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London Edge: cool stuff I saw on stalls part 2

This was the section of the show where I got to the big boys.

First up, Iron Fist. Now this one is a classic case of the parts of the collection that shops pick to sell, not necessarily being the bit Laura would actually wear. The first picture below, of the beautiful but scarily high heel is what I would have counted most representative of what Iron Fist actually sold, that and tiny skimpy dresses there would be no chance of me fitting into. However in the show collection was loads of gorgeous sensible flat shoes and a bit larger clothing items and several (which sadly I have to wait till august for) I massively have my eye on.

The sort of shoes one usually associates with Iron Fist….

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But actually they do a wide range of more sensible shoes as well….

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Including these……omg My Little Pony trainers! 🙂 WANTS!

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Also massively liking, 80’s style unicorn top and Garbage Pail Kids Hoody!!! I had forgotten about the Garbage Pail Kids, they were like the even freaky version of Cabbage Patch Kids. I used to have trading cards when I was a little girl. Long overdue a comeback! 🙂

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Other cute stuff to keep a look out for….

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Next up was Dark Star. Now they are a brand I own several things by and am very fond of browsing through when I go up Camden and  to places like The Black Rose. Again I was really surprised at the difference between the collections I see in the shops and what was on the stall. I am a massive fan of their Victoriana and Goth stuff, but I had no idea they also had a major tie dye and hippy thing going on as well!

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Then there was a slightly less well known brand, Lindy Bop, which was another vintage style prom dress seller. Do like the yellow one though!

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Then a gentleman called Philip Wright selling loads of really awesome hats…..

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And then back to the big boys with New Rock……

And again I was fascinated by the difference between what one can buy in Camden and their full collection, for example, New Rock have a massive range of trainers as well as the whole boot thing going on! I had no idea. but actually from the point of view of someone who frequently misses the nightbus or ends up walking back for an hour in the middle of the night from clubbing, I actually quite fancy a pair, they seem like a much more sensible way of displaying ones goth sensibilities……

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I did like some of the more conventional boots though, specially these patterned ones!

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Next came Toxico , they sold all kinds of stuff, including clothes, which weren’t really my style, but what did catch my eye was their range of crockery. We have broken a load of mugs recently so I might actually buy some of it!

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And lastly for this section, Kreepsville 666. Now I am already a firm fan of their devils horns and hair bows with eyeballs on, so it was really nice to see what I’m going to end up buying  is available next year. I forgot to take pictures, but they also have a range of t-shirts, I had only ever seen these online before, but I was actually really impressed by the quality and availability of slightly larger sizing options.

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So yeah, Part 3 (The final main part of this) won’t happen till middle of next week as I am going to be busy with stuff. Hopefully also including finishing the skirt I’ve been working on for the last forever so I actually have sewing stuff to post again! 🙂

London Edge: Cool stuff I saw on stalls part 1

Basically the logistics of splitting these photos up into categories and still knowing what I’m doing was going to be too much of a headache, specially as I’m up to the eyeballs with a cold (yay! Thank-you Prince!) so I’m keeping it simple and posting them in the order I saw them. With the bigger companies that do ‘collections’ this is all next seasons stock so even though I’m going to link to peoples websites where possible, stuff I’ve posted may not be available yet. Also some of the websites are wholesale only, you have to find a shop that actually sells the brand. There was a massive bias in me (and Gemma) taking the photos as to stuff I find interesting.

 

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury -pretty vintage, mainly 40’s, inspired stuff.

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Switchblade, …..this stall had some decent Rockabilly/Gothabilly stuff on it, but what I was super interested in was the baby and children’s clothes….aren’t they awesome!

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Lucky 13 …another gothabilly stall, but this one had some awesome prints going…

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Silly Old Sea Dog……. vintage inspired stuff with novelty prints.

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Rockabye-Baby LDN -more stuff for babies 🙂

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Cherryloco …..this was one of my favourite stalls of the entire fair, unfortunately she was not selling because it was a trade fair, but I will be buying the Raven necklace off her and probably a bat one as well, as soon as I get some money together. Basically its Tatty Devine for Goths if you can’t tell from the pictures…. I am also massively supportive of a small business that is based on Folksy (The uk based version of Etsy) being at an event like this!

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Barmetal Clothing...another tattoo images stall with cool T-shirt prints…

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The next stall after that was Iron Fist, and the uploader is being a little slow today, so that can go in the next post (as I took millions of pictures) which will appear in a day or two. 🙂

London Edge Part 1……overview of the trade fair.

So yesterday Gemma and I went to London Edge, an Alternative clothing trade fair held at Olympia in London.

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The obligatory selfie before the day began.

I’ve been intrigued about London Edge ever since I found out about it a year ago when a Facebook friend of mine and a blogger I follow ended up working there, and with an interest in Alternative fashion I was absolutely desperate to have a look, so I was so happy when I was given permission to blog from there this year.

I brought Gemma with me to help with the photography, and also as I am prone to getting ill at inconvenient moments so it really helps to have someone there who could take over if I was feeling flakey.

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When we arrived we signed in at the desk and collected our press passes and then were shown to the press stand where we were given a really cool big shopper bag each with some pamphlets and magazines in. We started going round the show at the back of the room because that was where the loos were, and thats where this photo was taken….

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To be honest the show was not exactly what I expected. I have been to two trade fairs in the past, a home decoration one with my mum when I was younger and a pub one, also with Gemma, a few years ago. I expected it to be a bit more like the pub one, although the primary focus of the show is trade, they would be selling samples and there would be a lot of promotion going on. Actually, although everyone was dressed up and there was cool music playing, so there was a really good atmosphere, nothing at all was for sale and it was all very professional and business like. I felt like a complete idiot for not having a business card, I had considered getting one, but I only found out I was going about a week ago and wasn’t in a position to get one done in time. Everyone was very nice to us though and although we missed taking proper photos of a stall we really liked the look of because the staff were all occupied and we couldn’t ask permission, which was a shame, everyone else we spoke to was really happy for us to take loads of photos of their merchandise.

So we wandered up and down, annoying the stall holders, stopping to have a free shot of something or other (mine was cranberry flavoured, Gemma’s was apple)  at this awesome bar shaped like a coffin (behind us in the photo below) with a gorgeous chair with skulls on it which was sadly not for sale….

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We had lunch in Pizza Express at the corner of the hall and then watched a fashion show with clothes from  (in this order) New Rock, Bettie Page, Kreepsville 666, Phaze, One Direction – Jawbreaker and Voodoo Vixen, and Queen of Darkness.  Gemma took all these pictures…..

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Then we finished wandering round and went for a pint and a sit down before going home. In the evening we were invited to this….

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The Iron Fist launch party! I was meant to leave the house at 7pm to get there for 8 and meet Gemma there. I woke up at 7.10 having fallen asleep as soon as I got in, with Gemma texting me saying ‘Why haven’t I heard from you?’ but it took me till about 8.15 to come round properly. So Gemma ended up going on her own. 😦 I would be gutted, only I was so tired after walking round all day and a my head was a little overloaded so missing it was probably a good thing.

ANYWAY……

the bit everyone actually wants to see…..the photos we took of all next years stock from the brands…..

I was planning to do this as a couple of posts, cherry picking the best items and stuff I was most interested in into a couple of different categories (prom/wedding guest dresses, baby clothes, shoes, stuff I am intending to buy etc) however having looked at the photos. I am tempted to just do two or three big posts with all 150 or so of them, divided by brand, because 90% of them have come out brilliantly, and although I have my favourite brands and stuff, other stuff may be of interest to other people than it is to me. So what does people think? What do you actually want to see?

postscript: Massive thanks to Gemma Collins for all her help yesterday. Massive apologies for my awful awful roots, I was so busy last week and Jons working hours were a little weird so I didn’t have a day to myself to sort them out. 😦

china lady, dr who,another ladybird top and vexatious overlockers!

A while ago I know, but last time I posted I mentioned the necklace and the ceramic bust of a woman I was massively regretting not picking up from the charity shops in Beckenham. So early last week I went down there, the necklace had gone, which is sad, but I can always find another one I guess, but the woman’s head was still there…..

It is a little smaller than I thought so only my teeny tiny hat will fit it, but it is settling in nicely on my mini hat shelf….

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i thought that was it for charity shopping for a while, but our as I passed our local British Heart Foundation the other day I spotted a load of Dr Who DVD’S in the window for 99p each. There were some old series and some new series, and at first I thought each dvd was one episode they were so cheap, but for the new series it was 2 and the old series it was a complete story arc! Now I don’t mind watching Dr Who, which given I can’t really be bothered with TV is enthusiasm from me. Jon however loves Dr Who massively. So I bought them all….

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Turns out when I got them home and did a little digging on the internet, that they originally came with one of those monthly magazines, called the Dr Who Files . Anyway, when I went back the next day there were 40 odd more there. So I bought all of them! I don’t have photos cuz they are in a massive bag waiting till we can find somewhere to put them. but Jon is completely over the moon, and we are looking at it as a long term investment! 🙂

Also end of the week before last I sewed up another ladybird top….

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Same fabric, same pattern as last time….the ubiquitous Sewaholic Renfrew. Long sleeved version this time though. I’m going to try a couple more adventurous knit problems next time, however I didn’t manage to get any momentum going as despite it only taking an hour and a half to make and looking amazing on the outside, the back side of the overlocker stitch was looping/bubbling and no amount of fiddling with the tension settings would tell me what was wrong. So I left starting the next one for a week whilst I researched on the internet. Finally I found a couple of blogs which suggested the problem probably was one of the threads wasn’t between its tension plates properly (as opposed to every other blog which said rethread it entirely with  multicoloured threads and fiddle some more…not if I can get away with it!) and looking at it closely, yes one of the threads was out from its tension plates. So I’ve fixed that!

I have no idea if it has worked yet though, as the builder came yesterday to sort us with new radiators and put a power point in behind the table where I sew so I don’t have to keep long and dangerous extension cables winding across the floor to plug the machines into. So I had to put the machines away on a shelf and hopefully when I get them out again the overlocker will have been sufficiently un-jolted it will work and not need rethreading anyway! :-S

However when I got up to get a glass of water a few minutes ago I had to peel myself off the seat I’m on, so I’m not going to try anything potentially very frustrating in this kind of heat!

charity shopping… the successes and the failures

last Thursday I took my friend Liz, who has just moved into the area and is currently not working up to Beckenham for a spot of charity shopping.

The Beckenham Charity Shop Crawl has become such a popular activity for old ladies and hipsters on the weekend that I tend to avoid going there on Saturdays anymore, so Thursday was the perfect time to go.

We had a really good fun day, the weather was nice, the shops were productive and we finished with a trip to our local pub the Catford Bridge Tavern in the evening where conveniently an Unfined (vegan) Beer Festival was happening.

However I am somewhat kicking myself with what i bought/didn’t buy…..

Firstly the successes……

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This may only be small, but its a really beautiful hair clip, perfect if I was going in a Dolly Kei direction and it was only £2.50 so I am well pleased.

The complete stars of the show……

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These were only £3 each, which even by charity shop standards is ridiculously low for frames of that quality, basically because the frames were a little chipped ;nothing that a little nail varnish and a few strategic flowers or bows won’t fix!

I wasn’t interested in the pictures at first and infact was going to ditch them, when it was pointed out to me that a few strategically placed zombies or faries will make them immeasurably more interesting.:-)

It will have to wait a few weeks though as our printer is out of cartridge, and part of our next stage of house reorganisation involves replacing it with a photocopier style wireless one and I’m intending to go down the collage route rather than try to draw my own.

But I am so excited to get playing with them and get them on the walls.

Then there was the failure…..

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I was so excited when I found this…….I spent half of last year looking for a plus sized version of those Wednesday Adams dresses that were so popular last year and couldn’t find one. This one from Wallis is sized 22, large for me, but easy enough to take in and looked in good nick in the shop, hence I forked out £8 for it, which is rather a lot for me for charity shopping.

When I got it out in daylight I realised the collar and cuffs were a bit grubby so I decided to put it in the machine with a load of stain remover and it should be fine…well it worked with absolutely every other black and white garment I have ever owned!

Got it home, checked the tags and it was cold wash only. Thought that was a bit wierd, but added loads of stain remover and soaked it in a bucket of cold water for a couple of hours anyway. And then I came back and realised the water was dark grey, the collar and cuffs looked way worse than before and if I didn’t do something soon it would be a complete emergency! 

So we drained it in the bath (permanently staining our white rubber non slip bath mat in the process) and as a last resort stuck it on its own in the washing machine at 40 with even more stain remover of various types.

Funnily enough the dress didn’t seem to mind a warm wash at 40 at all! However on a dress where the contrast between the collar and cuffs and main part of the dress is the whole point of it, the white bits are now a grubby shade of grey!

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I mean really what sort of complete idiot company designs and then mass manufactures a black and white dress that isn’t actually colourfast? Grrr! And also irritation reserved for the original owner, they must have known it was a dud, in which case Don’t Send It To The Charity Shop If It’s Broken!!!!

I’m not sure what to do with it now…Part of me wants to send it straight to a fabric bank (the correct offloading point for substandard clothes) but I am tempted to cut the collar and cuffs off and use them as templates, I have a small amount of a really nice silver and black jacquard brocade I acquired off my favourite market stall that would work wonders as a replacement for them. And would be safe in the washing machine with a staining dress!

I have so many projects on the go already though!

I am also slightly gutted because I left a miniature white china ladies head behind in a shop, i looked at it, decided we couldn’t use any more ornaments and completely forgot that it was exactly the right size to store a miniature hat.

I also spent a good few minutes eyeing up a black glass bead necklace and left it behind as I got distracted when actually i desperately need one and that was quite good quality.

I am so upset in fact I may even go back tomorrow and see if they are still there after the carnage of the weekend. 

Its always the bits that you leave behind get you the most, I suppose cuz you never see them again and everything you actually buy becomes literally part of the furniture.

But I would just like to take a moment to remember the solid wood framed gold gilt oval mirror and black lacquer marquetry tissue box from when we lived in Finchley (I forgot you can buy stuff and then collect it on saturday, and my parents hurried me away) and the working ice cream maker and amazing tacky hand knitted xmas sweater from Hitchin (I was just being dopey, I thought £20 was a bit steep for a sweater, then I looked up how much they cost online these days)……never will I see their like again!

high street shopping fail.

Even though this is my blog and I’ll damn well post about what the hell I like, I have preferred to go down the sewing and charity shop route when it comes to posting about clothes. Although I follow many fashion blogs and occasionally buy things recommended by them, the whole sponsored post by a particular retailer thing has me fairly sceptical. You’d actually buy all this if you weren’t being paid to promote it? really?

However over the past few days I’ve had to buy the sort of basics I don’t have time and skill (or a sufficiently functional buttonhole machine) to make myself, and its completely reaffirmed to me why I make my own clothes.

I have not been in the slightest bit sponsored by any of the companies mentioned in this post , that’ll be damned obvious in a minute.

firstly Evans….

I don’t remember ever buying anything from them, I am not on their mailing list, but this morning a catalogue came through my door from them, so I thought I’d share the best bits….. (btw, i am exactly the sort of dress size somewhere like Evans should be my first port of call when looking for highstreet clothes)

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This is the photo from the second page of the catalogue. Already it gives you an idea what to expect…. which would be that old cliche that fat women should drape those curves with floaty fabric and no waists, cuz obviously doing that doesn’t make you look three times frumpier than wearing something fitted, oh no! Also fat women obviously prefer having their bums covered by their tops (nope!).

Saying that, the spotty top would be something I might conceivably wear, except that its impossible to tell it looks so awful on that poor model, who incidentally, if she is plus sized, I am the virgin mary!

Now apparently Evans sizes start at size 14, though why the hell you would shop there if you are a size 14 is beyond me, when you still have respectable styled high street shops like Zara and H&M and Topshop within your grasp.  And clearly, looking at those models, it would be a silly idea anyway, cuz the clothes are categorically not designed to fit or look good on you, I’m in two minds as to whether they are designed to fit or look good on anyone, but showing them on someone size 20+ might be a nice idea, cuz those are the ones who will be buying it.

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Next we have this gem of a piece. Skirt is not my style, but holy crap that top! Apart from making a thinish model look like she has a shelf for boobs, tops on fat people go up at the front and down at the back naturally, because of large tits or stomachs etc, there is absolutely no call to go accentuating it! Also the way it hangs would make anyone look pear shaped, no matter how thin!

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This beauty is one where I’m not sure whether the problem is its designed for someone far larger and they are using too thin a model again, or whether its just a really badly shaped top, but it looks awful on this poor model, there is a massive great fold down the front makes her look like she has a belly and no waist when clearly she is fairly hourglass shaped. Hell no!

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This would be fairly nice (well ok, non offensive) but really would a pair of darts down the front hurt? Or a semblance of a waist? And its clearly seethrough between the legs.

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I am not going to post any pictures of her, cuz that would be mean, but there is an interview in there with their head buyer. Suffice to say, she’s a good 10 years older than me I reckon, a fan of the shapeless tunic look, and I wouldn’t be seen dead in anything she is wearing.

Also those two shirts are disgusting, and i really don’t see the logic of having a shop for plus sized people many of whom, like me, may be utterly paranoid about their upper arms, and having so many sleeveless tops.

This may seem a bit harsh, i mean I could shop elsewhere. Except I can’t. New Look and ASOS curve make a bit of an effort, and Dorothy Perkins and Marks and Spencer go quite large in their mainstream ranges, but apart from that its catalogues that are every bit a frumpy middle aged lady as Evans or supermarket own brand clothing ranges.

I have no objection to a shop that does stylish work wear for the larger lady also, but these ain’t clothes that are going to help you get promoted.

Oh yeah, and once upon a time they did a collaboration with Beth Ditto. That was about 7 years ago now and a one off and the signature print in it was so distinctive that buying it shrieked ‘I bought this from a plus sized store’.

Now for my second target….

Waterproofs for plus sized people. Ones that are actually waterproof, not ‘showerproof’ or ‘water resistant’ or ‘splash proof’ , but the sort of thing that will see one through an English summer.

From the fashion stores forget it. Last year tosphop did a beautiful range of pvc macs in fashion colours, i bought a grey one in a size 16. it fit me apart from not being able to do up two buttons on the bum, but that was fine, I was at that time on slightly lower meds hence loosing weigh and fully expected to be fitting into it sometime soon. One winter of illness and lack of exercise later though, I’m struggling with 3 buttons on it, which has gone from looking like a deliberate fashion choice to It Just Doesn’t Fit!

So I’ve had to look for a new one. Gave up on the usual plus sized high street and internet stores, nothing actually waterproof, nothing thats not beige or little old lady pastels. So I ended up on The Mountain Warehouse website buying one.

This one to be exact. Which is all well and good, goes up to a size 22 which is great for me, I mean, not ideal if you do exercise/ need to travel in the rain and you are larger, but you know…

Came, was reasonably happy with it, the colour is a bit more heather or lavender than the proper goth purple shown on the website, but I can live with that. I bought a size 22 (for woolly jumper in winter purposes) and it barely fits, specially round the bum. I am a size 18.

Way to go Mountain Warehouse, fat people clearly don’t do walking or need wet weather protection!

Anyway enough whinging….

In sewing news I have finally got my overlocker out, threaded it (that was not quite as bad as expected but still took 3/4 hr) and tentatively done a couple of lines with it. The next step is I am trying to cut out a load of jersey patterns in fabric I’m not amazingly keen on to practice using the overlocker with.

I got a little overinspired by the Great British Sewing Bee and had visions of cutting out all 4 patterns I was planning on (I’m using a couple as toille/muslins/tryouts) in one day. Of course ilness and life in general got in the way and its taken all week to do three! But hopefully my first overlocker attempts will be up here soon!

flu and a veg box.

Ok this post was meant to happen about 10 days ago, but I have been suffering from The Cold That Will Not Go Away for the last 3 1/2 weeks (after being all proud of myself that I wasn’t ill over Christmas and New Year) so its been delayed slightly.

Despite the ill my sewing for the Scifi Weekend has been coming on a treat. Two outfits (admittedly the low sew ones) are good to go, one of the main ones is 85% complete and just waiting for its bag to happen and the other is about 65% complete and I’m waiting now for trimming to turn up from etsy before I can finish it. One outfit has been put on indefinite hiatus as it was ridiculously skimpy and its been snowing and isn’t the worlds most pleasant out, so I’m really not feeling it right now.

Given how ill I’ve been this is kind of a miracle, but I have been forcing myself to sew as I have been so worried about various illnesses playing up and if I’d left it until I was better I’d be just starting now, and theres no way I want to only have 4 weeks for all this stuff. Assuming I loose another two of them to underproductivity through illness there’d be no chance. Also its been the weird sort of cold that lingers and makes you cough like an 80 year old smoker all the time, but didn’t actually knock me out in bed.

In the meantime though, Jon and I have actually acted on one of our New Year Wishlist ( I wouldn’t call them resolutions exactly) and got ourselves a veg box every week.

Now Catford where we live is actually atrocious for seasonal vegetables. If you want Mediterranean ones all year round, or Caribbean ones, you are sorted, but try looking for kale or sprouts or jerusalem artichokes in winter and you don’t stand a chance. We do have a medium sized Tesco, but just before Christmas I bought some kale from an organic shop in Dulwich, boiled it for 5 minutes, it turned the water bright green, and then I ate it all up as it was yummy, the next week I got a bag from Tesco and boiled it for about 15 minutes, the water did not change colour and when we eventually ate the vegetable it tasted of slightly chewy cardboard.

I was also getting increasingly concerned about how much we were actually spending on food and what is actually in a load of the stuff Tesco sells – Gnocci with added lactose and gluten? Dry Roast Peanuts with added milk and e-numbers? And just sticking to mediterranean vegetables was getting really boring and making our diet somewhat limited.

I tried the veg box thing once before about 4 years ago when we were thinking of moving to somewhere where I would have had limited supermarket access, and it was pretty awful. The quality of the vegetables was lovely, but we got about 3 potatoes , a swede bigger than my head and a load of random stuff that did not in any way go together and therefore we ended up having to buy a load of extra stuff to even turn it into sane looking meals. So I was a little sceptical, but a friend of ours now works for Abel and Cole, and another couple of friends were happily getting their veg boxes every week, so I gave it a go.

First up..the size of the box…we get a large box, which is supposed to serve 3-5 people. It just about serves two assuming we have about 2-3 meals a week where we ditch the veg and eat pasta or get a take away or something. Mind you we have quite a veg heavy diet. But we are not vegetarian by any means. So far though, I’ve had to buy quite a lot of meat and the odd bit of carbs to pad it out, but in terms of vegetables, only one solitary tomato, so its working for us at the moment, I could see it being a problem in Summer though.

In the box you get spuds and onions every week seems to be carrots every week too and a load of salad veg, always a lettuce and tomatoes of some kind by the looks of it. This is great, though I’ve skipped the lettuce for this week (you are allowed to skip items from the following weeks box you don’t want, or add things to a dislike list and miss them out entirely…you do get some random crap as substitutions though) as it is just too damn cold with it snowing and all for food that isn’t cooked.

The other stuff is a mix of vaguely seasonal veg, broccoli,chard beetroot, parsnips etc it has the odd curveball, but its usually fairly mainstream , you can get a gourmet box if you are a more adventurous cook and fancy more seasonal/interesting veg, but they only go up to size medium so I don’t think they’d be any good for us sadly.

Holy crap the veg tastes nicer though!

I know its a complete cliche to say organic stuff tastes like food did when I was a child, but actually when I was a little girl, a very close family friend was this old lady who had been an army cook during WWII and was a farmers daughter and had a front and back garden full of veg and and allotment on top of it right up until about 9 months before she died. So not only were vegetables in the 80’s/90’s probably better anyway, I did actually have access to homegrown organic ones.

But yeah, I had got the general idea that I didn’t like broccoli and cauliflower much, I actually love them when they taste of something that isn’t staleness and water.

So far its also been reasonably easy to turn it all into coherant meals.

I took photos on the first week, cuz I am mainstream like that, and these are some of the stuff we made….

pear and chicory salad

Bacon, pear and chicory salad (we had the pears knocking around already)

 

swiss chard pasta

 

Swiss Chard Pasta

 

cauliflower, potato and chard curry

 

Cauliflower, potato and chard curry (it was supposed to be spinach, but chard worked just as well)

 

celeriac gratin

Celeriac Gratin

 

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Gratin on the plate with a bit of chicken and a load of other vegetables from the veg box.

After than I gave up photography as I’m not a natural food photographer anyway, and decent quality meals ceased to be such a novelty!

I think it has actually reduced our food bill though as I used to plan meals round what I felt like eating, which could get terribly expensive and now I plan them round whats in the box. I also used to buy quite expensive ingredients to make up for the fact that most of the veg from tesco tasted like watery cardboard, I rarely did vegetarian meals, now I’m fairly happy to.

Anyway we are only on week 3 and already good quality cheddar and possibly good quality yoghurt (that one started out as a freebie- they are good at giving you freebies….I am good at going ‘oh yeah, I’d like some more of that!) have crept their way into the box as well.

So yeah, New Years Resolution that hasn’t ended up being a complete drag! 🙂

felt deer, mini hats and arty photographs.

I was doing really well for sale shopping till Wednesday. I’d spent 30 quid on t-shirts in Primark (Deep Purple, Roxy Music and My Little Pony and stuff though!) and had managed to avoid the sales along Oxford Street, despite going up there twice for various things.

Then Wednesday lunch time I met my parents in town for lunch, and my mum ended up persuading us all to go round Liberty and look at stuff we couldn’t really afford. So it was all going fine, luckily I’ve gone off Tana Lawn as a sewing material, its too fine to be use for anything apart from sundresses, so we got through the haberdashery without any mishaps. Then we went upstairs to drool over the arts and crafts furniture and saw a sign to a Christmas Shop sale area, so we went in, not really expecting to find anything major.

And thats when I saw him…..

deer1

 

He was sitting on a trestle table along with 10 or so others, some smaller ones made of brushwood and a load of artificial greenery. And he was £34….down from £115.

It was, I admit, a bit of an impulse buy. But to be fair I’ve been after some kind of felt deer ever since I saw this artist at a craft exhibition a couple of years ago, I just thought it was something I’d never be able to afford, or would have to wait till it was long out of fashion for.

He is rather rustic for a felt deer, the one I bought is all in one piece, but several of the others had antlers a bit loose or stuffing coming out, nothing that couldn’t be fixed by a tiny bit of remedial sewing, but they are obviously rather delicate. Also when I tried to hang him on the wall, the loop to do so was in the wrong place so he leaned forwards rather than up and out like a real stags head.

He also looks a lot like someone has shoved antlers on a battle droid when viewed from the side!

battle droid antlers

 

Having failed at hanging on the wall, luckily all was not lost as I knew exactly where to put him.

 

This is my mini hat collection…

mini hats

 

I have taken some beautifully arty photos of it in the past….

arty hats

 

 

but recently the collection has grown a little bit out of control and has mostly been a bit of a messy pile!

So the perfect location for one felt deer looking for a new home and occupation as a hat hanger than 🙂

 

This is a panoramic photo I took of what the mini hat storage area looks like now…

hats panorama

so much better!

 

And here are some arty ones I made with my favourite iphone apps….

faded deer hats

sunbeam deer hatssupernova deer hats

tinted deer hats

 

I am quite pleased with how they’ve turned out, and can’t wait to take some more when it gets summer enough to not need artificial light!

The deer is very happy in his new home, I think he’s gorgeous and  Jon really likes him too, so not so bad impulse sales shopping.

In sewing news, just before christmas I won some tickets to the scifi weekender at the end of February. I went once before 3 years ago, and although books rather than comics or TV are more my thing am really looking forwards to it.

Despite my love of dressing up, I am totally not a cosplay person however, partly because I am usually double the size of any of the characters I’d be dressing as, partly because I find pretending to be someone specific, as opposed to vampire princess, which I have to admit I aim for a lot of the time, really embarrassing! No idea why.

However this year several of my friends are going one of whom is a similar size to me and a complete cosplay queen, so I have agreed to give dressing up a go :-S also if I dress up Jon will, and he is blonde, considerably thinner than me, in his early thirties and fairly muscular, so I am keen for him to give it a go as by scifi con standards he completely looks the part for a range of superheroes, and he’ll regret it if he doesn’t.

I am making myself one costume from scratch and constructing two others from premade bits and a bit of crafting.

I am constructing one for Jon and hopefully making one for him from scratch.

I am nervous about this, the sewing involved is not too taxing, but I have my first cold of the year already and only two months to do it all. I am not good with deadlines. 😦

So we shall see. Obviously no sewing piccies till its over, so will have to find something else to blog about….

 

obviously all photos are copyright to me and if anyone steals any I will be most displeased!

winter tops, charity shops and stuff not fitting

So once again its been a couple of weeks.

Anyway.I’ve been quite lazy, but I have actually made stuff….

First up another Renfrew Top I made a few weeks ago, and forgot to post about…it is made with jersey from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton, and is lovely and warm and pretty much spot on in terms of technique, and it is a bit of a weird one for me to wear clothes that look so normal, but the reason I’ve made millions of these this year is that all I wear all winter is layers involving long sleeved tops, so black does get a bit boring at times.

autumn flowers top

 

Bottom of the photo cut off as Jon took it with my mobile and didn’t move the case. Taken in Victoria Park, East London.

 

Then I made another Renfrew out of some fabric I got for £2 a meter off my favourite market stall. As it had a border print I aligned the top automatically with the border at the bottom, cuz any other way would look bloody weird frankly. I then proceeded to sew it up in my standard size, and then wondered why the hell it was a bit too small. Cuz the stretchy grain of the fabric is running up and down, not across isn’t it! I have got to say, that is something I never thought to check for, but yeah, that would be a problem with border printed jersey coming to think about it!

gothic border renfrew

 

So thats why I’ve photographed it lying on the bed.  It does fit, it looks nice under things and ok with skirts that sit on my natural waist, but it does have a tendancy to ride up, and I certainly couldn’t put it over a base layer, which is what I’ve mostly been wearing given the freezing weather, so I couldn’t get a good photo of it on.

Also stuff I have done..today on the way to the supermarket I popped in at one of the local charity shops and found these little beauties….

polaroid claudius

 

I’ve been after a dvd copy of I Claudius for ages, we recently disposed of our video copy, and I’ve wanted a polaroid camera for a while too. My little brother has one so I am going to find out from him where you get the bits from (hopefully), and if it doesn’t work, the camera was £2 the dvd £3 so who cares! 🙂

I have also taken custody of this gorgeous dress.

white gatsby dress

white flapper dress

 

 

It is an ivory lace flapper dress, made by Berkertex, so 80’s pretending to be 20’s, and it is gorgeous! It has a small hole in the lace on the skirt, but apart from that seems in good nick. Only drawback is it is a size 14, and having tried to get it on, probably a small 14 at that, so completely doesn’t fit. So now I have to decide whether to put it in the drawer I reserve for stuff that doesn’t fit, or whether to dispose of it! Grr. It was very cheap though so it doesn’t matter that much.

I am also in the middle of a bit more major sewing project so I’d better head back to that!

Overdue stuff from a long time ago!

So this week, after several weeks of spluttering along our computer died. This has put me hopelessly behind with blogging, added to which the things I am about to post I’m late with anyway.

So….

First Sunday of the month there is a market now on Catford Broadway, it is actually rather good. I bought stuff…..

I got this bath bomb and the ‘robot’ lego man soap from Bubblylicious who make amazing novelty bath stuff. They are really good quality and smell amazing, and are GLITTERY!!! which is awesome, and even more awesome as I needed to do a trip up to Lush in Bromley and that saved me the effort.

bought this passion fruit cupcake from a cake stall, and this slightly revolting looking, but absolutely gorgeous tasting sicilian sausage from an Italian deli stall…..

the deli stall was a bit expensive though, even by Borough Market standards!

I also meant to post pictures of the dress I made last week several days ago….

I think its really pretty. I used New Look 6457 as a pattern, which is rather unprepossessing on the packet, but I saw several impressive looking versions on other peoples blogs so thought I’d give it a go. This is technically a wearable muslin as I was trying to get the fit right, as usual with Simplicity/New Look patterns I had to go a size down from my uk ready made size and nearly 2 sizes down from what they reckon is a good idea on your measurements, so its a bit messy inside. However it was super easy and took a day to make and only takes 2m, so I have a load of Liberty print fabric I am going to make into these and I am going to have a go at converting one into a lolita style jsk (I’ve seen a few people on the internet do that successfully too!) I used this  alexander henry fabric, which has Frida Kahlo all over it and is so cool!

About the picture…I am aware when I post pictures of sundresses I am trying to make the dress show as well as possible, which means showing my arms in the photo. I have horrendously fat arms! I have 2 weight causing medical conditions and a muppet of a doctor managed to give me meds that doubled my weight about 18 months ago and I haven’t taken it off yet. I am not sure whether seeing my arms being fat detracts from the dress looking nice or not? I know it shouldn’t, but I’m also aware that pretty people do make clothes look nicer (though not nececarrily size 0 ones!).

Anyway, this is how I’d normally wear it (and indeed was the day the photo was taken) with a cardigan or sheer blouse in hot weather, which I thinks looks better, but you can’t see how the dress works properly, so I don’t think its any actual use!

In other sewing news item number 2 I was trying to sew this month is finished now, but I can’t go into what I’ve made yet.

Item number 3 has stalled somewhat as I’ve had to sort out the computer instead this week, so I am a bit behind! 😦

Oh, and this…..

This is a postcard that Jon was given by the Britannia Hotel in Bolton where he stayed on work business recently. Isn’t it brilliant! It is on our wall now. I am hoping to actually start a collection of similar unlikely postcards to go with it! 🙂