Me exploring in my beloved giant 'duvet coat'. Paris v rainy at the moment.

Me exploring in my beloved giant ‘duvet coat’. Paris v rainy at the moment.

Reads of the month-

 ‘The trouble with Goats and Sheep’ – Joanna Cannon

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ – Truman Capote

I have been out of the habit of reading for years so two books a month is a good start for me.


Inspiring words of the month- ‘You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.’

See my Pinterest Account (where I found the quote)

This resonated with me this month because I felt inspired to add more things I love into my daily routine: reading a good book on the Metro (I live in Paris now); taking back up an old hobby; remembering to do the things that make me happy like getting off at a different stop on the way home and seeing a new part of this city. I even began to think about my website again which is why I am writing this post. I enjoy making content and maybe doing more of it could help take me somewhere in the future. A few people have encouraged me to get back into it and I hope I can get back into the routine.

It really can be the small changes that can make a difference to how you feel. They can also help lead you to success- just deciding you want to do something and doing it.


Highlight of the month-

The old hobby I brought back into my life this month is knitting. I finally finished perhaps the longest cushion cover in the history of cushion cover production. I decided I wanted to make it in September 2016 when I moved to London. After nipping into my new office to meet my new managers, I headed to John Lewis on Oxford Street, full of excitement to buy some wool. I chose a lovely but not cheap grey chunky number and some fat needles and that was all I needed.

I think I felt inspired by these cushions in Waitrose

I think I felt inspired by these cushions in Waitrose

As the nights grew longer and darker, I knitted row after row using YouTube tutorials along the way. If anyone’s interested, I alternated rows of knitting and purling.

 That’s when my progress slowed and I basically stopped after I had knitted a long rectangle. The reason I didn’t spend my time knitting anymore was because I went out drinking a lot with friends and summer came along and there was far too much socialising to do. For me I suppose it’s a winter hobby.

I ended up leaving the lovely, long, warm strip in its John Lewis bag and it went back home when I moved out of the flat.

The second of January 2018 came along and there were a few hours to go until I got the Eurostar back to Paris after a Christmas break at home. For some reason I suddenly had the motivation to finish the cushion cover! (I think it was the time pressure, there’s nothing like a deadline to make you do something.)

Mum showed me how to cast off (the act of finishing a piece of knitting so you can take it off the needle) and I sewed it up onto the cushion. Here is the finished result:


Perfectly imperfect.

It feels great that I created something that is unique and also looks like something I would definitely buy, even if it did take me 16 months! I have always loved crafting and sewing, and now i can add knitting to the list. Next project is slightly confused as I am knitting without totally knowing what it is going to be.

January brought me my first ever five star hotel experience. I also did some pastel painting and work and went to a pastels exhibition at the Petit Palais. Let’s see what February brings!

I recently reused some glass bottles to make centre pieces at Mum and Dad’s 25th Wedding Anniversary party, I do like a bit of art and craft. This is how it all came about and how I achieved the end product.

When I was on the Welsh Highland Railway during my summer holidays, I decided to take home two empty glass bottles, which had previously contained apple juice and lemonade (if you were interested, they were the Fentiman’s ones). I thought they looked quite vintage, and it would be a good idea to reuse them, rather than sending them onto the refreshment trolley and into the recycling bin.

I began collecting more and more of these bottles, jam jars and mini jam jars because it came to me that I could create centre pieces out of them for the anniversary party that was coming up. I had seen YouTube demonstrations of people colouring bottles by coating the insides of the bottle with paint, particularly as wedding decoration ideas. This was a cheap and easy idea that I knew it could try.

For me, this project wasn’t just cheap- it was free! I didn’t pay for the drinks that came in the bottles, nor did I pay for the paint. I raided my Grandparents’ garage (top tip, you find allsorts in there) whilst we were staying at their house on the Isle of Man, and used normal tins of emulsion paint. You’re supposed to use acrylic paint but I normally cut corners (usually in baking, essays etc.).

I put some off-white paint in some bottles, and some pure white in others, to see which would give the best effect. I swirled the paint round inside the bottles, and then stood them to stand upside down in milk cartons. The excess paint could now drain out and the cartons would catch it.

I encountered some problems whilst doing this. Because I wasn’t using the right paint, it didn’t really stick to the inside of the bottles well and tended just to drain out. Also, because I was, in essence, simply transferring paint from one container to the other, it didn’t want to dry. Air couldn’t get in to the narrow necks of the bottles so it took a very long time.

For the centre pieces, I left some of the bottles clear to create variety. The bottles were different shapes and sizes for a bit of interest and to make it look unique. I bought some pink roses to put in all the bottles for a pop of colour.

The assembly took some time, and I had some very helpful cousins joining in, but here’s how I did it:

1)       Cut squares of silver wrapping paper and equal sized squares of silver organza.

2)      Laid the two layers together and blue tacked them to the table on the diagonal.

3)      Arranged a scalloped napkin (found in Peel charity shop) and some paper doilies on top.

4)      Placed on a few bottles with ribbon tied round them.

5)      Trimmed the flowers and along with those added the water to the bottles.

I was happy with the finished product because it wasn’t overpowering, but looked cute, vintage and suitable for a wedding anniversary.


Bottles with the insides coated with paint

Bottles with the insides coated with paint


Letting the excess paint drain out.

Letting the excess paint drain out.


My helpful cousins assembling the centre pieces

My helpful cousins assembling the centre pieces


Before putting the flowers in.

Before putting the flowers in.


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