Saturday, 1 June 2013

Oo La La - Care Package from France

I picked up a parcel from the sorting office yesterday evening. I then got on the wrong bus home which takes twice as long as the other one and which in any case got held up for half an hour extra by six royal navy boats complete with saluting crew going into Canary Wharf dock through an area usually covered by a bridge which had been raised for the purpose. So imagine my delight when I grumpily slumped on the sofa and wrestled it open.
Presents from France
See those chocolates? Real belgian ones. I adore praline shells. So much so in fact that last night I invented a device in my head that no house should be without. Because when I have opened a box I am pretty much incapable of letting it out of my sight until it is finished. Much like a cat with a sausage. My invention is a time-lock kitchen cupboard. Or I suppose a tupperware would do. But one which you couldn't open for a set period of time after you'd closed it. That way I could force myself to wait an hour between chocolates. Or at least 10 minutes. This actually doesn't exist - I have googled and come up empty. 20 hours later and there are still 4 left. This is a new Byrne record.

The arrival of this care package (form my lovely cousin) coincides with the finish of the cushion cover I have been making for her since I got back from a visit in March. Inspired by this window...
Stained Glass Window
...I bring you the cushion!
Deb Cushion Front
The front was english paper pieced and hand sewn.
Paper Pieced Patchwork Detail
A few of the fabrics were peacock-based and one had these huge peacocks on.
Peacock Fabric Detail
I fussy cut a square with one on to base the back around then wonky log-cabined it.
Deb Cushion Back
It will be going in the post to them next week. Aurevoir coussin!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Bra That Got Away

Every woman should have a Rigby & Pellar moment. They are suppliers to the Queen and have a made-to-measure service as well as a special selection for single or double masectomies. But most of all they have extremely knowledgeable staff who are guaranteed to make you feel so completely special. They don't use measuring tapes because they don't need to. They are like a reputable version of the Fonz.
"The Fonz" Statue
You have your own luxurious dressing room. A lovely woman brings you bras from special drawers in the perfect size for you and then puts them on you. She adjusts the straps and the way you are...filling...the cup and then you both inspect the result in the full length mirror. There is no pressure at all and once she knows what you like she goes and gets more beautiful bras and helps you try those on too. You make your choice and she then brings you a selection of matching knickers. Once you are all finished you are wafted back to the front desk and see your delicious purchases being carefully wrapped in crisp tissue paper. The transaction takes place and she hands over the cherry on the cake - the bag.
Rigby and Pellar Bag
And then you get home and you get the pleasure of opening that bag...
003
...and take out the delicate parcels.
Tissue Parcels
Then you get to rediscover your purchases and really examine them in detail.
Lingerie
It is the quality of the materials and the finishing that makes such a difference.
Bra Lace Detail 2
And the cut of course. The two bras I bought about five years ago are still in excellent condition despite much use.
Bra Lace Detail
So indulgant.
Bra Detail
And yet on the other hand strictly utilitarian. Afterall - one cannot move to Japan without suitable underwear. I am built on the british scale rather than the japanese one so doubt much of the clothing there will be designed for my particular measurements.

Despite my joy with the two bras I came away with (tempered by my gulp at the total cost - this is not a cheap place to shop hence my spacing my visits out) there was one that got left behind. It was not a substantial bra. It was black with lace and this material which had sparkly bits somehow embedded in it in such a cunning way you just know it is expensive to do. It had straps with lace coming off them and on seeing myself in the mirror all I could think was "Rapunzel".
I was very struck by the story as a child as the long hair I currently sport reflects my early look. My final project at Art College was based around the idea of long hair and I've always been a huge Mucha fan.
The bra was nothing to do with hair (probably for the best) but it did make me feel like a fairytale princess! But is also cost as much as both the other bras put together. I can't justify the cost, can I. Can I? I'm quite sure I can't. Quite sure. Quite sure I can...'t.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Say It With Flowers Bloghop Has Begun

I have been quite remiss in keeping up my end of the bargain with this but I am not making an effort to catch up and have made my entry already. The bloghop started yesterday and this is the schedule:
May 27th

May 28th

May 29th

May 30th

May 31st

June 3rd

June 4th

Click on each one to visit their blog to see what they made!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Neko Ga Imaska?

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I might be moving to Japan for a year. Back then it was 70% likely. Now I'd say it is 98% likely. Pooch has taught me my first phrase - the title of this post - which means "Do you have a cat?". I have even started a notebook.
Japan Notebook
We're talking serious lists. Did you know that storage units the size of a small shed cost about £25 a week? That's £1300 for a year. I do not have £1300. I could manage more like £13. So that means a major destash which throws my buying habits into sharp relief. Take this box of ribbon.
Box of Ribbon
That's one of those deep A3 IKEA cardboard boxes. I very rarely use ribbon. Yet I do buy it when it is on sale on the off chance I will. Things bought on sale which you then don't use are not the bargain they seem. I now need to destash this ribbon on ebay and I'm not going to get half what I paid. Multiply that up to a yarn stash, fabric stash and umpteen bits of other crafting fantasia and I'm looking at having spent a lot subsidising a stranger's craft habit.

We tell ourselves that we're buying for the future or even that all this stuff is our pension, but then you never know what is going to happen next. I will certainly be taking this on board as a valuable lesson and only buying when I need something in future. I may not be waiting for the sales but then in the long-term I'll be making a saving.

Another good thing and all this is that all those things I was saving for something special I now get to use before I have to get rid of them completely. Those polka dot letters on the front of my Japan notebook? Last time I used them was when Pooch and I got engaged. So I've had that part-pack of letter stickers for more than 6 years and have moved house with them 3 times all because I was saving them for some mystical occasion. Likewise this button:
Button Closed
It is a porcelain one my Mum gave me that I was 'saving'. Now I've used it so will actually see it more often. It is on a project I made this weekend which is for a bloghop in two weeks time.

If you want to see what I'm currently destashing have a look on ebay here. There are a lot of craft books going on in stages as well as ribbon and other bits.

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