Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Summer songs

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the US. To me, that's the start of summer. Regardless of where I live, that idea seems to be the permanent one in my brain. Here in the UK, things have been heading in the direction of summer for a few weeks. Yesterday was a bank (public) holiday here and a traditionally popular day for summery barbecues and such, but it was pretty grey and gross. Summer and music, to me, go hand in hand. There are some songs and some albums that I will always associate with sunny days and long, lingering, evenings. Sometimes it's specific year (Everclear was popular in my stereo in the summer of '96), and sometimes it's eras (Weezer's 1st album, every summer from junior high into early college), but there are just those songs. Here are some of mine:

Summer memories by LK on Grooveshark

What about you? What songs/artists/albums take you right to a sunny picnic blanket, the passenger seat of your best friend's car, or a sandy beach?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tasty times at Street Feast London

Last weekend was a glorious lineup of sunny days, absolutely perfect for getting out and enjoying pub gardens and tasty delights. That, dear readers, is just what we did. After having a great time last year, our friends A & M invited us to join in with a visit on the opening weekend of Street Feast London. After this visit, I have a strong feeling we'll be heading back throughout the summer.

We started our afternoon with a little bit of pub hopping, pints, Pimm's, and sunshine and rocked up to Dalston Yard about 5:45pm. The way Street Feast works in that it's a converted industrial yard space that turns into a mecca for street food lovers each Friday and Saturday from 5pm - midnight. Last week was the first weekend and it runs for 19 more (aka: through September). Burgers, bbq, tacos, jerk chicken, Indian, Italian, ice cream, lobster, booze - this place has it all! The lineup is part-set and part-rotating, which is why I'm looking forward to return visits to try some new things! (Though I never went in NYC, from what I can gather this is a bit like a small, but fancier Smorgasburg).

Everyone in our group (which was about 9 friends and friends-of-friends) tried different things. I had a stuffed courgette (zucchini) flower, 2 tasty tacos, and some yummy ice cream. The Scot had an Indian wrap and enjoyed my tacos so much he got his own. Others had bbq ribs, amazing looking little sliders, poutine, chicken - so many things that I've forgotten them all. But no one seemed disappointed with any of the food. It was all mouth wateringly delicious

By the time we left at about 9pm, the whole space was packed. Although we were newbies, our friends were telling and showing us last year's set-up and it's clear that the organizers have really gone all out to make the space a bit more user-friendly this year. Lots of covered seating, retractable awnings attached to walls where possible in case of rain, and really cool semi-permament food stalls (instead of just trucks - though there's still space for a few!).

I really had a great and tasty time at Street Feast and I think anyone who likes to eat would enjoy it as much. If you're in London at all this summer, check it out! It's fully worth a little adventure to Dalston!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Instalife: late spring edition

Around here spring is fading into summer and we're having our fair share of sunny and warm days. On Saturday, I even ended up with a bit of a sunburn (much to my chagrin as I clearly needed stronger sunblock). There has been a good bit of baking happening, and a lot of planty love.

We've had some great luck with getting to see great performances of late. The Scot's mum and gran came down and took us to see Once in the West End. This was great for many many reasons, one being that we got to see Arthur Darvill perform! In the last 3 weeks, we've scored tickets to 2 tv recordings (one being Q.I.!!) and 1 radio show recording. I never get so lucky when I apply for free audience tickets, but when it rains...

Our weekend walks have been tending south of late, and it's been nice to change up our usual park-y landscapes. The more the outside greens up, the more I want green inside with us as well and I've been working on keeping our deep windowsills full of fun bits of green. Half of my kitchen table is currently a little potting area, and the floor below it might just be dusted in fancy dirt. But I don't mind as I'm having fun with it all.

Monday, May 12, 2014

By the seaside

It's been 2 weeks since my mom headed back to the US. This is my last little catch-up post full of our adventures. The adventure of the day was a trip to the seaside. Although a bit chilly and windy, we avoided a rainy day and had a great daytrip down to Brighton!

No trip to Brighton is complete without a visit to the pier, and that was our first stop! The three of us happily frittered away about £4 (total) on the 2p arcade games. Cheap fun all around! The pier was then mostly useful for obligatory touristy photos and bad jokes about seeing France.

This time around, we didn't visit the Royal Pavilion, though we did pass through the garden and snap some photos. Lots of castles and such had already happened on this visit and Mom was perfectly happy to have a visit to Snoopers Paradise instead. No treasures found on this visit there, but all the quirky shops of Brighton area always worth a look.

In addition to being just a nice day out, it was fun to get more ideas in my head about Brighton and BlytheCon UK 2014. I'm so excited to be one of the organizers this year and am sure that in 5 months' time we'll be having an equally great day by the seaside. Lots of gears turning in that direction!

We're so lucky to be just a short train ride from great places like Brighton. This summer I do hope to do more little day trips to bits of England I've yet to see and parts I've seen and loved and would happily visit again. I fear that London has so much to offer that it does feel cut off in some ways from the rest of this very beautiful and interesting land. Hopefully I'll change that a bit and if I do, I'll most certainly be sharing the photos here!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

By George! It's Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court is largely thought of as being a Tudor residence, but the Georgians used it as well. Right now, the palace is celebrating this fact. When I recently visited with my mom, on Good Friday, they even had re-enactors wandering the grounds! Parading, playing music, acting in character as courtiers - and even as King George I! It was good fun.

Having been there a number of times before, I wasn't too interested in taking tons of photos of the place, but more of documenting the fun day out with Mom.

The weather kept flipping between gorgeously sunny and comfortable, to cloudy and freezing. It's that Springtime curse of only being warm when the sun is present. We dealt with the chill to enjoy some "horse dancing" (as they called it) being performed in the gardens for the "court." It was a mix of horses performing and the riders demonstrating proficiency with swords and such. I liked it.

As many former royal residences do, Hampton Court still boasts of gorgeous gardens - and rightly so! One of my favorite parts is the great vine arch along the side of one of the formal gardens. It's huge and long and smells so green as you walk through it. Delightful.

A few years ago I snapped some photos of these mixed tulips flowerbeds and was glad to see them in even more glory this year! Hampton Court in springtime is truly beautiful

Saturday, May 3, 2014

iNSD Treats, Part 2

Two posts in one day! Zoinks!

I'm back with the 2nd part of my treats to you, my fabulous readers, for (inter)National Scrapbooking Day. This one is both fun and also long overdue. I totally let Spring happen without switching out the seasonal freebie on my Facebook page and also haven't done a cut file share in ages. So I thought what better time than today?

'Away We Go' travel Silhouette cut file scrapbooking/Project Life freebie by Laura Kate Is Crafty
Available exclusively to my Facebook fans.

These "Away We Go!" cut files are a super fun addition to travel pages. They actually measure 2.9" across to fit Project Life pages better. (I usually keep my printable at 3" as I have faith in people's ability to crop as they desire, but these have an outline, so...) If you check out the non-photo image on FB, you'll also see that the cars do have windshields and headlights if you are into torturous tiny bits. It's all about options! :)

This one will stay up for a while, but I do plan on changing the FB offering sometime in the summer. I really enjoy creating fun cards and cut files for my readers. In addition to the little sets I offer here on the blog, I also have a shop with many additional designs that I hope you'll check out. Please feel free to share any creations you've made - be it Project Life, cards, traditional scrapbook pages, or anything! - with me as it's so cool to see what has been done with my designs by others!

Happy (inter)National Scrapbooking Day!

iNSD Treats, Part 1

Woohoo! (inter)National Scrapbooking Day is here! That totally made up and yet very fun day that shows up each year on the first Saturday of May. I'm hoping to get some scrapping done, but I may also just enjoy a lazy couch day and click about the interwebs seeing what fun is on offer from my favorite companies and designers.

'Play On' music scrapbooking/Project Life freebie by Laura Kate Is Crafty
download the cards > > > here < < <

Last week I saw these fabulous geometric background designs and just knew I had to do something fun with them. I've had a little collection of inspirational(ish?) lyrics sitting around and hadn't figured out how to make them interesting. BAM. This worked. I liked it. And I'm sharing the end product with you! Please enjoy!

I'll be back a bit later today with even more treats for iNSD!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Merry Month of May

April came and went in a whirlwind. Between professional stuff, Mom visiting, Easter, plus a week of being gross & sick, I feel like I blinked and 4 weeks went by in snap. For the month of April I was glad to have two returning sponsors here on the blog!

>>>> Denise from Every Hour Here has been busy busy with her fabulous and creative life. She's been great at sharing her Project Life posts weekly, and this stripey installment was a favorite of mine.

>>>> Over at Don't Feed the Wendybird, Allyson Rose has undertaken a photo a day project and has been sharing the snaps on a regular basis. Such fun!

While April in my daily life was busybusybusy, here on the blog the month was a bit slower than most. But May should pick back up to my more usual pace and I'd love to have some new faces and blogs/shops over there on the sidebar! Maybe you blog about cooking. Maybe you crochet or quilt. Perhaps you make accessories and have an Etsy shop? Creative types of all sorts are welcome! If you're interested in reaching the great readers of Laura Kate is Crafty please do take a peek at my sponsorship information page!

Welcome, o lovely May!