Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cilla Black TV Drama Series

Last night was the first in the 3 part biopic of Cilla Black who found fame in 1960's Liverpool.
I've been waiting for this ITV drama series to start for months, partly because I'm fascinated by 1960's Liverpool and it's music scene and partly because it was filmed in and around The North West, where I live. Media City, where ITV are based, is literally 10 minutes up the road from my home and many of the props were bought from a shop local to my town of Urmston, Mrs M Vintage, so it has been really exciting hearing all about it.

The first part of the series didn't disappoint in any way, from the brilliant casting of Sheridan Smith as Cilla and Aneurin Barnard, as her future husband Bobby Willis. Aneurin played David Bailey in a drama about the photographer and his then beau, the model Jean Shrimpton and Sheridan was excellent as Ronnie Biggs wife in a previous Media City production.

It was brilliant to see the scenes in The Cavern where Cilla and her bezzies danced to the early music of their mates The Beatles. Having been there several times myself, its always a thrill when you recognise a venue or location.
The set designers and the props and costume teams were spot on with their styling, with everything looking suitably down at heel and dirty, as it would have in a post war working class city such as Liverpool.

If you were inspired by the clothes in the 60's scenes, Boden have given a nod to the era with some of their current collection, shown here.

Roll on next Monday night, it was FAB!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Market House - Altrincham

Altrincham market in Cheshire has always been a well used and loved part of the community but in recent years, this heritage market place also become a specialist market at the weekends, with various Sundays in the month dedicated to Vintage, Artisan, Crafts and farmers & food markets.

Those markets have been the seedlings that have now grown into Market House, which opened it's doors last weekend. The brainchild of Nick Johnson, the former marketing manager of Urban Splash, who were instrumental in changing our Urban landscapes and inner city living, Nick has re-designed the original indoor market at Altrincham into a food court, providing a permanent home for many of the artisan food specialists that have been putting Altrincham back on the culinary map, with the pop up markets.
The regeneration of the former market hall, is a perfect marriage of original Victorian features such as the wrought iron vaulted ceiling and 21st Century design with the use of recycled materials and industrial lighting. The range of mini restaurants and bars, which are housed around the perimeter of the market, are all specialists in their field, using the best of local produce and finest ingredients and the whole place has become a social hub, with plenty of seating in the centre, live music and even a dedicated childrens area for crafts and entertainment.

My photos, which were taken yesterday on a very busy Saturday afternoon, don't really do the market justice. The food on offer, was a great variety and although I didn't eat as I was just passing through, I will definitely be going back. The ones that caught my eye were, The Ginger Kid, who specialises in savoury and sweet tarts, with fresh seasonal salads and dressings, Honest Crust, who have a purpose built, wood burning Pizza oven and promise to bring a taste of Napoli to Altrincham and BlackJack micro brewery and bar.

It looks as though Nick Johnson and his wife, who was Nick's partner in the rebirth of the market, have brought a little bit of London living to Cheshire. The market reminds me very much of Borough Market and I think it's going to be just as successful!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Bloggers Home-91 Magazine

I've just received my copy of 91 magazine, which is a digital interior magazine and is full to bursting with sneak peaks of creative spaces, ideas for crafting and the latest trends to buy for your home.

In this seasons issue, one of my favourite features is the home of Norwegian blogger Inger Lill Skagen, who writes Kasparas Regnbue. I love the way, the mainly monochromatic palette of her home, is softened with accents of soft pinks and bright hits of colour such as coral and neon pink and I really like the repetition of numbers that recurs throughout the interior. A beautiful and inspiring space. If you want see the full shoot you can subscribe to the magazine here.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Crafts and Sewing - Making Circle Fabric Bunting

Whilst shopping in Palma, I came across a beautiful childrens store which had a gorgeous colourful window display and some circular bunting across the window. As one of my friends has just given birth to a baby girl and it will be a couple of weeks until I can get to see her with a present, I thought I would make some fabric circle bunting for her baby daughter's room and post it with her card.

I chose a selection of three fabrics, striped, polka dot and floral, with a running theme of neon pink and accessorised with a grey bias binding to hang them up.
After folding the fabric over twice with right sides to right sides, so that the reverse of the fabric was facing up, I cut two different sizes of circles. Folding the fabric twice gave me four circles each time I cut, so saving time and drawing around my circle templates on the reverse enables the pen or pencil marks to be hidden when sewn on the right side. For the templates I drew around an egg cup for the smaller circles and the lid of some spray glue for the larger circles, so no fancy equipment needed!

Next place two of the equal sizes circles together, with the reverse of the fabrics together, right sides facing you and carefully machine stitch quite close to the edge in a matching or complimentary coloured thread.

When you have all your circles fold the bias binding in half and press, then place the tops of each circle inside the opening and pin. Using a thread to match the colour of the bias binding stitch along the length of the binding, catching the top of each circle.

Press each circle with a warm iron and it's ready to hang, or in my case post!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Time to do nothing

Today we are jetting away for some R&R and family time and I'm happy to say, some sun, as the weather has been so bad for August in this part of the country.

I'll be back soon with tales of Majorca and no doubt counting down the weeks to Christmas with you all. Can't believe I just said that!! As my yoga teacher Maria says during Shavasana at the end of her class, "you have nothing to do and no where to go" Isn't that a lovely thought and feeling and just what holidays are for.

Enjoy the rest of August and the bank holiday, wherever you are and whatever you do x

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans Herefordshire

As an owner of a VW campervan, I do love the camping life and when we get the gorgeous weather we have been having for much of this summer in the UK, it is the cherry on the cake.

The vintage caravans owned by Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans are some of the loveliest I have seen, available to hire and in a wonderful setting, on the site of an old rectory in Herefordshire, close to Ross on Wye and Hay on wye, a beautiful part of the country.

With four vans to choose from, all with different styles, you will be spoilt for choice but my favourite, sorry girls, is Monty the only boy of the pack and very handsome he is too! Built during WWII and designed to withstand bombs, he has been lovingly restored using reclaimed materials and sleeps up to 6, so perfect for families. What a lovely way to spend some time with loved ones, building fires, toasting marshmallows and getting back to nature.





Thursday, 14 August 2014

A G Hendy & Co Homestore Hastings

Alastair Hendy, food writer & stylist has opened the doors to his own home store in Hastings old town, showcasing his inimitable style and aesthetic. This store with it's old world charm, contains industrial style pieces merchandised to replicate a home, with a light and airy bathroom at the top of the building in stark contrast to the moodier atmospheric rooms on the lower floors.

I need to make another trip to Hastings sometime soon to visit this incredible store.