A brand new year | 2015 Goals

January 6th 2015
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My desk at the studio

I’ve been meaning to write a post or two over Christmas but you know what, I happily had a break from everything instead! Naughty I know but that leads me nicely on to the fact that I have a few goals for 2015. I don’t like the term resolutions because it usually implies ridiculous things that I can never stick to :)

Family & Travel // One of my aims is to take more outdoor and travel adventures, both on my own and together with my family. We try and get out of the house on weekends and look for interesting places to go but usually end up in the same places! I want to research and make a list of all the local places to visit and some much further afield. I’d really like to visit Stockholm or New York this year but not sure New York is the right place to go with a 7/8 year old. Might be better waiting until he’s 9 or 10.

Home // Clutter drives me mad… I know I’m not the only one! I’ve already started working on this but I want to get my home sorted, decluttered and organised by the end of this year. I have an attic that was full of stuff that is slowly depleting. I’m giving stuff away to friends and family or putting bits on eBay, hell I’m even just putting stuff in the bin, you know the sorts of things… those things that could come in useful someday that have been sat up there since the day we moved in just gathering dust! Well it’s all got to go! There are a few exceptions like my sons cot and some bits from when he was tiny. I’m keeping special toys so we can get them out when he’s older or if he has children of his own.

I have a couple of homey projects I want to work on like our bathroom and the garden room and now my boy has decided he wants a grown up bed?! I WILL get this done as a tidy uncluttered house means a tidy uncluttered mind… supposedly?!

Work // I love and feel very privileged that I get to work for myself and with my husband. I’m my own boss but in some ways that just makes things harder. Self discipline to get things done can be quite tricky. I wear many hats at work and I know I need to plan my time and days better. I get side tracked by phone calls and clients requests and I just need to get stuff done! My least favourite part of my job is the bookkeeping so I want to relinquish this to a trusty person who can just concentrate on this. The hard part is finding and training somebody… who am I kidding, the hardest part is letting it go! That is something I’m going to work on this year.

Blogging // I absolutely LOVE blogging and the community and although I mainly do it for me it’s nice to have connections with other people. I would love to be able to have more time (read commitment) to blogging and again it’s something I really want to grow and the only I can do that is to blog more frequently, which in turn means needing to plan and be more organised. I have myself a little notebook and I need to figure a couple of days where I can dedicate some time to planning and doing. I also need to limit the amount of time I spend on others blogs and stop comparing myself to them. Sometimes that can be a real downer and it just makes it harder to post a blog as I’m never sure I’m saying or writing about the right things. I need my confidence to grow!

Health // I’ve been addicted to sugar since I can remember ( although I didn’t know it back then). I’m changing my lifestyle to represent a more healthy one that isn’t filled with sugary food and drink. This is quite a big topic for me right now and I don’t want to go into too much detail in this post but my sanity, connection with the two men in my life and my friends and general well being are all connected to my unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle. This is something I started to change 10 years ago but my most recent changes are the ones that I’m praying will be successful. I’ll write more about this in further posts. I want to bake more healthy goodies and find more interesting and different foods to experiment with.

Fitness // Exercise is the key to this one. I started running 18 months ago and had to stop due to a bloody nasty chest infection which rendered me breathless just walking, let alone running! The healthy eating has helped my breathing and I feel able to run again but I have lost the stamina I built up and know it will take me some time before I’m running 5k again but I’m determined to be a great role model for my son who currently prefers to stay at home tinkering with computers. Once we manage to get him out of the house he really enjoys it but it’s just such a struggle to get him there. As my energy levels have dwindled I have become complacent and so instead of going for long family walks we end up just popping to the park. That is all going to change… right here, right now! Going on my first run of 2015 tonight!

Happy New Year to you all and I’d love to hear your goals for 2015.

Made Unboxed | Home of the Month

December 24th 2014
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sofa and rug both from made.com

So chuffed I won house of the month from Made Unboxed! A newsletter was sent on Sunday with a little interview and a couple of images from my home at Christmas.

I’ve just started uploading to Made Unboxed, which is a spin off idea from made.com. Basically if you buy any of their pieces you can upload a photo, or few, showing the item/s in your home. I love made.com and only wish I had a mansion so I could buy more stuff!

If you want to see future homes that win home of the month be sure to sign up to their newsletter. If you want to see more photos of my home you can see those here. Why not upload some of your photos and join the wonderfully talented folk already there sharing their real homes.

All I need to figure out now is what to buy with my winning voucher? Any suggestions?

What are your favourite pieces at made.com?

 

 

Merry Christmas everyone x

 

Xmas at home

December 14th 2014
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Only 10 days to go! Yay Christmas will be here before we know it.

I don’t know about anyone else but this year has flown so fast and I’ll be pretty glad to wave bye bye to the studio for a good couple of weeks and put my tired old feet up!

Today has been a day for wrapping presents and cooking New Years eve fodder for our friends. We are going away between Christmas and New Year for a little break to Edinburgh. Christmas is a time for good cheer but also usually involves being asked to lots of get togethers. That’s really nice and all but we only get 8 days off and we want to spend a lot of it just the three of us. We are all different and we make sure we send time with family and friends but time to do ‘our’ thing is so important to us right now. We’ll spend Christmas day with family and News Year Eve with friends.

We’re all dec’d up and ready to go.I always have big ideas about crafting projects and what not for this time of year but the truth is that the studio in December is just about the busiest we can be. Out come the same decs with a couple of new additions. No theme for me… that generally means having to think too much ha! Plenty of twinkly lights and colourful decs on the tree are enough for us for now.

How do you spend the holidays and do you have a Christmas decoration theme or is it just random like mine?

Happy Holidays x

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Social approriate Love

December 9th 2014
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TTT blog - Cat's home VSCO

Screen grab from vsco

TTT blog - Cat's home on unboxed

Screen grab from unboxed

I’ve been very honoured last week to have a photo of my home featured on Made.com‘s Facebook page and Instagram. I’ve also had Mahabis, who make the best slippers, repost on Instagram and then I’ve just had a notification that vsco grid have chosen one of my images for their own feed of favourites. You can see it if you click the link below.

http://grid.vsco.co/grid/goto/
545fea557267084a698b4594

Totally blown away by all the social media love of late.

Thank you all you wonderful folk for wanting to share my images, you don’t know what it means.

x

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Crafting | Advent Calendar

December 1st 2014
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It’s the 1st December already?! How did that happen?! 24 days to go and I don’t know who’s more excited… me or the boy.

For quite some time I’ve had big ideas to make my own advent calendar for the boy. His grandparents have always bought him chocolate ones, both sets of them… thats a lot of chocolate to eat for one fairly dinky 7 year old. We’ve bought him lego star wars advent’s the past 2 years and great as they are it just didn’t feel personal or made with the love I knew it could be.

I had a quick look through good old pinterest and found a few fab ideas. Problem was I only had about a week and an already busy one at that. In the end I opted for a simple design that was straightforward to make and didn’t involve sewing.

These are just a couple of the ideas I found on pinterest. You can have a look at the rest of my festive pins here.

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Source | One & Two

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Source | Three &  Four

Last minute looking for a template I found this post on etsy. This prompted me to add some washi tape to some of the boxes and the template was fairly straightforward.

I made 4 different sized boxes and just enlarged the template to make a 20cm tall one that fit over two pages of A4. I had a particular spot in mind to put them so didn’t want to make them too big. I also didn’t want to have spend a fortune on filling them so a small toy or sweetie is just enough, and believe me it’s really easy to get carried away.

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Tools you’ll need:

  • Card Stock ( I used green A4 and silver A2),
  • PVA Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Knitting Needle
  • Washi Tape for Decoration
  • Number Stamp Kit with Ink
  • Double Sided Tape

Ideas for fillers:

  • Small Rubbers
  • Badges
  • Pre Wrapped Chocolate like Coins
  • Small Sweeties
  • Dinky Toys
  • Lego Figures

How to:

1. Print out the templates and cut them out. I drew around the first one on the card stock and then cut it out and used that as a thicker template. My printer would’t print direct on to the card but if yours does then I’d suggest printing straight onto it.

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2. Cut out all 24 shapes and use the ruler and knitting needle (or something else with  blunt point) to score the fold lines. Once scored it’s much easier to fold.

3. If you want to draw a stencil design or stamp numbers on to the cones then you could do this before folding and sticking. (I didn’t)

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4. Use PVA glue to stick one side to the bottom and use double sided tape on the two other flaps. (Don’t peel it off until you’ve filled it with a treat.)

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We don’t like Lucas to eat too much sugary stuff so we have tried to work out which ones he would be opening at the weekends and mostly only filled those with the sugary treats. Lucas especially loves chocolate orange so I bought a share bag of mini segments and wrapped those in tin foil before placing in the boxes.

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5. Once you’ve filled and sealed they can then be decorated. I used a white chalkboard pen to create the lines and snow topped mountains and used washi tape to add a little more interest to a few of them.

When they are all finished make sure you mix up the numbers because part of the challenge and excitement is to find the number!

It took me around 5 hours to complete this and it was so worth it. He came bounding into our bedroom this morning to thank me for his advent calendar. His face was a picture and he was so excited to open his first one. It’s moments like these that make the hard work worthwhile.

I’d love to know if you’ve made an advent calendar this year. Add a link in the comments below so I can check them out as I need to start getting ideas together for next year!

 

All photos taken by me. Idea is a mix of great tutorials found on pinterest.

 

 

Life lately…

November 26th 2014
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‘Scuse the low res photos as I had to take them with my phone. Not really the sort of place I thought to take a camera.

There’s been lots of ups and downs lately. Some downs with my health issues and winter setting in. Ups with Lucas doing well at school and Christmas coming. I’m not normally big on Christmas but since my wee man has come along I find myself really looking forward to Christmas day. Yes, I think I’m reliving my childhood through him… This year I’m going to attempt to make him an advent calendar. Yeah, I know, I’ve only got 4 days so better get my backside into gear!

However I’m digressing somewhat…

We can spend far too much time worrying about the small things and not sleeping or waking in the middle of the night through sheer panic thinking about the what if’s. Life can be a struggle no matter who you are or what kind of life you lead. Small things can seem like the hugest of things and others may not see your struggles but no matter how big or small it can make you feel like everything is lost.

A week ago I received a phone call from my mum to tell me that my son’s Pops had been in hospital since the early hours of the morning. They were home but both were worried and tired. My mum remarried a few years ago to a lovely man who absolutely adores my son as though he was his own flesh and blood. He’s not normally the type of chap who goes to hospital, he’s quite old fashioned in that sense. He was suffering from debilitating headaches for about a week which started at around 4 in the morning. I can only imagine how scary and distressing this must have been for both of them. After some tests they think it may be cholesterol headaches. It can build up overnight and can cause severe pains that will happen around the same time every morning. This, thankfully, can be controlled my medication and diet.

Yesterday at work we heard our colleagues’ dad was sent to hospital from his doctor. We have two brothers work with us at our studio. That could be a tricky situation. Their dad was kept in overnight. When I got home from work on Monday I received a call from my father-in-law. My mother-in-law has been struggling for breath for the last couple of days and thinking she had a chest infection she waited over the weekend to go and see her doctor on Monday morning. She was checked and told her chest was clear so they did an ECG and found her heart was racing and it’s this that was causing her breathlessness. She was struggling to talk and walk more than a couple of yards, she was constantly having to stop to try and catch herself. Being asthmatic I know how this can feel and I’ve been through this with similar scenario with Lucas when he was less than 6 months old. She was supposed to be home yesterday but she’s still there. This has truly made us realise that we all really are getting older. It has been a proper kick in the face realisation but a realisation all the same. None of us are immortal but I like to think we have a good 40 years left in us yet!

I’m scared of getting old but at the same time I feel that life has never been more positive and full of amazing opportunities and that I really need to grab them by the balls!

Thankfully, this time, everything will be alright. My husbands mum will be home tomorrow and with new medication she’ll be able to get her heart back under control. Life will still carry on and we’ll fall into our old ways but this time we will make that little extra effort it takes to tell our parents that we love them a little more often and to do a little more with them and for them. After all no one is around forever.

Next time you see someone you truly care about be sure to let them know how you feel. x

 

 

Product | bleepbleeps

November 13th 2014
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TTT blog SammyScreamer4

Great little parenting gadgets from a company who started their kickstarter back in Feb 2014. They smashed all their goals within a day!

I wish I was in need of these fantastic gadgets because they just suit us down to the ground. I love everything about them from their colours to their little faces and to the genius of how they all work.

The kickstarter was to launch the little triangle guy pictured above, Sammy Screamer. I believe it’s due to be ready for shipping in the next few weeks.

 

TTT BLOG BB Family

1Lilly Loco | 2Olivia P Sticks | 3David Camera | 4Master Bates | 5Sammy Screamer | 6Ultra Stan | 7Cecil G | 8Tony Tempa

Check out their website and blog to see what they are all about. Have you ordered one?

 

Hidden Blackburn | Cinema

November 12th 2014
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When I first found my interest in photography, when I was 16, I was particularly fond of derelict buildings.

Well it would appear things haven’t changed much some 26 years later! The cotton town I work in has many old buildings that have and are falling into disrepair. Economic crisis hit this little town hard back when the recession started. Thankfully the council, together with some very talented creative folk, have decided to start trying to pull it out of the hole it had fallen in to.

Part of the regeneration of the town has seen new purpose built premises for shopping centres and cinemas and this has sadly left some of the historic buildings empty and sad inside. Luckily for me I was invited to have a scoot around one of these buildings that, back when I was in college, was the town’s 2 screen cinema. Oddly though I think I only ever came here once. I put that down to this not being the town I lived in.

This tower of bricks, although once a cinema, was built as the Cotton Exchange back in the 1860’s. I feel very honoured that I got to see and photograph this building in all it’s nudity.

 

If you happen to be interested in the history of Blackburn have a look through this guys website. Be warned you could lose a few hours of your life. x

Anniversary photos

November 6th 2014
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I have the photographs now, from the lovely and talented Anna Hardy, of our 10 year wedding anniversary mini festival celebrations.

I’m so excited to share them with you. It was a fantastic day and one we will never forget.

Here are just a few of the images but I will share more when I have gone through them. I wish you could have all been there.

xxx

Light | Swing arm

November 3rd 2014
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St. Germaine      |     Brass

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Potence    |     Cord Lamp

 

I need some help.

As the evenings grow shorter and it’s invariably dark when I get home from work I’ve been thinking a lot about lighting. We have a small gap between our sofa and door in the living room and we’ve been toying with the idea of a thin floor lamp but we’ve also been considering wall lamps.

I love the idea of a swing arm lamp but they vary in size, shape and design quite dramatically.

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I love all of the above and they are all contenders. I think I’m slightly leaning more to the top one, Crane light by Andrew Neyer. I like the simple design and the price is reasonable. However, I do also like the different colour options you can get with the Cord Lamp by Brendan Ravenhill, although saying that I love practically everything at onefortythree, designed and built by Logan Hendrickson. Oh dear… what’s a girl to do!? I need some help, see I told you.

Which one do you prefer or do you have a favourite I haven’t shown?

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x

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Hi there!

Photographer :: designer :: blogger :: vintage hunter :: wife to @stecaton :: mama to a funny boy ::

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