Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Not So Secret Vintage Fair

On Saturday I attended a vintage fair in Colchester town, which was held inside Colchester Castle. It was advertised in our local newspaper and various social networking sites as the 'Secret Vintage Fair', although upon arriving, a long queue snaked around Colchester Castle so I thought it couldn't have been that secret! I attended the fair with Mammy (mother), and my two sisters, Fallon and Camella. We queued for around 40 minutes to even get inside the Castle but oh it was worth the wait! I browsed the first stall of vintage jewellery for ten or so minutes, trying to choose a vintage ring for myself. They were priced at only £3.00 each so I bought two. A large blue gem set with smaller diamonds surrounding it (just like Duchess Kate Middleton's engagement ring!) and a pretty red stone encased in diamonds. I was hoping to find some vintage brooches, as myself and Mammy are currently working on a collection of hand knitted turbans/headbands with brooches attached. Unfortunately I didn't find any that took my fancy, so I shall be sourcing those from elsewhere.

We happened to walk by just at the right moment to get a front row view of the vintage fashion show. All of the dresses being modeled were available to buy from the various exhibitors within the fair. Some were original vintage pieces and others were reproductions. (Apologies for the poor quality of photographs, the lighting in the Castle was very dark). There was a singer singing vintage songs and a small orchestra playing 'Lets Face the Music and Dance. 

It was a very good fair and the prices were reasonable. I networked with some of the crafters and took some business cards. I came away feeling inspired and eager to work on my knitting creations. I want to keep my eyes peeled for next time there is a fair so I can attend as an exhibitor. Watch this space!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sunday Baking

Today has been spent baking rock cakes! It has been one of those perfect Sundays for staying cosy indoors and not venturing out. The weather in England has been somewhat erratic of late and recently we have experienced snowfall over the past few days, which has settled and doesn't seem to want to leave. The snow has been intermittent throughout the day so what better way to enjoy this brief hibernation (before work beckons) than to bake!

I chose to bake rock cakes because they are quick, easy and comforting to eat when the weather is so cold. 

I followed the instructions from the BBC food website, which can be found here

          The finished rock cakes... om nom nom
Preparation method
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and rub in the cubed butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then mix in the dried fruit.
  3. In a clean bowl, beat the egg and milk together with the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until the mixture just comes together as a thick, lumpy dough. Add a teaspoon more milk if you really need it to make the mixture stick together.
  5. Place golfball-sized spoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray. Leave space between them as they will flatten and spread out to double their size during baking.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden-brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool.

What better way to spend a snowy afternoon than baking, eating and sipping hot chocolate. Note the beginnings of my vintage coat for the Sew For Victory project. It's coming along quite nicely even if I do say so myself!

Happy Sunday all and stay warm x

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Sew For Victory

I recently stumbled upon a blog post by Rochelle at Lucky Lucille where she is encouraging all crafters to join in with a Sew-Along Project to make a garment either from an original, reproduced or 1940's inspired pattern. I was immediately interested in participating in this challenge but overwhelmed by how little time I have to make something before the 1st April deadline. You may have seen a bit of tumbleweed blowing around the blog front for a while since I haven't been updating it as much as I would like to. The reason for the neglect is because I started working a second job in November last year which hasn't left me with any time. Needless to say, I panicked at the prospect of not being able to join in with the challenge, knowing my 13.5 working day (the half hour makes all the difference!) wouldn't allow me enough time to get anything done. In this case, the second mouse does not get the cheese and I found this project a little later than what I would have hoped to. In reality I think there is little doubt in my mind that I will be able to complete my chosen garment in time. 

However, not wanting to miss out on all the fun, I have decided to start making my garment anyway, even if I don't complete it on time. Considering I won't be playing by all the rules with the deadline, I decided to recreate a coat from the 1960's. Anyway, what difference does two decades make teehee! I purchased this original vintage coat pattern from here at Etsy, in PDF format at the bargain price of £2.05. I fell in love with this coat instantly and think it will be all the more special if I make it myself. I want to wear it with long gloves. It will look just fabulous dah-ling!

The pattern states the required amount of wool in ounces so first I had the task of converting ounces into grams. A lovely gentleman in John Lewis in London helped with this first task and we worked out that 2 oz. balls relates to ten 100g balls. I ordered 11 balls of wool, just to be on the safe side and picked my parcel up from the post office today. I squealed with delight and hopped around my apartment upon opening my parcel, pleased with my choice in colour. Got to love the purchase of a new batch of wool <3

Since I am not particularly good with sewing, I am in two minds about adding the fur trim to the collar and cuffs. I may decide once I have knitted the coat in full and see what it looks like. It may be an idea to create the fur trims so that they are detachable, making the coat versatile for our ever-changing British weather. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Girl Crush

I recently discovered a new blog by the name of Esme and the Laneway. Marianne grew up in England but now lives in Melbourne with her fiance and fluffy cat, Babycat. I am in love with her ever changing hair styles and have girl envy with how she can change her hair colour so dramatically yet suit every shade. The pastel shades of pink are ones that I have tried to wear myself but unfortunately only managed to get to the blonde stage. I am naturally dark haired so any shade aside from brown, red and black just doesn't work. Humph!

Here are just a few of her ever changing hair colours/styles.


I love each and every one of them and can't believe how she can suit all those different shades. I wish my hair was that versatile! <3

What is your favourite shade?