Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween Playlist

Over the past few years it's become tradition for us to have a get together for Halloween. Last year we had an amazing party in the Chapel, where people dressed up and we played various games (I dressed as a nun, naturally). This year we had a more low-key film night, but the Halloween playlist was a great way to get the evening started. So I decided to choose some favourite songs off the list to share with you. Happy Halloween!

The Coasters - Poison Ivy (Okay this song's actually about getting an STD but Poison Ivy is quite a good Halloween outfit, right?)

The Cramps - I was a teenage werewolf

Can't really omit this one!

Cliff Richard's pretty scary, right?!

David Bowie- Scary Monsters & Super Creeps

Black Sabbath - Wizard (Basically any Black Sabbath works well! My dad will appreciate me putting this on the list...)

Fantomas- Spider Baby ..Tom's song of choice!

and finally some Dead Man's Bones.. ah.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Lovely links

Time for another round-up of some fun things spotted lately on the internet...

- This crocheted pumpkin bowl by One Sheepish Girl is pretty cool

- Grandma Lo-fi writes pretty catchy tunes on her keyboards

- Ada the Globetrotting Doll gets kitted up!

- I've been enjoying watching the 'Ask a Grown Man' series on Youtube. Any fans of Tavi's online magazine Rookie may be familiar with these videos, in which teenage girls pose questions to some famous grown men. Highlights include Paul Rudd, Jon Hamm (who looks a little worse for wear in his!) and my personal favourite, Ira Glass, who makes a mean balloon animal!

- Enjoyed reading this typewritten note by Tom Hanks recently

- Siobhan's new knitwear line looks pretty toasty

- Mmmm.. a recipe for millionaire's flapjack!

And finally.. any fans of Seinfeld may be interested in Jerry's new mini-series, Comedians in Cars getting Coffee. The basic premise is that Jerry Seinfeld meets up with one of his comedian friends and chats to them over.. well, a coffee.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Film Friday: Frankenweenie

Just a quick film post today, about Frankenweenie, the new animated Tim Burton film which is out at cinemas at the moment. We went to see this last week, and the stop-motion animation was great - I especially loved the girl with BIG eyes and a psychic cat! However I'm not sure if I'd go out of my way to watch the film again - and we weren't totally convinced by the ending. Have you seen it? Let me know what you thought!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Ovaltine, cookies and crafts


This week's been quite busy so far but on Wednesday evening I invited some friends over for a cosy craft evening, where we could all work on different projects we'd begun.

In the end I was the only person not knitting (I have tried it before but for some reason didn't get on with it as I always panicked when I dropped a stitch!). I was working on a top secret project for someone's Christmas present! I put some old records on, and we ate ghost cookies and drank ovaltine (or wine depending on the mood), which made for a really relaxing evening. We've vowed to do it again once the clocks change this weekend and the winter evenings draw in.

Hannah is making these beautiful gloves

Amazing knitting patterns...



Friday, 19 October 2012

Film Friday: Being Elmo, a Puppeteer's Journey

Last week I watched a really sweet film about the puppeteer behind one of the most well-loved muppets out there, Elmo. If you've ever been a fan of Sesame Street or the Muppets it's a great insight into the work of Jim Henson and the process behind creating the muppets themselves.

Although I've always been more of a Bert and Ernie fan, it was really interesting to see how Elmo got his personality from the person behind the puppet, Eric Clash. Growing up, Clash was fascinated by puppets and began making them for himself. It wasn't long before he met a bearded man called Kermit Love (yes!) and was on his way to work for one of the most popular children's series in the world.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

October lately

Watching... the Great British Bake Off finale.. I actually got a bit emotional at the end! I loved James throughout, but I think they picked the right winner.

Planning... some handmade Christmas pressies

Drawing... a few portrait commissions I've been given

Enjoying... a few days off before I start my new job, hurray!

Lusting... after all these pretty jumpers, sigh.

Reading... this interview with the creators of Tatty Devine, on how they started out in the jewellery business

Swooning... at another amazing project by Jessica Hirsche, who has designed these covers for some classic Penguin books using her daily drop cap typography.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A lovely day in London


On Saturday Tom and I took a trip to the capital to meet up with some old friends (and their new baby!) We had a lovely stroll down the river, past London Bridge and stopped for a hot chocolate (with added cointreau, it was delicious!), luckily avoiding the rain showers in between.

Later on, after a slightly nightmarish commute to the north (it took us an hour and a half to travel quite a short way from south of the river to north - how do Londoners cope?!) we got to Drink Shop & Do, around the corner from St Pancras. I'd wanted to visit for a while as I'd heard good things about this crafty cafe, and we weren't disappointed! Downstairs was a slightly gothic bar,where club nights are held regularly, and upstairs was a cool cafe and shop selling handmade goodies. Would recommend a visit - though go early as it does get busy!

Slightly over excited on a London bus

A stroll down Bermondsey street

Spotted 'the Shard'




Cranes near the Tate Modern

Drink shop & do
Drink, Shop & Do, all Halloween-ed up

Monday, 15 October 2012

The best films to watch when you're ill.

Over the past few days I've been feeling under the weather so I decided to make this list for other people out there who are full of cold. So grab your duvet, make some hot ribena and settle down for a day's viewing!

5. Any Disney film
There's nothing quite as comforting as watching a film from your childhood. My personal favourites are Dumbo, (I love the bit where the crows teach him how to fly!), The Little Mermaid, Robin Hood and The Jungle Book.

4. A 90's rom-com
When you're ill you don't really want to have to concentrate too much on working out complicated plot-lines. There's also the likelihood you'll fall asleep halfway through! So why not watch something easy like Sliding Doors (currently on iPlayer), Sleepless in Seattle or my personal favourite from the mid-90s, Shooting Fish.

3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
This John Hughes classis sees Ferris faking illness to get out of a day at school. What ensues is probably the most fun you can have on a sick day.

2. The Princess Bride
This was the film we always rented on video when I was off school ill as a child. If you've not seen it, don't let the soppy title put you off. The film begins with an ill Fred Savage (Kevin from the Wonder Years, above) in bed and grumpy, when his grandfather (played by Peter Falk/Columbo) arrives and tells him the story of the Princess Bride. One of my favourite films, which gives new meaning to the phrase "As you wish."

1. Rear Window
When confined to a wheelchair after breaking his leg, Jeff (played perfectly by James Stewart) witnesses what seems to be a murder in the apartment opposite. A perfect film to watch when you too are confined to your sofa, this classic Hitchcock suspense film is one I can watch over and over.

What films do you watch when you're not feeling well?

Friday, 12 October 2012

Film Friday: The Cabin in the Woods

I'm not normally a huge fan of horror films, preferring the slightly silly and over-the-top 80s ones to gory slasher films. The Cabin in the Woods, written by Joss Whedon (of Buffy fame), starts off as your typical teen-horror, with five friends setting off to the woods on a camping trip. But as the film goes on there are some interesting twists and lots of funny moments, which make it more than your average horror movie.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A perfect winter's meal

Earlier this week I made a tasty sausage and bean casserole, which I thought I'd share here. As I'm vegetarian (well, pescetarian in fact) and Tom eats meat I ended up making two versions with veggie and pork sausages. The recipe worked well for both and is quite adaptable too. Next time I might add mushrooms and some green vegetables.

Sausage & Bean Casserole
Serves 4

6 sausages of your choice
1 large sweet potato (cut into small chunks)
4-5 carrots (chopped)
1 large red onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
450g vegetable stock
Tomato puree
Dash of red wine (optional)
1 tin of borlotti beans
1 teaspoon sugar
Herbs of your choice (I used what was in the cupboard, oregano & basil but I think but fresh chopped rosemary could work well too!)
1-2 teaspoons of cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
A generous dash of Worcester Sauce (or Henderson's Relish for vegetarians!)

(For this recipe I'll admit I did improvise as I went along, but here is roughly how it was made!)

1. Cook the sausages according to their instructions (I grilled my veggie ones and Tom fried his meaty ones)
2. Boil some water and add the chopped carrot & potato, cooking for around 10 minutes.
3. Whilst they are cooking fry the chopped onion and garlic in a large pan
4. When they are softened, add the chopped tomato and stock. Season with salt, pepper, red wine, herbs and Henderson's relish, whatever you think will work well!
5. Now add the cooked potato and carrots and simmer for around ten minutes.
6. (Here is where you divide the mixture into 2 pans if making both a meat and veggie version!) Finally chop up the cooked sausages and add to the tomato mixture. Also add the beans and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Serve up with either garlic bread or rice. Preferably in candlelight for added cosiness!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Autumn Wishlist

Clockwise from top: Fair-isle jumper from topshop, camping lamp from, orange hot chocolate from whittards, blushing fox bag from gingiber, country mouse brooch from tatty devine, mug by orla kiely, gloves by accessorize, squirrel pattern shoes by converse, paddy fox cushion by urban outfitters.

I'm in money-saving mode at the moment, but that hasn't stopped me dreaming about some Autumn woolies. When the sun is out, this time of year is my favourite. Long socks, a nice hot chocolate and a cosy film (When Harry Met Sally makes me think of Autumn) all make for a lovely evening in!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Grand Shop Opening!

Sorry it's been rather quiet on here the past few weeks, life has become strangely busy of late. One of the things I've been working on is getting an Etsy shop up and running. So I'm pleased to announce that the Make Do & Mend shop is now open for business, hurrah! In the shop are two travel zines made by me & Tom. The first features sketchbook pages done in October last year on our trip to Chicago. The journey there took over 20 hours, giving us lots of time to draw on the way there and back! The second was from our trip to Dubrovnik this May. Next up we're thinking of doing one all about our adventures in lovely Holland as well. (If any of you also have shops on etsy let me know, and I'll add you to my circle!) 

It's exciting to be finally selling things online (although I was rather scared to finally put them up for sale, eep!). Also available on the shop are custom portraits (like this one I made for Kate). 

To celebrate the shop opening I'm offering readers of this blog free shipping with the discount code  'MAKEDOSHOP' which you apply at the checkout, for the next five days! Head on over and have a peek, I'll be adding more to the shop soon.  Laura x

Friday, 5 October 2012

Film Friday: Frida

Thank goodness it's Friday! This week was brought to you by the letter F, for Frida. I'd been meaning to watch this film for a while now, and am really glad I had chance to finally see it in full. Salma Hayek was Oscar nominated for her portrayal of the brilliant Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, whose artistic life and turbulent romances are all portrayed in this film.

From quite early on in her life, when she was badly injured in a bus accident, Frida suffered one tragedy after the next, which inspired so many of her greatest paintings. After the accident left her bed-bound in a full body cast, Frida's mother set up an easel  across her bed and a mirror on the ceiling, to enable her daughter to spend her days painting self portraits. The film was a brilliant way of making Frida's artistic inspirations much clearer to me and a wonderful glimpse into the life of such an original artist, and her promiscuous partner Diego.
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