Monday, 31 December 2012

Sales Shopping

Has anyone else got themselves some good Sales bargains?
I usually go to the shops on Boxing Day but wasn't bothered this year. However, I did get to the shops on the 27th. I got quite a few things in Monsoon as I usually find their clothes expensive, but with 50% off, they're a great buy!
I ALWAYS end up buying some things I don't need, and these two are examples of that - but I love them both!
I don't need any more Christmas tree decorations and these don't really go with my other traditional decorations. But this box of 100 baubles in Papercahse caught my eye because of their huge rainbow of colours!! The photo doesn't do them justice but each bauble is a different shade. For only a fiver - how could I resist!?

The other bargain I got is this very cute little sewing basket from John Lewis. I think the brightly coloured pattern makes this basket differ from a lot of the 'grannyish' sewing baskets available and the BEST BIT is the cute love hearts pattern used on the inside. I got a tape measure with the same heart pattern.
I'm not going to the shops for a while now!!
Anyone else got themselves some 'pointless' bargains?
Thanks for reading.
Rachel xx

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Paper Baubles and Country Living

At the beginning of December, the Country Living show came to the North of England (Harrogate) for the first time. I was very excited when I first heard about it as it's always just been in London and Glasgow. Mum and I ordered our tickets months in advance!!
We were there for the opening of the doors at 10.00am and had a really lovely day. I bought lots of Christmas presents and a few treats for me!
One of the small things I bought for myself were 4 paper pom poms/baubles from the Petra Boase stand. They caught my attention as they were hanging from the ceiling above their stand in many colours, shapes and sizes. The 4 small ones I got were on an offer 4 for £10.00. I originally got them as Christmas decorations but have since strung them together with beautiful stitched ribbon and hand painted beads to create a mobile for my bedroom - which will stay up all year!
Since the Country Living show I seem to have seen them being sold in other places and think I might be hanging a few more from ceilings and windows in my house!

Another stand I loved browsing was the Ness stand. I have always loved their stuff but it's a bit too pricey for me to afford. However, the stand at the show was only selling reduced items! Not only that, but since I visited the show on the Sunday, which was the last day, I got an extra 50% off the price!!
I got this coat which is grey cord with gorgeous cherry red buttons in the shape of flowers. The shop price was £99.00 which had been reduced to £70.00 for the show. But then, I got it for £35.00!! Real bargain. It's also got a beautiful red and white spotty, silk lining. Definitely a perfect buy!!
My bank balance has suffered slightly since I visited the show - but I do hope it comes up North again!
Thanks for reading.
Rachel x 

Tuesday, 25 December 2012


I have had a really lovely day at my parents house with my Mum, Dad, older brother and Grandad. I still get a little overwhelmed by how spoilt I am, even though I'm now 25!!
This is what it looked like in my parents house this morning.
Here are just a small selection of the gifts I received.
I really love this lambswool cushion, the colours are fantastic. I'd eyed up these glasses a while ago and am very pleased I got them today. And finally, who wouldn't want a hot pink colander!?
This lovely collection are all from Joules - a scarf (a girl can never have too many!),some mittens and super soft fleecy slippers. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without new pj's and slippers. No photos of my pj's I'm afraid, but they've got dogs on them :-).
Here is my gorgeous new Radley watch,heart bracelet, two pairs of earrings, some Dior, Mac and Benefit make-up and perfume.

I also got a 'magic' suitcase, which appears to be quite small but has zipped sections that make it grow! A selection of sweets, tights,socks etc.

Although I've been well and truly spoilt,the best thing about today has been spending it with my family who are all well and healthy.I can also safely say that I have eaten far too much!
What did Santa bring everyone else?
Thanks for reading.
Rachel xx

Monday, 24 December 2012

Packing Presents

I LOVE creatively wrapped presents.
I usually get quite excited about wrapping gifts for people and each year, I try and have some sort of 'theme'. The traditional brown paper tied with fabulous ribbon and cute extra trims such as mini bauble always goes down a treat.
Although I am usually very organised on the run up to Christmas, this year, unfortunately, advent does seem to have defeated me somewhat!
Term only finished on Friday (21st) which is very late and although I had all my presents bought, it has been a little bit of a rush to get them all wrapped. I have not put as much time or effort into wrapping them as I usually would which makes me feel a little sad.
The paper, was (unusually) bought from Next and I love the colours of it, but wish the tags had been a bit more imaginative. I did end up using some plain brown tags and adding some coloured buttons which looked better.
Anyway, my presents may not look as good as usual, but hopefully they're acceptable.
How do you all feel about wrapping?
Am I worrying about it too much?
All that is left to say for now, is
and see you all soon!
Lots of love,
Rachel x

Monday, 10 December 2012

Deck the Halls...

Last weekend (the first in December) I decided to put my decorations up. This is a little earlier than I would usually think to do it, but it is the first Christmas that I have spent in my own home and I was a little excited about the decorating prospect!!

As a child, I had never experienced having a real tree so I loved putting my wellies on and going to pick my first real tree!! I had to stop myself from getting the biggest tree I could find as my house isn't that big.
I got it home and started decorating it with everything I have collected over the past few years.
I haven't gone for a particular theme, just quite general, traditional baubles and decorations. Some handmade or decoupaged, and some shop bought.
I absolutely love the smell that greets me as I walk through the door and as yet  haven't had any dreaded needles drop (fingers crossed!).
I'm a bit of a clutter phobe so don't like to make everywhere in the house super Christmassy, but I have spruced up the fireplace a bit and added a cute heart wreath from John Lewis.
Is there anyone out there that still hasn't got their decorations up? What do you prefer? Real or false trees?
Thanks, for reading.
Love, Rachel xx

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Nice bits.

I'm sorry it has been soooooo long. The Autumn term at school is always the most hectic and it seems after the long Summer holidays it takes extra long to do everything! With that, a broken toe and various other disasters, I just haven't got round the writing a blog.
I've got much more to write about, but this is just a quick one, showing a few new things I've bought recently.
The first is a lovely RICE make-up bag which I managed to find in a little shop in Tenerife of all places. I struggle to find RICE things in the UK, so if anyone has any good stockists, please let me know! I love this little make-up bag and it seems it is that perfect size for whatever you want to keep in it!
The next thing I've recently bought is these gorgeous Christmas cards by ARTWORK BY ANGIE, the same lady who designed my blog header and background. Aren't they lovely? They came tied beautifully with bakers twine and I don't really want to give them away!
The last thing for the moment is this quite little tin I got from Little A Designs. It's by Maileg, and again, their stuf is really difficult to get hold of so I was pleased when Marna was selling these. She also has loads of gorgeous Maileg ribbon you can buy from her.  
That's all for now. I'll be back soon!
Rachel x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Postcard Views

When I was growing up, every holiday, bank holiday, half term was spent in the Lake District. We took a caravan and sometimes stayed in tents but as we got older (and my brother grew to over six foot and was far too tall for the caravan bunk beds) we started to rent cottages so the dog could have more space and Grandad could accompany us.
We always had a great time, even if the whole week was spent trying to find indoor entertainment and cosy pubs to hide from the rain.
So, after 12 years of not going on holiday all together as a family, my second holiday of the summer was with my parents, my brother and the puppy for a week in the Lake District.
We had a really lovely time, a combination of walking, relaxing, dodging the rain, sitting in the sun, playing crazy golf, eating good food in good pubs and some gentle shopping.I think the puppy had the best time of all!
This was Berties first time in the Lakes and I think he's planning on going back!
There are some lovely individual shops in the Lake District and I managed to do a little bit of shopping. I bought a gorgeous Rice make-up bag and a trip to the Joules shop saw me coming out with this lovely penil case, just in time for the new term at school! (Yes, it was in the childs section, but being a teacher is an excuse for buying these kind of things!)
So after a fab week away, we're trying to find a good time to book the same cottage and once again, enjoy this beautiful part of the country together.
Thanks for reading.
Love Rachel x

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Sunny Skies

I have been lucky enough to go away twice this summer. The first trip was to Tenerife, where my family has a house. It was a much needed sunshine holiday after the rubbish weather we’ve been having here!
It was so nice just to see everything so much brighter and more colourful than the dullness we’re used to in Britain.
The house is very much a home from home and it was great to relax in the sunshine just a couple of feet away from home comforts. I can’t stand feeling chained to sunbeds near a hotel swimming pool when you’ve got to get in various lifts etc just to get to your room.
We have been having the garden of the house landscaped and we did some planting while we were there.  
Unfortunately, I managed to catch a virus for the last five days away, and it meant I couldn’t go outside in the heat, but I managed to get lots of reading and sewing done. My tan may not of developed as much as it would of if I’d spent the holiday outside, but I certainly came back with more freckles than I went with!
Thanks for reading,
Rachel x

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Holiday Reading

When I was little I was an avid reader. I was one of those that would read with a torch under the covers, I remember my Mum coming to get me up one morning and I was still trying to reach the end of Harry Potter. I still love to read but when it's term time, I'm asleep before my head hits the pillow and I'm lucky if I get through a book a term. However, I'm on holiday in Tenerife at the moment, I've been here a week so far and have read a total of five books. This time though, I didn't fill my suitcase with paperbacks, I brought my new Kindle.
So, my question for you is, to Kindle or not to Kindle? I'll hold my hands up and say I never thought I would get one of these, but I realised how much easier it was for travelling with and for holding whilst sunbathing :-)
However, it definitely has its downsides, for example, I haven't found a way that you can share books with another Kindle owner, which seems sad when we're used to recommending and passing books on to each other. The other negative I've found is that you definitely need to know what book you want to buy, downloading them on Amazon is not like going to a lovely bookshop, having a coffee and flicking through a range of books until you've found what you want.
How do you all feel about the Kindle?

Some other reading material I have brought away with me are these magazines;
I don't know if any of you have seen this in the newsagents, but I saw it and wanted it straight away, then I saw the price, £9.99!!
I wouldn't normally buy a magazine that cost so much but when I flicked through, I only wanted it more and decided to treat myself for my holiday. I would definitely recommend it, it has turned out to be much more like a book than a magazine, with lots of different patchwork and quilting patterns and step-by-step projects from various designers, including Amy Butler. I can't wait to try some of them.

My other magazine is this one;
I buy Mollie Makes most months as I like its modern and fashionable take on making things. However, again, it's quite pricey, at £4.99. Some months, I feel I haven't got my moneys worth as the crafts inside aren't my cup of tea. But I have really loved this months issue, there is lots of patchwork and crochet projects and the free crochet hook that came with it is of really good quality. 
If you've got a spare fiver, go and get it!

I'm off to sunbathe.
Thanks for reading.
Rachel x 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Gypsy Love

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE the shabby chic look and my house itself is quite calm with a 'country' feel. BUT, I feel the cupcake, pastel look has gone a little too far and become, if I dare say it, a bit sickly. I'm sure that most people have got the look right, but I think a lot of high street shops have offered cheap versions of things and smothered them in cupcakes, which in my opinion, don't look nice.

That's why, I have begun to love the gypsy look. The jewel colours are brave and sumptuous and the soft furnishings add beautiful detail in a range of fabrics, featuring folk type florals and beaded/sequinned embellishments.

Have a look at some of these pictures I've found.

I really want to inject a bit of this look into my own bedroom. Not that I will be able to paint the walls bright colours or decorate them with floral wallpaper as I like my walls quite muted. But I would love to be able to add the theme with the help of accessories and soft furnishings. Only problem is, where do you find such gorgeous things? High street shops don't tend to go for this sort of style. However, when I went into Marks and Spencers the other day, I discovered they have a new home range called 'Caravan'. Most of the things are for the kitchen, but at least there was a not a cupcake in sight! Here are a set of tea, coffee and sugar tins I liked.
I hope this 'look' becomes more popular. In the mean time, if anyone help with where I can buy some 'gypsy' inspired bedroom bits, I'd be very grateful!!

Thanks for reading.
Rachel x

Monday, 30 July 2012

Craft Kit

A little while ago, this amazing box arrived in the post.
I had been looking forward to recieving one of these since I knew that Marna from Little A Designs was going to be selling them.
I wrote a blog a while ago about Little A Designs after I attended one of her rosette making workshop. Her work is gorgeous and Marna is lovely, kind and generous.

Inside the box is everything needed to make a family tree cushion, in the same style that Marna uses. Here is what is inside.

There is a piece of linen to use as the base fabric for the cushion. The tree itself has already been cut out by Marna and then there is a selection of different fabrics to use as the leaves (leaves have been drawn on the back and just need cutting out). There is also a packet of various buttons to use as embellishments.
What I wasn't expecting was the selection of sewing equipment, scissors, threads, pin cushion, thimble, pins, needles, tape measure and glue! You can literally take this box anywhere and not need anything else to create the fantastic cushion! So that's exactly what I intend to do. I am going to Tenerife in August and this is the perfect travelling project.

Hopefully I'll have a complete project to show you soon and *hopefully* it will look something like this.

Photograph and cushion by Marna Lunt, Little A Designs.

Visit Little A Designs Facebook page here.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Pom Pom Trim

I LOVE pom pom trim. I have added some to cushions in the past, but it hasn't always been the best quality. I decided to buy some better quality trim, made from proper velvet.
This love trim is from Deckchair Stripes.  

I have made this cushion and added the pom pom trim. I bought a fat quarter of this fabric and then realised I loved it so much I needed some more, so ordered plenty! I am going to use some of it in my next quilt (when the first quilt is finished!)

Does anyone have any good tips for sewing on pom pom trim? It seems very tricky on cushion seams. I used the zipper foot on my machine but still struggled. Maybe there is some cheat method I'm missing!?

I just bought one of these cheap and basic sewing machine from John Lewis.
We have a house in Tenerife and when we go on holiday we want to take a little machine with us that we can leave there. This one is perfect as it is small and light and is well within hand luggage restrictions (with removal of needle). I haven't used it yet, but if it sews as good as it looks I'll be happy. Also, it can be bought in a range of colours!

Thanks for reading.
Rachel x

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Handmade Heart Swap

I have posted about my love of heart shaped/themed items before and so was eager to be involved in Mary Poppins Handmade Heart swap.

I received my lovely parcel from Helene a few weeks ago, but have only just got the chance to post about it.
I was very excited about the swap as it is the first I have been involved in since joining Bloggerland!

I was definitely not disappointed. Here are a few of the things I got.

This was the main item of the package and most definitely my favourite! Helene corcheted this gorgeous floral hanger with beads and heart at the bottom. Her crochet is so neat and tidy and she picked gorgeous colours. It's now hanging in my bedroom.

She also crocheted me this lovely stuffed red heart.

Here are a few other things she sent. Some polka dot fabric, pom pom trim (which I love), some ribbon with hearts on, and some blue and cream ribbon. She also sent a cute little crocheted heart keyring.

Thanks Helene! If you like your package just half as much as I like mine I'll be happy!

Love Rachel x