Category Archives: Friends

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

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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...

Things that make me happy Thursday – overdue edition!

Ooops, I don’t appear to have done one of these since before Christmas! So, the run up to 2012 and the first couple of weeks of it… They have made me smile muchly…

Catching up with family over the festive break
Having a festive break – in my adult life I’ve never had more than four or five days off in a row due to work, and this year I had ten!
Getting unexpected Christmas presents
Celebrating New Year for the first time in a long time
Experimental cocktails with Rob’s new blender (notes: lime is good in SMALL quantities. Do not always follow the recipes to the letter. It is perfectly acceptable to mix two litres of lychee daiquiri, take it to a party and drink it all yourselves.)
Cooking from a Jamie cookbook. Several times. And succeeding!
Starting 2012 how I’d to continue it
Swapping socks with Holly
Seeing Anna on new years day :)
Enjoying the commute with my new toy
Dan not recognising me from behind because my hair’s so long
Amanda’s zombie app comment
Wearing floral trainers
Two of the girls who keep me sane at work going permanent
A label on a pack of ibuprofen tablets instructing me to remove all packaging before microwaving. Sure.
Catching up with Val via email
Making my resolutions/hopes/thoughts/dreams list for the year ahead

From the sublime to the mundane to the ridiculous and back again!

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Filed under Baking, Christmas, Family, Friends, Happy Thursdays, Laughing, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Technology and gadgets, Thinking

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

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

Hey… it’s nearly Christmas!

Quite how it’s got to be 13 December without my noticing and making a massive song and dance about Christmas, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the weather. Yep, we’ll blame the unseasonal lack of snow, ice and general cold misery that usually characterises December in England.

However, it does mean it’s almost Christmas. Now I am usually a Christmas fanatic – I love it! I love the build up, the songs, the decorations, the food, the preparation, the licence to wear glitter during the day, the ridiculous novelty earrings – the lot!

This year, a lot of this seems to have passed me by – I’ve been so busy with all the things I do that I’d barely noticed it was December! I have managed to put up my wreath, thought I’ve not yet had time to make another one and post a tutorial; I have decorated my little Christmas tree but haven’t put many of the rest of my decorations up yet; and I’ve been to two Christmas dinners and one Christmas party. So I’m not doing too badly, but I need to up my dose of the Christmas spirit!

So, some things (not all Christmas related!) to do before the 25th:

Put up the rest of my decorations ~ Decide what to wear ~ Buy token gifts ~ Send out email greetings ~ Make donation to Macmillan (in lieu of presents and cards this year, as we lost my godfather to cancer in July) ~ Go to a carol service ~ Go on the charity SantaLash pub crawl round London ~ organise Julia’s hen weekend ~ research sewing machines ~ research tablets and contracts ~ make some more Christmas jewellery/jewellery to wear at Christmas ~ go skating on one of London’s many outdoor rinks.

Then a few days of peace, and then it’s New Year!

I’m heading up to Nottingham for New Year, which I’m really excited about, especially as I haven’t celebrated it for about three years now. While the rest of the world (or so it seems) parties, I usually curl up with a blanket, wine, a really good book and a large tub of Haagen Dazs. Not bad, but I can’t wait for this one! I  will be taking a notebook on the train (I’d prefer to drive but it depends on the weather) to make resolutions and plans for 2012. I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to see some fireworks – I ADORE fireworks even when it’s freezing cold outside!

What are your plans for Christmas? New Year’s Eve? New Year’s Day? I hope that whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re with and however you celebrate, you have a glorious few days :)

All images link back to their original source.

 

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Filed under Blogging, Christmas, Family, Friends, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Personal Development, Recording, Thinking

Contrariety Rose’s Vintage Tea Party

Last weekend I traversed down to Reading (complete with Rusty’s vintage suitcase, pretty shoes and vintage-style party dresses) for a weekend with one of my best friends. She just happens to be behind Contrariety Rose (new site almost done! I’m working on the last bits!) and organised a vintage tea party for a few people while I was down there. It’s always wonderful to see Lou, but this was a specially exciting prospect after a fairly hideous week!

We went to a vintage fair at the Hexagon first (I bought a headscarf “for wearing in a sportscar”, said the lady at the stall. I couldn’t not buy it after that, could I?!) and Lou found this lovely little dress. Rachel found a beautiful 60s shift dress but I couldn’t get a photo :(

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And here is Lou (first pic) and me (second pic) next to where we’d set out all the bits and pieces…IMG_6930IMG_6934

Tea party details:

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Cucumber hearts and lollipop sandwiches from the Vintage Tea Party Book:

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Cakes made by Lou’s partner’s mum – a Contrariety Rose cake and lovely little sparkly fairy cakes:

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And the forks that made me think of the Mad Hatter’s tea party – there’s something wonderfully Alice-ish about them!

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It was a fabulous afternoon, and so lovely to see all the girls – some of them I hadn’t seen since 2007, and a couple not properly since school. It was gorgeous! :D

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Filed under Baking, Blogging, Clothes, Cooking, Friends, Laughing, Loving & Living, Photography, Recording, Wearing

A ‘staycation’ with Annie :)

Anna and I had planned to go away for a few days in September, then October, and kept getting thwarted. November arrived, the time was booked off work, but neither of us had the money (or the energy) to go away away. So we decided to crash at my flat for a few days, do some shopping, make stuff, watch DVDs, eat lots… generally have an extended relaxing weekend :)

We wrote to Santa while looking at Christmas decorations:

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Saw a helicopter tree I desperately want to buy for my parents:

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Fell in love with some tree shaped sparkly lights: DSCF5055

Found some flashing tits for Anna *gigglesnort*:DSCF5056

And I made a wreath. Here’s me pretending it’s a halo (sure. but I can pretend!) DSCF5062

We visited Sudbury and had a lovely wander round all the shops there, and I also bought some vintage Pyrex bowls (squee!), some books and chocolate from the Cadburys factory shop. Can’t be bad. Was gorgeous to see her, fab to have four days in a row off work and when I go back I shall feel refreshed and hopefully at least a little bit enthusiastic! :D

You can follow lovely Annie on Twitter – twitter.com/AnnaZEV

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Filed under Blogging, Creating, Friends, General crafting, Loving & Living, Photography, Recording, Week in pictures

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