Sunday, 28 September 2014

Five Happy Things #3

The weeks are flying by and I can hardly believe it's almost October. It's been a busy few days with charity fundraisers, parents' evening, football training and an evening at my friend's with the girls.

1. At the start of the week, I saw my first article for Aspire magazine in print. It's a magazine with a local focus delivered to 27,000 addresses in Skipton and the surrounding areas.
How I wish that were me on the cover.

2. After writing about how I transformed my cupboard, the lovely people at Laura Ashley got in touch asking if they could add it to their own blog. I agreed immediately. They have also asked me to style an outfit from their latest collection, so I'm very much looking forward to sharing that too.

3. I met my friend and "business partner" Sally to order Autumn scarves for our boutique.  Here's a taste of what's to come.

4. I saw this card and, it had, quite literally, my name on it.

5. I went to my friend Jane's on Friday evening to look at photos from her wonderful 50th birthday ceilidh in Summer and to catch up with the girls. It was one of those evenings where an unexpected anecdote caused so much laughter that I ached. Once again I counted those blessings that are my friends. 

This week I blogged about:

Liz x


Friday, 26 September 2014

Outfit Post: Allium B Olivia Dress

Allium B is a small independent British clothing brand owned by sisters Mary and Clare Burgess. I wrote about it earlier in the year. I have one of their beautiful dresses, the Amelia which I wore on Easter Sunday.

Today I'm wearing Olivia, which Mary and Clare have kindly lent to me so I can review it. 
Olivia is a generously cut dress (size down) in soft crepe which hangs beautifully. The beautiful pink and teal embroidery at the shoulder was inspired by a 1930s clutch bag found at Chelsea Antiques Fair. 
The dress is a simple shape, with side pockets and a fabric belt. 

Opaque tights and ankle boots make the dress look a little more edgy and rather more wintry.

Love Liz x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Outfit Post: Floral Bee Breton and Tan Leather Brogues

I love bees, yellow and stripes so this top had my name on it.
I suppose it's a breton in a slightly different guise. The dropped shoulder and contrast of the floral with the stripe adds interest and I think it's rather special.

Love Liz x

Outfit Details

Current Season, (September 2014)

Garden Bee Top, Joules £39.95 AW'14
Skinny Ankle Skimmers, Boden £49
*Hamble Oak Tan Leather Brogues, Clarks @ Cloggs £54.99 AW'14


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Coats and Jackets for Autumn and Transitional Times.

I was thrilled to have my first article published in the October edition of Aspire Magazine. It is a local publication delivered to 27,000 addresses in the Skipton area.

The article, titled "Wrap up Warm" is about coats and jackets for the tricky transition from late summer to early autumn and on to winter.
This is an abridged version, in which I'm looking at outerwear for the transition into Autumn. I'll look at outerwear for Winter proper in a month or so.

Transitional Coats and Jackets

The Equinox has passed and October sees shorter days, cooler temperatures and the first Autumn frosts.  For many, putting the clocks back signifies the start of the new season.
Mornings and evenings can feel chilly, but the weak harvest sunshine often has  a gentle warmth which makes it difficult to decide what to wear.

There are a lot of options for trans-seasonal days which work equally well as Winter turns to Spring.

A coatigan, defined as a long cardigan, made of thick yarn, designed to be worn as a coat, is perfect for dry Autumnal days. The can be thrown over jeans and ballerina pumps for the school run or worn belted over slim trousers and heels for work.

Coatigen, from a selection at Boden.

Extra Long Cardigan, Hush Homewear £130

Heritage style has been seen again and again on the catwalks for several seasons now. A tweed, corduroy or washed velvet blazer has both longevity and style. Two of my favourite brands Joules and Boden have a good selection with quirky additions such as mismatched buttons and printed linings. Channel equestrian chic by wearing over a shirt and tucking skinny jeans into knee boots.

Texas Riding Blazer, Fever London £89.99

Parade Tweed Jacket, other colours available Joules £199

Annabel Velvet Blazer, other colours available, Boden £99

Biker jackets come in so many more fabrics than just black leather. They have enjoyed increased popularity since designer du Jour Isabel Marant's most sought after red leather version a few years ago. They add edge to florals and smarten up a pair of battered jeans. 

Bright Blue Leather Biker Jacket, Ted Baker £399

Moss Green Suede Biker Jacket
Moss Green Suede Biker Jacket, Laura Ashley £225

Coco Biker
Coco Biker, Hobbs £149

Route 66 Biker Jacket
Route 66 Biker, Great Plains £95

For wetter days, a classic trench (as presented every season by Burberry), a rain mac or a 
lightweight quilted jacket (ditto Barbour) are good options for both work and play. 

Rainy Day Mac, other colours and patterns available, Boden £119

Midhurst Mac,other colours available Fat Face £78 £45

Harrogate Hooded Mac, other colours available, Fat Face £68 £40

Saskia Trench
Saskia Trench,  Hobbs £189

Leather Trim Trench Coat
Leather Trim Trench Coat, other colours available Laura Ashley £95

Barbour Morris Utility Quilt Jacket, selection of colours Country Attire £129.95,

Barbour Chelsea Quilt Jacket, Country Attire £119.95

City Padded Jacket, selection of colours, £89 Boden, 

Marcotte Coat in burgundy or navy £99.95 Joules 

Newfairhurst Full Length Quilted Coat, Joules £119

Love Liz x


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Step by Step Guide to Upcycling a Cupboard

I put a before and after photo of an upcycling project on my blog at the weekend and have been overwhelmed by the lovely comments and queries about it- thank you.

So as requested, here is what I did. I'm afraid I don't have any "during" pictures but I can tell you what I did and what I used.

I've already decided that the kitchen/dining/ family area in the new house will be soft neutrals.
I'm a huge fan of Laura Ashley, and have acquired lots of inspiration, and a rather long wishlist from their latest catalogue.

I love this cupboard. It's made from reclaimed wood and I've had it a few years, having bought it second hand. It's large and rather chunky and I thought I may have to sell it, because the new house (into which we hope to move within the next month or so) is a lot smaller and is modern, compared to the current house which is spacious and a barn conversion.
So I decided to get Laura Ashley paint and wallpaper and see what I could do.

The cupboard had a waxed finish so I used a sugar soap spray to remove all oils, waxes and grease. I wiped it off to leave a clean surface.
The whole cupboard needed a light sanding and then wiping down.

I used Laura Ashley emulsion in pale twine. A 2.5L pot was more sufficient for the three coats it took.

Because the panels on the doors are grooved, I cut a template from card which I then covered with wallpaper. I then used wallpaper paste to stick the cardboard on to the cupboard doors.

The wallpaper is "Oakshaw" in truffle and I think it's absolutely beautiful. I do love acorns.

I painted and wallpapered the inside. I stuck the wallpaper on directly with wallpaper paste. 

For the panels on the inside of the doors, I got a 100ml sample pot in truffle. It was actually a little darker than I wanted, so I mixed some of the pale twine with it until I was happy with the colour.

And finally, I added a pair of ceramic "Hannah" door knobs.

I haven't painted the internal shelves and I don't know whether to or not.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The materials would have cost about £100, including paint brushes, tray and the sugar soap. However, I everything I got from Laura Ashley had a 30% discount so was probably nearer to £70.
It took a good few days, but I now have a unique piece of furniture for our new home.
I have great plans for this cupboard in its new guise as a larder.

And this another much smaller project. I didn't take any photographs before I upcycled it, but this Lloyd Loom sprung nursing chair was, (again, Laura Ashley), duck egg blue with floral fabric.

I used the same pale twine paint and got a metre of Chiltern Floral fabric to cover the seat of which I needed less than half.

Love Liz x

The mid-season sale is currently on at Laura Ashley with some great offers on paints, fabrics, home accessories and furniture, so it's a great time to buy if you fancy a project of your own.

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