a crocheted light shade

Fancy crochet light shade anyone?

Don't mind if I do.

This is another one of my WIPs that just dragged on and on and on. I'm not sure why.  I love everything about it; the colours, the yarn, the outcome, the finished article.

As you can see the light shade in Betsy's room was just awful.  AWFUL!

And now it's not! TA DA!

Slowly, slowly, girly's room is looking prettier. I wasn't one of those organised pregnant ladies who had the nursery fully decorated before the baby arrived.  Nope, not even close.  Couldn't be arsed, preferred to sit on the sofa eating Snickers.  In fact when she was born her room was just full of boxes.  It was awful.  I felt bad.   Also all my clothes and make up lived in that room and some of it still does but I'm trying not to be too lazy, whenever I get a free moment I do more nice stuff and I'm getting there.

This new light shade cover makes a difference, I always knew that instead of buying a new one I would cover this fugly thing up with some funky crochet - there can of course be no other way for a yarn addict.

It was super easy to make, all I did was crochet eight standard granny squares using some lovely Rooster Aran yarn and a 5mm hook.  I used a bigger yarn and hook to make the cover look a bit chunkier and then I and joined them together using the join as you go method, good video tutorial on that here.

I kept checking for size to make sure that it would be slightly smaller than the shade, this way once looped, it should just slip on and stay put without the need for any further fixing.

I ended up with eight squares, I joined them all and did a further two rounds of edging in cream, this finished it off nicely, improved the sizing (the eight squares didn't quite make it all the way round the shade) and frames the squares nicely.

I then sewed all the bloody ends in.

and single crocheted the edges together to form a loop.  Like so.

Then I just slipped the loop over the shade.  Ta da.

Good eh?

I love it.  Hope Betsy does too once she's old enough to critique my work!

I've just spent the weekend learning how to do slip stitch knitting.  Not easy, still confused now.  Any tips?


the best blusher in the world

I have a pal.  It's not a person pal, it's a blusher pal. It's called Deep Throat.  Yep, uh huh, you heard me right, my pal is called Deep Throat and I can't leave the house without it.

Having been handed down sallow skin by the genetics police, without blusher I look, not to put too fine a point on it, like a corpse.

Yes, a corpse.  I'm not kidding.

Anyone who has had the misfortune of catching me without my face on will testify to this truth.  Some say:

: are you okay Emma?
: you look a bit tired
: you don't look very well, maybe you should go to bed/takes some paracetamol/put a bag on your head

...all said with that faux sympathetic, secretly thrilled look on their faces.  This is why I have a long and cherished relationship with blusher.  I don't leave the house without it, I love it, I recommend it to anyone and everyone and I personally think I should be the world brand ambassador for blusher.

I've tried so many different types, brands, colours, textures.  I've looked muddy, cruddy, orange and plum and in the end I realised that in order to look like a human being I need to be wearing girly, fabulous, pretty pink.

NARS do the best blusher.  Yep it's official.  They have a texture that looks lovely on.  Their famous Orgasm is of course lush, as is the rather aptly named Super Orgasm.  However you can't beat Deep Throat for blusher heaven, the only time that people say I look well will be when I'm wearing this buddy of mine.

The second best blusher in the world is from Benefit.  It's called Dallas and I believe it has been said (in my head) that I wouldn't look out of place at Southfork whenever I'm wearing it.  In fact I feel like that girl on the packaging, only not on a horse, because I hate them of course.

Benefit also do a proper ballerina girl pink blusher called Dandelion which is also perfection in powder form.

Third in line for always being on or near my face is Bourjois's little pot of loveliness in Rose D'Or.  It's cheap, it's cheerful, it goes on like more expensive blush (it is said in hushed tones that it's made in the same factory as Chanel blush...shhh) and these little pots are an iconic and beloved brand here in the UK. Check these amazing facts.

To finish off this post, which I've really enjoyed (sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't), I saw these amazing Paul & Joe blushers and I want, want, want.  Oh gosh, how pretty are they?  I've started a little Paul & Joe make up collection and I really think that these pretties need to be in it.

Paul and Joe Limited Edition Blushers


a stripey summer - 2013

I love a good sale.

I'm cheap and I don't care who knows it.

Thing is, sometimes you lose out if you wait and wait and stalk a website waiting, waiting for the sale to start as I did this year after much coveting of this Great Plains striped maxi skirt....

...the sale started, I went to buy it and it had bloody sold out.  Sad face indeed.

So I've been rooting around trying to find another one that's similar (and also in a sale) and I found these lovely striped sale things.  I'm thinking the Anthropologie skirt might well be a winner especially seeing as I can wear it in freezing cold Blighty and I don't have to shave my legs! Result.

cruise maxi skirt : anthropologie iconsimilar here and here

::update:: this skirt will not be mine either as it is now only available in XS and XL!  Is it just me or is everyone buying striped maxi skirts this summer?

spring stripe midi dress : anthropologie

I normally like my stripes in monochrome but this blue and yellow dress sure is pretty.

placed stripe knit :: mint velvet icon
stripy maxi dress :: boden 

I do love this Boden dress, I think it's the second time I've featured it on the blog so am really feeling the love.  Just wish they did a skirt version.


oh my cuff - new muted colours

Oh my.

Cuffs in new and muted colours will be in my shop soon i.e. when I can get off my backside for long enough to do it - yes, then.

These softer colours from Rico are super.  I normally go for brighty brights or pretty pastels and never usually delve around in between the colour spectrum so I'm pleasantly surprised how much I like them. 

This yarn is shiny, cool and perfect for making crocheted or knitted jewellery.  I'm trying my hand at a knitted necklace with it and a new, chunkier cuff pattern too, soon to be known as 'Oh my biggy cuff'! Yo.

I've been inspired by Grace Hamilton this week.  She creates the most funky yarn jewellery I have ever seen.

Her creations are like works of art, I can only stare slack-jawed in awe of this master at work.

I wonder how big her crochet hook was for this yellow and grey beauty.  Freaking awesome huh?

I'm not sure biggy cuff will be able to compete but it's good to gawp, even better to dream (especially when you see how much she charges for these beauties!!) go Grace go!


horse walks into a bar....

.....barman says "why the long face?"

Is this the funniest joke in the world?  Well my brother laughs after just the first line: every. single. time.

I thought a horse related post was in order to honour the horsey madness in my village this week.

Thing is though, I hate horses.

Yep, I hate the long faced buggers.  I reckon this antagonistic approach to the equine might set me on the road to hell but I don't care, they are big and sweaty and unpredictable as the British summertime.

Oh and one kicked me once, hard.  Right in the thigh, never felt such pain in my life, and I have given birth without painkillers so I think that gives me the right to make bold statements about the finer points of agony!

So it is with some small degree of amusement that this horse, yes this horse here with the blue shoes on, is intent on making me be its bloody friend.

I walk past these guys every day to take Tilly to the park, and every single day, Mr Blue Shoes gets all excited and runs over to see me.  I'm not kidding, he's all trot, trot, trot and "HIYAAA!".

He leans against the fence as far as his giant body will allow begging me to give him a pat, I meanwhile have moved to the far side of the track trying to get as much space between me and the beast as possible.

Some days I'll say something in a nervy little voice like "hi horse" or "you're nice" - I don't mean it, I just think its a better plan of action to pretend I'm not scared even though I'm pooing my pants that he could quite easily jump the fence and trample all over me.

I'm not completely heartless I do think his affectionate nature is quite cute, I feel a bit mean that I don't give him any love because he obviously craves it.  I saw his owners walking down to bring him in from the paddock the other day and he went crazy happy, dancing all over the place and that did make my heart go all flippy.  But in hindsight I realise this was because he wasn't paying any attention to me and I could walk past without fear of horse attack!!

It is also strange that my favourite dress, my absolute favourite dress of all time has horses on it.  Yep a horse patterned dress.

neigh! dress from great plains 2012 : similar here, here and here

Bloody horses get everywhere, even into my wardrobe.  It must be an Ascot thing, maybe I should move.


best Royal Ascot outfits 2013

It makes me very proud that my little corner of the world becomes so famous for one week of the year.  Royal Ascot is always amazing, I love the pomp and finery, the dresses, the hats, the Queen, the champagne and shenanigans.  I watch it all on the telly of course, my days of glugging champers whilst wearing a very big hat and very tall shoes are over....well for a while anyway.

Hate the horses too but that's for another day and it's more important that you know I've seen enough shocking pink limousines these last few days to last a lifetime! Who even...? oh never mind.

The best bit about Royal Ascot is the outfits and in particular the hats.  Oh the lovely ladies in their pretty frocks and fabulous hats make me swoon.

My favourite outfit this year has to be this orange number on Katherine Jenkins.  Lord she looked smokin' in this dress.

The hat is amazing too isn't it?

Bollywood arrived in the form of Aishwarya Rai.  She looked perfect in monochrome (lots of monochrome at Ascot this year, Aishwarya did it best!) with THE most gorgeous shoes, her shoes are lush, check em!

Man alive this lady would look good in a sack wouldn't she?


And on a royal theme my all time favourite Royal Ascot royal lady is the stunningly gorgeous Princess Haya of Jordan, junior wife (yep, yep you read that right!) of the richest man in the world, Sheikh Mohammed, owner of racehorses and all-round stunner of the horse world.  I love her, she is so darn stylish and I'm totally digging her hat...totally digging it! Not so keen on the dress though, bit frumpy for such a young and pretty lady.


Whilst all these ladies were looking lovely in my village this week, I failed to stun anyone in my jeans and pyjama combos.  Sad me, covered in baby mess, being run ragged by my crawling, climbing wee one, maybe brushing my hair and putting a bit of lippy on will cheer me up!

header image source


A knitted dress for Elizabeth

It is done.

My first knitted dress for the little lady.

I'm so chuffed to have actually finished a knitted something that:

a. isn't a scarf, and
b. actually looks nice

because everything I've attempted to knit before has been a bit rubbish.  I so wanted to make my girl something pretty and I feel like I've really gone and done it.

I think the loveliness of the finished product is firstly down to the pattern, which is massively popular on Ravelry and secondly it's down to the yarn I used, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino which is "oh my goodness" really, really nice.

It hasn't all been plain sailing.  I started off using a different yarn...

......and bloody well ran out.  GAH! So annoyed, had to make sure I breathed deeply and started all over again, ALL OVER AGAIN!

Second time around turned out to be a little easier in fact, yep, really.  I kind of knew what I was doing and the cashmerino wool was softer than my first effort and a little easier to knit with.  I did make some mistakes; somehow both the underarms went a bit squiffy, in fact one ended up with a big hole (!) and my increases down each side are a little wonky but heck nobody's perfect are they? Are they?

Once finished (and I was like phew), I finished it off with a single crochet around the neckline and some lovely, pretty pink Cath Kidston buttons.  I did manage to fix the squiffy underarms when I was sewing in all the ends so it does look finished off perfectly...well I think so anyway.

It's a touch big for Elizabeth at the moment, I still put it on her this morning for a photo shoot but she failed to be impressed.  She's not about sitting down and posing at the moment, its all about crawling, falling, banging, grabbing, putting everything in her mouthing...argh!

Oh my gosh though she is darn cute.

If you knit then I would recommend making one of these pretties because you, and the girl you make it for, will love it.  If you can't knit and really want one then let me know and I might consider making you one (!!) pah, not sure I mean that, I don't think I could stand the pressure.

Instead of asking me, me floundering around trying to decide if I could do it or not, messing you around, trying to find a way to say no.... yes instead of all that I went and found some similar knitted baby dresses you can buy, I love this dress from Boden so much that I went and bought it! and I'm eyeing up the pink one too, beautiful.

::knitted baby dress:: boden

It really is lovely in the flesh and looks hand knitted, I have to say though, none are half as pretty as my Elizabeth's new dress*

*in my humble opinion of course.


do I need to move from Google Friend Connect to Bloglovin'?

That appears to be the question.

Well it does at the minute anyway with all the hoo-ha about Google Reader shutting down at the end of this month.

It's more than a little confusing for someone like me who uses Google Friend Connect and its reader attached to the Blogger dashboard, rather than Google Reader itself.  I have no idea if my blog feed from all my buddies will be there on 1 July or not. No idea at all.

I don't know about you but everything I need is connected to that dashboard so I have become a little flappy about the whole situation.  Flappy enough to actually do something about it too.

Most articles and blog posts about alternatives seem to focus on either Feedly or Bloglovin'.   So, what to do?  Firstly decide if you can be bothered.  Then decide which reader you want to use.

Bloglovin', in a rather timely move, provide a tool that lets you transfer all your subscriptions in one step.  Seeing as I already subscribe to Bloglovin', I used it yesterday and I have to say it's a bit brilliant, worked in under 30 seconds and now all my subs are on my Bloglovin' homepage - huzzah!

If you would rather use Feedly, they have provided the same thing, it sounds like an even smoother experience (no importing, all automatic) only I can't tell you if/how it works as I'm not going down that route.

Hope to see you all over at Bloglovin' towers soon. 


dressing like a detective

Did you watch Gillian Anderson in the BBC drama The Fall playing DCI Stella Gibson?

Holy Moly did she look GOOD. Check it. 

She is all blond and pouty and in virtually every episode she is wearing this rather fetching shirt.  Oh my but she makes them silk shirts look amazing and has started a bit of a trend here in the UK.

I even want one now and silk shirts do not do much for my womanly bosom, I just end up looking matronly.  Really.  I've tried before and failed thus the laws of living and learning should dictate I never put one on my body ever again. Seriously. No, seriously.

I still found some I want though, do not, I repeat DO NOT let me buy one.

acid yellow never looked so good
topshop always do it right

this in the peach colourway is lush
Looking at them makes me swoon a bit, or is it the DCI Stella Gibson effect?

That dame is working the same magic on sales of silk shirts as Sarah Lund did on the Skandi style knitted jumper.  You will be wearing one of these babies soon.  I guarantee it.


The long and the short of it

I'm a bit torn.

I always am in the summertime.

I never know what to wear.

Well, let me clarify.   I never know what to wear when it's warm.  Not that I've had to worry about it much this year, or last year or even the year before that for that matter. Bloody British weather.

My dilemma, and yes I am aware that it is somewhat trifling, is about skirt length.  Do you go mini, midi or maxi in the summer months?

I suppose it depends on your legs and if you don't mind getting them out.  I don't mind my legs too much but they have to be prepped with a sturdy razor and a giant can of St. Tropez before I will show them off to anyone - even the dog!

Which is why I'm such a huge fan of the maxi dress, they hide a million sins and I've got a particular passion for striped ones.  My favourite is a maternity dress from Dorothy Perkins that I'm wearing again this year minus huge belly.  I should probably get myself a new one, have been eyeing up these beauts.


dorothy perkins

All nice huh? The Boden one looks particularly comfy, like I could just swish about all day in it but I expect I'd get more wear from the Anthropologie or Dorothy Perkins ones.

I do like shorter skirts too though not a fan of the mini. In my opinion teenagers are the only age group who can get away with a mini-skirt, everyone else just looks a little sad and desperate - this opinion may however be influenced by my rather unattractive thighs of thunder.

This summer, and always for that matter, I'm in love with big, big flowers, midi length and vintage patterns.  I just got this super bright dress from Etsy and it only cost me a fiver, love it!  Husband on the other hand was caught mumbling about there being little wonder it only cost a fiver, I'm not entirely sure what he means.

In a similar fashion, I like these jazzy numbers too. A little bit loud and saying something.



However for all these glorious dresses, the weather today is awful.  It's cold and raining and I'm wearing a jumper (a frigging jumper in June!), jeans and big thick socks.  So these pretty dresses are all a bit of a pipe dream really. Sweet dreams though.