Monday, 23 March 2009


Things seem to be getting a bit viral round here these days. The lovely Christine has seen fit to tag me in a questionsaire thingy. And what's good enough for Christine......

These are the rules:

1. Answer the questions, but replace one question with a question of your own; and also, add a question of your own. (I decided to delete a feww and add two new ones).

2. Tag eight other un-tagged people. (I've reinterpretted this as one).

Add the most recent picture you took to the top of this post.

What is your current obsession? Bicing (the city communal bicycle system)

What are you wearing right now? Faded black skinny jeans, misshapen stripey top and cosy baggy grey cardi, it's a midweek look, nothing worth writing home about.

Do you nap a lot? I live in Spain, it's pretty compulsory here, although I've always been a fan due to my inability to sleep properly most nights.

What's for dinner? We just came back from our language exchange/dinner. We had vegetable soup and amazing chicken and date things on skewers.

What are you listening to right now? Portishead, a live version of Dummy.

What is your favourite weather? Spring weather like today, warm and sunny with clear blue skies, it feels so optimistic after the grey winter. Also conditions that make for great sunsets.

What's on your beside table? Handcream, tissues, alarm clock and book. Exciting times.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you. Hi Christine! I think you should be subsidised so all you have to do all day is make beautiful clothes and photos that provide inspiration for the rest of us.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? Here in Barcelona so that me and my boy are secure and won't have to spend so much time worrying about paying the rent!

Favourite vacation spot? Jeez, that's so tricky. I find San Francisco very inspirational, but am hoping to visit NY and Mexico within the next couple of years.
Name the things you can't live without. I've learnt that I'm able to live without an awful lot, but that life is much better when I have certain luxuries around, like my sewing machine and wine. So only really the ability to speak to my friends and family, ideally in the flesh.

What would you like to have in your hands right now? Some new Built By You patterns.
What is the last movie you watched? Waltz With Bashir. Pretty high-brow, but I can't pretend I understood it all.

Name three movies that deeply impressed you and that you still think about. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Zeitgeist: Addendum, and U-Turn.

How do you spend your time on public transport? On the metro I read a book, when using bicing I focus on trying not to get killed.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? My folks sofa to be with them and drink wine, chat, and eat Cadbury's Dairy Milk.

What do you wish to accomplish 5 years from now? To be making at least part of my income from sewing, be living in a warehouse that we have converted ourselves, to be growing most of our own fruit and veg, and be shit-hot at speaking Spanish! Oh, and have an extensive wardrobe full of envy-inducing self made clothes!
Put a picture here of your current hometown/city:

I tag Occasional Martha. If you don't fancy it lady, fair enough, no pressure!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

'Chain, chain, chain, chain of blogs'

Well I'm feeling pretty spesh right now. This state is particularly pleasant considering the arse couple of weeks that have recently passed. A quick run down: losing a load of work with no warning and reaching new levels of skint that I previously only could imagine I was capable of, plus dealing with the subsequent accompanying fear whilst new work was being procured. THEN getting evicted after less than four weeks in our flat, and losing our subtantial deposit through no fault of our own. Fear not, good times will soon be upon us once the latest escape is complete. Then I can get back to contemplating and creating, and filling this blogs raison d'etre.

So I was super grateful to receive the above award from the lovely Occasional Martha. My interpretation is that it's an award for 'Services to Blogland'. Well, she wrote a summary about this blog that was so nice it made me all warm inside. I have decided to celebrate with something else that makes me warm inside:

I've discovered a pretty tasty red Vermouth (renamed Nan-juice by me, as the flavour reminds me of my nan, which is strange because Gin was her poison) from the 'budget' supermarket chain Dia for a mere €1.75! Skintness is the mother of discovery, but I warn you, the hangovers are particularly vicious. That is the nature of this beast, what you save in cash, you lose in vitality the next day.

Well, the rule of receiving this award is that I must pass on the honour, so here are my ten choices, in no particular order:

1, Michelle, my girl from London, has a beautifully perfect blog called Naughty Little Peacock. Her style and creations are fantastical, magical and eclectically influenced.

2, I've been checking out Cheap Opulence for an eon. The content never fails to amuse or fascinate me and somehow every image she includes I find hugely inspirational.

3, I came by Sweet Sassafras through Wardrobe Refashion, when she posted about her self made vintage inspired wedding dress. Her creations and blog are a window to beautiful pre-WW2 stylings. Her new sewing patterns project is a very exciting development that I'm following with baited breath.

4, For some time Christine was a mythical creature who existed on Burdastyle displaying her amazingly perfect garment creations through amazingly perfect photography. Well, guess what? She's real, lives in London, and knows my mate Michelle in one of those 'it's a small world' type ways!

5, I have to include Wardrobe Refashion, because my discovery and involvement in this blog/pledge has genuinely changed my life and way of thinking about fashion, and consumption in general for that matter.

6, For Me, For You provides me with a regular reminder that there's more out there in the world from which to draw inspiration than merely clothes alone. The author acts as a filter for beautiful and interesting things that saves the rest of us a lot of time!

7, In a similar vein to Wardrobe Refashion, Sew Retro is a community blog, rather than a single author affair. I'm not actually a member, but have been visiting the site for doses of vintage pattern/fabric/garment pornography for a number of years.

8, I know this is a Sisterhood award, but I need to make an exception. I also must admit to a sizable obession with the comedian and writer Dave Gorman. I have been lucky enough to see him in the flesh a couple of times (at radio/TV recordings and book readings, if I'm a stalker, then I'm a legit one!), I even spotted him wandering around the east London market where I used to have a stall once. Anyway, his blog is interesting and witty, and at times laugh-out-loud-til-you're-crying funny.

9, A Dress A Day has kept me entertained whilst I blatantly should have been working on more occassions than I care to admit. I love the way Erin fully indulges and celebrates her dress sewing obsession. Her posts are so diverse and perfectly crafted, I am amazed she has any free time left for sewing at all. Plus, she is side-splittingly funny.

10, I have no recollection of how I discovered Yard Sale Bloodbath. However, it indulges my predisposition to nose into other peoples unwanted belongings, which goes some way to patching up the massive charity-shop-and-bootsale-shaped gap left in my life after moving away from the UK. It's a bit like looking into a parallel universe, as I'm sure I'd spend my weekends in a very similar fashion if I lived in the USA.

Thanks again Martha!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Creation House-Keeping

Time for a little house-keeping. Seeing as my sewing equipment has arrived and I have already been sewing up a storm, I thought I'd get up to date by presenting for your viewing pleasure some garms that I made earlier.

First up, the above pictures are of a blouse I made last year from the JJ Burdastyle pattern. I have loved pretty much EVERY version of this pattern I have seen on Burdastyle, and produced my own from a tablecloth bought from a charity shop in Leigh for a mere £1! My mum helped fit the blouse better, and I'm lazy so I 'reinterpreted' the sleeve band/button fastening into a less time consuming cheeky elastic casing affair. The buttons are super-cute little flowers. As I recall, it was my ex who suggested stitching them on with yellow thread to look like the centre of the flowers. I remember laughing my arse off that he had conjured up an opinion about sewing. After I finished laughing I realised it was a very good idea and quietly got on with it. Anyway, it's a pretty spring-like creation so I'm sure it'll be getting a lot more wear in the coming months.

Next up are two dresses that were whipped up from the same pattern from the November Burda World of Fashion magazine (AKA: BWOF, FYI!). These were created whilst I was back in UK for christmas. I had been so starved of sewing that I was virtually panting whilst making them.

The 'day' version is made from a dark grey wool blend, and the 'evening' version from a stretch dark blue/grey satin. These creations serve to remind me how different the results of patterns can look simply by altering the fabric. Which is why I've learnt not to judge the illustrations on manaufactured patterns, or the photographs in BWOF, and to go straight to the technical drawing so as not to cloud any potential that may be hidden under hideous fabric choices!

Anyways, the satin version got it's debut on NYE. The only photographic evidence is from the end of the evening, I'm clearly exhausted from all dress-based compliments I'd received. Really.

Ok, that's a bit of backlog dealt with, new garms are coming, watch this space......(well, the space directly above this post).
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