Super+super craft books: Embroidery and Printmaking

Sunday, 1 March 2015

                        Embroidery and Printmaking books by Super + Super, published by,  and available here 

The main things I look for in craft books are; pretty pictures, easy to understand instructions and projects to take me from beginner to ...improved! So let me introduce you to my new favourite (s) by local Brighton, talented duo Amy and Claire.

Crafty types of Brighton will be familiar with this pair, they run workshops via their Super + Super base as well as showing their faces at most craft fairs. If you cut them, I think they would bleed embroidery thread. But what they're especially good at, is making crafting accessible- teaching, guiding, coaching, explaining in a way that makes you come away thinking you can take on the world's most taxing craft project...and win! It's not surprising then, that their books Embroidery and Printmaking do the same, in fact the books really captures their voice and essense of them, as I believe any good book should!

The books also cater to people who find they have "crafting moods and modes" (aka me).  Let me explain.  Sometimes (rarely nowadays, post baby head) I have time, focus and energy to pick up an ongoing/taxing/new skill craft project.  Other times, I want to craft but do something quick/simple/familiar.  This book lets me do this.

The books both really capture the craft's depth perfectly through the photography, for example the print making photos really depict the types of textures and asthetics you can achieve (the apple printing in particular). 

So if you are looking for craft books that are really going to teach you how to do something, please hunt these down! Failing that, pop down to Brighton to learn from these talented gals first hand.  Even better, stalk their Instagram.  But be warned, it will make you insanely jealous you're not just naturally good at everything crafty like these two! I've already bookmarked nearly every page for projects I cannot wait to get stuck into (i'm lookin' atchoo cross stitch chair!). 

Well done ladies, keep it up!

*Books kindly gifted but words all true

Brighton: White Stuff's tea party

Friday, 20 February 2015

As far as tea parties go, White Stuff have got the right idea! In fact, there's not much they don't do right.  I warn you now, I LOVE this brand! I know I know, what a crude thing to say.  But it really is rare for me to feel this way about "the whole package" so i'm gonna bloomin' rave on about it. MMMkay?
To celebrate White Stuff's latest collection, they invited us Brighton bloggers to a tea party in their Brighton store! I have walked past this store hundreds of times but never once thought about going in, and the only other time I remember going near their store was the Kingston one when I was at Uni, probably about 10 years ago (Yeee-sh that's scary!).  But when I stepped into the store on Wednesday, my poor lil eyes didn't know where to look.  So much pretty!

Rosie, Sophie, Laura, Carrie and Lyndsay getting their embroidery on at the Mollie Makes workshop run by Kate

It was lovely getting to chat to the girls who work for White Stuff; I  discovered that they are super ethical, check this page out for more info!  Apparently each store has an affiliated local charity (Brighton's is Rockinghorse) and they even sell honey for charity.  What a great touch, and totally pulled on my heart strings! 

 I spent most of the evening overwhelmed- do I scoff afternoon tea slurped down with bubbles? Do I craft up some rainbow-beauty-embroidery with Mollie makes or do I try and whittle down which of these beautiful items I'm going to try on?!*

One of the things I like about White stuff's clothing is the way all the items and colours link in, making them not only asthetically pleasing but somewhat capsule wardrobe-eque.  The Tea Ceremony collection is no different; they've drawn on 1920's Japan which just oozes throughout the textures, colours and patterns.  Here are some of my favourites from the collection:

White Stuff: Tea ceremony

Amy from Super+Super picked up that gorgeous top and Carrie bought a dress that looked stunning on her! It was also great to catch up with Lilla, Lyndsay, Laura, Christina, Natalie, Sophie and Laura.  Last but not least, a big thanks to Jess and White stuff for a great night (and for opening my eyes to a whole new way to watch my wages disappear within seconds!). 

*FYI-I managed one of those three things.   

6 alternative ways to spend Valentines day

Friday, 13 February 2015

I'm not really one to celebrate Valentines day, especially as our anniversary is the day after.  Although this in reality means we usually inadvertently end up celebrating V day if the other falls on a week day! Anyway, with this in mind, i've selected some ways I would love to do to boost those love vibes.

Cuddle a cat-I genuinely wish I had heard about this furry-lovin' event before tonight, I would be in there like an over zealous cucumber. A win win situation for sure, cat cuddles AND doin' stuff for charities and stuff- IMAGINE how high on endorphin you would be afterwards! If in doubt, head to Lady Dinah's where you can get your fix of no-strings-attached cat love.

Pamper yourself*- Run a shower and really soak up every last, frothy drop before popping on some luxurious moisturiser and wrapping up in a fluffy dressing gown.  Take a deep breath, anddddd ...relaxation right there! Give yer-self some lurvin' there sista!

Sleep with Sherlock- I'm actually so disappointed i'm not going to the adults-only over nighter at the Museum of London, The museum's current exhibition, Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die will be opens all night long for you to wander round at your leisure, and there's -themed activities, like comedy and a sleuthing workshop where you can discover the secrets of fingerprinting, blood spatter analysis and psychological profiling. A three-course dinner will be followed by ghost stories and a Sherlock movie marathon. And you'll be roused in the morning with a slap-up breakfast.  This sounds so so good! 

Volunteer-  Love doesn't have to mean between two lovers, it's about the warm fuzzies; whether that's by giving someone something or giving your time.  Get down your local soup kitchen, food bank or whatever.

Dance your head off- Brighton swing thing shag special.  A short beginners taster class in Collegiate Shag will kick off the night at 8pm followed by Swing DJs playing the best music from 1920-1950s.  Again, this really is something I would love to do, let alone on Valentine! 

Go to the theatre-  Immerse yourself in an alternative universe.

 So come on then, do you celebrate on the one day of the year? Are you extra loving to yourself at this time of year? 

*Pamper goodies kindly sent to me. 

Interior solutions: Hallway

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Here beginith my brand spanking new blog series, tackling those problem areas within the home!!!  The reason for this, is that a) There are certain things that make my home particularly messy because they don't have a "home" and b) In preparation for *fingers crossed* our house buying process progressing (today we got our contracts ready to exchange).

First up, the hallway!

The house we have had an offer accepted on, has a narrow hallway compared to what we have now, and the last thing I want is people tripping over clutter as they walk in the door.  The three worst contenders for this are; shoes, coats and bags.  So here are my current favourite solution options:

Shoe storage- Oh jesus, shoes drive me bonkers! Ours always end up just in a big pile from where we never put the other pairs away, that we're not wearing.  Prior to this, in our old flat we had a cheap shoe rack but that got demolished by the cat in the middle of the night.  Really i'm looking for something fairly stylish but also practical (i.e that the toddler won't just spend all day pulling shoes from!). 
Shoe storage ideas

Coat storage- We do actually have one or two coat hooks in our current house but thy are in really unhelpful places so we never actually end up putting our coats on there. My Mum insists on putting them away in our bedroom wardrobe, but that isn't always viable when you're carrying a toddler through the door who then is demanding that you do the toothbrush dance whilst balancing the cat on your head.  

Can you point me in the direction of any other pretty storage solutions?

Current favourite drinks

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Mango & lychee gren tea- It's so smooth, fruity and sweet with little hint of that bitter green tea taste that some of the other flavoured green teas have (I'm looking at you pear!).  I could drink litres of this stuff! 

Upbeat is a delicious dairy drink that’s high in protein, low in fat and has half the sugar of most fruit smoothies. Made with fresh whey protein and real fruit, they come in 3 yummy flavours – Blueberry & Raspberry, Strawberry and Mango & Passion fruit. I REALLY love the mango and passion fruit flavour for a late afternoon, pre exercise snack.  I also think they have fab design and brand voice- in a similar vein to Innocent's manner.

Appletiser* (Apple and Blackcurrant)-I mentioned the other day that I loved this drink, and I still am loving it! I consider it my treat at the end of the week (I sure know how to live!). 

Get more vitamins*- Flavoured water packed jam ful of vitamins, I have found this really great for giving me a boost and keeping my body going.  I really love that there is a flavour for different vitamins, my favourites are probably the mango (vitamin D) and the apple and raspberry (vitamin B).  It has also been encouraging me to drink the water intake I should be, I used to drink water non stop but recently I seem to need prompting to drink water.

So what are you drinking at the moment? 

*I was kindly sent these products but all views remain my own.

Spoonin' around

Monday, 2 February 2015

If I could sum up the week just gone in one word, it would be spoon.  Wow, how abstract of me- but let me explain....

The week began with me working, wow thrilling I know! Both Monday and Tuesday found me using the spoon theory with two clients suffering with the symptoms of varying fatigue conditions.  The week ended with me running out of my own spoons come Friday, and spending the weekend working to reinstate some of them- doing little, exercise and yoga really helped!

Tuesday- My Mum picked Ophelia up from nursery which meant I had a chance to put some washing on and do some washing up (oh the glamour!), then Callum made me go for a "run" with him.  I was actually pretty impressed with how I did, especially considering how steep the roads are around our house, and how I haven't exercised for months.  Following that, Callum and I went to see "A most violent year" at the cinema- AND I DIDN'T FALL ASLEEP! Result.  I quite enjoyed the film too as an alternative gangster genre film.

Ciderwithsophie: New apple and blackcurrant appletiser

Wednesday- I picked up my package from Appletiser- their new Apple and Blackcurrant flavour! I basically just lived off this the rest of the week!

Thursday- Ophelia and Mummy's weekly day of fun! We dropped Callum off at work and headed straight to the park, Ophelia of course headed straight to the "big girl" swing which basically looks like a car seat but without straps.  She giggled her head off and sang until I got bored! She then made a very quick beeline for the giant climbing frame which is far too big for her! She loves getting as close to the edge as possible (oooh will Mum have a heart attack or not?!) and making me go down slides with her.  After the park we headed to Waitrose for Coffee and pastries to warm up before our trip to Worthing.  On the way back to the car we quite literally had a trip which followed a swear word which Ophelia imitated with "Duck".

As soon as we got in the car, Ophelia fell asleep and awoke to find us in Worthing, a few metres from our new home (fingers crossed!) at Lauren's flat! It was great to see Lauren, and Ophelia loved pulling all of Athena's toys out all over the place! She really loved the singing picnic basic and pop up ones- probably because she only has one musical toy at home!  Athena also has the same singalong dog as Ophelia which Ophelia had great pleasure in trying to re-hydrate- i'm sure Athena will love her for that (!).  In the evening Callum and I got take-away delivered because we had still been delaying ordering our food shop!
Ciderwithsophie: Coggings and co delivery

Friday- Upon returning home from work, we realised our toilet had broken, however it was also the moment I remembered I have no contact numbers on my phone due to losing them! We had great fun trying to track down our landlord's details and get hold of him, so much so that we needed another take-away (Fish and chips) to console ourselves (I don't usually have two take-aways in a week, honest!).  We managed to get hold of his sister on Friday night and she had told him, he said he was going to call us back but we didn't hear anything until Saturday afternoon when he just arrived on our doorstep.  To cut a long story short, by Sunday afternoon we had a vaguely working toilet, needless to say I can't wait to no longer be renting!

This was from Saturday morning when we nipped out in our jimmes (Ophelia and I did, Callum got dressed-how boring!) in the small amount of snow before it melted before 9am!

How was your week?

I'm linking up with Hannah's weekly linky, The week that was captured!

Coggings and go

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Ciderwithsophie: Coggings and co delivery review

Before I start, I should probably begin with crediting my dear boyfriend for coming up with that witty blog title!

You know when you think "ahhh they should really {insert something that should really happen here}" - and then it happens?! And you feel like all your dreams have come true/ your ships all came in/ all your prayers have been answered etc etc.... well this is a tale of such happenings!

I was about to type and link to the post I wrote about my love for Coggings and Co....but apparently I never wrote it?! Say WUT?!

So here is the low down, I wrote about the best burger in the world but it turns out that was actually in fact the second best burger in the world.  Because later in the year we went to Coggings and Co and it changed my life! I'm not gonna pretend i'm some kind of burger expert and blab on about taste, bun consistency so you just gotta trust me on this one I'm afraid. Oh wait, I found a photo:

Anyway, enough of the back story! A few weeks ago I really wanted a Coggings burger but alas had no babysitter and hummed and ahhed about whether dragging a sleeping toddler to cure my burger fix, was appropriate. Apparently it's not.  But fear not, because last week I found out that I can now get Coggings right to my door.

Thanks to Dine in I got the chance to trial this new fab dabby service where you can get your favourite, local restaurant's meals delivered (!).  Crazy shit right?

It really is genius! It was the day before pay day and neither of us could be bothered to cook, so I quickly logged onto Dine in, signed up and in UNDER AN HOUR (!!) it had been delivered to Callum's work. I genuinely couldn't believe it and was really very grateful!

The website is really straight forward to use, especially in times of hunger induced brain fuzz (I'm surely not the only one to suffer from this?) and one of my favourite bits was the fact you can pick a time period for it to be delivered.  So if you suddenly remember you need to pop out for some milk, no worries because you'll know when you have to make sure you're in for! Unfortunately I had a bit of a problem logging in on my phone, but I think that's likely to be due to my phone more than anything else!

The site also has a slightly stalkerish feature (which of course I love), where you can sit and watch at what stage your meal is at, therefore building up your hunger pangs ready for its arrival.  This was particularly useful in our case where we were getting the meal delivered to work, therefore wanted as less waiting around time post work time as poss! The boyfriend tells me that the spider diagram-esque wheel (of food fortune) on the site for updating the progress is particularly wonderful.

Well done Dine in, I can't wait for more of my favourite local restaurants to be deliverable!