Wednesday, 30 March 2011

7 facts!

Thanks Courtney...I think?!
So....7 facts about me. What am I supposed to say???

1. I have one leg quite a bit shorter than the other one! I was like 20 before I found out. I chiropractor asked me "do you have your pants specially hemmed?" - what? What a weird question! She explained that she thought my pelvis was twisted, probably due to a fall I had in high school when I broke my coccyx.
It wasn't until years later when I was being treated by a physio massage therapist that I found I had a lot of pain & knots in my back around my hips. I explained what the first chiropractor said she said that it was just that my right leg was shorter! Good Lord! No wonder I have such a fly swagger! a rum hip & knee!

2. I have been to 3 of the 4 corners of Africa. In 2001 I traveled to Togo, West Africa. I was my first time over seas & I was leading a team of teenagers. It was really difficult & I was a terrible leader!

 The next year I co-led a team of teenagers again to Kenya (East Africa). It was amazing and saved my love of travel which had nearly been spoilt by Togo. I loved everything about it. I loved Kenya. I loved the people. I adored my team. The animals! The smell of Africa!
 Oh how I loved it and drank it all in. 

 Finally I went to Morocco in 2004. We stayed in Agadir & The Village of Hope Orphanage in Ain Leuh.  One day I hope to visit South Africa so that I will have been to all 4 corners of Africa. It is such a special place to me.
Village of Hope.

3. I LURVE charm bracelets. But no Pandora or Sabo for me thanks! I'll take the old fashioned charm bracelet any day...and I do! I have my own gold charm bracelet which was a gift from my Dad on my 16th birthday, silver one that I started, and my Aunt Linda's gold charm bracelet that came to me when she died. I wore her's on my wedding day. Besides those I have a few "costume" ones because as far as I'm concerned there is just no such thing as too many charm bracelets! {I'm really beginning to fancy lockets too!}

4. I am allergic to my rabbit. He makes me sneeze and makes my eyes sting and water.

5. I am the type of person who leaps before I think. I charge into things without totally weighing up the pros and cons and so forth. I make up my mind and that's it, away I go! I've made some pretty major life choices by just charging ahead and dealing with consequences later. Like giving notice at my job & apartment before actually being accepted for my training school in another country. When I got put on a waiting list was the first time I'd considered I might not get in! I did get in, in case you were wondering :)

6.  I am a Parisophile. I have yet to visit Paris. But I am a bit obsessed with Eiffel Tower, new wave Parisian images, the language and kitsch poodles.

7. I am a visual thinker/learner. Duh. My blog is full of photos and images. I can read or hear instructions but until I watch someone or a video I can not understand!

So there ya go! I hope you've learned something new :)

I think I'm supposed to pass this award along so I choose....

*drum roll*

Kirsten Myers Blake 

Monday, 28 March 2011

Help for Heroes and the Three Peaks

What is Help for Heroes? "Help for Heroes is a charity formed to help those who have been wounded in Britain's current conflicts".
Help for Heroes was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry in October 2007 out of a desire to help the wounded Servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. The message of the charity is simple: We are strictly non political and non critical; we simply want to help. We believe that anyone who volunteers to serve in time of war, knowing that they may risk all, is a hero. These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things and some of them are living with the consequences of their service for life. We may not be able to prevent our soldiers from being wounded, but together we can help them get better.
Help For Heroes called for the people of Great Britain to help us raise money for wounded Servicemen and women and boy, have you stepped up to the challenge!
All over the country, people are baking cakes, shaving heads, parachuting, walking, hiking, cycling and much much more to raise money for our wounded boys and girls. Don’t feel you have to lay on a massive event, every event is special to us and each and every contribution is valued the same way.
My brother-in-law Laurence and his friends Luke Unsworth and John Welsh are mountain climbing to raise money for Help for Heroes! Not just any old mountain, not even just one, but 3 in 24 hours!
They're going to complete The Three Peaks Challenge. The National Three Peaks Challenge is a well known phrase amongst the more adventurous. This challenge involves climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours.


Laurie & Luke

Laurie & Luke again - on Ben Nevis.

Laurie lacing up
Laurie has written a letter to explain why they're taking on this challenge to benefit H4H:
From the warmth of our front rooms to walking and climbing the mountains of Scotland, Wales and England. No easy task for anyone but, British troops undergo such strains and worse everyday. That's why I and two friends have decided to undergo the 3 peaks challenge, for the charity Help For Heroes.
Help for Heroes raises money to support members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded in the service of their country. So far over a million people have responded to date and millions of pounds have been raised to buy much needed services that will aid their recovery, but they need more!
Although not everyone will support the reasons we go war or into conflict. I think everyone can understand the bravery and courage that troops show every day. Giving some small amount will hopefully better the lives of these brave people, who have been injured in battle or through helping others.
The task we plan to undertake is small in comparison to the challenges that our injured troops face everyday.

Our Task!
The 3 peaks consists of walking and climbing to the summits of the 3 highest mountains in the UK in under 24 hours. The first mountain that we will climb is Ben Nevis.
Ben Nevis is located in Near Fort William in Scotland. It is the highest mountain in the British isles and stands at a height of 4,409 ft.
The second mountain we will climb is Scarfell pike. Scarfell Pike is located near Wasdale in Cumbria, England. It is the 3rd highest mountain in the UK and stands at a height of 3,209 ft.
The last mountain we will climb is Snowdon in Wales. It is located in Gwynedd and stands at a height of 3,560 ft.
The total walking distance covered over the entire event is “approximately” 45km, and from door to door is over 1200km driving.
We hope you can donate a few pounds, dollars or euros. The money will be greatly appreciated and we will email photos and total amounts raised to people after the event.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, your support is appreciated.

Laurence Woodhouse, Luke Unsworth and John Welsh

You can join us on our facebook page too! We need your help to spread the word about what Laurie is doing.

Laurie is a Royal Air Force recruit. There is always the possibility that he may be deployed to Afghanistan, The Falklands or any other active conflict that the British forces are involved in. There is always the possibility that he could be injured while serving and might need the assistance of Help for Heroes. Not that this is his motivation but the thought goes through our minds.
Laurie has pushed himself so hard to reach the goal of getting in to the RAF. He's still in the process of passing the exams, medicals, interviews and physical examinations. He's flying through them! 
My "baby" brother is a SSGT in US Marine Corp (Oorah!!!)
He served a tour in Iraq away from his wife and young daughters.

My Grandfather served in the US Army Airforce during WWII, My Grandmother's cousin Andy was a Marine (he actually trained on the very same base my brother serves on!) before WWII, My dad was in the Navy post war, My husbands Grandfather was a Japanese prisoner of War during WWII and his other grandfather served in the Navy as well.
My family has quite a military heritage.

I am so, so proud of my brothers SSGT Christopher John Lowther & RAF Recruit Laurence John Woodhouse! They're my heroes!
Depending on where you are in the world they may be your heroes too!

Will you please offer your support whether "liking" the facebook page, donating any amount of money, or spreading the word about Help for Heroes in support of my heroes and yours.

Thank you for taking the time to read our story x

Saturday, 26 March 2011

KitchenAid Mixer

I always ALWAYS wanted a kitchenaid mixer. My brother-in-law & auntie-in-law gave me one as a wedding present! It was the best wedding gift EVER! I heart my mixer. I use it every time I bake. Which is pretty often :) Thanks Laurie & Mel! Laurie has sampled quite a few of the cakes mixed in my sweet kitchenaid!
I just like it sitting there on my counter top looking good. But this is one dusty ole flat. So I'm wondering if I should maybe make a cover.
This one is just gorgeous!

Homemade by Jill 
 Well, Jill made a gorgeous cover, she used a tutorial from

Check this out! Vinyl Decals for your KitchenAid Mixer!
 Sarah of the blog A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That has made her own version and has even given us a free graphic to download!
Wow! Here's a serious creative customization from Phantome on Crafster.
and just 'cause....

he must reeeeally love his kitchenaid!

Monday, 21 March 2011

My Creation Has Become Someone Else's!

Claire Penn's gorgeous photo of my Button Bouquet!
I feel so honoured! I met the lovely Claire and a friend at the Becniks grand opening! Clair purchased this sweet little vintage button bouquet and doily and we discussed wedding photo shoots and vintage.
Claire said I'd be seeing it again - and just look at how gorgeous she's made it look!
If you love it as much as I do you can get your own print from Claire's etsy shop along with other beautiful photographs.

Thank you Claire! It's beautiful!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Becnicks Wonder Emporium!

THE GRAND OPENING WAS WONDERFUL!!! What a great day! I'm still tired and I've hardly done anything! Sales were made by all and even more importantly Chester has a new WONDERFUL wondrous place for lovers of vintage to *oooooh* and *aaaaaah*!

A lovely photographer is on showing in the gallery, she also stuck around for most of the day and photographed all the goings on. You can find her on facebook FLUKE PHOTOGRAPHY .

Here are a few snaps from the big day:


love that sewing box!
My Little Spot!!!
My little spot there on the right!

OH! There's me making up tags!

It was wonderful! It really was! I'll be in on Monday and Tuesday this week 10-6. I wish you all lived right here! If you are close come on over I'd love to chat & we'll have a cuppa tea!

Friday, 18 March 2011

New Venture!

I shouldn't actually be writing right now, I SHOULD be in the shower! Naughty! My life just got very busy!
I started emailing someone from this new fab Wonder Emporium. It is vintage fabulousness!
After a few emails I'm all of a sudden setting up a unit!!!! I was hard at work painting yesterday with the smallest paintbrush! It was a real ratbag, but I got it done.

Today I'm shadowing a carer at the nursing home Mr Woo works for as I'll be a temporary carer to cover someone's brief absence. Eeeeeek! When it rains it pours!
PLUS I've just sent off a job application for something I'd love to do along with own little business which is coming into it's busiest time! My mom is going to burst because she's been praying hard for some doors to open for me. Here we go Mom the doors, and a lot of em, have just flung wiiiiide open! Woo Hoo!

If you're even NEAR Chester on Saturday please come over and check out the incredible Becniks Wonder Emporium!

I'm going to go behave now and get ready!
Later Gators!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Hello Kitty & Kawaii

All of our hearts and minds are with those in Japan. It is unfathomable what they have been suffering. It is sometimes quite difficult to comprehend. We see the images on our television and computer screens. We hear the reports on the radio, podcasts, or other places online. Unless you are there, it is rather surreal. It may be really silly or stupid but one item of news that made it feel personal to me was the report that Yuko Yamaguchi, the creator of Hello Kitty had been killed in the earth quake. She has since updated her blog and is not only alive, but well. It all of a sudden felt real to me! I don't know Yuko. I've never even seen her in real life. But Hello Kitty has been a love of mine for years and years! I felt a sense of loss. I'm actually embarrassed to admit it. So many people have lost their lives and homes and everything they've owned and it was the possible death of Hello Kitty's creator that shook me.
I am a child at heart and in mind sometimes too. I am not alone. I'd like to honor the Japanese love of cuteness as it is something I love about Japan.
Since the 1970s, cuteness, in Japanese kawaisa (可愛さ?) (literally, "lovability", "cuteness" or "adorableness"), has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior, and mannerisms.[1] It is also referred to as kawaii (literally, adorable, precious, lovable, or innocent[2]). wikipedia.
There is a Wikipedia article titled Cuteness in Japanese culture!

Amigurumi - literally knitted stuffed toy, is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures.
Here are a few free patterns

Nuigurumi literally means 'sew and wrap' in Japanese - but refers to rag dolls and stuffed animals!

 There is of course origami, 

I think I shall have to give Amigurumi a go in honor of the Japanese x

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