Category Archives: Inspiration and inspiring things

Inspiration of any sort!

Photos to go with my previous post – apologies!

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Mood boards (with photos this time)

Apologies for double post, WordPress ate my photos!

I got home about 9pm yesterday, but as I’d rather sneakily eaten on my way home, I had a bit of time to spare before bed. I was attempting to be domestic and do my filing when i came across my box of snippets and pictures from magazines… So I started making moodboards instead :)

Attempt three for photos…

There’s one for style I love and would like to emulate (top), one for bigger inspiration images I like for various reasons (bottom) and one which will end up more a collage of small snippets.

It was wonderfully relaxing to spend an hour or so with the pritt stick out!

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Filed under Creating, General crafting, Inspiration and inspiring things

This weekend I mostly…

Watched: Neverwhere the play and Otto the puppy

Read: craft books

Listened to: my friends laughing

Ate: an absolutely stupid amount of chocolate, curry and twiglets

Drank: wine (but not from Atlantis, sadly)

It was completely gorgeous but almost completely photo-free… The only thing I do have is this rather lovely set of Otto.

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Long dog is long...

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srsly?! I was snoozing!

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centre of attention during Articulate

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with Auntie Sar (he belongs to her twin sister and her husband)

But lack of photos aside, it was wonderful to be back in Berkshire for a bit and to see everyone. Neverwhere was amazing and I’m muchly proud of Lou for putting so much love, talent and effort into the costumes. Kelly was fab as Lamia and I even found a previously unknown coincidence with a friend on Twitter with whom I share a hometown (and we’re both ex-librarians).

Back to the real world today… I was as unimpressed as Richard Mayhew.

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Filed under Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Twitter

Share the love!

Almost exactly a.month ago, the lovely Craftyguider awarded me the Liebster blog award… I was so excited! (Strictly speaking, she gave it to Project Pin Up, but that just gives me an excuse to drool over even more blogs and post about them over there too!) Thank you muchly lovely – it’s the first blog award I’ve ever had! Her blog and shop inspire me on a daily basis to get mine going again, and her tweets keep me sane and happy, along with the other Twitter mafia girls!

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So, to accept the award I have to share with you five other blogs I love. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a blog addict so this is not an easy task!

Firstly, and fitting in with my new years resolution to cook more, is That’s Your Lot. Back in August, Laura bought 85 cookbooks at an auction, and promised to.make something from each of them in an effort to improve her cooking. I love the way she writes and how she handles even the most random of recipes :)

Next up, Mimi’s Little Sips Of Tea. Mimi has been blogging for six years, has written for Brocante Home and is the other half of Project Pin Up. She has a magical way with words, and her blog is like a little window into her life. Perfect to read with a cuppa and a biscuit – she’s a wonderful pick-me-up!

On Diversion – Jen has blogged for as long as I’ve known her, and while she was travelling for several months in early 2011, it was a wonderful way to keep up! She’s a natural writer and has a wonderful way of putting things. Her blog is now mainly focused on her ambitions as an author, but she also posts about her creative pursuits – she’s a fellow jewellery/bead fanatic and model horse collector :-)

Chloe’s shop and blog Slightly Triangle are hugely inspirational to me, as is the very talented Chloe herself. Started at around the same time as Ducking Fabulous, she makes the most gorgeous prints, stationery, decorations and mixed media collages. I particularly like her articulated paper horses she’s recently posted about. And she’s one if the most utterly lovely people I have ever had the good fortune to meet!

Last but not least, Becky from Dots and Spots is another massive inspiration… I’ve never met her, but the story of Dots and Spots and her posts that manage to incorporate family life, running the amazing growing business and fab photos give me new determination to succeed with my dreams too :-) And her products are gorgeous.

So there they are – give them a follow and a wave :)

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Filed under Blogging, Blogs, Creating, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Reading Matter, Recording, Staying in touch...

An unplanned but fabulous weekend

Unexpected weekends are always the best ones, aren’t they? This one was meant to  involve lunch in London and then home to tidy up and do useful things.

I’m not going to share a photo of why i should be tidying up :p

Anyway. I came down to Reading to meet Wendy, then went to Lou’s for dinner (VIA Waterstones which was almost very dangerous) with her, Paul, Kelly and Mike, then spent this morning in town with Sar and Dan, and then back to Lou’s for much, creativity and planning. Perfect.

Now on a train home, and hoping to get back and rustle up a roast while I do some washing, then maybe do a little bit of crafting this eve before bed! Currently struggling to keep my eyes open so we’ll see how that goes!

Hope you all have a gorgeous Sunday evening!

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Filed under Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Loving & Living, Planning, Projects

Having a definite Narnia moment

I love everything Narnia and think I always have done, but having caught the end of Prince Caspian on TV this evening, I am seized by a sudden desire to make Susan’s farewell dress (so called because it’s the last time she appears in Narnia, and it’s the dress she says her goodbyes and goes back to England in).

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I’ve spent some of this evening scouring the internet for inspiration, cosplay, photos, descriptions and patterns, and have started a Pinterest board of some of the things I’ve found. Kim told me today the sewing machine she’s giving me should be in the office by next weekend, so fingers crossed this can be a 2012 project! Then I can have a Narnia themed party for my birthday… maybe my 27th… :)

I’ve also learned what cosplay is – you really do learn something new every day!

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Filed under Creating, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Planning, Projects, Sewing

Hello 2012 – we’re going to get on famously

This will have to be quick, because I should have been in bed half an hour ago… oh, how I have really not missed the 5.30am starts at all over the break!!

I’m starting 2012 in an incredibly happy, uplifted and motivated frame of mind. I am surrounded by people I love who love me, I have my little haven of a flat and my much adored Poppy-car, changes at work in the last couple of months of 2011 mean I’m much happier there than I thought possible to begin with, and I’m ridiculously lucky that my main stresses are usually that I have too many people and fun things to fit into my social life. Terrible, isn’t it?!

But genuinely, I’m very lucky and well aware of this fact. I’m also intending and hoping for 2012 to be my best year yet… full of all the things I love to do, all the people I love to see and empty (or emptier, at least) of things that make me sad and stressed out. I’m not completely in la la land, I know that various things will be impossible and hard and tearful through the year, but right now things are rosy and I intend to make the absolute most of that.

Things I am muchly looking forward to this year:

Julia’s wedding ~ this is the big one, my best friend and twin soul is getting married on 7th July and I CANNOT WAIT! I’m honoured to have been chosen as one of her bridesmaids and I’ll do everything I can to make sure her big day is perfect.

USA road trip ~ a road trip round the southern states with my parents that we have been talking about doing for close to ten years, we’re flying out to Texas on 9th February and I’m so excited I can barely breathe!

CAE 2012 ~ Camping Auto Extravaganza with the ROC boys and girls is always a highlight of the calendar – this will be my third one, and each one makes me marvel that a bunch of people who only met each other because of their cars can be such very good friends and have such an awesome time.

Neverwhere ~ one of my favourite books by the awesome Neil Gaiman, and my best friend Lou of Contrariety Rose has been working on the costumes for the play for months and months. I’m off to see it on 20th January and am very excited!

Goodwood Revival ~ another one of those things I’ve been threatening to do for ages, Lou & Paul said they’d like to go and much to my surprise so did Rob when I mentioned it the other day… and dressed vintage too! So I’m hoping we’ll get to do that in September… fingers crossed!

My 26th birthday ~ not a traditional landmark I know, but I feel like I’m hitting my prime, and will be taken more seriously once I’m in my late twenties, and I’m hoping to celebrate with lots of friends and lots of family.

Unofficial Ireland rally with Rat Patrol, Team Allegro and Bucket of Doom ~ Assuming we actually manage to get this organised, I would completely adore to see the others again. I am perfectly prepared to abandon the idea of a banger and just go in Poppy if that’s the only way I can afford to go (as the £250 banger car spending limit would probably pay for most of my petrol and camping costs, lol). I’ve missed those guys!

And last but not least, launching Teasets to Typewriters, rejuvenating Ducking Fabulous jewellery as part of that and hopefully becoming involved with a new website, What Simon Said, with a friend I met on the rally and have kept in touch with via Twitter. I have many, many goals this year… some of them are listed on the 2012 Things page of this site, which can be found on the tabs at the top.

So, enough photo-free waffling from me – it’s been wonderful blogging and tweeting and ‘meeting’ people (I’m mostly looking at you, @craftyguider,@fairlyairyfairy@meanyjar, @CraftyThINKer, @MissJimJams, @ShhimUK, @LucyMoose ) in 2011, and I hope the friendship and support continues into 2012 and beyond! Happy 2012… enjoy it!

xx

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Business Wafflings, Collecting, Creating, Driving, Family, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Lists, Love and Stuff, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Planning, Poppy, Projects, Recording, ROC, Thinking, Travelling, USA Road Trip 2012

2011 – what a year!

I didn’t make an official list of resolutions for 2011, because I had The List to work through instead… I think I’ve done fairly well with those, not sure on the exact number but I think I’ve crossed off between 50 and 60 things on it, which is at least one a week!

2011’s been an incredible year. Unexpected highs and unexpected lows… but for the most part, the highs have outweighed the lows. It’s been amazing… I hope 2012 has as many highs (and fewer, less sideswiping lows, please).

January: An unexpected interview for a new job; Rob called to ask if I wanted to go on a European rally in September; utterly ridiculous snow;

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February: My 25th birthday with friends in Colchester; ballet with Emily; got my sunrise lamp which changed my life (or at least my getting up in the morning);

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March: I started the new job from hell (i like it now, but I endured months of it before that became the case); gorgeous and very touching leaving drinks from the library;

 leaving drinks with caitlin and jo

April: Julia and Ed got engaged; RSVP event; decent amount of crafting and car booting; Wells with uni girlies and Caitlin;

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May: Rally planning started in earnest; Spring Ding Day with ROC; drove an S2000; golf day with work so accidental trip to see Hannah; blue hair; Mum’s 60th party;

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June: Gran’s birthday BBQ and pool party; took up roller skating again; Colchester zoo for Father’s Day; theatre with the girls from the library;

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July: Nick passed away; Open golf at Deal & Sandwich; the Fling, a perfect thing; CAE; vintage typewriters came to live with me.

 CAE 2011 (1) CAE 2011 (2)  CAE 2011 (4) CAE 2011 (5) CAE 2011 (6) fling

August: Julia moved out, meaning I lived alone for the first time; I put up bookshelves all by myself; a whole week of sorting and socialising; last bits of rally prep.

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September: R2R 2011; first Curiosity Project; surprised Judy for her 60th birthday; Poppy’s 6-week-overdue MOT; planning for Teasets to Typerwriters

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October: Launch of Project Pin Up; Katerina returned; corsets; swishy hair; 

November: Mad happenings at work; Bonfire night with the family; first visit to Stratford; Mum & Dad’s 38th anniversary; staycation with Annie;

December: Made a friend who lives in the flat downstairs; old and new work Christmas parties; vintage tea party at Lou’s; carol service with Caroline’s choir; champagne brunch at 8.30am with the team; Christmas; new year in Nottingham!

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some stuff, but so much has happened there’s no way I’ll pack it all in to one post. I am intending to keep track of everything better this year on the blog :)

Significant events in the lives of my friends (and people I know):

Engagements: Julia & Ed; Sophia & Jon; Tom & Cat; (plus Georgie Hall,  Mandy Sohal, Danni Cooper, Laura Hinchliffe, Kelly Savage, Rachel (SHF), Rachel Daw, Chris Freeman; Justine Boehm, Jared Cooksey, M-C Savage; Rebecca Davies; Steph Cluett) = 16 (olus some Christmas ones I’ve probably forgotten)

Weddings: Heather & Steve Tilley (Shephard); Dan & Jo Morgan (Hill); Paul & Claire Jameson (Gratton); Sathya; Pippa Milner (Govett) = 5 (plus I’m sure I’ve forgotten some)

Babies: Anastasia & Nick’s Zoe; Georgia & Ian’s Delilah; Paul & Abby’s Joseph; Paul & Claire’s Shaun; Debbie & Ste’s Elizabeth; Emma & James’s Jacob; Kelly & Shaun’s Finlay; Louise & hubby’s Finley; Steve & Zoe’s Thea; Jarod & Tara’s Hayden = 10 (plus almost definitely some more)

Pregnancies (due in 2012): Krissie Budworth, Jacqui Dowsett = 2

So there’s a roundup of sorts… the stand out moment of the year is of course R2R, from a vague ‘yeah, why not’ to the prep and then the acual trip, it gave me a new sense of perspective on myself and on life, and made me a muchly happy Carla!

Thanks for reading and for all the support and love you guys have given me in 2011, it’s muchly appreciated! Here’s to 2012… and if you guys have done roundup posts I’d love to see them, tweet me or post them in the comments :)

xx

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Decisions, freedom and infinite possibility…

I am typing this on the train, sitting next to a woman with an ipad and an iphone. I feel a strange mixture of clunky (my laptop is ENORMOUS in comparison and I don’t have mobile broadband) and smug (I can type so much faster and more accurately than she can, mweeheehee).

The last few weeks have changed my life, overwhelmingly for the better. For various reasons I can’t talk about any of those reasons in detail, but one of the net results is that I have signed up for a season ticket loan for a train ticket, which means I’ll be at work for at least another year. This will give me time to get my finances straight and live my life a little without worrying so much about the future and what’s round the next corner (in the job and finances side of life, anyway).

Secondly, I have decided to put my shop plans on hold for the foreseeable future and concentrate on making things for fun and learning, rather than pressurising myself. The same with vintage homewares and clothing – I’ll buy them for me or for presents, and I’ll continue to research them and blog about my finds because I find them fascinating, but I need to remove the pressure for a while so I can focus on other things.

2012 contains, among other plans, my best friend’s wedding, my parents’ long awaited move into their new home and another rally, closely followed by a Canada trip to watch ice skating in early 2013, so now is not a good time to be starting up. Quite apart from the fact that although I know I’m capable of running a business, my finances are most definitely not, and I’m not sure I’m yet ready to sacrifice my social life in favour of it.

Thirdly, but possibly most importantly, after the weekend that’s just passed I am left with a feeling of happiness, peace, freedom and infinite possibility. My sense of self is fully restored and my inner pin up is well on her way to being part of my everyday life! Although I am never taking a train that far again – driving is SO much more fun and less hassle!

So I’m going to make the most of feeling like that, use the sense of purpose to get my flat and my life in order, and then focus on doing fun stuff… and blogging about it all, of course!

Sorry, this is somewhat of a stream-of-consciousness post, but it does feel good to write it down rather than just have it floating around in my head! A little part of me still can’t quite believe I’ve come this far and made this life for myself. When I look back to how I was four short years ago, and realise just how much I love my ‘new’ life… I wonder how the Carla I am now and the Carla I was then can possibly be the same person. I wouldn’t go back now if you paid me, I love who I’ve become and everything that I do. It’s amazing, empowering and really rather lovely. Ok, enough of the soppy crap now.

Right. Before you all throw up, I’m going to get off the train and go and make sausages and chips for dinner :)

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Filed under Blogging, Collecting, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Planning, Recording, Thinking, Thrifting, Vintage

A weekend in the life of me

So, I had every intention of participating in the One Day On Earth project, until I realised that a) 11/11/11 was going to be super-busy, full of train travel and that the project wanted video and I very much work in photos not videos. So here, instead, is a selection of snapshots from my weekend…

This was actually on Tuesday, eating ice cream on the back of a Vespa at Joe Deluccios in Westfield Stratford City.

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On the train. My handbag (the red and beige one) snapped on the way to the station, so I had to hastily repack, then ditch it without looking like a terrorist. Not easy when you go through London train and tube stations looking shifty!

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I spend quite a lot of time doing this – sitting on the floor of a train, reading books. People think I’m mad for sitting on the floor, but I like being able to stretch my legs.DSCF5018 

Twitter Mafia love on a Friday morning – love these ladies!

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The reminder email that came round from lovely Kim just before the two minutes’ silence for Poppy Day.

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Biscuits! Work has a delivery of biscuits and other groceries (tea, coffee etc) every month, and this is what the cupboard looks like just after delivery!

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Impromptu trip to Moorgate to buy a new handbag. London is grey but has some striking buildings if you look up while walking.

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Mid-afternoon Wispa. Is any day complete without chocolate?!

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The emergency/accidental new handbag, to replace the one that snapped in the morning. I like it!

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St Pancras station – took this on my way home after a fabulous weekend. It was utter carnage on the way in, and I was trying to sprint which is never a good idea!

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And finally home again, with the awesome vintage suitcase we took to Romania. That case started off full of 80s porn magazines, went all the way to Romania on Rusty’s roof, and came home with Team Allegro on their roof. It has a lot more character now than it did when we bought it, but I’m in love and it improved the journey home enormously – I felt like a 40s starlet! (for the first couple of hours, anyway – six hours later I just wanted to be back home, lol). The wheelie case under it was bought for Poland and also came on the rally with us – my luggage is well travelled :)

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Filed under Adventuring, Collecting, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Learning, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Photography, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Recording, Travelling, Vintage, Week in pictures