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Saturday, 20 August 2011

An Afternoon Affair

Anyone who knows me knows my love for all things vintage, including old traditions and past times. Afternoon teas are up there at the top, after a mammoth baking session from boredom I found the perfect excuse to get my ladies round for some good food and a natter.
Everything was there from triangle sandwiches, to scones and pink lemonade all served up on Cath Kidston china.
what more could a girl want ?

The Best Victoria Sponge Recipe

Bake x2 shallow round cakes to be sandwiched together to create the classic cake

Once cooled remove cakes from tins to and prepare the butter-cream filling

Spoon generous amounts of jam on each half of the cake

Carefully spoon half of the vanilla butter-cream onto one half of the cake

Then add the strawberry flavouring to the remaining mixture and spoon on the 2nd cake

Sandwich the two halves together and voilĂ  a fabulous kitsch twist on the classic Victoria sponge that looks and tastes like marshmallows ... yummy!

Sponge Cake Ingredients
* 225g/8oz margarine
*225g/8oz caster sugar
225g/80z self raising flour
* 4 medium eggs
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* milk to loosen mixture if needed
* jam in preferred flavour

Pre heat the oven to 180'c
grease and line two cake tins
cream the margarine and sugar together until soft and fluffy
beat the eggs and add a little bit at a time
Sift the flour and fold into the batter a little bit at a time using a large metal spoon
add the vanilla extract and milk if needed
fold until the batter mixture is smooth and even consistency
divide into the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Butter-cream ingredients
* 140g/5oz butter or margarine
* 280g/10oz icing sugar
1-2 tsp milk to bind mixture
- add 2-3 drops of prefferred colouring/flavour

Beat the butter in a bowl until smooth and add half of the icing sugar
Beat until smooth and add remaining sugar
add milk to loosen the mixture slightly if needed and add the colouring of flavouring of choice

Soooo seen as I am off work at the moment with my useless foot I am starting to go a little crazy being stuck at home. So to keep my self out of mischief I arranged an afternoon date with a friend for a catch up and promised some baked goods. It is a long time since I have baked, or even eaten a Victoria sponge cake, and I do agree that the traditional recipes are often the best and shouldn't be messed with, but my creativity took over me and I produced my own twist to the classic. Not veering too far from the path I decided to to use blackcurrant jam instead of the usual strawberry, and made both vanilla and strawberry butter-cream filling which I must admit created a cake not for dieters but tasted divine.
With a fun and feminine look this cake smells of marshmallows and is as light to eat, the perfect cake to take pride of place on the table for our afternoon tea gathering.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Amelie .. moi? ... merci! x

So as I mentioned I got the barnet chopped today, nothing too drastic just a wee change.
Now that Iv decided to grow out the mad moment shaved head thing, I felt I needed a new cut that would disguise it so I can grow it out in secret.
I have always loved my hair in a bob, even though it makes me feel 5 years old again, or maybe that is why I like it?
So iv said hello to a new bob and fringe, when playing around with my new camera app on my phone I discovered a green tone lens and I do like the pics and as they came out it reminded me of one of my fav french films ... Amelie!
Now I wish I looked like Audrey Tautou .. but we cant have everything can we girls !? :)

Sarah's Key

Today is the first time in a little over a week I have made it across the door step , Luckily the old man took pity on me and and took me into town, crutches and all, to be able to go and get my hair cut and enjoy and afternoon at my favourite cinema in Newcastle.
I am an avid fan of Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle and have spent many an afternoon just wondering in through the doors, seeing what film I am on time for and just seeing what I find.
Today was like this, but with mother in tow we settled down in the comfy seats
to await sarah's key to start.
I knew little of this film other than it has been made following the amazing success of the book, and its about a small child in 1942 and the arrest of Jew's in Paris during this time.
A heart wrenching tale of a sisters love for her little brother and determination to escape the camps and go back and get him from the place she told him to hide from arrest.
Finding her brother hasn't survived Sarah goes on to build a life for herself .. marries has a child but sadly feels she cannot go on and ends her life.
The film follows the story of Julia, a journalist who has looked into this time for an article and finds the link as she has moved into the flat in Paris that once belonged to Sarah and her family, the home they were taken from .. and she decides to trace down her life and family.
An emotional journey for Julia and you as a viewer as you re'live the horror of the time.
A must see film, I cried naturally but it is a beautifully moving tale.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Time Travellers Wife

So as much as I would liked, I have never been much of a bookworm, I have always liked reading but it would be a novel a year or something shameful like that ... however recently , whether I am just growing up and liking the finer things in life I am enjoying getting my nose into books.
I love a good romance as much as the next girl and I got stuck into the time travellers wife quite quickly, full of will-full love and hope and the trials we go through as couples, it was a heart wrenching read and I must admit this is the first book I have read that reduced me to tears on the final pages.
I think we all somehow relate to a story but this one touched me, and the characters could quite simply be characters from my own story, so whether this is why it moved me so much, I'm not sure, maybe so , or maybe because I am such a hopeless romantic.
Now I have read the book I am eager to watch the film ... a dangerous move I hear you cry .. yes not always the smartest of moves when you love a book so much but I am eager to see if this book in motion is how I pictured it.
If you have not read this book I do suggest you track down a copy, and a box of tissues and settle in for a heart warming story of two lovers lost in a sometimes cruel world.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Feathers in all their finery

Feathers in all their Finery

As mentioned in a previous entry I have had some interest in my hair collections for a bridal store, however this lady is pretty remarkable in her imagination and my brief is, ''the more creative the better'' ... now as a designer that's like all your Christmas's coming at once.
When designing for a more commercial, everyday market I do have to reign myself in, but now I'm being asked to design more wearable works of art I can let my mind run free.
I have wanted to do a Avant Garde inspired collection for a while and I feel this is my chance.
The pieces will be for sale and the more theatrical will be for rental purpose.
I am super excited to be able to go mad with feathers and other trimmings and come up with some amazing head pieces.
Of course I shall post progress on here and you can give me feedback.
Lets get out the sewing box and get started ...


Monday, 1 August 2011

BHLDN ... a magical place

On my sisters last trip home and through one of our many chats about her upcoming wedding, she showed me this website and i just fell in love.
BHLDN .. now me and the sister are very similar, both old romantics with a boho - hippy like simplistic idea of a wedding and this site has some amazing things. From stunning dresses to beautiful and natural decorations and trimmings, some I might add I would love to even have in my home!! Having recently been getting involved in bridal design, and trialling a new range, I find this site really inspiring and thought I would share it with you.

broken bones

photo doesn't look to bad, but my foot is so fat it has no definition around the ankle and slowly turning blue ... how lovely.

It was only last week I was talking to a friend laughing at my time last year when I was on crutches for 6 month for both feet one after each other after accidents on the ice, and how I had done so well to make it to a year with out another one.
I bring a new type of meaning to the word accident prone.
Then hay-presto middle of the night I take a wee tumble and end up in a&e.
I say wee tumble, it was an epic fall and scream that luckily woke up my brother to help me.
7 hours in a&e , 4 x-rays and 2 doctors later iv re'torn an old wound, a lot of muscle damage a sprain and some tiny fractures thrown into the mix.
if you going to do it, you may as well do it properly my mums said, and too true.
So its two weeks off work and bed rest for me which gives me plenty time to give my dear blog some TLC.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Mad about Mad Men

Ok so I may be a little late on the uptake with this one but I never have been first to jump on the band wagon. Iv heard a lot of good things about MadMen though and have had several looks of disgust thrown my way '' you haven't watched it yet, you?'' No my dears I'm afraid I haven't.
I am fully aware it is right up my street but alas my tv is not a flash one and I failed to get the right channel.
However, with my plan to start hibernating over the next few months to add saved pennies to the Edinburgh moving pot I have decided to buy the series on dvd and see what all the fuss is about. I can see a love affair looming ..... :)


Hooray! The hour glass is back

Hooray ! The hour glass is back

Hooray and new beginnings indeed! I take my hat off to Vogue for an astounding summer edition in focusing on true women's shape and celebrating them curves!
As I'm sure I have ranted about on several occasions I get a buzz from fashion and love this time of year when the glossy mags start to give you a sneak peek as to what is in store for the autumn/winter collections.
These are both my favourite seasons aswel as my favourite time on the fashion calender.
This year to my delight I notice the header ''shape shifters, the new silhouette'
Now I'm not going to bang on about the size 0 debate as I understand both sides of the argument, as a designer you create clothing as a form of artwork and you want it to hang effortlessly which, doesnt always happen when boobs and hips get in the way ... however ... I dont agree with the unhealthy image it portraits especially as the fashion follower seems to get younger by the year. Now having said all that, I myself as a designer would see it more as a challenge to create beautiful clothing that would emphasise the beauty that is the female form, and celebrate those said bumps of boobs and hips.
There are some woman in this world that pay thousands to acquire those curves, so if your like me and have them... then make the most of them!!

So I am delighted, well more than that this year it seems that for once the industry is designing in our favour. Pencil skirts and the classic wiggle dress in abundance and I for one I am soooooooooo excited to see these lines filtering down on the high street and see what goodies I can find.
Now with every positive always comes a negative and as much as I am excited to see this trend unfolded, I am also wary, this image and style has a true dedicated following of vintage sirens and I would hate to see this scene loose its edge by it becoming the norm.
I shall look forward to sharing a secret smile with those dedicated woman of this look, for us, this is a way of life and not a passing trend .. and to you I salute you!
Let us show them how its done :)


Fringe .. Yey or nay?

The lovely miss Lily

Me sporting a very heavy fringe at 19

So its always been apparent that I like to change the hair more often than most, helps when your big sister is a hairdresser and you get free cuts and colour in return for modelling as your grow up. I always knew it but I didn't realise how much until I started to go back through all my photographs, from the ages of 17 through to 21 almost every picture
I look like a different person.
Since having all my lovely long hair cut off earlier this year in a mad sudden urge, I have somewhat disconnected from the comfort you sometimes draw from your hair ladies you know what I mean by this it may sound silly but its purely a confidence thing.
So I go from having all the length cut off to shaving the side of my head ... what's next?
well as I start to grow out the undercut I think the easiest way to camouflage this would be with a lovely heavy fringe. Its a style I have always loved on other people but never totally sure if I can pull it off myself. I love Lilly Allen with her super cute bob and fringe and think this may be what I try out next.


iconic women

The stunning Paloma Faith <3

My poor little lap top has been making some funny noises of late, iv overloaded it with work and photographs and music and the poor little thing keeps whizzing away, as Iv been making an effort to album all my photos I began trekking through all the files on my laptop in case I had missed any for the books ... and I stumbled across lots of images Iv saved as inspiration along the years. I know the word icon is interpreted differently to each of us, and the people we place on this pedestal can vary, but for me I do love Paloma Faith, She is one mad little lady with a killer sense of style. Its quite obvious I have a love affair with the glamorous style of the 50s and as much as I love the classic look, I love the fun and quirky edge she gives it making this trend not only modern, but clearly making her own mark.
This is one of my most favourite images of her and I thought I would share it with you.

Beauty sleep ... myth or necessity ?

Its said that we need around 8 hours sleep a night to fully function? ... this may explain my ever more frequent blonde moments as if I am lucky if I get about 5 hours tops.
Iv been a very tired fee of late, what with trying to plan the move north, tying up loose ends at work, and being other wise preoccupied as the other half is poorly .. this leaves the mind on over drive and not much time to switch off.
Settling down on Saturday eve after a hard slog at work, cosying down to watch a film, it took no less than five minutes for me to be out for the count ... waking up 6 hours later a bit dazed and confused at it being 1am and not really knowing where I was I climbed back into bed and to my surprise slept right through until morning.
This along side struggling to get up of a morning and hiding tired eyes under eye liner and lashes I feel its time for me to re'jig the routine and get some sleep.
If I can wake looking a bit more fresh and beautiful like miss Dita up there then why the heck not (ok wishful thinking but good motivation no?)

So here is to trying to switch off and getting some much needed beauty sleep!!


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Photographs ... a life in pictures

I'm sure I'm not the first or the last to get a whole bunch of photographs printed, then put them aside to put in albums later, but later never comes.
Iv always been a huge fan of photography and love looking through my parents scrap books, seeing them in their early twenties trying to see if i resemble them in anyway. Id like to think in years to come ill have children of my own and hope they too will like to look at all my photographs and see my life through the pictures.

With the ever looming move to my beloved city of Edinburgh to set down some roots, i feel now more than ever i really need to get all these photos down in albums.
Especially with recent events and twists of fate i really feel that this chapter of my life is ending, and before the next exciting one starts (north of the boarder fingers crossed) i need to document my life so far.
They say every picture tells a story ... and mine certainly do tell an interesting tale.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

sunflowers, a symbol of summer


I love sunflowers, i remember as kid growing them in the back garden (or at least trying too)
and being overwhelmed at how tall they grew, mine were not so successful, but a friends always grew really tall. I clearly don't have green fingers.
For me, these are a true sign of summer and i really love them, work is metal at the moment and is a testing time. Working long days, missing the boy, and this lovely British summer (too much rain) I spotted these beauties on a barrow on my way home from town and had to buy them.
I love the colours of the yellow against the blue and they have really cheered me, and my room up.
I also think i have discovered a new obsession .. another i hear you say .. yes another creative craft to get my teeth into.
I was baffled at how blue these flowers were and how the middles remained white and as if the colour had bled onto the petals ... and as if by magic this is exactly what has happened. Apparently if you pop a wee bit of food colouring in the water the plant soaks in the colour along with water and slowly this can become visible on the petals. NOTE: i really should have listened more in biology at school to understand this more!
So i guess i need to buy some white flowers, food colouring and see what i can come up with.


This girl sure loves her gin

The Gal loves Hendricks Gin

its no secret this gal loves her gin, and after acquiring friends in the cocktail business my love for it has grown and iv become more and more fascinated with what can be done with it.
A few weeks ago i stumbled across a blog and had a jaw dropping moment!
There is all its glory was a Hendricks gin, limited edition bottle and tea cup set.
Many a email and text sent i set to work to try and locate one of these beauties for myself... no such luck. I found out it was limited edition and just accepted i was not quick enough to jump on this band wagon and get myself one.
Then .. my luck changed ... a wee trip north of the boarder to my beloved Edinburgh, a few cocktails in Browns with a friend and happened to mention he had seen something in Harvey nics that screamed my name ... yes my pals know me well, he had seen said tea cup and gin bottle and thought of me. So off we skipped (more like walked super fast) along to Harvey's and to my delight managed to get one.
I love it and so pleased i managed to get one, now the hard i leave it boxed? or open it and enjoy it? hmmmm...


Monday, 4 July 2011

my love for dallas green

So its no lie, i love this man. He has one of the most beautiful voices iv ever heard and an amazingly talented singer/song writer.
I was devastated when i missed him play Newcastle last October with his band ''alexisonfire'' however iv always been a 'city and colour'' (his other band) fan more so i like to think i must have meant to miss seeing him last year ... as this year is more special as iv managed to get tickets to say said beautiful man play Newcastle's city hall on October 14th
with the rest of City and Colour.
I get to see this beautiful man sing all my favs songs including The Girl , as linked above , and even more exciting i get to go see him with my new beautiful man <3 and my lovely ladies.
I cannot wait!! - happy birthday to meeeee


another candle to blow out birthday girl

So last week i turned 24 on the 24th. Another year older another year wise apparently and one more candle on the cake to blow out.
What way would a girl like me celebrate, cocktails i hear you say? ... oh yes!
You could find me on home turf in Popolos Newcastle with my nearest and dearest thumbing our way through the menu .. or at least pretending like we don't know what everyone on the list tastes like. Snuggling down in a booth with a Bellini in hand I felt quite content as my friends started to arrive. I'm not one of these gals that expects everyone to be in attendance because its my birthday but it was nice that everyone came and i was spoilt with gifts.

Now it made me chuckle as almost everything was cake or gin themed ... am i this predictable? or do they just know me so well. I like to think its the latter. From cath kidston sewing tins, to cupcake smelling wipes and cases to a new book to add to the baking shelf and a new thing for me to obsess over ... Cakepops ( this discovery calls for a blog entry to itself)
As much as i loved all my gifts there was one that was a big surprise and a one i shall cherish.

I love a good handmade treat, i think the thought and effort that goes into it makes it more special than how many pennies it has cost. DIY all the way in my eyes.
The lovely talented miss Louise drew me up a sugar skull inspired pin up girl.
I blooming love it!!! and as soon as i got home decided i had to put it on the wall instantly.
however cocktail influences were apparent the next morning when it was hung not so straight haha : )

If you would like to know a little more about this amazing friend and artist look under fabulous friends up at the top there and click on Jeez Louise.
This young missy will go far ... you seen her here first.

So that's me done for another year.