Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Stylish Blogger Award - erm... are you sure you meant me?

I'd like to thank my parents, my agent, the producers and the rest of the cast and crew for this Oscar award!

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Umm, what can I say!? I've only been blogging a little over 2 months and clearly I've struck a harmonious chord with Katherine from Something in the Way She Sews who has very sweetly awarded me a Stylish Blogger Award (*blushes*).

Now... I don't know where the award originally started from - but, I do know that awards like these are created by fellow bloggers (thanks guys!) and are a great way for us to recognise, acknowledge and share-the-love throughout the blog-i-verse of people whose content and posts we enjoy :)

With this award I am cordially requested to share 7-things with you that you may not know about me, I am then to pass on the torch and award it to 7 other bloggers too. So, here goes...

7-things that you may not know about me!
(1) I have a degree in Science, but I work in an office! Yup, I spent 4 years on my *thick sandwich degree course (a 2.1, BSc in Applied Biology with Hons), but I ended up working in an office - first in the Training department, which then evolved into many years in the large HR team, and in recent years I've moved side-ways in the same company into an Office Management role :)

(2) My party conversation piece is to bore you to tears about glace cherries! (Don't say I didn't warn you!) Okay, so you see those shiny bright red glace cherries on top of your lovely Bakewell Tart; you think they come in that colour naturally? Think again! As part of the production process the colour turns a bit horrid... so they bleach them (yes I did say bleach), then colour them to a garish hue of bright red. Think about it - when have you EVER seen a fresh cherry that colour come off of the tree in nature... hmmmm?

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(3) I am teetotal. I don't drink alcohol - this is a personal choice, and has nothing to do with faith or religious rules. a) I have a really sweet tooth and love fizzy soda drinks anyway, b) I am so incredibly light-weight that when (many moons ago) I have had a drink and here I am recalling an occasion years ago with a half a pint of half-strength lager shandy - which I had along with a full Sunday roast dinner and pudding, I ended up feeling so bad (think dizziness, depression, tearful, couldn't walk-straight, couldn't see straight and just downright awful) that I had to be helped to go and lie down in a dark room for the rest of that day and night (and it was the same thing a few years later with half a glass of white wine and Christmas dinner too)! So, at parties and going out I'm the sensible one keeping and eye on the pile of handbags in the corner for everyone haha!

(4) sooo... I might be teetotal... but I don't drive, so whilst I could be the "designated driver" I actually can't (sorry Hubby!). I failed my driving test *coughs* "X" number of years ago when I was **17. In my driving lessons I'm so nailed the 'reversing around a corner' manoeuvre the first few times I tried it, that my instructor said I didn't need to practice it too much (so who was I to argue?). However, come test day I was concentrating so hard on a) not hitting the kerb, and b) keeping my car straight... that I parked it 6ft from the kerb. When the Examiner told me at the end of the test that, had I corrected the distance I would have passed I had a bit of a face-palm moment! I never took the test again as I shortly moved to London to attend University and with all the lovely tubes and buses around I've not needed to drive since (plus why have a dog Hubby and bark yourself eh ;)?).

(5) I am one of the messiest; yet uber organised people. I have a love-hate relationship with tidying. I like stuff to be tidy, but because I like things organised "my way, or the highway!" it tends to take ages to do it... so stuff piles up until I have a mega session, then it's all filed v. systematically. I'll also do stuff like I have a 'Holiday Checklist' saved to my laptop - it has a full list of things to take on holiday/and or do before we leave (like passports, empty the bins, email contact details of where we are going to immediate family) but it has 3 columns i) Need to buy it, ii) Got it, and iii) Packed it in the bags. It is also v.v. detailed there's no column just for wash-kit (oh no!) I have toothbrush, toothpaste, flannel, eyecream etc. all on there own rows. Why so much detail? Because I've forgotten stuff when in a hurry before and now I NEVER go wrong :D! I also separate our luggage evenly i.e. half of my holiday clothes in one suitcase (with half of hubby's) and the same in the 2nd case - this is in case one bag gets lost in transit. But the outfits in each bag are checked so that they all match colour-wise and purpose wise e.g. if I take 2 bikinis then 1 goes into each case. Oh, I also take x1 pair of knickers, x1 bikini, x1 pair of shorts, and x1 T-shirt (along with a mini-sized SPF 30 Sunscreen, toothbrush + paste) in my carry on luggage - so that if ALL my luggage ends up in Australia whilst I am heading for Greece then I don't have to rush out and buy new things at inflated prices in the local tourist shops (see I said I was organised!).

(6) I seem to be addicted to buying Sewing books, by the last count I have 37 sewing and pattern making books (check out my page). I covet them for like ooohh all of 10 seconds, then I go "Oh, s*d it I'll buy it!". + are sooo good for finding used books at cheap prices - especially older out-of-print titles :). Christmas and February (my Birthday was last month) were very kind to my sewing library - as I got lots of vouchers to use up (yay!). Now all I have to do is find the time to read them, but it is SO nice knowing they are there, ready to flick through to find a technique. Oh, if you ever want to know if any of the books I own covers something you want to know (in case you want to buy it for yourself ;)) just contact me and I'll look it up for you :)!!

(7) I spend stupid amounts of money on my haircare, like £350 quid! (approx. $570 USD) However, in mitigation I only spend that amount every 12-18months. See I have straight-ish hair with a mind of it's own. It takes 60-90 minutes with straighteners to get it to behave, and that's too much time in the morning to waste. So, every now and then I spend 5-6 hours (yup it takes that long really!) getting my long hair permanently straightened with the Japanese Straightening. This not only avoids the straight fringe I have from doing a Jason from 80's Neighbours, but stops me from burning my house down (I came home once having left the straighteners on all day to a singed bedspread where I'd left the straighteners on the bed oops!). My dodgy hair is where I got the idea for my online username Seemane (it's what I use on Etsy & See = sounds the same as the letter "C" (for Claire), and mane = mane of hair!. But, 365 days per year is 365 x 1 hour, or 15.2 days saved of hot-straightening-iron time per year, and works out at £0.96 cost per day, so worth it to me :) When my hair is chemically straightened it takes no time at all to style and it looks swish-ily straight all day long (what's not to love?). Now I need to book the next appointment as it's due shortly and I'm fed-up of constantly living in ponytails to tame my tresses!

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*That's what they call a sandwich course that has a 1-year work/industry placement as part of it's structure LOL!
**The youngest age in the UK at which you may sit your driving test.

7 Stylish Bloggers that I admire!
In no particular order are:-
(1) Tanit-Isis Sews, it was the delightful jeans-making Ms. T who first encouraged me into blogging ;) Check out her free 50's Shrug Pattern!

(2) Elaine aka The Selfish Seamstress, always has me giggling and nodding my head in agreement at her witty and humorous posts (oh how I wish that she would return to blogging soon!) Her Coffee Date Dress is a popular blogger make - Grosgrain did a sew-along for it here

(3) Melissa whose Fehr Trade blog has such an array of great self-made garments, and she's so fun & chatty in person too (we meet-up for coffee and sewing-chit-chat a few weeks ago). Londoner's and visitors to our fair city should read her fabric shopping guides for great places to shop & explore :)

(4) Kathleen of Grosgrain - for her fabulous photos in her posts (congrats to her for her recent engagement too!)

(5) Tasia - the proprietress of Sewaholic Patterns (& blog too of course), not only is she drafting and selling her self-designed patterns, but she runs sewalongs for her designs to help beginners follow her step-by-step, with photos along the way to blouse-perfection!

(6) Sunni - The Cupcake Goddess, her trouser know-how is helping me to make my first ever pair of trews! And, I admire her for taking the plunge into her own business too.

(7) Casey's Elegant Musings - I simply covet the clothes she makes, and to top it off she shows you how to style your hair to match to complete the look too!

Other's I would like to honorably mention are fashion-figure collector and identical-cousin to model Cathy - Peter of Male Pattern Boldness; Juebejue, of Petite Republic such stylish stitching; Sewiknittoo one of the first blogs I found on my sewing journey, she doesn't post frequently but when she does it's often to share great finds she's come across on the web (yay!) :), Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing because it's just absolutely fab and choc-full of useful tidbits of info., and finally Patty The Snug Bug this lady works in a sewing-store that she can walk/cycle to from home (I'm jealous on 2-counts LOL) and seems to have time to sew 'n' play with patterns everyday *sighs - if only I had the time and a job in sewing*.


  1. Funny facts, and a new word: teetotal. Thanks!

  2. Just came across your site from another sewing blog! I can definitely identify with your packing strategy! I have horrible luck with losing my bags so I always split clothes up between different checked bags, and I carry at least one days worth of clothes/toiletries in my carry on!

  3. Why, thank you! I also don't drink (mostly), and didn't drive for a very long time... though I'm glad I learned as the public transport here isn't a patch on London's tube system.

    ... and I always knew those candied cherries were suspicious...

  4. Aww thanks for the award and the lovely flattery, err, compliments! I don't do award posts on my blog but it doesn't mean I don't appreciate the sentiments!

  5. @ Kate - Glad to know I'm not the only one who packs like that then ;)!

    @ Tanit-Isis - yup, foods are not what they seem, next they'll tell us that there aren't any real strawberries in strawberry flavour gum!

    @ Melissa - hehe no worries hun!

  6. I always wondered where 'Seemane' came from! You know, they say spending money on your hair is a worthwhile investment, since it's the one accessory you wear every day :)
    I don't drink either, perhaps once a year at the most...and I sometimes eat those maraschino cherries but never again! Thanks for the award, too!


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