Friday, August 15, 2014

The Nail (Varnish) Files

I don't know about you, but I keep trying to make myself sort stuff out, to try and minimize how much I (we) own.

One of the things I own way too much of is nail polish.

Proof in point:

Blues and Nudes.

Oranges, Reds and Purples.

Pinks!!!
And this is after I got rid of about 40 bottles.

Ashamed?

Yes. Yes, I am.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Peonies

 Hi lovelies!

Like many, many people I adore peonies... pretty pink peonies, all lacy and frilly, and smelling divine.

I don't have many plants in my back yard, and I definitely don't have a green thumb (I kill more than flourish), and I am absurdly terrified of spiders... so I consider myself lucky with my neglected yard and it's floral treasures.

Still, I managed to grow a few peonies this year from a three-year old plant - first time it's flowered... so pic overload coming:











I am so happy that the first time my peony flowered and I got 6 glorious flowers to enjoy. I even put a couple next to my bed to enjoy the beautiful heady-summery fragrance as I floated into dreamland.

Hope you're all enjoying this marvelous summer weather!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Still Making Jewellery ~ pic heavy


Ciao amici,

 I've been keeping myself busy making lots and lots of jewellery, and I am still planning to open an Etsy shop at some point. I just need regular access to the computer, which I'm not at the moment.

 Here's some of what I have been working on:

Vintage medals I have been collecting since I was 18.

Bronze beauty.

Lace cuffs in the making.

Stretchy bracelets, perfect for layering.

Crown earrings.

Bow earrings.

Vintage glass beads mixed with new trinkets.

Mary medals from my stash.

Pretty in pink.

Summer flower bracelet.

Cross and heart bracelet.

Mother-of-pearl birdie bracelet.

New and vintage mix bracelet.

 A tiny selection of jewellery I have been working on.

 Ciao for now xoxo 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Limoncello Lemon Curd


I happened to come by some real Amalfi lemons, and let me tell you... pure summer!!!
I also had a bottle of Limoncello from Lake Garda (photos show a different bottle, I know, I just grabbed the wrong one first) that my mum bought back from her last trip to Italy.

Lemons + Limoncello = Limoncello lemon curd!!!

(Yes, too many exclamation points - but so worth them, I swear)

Real Amalfi lemons - have to be smelled to be believed. So wonderful!

Ingredients gathered together, recipe ready.

My cheat bain-marie - but it works. Also, dirty cooker top - don't judge, I cook a lot and I do clean it in between!

Made two almost full jars out of those three lemons. Heaven in a jar.
Seriously, it was like having the Amalfi coast in my kitchen while I squeezed and cooked. And all that whisking left me with two delicious jars of summer to spread on my morning toast.

Home made lemon curd is so much better tasting than shop-bought, and worth the effort of making.

I can provide the recipe if anyone wants it, just leave a comment below.

Mangia, Mangia!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

La Dolce Vita

I've been on a bit of a baking bug lately - well, I always love baking, but I also enjoy eating *sigh* - and I had a real craving for apricot biscotti, so I made some:


A large batch of apricot and orange flower biscotti


The coffee's on! Cooker-top needs a good scrub LOL



Waiting patiently...
They were delicious, and didn't last a week!!!
I've had my orders to make these again - Boo loved them, and loved sharing them with her friends :)

I will provide the recipe if anyone wants it, just leave a comment (they are easy).

Mangia, Mangia...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Slave to my Phone!

I have long held the belief that, if I had to, I could manage without my mobile/cell phone... after all, I'm almost completely agoraphobic. I only use it for texting... and Instagramming (oh, how I love - and miss - Instagram. Instagram on my Kindle is rubbish and I always end up giving up in frustration!!!).

That was until my phone died!



It had been acting up for ages, but didn't think it would go so soon, after all my daughter has the same phone - we got them at the same time and she uses hers far more than I do, with all her social media, instagram, interest, etc.

I know I need a new phone, but I literally have no idea which one to choose. I begrudge spending a fortune on one as I don't work, and I rarely leave the house, so no fancy iPhone for me.

I'll have to get one soon, though, as I'm going cold turkey without a phone in my hand lol!!!

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages through email, IG, etc who wondered where I was *hugs*

(Sent via my Kindle!)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Re-Vamped Skirt

 Afternoon everyone!

I have to admit that I love altering clothes and putting my own twist on them, making them more 'me' so to speak. I've been altering clothes since my Adam and the Ants phase in the 80's *nods* I even have photographic proof of the white cotton shirt I painstakingly added white frills and lace to make it all 'New Romantic' *facepalm*

As soon as I got bored of clothes as a young teenager, I would get out the pins,scissors and borrow mum's sewing machine to revamp them into something new and what I thought was cool.

I like to pretend I'm much more refined in my clothing choices these days, but I still love revamping stuff when I get bored of things.

After trying on this thrifted M&S Per Una skirt and loving the fit, but hating the length, I decided to give it a little make-over... shabby it up a little... add some frills to make it more my length (ankle-length):

My ever trusty sewing machine. The pintin and and snips I have had for over 20 years.m I'm thrifty like that LOL
Also added some old Mother-of-Pearl buttons down the front after removing the brown metallic ones.



A close up of the two added frills, and ric-rac trim.

I'm loving wearing it now it's not an awkward length anymore, though I am still tempted to add some white lace trim to the white frill. Also, I left the edges raw to give them an older feel, as I love the frayed look, especially after it's been washed a few times..

Have a good weekend friends xo

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Too Many Clothes?

Ciao friends!

One of my first loves has always been textiles and fabric, specifically clothing. I even went to college to get my diploma in fashion and textiles... originally I wanted to be a pattern cutter, but it was impossible to find a job in that area of design back then, sadly.

But then, not long after I left college, I met my husband, we moved in, and I very quickly got pregnant with our first daughter... and I have always been on the slightly larger size (definitely plus size now, though) so I used my college skills to just make my own clothes, and clothes for my kiddos... as well as diversifying into soft furnishings for our home, etc.

But clothes have always been a bit of an obsession for me. My wardrobe often bursts from being stuffed to the brim - evidence below. And nothing is as cathartic as a good wardrobe sort-out :




Overflowing, bursting and poof! Clothes everywhere.
Always best to start by emptying everything out, and preparing to try everything on!
Brand new clothes hanging seperately because there's no room in the wardrobe for them.

Afterwards. All tidy and organized again. Yay!
And I can shut the doors. All 3 of them. Double yay!!!
And here's everything I'm keeping for now but is too small for me.
 I managed to sort out two huge black bin bags for the charity shop, and now I feel really good about my wardrobe.

Still, I would give my third-born for a walk-in wardrobe/closet (not really LOL I love her too much).

Bye for now xoxo



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Old Interest Re-Awakened

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it would be a good time to tidy up and whittle down my craft area... which is just a little tiny alcove in the corner of my kitchen:-

So tidy!
Over the last few months, I have used this space more as a dumping ground for half-started, half-finished projects, and nothing more. Above is tidy, if you saw it now, well, it looks nothing like the above pic.

See, embarrassing!


The only trouble when I started tidying up was that I rediscovered my beading and jewellery supplies. That means that tidying up got waylaid by my desire to start making some jewellery again.

Jewellery making supplies.


I started making my own jewellery when I was around 16 years old, to make some extra pocket money (of course, my own family were my best customers LOL). Mum took me to a craft centre in Edwinstowe and they were demonstrating making earrings... and I was hooked (pun not intended). Mum even bought me a little pair of jewellery pliers to make them, and I still use them now. Though I did buy myself a pretty new pastel set a while ago.

Here's some of the jewellery I have made over the last couple of weeks:-

5 Pairs of earrings freshly made.





A romantic bracelet.




Another romantic bracelet.




Earrings.


I like a lot of jangle!




A necklace using an old Sealed Knot medal! Me and Hubby both took part in Sealed Knot re-enactments - before children!!!


Sorry the quality of the pics isn't great, I took them from my Instagram account, but I am working on taking some better quality pics soon, and also working on opening up an Etsy shop to sell my wares.


In other news: It's the Easter holidays here in the UK... so far I haven't seen all that much of my three kids. They all have better social lives than either me or my lovely husband lol





Well, that's about all for now, but I will be back soon with some better photos of my jewellery!

*hugs*
~Rachel
xoxo