Friday, 19 May 2017

The Handmade Fair - Kirstie Allsop

Hello there my lovelies, happy Fri-yay to you all. 

This time last week I had travelled to Ragley Hall in Warwickshire with my lovely friend Andrea to visit The Handmade Fair which is run by Kirstie Allsop (Location, location, location). To be honest the weather wasn't much better than it was today, grey and raining....however that didn't bother us one bit. We were far too excited to see if we could spot Kirstie and we were looking forward to the two workshops we were booked into doing.


Its quite a long time since I visited any kind of craft fair/show and I was particularly looking forward to a bit of girlie time. It was definitely what I needed to give me a boost!!! I mentioned last week that its been a bit stressful for me lately so it was nice to forget about everything and emerge myself in the craft world. We attended Dot daisy painting and Modern Calligraphy workshops and they were great fun, I even bought one of the painting kits so that I could carry on learning at home. The selection of exhibitors in the shopping village tent was fantastic, what I would call 'real handmade' stands. I managed to just about stay in my allowance and bought 2 brooches, a pin cushion, painting kit and I even brought Mr.B a gourmet brownie home. I had the most delicious paella and finished off my day with a portion of churros.....yum!!!

Oh yes and we even bumped into Kirstie!!!!!!!

The only thing that could have made the day better was if the sun was shining......other than that brilliant. Can wait to go again next year :D

.......Emma xxx

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Impromptu midweek post....

Hello there my lovelies, I have ummed and ahhhed over writing this post and even deleted it twice. But I'm hoping this time, I actually get to the end and publish it. Here goes.....

If you have followed me on Instagram you will know that over the last year and half I have completely changed my eating habits and started exercising regularly. I managed to lose in total 20lbs and drop two dress sizes, which I was over the moon about!!! Since Christmas I have slowly started to slip back into bad habits. I'm still exercising but I'm really struggling to keep away from sweet treats, weekends are the worst. I'm not making excuses but there is some other shit going on in the background at the moment which could be linked to my loss in focus.

So I decided that if I came clean here that I could draw a line under it and starting from today try to get back on track. So this is me putting the biscuit tin down right now.....

Hopefully I will be able to distract myself with some sewing this weekend to make sure I stay away from the naughty things!

OK I feel better about it all now already writing it down, thanks for reading, lets do this!!!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

What Emma made next...

Happy Satur-yay you lovely lot, so so happy that its the first of the bank holidays this month. I'm just sitting still for 10 minutes (OK maybe it will be a tad longer than that) to have a coffee and a Tunnocks tea cake whilst I update you on what I have been up to this week.

 Ahhhhh man how good are Tunnocks tea cakes???? Only problem is they dont last very long, 4 bites and thats it....gone :D Anyone else have that problem?

I'm still trying to eat as healthy as possible, still planning my meals every week, still trying to not eat processed or junk food.....however I do allow myself little naughty treats every now and then. Its only right that you keep a balance. Dont you think?


So this week has been another terribly stressful one, to the point where my anxiety was starting to rear its head again. Now I know that I have never mentioned this before but maybe I will keep that post for another day. Anyway, I'm always looking for creative projects to 'disctract' myself from the things in life that stress me out. This is my way of taking control of the situation and my thoughts. 


A little while before I decorated my sewing room I bought some felt balls from the lovely Sarah at Blooming Felt with the intentions of making another felt ball coaster (which is also a project from Sarah's book called Felt Fantastic). The first one I made you can just about see in this photo, yep thats my favourite mug! I used to have it at work....that explains a lot lol.


Obviously I wanted this one to match my colour scheme, please excuse the quality of the photos the light wasn't that great and I was struggling to capture the colours to show you all how lovely they are. I would say the photo of the felt balls before they were sewn together give you the best idea of the colours.


These are so thereputic to make and you really can take yourself off to a cosy safe place in your mind whilst you're making them. I prefer listening to music while I sew and I pretty much will listen to most genres of music. At the moment I seem to be hooked on Classic FM although I do prefer it when they play scores of music from Movies. I have a little bit of a soft spot for Debussy, Clair de Lune being my favourite, to be honest anything with a piano is good in my books.


So I was maybe thinking that I would make some sets of coasters to put in my shop (thats another post I have yet to write). Its marked on my 'Goals' list for thinking about some more at a later date. I'm really enjoying making things for myself, since I started Bagladee, as I think I've mentioned before, I've only really ever made things for other people. Its nice to make something that I get to keep to really appreciate what I have created.


They are really sturdy once you have sewn them together and I tend to find that they keep your drink warmer for longer, your cup/mug doesn't wobble around on them and they look soooooo pretty don't you think?

The rest of the weekend will be spent, decorating the last two rooms of the house (*punches the air* yes! were almost there now) celebrating Mr.B's Mum's birthday, planning....lots of planning (will explain all of that as soon as I can) and maybe some sewing if I'm lucky :D

Whatever you have planned this weekend, I hope you have a lovely time, spend it with your loved ones, laughing, eating good food and if you're like me, enjoying a glass of vino or two :)

Take care, 
Emma xxx

Friday, 21 April 2017

If I were a.....



...pencil case! I would most definitely look like this one :) No really I would! 

Its amazing when all the pressure of making things to order goes away, the motivation to create returns. After making a bit of a faux pas on the amount of fabric I needed to make my first "Make 9" project, I decided that I would make something that had been on my list from last year while I waited for another delivery. 


Its been such a long time since I've made any of the make up pouches that I used to sell in my online shop. I could have used the original pattern and adapted it but I thought it would be good for me to create a new one, to kinda get back into the swing a little. It felt a little strange getting the pattern paper out and starting to mark out the measurements but I suppose its like they say "riding a bike". 


As I am totally obsessing over the colour that I painted my sewing room, I seem to be a magnet to anything in the same colour spectrum. This also goes for the fabric I've bought for my "Make 9" project, now if you can remember that far back, my plan was to make 9 garments before the year was out. Now I can hear you all whispering....but its April already Emma and you haven't even started. Dont worry...I'm not, its not the finish line that is important, its the journey along the way.

I plan on starting this weekend, even if its just the cutting out. I also have something else that I want to make but more about that later. Back to my gorgeous new pencil case :)


So of course it had to have buttons on it and a few little hidden sparkles purely because I love anything sparkly. Mr.B says I'm like a magpie! The fabric on the top section was literally some scraps I had left over from a bag I made a couple of years ago. I love the pinks and aqua combination. The problem that I had with my previous case was that it was wayyyy too small, so when I started to work out the dimensions for this one I knew how big I wanted it to be. 


I'd love to make some more, but I'm not going to pressure myself into anything. I've ordered some more of the gorgeous polka dot printed felt, along with a stripey version and whatever I create I will put up for sale. Its more about the creating for me, I really enjoyed making this one for myself. Its funny that I used to make lots of bags in lots of different styles for customers but I never really got round to making anything for myself....crazy I know!! At least this time I can say that the first one was for me :)


I'm also thinking of making another one to make a matching pair so that I can use the second one for a make up pouch for my bag. Its been a good distraction for me this week, and by god I've needed one. The day job 'issue' still hasn't been resolved, I'm trying to keep myself together on that one but its difficult. Creating is the thing that I say keeps me sane but I really think that is true. I feel like the 'real' me when I can make things.  Good things come to those who wait.....well if anyone has noticed I've been here waiting patiently all this time. Please bring a good solution :)


Well I'm going to leave it there for this week my lovelies, I do hope you all have a fantastic weekend whatever you have planned. We will be keeping on with the marathon that is decorating, we're on the home stretch now for sure. 

Take care, 
Emma xxxx 


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Taking time....


Its been sometime since I wrote a post of this nature but sometimes it good to look back and reflect to know where you're moving forward to, right? Glancing back through my blog I realised how long I was absent from my little space I once loved to disappear into when I felt the need to reach out in an anonymous type of way. There's been no kind of personal posts from me, no rants about what really peeves me or updates of any kind of general non important, who really wants to read this kinda stuff but I'm gonna write it anyway. I think for a while I shut myself off from it all as it didn't feel appropriate to write it down here.

I feel as though I had fallen into a bit of an abyss in terms of blogging and being creative, I guess that's what happens to most creative people when there are 'other' things going on in your life. Life in general is pretty intense and exhausting don't you think? And I am one of those annoying people where I have to cram in as much as I can to feel like I'm getting the most out of everything. But maybe I'm missing the point somewhat.

This weekend, being an extended one for me from work I'm trying to take things at a much slower pace, really thinking about future plans and where I see the next part of my journey taking me. The day job has been especially difficult the last few weeks. This situation should come to some kind of fruition in the weeks ahead and I'm hoping will bring a huge change for the better. So a five day break from it is definitely what I needed to keep my mind straight and my emotions in check. Gone are the days where I used to cry out of pure frustration from it all, I have grown and changed so much from those days and learned to let the less important things in life just go over my head and put my energy and focus into the things that do really matter.

As I write this post, I am sat in our cosy living room with Nell fast asleep on my knee with a cup of coffee and ginger biscuits to munch on, I can just about hear Mr.B mooching around upstairs and I'm sharing with you lovely lot! What more could I want out of life? 

This afternoon I plan on finishing the second cushion I am making for our snug and then helping Mr.B paint his office. Now I have a beautiful relaxing sewing room, its his turn to have his little domain personalised. It involves a paint colour named 'Cumin'. A strong and vibrant colour which reflects his personality perfectly. 

I'd like to finish this post by saying have a wonderful Easter weekend, metaphorically I will be sat under the tree above, relaxing and clearing my head of all non important thoughts....here's a quote I found on the internet this week that I think we could all have a little bit more of.

"Sometimes self care is exercise and eating right. Sometimes its spending time with loved ones or taking a nap. And sometimes its watching an entire season of television in one weekend while you lounge around in your pyjamas. Whatever soothes your soul." - Nanea Hoffman

Take care my lovelies,
Emma xxx





Saturday, 8 April 2017

Janome new vs old

Hey there, thanks for joining me for another post. I know I'm surprised too, I'm finally starting to get back into a flow again and it feels good. I think I had forgotten what drew me to creating a blog way back in 2008, I wanted a way of capturing my creative journey and although I got a little lost on my way, its really starting to feel like the old me is back again.


So this post is all about getting ready for the new chapter in my sewing journey. As some of you may know I am the very proud owner of a vintage (I think I can call it that, lol) 'New Home' Janome sewing machine. 


Isn't she pretty. 

I've had her for at least the last 8 year and she was given to me by a friend of the family (Hi Maureen if you're reading this *waves*). All of my bags and other creations have been made on this machine and I've had the best of fun along the way. She even has a secret, one side she is a sewing machine and on the other size she is an over locker!!! I know crazy right!! As far as I'm aware I've never seen another one like her. She sews like a dream too, probably because I have taken the very best of care with her, making sure she has an annual service. I have to say she has a very special place in my heart. 


Now I bet you are all thinking, if you love her so much then why can we see photos of a new Janome. Well let me explain.......


My 'old' machine (I dont really like calling her that) does all the essential stitches as you can see above and she does them all very well.


So let me introduce you to my new Janome DC3050 (I think this particular model is only available through John Lewis), now this one does an impressive 50 stitches, specifically I had my eye on the stretch stitch (No.05) and to be totally honest, I bet I will never use over half of them. It also does lots of high tech (well they're high tech for me anyway) stuff and there's a needle threader, which I love!!


I spent an hour or two having a little play with it, and had a go at some of the more decorative stitches. I love the scalloped blanket stitch (2nd from the bottom). Sadly I dont think I will have much use for most of them but I bought the machine because of the good reviews and the fact its a really good quality machine. 

This week I have actually spent some time making some cushions that I've been meaning to get on with for (can I really tell you how long....???) OK I'm going to tell you, 2 years. Please dont judge me on that, in my defence there's been a lot going on which has prevented me from getting started. 

So whats the verdict then, well the new machine sews just as well as the old, it is a little bit quieter, of course it has all those stitches and the needle threader its self is worth it :) Obviously its not an over locker but thats where my old faithful Janome comes into play. As you can see from the photo further up that I have them both set up on my work desk. Another bonus is that all the machine feet I have for my old machine can be used on the new one!! I'm looking forward to getting stuck into a dressmaking project to really give the new machine a road test.

I am a lucky bunny indeed, two Janome sewing machines!!! If you know me, you will know that I will cherish both machines and look after them so that they bring me many more years of sewing enjoyment. 

thanks for stopping by, have a lovely weekend,
Emma xxx


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

RECIPE : Banana bread


Happy Tuesday to you all :) Its been a while since I posted a recipe and since this one is a popular favourite and my go to recipe when I want something a little different for breakfast I thought I'd share it with you.

As always its an easy recipe and apart from the cooking time can be whizzed together pretty quick, my kind of cooking :)

You will need: 

150g of caster sugar or soft brown sugar
50g of softened butter
2 eggs
4 tbsp of water
3 very ripe bananas
200g of wholemeal flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180c
Line a loaf tin with grease proof paper
Beat sugar and butter until smooth and creamy
Whisk eggs with the water
I use my nutribullet to combine the bananas and egg/water mix
Pour the banana/egg/water mix into the sugar/butter mix and blend well
Add the flour, bicarb and baking powder and mix until combined with the other ingredients
Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 55 minutes - top should be firm to touch and nicely brown

You could always add some walnuts to give it a bit of crunch....I love to have a slice with a handful of raspberries and a dollop of yoghurt. Perfect for breakfast, or on its own for an afternoon snack.

Enjoy :)

Emma xxx