Friday, October 22, 2010

monda loves... Maria Lintott Ceramics

I found Maria's website a while back, and sent myself an email as a reminder to bookmark it - fuzzy logic indeed. Now I'm cleaning up my inbox and have rediscovered it again, so am now bookmarking it in my blog.

I like the simple lines, beautiful soft colours and little details in each of her pieces:

I wish my house was big enough to fill with pretty pieces like these. Alas it is not, and this is proved by the countless boxes of books and other bits and bobs that we put in storage yesterday until round two of house decoration is complete. Round one, the spare room/office is almost complete - except for a few frames and a notice board that need hanging. We have visitors at the moment so the spare room is is being used as a spare room, but hopefully we'll manage to make the finishing touches on Sunday, and I can start working in there again from next week - instead of perching at the end of the dining table.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

what a relief

I am massively relieved to have finally sorted out dresses for my bridesmaids. It was really turning into quite a chore honestly, and that's not how it's supposed to be in my book.
These are these dresses that we have chosen, although we will have them in Navy:

We looked at and tried a lot of dresses - but we all felt that these were the best, in terms of fit and quality. They are by Mori Lee - as US company.
There is a serious gap in the UK market when it comes to bridesmaids dresses. Most of the dresses I have seen come from the US - and they do it so well in terms of style and choice. My only real gripe is that (as with many things) they are double the price in the UK. I looked at all kinds of options of buying from the the US and shipping to the UK, but once you add shipping and import taxes you lose the benefit.

I ordered the dresses from this UK shop - and I couldn't recommend it more highly. It's an unassuming little shop on what can be best described as a residential road. Their website is easy to navigate, has the right amount of info and good pictures, and the shop owner is a really lovely lady - often making helpful suggestions to help me find the right thing.

I must confess - I also bought wedding dress no.2 whilst I was in the shop today. I have been having a little wobble about dress no.1 (a bargain purchase made many months ago), so I'm now definitely spoilt for choice. Apparently it's quite common for brides to buy two dresses.

This is one of the dresses that I tried - I think it's lovely, but it just wasn't the right type of dress for my body shape. I looked like I'd just been tangled up in a parachute!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

pretty flowers, pretty palette

When my friend was visiting at the weekend she bought me some flowers. At the time they were just closed up buds but now they have now come out and they are ever so pretty.
They deserved a palette, which I think turned out some lovely colours when combined together:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

wedding shenanigans

This week really seems to be whizzing by at great speed, and my mind really has been on one thing - the wedding. In the past couple of months there really wasn't much to do in terms of the wedding, but now the time has come that decisions need to be made and things need to be confirmed and it all seems to have happened at the same time.
Bridesmaids dresses are proving tricky. Having tried countless dresses, we have found 2 different dresses that would be perfect together. Job done you'd think, but no. Aside from the dresses being quite expensive, the lead time on them is 16 weeks (as they are proper bridal gowns), and we don't have 16 weeks until the wedding (scary thought!) so I've started again on the dress search and have been looking all over the internet for the last few days to try and find alternative options.  I think I have found an alternative - I now just need to get the girls to try them. In the meantime, I'm keeping everything crossed for them fitting and looking lovely.

In other wedding news, today I had an email from the designer who is making our rings, to tell me that they are ready to ship.Wooohoo.
Here they are:
I'm swooning at their loveliness.
Now I must away and pay for them (hmm, not swooning so much at that part), and then they can be shipped. Exciting!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Inadequate, Pimpled and Single! (and being brave)

Have you read this story?
In celebration of not being inadequate, pimpled or single, I've decided for the first time ever to put a picture of myself on my blog. I've finally come out! This picture was taken this morning whilst still in my pj's, unshowered and my hair hadn't been near a hair brush (hence the very forgiving sepia!). I do actually look quite tired but I'm certainly not the figure Andrew Marr describes.

My decision to come out was not directly influenced Andrew Marr however, I think he just prompted me. I rather wanted to mark a milestone, as I have now lost 2 stone in weight.
As a child, I was stick thin. I always ate well, but couldn't keep still so was always a little slim thing. I've struggled with my weight on and off since my mid teenage years - and have dieted so many times I've lost count (like most women I'm sure). In recent years and since being diagnosed with PCOS, my weight has steadily increased despite always eating a healthy diet.
When I left my job earlier this year I decided that lots of things needed to change in my life - my weight and my health being one of them. I always eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and I cook most days - I'm really not a fan of processed food and ready meals, so food was never really the answer to this problem. Aside from eating smaller portions, I really haven't changed my eating habits much at all. I still eat bad stuff when I feel like it.
The major difference in my healthy regime is that I now exercise everyday - something I never really used to to at all. It's a simple calculation of calories taken in versus calories burnt. I don't actually count calories - I just know what is good food and bad food.

2 stone feels good. Clothes and shoes are now too big for me, my skin looks better, I feel better, and my confidence is increasing, so much so that I felt I could finally post a picture of myself.
Outwardly people describe me as being confident - I trick I have learnt for the sake of everyday survival. Inwardly, I am not confident, and I know it stems from how I feel about myself and my weight. I still have a long way to go with my weight loss - and despite having a confidence wobble every now and then, I feel determined to make it happen.

I'm now a little scared to press the 'publish post' button, but I'm doing it because I want a record of how I'm feeling at this particular time in my life. It will be so good to look back on this in a few months knowing that I have moved on, and I know that will give me the drive me to continue.

Friday, October 08, 2010


The progress seems to have been quite slow this week. You know when you really want something to be finished, but it just takes it's sweet time? Well that has been the measure of things this week. I'd honestly forgotten that painting a room requires ceiling, skirting boards, door frames, window sills and radiators as well as walls, and it all needs 2 coats - not to mention that the entire thing needs to be thoroughly clean before you can begin.

It is worth putting in the effort though. The painting has now been finished, and all that remains is to have a thoroughly good sort out of stuff.
Some progress shots:

We're considering putting some of our stuff in storage for a month or two until the decorating of the next project (lounge) is complete. Storage is a real problem in our little flat, so we're planning on two sets of shelves in the recesses either side of the fireplace which should house a lot of our stuff.
Right now though, I'm off to clean up and sort out more of that 'stuff' I seem to accumulate so well.

P.S. Huge thanks to everyone who left comments and feedback on this post.  It's funny, the design that was  liked least was the one I liked most. This is why I value feedback so much, it helps to be able to look at something from another person perspective and definitely helps with the  'just because you love it, doesn't mean others will' or 'just because you don't love it, doesn't mean others won't' thing that comes with designing.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Habitat Stationery

Last week I popped into habitat as I needed to pick up a couple of birthday presents. Habitat is always a good source for pressies, especially at this time of year when they are gearing up for Christmas.
I mainly bought stationery, and I could have seriously gone mad - I'm a real sucker for stationery.
They don't have much of their stationery on their website yet, which is a shame, but it's coming soon apparently.

 Deco tape
 page markers
The range features lots of geometric and bold graphic prints. I especially love the peacock, which features on quite a few items at the moment, including tins, bags, stationery, and kitchen linen:

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

autumn garden

It's very easy to ignore the garden at this time of year. It's been wet and windy and not the most inviting environment. I have found little bits of magic going on though:

A miniature mushroom forest:

The spider web tree, which only became visible after  a morning mist:

Ivy flower pods:

Back inside, I've finally started the spare room/studio makeover. It's going to take a few days before it's finished as I need to paint, then juggle the furniture around, and then paint again, and so on until it's finished. Sadly we just don't have enough space to move everything out of the room - which would of course be so much easier. The walls are currently lilac - so I'm banishing them away in favour of White Chiffon - which is not a bright white, but a softer tone.
I'll no doubt post some 'ta da!' pics next week when I'm finished.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

lovely saturday songs

Rarely, if ever a day goes by that I don't listen to music. The first thing I do when I get out of bed is put he radio on. Throughout the day I either listen to one of our hundreds of genuis mixes on iTunes or to the radio.
A couple of tunes that I'm really liking at the moment are 'that day' by Villagers and 'rinse me down' by Bombay Bicycle Club. Have a listen, they make for lovely chilled out, mellow Saturday songs:

Friday, October 01, 2010

raindrops and gumdrops

I thought I'd share a little of the surface pattern design I've been working on of late - called raindrops and gumdrops. This is still a work in progress but I'm pleased with the way it is coming along. My initial idea was that these designs would be for fabrics:
 click on image to enlarge

The palette was inspired by this advert from the 1951 Festival of Britain guide.

If I'm going to make it as a real life bona fide designer then I need to hear some feedback. If you have a moment please drop me a comment and let me know what you think. Constructive feedback is good - what do you like? what don't you like?