Monday, 30 April 2018

A Sunday Well Spent

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content is one of those sayings which I think always rings true. A stressful Sunday guarantees a bad start to the week because it feels like the week previous never ended. Our last Sunday felt quite hard work until about 12.30 after we had dropped Etta at a party and taken a very grumpy boy for a spice of pizza. This Sunday was busier than most as it had started with a new morning tennis session which then went straight into mass and then straight into a party for Etta. Raph was exhausted and teary and actually he just needed some food and time to calm down from a hyped up morning. Needless to say my anxieties were on the roof also as stressed kids make stressed parents. I needed that slice of pizza as much as he did, so we ate, played in the aisles of Asda and made unnecessary purchases before collecting Etta and heading home. Started well. Middle was bad. End, Perfect.
As Rob often does in times of trial he headed to the garden and took the kids with him. I was taking some photos for the blog and by the time I was back downstairs they had already grinded an old trike in half and were in the progress of making a go-kart. He kept the kids entertained for hours. In between being interested in what he was doing and "helping out" they played and argued together like all siblings should! 
The results were obviously as you would expect with anything Rob does, quite exceptional and the old trike that Raph got for his second birthday from Grandma was now quite different. I don't have a before picture unfortunately, it had already been cut up by the time I got there, but I am sure you can build a picture. 

Anyway, after completion and trying it out on our very flat Lincolnshire street we decided to head out to my Mum's where they are lucky enough to have shallow, but steep enough, hills! 
Meeting up with multiple cousins, who were all over there already, we spent a bit of time in the evening light riding up and down the hill. Needless to say our children lost interest pretty much straight away but luckily Rob had some nephews and a niece who were quite willing to sit and ride with him!
Enjoy our photos of the process and then the ride!


Friday, 27 April 2018

The White Shirt {FT. Boden}

Spring is here, the sun is out so it's time to start thinking about white! I must say, I have already given my white jeans their first wear this year and it's nearly time to get out a new, crisp white shirt and get that on. Last year I decided to start investing in two main colours for spring/summer that will see me through years of wear and they were white and blue. There are no two better colours for wearing when the sun comes out. I often think more in an every day kind of way too as I don't need to differentiate my wardrobe for work so, for me, these colours are ideal for every day wear. The thing with white and blue is that both colours just scream springtime. You see all the pretty denim dresses coming out and white starts to pop up in all sorts of forms. We all know how nice it is to put on a fresh, crisp white shirt and with a subtle hint of tan {mine's obviously from a bottle}. It is one of those classic items that, with a pair of jeans, makes a perfect combination.

I think when looking for the perfect white shirt you have to think about how you want to wear it. For me, I knew it would be with high waisted stuff, just like these jeans so I wanted one that would be long enough to be tucked in and not pop out at the back. I like white shirts with detail; just a small amount but something to set them apart from a standard, traditional white shirt. This BODEN BELL SLEEVE SHIRT gives me all that. A frill running up the buttons, cropped large sleeves and length that means I am not constantly re-tucking. Everything I want is right here! Let's not forget, like most of BODEN, this is made as a classic, one that can be worn again and again and again, and that's what you look for. You look for an item that in five years you can still wear it and love it like it was the first time. Fashion is about that; finding items that will last you and ones that will therefore never date.

*This shirt was previously gifted.


Thursday, 26 April 2018

My New Studio {A Room & Job Reveal}

If you had said to me on January 1st that this would be the year of a major career change I really would have said, "Naaahhh". The thing is, there is always something that comes up to surprise you when you least expect it.
It's funny how life changes within working. I have always been one to believe you try and follow the path that is laid out before you. Right? So when a new job opportunity appeared I considered it just part of what was maybe meant to be. I have often thought like that, take the opportunities as they come and just enjoy them. I felt I needed a new challenge and this one came with a huge injection of creativity. 
Early in the year I met with Martha and learned about quilting. If you remember, it was what I wrote about learning in February as part of my new year's resolutions. She runs her own business focused on teaching and giving people the equipment needed to pursue the hobby {that's the basics anyway}. After many chats and seeing if I had any interest in quilting and pursuing teaching others, she decided to employ me! Of course it wasn't as simple as that and actually my job role, like many people in my position, isn't just to work on quilting. Nope, there is the whole business side of things that I don't need to go into but let's just say there was a job role there and waiting for a character like me to fill it, so I took her up on the offer!
A new job in a super creative outlet, what's not to love.
I suppose I have always liked consistent work, and there is so much more to this job than the quilting aspect. It's a whole business with all sorts of opportunities and it just so happens that we met at the right time for both of us. So yep, that's my new job!

I'd like to say I am starting from the bottom and working up but I already have some skills with a sewing machine {look back a few years on this blog and you will find plenty of old posts} so really, this is a comfortable area. Plus anything where I can make, photograph and sell, well let's just say I have been practising that for a good few years now also!
 As I said, I very much feel like life is a journey, the paths are there and hey, I am ready for a walk! 

The joys of finding a new job that really infects you is that it often comes with a chance to create a space where you can enjoy working on it. I suppose the amount of room you needs depends on what you are doing. For me, I am lucky enough that my children, at this stage, want to share a bedroom. This leaves one of our three rooms free for me to have as a little office space. In no way is this just an office space though, it is also a general dumping ground and a place where all our clothes drying racks also reside! I know, we use our space wisely! The thing is, life happens and actually if I want the downstairs living space clean and tidy, I have to accept that the one spare room we have has multiple uses! That all said, a new job and one which involved a new big sewing machine to work with meant that I had to use the space I had wisely.
After a trip to the Swedish design hub IKEA I came back with an extra large desk which would fit my new machine on and just give me enough work space.
I already have a small desk in this space for my blog work, so knowing that I was adding another table to this single room filled me with fear. More stuff to fill the space, but as it has turned out I have been able to create a studio style space which fits two desks {and washing} and enough room as a photo studio too.  

As far as styling goes, you know I am a fan of white, wood and rosey pinks. I wanted a large clear desk that could be decorated or when the whole space is needed could be cleared easily. The joys of this desk is that it is made for project work. I love just the one smooth surface and the wooden tressel legs are ideal for filling the shelves with fabric and decorative bits! With a few nice prints, a perfectly pink radio and a couple of plants to help clear my mind, the space is instantly filled but in the simplest of ways.

It was also really important to me to blend what was already in there and not separate the two areas. My blog is so important to me and that work always continues and I wanted to keep that space going as a stand alone rather than sharing one desk for all my jobs. So to really tie the space together and make it look as if it were a complete and whole room I have introduced a rug. A huge one too that connects both areas and means that the room feels whole rather than disjointed. 
It brings comfort to the space and a warmth with the colour which happens to go beautifully with the simple colour scheme already. 

FRITH RUGS are specialist in stocking good quality rugs for your home. They have a really traditional collection but also have the newer modern styles that suit so many of our homes these days. What I was looking for when I decided to use a rug in this space was to find something that tied it all together. I have two very different desks, the white wood floor and quite a few gold accessories. A warm tone was on the cards but I really didn't expect it to be quite so nice.
This rug is from FRITH RUGS and as a review I wanted to state a few things about it.  Not only is this rug in particular beautiful in colour, but its softness and quality is amazing. As soon as I unrolled it I knew it was perfect. 

I think re-inventing a room can be hard when you haven't got big soft furnishings in it. All I have added is a white desk and a rug but it has really created a work space for me. One that feels serious and a place to go and work. I have the ROSE LIPPA CARVED RUG and, like I said, am so pleased with how it looks; a great addition to the room!

It's great giving yourself a space to work when it is possible, but until now I have always worked out of a cupboard! My sewing machine fit away nicely in a cupboard by the dining table and I would just get it out when I wanted. I made the space work for me as at the time it was just a little something I would play with. Now, as it is becoming a job, we are sacrificing space around the house to enable me to work! It's great that I have the office already and I can still fit my sewing gear in this space. 

I hope giving myself a desk devoted to my machine means that I can act on my creative thoughts when they come my way. It means that I can just access my machine when I want and play if the mood takes me and all of this equally stays as a room for all kinds of my work which is what I need. I want to be able to access all my equipment easily whenever I want. Hello beautiful work space!!

You will hear more about my work as time moves on. What's nice about finding a hobby is the 'sharing it' part and I want to share it with you as well as I progress with my own personal skill development.

* My Rug was kindly gifted.
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