Sunday, 31 May 2009

Beautiful Sunday

This shall be my last post until sometime after Thursday, when tour officially starts! I still have two exams to go this week, and things are a bit intense with revision and getting my stuff together!
I had a lovely Saturday. We got up extra early to cram in all that needed to be, including buying the BF a new drum kit, food shopping for tour supplies, and a quick in and out to the marvel that is clutter city.
Clutter City is a bi-monthly craft fair held at the legendary Norwich Arts Centre, where a lot of amazing Norwich gigs are played! Held on a Saturday, the auditorium, entrance hall and bar are transformed into a stunning display of DIY craft stalls, from small ventures in buisness, to hosting some larger ones! Its a hotbed of young creative talent.

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We got there just as it opened this time, and whilst we avoided the crowd, i think we missed out a couple of stalls that had not yet been fully set up. As expected, there was so much to look at, but with revision and other errands looming, we had a quick wizz around. Notably, Lady Luck Rules Ok had a stall there this time. I am familiar with their products because my sister is a bit of an addict, and had bought me a gorgeous personalised necklace from them for Christmas.

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We also stopped and had a chat to our friend Amy, who always graces the fair with her beautiful hair accessories stall! I bought a gorgeous flower clip from her (see below) and took a cheeky picture of her and her stall (also see below). I'm dying to ask her to whip up a vintage inspired hair style with my bonnet. For now, i will have to deal with un-brushed sunday hair (once again, see below).
Check out her website: Flamingo Amy

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Saturday night we played a gig for FEVER FEVER's single launch at the Crypt in Take 5 (a building hundreds of years old built upon a plague pit! Goth attack). What a great night! So much dancing, lots of people, and they even made party bags for all who attended (i scored a Frank Sinatra cassette tape in mine)!
Here is Ellie from Fever Fever looking a bit cool:

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Today is Sunday, the sun is still shining and i have lost count of the amount of people biking, laughing and frollicking in the beautiful rays outside of the window. I am sat indoors zoning in and out of revision mode.
Not all is bad though, my wonderful boyfriend's Grandma sent him home with a box of thank-you chocolates for taking in one of her skirts for her, and i am presently sat with them and a nice cup of English Breakfast, skimming over moral philosophy.

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I can't wait for this exam period to be over. Roll on freedom.
See you on the road lovers!

LOVE LOVE xxx

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Knitty bits

So, soon to appear should be my second knitting tutorial! Until then, take a look at what i have been making (in between revision sessions of course)!

Hat!

Ok, so this is the second of these hats i have made now (amazingly, both out of the same ball of yarn, with some still left over)! The first looked good too, but i felt the knit was a little loose looking, and it was a large baggy hat.

This time, i still wanted it to be big enough to fit any head and accommodate a whole head of hair, but just to look a little more intricate! So i used a smaller sized needle, and followed the same pattern. The rib was the most challenging bit, but i think i have got garter stitch down now!
The model is my lovely sissy Charley!



baby stuff

You may have seen the pink baby booties i made on a previous post of mine. I bought the same yarn (Debbie Bliss, pure cotton) but in a pale blue colour to make lovely drummer Boyfriend's friend some baby boots and matching mittens for her new born!

As you may be able to tell from the picture, i still need to sew them up and thread ribbon around the tops, and i have also started to knit a little baby version of the hat above!

The nicest thing about these, is how luxuriously soft they are! 100% cotton feels so soft, just right for a baby!


The last thing i will share with you is a pattern that i scored at a charity shop amongst a box of vintage knitting patterns. I was so tempted to buy them all, or at least most of them (they were very very cheap at 40p a go!) however, i probably wouldn't get round to making lots of sweaters and jumpers just yet, and by the looks of the shop they weren't going anywhere anytime soon!

So here it is:

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I absolutely love the idea of wearing a pill box hat. The pattern gives you the option to make a hard shell one, or a soft one - see below - both of which are very appealing!

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For me though, it has to be the turban. It is something i can see myself wearing (sometime after the summer heat wave) with many of my outfits!

turban!

This pattern caught my eye because i am a beginner knitter (and have not attempted any items of clothing yet), and is something i can try over again without going insane if the first attempt doesn't quite work out.

I bought some fuzzy-esque yarn to knit a couple with today, in an off white colour. If it does prove to be a good pattern, i shall opt for something a little more luxurious (perhaps a fuzzy cashmere!)

So, for now, watch this space!

Tomorrow's post contains craft fair fun, and flowers for your hair!

LOVE LOVE LOVE
xxxxx








Friday, 29 May 2009

Charity shop shopping shop

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I have been cruising the charity shops around and about Norwich, and have picked up a handful of things. Two of them i am particularly chuffed with.
One of which is this suitcase! I'm not sure how old it is, but judging by the straps, not
that old. It's perfect for taking on tour, being just big enough for all of my outfits and equipment, but not too heavy and bulky to lug to each venue and digs.
I love the battered looking faux leather. For £4, i couldn't go wrong!


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My other favourite find has been this bed spread. I bought it thinking of the material that i could transform into some lovely garment, but have grown attached to it as bedding!
It actually reminds me a bit of some Cath Kidson stuff, but the pleats make it feel a little set back in time, which i love, and at £2.50 it was definately the right price! With a good wash i will be happily snuggling under this floral wonder for some time to come!

Have you bought anything special from a charity shop (or thrift store) recently?

LOVE
xxx

Cake and stuff

I wish i could eat you now

I have been absent for a number of days now. Sadly still in the middle of exams, but filling my spare time with knitting, loved ones, and reading all of your blog posts!

So, this week(amongst other things) i have:
  • Made a Victoria sponge cake and heart shaped scones
  • Knitted to my hearts content alongside with my new knitting buddy
  • Had a gorgeous BBQ round lovely boyfriend's mama's house with the family.
  • Been charity shop shopping
See following posts for more info on these topics!

I have two more exams left, and then head off on tour for a couple of weeks, so will be travel-blogging!

What kind of a week have you had? What was the highlight?
LOVE
xxxxxx

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Knitting Tutorial Number One: Casting on!

Well HELLO!

I have decided to do a couple of video tutorials about the basics on knitting, in anticipation for knitting a cardigan on tour! As i mentioned in my previous post, i did indeed knit a hat this week, pictures coming soon (as at present my creation has been misplaced).

These tutorials will be guiding the knitting novice (much like myself!) through the basic and necessary steps required to knit anything you want! They are quite crude, and are my first attempts at anything like this! It is just under 10 minutes long (i suppose pretty lengthly for Youtube!) but i have tried to omit any kind of confusion by taking things slowly!

So, in tutorial number one, we are looking at how to 'Cast on'. All you need is some yarn, and a pair of knitting needles!



Stay tuned for a post about what types of needles and yarn to use! The second knitting tutorial will also be coming very soon!

Hope you are all ok!
A big thank you to and i-loooveee-you to my man for holding the camera so still and being so patient.

Also, check out Casey's tutorial for a 50's style fake bang do! I was inspired to do my hair from this!

LOVE LOVE LOVE
xxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Get Knitting

I strongly believe in work incentives. If you have something to work towards, it makes everything seem worth while.
I planned to buy myself a little something to reward myself for completing my exams this year. Although i haven't finished them yet, the first half of my little incentive arrived from Amazon last week. It is a book by Aneeta Patel called Knitty Gritty.
It is an instructional knitting book with lots of patterns and ideas to accompany your learning!

Although my mum had taught me to knit years ago (and i had successfully knitted a couple of very large scarfs), i had never attempted to cast on or off, and only had experience of garter stitch. So my mission over the summer was to brush up on my knitting skills, and put my vintage knitting patterns to g ood use.

As i mentioned, i have not finished my exams yet, i am only a third through, but i allowed myself a day of rest, and i just couldn't help but get the second half of my incentive, a roll of bamboo knitting needles from John Lewis.

These feel gorgeous, and at £14 are pretty reasonable. I have only ever been used to metal needles before, and i don't think i will be going back, at least not for a while.
So, with my book and needles (and some gorgeous 100% cotton yarn) to hand, and a practice square later, i gave my first pattern a go: Baby Boots.

Yes, i have no children, and i do not plan to have any in the near future, what is more, i know no babies, or any pregnant women. So, having made these gorgeous super cute little boots, they will be lying redundant in a drawer somewhere for an undisclosed length of time. What a shame! But i loved making them.

I couldn't find a single length of ribbon to w eave around the tops of them like i had intended, so will have to pick up some white-ish stuff when i next hunt for sewing bargains.



My next knitting plan is to knit a hat, and eventually, to start on a cardigan when i go on tour (the day after my last exam!), this should make the 3 weeks of traveling in a van fly by!


My much mentioned, lovely-drummer-boyfriend bought me the most gorgeous pair of embroidery scissors yesterday. I has mentioned their existence the day before, and the thoughtful thing bought them for me as a suprise on his lunch break at work.

The are in the shape of a stork! Nifty? Hell yeah! Their primary use will be to hang on a gorgeous piece of ribbon around my neck whilst i sew. I can never find my fabric scissors when i need them to chop little threads and what not!



Although my new book is awesome, i thought that a couple of the instructional pictures were a little complicated, and i have envisaged a great way of drawing them more simply, which i want to get down on paper and put on here (or youtube) as a tutorial for beginner knitters. What do you think? If i can learn to knit, its pre tty much certain that any one else can.

Oh one last thing, i nabbed these gems at a charity shop yesterday for £1.50 for all three bits. There are hundreds and hundreds of 80's knit patterns in two (almost record like) boxes and a massive instructional binder folder.
So if you are longing to look like you belong in ' Saved by the Bell' then please do not hesitate to borrow some patterns!




I am playing the Great Escape in Brighton tommorow, so i will see what i can find there to share with you!
I hope you are all happy and well!
Lots of Love
xxxxxxxx

48 hours


It has been a painfully long time since my last post. I hope this never has to happen again! I am right in the middle of exams at the moment, and finding the time to write something good just couldn't happen! So far, 2 down, 4 to go!
My family and i had booked last weekend together for a while, and it was the first time in 4 years that we had a holiday together. It was not abroad, but to Centre Parcs, one of my favourite places of all time.
We had been on many weekend breaks there when i was much younger, with our family friends (who also came this weekend). Being surrounded by trees and squirrels, away from cars and city life was beautiful (even if this experience was shared with a thousand others!). I made lots of use of my Pashley Bike (borrowed from my mum), but stupidly forgot to take a picture of it. That in itself is a beauty! Maybe i will post this later.
Other highlights included: Seeing ducklings everywhere, bombing down the rapids over and over, the wave machine, swimming in general, feeding squirrels, the arcade, and our big barbeque.



My lovely-drummer-boyfriend, and my sister's drummer-boyfriend came along, and although i and said lovely-drummer-boyfriend arrived late on the Friday (after watching drummer-boyfriend playing a gig with Cage the Elephant), and left a night early (so i could actually revise at home, instead of finding excuses not to at Centre Parcs), the weekend was perfect.



For some reason, i only took a handful of pictures. I think i was too busy enjoying myself to remember to click!

Love Love Love
xxxxx

Monday, 4 May 2009

Books!

I always find that when i really need to do something, and I am really pushed for time, i find something else to do that does not need to be done.

My first exam starts on Monday, and i think it would be fair to say I'm less than prepared for it.

I have mountains of handouts and books to read in a short number of days (not to mention i am away at the weekend), but my eyes keep fixing upon my book shelf looking for other potential reads. I don't even do this when i am not revising!

So i though today's post might help my little brain out with this. I thought i would share with you some of the best books on my shelf.

1. The Thrift Book - by India Knight
(Published by the Penguin Group)
£5.19 new from Amazon



This has to be one of my favourite books of all time. It is literally jam packed with inspiration, and the feeling it leaves you with afterwards is something that has never happened to me with any other book.

The cover art hints to the topics covered inside. It is basically a how-to book on making the very most of every £ (or $ or another currency) you spend in beautiful and inventive ways. I think the wealthiest readers would reconsider how they spend their money, not just for finances sake, but for the sake of your conscience.

The topics covered are: Food (she gives numerous amazing, cheap recipes), clothes, crafts, community, having fun, beauty, holidays (a great idea here about house swapping), home and money (where she breaks down information about finance into understandable little chunks).


One of the best things about this book is the amount of website referrals she gives you. There are tons and tons, from make up to gardening, to holidaying to weddings and more. Although this is definitely written with the Englishman in mind, it would be just as useful to say, someone in America, as the websites are often American anyway, or ship there.

The only thing i felt that
wasn't quite relevant to me, was the bits about children, and marriage. Overall, there isn't a lot of this in the book, and it does not take for granted that these two subjects apply to you (which is good!), and in fact, i found that the ideas for children were quite appropriate to things i would try for myself anyway.

I am pining to re-read this book, and i suggest that if you
haven't already read it to rent it from the Library, or buy a second hand edition from Amazon! It is definitely worth the investment.

2. The Book of the Home
published by Meritshield Ltd 1981.



Continuing with the lifestyle theme, i give you this! This is a book given to me by my boyfriend's wonderful mum. I confess having not read the whole thing yet, but flicking through it is fantastic in itself!

It has tons and tons of pictures of "how to decorate your home" accompanied by lots of early 80's pictures of 'modern' homes. Best of all, it has loads of recipes, and "hundreds of helpful hints" (see below)





I just love the look of the pages in this book, and i am constantly on the look out at car boot sales and charity shops for similar books, as they provide lots of inspiration!


3. The Girl's Story Book
The Capella Press 1936.




I love old books and the way they smell. This is a book i found in a vintage book shop in Edinburgh. It was surrounded by lots of books from the 1800's, and although i was tempted to get something philosophy related, the likely hood of actually reading something that i feared breaking upon opening meant i opted for something a little newer, and a little sweeter.

I confess, once more, that this is another book that i have not read cover to cover, but just looking at the illustrations inside is enough for me!

I think it is hard to beat the beauty of vintage books!





4. Start and Run your own shop. Val Clark
published by How To Books Ltd. £22.98 Amazon




I don't want to seem obsessed with books that tell me what to do, but this one deserves a mention. I have conquered a third of this beast, picking it up from time to time to add a little more.

I dream of running my own shop one day. I'm still not sure what kind of shop, but i have plenty of ideas. Something to do with sewing i hope. This book just feeds my dream. It makes it seem so possible, and breaks down the seemingly most complicated parts of this process into something that anyone could understand.

It's well written, and very well presented, and keeps me reading every time!

5. Invisible Monsters - Chuck Palahniuk
from £2.75 on Amazon




The first adult fiction on this list. My favourite author, and the writer of Fight Club, i think you would probably love or hate this book. He writes at a relatively fast pace, but in a really weird way (if you have seen Fight Club the film, you will have an understanding of what i mean). I think it is brilliant.

This book is about a catwalk model disfigured by a motor accident. I wont reveal anymore, you MUST read it. Just when you think you know something, the rug gets pulled from under your feet.
This book really evaluates beauty if you ask me.


So, i have shared with you some of my favourite reads. Do you have any you think i should read?

Love Love Love xxx

Ealing Studios






As predicted, Ealing Film Studios were amazing. I had such a fun weekend. Having never shot a video before, this had to be the ultimate first video experience. The majority of the weekend was spent being caked in the face, punched and thrown around by people dressed as animals, whilst trying my hardest to continue miming words in front of a camera. The crude picture collages show snippets of what went on. Can you spot the vintage 'Dansette' record player? And the vintage keys? Hehe. These were the property of another group moving in upstairs from us. It reminded me of my last post here!


Something felt quite good about having a chocolate eclair smushed into my face (see above). I don't know if this is wrong or right! What do you think?
On a small break, i managed to have a sneak about the place. It was much bigger than i imagined, and our studio was tiny in comparison to the monstrously huge studio 2 that i stumbled across. I'm pretty sure this is where the feature films are made. Imagine the biggest warehouse you have seen, and times it by a thousand! Sadly, when i went back to take some cheeky photo's on day two it was closed off.

Fake blood followed the cake, and this in itself was a treat. The ever so talented set designer/pink elephant Tim made two different kinds! One runny and squirty, and one thick, congealed, and not unlike how i imagine brains. The latter was easier to clean off of skin than the first!
Also, i did not end up wearing my planned outfit in the end! The director Tom cast his vote and i ended up wearing a sweet looking Reko dress with a bird/heart print!

I would love to reveal more, but i will leave it at this for now. The single is not released until October, so it is a long wait until the video is unleashed onto the internet!
I have had an amazing weekend, and made a list of things that i want to post over the next few months. This will be the last of the band orientated posts for quite a while. Video tutorials and blogging was something that crept into my list. Any suggestions on what you would like to see?
I have a ton of work to do for my impending exams this week, but will try to update as regularly as i have been!
Lots of Love!
xx







Friday, 1 May 2009

Music to my ears

A thrifty Anecdote.
My gorgeous vintage record player. I found this beauty on a community website called Gumtree for £10! I gave it a good clean, and found that ascetically, it was in near perfect condition ( bar the front 'bush' strip being missing'), but it didn't run smoothly. This just would not do. My plastic sounds had remained ornaments, unplayed since i packed my awkward modern deck away into the attic when we moved.
My friends made me aware that there is this fantastic shop in our lovely city of Norwich called
'The vintage TV and Wireless shop', only open on Saturdays, but with a workshop just o
utside of the city. I took my little gem as soon as i could, and they couldn't do enough to help! The place is set out to be what felt like a 50's living room, filled with stunning televisions, radios and record players from various decades. What a dream! A week later i picked her up and low and behold, she ran like a well oiled machine, and my strip had been replaced. It cost me next to nothing, and she has a full year guarantee.

This is a post that i questioned writing! A large part of my time is consumed by singing in a band called the Brownies, I'll spare the details but you can catch us here. I thought about writing this blog with no mention of this, perhaps as an escapism, but i cannot escape the fact that it is a massive part of my life these days, so like today, i will occasionally update you with what is happening.
We played a gig on Wednesday night with a band called Innerpartysystem from America. To be honest, i had never heard of them before (I'm sure this was a mutual feeling), but it was a great night! I took much joy in standing at the merch stand after we played (something i have never done before) and talking to people that enjoyed the gig, whilst watching the other bands entertain.
Yesterday i took myself shopping to find an outfit suitable for a video shoot we are filming on Saturday in London. It had to look smoking but have no emotional attachments to me (hence the new purchase), because lets just say, its going to get bloody. The most exciting thing about it is that we are filming it at Ealing studios, probably the most famous British film studios and definately the oldest. Films that have been shot there include: Star Wars, Batman, Shaun of the Dead and more recently the sequeal to the Decent. But more interestingly for me, it was home to most of the films that made early British cinema between 1930 and 1959. I will definately be treading on sacred ground. If you want more of an overview, head to wikipedia and learn!
Below is the outfit i plan to wear! It is a little simple, but I decided that this is probably a bit more timeless, which will reduce any embarrassment in 10 years time. I shall take some more interesting shots of it in action at the weekend!


Skirt and top both £7.99 from H&M.

We recorded our album over the past year (out on NRONE records) with a couple of really amazing producers; Andy Gill (Guitarist in Gang of Four, and producer of, among others, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Futureheads), and Jon Gray (producer of The Subways). Although majorly stressful at times, it was probably one of the best experiences of my life so far! If you want to read more, or hear some of the songs, head here. Otherwise, here are a couple of pictures of the album itself, and a previously released single (only posted because it is a pretty blue one):









'Cougar' is the first single off of our album, to be released next week. The artwork is by a fantastic local artist called Gemma Correll, who does the cutest looking illustrations. Check out her website!

Finally, our official release date for said album entitled OURKNIFE YOURBACK is in June. Which means that the advertising campaign is already underway! I though i would add a little image from Uncut Magazine, with our full page add inside! It's the little things that make it all feel worthwhile!


That is definately a weight off my chest!

I will post some pictures of the historic Ealing Studios after my visit there this weekend! I invested in a rather good digital camera today (as you can probably decifer from the pictures, i have not yet read the settings manual). So will try to take some more inspiring and better focused photographs for you to enjoy!


One last thing, if you do read any of my posts, don't be shy about leaving comments! I'd love to meet new people, and I'd love to hear what you think!

Love xx