Monday, 21 April 2014

Ugly Bug Ball

Hey Peeps!

We have wallpaper in the bedroom!!! Well about four of the fifty million surfaces that need wallpapering have been done but still.....we have WALLPAPER!

In other news I have been doing some sewing and this is my latest make and also my first (I'm hopeful of making a second dress inside the deadline) entry for Sew Dolly Clackett challenge.....
.....I've christened it the Ugly Bug Ball dress.....simply because of the Ladybugs in the print, there are also strawberries, cherries and polka dots! When I saw this fabric on Etsy I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it and I'm so pleased it turned out how I imagined. I used the By Hand London Anna bodice again with the same FBA adjustment. In my last two Anna hybrids I had added an inch to the bodice length but with the addition of a waistband it was a little too long so I reduced it this time to a half inch adjustment which I think has worked really well.

As usual Chi was ever so helpful during the whole process.....
.....which involved marking out and pinning box pleats (the first time I've done this) I think they've turned out quite well even if I do say so myself and it's definitely a skirt shape that I will make again.
This time around I only lined the bodice and then used bias binding to finish off the skirt seams. Again I think I will use the technique for future dresses as I tried making an Anna with facings and so far it's still hanging in my sewing room waiting to be hemmed....I'm not loving it.....to the extent that I think I'm going to pull it apart and try and start over! We shall see.

There are so many gorgeous entires for this sew-a-long it's brilliant and I'm discovering many new sewing blogs to which is fab. I can't wait to see Roisins wedding dress in all it's glory next month.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Chocolate Salty Weirdness

Hey Peeps!

I miss my shoes!!! They are currently still languishing in the packing boxes they were lovingly (I'm assuming they were lovingly placed as I was lucky enough to have a removal company pack up my life for me so I didn't do it personally) placed in. Their new home is still being made although we are out of the construction phase and into decorating now which is exciting!

I'm heading to a lovely thatched cottage in the country for the Easter weekend which belongs to some fabulous family friends who have kindly offered to take Chi and myself in (that makes it sound like we are some random strays.....but we aren't...honest). There will be some yummy food, lots (LOTS) of wine and many many games of Crazy 8's which I am very much looking forward to.

Being the perfect guest that I am (yup that's right I'm perfect) I have made some of my favourite treats to bring with me along with the wine and Prosecco. Small Girl Type Creature (who is turning 18 in a few weeks time....how did that happen???) first introduced me to this Nigella recipe and it's been a firm favourite ever since.
You'll need.....

200g/7oz Dark Chocolate
100g/3.5oz Milk Chocolate
125g/4.4oz Butter
3 tbsp Honey (Nigella recommends Golden Syrup)
250g/8.8oz Salted Peanuts
6 x 40g Crunchie Bars
Petit Fours cases or a lined baking tray or a foil tray

Break up the chocolate in to small pieces then add the butter and honey to a bain-marie over a low heat and keep stirring till it's glossy and smooth.

Tip the peanuts into a large bowl and crush the Crunchie bars over the top.

Take the melted chocolate mixture off the heat and pour over the peanuts and crushed Crunchie bars and mix together.

Now you can either pour the mixture into the lined baking tray/foil tray or spoon the mixture into the petit fours cases. I like the petit fours cases because as you can imagine it's very rich so I like the small bites. If you are using a tray make sure to smooth the mixture into the all corners.

Place it in the fridge for at least two hours or until it's set.

EAT! (But not all at once or you'll be sick.)

As I say these are one of my favourite treats, they are so easy to make and taste amazing, the salty peanuts balances out the serious sweetness for a yummy mouthful of chocolate salty weirdness. Chocolate is ubiquitous with the Zombie Jesus weekend so what better to bring with me? I might even get invited back again.

Friday, 4 April 2014

One Year And Counting

Hey Peeps!

My name is Siân and I am no longer a shopaholic!

So on the 9th March 2013 I decided to go cold turkey and quit shopping for one whole year and I am so pleased to report that I did it! It's actually been 388 days since I purchased anything new clothes, shoes, jewellery and accessories wise! At first it was really hard, I kept window shopping and started my "This Is What I Would Have Bought" posts but as time went on that all stopped. I was still looking at online stores and fashion magazines but as gorgeous as all the new things were I wasn't tempted.....it was a very odd feeling! I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something if I set my mind to it and you know......save some money.

I gave myself a very small exception to the rule list;
  1. Black Flat Boots 
  2. Black High Heeled Court Shoes
  3. Black Ballet Pumps
  4. High Waisted Blue Jeans/Jeggings
....I ended up only getting myself the ballet pumps and I think thats because I started being much more discerning about the items I was considering. I knew exactly what I wanted and if something wasn't quite right, rather than bring it home (I still say that shoes call to you in shops and long to be adopted and taken home with you) and make do with it whilst continuing to look for the perfect version I walked away. Very unlike me.

Now this may all sound a little weird from someone that owns an online boutique and actively encourages you to shop but it's not at all! Shopping and new things are wonderful whether you treat it as your cardio a là Carrie Bradshaw or a social event for catching up with your friends ... go ... shop ... enjoy! I used to think that I had gotten my magpie/hoarder tendencies under control but my bulging wardrobe begged to differ and this clearly wasn't the case. If this past year has taught me anything it's shop smart....only buy things that are 100% right for you and quality over quantity every time.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Swishy Swishy

Hey Peeps!

I haven't done an outfit post in a while because, as I mentioned yesterday, all my clothes and shoes are pretty much still packed in boxes! I've been living in my flat boots and a few dresses that I packed before moving thinking that it would only take a couple of weeks to get the bedroom sorted. Not so much. DIY always takes longer than you think it will.....or so I'm told. Thankfully the finish line is in sight and it's been making me think about having yet another massive wardrobe clear out when I can finally unpack everything.

Going through my pictures I found this outfit that I never got around to posting.....
Jacket: H&M
Cardigan: Kookai
Jumper: Miss Selfridge
Skirt: H&M
Boots: Office

....I wore it when Miss S took us to see Gravity last year! Not sure why I didn't post it then but I'm glad I found it, I love this colour combination (the jacket is a chocolate brown colour like the boots...honest) and the swishy swishy skirt. I also love the background....all those shoes, I can not wait to get them unpacked! I'm trying to find a background I like here for when I start taking outfits pictures again, so far the view over the sea is winning although that will be dependant on weather....we'll see.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Birthday Wish List

Hey Peeps!

It's been a while. Again. I've been busy moving house. Again. Thankfully I'm nearly unpacked, very very nearly fully unpacked. The only things left in boxes are my shoes and clothes which is only slightly driving me up the wall. Fingers crossed that will all change soon as the master bedroom decoration is nearly finished and I can't wait! Mostly so I can unpack but also because I'm really excited to see it all come together...but that's another post.

Today I thought I would share a few things I have on my wish list......oh and in other news it's my birthday in a few weeks time. Welllllllllllll apparently I'm hard to buy for!
Minoru Jacket / Robson Coat
I've had my eye on both these patterns for a while now and I know exactly what fabric I want to make them up in. My lovely Parentals very kindly took me virtual shopping (FaceTime is awesome) in their local Saudi "Emporium" which was like an Aladin's cave of wonderfulness. The magpie in me was very very happy indeed! We managed to pick out everything I need for the Minoru except for the wool (funnily enough they don't sell many wool fabrics in Middle Eastern countries, something to do with the weather) but I've found something perfect from Truro Fabrics. Whilst browsing the Truro Fabrics website for gorgeous wool I may have accidentally stumbled across a few other gems....
Red Dots / Green Ovals
Turquoise Floral / Bright Splashes
......aren't they swoon worthy? I have a pretty good idea of what I would like to make with these too meaning I know that I need 3.5 metres if anyone was feeling particularly generous. Unfortunately Truro Fabrics don't sell gift vouchers but I believe Paypal do so that's another option. So there you go lovely friends and family peeps I hope that helps!


Saturday, 1 February 2014

This Week I Have Been Mostly.....#10

Hey Peeps!

That title should really read "This Month I Have Been Mostly...." shouldn't it? Ok. How was everyones January? Mine was a bit of mixed bag but it was mostly highs and what amazing highs they were....
.......the biggest being getting to see Coriolanus live at the Donmar! My fabulous friend Miss S queued up from 3am (yes AM) until the box office opened at 10am and managed to snag us two tickets to watch this amazing production.

I had never even heard of this play before Miss S brought it to my attention but I am so glad that she did. The most wonderful Mr Hiddleston is the lead Coriolanus (PHWOAR....ok I've gotten that off my chest) and the whole thing is wonderfully staged, costumed and acted by a very talented group of people. Miss S had originally bought us tickets to see the National Theatre Live screening on the 30th which of course we still attended! It was really interesting to see the play from different perspectives. Nothing beats watching a play live and the Donmar is such an intimate theatre that the atmosphere was unbelievable. Getting to see the same play live on the big screen really was a treat though and we noticed so many more little details thanks to the clever camera work that we just couldn't pick up on in the theatre. They are showing a repeat screening this month so if you can get tickets you absolutely should it's amazeballs!

I also got in a little dressmaking experimentation with my Jungle January make. A cotton dress in January probably wasn't the smartest idea ever but that's what tights and cardigans were invented for right? I wore it out on a date.....the dress was definitely more successful than the date but that's another story.

The final picture is Miss Chi (Mischief or Chi-purrs (said like jeepers) or Chiana if she's been really naughty) "helping" me disassemble old Argos wardrobes to clear space for the new built in storage that I'm planning for my new place on the island. These next few weeks are going to be a very hectic blur of moving, decorating and organising so please wish me luck? Right I'm off to go fangirl over Tom some more......yes I'm one of those people #sorryimnotsorry

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Two Thousand And Fourteen

Hey Peeps!

I'm currently sitting on a very comfy, squishy bed in a light flooded room (honestly the sun is actually a little blinding.....where are my sunnies?!) with this......
.......as my view, bliss! 2014 is going to be a very exciting year because come February this view is going to become a permanent fixture as I'm moving down to the Isle of Wight! When Mum and Papa moved here in 1999 from Ipswich I was offered a room if I wished but I laughed and joked that if I went with them I would have been the youngest resident in the village. I stayed put but within a few months of them leaving Suffolk I had moved myself to London (I lived in Blackheath until I was four and was born in London so I count myself a Londoner). I've been living in and loving London ever since, until about October last year.

Over the past thirteen years I've lived in seven different flats in central London and apart from the first one (pervy landlord with a jacuzzi in the kitchen....I should have known better) I've loved everywhere I've lived. Last June I moved into a gorgeous little house (yes a whole house!) with a fellow Ex Bunny which has been amazing.

Last Halloween Legs (housemate) threw a fab party including scary decorations, yummy nibbles and fizz. The girlies came over for pre shenanigan drinks which was lovely, I was all dressed and ready to go but come 11.45pm the taxi still hadn't been ordered as we were all still chatting and drinking on the sofa. When the taxi did arrive at midnight I realised I really didn't want to go to a club where I knew I wouldn't enjoy the music (sorry house music I gave you twelve years but I'd much rather be dancing to 70's style disco!). The thought of going to a club with music I didn't really like being so loud talking to my friends wasn't really an option and getting hit on by twenty two year olds was so unappealing.

Before I opened Kittenish behaviour I went out to work which I always enjoyed.....the social side of things more than the jobs themselves in most cases. I wouldn't change anything about the last couple of years but my life has definitely become a more online existence than it ever has been before. This is no bad thing (I'm not a fan of shopping on the high street, order most of my fabric from America and I love playing online MMORPG like World of Warcraft to give you a few examples) but it did make me realise that I could be living the life I currently do anywhere!

Given house prices in London the best I could hope of buying would be a shoebox in Zone 6 (that is not technically true I know but my choices were severely limited) so I started thinking about other parts of the country. My Parentals moved about a lot when we were growing up which has always been interesting but it does mean that I don't have anywhere in the UK that I consider "home". My extended family are all over the place (China, Saudi Arabia and Australia to name a few) so again there really isn't anywhere in the UK that has a strong family base. A few years ago Mum and Papa were considering selling their place on the Isle of Wight and it was something that both my Baby Bother and I strongly objected to as we both really love the place which was a bit of a shock realisation!

This December Mum had to come back to the UK for a business trip so the Parentals tacked some holiday on to this and poured Papa into a cattle class seat (Mum gets first class for all her business trips!) and over they came (two Christmases FTW!). Whilst they were here I mentioned that I had been looking at houses to buy on the island and everything snowballed from there! Both Mum and Papa were shocked that I had even thought about the Isle of Wight (given my previous response to being asked if I wanted to live there) but were so enthusiastic. It turns out that Baby Bother and Big Bird are planning on working their way down to the island too once the smallest child type creature has flown the nest. It seems we'll be colonising the Isle of Wight as our family base haha!

After a bit of a frenzied house hunting in December only turning up one property that I absolutely loved but totally couldn't afford the decision was made that I would move into the Parentals house which is empty except for visiting guests whilst they are out in Saudi. How jammy am I?? Gorgeous house with fabulous sea views.....very jammy indeed! Whilst I'm here I'll be designing and overseeing the installation of a custom(isn) made master bedroom (the only room in the house that is left to do) and then the really exciting project of installing a fully self contained studio in the back garden. 2014 is going to be very interesting indeed!