Aside

Release the Curls – Curly Girl Method

For the last few years, I’ve embraced my hair in it’s natural state. Not because I’d fought against curls in the past, but my hair was always more wavy and full of kinks than actual curls. I’ve kept it in an asymmetric bob cut for some time now, as I think it suits me and my lifestyle. However, as I’m getting closer to 40 (!!!), I’m finding it easier to adopt various regimes and approaches – skin care, hair care, nails, bags, you get the idea!

Up to today, I’ve simply washed my hair in a standard shampoo, occasionally I’d condition as I found it weighed my hair down if I did it every day. I’d then put in some ‘curl defining’ serum/spray and let it dry naturally, sometimes I’d diffuse dry it. It worked, kind of. Some days were better than others. Some days I’d have lovely curls, other days it’d be more frizz and fluff.

Then, last week, I was on Instagram, watching some stories, when @rosemarymccabe mentioned a hair product she’d started using as part of the curly girl method. Now, before I go further, let me point out, I’ve a hazy memory of reading/hearing about the low/no poo method some time back. I let it wash over me (as I do with a lot of things), and thought no more about it. Anyway, Rosemary’s story linked out to a few ‘curl girl’ IGers (namely @curlycailin and @orlasheridanstyle) and I went off down the Curly Girl (CG) rabbit hole! At this point, I’d like to note I was off sick with walking pneumonia, I was drugged up and spend-happy!

Some period of time later (let’s say 24 hours, and that I slept on the prospect of investing in new hair products and giving it a bash), I made a purchase on lookfantasic.com using @curlycailin affiliate links (and the code LF15 for 15% off some of the products) for some ‘basic’ CG method products.

The products I went with are as follows:

As I said above, I used Curly Cailín’s affiliate links for these products – she has a great post on http://curlycailin.ie/favourite-curly-girl-products-2018/ that I recommend you have a read through.

I have a pretty full bottle of John Frieda Curl Reviver Mousse here, and I saw that it was recommended elsewhere for the CG method so I didn’t bother buying any new mousse product. Once this is finished, or if I find it’s simply not ticking the box for me, I’ll get the recommended Pantene Pro-V Defined Curls Mousse No. 5.

I think this is more than enough to be getting on with for now. I’ve to get my head around plopping and squishing – I might invest in the Bouclème towel yet. The scrunching out the crunch was like an epiphany to me, though. So since I put in my product order, I’ve taken a few small steps to change my hair routine. I’ve washed my hair ‘upside down’ to see if it helped the frizz halo – IT DOES hugely, and I’ve put in more mousse than I’d usually use as I didn’t like the ‘crunchy’ look. Little did I know I was meant to scrunch that out once it had dried fully… EPIPHANY I tell you! Those little changes alone made a difference to my curls, so I am optimistic!!

FINALLY, the parcel of goodies arrived yesterday, and this morning I stepped into the world of Curly Girl hair method… more to follow!

 

* I don’t have any affiliation with Look Fantastic, but if you want to use my referral link https://www.lookfantastic.com/referrals.list?applyCode=ANNA-RPN1 for any future purchases, it’d be very much appreciated!

I’ll never be an influencer!

I could despair at my lack of online presence, dire gaps in posting, etc, etc, but I won’t! I spend Monday to Friday sitting in front of a computer for my day job, and once the work day comes to an end, I’m not as inclined to be on a computer again for the evening. Once upon a time, I would have tapped away on the keyboard all evening, but no longer! In saying that, I’m on my phone ‘browsing’ (cue buying when I really shouldn’t be!) so I probably could be utilising my online time more productively.

So, influencers and influencing… excuse me while I ramble with my own opinions here: I firmly believe that the ‘good uns’ are the ones that happen organically, without planning. Influencing from truth and experience. In saying that, it could be argued that this can be manufactured, perhaps that’s the sign of success in influencing? Still, I can’t shake the feeling that integrity is what comes through – it certainly does with the few I follow/ Although, now I think of it, am I following any actual influencers? If they influence anyone, does that make them an influencer? By that premise, maybe I influence people? Woot, I’m an influencer!

I don’t think I have it in me to do the intentional things to become anything more than I already am on Social Media. Speaking of which, I’m really only active on Instagram (@ana_giggles). I’m getting very close to removing myself from FB. I don’t post much – and it’s more a personal thing. I tend to keep Twitter and LinkedIn for the day job ‘stuff’. So yeah, Instagram is where I’m at! The content there is predominantly fabric and sewing related, with a liberal sprinkling of life shite and family. I recently took the step to switch to a Business account there, and put a little branding on it. I don’t know if I should also adjust how and what I post, but then, I really do want to stay true to myself…

Onwards, who knows what the future holds!

Ax

Shocking!

I truly have not kept posting like I thought I’d might manage!

I often have great notions of what to post at times that really aren’t appropriate (usually when I’m about to fall asleep!). Is there a way to post when asleep? Lol!

Quilting continues. Swimming continues. Triathlon ain’t happening this year, I’ve to accept that – rather than feeling a failure!

I might try harder here!

Selfish Sewing

I started 2015 with this intention, so how is that I’m into April 2015 and everything I’m making so far is for someone else?  😳

I need to get cracking on finishing some quilts for me. So my to do list stands like this:

  • Quilt & bind Sound Energy Quilt – for a friend, but first being exhibited (a post to follow on this)
  • Finish Elemental Strip & Flip – this is a joint project between Jack and I. He wants to make a quilt for himself, we have it stripped, time to get the flip on.
  • My Road to Liberty quilt. I have all the pieces assembled, I just need to trim and start building the top. MINE!
  • Secret quilt design that is in progress… That’s all I’m saying other than this will be MINE!
  • Farming quilt for Adam, he’s begging for one, so I better make!
  • Two baby girl quilt gifts
  • Pocketful of Posies tunic top – I have the fabric, I must make!

I have a list of other patterns and bundles assigned, I need to make at least one of them in 2015… Otherwise the stash will keep growing and no quilts coming out the other end!

So 2015 isn’t all that selfish so far, maybe I’m not cut out for only sewing for myself!!! Really, what I promised myself is I wouldn’t get involved in swaps or bees this year… We’ll see how the rest of the year goes 😉

Ax

Things I've learned lately!

  • I need a design wall!
  • I need ready access to my sewing machine, or I feel sad!
  • Not seeing my fabric stash on a daily basis makes me antsy 😉
  • I don’t make enough time for myself to do the things I love (sewing, blogging, designing)!
  • It currently feels like there are more quilts I want to make, than time to make them!
  • No matter what you do, someone will always create stress for you!
  • I’m good at my job
  • Regardless of what I do, I can’t escape doodling, or being creative.

What have you learned lately?

 

Swooning Along

Back in 2013, I fell for the Swoon Quilt by Camille Roskelley at ThimbleBlossoms. There have been numerous ‘Swoon Alongs’, none of which I managed to keep up with!

My godmother mentioned she’d love a quilt for her living room couch, so I decided to make her a ‘small’ swoon. She picked out a selection from Cuzco by Kate Spain as the fabric, and I went ahead and ordered it. Little did I know at that stage that it would take me two years to complete the quilt  😳

Cuzco-1

Having received the fabric, we then embarked on putting our house on the market, and my sewing opportunities became fewer and fewer. Our weekends were full of prepping the house for viewing, and my head was full of making plans for the impending house move, and finding somewhere to move to!

In that time, I managed to cut and piece the blocks (most of them were actually pieced on my birthday in 2014!), and loved them so much! I learned a lot, not only that piecing and making in the kitchen is not the way to fully enjoy quilting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blocks were all packed up then and we moved across the country. Eventually, last September, I finished the top, and as I did it late at night, I didn’t realise I’d used a different colour for the sashing strips (white instead of cream) ARGH. It then sat on my WIP shelf for another 3 months! Taunting me with the mistake, and I contemplated ripping it apart to redo the sashing… Then I took it out one day, and Leslie remarked that he really liked the cream against the white, without any prompting, he felt, when I probed further, that the blocks got centre stage because they were against white… So I decided to leave it was, we’ll call it a design feature!

I decided in late 2014 that I would finish the outstanding bits I had (bee blocks and Swoon), and then 2015 could be all about me sewing for myself, selfish-sewing so to speak! So I finally got the Swoon basted, and then I went hell for leather quilting it. Finally, it was finished! In all it’s Cuzco, Aurifil, Bella Solids, crinkly glory!

I delivered it to my aunt this week, and she is thrilled with it! I thought my mother would hide it on me, as she spent a few days gazing at it lovingly (hints received, loud and clear)…

I’m glad it’s done, I LOVE how Swoon makes fabric pop. I will make another Swoon, but it won’t be done in such a dragged out fashion!

  • Pattern: Swoon from Thimble Blossoms by Camille Roskelley
  • Fabric: Cuzco by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics
  • Thread: Aurifil 50wt – pieced with 2024, quilted with 4668
  • Binding: Bella Solids in Aqua
  • Backing: Up-cycled pale green cotton duvet cover
  • Batting: Bamboo (won’t be using this in a hurry, it fluffed an awful lot

Must.try.harder

It’s a constant battle for me, to keep up on blogging, I want to blog regularly, I really do! Life keeps getting in the way though 😉

So much has changed in our lives! We’ve moved back to Kerry, where my family is from, and we’re in the process of looking at building our forever home! It’s hard to believe how much we’ve achieved in the last 9 months. Both Leslie and I have sold our house in 4 months, we moved our family across the country, and brought both of our jobs with us. I don’t think we ever thought we’d manage it, but we have, and it feels good to have done it! It was reasonably ok, stress-wise, I found the waiting for offers on the house the hardest part, and I will admit I reached my limit the weekend before we got the offer we accepted, I regret not holding on just a bit longer and keeping my cool, but hey! We’re close to my parents, and extended family now, which is lovely for the boys, and us 😉 We’ve spent so much time romping across fields, swimming in both the Shannon and the Atlantic, having relaxed afternoons with barbecues, and no need to travel 2.5 hours home… Bliss!

I’ve got my own room too! I work from home now, so I needed a space for myself, and I have it now! I am slowly catching up on the Modern Irish bee blocks I’m WAY behind on, and I’ve a big list of quilty plans!

I’ll have to do a post in the next few days with all the bits and pieces I’ve sewn in the last few months!

Ax

Terrifically Tempting Tiramisu

Possibly the nicest tiramisu I’ve ever eaten! So so simple to make, and anyone who tastes it will want the recipe!

Ingredients
250ml double cream
250ml single cream
250g tub mascarpone
150ml marsala/Baileys/Captain Morgans (CM is divine in it!)
5 tbsp golden caster sugar
300ml strong coffee, whatever your preference or made with 2 tbsp coffee granules and 300ml boiling water
175g pack lady fingers (sponge fingers) you might need another pack depending on your dish
Dark chocolate

Method

  1. Put the cream, mascarpone, liquor, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until they have the consistency of thickly whipped cream.
  2. Put the coffee into a shallow dish and dip in a few sponge fingers at a time, turning until they are nicely soaked, but not soggy. Lay these into your dish until you have used half the biscuits.
  3. Spread over half of the creamy mixture.
  4. Grate over a layer of the chocolate.
  5. Repeat the layers (I drizzle over the leftover coffee slowly so it soaks into the ladyfingers, you could so this on first later too. Basically, use up all the coffee), finishing with the creamy layer.
  6. Grate over more dark chocolate, covering the cream.
  7. Chill for a few hrs or overnight. This can now be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, if it lasts!!!

Ax

Quilty Stitchery

I haven’t had a chance to post about the Little Miss Shabby Quilty Stitches sewalong… I am still catching up with it all, but it’s such a sweet project. I love recreating the blocks in minature, and can’t wait to have it all finished and hanging on my (soon to be) sewing room (see Upwardly Mobile)!

If you’re looking for a sweet project to take up, especially for when you’re on the go, and have the itch to stitch, I’d recommend this one!

Ax