Monday, 25 June 2012

Romantic 7-Year Anniversary

Hello again!
Before the copper wedding anniversary of my friends, we also had something to celebrate :) A few days before our trip to NL, the bf and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary!! OMG I can't believe it, definitely a very long time :) 

With all the planning for both the NL trips and our medieval summer, I didn't have a lot of time (or energy) to arrange much for this, but the bf came through with flying colours :) 

 Look at these gorgeous flowers he bought me, aren't they just ... well... gorgeous?!

 As we're getting more and more disappointed with the service in restaurants, we decided to stay in and celebrate at home. I stayed up late the previous night to cook goulash for dinner (no pics as it's really not a very photogenic dish), and we organised some nice starters. Yes, the usual cheapo caviar was also included :)

 The bf had organised dessert in the shape of this wonderful mushroom cake. Not entirely sure if this is related to the Smurf movie we watched a few days before, but it was really cute nonetheless. 

We exchanged presents (a very Rapunzel-style frying pan for me in purple of course and for him a romantic weekend away organised by me). Some wine and a good movie on our trusty sofa, we had a lovely evening :) I'm still very much in love and loving every second of it!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Victorian Copper Wedding Celebration

Hi again everyone!
At the moment 'my busy craft life' is more like 'my busy organising life' so I'm not having too much time to craft. I'm trying my hardest to change that and now that two weeks of major events have successfully passed, I actually have time for that again! And time to blog also :) Of course there will be a few posts showing you what I've been up to, I'm sure you're going to enjoy them as it may not be crafty but it's still inspirational and so much fun :)

First of all, my lovely hat has been worn only once in public for the football EU Cup. Unfortunately, the Dutch is no more in this cup and the hat has been put safely away for future games or Dutch days. Shame really as I love how it came out, but it wasn't meant to be. 

One of the major events happening was my friends' Victorian copper wedding celebration. In Holland, 12.5 years of marriage is copper and quite a milestone, so they decided to celebrate this in style with her husband. They had actually invited me a long time ago so I would have plenty of time to make arrangements which of course meant I had forgotten all about it until the invitation landed on my doormat. Oops... But after a good few weeks of stressing, arranging, and organising, everything was done and off we went. 

 Welcome to the Victorian Copper Wedding Celebration!

But not just yet... Due to my late booking, we could only fly into Eindhoven for a reasonable price and the airport is really far away and the plane was too early for the train. Oops again. But not to worry, we got a cab, arrived in time at the airport, the plane was also on time and we landed in Eindhoven with time to spare. Because as it happens, on Sunday it was also my mother's 60th birthday! Now I couldn't really fly into NL and not see her for this big event. So I'd arranged to meet her in Eindhoven for brunch so we could see each other without having to travel too far.

 As we arrived quite early, we had time to wake up to some lovely Dutch hot chocolate. Doesn't this just look divine?

 For lunch we went to Usine where I had 'kroketten met friet', oh how I miss this! The restaurant was only soso and it was a good thing that my schedule allowed for lots of time here because the service was S-L-O-W. But I got to see my mom and even my aunt and we had a great time anyway. 

 Yes, we're definitely in NL, I just had to photograph this! Hihi... 

After my mom seeing us off on the train, the next stop was the B&B where we arrived perfectly on time. The lady of the B&B was lovely and had organised a lovely Dutch breakfast to my specifications which was much appreciated. I'm getting hungry just looking at this!

 This is Kasteel Ammersoyen where the party was. They had actually rented the entire castle, it was so wicked!

 The happy couple arrived in style in a gorgeous white carriage

 The guests were kept happy with drinks while we all queued up to meet and greet them. 

 Check out this amazing headpiece which was worn by the 'bride'. I love it!

 The fod was to die for, they even had a hog roast! Which we then consequently completely forgot to eat, but the rest was superb. I shamefully have to admit that my favourite part was the big bowl of 'satesaus' (peanut sauce) that you could just ladle onto your plate. Yumm!

During dinner we were asked to go upstairs to have our picture taken. After the party we were actually given the picture in a really nice frame as a thank you gift, it was so sweet!

 Inside there was entertainment and a real absinthe bar :) I didn't have any as I was told it is majorly strong, but the bf happily sipped a glass (though only one!)

 Spontaneous couple picture near the absinthe bar. We brought outfits that we easy to squash in our hand luggage (therefore saving £50!) so no fantastic crafted costumes this time. But at least we were in style and most of all comfortable :)

Nibbles at the dance floor. This was actually my very last glass of wine and funnily enough the only glass of rose I've seen all evening. 

The next day we had to fly home so after a lovely breakfast we jumped in a bus and headed back to Eindhoven where I saw this gigantic ice cream just screaming for a photo ;)

It was a very well-organised weekend (kudos to me!) and an amazing party (big kudos to the couple!). We had no stress (except a little bit on departure at the airport, honestly the Dutch don't have a queuing system), I managed to get everything done that I wanted to do, see all the people we had to see, and eat pretty much everything that I wanted to eat (very important for Hobbit-like self). I do think that I have a few extra grey hairs now, but who's counting right? ;)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Hat Transformation for Euro 2012

Hi everyone!
I just seems to be getting busier and busier... and strangely enough not with crafting! This whole loving London is backfiring a little bit hihi! Nah just kidding, am exhausted yes but also enjoying myself and that's always good :)

It's that time again, the orange feeling has bubbled up and the football is on. Not that am a great fan, but as you may know I do follow the Dutch matches for the cups. For Queen's Day I asked my best friend to send me over this cute little Dutch hat that I saw in the shop over there online and she was a total sweetheart and actually got it for me and sent it over :) Sadly when it arrived it turned out to be a bit big and in need of some serious restyling and I just didn't have a chance (or a clue on how) to proceed. But then Euro 2012  started and I insisted on wearing the hat for that so on Saturday I got up really early, defrosted my freezer which was also in serious need of doing, and finally worked on the hat. Check it out:

Not the best before/after photo but you get the idea... the hat is really lovely and sparkles a little bit even but was so big! The girl in the picture in the shop had massive curly hair so it fit her really well. I had to add a line of fleece inside to make it a bit smaller. And yes I missed a spot as seen in the pic, please ignore that, it was the best after pic I had. I had bought some ribbons in Dutch colours at the medieval fayre the other day and just sewing them on letting them randomly overlap each other. I think it worked out quite well :)

So we arrived at O'Neills in Soho as I just knew we would not be able to get into De Hems, the only Dutch pub in London, and everyone who can't get into De Hems usually ends up here. I don't think I saw a single Dane in here for the match Holland-Denmark! And yes, even the bf is wearing his orange tshirt, he is just so sweet :)

Brilliant in-pub pic of the hat :) Just before the match started so had some time to show off :) I had originally planned to make a lovely felt flower for it, but then I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up super late with no flower on the hat so had to use what I had which just so happened to be some yoyos I made a while back :) See, having a stash is wonderful!

We're all set for the match!!

And then we lost... I just had to photograph the telly to prove it, we lost 1-0 to Denmark! 100 chances and we managed to miss ALL of them... 

Even the bf was embarrassed and hid under the hat hihi, I just love this picture!

Our next match is on Wednesday against Germany so I really hope we wont get quite so slaughtered, but who knows... I will try to wear my hat again at least.

Thanx Nancy for sending me this lovely hat, I love it!!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Final Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Hyde Park

Hello again everyone!
My my what a busy couple of days! Well, ok I did spend ALL of yesterday on the sofa watching telly and in the evening the Jubilee concert. Who knew that you could just show up and enjoy the concert from very far away and have a great time? Or that you could register to have a chance of free tickets to attend? Sadly enough, not me. So the sofa was my last chance to see it and I got all teared up when Prince Charles made his speech about the Queen making everyone proud to be British (in my case to live in GB), though I did had to giggle when he called her Mummy on national tv :)

So this morning I really wanted to be part of the final day of the celebrations. My plans for a British baking day went out the door and as my friend sadly cancelled any street party plans, off I went into town to join the masses to see the Queen in her procession. Right on schedule, I arrived at Charing Cross at 1pm (yes I realise not exactly early). As was to be expected, millions of people had been on time and therefore had a prime spot along the Mall or in St James' Park. I was instructed to go to Hyde Park along with other latecomers as that was the only place available to see anything.

 I walked past the Whittard shop on my way to Hyde Park, all decorated in style of course.

 The streets looks very cheerful and one man was nice enough to lend me his flag and take my picture with this very cool backdrop. I felt very patriotic :)

It was getting busy already...

When I happily queued up for my goody bag, I saw the end of the Queen's carriage procession on the big screens they had set up in the park. But they were an hour early! I had checked the time on the Jubilee website so surely it should be 2.26pm when the procession should start and not 1.26pm? Anyway, no harm done and I got my goody bag in the end :) There was lots more to do but in order to not miss anything else I thought it might be best to stick near the screens from then on ;)

After taking a quick pic of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...

Excellent notification shown while the people were gathering on the Mall. I didn't have to rush or go anywhere, whoohoo!

The people at the Mall were having an absolute party!

But then again so were we :) Even though it had started to rain in the meantime...

Ah yes, check out the hair! No pirate hat this time but still a work of art if I say so myself. :)

The crowds gathered more on the Mall and it was nearly time for the Queen to come out onto the balcony.

Those in Hyde Park waited excitedly also though it may not look it in this exact photo hihi...

But she came out onto the balcony and they all went crazy! We cheered and waved...

We even watched the flyover although I was too late with the camera to take a pic of the actual colours coming out of the planes. But it was an amazing sight really!

We all sang the national anthem...

And I tried to get a piccie of me with the Queen. You can see her reeeaaallly small in the background there, hihi ;)

 On the way home I stopped by Westfield to get some dinner where another nice person offered to take my picture with the Jubilee bunting. AND my brolly of course ;)

I bought some Jubilee peanut M&Ms for the bf so he would feel all Jubilee-ish as well :)

 And this was in my goody bag :) These will make so many yummy things!
I made some lovely pasta for dinner and used our new medieval plates, I just had to show you!

I had a fab yet busy 4-day weekend but I loved it! No time to bake but I will make up for that and surely serve Jubilee cupcakes soon. I bought the wrappers already after all :) Now time for the sofa... *happy sigh*

Monday, 4 June 2012

Pirates at the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant Flotilla

Good morning everyone!
First good news of the day: I fixed the blog and it should load normally now :) It was the counter that seemed to mess everything up and cause the blog to take forever to load... But all should be fixed now.

I was going to blog about our lovely pirate adventure yesterday but I was just too tired to be honest as it was an extremely busy day. Yes, we went to the Diamond Jubilee Flotilla! And it was so much fun :)

As you may know, every year we have a PirateCon where we all dress as pirates and just have a good time. This year is just happened to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. On Sunday (that's yesterday) there was a huge flotilla in honour of her Majesty where they had arranged for 1000 boats to sail down the river Thames after being inspired by a painting of lots of boats on the Thames during Henry VIII's reign. I found the picture! I couldn't find it this afternoon, but if you click here then you'll what inspired the flotilla, it's a painting called London by Canaletto.

We arrived at about 11ish in the morning, and already the banks of the Thames were lined with thousands of people, many of which had camped out at night. And trust me, the weather temperature has gone down by about 20 degrees Celsius so it was cooooold! Last weekend were in the 30s, this weekend hardly in the 10s. As we walked to the pub which was our meeting point, they'd blocked off most of the side streets due to a bomb threat so we had to walk halfway down the Thames, find a path that would take us back and follow that. That took about 45 minutes... Oh well, at least we had a nice walk and got to admire (and be admired by) fellow dressed up people.

This is my Jubilee-ified pirate outfit. I even managed to secure a Union Jack umbrella, how cool is that!

 Of course the hair could not be missed, 9 meters of ribbon was in there and a ton of flowery pins. Shame you can't really see the hat as it had lots of ribbons on it also to make it all Jubilee-ish.

Once in the pub we all got settled in and managed to get great seats in the beer garden underneath gigantic umbrellas with outdoor heating. Come rain or shine, we weren't going anywhere. 

 It doesn't really any more British than Pimms and a Union Jack flag ;)

I love this pic, with the flag just right. Hilarious! 

 Some pirates needed a helping hand from others and had a pirate beautification session

 Others came with amazing style and were ready to pirate (read: drink) away

The parrot did not seem to like this skull very much...

Clearly we really weren't going anywhere and sadly nothing could be more true. The crowds were growing by the second and they were about 10 deep at the banks so unless you were in like the 3rd row, chances of seeing anything of the flotilla were slim to none. 

 So we stayed put and watched it all on the telly through the window of the pub. Not ideal I know, but it was the best we could do. For us it was fine but we met a very nice couple that had travelled down all the way from Birmingham (that's like 3 hours by train), only to end up watching it on the telly through the window of the pub also. The woman started waving her flag at the telly even, it was so cute!

Plus it has started to piss down with rain just as the Queen sailed by. But at least I snapped a picture of her on the telly!

A dry moment when everyone come out from underneath the umbrellas but alas it didn't last long...

 And soon we cowered back under them for cover and warmth. Ah look, you can see the hat a little better here. At least you can see some of the ribbons coming out. This was my friend who came with me to Pirate for the first time. She had a great time also :)

 Soon after the pageant had finished we went home as well. Or tried to at least. Most of the entrances to the tube station were shut for crowd control and many of the queues were delayed by tourists who didn't know how to work an Oyster. But everyone was in good spirits despite the crowds, and the queues, and the rain.

It seems 1.2 MILLION people lined the banks of the Thames on Sunday, majorly impressive really. For us it was time to go home and have pizza and a girly movie, yay!

In the end I didn't mind not seeing anything really. Being part of the crowd would have been fantastic of course, but on the other hand someone tall would have no doubt stood just in front of me as that seems to be my luck always. At least this way I was relatively warm and dry. And I can still say I've been there :) Also, I'd actually expected it to look more like the flotilla in Troy... hihihi...

Depending on the weather there might be a street party tomorrow but for today I'm just going to recover from all the excitement. Tonight there is also a massive concert just outside Buckingham Palace and tomorrow there is a carriage procession through the city as well. Let's see which one I end up going to. 

I hope you had a great time also if you celebrated anything. I was going to bake actually but I ran out of time. Maybe today and then I'll share that later or tomorrow with you. Have a great day everyone, I know I will as it's a bank holiday and tomorrow also! Whoohoo!

UPDATE: OMG I just got featured on The Toastie Studio Monday Picks with my Jubilee Pirate dress :) Excellent ending to the jubilee :)

toastie studio
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