Wednesday, 24 February 2016

'Peggy' Polka Dot Skirt by Lindy Bop

I treated myself to a new skirt a few weeks ago and it had its debut on Saturday night when Nick and I went dancing at the Black Cat in Margate. It was a Northern Soul night and the music and dancing was so fab - makes me wish I was born 30 years earlier! Mind you, I still wouldn't be Northern!

I chose this black polka dot 'Peggy' swing skirt by Lindy Bop because black and white goes with almost anything, it can be dressed up or down and it being a full circle skirt means plenty of swish on the dance floor! At £20 it's a true bargain and I felt absolutely no guilt treating myself.

I teamed it with a black boat neck 3/4 sleeve t-shirt (£3.00 I think) and a pair of black suedette Mary Janes (£10.00), both from Primark. I accessorised the look with a vintage black and gold bow brooch my best friend bought me years ago.

I also went for a classic look with my make up:

Matte lipstick in Scarlet Siren by MUA for £1.00
Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion Mascara in Black on offer in Superdrug at the mo for £7.99
Collection Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner in Black for £2.99. This is taking some getting used to as MUA seem to have stopped doing their version which was my favourite!

Amy xx

Friday, 19 February 2016

My February Wishlist

I love my Amazon wishlist, I add things to it from all over the web and I rely on it to remember things for Archie's birthday and Christmas as I see them throughout the year. I even have a secret wishlist with gift ideas for others! So I thought I'd share with you a few things on my wishlist at the moment...

A lovely handmade rainbow maker, £14.32, by claudiacgmiami on Etsy - so pretty! Claudia is someone I discovered through the How Does Your Garden Grow? linky and then followed on Instagram. Her blog is dreamy and she makes these beautiful hanging charms to brighten up every day with 'rainbow hour'. I'd love one for our home!

Fragrance No.38 by Eden Perfumes of Brighton. This number has similar tones to Very Irresistible by Givenchi which is one of my old favourites, but Eden Perfumes are vegan and cruelty free - and an absolute bargain at £15.00! I bought Nick No.149 for his birthday which is similar to Chanel Bleu and smells great so I'd like to gradually replace my perfumes with Eden versions too.

Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking by Tilly Walnes. Ok, I accept this book won't really teach me to sew my own clothes BUT a girl can dream and it'll probably teach me a thing or two until I can get to a dressmaking class in the summer!

On the subject of dresses, I love this checked number from Lindy Bop, one of my favourite clothes shops. It's on sale at the mo, too for just £20.99 - so I should probably hurry up and buy it!

The last thing I'll share is something else for the home, this set of mugs from Island Homewares. I love their boho design and although I have a squillion mugs there's always room for more, right?! :-)

What's on your wishlist? 

Amy x

Mummy Lala

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Textile Rebels + Mrs Booth

Margate sustained it's first yarn bomb over the Valentine's weekend as the town's first stealthy craft collective TEXTILE REBELS made their debut all over Mrs Booth.

The 12-foot bronze shell lady was crafted by artist Ann Carrington and is named after William Turner's lover and landlady Mrs Booth, whose house once stood where the Turner Contempory sits now, with spectacular views over the harbour and into the briney sea.

Turner would stay at Mrs Booth's whilst he painted his famous landscapes and they eventually became lovers, until his death in 1851.

Shell ladies are one of Margate's hallmark souvenirs, and Mrs Booth is gazing out to sea as if waiting for Turner to return to her.

When the Textile Rebels were deciding on their first project, Valentine's was the closest event and coincided wonderfully with half term. It didn't take long to decide that Mrs Booth should be the centre of this installation, with her love story set in our very own Margate.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Very Cherry Cardigan

In a bid to rockabilly-up my wardrobe, I thought I'd add a couple of cherry appliques to a slightly unloved green cardi of mine. This project is quick and easy for those familiar with crochet, and it only uses double stitches (US) and chains. From start to finish you could have this done within the hour!

To crochet the cherries, I used this pattern by Next to Nicx but changed it slightly as I needed them to be bigger, so I used acrylic double knit yarn and a 3.5mm hook.

Here's my version of Nicola's pattern...

With red yarn, make two cherries:

Chain 3 and slip stitch to make a (tiny) ring
Chain 3 and dc 14 into the ring, sl st to join and fasten off.
Repeat for second cherry

With green yarn, make the leaves and stalks:

Ch 16
Starting with the second ch from the hook *hdc, dc in next 2, tr in next, dc in next 2, hdc* sl st into next chain and repeat from * to *
When you come to the end, turn and repeat from * to * so the leaves become oval shaped.
Fasten off.

Join green yarn to a cherry with a sl st.
Ch 8 and sl st into the centre of the leaves
Ch 10 and sl st to the second cherry.
Fasten off and sew in ends.

I attached the cherries to my cardigan with fusible web because I am so crap at sewing! But it's worked fine and has given this cardi the face lift it needed :-)

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Letting stuff go

I've spent the morning sorting through my wardrobe, drawers and storage boxes and have a huge pile of clothes to take to the charity shop. This is a big deal for me as I keep stuff for sooo long and rarely throw anything out. I'm not sure why, I've just always struggled to let go of my things, holding on to them for sentimental reasons or because 'I might need them'.

The last few months have been really hard for me emotionally, but I can feel a dawn approaching and with it is the feeling that getting rid of some old junk will really help. I have also listed a few items on eBay like this dress I've had about 5 years and worn probably twice...

I've also spent a fair amount of time crafting this weekend and finally finished crocheting the hat I'd promised to a work colleage. I used one of my recycled birthday card gift tags and some colourful yarn to dress the bag. I hope she likes it! Recycling my cards in this way helps me not to keep them forever and ever. I told you I struggle to throw things away!

Archie has played with Lego and watched Minecraft videos on the laptop for most of the day which means it's been pretty chilled. I am going to finish customising a cardigan this afternoon, so stay tuned for pics! In the mean time have a lovely Valentine's Sunday.

Amy xx

Dead but still pretty

Saturday, 13 February 2016

I used to be different, you know...

Image by HHP
I have spent a lot of time on the web lately, developing girl crushes on the likes of Amanda and Amelia, Beth and Lolly. And what's the one thing these lovely ladies have in common? Absolutely screamin' 50s style that's what, and I can't get enough. I love looking at their amazing outfits, they're so bright and colourful and fun and I think to myself... that's me. Except, well, it's not. Not anymore.

There was a time when I wished there was a shop like Lindy Bop that sold plus-size, affordable repro vintage clothes. And now there is, what am I doing about it? Nothing! My old self would kick my now self so hard.

So I asked myself the question - why? Why aren't you the stylish, retro goddess you always wanted to be? And the answer is, I just don't have the confidence. I've lost it. I've even got five Lindy Bop dresses in my wardrobe that never get worn... I traipse about in jeans and jumpers instead.

And am I happy? No, not at all. I miss myself, the person who would leap at the chance to stick on a pretty dress and strut about the place. Just months ago I made sure I always wore nail polish, for Pete's sake! Now I'm like a muted version of myself, beige and boring.

I think I know the reason, though which I suppose is something. I've been telling myself I'm not good enough, that my body is the wrong shape and I need to lose weight *shudders* I've been very, very unkind.

What has happened to the woman who didn't give a shit about being a fat bride? Where am I?

Well, I'm not sure. And I don't really know how I'm going to get back, but what I do know is whilst I'm trying, I might as well look good - so I've allowed myself to take inspiration from my new-found style icons and bought myself not one but TWO new skirts and tomorrow I am colouring my hair.

It's a start, right?!

Amy x

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The devil takes a hand in what is done in haste

What a day! After a hectic weekend of family weddings and cake making, I was hoping this week would be somewhat quieter. I was kidding myself, of course, because I had another wedding cake to make today - Thursday - a weekday. Midweek occasions never fail to throw me! I admit I am not the world's most organised person which doesn't help to counter impending catastrophes, but today was ridiculous.

Running behind and late for work (I took the morning off to deliver the cake) I grabbed my shiny new cupcake tower (seven tiers no less) still boxed from delivery last week. My feet haven't touched the ground for long enough to have a proper look at it but I knew it would look fan-bloody-tastic with 60 cupcakes on, all in purple cases, and a matching top cake to boot.

After loading the car, I rushed out the door and arrived at the venue slightly flustered. The receptionists just stood and watched me struggle through the heavy wooden doors with arms full of boxes and I felt a hot flush of annoyance flood over me. Finding the room, all decorated and gorgeous, I sat upon the floor next to the cake table and took my scissors to the plastic wrapping around my new stand. It was... wait... this isn't right, I didn't order a cardboard one!


I grabbed the pieces of seemingly wooden acrylic and stared in awe. Then I realised... both the front AND back of each piece (19 of them!!!!) were covered in thin but extremely well stuck on brown paper sticky back plastic type stuff. I frantically picked at it, unable to find an edge to grip on to and any time I managed to pull it away it tore like an annoying sale label on the box of a gift.

I could have cried. I was already running late, it was 2hrs 'til the ceremony and I was seriously under pressure. I silently berated myself for not unpacking the stand when it arrived last week, but I honestly thought the brown I saw was pieces of cardboard in between each piece to protect them! I reverted to a 6 year old and almost shouted "It's not FAIR!"

As I was sat, hurriedly trying to peel off the first side, the door opened behind me. I felt the colour drain from my face - it was the mother of the bride. "Hiya! Holly's sent me down to take a photo of the cake!"


"Ohh... great, yes! It's nearly ready! Just having a bit of trouble with my cake stand HA HA HA!

I sounded like a maniac. The shakes set in as I desperately clawed at the sticky brown paper of doom, and mother swept around the room with her iPad pointed at the tables, the balloons, the place cards. I considered running away changing my number and starting a new life in Borneo. I was mortified! But I carried on, and prayed like the Atheist I am that things would be alright.

Always unsatisfied with my work, I stood at the slightly shorter than planned cupcake tower (I had to stop trying to get the backing of the poxy pieces at some point) with a look of deep disappointment.

There's nothing I can do now... I just have to sit tight and wait to hear whether my cupcake tower of death ruined a wedding or not.

I hope your Thursday has been somewhat better than mine!

Amy x

Monday, 8 February 2016

HDYGG? // My first Daffodil

Confession time: I haven't bothered with gardening since I planted my bulbs in October! I have been so busy with work and uni that I've hardly stepped foot outside. Mabel has spent the winter indoors with us too, so there's not been much reason to even open the back door! We've offered her out a few times but she just comes hopping back in again.

I popped out this morning to have a nose at my pots and was so thrilled to see a daffodil has bloomed. I planted three pots worth of daffodil bulbs and the others are shooting up but this is the first to brave the windy Kentish weather.

The crocuses are almost out and the hyacinths and tulips are also on their way. There's lots of stuff going on in the muscari, snowdrop and anemone pots but no buds yet.

Just a shorty for my first #HDYGG of 2016, but it's great to get back out and see what's going on - even if it is freezing cold!

Amy xx

Mammsaurus HDYGG

Red Rose Cascade Wedding Cake

My cousin was married on Saturday and I made their wedding cake as a gift from us. They chose a red and white theme for the day, and they decided this tiered rose cascade cake would fit in perfectly.

It was three tiers of chocolate sponge and chocolate buttercream, and the roses are made from a mix of sugar paste and flower paste, and coloured with Sugarflair paste in Christmas Red. I attached the roses with royal icing and allowed to dry over night.

I stacked the cake and assembled all the roses on to it at home, and thankfully it survived the 130 mile car journey to the venue. I did hold my breath a bit though!

My next cake is a cupcake tower with a twist, stay tuned for photos!

You can see more of my cakes on my business page on Facebook... MOOSIE CAKES