Lego Moleskine week 31 & 32

Lego Moleskine Week 31

Week 31

I seem to be eating a lot of takeaways at the moment.  It is a habit I ought to get out of, as it’s not healthy and it’s expensive!  Still, I do like a good Chinese!  This week was quiet: I watched a lot of Netflix as I’m trying to catch up with several shows I got behind with.  At the moment, I’m loving Deadwood.

Lego Moleskine Week 32

Week 32

I seem to have got very behind at sharing these posts, as it’s now the end of August and here I am sharing my goals from the beginning of the month!

I loved the Lego movie, it was brilliant.  I also watched Divergent in this week, which was much better than the book.  I still don’t really care for the sequels though, and probably won’t watch them.

I’ve been tracking my knitting goals for a few months now with little tick boxes for each week, which I colour in when each hour of knitting is completed.  It’s quite an effective way of keeping on track.

It’s time for some link love!

My list of links to share with you is getting very long, so it was time to do a post!  I hope you enjoy reading the following articles.

Benches celebrating books! Isn’t this a brilliant idea! I love it, but it’s a little disappointing that they are only on display in London. There are other cities in the UK!

David Sedaris has written an article in the New Yorker about his relationship with his FitBit.  It is because of this article that I bought one of my own.  It’s a good article, and I like the little insight into what he gets up to on walks. More people should live like him!

It’s no secret that I love trees (definitely no secret if you know me in real life!). This post has been doing the rounds on Twitter, and it’s a collection of brilliant trees around the world. Check it out, and then tell me that you don’t love trees too!

I absolutely love this spiral crochet cushion design. I love clashing colours! In fact, I pretty much love everything Matt makes!  You should browse his site after reading that post.

This article on the joy of one is brilliant. I like having just one of some things too. I don’t have just one mug though, like the author of the article. In fact I have millions. I love mugs! But I like the idea anyway…

Someone has made a series of sculptures out of suspended buttons (hanging on threads) and it is the most awesome thing ever. The amount of work that has gone into these sculptures is incredible, and they look fantastic!

Another Demilked link. This lady gave up her job to become a landscape photographer and she is amazing. The photos are just fantastic!  Of course, it helps that she lives in Australia and has all this awesome landscape to photograph.

Most people, myself included, will never be hardcore minimalists. Life gets in the way and most of us are comfortable with a little clutter in our lives (I like books!). This blog post is a list of 10 minimalism ideas that we can all use in our lives, and I think it’s a good starting place for anyone wishing to streamline. Personally, my wardrobe has suffered from a clothes creep in recent months, and is now stuffed to the brim. I’m considering how to address this and will be blogging about it in future months.

Marc and Angel did a post on 12 things to remind yourself when you get up. I don’t read their blog very often because it’s sickeningly cheerful and upbeat, but there is always good stuff on there if you can bear the cheerfulness!

I recently came across an old Lifehacker guide to tea. I love tea, so this post is right up my alley! If you love tea, you should read it too!

Buzzfeed recently wrote a list of the top 27 best 00s teen movies.  I now have an urge to watch many of these films again.  I love teen films as they are cheesy and easy-going.  Also, It’s a boy girl thing should not have been ranked number 27.  It’s a classic!

Deer and Doe Airelle top in wolf yellow

I’ve made a new top.  My third one, in fact!  But this time, I followed a pattern.  It’s the first time I’ve followed a pattern to make an item of clothing, and it was quite easy.

I used a pattern I bought online from a store called Deer and Doe.  It’s the Airelle pattern.  The company is French, but the instructions come in French and English.  The pattern is on heavyweight paper.

Deer and Doe Airelle wolf top 1

The booklet that comes with instructions is very good – everything is laid out step-by-step, and if you’re new to following patterns like me then you’ll appreciate this.

Deer and Doe Airelle wolf top 2

Two words of advice though:

  1. You’ll need 2m of fabric, which is not written down in the pattern.  It took me a while to work out how much to order!
  2. If you’re using a patterned fabric, you cannot lay out your pattern pieces as is illustrated in the booklet (see photo above), as the fabric will end up upside down in several places.  I followed the second diagram, for the narrow width of fabric.  You need to flip piece 1 around 180° in order to keep the pattern going from top to bottom.  Piece 4 needs flipping 90° to the left so that the sleeves are orientated the correct way.

Mustard wolf

The top took me a few hours to make over several days, and involved lots of ironing!  I used the mustard yellow wolf fabric I bought from Frumble (this is the top I had intended to make with my cat fabric). It was good fun to make and the steps outlined in the booklet made it simple to pick up as and when I felt like it.

I struggled to get good photos of my new top because the focus on my camera was being weird (the soft focus at the bottom of the following photos is not artistic – it was the camera being odd!).  In addition to the camera being weird, the cat kept trying to interrupt me.  She hates it when I actually photograph her, but if I’m photographing anything else in the world she wants to be involved.

Deer and Doe Airelle wolf top 3

Deer and Doe Airelle wolf top 4

I think I made this top one size too big, but I have broad shoulders and as there is no fastening on the top I was worried about getting it on!  I might try it a size smaller next time.  I skipped the collar in the pattern as I pretty much never wear collared tops, but I added a button to the neckline.

I really love this top, and I’m going to use the pattern again.  I’m thinking of doing a Christmas top with it, but I’m going to change the neckline to a rounded neck I think.  I’ll report back when I’ve tried it!

P.S.  Isn’t my hair getting long!  I’m growing it… Again.

Lego Moleskine week 29 & 30

Lego Moleskine Week 29

Week 29

Bastille day and some time off work!  A nice week!  I also “discovered” a place in town that does real Italian pasta takeaway, which is delicious!  I see much pasta in my future!

Lego Moleskine Week 30

Week 30

I had loads of items in the post in this week, after doing a bit of naughty shopping online!  Also, check out my wax stamp, which is the Batman logo!  (Also new black wax to match it!)  In this week the sun shone every day, and it was very hot.  Combined with all the muck-spreading, the town was quite unpleasant!

My cat fabric, and why I am sad

I recently came across a fabric company called Frumble, who stock a fantastic range of fabrics (seriously, I could buy most of their store). I ordered three fabrics at 2m each: a red owl fabric to make a Christmas top, a yellow wolf fabric and a cream cat fabric, also for tops.

When I received the fabrics, I threw the whole lot in the wash, along with some towels and other miscellaneous items (I hate running a half-empty washing machine!). Because I intended to use the fabrics to make clothing, it’s a good idea to wash them first, then they do any shrinking before you’ve cut and measured them (no-one wants to spend ages making a top only for it to shrink the first time you wash it!).

This is where my tale of woe starts, because the red owl fabric leaked, and dyed all the white and cream items in my wash an inconsistent shade of pink. For the tea towels that got dyed, I didn’t care, but my lovely new cat fabric that I’d just spent £24 (40$) on was one of the pink victims.

Dyed cat fabric

At this point, I contacted Frumble to let them know what had happened, to see if they could replace the cat fabric. My reasoning is as follows:

1) There was no warning on the red fabric that it was liable to leak and dye everything pink

2) I’ve been sewing regularly for four years now, and I’ve never had a new fabric leak in the washing machine (and I wash quilts after I’ve sewn them so if I did have this problem it would be a disaster!)

Frumble replied that red fabrics often leak, and suggested I buy a colour corrector detergent thing to wash the fabric with, which I don’t want to do because a) I’d never use it again so it’s a waste of money, and b) I go out of my way not to put chemicals in the wash so I’m not going to start now.

I emailed them back to point this out, and also to point out that saying that reds often leak is not an adequate response, given that I haven’t had this problem before and the fabric didn’t carry a warning (either in the shipping note or on their website). Frumble ignored my second email, and I’ve not had a response.

If the cat fabric had been dyed pink evenly, I would probably have used it to make a top, as I’m really not fussy. However, it hasn’t dyed evenly and as such is unsuable.

The reason I wrote this post is because I wanted your views on the issue. Do you think I’m being unreasonable with my request for a replacement?

Is it my fault that the cat fabric got dyed since I mixed my colours and whites, or is it Frumble’s fault for knowing that the red fabric might leak and not advising customers to be careful?

I’m not going to do anything with your responses (i.e. launch a campaign or anything like that!), I’m just genuinely interested in your thoughts on this. Who is wrong?

Pink and blue crochet mat

I love putting clashing colours together.  It’s very satisfying!  A couple of weeks ago I had an urge to crochet, so I picked out some pink and blue yarns from my stash (it grows ever bigger!).

Crochet mat 1

Originally, this was going to be a scarf, but I made it in single stitch crochet and I had nowhere near enough yarn to do it!  So, I decided to make it into a mat for my spider plant.

Crochet mat 2

My bedroom is pinks and blues so it matched nicely.

Crochet mat 3

I think it looks good!  (I never block anything so it’s a little wrinkly, but I don’t care!)

Product review: Monologue ruled notebooks

Monologue ruled notebook 5

Months ago now, I was contacted by a company called Monologue, who are launching a new range of notebooks. They asked me if I’d like to review some of their products, and they looked great so I said yes! (As a little insight into the world of a blogger, I often turn down product reviews, either because they’re not in keeping with my blog or my lifestyle, or because the product doesn’t look good!)

Monologue make their notebooks with acid-free paper, and in appearance the notebooks are similar to the other brands out there: Rhodia, Leuchtturm, TeNeus, Daycraft, etc. The notebooks have an elasticated closure, a ribbon, a back cover envelope and a sturdy fake leather cover.  They’re different from these brands though because they include an elastic pen loop in the design of the notebook.  It’s fixed to the back cover of the notebook, underneath the envelope.

Monologue ruled notebook 6

The loop is tight, which is good as it means it fits an assortment of pen widths.  However, it does mean with a Lamy, as photographed here, it’s very tight and difficult to use.  I assume though it will loosen a little with time.

Monologue ruled notebook 9

The elastic closure on the notebook is tight too – tight enough to leave a mark on the soft cover. However, I again assume this will loosen with time.

Monologue ruled notebook 7

The paper in the notebooks is cream, and 80gsm.  The pages are ruled with a narrow rule, and they don’t run to the edge of the page.  I’ve said this before, but I much prefer lines that stop before the edge of the page.  It looks much neater, and as such I’m a fan of these lined notebooks.

What we all care about really though is the ink test, am I right?!  To be honest, I didn’t expect much for 80gsm, as in my experience you need 90gsm plus in order to use a wet fountain pen happily with no bleeding.  The ink test below shows that my assumptions are largely right.  I only had two fountain pens to hand when I did this test, and both were small nibs.  The first is a fine nib, but you can see it still has some bleeding on the page.  A medium nib is likely to be even more pronounced.  My Sailor extra fine nib (bottom) had no bleeding though, so if you’re a fan of small Japanese nibs this paper won’t bother you.  The PITT pens didn’t bleed at all, but given their cost and intended market (artists), I’m not surprised at this.

Monologue ruled notebook 8

This purple notebook is an A6 notebook, but Monologue also sent me a mini version to review.  Is it not the cutest notebook ever?!  I’ve put it next to my iPhone for scale, and you can see it’s truly tiny!

Monologue ruled notebook 1

They also did a brilliant re-design of the elastic closure.  If you look at the photos, you’ll see that the elastic closure is horizontal and starts in the middle of the cover.  It works perfectly, and even when open it lies flat against the cover.  They should find a way to use this closure design for all their sizes.

Monologue ruled notebook 4

The notebook, although tiny, is still fully functional as a notebook, and is lined inside just like its larger sibling.

Monologue ruled notebook 3

This miniature notebook is great for keeping in your bag/pocket to jot things down on the fly.  I’ve been keeping shopping lists and things to remember in it.  Its size makes it brilliantly portable, which is the problem with most to-do lists!

Monologue are a new company and aren’t trading in the UK yet, but if you come across their notebooks I recommend picking up one of the miniature notebooks for your pocket.  They’re great!  The A6 notebook is similar to others on the market, but the addition of a pen loop makes it a good choice for notebooks you keep with you all day.  For stuff you leave in a drawer at home, I think Rhodia is better (nicer paper), but you don’t get a pen loop with their notebooks.

I will be doing a giveaway of some Monologue products in the near future, so keep an eye out!

A final URL reminder

Afternoon tea in the evening 8

The URL of Planet Millie has changed from www.mslogica.com to www.planetmillie.com.  The mslogica.com URL gets “switched off” next week so please make sure you have updated any saved URLs you have before this happens.

Thank you!

Wildlife and other bits

These are actually the first ever rabbit photos I’ve taken. These rabbits are wild, but they were quite tame and let me get quite near and photograph them.

Rabbit 1

Rabbit 2

Rabbit 3

Gatekeeper butterfly:

Gatekeeper butterfly August 2014

Greylag geese:

Greylag Geese

Swan feather:

Swan feather

I love squirrels!

Squirrel

I also love fungi!

Giant fungus!

Moo moo cow in a field :)

Unripe hazelnuts:

Unripe hazelnuts

Archie’s nose!

Archie nose!