Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A Festive Time In Hexham

Last week, I felt very nostalgic and melancholy for a yearning for the return of Christmas, after taking most of the decor down my sitting room feels bare with no black sparkly tinsel tree. 

 For me, this is an odd sensation, I explain the rationale of my feeling. Is age? The first year of the festive period in my new home?  Or perhaps, waking up at 6 am on a cold morning and seeing the thick fluffy virgin snow lying everywhere resonating the sensations of Christmas.


So this feeling has brought back a memory I wanted to share it's not grand, fabulous or amazing. Just the simplicity of revisiting my favourite place accompanied by the other half.

Over the festive period, we over indulge on the sofa, watching festive films and pursuing our own interest me crafting, and him,  gaming. We rarely venture from the comfort of our home.

On Thursday, we ventured up to my favourite Northumbrian Market Town, Hexham. I  love going up at least twice a year to visit not to mention a good excuse for a charity expedition.This place is a little-hidden gem of history, cultural and not to mention a few decent ale bars.




It meant we avoided Newcastle during the Christmas sale rush, as we got the Hexham bus from the West Raod. This road was where the original Hadrian's wall ran, so technically we live on the Pick side.

We got the slower bus which took an extra twenty minutes, yet, it was worth it as I enjoyed seeing the winter Northumbrian scenery.

Normally, I would head to the first the charity shops, since the boyfriend was me we headed to a cafe for food, as both our stomach were grumbling. Afterwards, we found a pub with a decent ale selection. 

After food, I ventured to the charity shop while leaving the boyfriend in a warm pub with a decent pint, as he hates any form of shopping. I spent £3 I found a gorgeous ruffled blouse and pair shoes, I was so happy. There were slim pickings in comparison to other times I've visited but I guess that normal. 




We headed off to look, Hexham Abbey, I don't know how many times I visited this place it never feels like a proper trip unless I pay my respects and go for a wander. Despite my frequent visits, the Abbey feels like a living entity that continual changes and evolve particularly with the changing of the seasons. The atmosphere and essence always reflect the different season and times I visit. In all my years of visiting, I think Christmas has to be my favourite period as it had such a wonderful ethereal feel without the imposing or authoritative feel. It far more relaxed and welcoming place. 




The low twilight light peeking through the stained glass, which illuminates up the interior with the rainbow of colours. I love the various light streaming through highlighting and creating shadows with the arches adding a sense of depth. 




The church adopted a simple decor utilising natural decor of garlands and floral display of red and green with an interesting contrast of tropical flowers and evergreen.   A spruce tree that felt huge and overpowering when I stood next to it. When I went up to the stairs it to In the overall perspective, the tree was rather dwarfed by the towering arches. 


                         

I couldn't revisit this shot as it resembled Escher's sketches. with the composition of the structural arches and swirling metal and each of their outline meets creating an interesting but baffling image.  

Every time, I visited the Abbey there always seem to be some new or something I've overlooked on my visits this time I couldn't help being drawn to stone figures carved on the Leschman Chanty. The images to be a range of humorous, satirical,  and grumpy figures each depicting a scene. 




This is a bagpiper. It reminds of my partner as it looked although he was smoking a pipe with a cup of beer. 

Below is a fox preaching to geese  




I found the beautiful mural depicting the Annunciation of Mary receiving news that she would be with child from the Arch Angel, Gabriel. It's hidden away on the central passage located on the side.  I love the use of the vibrant red and gold-tone it was painted in the fifteen century, considering the time year it seem perfect on.


After spending time wandering around the chapel, we headed to another pub for drinks and head back as soon as possible. 

Friday, 13 January 2017

My New Coasters.

For my bedroom, I've wanted a couple of  coasters, but I've been a real cheapskate refusing to pay £2 for a set. 

Originally, I had en-suite bathroom, that got ripped because of the shoddy workmanship.
 I asked if the work men could retain some of the black tiles, but were  most of tiles were redundant.   



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However, I was able to find two viable ones perfect for coasters. The coaster only need a clean, I wanted to tart them up.  






 I had some of my favourirte sticky back plastic left over. 



 I placed the tile on the sticky back plastic and cut around it.  






I cut out a piece of  vinyl big enough to wrap around all the tiles a bit like wrapping a present. Cut the excess out of the corners.


             

I folded the two larger pieces first and the narrower sides this assisted creating a neater finish. 




The back looked fine, but I wanted to finish the back of the coasters felt.  




I cut around the tile to get a template for the back and made the back piece slightly narrower.  
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I glued the felt on using a hot glue gun alternatively pva glue, fabric glue or double side tape would suffice.  





I love my finish product and if I can save money, all the better, 








Monday, 9 January 2017

Bat Fit.

I felt like writing a bit of review for my Bat fit and aims for the New Year. So, overall, I'm off to a good start this week with the exception of  a few hurdles. I'm considering  posting a Batfit update either once a month any significant  developments.  


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My first priority is to save money, I've failed big style. I haven't avoided the charity shops and bought one new skirt with money my sister give me for Christmas. I seriously couldn't resist this one of these rare gems. It had a lovely gothic lolita ascetic and black floral jacquard Coast skirt with a beautiful embroidery. I think it was brand new and not even worn as it's immaculate, hence the price tag of £7.






 I stock up on some makeup (eyes) and nail brushes for eyeliner. I purchased some beads to for jewellery making. So, to avoid spending I've given myself a strict budget of ten pounds a week, seriously I don't really need that much at the moment when I honestly think about it. I'm leaving my debit card at home. 



Today, I've swapped my phone contract and providers so instead of paying £30 per month I've gone for a sim only for £18 a month, I'm saving 12 a month. 

I really need to save money until I find a new job that's a longs storey and best unsaid.  There may be a couple local jobs my name may be put forward. It would help until I can find something permanent. So, I've booked a one to one assistance to get it updated. my C.V. See what happens. 

I've started to get into baking again I made a batch of cookies for the boyfriend, ginger biscuits and cherry scones. This week, I made stock from lamb bones, which turned out to be pretty appetising. I'll be making homemade stock again. On Friday, I went to my Mam's and end with free sweet mince pies and bag of oats for cookies. I love my Mam I always end up with something. 

Healthy eating has been normal, with homemade soup and tuna stir fry. Attempting to eat more fruit and veg, but not significantly increased. Friday was frozen pizza and chips. I haven't been exciting much Wednesday walked a mile into Newcastle, Friday walked about five miles and the afternoon I need more paint. I walked two miles carrying a five-litre tub of paint for a mile uphill. 

DIY - I replaced my first fuse woo.  On Saturday, I finally started painting the guest bedroom finished the purple wall but I need to finish the white walls. I love the new colour it looks far better than the red and much cleaner. 




Crafting I've been crafting addictions this week feeling the urge to make anything and everything. I crafting urge so bad this week it's been unreal. 

This week I started off with making two set of earrings from beads and flower I've had lying around.




I've finally finished, my frozen rose in trapped in a glass jar, this has been a nightmare to make. I finally, ordered the correct glue to attach the base to the dome. Now, I just waiting for the silver necklace from ebay, so I can finally start wearing it. 

I downloaded a couple of free Pdf patterns for tops. The first pattern is based on a 1940 blouse from the British Sewing Bee. I downloaded from Sewing Bee Patterns

Handmade Blouse from The Great British Sewing Bee book





I've started sewing a top I designed. 






I tranformed some old tiles into stylish coasters for my bedroom 





I made a quilt a table cloth from old fabric scraps. 



Finally, I'm meeting up with Jane from Breaking the Angel for coffee, so feel very stoked. 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

A New Fuse + New Light Bulb = Happiness.

I wanted to share one of my achievements. As part of my New Year goals, I want to expand my DIY  skills. Well, tonight I've expanded my  DIY skills again.  A couple of nights ago, I banged my lamp on the table, I'm clumsy. I banged the lamp on the table and ever since it hasn't lit up despite, my attempts changing the light bulbs. I purchased cheap bulbs, and they've blown serval times, I guess that the consequences of purchasing cheap bulbs.  

 So, after a basic lesson on electricity and circuits from the boyfriend, I assumed the fuse had blown. After a trip to the shops I purchasing some LD bulbs, and a pack of fuses for a pound.




I replaced the fuse on the plug and used an LD light bulb the lamp has really lit up like a Christmas tree. I'm so happy  I don't replace the light, as I love it and a bargain at £11 from Pound Stretcher. I love the shape and style along with the silver patterned lamp shade.It suits my decor.


Sometimes it's really the small things, that can bring the most happiness for me. That's my first attempt time changing a fuse so not doubt I'll be changing many more in the future. This is my first and last time. I'll post about it.   

Monday, 2 January 2017

My Bat Fit For 2017

Franny's began with 2017 by quick starting Bat Fit off, it;s hard to believe it's in it's the fifth year. Like my previous post, I haven't really give it too much thought what I would like to focus on to for my holistic health. 


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y goal is about gaining a much appreciative and simpler perspective on life, rather than stressing about things out of my control. I think since becoming a home owner it's helped my perspective made me reconsider what's important. Also, my desires have changed, quite a bit. Sometimes life about having an income is about enabling to pay the bills and to be able to do things. I think this year, as well I don't want to focus on things but more developing my experience and skill, rather than on materialism.


I think for my physical health I would like to increase my uptake of fruit and veg. I pretty bad for not eating enough, as I dislike most fruit, I prefer meditation veg and salads along with carrots. I eat, it doesn't even meet the current Nice Guides lines of five a day. 

The next is to get physically active again, the one thing I've been contemplating about getting a bike. I wanted one for the last few years but just never had the space to store one, so now we have a back yard. I really want to go for it.  I also want to start walking again, it assisted with my weight loss. 

I want to learn self-defence in my local area, I found about Krav Maga ( street fighting adopted by the Isreal forces). I've heard from people's experience it can be very aggressive and physical, this hasn't dissuaded, I really one to give it ago. Part of the reason so I feel confident how to dealing confrontations or altercations, and also, a way of dealing with my mental frustrations. In the past, I always found physical exercise a good way of dealing with my mental issues. 


To install more discipline and organisation into my life.  I can be extremely disciplined and other time I'm the most haphazard, dysfunctional and disorganised person alive. I have a tendency to loose things big style and often start a project before finishing one.So, I want to be more organised by starting by putting things back in the same place and try focus finish one project before starting another. It's going to take a lot of energy to override 28 years of bad behaviour. I have noticed, I'm starting to do it slightly more. I think this one is going to be a long life goal. 

This year, I've hardly read any books so I would like to increase that two a month reasonable for me. This links back to the last post as I tend to start one book then another before finishing the next. Also, I' m finding social media is overtaking my life, and I spend way too much time just browsing on the internet, so I'm going to limit myself to either so much time a day and to check my social media account to so many times a day. I have slightly reduced this I really want to reduce it even further. Use the time more productively for crafting or even reading. I also want to reduce the amount t.v I watch. This has drastically dropped in recent years. again to regain that time to me more proactive.

For blogging, I want to more consistent posting between two to three times a week so, I might have to set up a schedule for that. I want more quality posts, as I sometimes feel some posts are rubbish and thought and researched based posts with topics relating the blog.  I want to more in-depth post about personal issues, life from the alternative perspective and give my blog a more a serious front. I have a couple of things I've been meaning to post about will do in the near future. I want to more sew and crafting posts, make-up and fashion posts as in 2016, I haven't done as many as I hoped after reviewing the number of comments and view these tend to be quite popular.  I do apologise if this seems a like I'm stealing people's ideas that are not my intention it's, just what I would like to do. One thing, I will be posting more is a monthly outfit post where I'll post about my interesting and gothed up outfits. 

I want to reduce how much time, I go shopping and adopt the boyfriend method by going to shop with a list go in and purchase what I need. I want to boycott unnecessary spending this even includes my beloved Charity shops and bargain shops. I tend to purchase a lot of crap I don't need in the long term, I 'm wasting money on things that just clutter up the place or end being donated to charity. 

The  last thing is to take up my amateur photography again and go for random adventures. As I missed all the beautiful colours of autumn there is a beautiful cemetery in the centre of Newcastle, it looks so wonderful with all the rainbow of, red, orange, browns and yellow. The amber hue just made it the perfect offering for photography.    

I think these are realistic goals and are archivable, my new perspective is about taking the more gentle approach and making things gradual approach to life, seems to work better than sudden short bursts of energy. 

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Another Year Over, Another One Begins.

Well, I can't believe it's another year other again, it feels like only yesterday, since I was posting about News Year resolutions, I don't really know how, to begin with describing last year, I feel it has to be one of the worst years on a global perspective. At the beginning of the year, we had the loss of so many talented and beloved celebrities. With artists such as David Bowie, Prince, and one of my favourite actor's Alan Rickman.  The theme has continued throughout the year with recent loss' of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Do I dare mention the recent political changes and turmoil?  I'm not even attempting to discuss that one any further.

For me, this has been one of the best years possible. I've had so many wonderful things happen and met some amazing people. I've purchased my first home thanks to the generosity of my partner and family. Somehow, I've managed to lose half a stone of stubborn weight without, even trying.   


 This year, I haven't really thought about resolutions or lifestyle changes. I always feel  I must immediately implement the changes as soon as the clock strikes 12. I usually fail in the first week of January.  I've been contemplating of new skills, knowledge, and perspective I've gained.

I would like to expand more of these skills and develop further in a more of a sustainable way. Where it'll be permanent change rather than putting all my energy and drive into something that'll I give up within the first few weeks and give up. I want to make changes more permanent  I think the best method is a gentle and gradual approach.  



Some of the things I'm proud of 


DIY 


Since purchasing the house, I've managed to develop a small bit DIY knowledge and skills I've managed to paint most the house and finally learned how to use a drill a few weeks ago. I had a couple pieces of kitchen bench left, I purchased a set of Ikea Adil legs for £2.50  and attached a set to the bench. I'm so fortuitous to have a really generous neighbour whose helped a lot during the house renovations including showing me how to attach the legs with a drill. I also learnt the difference between a hammer and a driver drill. 

Upcycling and Repurposing 

For years, I always wanted to upcycle furniture. This year. I've finally done a couple of projects including my side table and dressing table. Also, I've finally got to grips with transforming charity shops finds with a spray paint. I'm still developing my skills here as a few of them have failed where the paints flaked off. I'm still unsure of the reasons why some have succeed and other haven't.







Crafting 

I've trialled an abundance of new crafts, which was fun.

Quilting



Stained Glass Making.




Printing




Jewellery making

  

Crocheting


Paper Crafts 




Meeting Other Bloggers 

I've had the opportunity to meet some fantastic and lovely bloggers.  I finally got Jane from Breaking the Angel and made an amazing friend. I've also got to attend some amazing  Blogger events and met some lovely local bloggers. Including, Macara Macara Space, and Amy Anchored Teapot.  Beauty bloggers Chloe Hxx and Toni Fashprenuer. I finally met Tim Sinister aka the Blogging Goth, it's a long storey but he owes me a pint.  All the bloggers, I' ve me were just amazingly sweet and friendly. 





I think my aims for this year, is to develop more practical skills and focus on homemaking skills. I want to definitely expand my  DIY skills and learn a few basic joinery skills. I want to improve and learn more culinary skills as most of my dinners involves mashed potatoes, carrots and bean sprouts, sounds healthy but it's can be bland. I want to make more excitement to my cooking. I can bake reasonable biscuits and scones I want to trial more Yorkshire puddings and maybe make a carrot cake or two.  

Since I now have the room, I like to devote more to homemade things from baking, clothing, making preserves, and maybe body products. I'm not sure how it'll go with my home experiments. Since we have a private yard, I would love to try and grow a few potted plants. 

With including the homemade ideas, I've seen some interesting idea on Pinterest on how to repurpose rubbish into useful objects, rather than throwing away. 








For the next few months, I wanna go on a boycott to unnecessary shopping. I'm going to attempt to sew my own clothing and wear what I currently own.  Also, Pinterest has provided ideas on how to alter clothing, I'm going to try altering my old clothes to give them a new look.




Currently, I can sew and even my tutor said I have advanced skills and could potentially do a lot more if I pushed myself more and took my time. I want to focus on improving my skill and particularly finishing garments of to higher standard and make sure my seams are lot neater. 

For example,  I finally used a twin needle this year and want use it more, I want to sew a  Simplicity 8020 blouse. I did attempt but the patterned test me to my limits and even my tutors. The toile, I made was a great learning curve as it had a number of issues. that can be resolved. 



This time I've been using more pattern drafting skill and would love to try more of it. As  I've  had a few projects where I wanted to redraft my current patterns to make something different rather than purchasing a new pattern.  I'm thinking of signing for a new course. For now, I'm going to look on Youtube. 

  I would also try to develop and foster some of my friendships with people, A lot of my friends I  haven't seen in a while,  and I would love to reconnect with them when possible.  

My final one is to learn how to drive, again. Many years ago, I did to the point of almost ready for my theory test. I listened to somebody rather than doing something sticking with it. I regret not listening to myself and going for it 

Happy New Year. 

I've been Been feeling ill most of the day so, looking forward to a quiet night in with the boyfriend. 

happy new year cat animated gif



Wednesday, 28 December 2016

My Christmas

All the preparation is over now. Christmas has been and gone. So, we all can chill out and breathe a sigh of relief. With hindsight everything always seems copious amounts of work for one day, from trolling the shops, stressing about presents and doing the prep work for a sumptuous dinner. 

Like in recent times, my Christmas was very quiet a affairs and done on a budget, For example. I've spent about £5 per a person  for present and spent £2 on my nephews, albeit the boyfriends. Either way all the presents seemed to go down well. . Particularly, my nephews who got excited about their chocolate and Star Wars mugs.That was a nice suprise despite the budget everything went down well. 

I got up at 11 and got ready it took me a silly amount time to get ready to the point of insane. I decided to get dressed up a donning bit of glitter and taffeta. Recently things have been really quiet so I've had no reason to both dressing up, so I've been slobbering out. I think Christmas day warrant some dressing up. 


This was my make-up 



This is a close up of my clothing. 


Top -Ebay 
Skirt - Charity shop 
Shoes= Charity shop 
Necklace Amber - a Maltese jewellaery shop. 

I went to my mams for part of Christmas, while the boyfriend opted to at stay home. On arrival, we did our greeting and exchanged Christmas gifts. My mam had prepared a lamb dinner, as I'm a picky eater, so I had an odd combination of a lamb sandwich with mash potato and a slice of Mediterranean vegetable pizza . For desert a bit more of  a convential ice cream, with fruit. I was trying to avoid over stuffing myself as I still had my Christmas meal with The Boyfriend


. We watched some festive television and head up to my brother's for a couple of hours. Again, we caught up and ending up watching a some Christmas re-runs of  Only Fools and Horse, their most famous episode is where they dress up as Batman and Robin. This stimulates a lot of memories for us as we often watch at Christmas. It's a hilarious classic British comedy. Again, we had a family catch up with everything and all our developments, My Brother and his wife puts on some party food, which was a nightmare for me to resist, however, I was good and kept my appetite for dinner. 





When I got home the boyfriend had prepared our duck and veg. This year,  I attempted to make Yorkshire puddings from scratch, which turned out to be reasonable; they ended up more like dense pancakes'; they're editable I think the issues was I used self-raising flour rather plain flour. Anyway, the duck was deliciously scrumptious, I think we'll be having from now rather than Turkey.



The boyfriend and I had exchanged gift as 11 pm unusually late for us. The Boyfriend got everything I wanted. The first thing is my netbook, Netty has been dysfunctional for the last few month as the keyboard been unresponsive and the battery just seemed to loose power very quickly. So for Christmas, I got a new netbook keyboard and battery, which makes it almost like new, so it's going to make blogging easier as well. I also got a bendable tripod for my camera and a big box of truffles. 





On Boxing day, I found an extra present of a tin of mackerel, which was a jibe at my love of stenchy fish and glasses string hidden in a stocking.    





My families presents.  Mam bought me a top from Primark, I Iove the top as I've been looking for something with a criss cross top with bell sleeves that's made of natruel fabrics.  Also, a smokey eyeshadow palette,  My younger sister give me money, yay. 



My Brother surprised me with a fragent candle of midnight poppy and saffron that's smells goregous. I'm not sure where to put this.