07 December 2018

Recently thrifted

The local upcycling group (Creating Green SCIO) was having a pop-up scrap sale at the local church, with lots of craft materials and tools for sale, so I decided to go along and have a look. I'm so glad I did!

It took me a long time to progress past the first table, which was full of buttons! At 20p or 30p a card, I couldn't resist some of those! I found some lovely vintage sewing notions to add to my collection. I had used up most of my embroidery hoops as displays for my pin collection, so it was good to be able to get more at 60p/80p. I got some patches, and I've already sewn one onto the dress that I'm decorating with patches!

I got the most amazing piece of 1980s looking fabric, and I can't wait to think of some ideas of what to do with it! I definitely want to try making clothes out of it, both for me and the dolls! I also got a lovely piece of woven fabric that I'll use as a table runner or photo background. It reminds me of the fabrics I got from Peru.

I've been wanting a wooden artist's mannequin for ages, and it was only £1. I also got lots of wooden beads, a huge Charles Rennie Mackintosh rubber stamp, a little wooden divided tray, two stencils, letter beads, and wooden blocks with numbers on them.

I filled a carrier bag, but it only cost me less than £12 in total! They were doing a roaring trade, and a colleague of mine who was in front of me in the queue spent twice as much as I did. I'm sure by the end they had raised a lot of money to support the group and keep it going.

04 December 2018

Photo boards

For many months I've had these photo background boards by Photo Boards on my wishlist, and I finally treated myself to some. I love using different interesting backgrounds for my Instagram and blog photos, but until now I've always made my own from foam board, scraps of wood, wallpaper, etc.

The three I got were Farmhouse, Putty, and Cement.

It's great to have more choice of backgrounds for my photos, and I'm already contemplating getting more! They are really light so they're easy to move around to wherever I need them.

01 December 2018

Kindness project

I recently did a little kindness project at work, to try to spread a little happiness for the ladies that I work with. It's an idea I'd had for a while, and I'd intended to write post-it notes with little messages on them, but I couldn't think what to write on them. Then I found this little booklet of tear-out notes with lovely messages on them, free with a magazine called In the Moment, so my project was ready to begin!
Each day I stuck one of the messages up inside the toilet cubicle on my floor, at the right height that someone could read it while sitting down. I chose whichever of the notes particularly resonated with me that day. Because I was only doing the project on weekdays, there were enough notes to keep it going for over 6 weeks.
I've had so many lovely responses! One of my friends posted about it on Instagram, but she didn't know it was me who was doing it! Others have guessed and come to see me to tell me how much it has brightened up their day.
It's really fulfilled some of my goals for the year - random acts of kindness, and a positivity project!

30 November 2018

This month on emuse

This month I have been talking about the visits I made to Dollar to see the autumn leaves there and in the Japanese garden at Cowden nearby:

Then it was on to bullet journal ideas:
Which led neatly into the charm jewellery workshop where, as well as a necklace I made a charm for my bullet journal.
And finally there were:

29 November 2018

This month I have been mostly...

I got Netflix so I have been doing a bit of binge-watching. Strangely everything I watched was on a bit of a creepy theme even though I don't usually like that sort of thing! First I watched The Haunting of Hill House which I was worried I'd find too scary, but I didn't mind it and found myself compelled to keep watching. The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell was just the most amazing, quirky thing that I've seen in a long time, and I hope they make more. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was brilliant, and, having gone back and watched an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I think I like the new one better.

I watched Making a Murderer and The Staircase. Sadly I found them both a bit boring, which was a shame as I'd been fascinated by the first series of Making a Murderer, and the podcast about the same case as The Staircase. On terrestrial TV I watched Louis Theroux's Altered States, which was great as his programmes always are.

I haven't really got into Wes Anderson's films before, having only caught The Royal Tenenbaums from halfway through, and having twice nodded off within minutes of the start of Moonrise Kingdom on long flights. I absolutely loved The Grand Budapest Hotel, though, and now I want to watch all his films! It was stunningly beautiful, and I liked the characters and storyline.

I'm slowly reading, but really enjoying, Outskirts by John Grindrod. I really like how he worked his family's story into the story of the green belts. And, bizarrely, just as I started reading it I visited my family in Cheltenham and realised that they actually live right on the edge of the green belt! I started My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, and I'm really enjoying it. I was worried that I'd find it a bit boring, because I think it's going to be more based around characters than plot, but I'm just finding the writing really clear and easy to read so it doesn't seem like a chore. I absolutely loved the Thanks, Random Man, Your Opinion is Noted zine by Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes. It made me aaaarrrrggghhh and laugh in equal measure.

I have continued doing the Couch to 5k, and am now starting week 7! And I visited an exhibition of tiny boats that I contributed to (more about that soon).

I finally learned how to make tofu nice and crispy - I press it in the tofu press then coat it with cornflour, salt and pepper, and shallow fry. Really easy and so good!

26 November 2018

Pinvent calendar

I made a pinvent calendar! What is a pinvent calendar, I hear you ask? Read on and find out how to make your own!

Choose 24 pins, badges or brooches. I chose some with a Christmas theme, and others that I felt I should wear more often. 

Wrap them up in tissue paper and seal with washi tape, adding a ribbon to each parcel. 
You could put them in a bag, box, bucket or basket, leaving the ribbons trailing out. I put them in this lovely Shaker basket that I usually keep my washi tapes in.
Each day of December, pull a random ribbon and unwrap a pin. I have decided that I have to wear that pin on that day (I can wear others too). 

This is an idea based on the sleigh full of sweets with attached ribbons that my Mum did each year when I was a child. It's also about appreciating the things you have rather than having to have new things. You could do it with other small items, e.g. toys for a child.

23 November 2018

I love... the 70s!

I recently finished this tub of Mod Podge, and was about to throw it out until I realised it had an amazing 70s-style font on it that looked interesting alongside some other items I had lying about. The Curly Wurly badge was a find from the Christian Aid book sale in Edinburgh in May, as was the jewellery supplies catalogue which just happens to be from the year I was born!
Inside the catalogue the fabulous fonts continue!
Another wonderful 70s font is from my one remaining copy of Twinkle which I used to get every week when I was a little girl. This was found under the cushions of our very 70s settee when my parents were getting a new one!
This stencil was much used by my mum in the 70s and 80s to decorate the inserts for cassette tape cases, so it's a source of a lot of nostalgia for me. I recently bought this washi tape from Nikki McWilliams, and these earrings from Julia de Klerk, because they reminded me of this stencil in style and colour, and Julia let me know that some of her jewellery designs are actually inspired by 70s floral fabric patterns!

20 November 2018

Recently thrifted

In October I had a chance to explore some of the charity shops of Cheltenham, and here are my finds! I was ecstatic to find the two little pottery dishes with lids showing countryside scenes, because these are from the same range as one that I bought about 20 years ago when I visited Olney while on holiday near Milton Keynes! They're by a couple called Jane and Peter McCormick and they are inspired by Art Deco.

The book. A Victorian Flower Album, was a lovely find, in the same vein as The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady which is one of my all-time favourites.

The Japanese castles playing cards are from my "favourite" charity shop in Cheltenham (I'd been in it once before and it stuck in my mind because I got Japanese geta sandals there), which was sadly having its closing down sale.

18 November 2018

Charm jewellery workshop

Last month I went to a great jewellery making workshop held by Nikki McWilliams. This workshop was the brainchild of Nikki, who is best known for her biscuit cushions and pins, Rachel of Oh No Rachio, and Kim of Finest Imaginary, collectively known by their combined name of Oh No Finest Biscuit, and they run the class in various places either together or individually. I'd seen lots of the In Colourful Company crowd with these charm necklaces, so I swore that if the workshop came to Scotland I'd go along! I couldn't make it to the evening one in Glasgow the day before the In Colourful Company walk, but this one of Nikki's in Alloa was perfect for me!
Nikki had a wonderful setup in her workshop, with a large table in a bright room, and the four of us who were taking the class really enjoyed ourselves. It was fun to dig through the tubs of charms to find the perfect ones to represent our personalities, in the perfect colour schemes, and then decorate them with a bit of acrylic paint and attach them to a chain to make a necklace or bracelet. And there was even time to make a keyring/bullet journal charm too! I'd so enjoyed the Pistachio and Hibiscus doughnut from Tantrum Doughnuts on the colour walk, that I painted one of my charms to represent it!
Nikki being Nikki, there were of course some lovely biscuits and cakes provided! And while the cats did not make an appearance during the workshop we did get a peek at them as we left! There was also an opportunity to do a bit of shopping - Nikki had her lovely cushions and pins on display in the room we were working in, and we were allowed to have a rake through her Nikki's Supply Store stock! We all went home with our wallets somewhat lighter after that!

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