Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A room of one's own. Plus Giveaway. Because life is better with craft supplies and stationery.

Thanks for your comments on my blogiversary post yesterday. You're all very kind, and yes sometimes I over think things. Who'd have thunk?

I've been a bit slack on the blogging front recently, mainly because I've been tired. [This stupid get fit and get thin thing takes up loads of time and it's borrrring.] I have other things to do as well - like write a review of my friend's book,* and I've put pressure on myself to do it properly. As a result, I'm doing a virtual 'lalala can't hear you' and haven't started it. However - we're in the process of buying a house, AGAIN - and  naturally THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT. Because I will have.. an office**. A creative hub. An oasis of learning. A room of one's own, as insisted on by Virginia Woolf. Of course, it's highly probable that I will be just the same, and spend more time on Pinterest drooling over pictures of desks and world maps and pen pots than I will actually writing. But that's the fun bit, right? [And yes, I'm well aware that I should be perfectly capable of tapping out a best selling novel / earth shatteringly popular blog at the kitchen table. In between my volunteer work and raising triplets single-handed. And like, baking and stuff.]

desk space...good karma

desk space - photos

Love this desk space! And I especially love the brightly colored chair

Post-it note table for doodles and designs
Just rip it off and start again when you're done!

Anyway, as everyone knows, the best thing about a new job, new term at college or fictional office is the stationery buying opportunities this presents. I was in Tiger at the weekend - and as ever, managed to fill a basket with stuff I didn't know I needed. If you don't yet have a branch in your town, they're a Danish company, and are kind of like the love-child of Muji and Ikea marketplace. They're especially good for crafty bits and pieces - beads, crochet hooks, 15 metres of satin ribbon for a quid - big packets of spices, random Scandinavian snacks and stationery. They have notebooks of all sizes, cards and postcards, hipster beloved sticky tape with moustaches on it, sketch books with a pre-printed 'frame' on each page, speech bubble post-it notes...

Lamps £8 each

Parcel tape 2 for £1

Bull pen and post-it holder £2

Origami/crafting paper £1 a packet

I bought a waste-paper bin made from recycled Japanese magazines for £4, and everyone needs paper-clips shaped like bicycles, right?

Bike clips 4 for £1

So, because I got a bit carried away - and to celebrate two years of blogging, I have a little parcel of goodies to give away. 

  • Pack of pretty crafting papers
  • Speech bubble post-it notes - perfect for adding to photos of friends
  • Bicycle paper clips
  • A mini glue-gun complete with 3 glue sticks
  • Pack of Dutch waffles. Sustenance is important for inspiration. [Unless I've eaten them as well as my own packet. Yum]

So, to enter - please use the widget below and tell me in the comments what kind of 'room of your own' you'd like for yourself. Or have already claimed for yourself, if you're that lucky. Somewhere to write? Craft room? Gorgeous airy studio? Dressing room? Library? Frankly I'd like all of these and require a mansion to facilitate it. Oh, and be a follower of the blog. It's only polite. Any other follows/tweets purely optional. Open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lakota x

PS. While we're on the subject of stationery, I really have to show you these gorgeous notecards that the beautiful and fragrant Kylie sent me recently. She's made them out of a vintage ladybird book and I can't tell you how much I love them. Isn't she a genius?

Peter and Jane always wrote their thank you notes 

Thank you Kylie.

* It's called Composition, you should buy it. See link above
**ie. room with desk which I don't yet own / spare bed / shitload of unpacked boxes

Ta-dah! Tuesday

Hmm, what to ta-dah? A big wardrobe sort out is under way - loads of stuff on eBay, bags for the charity shop, and bags for recycling. I am in the process of trying everything on and ditching anything that doesn't fit, doesn't flatter or that I've just hung on to for no discernible reason. Right now my bedroom looks like a bomb went off in Oxfam. So it's a slightly miffed farewell to things I bought only last year, but a happy hello again to two pairs of 7 for all Mankind jeans and one of my all time favourite coats which I bought as a student. I can wear it and breathe at the same time again - hurrah!

Hello impractical for the wet weather coat!

I'll have another post coming up a bit later - look out for it because there's a giveaway involved. Until then, please link up all your best moments, makes, outfits and bakes. Y'all know the drill.

Lakota x

Monday, 28 January 2013

Happy birthday FHCS.

Two years. No, not how long it's been between posts. I've not been that neglectful a blogger. It's actually two years since I started writing the blog. Two hundred and eighteen posts, including this one. Hmm, that probably doesn't sound very impressive to anyone who posts every day. But it's good for me.

I hope you like how Faith Hope and Charity Shopping has turned out. Things have changed a fair amount as I worked out what I actually like to write about. There are and still will be posts when I find something second hand, but I reached a point where I realised I seemed to be accumulating tat for the sake of writing about it. That has stopped. I am going to make a concerted effort to only buy and write about things I really love. Which work with things I already own. And make the photos come out a little prettier. I am impressed -  in a tooth-grindingly jealous kind of way - with blogs where they manage to make a chipped cup look aspirational. Or an artfully placed spray-painted plastic dinosaur suddenly look amazingly modern. I want to combine my loves of modern design and vintage pieces in my house and my wardrobe, but fear you either have 'it' or you don't. It's a hard look to pull off, especially when half the household would vote for a Star Wars theme, accessorised with discarded socks and hot wheels cars.

Personal style blogs are some of my favourites. When they're good they're very good, but when they're bad...well, they're still entertaining! It's nearly five years post my last baby and only now do I feel as though I am recognising myself in the mirror again. Albeit more bleary eyed. That's quite lame isn't it? What was I doing all that time? Also the wardrobe sort out has revealed that er, I have a lot of designer jeans. And leather jackets. And scarves. This is not very exciting. I like stretchy jersey dresses with a denim jacket. [I'm think I'm overly influenced by people who stopped existing in the 90s. I blame you, Winona Ryder, Bridget Fonda and Jami Gertz]. A male friend recently commented that I haven't really drastically changed my going out look since school. I usually aim for a kind of 'I'm with the band' vibe. I can't do hair, but I'd like to. Still, I'm happy to try things on. Now I'm grown up I miss going to the shops with a friend, where we'd pick out the craziest things on the rails in Miss Selfridge and make each other try them on. I'd be the one who'd buy them. I guess blogs are a good replacement for this.

I talk about my kids occasionally, but do not want to be defined as a 'mummy blogger'. If something interests me, I'll write about it, but I'm not going to be a toy/mini breadstick/other random product 'ambassador'. I don't subscribe to any parenting styles and am quite certain I'm doing a lot of it wrong. I am grumpy. I quite frequently shout, and I forget to test Boy1 on his times tables. I threaten to hoover up small toys.* I think my kids are hilarious, but I also love it when they've gone to bed. I'm also well aware that it's all too easy to be very boring about your offpsring. [or pets, for those who haven't procreated. Yes, Captain Fluffypants looks very adorable sleeping on the sofa. As he did in the last 97 photos you put up]

I'm amazingly impressed by people who can really make things. Crocheting a dress. Knitting. Making trousers out of curtains and curtains out of trousers. Furnishing an entire doll's house from lolly sticks. Painting. [However if you crochet a terrifying baby doll I will share it on Facebook and sleep with the light on.] I'll keep putting up my silly craft cheats and glue-gun capers, but I think the fact that one of my most searched projects is a necklace made from two bits of lego says something uncomplimentary about my skill level. I'd like to do more art, it was one of my favourite occupations as a moody teen, although I'm not sure what I'd do with a whole load of charcoal daubings of Kurt Cobain these days.

I like funny. I love music and films and books and laughing about people in the public eye. I like travelling and discovering new places but spending most of my time in cafes and the museum shop. I like the crazy things that normal people make, do and sometimes try to sell on the internet. This is the kind of stuff I like writing about. I would like to meet some more of you this year and not be scared that you'll think I'm not...I don't know, enough. Young enough, old enough, thrifty enough, made up enough, stylish enough. Fuck it. I'll be me. And hopefully that will be enough.

Lakota x

PS. For bloggers who do write well about kids, craft, style, every day life - see my sidebar. <<<<<<<
And cos it's self-indulgent time, here's some of my favourite posts from the last year.

PPS. Back tomorrow. Stationery porn giveaway.

*This is an empty threat. I hate hoovering.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Ta-dah! Tuesday - what NOT to include in your eBay photos...

Hello, hope everyone's January is going well. Are you a teetotal gym bunny, or still eating a spoonful of elderly brandy-butter each time you open the fridge? If you're one of the many people who have decided to de-clutter and generally have a wardrobe sort out, you may be tempted at some point this month to head to your bedroom for a trying on session. Once you've ascertained which of your frocks no longer fit, and which of those sale bargains just never got worn, you can get started on photographing them for your eBay listings.  Just a couple of teeny hints to bear in mind though:

  • It's tricky at this time of year, but try to take your pictures in natural light when you can
  • Use several photos so buyers can see labels, details, scale etc.
  • Choose a clear backdrop - no messy wardrobe as in the photo below, and no grubby carpets.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY OF ALL - if you're going to be reflected in the mirror while you take your photograph - FOR THE LOVE OF GOD REMEMBER TO PUT ON UNDERWEAR!!

I'm pretty sure Jane Torvill always wore pants...
[click to enlarge if you dare]

Yes, it's a hard lesson to learn, but if you're going to put a photo on the internet, check, check and check again. Remember 'fat naked dude reflected in kettle'? No-one really wants that on their internet CV.The listing above has been doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. I figured it was funny enough to share but as I'm not a complete meanie [no, really] I have blacked out the poor girl's face and her home town.

EDIT: I did check the other day and it wasn't up any more, however Sandy has since discovered that no-knickers girl has relisted...and the Cheryl Cole-esque skater dress is now up to nearly £154,000! And er, my whole privacy thing was pretty pointless. She looks like this and comes from Oxford. So scratch everything I said before - if you want to achieve the best price - ALWAYS make sure you're naked in your photos! 

Tempted? You could get 5,000 nectar points as well...

So, got any ta-dahs which don't involve flashing your nether regions to unsuspecting internet shoppers? Do link them up!

Lakota x
PS. I post more of this kind of nonsense over on my Facebook page.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Christmas Swap 2012 Link Up - Please add your posts

Thank you to everyone who took part again this time around - it was bigger than ever with a whopping 86 bloggers signing up, from several countries here in Europe to right across the continents to Australia, New Zealand and the USA. If you haven't yet sent your parcel - please do so. This kind of endeavour can only be successful and fun if everyone upholds their end of the bargain. And it's so lovely to get post and discover how well someone on the other side of a screen - and sometimes the world - understands you.

If you've done a post on what you received - I'd love you to do a quick one, if you haven't already - it would be great if you could link it up below. I can't wait to see what everyone found for their budget, and how people interpreted the 'Christmas song' part of the challenge.

Lakota x

If you're looking for the Ta-dah! Tuesday link up, that's on my earlier post here, along with what I sent and received in the swap.

Ta-dah! Tuesday is back - My Swap Parcels

Hiya, welcome back to Ta-dah! Tuesday. If you have anything to show off about - whether it's a great outfit, a recipe, something you've made or an amazing item you've found on your travels - this is the place to link it up.

As we're now safely past Christmas and I know my swap partner has opened her gifts, I can show you what I found her, as well as the lovely gifts she sent me. My partner this time was Jem at Beautiful Clutter, and she sent me this uber-stylishly wrapped selection of parcels - string, brown paper, luggage labels, maps and an old copy of Little Women had all been pressed into service:

Inside, I found a jolly reindeer tin for my festive bakes, and nesting inside that a beautiful set of vintage shot glasses - I do so love old bar-ware. There was also some Christmas themed socks, a little handmade wooden birdhouse decoration found at Ashbourne market, and a very Luella-esque scarf adorned with prancing ponies from a local boutique. I love it and it's had loads of wear already. Thank you for all my gifts Jem.

Here's what I sent Jem in return:

I did quite well this year and managed to get the vast majority of my gifts second hand.

  • Pair of lanterns with star-shaped cut outs - charity shop
  • Giant decorative key - Jem loves keys - charity shop
  • Earl Grey scented candle - she's a big tea fan - TK Maxx
  • 'Pony Stories for girls' and 'Lessons in Ponymastership' vintage books - like me she's a horse lover - vintage market
  • Ceramic snowflake decoration - fulfilling 'Christmas song' part of the challenge, Let it Snow - from a VERY posh charity boutique in Berkhamsted, selling new and lovely home-wares but all money going to a local hospice.
  • Homemade jar of vegetarian and nut-free mincemeat, for the all important Christmas bakeathon.
My wrapping was rubbish by comparison so I've not included a photo of that! 

I'd love it if you could link up any Ta-dah! Tuesday posts on the linky below, and your Christmas Swap posts HERE please, as I know I've missed a lot of them over the holidays. 

Lakota x

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year's Resolutions of the Stars - 2013

Hey hey -  have you decided that this is the year you finally become thinner/ fitter/ nicer/ richer? You're not alone, as the resolutions of today's celebs reveal.

Emeli Sandé 

Wow, 2013. I think this is the year I really need to get myself and my music out there. I mean OK, there was the Olympics Opening Ceremony, the Olympics closing ceremony, the X Factor finals show, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year programme, the MOBOS, The Brit Awards, three number one UK singles and topping the UK album chart, but I'm worried. There may still be some members of a remote hill tribe in Borneo who have never heard me over-emote whilst playing a piano. Well no more! I refuse to hide my light under a bushel any longer!

Kim n' Kanye

Kim: This year is going to be so special. We are so blessed. I'm already planning how we're going to spend that little bundle of joy that's coming our way. Of course, there's going to be some sleepless nights, but ten million dollars in deals is going to take a lot of count... [Kanye: Whoop! Make some noise for my babymama!] Kim: Thanks honey. Anyway, as I was saying, there will be challenges ahead, but it's nothing we can't monetise together. From famous bum to famous bump, right? It'll...[Kanye: I'mma let you finish, but this is going to be the best baby of all time!] Kim: Sure, sweetie. I'm thinking 'Kash' for a boy and  'Kristal' for a girl. Or maybe 'Kubic-Zirconia', that's pret...[Kanye: Get down girl, go head get down!] Kim: Sheesh...

Taylor Swift

I've learned a lot of life lessons in the last year. Relationships take work. There's a lot of guys out there and it's going to take time to date them all. That's OK though, as I have a 47 album deal and need new material. Harry Styles will do for January - it's only a matter of time before we implode in a mess of song lyrics and Twitter hashtags - but he's an amateur when it comes to creepy mind games and controlling relationships. And I don't really like being the older woman. It's icky.  If only there was a famous guy out there with a penchant for robotic looking strawberry blondes who are a lot younger than him. And who liked making really public and cringe-making declarations of love. Perhaps on Oprah. That'd be perfect...

Tom Cruise

How you doin'?

Ryan Gosling

Hey Girl. You can achieve your dreams this year. I believe in you. Just like the studios believe in me. I grew up with prejudice, but I've proved there are roles out there for a man whose heritage includes cocker spaniel. Oh, and I'm going to learn fair isle knitting this year too.


1. Keep up good works.
2. Pick name for heir to throne - it's between George and Pharrell at the moment.
3. Buy bra. Wear bra at all times.
4. Look into rules on treason - is beheading still allowed?

Newly wed Hugh Heffner (86)

My resolution? To have sex every day until I die!

Newly wed Crystal Heffner (26)

I have the same resolution as my honey-pie. Sex everyday until he dies!

Happy New Year!

Lakota x

Last year's Resolutions post here. Do you have any? Do share.