Jacket – Finished! Finally!

The Oliver + S Brunch jacket that I started forever ago is finally done! I am so happy with it and it’s hard to believe that I actually made it… I love it!

I was absolutely sh*tting myself when I started the buttons. I decided to do a row of 3 rather than four in square, like the pattern says (first ever pattern and I’m already changing it!), and I think it worked well. The buttonholes were actually really easy to do, just measured and marked about 8 times and then followed the sewing machines instruction manual to a T.. I felt confident with the buttons with this tutorial.

When it was about 99% done (I only had to stitch the inside facing to the body) I decided to embroider a little kitten face on the back where the tag would go. I think it makes the whole thing, especially as it’s a 2nd birthday present for Gavin’s (my?) niece, whose birthday was yesterday :)

The pattern was so clear and easy to understand that I totally want to get more! I might make another version of this jacket, but with two different fabrics… It only goes up to a 3T and I want to get my money’s worth! Someone better have a little girl soon ;)

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Lake District Mini-break pt. 1

Our little mini-break for my birthday was absolutely stunning. It was so pretty that I have about a million photos, so I apologize in advance for the onslaught…

We arrive on Friday night at Burnside B&B in Keswick. It was so pretty.. and the breakfast choices were amazing! Smoked salmon? Check. The best waffle I’ve ever eaten served with bananas and caramel sauce? Double check. Like I said, amazing.

Our first real day, we had breakfast early and made the 10 minute walk into town along the old train line, which is now a pretty path. This was the view from a little wooden bridge we crossed.

We wandered the town for a bit, bought a few things – some really good chilli things (jam, curry paste, tamarind/chipotle sauce, and hot coriander sauce.. mmm) as well as a Beswick beagle (from Oxfam!) that was actually one that Gavin had painted when he worked there! It was so cool to find something in a shop that he had actually done.. it had his mark on the foot!

After that we went down to the Lake – Derwentwater – for a boat ride and mini-hike. We took a 30 minute little cruise with sherry and mince pies served by Santa.

We got off at the last stop and walked the remaining 3 miles back. The scenery there is just stunning. We didn’t get much sun, but it didn’t matter. We were constantly in awe of our surroundings. We were also definitely unprepared – no hiking boots and Gavin’s coat wasn’t waterproof. Oops. At least we know for next time!

One thing that I couldn’t get enough of was the stone walls. Dry rock walls (no mortar) are fairly common, especially in the north, and Keswick certainly had no shortage. Because it was a mining town, all of their walls (and buildings!) had walls built of slate. Absolutely stunning. I took about 500 pictures just of walls. No wonder Gav thinks I’m mental!

So that’s part one… stay tuned for more! We’ve got 4,500 year old stone circles, Gavin and I posing, as well as some more pretty landscape shots! Woohoo!

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And I’m back!

My weekend away was amazing and I know you all have been dying to know where in the world we went! So to save you from your suspense-induced anxiety attack, I will tell you that we went to the Lake District in Northern England! It was such a stunningly beautiful place to visit, even in winter, that we are already planning our next visit! Think rolling hills and mountains, stone walls, lakes and lots of sheep!

It took us forever to get up there – traffic was horrible but we finally got in around 7. We went out to have a few drinks and woke up in paradise.

When we left, we got really lucky. We stopped by an ancient stone circle/henge (like a really small Stonehenge) to take a few more photos. It had snowed in the mountains overnight and there was a rip-snorting wind ripping through the hills. We took our photos are hurried back to the car and as we started up, the heavens opened unleashed the rain. Then the hail. As we drove away, we watched the outside temperature drop.. 3 degrees, then 2, then 1, then 0.5 (33F)! The rain turned to hail again and then to sleet and then finally to snow. When we were further down the road, closer to Manchester and Liverpool, we heard on the radio that Cumbria (where we were) was issued a travel alert due to extreme weather conditions! Roads were being closed and we were basically really lucky to have left when we did!

I am still sorting through all my photos, but I’ll leave you with this:

My blanket I bought from the market! It’s made of recycled wool and it is oh so cozy. In fact, I sat in the car, wearing my slippers, wrapped in my blanket and reading my book.. Gavin called me an old lady and I just laughed as I couldn’t really disagree.. I really looked like an old granny!

All in all, it was such a great birthday weekend. I just need to get some proper hiking boots now!

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Etsy treasury

I made my first Etsy Treasury! I never really knew what they were but when I decided to give my mom a list of Etsy things that I loved, I knew that a treasury was the way to go. I scoured my list of favorited shops for American sellers that had good “gifty” items that are small enough to carry in my suitcase from the States back to the UK. I also excluded artists who sell prints (from a printer, not screenprinted) rather than originals. So here we are, here is my collection of things I love off of Etsy! I am quite chuffed about it all!

One: Set of five gold and silver stacking rings from Secret Charm
Two: Aqua Chalcedony necklace by Petitor

Three: Herkimer diamond gold necklace by Frieda Sophie
Four: Herkimer triple diamond gold necklace also by Frieda Sophie

Five: Wreath hand-pulled screen print by Karolin Schnoor
Six: Pheasants, pods, and feathers original painting by United Thread

Seven: Set of 4 seasons tea towels by Claudia G Pearson
Eight: Set of 16 linen napkins by JB World

Nine: Small red and black dish by Cynthia Vardhan Ceramics
Ten: Aqua and white ceramic nesting bowls by Suite One Studio

Eleven: Baja turquoise porcelain ring by MaaP Studio
Twelve: Grey poppy silk day dress by Rachel Rose

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Only 3 weeks later…

So I know that I left everyone of you guys hanging on that last post…
But basically, it was snowing so much that when my taxi pulled over to let an oncoming car pass (streets are really narrow here), the other car slipped on the snow/ice and slammed into my door! It was especially scary because I had just taken my seatbelt off to say something to the driver, so when the other car hit us, I was thrown to the other side of the car and bruised my arm something fierce. After that delay of insurance and detail exchange, we were on our not-so-merry way. About a mile from my house we came to the big hill that I live on the other side of. There were cars stuck in the road in front of us and he flat out told me that this was as far as he could take me. So basically, I had to walk a mile in the (thick) snow, uphill and then down a major hill, all at 2 in the morning! Suffice to say, I was not thrilled. And I still had to pay £40! The upside was I could sleep in the next day as the trains and busses were not working and I was scared to get to central London just to be stuck there.. So I spent my birthday alone and stranded… I did have a bottle of wine to make up for it though ;)

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