Sunday, 17 February 2013

St Valentine's Delights

This Valentines I made Mr Bear an embroidered card. This is the debut piece in my new collection of animals in jumpers. Watch out for more additions to be added very soon!

As usual, I don't ever expect to be out-done by him in my gift selection, and every year he surprises me. This year he definitely topped me. I unwrapped a tiny brown papered parcel, remarking how tiny it was as I did, only to burst into breathless tears upon opening it to reveal a beautiful custom-inscribed necklace. He had asked the jeweller to inscribe it with our saying for when life gets a little rocky, "Still alive. Still in love", along with the date we met, 2nd Nov 2007.

When he saw how shocked I was he started laughing, saying "You really should learn not to underestimate me!" I think he thinks he's some kind of super gift buying evil genius. 

You never fail to surprise me, sweetheart :)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A MAN-made Camera Strap

Once we'd returned from our woodland venture yesterday afternoon, we felt refreshed and ready to face any challenges this week may present. Well, more or less! So we thought we'd go right ahead and tackle a challenge we could set ourselves.

We recently bought a new camera and Marts had asked me to make a strap and bag for our new addition. We had a root through my fabric stash and after about 45 minutes, had agreed on a brown linen, a honeycomb print and some navy geometric squares.

This was to be a team effort, as Mr Bear wanted me to show him how to put it all together. I put him to work ironing bonda-web onto the bees so we could applique them to the strap before sewing it all together. To my immense surprise, he even wanted me to show him how to use the sewing machine and sew it up himself! He did so well to say he's never sewn before!

We even added an internal pocket to keep the lens cap safe. Pretty neat ey?

And if we ever get bored of the bees, we can just slip it off and make another one! Now to make the bag.....

Forest Adventures

Admiring the dappled light

Taking credit for someone else's den building skills
Enjoying a patch of sun light!
'You blend in Mrs Bear!'
Levitation practice

I admit, I had big hopes for 2013. But after such an incredible year in 2012, this year had big boots to fill. So far, to be honest, it's been a pretty massive let down. The last month has been the most stressful, difficult and challenging time of my life. The cosmos has been heaving -insert bad language here- on us mercilessly without relent.Everything that could possibly go wrong seems to have gone wrong. But, you know what they say: things can only get better. 

At these times, I always feel very grateful for those around me. I have a wonderful family, great friends (some of whom I miss madly and some new ones who are pretty swell too) and a loving partner. Alone as we sometimes feel at this end of the world, we are blessed with each other. I feel so very lucky to have a man by my side in whom I can trust entirely and, no matter how bad a day I've had, will always manage to make me smile. 

A friend gave me a piece of advice for when homesickness gets too much and I need a reminder of why we're here. She said to drive to the beach, sit on the sand and stare out to sea. All you can hear are the waves, the cry of seagulls and the laughter of children and adults alike. This was amazing advice.

Another place I have always managed to achieve a sense of calm is in woodland. Yesterday, Martin and I took a drive out of the city to go for a walk around Bottle Lake Forest. Once under the canopy of the giant trees, it becomes so quiet you could be the last people on earth. The smell of bark and pine cones fill your nostrils and with it, an invisible force which travels down from your head to your toes, takes all the tension and exhaustion and releases it from you as you breathe out. It is a truly magical place. I felt humbled by the simplicity of our surroundings, uncomplicated and untainted by the mad tangle of modern day living. 

One day, I'd like to live in the woods. Until then, it can be my retreat when life gets too much.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday

Dress: Craft and Vintage Emporium, Slaithwaite
Pink Slip: Vintage
Leather Sandals: The Warehouse
Head Scarf: Op Shop UK

The ombre is back!! After I dyed my hair red, I realised how much I'd loved my fox tail hair and wanted desperately to turn back time! My bright red faded with time into a much more natural looking auburn - as 'permenant' hair dyes tend to do - and I was faced once more with the opportunity to add a splash of blonde to my locks.

A week or so ago, I had the worst week I've had in a long time (things are almost back to normal again, don't panic!). By Friday, I was pretty fed up so I thought a trip to the hairdressers might be a good end to a morbid seven days. I never thought I'd say that since I used to hate the hairdressers, but it really did work! I got my ombre back just in time for a cocktail night with the girls.

As the only brunette in a group of blondes, I stood out a little. But my blonde ends certainly helped me have fun, as you can see :)

P.S These pictures may be highly shocking to my family and friends back home. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. My skin has actually taken on a different hue and is no longer snow drop white!


Sunday, 3 February 2013

St Valentine's Creations

Now I'm well under way with planning our wedding for next May, I have been on the look out for inspiration for wedding invitations. Upon hearing that I was planning on spending a small fortune on invites, my dear friend Suze advised me to have a go at making my own. She is getting married to the lovely Daniel next month (ahhh so soon!) and made all her own invitations for the guests. Much more cost effective AND a gorgeous gift for all your family and friends.

My talented Mama has agreed to help me with the art work and the hunt for inspiration has now begun. Think hand-painted flowers and little illustrated Mr & Mrs Bear and you're half way there. Eeee MRS Bear!!! Sorry, completely necessary outburst of joy there! :)

Anywho, as any googling often will, my hunt was way laid several times by beautiful illustrations and handmade cards from all my favourite stationers. I've always been a big stationary fan, but now I think it's safe to say I'm in love with it. I've come across many a humorous, witty and intricately drawn card today and I thought, in the spirit of Valentines, I would share some of my fave lovey dovey greetings with you....
Both of the above: Rifle Paper Co

Hello Lucky
Jon Klassen
Becca Stadtlander

Chaining Hearts

February already! Wow, that last month went fast! Or am I just finding it hard to keep up?

It's LOVE MONTH at The Make Cafe (yes, it's really something to shout about)! I've made this crochet heart garland to decorate the shop and get us all in the spirit. We have some awesome romance inspired workshops this month, including my very own Love Birds embroidery class this Thursday.

I'm making Mr Bear a card with a twist....keep your eyes peeled for photos after the 14th!

Any exciting plans for Valentines this year guys?