Hello New Me… 

Well guys! I think 2017 may actually bring forth the changes in my life I have wanted to happen for the last few years. 

My aim for this year is to take more care of myself. Looking after everyone else and putting others happiness and self esteem first is great but to be honest I have began to realise that by not taking care of myself, my own self esteem has taken a direct hit as has my health. 

So far, so good. I am looking after my skin – moisturising after a shower and cleansing, toning and moisturising my face every night. I am taking off my make up before I go to bed too, result. 

The biggest change I decided to make however was to try to lose weight. On the 17th January I joined slimming world and I am SO glad I did. My group is so friending and supportive and in my mind it isn’t a “diet” it is about being healthy. I’ve already lost 8lbs and I’m making much healthier choices every day. It feels good.

I am no where near where I want to be BUT it feels good that I am finally taking control of my life and doing something about the one thing that has made me unhappy for so long. 

I promise to keep you all updated along the way. 

Here is a little picture of me this weekend – I think looking pretty happy! I stole this from my cousins Instagram account… cheers Amie 😊


Wish me luck on my journey…. I’m feeling very determined! 

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Harry Potter Tea Towel Bag – How To. 

I received a set of Harry Potter tea towels as a gift and my little brain starting whirling… there was no way that I could even contemplate using those bad boys to wipe dishes and so I hatched a plan and turned these: 


Into this: 


Now I shared this on a couple of the craft sites I’m a part of on Facebook and a few people asked me for a tutorial on how to make these. I have NEVER done a tutorial before but I thought why not and so here it goes. 

You will need: 

Materials:

  • 1 Harry Potter Tea Towel (or any other fabric of your choice for the outside of the bag) 
  • Lining fabric – the size of this will depend on how big you want your bag. I brought half a meter of black fabric and also used this for the shoulder strap. 
  • Zip – again dependant on size required although I used a 12 inch zip. 
  • Heavy weight interfacing. 
  • Cotton to match – I used black. 
  • Lobster Swivel Clasps (I used 3) 

Tools: 

  • Sewing machine 
  • Fabric scissors 
  • Ruler 
  • Pins 

To start: 

Cut your bag pieces. You will need 2 of the outer fabric, 2 of the lining and 2 of the interfacing. I cut mine 12 inches wide (the same length as my zip) by 10 inches tall. To give the shape to the bottom I cut out a 1 inch square out of the bottom corners of each fabric piece. 

You should be left with 6 pieces like this (excuse the awful drawing). 


If you wanted to make your bag straight without the shape to the bottom them you still cut out the fabric pieces in the size you want but you miss out the squares in the bottom corners. 

You will also need to cut 2 small pieces around 2 inches by an inch out of your outer material which are for your straps and I cut out a piece out of the outer fabric around 50cm x 1 inch for the hand strap. 

The across body / shoulder strap should be cut to your desired length and about 1 inch wide.

First you will need to sew your zip to your fabrics. To do this place your interfacing under your lining fabric (with the wrong side of the lining fabric facing the interfacing and then place the zip on top. ​​


You the need to place your outside fabric on top of the zip with the right side of the fabric facing the zip and pin along the edge and sew. 


Repeat this for the other side of the zip. 

Once you have sewn all of your fabric to your zips you should sew your small pieces of outer fabric that are for your straps. You should fold the 2 outside edges so that they meet in the middle and then fold the fabric in half so that the two raw edges are inside. You should then sew along the open edge to create the tabs for your straps – these will look like this when it’s finished: 


Your across body strap and wrist strap should be sewn in the same way as these and can be done at this stage. 

Now to sew your bag together you should open your zip and the place your pieces together with right sides together and pin. While pinning you should put your two tab pieces between the two outer pieces in a loop and pin. When pinned it should look like this: 


You should sew along the edges as shown in the image above by the arrows leaving a 3 inch gap at the bottom of the lining fabric for turning. If you have not left the squares at the bottom you can sew all of the sides together just leaving the gap.

Once you have done this you will need to sew your bottom corners. You should do this on both the lining/interfacing and the outside fabric. You do this by pulling the side and bottom seam together so that the seams match and then sewing closed – for extra reinforcement you can sew along this line twice. 

I’ve stolen an image from google images that sort of shows this: 


One you have done this you can turn the bag and sew the gap closed. 

All that is left to do now is to sew your lobster clasp to your straps. You do this by putting the end of your strap through the hole on your lobster clasp and sewing the two pieces together. I used a zigzag stitch and made sure that this went over the raw edge to prevent fraying. I also went over this a couple of times for reinforcement. 

Your bag should now be finished 🙂 

I’m not used to writing tutorials like this so if anything doesn’t make sense please ask 🙂 

Summer, bumblebees and flowers 

Well I’m sure you all love summer, I know I do! In an ideal world it’s full of sunshine; a time to wear sunglasses and sandals, to get your toes out and to eat an excessive amount of icecreams. 

In UK real life however it can mean humidity, stormy days and terrible hair. 

I LOVE to make the most of the days that are like the first example. And I eat ice lollies regardless of the weather – I mean it’s still warm, right? And what I do love about any summer day is the colour. Summer is a time for bright, beautiful colours. The grass seems greener, there are beautiful flowers in every single colour imaginable popping up all over the place, the sky is bluer and the sun is an even brighter yellow and all of the bumble bees are out in force. 

This summer I acquired a macro lens for my iPhone camera and I am in love. The close up photos I have been able to get have me in awe; especially the photos of beautiful bees. 

Here are some of the photos I have taken over the past few weeks with the lens… let me know what you think – of the photos and of summer. 

I heart my Dr Marten’s 

I got my first pair of Dr Marten’s for my 15th Birthday. I was going through a bit of an alternative phase and was despatate for some black boots to wear with my stripy tights and tartan mini skirts. Luckily my Mum and Dad gave in and got me a pair and I’m pleased to say they are still going strong almost 15 years later. 

Here is a picture of my original babies… 

I still love to pop these on with some black tights and a little dress and they are so comfy still. 

I’m sad to say it took me 13 years to get another pair and once again these for courtesy of Mum and Dad, only this time they were a Christmas present. I went for the black Polley t-bar shoes and I have worn these over, and over again and I think it was these that re-ignited a true love of DM’s that a teenager can’t possibly fund. I love to wear these with skinny jeans or with a dress in summer and winter. I love that they have an almost school shoe look to them (and oh how I would have loved shoes like this when I was at school). 


Since then my collection has grown. As a teenager I was despatate for a pair of Mary Janes however I never actually got a pair. Last summer while shopping in Cardiff we noticed that there was a DM sale on and I managed to get myself these bad boys… 


And for my birthday last year I got these… 

This was a decision that I made following years of buying cheap boots that only lasted around a month. I saw these in the shop and decided I would quite like a pair for my birthday to wear during autumn and winter. Best decision EVER! They not only lasted me a whole Autumn and winter but they also have a lot of wear left in them. Despite the way they look they are surprisingly light and soooo comfortable – I even wore them whilst walking around Rome and found them to be more comfortable than my trainers. I love these and would buy more pairs. 

For Christmas last year my hubby got me these…

I love these. Whenever I wear them I get compliments and I CANNOT stop staring at my feet when I wear them! I’m sure Ed is fed up of my gushing compliments of these shoes whenever I wear them. These are perfect with tights and dresses or with jeans. I especially love to team them with stripes! Who doesn’t love floral shoes? 

This brings me to my final pair… I got these yesterday after months of eyeing them up… I’m sure I popped into the store at least 20 times to stare at them and stroke them and added them to my online basket more than once! Reduced to £65 (from £95) I had an absolute bargain and I can’t wait to break these bad boys in and start wearing them! 

These are the bubblegum pink Polley t-bars from the pastel range and I am in LOVE. 

I’m pretty sure these will become a staple in my summer wardrobe and I’m already planning outfits to wear with them… I may even wear them to work tomorrow! 

My advice to you about Dr Marten’s

Although they look beautiful they WILL rub! Always arm yourself with plasters, spare socks etc. Once you have broken them in they will fit like a dream and be the comfiest shoes you have ever owned. Persevere… it makes me sad when people give up after one wear! 

If you are passing a shop pop in to have a look what they have in store… You may just find yourself leaving with something lovely! 

clothing clear out.. 

Well today has been a productive one… I have cleared out my wardrobe. I have been doing this periodically over the past couple of month. Finally getting rid of clothes that haven’t fitted for ages that I have been keeping for “just in case”. 

Rather than throw these clothes away I have decided to give Depop a try. This is an app which is used to sell things that you no longer want and my user name on there is Sophiaamay. 

The idea is to get rid of all the stuff that I can’t wear and to use some of the money that I make selling my unwanted clothing to buy someone else’s and therefore refreshing my wardbrobe. 

Anything that doesn’t sell I will donate to charity. 

Just a few pictures of some of the things I’m selling… 

   
    
    
    
 Some of these were once my favourites and I hope they go on to be someone else’s. 

I have to say that sorting out has actually made me feel quite good. I just hope these lovelies find a nice new home. 

No internet… 

I hadn’t realised how much of an everyday occurrence social media had become until I didn’t have internet. 

due to a mix up our contract with our previous internet provider came to an end and the new internet provider had not actually connected us on the day they said they would. At this point all was ok, I mean that’s what data is for, but as the hours turned into days (towards the end of the month I might add) my data was no more. 

This meant no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Pinterest… the list is endless. 

What I didn’t realise was how much I had come to rely on these thing. A spare 5 minutes here, in the evenings while watching TV, when pondering where or what something is… you just click on those little icons on your mobile phone and voila. 

I felt completely lost. I found myself clicking on the Facebook app and staring at the same two updates that I looked at when I last had internet. I couldn’t update my page which meant I couldn’t contact the person I had done a custom order for. And no google for when I knew I was right (tehehe) and just had to prove it. 

However… Although it felt like someone had cut off my right hand it also made me realise that we have become reliant social media. It is almost like a bit of a drug and I have to say I have tired to be a little bit more aware of my use of this. I became much more aware when I couldn’t use it of other people sat using their phone when you should be having a conversation or lunch together. 

What I’m trying to say is… try and put your phone down and take in the world and the people around you. It can be a good thing. 

Craft Fairs – Yay or Nay? 

Last year was my first experience of craft fairs and I am still very undecided about whether or not they are worth it… 

Still that hasn’t stopped me emailing to enquire about one that is happening in two weeks time! Nothing like lots of notice, or maybe not. 

I am still undecided on whether or not craft fairs are really worth it. I’ve had some awful experiences, some ok experiences and one amazing one. It seems that I’m not the only one who has had a few not so good experiences with these but at the same time I do like to go out and meet new people. 

The last craft fair I did was at the beginning of December and was my most successful. It was at a little pub called The Mill in Peterchurch, Herefordshire and the organisers and landlords were brilliant. I loved every minute of it and I met some lovely fellow crafters and it really made me want to do more. 

I have also done some terrible fairs; one of which was in a community centre with a very dire turn out (including empty tables even though a fellow crafter was turned away). I also did a school fete which was outside and all of my stock kept blowing away. 

What is everyone else’s opinions? I would be interested to hear if anyone has any good tips? 

Despite all this I feel that I still have an itch that needs to be scratched and I will therefore go back and try another one. 

Here are a few pictures of my tables. I do think my layouts have gotten better with each one.