Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Handmade Cushions Galore

So, as some of you know, I've had some free time...okay a lot of free time. But, I have been spending it wisely, travelling, spending quality time with friends and family and ensuring I've seen everything on Netflix...EVER. 

But, there's one other thing I've been doing too, and a lot of it, and that's sewing, in particular sewing handmade cushions. There's something super satisfying about having made something yourself. My friends have been inundated with cushions and there is no longer any room on my bed for me to sleep, thanks to the abundance of cushions. So, I've decided to sell the new ones I make. It's hard, it's like sharing your favourite snack, you know you should, but you really don't want to. So, it is with reluctance but great pride I have opened a shop up on Etsy, click on the link just here >>>> https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MadeByAmyCushions 

All cushions are handmade, so they're not perfect, but they've got a lot more heart and thought! Also, it's not just the ones I sell on Etsy, I started making them because I couldn't find any that I thought were perfect for my room, so just let me know if you or anyone you know would like some bespoke cushions and I am happy to oblige! Here are a few I made earlier....

So, let me know what you think and if you have any design recommendations please do share!!! If you want to check out any that are on sale, here is the link one more time >>>>>

Friday, 26 June 2015

A weekend in the Swedish Countryside

In a magical world, just a little distance away, there is a beautiful place called Eskilstorps Ängar (yep, I can’t pronounce it either). I had the honour and privilege of being invited to this little beach side location, in the Swedish countryside, to celebrate a ‘Typical Swedish Midsummer’.

Now, a typical Swedish midsummer consists of flowers, games, singing and rain, and this year did not fail to bring it. Whilst my Swedish friends speak better English than I do, I was somewhat apprehensive being pleasantly stranded in the middle of a nowhere whose language I can’t even begin to comprehend. But, hoorah, a lovely surprise is that ALL Swedes apparently speak better English than I do.

Our trip extended over the weekend, and we experienced the wonders of the city of Malmö. There was the beautiful tribute to Swedish hero Raoul Wallenberg (the Swedish Schindler, who saved tens of thousands of Jews), the sensational rollercoaster my taste buds went on when eating CASHEW ice cream (dairy free woop woop! Thank you Köld!) and a walk through a park that can only be described as resembling the Tri-Wizard tournament, musical band and all!

Then there was Skana, or as I like to call it the Swedish-Miami Beach! Amazing sailing yachts, white sands, blue seas and even better, MORE sorbet and ice-cream.

Effectively, I spent four days living in a fairy tale, with wild horses and fields of daisies. And not forgetting the Princes - the wonderful Swedish gentlemen/Vikings that I have the pleasure to call friends, and who were the ultimate hosts!

The message here? Get some Swedish friends, visit the Swedish countryside, and do it soon!

highly strung style blog signature fashion lifestyle entertainment sweden

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

DIY - The solution to my necklace issue

So, this has been getting on my nerves for some time. Necklaces and headphones are the bane of my life. You just have to put them down for thirty seconds and boom! They've magically gotten themselves tangled up tighter than Ed Snowden and this whistle-blowing situation.

I'm not a fan of those stands you can get a) because I just don't believe they work or accommodate necklaces of all different lengths and sizes and b) well I just don't like them.

So, you can imagine my relief when I finally figured out a plan. Some of you might think this is a "good one - finally the penny has dropped" sarcasm moment. Well, sorry to you DIY geniuses. But others may find solace in seeing my solution and thinking they can do the same.

It's super simple, all you need is a vertical surface, a hammer and some picture frame hooks and VOILA...

I've placed mine next to my mirror because I conveniently have a lovely wooden bookshelf just perfect for hammering nails into!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

June - Overhaul

The theme of fresh starts and new beginnings seems to be infiltrating my life at the moment; I’m not sure what it is about June but everyone seems to have decided to hit the restart button and I’m so on-board for this current craze.

Upon returning from my ‘words-cannot-describe’ Caribbean holiday, I decided that I would do something I haven’t done in over nine years – organise a hair makeover. Whilst this may seem somewhat underwhelming and disappointingly predictable, it’s a huge thing for me.

Tropical paradise in Tobago - Caribbean holiday

How could a hair makeover be this exciting you may ask?  Well, let me tell you…

At the end of my first year of university my hair decided to start thinning and falling out in chunks. Yes, women reading this, I see your jaws dropping and eyes swelling with genuine pity. Any woman reading this can empathise with this terrifying wide-awake nightmare. At first I believed this to be just an example of the way in which our bodies can be so mean sometimes, and turns out, it was really the other way round. I was putting so much undue stress on my body that it was using all its energy to keep the other parts of me, that it deeded more important, going strong. (Personally, I think my body needs to sort out it’s priorities…I still had to go for a regular leg and bikini wax, something I would have loved to have done without!). My body was giving me, a somewhat harsh, but definitely necessary wake-up call.

Whilst you may think my hair worries are relatively insignificant to other things that could happen, I firmly disagree. Our hair is so intertwined with our personality, and it’s not shallow and it’s not a clear example of how our society is so obsessed with looks. It is all about expressing ourselves.

Some of my favourite writers, including Leandra Medine, have discussed with many women, how our hair evolves with us and is a symbol of what stage of our life we’re at. This hair makeover is entirely symbolic of my life overhaul.

This morning I read Victoria Coren-Mitchell (aka my superhero) discussing the concept of reinventing yourself in this month’s Elle, and how the Internet has made this impossible. Well, for me it’s the other way round, I don’t want to reinvent myself, I want to remember myself.

Frankly, I don’t mind the Internet reminding me of the time where boys were the centre of my world or when I decided to bleach the entire bottom layer of my hair blonde (now you understand my fear of hair makeovers, right?). This is because they remind me of a time in my life where I was learning; I learned the harsh lesson of having your heart broken and the even crueller lesson of having your hair stripped.

Luckily and at last, my hair is back to its good old self. But I’m in a new period of learning now. My life has metaphorically had its hair stripped and instead of cowering from the mirror and the reality of the situation, I’m going to get my butt into that salon chair and do something about it. Let the live overhaul begin. I’ll keep you posted.

Caribbean beach holiday in Trinidad and Tobago

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