Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Craft & Thrift does hen party!

Last weekend was my hen do and much crafting, thrifting fun was had by all!  I wanted it to be quite relaxed, with the kind of activities my friends with babies could partake in, between feeds and changes.  You may have already seen some of these pictures if you follow me on Instagram but I thought I'd bring them all together here, with links to some of the projects and recipes we used.


One of my favourite things in the world is afternoon tea with cocktails.  I love me some baking, and baking with friends with the radio on in the background and sunshine streaming through the kitchen window, was perfect.  We had quite the spread, you can see the recipes used (or approximations thereof!) in the links below, or just drool over the pictures, whatever floats your boat!
Cocktails included Mojitos with homegrown mint and peach bellinis.  All served in my selection of thrifted china and glassware.  One of my new-to-me sets is the cups on the left there, you can see a close up of the plates below, how cute are they?  A total bargain from a charity shop, £3 for 3 cups, 3 saucers and 2 side plates.  Very Scandinavian inspired I think.


Next up - sugarcraft!  Taught by the lovely Heather of Heather's Cakes, we all learned how to make edible sugar icing roses, which will eventually end up decorating my wedding cake.  I was really pleased with the outcome of these, they look lovely all grouped together.  Everyone was worried their roses would be the bad one, but honestly I think they look amazing, we all did a great job!  If you're interested in making sugarcraft roses yourself, check out this Youtube video.  Or hire Heather, she's amazing.


From there more cocktails and food at mine and Andrew's favourite Bruntsfield Bar, Henricks.  We had our engagement party here and regularly visit with the dog, it's a lovely bar with a great selection of modern Scottish food and wine (amongst other beverages).  They make a lovely fuss of Badger, which always sells me on a venue.  And they're literally stumbling distance from my flat.




Frances made me this amazing 'Bride' sash, hand sewn!  Mary Jane added to it with a hand sewn 'Bride to be' rosette. My friends are so creative and thoughtful!

From there, those of us left wandered into town for some more cocktails and free cabaret at Voodoo Rooms.  All in, it was an amazing weekend, I woke up on Sunday hungover and husky-voiced, but having had a brilliant time.



Sunday was craft recuperation time, so I finished off the last of the brooch bouquets and browsed my lovely photo album, handmade by Victoria literally as we went!  She brought an Instax camera with her and mounted the photos in the bars as we drank, getting my lady friends to write touching and silly notes along side each one.  That is dedication to your craft, right there.   


The brooch bouquets are finally done, I can't wait to show them off in a future post but I'm going to save it until I've got professional photos of them all.  They've turned out really well though, I'm really pleased I used fake flowers because I'll have my bouquet to keep forever.  It's going to be lovely to walk up the aisle carrying brooches from friends and family, plus some thrifted pieces with Frances and Victoria.  It's like a little piece of all areas of my life, together in a bouquet.  Only 4 weeks to go now...!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Hand knit hat from Studio Donegal wool yarn

You may remember this project from way back in January, it was a gift for Christmas from the lovely Victoria and I finally finished it a few months back.  Foolishly thinking it was summer and it would be several months until I got to make use of it, the weather then started with some serious rain and fog.  In August.  Welcome to Scotland you guys!



The pattern is from the amazing Pom Pom Quarterly, which is a lovely, gentle, knitting-themed read.  Perfect for autumnal nights in the bath.  I see on their website they have a podcast as well, if anyone has listened to it, let me know, I'm planning on stocking up on podcasts for the honeymoon and would love some recommendations.


Andrew helped me take these on the Meadows, which are literally opposite our flat and constitute about 90% of our regular dog walks.  In fact, I had to edit the dog pooping in the background out of one of these photos.  Thanks buddy.  Photos taken outside are so much better, aren't they?  Way less editing involved.  Thanks to Franca of Oranges and Apples for encouraging me to take the embarrassing plunge.  Next step, remote control camera and a tripod, then there'll be no stopping me!


Despite it being August, it was foggy and chilly, so the trusty Barbour was out in force.  I seriously haven't taken this off (except maybe to shower) since buying it in December, totally worth every expensive penny.  I love that it can be rewaxed and the hardware replaced, like the zip and poppers.  Although it was a large outlay at the time, from a thrift point of view it will more than pay for itself since I plan to wear it for the next 30 years at least.  Big pockets for dog treats and keys, little handwarmer pockets for me pinkies, all finished off with a tweed edging - just beautiful.  The only criticism I have of this jacket is the hood is a little on the short side, it finishes midway up my head, leaving my fringe and forehead exposed to the elements.  I was swithering over whether or not to add a pompom to this hat (Pom Pom suggests a Toft alpaca fur pompom, which would be decadence itself and completely amazing) but to be honest, the awesome geek fashion statement is outweighed by my desire to have my already-too-small hood cover as much of my head as possible.  Hat stays pom pom-less...for now...



The yarn is a gorgeous Studio Donegal 100% merino in this lovely mossy green that I think compliments my hair perfectly.  I've got a second skein left over so may contemplate a snood or maybe some gloves to match.  I do feel sad when summer passes by, but I do so love autumn knitting plans!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Wedding work in progress

I almost didn't share these pictures, after a recent query on Craftster for blog constructive criticism drew attention to some aspects of my photos (namely - a dirty floor!) that definitely need improving.  Now I'm looking at all my photos with new eyes - look at that mark on the wall!  Look at the dust on that shelf!  Look at the coffee rings on that table!!!  It's a wonder any of you have been able to focus on my crafting at all.


Mocking aside, the person mentioned raised some good points (and some questionable ones) that have definitely got me thinking about my blog and my motivations behind blogging.  There's a post brewing in my brain, but I haven't quite worked out how I feel about it all yet, so that's a story for another day.  More importantly though, IT'S MY WEDDING BOUQUET!!


It's not quite finished and I've still got the bridesmaids bouquets to make (one is done, the other partly done even as we speak) so expect more photos with fewer coffee rings in the future.  But I was too excited about the whole thing not to show you guys, so dust and coffee rings be damned!


It's nice to see a progression in this project, from brooches and wire, to proper, solid bouquet.  It's a heavy beast as well, it must be a couple of kilos at least.  No throwing this baby at the end of the wedding night, it would have someone's eye out.  I'm planning a proper photoshoot of the finished bouquets, using tips gleaned from the lovely Tilly's, "How to photograph your sewing projects" post.  But for the moment, indulge me in my dusty, coffee ringed, dirty pictures, another little bit of my wedding day is being created and I want to share that moment with the world!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Trawl through 'Saved for Later'

We all do it, I'm sure.  Click 'Save for Later' on Feedly (or your blogroll equivalent) and then promptly forget what's stored in that little folder.  Pinterest (feel free to follow me, Craft and Thrift on Pinterest or see my widget at the bottom of the page!) is a much better way to organise your saved links, since you have a quick visual run-down of your pins every time you pass through your boards, but sometimes I can't be bothered to pin stuff on my tablet, since it's not as straightforward as clicking the 'Pin it' button.  So, interesting articles end up in 'Saved for Later' folder, never again to see the light of day.


Just a nice picture of a starfish from my Instagram.

Until now.

My new blog series will feature 5 or 6 interesting links pulled from my Feedly 'Saved for Later' folder.  I'll try and theme them each time, but if something's super interesting, I'll just put it out there for y'all to read!

This week's loose theme is 'Regaining Control'.  It's been an emotional rollercoaster over the past few months, between finishing the internship, starting my new job and rushing towards the last few weeks before the wedding.  I feel a bit out of control of my own life, if I'm honest!  Sometimes that's a nice feeling, other times it's super stressful.  These are a few links that have inspired me to regain control:

1) #GIRLBOSS discussion - From A Beautiful Mess' bookclub, this book title caught my eye because being my own boss is something I'm beginning to seriously think about.  Not for a few years yet mind, but it's fun to dream!  I plan to download this book and take it on the honeymoon.

2) Coletterie posted an interesting article recently about, 'How do you get rid of things you've made?'  This is a topic I struggle with, it's a constant battle between wanting to keep my home clean and clutter-free, but equally having spent hours of time creating something that Just. Looks. Shit. it's hard to give up and move on.  So these little ugly bits of clothing end up lurking in my wardrobe, bothering me every time I pull out my favourite jeans.

3)  Also from Coletterie, a Weekend Reading post that included a great article about decluttering.  There's nothing more satisfying and great for regaining control than a good sort-and-chuck-out!

4) Tilly and the Buttons wrote a really interesting and useful piece about photographing your craft projects.  This is something I struggle with, living in a cluttered, dirty, old flat and not having a private outdoor space.  I would love to regain control of the blog, post more regularly, take better photos and generally grow and develop this little corner of the blogosphere.  This article is a step towards that goal!

5) Last but not least (and at the risk of sounding like a fan girl), yet another interesting article from the Coletterie (seriously you guys, get over to that blog already!).  This time on 'Channeling desire into creativity'.  This is something I definitely struggle with, finding the time, energy and motivation to turn dreams into reality.  Be it learning to use my overlocker, cleaning and sorting my flat or finding the strength to stand up for myself at work, sometimes it's far easier to dream than it is to make those dreams reality.

Hope you guys find those articles interesting!  Feel free to post back with anything that's caught your eye this week.