Friday, 25 December 2015

My Weekend up to Christmas

I have been busy over the last couple of weekends and wanted to post about it, I've been busy and haven't felt in like writing. 

During the festive season, I like to attend Christmas fairs and church fete, then again I like to visit any time of the year.  A couple of weekends ago I visited two in one afternoon the first was a Victorian Christmas fair and the second a medieval fair. My first port of call was to North Sheilds annual Victorian Market that is annual Christmas Festival; held in the town centre and people don Victorian clothing selling a variety of crafts, food and drinks. 


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On my way to the main event, I passed through the library where they were two women spinning fibres into wool and were offering demonstrations. That was incredible to watch how quickly the threads were spun into yarn. 

                                       
Unfortunately, the weather was atrocious it unexpectedly snowed and the conditions were extremely muddy, damp and freezing. I walked around on brought a necklace and an earring set from one of the vendors, I previously bought a garnet necklace from her before about ten years ago. This time, I purchase a black bead necklace with complementing earrings. I highly recommend her jewellery it's stylish and unique designs check the website out Sterling Crafts




Afterwards, I ended up at a small church fete, where I was persuaded to dress up and have a photo taken the nativity scene at the same time I was dressed in black with a PVC corset on which made look like Uriel the Archangel of Death rather than Gabriel. I donned a pair of fairy wings, fairy wand and a fuzzy white halo.


While I was bought some home made jams and a couple of knitted tree decorations. 




I also paid a visit the medieval Christmas fair and took photos I did stock up on mead and honey for the winter; I love mead. I was slightly disappointed in comparison to the Victorian market, still, at least, I checked it out. 

My outfit 

This was my first time I wore a corset all day but surprisingly I found it quite comfortable. My top its a charity shop find, skirt has brocade pattern I made and PVC underbust Burleska  




Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Christmas Eve

Hello, all of blogosphere it feels forever and a day since my last post, despite being approximately three weeks. A lot has happened as the days have rolled into one without any comprehension.  We're now approaching the night where St Nicholas showers us with presents. I don't want to discuss what's been going on apart from there's been a lot of rubbish going on.

This year, I've found it's been difficult to find the Christmas spirit and cheer, until about 10:33 this morning I had a euphoric epiphany of Christmas cheer and happiness surge through my body to my inner core intern lifting my spirits causing a sense of joy I haven't felt for a few weeks.  I haven't listened to many Christmas songs at the time I was listening to Chris de Burgh Spaceman, which always has a sentimental effect on me. 



After finishing work, I met up with the boyfriend at our local haunt Trills and had a few drinks while meeting up with a few friends I got slightly over excited and got far too tipsy after consuming too much  strawberry and lime Kopparberg cider, I decided I wanted to grab something to eat. 

Personally, there is something quite traditional about eating Chinese on Christmas Eve. We were quite fortuitous in finding a chinses which was a quiet yet pleasant. The boyfriend and I ordered from a set menu of chicken and sweet corn soup, crispy perking duck in pancakes, lemon chicken, beef in black been sauce and pork in sweet & sour sauce; for drinks I ordered Jasmine tea.



 During our meal, the boyfriend showed me a picture of his friends Christmas tree decorated with foxes, it resembled my upcycled Christmas tree. He posted a photo of my Christmas tree on facebook and people commented on how they loved it. Certainly makes a change as a lot of people have insulted it, but they entirely miss the point I have used to decor that is individual, unique and something that's made by crafters and small business owners rather than have a commercialised copy cat like everybody else. The important thing is I love my Chrismas tree. 

Afterwards, we went back to Trillians for more drinks, sadly, Trill's closed early.  So, I decided to look at Fenwick's Christmas window; Fenwick is a major department store, established since 1882, and every year they organise a Christmas display window was based on children fairy stories. Ever since being young, I love to see the windows as they bring back nostalgic memories.  This years window is about Santa delivering presents to the children in Newcastle. It features  some iconic buildings. 




I love this one with the reindeer in the  cloud made me laugh 





Wishings everybody a Merry Christmas 


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Up-cycled Christmas Tree



The days are counting down until Christmas comes, and in the Geordie Goth's household, the Christmas Spirit and preparations are non-existing, well slightly non-existing in comparison to last year.  

Last year,  the boyfriend celebrated, and I celebrated our first Christmas and spent minimal effort, we mainly exchanged gifts and a catastrophic Christmas meal. 

Last year, we had no Christmas decor, but this year we have upcycled my Halloween tree into our Christmas tree with a few additions. The boyfriend surprisingly bought some Christmas lights from Poundland, a pack of stars and colourful lights that are battery powered. 

Pictures from the Poundland website. My Starlights are blue but a pound I can't complain, as they add a bit Christmas sparkle to my tree I am happy. 




 also made some Christmas salt dough decor and decorated it. A couple Christmas wooden decor I bought from the Germany and a stained glass mistletoe I brought from a Christmas fair. It looks quite decent, and I am very happy with it.



















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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Bensham Grove Christmas fair

Today was a pleasant afternoon out of with the boyfriend, despite the harsh winds blowing, that the North of England is presently experiencing. After making the boyfriend's wake-up potion, consisting of dark rich cocoa powder, Carte Noir coffee and a dash of bovine milk, essential for any nocturnal creature to awake. We venture to a Christmas fair, and afterwards to the Cluny's Beer and cider festival to part take in the merriness of the holidays.

The Christmas fair was held at Bensham Grove, a delightful and charming two-hundred-year-old Quaker Cottage,  a hidden gem of Gateshead. Bensham Grove is a community hub that host arrange of adult learning courses, support groups, interest groups, toddler and services for over ninety years.

The house was built by Joshua Watson a Cheese Monger, who built the country house situated in rural countryside allowing for a healthy lifestyle for his family.Over the years the house continued to thrive and expand over the generations, the family continued residing there until 1919.

After the death of Robert Spence Watson wife's Elizabeth, the house became an Educational settlement centre. The family established a trust to instrument educational courses. Lettice Jowitt, one of the main wardens, opened the home where people rented a room and space. Jowitt worked with the Gateshead Medical Health Officer to establish A Mother and Child Welfare Clinic that also included Midwives and Health Visitors. The Health visitors visited the local community and offered to train mothers, who lacked knowledge of child care, this lead to creating a network and helped to establish the North East's first Nursery School.










A lot of Benshams Grove values, beliefs and services have been inspired by the Quaker principles. There has a rich history of arts and crafts as the house was opened to Pre-Raphaelite painters and William Morris, concededly the house even contains Morris's fireplaces and stained glass. 

The house has always adopted a tolerance and respect for Multiculturalism through Quaker beliefs remained to this day as the centre welcomes everybody. It was inspired by Joseph Watson the second generation to reside at the residence believed in the ablation of Slavery and often invited fugitive slaves including William Wells Brown and Frederick Douglas. 

The centre has always promoted and believed in education from all walks of which is still being carried on to this day with the venue hosting Adult learning courses and supporting disabled students. Robert Spence Watson, third generation, believed in Education should be open to the working class, and he provided urchins with cleaning materials to shine shoes as a way of providing an income.

Infomation from www.benshamgrove.org.uk

Pictures from The Bensham Grove Facebook account 

Bensham Grove held the Christmas fair as a way to raise vital funds for so many public services has been offloaded through cuts to local authority funding. I wanted to show my support by attending the event. The centre is where I attend my sewing class, and my sewing tutor informed the group of the event. Bensham Grove was an ideal place to hold a Christmas fair as in the spirit of the arts and crafts movements the vendor were local crafter selling their handmade and unique craft. 

I thought they would be a larger turnout of vendors; still there were reasonable numbers of selling various goodies. However, there was a good turnout from the local community and users of the centre showing their support. Also, many of the stall vendors were offering workshops on trying out different crafts including card making, jewellery and even some proggy mat making. 

One of the vendors at the fair was Sam one of the lasses who attends the sewing group. Sam runs Pikku Panda Designs designs and make bespoke jewellery and decorations out of perspex plastic and engraves personalised designs by laser cutting. I even commissioned a necklace myself, I fell in love with one of Sam's design and donned. I fell in love with the necklace instantly,  it was amazing to see the final product; I opted for a sparkly black perspex engraved with a design similar the image of an atom. The design makes me think I'm looking at a picture of stars. Sam offered me a choice of chains, but I opted for a 40-inch chain that adds to the ethereal hippy look I like. I even bought a pair of butterfly's earrings or the boyfriend bought a pair for me.  


   




I highy recommend to check out her FB page Pikku Panda Designs

I even bought a couple of items a stained glass mistletoe that was perfect for decorating my upcycled Halloween tree and a homemade candle.





P.s, I apologise for not taking more photographs 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Dress making, sewing and printing


Younger generations have assisted with the resection of traditional crafts that may have been lost, have facilitated the resurgence of interest in old crafts. Sewing and dressmaking appears to be the most prevalent with research from the Craft & Hobby Trade Association (CHA-UK) has 3.5 million people sewing and in between 2013 and 2014 433,000 started.


 In the UK, the combination of the recession where people have seen an increase in living costs and the reduction of  incomes has led to people adopting a make do and mend attitude salvaging clothing that are still wearable. Another contribution is people's more aware of disposal fashions has on the environment  

The media has been producing televisions shows that encourage people to take up crafting the first were The British Great Bake Off and Kirstie Allsopp's variety of craft shows. Her first show I can't remember the name of the show, but it involved exploring the use of homemade crafts to decorate an old dilapidated cottage, she'd purchased in Cornwell. These shows have led to the surge of armature crafter shows like the BBC's The Great British Sewing Bee. Even after speaking to both my sewing tutor who said the show did create interest and talking to fabric departments sales assistants they've found a tempory increase in sales.


Particularly, in the alternative community there has always been a DIY vibe, for example during the punk and early days of the goth movements many people altered and made their own clothing as a way of revolting against the mainstream fashion and society creating a unique aesthetic.  Many alternatives desire to be individual, to purchase unique clothing or one-offs can be extremely expensive and let's be many honest most couldn't afford it.  Where sewing provides a cheaper alternative allowing people to create one-off pieces tailored to personal styles and fitted the to their individuals body shapes. 

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Above is Kitti Pilla from Australia, who owns her Wollongong Workshop; designing and creating alternative clothing using her sewing skills to create her own business.

Sometimes sewing can be more expensive than purchasing off the rack clothing; especially purchasing fabric and equipment particularly sewing patterns can be quite expensive, despite being reusable they're often made of delicate tissue paper that is prone to damage. Over the last few months, I've been researching the internet to find free sewing patterns to download, there are some downsides such as finding the exact sewing patterns, measurements, finish, the cost of ink usage, the time it takes to construct the pattern and correctly fitting the pattern. Personally, it's still worth it for saving money. 

These are some of my favourite sewing patterns; I have found:


The sorbetto top would make a gorgeous gothic summer top designed by Colette based on sixties style Source









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I like this top to creates an interesting look, and I like the contrasts top.I'm hoping to create one I am planning to alter the sleeves to create one with lace contrast.top and sleeves with a black jersey top.  The top has optional peter pan collar.To download top Contrast cotton top




I like this top due to the ruffle detail, and I think it would look great and be ideal for the summer. Download from Ruffle top






 This design reminds me of a classic romantic gothic aesthetic with flowy sleeves. Download from Raglan blouses with flare sleeves




This design is another one for the classic goth category, and I like the design. Download from Raglan sleeves blouses with braid 



I choose this top as it has the lace inserts that would add interest to the top. Download Raglan blouse with lace gusset


I found this pattern of a gorgeous cardigan download Aspen Cardigan





 I like this skirt pattern as it has a lovely floaty look, and I used the pattern it's a very easy but effective pattern to use. It could be adapted into a square to create a pointed edge to a create a witchy feel. To download select on flouncy bouncy skirt



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I love this fitted dress, especially the ruffle detail that looks fantastic with the ruffle part trimmed arch style lace.  To download click on the Ruffled coffee dress. For this pattern, you will need to add seam allowance for the dress to fit. I even like the above idea of adding a ruffle to the dress turns more into a lolita dress.



I thought I would include a bag, a satchel I tend to use more satchels and backpacks. I like this design as a purse. Download a Gothic Lolita Bag


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I like this type of design bag for general use, especially if I'm carrying a tablet. This project doesn't have a pattern, but it does have instructions on how to  


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While researching the website, that has a variety of bags. Click on Bags




During my research, I came across these cushion kitties and thought if used a more gothic style fabric these would make cute kitties or even adapt the faces. I showed these to the boyfriend he found them disturbing, but I love them. Click download the cute kitties.

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GIY Craft Along: My favourite sewing pattern

T his months brief from Bane at Goth It Yourself. It's about favourites, so my favourite activity is sewing. I tend to use the same sew...