Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The Constant Reminder That Family Is Everything. A Spoonful Of Sherman Review.

I speak a lot about the nuclear family on here. How they are my centre and how they are the ones that matter. It is a very important attitude to have as not only is it good for protection but also for living a good lifestyle. This obviously doesn't mean that the extended family is removed, that itself is just another layer to life, an outer circle. The core though, is important and I suppose after a few recent events I have been reminded of this once again.

A couple of weeks ago we headed to our local theatre, NEW THEATRE ROYAL and enjoyed a performance of A SPOONFUL OF SHERMAN. A brilliant musical based on the life of the Sherman family. A family whose names you may recognise more recently from the film Saving Mr. Banks, but actually as the names of the two brothers, who wrote most of Disney's hit songs, including the Mary Poppins score, but also songs from The Aristocats, The Jungle Book and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was actually their father who was famous before they were. A composer himself who wrote for many famous people including the likes of Frank Sinatra. He was a man who put his family at the centre of everything and even though they spent a lifetime travelling and working, they were always all together. Then as Mr and Mrs Sherman Snr. passed on the boys continued the tradition and worked together composing music and bringing up their own families. Back to the musical we saw, it was a fantastic performance of all of their hit songs based around the retelling of the Sherman's lives. I would say it was one of the best singing performances I have ever seen from the five actors and it was a beautiful family event. We took the kids and they enjoyed it especially when it got to the Disney era. I however would have enjoyed it with just Rob also; it just was a really beautiful story told so well. The set was fab and it all took place in a 50/60s style office with just two pianos. In fact, writing all about it makes me want to see it again! It was so very poignant and just really emphasised the importance of family while repeating their family moto "Together we're family, together we're one". 

I love the small reminders and how they come through different mediums to always come back to the family; the core and your team!

It was a great musical to enjoy so locally. I am really loving just being able to pop to the theatre and access entertainment like this so easily. It is closer to the North of the city meaning we could walk there if it were just Rob and I, but with the kids, it still is only a short car ride. Thank you to the theatre for gifting us the tickets to see this play.


Saturday, 26 May 2018

I Made This!

This post isn't going to be the longest I have ever written as actually I am afraid it doesn't come with a how to. Nope. The thing about sewing is you can have an idea, and make and share it, but when it comes to clothes and especially beginners I can only really share where I got the pattern. 
Having decided that Martha {Quilting Boss} and I were going to start putting our JUKI sewing machines to the test, we decided that, rather than use them for a more industrial project like a heavy quilt, to try a super simple something with a very light fabric. After doing a bit of research I came across SEW OVER IT, a brilliant British sewing brand which is there to teach the skills of sewing and dressmaking. Having read up I found a pattern for something pretty simple and got the PDF. Now, having never done any pattern based work before I thought that you got a pack with tracing paper in, but now you can buy and print straight away. You just stick the pages together and then cut out. 

I chose to make a KIMONO JACKET as we had some beautiful RIFLE PAPER CO rayon fabric {Available in America} and just felt as it was so silky in texture it would make a very pretty garment that needed to drop. We went for the long style {which you can choose when cutting} and just followed the instructions that came as part of the PDF pack. It couldn't have been easier. And by easier I mean I was able to do it with guidance from two very accomplished sewers. In my situation I wasn't sat by myself making it but I did make all of it. It just meant I was able to check a few things as I went along. Those little confidence wobbles were put to rest and after about 5 hours I had a finished jacket which I was absolutely over the moon about.

There were definitely a few things that made this whole experience easier though. The Fabric is expensive but it is such good quality. I mean, it is gorgeous and actually I would buy it again as I feel it is worth it. Our machines were the JUKI DX7 which I love. I find it such an easy machine and it sews perfectly. It is not stressful and just works very, very well. We also used a JUKI OVERLOCKER which Martha has, which goes over all your seams and finishes them professionally meaning they won't fray. Good quality thread was also a necessity and actually meant the kimono looked more professional. 

All in all, I cannot believe this world has opened up before me. Never did I think that in May 2018 I would start to dip my toe in dressmaking and in a very serious way. I absolutely loved this project and it has really inspired me to do more. 
Enjoy the pictures!

(Turned out to be quite a long post after all!)


Friday, 25 May 2018

Where My Happiness is {Quilting}

When I first started talking with Martha about getting into quilting there was something that was so apparent and something that hooked me in from the very beginning. I suppose when I was first learning it was an opportunity to develop myself. I decided that instead of having one new year's resolution I would pick a new one each month and quilting came up. I suppose I am the kind of character that takes to challenges well. I will have a go at most things and I learn a lot from just watching and listening to people. It was the way Machine Quilter spoke and how she showed me stuff that inspired me to get started. I dove right in and after just 2 meetings came home and pieced my first ever patchwork totally independently. I had never done one before but I always learn from doing. I had seen examples, listened and just went for it, and I am so glad I did! It got my brain working over time. I was thinking, problem solving, experimenting and learning first hand. I was lucky, it came naturally to me and just worked. I tried to hake a half square triangle patch work, also having never made one, struggled but still went ahead and then was able to learn 10 times more from the mistakes I made. That was the biggest lesson; learning how to be better from being able to recognise where I went wrong. It wasn't awful, I didn't throw it away I just was able to use it as a teaching tool for myself. 
Working through these processes early on really made me find a place in my head for quilting. I can't be expected to just produce something in a perfect way having never dedicated the time to it before. It is only through trying that I am able learn. It is a hobby therefore it should be fun, I should take pride in the mistakes as it is from them that I develop an art form. The joys of hobbies are that they take you away from the hard work and stress. They give you that "space" we all need. Whether we are working full time or parenting 24/7, finding a mental space for a hobby really gives you a space to live as you. Doing what you want to do and just finding the time for that is just what I need in my life. I put the radio on, open the windows, let the breeze drift in and just play. The time is mine and I can use the joy of learning to give my creativity an escape! 


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Tesco Home Press Day {AD}

{This is a paid advertorial with Tesco}

It seems crazy that in the height of a May heatwave I am sharing ideas for Autumn. The thing is, when I was asked to head to London and view some of the new range from FOX & IVY, Tesco's very own luxury home brand, I was more than happy to check it out. 

If like me you had written Tesco off to just selling candles and floral bedding you are very wrong. After introducing FOX & IVY as their more stylish, high trend home range, Tesco home wares have never looked so good. Easily accessible online or, of course, as part of  your weekly shop, Tesco have now created a real cult home wear brand at an incredibly affordable price. 

The new collection, ready for Autumn/Winter 18 is colour rich, stylish and full of in house designs. For some reason you don't associate Tesco's with in house design teams, sat researching, painting and actually hand drawing what ends up on the cushions. But there is. And having chatted to a few about their inspirations and what mediums they like to use, I came away wanting to crack open the water colours and have a play myself. 

What I loved looking at in the new season's range is the depth of colour that is being used. Navy blue was popular colour choice along with dark berries and greys. You then have all your metallic touches also which is what helps bring a rich luxurious feel to everything. With glamour being a big key like the shiny golds against the marble tables,  just seeing them altogether brings a touch of class that we all want in our homes.

I was so impressed with the level of quality art work that was being done by hand and not just by computers. I don't have anything against computer generated prints but it is just nice to see the process of how Tesco really are working their pattern and design from the ground up. In one of their prints, The Crane bird image was actually taken from a vase one of the art directors had in his home. I think it must be so nice to see a print build from something you have in your home as an item already. An artistic eye lead to and range which means a lot more to him due to the personal touch.

Whats more, FOX & IVY are not the only brand in Tesco's home selection. With exquisite table wear onto the market, Tesco's really is becoming a place to get everything. There impressive premium cook wear range GO COOK also has a lot to offer. Whether you are an everyday cook or someone who wants to give more culinary efforts in the kitchen, again, so much more is available from this all round brand.

While you look at the pictures, remind yourself that these will all be available at Tesco, yep, where you do your grocery shop, and think for a minute about how easy it is to bring into your home. 

I think it is fantastic and just shows how brilliantly up to date the Tesco design team are. They are inline with all the themes that are appearing at all the press days and it is making sure that they are up there as one of the big hitters. With neither price or style compromised, you will be so pleased with what is coming out!!

For more ideas from Tesco check out the FOX & IVY RANGE and the new GO COOK RANGE now.

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