What I Wore: Back to Front Frock

What I Wore (posh) headerb2f no jacket what I wore

I was scrolling through my phone and I found these photos from back in November of my birthday….so muchos apologies for the photo quality… it is entirely due to it being shot on my phone at Clapham Junction and not the fact that it was cheaper to buy posh fizz by the bottle than gin….

I was whisked to London by my wonderful husband and our friends to a burlesque club in the City. It was truly marvellous and of course, the actor in me wanted to feel like I fitted in…

I was most proud of this outfit because I wore the dress backwards…. and before you look at me like I’m a mental case…I do this quite often.

Sometimes I really don’t like the drop of a neckline or it’s too revealing for my taste and this particular dress that I bought in my first year of university has a SERIOUSLY low v neckline…so low that even in my uni days (*cough* 10 years ago) I used to safety pin it together else my lady front would actually be out on full view….and not even in a tasteful way.

b2f rear view what i wore

I unpicked the stratchy label and also folded under the pointless little sleeves to make them a more pronounced cap sleeve. I quickly secured them with a few stitches by hand to ensure they didn’t come unfolded during the evening. This actually changed the whole feel of the outfit and meant I hadn’t had to buy something new.

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I also got to wear my super towering high heels and feel glorious about it!

Have you ever tried wearing something the wrong way round? Intentionally of course!

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How To: Make a Wall Planner

Running a business can be very expensive, especially when you run one of those ‘kitchen table oh-my-god-all-my-time-and-money-is-poured-into-this’ like mine.
I have managed to step up from my kitchen table and have rented out a little workspace with the lovely Lucy from Lucy Made Me.
We have managed to furnish it on the cheap, using furniture from our own homes and a few bits bought from charity shops….and being creative types we have come up with a few other solutions too.

We don’t always work together at The Dairy (our workspace) as Lucy works 9-5 in London and I work shifts, so we needed some sort of world domination wall planner, and I wasn’t willing to pay for one.

Luckily I watched enough Blue Peter as a child to have a few tricks up my sleeve…

How to make a wall planner (1)
I had one of these super cool freebie calender from a magazine. Normally the calendars I manage to get for free suck, but I love the quirky crochet drawings on this one.

I took it apart and laid all the months in a 4×3 square and then reached for my secret weapon…dancing Pug tape.

 

How to make a wall planner (4) My husband bought me this tape for Christmas….he knows me soooo well.How to make a wall planner (2)I simply overlapped the pages of the calendar slightly and stuck them together. Funky Pug tape makes all the difference.

Now Lucy and I can plan out when all our fairs are and when we will be holding open studios too, and we can mark when we are away on hollybobs so the other knows.

I popped it up on the wall using washi tape so it didn’t mark our rented walls!How to make a wall planner (3)

Have you got a good use for a free calendar?

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How to: Make Felt Bread Play Food

How to make play bread felt food tutorial DIY

One of my friends is super talented and has created one of those ratty-old-cabinet to schmazing-dream-playkitchen that you see on Pinterest for her daughter. She sanded and painted and stitched away for weeks on it till it’s looking like something I wish my kitchen looked like.

For Christmas I thought that some felt play food would be in order to add to this little play kitchen of dreams so I grabbed my basket of felt scraps and put my mind to work.

In this post I’m going to show you how I made slices of bread…perfect for little hands to practice making sandwiches and toast.

How to felt bread play food (1)

Firstly I drew a bread slice shape onto a piece of card and used it as a template. I always make templates as I find it so much easier than cutting freehand as I always manage to muck it up! I cut 4 light brown bread slices.

I also cut two really long thin ribbons of darker brown felt for the crust.

I laid two light brown slices together and stitched them together, using the dark brown felt like bias binding, covering the edges. This ensured the bread was nice and thick and not floppy. Who likes floppy bread eh? No-one.

I did this as one process rather than two to save me time as I was handstitching. This could of course be done on a machine, but I liked the rougher look.

How to felt bread play food (2)

I stitched the entire way round, over lapping the felt crust slightly on one edge and stitching it securely.

How to felt bread play food (3)

This barely took any time and was quite theraputic!

How about teaming this with some square slices of yellow felt with holes cut in for Swiss cheese, some circles of pink for ham and some green lettuce leaf shapes?

Anyone else hungry now?

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Hello 2015

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So another 365 days has passed and I feel like I’ve achieved and discovered so much… it has meant that this blog has taken a backseat to my actual life and I’m sort of ok about it.

I thought I’d just swing in and tell you 5 things that I have loved about 2014.

1:- My discovery of country music.

Ok…I always knew it existed…but I’m now fully immersed into country music in a big way I started out by watching Nashville and loving all the music in that, and then Mr Pigeon found a country radio station on Spotify that we began listening to ‘ironically’…..we soon dropped all the irony and we found that we actually love it! It was our soundtrack to our holiday in October and I have spent most of the day today googling music videos on youtube….colour me obsessed.

2: – The Dairy

I am so so pleased that I met Lucy just over a year ago and who would have thought that we would have our own little studio space in Godstone before 12 months of friendship was up?

Dairy outsideWe are almost all set up there, but I find the space so productive as I have no option but to work through my to do list, listen to audiobooks and stitch my little heart out.

3:- New Ink

Disney ink beauty and the beast tattooThis year I managed to mix three of my favourite things; tattoos, Shakespeare and Disney. I know that large tattoos on women aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, as I’ve been told over and over AND OVER…but I like it and it makes me happy when it catches my eye.

4:- I can climb

I started rock climbing with Mr Pigeon, who has done it for years. He managed to convince me to go for a session in the late summer…selling it to me as ‘yoga up a wall’ and despite the sales pitch he is right! I really enjoy climbing as I can’t think about anything else whilst I’m doing it…all there is ‘where am I going to put my hand?’ and ‘oh god I’m going to fall off’… it’s actually very meditative in that way!

5- Making lots of cool stuff

Grey bunny on polka (1)Just like this little guy. I have had soooo many amazing comissions this year from fab folk and it has really pushed me creatively.

I cannot wait to do even more cool stuff (I have orders ready and waiting for me to stitch!) throughout 2015.

So resolutions…. this year I’m keeping it simple. Be happy, dance more, sing louder.

How about you?

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Blue Cheesed Butternut

There are few things in my kitchen that excite me more than when I am cubing up a butternut squash. I know that sounds a bit like I’m a mental person , but if I’m cubing a butternut squash then I’m prepping on of my favourite meals.

I think it is one of my favourites as it is so so simple. You whack it in , get on with some stuff in the garden or some housework and then eat it down wrapping yourself around the bowl as you scoff it.

All you need is a butternut squash, a good hunk of blue cheese, a handful of pine nuts and a splash of oil.

roast butternut squash with blue cheese and pine nuts receipe

Simply peel and chop your butternut squash into inch square chunks, drizzle with oil and bung in the oven to roast. I normally put them in for half an hour on 200.

My chooks love when we have butternut squash as they get all the seedy insides!

roast butternut squash with blue cheese and pine nuts receipe

Once roasted, sprinkle with bue cheese and pine nuts and devour with a spoon.

The salty blue cheese mixes so well with the sweet butternut squash. I normally use one butternut squash for two people, but I could be tempted to do this just for me and eat a MASSIVE bowlful!

Nomnomnom

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Lasting till Payday: Spend less on your water bill

Lasting till Payday header

It is utterly official… Mr Pigeon and I on average use half as much water as the ‘average’ couple.

saving money on your water bill

In fact, we use less than someone living on their own on a day-to-day basis….and yes…that is our actual water bill.

How do we do it? Well, I can assure you that we are squeaky clean, so it’s not the fact we aren’t washing, and Mr Pigeon works from home a lot of the time, as do I so it’s not like we are flushing ‘other’ toilets and washing our hands in other palces…. we just abide by some simple guidelines…

1: It doesn’t go on till it’s full.

Yes, yes, like mothers have told their children for decades, it doesn’t go on till it’s full. The two main culprits are of course the dishwasher and the washing machine. We make sure we fill ours with a full load each time before I hit ‘go’.If that means your machine only goes on twice a week, so be it.

You can reuse a side plate that has only had sandwiches on it you know, and that mug is good for at least a days worth of tea, you don’t need a clean mug every time, give it a rinse if you must…. but the less crockery you make dirty, the less times your dishwasher has to go on in a week.

Jeans don’t need washing EVERY TIME you wear them, in fact if you rotate wearing your pairs of trousers you can get 4-5 wears out of them before they need washing (unless you’ve split burger/milkshake/mud pies on them of course). I know that probably sounds super gross to some of you, but hey, I don’t smell and I work with teenagers…they’d soon tell me if I did…. and surely it’s only super gross if you aren’t wearing undies….and why the hell aren’t you wearing undies with trousers?!

2: Eco mode is your friend.

When your machine does go on, if there is an eco mode or a quick mode…use it. You’ll use less water, which is the point right?

3: Don’t throw it down the plug hole.

Your glass of water for through the night…still got half left in the morning but it’s looking a little manky? Got some water left over from boiling your eggs? Don’t throw it down the plug hole for goodness sake! Pour it into a pot plant, pop it in the dog bowl (they REALLY aren’t fussed about a bit of dust) pour it down your toilet so it uses less water next time you flush, whack it in your watering can for the greenhouse/garden on a dry day, throw it in the washing up bowl and use it to soak something later….just don’t throw it down the plug hole and then find you have to draw new fresh water for a job that doesn’t require it.

4: Rainwater is free.

You know we complain about the rain here in England? Well…why do we do that? Rainwater is freeeeeeee and can be used for all sorts around the home. We just collect the rainwater from our garage roof and we fill a very large water-butt in about an hour. During the winter we rig up and overflow system into an old wheelie bin that lasts us right through the summer dry spells. We use that water for all our pressure washing, watering the garden in summer, watering house plants, watering the chickens (not actual watering but you get what I mean), watering the greenhouse, and dog water. Yes…Chekhov drinks more from his garden bowl (read a massive orange flexi trug that we top up from the water-butt) than he does from his water bowl in the house….we think it’s because it doesn’t taste like human-y chemicals.Chekhov drinking from a bottle dog pointer cross

5: Showers are good.

We don’t have a bath in our house. I don’t miss it one iota as I fall asleep in them A LOT and am a drowning hazard so I have to bath with the door open (“I DON’T HEAR SPLASHING!”), but Mr Pigeon misses it a lot, but looks forward to going to hotels with work as he nows sees it as a real treat.

We in fact have a massive double shower, which is great for me as I can dance in there….true story. It is also great for washing the dog in when he is just TOO filthy for a quick swizz with the hose outside, he can shake in there all he likes without making a massive mess of my bathroom. Showers also save a lot of water if you compare the time spent in them to the amount of litres of water used. So shower, don’t bath to save water.

You can save more water by showering/bathing together too….just saying…

What are your saving water tips?

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A whole heap of news…

Challaborough bay beach & Burgh island Chekhov pointer collie cross dog under legs Ringmore Beach Ayrmer Cove Tomatoes Chillies green homegrown Chekhov pointer cross under desk cutie Chooks Chicken eglu classic run Beetroot sharpie rock marker peekabo chicken fence ginger Gus & Chekhov Pointer cross The Pigeon's Nest Lucy MAde Me gazebo Bletchingley Fair Dairy outside

So I’ve been off galavanting, living life and biting off lots of things that are far too big for me to chew! I mean…why change the habit of a lifetime?

We actually went on holiday. Last month Mr Pigeon, Chekhov and I went on our first family holiday on our own…yep…we got married and didn’t test drive that first…..and if you remember we didn’t have a honeymoon…..thankfully it went well!

We walked the coastal paths for miles and miles, enjoyed the beaches (Chekhov especially loved the beaches), ate endless amounts of naughty yummy stuff and relaxed. I run at a million miles an hour here at home with a to-do list as long as my arm and it was pure bliss to realise that I had NOTHING to do. We went out of season due to the cost and the dog having access to the beach, but we had decent weather…not that that worried me…and I’d definitely go at that time again.

I’ve also been hitting the garden pretty hard this year trying to make it work for us. Our courgettes were a wash out, but with the amount of green beans, tomatoes, beetroot, swiss chard and chillies we have harvested this year, as well as two little pears from our baby pear tree, we won’t be getting scurvy any time soon.

The chooks have been out and spreading their wings. We have sectioned off a piece of garden for them to free range in now as their scent was making Chekhov dig MASSIVE holes throughout the garden……I did joke a one point that we could open a golf course, but Mr Pigeon dutifully filled it all in and reseeded….and yes…I get ‘a look’ from him when I said anything about the lawn…

Chehov has been progressing really well with other dogs. We had a stage 6 months ago where he was attacking other dogs whenever they came near him through fear, we’ve worked hard and he has come out of the other side and now has some really nice doggie friends, like Gus, who lives next door and comes for play dates.

Mr Pigeon has changed jobs and been headhunted and all that sort of glorious stuff, meaning I get to focus more and more on my small business…apparently I married extremely well! Teehee. He’s very excited about having his dinner on the table and his shirts ironed for work and I have to admit I’m quite excited about doing those sorts of things!

I guess the biggest news is that behind the scenes I have worked hard with Lucy from Lucy Made Me and we have only gone and gotten ourselves a studio space! We’ll be blogging our adventures of being co-operative small businesses here.

Whew…..

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