Tuesday, 29 June 2021

CREATIVE // Homemade Boot Laces

 Home Made Boot Laces

I absolutely loved my friend Charlotte's boots when I saw that she had purchased some handmade boot laces off Etsy. This was nearly 2 years ago, when I first got my Grenson boots. It coincided with her getting hers and we both were so happy with them. Seeing Charlotte's boots dressed up with her own personal touch really made me want to try it out. After all this time has now passed, I finally got on and brought the one tool I needed to be able to make my own boot laces and here we are. 

There are loads of tutorials online about making your own shoe laces, before you start any though there is this one particular tool that can help you get a professional finish; the loop turner. This little contraption is a long, thin hook which enables you to turn tubes or thin ties the right way round after sewing them inside out, to give you a smart finish. It is so useful for all sorts of little projects where you need to turn thinner items inside out. Its much easier than my go to method; the classic biro. Anyway, that's a lot of chat on a tool which I don’t really know the name of, I wanted to get it out there though because makng these laces was only made possible by it. 

How To Make Boot Laces

I had a lovely scrap of Liberty Tanna Lawn fabric left from previous projects, and with it not being too wide, but very long it was really perfect for lace making. 

I pressed the fabric until it was smooth and cut inch wide strips, the length of the fabric. Mine happen to be just over a metre which was plenty for my boots. I suggest measuring laces that are already in your shoes to get the perfect length for you. 

Having cut 2 lengths I then folded them in half, longways, with the right sides together, so that the clear print was on the inside. Instead of using an iron I actually used my hair straighteners. This was because they were so small and fiddly, I found them so easy to hold and press between the two iron plates. 

Once pressed in half I did a simple straight line stitch up the whole side on my Juki DX7. Do not sew across the ends though, this is where we will be turning the fabric so that the print is the right way round. 

Once sewn you will need to grab your turning loop tool. I would first watch this super short tutorial which really clearly shows you what to do. 

Thread the lace onto the turning tool all the way to the end and hook the small hook onto the end of the fabric. This is so fiddly. My first lace took me 5 minutes to do, my second took nearly half an hour! The hook should just catch on the fabric. Once hooked, you pull the tool out of the lace, so that the fabric turns in on itself and becomes the right way round (this was the part that took me ages as it wouldn’t budge).

Once the lace is the right way round, press it flat again with an iron, or in my case, hair straighteners, then sew up the open ends of the lace. As it is small you might find hand stitching is easier.

Now re-lace your boots!

I am not going to lie when I say, some parts of this simple project are really fiddly. But the satisfaction you get once you look down at them on your feet really outweighs the fussy parts!


FASHION// Dress & Jeans

I still love talking about fashion but my biggest problem in recent months is that I really have felt compelled to not push people towards buying. I really don't like that idea anymore so I have not talked about fashion as much as I used to. In all honesty, I just never want people to feel pressured to always have to buy something new to make a look. It has been hard as well because there has been an element of not buying lots of nice things because of the global situation of being locked down means that many fashion purchases may end up being wasted. With all these thoughts though I can't get away from the fact that I love clothes, shopping and taking pictures of nice outfits. I Suppose what I really want to do is just say, like a disclaimer; use my pictures for ideas and don't forget to shop your own wardrobe before you buy something new!

I know I have shared similar outfits to these in the past but I never think oversharing a style or way you like to dress is a bad thing. I know if you have followed me for a while this won't be a revelation but I simply love wearing dresses over my jeans. So much in fact that recently I was sharing again on Instagram and I felt I needed to get the pictures down on here too. 

So why do I love it? I just find this look really suits me and it makes me feel very pretty. That is what dressing is all about right? That feeling of just simply feeling good in what you wear. All three of these different outfits are very old. Items that haven't been worn at all in the last year but as we come out into spring/summer I am finding I have a real want to dress like this and feel very comfortable doing so. 

As always fashion isn't about trend following. The idea of looking good doesn't necessarily come from the clothes on your back but from the joy within. I want to tell you to enjoy your clothes, not just buy them because everyone else is.

My 3 dress over jeans look:

Yellow Ghost Dress (Old but still for sale here) Alternative Ghost Dress / Great Plains Dress

Red silky dress H&M (Old) Alternative  Ghost Dress / White Stuff Dress

Blue Denim Dress Nobody's Child (Old) Alternative Mango Dress / Warehouse Dress Jeans Boden (Old) Alternative Oasis Jeans / & Other Stories Jeans


Monday, 28 June 2021

MIND // Self Care Tips To Implement Everyday.


Each week passes so quickly at the moment and I find myself in a real lull with the blog. As much as I like creating I find I am making excuses as to why I shouldn't sit down and write. I know why, and that is always a start. My reasoning is more practical. I am doing a few courses right now which need essay assignments done and due to minimal work over the home school period I have been cramming a bit these last three weeks. Also, each week simply disappears. What is that? It just constantly goes, and not in any kind of bad way, I think I am enjoying the quiet of the kids being back at school as much as I am not. It's so strange this limbo way of life, but here I am, eventually back on the computer actually writing for myself and it is flowing easily. 

If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram you may of seen a while ago that I was invited to speak with Fortis Therapy, a local Lincolnshire based therapy centre, about self care and how I implement it into my life. I promised the girls I would have a follow up post sharing more of my tips so hear it is. 

I find the idea of self care amazing to be truthful. I think we all in a way practice some kind of action to help look after ourselves better. I know most of the time we probably don't call it self care because that can sometimes come with a connotation of feeling selfish. We tend to think that giving our selves a bit more time or care comes at a negative cost, the thought in fact that us doing something for ourselves takes away from care for someone else. We end up in a cycle of only giving ourselves a bit of time or extra love because "that's all we have time for". I am here to tell you to stop thinking this! Giving yourself a bit more care actually only encourages a better attitude to caring for others. It does. The better you feel, the better you respond to work and family. 

At the centre of self care is the idea that you actually become more mindful towards yourself. The moment that you start to practice more mindful actions is the moment that you suddenly realise what you actually have. The switch from running in a race where you spend your time keeping up with everyone else to only keeping yourself going is monumental. Part of self care is realising that the measure of you and of what you do has no comparison to others. The phrase "you do you" has never been more appropriate in this scenario. Of course it doesn't mean "you do you to a point of become completely selfish with a huge lack of care towards others and the world." No. It means that your measure can only come from a place from within. It is within us all to know what works and what doesn't work. Comparison, judgement, anger, jealousy are all emotions that are quick to bubble up inside of us when we make our life work in the reflection of others we may see on social media. We have to be able to break away from those thoughts and make sure we are giving ourselves time to focus on what we want to gain from life, not what others might think we need to gain.

Self care is giving up those thoughts and negative process through actions of self detoxification. We first have to start stepping away from trying to live at the same pace and to the same level as everyone else. This doesn't mean we don't try or we become lazy with goals we want to achieve. This means we start to appreciate what good we have to offer, how we can achieve in different ways, at different times, from different places. The comparison to others is a good place to start helping yourself. When you remove the idea of being like other people and become more authentic to yourself you start a chain reaction of release that flows into everything. 

Giving yourself time to institute care routines then gives you small pockets of time to become more reflective. It is time that I believe is the biggest gift to yourself. The biggest part of self care in fact is giving yourself more time. More time to exercise, sleep, read, watch TV, all the things we love doing in fact and all the things that get shelved as we get too busy. Getting into good self care practices is really about giving yourself small pockets of time to do the things you love. It doesn't mean writing off whole afternoons. It means going to bed half an hour earlier so you get more sleep. It means taking 5 more minutes to wash your face on a morning, having a smoothie of spinach, kale, and broccoli a couple of times a week to up your intake of body changing greens (with fruit obvs. to make it sweeter). It means maybe walking a bit more, to work or on the school run, sitting in the sun with a cup of tea, nothing that takes huge chunks of time away from you, but actions that help you use all those wasted minutes really doing something for you.

The biggest part of self care in these small actions is getting away from your phone. Just in 5 to 10 minute pockets. Putting it down to enjoy a tea or coffee in the sunshine will transform your entire mood. Walking and just looking up will transform you. Not rushing to check your emails on a morning because you took a bit more time to wash and put on a nice skin product will transform you. 

I think I could have just simply said at the beginning of the post to give yourself time to truly enjoy life. 

That is really what this is about. It's about embracing life a little bit more, in all the small ways to make you feel like you are living for purpose not just living to do what everyone else is doing. 

We are all individuals. We all like different things. We all work differently. When you recognise that, what you do for yourself and others becomes more bountiful. 

My self care actions:

These are not all everyday actions but this is a list of things I do that make me appreciate myself, life, family, what I already have and how to work to my best ability.

I set my alarm 10 minutes before my husband's goes off. 

I wake up to natural light. (no blinds)

As soon as I wake up I state what I am grateful for. 

I make time to go on a walk most days.

I listen to audio books and podcasts that will teach me something.

Take hot drinks outside and just sit in the garden for 5 minutes.

I never let the weather stop what I am doing.

I also try not to let the weather dictate how I should feel. I have learned to stop saying "It's miserable outside".

I eat a very normal family diet but try to have a smoothie on the weekday packed with more greens to help boost immune.

Practice mindfulness.

Practice non judgemental living

Don't consume too much news. Only the main news and from a minimal number of outlets.

Don't share everything on social media.

The main thing to always remember when trying to practice something that will help me become a better person; You just have to practice, that's all you can do, keep trying and working towards living better


Friday, 25 June 2021

HOME INTERIORS // What's New Around The House

I thought I should share a small catch up post about how the house is looking. Having shared a few posts of the bedrooms earlier on in the year I thought I would show you how our space looks after an Winter/Spring of pottering on it. 

Like most homes our space is ever changing to suit our needs. We have constantly strived to have more storage to help keep the house looking clean. With everything that has happened this last year and Rob very much still working we have pottered along on a couple of projects which are edging closer to being concluded. Our biggest build since plastering last year was a beautiful sideboard which now sits in our living space. Storing everything from hats and wellies to tech. It's just another good use of the space we had and it has allowed us to modernise our home a bit more. For Rob this was a real labour of love and learning. I won't be writing a how to because it was a personal experience of figuring a lot of it out but I wanted to share the idea and finished structure to inspire any others in their furniture building projects.

 As wood panelling seems to be one of the most current popular house trends I decided that I also wanted to feature a bit more wood in the house, but I wanted something that reflected the natural state of the product. To match the side board we have also panelled the cupboard doors opposite and we plan to move the same idea into our bedroom space in the attic to bring a more wholesome Scandinavian vibe up there. Our bedroom is a brilliant space and has always done us well but it needs some love to keep up with the rest of the house now! I will be showing you all that when it is done.

Other things around the house that I haven't shared are our beautiful sash window mirrors which we made years ago and have been painted black from white creating a more industrial look. I have added some shelves where our old full size chalkboard used to be. I have also added shelves and a mirror to the bottom of the stairs having replastered this whole area last September. 

Other small differences are that I have replaced rugs downstairs for jute ones. We sanded off the paint from the under stairs cupboard door so it is back to its bare original state. Over the last 6 months we have also repainted the whole downstairs which has kept it feeling bright and airy and of course cleaner than it was. 

Other than that list, we are still happily living in our small ex-council house in the middle of town and feel more fortunate than ever to have this beautiful space that we have created ourselves. Has your house changed much over the last year? Ours just seems to have been ongoing for so long and beyond now is still being changed. Rob has also extended our drive by getting rid of a bit of lawn and we have removed the kids' climbing frame and replaced it with a trampoline.

We are so pleased with all our changes and like I said, our attic bedroom needs some love, but the home to-do list never ends and we love that!

A few more pictures from our living space.

Shopping List:

Most of the things in our house are collected over time or even old things transformed to new.
My vases are nearly all old and repainted by me.
Posters are from Desenio / Flower Love Child
Poster Frames JYSK
Lamp Similar Dunelm
Rugs Next
Round Chair Cox & Cox

Other things are collected from all sorts of places, gifts, ebay and local shops. A collection of things.

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