Saturday, 18 October 2014

5 Things I Hate About Autumn

Calm down. I know I harp on and on about how much I love this time of year. I haven't suddenly changed my mind and swung the other way. 
But I do know that if you're not a fan of this time of year (I'm looking at you Loops), all of this "I love autumn!" talk can make your teeth ache. 
So if that's you right now my dears, this one's for you. You're welcome. 

1. Driving in the dark
You can't see much and the lights are blinding. It's boring, tiring and when you add heavy rain to the mix, it's bloody stressful. 

2. Trying to get clothes to dry in the cold and damp
I hung up a load of washing two days ago, they're still damp. So now we're back to hanging things over radiators. 

3. The dim light when taking photos indoors
Bane. Of. My. Life.

4. Colds
Other. Bane. Of. My. Life.

5 . The bleak mid-winter
That period between New Year's and Spring. It's dark, it's grey and it lasts FOREVER. This period's only saving grace is my birthday which I use as an excuse to add colour to the house and to treat myself. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Dress Tree Style - Autumn Flower Dress

This weekend we went to Kent for a family party. It was great fun, but I do wish I could kick this bug that's been hanging around for the past few weeks. Coughing every few minutes and leaving a tissue trail in my wake is getting really old.

As I say though, it was a fun weekend and I got to snap this sneaky outfit photo before we left. 
Earlier in the summer I commented on how I needed to show off my dresses more in the form of outfit posts. However, posing for photos is not something that comes naturally and other than this one, I've only taken one other 'outfit post' to date. Bad Kim

That is why it feels like a such an achievement to finally get a photo of another handmade item. It's one of the first Belle dresses I made and I love the print so much. Unfortunately when I made it, I didn't have much of the fabric left so the dress is a little on the er...'petite' size. I'm toying with the idea of taking the elasticated waist out and leaving it as a tunic top instead, but we shall see. 

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Friday, 10 October 2014

New in the shop - Pine Cone Necklace

A new addition has been added to the shop!

As you can tell I'm revelling in all things autumnal at the moment and this new necklace is my new love, (I'm going to have to make myself one of these I just know it). The pendant is 4cm long and adds a touch of the new season to any outfit. No seriously it does. I was wearing my pyjamas when I made it. I held it up to see how it looked, BAM! Autumn pyjamas.

Modelled with the bottle green Edie dress.

Necklace £14
Edie Dress £28

Monday, 6 October 2014

Sunflower Harvest

Last week was something of a write off as Dan, Pip and I all came down with colds, coughs and sore throats. I managed to lose my voice at the start of the week and although I'm feeling much better, my voice is still more Tom Waits than Kim Bliss. 
Still, it's that time of year so I can't complain too much. That said, I was suffering a little from cabin fever by the end of the week, so yesterday I ventured outside as soon as the sun broke. I've heard the weather is supposed to turn pretty cold soon so I'm going to make the most of what warm sunny weather we have left.

The peony's seed bulbs had just burst so we spent a happy few minutes collecting all the seeds. 

The sunflowers were definitely ready to come down. The flower heads were drooping and the plants had that crunchy, brown look that they get at the end of the season. We've put them on the conservatory window sill to start drying out.

But seeds aren't the only thing you can do with sunflowers. Did you know that you can dry out and use the stalks too? I find this especially useful with the giant sunflowers. The longest one we have is over 8ft high and I had to use a saw to cut it! 

When they dry out they're as hard as wood and very sturdy. And as they grow straight, they can be used for all sorts of things. I've used them as curtain poles in the past, but they can also be used to stake next seasons plants too.

I'm toying with the idea of growing Pip a sweet pea tipi in the garden next year. If I go ahead with this I now have three decent sized sunflower stalks to make it with which is a good start. 

So all in all, it's not a bad harvest considering I did very little with the garden this year!

P.S.  I've read and re-read this post a thousand times and each time I do, I find a different typo or another sentence that doesn't make sense. Bear with me, I'm sure that I'll make sense again once this lurg has passed one. Please let that be soon!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

5 Reasons To Buy Handmade

The following reasons to buy handmade are taken from my own experience and so relate to clothing. That said, the principles can be applied to almost anything handmade.

Better quality
I have bought handmade clothes that have lasted years. I have bought clothes from the high street that have lasted months. Of course there are exceptions to this, but in general I've found that handmade items are better quality than their mass produced counterparts.

Clothes wise this means wearing an item of clothing that you know no one else owns and that's pretty special. Even items that are made again and again will be done so on a much smaller scale that you will be one of a very small number of people wearing the same item. 

You know where your clothes are from
Taking my Etsy shop as an example, you immediately know that everything is handmade by me. If you follow this blog you will also know where I make my dresses. Going further still, if you follow my Facebook page you will also know what goes in to making a dress from the photos I've posted. You will usually know the face and story behind a handmade purchase. 

Love, time and effort went into each item
This I can say from first hand experience. There isn't one thing I've made over the years that I'm not proud of. I know the effort that went into designing and making those items. If anything, it's made me appreciate handmade gifts even more, whatever they are. Handmade takes time, it takes dedication and a whole lot of effort. It's nice wearing something you know that someone cared about as they made it. That they worked on getting every stitch right and fretted over anything they felt wasn't perfect. It was cared for before it even reached your hands.

You are supporting small businesses
To small businesses out there, every purchase, no matter how small, is a huge help. When you buy from an independent business, you're helping them not only live out a dream, but you're also helping them support their families as they do it. You may feel that you're just making a purchase, but to the makers out there you are supporting their efforts too. It's a nice thing and it makes us smile. Thank you.

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