this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


6 Comments

FF: Fashion {04 Cosy Charcoals}

A fun fashion post is long overdue as is a clothes shopping trip! We had our first snow of winter 2012 this week in London and I’ve been craving greys again in the cold weather.

I love warming greys in winter. Black is a little too austere, but greys are soft and snuggly. Charcoal knits simply cocoon you in cosiness when the pavements are frosty and the sharp winds chafe at your cheeks.

It’s not that cold yet, so a pair of courts/pumps are still perfectly appropriate (although I’d prefer flats in this style), but I am in the market for a good pair of boots and I’m thinking of replacing my tatty boot cut jeans with a new skinny pair. I haven’t braved that style transition yet. Yes, I know I’m a few years late, but I am notoriously lazy when it comes to actually buying new clothes.

I like to browse seasonal trends, window shop, walk around feeling all the fabrics, oohing at all the colours and textures… I just keep my purse tightly closed. Ha! No, I have not been spending my share to get us out of the recession, that’s quite clear from the chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week. My bad.

(Maybe I should think like Starbucks and make a donation to the Government in compensation for my tightfistedness! Their latest “extraordinary” move is rather mind boggling. Nevermind, Costa and even Pret have sofas these days and serve rather more decent coffee. Starbucks’ tax affairs have no bearing on why I haven’t visited in a long long time, so their limping U-turn is not about to drag me back. Still, I’d love to find a favourite independent caffeine haunt in which to wrap my frozen hands around a liquid hand warmer.)

So, what are your clothes shopping habits? Does it get very cold where you are? What are your favourite colours to wear in winter? Do tell all :)

Scarf Update


10 Comments

Wrapped up and warm…almost

Just a little photo of my 97% completed scarf #2. The colour has greyed out a little in the lighting at home.

I’ve hurt my shoulder and have been forbidden to knit until I’ve completely recovered. I need some time to decide how to finish off the ends of the scarf anyway, so I’m not complaining. I don’t like tassels too much and I’m not sure about pompoms. I’ve used a simple moss stitch along the entire scarf and it’s knitted in felted tweed, so a nice chunky wool. I’m thinking more along the lines of some sort of lacey crocheted edging. Any ideas?

Scarf Update

Candy Floss Hat


22 Comments

Wonder Wool

OK…so I’m a tiny bit late to the party. National Wool Week was last week. But then, I was ill. Aaah. But, I’m still in the recovery position this week. The near-solid slime, glueing together my ENT passages is showing no intention of shifting. Sorry, tmi. At least my sexy voice has left me. Unfortunately, that means the only external clue to my being under the weather has dissipated, and I appear to be well enough to do all things.

Well. I haven’t been blogging so much. But the thing is, as I hinted here, I have been getting cosy with this:

Candy Floss Hat

I love wool. I picked up knitting and crocheting again last winter. It didn’t seem to make much sense, seeing as wool is expensive in the UK. And Primark is cheap. And let’s not beat about the bush, I am also expensive when it comes to hiring myself to knit. I recently bought some four jumpers at £6 each. Whereas, the total amount of money spent on that is not enough even to buy me the wool required to knit myself a jumper.

Candy Floss Hat

But in short, I will knit because I want a good quality garment. Even though synthetic yarns are cheaper, I will only bother with good quality stuff, because otherwise I can buy it for cheaper in the shops. Even if it is not Primark. I will buy synthesised yarns, but only when the synthetics add to the texture of the yarn. I will only do this, if it is good quality and it does not make up the majority of the fibre.

Candy Floss Hat

So. When a friend of mine requested a warm woolly hat, I took the chance to knit this. My head is massive (I have big empty braincells). So sorry, I am not modelling it. But I hope you’ll agree, that pompom is like candyfloss. Beautiful, wonderful, super soft merino wool. It’s also my first foray into thick and thin. And with the same yarn, I am knitting myself a scarf. It’s getting chilly, and I’m almost done. I will soon be the envy of you all :)

I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves the good old sheepies. I LOVE WOOL :) And to prove it, as well as the abovementioned scarf, I have two others on the go:

Scarves

I’m also researching baby blankets, I have a plan to deliver a hat with a surprise gift inside! Any pattern ideas? I’m thinking I might crochet it. I’m so excited :)

Candy Floss Hat


10 Comments

Frivolity and friendship (1)

I’m going to do my first award nomination post of the season. I was fortunate to have an excuse to do one way back here. Please check it out as I’m not going to renominate blogs that I’ve nominated before. But watch this space, for a new page coming up :)

I already answered some questions about myself in that post, so I won’t try to dig up any more “interesting” facts about myself (I already dug deep in that post). I’ll tell you however, that at the same time as writing this, I’m being distracted by this and this. LOL I’ve been meaning to update my wardrobe for probably close to a decade. But… I’m still slouching about in a pair of Topshop khakis that I’ve loved for over fifteen years today. Wow, to think that the company has come so far. Amazing how the landscape of British fashion has changed so much. We’re so hip and cool these days. Unbelievable! (“We” doesn’t include me by the way.)

So, onto some nominations. I was awarded this Thanks For Writing award by Matt Gajdoš of Mister G Kids. Thanks again Matt! I’m going to do three nominations per award. You’d think that would make life easier seeing as I have four to do, but it’s actually not at all easy to choose!

  • Thanks For Writing AwardTALKTODIANA – I challenge you not to be inspired and encouraged through Diana’s writing.
  • A Big Life – A blog exploring the notions of home, change, choice and love – Liv’s adventures and accompanying thoughts.
  • WONDERWIMP – Jane has such a wacky sense of humour, every post makes me laugh :)

All the above are lovely bloggers also because they like making conversation as well as writing interesting things. Go! Take yourself over there. I’d recommend a cup of tea and a cosy chair, because you’ll be reading for a little while.


4 Comments

FF : Fashion {03 Pretty Pink Patriot}

In case any of you may not have noticed (you most certainly will have if you have been trying to get anywhere in London recently) the Olympic opening ceremony is this evening. I’m all set for being amazed by the British talent. Hopefully the opening ceremony will not resemble the handover ceremony in Beijing a mere four years ago. I’m going to be all positive and celebratory and work myself up into a frenzy of blushful patriotism. Voilà! My frivolity knows no bounds!

FF : Fashion {03 PrettyPinkPatriot} thisislemonade.wordpress.com

Laure Ring / Carolina Bucci Earrings / Jigsaw Hammered Bangle Set / Rare Opulence Rose Babydoll Dress / Alexander McQueen Skull Clutch in Pale Pink / Giuseppe Zanotti l26108 Shoes / Lancome ‘Vernis in Love’ Fade Resistant Gloss Shine Nail Polish

Happy weekend and let the games begin!


2 Comments

FF: Fashion {02 Lavender Love}

I hereby declare that my wardrobe looks nothing as glamourous as the sets I am creating in Polyvore. But as promised on Wednesday, here is my fantasy lavender-inspired outfit.

I had some real fun making this. I’m enjoying my growing imaginary wardrobe. I love the sandals. I’ve actually seen a variation on that bag and fallen in love with the way the zips are designed. The umbrella sports the only Cath Kidston pattern I’d ever been seen with. I’d probably never wear that ring twice but I’d put it on when I blog just to add some bling to blogging…whatever. I submitted the set to the Polyvore Designer for a Day contest anyway, just for fun. Feel free to go over and like it if you like it – all in the spirit of frivolity! :)

FF: Lavender Love - thisislemonade.wordpress.com
1) Wildfox Couture summer sweater 2) TopShop nail polish 3) Mykita sunglasses 4) Yuh Okano summer shawl 5) Victoria Beckham skinny leg pants 6) Cath Kidston polka dot umbrella 7) River Island mini messenger bag 8) Blue Nile cushion cut amethyst ring 9) Vera Wang Lavender Label high heel sandals

I hope you like my defiant British Summer look – I’m wearing sandals, but I’ve got the obligatory scarf and brolly just in case because it doesn’t stop raining. But who knows, the sun might come out and a pair of cool shades might be in order…it’s only early-ish July, anything is still possible! Have a beautiful weekend…


14 Comments

Lavender Love

My first memory of lavender is of walking past a low wall bordering a neighbour’s front garden on the way to school. Lavender was planted along the top of the wall so that it spilled over the side. I fell in love from those early days. Our relationship was unequal however, I admired from a distance. Despite its accessibility even to my shorter self, I soon preferred to cross over on the other side to avoid confronting the large number of bumble bees hovering busily from bud to bud.

Lavender Love - thisislemonade.wordpress.com

My kitchen has been filled with the beautiful heady scent of lavender recently. I inherited a well-tended, mature lavender bush that has bloomed in abundance this season. (I was going to say summer there but I thought I would be kidding myself…) So far I have harvested less than five percent of the stems and it barely shows. I have a lot more work to do, to make sure there will continue to be generous flower yields in future.

Lavender Love - thisislemonade.wordpress.com

One of my best friends once commented that I say “wow!” a lot. Yes I do. It’s the only thing I can muster when I just can’t describe that awe and pleasure derived from something amazing: I just love lavender. Its perfume is wonderfully calming and invigorating at the same time. The colour is intense, with shades of blues, purples, greens and greys. Absolutely gorgeous – I must do a Frivolous Fashion post based on these hues on Friday – watch this space!

Lavender Love - thisislemonade.wordpress.com


5 Comments

FF: Fashion {01 Mellow Yellow}

Seeing as it’s summer in London (for the time being) and it’s a Friday, I wanted to celebrate by getting a bit frivolous…Inspired by the Poppytalk 2012 Summer Colours Week I decided to play with colours.

I don’t really wear yellow much. At all. Do I have one item of yellow? Maybe I have one scarf with teeny pale yellow accent flowers…that’s it. Lately though, I’ve been really drawn to it – perhaps because of the lack of sunshine we’ve been having. Anyway, without further ado or too many words to negate the frivolity of this post, here you go:

#01: Mellow Yellow

1) Armand Diradourian fringed shawl; 2) Wallis floral blouse; 3) True Religion polka dot jeans; 4) Lanvin shoes; 5) With Love From CA beading jewelry; 6) Givenchy handbagCold Lemonade Tin Sign | Summertime Signs | RetroPlanet.com.

Don’t I have expensive taste? I think I need some ice cold lemonade to recover from my virtual shopping trip – have a lovely weekend! :)


4 Comments

Beautiful things….

I love beautiful things. I’m very selective, but once I’ve fallen for something, I will enthuse about it forever.

At random times. In unexpected ways. Suddenly a passing word, a fleeting flash of colour, a sound, a particular level of humidity in the air, the frosty wind….something will trigger a memory of whatever I fell in love with and it will bring a smile to my day. I get really excited about texture, colour, form, a shape or line, a voice, music, reflection, a small discovered detail…a print…which is what brought me to write this post:

Printed skirt : Wendy's Lookbook

Printed skirt : Wendy’s Lookbook
(Clicking on the image will take you to the source.)
I love the ink-drawn lace-like quality of this pattern as well as the purple-grey shades that remind me of what you get with blotting paper and fountain pens…

Because the dearly beloved gathered around me don’t usually get it, they will only perceive my over-excitement for a tiny bit too long. Their blank expressions usually prevent me from oohing and aahing too much. But I will continue to glow inside from the beauty of whatever it was that captured my imagination, and every time I remember what I loved about that thing, it will flood me with intense happiness and give me that elusive warm and fuzzy feeling.

In my mind, are countless memories of beautiful things I have seen, touched, tasted, heard and internalised. The unspeakable grandeur of a Norwegian fjord, the crisp pure air on a Swiss mountain, the enchantment of walking up a Roman fort in heavy snowfall, the expansive calm of the Lake District in temperate spring, the moodiness of the heather-cushioned Yorkshire Moors underfoot. The feel of the wood on a gently crafted chair, the intense flavour of a ripe avocado and the different shades of its buttery green flesh, the sound of birds singing after rainfall, the magic of a double rainbow…a bright ray of sunshine in a land that is prone to cloudy skies…

Many moons later, I will have forgotten the exact detail of the beautiful silk dress I handled or the simple form of a piece of porcelain that caught my eye, but I will remember the feeling that I wanted to hold on to for a little bit longer. I may even have whipped out my camera at that brief moment in time in an attempt to encapsulate the senses that came to life as I took in the hue, texture and weight of the object before me. In vain. Dissatisfied, I probably deleted the crisp digital image and walked away with just a slight skip in my step and an arguably disproportionate sense of euphoria. I very rarely buy things I love. Sometimes they are simply not for sale (like the breathtaking views from the Minack Theatre in Cornwall) but mostly, I just don’t have enough room in my life for that much stuff!

Minack Theatre

Minack Theatre panorama
Click on the image to view the panorama file

I love thoughtful design because it connects you to the creative process someone else went through; those moments of inspiration enjoyed by another human being. There are eureka moments but, largely speaking, truly beautiful objects are the product of someone else’s hours of labour, frustration, experiences and collated ideas of what is beautiful to them.

So I propose to dedicate Thursdays to compiling a treasure trove of beautiful things, places and experiences. Things that I have loved in the past, things that I am still discovering, things that I would love to share with you.

I don’t know if, like me, you also find that things of a particular kind of beauty give you a certain added buoyancy on those dark heavy days. Perhaps there are things of significance to you that no one else quite understands. I’d love to hear from you below. Hopefully you will share gems that I’ll not be able to resist adding to my own treasure trove. Happy rummaging!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 445 other followers