimal make up appearance, especially everyday at work and during the summer, I'm not a girl that get into caking my face with make up because and without growing an insanely huge ego my skin is pretty good [putting this down to looking young for my age and using cold cream] and this method of foundation is just another way to add to this.

And I guess add a nice compact design into the frame and I'm hooked right? Pretty much ...

Normally contemporary powder compacts are a bit, naff to say the least, they seem too cheaply made and a bit lacking in the glamour and design that they once had - maybe that's just to keep the prices low I guess in a way. But the first that has really impressed is the Per Una Speziale Long Wear Pressed Foundation. I know people don't tend to link Marks and Spencer and make-up but I decided to take the risk. And it was worth it - it offers long lasting cover, yet a natural, even coverage rather then the orange tones that others have offered previously [i'm thinking of a No17 powder foundation I tried]. Additionally unlike some other it doesn't fake and perfectly covers tricky areas like the T line and the chin.

As for the compact itself, its encased in a somewhat plastic but shiny gold case embedded with the three hearts of Per Una held down with a sturdy clasp.
Even the powder puff has the per una design - it's little things that make a lot of difference when it comes to style
I think, going by the success of their other products I'm tempted to try out some Bourjois powders.But I would love to hear if you have any powder recommendations, are you a liquid or a powder girl? Or both?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

UPDATED - dear blogger - why do you distract me so?

[Tuesday 13th April 2010 posted at 23:10] ahhh why did i stumble across new ways of altering blogger right before bed. Sods law!

Please excuse the random slightly blank heading - just the total off sided old header was distracting me and i knew I couldn't just leave it and go to bed!

I'll work on it tomorrow!

Update - finally managed to create a header that goes all the way across. Hope you like it as much as I do - tis making me rather smiley that I managed to make it myself!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Ride ride ride away

The parents finally got their hands on a an allotment the other week, for a tenner a year they get their own plot of land - kinda like the American Dream but in reality,and at the other side of the pond. Hidden away in it's far corner, under what was a savage, creeping grape vine was a shed, within which a dusty, cobweb covered bike was hiding.

I never really thought anything about it till me and JJ were talking last night about spending the long summer and autumn evenings going for random wanders. And then it hit me - the wanting to be a big kid again and go for day long bike rides, not caring what time it would be when we finally reached home. To go down hill reallllllllly fast, getting lost down random country lanes and taking your hands off the handlebars. Sometimes I really miss that freedom of bike rides you use to have when you were a child.

Well at least we've found a use for the bike!
Oh wouldn't it be utterly fun?!
What childhood escapes do you miss?

Monday, 12 April 2010

I'm falling in love with falling down buildings

When people think of America, I guess one of the few cities that people rarely think of is Detroit - that kinda northern city, up there, near ya know, Canada. A city something to do with cars with that white rapper named after the chocolates M&Ms [hey I joke!]. Google it and you will end finding a million and one images of falling down, semi demolished, semi fallen into, BUT amazingly gorgeous and utterly stunning buildings of a long lost glory.

It's making me want to make them "better" and conserve them all. So have a little peek. Don't they just make your heart flutter? Make you imagine a former age where their glory and their beauty originally shone out before contemporary reality, economic depressions and necessity for space took their place.

On the site upon which Henry Ford built his first car and owned his first garage in 1892, a grand auditorium holding four thousand seats once stood. Yet, by 1973 the Michigan Theatre - the largest in Michigan, was home to a parking lot. Being cheaper to convert rather then demolish, its insides were torn out, only its ceiling remaining to be prisoned into a concrete shell.

If anyone knows the location of this car park - i'd love to here, I need to track it down! So we go from cars to trains;
Image walking up this long coveted hall, waiting to catch your train to a new life, to meet your lover, to start afresh. From visiting new lands, to starting over through to the daily commute to work - imagine all the stories, the adventures the lives and the tales that this grand hall could speak of.

With its final passengers passing through in 1988, this is what remains of Michigan's Central Train Station which opened in 1913. In 2009 a petition for it to be demolished was past [why why why oh why? I guess over here with having the national trust and numberless bodies you'd hope such action could never be taken if this was the UK - remember just how much they've managed to change and reinvent St Pancras station in recent years].

And if this hotel pictured below - the Lee Plaza, was to open probably anywhere else in the world, imagine in a place like London or New York - imagine the prices it could command, imagine the view from the top storeys. But that is far from reality;

Built in 1929, the fifteen storey Lee Plaza Hotel which stands along West Grand Boulevard was at the time, of the cities most luxurious Art-Deco residential hotels in Detroit. While it may have been credited in 1981 as a building of national importance, today its former ballroom becomes the grave of a fallen baby grand piano, tiles and furniture still litter the rooms and halls.

The following images are from a collection entitled "100 abandoned houses" by Kevin Bauman taken in and around Detroit. All homes just stood empty, waiting for some love or the unfortunate arrival of bulldozers. Most probably the latter.

They make me wanna reach out and give them all a massive hug back to life, to make them live-able and to let them hear the sounds of life and fun back in their walls. I know Detroit is never going to have some of the limelight that other American, yet alone world cities have, regards of what its former historical glories where - yet it just makes you feel that if this city was anywhere else, it would never have been allowed to have decayed into this state.

Hopefully whenever me and JJ get the money together to do our little trip to America [and he can show me all the highlights of numberless American states] I'll be able to find these beauties and see how they are looking these days here's hoping at least some of the buildings still remain.

Oh and if your in the Detroit area - it has some amazing antiques/second hand shops - and I'm jealous for a million and one other reasons.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Jam jam nomnomnom jam

So the main plan of my weekend was the attempt to make raspberry jam. The good old fashioned proper jam. Vintage girls need proper vintage jam!

I know I've mentioned it a lot with say crocheting, but when my gran died we also lost the main person that knew the old fashioned way of making yummy jam mainly strawberry or raspberry. Yet with the decreasing number of raspberry jams limited to one in our cupboards and with a spare boxed of picked raspberries from last year remaining in the freezer, the time came to give it a bash.

We used a Mrs Beatons recipe - one where you couldn't really get much simpler in making anything really. Basically using the same amount of however much your raspberries weigh, add the same in sugar [eg 1KG in raspberries = 1KG in sugar]. And that's it - which when you compare it to the endless list of indigents in your shop brought variety its rather shocking. The sugar doesn't even have to be the special jam sugar [although that's apparently advisable to use when making strawberry jam].

The defrosted raspberries all ready for the boil.
All completed and ready to eat

The key element when making jam is doing the cold saucer test - one to see if the jam is ready to set and involves using a cooled saucer and a dollop of the jam left for a few minutes and titled to see if a "cease" in the skin of the jam occurs when its titled to it's side. It's easier to see then to explain.

I really can't say enough how easy it is to make your own jam and I'm glad I gave it a whirl. I've grown up always having the home made sort and once you've tried it, you'll never wanna go back to the shop brought!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and managed to enjoy some of the sunshine - hasn't it been gorgeous?!

Friday, 9 April 2010


This may turn into a slight rant [i'm hormonal - its allowed] but really, £8 for a sewing needle case? Seriously its like two pieces of felt [for which you could get for like less then a £1] and then just sew them both together. Simples. But £8 for one? I know, I know your paying for the "Cath Kidson" name and yeah ok her stuff is slightly nice, but still don't be fooled into the prices you gotta pay for it.

I know this will probably divide people but ya know and if your really into wanting to be creative, crafty and perhaps different so you don't look like all the other followers, make your own?

Guess i'm just having one of those days ...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

To write a letter of love ...

... Is to capture something from the heart, and something that is lost in the endless bombardment of texts. From a quickly penned note to a long thought out letter of dreams and wishes not enough love letters are written these days. Even the most simple, dedicated and heartfelt letter will capture a thousand memories and show just the one you love how magic and special they are.

In a world where its so easy just to drop a text, why not drop your lover a card, a letter or just a loving message on a simple post-it declaring an "I love you" or perhaps with the fridge letter magnets? Being an utter romantic at heart I love sending my guy cards with random pictures on the front, spraying them with my Daisy perfume - it's just another way to say them three magic words and remind him how very special and magical he is too me.

Monday, 5 April 2010


One thing I should have typed into the quiz I did for my blog the other night is that i've never ever ever tried sushi. Ever. I've seen it in shops and I will admit the version they do in good old M&S is rather impressive and interesting looking. But after that, nah, nada, nowt, not even touched it with the old barge pole yet alone a fork.
Maybe its the thought of the seaweed [does it even have seaweed or is that something my head's made up] rawness and just fingers and slimy looking fishy eel things that i've always stayed away from it.

But through corrupting the boyfriend into loving tea, especially Yorkshire tea and its many forms so its more like an obsession I guess my comeuppance is to try one of his favourite types of meals - and this is where we come to sushi. I'm just not convinced yet into that its is nice even though normally i'm a try anything once kinda girlie. Maybe its the idea of the rawness? I must admit it always looks pretty so i'mma just giving it a wide berth.

I'm gonna have to dive into the deep end aren't i?!
Especially when you stick it into google images and you get random selection of men delightfully eating sushi of semi naked slim girlies - what's that all about? Some random food fetish i've never come across?!

I guess I still need convincing ...
Images from google

Friday, 2 April 2010


Sometimes daydreams are the best way to escape reality .. and sometimes they need to hardly be explained ...
from relaxing in a special London park in the summer ...
having our first mini [weekend away] holiday in Newcastle ...
through being utterly in love together and having London be the start of our life together ...
Who knows,Maybe one day spring will come...
and being able to show that love over and over ...
being able to say it out loud ...
and sealing it for forever ...

What are your daydreams?

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Hello, my name is Rachael and this is my world

This seems to be doing the rounds lately on the old blogger, so i've taken it from Lily loves Lola [ta!]

Never in my life have I been: Outside of Europe

The one person who can drive me nuts is; my mam, half the time we get on great the other time reminds me how much we merely are chalk and cheese.

High school: never prepared me for the real world

When i'm nervous: I go through the extremes of super quiet and super hyper

The last song I listened to was: Florence and the Machine - You got the love.

If I were to get married right now my maid of honour would be: probably wouldn't have one

My hair is: a part of me that i'm rather confident about, I love it. Its all grown up and only one colour now.

When I was 5: I adored red shoes - still love red clothes.

Last Christmas: was a nightmare, way too many arguments, fighting, slamming of doors and tears to be anywhere near enjoyable. Roll on the next Christmas!

I should be: more relaxed and less stressey

The happiest recent event was: being given this sweet sweet picture of my three favourite things - my guy, edders [soon to be a very well travelled cat] and Mr Ted - the teddy with an exceedingly lot of air-miles to his name [piccie is belooooooow]

By this time next year: me and my guy will be all settled and snuggled up in our very own place!
There's this girl I know that: kisses so much arse - but then again she just knows how to get promoted!

I like you when: you leave me sweet messages on my blog :D

The world could do without: so many things

Most recent thing I've brought myself: M&S undies, socks and some foundation - boring essentials

Most recent thing someone else brought me: errr?

My middle name is: Anne

The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: kitty cats - would be hilarious especially if Edders could fly!
Once, at a bar: I often get ignored for ages - I can never seem to attract their attention probably because im short - or that is my theory. But its JD's and cokes every time!

Last night I was: doing the same as I am tonight ...

There's this guy I know who: has totally changed my life and just makes me feel so alive, wanted and loved ...
and he's mine ... all mine :D

Tomorrow I am: having a day off and being utterly lazy

Tonight I am: talking to my lover, watching the TV and trying to ignore my stomach.

My birthday is: someday in September