Monday, 31 October 2016

Katie's Garden

A few weeks ago, I was presented with an opportunity to attended my first blogger event. The event really appealed to my love of tea, crafting and all things sweet. I was incredibly stoked and surprised to received an invitation, despite having a tiny blog. I wasn't sure what to expect and felt quite nervous about it. It turned out to be one of the most delightful and quirkiest cafes I've ever visited


The event was held at the charming Katie's Garden a whimsical secret garden themed bistro  What makes Katie's Garden unlike any other vintage tea room, I've visited. It offers guests the creative experience of getting crafty, over a cuppa and a slice of cake. 

Katie's Garden is a lovingly-run family business, founded by a mother and daughter Kathryn and Rachel. Their vision was to create a space for anyone to learn and have fun through crafting. With the support of their loved ones and creative industry experience, they established Katie's Garden. Now, in their second year, they plan to expand their business turning it into a franchise.   


Rachel and Kathryn host an array of themed parties catered for children or those young at heart. They provide regular events like their Weekend Breakfast Club, Katie's Little Crafters, and an After School Club. The also cater for adult celebrations and even, offered bridal showers. Click on the link for the website Katie's Garden





Katie's Garden is in Sunderland, it's more on the edge of the city centre, yet, a few minutes walk from Sunderland metro/train station.


It's easy to know when you arrived once I saw the distinctive exterior of the fuchsia picketed fence made it easily to recognise. Also, the decor of the windows the bright paper flowers and handmade fabric gingerbread men all displayed in the window helped as well.


 I opened the door and was greeted by the cordial Kathryn, donning a wonderful vintage themed red and white stripped dress. Kathryn looked liked she just stepped out of a 1950's ice cream parlour. I even enjoyed the waiter's coordinated wearing a matching bow tie, very dapper.    









The magic starts once the door entered with the "glittering penny" path leading towards the tree centrally planted with the hidden fairy grove. There was a vintage fusion theme, which ran throughout the pastel painted old style furniture to the upcycled benches enhancing the quaint charm.  The shop was filled with lovingly crafted, homemade decor throughout the shop. Everything from, bunting, wall hangings, book trees and animals. Every time I looked somewhere, I seemed to discover something new. 






As part of the experience, Katie's Garden's provided us with a beautiful spread, based on their picnic on the lawn menu. This included a scrumptious selection of finger sandwiches and small cakes served in high tea fashion. Also, I was intrigued by the novelty of the turf placemats,  I assumed that what they meant by a picnic on the lawn. Everything felt very genteel, especially,  having tea served from a teapot and drinking from a china cup. 




                         




Part of the night included sampling their crafts, this included decorating a fairy house and a gingerbread man, The fairy house was already prepared on the table with a selection of crafting goodies to let our imagination run wild.


 

My gingerbread man was really uncreative and had slightly a dodgy beard and mouth. I'm really not good at this kind decoration.


I under the spell of the adorable little fairies and fairy groves, which spread throughout.








I love the attention to detail, especially how the autumnal colours and decor were used to  reflect the season. 






I couldn't resist purchasing a couple of  the Halloween crafting packs I purchased the cute pumpkin and witch sitting on top I'm planning to decorate with the damask wallpaper. A wooden witch, I'm not sure where to put her yet, I'll find somewhere. I'm looking forward to decorating them soon. Katie's Gardens offer limited edition crafting packs catered  for all budgets, which can be completed in store or taken home. 




Katie's Garden always recommend booking a table in advance, so not to be too disappointed, as they can become busy. Don't worry if you forgot to book up,  they'll always do their best to find you a seat. 

I've been to my fair share of quirky cafes and tea rooms, I even been to a couple pottery painting things places, which were fun nowhere had enjoyment Katie's Garden offered. In my opinion, this has to be Sunderland's best-kept secret. I'll definitely be returning for Christmas crafting, along with my crafting buddy, who'll I know will fall in love with the place as I did.  


Monday, 24 October 2016

Bargin Bedside Tables

I've been searching for a pair of bedside tables or cabinets but to no avail, I've found nothing. It hasn't helped with my exact specifications of sort of french style, small, Queen Anne legs and something  complimentary to my dressing table.

 As usual, living my jet set lifestyle, I  fancied going for a glamours shopping spree to Byker, so basically a thrifting raid. I find Byker's great for charity shop finds and certainly the last few times, I've got some killer finds for pennies, well not pennies more for a few quid. 

My favourite charity shops are  St. Oswald's Hospice. I'm more than happy to donate my money here; its a local charity, sells great stuff,  always decently priced and plus, I always get fantastic finds. I walked passed one of their furniture stores and spotted a small table sitting outside, I literally grabbed the table like some a crazy person, dashed in, searching for a volunteer, ready to pay immediately, waving my debit card. Questioning in a whooping manner asking, " Can  I pay with this ?" 

The manger came over, I thought he was ready to ask me to leave. My fears were unfounded.The manger told me about the other matching table in the shop with it glass top intact and he offered me the pair for £8. Originally, I only wanted the one but with hindsight, I'm pleased purchasing the the pair. 





I lightly sanded the table to remove the top layer of varnish, using a coarser sand paper, I'm not sure the type I used.




After sanding, I wiped all the tables down with wet wipe before priming. For priming, I used Wilko's Furniture Primer,  which usually comes in white. After first using it on my dressing table, the white primer doesn't work well with dark paint. I later added black acrylic paint to the primer turning into fifty shade of grey it looked much better than white.  I applied.




After one coat of primer. 


I used the left over from the Rustoleum Gloss furniture Paint in Liquorice (simply black gloss.).   


This is what the table looked like after the first coat, I applied the  first coat with roller. I to dry over night. 


I lightly applied a second coat this time using a form on stick brush. On my first table,I painted,   I made the mistake of painting the top first. After the first coat dried, I painted the underside.  


After a third coat. I painted a light third coat, I might do a a forth coat, as I've noticed a few bits look slighty patchy. 


After experiencing black gloss paint is a nightmare for getting marks, so to protect the tops add some interest. I placed some vinyl, I've had. I traced the glass top, cut out the pieces and placed onto the tables. 



Unfortunately, in places the paint is bumpy and uneven, still once in my bedroom it'll be hard to see the imperfections. In time, I  plan to find a piece of glass for the other table.  



Either way, I'm  happy about the tables and love them.  I have two new beside tables for £8, woo. 








 Before


After                                                                      




Thursday, 20 October 2016

This Months Outfits

This month has been odd, as it's a transitional season, which I both love and hate, especially with the UK.  Often, I can look forward several seasons in the course of a few hours. One of the things I look forward to is being able to wear boots again, I love my boots.  Another thing I adore is being able to air  the cob webs  from wardrobe  and finally don  my   my long skirts again ( I apologise for some of the crappy photos.).

As I state previously, I source most of my wardrobe from a charity shop, occasionally high street shops I mainly  shop at  TK Maxx or Primark. Sometimes eBay, I've stopped shopping there as often the postage costs more than the item. Sometimes, I have purchased cheap top that have been reasonable quality from the Chinese sellers. Depending on my mood I sew my clothing. I often hate internet shopping, since I can't feel or try items on.  My hometown has no alternative shop anymore, it's a shame but that a sign of times. Also, I feel dissuaded from buying alternative clothing as often the items are poor quality for the price of them. My personal style tends to be quite sombre, and I tend to wear things that look quite similar.  

I love  this top, it was a charity shop find for a pound. My favourite part is the velvet flock rose motif. I  like the leggings, I wish they were thicker as, I didn't realise how much they highlighted my cellulite until it was too late.  I will only  be wearing them with my tunics  or  dresses in future. I wore with  nu goth boots style boots. I'm trying to wear heels retrain myself to wear heels, again.



This was my bowling alley outfit, I wore wearing a tunic top from Boyes yonkers ago, wet look leggings Primark, cardigan thrift find and favourite PVC boots from Primark. 






I wore this few weeks ago for my first sewing class. I found the blouse in a charity shop and love the ruffled detail, I'm still debating whether it's too tight I wore with one of my long skirts I made. I think I need to reconsider how I wear this blouse in future as I think  looks unflattering in reflexion.




This outfit, I wore a couple of  weeks ago to my first blogger event. The jumper is covered with black gemstones is thrift find, and the skirt  looks like embossed leatherette but it's more of a heavy lycra.




I was wearing a fluffy jumper and a kind of bouncy skirt with my DM boots. 




This my favourite outfit from the month, I love the top it looked quite flattering for my body shape. The skirt one of my favourite lolita's style skirt for a couple of pounds. I also like the various layer of trim and ribbon, it's so easy to slip on. I love these boots,they are  versatile to wear for all weathers and comfy. I purchase from Asda (owned by Walmart) for £40 and made from level, still going after four years of  wear. 




Saturday, 15 October 2016

Halloween Shopping

I can't believe where nearly at the holiest and spookiest months with Halloween approaching. I was hoping to be settled with all my spooky decor up, donning the house but work has meant the date of moving in has been put forward so many times I've stopped making   deadlines. 

I started as early as possible for the UK was late August we're not as enthusiastic about   Halloween  in comparison to our American counterparts. This year, I was so ecstatic, particularly since I now have somewhere to put it. I've been incredibly disappointed as there aren't as many shops stocking Halloween items and lack of  a variety. Personally, I can't understand the reason why as I thought Halloween was becoming popular. 







Despite my grumblings, I still managed to find a few things. The first place to have the Halloween decor  was John Lewis. Where I finally purchase the Vampire and Witch Candle holder, I had my eye on this last year I had limited room.  Still, I'm so stoked but unsure where to put it.  




I bought these zombie ice lollies back in the summer, they made think of  my beloved Halloween. They're so fun.  






Tk Maxx's home range had  Halloween things in from the beginning of September. They stocked thing in drips and drabs and each shop had different a stock. Again, in comparison to last year  the range, in my opinion, was far better. I still found a small selection of goodies. I love witches and I found this on to join my ever growing coven. I've got a sparkly a crow; I've always  wanted a taxidermist crow that'll do for now. I  like the Halloween bowl not sure what I plan for it. A witches sign I'll hang on my walls.  


                                   


The one thing I've been extremely happy about the is the  Home Sense extensive range of Halloween dish clothes and hand  towels. Last year, I don't remember seeing hardly anything, so  if I stocked up on a  few.  I think my favourites are the Halloween kitties. 






I  love my black kitties hand towel, I'm looking to forward to using them in my bathroom.   Along with the ones, Sharon aka Goth Gardner sent me.


Recently, I've been so disappointed about the stock from Poundland, and  they finally got in their amazing goodies in. My favourites are the sparkly candles.




A later find is a wooden black sparkly glitter pumpkin, I love it and I can't wait to put it in the kitchen. 




Since first seeing these really cute glass jars with straws   I've wanted some but found very few that appealed to  me.  I've been waiting for the Halloween season. Low and behold there is a great selection I got this on from B&M bargains I love it. Apart from their jar glasses, I'm really disappointed by their range.  


I got these from Poundworld, my usually not keen on skulls. I do love the glass skull cups, and I couldn't resist the luminous pink. 


I got these from a bargain shop but they seem to stock the same stuff as Poundland. I got these spider candles, liquorice smelling candle, they smell divine. I purchased a small  a faux candle with skeletons  dancing in the cemetery  made me think of  Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-SaĆ«ns with death summoning his the dead to dance while he plays his violin till dawn. 



Even  Primark  had a couple of Halloween goodies, I bought a pair of kiddies hair clips, for £1.50, a  black floral headband,  I've been debating to purchase but didn't want to pay the price and since it was on sale it finally persuaded me. Fluffy black socks since it's getting colder, makeup organiser and a blender sponge and holder. It looks like a prop from Fifty's Shades of Grey. Also, I've been watching various youtube makeup tutorials, and the YouTubers have recommended the blender sponge. So, I wanted to see what all the hype is about and it's black, sparkly it attracted the magpie in me.      


I even found a couple of Halloween goodies in the thrift shops, normally the stuff  I've seen has  been in  either more costume or  just  tacky things.  I bought a bowl, Omen  spiderweb top and pumpkin  hairs clips.  

My favourite finds are the  Nightmare Before Christmas mugs  that, I can add to my ever growing spooky collection of mugs. That will  look amazing in my new kitchen.



                            






Catching up, Coffee and Steam Punk

Last Month, I met up with Jane aka Breaking the Angel . We have been promising to meet up for ages but life gets in the way. Jane suggested...