Monday, 24 July 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #559 Important Info: My Missing Blog Background

Some of you may have seen a ghastly image in the background rendering my blog unreadable. Apologies for this, it wasn't my fault. There's a major issue with the company Photobucket, which I've explained in the following post on Nayu's Reading Corner. I would have put it here, but yesterday after investigating the matter I needed the cute pictures to accompany the post (I tend not to use them as much on this blog). The short answer is I don't know when I will be able to reinstate the background as I'm clueless with web design. For now white will have to do.

Nayu's Feature Post #4 London Embroidery Exhibition 12th-13th July

This post is all about bags, so it seems fitting that I show you my main bag (I don't have many) - it's the lovely Gorjuss Ladybird girl! The other side is a little different, but this is the only picture I could find quickly online.

Note: Anything in black font is my own thoughts, anything in purple is taken from emails/websites, which I give the source where possible.

Company logo

This request came through on my book review blog, but since it's a craft themed event I thought I'd talk about it here! I didn't go, and as you can see from the post's title it is now over - this is the earliest I've been able to put the post together Here's the info from the email I received from Hand & Lock's agent (unsure of correct term to use in this instance. Might be publicist, but not quite sure). Hand & Lock explain themselves best on their website

Hand & Lock are London’s premier embroidery house providing embellishment services to the Royal Family, top European design houses, the Royal Armed Forces, Savile Row and members of the public. In our central London atelier we offer a range of services from hand monograms and bridal customisation to goldwork blazer badges and machine embroidered logos. Every commission we undertake receives the highest care and attention from our team of dedicated embroidery designers and expert embroiderers. Whether you are a top Italian designer or a new parent looking to monogram your daughter’s christening outfit the process the process is exactly the same.

This bag is by Aspinal of London Someone in my family loves poppies, which I believe these flowers are (no idea about what type the butterfly is - I can only identify a cabbage white!) The stitching is perfect, and  looks a sophisticated bag

Wow. That's quite an impressive list of clients, as well as being a long established business before the 21st century!  Even before seeing any of the pictures I knew the bags would be exquisite, and they are! I can pretty much guarantee none of them would be under £30 which is the most I've ever spent on a bag (I'm not a bag buying type of girl)
This beautifully coloured bag is by Jill Haber. I find the eye creepy, but ignoring that (a bit hard...) I love the turquoise and gold flower (except I'm sure it's meant to be a hand), with the stars accenting the corners. Not entirely sold on what looks like a bellpull, but overall it's a pretty creation.

Anyway, from the original email I was told that Hand and Lock is hosting the London Embroidery Exhibition featuring lots of amazing collaborations they’ve worked on over the years including pieces straight from the Vivienne Westwood AW17 runway and Mary Katrantzou.  Among these gems, we also have the ‘Embellished Bags’ – a project where Hand & Lock have teamed up with the following iconic hand bag designers to create an exclusive limited edition collection: Aspinal of London, Jill Harber, Vivienne Westwood, Alfie Douglas, House of Holland, Lost Property of London, BVS Design, Asprey, The Cambridge Satchel Company, Lulu Guiness, Globe-Trotter, Patrick Cox and Agnes B. 
This understated yet elegan Fleur de Lys bag is by Patrick Cox. I love the contrast between the plain white/cream and the heavily patterned symbol.

I've heard of Vivienne Westood, but that's about the only designer I recognise - I'm not really into bags at all, but knowing designers has nothing to do with admiring these works of fine craftmanship! I've saved my favourite until last, a modern design which while I'm not overly fond of red things (I know my bag is red, but it depends what type of red) this is the bag that grabbed my eye the most, and is by Henry Holland. I like the swirly bits and the way the colours both stand out and compliment each other.
A Hentry Holland bag

I hope you've enjoyed this feature post - hopefully there will be more exhibitions like this in the future that I can share with you!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #259 Cats get spots!

My gorgeous girl who I can wax lyrical about on Twitter a lot

Please note this post is my own opinion, and if you are at all worried about your pet's health please do see a vet. Some lumps aren't as innocent as simple spots.

Even if you're a cat owner, you may not know that cats get spots just like humans do. A few weeks ago I felt a lump on my cat Belle's chin. Of course the first thought for any lump is 'cancer!'. I was concerned because over the next few days it kept getting bigger - it felt like a pea, but seemed more like a football in my head. 

My family said not to worry, it's probably nothing. I searched online, which I recommend against if it's for human ailments as self-diagnosis is usually not a good idea for anything other than obvious ailments, and discovered that the lump was probably a spot. 
You can sort of see it in the centre of the circle
Over the next few days it went down - she'd scratched it so there was a scab. I discovered that spots can be like our spots (lumpy) or the blackhead kind - she doesn't have any of those. There can be a number of causes from spots, including plastic food/water bowls. 
Hers looks a little like this one I found online
The water bowl was a little rough, so I switched to a ceramic type one, which so far there's been no problems. I think there's been another spot on Belle's chin, but I'm not worrying about it now I know what it is. I won't be using spot cleansing solution or anything like that - if it becomes a major issue then of course she'll go to the vet, but for now her spots are just one of those things that happen and should go away on their own

This weekend was nice and quiet with lots of gaming, as I'd had a crazy week with unavoidable errands every day (I like at least 1 day at home between going out) from Tuesday to Friday, so I was a bit worn out. So far this week is a little quieter, so enjoying the break while it lasts! I have been working on my current project - more on that in the next post ^o^

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #258 Donut Yumminess, Crochet Progress & Life Update

Peanut buttery donut delight!!!
On a visit to Bath (the English City with the Roman baths) the other day my family treated me to 2 super yummy Krispy Kreme donuts! I've had the Reese's peanut butter one (with a lovely gooey centre), and I'm having the other one today, flavour I can't remember. I adore KK donuts (or duffnuts as they can be called in my house). I rarely have them - there's no Krispy Kreme shop near me, they are more expensive than supermarket donuts, and I absolutely refuse to buy them from Tesco - I don't like the store at all (no offence if you shop/work there). I've been busy with unfortunately necessary life stuff, as well as having lots of rest. I'm sorry for not being able to blog sooner but I have been busy! 

As well as the usual gaming, I've been reading some great books including the soon to be published novel The Rasputin Dagger by Theresa Breslin. I usually just link to the latest review on the right menu on this blog, but this is based quite a bit on a historical event. It's the best fictional account of the end of the Tsars in Russia that I've ever read, with a focus on Anastasia and her other sisters. I adore the Disney version of the story, Anastasia, 
Here's a handy image of the DVD with a summary for you
 and while I know that DNA has proved Anastasia did probably die with the rest of her family when they were killed (there's a horrendous scene at the end of The Rasputin Dagger when the royal family are taken away), but I like to imagine she escaped. The book focuses on a different character (with a lot of poetic licence involved as it's fictional, but a fair amount of historical accuracy too), and I highly recommend it. I'll be taking part in a book tour so will most definitely link that when it's up on my review blog, Nayu's Reading Corner

Not only have I been reading, I've been crocheting too! I sort of finished a blanket - I've got some decorating plans which require a bit more concentration than I've had lately. I will show you once it's finished, but that might be a while. I've already started my next project...
Progress by the end of Monday
I'm not sure how big this will end up, as I've only got a few balls of wool, but I'm hoping it can at least reach aby blanket size. I started it when I had my monthly craft day with a friend. She couldn't believe how many times I redid 1 one as I figured out how to join the squares together without sewing them: there's a particular crochet way to do it, which means no seams to sew at the end (minus the ends of each square's yarn in the middle). I haven't done it for a while, so didn't do it quite right at first. It has to be a different method for each corner of the square too, which took even more working out. Yesterday I managed to do almost 2 rows (6 squares), which is good progress considering I was busy gaming & reading too. 
Phone used for scale
Hopefully this post was worth the wait, and, barring any more unexpected life stuff (a lot will be up over the next few months but hopefully they won't affect my blogging schedule too much) my next blog post will be in a few days (or less!).   

If you want to know what I do between blog posts, please follow  me on Twitter - I'm @Nayuleska. I usually tweet a few times a day, and while this can be a lot of gaming tweets, I post updates of my crochet projects and random life stuff ^u^ Let me know if you're on Twitter too!
Hope yours has gone well! Cute bunny = always good to see!

Friday, 30 June 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #257 Pigeons and Catflaps

Happy Friday! I hope the day is going well for you. This morning I've caught up with the most urgent emails catch up, this afternoon will be the usual resting activities. 

As you can see from the title today I'm thinking about this often plump feathered friends, found in both the city and the countryside. They take residence in our garden with it's plentiful food supply that's making them healthy. As a bird lover I find them entertaining, especially when they waddle along the fence. 
Not my cat or catflap, but looks a bit like Belle!
Some of you regular readers may recall I've had issues with other cats coming in the house. One of those got returned to his home (yay!). As for the other one, my family have met the owners so we know what she is called, and rarely see her these days. So imagine my surprise when I thought I heard the cat flap go while my cat Belle was on my bed. I went down shortly after she raced downstairs (definitely at a slower pace). I saw nothing, but as soon as I went outside there was one plump pigeon walking away from the door and back up the drive. 
It wasn't me!
I've never seen pigeons that close to the house! So it's understandable I think the pigeon has come in the cat flap. My family explained pigeons can't use a cat flap, and I guess it logically makes sense because if indeed they could then that pigeon would have created chaos in the kitchen, and not calmly walked back out. 

However, the thought of a pigeon popping in to say hello then popping out again without a fight with my cat is amusing, so I'll stick with my version of events!
Picture source

Friday, 23 June 2017

On holiday

As soon as I recover from my break
So the post pre-scheduling I hoped to do yesterday didn't happen - Wednesday ended up taking more of my energy than anticipated, so you'll have to wait until some time next week for reviews on books I've read recently (a few not so recently...) Really sorry, but heading to Devon tomorrow for a few days so this afternoon is set aside for resting. Have a super weekend, and thank you for being patient!
Happy Eid for this weekend!! May Allah swth bless us all.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Nayu's Feature Post #3 Ramadan 2017 R

Ramadan is almost over - it finishes this weekend. As seems to be the case last year I had planned to try and do some special Ramadan posts but life turned out differently. I think for next Ramadan, God willing I'm alive then, I'll put aside posts throughout the year so matter what happens in Ramadan 2018 I'll have more than a catch up post for you! 

Ramadan is the best time of year for Muslims, for people who are health it involves fasting during daylight hours. Here are some posts which I've written in previous years about this most blessed month. 

Ramadan 2013 #1 What Ramadan is all about
Ramadan 2013 #4 I chat about good deeds
Ramadan 2014 #1 My focus for Ramadan 2014
 Ramadan 2015: Generic info

I don't fast because of my health issues - fasting is seriously not a good idea for me, but I still enjoy the spiritual side of it. I listen to the Quran more, stick with romance free books & audiobooks. This year I ran out of time to post all books with romance before Ramadan, which is why there are a fair few in the first week. I choose to barely watch any Youtube videos - got a nice lot to catch up on at the weekend! I also limit what I tweet - almost no gaming tweets too, which my family have been quite happy with. I make sure anime that I watch is suitable too

A fair few of the books I read/review & what I watch have some romance in, so I save some suitable especially for Ramadan, the most popular one being

Princess Sara: 1980s anime based on the book A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnet, about a rich girl who becomes poor then eventually rich again.
Sarah in the first episode with her father before he leaves for India and then dies.
I love Sara (or Sarah) so much. I relistened to the audiobook this Ramadan, and prefer her in the anime where she is more humble, and always kind. She can seem a bit snobby in the book version, which barely mentions her pony (called Jump in the anime, it's a French version which makes me laugh because why they choose Peter instead of Pierre for the boy who befriends Sarah in a totally non romantic way is a mystery).
Becky comforts Sara as best she can, as does Emily, Sara's treasured doll.
Becky is a rather funny, she makes Sara smile, she tries to make life easier for Sara when  Sara is a servant.

When she is rich she befriends the servant girl Becky  (again not the most French sounding name!), which she does in the book but not to the same extent. No matter the circumstances Sara is always kind and mostly smiling - even when hungry and finds some money she gives most away to someone in more need than her.

Here Sara returns to the bakery to say she will make sure there's money to give any child who needs food at all times. It turns out the baker (pictured) took care of the girl who Sara gave food to, who now helps in the bakery. A little kindness goes a long way.
There is a sequel which I reviewed on Nayu's Reading Corner, the ending doesn't fit the way the anime characters are - Lottie would never go with Lavinia who is shown to be so spiteful! I'm currently at the part where Sara gets ill as a servant go, but knowing she gets better & it's from this moment where magical things happen in the attic keep me going through the hard to watch episodes. 

Great fanart for Muslim style Miku!
Gaming wise I do play less of certain games (slash not at all). None of Hatsune Miku's songs are appropriate for Ramdan, I only watch Aikatsu! because there's no romance and it's the one anime that consisently cheers me up when I'm not well. I play Aikatsu My Number 1 Stage on my Japanese 3DS, but prior to Ramadan I went through all the song lyrics and figure out which ones I can keep playing during Ramadan. I even set up 4 special outfits, one for each type of card, to make a more modest outfit & not spend time choosing an outfit. That worked rather nicely! 

Ramadan is my favourite month of the year because it has a certain feel that only it an have. I hope those of you participating in it have a blessed time, and those of you not equally have had a good few weeks. I look forward to sharing more about this holy month in 2018!