Monday, 27 September 2010

Oh dear, someone gave me Beer!

Well last weekend was another busy one, on Friday I went to a beer festival at my work. I didn't have long to get ready as I got stuck at work a little longer than I wanted to. However I did have just enough time to slap some make-up on (which is usually the first thing to go out of the window when I'm in a rush!) and choose a nice top too.

I think this top actually qualifies as vintage now! It is from Etam (remember them ladies?!) and might actually be getting on for 10 years old now! I remember actually buying this top from the non-sale rail (which was quite unusual for me back in my student days) I just loved the colour, and I still do. I love the jewel tones coming through Asos Curve and hope that greens and purples are going to be big this Christmas.
You might be able to tell I don't take my beer terribly well, one pint and I'm woosy! (two and I'm hungover there and then!) 
Top @ Vintage Etam
hat off of the table!
Cardi @ New Look

Oh and here's a gratuitous necklace shot:
Necklace @ little stall in the canteen at my work

Now that the wedding cakes are done and dusted for this year I decided to have a weekend doing just what I wanted to. So accompanied by the other half, the lovely Emma and  her boyfriend we trotted on down to Brighton. What me predictable? Anyway we had a lovely time moseying around the shops. 

The retail highlight of the day has to be the new Irregular Choice shop in the North Lanes. Once we had unstuck ourselves from the window we boldly went forth into the unknown. I have to say it is just incredible! Its like going into an adult sweet shop (we had already raided the actual sweet shop!) The shop fittings are just gorgeous, the trying on seat is a perspex box full of toys from our youth (everything bright plastic and vintage!) The ceiling is an LED jewelled work of pop art (I could have kicked myself that I didn't have the camera with me!). Then.... there's the shoes! I could shamelessly copy and paste some pictures but  the irregular choice website does it much better than I could! I actually couldn't even single out a favourite! (interestingly this was one of the only 'girl' shops that the boys came into and looked interested in!)

I didn't purchase any shoes but I did pop in to Peacocks (who go up to a 20-22 some of which can be generous) Anyway I bought a leopard vest top for £10 (a down right bargain) I have fallen hook line and sinker for leopard print! This is a size 20 and is really roomy, and fairly short too, just on the edge of a little too short but hopefully it wont shrink (fingers crossed- I'll let you know!) 
Shoes @ New Look
Top @ Peacocks
Cardi @ Tesco
Belt @ Next

I just have to talk about the belt, now I've been collecting belts for a while now....

but my collection was always somewhat lacking, then NEXT decided to start stocking 'extra large', and look again:
Yep you're not seeing things, an X Large in the shop! (in-fact in most styles, Wohoo!) 
This equates to 42.5 - 48.5 inches (that's 108-123cm)

My collection has a new star, I love this belt, I bought it for my Wendy house outfit (which is coming along nicely) but it is a great all rounder. Plus who couldn't resist the matching purse? (not me)
especially when it's this cool inside: 
Belt and purse @ Next

I have one more purchase to share... but that one might have to wait until the next blog post. Hope you are all keeping well and thanks for getting to the end of yet another mammoth post!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Another weekend another wedding!

Well my other half and I went to our third wedding of the year this weekend. I again made the cake, this one was my first multi flavoured cake, and so was quite stressful! I like doing fruit cakes as they can be done well in advance but sponge cakes need to be fresher so have to be left until the last minute, which leaves exactly no room for error!

Anyhow enough babbling, this is my latest (thankfully oops free!) creation. By the way my friend got engaged at Disneyland hence the Mickeys!

I guess I should show you my outfit from the wedding. There are very few photos of me that I actually like! I didn't have time to do my hair properly and could have done with my Ann Summers tape to affix my dress to my bra straps as it kept slipping and driving me crazy! Saturday was just one of those days when I felt bleigh. Anyway I put that aside as I had rather a lot to do, as well as making and getting the cake to the wedding in one piece I had a reading to do. I count myself lucky to have a fair amount of self confidence but getting up to do a reading in-front of 60+ people and not wrecking your friends wedding day is a fairly tall order. Thankfully the reading went well (I managed to hide my wobbly legs!) Sadly I got a little too tired and drunk a little too early in the evening, so needed my bed a bit too early! Here is what I wore:

Dress@ monsoon
Shoes@ Newlook
Bag @ bags etc.
Pashmina @ tie rack

I also went to see the rocky horror show in Brighton (great place to see it, so so many dressed up people!) Here is a quick OOTD of what I wore (again feeling a little bleigh!)
Cami @ monsoon
lace top @ Tesco
cardi @ Tesco

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Wendy House

Nope I'm not being self absorbed, it's the name of an alternative club night up in Leeds. In fact the Wendy House is my absolute favourite night out ever. It is held in Leeds student union and is open to all not just students. We started going a good few years ago and usually make it once or twice a year. This is a link to their website The Wendy House and if you check out the pictures tab you will see why I'm so excited about going! The outfits are amazing, the whole point of alternative dress is to go a bit crazy but, us folk who frequent the Wendy house bring it to a whole new level!

Although the dress is a big part of going to the WH, the atmosphere is amazing too, the people are friendly, the music is brilliant, the drinks are fairly priced, and there's never a queue for the loo! Best of all there's never any trouble and there's not a chav in sight (which is great cos. I'm allergic to chav)

Anyway we are going up for the October event, and this one is a bit special as we have decided to make extra effort with the dressing up!  Having mused for a while over what to wear I have finally decided on my "look"

The only problem I find with the alternative plus size clothes scene is that it exhibits the same limitations as 'everyday' plus clothes and what is on offer is stupidly expensive or sold out. This website is amazing Pin Up Girl Clothing - I am currently coveting most of their wares. 

The other option is Get Cutie which is a Brighton based company, last time I was down there I tried on a couple of dresses but the size 24 E-G cup only just fits me (note my blog title for my measurements) These dresses are well worth the price tag (the cut and fabrics are spot on) and they do go bigger than most shops but they are cut on vintage blocks hence run smaller than usual. The prints are just lovely but I have my heart set on something else....

....Yes, my heart desires something I cannot buy, so what to do? go without? no don't be daft! - Get the sewing machine out that's what!

Since this week I am making the cake, my project will have to wait till next week but in the meantime I have been eyeing up fabric and accessory shopping, so here's a teaser....
Shoes @ Newlook (£12.99!)
Earrings @ Newlook (£3 black pair also included so £1.50 I guess!)

There is also a bag winging its way to me from e-bay, fingers crossed it will be OK. I must admit I do not usually make clothes and this will test my dressmaking skills to their limit but I figured at least if I share my efforts you can laugh at me along the way!

Give the gift of cake!

Good afternoon to you on this horrid rainy Saturday. Well I am mostly staying in this weekend as I am working on my friends wedding cake. The wedding is on Saturday (Eek!) which is getting close, all I have got to do is finish the cake, learn a reading and sort out my outfit!  

This morning I marzipanned the bottom tier which is fruit and then cut the tester cake. Luckily for me my boyfriend James was on hand to help with the tough job of Quality control! No sooner had I cut it than he had whisked half away to take to his parents and put dibs on the other half for work! Its lucky that I have a boyfriend that will put up with cake tasting on a regular basis (I'm not keen on cake - I would happily beg for cheese - but cake I can take it or leave it!) This brings me to a little cake/gift tip I have. If like me you ever have bits of fabric and ribbon hanging around here is a good little way to turn a couple of slices of cake into a rustic gift...

Stack Cake (Wendy's special recipe... oh alright Delia's finest!) into a rectangle
Then wrap in two layers of greaseproof paper
Then wrap in a square or pretty fabric (which can be made even cuter with pinking shears) and tie with a ribbon or string (I thought sending the other half to his newish job with a pink bow was perhaps a little too far, otherwise it would have been a pink ribbon!)
Hey presto, cute cake! Not bad for a tester cake eh? 

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Mud Mud Everywhere!

This is a bit of a read  but is an account of a recent and very liberating experience!

Last weekend I went to a Spa for a friends hen do, I am no stranger to spa hen weekends and weddings in general (seriously I'm starting to feel like the Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses!) but I have never had a treatment. I guess being bigger than the average spa goer I was never really keen on about being massaged by a random stranger. Anyway this hen do was for a good friend from work who is getting married (in 2 weeks time - eek!) as a result one of the other invitees was my other friend Emma. Now then I used to work with Emma and she is lovely, we see eye to eye on a lot of things including fashion. I don't know anyone who owns more shoes! When Emma turns up for a night out she generally brings 2-3 pairs of shoes - usually unworn virgin ones too! At this point I am going to show you a lovely photo of Emma and I - taken today at a christening.

Isn't her dress lovely? (its from NewLook by the way! Pity I didn't take a photo of her shoes because they rocked!) My dress is Evans but I've already shown you - although I am wearing high wedges here and I think it makes it the perfect length)

Anyhow Emma is such a good friend and very outgoing (as am I - I can't claim to be a shrinking violet, but nor am I exceptionally loud, I'm somewhere in the middle, and as Clover says 'there's nothing wrong with the middle!') Emma persuaded me to try a Rhassoul mud experience, here is the blurb:

The Rhassoul was inspired by the Ancient Egyptians as a cleansing and exfoliating process. This memorable experience is best shared with a partner or close friend. Having received advice from one of our experienced therapists you are left alone to apply the therapeutic muds to your whole body. The different coloured muds each offer a different level of exfoliation. Having applied the muds, you then sit and relax on heated mosaic chairs and enjoy 40 minutes of bliss, whilst the room fills with herbal steam. The ceremony ends with a tropical rain shower leaving your skin feeling silky smooth
Source: Horstead Spa website Click Here

Sounds exotic doesn't it! Well having settled into the main spa the therapist collected us and lead us through the corridor to our treatment room. We were both feeling ever so slightly uncomfortable but up for trying something new. The lady was lovely she said that we would really enjoy it and that people often had mud fights etc.! Comfort levels increased at that point.

When we got to the room it was very dimly lit and there were pretty candles - comfort levels increased a bit more. Then the lady produced the paper pants (argh mild comfort wobble!) Having established that my paper pants would not fit in any way shape or form, I decided to keep my swimming costume on (I was planing on having to do this anyway!)

The therapist then left us to get ready and put our robes on. Once we were ready she came back in and explained the room and the shower then she left us to it! 

We bravely entered the steam room and started applying our mud! You get a plate of mud in the shape of a man so you don't have to worry about remembering what goes where. It started off being just plain strange but as the room was dimly lit and steamy we couldn't see each other let alone the mud! We just mudded ourselves and giggled. (I tried to start a mud fight but Emma was the more mature person and didn't throw any back!)

The time you get to sit and steam isn't 40 minutes (the whole thing lasted about 40 mins) although the steam is quite intense (and beautifully fragrant) so by the time the shower started we were ready for it. There is also a separate monsoon shower -which you really do need the mud gets everywhere!

Having giggled for pretty much the whole time we both felt thoroughly relaxed and happy. I wasn't expecting my skin to feel any different - as I was going for the experience more than the benefits. So you can imagine my glee to discover that my skin felt fantastic, very smooth and soft, it really was fabulous! (in fact my neck and chest still feel fantastic!) Having spoken to Emma today she says she still feels great after a week.

In conclusion I'm so glad that I did this, and that I didn't let my dress size stop me! If you are thinking of doing this you need to pick a very close friend  (there's no one in else in the world who I would cover myself with mud with and have such a great time!) The whole experience was £80 for both of us, so for £40 quid I got an experience that I will remember for ever!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

How to Make Bunting!

Good morning lovey readers! I have just noticed my reader count has crept up so big thanks for following me! It's nice to know I'm not just talking to myself. I hope I am posting interesting things and have the right mix of photos/ramblings, once again I apologise for spelling and grammar - It'll never be my strongest suit!

Anyway onwards and upwards! Today I'm going to talk about one of my new found hobbies. (not really fashion today) I had a question from Monkey over at A Monkey Fatshonista asking about where I got my bunting from. The answer was I made it, so last week I put together a little photo tutorial to show you how.

You will need: some pretty fabric of your choice, a ruler, some scissors, a pencil, some card, bias binding, thread, an iron and a sewing machine. (and optional ribbon for hanging - not picture here)
Here's the label of the bias binding this one is 20mm wide x 3.5m. It comes in loads of colours I just happen to have a blue pack hanging around!
First of all make a template measuring 16cm along the base and 20cm high. To get an even triangle measure 8cm along the base and draw a perpendicular line measuring 20cm, then join up the base to the points.
Here are my bunting measurements
Next take the bias binding...
...fold in half and iron, be patient the more time you spend here the easier sewing will be.
Next iron the fabric, a non fraying fabric is the best otherwise the triangles will fray and look a bit rubbish
Next mark around the template with pencil on the reverse of the fabric, the triangles will fit together perfectly and you will be able to get more triangles out of your fabric.
Carefully cut out the triangles. (a good pair of dressmaking scissors is the way to go)
If you are using repeating coloured triangles take the time to put them in order before you sew them. This will make it so much easier and prevent that awful feeling where you get to the end to find you have two red ones together in the middle of the string!
Just a note here if you use the measurements here and have 3.5m of bias binding you will be able to fit 16 triangles on the tape, that means that if you have 8 different colours of fabric you will get two repeating sets. If your bias binding is any longer you will need more triangles!

Next pop a triangle in the fold of the bias binding about 5cm from the end and sew (I am lucky enough to have a sewing machine with fancy stitches, so I am using a triangle stitch) be careful that the bunting triangles don't slip out of the binding as you are sewing (more about that in a bit!)
Measure 6cm from the end of the triangle and mark with pencil, sew up to the mark, pop in another triangle and then keep sewing.
My chosen stitch. I'm using pink thread as It's what I have hanging around, if you use the same colour thread as binding then 'oopses' will be better hidden!
If disaster (OK well its not quite the day after tomorrow but still pretty annoying) happens and a triangle slips out you can do a quick repair by..
...snipping a slit...
...and sewing the bunting along the back of the tape..
...not quite perfect but no-one will spot it from a distance!
Next take 40cm pieces of ribbon and fold in the middle, then place anywhere you desire a hanging tag and sew a straight stitch along the top edge to keep in place.
Give the bunting a final iron and trim off any loose threads. Then simply tie on to whatever you want to decorate, hopefully you will have something more exciting than my washing line!
That brings me to the end of my bunting tutorial! Hope you enjoyed it, Happy sewing! Any questions just ask below.