Monday, 5 May 2014

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Charity Shop Treasures

So Pippa and I have a bit of love for charity shops and we are always trying to find a bargain in them so I thought I'd show some of the things that we have picked up in charity shops recently. I'm sure there will be more along soon...


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Red wool jumper:
I picked this up from a charity shop in Portswood, I actually really like the colour of it, it brightens up an outfit.


Boots:
The boots were also from charity only £10, I absolutely love them I've worn them so much recently. 


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White wool Jumper (Totnes):
This jumper I actually found in a charity shop in totnes, it feels soooo comfortable, although I'm not too keen on the white colour, I find it doesn't actually go with many of my other clothes, so I might dye it if I get round to dyeing some other items.






Picnic Hamper (new forest)
We absolutely love wicker basket and picnic baskets so we have been keeping an eye out for one for a while. We came across this basket in a charity shop in the new forest (it was empty when we got it for £10) but we have tried to get some crockery etc to fill it, although it isn't finished yet.

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But then we came across this one in another charity shop in portswood, so we decided to get it as well... I sense lots of picnics coming up. Also this goes really well with a blanket I had picked up previously (with a picnic basket in mind)

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Dressform from totnes
My new addition to my sewing room! =) A new adjustable dress form. This will be so much more useful than my old one. Now hopefully I will have enough time to use it. I have a few projects lined up which this will be extremely useful for! In fact you will be seeing it in a project very soon!
Dressform - found in totnes

Nikki

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Me-made-may

Well it is coming up to Me May May challenge time and I have yet to officially sign up, so here goes.

I Pippa, pledge to wear at least one me made item each day in may. And try to keep the rest of my rtw to items bought from charity shops of handed up/down to me.  I will attempt to photograph each outfit to document my progress in this challenge.

(Ok so that might not be the exact Me Made May pledge but I have writen it out from memory as I am currently on a train - where I seem to get a lot of my blog post writing done lately - to weymouth to join the pelican again as a last minute fill in for one of their watch leaders.

This means that the start of my MMM-14 could be interesting, and the reason I have only listed one item each day, although I will try for more if possible.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Spring Cleaning: Blog Feeds

Since the demise of google reader I have to admit I have been useless at following blogs, and even more useless at commenting on things that have interested me. I used to love the button that reader gave you that could be put in the bookmarks bar and you could see the next unread post in its natural environment (I make it sound like some endangered animal!). But I going to each new blog post on its own blog with only the click of one button.

Recently I have got to grips with all of my unread backlog of posts (OK thats a lie, but all the recent unread ones...) using Feedly. I do have a BlogLovin account but never really clicked with it. 

I mostly use the android feedly app but sometimes use it in the web browser which is easier when I want to edit the blogs I follow. The app is brilliant for catching up on blogs in those inbetween times when I have my tablet with me.

I like the way I can categorise my blogs into my own headings on Feedly. I can then review the unread posts by category or my whole feed, I can save/mark the posts to view later which I have been doing with any I want to participate with or which are good tutorials. You can also see the post on its own website with the click of one button within the app.

The only real downside to it I found when getting started was that I imported all my blogs I followed in one go and the Android app doesn't give you an option to move a blog you already follow to a category, only new follows. But after much annoyance at this I logged into the webpage and could do it all there very easily.

Recently I have transfered over a number of blogs I folowed on blogger but never checked, to feedly, removing some of the ones that are no longer updated, or the ones that no longer really intereeted me. Making my feed a lot more interesting. Seeing some of those blogs again is like coming back to old friends, its amazing how much and how little can change in 1-2 years. Lots more babies on my blog feeds now...

My blog feed feels a lot cleaner now, and more functional. I just need to amalgamate the feeds from accidentally creating two accounts and I will have finished spring cleaning my rss feeds.
What spring cleaning are you doing to your blog stuff? Do you regularly clean out your feeds or do you let it get the better of you and change it all in one go?

Spring Top Sew Along

I am planning to participate in Made By Rae's Spring Top SewAlong and  if you have been following my instagram you will know that I have already got started on this project. 



I have been busy modifying my Renfrew Pattern to try and get rid of the annoying creases that sit under my arms a bit like darts... I have finally got a fit I am almost 100% happy with. It still has some fit issues but I have noticed that some of my RTW tops have the same issues so I can live with it for the moment. But most importantly of all they have much deeper arm scyes which gives me more movement and leaves me feeling a lot less sweaty during the day.




I'm Currently planning a few hacks for this pattern to create some nice additions to my wardrobe of items I will actually wear. Bring on the Cake.




Also earlier in the month I drafted myself a peasant style blouse which has been made up in a few different incarnations. 
Once I get reunited with Nicola and my Camera and we have some nice weather I will hopefully have some nice pictures of these to show off. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Tutorial: Making filofax dividers!

So both me and Pippa have got ourselves lovely Filofaxes, Pippa has had hers for over a year now and I'm a more recent convert. Pippa bought me one for my Birthday in November. 

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Our filofaxes left: Pippa's, right: Nikki's
Pippa saw a post on pinterest (from the blog a bowl full of lemons) that inspired her to create filofax dividers. Her filofax didn't actually come with any dividers although mine does. (I still made more, because they are pretty cool and you can never have enough dividers...)

We measured our binders (they are helpfully both pocket filofaxes) so are the same size. The pages are 8cm wide and 12cm tall. This gives us the base size for making the dividers. We chose to make them in publisher because it actually allows for quite easy manipulation of text and boxes etc without too much faff (plus it has neat bits to add a calendar in).

The dividers that we decided we wanted were:

  • Calendar pages (1 month on a page) to use as a planner to indicate days where specific things were happening
  • Blog planners (calendar pages, 1 week per row, to allow scheduling of blog posts)
  • Section dividers (To-Do, Blog, Money, Lists)

But obviously you can make whichever dividers you want/need. 

The design we went for was simple. 4 dividers in a section so the tab would be a 1/4 of the height of the page (3cm in this case). We used a rectangle of 8cm by 12cm for the outside and attached the tab to the righthand edge, we made the tab 1cm wide to make it stand out enough from the page and give space for the text to fit. This was then moved for each of the remaining tabs.

Here you can see the designs for our dividers and calendar pages:


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These will both be laminated to make them more rigid and sturdy. The blog planner pages we decided not to laminate, but if you wanted them to be reusable you could omit the date and laminate them.
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The holes were measured as 5mm wide and 14mm between the edges of the holes. I made the holes and then copied them onto all the sheets. We put 1cm between the edge of the page and the start of the content, but actually this could be reduced because the lamination gives an extra border around the page. If there is too large a border inside the binder it will make it difficult to move the pages.


Here are the pages printed out. You need to be careful to make sure the pages don't scale when you print them out. We printed them onto paper but if you wanted them slightly more robust you could print them onto card. We just didn't have any available at the time.

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Once printed, they need to be carefully cut out, ideally I should have done the majority of that at Uni where they have a guillotine, but I didn't so we tried using a metal ruler and a rotary cutter, and the rest with a pair of scissors. 


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Then it was time for lamination! We don't necessarily have the best laminator in the world (it only cost us £10, but hopefully it will do a good enough job on these)

You need to place the paper dividers into the laminating pouch. Because you have cut them out you don't need to be too careful about how you place them in the pouch, but make sure you have enough gap between them so that you can cut around each divider and have a plastic border (a few millimeters for the border should be enough to keep the seal)

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be sure to leave enough gap around the dividers
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put the pouch in straight

After the sheets have been laminated they are ready to be cut, leave a couple of millimeters as a border around each sheet. The tabs can be difficult to cut around, so using nail scissors can be useful.

Then it is a case of punching the holes. I removed the base of our hole punch and placed the sheet in right side down so I could line the marked hole up with the hole punch.

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Now they are starting to look really nice, and the tabs are perfectly aligned to fit next to each other.
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Next is the moment of truth to check whether the holes are the correct alignment to fit in the binder...
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Luckily they are, although I guess it isn't really luck since I was quite careful when I measured them out and designed them on the computer. They also look quite good since the size of the hole punch was just large enough to remove the circle that was printed. 

Here you can see the dividers in the filofax, I'm very pleased with how they turned out!

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These will definitely help us make better use of our filofaxes! I might even have to make some more dividers if I have more sections that need them. If you are thinking of making some they definitely aren't that difficult to make, if you don't have a laminator you could possibly get away with using card and covering it in sticky back plastic to give it a bit of protection. But definitely give it a go!


Nikki


Monday, 21 April 2014

Colour Inspiration: Sunset

A lovely bright pallet designed around this gorgeous sunset scene. Incidentally this or a very similar pallet is what my new ballroom dress is going to be designed around.
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