Thursday, 8 January 2015

Vienna Christmas Market

 I know Christmas is over. I know that. But I couldn't forgive myself if I didn't post a few pictures from me George's trip to Vienna.
For my 21st George got me a trip to Vienna. Soooo exciting! We went in late December so we got to visit all the Christmas markets, go and see a ballet and drink all the yummy mulled wine. I also discovered my new favourite snack; it's called langos and it's essentially fried garlic bread- what's not to love?!? On top of that we got to spend our anniversary in the beautiful city. It was amazing. 

If you have a chance to visit Vienna in the winter, do it! It's the perfect Christmas city.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!
I fully intend to blog a bit more this year. I've had a few blog posts saved in drafts for the last couple of months but I just couldn't bring myself to post them. I have this blog to make things and reach out to all my amazing readers but I also keep my blog as a sort of diary; I hope one day I'll look back and have this record as a memory jogger as well as a source of pride. After all that's happened this year it seemed insincere to simply get back to the happy cheerful content without mentioning what I've been through this year. I'll keep it short, I promise.

This year has been really trying for me, you've probably noticed that something has been up from the little I've posted. Basically this time last year I found myself in a situation where I was living with people I just couldn't get on with. After trying and disagreeing for a few weeks before the Christmas holidays there seemed to be a mutual understanding that it just wasn't going to work and we sort of fell into an arrangement where I stayed in my room and we didn't talk. It was unhealthy and sad. I spent last Christmas terrified to go back to university and I spent the following months becoming more and more mentally unhealthy and confining myself to my room. From speaking to a couple of people I know this can be quite common at University. If you've been through that sort of thing I'm sure you know just how horrible it can be to feel unsafe and unwelcome in your own home. If you've never had that I hope you never have to.
So there I was, beginning of the year. Stressed, unhealthy inside and out (avoiding the communal kitchen meant a lot of take-aways and skipped meals, starting to lose my hair due to stress and performing pretty badly at Uni.

So that's the bad bit over. The violins can stop playing now because the cavalry arrived. My wonderful friends and family were the best support system ever when I was really at my worst. They whipped me into shape, talked me into making the most of my time with studying and convinced me to get on with moving out (I don't know why I didn't earlier really, I guess I'd convinced myself I was just a terrible room mate? I don't know). As a lot of my friends were going abroad this year I didn't have anyone to live with and so I did what all sensible people do. I went on gumtree and found three men to live with. I admit I did not consider the safety implications of this, I was only thinking of New Girl.

So I moved out. That was amazing. It's really good walking away from a house you hate and not looking back. Like, really good you guys. I then had a long Summer  to recover. I focused on my health. I did a juice cleanse. I really learnt about how to look after myself more. I kinda got a bit better. My hair continued to fall out but it seemed a bit more manageable.

At the end of the Summer I took the plane back up to Edinburgh. I was damn terrified. I had such bad memories of that place and it was just me and a suitcase moving in with people I had met once. I was shaking like a leaf. And then I just wasn't. Within ten minutes of walking in the door I was eating spaghetti carbonara and watching a new girl box set (their idea!) with my new flat mates. Within ten minutes everything was just fine and I wasn't worried anymore.

So that was my weirdest year yet. I had nine months of stress and adventures into mental illness and then three months of America's Next Top Model marathons, communal cooking, epic group-fancy-dress costumes and basically just a really happy normal uni life. I started the year completely awfully and ended it really happy and hopeful that 2015 will be amazing.

So yeah...that all happened.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Behaviour

This may be my favourite photo ever. After browsing Pinterest and seeing the most beautifully arranged Christmas living rooms, I looked up and saw this. AND I THOUGHT BRILLIANT! You can't make Christmas in our house manicured and controlled because Christmas brings out some weird behaviour in us all.

You know those tree things?
You know the things that live outside?
Let's bring one inside for a couple of weeks.
Hmm..ok...we can't just do that though.
Oh I know. We'll cover it with electric lights and weird ornaments as well.
How weird do the ornaments have to be?
Well do you have any animals that never ever go in trees and aren't in any way connected to this season thematically or geographically or culturally?
I do have a crocodile.
Is that weird enough though?
It's wearing a top hat and a sparkly tail coat and pantaloons.
And four or those gangster shoes.
Ah cool. You had me worried there.
You know Jesus?
He was born in a st-
Massive red bubble thing.
Oh really?
Yeah, well known fact. Sort of red hollowed out lacquered orb thing.
Ah phew, that could have been really embarrassing!
Yeah. And you know about his hair right?
Well... he's a newborn middle eastern baby so I'm guessing a bight blond Mohawk?
And I just need to check the animals which were there...
A camel, two sheep, a tabby cat and a sausage dog.
Thought so.
So I got up two hours ago and I've had roughly 2.4 meals since then and done basically nothing
Probably have a sleep now, then.
Ok, I'll just take this hat off. And go up to bed. And change into something else.
No need, no need.
Why not?
Oh yeah.
What counts as a nutritious breakfast at Christmas time?
Well you need a fruit.
Perfect, classic Christmas. Then you need some sort of fibre or something.
There's an oatmeal and raisin cookie.
Wholesome. Now you need to be diverse here or your metabolism will probably explode or something.
Ok, I have a samosa.
Hmm that sounds quite light for breakfast...
It does have a lot of spiced meat in it.
Hmm well ok then. You need something else's all looking a bit healthy.
There's a prawn crostini in the fridge from yesterday's party.
Yeah that'll do it.
What's a sensible use of a few hours of my time?
Probably make a Christmas outfit for Stitch.
Should I make it completely fully functioning with fasteners and hidden seams and so on?
Oh for sure!
Won't that be extremely time consuming?
Exceptionally. I not have something else I should be doing?
Christmas, remember?
Oh yeah. Christmas.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My New Clutch Bag

 It was my birthday party this weekend (21st... I know! Absolutely mental!) and I had to dress up snazzy. I needed a clutch bag and since I am a maker I thought that there would be nothing better than to make a special thing for a special day.

At the moment I am halfway through The Dark Tower series (if you haven't read it, read it! It's one of those real change-your-life series) and there is a very beautiful and poignant poem in it that I knew I wanted to make something around. I had also been mercilessly stalking the amazing Olympia Le Tan on Instagram and had fallen in love with her book clutches and so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and create a Dark Tower inspired book clutch.

 I'm ridiculously happy with how it turned out. The longest part was, of course, the embroidery which took a couple of weeks of casual stitching. I wanted to create a design which looked a little bit Mexican inspired since I imagine the part of the book where the poem is said to be set in a Hispanicy area. Although this isn't my usual style I'm really happy with how this came across. I made the the book casing out of mount board and thin bits of wood for the edging. I then covered the edges and the interior with sticky back gold paper and added a little jewellery box hinge.
I'm really happy with it. It felt really nice on a special day to be holding something that I'd worked hard on but also represented one of my favourite things. I hope you like it!

Dark days and pleasant nights to you all, sais.
(Read the books!)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

I need to save my Instagram feed!!!

I go on Instagram a lot. I mean A LOT. Lately university has really stepped up its workload and so instagram is one of the ways I can try and stay a little bit plugged into the blog world until I have more spare time. However, there is one huge thing I don't love about Instagram; you like a picture and then it's gone. Call me a hoarder but I like to see the little collection of things I am amassing grow, especially in the case of images. I WANT TO SAVE ALL THE PICTURES!!! That is why I have decided to put in a little effort each week and share my favourite instagram images; partly so you too can see them, partly so I can keep them forever. Enjoy. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

My New Uni Room

I'm not sure about you guys but I always notice around this time that the bloggosphere takes a little hit as everyone heads back to uni and gets their life sorted out a little bit. I'm guilty of that too, it suddenly feels like I've been so incredibly busy! I've suddenly gone from doing nothing with my days to having heap of reading to do, yoga three times a week, bhangra twice a week and bellydancing once a week. Plus I have to keep up to do with ANTM and bake-off; I'm telling you guys, it's hectic. I thought I would show some little snippets of my room just so you feel as settled in as I do. 
I thought a before and after was called for too. As you can see I have quite a small room this year, but I'm kind of loving that; you can clear it up soooo quickly! Plus to make it yours you only really need a few posters (or in my case heaps of garlands!). The only thing I'm worrying is that the light is really iffy in here. I'm sure I'll find somewhere to take project photos but it might mean spending a day stalking around the house with my camera in tow. 

This is the corner that really makes me feel at home. The minute I put up all my pictures and Snoopy cards (they're from my Mum) I just felt pretty settled. I also totally recommend building yourself a little gumball canopy; I got them here

It's been really great to get back into making things too. I made my little cactus garden and my book clutch was a project I still haven't quite finished yet from the summer. I've also started working on this huge mad paper mache bear head. I really love being about to do projects like that. The ones you do totally just because you can and you want to. So that's my room for now. Get ready to see little updates all year and a massive bear very soon. :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

DIY Mannequin head vase

This is one of those projects which I've had in my head for a couple of years, ever since I stumbled across this on the internet. It was one of those times where your finger goes straight to the buy button and then you realise it's just a concept and therefore not available and you utter an internal scream to the God of retail. You know, those times? Anyway, last week I decided to finally have a go at it and plucked up the courage to order a mannequin. Here is my warning. Having a mannequin in the house, cutting it up and drilling into its head is maybe on of the creepiest things a crafter can do. I hid this down stairs at night before it was painted so I didn't have to see its scary eyes! You have been warned!

You will need:
A head mannequin. I bought this one.
A heavy duty craft knife
A hacksaw
Course sandpaper
An elastic band
A sharpie
White gloss spray paint
A drill
A glue gun
A long thin vase which fits inside the mannequin
1. First asses what you need to do with your mannequin. Everyone will be different (unless you bought the same as me!) and so you'll need to decide yourself but I judged that the whole thing needed to have the bottom lopped off. 
2. Your mannequin will also need to be entirely hollow. Basically you need to have a continuous area between the head (where you're going to put the flowers in) and the body which you will place over a long thin vase. That way the flowers can get water. 
3. Using a craft knife, hollow out the head and neck. The plastic used for this type of thing are usually very easy to cut. 
4. If you need to cut down the body, stretch an elastic band around the body and then draw around the edge with a sharpie.
5. Saw using your hacksaw. 
6. Roughly sand off the base of your vase.
7. Now time to work on the head (shudder). Draw your hairline onto the head, you will use this as a marker for the drilling. 
8. Now drill yourself a tonne of holes. Make sure that the hole is large enough for the average stem.
9. Using a glue gun, attach the head onto the body. 
10. Now time to paint! Make sure to remove any external pieces like false eyelashes first, as these won't paint well. I didn't need to sand beforehand, but if your plastic is very shiny it might be harder for the paint to adhere to. And you're done! After drying time, fill up your tall vase and place the head vase over the top and you're ready to create a flowery hairstyle!