Monday, 30 April 2007


a great weekend!

the highlights:

  • dinner, drinks + laughs with my friend L

  • watching my husband + her boyfriend A falling drunkenly into a bush while clinging to each other in the hope of staying upright - it's not big, it's not clever......but it really was very funny!

  • snuggling all day sunday with a sleepy + hungover husband

  • watching stranger than fiction on dvd. this was such a sweet film + in it, maggie gyllenhaal's character has my dream job - running a little bakery, serving homemade cookies + cupcakes. wow, lucky girl.

  • finding out that bernadette at sugarloop has put another batch of spring tree prints up for sale + managing to snap one up! this design is a little different to the first (linked to last week) but equally beautiful.
  • the relief that my sent swap packages made it to their recipients safely + delight at their response. both nikole + donna seem to be happy with what was sent......thanks girls! here they are before being shipped off to canada + scotland respectively (the packages, not the girls!)

button swap package red, white + blue, british-themed vintage button swap package

completed swap package

+ the tuquoise hued, mellow + yellow swap one.

i'm off to dream about the cookies i'll serve in my imaginery bakery......

hope you all had a lovely weekend too!


Friday, 27 April 2007


back again! two posts in one day is an undeniable achievement
......or might that be a miracle? you decide!

so here are the photos of my swap package from donna - they're still not great, but i didn't know how long i'd have to hold-off for some proper sunlight + i couldn't wait any longer to show you! scroll between today's + yesterday's posts for more details.

mellow + yellow swap booty

......the swap booty in all it's green-hued glory

mellow + yellow swap

......a bit more detail

m + y swap - necklace amazing necklace with beautiful glass beads - do you
see what i mean about it reminding me of the seaside?

m + y swap - pad cute little pad. how cool is the sausage dog in his orla-esque coat!?!

m + y swap - buttons

......and last, but by no means least, the wonderful vintage buttons!

have a great weekend everyone (especially you donna, you amazing swapper you!)



i've just discovered the egg press website + i think i'm in love!

my favourites -
  • let's stitch frank - a dog called frank that you stitch yourself, what could be better than that!?! first of all, i love that he's called frank (it's totally in keeping with my belief that boy dogs should be called real names - i.e. steve, barry, ian, get the idea!) + secondly, he's really, really cute. check out the hoots + scoots kits too, they're fab.
  • this beautiful letterpress 'love tree' card, which comes with a fantastic woodgrain patterned envelope. i think i'll have to buy one to frame-up - it's so pretty + i can imagine it hanging in my hallway making me smile every time i pass!
  • the sweet collection of cards - the cupcake + sunshine designs in particular tickle my fancy!

the best thing about egg press is......they have 2 stockists in london! Yippee! addresses have been noted + a visit is definitely on the cards sometime soon.

another great print-themed find for me today was sugarloop. bernadette is an illustrator from aukland, nz + you can buy her beautiful prints here +
here. i'm really taken with the style of her work + this design in particular - i absolutely love it, but unfortunately the last one was sold a couple of days ago. not to worry, there are plenty more lovelies to choose from!

happy browsing!


Thursday, 26 April 2007


today the postie brought another lovely package to my door! this time it was from the very talented donna, my partner from marta's mellow + yellow swap.

now, i don't know what i did to deserve so many gorgeous things all in one week, but this was another cracking package + i'm such a lucky girl!

these were the rules of the swap......

choose a favorite hue + incorporate your colour theme throughout your entire package.
participants are asked to send three items both mellow + colourful to their swapping partner. be creative with your interpretation. think of items that are simple, unique + lovely. focus more on your chosen colour palette than on monetary value. your colour will be a surprise to your swap partner. choose items that will delight. objects can be vintage, new or handmade. your partner will be sending 3 items in a colour all her own

clever donna chose green. i really, really like green!

when i opened the box, this is what i found......

......six pretty little parcels, waiting to be unwrapped!

i'm really sorry about the poor quality of the photo - there's absolutely zero light here today. because of this, i haven't managed to take any good shots of what was inside the little packages......the ones i took just didn't do anything justice. so, hopefully i'll be able to post some good ones tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's what the sweet little tags say + what was inside each one......

:: clockwise from left ::

...not strictly green, but too cute to pass up...

a funky little block pad with creatures on - v.cute indeed! bring a little bit of outdoors indoors...

a pretty matt green vase, just waiting for a simple white flower

...these remind me of summer - my favourite time of year...

WOW! a beatiful, delicate necklace, made from natural string + pale green glass beads. i'm picturing sea-glass, beach huts + sunshine! i think donna made this's so lovely + she's so clever.

...light to relax by...

a scented candle in shades of green, hmmm...looking forward to lighting this + soaking in a nice bubbly bath!

...vintage...for your collection?

an amazing selection of vintage buttons, i. love. every. single. one. AND good for you!

some wonderful green tea with lemon - jacksons of piccadilly, my favourite brand!

thank you donna for putting so much thought into your package + for choosing so well, everything is really great. i love it all + can't wait to show it off tomorrow


lone dandie

(a photo from my collection - it's mainly green + i like it!)

Wednesday, 25 April 2007


things seem to have calmed down a little bit after the last few days of button swap excitement!

a few days ago i said i'd tell you about my jam-packed couple of days with jules, so that's what today's post is all about.

we started off on friday with lunch, so a visit to carluccios was in order - delicious.
tummies full, and onto selfridges......i LOVE selfridges, it has so much to offer - great stationery, an excellent mix of clothes (high street + exclusive), fantastic homewares, amazing foodhall, i could easily stay in there for hours. we didn't though, just bought a couple of little bits + pieces, then battled our way up oxford street to topshop. now......i also LOVE topshop + in theory should adore the gigantic one at oxford circus, but i don't. it totally overwhelms me......there are too many things...... i can't seem to take it all in! i know there's some great stuff in there, but i never seem to be able to find it - drop me into a normal sized topshop though + i'll find loads i like. it's a strange one, but i do still get lured in by it's sheer size - maybe one day i'll learn!

we then moved our shopping trip onto covent garden, where we had a bit of a browse before succumbing to our tummies once more - wagamama this time......yum!
i'd managed to book half-price theatre tickets the day before, so we finished our day off brilliantly with a trip to see dancing in the streets......
 was really good! i'm mad on motown music, so i was in my element + jules loved it too, so it was a great end to a lovely but exhausting day.

the following day was destined to be a more chilled out affair, we took our time getting ready before heading into london again. first on the agenda was buying a picnic to take with us to the V&A - cue EAT for salads + sandwiches......

cupcake box

and peyton & byrne for some delicious cupcakes - check out these beauties......

strawberry cream cupcake

strawberry cream + choc mint
(both fared pretty well but the heat did take it's toll on the crispy dried strawberries!)

minty chocolate cupcake

because it was such a beautiful day outside, we had to force ourselves into the museum to see the kylie exhibition. it was worth it though, there are some amazing costumes + photographs on show - it's so interesting to see how her outfits look in real life compared to on stage or in photos. i'm honestly not kidding when i say that most of them look really, really tacky......even the dolce + gabbana ones, we couldn't believe it! the best ones in the exhibition were two stage costumes by john galliano (from the showgirl + showgirl homecoming tours), these really were gorgeous + so beautifully made - view them
here + here.

before we left the museum for home there was time enough for a look round the fantastic shop + for me to treat myself to a few little goodies......

V&A goodies

a cute pattern-cutting sketchbook and two funky cards, featuring designs from

all in all a lovely couple of days spent with a very special friend.

hope i didn't bore you all too much with my rambling!


Tuesday, 24 April 2007


prepare yourselves. this post is going to be filled with so much gorgeousness, you might struggle to cope with your swap envy. you are also going to want to adopt my wonderful swap partner nikole as your new best friend......but you can't have her, she's mine!

this sexy little number turned up on my doorstep on friday morning.......

a sexy little package arrived at my door

because i was just on my way out the door with my friend jules (more of that tomorrow) i didn't get a chance to open it, even though i was absolutely dying to. to cut a long story short, i didn't actually get to open it until saturday morning. this was a result of a very late return home on friday + the lack of daylight for me to take step by step photos - yes, the anticipation was excruciating!

anyway, first layer of wrapping off (don't you just love the lacy tape?), box opened + i was greeted by this......

a silly package discription....

inside was a charming little discription of the whole package and where everything came from. nikole decided to send all reused + recycled items, which is so clever + fits in perfectly with the vintage theme of the swap. the box itself was divided into three layers (to resemble a three layer cake - how sweet is that?) + the first one looked like this......

top layer

JEEZY PEEPS! is the bunny not the cutest thing you've ever seen? hasn't she arranged it so beautifully? imagine the delight at knowing this is only just the beginning, there are still two more layers to go!
:: top layer contents ::
a pretty duck-egg buckle
duck-egg + brown speckled feather
an air mail envelope from japan......

top layer detail

a lovely scattering of vintage buttons
the beautiful bunny pin - made by sonja ahlers from recycled sweaters

on to the patriotic middle layer......

middle layer

:: middle layer contents ::
cool little recycled notepad from five + a half
bulldog clip from japan
stripy string from austria
a canadian stamp + funky maple leaf button - homage to nikole's homeland......

oh canada!

10 other colourful buttons (special mention to the little blue one (top left) and the red + white stripy/spotty one!

this layer freaked me out a bit when i uncovered it - you'll understand why once nikole has received her package + i'm able to talk about what i sent's quite scary.......but in a cool way.

last (but by no means least) we reach the bottom layer......

bottom layer

:: bottom layer contents ::
a beautiful black + green leaf, glass button from the czech republic
3 chunky beauties - she got these from an estate sale - $5 for someone's whole collection, why can't i find things like that!?!
4 cute hors d'ouvres sticks
a yummy bar of soap
the sweetest little message + tag

i. love. everything.

thanks nikole, you really are the best + i hope you're not too disappointed with your package, cause i know it doesn't even come close to this one.

everthing is laid out so perfectly + looks so good on it's corrugated card that i don't want to take it apart. i think i'm going to leave it all as it is for now as i can't bear to break up the collections just yet......maybe i could hang them on my wall!?!

oops, too late - the bunny's already broken free!

giant daisies

have a great day. xx

Monday, 23 April 2007


well, i've not been around here for a few days, did you miss me?

probably not, but at least now i've got LOADS to tell you about.

because i'm very lazy and unimaginative, i'm going to spilt all of my stories up + spread them over the next couple of days - sorry if that's really naughty, but that's what's going to happen!

even though i'm not going to go into detail about my button swap package today, i have to tell you's the best swap package you've ever seen. tune in tomorrow for all of the stunning details, but here's a sneaky peak for now......


i really must go 'cause my dad is down in england for a course + he's meeting C + I for dinner. i haven't seen him since january so i'm really looking forward to it. got to shoot off, don't want to be late - cambridge + daddy, here we come!


Thursday, 19 April 2007



just discovered
sandra isaksson (via tania's blog), who is a uk-based graphic designer/illustrator.


her work is right up my street and the best thing is......she has an
online shop!

these are a few of my favourite things:

:this counting poster:

the beautiful illustrations in this book


:these daisy prints:

this funky custom wallpaper


these retro style cups


the observant among you will notice that most of these things are for kids......i don't have any kids......says a lot about my maturity doesn't it. I don't care, i unashamedly want them all!

Monday, 16 April 2007


one of my best friends from home is coming to stay for a few days + i'm SO excited i might just pop!

friday morning will be the official start of 2 and a bit days of girlieness. jules is actually arriving (minus my beautiful godson) on thurday night, but C will be away with work on friday and saturday so that's when the fun begins + we can get up to whatever we want.......within reason of course!

as i'm the host + the one who lives down here, it goes without saying that i'm the official events planner + it's not necessarily that easy 'cause i want to make it a really special couple of days for her. ooh the pressure! i'm currently shortlisting ideas + to make the most of our time, it looks like we'll be spending both days pounding the streets of london.

so far i'm thinking -

a trip to the
V + A to see this kylie exhibition, possibly this new york fashion one, oh + we definitely need to make time for refreshments in the lovely garden

Lemon Trees

at some point it's essential we to stop in here, here or
here for a sweet treat

maybe some last minute tickets for a show - if we're lucky!

probably (+ predictably) scoff our way through edamame + katsu here

a spot of shopping around covent garden or maybe a saunter up kings road

roll on friday - the possibilities are endless!


told you!


wow......what a great weekend! everything always seems so much better when the sun is shining, doesn't it? it's easier to get out of bed in the morning, you're filled with more energy, there's loads of different things to do, i love it! so much so, that i've not had time to do any of this for a few days. that's the bad side i suppose, and it's also a bit naughty considering i've only just started. it really doesn't bode well for the future of this blog, especially since we're heading into summer and (hopefully) months of sunshine!

white + blue 2

so what have i been up to? well, i completed my button swap package for nikole + it's currently winging it's way over to canada as i write. i now just need to hope that it makes it's journey in one piece + that she likes what i've sent her - i'm keeping my finger's firmly crossed on both counts! once my eagerly awaited package arrives, i'll be sure to post pics + details of both.

little star

apart from that, i had a lovely day with friends on saturday, during which i enjoyed 2007's very first glass of pimms - destined to be the first of many over the coming months. it wasn't quite pimms in it's traditional, heavenly, refreshing sense (laden with ice-cubes, mint, lemon, orange + cucumber), more a thick, syrupy, half lemonade, half pimms kind of affair - it was, however, lovely all the same + to be fair, the poor bar staff did try to find some fruit to put in it!


sunday was spent enjoying the hospitality of two of C and i's very best friends.

a gorgeous day


in the garden playing boules
(our own unorthodox grass version - no skill involved whatsoever,
the contours of the land dictate who wins. they didn't choose me)

taking lots of photos in the garden (loving the apple blossom!)

drinking wine

eating delicious food

and generally having lots of fun

what more could we ask for on a sunday - thanks guys. xx.

Thursday, 12 April 2007


Vintage Button Jars

today i'm putting together my parcel of goodies for the very lovely nikole - my partner in sally's vintage button swap. if you haven't already, check out nikole's's a great source for beautiful and inspiring bits + pieces. this is my first swap and my excitement is verging on over-the-top! but don't you just love it when the postie brings you a parcel? and a surprise one.....well that's even better!

because i want to go and fiddle about with the parcel, i'll leave you with a few random things that i'm into at the moment

this bag in black - this bag in grey

this great post

these stunning vases (click on the 'butterflies' tab)

this super-cute video

that's all the randomness i've got time for just now, the buttons beckon - enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007


not literally, so don't worry! if i was though, i don't suppose i'd be finding the time to post a message, would i? no, i'm on fire in the sense that i'm posting twice in one day - something that probably won't happen very often, i think it's just a bit of beginners enthusiasm!


so it was easter over the weekend, i hope everyone had a lovely time + enjoyed plenty of chocolate - i certainly did! i had my in-laws down from scotland from thursday 'til was an epic visit but also a nice one.

When they come, i always like to make a bit of an effort (brownie points and all that!) so i cooked and baked lots of treats. we had......

Simnel Cake Close-up

little simnel c

Bunny Napkins

an easter sunday dinner of garlic mushroom bruschetta, parma ham wrapped chicken (stuffed with mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, parmesan + basil) served with crushed, roasted new potatoes + green beans + salad......

the bunny napkin fold can be found here


+ yummy chocolate cake with chocolatey caramel icing + mini-eggs

this is an amazing cake which i adapted from a couple of other recipes, if you'd like to try it for yourselves, here you go......


chocolate cake.
grease + line 2 x 19cm cake tins. cream 175g butter + 175g golden caster sugar together. add 3 eggs (1 at a time), mixing well. sift in 150g self-raising flour + 25g cocoa + fold through gently. divide between the 2 tins, spread the surface flat + make a small dip in the centres. bake in the centre of the oven at 190˚c, 375˚f for 30 minutes.
chocolatey caramel icing. break 200g cadbury's caramel bars (about 5) in a saucepan with 100g butter + 4 tbsp milk. gently heat + stir until smooth. spread a quarter of this mixture on the 2 sandwiching sides of the cake + leave them to cool seperately. stir 150g icing sugar into the remaining chocolate mix. leave to cool until it is thick enough to leave a trail. spread some of this mixture on the bottom half of the cake, then place the other half on top. cover the cake in the rest of the chocolate caramel icing + leave to cool. enjoy!


......ok, so i've got to start some time - it might as well be now

i've decided to start doing a blog mainly to put myself under a bit of much needed pressure

my logic

if i have to keep coming up with pretty and creative things to write about here, i'll get a bit more work done (am i really this naive?)


i'll be nudged into taking more photos, therefore i'll look more closely at the beauty that comes into my everyday life

this move could backfire spectacularly though, especially when i start to spend even more time browsing websites and blogs in the name of 'research', i suppose i'll have to wait and see how it pans out!