31 Oct 2011

How Do You Use Pinterest?

I've been spending lots of time on Pinterest recently. Yes. Again. I regularly review my pins on any given subject as I'm thinking about various projects. The completion of my dresser (pictures to follow once I actually experience enough daylight to photograph it in) has made me start to think about what other furniture I need in the dining room. Obviously, the first place I start is my Dining Room board on Pinterest. Okay, so actually the first place I start is by figuring out how much of the crap sitting on every available surface (and in some instances the floor) needs to be kept in the dining room as well as, y'know, kept. But right after that I head to Pinterest.

Once I've had a nosey through my board of choice I tend to have a rummage through my followers pins. If I have time after that I look through the 'everyone' section to make sure there's not something pretty that I've missed. And then I probably go back to my original board, solidify my ideas in my head and remind myself what I'm looking for. Then I head to eBay and spend lots of money I don't have.

But I have noticed a tendency, on occasion, to re-pin pictures I've already pinned, unsurprising when you consider I've managed to rack up a rather generous 1000 plus pins over 39 boards, despite my freaky memory for things I've seen (which is why I adore pinterest!). And it got me thinking, how do you use Pinterest? Is it just to collect pretty pictures? Is it to visually bookmark recipes or tutorials? Do you even have a Pinterest account (and if not, why the hell not, are you crazy?!). Just how often do you go back and look at the things you've pinned, if at all? What exactly do you use Pinterest for? Answers on a postcard!

Thanks for stopping by,

28 Oct 2011

Ffefrynau Friday { 28.10.11 }

1. Lovely hall shelf 2. Craft or samples wallpaper 3. Gorgeous tableware
4. Cosy and neutral 5. Pine stair garland 6. Great photo display
7. Christmas candles 8. Kitchenware 9. Hallowe'en pumpkin

As you can see, I'm a little obsessed with interiors at the moment. My dresser is almost finished and I've started nesting for winter. However, it's been a hectic week this week, more recce's out and about for filming locations, so I've only got two tips/ tutorials this week.

  •  Joann's has a free pdf pattern for a cute tote bag.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      24 Oct 2011

      Winter Style

      I've found it harder than expected to retain an individual style since starting back at the BBC. Working in the 'real world' I was expected to wear the office uniform; suits, nice shoes, shirts and a tidy appearance. Television doesn't work like that. I've mentioned before; you can (and I have) turn up for work in your pyjamas. Hell, I've worn a beautiful emerald green cocktail dress from Shabby Apple and no one batted an eyelid.

      Interestingly, people have noticed I have a soft spot for the fashions of the past. Usually based, strangely enough, on my choice of shoes. Mmmmm, shoes. I think I've made it clear how much I love shoes, but just in case here's a reminder. And another one. But my shoe choices are a whole other post.

      I want to talk about winter wear because I'm trying to get it straight in my head just what it is that I'm after. As ever, Pinterest is one of my major sources of inspiration. Below are some of the pictures I've posted  on my outerwear and style boards that are relevant to this topic. I don't think it's too much of a long shot to assume that I'd like things similar in style, fabric and/or colour for my own wardrobe.

      { Source: The Fashionist }

      { Source: Tumblr }

      Obviously, I have a thing for fur collars. They add a touch of old time glamour. And are warm. Of course, it helps that both women are made-up, wearing red lipstick and have great hair. It's important to remember that I don't (you'd be surprised how often I forget that).

      { Source: Fancy Fine }

      { Source: Weardrobe }
      I also appear to have a thing for blue (big surprise there). Or more specifically, blue and red.

      And then there's the things to wear under the furry blue coat with red bits.

      { Source: Bright Young Twins }
      (Look, the wolf's even photo-bombing other bloggers now!)

      Harriet's outfit is divine. I love her shoes. Big fan of tweed (if slightly allergic). But it has it's problems, which I'll delve in to shortly.

      { Source: Pinterest }
       Nice. Practical. Same problem.

      And then there's my obsession love of shorts. Sigh.

      { Source: Tumblr }

      { Source: Chictopia }

      { Source: Pinterest }

      { Source: The Morning Tea on Etsy }

      Not practical in the slightest. And actually has the same problems as the other two pictures in a way. That being coverage. Whilst I clearly love the styles, there's just a huge issue that's sort of insurmountable.

      I don't know how familiar you are with Wales and its weather. But it's rainy. And windy. And bloody cold. I live on the side of a mountain, facing a valley bowl, it gets quite chilly around the old extremities and then some. Now, don't get me wrong, we're not on the Canadian or Russian scale of cold here, but it does require slightly more clothing than a pair of wool shorts I'm allergic to. 

      It also brings me back to my profession. Luckily, most days I spend in the office where the central heating is set to Caribbean with no hope of a cool breeze. But then there are the days like the three in a row I had last week. They involved early starts, long car journeys, mountains, caves and coal mines (sometimes all in the same day). You try dressing stylishly whilst wearing SWAT boots and the warmest coat you have (and thermals, and woolly hat, and crazy hair). I defy anyone to wear make-up whilst standing at the back of the Brecon Beacons in pouring rain and driving wind in a jacket made for a twelve year old (read: slightly too short in the arms and with a hood that doesn't quite cover your large adult head). The below is probably closest to my outfit during those days. Just swap the shirt for several jumpers and the lovely jacket for a fleece and a waterproof coat. 

      { Source: Pinterest }

      Now, don't get me wrong. I like this outfit. I pinned it afterall. But it's just so practical. Whilst I realise I can't get away with wonderfully stylish outfits like those above (and most of the things I pin), partially because I get cold so easily and mostly because - whilst the television industry wouldn't bat an eyelid - I'm uncomfortable wearing those kinds of things (read: shorts) to work as a soon-to-be 36 year old professional. Which is why it's been so hard maintaining a unique style at work. Something that allows freedom of movement for those days when I'm asked to run all over the building collecting or delivering things. Or those 12 hour days in the studio (or, gods forbid, the car). Something that'll keep me warm and relatively dry perhaps. Something to ponder further I think. 

      How do you keep warm in the winter? What's your secret?

      Thanks for stopping by,

      21 Oct 2011

      Ffefrynau Friday { 21.10.11 }

      1. Love the cardigan 2. Great picture wall 3. Wonderfully evocative picture
      4. Dresser inspiration for my own 5. Orla Kiely dress modelled by Ale 6. Girly bedspread
      7. Beautiful outfit and look 8. Messy and cluttered pin board 9. Lovely make-up

      •  I found, then lost, and have now re-found a brilliant tutorial on vintage-ing up a brand new dress form posted by Heather Bullard.

          Thanks for stopping by,

          15 Oct 2011

          Project: Blushing Ted

          A couple of days ago I posted my to-sew/ to-do list for Christmas decorations on the Crafty Christmas Club, a collective of crafters who come together each year to share tutorials and gift ideas. At no point on that list does it mention a blushing teddy and yet that's exactly what I ended up with last night. I love it so much I'm fighting with myself as I'd originally thought to gift it to my housemate for her baby-to-be-once-born, but now I find myself hoping she has a boy so I can keep it!

          The pattern came from Sew Pretty Homestyle by Tone Finnanger and is, as ever, remarkably simple to make. I cannot recommend her books highly enough.

          Fabric: White - Ikea, Patterned - Tilda from Puddlecrafts
          Buttons: Stash
          Blush: Paint stamp swirled on with a dry brush

          Thanks for stopping by,

          14 Oct 2011

          Ffefrynau Friday { 14.10.11 }

          1. iPad cover tutorial 2. great dress on Delightful Dozen 3. baby dress from pillowase tutorial
          4. love the trellis shelving 5. owl bookends 6. lovely lovely bathroom
          7. Zara coat w/ red accessories 8. calm bedroom 9. felt birdies

          •  Sew Retro has moved to We Sew Retro. Make sure you enter the Shabby Apple giveaway on the original site (here) - ends Sunday 29th October. Dress reviewed by yours truly!
          •  The Crafty Christmas Club is back and accepting new members, so if you're not already signed up make sure you do so!
          •  Creative Fan has put together a list of 500+ free photoshop actions 
          •  Whilst wasting time before an appointment I came across the most delightful series of canvases, diaries, cards and other lovelies called Gorjuss. I snapped up a set of cards to frame (that's how lovely they are!). They feature a long haired brunette girl (that should tell you everything!) and are so cute I want the whole range!

              Thanks for stopping by,

              12 Oct 2011

              Spotlight: Colette Patterns

              Clara of Clazzerati prompted this post with her comment on my Sorbetto Surprise. You see, Claz has apparently never heard of Colette Patterns (I know, right!) and was wondering where to look for patterns. For those out there who also don't know Colette Patterns, these are the patterns you've probably been looking for.

              Colette Patterns was created by Sarai. She's produced a range of beautifully packaged, easy to follow patterns that allow the user to create gorgeous clothes. The Coletterie, the blog for the site, is stuffed full of tutorials, tips and tricks and lovely pictures. Commercial patterns can be purchased from the shop, however Sarai has also designed some free patterns that are available for download from The Coletterie.

              Not content with just some amazing patterns, Sarai has written a book on sewing (complete with patterns) available for pre-order from Amazon in the UK and US and she's currently running a sew-a-long on The Coletterie. She took a few minutes out to answer some questions for me:

              Who are you?
              My name is Sarai Mitnick, and I'm the creator behind Colette Patterns, an independent sewing pattern company. I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband, who manages the customer service and operations for the company, and my two darling felines.

              How would you describe Colette Patterns to someone who doesn't know it?
              I'd describe it as a boutique sewing pattern company that specializes in feminine, timeless styles. Style-wise, they definitely have some classic vintage inspiration, but in a very wearable, modern direction. We're also known for having great instructions and lots of additional tutorials and fun stuff on our blog, The Coletterie.

              What inspired you to do what you do?
              I've been sewing since I was a teen, but I was always disappointed by the offerings from the big pattern companies. It wasn't even necessarily the design choices that were available, but I didn't understand why the instructions had to be so complicated and cheaply produced.

              My background is in User Experience; in other words, designing products that are usable and pleasurable. I thought it would be great to create a sewing pattern that would be fun and inspiring to use rather than confusing.

              Where do you get your inspiration?
              It comes from everywhere, really. I've always loved vintage, and lately I've been especially into the styles of the 1960s. I love a really simple sort of glamour, beautiful without being overdone.

              But I also pay attention to modern fashion, and I particularly love seeing what real women are wearing in their daily lives. I love seeing the character of real people shine through in their own personal style. The development of so many street style blogs has been awesome to watch, it's really inspiring.

              Finally, I'd say I'm hugely inspired by color. That can come from anywhere: art, nature, fabric, anything. Color ideas really motivate me creatively.

              How do you push through design/ sewing fatigue?
              I don't really get design fatigue, I don't think. And I'm lucky enough to have my assistant designer, Caitlin. She helps me do a lot of the daily sewing and sample making and tutorial development for the blog.

              A bigger problem for me is having too many ideas and not enough time to implement them all. This can feel really discouraging and overwhelming sometimes. Keeping my ideas and projects organized really helps with that. I have a list of projects that I want to work on and try to stick to it, so I don't get overwhelmed with potential project ideas.

              What's the most useful sewing tip you've ever been given?
              It's not just relevant to sewing, but the adage "go slow to go fast" really applies. Rushing through sewing projects just doesn't suit me at all. I've found so much more enjoyment from sewing since I stopped trying to make things as quickly as possible and skip over the "boring" parts, like making muslins.

              What's your favourite thing you've ever made?
              It has to be my wedding dress! I bought some imported Italian 4-ply silk in gold, and trimmed it in a pearl-beaded organza. It was such a luscious fabric to work with, and the dress felt just perfect for me. It's a real treat to work with high quality materials like that.

              Thank you Sarai! You can follow Sarai on Twitter here, or Colette Patterns here. I highly recommend signing up for the Snippets newsletter on The Coletterie, full of useful tidbits and, of course, the patterns! Lots of fabulous choice, something to suit everyone.

              Please note all pictures are (c) Sarai Mitnick/ Colette Patterns.

              Thanks for stopping by,

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