Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 Year in Review

I’ve decided to do a year in review post, I didn’t do one last year… in fact, I barely blogged last December for one reason and another (I was struck down with another illness – what is it with my immune system and December?!). Anyways, I got a new camera last January so I have photos from throughout the year this time around.

January

The year started of chilly, and I remember getting super excited about our holiday in May, we started booking hotels & planning our trip in Florida for our friends’ wedding. I also spent a day hanging out with astrophysicist types at MOSI and celebrated my 26th birthday.

February

A pretty uneventful month, sales slowed right down for Finest Imaginary (as is usual at that time of year), and the weather was still chilly. We went to see the Imagined Village in Holmfirth, which must be the first time I’ve seen a sittar being played.

I got my chili seeds ready for the spring, alas, they didn’t really amount to much thanks to the lack of sunshine we had in summer.

I’ll be trying again with them this year, though, and hopefully we’ll have a crop!

March

I started screen printing again in March, something I’d been longing to do for a while. I was also hatching some ideas for a finest imaginary collection that would appear later in the year. We also finally started sorting out our ‘spare room’, which is now the main office in our home. We have a ‘flight deck’, a wall with two long desks and far two much technology for two sane people, and a sofa bed. I spend most of my days in here now that I work from home!

April

Adam went on a trip to Germany with work and brought me back a bavarian bear. I broke my nifty fifty after my camera fell from a desk, complete disas-tuh. I had thought of replacing it with a 1.4, but I just got another 1.8 seeing as we were going on holiday a few days later & wanted spending money for then instead. I did upgrade to the 1.4 later in the year, though. I was also on tulip watch for the bulbs we’d planted the previous Autumn. I can’t wait for these to come up again this year!

May

May was our holiday to FLORIDA! Oh yesssss! we were so so so excited! It was a holiday of firsts for Adam and I, the first time we’d go to Disneyland together, the first time we’d have a car in the USA and the first time we’d see any of our friends getting married!

We spent 1 week in Orlando where we went to some of our favourite theme parks, then we drove down to Key West via a few other stops. We spent the last few days of the holiday in Key West with our friends and their families, it was the most fun! We saw wild dolphins, went night kayaking (and picked up conchs, sea cucumbers and all manner of beasties), got drunk on the rum boat, went snorkeling, visited museums, butterfly houses, ate AMAZING pulled pork, ate key lime pie and drank margaritas. Oh, and, saw our friends getting married at Hemmingway House!

June

Was a pretty big month, I’d handed in my notice at the day job a couple of days after we got back from Florida so I was in my last month of working for someone else. I started running again with the aim of completing a 10k (didn’t happen, but I’m still working out more than I was), and I made an awesome cat gif. I also get my f1.4 lens (oh baby), and learned to make tortillas (we still need a press, though). June was also our month of vegetarianism!

July

Was my first month of self-employment, oh boy! I even managed to keep it to myself until my very first day! It’s still one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I don’t regret it. January 1st marks my 6-month-aversary, wowzer!

We also went to Jodrell Bank Live, a full day event of music and science. I took photos of cows at the Yorkshire show, dyed my hair red, watched my beau graduate as a Doctor of stars, and watched all the star wars films back-to-back.

August

We went on the Huddersfield taste trail, which was a fun-filled afternoon of food & booze – just my thanggg! I also discovered my love for halloumi, I mean seriously, where has that cheese been all my life?!

I found out that we’d been accepted for a table at Renegade craft fair in London, and also went to the Liberty London open call. I released a new range of Finest Imaginary items, something which I was super proud of.

September

Was only two minutes ago, right? No?

I was majorly preparing for Renegade London, designing a whole host of new moleskines and cards. Fun, but tiring..! I was simultaneously working on a few freelance projects, with some lovely new clients who I’ve continued to work with – yay for new clients!

There was a photoshoot by Fanni of my navajo pattern inspired range, the photos came out so beautiful!

October

We hot footed it to London for the Renegade craft fair, it’s was amad hectic weekend but so, so much fun. I got to meet the lovely Claire from miso funky, we shared a stall space and nattered like old wives all weekend. It were grand! I got to meet some other lovely people that weekend, too.

I was left exhausted though, and ended up getting sick when we got back (I mean, seriously, immune system, put some fucking effort in for once).

November

Saw the start of the busiest time of the year for Finest Imaginary, Christmas orders started coming in & we had a few fairs that month. I gave my wardrobe a much needed clearout (it could probably do with another one already!!), and made some awesome cupcakes.

December

We’re just at the tail end of this month as I write this, and it’s been pretty awesome.

We’ve had a few things fixed up around the house seeing as Adam’s been off work and I’ve been working less than usual (hello, freelance/self employment). We’ve spent plenty of time with friends and family, recharged our batteries (and been ill with colds at the same time) and discovered new tv favourites. We visited the Christmas markets in Manchester, got stressed about money (and then unstressed about money), ate far too many mince pies and drank far too much mulled wine.

And that’s it. That’s my year! It’s been eventful, let’s hope for more of the same in 2012 :D

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How to Make a Festive Wreath

I started this project a few weeks ago, and I’ve been working on it during quieter times this December. I finally finished it off last week! Here’s a tutorial of how to make it, it’s a lovely wreath that’ll look great on the wall until spring so there’s still an excuse to make it ;)

It’s really pretty easy to make, all you need is…

A polystyrene circle/wreath, I got mine on ebay. Some felts in different autumnal shades, and threads to contrast them. A pair of scissors for cutting the felt. Leaf stencils which you can download by clicking here.

You’ll also need some wool, I used red, but a brown or an orange would work just as nicely.

Start by wrapping the entire polystyrene shape with the wool, it takes a while but it’s quite a satisfying job! Start by cellotaping the end of the wool to the back of the wreath, it’ll get covered eventually anyway. Then wrap the wool very closely all around, I ended up going back around a second time just to fill in any gaps that appeared.

Next up, cut out a bunch of leaves using your stencils. You can do as many as you want for your wreath, if you make any extra you can use them to make a string of leaves for a bannister or fireplace, too.

I used my sewing machine to freehand embroider the details on the leaves, if you’re not comfortable with that then you can always do it by hand, or use fabric paints, or just leave the leaves blank.

Finally, stick the leaves onto the wreath using a glue gun. It’s quite nice if some of them look like they’re falling off, kind of trailing from the bottom of the wreath.

And you’re done! To hang the wreath the easiest thing it just to stick a nail in the wall and push the wreath onto it, straight into the polystyrene.

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Christmas House

I took a few photos of the Christmas decorations we have in our lounge. We only have a tiny tree this year, we tried a big tree for a couple of years but the cats kept trying to nest in it and totally broke it soooo… we decided to get a smaller one to put on top of one of our bookcases.

We have a few strings of lights around, not flashing ones, just pretty white bulbs. I love the lights, they make our lounge so cosy looking. PS. sorry about the excessive bokeh, but the lights really lend themselves to it, non?

She gets really inquisitive when I start taking photos of stuff!

We got this goat decoration just before christmas from ikea, it was already reduced! I love it, I’ve decided to start buying/making more decorations.. things that can be displayed around the house and not just on the tree.

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This past Saturday was one of the first free days we’d had in SO long. Between doing all the markets, working hard and being sloths, we hadn’t been out anywhere fun in ages. I really wanted to see the Donna Wilson (cute) & Rachel Goodyear (creepy) exhibitions at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park so we headed over there on Saturday morning.

Here are a few photos from our day out! It was a cold day, I should really have worn jeans instead of chinos.. oh well.

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Gifts for the Kitchen

Eep! It’s very almost Christmas, and I for one definitely still have some shopping to do. These are my top picks for cooks, chefs, people who eat food & people who have kitchens..!

Kitchen aid red stand mixer (oh god, I want one so bad..!) // Camembert Plates // Plenty
Pastasaurus // Awesome port glasses // Egg and soldiers set
Funky Veg kit by Planet Theatre // Cath Kidston colourful casserole dish set // OCD Chopping board

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