Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Mixtape Number 8

It is still September, just about. I like to sneak my monthly playlist right at the last minute. Keep you all waiting eagerly. Ahem.

1. Bruises - Chairlift
2. Tryin' My Best - Jenny Lewis
3. Santeria - Sublime
4. Thieves - She & Him
5. Salt Air - Chew Lips
6. Dancing On My Own - Robyn
7. Dog on Wheels - Belle & Sebastian
8. re: stacks - Bon Iver
9. Sleeping Sickness - City & Colour
10. Someone Like You - Adele
11. All Sparks - Editors
12. Back To You - Coconut Records

Writing these mixtapes always makes me realise that I don't listen to enough music. I love the feeling of listening to music I know, but that makes me reluctant at times to try new bands and listen to new albums. I think I'm going to set myself mini music-based challenges, like to listen to one new artist a week or something. Anyone have any recommendations? xoxo

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

the gift

My beautiful penpal and friend Emma sent me the most wonderful package of goodies for my birthday. It's taken me this long to recover enough to take photos and share them on here! I have honestly never received anything like it in my life - it's hard to get an idea of scale in the photos but it was a huge box, crammed full of all kind of amazing things! The wrapping alone made my day.... (check out the rock wrapping paper - me and Emma share a love of rocks, and spent a good hour geeking out over them at the Natural History Museum!)

 And look at the gifts she filled it with... I squealed over every single item, it was like opening a package from myself, that's how perfect and 'me' everything in there was.

LOOK AT THIS SATCHEL! It's so mini, perfect for shopping trips, and it's now my go to bag to keep my essential safe when car booting. I don't think I could be more in love with anything than I am with this bag!

my favourite part though of any of Emma's packages is the lovely letters she writes - I feel so so lucky to call her my friend, she is the only person who has a sense of humour as dry and sarcastic as mine...

Thank you once again Emma, you made me one happy girl xoxo

Monday, 26 September 2011

List 13: reasons why I hate London

Following my last list of reasons why I love London. I thought it was only fair to make another of reasons why I don't like London. These are all really pernickety things, and 99% of the time I love London and everything about it. But as with everything there are things you love about it, but there are also things you don't like.

1. the fact that the underground is boiling hot all year round - even when it is snowing outside the tube will be a hundred degrees. This is annoying because in winter I wear a big (faux) fur coat, and so end up sweating my bits off on the train to work/going out.
2. the number of slow walking people around - seriously, why do some people walk at literally a snail's pace? And then, to make matters worse, they will stop suddenly in the middle of the street, for no discernible reason, causing you to nearly walk into them.
3. tourists. Oh god, I cannot even explain how much I hate tourists.
4. those people who try to get you to give a monthly donation to charity - I'm sure lots of places have them, but in London they are like vermin. My avoidance tactic is to pretend to be on the phone when I spot them, as they are instructed not to approach people on mobile phones. Ha, I'm so sneaky.
5. the way certain areas smell after it rains - like a mix of wet dog and rotting garbage. A lot of Soho suffers from this problem. Bleurgh.
6. those loose paving slabs that, after it has rained, conceal what seems to be an ocean of water. And when an unsuspecting pedestrian (which always seems to be me) steps on it the mass of water underneath is displaced and rushes over the edges of the paving slab in a tsunami-like wave, soaking their foot and flooding their shoe.

Does anyone else have pet peeves about where they live?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

thrifted finds

 Oh it has been too long since I last posted my thrifted finds. I have still been out thrifting on a weekly basis, but just haven't had time to photograph my treasures due to working all day, and arriving home after the sun has disappeared! But, due to some changes which I will be blogging about VERY soon, I should be having more time to devote to this here blog, which I am so excited about! But for now, here are some of the items I have found recently, all of which are available right now in the Ayoka Charity Boutique, Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green.

so so so in love with this doggy's sad face!

still can't get enough of anything royal, especially mugs

 such a soft spot for this french vinegar bottle with its beautiful patterned glass

 one day I want a collection of little vintage alarm clocks just like this one

 siamese cats always remind me of the evil pair in Lady and the Tramp, but this one was too cute to pass up (it's hard to tell from the photos but it's actually really tall)

 finding vintage camera stuff always makes my heart beat fast, especially anything polaroid related

you can never have too many vintage mugs, especially with beautiful 1960s prints like these


I love finding anything a bit unusual, so this box of microscope specimen slides is one of my favourite thrifted finds

when I own my own house I will have a collection of vintage glasses - I only wish I had a house of my own now so I could keep these beautiful black and gold gazelle ones...

.... and maybe these coloured floral shot glasses too!

who doesn't need a wooden owl kitchen time in their life?

oh I can't even tell you how close I came to keeping this.... you turn it to the correct month, and the time of day, and look through, and it shows you the arrangement of the consellations in the sky (and you can change the end according to whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere!)

vintage smarties mugs, what more do I need to say?!

the only reason I am parting with this bad boy is because I already have an identical one of my own - love love love Kodak instamatic cameras

couldn't resist this bright yellow canister - I think I would use it to store something more exciting than sugar in though.... maybe pens? (don't know why pens are more exciting than sugar, but shhhhh)

probably the fanciest cream jug you will ever lay eyes on - it even had a mini spoon so you can be extra dainty!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

the one where we pick beans

Despite the fact I probably make it sound like I live on some sort of urban farm, we only have a fairly small back garden. However my Mum and Dad are both amazing gardeners, and have managed to cram so much good stuff into such a small space. Including beans. I'm not even sure what type of bean they are. They always remind me of childhood though, as my Nanny and Grandad had a machine that sliced them - you fed these same beans into the top, and turned a handle, and they came out the bottom neatly sliced. And now we grow those beans in our garden. And one day I will grow them in my garden and my (almost certainly non-existent/adopted) children will turn the handle on a machine that slices them into pieces. Anyway, I digress.

I haven't properly mentioned that we sometimes childmind one of our neighbours' six year old daughter, Phoebe. Now everyone knows how I feel about children. I really don't like them. They annoy me with their whining, and screaming, and general inability to look after themselves. The only two exceptions to this rule are Lily (my best friends baby girl, and the light of my life), and Phoebe. So Phoebe came over, and spotted the beans growing in the garden. Together we picked some and carefully opened a few to look at the beans inside. Seriously, you have never seen a kid so excited about anything. It was like Christmas morning, but with beans instead of presents! She counted every last individual bean, then lined them up in rows from biggest to smallest.

If I do ever, by some miracle, end up with children, they will be brought up to appreciate the little things, just like I was. My parents never had much money, but what they always had in abundance was time and patience and ideas. We went on nature walks, we picked conkers, we ate picnics, we made cakes, we collected caterpillars, we painted, we made clay ornaments, we swam in rivers, we ate wild berries, we rode on buses, we read books. It was an idyllic childhood and okay, we wore secondhand clothes, and we didn't have fancy toys, but I wouldn't change a single thing about it because I always had everything I needed.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

jasper: the story

I talk about my dog quite a lot on this blog, but only ever in passing. He's like my child, and I love him more than is probably normal. But I don't think I've ever explained the story behind Jasper. And, as tomorrow is his 11th birthday, I thought I would write a little bit about him here on my blog....

Jasper is a rescue dog; we got him from The Dog's Trust in Harefield in February 2007. He's a terrier cross (although crossed with what we're not sure!), and is the first dog we have ever had as a family, and we had been searching for the right dog for about three months before we found Jasper. I wanted to go there to help look for a dog, but I knew I would get upset and want to take them all home, so I only went once my parents had chosen Jasper, to go and meet him before we brought him home. He was a lot skinnier then, and he was very unsure around us. His previous owners had decided to get rid of him after they had a baby, as Jasper isn't very good around children. When we brought him home, he sniffed around everything, making himself at home. Now we can't imagine our lives without him.

As you can see from these photos Jasper has been in the wars somewhat recently. When we first got him he suffered from fits, but he takes tablets daily now which control that. It was terrifying the first time he had a fit. I was at home with him, and he started shaking uncontrollably, and his body went rigid - I thought he was going to die, it was really awful. But the bandaged leg is due to him having a lump removed from his foot - we thought it might have been cancerous, but they did a biopsy and it was malignant. He is such a brave little soldier though, and he was fine. He's also had other problems, mostly with his legs. He was attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier a few months ago, and was bitten badly on his leg which required stitches. And last year he tore a ligament in his leg, and had to have surgery. After his operation he could barely walk, and that night I slept downstairs on the floor next to him, stroking him while he whimpered in pain. It broke my heart to see him hurting so much. We had to take him outside to wee as he couldn't manage it himself.

Jasper is the most loving, silly, adorable dog we could have ever asked for. He is such a character. No other dog would let us dress him up in silly hats and glasses, and not even flinch. And as annoying as it is when he gets into my yarn stash and shreds a ball into pieces, I can't be really angry at him as he sits there looking up at me with his puppy dog eyes. I can't imagine coming home and not being greeted by him barking his head off, and his tail wagging when he realises it's me. Or waking up in the morning to him jumping on my bed and snuggling down beside me. But anyway, this has turned into a bit of a rambling post, and really all I want to end it on is saying happy birthday Jasper, we all love you so much.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

ladybird likes

so many pretty things on the internet lately - I also love watching how the changing seasons influence what people blog about, and Autumn is definitely my favourite season in the blogging world and in real life.

this idea from Jordan of Oh Happy Day is super sweet, and would be such a lovely thing to do for a baby shower, or for a wedding, or even just for someone special who needs cheering up

okay, these are the most incredible thing I have ever seen - edible sugar mushrooms and toadstools! The amazing company behind them also handcraft lots of other edible delights, including the most realistic looking vintage buttons I have ever seen!

 I am on a never-ending hunt for the perfect backpack - one that is stylish, but also practical, big enough to carry all my stuff, and strong enough not to break after a few uses. So this one from Baggu is high up on my wishlist right now - I want one in every colour please.

 love love love this idea for repurposing an unloved vintage metal tray into a handy magnetic memo board - I always see things like that at car boot sales, so I may have to try taking a can of spray paint to one of them!

 there are lots of DIY tutorials online for tissue paper pom pom decorations, and after seeing this picture over at Bespoke Press I definitely want to try making some.... maybe for a special little girl's second birthday next month?

 anything with a pretty collar on is already a favourite of mine, but I love these detachable collars in the prettiest fabrics by Lululation - perfect for jazzing up a plain top or dress, because a collar makes everything look better, right?