sunday freebie!


as it is a beautiful autumn day outside, i want to give away another cute little freebie.

this could be a birthday card, a notelet or even a card to go with a special gift.

i hope you enjoy it!

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thanksgiving freebie - illustrated handbag notelets


i have another freebie for you to download.

you are all probably aware of my love for fashion! well, my passion for handbags is the strongest part of my fashion love. i am actually working on a wall art illustration of repeated handbags in this style that gives my husband a panic attack every time he see's it because he knows it will end up on our wall and he will be forevermore surrounded by handbags!

so here they are...

two different styles of notelets for you to print and use to your hearts content. I intended to use these to create pages of a notebook, with a different bag on each page, but for now - i think they look pretty good as notelets...

thanks for reading and enjoy the download!

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lovely package exchange - my gift to kellie


as promised... this is the gift that i sent to kellie from 74 lime lane.

i bought her a photo holder that could be hung over her creative space as i know she is a keen photographer and i thought it would be nice for her to have inspiration close at hand.

i also bought some beautiful notebooks from ecojot.  i just love the designs on these - and they are made in canada which i thought was fitting!

everything was placed in a box and was wrapped up in a bamboo mat tied up with ribbon.  i wanted to create an eco feel with the materials and colours i had chosen.  i hope this comes across.

i really enjoyed this lovely package exchange and i can't wait for the next one!

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lovely package exchange - my gift


a few months ago i took part in the lovely package exchange through the blog oh hello friend.

i was partnered with kellie from 74 lime lane, and this is a slideshow of the lovely things i received...

everything was beautifully packaged and kellie was spot on with her gift choices...  my favourite piece was a special edition copy of vogue australia featuring illustrations by my favourite illustrator david downton!

i will post images of the lovely package that i sent to kellie tomorrow.


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fabulous stella


i’m not ashamed to admit that stella mccartney is my ultimate favourite designer.  i strongly feel that she truly knows what works on women… so i was really excited to see her spring summer 2010 ready to wear collection.

however, i wasn’t totally wowed on first glance.  i know ready to wear is always the ‘safe’ option for catwalk collections but something about this just felt a little too safe.

and stella… what are you doing bringing my number one fashion hate of all time…

… the button down denim skirt (eww… this makes me shudder just thinking about it!)  if anyone ever catches me wearing one of these you hereby have my permission to tie me up and beat me with a lace glove.

i would sooner be seen in the 80s fashion disaster that is a shell suit than one of these skirts!

(oh yeah, i went down the jimmy saville, shell suit route!)

but i couldn’t make such a snap judgment about a stella collection – so i decided to look a little deeper.   actually there are a lot of lovely items in this collection.  i find it a little more like a cruise collection than a ready to wear spring summer collection but that isn’t a bad thing.  there are a lot of pieces that would be just lovely on a summer vacation.

here are my ‘one week in the sun’ suggestions….

and here are my favourite details from the show…

stella you have once again redeemed yourself in my eyes!

all catwalk images taken from

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stunning vintage brooch bouquets


i came across this lovely blog post the other day over at the wedding chicks.  these bouquets are absolutely stunning and reminded me of the bouquet i made for our wedding last year, although these are far more stunning...

my bouquet was also made out of vintage brooches, buttons and beads and i spent months working on it. as we had our wedding reception back in the uk, i didn’t fancy holding a bouquet all night so when we got back from our honeymoon i trimmed the bouquet down and used it on the top tier of our wedding cake.

i absolutely love the idea of these brighter versions though, they would be great for a more eclectic wedding or to tie together different shades of bridesmaid dresses.  you can see more of these over at fantasy floral and they are designed by the amazingly talented amanda heer.

they are so beautiful i want them all!  the styling on this image is just exquisite...

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my wedding invitations


so... somewhere between last january and october my brain fell out...

we were organising our wedding and i designed lots of lovely elements for the wedding (which was at the bellagio in las vegas) and the reception party (which was held back in the uk).  based around the travel theme i created an invitaiton set that was based around vintage travel... i just realised the other day when i thought it would be nice to create a blog post on my wedding invitations, that i never actually took a picture or saved a sample of the invitation.  i’m sure my mum has a  copy still but it is over in the uk...

so here are some images of the invitations... not photographs so you don’t get the full loveliness but it gives you a glimpse of the theme while i try and get some actual photographic evidence that i did in fact make these.

this was the folder and how the invitation fit together.  it was tied together with green twine and a tag with the guests names on was added to the front.  i had some really good comments back from these and hardly anyone returned the rsvp cards as they wanted to keep the invitation set together and so they gave us a shop bought rsvp card!

and the whole set.  this contained a map and direction card, a local hotel guides, a rsvp card, a gift suggestion cards (as we were emigrating to canada we didn't want people to feel the need to buy us a gift) and a 'ticket' to invite people to watch our wedding live online in vegas.

... come to think of it, we don’t actually have any wedding photo’s printed either, so perhaps i should do that too!

i’m so lazy...

… i am actually married though... honest.  true it was in vegas but it is legal...

i hope!

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spring/summer 2010 | catwalk review


i took some time out last night to finally run through the spring/summer 2010 ready to wear catwalk collections.  there were some beautiful items, lots of lovely details and embellishments, but what surprised me most were the similarities between lots of the collections.  there are some really definite trends coming across this season. i also have a feeling that designers are not betting on the warmest of summers next year with leg warmers, socks and gloves making an appearance!  on the other hand i was surprised about the amount of leg on show, so perhaps we will need the leg warmers to keep us warm!  trousers hardly appeared in the collections at all.

these are the trends and looks that really caught my eye.

there was a very strong colour palette that led through nearly all of the catwalk shows.  Key colours were black, grey, nude, blue (ranging from bright to baby blue) turquoise and orange.  orange was the most used accent colour across all of the shows and didn’t surprise me too much as coral was such a hit last year, it was a natural progression.  there was also the occasional glimpse of red which i feel will make it’s way into a/w 2010 collections.

these are the 6 main styles i picked up on...

whether it was a see-through top, skirt or socks, sheer was a key element of the collections.  cut-away pieces also enhanced this look and were seen on casual tops right through to red carpet glamour.

seen mainly on office wear looks, suits were cleanly cut and monotone giving out a sophisticated, elegant feel.

draping fabric was by far the most used element on the catwalks.  ranging from cowl neck tops, to layered draping dresses even to the occasional harem pant – the key to this look is using lots and lots of soft, flowing fabric.

a beautiful look, body con was featured in almost every designer’s collection.  a very strong, striking look that is less 80’s in styling than we have witnessed so far.  it will have all of us toning up at the gym in preparation for the summer months!

normally reserved for autumn/winter collections, the gothic look was very apparent on the spring/summer catwalks.  leather accessories, gloves, belts were teamed with leather skirts and jackets to give of a very strong look.  teamed with bold eye shadow and embellished graphic prints this look will be key next year.

this look is probably the most publicized look i have read about.  it has renewed the look famed by designers nearly 20 years ago where corsetry and an lingerie look was designed to be worn on the high street.  i’m sure this look isn’t for everyone, but it can be toned down, maybe a beautiful camisole top can be worn underneath a long cardigan so you just get a tiny glimpse of the lingerie look.  a very sexy, romantic trend.

bows, diamantes, beads and fringing all were key embellishments in this years collections.

there was so many graphic prints on show this season ranging from vibrant, eye-catching patterns to more minimalist monotone stripes. 

plaid played a key part in the s/s 10 collections forming the basis of casual wear – a trend that is continuing on from a/w 09

there was not too many surprises with bags this year.  they ranged from the standard hobo to clutch bags and everything in-between.  nearly all of the bags were made from leather.

the shoes displayed on the catwalks surprised me greatly.  maybe it’s another sign of the ever-changing weather but there was a lot of peep-toe ankle boots on show.  platforms had ankle straps and stilettos were replaced with a much chunkier heel.  s/s 10 also showed us different accessories to wear with our shoes - sheer ankle socks and over the knee leg warmers made an appearance from a few designers and looked great teamed with the short, short skirts on show.  the clear heel also made quite a few appearances, but that is the first and last time we will mention that (eww... horrible!)

jewellery was chunky and bold and was used to add decorative elements to otherwise plain pieces.
all in all some very nice pieces were shown.  nothing too surprising or shocking but this means there are definitely some very wearable looks for us to wear in spring/summer 2010.  my tips are to start the waxing early for the short skirts and start the gym workouts now for all the body con pieces.  i know that’s what i’ll be doing!

all images taken from

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breast cancer awareness month | download and support


i have a very special freebie to give away for you today, but on one condition...

i only ask that if you choose to download this notelet, you please make a donation to the canadian breast cancer foundation... follow this link to do so.

for every person that downloads the notelet i will make a donation to the candian breast cancer foundation too... together we can make a difference.

please take the time to help, you can reach the download here.

thanks so much.

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next purchase - winter is around the corner


i thought i would share my next purchase with you... it was actually my hubby who spotted these as we were walking down barrington street in halifax, he grabbed me and said you're going to love these! he knows me so well.
anyone who knows me will know of my obsession with anything that promotes fitness during everyday tasks (mbt's fit flops, etc)... so when fit flops came out i had to be one of the first to get them. i remember the only place i could get them at first was in harrods in the uk. on a day trip to london i knew i had to buy them but the thing that disappointed me most was that it was the middle of winter. now i know the winters aren't that bad in the uk but it's not flip flop weather. actually all in all you probably only get around two flip flop wearing weeks a year in the uk, the rest of the year being miserable and damp. sorry if i offend any fellow brits but you all know it's true!

anyway, back to the boots... here's another picture to bring me back onto the subject.

i love these but i'm not sure if i would wear them

now this is a marvelous idea, and i'm certain i would get much more wear out of these. another thing that annoys me with flip flops is that the toe posts irratate me after a while. the only thing that freaks me out a little is that they are designed for you to wear them with no socks on. i've tried this with my ugg boots and i'm not overly keen.

i'm going to have the tightest buns in halifax this winter when i buy these!

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halloween glamour | freebie!

here is a freebie download! a note card in the halloween glamour theme. i decided to do a notelet as it is something that can be used all year round and it isn't too obvious that it's a halloween card.

download the pdf here.

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halloween glamour | the stationary set


so here we have it! the stationary set for my halloween glamour party. it is simple and sophisticated and will tie in perfectly with the table plan that i posted earlier. lets take a look at the elements...

the invitation
the main part of the set and the first glimpse your guests will have of the theme...

the invitation itself is very simple, ideally printed on a slightly textured thick white uncoated card stock. the reverse of the invitation is made up of a pattern using the main colours from the colour scheme. i decided on the black cat motif because cats are very elegant creatures and the black cat is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about halloween.

as an added element, the invitation can be slipped into a card jacket with a little die cut section so you can see the cat and the invitation header. this looks beautiful with an orange satin bow tied around the centre.

the menu
for the menu piece (the piece that i showed on the earlier post here) i wanted to carry on the look and feel of the set. this piece features a tiny cat resting in the 2nd 'o' of october. this would be a gate fold card with a die cut window as on the invitation. this could also be tied together with an orange satin ribbon or placed on top of the napkin and tied together with the ribbon.

the place card
this simple piece could be a flat piece of card (like a business card) or it could be made into a standing tent card. with any name i would try and find some part that the cat can 'hold' onto.

if you would like any part of this stationary set, then please contact me. i can personalise the set for you too.

the font used in this set is quicksand and is available here.

freebie stationary item coming tomorrow!

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halloween glamour | dinner party recipes


starter (serves 4-6 guests)

125g roquefort or st agur cheese
60ml sour cream
2 ripe avocados
35g sliced pickled green jalapeño chilli peppers from a jar
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 packet blue corn tortilla chips

1. in a bowl, crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream.
2. mash in the avocados. if they are ripe, a fork should be all you need.
3. roughly chop the sliced jalapeños and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced spring onions.
4. arrange in the centre of a plate or dish, dust with the paprika and surround with tortilla chips. 5. serve in a stone dish and set on a plate. arrange the chips on a plate around the bowl

main course (serves 4-6 guests)
thai yellow pumpkin and seafood curry

400ml tin coconut milk
1–2 tablespoons yellow (or red) thai curry paste
350ml fish stock
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar or caster sugar
3 lemongrass stalks, each cut into three and bruised with the flat of a knife
3 lime leaves, de-stalked and cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1kg pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled and cut into large-bite-sized chunks
500g salmon fillet, preferably organic, skinned and cut into large, bite-sized chunks
500g peeled raw prawns
pak choi or any other green vegetables of your choice
juice of 1/2–1 lime, to taste
coriander, to serve

1. skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined. Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin. cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes.
2. you can cook the curry up till this part in advance, maybe leaving the pumpkin with a tiny bit of bite to it (it will soften and cook as the pan cools). either way, when you’re about 5 minutes away from wanting to eat, get ready to cook the seafood.
3. so, to the robustly simmering pan, add the salmon and prawns (if you’re using the prawns from frozen they’ll need to go in before the salmon). when the salmon and prawns have cooked through, which shouldn’t take more than 3–4 minutes, stir in any green veg you’re using – sliced, chopped or shredded as suits – and tamp down with a wooden spoon. when the pak choi’s wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving. serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.

dessert (makes 10-12 slices)
chocolate chestnut refrigerator cake

500g (2 tins) sweetened chestnut purée
175g soft, unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
3 tablespoons dark rum
to serve:
crème fraîche

1. beat the purée in a bowl until it’s smooth, and then add the butter, beating again to make a well-blended mixture.
2. melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly, before adding it to the chestnut and butter in the bowl. beat in the rum, and spoon the chocolate mixture into a 23 x 10cm loaf tin, lined with clingfilm, in two batches, making sure the first layer reaches the corners and sides of the bottom of the tin before you smooth over the rest. wrap the overhanging clingfilm over the cake so that it is completely covered, and put it in the fridge to set for at least four hours, but a day or so in advance if you want.
3. don’t take the loaf tin out of the fridge until you want to eat it, when you just unmould the cake, cut it into thin slices and serve with crème fraîche or sour cream.

all recipes and images from nigella lawson.

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halloween glamour table ideas


this is what i had in mind for my halloween glamour dinner party. i imagine the centre pieces to be the glittered pumpkins i placed on my original theme board, with some large church candles burning away. the overall effect is simple and stylish and every piece can be reused throughout the year. after all there is no need to go out and buy a whole new dinner service just for one party, select a few new pieces that you know you will use again and mix this with your existing pieces. as long as the colour scheme is consistent you will be on to a winner!

items used
charger plate - any metallic charger plate would do, but search for a orange/rose gold option for the best effect

dinner set - i think a black dinner service would really set this dinner party apart, and this would be a good investment piece as you could use it for countless other dinner parties.

stoneware bowls - i love the idea of using stoneware bowls for the meals. there are some beautiful rustic looking lava stone bowls that can be purchased via the internet.

cutlery - the cutlery set shown is absolutely stunning and so unique. it is priced at £15 per piece and is available from liberty in the uk. i simple chose this piece as it was so different but any golden cutlery set would look amazing.

napkins - i think a simple black linen napkin would be best (and again could be used for almost any occassion). tie a orange satin ribbon around each napkin to pull the theme together (you also get a sneak peak of the stationary here too!)

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