Monday, 31 December 2012

Handmade Loveliness

I always love a handmade present, and this year I got a couple of lovely things I thought I'd share here. Firstly my aunt made me this gorgeous rag rug. I think it took her several months to complete but it's so comfy and pretty, I'm really happy with it.

Secondly my talented knitter friend made me these cute and sparkly hand warmers. Apparently the sequins are part of the wool. Aren't they pretty? 

Also, I made this cross stitch portrait of Tom and I for Tom's Christmas pressie (after being inspired by one seen on Morten and Me). I also added a tiny dog quite wistfully as we aren't able to have pets in our tiny flat, but we can dream!

Hope you all have a lovely New Year. Apologies for the dark photos, it's awfully rainy here and the house is so dark and it's only just 4pm! Tom and I are planning on staying in to watch the Muppets movie tonight, but might pop to a friend's house nearby to ring in the new year later. Have a good one! Lx

Friday, 28 December 2012

Film Friday: Favourites of 2012

It's the last Film Friday of the year, so here's a summary of my favourites from 2012.

The Artist (this seems like longer than a year ago but I saw it back in January!)
The Descendants
Moonrise Kingdom
2 Days in New York
Take this Waltz
The Cabin in the Woods
The Perks of being a Wallflower

 Let me know if there's any good ones I've missed this year (I really want to see the Muppets movie which I missed when it came out).


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Highlights of 2012

Well, another year has flown by! Highlights for me this year included a gorgeous holiday in Croatia staying in a Bowie themed apartment, a brilliant week spent in Holland exploring Deventer on bicycles, and the grand opening of mine & Tom's Etsy shop. I also managed to find a lovely new role in the arts sector which I'm really enjoying so far. Next year marks my 30th birthday and hopefully it will prove to be a good one. I hope you all had a great year and here's to a brilliant 2013! Laura x

January - I got a new camera flash for Christmas so Tom and I had some fun trying it out in the hallway

February - it snowed! Lots. So me, Tom and some friends found a cosy den in the woods at Rufford Country Park

March - A rare sunny day meant perfect weather for cycling along the river to Radcliffe-on-Trent

April - Ada the Globetrotting Doll visited me in Nottingham

May - Tom & I had a lovely holiday in sunny Dubrovnik

June - We met a friendly horse in Shropshire

July - I spent (a mostly rainy) day at Indietracks festival

August - Had a rather lovely week at my friend Gerdien's house in Deventer, Holland

September - I made a giant rubik's cube cake with my friend Sarah..

October - a cosy evening of crafts with some friends

November - Had fun dancing to some classic tunes at our friend's 90s-themed birthday party. (Okay, when I say 'classic' I actually mean the theme from Baywatch...)

December - Tom and I swapped home made stockings. (In case you're wondering the one he made me says 'Fur you' on it. I do love a good pun!)

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Simply having...

... a wonderful Christmas time. Happy Christmas folks! 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Film Friday: Holiday Affair

Last weekend when Tom popped out to watch a friend's band I decided to stay in, relax and watch an old Christmas film. Holiday Affair (currently on iPlayer) stars Janet Leigh as a single mother who is being pursued two men both vying for her affections. Although the film is a wee bit predictable, if you're in the mood for a festive story involving romantic mishaps, toy shops and New York in the snow I'd thoroughly recommend it!

Monday, 17 December 2012

A Handmade Christmas

I keep seeing such pretty ideas for handmade Christmas things I decided to post a little round up of my favourites.

Christmas in a Jar (pictured above) via Dandee

Handmade Christmas Crackers via Junkaholique (these look time consuming yet beautiful)

DIY Christmas Crackers via Design Sponge (these ones are from last year but still look cool to make)

Chocolate and Orange Christmas Cake via Make Do and Spend (sounds so tasty)

Upcycled Christmas Wrapping Paper via Knitting on Trains

Map Coasters via Martha Stewart

Beautiful Christmas Snowball Meringues found via Tabitha Emma

20 Last minute DIY Gift Ideas via A Beautiful Mess

Sunday, 16 December 2012

My Christmas Gift Swap

This weekend I had chance to collect an exciting parcel that had arrived for me at the post office - it was my Christmas box from the thrifty gift swap I joined on Janet's blog last month. I was so happy when I opened it, every present inside was so lovely (and so 'me'), thanks to my thoughtful swapee. The contents were as follows: a gorgeous mixtape tea towel, a vintage cup filled with tea, a mini candy cane (which has gone straight on my little tree), an old Penguin book - Gigi by Colette (can't wait to read this), a mix cd (featuring many ace tunes, I gave it a listen earlier when wrapping presents!), a Jam record, a handmade lavendar cushion and a Make Do & Mend vintage booklet. Hurrah! Hopefully the person I swapped with will get her box soon too. Thank you Janet for organising such a lovely gift swap.


Thursday, 13 December 2012

My Favourite Christmas present (then & now)

I realised the other day that two of the best Christmas presents I've ever had were quite similar - I'm lucky enough to have had two dolls houses hand-made just for me. 

The first was when I was around eight or nine. It all came about because of a rather depressing Christmas the year before. That year, my parents and grandma had got together to buy me the most fantastic dolls-house that they could afford. To prevent me from seeing it all wrapped up on Christmas Eve and guessing what I'd been given, they decided (rather foolishly!) to leave it in the car overnight. The next morning the car had been broken into. The only present I had left that Christmas was some dolls house furniture! I remember my Nan in particular being really distraught, and my Dad going up and down the nearby streets checking the bins to see if the robber (on discovering he'd stolen a dolls house and not a pricey stereo) had thrown it away. No such luck!

The next Christmas I had a far more special present; my mum and dad got together to make me an amazing dolls house. They used an old basket for the roof, real carpet pieces inside, cardboard and wood interiors and wallpaper to decorate the rooms. Sadly I no longer have a photo of the dolls house, but a couple of years ago Tom made me a new one - a home for Frank, the little guy I'd been given for my birthday that year. I feel so very lucky to have had such thoughtful gifts given to me and it just shows that handmade gifts far outweigh expensive ones that can quickly be forgotten.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Weekend in pictures

Above: my friend Laura knitted this Christmas jumper, isn't it amazing?

This weekend I discovered a huge new vintage shop called Hopkinson's just opposite the train station in Nottingham. If you ever get chance, do pop in, there's several floors of quirky knick knacks, old bicycles, clothes and books.

I was getting a train to Sheffield, to meet up with some friends to see an old favourite band; Pulp. The band were ace, but the venue was so huge I got lost a couple of times and a little claustrophobic, I forgot how much I don't like arenas! But exploring Sheffield in the afternoon was great- we found a lovely gift shop and a brilliant Oxfam full of old records (with quite hilarious covers, including this! What did people ever see in this band?!) We also discovered a book shop called Rare & Racy which had everything you'd need from a bookshop; lots of staircases, ladders to reach the shelves and an old man in the corner working on bookbinding. I ended the weekend with Home Alone and Elf which made me feel rather festive indeed.


Friday, 7 December 2012

Top 10: Films that have made me cry

Yesterday I felt a little teary after Tom told me the jazz pianist Dave Brubeck had passed away. When I listened to this song (familiar to all, no doubt) I suddenly felt all emotional. Ahem. Sometimes things just get you out of the blue. Anyway, I thought I'd make a list of films that have made me cry, some for sad reasons, some for happy. Are there any I've missed?

1. Life is Beautiful
If you've seen it you'll know why. Probably the film that made me weep the most!

2. It's a Wonderful Life
Sad tears, happy tears.. watching this film around Christmas is becoming a great yearly tradition.

3. Dumbo
So sad when he's separated from his mother.

4. The Graduate
I know, it's a comedy. But the bit at the end where they're all happy on the bus together.. ahh.

5. Up
The opening scene. Last time I watched it I had to leave the room! Anything about old folks feeling lonely inevitably makes me a bit teary.

6. My Girl
Still makes me well up.. Thomas Jay needs his glasses!

7. Little Women
The scene at Christmas near the beginning. Sniff.

8. The Land Before Time
Orphan dinosaurs are in it together!

9. Lilya 4 Ever
A pretty sombre film about a girl from Estonia called Lilja who dreams of a better life with her only friend, a boy called Volodya.

10. Bambi
Those evil hunters.

And some films that didn't make me cry...

The Notebook
I was told that this would definitely make me cry but for some reason I couldn't sympathise that much with the characters.

Marley and Me
Mainly as I fell asleep a couple of hours into it and missed the sad part. Oops! May have to watch it again..

(Also of note, a slightly sexist list of films that make men cry. Hmm..)


Thursday, 6 December 2012


I'm always fascinated by other countries' traditions, and a couple of years ago I asked some blogger friends to write about how their home country celebrated the Christmas period. My friend Gerdien wrote all about the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas (which is normally celebrated on 5 December). Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) visits Dutch homes each year with the help of Zwarte Piet. The blog post is still one of the most visited on my site, I guess a lot of people are intrigued to find out more about the antics of Sint and Zwarte Piet who takes all the bad children back to Spain in his sack! You can read the entry here.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A Christmas Wishlist

I've been fairly organised so far and bought the majority of gifts for folks, so I thought I'd make a little wishlist out of a few nice things I spotted lately. (Note: i admit that the keyboard floor cushion is pricey, I just thought it was cool!)

Clockwise from top left: Curio shelf £30 from Urban Outfitters, Keyboard Cushion £215 Urban Outfitters, 2013 Cities Calendar £25 - Papermash, The House that Groaned graphic novel £9.59 from Amazon, NY stamp set £9.95, Yellow Owl Workshop, Silver & Gold $15 by Sufjan Stevens, Bear pepper grinder £8, Lazy Oaf, Twinkle Sparkle Trio hair clips £15 by Giant Dwarf, Holly brooches by Tatty Devine.

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