Friday, 30 March 2012

Olympia Stitch & Craft Show 2012

Hi everyone!
Oh my, this is two weeks ago already and I haven't told you about this yet! Shame on me... It was the weekend before me birthday and that always means: The Olympia Stitch & Craft Show is on! I wasn't sure if I should be going this year, with the whole not working at the moment thing and spending money issue. But then I figured that I deserved a little birthday treat and I have been extremely careful about spending money since I became a lady of leisure so to speak ;) Plus with the knitting magazine subscription that I won on FB a few months back, I actually got 50% off the entry ticket, and that was what made the final decision for me. I was going to the Stitch & Craft Show!

I booked my ticket for Friday. I figured agencies usually don't really call on Fridays and I wanted to keep Thursday open just in case. But because I didn't have to work, I didn't want to go on the weekend when everyone who was working would go and it would be way too busy. Well, I'm telling you that next year I will take the day off and go during the week again because it is so much better! It's still massively busy don't get me wrong, but there is just that little bit more space, and so many less prams and kids and pushing and shoving and desperation, that really makes it worth it :) Of course I took some pics just for my wonderful readers!

The top floor had a quilting exhibition of all the quilts that would be given to certain countries during the Olympics. I only realised this after a friend told me so I now have no idea which quilt goes to which country, but they were all on display. You can also see the Quilt4London banners here (I still have to make one, I have one more week!)

This must be the most amazing quilt ever! The colours, the depth, I am in shock by the detail of this quilt.

I really liked this one too, the colour scheme works so well. I am very far from ever making anything like this one ;)

I just had to share this one also. It might not be as intricate as the others but it was so cute! I love the simplicity of it and the colours :)

There were a lot of London quilts as well, here are three that I liked the most. The one on the far right makes me a little dizzy, but it's very fascinating.

Of course the top floor didn't only have the display of quilt, you could also participate by making a small block to be added to the Queen's Jubilee quilt which will be given to the Queen this year. They didn't have a purple piece, so I ended up with some pinks and blues, but there you go, my piece for the Queen's quilt. It even has my name on it :) The good thing was that we did this near the end of the day so there was no queue, very handy!

The top floor also had the knitting bits. Check out this knitted village! So funny!

I took some detailed photos to show you the best pieces. Can you see the recycling bins on the top left? And the wedding on the top right? Don't know what to do with the knitting nancy cords your kids keep making? Make a swing like on the bottom left! And the thatched house on the bottom right was just too cute :)

We found this book stall and there was this purple cat just waiting for me. Isn't it adorable?! Once I'm a better knitter I must try this :)

This was the section for all the magazines and subscriptions. It just looked very cute and homey, I nearly sat down and put my feet up, hihi

There are knitted dogs and cats, believe it or not! They were so funny! 

There was so much more but most of the stuff on the ground floor was just too cramped to take pics of. But I did have a lovely time, especially when I met my friend from the sewing group who helped me pick out some wonderful quilting fabrics :) Time for a snack!

And this is the final score. I kept waaay under my alloted budget so that is very good. I didn't buy anything that I didn't have an immediate plan for so that was very good. My cross stitch was nearly done so I needed a new one. The one I wanted was way too difficult so I bought this haunted house instead. Also difficult, but doable still. I also got some quilting fabrics, beads, and ribbons. 

And I realised that with my current stash of quilting fabrics, I can make some amazing projects now that I have enough of most colours :) So watch this space for some of those soon I hope!

I had a wonderful day with some amazing buys and bargains. Now I just really need it to rain so I don't feel so bad about staying inside and crafting ;)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

London Faberge Egg Hunt - The Grand Finale

Hello again everyone!
It is official, I am done with the egg hunt, I found all 209 eggs! Sadly egg 57 will not be made, so that means I am finished :) Have you all been seeing the updates on zone 5 and zone 11, where I show you the final 3 eggs I was still missing last week? I can't believe it's over, though having spent the last week without the egg obsession was actually really nice, hihi.

There is one more thing I have to show you though, besides the collage of course! Yes, I am now able to make the final collage, it came out really well I think! I couldn't get the exact format I wanted but the one I could do worked out better actually so it's all good. Yes, I'm totally excited! I have also allowed myself to txt in 3 codes so who knows I may actually win the grand prize! It has a chance of about 1:1 million but one can always hope ;) So do you know what the grand prize it? Let me show you, this is so eggciting!

Behold the grand prize! The GBP 100,000.00 real Faberge egg with 60 different gemstones in it. Isn't it gorgeous! Ok it doesn't really go with my decor, but it's shiny :) And yes, those are MY HANDS!

OMG, I got to hold this gorgeous (and really expensive!) egg!!! I was so nervous and hardly dared to move! There is one pic that I haven't shared here actually that shows me all nervous hihi. I had to take off all my rings as to not scratch the egg as well. It was actually quite heavy. I was so eggcited! Get it? EGGcited? Hihihi...

 These were the lovely people in the Faberge store that allowed me to pose with the egg. They even had a fancy Humpty Dumpty in the shop with them that held the egg too! So cute :) Everyone was so friendly, it's really nice to see how you get to meet great people when doing something like this.

This is it, the finale piece. Well, I guess the Faberge egg was the finale piece, but this is my collage of all the eggs I found :) It was so much fun! 

Thank you Big Egg Hunt and of course also a big thank you to all my readers for following this hunt :) It's so nice to be able to do something like this for a change and I really enjoyed it :) Now I just have to prepare for Easter... Think I have enough ideas on how to decorate my eggs? ;)

Monday, 26 March 2012

My Birthday Giveaway Winner!

Good morning everyone!
First of all, thank you so much everyone for commenting on my giveaway post :) I had 18 comments which is quite decent I must admit and thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes too of course. My birthday is slowly coming to an end although I still have a birthday lunch lined up for Friday so I get to enjoy it a little bit more even ;)

Yes yes, I know what you're all waiting for, you want to know who won the giveaway! I used to generate the winner and in a way I guess it's a good thing that I didn't have 100s of comments as Blogger has changed some things around and now my comments are no longer numbered. Oops... But with my ingenious counting skills (just kidding of course), I managed to find the correct entry, and the winner is: Cherry Lane!

Cherry Lane's favourite cup was the purple one which she will be receiving shortly :)

Cherry Lane also left me this link to this birthday Youtube video which is just hilarious, so thank you very much for that!

Thank you very much for participating everyone, and for all the birthday wishes and greetings. I better get going now to add the other 3 cups to my Etsy shop (not yet linked as they're not actually in there yet hihi but I'll let you know as soon as they are). 

Have a great week!!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Giveaway Reminder and WIP

Hi again all!
I hope you're outside and enjoying this fine weather also :) Not me as I tried going outside and the wind is just horrible! BUT the light is just perfect for some projects so I'm busy being very crafty yay!

Don't forget, you have about 7 more hours to enter the giveaway, so please click here to enter if you want to win one of my fabulous teacup pincushions :) On Monday the store will go live so you will have a chance to be the owner of the first ever MBCL creation!

If you enter, you get to choose one of these gorgeous teacup pincushions :)

I'm really trying to get this cross stitch done so I can start other projects... This was my progress status last weekend...

And this was it last Friday. Not bad if I do say so myself :)

The light is perfect for crafting today so I'll continue now, I just wanted to remind you of the giveaway :) Good luck everyone and have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Birthday Report - I'm Old!

Hello again!
As you may have heard, it was my birthday last Wednesday. Oh my I feel so old now! But I had a lovely day, despite not being at work and being congratulated all the time, or getting an office birthday present (although that would be a first anyway!). I went to St James Park to find one of the eggs that had recently been restored. Yes, we're not entirely done just yet!

It was nowhere where I thought it would be, but I found it in the end :) I of course also posted this in my post about zone 5 to make it more complete. I'm nothing if not organised!

 I find that giving London a chance has really made me appreciate it more. I suddenly notice all the old buildings and statues a lot more.

 Plus the parks are so pretty in the sun :)

 This is one of the royal buildings, and even the street lights are wearing crowns!

 When I came home, the bf was there already with flowers and presents. :) He got me this cute basket with flowers, so adorable!

 I also got the movies Twilight - Breaking Dawn (or Twilight 4A as I like to call it), and The Help. I LOVE The Help, it is such an amazing movie! I saw it on a plane once and must have watched it 4 times during the flight. Twilight is a must because this installment is so hilarious that I need to watch it with the bf and listen to his comments. He always has the best comments so this should be fantastic.

 Afterwards we went out for a steak dinner in a nearby restaurant. The last time we went here the service wasn't too great and while it started off a little troubling this time too, we soon got the good waiter and the evening was a hit. The food was amazing and I had my yummy big cocktail :)

 Our best friends joined us as well, which I didn't know and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw them again :)

 I ate so much that I didn't really want dessert but I did want the sparkler and the song so I asked if they could do something. We went here as well for my friend's birthday and I asked for her which was so funny! So they lovely 'good' waiter got me this plate with a teeny tiny dessert and a lovely birthday wish. Plus I got the sparkler but I wasn't fast enough with the camera ;)

On the way home we spotted this car which was just too funny not to photograph! Not to worry, I blanked out the license plate just in case, but isn't that funny! I could imagine driving this, though maybe in purple plush ;) 

Now I feel old... I have two the same numbers in my age now! I had a lovely quiet birthday and to top it off I will make the bf watch Twilight with me very soon. Muahahaha! 

Don't forget to enter in my birthday giveaway! It will hopefully be the start of a regular pattern but it would be great to have lots of people join in :) Have a great weekend everyone!!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Upcycled Corks make Wine Cork Trivet

Hi everyone!
Had a lovely day in the sun as had to go grocery shopping and I decided to walk to the shop (that means about an hour's walk). Naturally I had to treat myself to an ice cream along the way ;)

A long long time ago, before the glory days of Pinterest, I found a wonderful tutorial on how to upcycle corks and make a trivet out of them. You know, those thingies you put your hot pan or teapot on so you don't burn the worktop in your kitchen? The bf likes to drink wine and I always threw the corks away which was quite a waste. So I started to collect them. Sadly for this project I needed quite a few corks and it really took me nearly a year if not longer to get the right amount of corks. 

But just look at all my lovely corks! The tutorial said to cut them all in half which is what I did here. I used a potato knife, maybe that's why they all have a hole but the idea is there.

 I arranged them all the way I wanted them to be. As the bf likes to change wines, not all the corks were the same size and I was just too lazy to sand them all down to the right height. Yes yes lazy me, but this wasn't supposed to take all day.

 I then used my trusty glue gun to glue them all together. Trust me, I could have saved time in lining them all up because I knocked some over and the whole order of them was gone! After gluing them all together, I glued a nice Halloween ribbon around the whole thing. I did consider using something non-Halloweeny, but then it wouldn't match the rest of the kitchen stuff, and this way I can use either side for the top.

 Now this is what the original looks like. See how all the sides are the same and all the corks have the same height? Lalala... *whistles while innocently looking around*

Well, mine looks a little different... also one cork smaller as I just didn't have enough of them! But I like it anyway :) I already used to to put my lovely purple teapot on when having tea. The bf said he made this when he was like 5, but I don't mind. It's upcycling at its finest. Or so I keep telling myself ;)

Yes I know it's not as pretty as the original idea, but I had fun doing it and it didn't take very long. Mainly due to the fact that none of them have the same height LOL. Although if you turn it upside down like in the picture no one will be able to tell :)

Another craft done whoohoo! And this was has been on the list for a looooong time! I would like to make a bigger one but with the amount of corks I need I may have to wait a while ;)

Don't forget my teacup giveaway! It ends at midnight on Sunday (the night from Sunday to Monday) so don't forget to participate! There is a great prize at the end of it :)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

It's My Birthday Giveaway!

Heyhey everyone,
It's my birthday today!!! I feel so old... ;) I didn't do very much today but had a lovely time working on my cross stitch in the park, it's really starting to take shape. The cross stitch, not the park ;) I also found one of the eggs that had been destroyed by some moron and the artist had to remade it. But it's now back on display, so provided they bring back the two missing ones, I only have 2 to go.

Since it is my birthday, I wanted to share it with you also. I recently decided to start up an Etsy shop. Not as a living, but just to sell some of the things I make just because I enjoy making them but don't actually have much use for myself. I loved making the teacup pincushions a while back (you can see version 1 and version 2 here), so I really wanted to make some more but I just couldn't find the right cups. I spent ages looking for the perfect cup to host this giveaway and then suddenly I found it. IN 4 COLOURS! Naturally this meant I had to make 4 cups. I made all four of them and am going to list them in my shop once the giveaway is over, because my readers can have have first pick of their favourite teacup!

 I have 4 of them: pink, blue, purple, and yellow. Each one has a decorated teaspoon matching the colours of the cup also.

The pink cup has a grey/pink flower design on the cup, a pink felt cushion, and a teaspoon decorated with a large pink gemstone and several smaller clear gemstones.

 The blue cup has a grey/blue flower design on the cup, a dark blue felt cushion, and a teaspoon decorated with a several small blue heart-shaped gemstones.

 The purple cup has a grey/purple flower design on the cup, a purple felt cushion, and a teaspoon decorated with purple square gemstones in various sizes.

 The yellow cup has a grey/yellow flower design on the cup, a yellow felt cushion, and a teaspoon decorated with several off-white heart-shaped pearls.

I'm still working on my photographic skills, but I really wanted to post about this giveaway today so that it coincides with, you guessed it, my birthday!

This giveaway is open to international readers! Very important :) I always hate it when I see some really nice giveaways (as I hope you think this is also) and they're only open to US readers.. So no fear: no geographical boundaries here.

Now for the rules, after all we must have rules... There are several options to participate in this giveaway:

Mandatory entry: become a follower and leave a comment saying that you're a new follower (current followers please also leave a comment to get your entry).

Optional entries: 
  • leave a comment wishing me a heartfelt happy birthday(it is my day after all today hihi)
  • leave a comment telling me which teacup is your favourite, thereby also indicating which one you would like to win
  • blog about this giveaway on your own blog and leave a comment linking back to it
  • mention this giveaway on your Twitter account and leave a comment linking back to it
  • mention this giveaway on your Facebook account and leave a comment linking back to it 
  • follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment that you have done so or if you are already following me on Pinterest
That's 7 possible entries for each person! I hope this will be big :) It would be a great start to my little shop at least :) The giveaway will be open until midnight Sunday 25 March UK time, and I will choose the winner on Monday. Please make sure that your email address is listed in your profile, otherwise please leave it in your comment as I will have no way of contacting you otherwise. One more small thing: pins are not included in this giveaway.

I'm off for a nice dinner now, good luck everyone!!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

SO SORRY for Spamming LinkedIn Invites!

Hi everyone,

I am so sorry about this, I was just on LinkedIn and pressed a wrong button and now LinkedIn has sent out emails to everyone in my entire inbox!! Please feel free to ignore this request. I'm trying to do damage control but I have to do it per message and I think it sent about 400... So much for going to bed on time... 
Once again, so sorry and please just delete it if you see it.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Super Handy Cake Dusting Tip

I have discovered something brilliant!! Well, maybe someone else thought of this a while ago but for me it's new. As you may know, I love baking bundt cakes (or as I call them 'Gugelhupfs'). I also love dusting them with icing sugar instead of glazing them. 

Up until extremely recently, I have been using icing sugar and a big sieve to dust the icing sugar all over the bundt cake. It was always extremely messy and you have to pour and dust at the same time. But no more as I have found the best solution ever!Are you familiar with the tiny little tea-strainer sieves? Let me explain...

This is the sieve I used to use for dusting icing sugar onto my cakes. 
(image found here)

This is the sieve I use now. Yes, it's a tea-strainer! I just found it in my utensil draw and had a total epiphany! 'Light dawns on marble head' so to speak. All you need is a tiny closeable tea-strainer and some icing sugar.

Fill the tea-strainer with icing sugar. You still need to be able to close it so don't overfill it. And trust me, you don't need much more icing than that anyway! Once it's closed, hold it over your cake and start shaking.
 And voila! A beautifully dusted cake and minimal mess :)

 While the inside is as yummy as ever.

Who knew this could be so simple? Definitely one of the best solutions I've found recently :) I will be making many more of these. For those of you who are wondering about this cake, it's my famous Chocolate Banana Gugelhupf. The swirling isn't my best here but it still tastes great! Of course this would also work for cocoa powder or any other powders you want to use to dust your cakes with. Happy dusting everyone!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

St Patrick's Day Weekend 2012

Fáilte everyone! 
That's Gaelic for welcome and appropriate for this time of year ;) I was going to blog much earlier but somehow one day of St Paddy's turned into two so I have more to tell and show you. As it would be just me this year celebrating, I kept it simple.

I still had mix for Halloween muffins and with a little tweeking and manage to make them just right for Paddy's Day :) I exchange the purple muffin cases for green ones with white polka dots and added green food colouring to the dough. I used the orange icing as well and kept the ghosts since they kind of look like crosses. All three Irish colours incorporated :)

I made these earrings a little while ago but didn't have the chance yet to show them off. So here you go :) I bought the glass beads last summer at a boat festival. I just love the colour! Yes, even though it's not purple ;)

 A few months ago, I won a fantastic giveaway and part of the pack of5 fat quarters that I received was this sparkly shamrock material. I was obviously not going to use this for anything else but St Patrick's Day so I had to make this :) I was up till 4am making this on Friday but it worked out quite well I thought. I do admit that I had to get used to it as it's a bit frilly for my liking and white! I glued green grosgrain ribbon with white polka dots on  a plain hairband, then glued the flower onto that.

So cupcakes done, hairband done, earrings done. I was ready to head out on Saturday night. I bought this top last year for only £2 at the charity shop and I love it :) I added a black ribbon to the waist as there was none where there was supposed to be and the colour matched the earrings exactly.

 I met a friend on town on what was supposed to be a party but then everyone else cancelled so my actual St Patrick's Day lasted about an hour ;) But I did get this brilliant pic of me with the Irish flag.

The St Patrick's Day Parade was on on Sunday. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go but as I'd never seen this one before I figured this was my chance. The weather was nice and I saw some great people. Like this boy for example who was dressed as a leprechaun. Isn't he cute? He was really wearing the whole outfit :)

There were lots of pipe bands and also some amazing costumes.

This pic is so funny, the Irish Prison Service Pipe Band! I somehow thought of Alcatraz when I read this...

The Olympics were also represented in this ingenious way. 

As was Irish dancing of course. Caught this girl in mid-jump. There were three girls but they had to dance for like 2 hours! It looked very tiring... 

Some very cute dresses. Can you imagine walking in these boots? They were so high!

 For an unknown reason there were lots of decorated nice cars in the parade, but this one sure was nice.

This girl was amazing! She was constantly dancing and her costume was made out of gold stars. Granted, there wasn't much of it but it looked really good on her. Her boots were amazing also. I love this picture as she is obviously having fun :)

Bystander wearing true Irish fashion. LOL nah just kidding! But he did look so funny! Someone spotted me taking this picture and they were laughing even harder at me than at the guy, hahaha... 

Yes I was actually there. As was my cupcake! LOL well I had to get it into the pic somehow ;) You can't see it very well here but I am wearing the headband of course :D

 At last I reached Trafalgar Square for the rest of the festivities. I just arrived at the speeches so I didn't stay very long, but had fun at the parade anyway :)

And that was my St Patrick's Day weekend! I have something else really exciting to tell you that I did on Friday actually, but that is for another post. If you're still celebrating: have fun, and if you're relaxing: enjoy that also. Big hugz from London!
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