Thursday, 31 July 2014

Feeling Reflective - A Month On

About a  month ago I wrote this post. I was feeling overwhelmed and needed to clear my head. The harder I tried however, the more impossible it seemed. Trying to find the source of those feelings just made things worse.

As is so often the case in these situations, the answer was to take a step back.

I threw myself into work, faced up to some home truths and learnt two valuable lessons in the process.

The first, I'm no longer in a position to offer custom orders anymore. As much as I enjoy them, I simply can't do it without snatching time that should be dedicated to Dan and Pip.
While I don't mind working evenings and weekends to meet the occasional deadline, that can't be the norm.

And second, (strap yourselves in, this is a biggie), I lost my way with this blog.
There's a bullshit notion growing within the blogging community that there's a right way and a wrong way to blog
"Want to have a successful blog? Then make sure it looks like this, your photos are interior magazine quality and you only write about X, Y or Z. Oh and make sure you become savvy with Google Analytics so you can waste your time pulling confused faces while muttering 'what the hell does that mean'. Because who wants to enjoy their evenings anyway?"
I'm so angry that I fell for all this. This is a personal blog. It's for me, I started it years ago to waffle on to my heart's content about the things that make me happy. And occasionally to have a bit of a rant about the things that don't. Because I believe in balance and because life is not all funky retro prints and mason jars.
Now I'm not going to lie, I would love to think that people enjoy reading this and that I'm not just waffling to myself anymore, so of course I want to let everyone know about it. But it's still my blog. I still want to write for me.
So I guess what I'm saying is, I realised that I too had started to stray from my path while following the herd. I too was doing the very thing that makes my teeth grind with irritation. That was a bitter pill to swallow. But I'm back. To stay I hope.

I hope this didn't sound too negative or ranty. It was meant as neither. I was just feeling so crap a month ago that I really wanted to share the outcome of it all.  The 'coming out the other side' post if you like.

Over the next coming months you may notice some changes on this blog while I play around with the look of it. I liked the layout before, but if I'm honest, it was how I thought it should look as opposed to what I liked. So I'm going to play a little.
Also the things I write about may or may not change. It may become more mundane, or swing from one thing to another, I haven't decided yet. Again, I'm going to play.

Also, my grammar may be appalling and I may occasionally use terms such as 'amazeballs', 'awesome' and/or 'lolz'.

I offer no apologies for this.

Kim out.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Pallet Shelf

This has been one of those projects that just went on and on and on. I originally picked up the pallet last year, but soon realised that nothing was going to get done during the wet winter weather. 
Some projects are best left to the summer months and this is definitely one of them!

But obstacles and bad weather aside, it's done and up and ah meh gerd, I loves it.

This is what it looked like beforehand. A standard pallet. Second to the weather, the biggest obstacle was figuring out how I was going to use it, which bits I needed and what was going to go where. Once I had that figured out it was just a case of pulling the thing apart. 

This happened in fits and starts as some parts of the pallet were solidly held together, others were quite flimsy and splintered. In the end I opted to just saw out the bits I needed.

Then it was simply a case of sanding, staining and screwing the thing back together. How best to mount it on the wall also caused me some confusion. I chose split battens which I feel distribute it's weight better than hooks or nails.

Bob's your uncle! One pallet shelf all done and dusted, and it only took me ten months! 

All I can say is that Pinterest has a lot to answer for.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Pimms Garnish Ice Cubes

It's exactly as the subject title suggests. I'm sharing a tip that is so simple, but so brilliant that I simply had to share it. If you're a fan of Pimms, but a lazy oik like myself then you should be all over this.

Do you ever get bored having to sort a fresh glass out with the necessary cucumber/mint/strawberry ensemble?
Good, read on. 

Does it feel wrong leaving out the garnish altogether? 
Good, it is wrong, read on. 

In that case my friends, you simply need to throw the garnish ingredients in to an ice cube try as above, add water (or lemonade), freeze, stick in a freezer bag and et voila, you're good to go! 

Your fresh drink has a new garnish with no faff that will keep it chilled too.

I'm a flipping genius!

That or a complete plonker for not thinking of it sooner, but I'll stick with the former!

P.S. Just in case anyone was wondering, no this is not a sponsored post. I do love Pimms in this weather though and am a little evangelical about having a fresh garnish with each glass. 
It's just not Pimms otherwise Dahling. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


So if you follow me on Twitter it won't have escaped your attention that my trusty old sewing machine died earlier this month. It happened at the worst time as I'd literally just taken on some custom jobs.
At least, that was what I thought when it happened. I knew buying a new sewing machine was going to be pricey and if I'm honest, that was what had put me off jumping in and investing in a new one.

In the end the decision was made for me. The tension dial broke and as it would have cost more than the sewing machine's worth to get fixed, I had no choice but to buy a new one.
At first I was upset, but then I let those words sink in a little.

Buy. A. New. Sewing. Machine.

My dream sewing machine.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is my new, dream sewing machine. Isn't she BEAUTIFUL?!
Oh and her name's Mabel.

She's so quiet and whizzy. I still can't get my head around how quick it is to run a piece together now compared to before. And oh my days, she even has an automatic needle threader!
I can't even begin to put into words how cool I think this is. I've tried. On numerous occasions. I've bored my husband, friends, work colleagues and yes, even someone I've never met over on Twitter. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not. SHE'S AMAZING!

So there you have it. I'm going to wrap this post up now as I can see that I'm starting to push my luck regarding the acceptable use of exclamation marks and capital letters. 

All I'll say is that I bloody love this machine. I've noticed that it's making me try even harder to find sewing time in each day now. And that can only be a good thing.

P.S. For those who are a little confused by the heart in the corner of my photo. "I luv Mabel 4eva IDST" is a reference to my old school days. When we used to cover our school books with wrapping paper and write I luv blah blah 4eva all over them. The I.D.S.T. stands for If Destroyed Still True. 

And you know what? I do still luv Chesney Hawkes. So there.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Poll Results

Just a quick one as I'm sat here, still in my pyjamas and my tummy is rumbling loudly! Breakfast is calling.

I was meant to post this at the start of the month but time has kind of run away with me. 
Last month I launched my Bigcartel shop and asked people for feedback on both this and my Etsy shop.

I was interested to know which one people preferred and why. Thank you to everyone who took the time out to provide their feedback. I took each and every comment on board and it was really helpful and also a bit of an eye opener.

I had expected the Bigcartel shop to come out on top, but it was Etsy hands down. People liked the community feel, the fact that you can 'favourite' items and the feedback system which keeps the process trustworthy and transparent.
I think what attracted me to Bigcartel was that you are far less restricted when it comes to designing your online shop. It's something that still attracts me although if I'm honest, that is the only advantage it currently has for me over Etsy.

So I've been mulling it over and have decided to stick with Etsy for the time being. I like the handmade community feel of Etsy too much and while I'm sure I'll go down the Bigcartel route at some point, I've decided that now is not the time.

So thanks again for bearing with me and for the invaluable comments and emails. I'll soon be closing my Bigcartel shop just as soon as I can get myself organised and business will continue as usual over on ol' Etsy. Now. BREAKFAST!

Have you seen the Etsy ad on TV? If not check it out!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Dress Tree Style - Leopard Print Kimono

Wow. I've been utterly blown away by the shop love these past few weeks guys! It's been keeping me really busy which is why the blog has been quieter than usual. And I'm in no way complaining. 
I can barely get my head around the fact that there are real life people out there wearing the clothes I've made. It blows my mind!

It's just once again made me realise how incredibly lucky I am to have the chance to do this and how much I love it. 

Modelling the wares though? Yeah not so much. This photo was taken during our stay in Wales and Dan took about 5 before this one, all of me standing there looking all kinds of awkward. What got this photo was Pip calling my name and me calling back and smiling at her. Note to self: Must. Try. Harder.

So. The leopard print kimono. This is how it looks off the hanger. And this is the point I would usually point you in the direction of my shop, tell you how many pennies they are and invite you to take a look.

However, there are none left. But hey, at least you know how the look on now eh?

Until next time!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Little Dash

I usually post first thing in the morning, but I couldn't wait to share this.
I'm having a warm and fuzzy moment right now and I want to share more of these on my blog seeing as it's precisely what I created it for in the first place.

When I was pregnant with Alessi, every week I would look up how big she was supposed at that stage. 
Every Monday when I got into work, the first thing I would do was look at the pregnancy app on my phone, pull out a ruler and draw a line of the same size on a post it note. 
Then I'd stick it to my computer screen and pray that the tiny little speck in my stomach kept on growing. 

I have a distinct snap-shot type memory of looking at one such post it. The line I'd drawn was only a few millimetres wide. That's all she was, a few millimetres. A little dash on a post it note.

Then tonight, after I put her to bed I got up to leave the room and stopped. As I looked down at her all stretched out and sound asleep, the memory of those post it notes came flooding back and I was in awe how something so small and so fragile could become something so big and fearless and well, Alessi. She's a real force of nature that one and a million miles away from a small dash on a post it note.

And then I wondered how many post it notes it would take to draw her line today. It made me smile.
I don't mind time passing or her growing bigger. Sometimes it seems to happen at a speed that scares me a little but mostly, like tonight, I just feel incredibly happy and grateful that I get to watch her grow up at all. 

My little dash.

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