Saturday 30 July 2016

Wendy's Week - Sewing, Stadiums & Steam

Hello! I hope you are having the most wonderful weekend!
Here are a few things that have been making me happy lately...

~ Sewing, Stadiums & Steam ~
The Butterfly Balcony - Sewing, Stadiums & Steam - Winning Star Make // St Paul's  Cathedral // Deepak & Oprah // Epping-Ongar Line // McCalls Pattern Haul // The Olympic Park
Winning Star Make // St Paul's  Cathedral // Deepak & Oprah //
Epping-Ongar Line // McCalls Pattern Haul // The Olympic Park

- Meditate on this. Back in November I started seeing a therapist, for my ongoing and at times crippling anxiety. She is wonderful, she is honestly helping me to change my life. Slowly but surely I'm seeing a difference in my way of thinking, my ability to find the positive has increased dramatically, and best of all my background anxiety - constantly shaking and feeling anxious every second of every day, which makes me even more prone to full-blown panic attacks - has gone completely. One of the ways she recommended to help calm my mind of all the worries was to try meditation, she pointed me in the direction of Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra's free 21 Day Meditation Course which has been a wonderful experience (They run these free courses every few months throughout the year, so if you fancy a bit of free meditation why not sign up to their next one!). I am still utterly hopeless at not letting my mind wander off onto the day's events, or to what I am having for dinner, but it doesn't matter, just the act of trying is enough and in time it will be easier. Plus the chance to take a few minutes out of your day to close your eyes and focus on just you is actually really rather lovely!

- Winning 'Star Make' and getting some free patterns. It was a few weeks ago when reading The Fold Line newsletter that I unexpectedly spotted my grinning face popping out from the screen, with a message saying I had won their star make of the week! Winning meant I was able to pick two McCall's patterns of my choice as a prize! It took me a while to decide but I opted for M7116 a simple dress pattern and M7126 a jersey peplum top pattern...

The Butterfly Balcony - Sewing, Stadiums & Steam - McCalls M7126

- Started Sewing a top and dyed my sewing machine pink in the process! Once I received my lovely free patterns from the girls at The Fold Line, I set straight to work on cutting out M7126 in a double knit jersey from my stash. I have a little way still to go with it, hopefully, this weekend I will be able to finish it off. There is one problem, I thought I'd pre-washed my fabric, but I hadn't (usually I pop new fabric in the wash before adding it to my stash, not this time). The dye in it is so strong that everything it touches it stains, my nails, ironing board, and my lovely new(ish) sewing machine. Hopefully, it will wear off with time, but it's very annoying, as now that it's all cut out I can't wash the fabric until it's all been sewed together, so there will be more opportunities for it to dye my machine pink!

The Butterfly Balcony - Sewing, Stadiums & Steam - St Paul's Cathedral

- Did a bit of sightseeing around London. My parents and brother came to London for a mini-break the weekend before last so that my athletic little brother could compete in the Newham 10k. My dad and brother booked a hotel in Leyton for the duration. Mum, however, stayed with me and after a week that had been filled with massive highs and lows, it was lovely to see her and be able to have a mum hug - they are hard to beat!

The Butterfly Balcony - Sewing, Stadiums & Steam - St Paul's Cathedral

Saturday we all headed into central London for a walk around St Pauls. James had found a shopping centre across the way from the cathedral that has a wonderful roof terrace where you can get outstanding views across the city, and a fancy Champneys cocktail or two, if your pocket can stretch that far, ours couldn't, but the free view was nice all the same!

The men wanted to tour the cathedral so we set off towards the entrance where we were greeted with a whopping £18 ticket price - I should point out it's free if you're partaking in a service or just want to quietly converse with the big man! Seeing as it was a bit, erm, expensive, oh, and the whispering galleries spiralling staircase is where I suffered from my first panic attack as a child, me and mum decided to forgo this adventure, instead opting to watch the world go by in the cathedral gardens.

The Butterfly Balcony - Sewing, Stadiums & Steam - Museum of London
Henry the VIII // Selfridges Deco Lift // Antique Brooch //
Enjoying the exhibits // The small but utterly drool worthy Biba collection

Next up, was the Museum of London where we spent the remaining afternoon, gazing at the wonderful artefacts that make up London's vast history. It's a fab museum if you're interested in a trip, full of all sorts of things marking the dawn of the city to the present day, best of all its free!

The Butterfly Balcony - Sewing, Stadiums & Steam - The Great Run Newham 2016 at the Olympic Stadium Stratford
The Olympic Stadium, now West Ham's new ground

Sunday we had an early start as we needed to be in Stratford to watch my brother compete in the Newham Great Run. We had tickets to sit in the Olympic stadium which is where the race was set to finish, so after seeing my brother off to the starting line, we headed into the stadium, it was epic! Watching all the runners come in and cheering and clapping as much as possible was great, I found it super emotional, when I saw my little brother run past us, with his shades on (he's too cool) as I cheered him on, which then made me burst into tears, me shouting/screaming always makes me start to cry, no matter the context, I'm ridiculous!

The Butterfly Balcony - Sewing, Stadiums & Steam - Epping Ongar Steam Railway
A Routemaster Selfie // Dad Taking photos of the loco//
North Weald Station // The Routemaster which took us from the tube to the railway // British Rail Crest

Once reunited we headed out of the stadium and back down to the tube for a train out to Epping. We had decided to spend the remainder of the, stiflingly hot day, pootling back and forward on the Epping Ongar Steam Railway, pulled by a diesel loco towards Ongar and a Steam loco back towards Epping. It was lovely if a little stuffy in the vintage 80s carriages, I have moaned (to myself) about how cold the virgin trains aircon can get at times, but honestly, I'll never again! After the train ride, everyone came back to mine for a cool drink and for a spot of dinner, with which I treated them all to my favourite Sunday treat of Quorn Steak and Gravy pies, they were a resounding hit, I'll make veggies of them yet!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Wendy x

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