Friday, 28 December 2012

The Most Wonderful Time

There's not a time in the year that I love more than Christmas.  It was amazing - the first year when Katie kind of "got" the concept of Christmas.  She went to the grotto,  sat on Santa's lap, threw the present he gave her onto the floor -  a contrast to last years phobic tears for sure!  What made this Christmas all the more special was that there were two little people enjoying the festivities with us.

What's especially amazing is that a two year old and four month old sat still enough to pose for this photo!  I only wish I'd been a little more crafty about Christmas, it feels like I've been running around like a headless chicken just to get the basics done this year.  Next year will hopefully be a little more relaxed and I'll start planning early. I'm very excited about the year coming, I'm going to try to plan some projects, so keep an eye out.

Monday, 24 December 2012

What the Dooce?

I used to follow Dooce when Katie was just a distant dream.  I used to picture my life like that, with a beautiful little girl, so lucky.  I kinda brushed over the fact that Heather Armstrong experienced debilitating postnatal depression that she still seems to battle even now that her daughter is eight years old.  I hadn't caught her blog for a while but I'm shocked to find she's on a trial separation from her husband and that things just don't look good.  They seemed to have such a perfect life together - it just goes to show that truly all people want to show you is the highlight reel.  I hope they find some kind of peace from the pain soon.  Together or apart.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

My Big Girl

It actually feels like yesterday that this little madam was born.  I used to call her Little Miss when she was a baby, but now she's almost two years old she's Little Madam and actually runs around shouting, "little madam!"  It's the most amazing thing to watch your baby grow from being a tiny helpless creature to someone who cautiously takes a present from Santa in the grotto, places it neatly on the floor then goes and sits on his lap.  She's beautiful and I couldn't be more proud of her.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A New Day

Hi there!  If you used to follow me on Blogspot then *waves*!  I decided to take the plunge and get my own website to blog from rather than use a blogging website (although I can still be found lurking on Tumblr).  I was all excited and "yay!" but soon realised that building a website from scratch is an utter nightmare.  So here we are, bear with me on technical issues, I have the IT skills of a raccoon.  I've been working for hours on simply getting as far as we are now, with no jewellery content and nothing much else than a blank blog.  But hey progress is progress, right?  I'm hoping to get a shop up and running (or at least link to Etsy or something) as you can see at the top of the page but really I kinda just wanna sit back and say, "oh yeah, it's not broken now, DON'T TOUCH IT!"

So in general, what do I blog about?  All kinds of things really, attention span of a raccoon too.  In a nutshell though you'll find posts about jewellery, food, crafting in general, gaming, general life, beauty.  Your general mish-mash of everything!  Hope to see you again soon (as long as I don't break the blog part of the website again).

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Catching up

Wow, so I've really neglected this blog of late!  I'll be back very soon with a post with actual content rather than a "wow it's been so long!" post.  I'm thinking something along the lines of spending too much on ebay, sparkly nails again?  Who knows.  Maybe a cross-stitch Pikachu.  Just maybe.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A baby

It would appear I've had a baby!

Freya was born on Saturday 4th at 4:43pm.  It feels like a dream.  I'm finding myself going from a daily routine with a toddler to sort of "winging it" day to day.  I know for a fact that it will get better, as it did the first time around.  Nobody could ever accuse a mother of having an easy life.  I'm getting super fit I think, running around doing all the things that need doing, it's literally a race to get everything done.  My poor little Katie is different somehow, I think she's feeling quite left out by the newcomer's arrival.  We ask her where daddy is, she points, where mummy is, she points and where baby is and she rolls her eyes to the side and carries on doing something else.  I know she'll get better over time though and come to love her new sister.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Well, I've been naughtly lately and splurged a little on myself!  I've been eyeing up my lovely friend Shelley's Fox bag for ages now and finally decided to take the plunge and get my very own!  Today a lovely package arrived from Temporary:Secretary.

The bag comes in two colours, light and dark brown and I chose dark.  I can't imagine the bag lasting very long as the material is quite thin and delicate looking so I'm going to have to be careful with it!  I'll be heartbroken if I ever have to retire this little guy!

I also treated myself to a little gorgeous bunny ring - it's so simple but so cute!  I'm a sucker for bunnies.

And on that note, I'm not allowed to spend any more money this month on anything!  I'm usually quite good with not spending too much but I couldn't resist!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Let's have a go at one of these beauty posts eh? ;)

I had my hair done for the first time in over a year yesterday.  Every time I've had it cut in the past ten years I've gone from long hair to chin length short hair instantly but I decided to keep it long this time.  I was sick of it just being a long mop all one length with no definition, so here's what happened:

Since I'm now on four weeks holiday before maternity leave starts, I'm free to paint my nails!  I'm limited to "natural" colours for work which means I never get to experiment really unless I want to remove the colour after a day.  I've had Your Planet or Mine? by Leighton Denny waiting in my stash for months now so I cracked it out this morning.

Hydra Flex Shield - Your Planet or Mine? - One For All
I'm a big fan of Leighton Denny, so it's all going on here.  I started with the Hydra-Flex Shield as a base coat - my nails are rather lovely and peely at the moment because I'm pregnant.  I had to whack on three coats of the colour to get rid of the patchiness even though two coats are usually recommended for this brand.  Then on went the top coat - I used One for All.

I swear by the Miracle Mist because I absolutely loathe waiting around for nail varnish to dry, my only complaint is that a can doesn't seem to last that long!  Mine's running a little low now and I've only used it for about five applications.  You can wait sixty seconds between coats of varnish then after the last coat spray each nail for two seconds each then wait again and repeat.  It really works so it's great although it took a bit longer to be so effective this time, probably because of how much there was on the nail to get the correct colour.

I'm overall a massive fan of this colour - you can't even appreciate what it really looks like in this picture (and even less so on the Leighton Denny website where it looks like a completely random other colour!)  Depending on the light it's got purple, blue, brown and green tones with a shimmery effect.  Love it.

I've collected these products over a couple of years so didn't really feel the hit on the bank account but looking at the website - £44 in total for all the products used on my nails today.  Oh dear.

Friday, 8 June 2012

I see why so many people like iPhones.  I've yet to find a camera that doesn't make me look like a complete dog (which does wonders for my self esteem!) yet the iPhone manages to make me look half decent, even wearing no make up, with bed head and in pjs.  Awesome.  I'm sure they developed the camera on this phone specifically so people would feel good about themselves!  Definitely a selling point!

I've officially started four weeks of holiday before my maternity leave starts.  My workmates were absolutely amazing - I had balloons and banners and loads of lovely gifts for Freya, Katie and me.  Tom gets the helium balloons so I'm sure he's not feeling too left out.  I shouldn't be at a loss of what to do with my extra time now - I have hobbies coming out of my ears and a toddler to run after but I can't help but feel a little lost!  I'll be looking forward to getting my weekends back and doing all the things I never have time to.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Hoorah! I've finally joined the 21st century and got myself an iPhone! I've been using an old Nokia with all the basic functions for the past God knows how long so it's quite a shock to the system. It feels good to be blogging on the move although I'm still trying to figure it all out. Wish me luck!

Edit: I've had to laptop it up so I can edit this post - seems the blogger app needs a little work!  There's no way to edit where your picture ends up in the post and somehow the default font ends up being changed!  Ah well!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Studying Japanese - Minna no Nihongo

I've had a change of heart.  A change of layout!  It's my thing I think!  I'm forever changing my mind about things - I can't work out whether that's a good or bad thing.  I'm nearing the start of almost a month's holiday before maternity leave and am very much looking forward to the rest.  I'm trying to gather up my thoughts and find direction for what I want to be doing and I think I'm just about getting there!  I'm making a lot of changes at the moment - healthy eating, exercise, self-development in general.  Life is rather slow at the moment and I'm hoping to speed it up.  If only my willpower and determination would catch up with my mind, I'd be going at 1000mph.

I've got a few things for sale on my facebook page for ridiculously low prices - meaning I'm having a de-stash!  I've got this nasty habit of making tons of jewellery and never advertising it for sale - three boxes worth at the moment!  I'm hoping to completely de-stash to free up space for an upcoming new range - Loungeturtle.  Wonder where I got the inspiration for that name?  Think simple vintage style jewellery.  I'm very excited ;)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Oh yes, it's the Bluebirds Connecta Integra!  I ordered this baby carrier back in January some time.  I absolutely adore it, although I was less than impressed with the customer service offered by Connecta!  Several emails, five months (of having already paid for the carrier) later and a threat of me cancelling the order it finally arrived two days after a free Connecta in a different pattern (as a sorry for the delay).  Katie hates it, she just about tolerates being carried on my back for five minutes and will only go on my front if she can see herself in the mirror, so here's hoping little Freya will feel snug and secure in it!

In other news, I'm now on month three of my Happiness Project - focusing on healthy eating and keeping active.  I'm doing pretty well so far!  I really want to start taking better care of myself.  My skincare routine consists of a quick wash with Philosophy face wash and then slapping on a little bit of the matching moisturiser. I usually only stick a quick bit of Bare Minerals Bisque under my eyes, whack on a bit of Bare Minerals Foundation, then stick on a bit of Benefit Dandelion to make myself look a little less ghostly.  I'd love to do an overhaul of all things me, if only I had a little more energy.  I think I might get the smoothie maker out again soon, see if that does the trick.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I love reading blogs.  Lately I've been browsing around "vanity" blogs, I guess you could call them, that focus on clothes, makeup, general lifestyle for the twenty-something girl (which I think is easy to forget I still am!)  I won't be that kind of blogger really, I'm far too invested in saving for a "forever home" deposit than buying jewellery from Tiffanys (although sometimes I like to look).

I can't say I've ever looked back at the "carefree" life of having no kids and thought I'd be better off, but it does mean the difference between partying every weekend and sitting in watching your child wandering around in circles with Playmobil Noah (from the ark) hanging out of her mouth (true story).  I wouldn't give it up for the world but it's interesting how different the two kinds of blogs would be.  "Vanity" blogs and "mommy" blogs.

I must admit I like the appeal of the vanity blog - it makes the writer seem so, for lack of a better word, cool.  I never wanted to be the mommy blogger who writes an entire post about baby blankets.  I don't know where I'm going here.  I'd like to be more honest and open in my blog - I'm really aware of a kind of face I put on when I'm blogging that's full of exclamation marks and upbeatness that really doesn't come naturally to me!  Oops there's one again.

Anyway, here's my bump at 31 weeks.  Not long to go now, or at least I keep telling everyone.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Well, it's a gorgeous day, the weather has been perfect for the past two days.  I'm going to be resting up for a little while though - I'm now 30 weeks pregnant and feeling the strain from walking too much!  I'll be finishing up the last of the tile pendants I've been working on.  I've been stashing glass tiles for a while now so have a fair few to play with after deciding to de-stash a little bit.  I'm hoping to get together a nice resin kit and start learning to use that - very excited about the endless possibilities!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

So I finally took the plunge and had a go at using my husband's scary looking DSLR!  I still don't understand the vast majority of the features or how to get the best photos so I'm mostly pointing, clicking, adjusting til I get what I want!

You can check out my daily photo diary here at Blipfoto where hopefully you'll see me getting better day by day!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

I'm on a roll!  I was rummaging around in my box of fabrics and found an old pattern I'd not got round to using.  I'd found it online years ago and printed it off and forgot about it.  I can't even remember where I found it, if anyone knows please let me know!  I whipped him up in half an hour yesterday - he's felt hand-stitched with embroidery floss and finished with two glass pearls for eyes.

Edit:  Thanks to Jessica (see comments) for the info - the pattern can be found here

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Well, here he is!  Here's to happiness, and doing things right :)


Pattern can be found here

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The simple things in life are mostly the best.  I sometimes want to sell everything I own and have an empty space to sit in.  I'd have to blog by carrier pigeon or something though wouldn't I?

I'm trying my best to streamline life and make things run as smoothly as possible so I can focus on the right things.  It's funny how you can feel so stretched from one place to another though.  I've got a little project in the pipeline, something little just for me.  I'm going to make an amigurumi apple (with no pattern - arg!) with a little happy face to remind me to keep on track with doing my best at everything I do :)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

I love the idea of baking, but I hardly ever do!  I was having a sort through of my kitchen and gathered up my baking supplies.  I ended up making little fairy cakes with butterscotch icing:

Part of the reason I hardly ever bake is because I end up eating far too much of what I make.  Somehow three of these have disappeared already!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Arg!  No!  I have jewellery-block again.  Doh.  Literally surrounded by beads and things and can't think of anything to make, I definitely need some inspiration.  The weather has been amazing over the past few days and it pains me that we haven't got a garden to sit in so I can take some inspiration from nature.  Bringing a little indoors though, growing a hyacinth which has finally sprouted it's first little blossom and hatched some cute little seamonkeys in a tank!  I'm going to go and sit and stare at my piles of beads and hopefully something will come to me!

Monday, 5 March 2012

I think I go through phases with making jewellery - the current one is using semi-precious stones and stringing.  Here's my latest from today:

It's Green Oil Jade and Dark Oil Jade with a little Tibetan silver thrown in.  I love semi-precious stones, the texture and feel of each stone is really different.  Things like Rose Quartz will be really cold and hard to the touch and quite smooth and polished, whereas stones like Oil Jade are more earthy, feeling quite warm and almost rough to touch although they have been polished smooth.

Friday, 2 March 2012

For a couple of reasons, I am no longer using the name Firelily, but am however going by my very own name!  It's a little daunting taking all the credit for my work and actually putting my name to my work but it's time to take the plunge!  You can find the new page showcasing all my work (and where you can order jewellery) at Jewellery by Sarah Brookes.

To celebrate, I've gone back to my roots and dug out a bag of Garnet chips that I bought when I was a fledgling jewellery maker.  These were originally used in the Garnet chip chain that graces one of Alexis Southall's dancing costumes but somehow I never got round to using the rest!

The necklace is a lovely 18" in length, silver plated with Tibetan silver and those beautiful Garnet chips, hand strung on natural silk.  I've always wanted to be able to string and never had the confidence.  Practise practise, it's all it takes!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Been busy with my pliers today!  I've got the jewellery bug, which must mean that somehow I'm recovering from my few months of being ill!

I've been wire wrapping hair bands again, which means that I need to order more hair band bases!  It's truly addictive wrapping wire and really therapeutic even if it does leave my hands a bit numb!

This is a pair of earrings I made for my lovely friend Karen who loves her dogs ;) She's been waiting a while for these while I've been recovering.  I'm glad I've retained my photography skills from all this time too, usually I forget how to take pictures and everything ends up fuzzy or at the wrong angles!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Hello blog.  I think I've been neglecting you a little.  I've not been well for a few weeks now, sort of learning to cope with it right at the moment but hopefully things will be looking up soon.  Wading through sewing blogs the past couple of days and getting very annoyed with myself that I can't sew!  I actually gave up on my sewing machine while making nuigurumi because it was just too hard and hand stitched it all, but I can't sew very well. I think I give up a lot at the first hurdle and sewing is just something that is quite naturally difficult to me - jewellery is a piece of cake!