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Sunday, 29 January 2012

January Giveaway!

Hi everyone!
January is nearly finished and I am working on some more items for a few more giveaways, but for the time being, let's start with one. I have been wanting to do these so often and somehow time is running away from me, so let's make 2012 a year of giveaways :) I've been lucky enough to win a few over the past months, so it's only fair that I return the favour. Although maybe not via CSN Stores as I havent heard from them since it took me forever to post about their giveaway, but nonetheless I intend to have one once a month, so here is hoping I will actually manage it!

The weekend was quite good, though I have not done anything creative yesterday I managed quite some stuff today. Due to the late hour I havent been able to take any decent pics so I am hoping to rectify that tomorrow morning before work and I will be able to share all with you :) Am so curious as to what you think!

Anyway, let's get to business shall we? For January's giveaway I wanted to start of small. The rules for this one are easy. All you need to do is follow this blog and leave a comment that you are doing so. Curious about your prize yet?

About 5 meters of baby blue velvet ribbon!

This only a small giveaway, but as more will follow I'm hoping you wont hold it against me ;) It's not exactly 5 meters but very close to it, so I hope you will enter.

The giveaway is open to followers worldwide. Remember that all you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment. The giveaway will close on Sunday 5 February at 8pm UK time.

Good luck everyone!!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Inspirational Visit to Hobbyworld in NL

Hi all!
About once a year, I fly home for a family visit. This was one of those times... I still had some holidays left from 2011 which I had to taken in January so off I went last week for a few days in the mother country. Geez, if you thought it rained much in London! I think I brought it with me because for 4 days we ONLY had rain, and not just a little bit!

But anyway, as I was planning this, I mentioned this to a friend I met at EFF 2 years ago and we have been Facebooking ever since. She runs a craft shop and always invites me to come over. Sadly her shop is far far away and unreachable without a car so that was thus far impossible. UNTIL she mentioned that the shop had moved and she would gladly pick me up from the airport for a visit and drop me off at the train station in the evening. Score!! So we spontaneously organised this and off I went. Her store is amazing!! It has two floors and plenty of crafting space :) Sadly I didnt take a pic of the outside (it was pouring rain after all) but here is an idea, maybe you will get inspired also :)

This is Bep, she runs this place. Busy as always, here talking to two phone simultaneously. It was hilarious!

The crafting area downstairs. I'm sure it looks nicer with people in it but this space is great I think.

The crafting area upstairs, where this nice lady who ended up driving me back to the train station is helping out making this year's EFF dresses

These are the dresses they made here for last year's EFF, all still on display. I'm sure these inspire others :)

Like me, Bep loves Halloween and has a themed week or so in her store where they all dress as witches. This is the witchy corner with costumes they made in the store. I love these!

Of course I had to snoop around a bit and look, just in front of me, all purple buttons!!

And a whole space of purple fabric, ON SALE!! I wonder if that was done just for me? ;) Nevertheless, it was too good a photo opp to miss. Look, shiney!! Btw, am wearing my upcycled skirt here and this purple vest I got last week for £2 at the charity shop. I was nice and warm :)

During my browsing around the shop, I spotted this photo album. My friend's first crafting love is scrapbooking, and look who is on display in all her glory? Me! In the Mombi dress from when we met :) So sweet :) The group pictures is showing their group at EFF last year.

As one of the goals of going home was to get all my stuff that was still there, I couldnt bring much back from this store, but I did buy a bottle of Powertex:


I got the clear one, and I already have an idea for it, but I still have until June so plenty of time to tell you about that. This is Powertex, a fabric hardener. I saw what my friend did with the new EFF dresses and I must say I am impressed! So let's see what this will become :)

I hope you're a little bit inspired after seeing this gorgeous shop. For anyone in NL, go visit if you're in the area, just check here for the details or their online shop.

Hoping to create something tonight but it's quite late already so I better get started!!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Mod Podge Mirror

Hi all!
It is time for yet another project! Yes another quick one but hopefully come Feb I will have time for a bigger project. Here is hoping! A little while ago I found a makeup mirror in my mess. It was silver (well plastic butt the colour was silver) and it was bashed up quite a lot with smudges all over the poor thing!

OMG, we're watching 'Unforgiven' while I write this and I can tell that I write like they speak in that movie! LOL not very handy ;)

Anyway, I've also been cutting out images from various magazines to make cards with one day, so I thought why not MP the mirror?

On the left the mirror, on the right the image I chose to MP with. NO this is NOT Barbie! Much to the amusement of my colleagues, this is a picture of a porcelain poppy doll from a magazine.

I cut out the shape and MPd the image on (this took a few tries) but in the end I think I got it right. What do you think?

Now I wont have to be embarrassed to take out the mirror! Though this pic is really not my best one, but just go with it for now.

I just love Mod Podge!!

Please dont forget to vote in the competition!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Knit Sweater to Skirt Upcycle

Heyhey again!
Finally another craft to blog about. The crafting is not the problem, the getting someone to take pictures is! LOL... These are done with the self time so not the best but the idea is there.

Anyway, a few months ago, I bought a brown knit sweater in the charity shop sale for £2. It had a turtle neck and extremely long sleeves which had the same turtle neck idea but for sleeves. Confused yet? Yeah, so was I! So the first thing that had to go were the sleeves. I cut about half of them off and hemmed the sleeves. The sweater was now wearable but still not great...

What do you think? The knit design wasnt bad, but the stripes started about halfway down my middle and it did nothing to flatter my figure. One of the side has just sewn on buttons, on the other side the buttons actually open. That gave me an idea: a skirt!

Getting to the point already took some weeks, but once I had it in my mind I had to do this immediately. So I cut off the collar and the sleeves. I didnt have to hem the bottom or anything as that was the part I wanted to keep, so all I had to do was sew up the sides where the sleeves used to be, and turn over the top to be able to add a ribbon to tie it up. All in all this took about 10 minutes.

And taadaa! My new skirt! I absolutely love it! It is so nice and warm! And not too short so I can still wear it at the offce :)

The side split is actually really cute but because it is not meant to be a skirt split it usually overlaps and you can only see it a bit when I walk.

Honestly, this must be the warmest skirt I ever made! And all for £2 as I still had the ribbon in my stash :) Well, I would have discarded the sweater otherwise as I really hated wearing it. But now I love it! I kept the sleeves and the collar because you never know, I might find another project for those :)

I know not everyone dares to cut up something knitted but trust me, it's really not that scary. As long as you hem the cut edges it's all easy peasy. Have a look in your wardrobe, there might be a gorgeous skirt in there too somewhere!

Please dont forget to vote in the competition :)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Fatboys - the Sliding Doors Diner

Hi all!
Ok, am pre-blogging this as I'm not sure how long this boiler thing is going to take, but I didnt want to leave you hanging on the next venue from yesterday's post. Remember I told you that I dont go to the very east much? Well, since I was here anyway... ;)

This is still Canary Wharf. The weather was amazing even though it was freezing but the sun was really nice. I like London like this. It's pretty, and all the annoying people stay inside because of the cold, muahahaha!

Artsy picture near Canary Wharf. I decided to walk to my next destination rather than taking the DLR...

On the way I got extremely lost, but I did see the Millennium Dome for the first time ever. Yes look, it's really there!

I also saw these apartments near the Dome, though it might be a hotel... My attempt at another artsy pic. I like it :) By the time I got here, I realised I had to backtrack all the way to the DLR station anyway as there was no way I would make it on foot to East India. No not actually India, the DLR station East India. Ha, hiking to India, not in this outfit... ;)

You see, some years back, my friend took me to this diner near the Hoover building (see above) and told me this was the diner used in the movie Sliding Doors which I LOVE. It didnt look like the one in the movie at all, and even the inside was different.

(image borrowed here)
See, this is what the diner needs to look like! From the inside anyway... And after reading my shiny new book Tired of London, Tired of Life, I realised that the diner my friend took me to was not at all the Sliding Doors diner! But the book came to the rescue and that is why I made my way all the way to East India to find it.

But after about an hour of what should have been a 10 minute walk, I made it!! Now THIS is the movie's diner! :)

I had a lovely lunch (in the cold as the place does not have heating and the weather was freezing!). I had a chocolate malt shake (yes like in the movie!), and a wonderful pastrami sandwich. Not something easily found in London let me tell you! I even had the same seat as they had in the movie :) The waiter was a little stressed on his own but very nice and I had a lovely time :) I tried to take a lot of pictures of myself with my lunch but I'll spare you those, not my best work...

Happy (and full!) me at Fatboys Diner. In case you want to visit, it's on Trinity Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Place, London, E14 OJW. And by the way, this pic was taken by someone randomly standing outside the diner so I put him to good use. Maybe that's why the pic is crooked LOL!

Another thing mentioned in my book was 'take the driver's seat in the DLR'. I havent checked if there was a specific section or distance or anything, but that is one more thing ticked off :) See all the people in the distance waiting for my DLR? Hihi... For everyone non-London: the DLR has no driver so you can sit all the way in the front, which is what they mean by 'driver seat'.

Another gorgeous day in London. Yes, the same day but nonetheless. I arrived in Bank and walked to the Royal Festival Hall across the Golden Jubilee Bridge on my way to my very first creative meetup of the year. It was good fun, but by the time I'd finished that meetup and arrived at my London Sci-Fi meetup a couple of blocks away, I was dead on my feet! So I didnt stay long and went home to a well-deserved cup of tea and the sofa. How we love the sofa! :)

So yes, the Saturday went well. Not very creative but I got a lot of ideas from the meetup and I had a chance to see some new things in London. Let's see how long I can keep this going :) I will post more projects soon I hope.
Please dont forget to vote in the meantime!


Sunday, 15 January 2012

London Ice Sculpting Festival 2012

Hello again everyone!
Is ice sculpting a craft? I'm sure that many of you will say but in a way something is created (i.e. a statue or very interesting ice cubes) so maybe it's more like upcycling ;)

Yesterday was the annual London Ice Sculpting Festival. Not something I would normally go fr but I am trying to let London convince me that it really is as cool as I am constantly told it is (yes, after 6 years I need it to show me something great!), so I decided to spend the whole of Saturday on the go.

The festival was in Canary Wharf which isnt really an area I get to very often, so I tried to do more than just the one thing. But more about that later. Let's sculpt!

There were 6 or 7 entries. They started on Friday but as I had to work, I could only go on Saturday. The progress was really amazing already!

Not sure if this is a dancer or a skater lifting his partner, but it sure looks cool!

This is the French entry. The only one I happened to take the flag in the picture I think.

This was my favourite, I just loved the mask! Well, my favourite until...

...until I saw this one! This was the UK entry. I love it! I dont actually know who won, and it's not even online anywhere, but it was really cool (pun intended!) to see these guys attack a block of ice with a chainsaw.

It gathered a lot of interest surely! There was also a food market with lovely winter food (including tartiflette!) but I had other plans already so I skipped that.

In another area, there was a DIY ice sculpting event going on. I registered at the inside venue (after some bozo pushed his way to the front at the outside venue and I just let him have it. It was nice and toasty inside and the organisation was much better), and this was my starting point. We had to sculpt a wolf's head like the one in the picture.

Sadly we were not allowed to wield a chainsaw in the shopping mall (pout!) but we got to it with a chisel. I was in luck as I was on my own I got to have my very own block of ice :) Dont worry about my posture here, I tried to demostrate me happily chiselling away but I was wearing a massive scarf so somehow ended up looking like the hunchback of notre dame (on ice? hihi) with the all the hair covering it. Oh well, I had fun!

The result! We only got 15 mins to chisel but the result isnt bad I must say! My very first attempt :) It's really difficult!

After I had fnished sculpting I took a walk to my next venue. But on that tomorrow! I have to recover from an epic boiler fail in the middle of having my shower and need to prepare for some hassle in getting it fixed tomorrow... Wish me luck and
please dont forget to vote in the meantime!


Friday, 13 January 2012

Let's Bento!

Hi everyone!
TGIF :) Safe and sound at home and planning my weekend :) This has been my first Bento week! You see, a few months ago (I forget the occasion) the bf gave me the The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches to Go book as a present, and after reading so many nice reviews in blogland, I really wanted to start bringing bento lunches to work. With some of the kiddy things of course too, one doesnt need to be grown up all the time, hihi!

Of course I havent read the book entirely yet and it took me months to find the perfect bento box. But around Christmas I was online and via a forum on moneyexpert.com I found the link to this plastic container, now lovingly called 'yoghurt pot'. I love it so much I even posted it on facebook! LOL.
Yes, I have to admit that I bought a pink one as eating yoghurt from a blue container just wasnt appealing to me. As there was a sale on at the time, I also saw a box set in these colours with dividers! Granted, you can remove the dividers but these were just too cute!

Originally I had planned to use the blue one, but when they arrived it turned out the blue one was just gigantic!! So for now I use the pink. And it is very very pink... So now that all supplies arrived, let's Bento!

Breakfast: I used the yoghurt pot on Monday immediately. I did have other versions that looked much nicer but this was taken yesterday when I remembered to take the pic. This particular yoghurt had mandarins and apple pieces in the bottom, then yoghurt with banana slices in the top (the bottom part was full). I love it!!

Lunch: I havent tried a warm lunch yet, but with these insanely warm temperatures it's not quite necessary yet and this was most of the stuff I had at home already. Most of the time I had bread with something, here you can see three slices of bread with meat on one side, and a cucumber/tomato salad on the other side. My lovely car egg is added in a silicone cupcake holder (in blue to match the rest, got these at Poundland). I also have a fish shape but that one always falls apart. My colleagues were making fun of my car egg and my age but hey, food can be fun sometimes! :)

Afternoon snack: I used the green divided container for my 4pm snack: carrots with houmous. I also had some celery left which I used to fill the gaps when I ran out of carrots. Once again the houmous is placed in a silicone cupcake holder. Yummy and healthy!

I felt very healthy! Though because it does seem like a lot of food (it's not really, is it?) I do feel like I ate so much this week. But I only had one tiny chocolate a day instead of crisps and a massive lunch and about 10 chocolates so it's definitely an improvement. Plus I saved some money by bringing in my lunch (which I've done before but I was extremely lazy with it for the last few months). Now I just have to work it out so I'm not too stressed in the morning making all this! Maybe try the night before...

It's only the first week after all, let's see how long it will last. But that's why I bought the cute containers, my incentive hihi. Let's see what happens next week. I will take pics if I remember :)

Weekend is finally here and I still need to make something to bring to the show and tell meet tomorrow, as well as prepare most of the presents for my friend for when I am going to visit her. I have a busy week ahead, but lots of stuff planned for tomorrow so watch this space,
please dont forget to vote in the meantime!


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Frugal Spider Top

Hello again :)
I have just finished my first item of clothing for 2012! Granted, it was a project long in the making and really only took about 15 mins, but nonetheless it is now done :)

My friend from work who is moving to the US soon kindly donated some of her clothes to me when clearing out her closet prior to the big move, and one of the things she gave to me was a tight longsleeve back top. Very simple but so comfy! Perfect size also :) But I didnt want to have yet another plain black top. It needed some spice. Enter spider top!

At the last B&B sale where I bought the corsets for the zombie dress, I found a tshirt with a gigantic red spider on it for only £1! I love spiders yes :) Once I got home the tshirt was ok but the location of the spider gave my figure a really strange look, so I cut out the spider and the sign of the back which related to the (what I think is a) band.
Sadly I didnt take a pic of the items but only of the finished product, but you'll get the idea.

It then took me a while to find the right spot on the top for the spider, hence the delay. But then I suddenly found it! I just sewed it on, no WW or anything, and a plain zigzag stitch to keep it all stretchy. I now LOVE my new top, especially for only £1 :) And I'll wear it tomorrow at work (casual day). Am curious what my friend will say about it!

This is the top. I tried many different ways for the spider, but found this the most appealing. Plus it will scare the hell out of my mother! Muahahaha... nah, I wont wear it when I go and visit.

The band's name (I googled). This part is in the same place as on the original top. I should probably listen to some of their music now ;)

I'm thrilled that I actually finished some clothing again, it's been too long! I have sooo many projects planned still and fabric is piling up but I never know where to start. I guess I'll just decide on the spot for most of it then. At the moment I think I will fix the mending bag first and create more later. After all, EFF is coming up again and I need to get started on my dress!

More soon, time for my beauty sleep... Good night everyone,
please dont forget to vote in the meantime!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Homemade Sushi - Take 2

Heyhey!
After my lovely trip to the Museum of London, I went by Selfridges for some sushi-grade fish. I heard this from someone at work and it is correct, so for all Londoners: if you are looking for sushi-grade fish, they're selling it at Selfridges' Food Court at the Yo Sushi stand. I'm sure there are other places but I havent found them yet, and since I was in the area anyway... And it is so much better here than in Tesco!

Luckily (I checked this beforehand), I could buy the fish on Saturday and make the sushi on Sunday. While the bf was working on his Warhammer, I was making sushi. I had done it once before, back in July, but this one worked out even better! Maybe it was the fish? ;)

Taadaa, the result :) I had a selection of salmon nigiri, tamago, cucumber maki, yellow pepper maki, and salmon maki. I also added some slices of salmon on the sides. Still not so many new fillings, but these are my favourites.

For the bf served in style with some Asahi :)

Not the best angle as all the pretty pieces were on the other side for the bf to take, but you get the idea. My tamago is getting better and better :)

Yes, I was quite proud of myself! Plus there were about 7 pieces leftover which fit perfectly in my shiny new (pink!) bento box. More on that another time, but I had a lovely lunch the next day with sushi and cucumber/pepper salad in one bento :)

I've also done some sewing, nothing major but I will show you tomorrow!
Please dont forget to vote in the meantime :)

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