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28 August 2012

Lunch breaks in the city - Up North!

This post sees me take a trip out of the city to the beautiful counties of Derbyshire and Leicestershire. It was almost like a work day, setting off at the normal un-godly hour to get the commuter train into town but instead of taking the "drain" into the hussle and bussle of the city, I jumped on a train from the stunning St Pancras station up to Derbyshire. Before I knew it I was driving up to Stanage (the very border between Derbyshire and Sheffield) with my Mum and bro.

A pretty stunning place, great for rock climbing and walking. Mum and I took a long walk across the cliff tops of Stanage, while my bro tackled some impressive climbs. Here are a few snaps from the tops of Stanage Edge overlooking the beautiful Peak District.

Hello! I see you have no problem posing for the camera!

We saw a couple of these furry characters...

I've never come across these before. They're watering holes, so that animals aren't without water throughout the dry months. Cool eh!

On Friday my adventure took me down to Leicester to meet friends for the fab festival - Summer Sundae. Here are a few snaps. Standout bands - Deertick, King Charles, Death in Vegas, Bowerbirds and  Billy Bragg. And now I have the festival blues! :-(


King Charles...

Billy Bragg...

A ska band...sorry can't remember the name but they were awesome!

Me showing the kids how to dance! ;-)

Lunch breaks in the city will see a return to the actual city very soon. Stay tuned!

25 August 2012

New listings in my shop!

It's a bit of a rainy start to the bank holiday weekend down here in sunny Surrey, so a perfect day for posting up some brand new listings in my Etsy shop!

I had this design idea in my head for a while but what with getting married, honeymoon, the day job and the general shizzle of life, I haven't had any time to get them photographed and listed in my shop. So finally the rain comes down, sending me packing indoors, grappling with light for a few shots of my......hand embroidered notebooks! 

Yep, I've painstakingly hand embroidered my vintage typewriter and telephone designs on to the front of these moleskine journals. It takes a lot longer to hand embroider journals than it does cotton but it's so much fun to do! I absolutely loved making these and have plans for more...depending on what you guys think! You can find them over in my Etsy shop.

Hope everyone's having a good start to the bank holiday!
Adios amigos,
:-) x

15 August 2012

Lunch breaks in the city - Tower of London

Hey folks, the wait is over! I can finally share part 2 of last week's Lunch break in the city post. For those of you that have been following, you may well have guessed this one already - The Tower of London! Yep, I managed to get to one of the most famous landmarks in Britain in my lunch break! I couldn't believe it when I first realised how close my work was to this beautiful, history packed, stunning piece of architecture. I've been there twice now - first time on discovery and second time armed with my trusty camera. Here's a selection (*ahem, I went a little crazy snapping away on my camera - well in the little time I had and on only ONE side of the tower! - so, will not go overboard showing you the entire album!)....

As the clouds were so spectacular, I thought I'd include this ominous shot, even though it's not too dissimilar to the photo above...

Hang on a minute. Is that arrow aimed at me? Moving on... 

This seagull was circling above for a little while and made me feel like I was in some fancy historical drama. Ha, or maybe work was getting to me that day! 

Here's another contrast of old and young with the City Hall in the not so distant background. If you look closely you can see two highlighted figures moving across the middle of the building. A range of these superimposed figures were dancing across the building doing beautiful gymnastic moves the whole time I was there. Wish I could have captured and done them justice on my camera...

Apparently lions previously guarded the drawbridge....raw!

There was a flying visit while I was there, so with a bit of neck strain I snapped up these guys...


There were so many notice boards with interesting facts on but the one I found most interesting was this one...apparently there was a conflict in the 1860s between the need for commercial tall buildings and protecting the views of the tower. A multi-story tea tower, 'Mazawattee', was built blocking the castle's view. In 1940 the Mazawattee was bombed and finally demolished in 1951. The legacy of tea in these parts of London lives on with numerous cafes serving tea within the tower walls....so, nothing to do with the number of thirsty tourists then? Ha! ;-)

9 August 2012

Lunch breaks in the city - All Hallows!

I mentioned in my last post that I discovered a true gem in my lunch break, which kicked off this new blog series. Well, I can finally reveal...part 1 !! Yes, there are two parts!! Ha ha, I'm a meany! Well, it does explain the utter excitement when I found them and why a one hour lunch break definitely doesn't do them justice. In fact, I reckon I'm going to be spending more time round here - the beauty of a find hey, you just want to keep looking and immerse yourself in it. It's a bit like when you find a new tune and (if like me) go totally do-lally over it and have to listen to it on repeat! :-)

On this particular lunch time jaunt, I listened to the band Spoon and repeated two songs twice: The Underdog and 1975.

Anyway, lets get the drum role going for....

All Hallows by the Tower!

And what was opposite this lovely church? This...

Bit of a contrast hey! Not quite made my mind up yet but in the flesh I was swaying towards liking the utter contrast of old and new. Though now looking back at my photos, I'm not so sure. What are your thoughts on young and old architecture being neighbours? I mean, the whole of London is a hodge-podge of young and old, which is part of what makes it pretty spectacular. Hmm, one to think on.

So, what's so special about this church anyhoo? Well, it's only the oldest church in the city of London!! Bearing that in mind, it's no surprise that it's got a fascinating load of history attached to it! If you're interested, you can read on here. All in all, it's pretty darn cool eh!

7 August 2012

Fabric covered notebook tutorial

This is a super easy, quick project, which requires no sewing or craft knowledge what-so-ever! In fact, once you've finished, you'll want to cover every note book you can lay your hands on in fabric!


Square piece of fabric - enough to cover a notebook with a 2cm seam allowance
Button or other embellishment


1) Iron your piece of fabric.

2) Place fabric right side down. Open up the notebook, place on your fabric and draw around the edge, leaving a 2cm seam.

3) Cut out each corner, remembering not to cut over the outline of your notebook.

4) Cut two notches at the spine of your notebook. To do this place your notebook on the fabric to line up correctly.

5) Place your notebook on the fabric with the front facing the back of the material. Glue the top and bottom edges of one side and fold the fabric over, wiping up any excess glue.

6) Glue the long edge and fold over the fabric, again wiping up any excess glue.

7) Leave open to dry. Put your feet up whilst you're waiting for it to dry.

8) Repeat steps 5-6 for the back of the notebook...put the kettle on....

9) When it's dry, add any embellishments you like. I glued two buttons on top of each other to the front, leaving to dry until firmly attached. You could anything - ribbon, beads, etc. You could even embroider a cute motif after you've finished step 4. Lots of fun possibilities!

This is such a fun, easy, quick project that you'll be covering everything with fabric that you can lay your hands on! Enjoy!

Jo :-) x


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